2022 General Election
Here's the updated (as of 11-3-22) blog, with amendments to entries for Sheriff and legislature.
Ok people. I have heard your pleas, so here, in relatively good time, is the 2022 General Election edition of Marianne’s Politiblog.
Be aware that I always welcome information about candidates. I will only post information which can be substantiated, but will look into all information.
As I warned in the Primary edition of the blog, unless we are all very diligent, very active, and very loud, we may not have a democratic society in which elections actually matter. The Supreme Court has already heard arguments in a case which claims that state legislatures rather than the actual votes of the people could/should determine election outcomes. I truly dread the court’s decision.
All over the country states are imposing limits on voting – from shortening voting days and hours, to criminalizing giving a bottle of water to someone in a very long line, to purging selected names from voter rolls, to onerous and near impossible registration requirements, to last minute switches in polling places, and more. All of these are intended to make it more difficult or impossible for people who are not white and well off to vote. That just plain sucks turtle eggs. Is this a democracy or something painfully different?
Pretty much the best we can do is vote, vote, vote, vote, to quote an aging decent but ineffective gentleman who purports to be the president of the United States.
I’m re-running once again Marianne’s minimum standards for any candidate:
1) be able to write a coherent sentence. Go big, try for a whole paragraph.
2) be able to articulate the job description of the position for which they are running.
3) have sufficient internet know-how (or the funds to hire that know-how) to create a net presence.
Luckily, the general election has only 2 (and too often only 1) candidates for each position. Makes my job a lot easier. Because of the timing I will not be able to listen to the League of Women Voters’ candidate events this week. I did listen to the American Association of University Women’s event. Unfortunately Zoom made it awkward, with some candidates unable to show their faces or unmute. I also spoke directly with a number of candidates and sent email questions as well. In spite of all of that I am still in a quandary about a couple of positions.
So, on to the basics:
First, you need to know that you are registered to vote. To check, go to
If you’re not registered, you can do that online or by mail until October 31. If all else fails, you can register in person at the Island County Elections Office, 400 N Main Street, Coupeville, up to 8:00 pm on November 8.
Ballots are supposed to go into the mail by October 21. Look for your ballot, and if you haven’t seen one by about October 23, contact the elections office at https://www.islandcountywa.gov/Auditor/Elections/Pages/Home.aspx
For more information call 360-679-7366 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
So, to make your vote count,
1. Try not to use the US Mail, now that Postmaster DeJoy has very deliberately crippled USPS. If you really have to use the mail, get your ballot in the mail by the Wednesday before election day, November 2.
2. If you absolutely can’t do it earlier, bring your ballot to the Post Office counter on Tuesday, November 8 during business hours – usually before 4:00 pm. No stamp is needed.
3. Best option: Drop your ballot in one of the 6 ballot drop boxes before 8:00 pm on Tuesday, November 8.
They are located at:
Island County Elections Office
400 N Main Street Coupeville
Trinity Lutheran Church
18341 Hwy 525 Freeland
Ken’s Corner Shopping Center
4141 Hwy 525 (at Langley Road) Clinton
Island County Camano Annex
121 N East Camano Drive Camano Island
Langley Post Office, front patio
115 2nd Street Langley
Oak Harbor City Hall
865 SE Barrington Oak Harbor
Here, once again, is Marianne’s regular disclaimer: I would never presume to tell you how to vote. That is very much your business. I’m merely telling you how I intend to vote and why. You can make your own decisions from there.
Be aware that I have not researched people who are running unopposed.
Also, I've been warned that my links to the Voter Info is dated from the Primary. I just now tried to update it and its just plain more than I'm ready for right now. You'll figure it out.
Once again, these are the legacy of the disgraced Tim Eyman, who pushed through the initiative to require these “advisory votes” – which have no legislative effect – to let people know just how terribly the legislature is abusing them. The wording is dictated by the initiative, and the “costing $ X” translates to how much the state expects to collect over that period. That “for government spending” part is supposed to make us angry about nasty old gubmint stealing our tax dollars.
#39 ESSB 5974
The legislature increased, without a vote of the people, the tax on aircraft fuel from $0.11 to $0.18/gal, costing $14 million in its first 10 years, for government spending.
This tax increase should be:
[ ] repealed
[ ] maintained
Wow. That was a wild read. This is one tiny part of a huge climate action transportation bill. It goes into so many different aspects I don’t even know where to begin. The upshot is that this is Washington’s response to Biden’s infrastructure bill, with CO2 limits and prescriptions to electrify trains and ferries, among a huge long list of similar things. The aircraft fuel tax increase is intended to push toward fewer air miles and more efficient fuels. Altogether unclear to me why they picked out this one tiny piece of the monster bill I just read. Oh, and that “for government spending” is actually earmarked for air transport improvements.
For those who want to take a deep dive into the whole bill, here’s the link to the final bill report.
Even though it makes no difference at all, I will be voting to maintain.
#40 ESHB 2076
The legislature imposed, without a vote of the people, premiums on "transportation network companies" to provide workers compensation to their drivers, costing an indeterminate amount in its first 10 years, for government spending.
This tax increase should be:
[ ] repealed
[ ] maintained
Again, I wonder why they chose to target this particular bill. This is all about the legislature deciding that Uber, Lyft, and other such ride-share services are in fact employers and have to treat drivers as employees rather than independent contractors. The bill goes into all manner of detail about how much the company has to pay drivers per minute/per mile/per trip. And it has to pay into a fund to provide paid sick leave and other employee benefits. It also sets out rights for drivers so they can’t simply be cut off without good cause. All in all, this is about regulating a relatively new area of business, and the regulations seem very reasonable to me.
Again, if you’re in for a deep dive, here’s the link to the final bill report.
Again, it has no real effect, but I will be voting to maintain.
Tiffany Smiley R
Ms Smiley is a triage nurse and military wife whose husband was blinded in a suicide bombing in Iraq in 2005. Ever since, she has been caring for and advocating for injured members of the military. She has seen the bureaucratic nightmare which is medical care in the US, but only through the lens of her husband and others in the military. Not sure she realizes that all the rest of us face similar problems. Checking her website, she seems to tout the standard Republican line about how its all the Dems’ fault that – whatever it is.
Since the primary it is reported that Republican candidates statewide are scrubbing their websites of references to stolen elections, abortion rights, and disgraced ex-presidents. Still, I just now found on Ms Smiley’s website a section titled “election integrity” which contains the statement “the 2020 elections raised serious questions about the integrity of our elections and caused millions of Americans to question their confidence in our electoral process.” A campaign staffer stated that Ms Smiley continues to support “updating voter rolls, voter ID requirements, and voter signature verification.” Kinda funny. Those things are already very much a part of the process. She wants to make sure that “efforts made to increase voter participation do not fundamentally undermine the legitimacy of our democracy.” Huh? So more voters somehow undermine the legitimacy of democracy? Did I just read a bunch of code words that translate to “voting is good, but we don’t what ‘those kind of people’ participating” ?
She admits to being anti-abortion but says she does not favor a nationwide ban. Tell that to the Supreme Court.
Her website has all the standard Republican talking points. She specifically calls out cancelling the Keystone Pipeline as the cause of high gas prices. Evidently she doesn’t know that the pipeline was intended to ship Canadian tar sands oil to gulf coast refineries and then to everywhere but the US. Or that it would take years to bring on line, so could not affect current prices.
Nary a word about issues that matter to most of us. For a triage nurse not to mention Covid seems really strange. Or climate change. Or gun control. And her only word on Roe v Wade is that she wouldn’t vote for a nationwide abortion ban. Yeah, right. Oh, and inflation is all Patty Murray’s fault.
My impression is MAGA-lite. No thanks.
Patty Murray D incumbent
Patty has been our senator for a long time. So long that now she is #3 in the Senate. Could she do better? Sure. But consider the current situation in the Senate, where a majority no longer matters and the good guys have to dicker and deal and concede constantly to the bad guys. Have you noticed that the filibuster is a hard and fast rule when the Rs are in the minority, but it disappears when they have a majority? Yeah, the game is rigged. Luckily, Patty fights that rigged game as much as she can. She’s been campaigning for gun control. Amen. She campaigns to protect our iconic whales. She’s pushing hard for abortion rights. She’s all in for providing Covid vaccines world-wide. She recognizes the reality of climate change/chaos and is working toward a clean energy policy to slow that chaos. No, of course I don’t agree with her on everything. But I agree with her on an awful lot of important things, and, as mentioned, she is in a position of power (as much as that is possible in this MAGA-R world).
Yes, I will be voting for Patty Murray.
US House, District 2
Dan Matthews R
He tells us he volunteers for the Heritage Foundation, his church, Washington Policy Center (right wing think tank), Manhattan Declaration (A Call to Christian Conscience), and more.
He has the usual litany of issues: inflation, jobs, border security, lower energy costs, cut spending, reduce national debt, limit government, strong national defense, drug & human trafficking, mental health, maintain medicare and social security, reduce federal regulations . . .
I happen to be allergic to religion, most especially when combined with government. And I despise the output of the Heritage Foundation and the Washington Policy Center.
I watched the on-line interviews by the AAUW (shout out and thank you to them) and was seriously underwhelmed. In response to the inevitable question about abortion, he went off on his favorite subject of alternatives, namely recruiting couples to adopt unwanted babies. On his website is a whole column on “Pro-Life – a Better Choice.” He speaks and writes about the Adoption Option, to cover all costs of pregnancy and birth. The column is a whole religious screed.
He appears to be missing in action on the Covid issue. No mention.
He identifies his issues as: SECURITY, and lists all the many subsets of that:
• Economic Security
• National Security
• Border Security
• Societal Security – Law Enforcement
• Election Security
• Energy Security
• Environmental Security
• Personal Security
• Family Security
• Community & Societal Security
• Political Security
Each of those is further subdivided, but I will spare both you and me the details.
There’s a section called My Message. It is a series of one liners, a hodge-podge which includes name calling, a practice I abhor. He would certainly benefit from a decent editor. That Message runs on and on and further on, repetitions of unsupported statements.
My impression is that this well meaning right wing Christian, one of many in the primary, found himself unexpectedly rising to the General and having to figure out what he was doing. He has not done a very good job of it.
Rick Larsen D incumbent
Rick Larsen has been around forever. Early on, it seemed like his focus was on giving the military whatever it wanted, ignoring the people who had to live with the results. And then we saw a change in attitude around the Growler jet training, with Rick pushing the Navy to make at least some concessions to reduce the devastating impact on Coupeville area residents.
I’ve just checked his current campaign website and very little has changed. So here is what I wrote 2 years ago. Its still true:
His ratings by various organizations:
NARAL abortion rights 100%
ACLU civil rights 92%
human rights 85%
Children’s Defense Fund children 100%
League of Cons Voters environment 100%
AFL-CIO labor 91%
AFSCME education 100%
Council for a Livable World defense 62%
We pretty much all know Rick Larsen and where he stands on issues of concern to us. I did a lot of research 2 years ago and find that most of that is still relevant. Here it is:
And then the coup of 2016 happened and suddenly Rick is a new man. He voted against the Trump budget, against many of the insane and egregious proposals coming out of the fascist right. And he now believes in dealing with climate change. One has the distinct impression that the farther right the fascists push, the farther left Rick leans.
On the environment
~ He now cites his voting record of trying to eliminate subsidies for the oil industry.
~ He wrote that exiting the Paris agreement was a big mistake.
~ He fought to keep transit/light rail funds in the federal budget.
~ He supports salmon habitat restoration, protecting critical habitat areas, and conserving open space.
~ He worked to reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which had expired.
~ He signed a joint letter to NOAA fisheries and Army Corps asking them to deal with the Atlantic salmon fish farm disaster by not permitting any new or refurbishment of existing pens.
~ He voted to prevent logging of the Tongass Roadless Area in Alaska.
~ He supports keeping our public lands public (against massive pressure to privatize).
On economic development
~ He claims to have secured impact aid for schools with children of active military.
~ He’s against the Trump tariffs, which are still in effect, as they hurt US workers and businesses.
On people issues
~ He supports Medicare and Obamacare, and is fighting to prevent the destruction of both.
~ He cosponsored the DREAM act.
~ He objected vehemently to the Trump policy of breaking up families and imprisoning children and participated in Keep Families Together rallies in Mt Vernon & Bellingham.
~ He co-signed a petition to his fellow congress members to fund rebuilding of Puerto Rico after the last hurricane.
~ He added an amendment to the Defense Spending Act to address Growler noise.
Now here’s an interesting one: He issued a press release demanding that the Navy explain why it is insisting on putting all its Growlers in the Whidbey basket and expressing his concerns for Whidbey communities. Aw shucks and golly gee. We didn’t know you cared. There is some question about how this translates to his support for NAS Whidbey.
Here's the 2022 update:
Now that the Covid pandemic has abated (but certainly not disappeared) he supports recovery plans like the CARES act, the American Rescue Plan, and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
He’s working on legislation to combat rising costs of prescription drugs, child care, housing, and gas. And he’s working on employment issues like the $15.00 minimum wage, equal pay, and skills training.
He has become a medium-progressive on environmental issues. Something about watching the country – and the world – go down the tubes of drought, flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes, and monster wildfires has changed Rick. He touts his support of very large bills to provide transportation options. He voted for the sadly failed Build Back Better plan and says he will continue to work to advance key elements of that bill, including “landmark investments in the green jobs that will complete the transition to renewable energy.”
On health care, the first point to be made is that he recognizes Covid as real and did what he could to help us all through it. He voted to let Medicare negotiate prescription drug costs and to limit insulin costs to $35/mo. He also voted to reduce premiums for the Affordable Care Act marketplace.
He’s pushing to improve Social Security and Medicare. In particular, people pay into Social Security only on the first $147k of their earnings. Everything above that goes untaxed. He is working with others in Congress to “scrap the cap” and have all earnings taxed. That would stabilize Social Security far into the future.
He declares himself outraged by the overturning of Roe v Wade. He calls the decision “frightening and dangerous.” He pledges to fight to codify abortion rights at the federal level, via the Women’s Health Protection Act – which of course the Rs filibustered.
On gun safety, he supported the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. Talk about the tiniest of baby steps. I know its all he and other gun control advocates were able to get, but it is so puny in the face of daily mass murder events.
As I wrote before: What I am seeing of Rick over the years is that for a long time he went along with the ‘mainstream’ Dems, but that with the theft of the 2016 election he rethought his priorities. He has been moving steadily farther left. He is by no means a genuine progressive yet, but he’s getting there – to the extent that he is even questioning his former unqualified support for the military and fossil fuel infrastructure. The man appears to be educable after all. That is a good thing.
I will be voting for Rick Larsen
Secretary of State
Steve Hobbs D incumbent
He was appointed by Governor Inslee to replace Kim Wyman, who quit mid-term to work with the Biden administration on election security. He is the former chair of the WA senate transportation committee. He has expanded the election security operations center to defend against cyber attack. He actually has a background in cyber security. Convenient. I’m inclined to agree with the editorials in the Seattle Times, the Everett Herald, and the Columbian that here is someone who is not wildly partisan, but rather focused on doing the job.
He lists his issues as: Enhancing election security; Election misinformation & disinformation; and Voting rights.
- because he has history in cybersecurity, he has focused on enhancing election security. Not a bad thing.
- he is trying to counter R disinformation about cybersecurity, intending to disarm it, and has built an information response team to counter disinformation & confusion.
- he is very sensitive to undervoting by people of color and has worked to increase voter registration statewide.
- preserving state archives. He is working on a new archives building near Olympia to gather together all the state’s records in one location. I know that current custodians of some of those records are worried about losing access. I’m not at all sure what I think about this, although having all (or at least all that are identified) collections & archives in one place might be an advantage, if there is reasonable indexing and access.
- expanding libraries in prisons and juvenile facilities. He has acquired funding for this.
- updating the charities & non-profit filing system to be quicker, easier, more efficient. I sure hope so. It’s a hassle every year.
I found a paper by Mr Hobbs which reported that:
less than 1% of Washington ballots are rejected,
BUT, of those rejected,
~ Black voters’ ballots are rejected 4 x the rate of whites
~ Native Americans’ & Hispanics’ ballots are rejected 3 x the rate of whites
~ Asian/Pacific Islanders’ ballots are rejected 2 x the rate of whites
While there is no evidence of bias in these rejections, Mr Hobbs has asked for a UW study to find out what’s going on there.
He’s career military, in the Washington National Guard, and he’s a longtime former legislator. He is very much middle of the road. But he appears to be taking the job seriously and doing it well.
And now we learn why he was appointed Secretary of State. I had read before the primary that Governor Inslee had trouble with Mr Hobbs and wanted him out of the legislature. A story in Crosscut tells it. Hobbs is a “moderate” Dem out of Snohomish and was chair of the Senate Transportation Committee – where he opposed and blocked Inslee’s clean fuel standards. Not clear why. So Inslee appointed him to the Secretary of State position and was able to pass the massive clean transportation bill.
Julie Anderson non-partisan
Former Pierce County Auditor. Was on Governor Inslee’s short list before he appointed Steve Hobbs. She’s running on a platform of removing partisanship from election administration, improving election security and transparency, and increasing access to elections. All reasonable goals. She’s got a long and detailed discussion of how to achieve her platform goals, and they sound well thought out and logical. She’s talking nuts and bolts of such matters as introducing ranked choice voting in local jurisdictions which opt for that.
She is accused by The Stranger of having ulterior motives for trying to make more elected positions non-partisan. They claim that in 2013 she voted against a bill to add ballot drop boxes to college campuses.
An article in Crosscut just days ago reports that she is concerned with voter ID issues, and talks about things that curl my toes – like getting info from peoples’ passport applications, along with whole systems to track peoples’ citizenship. Sorry, but she just lost me there.
This is a hard one. In the primary I voted for Julie Anderson. Now I find that she holds some positions which I definitely cannot support. I’m willing to shine on the accusations of The Stranger, but her own statements about voter ID make me mistrust her.
And then there’s Steve Hobbs, who as chair of the Senate Transportation Committee thwarted Governor Inslee and a whole bunch of us who wanted clean fuel standards. But as Secretary of State he seems to want all the right things for how we vote and how we maintain our public records. Either of these people would likely be good in the position. Both are flawed. The difference is that Steve Hobbs’ flaws will not interfere with his performance of this particular job, while those of Julie Anderson will in fact impinge on my – and everybody else’s – privacy.
I’ll be voting for Steve Hobbs
State Representative, LD 10
Greg Gilday R incumbent
Mr Gilday is a 3rd generation lawyer in and around Stanwood – until he went into the real estate business and now into politics. As a State Representative he has been a disaster. This is a man who does not believe that Covid is real. He won against Angie Homola last time around because Angie respected the rules around Covid so did not mingle with the public - while Gilday went banging on doors all over the district. He is also a climate denier, which has some very interesting results. Below is a summary of his voting record:
on environment & climate change:
no promoting electric vehicles
no increasing state energy code standards
no requiring the state to reach 0 CO2 emissions by 2050
no amending state planning to improve salmon recovery
no reducing carbon emissions by altering transportation fuels
on guns & public safety:
no prohibiting firearms in certain locations (like polling places, schools, the legislature)
no prohibiting sale of high capacity firearm magazines
no prohibiting sale of ghost guns
no establishing independent investigations office re use of deadly force
no prohibiting chokeholds, no-knock warrants, & other police tactics
no requiring law enforcement to provide attorney access to juveniles
no expanding protection orders to include domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, etc
no repealing restrictions on legal aid for undocumented immigrants
on health issues:
no expanding abortion protections
no expanding coverage of paid family & medical leave program
no establishing criminal & civil protections for medical cannabis patients
no establishing school based health centers
no requiring schools to address secondary trauma of k-12 employees
no appropriating funds for Covid pandemic relief
no requiring disclosure of information re hospital funding
on tech and communications:
no requiring development of a tech grant program
no requiring an affordable housing element in the Growth Management Act
no establishing a state funded rental assistance program
no extending voting rights to citizens on parole
His website is less than informative, with no mention of issues. His legislative record is, mercifully, unimpressive. While he co-sponsored a whole raft of bills, most of them died a-borning. Greg Gilday is the genuine article: a gun loving, anti women’s rights, climate denying authoritarian. Very much not my cup of tea.
He gave some very interesting responses to an August LWV (shout out to those great people for putting together these events) candidates’ forum.
The question was how to make alternatives to university education more affordable. He responded by saying that subsidizing education makes it more expensive. So does that mean that by charging more we make it less expensive?
On affordable housing: reduce the cost of construction by reducing regulations. I could go on at great length on this one. Those regulations are there for a reason.
On protecting abortion rights: they’re already protected. He’s against a Constitutional amendment. And he doesn’t want Washington enforcing its laws on other states. Huh? I think this unpacks to: he’s against abortion rights but doesn’t want to say so, doesn’t want a Constitutional amendment locking in abortion rights, and doesn’t want women from other states coming here to get abortions.
On climate change and emergency preparedness: electrifying the ferry system is a waste of billions of dollars. Wildfires put out much more carbon, so put the money into forest management. Note the assumption that it is either/or. He cannot imagine both/and. Yes, we need major forest management to reduce fire susceptibility. But we also need to reduce our need for the fossil fuels which drive the climate change which is drying out our forests and making them so susceptible to massive fires.
And to sum up: do away with remote work & learning. Not sure why he hates remote work. I love not having to drive to Coupeville several times a week. I’m able to work for a national organization right here at my desk. I love/hate Zoom, as do millions of other people. Instead, Mr Gilday seems to want more cars on the road burning more fossil fuel and tangling more traffic so people can work the good old fashioned way. All that said, I do think kids need to be in live peer groups with teachers and other leaders.
He asserts that the state does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem. He will fight to reform the governor’s emergency powers because they’re being misused.
At the AAUW (again, thanks for doing these) candidates’ night, he expanded on his positions. He said the top issues on the public’s mind is public safety, since there has been such a dramatic increase in crime. In response he is promoting a bill to allow police to chase people. He wants to make drugs illegal (again).
He insists that Washington has tons of $, a $15 billion budget surplus, which he wants to put into a rainy day fund. Given the pleas we’re hearing from every corner of state government, I would really like to see where these $15 billion are hiding.
He opposes any limits on gun owners’ rights. He claims regulations and gun free zones don’t work, and prefers to redesign and rebuild public facilities, schools, etc to narrow access. Right. Instead of addressing the problem, make all the people live a constricted existence.
He said a top issue for him is affordable housing. He differentiates between affordable and government subsidized, which he opposes. He wants to make housing more affordable by decreasing regulations, thus bringing down the cost of building homes. Why do you suppose we instituted those regulations in the first place?
Clyde Shavers D
I’m pleased to see that Clyde’s website now includes an issues page. He told me when I complained about it last summer that he preferred to spend his time meeting and talking with people. I’m glad he carved out the time to get this done.
I’ve met and spoken with Clyde a number of times now and I like what I see. He’s young, which means on the one hand, he’s green. On the other hand, he has energy. He’s also had an amazing amount of experience in such a short time. He’s done everything from serving on a nuclear sub to lawyering for the Natural Resources Defense Council, with many stops between.
We agree on almost everything. Almost. He likes nukes. I hate nukes. Clyde agreed that he would not support any legislation which would result in production of nuclear waste. Unlike the incumbent, he actually cares about issues such as affordable housing, which is why he sits on the board of Goosefoot. He has actually experienced extended homelessness, so understands what that is about. And he’s a strong enviro. He reported that his first law case dealt with contaminated drinking water in Dearborn, Michigan. That has local relevance since the contaminant was PFAS, which is spreading around NAS Whidbey and OLF Coupeville.
He knows Covid is real and wants to save lives worldwide by providing vaccines. He says protection starts locally so advocates that people not dump their masks just yet.
On reducing greenhouse gases/conversion to electric vehicles, he agrees that infrastructure has to be available to make that possible. He wants to work on that. He supports community solar programs, which allow people to buy into mini-solar farms – like the one at Greenbank Farm. He pushes the economic benefits of clean energy industries. Yep.
On relations with the Navy, he acknowledges that the Navy has not been a good neighbor, and that that needs to change. He emphasized that the Navy is the guest here, not the landlord, and needs to act accordingly. He wants to hold the Navy accountable so that it does not overstep its bounds and degrade the environment, either physically or socially.
He raised the issue of personal privacy and data security, and said he’s working on potential legislation to protect that personal privacy.
And here are Clyde’s responses to last summer’s League of Women Voters’ forum questions:
Mental health services: he sees a great unmet need. He volunteers with 2 outreach organizations. He wants to focus on providing more services in schools and with police.
Affordable housing: he’s well aware, through his volunteer work, of how expensive it is to build affordable housing. He wants to break down some of the barriers via waivers and tax exemptions.
Roe v Wade: he condemns the decision and believes it is important to amend the state Constitution because at present “we are one election away from losing women’s rights.”
Climate change/emergency prep: focus on large scale preparedness by modernizing the power grid, electrifying ferries and buses; but don’t forget the workers in those steel mills, coal plants, and power plants. He wants the response to be robust, comprehensive, and collaborative.
In closing: he wants to overcome the divisiveness, defend America’s freedoms, provide good education, affordable housing, and a clean environment.
I listened to the AAUW candidates’ night and found that Clyde continues with the same agenda. He’s very much about being inclusive and making life better for everybody.
On the question of gun control: We should not have gunfire in our schools or our communities. I’m a veteran and don’t want to limit gun ownership, but we need to insure gun free zones in such places as schools, public facilities, and the state capitol.
On his top legislative issue: Women’s rights. The government has no business meddling in women’s personal choices. Along with supporting abortion rights, he wants to support prenatal health care, preventive care, and dealing with women at risk. He says this issue transcends political boundaries.
I was surprised to discover that every issue I raised, no matter how esoteric, Clyde knew about it, understood the ramifications, and had a proposed solution. See why I like the guy?
UPDATE: By now many of you will have seen and heard the blowup in the Everett Herald and Fox News, with claims that Clyde lied about all manner of things, all based on a letter written by his father. This is a truly pathetic - but potentially effective - "October Surprise" by the right wing funders of Greg Gilday. Check out Clyde's Facebook response to the various charges by Shavers Sr - and note that:
Shavers Sr participated in the January 6 insurrection
Shavers Sr says he has had no contact with Clyde in years
Shavers Sr lives in a condo bought for him by Clyde
When I look at the various accusations, they are all innuendo and opinion.
Bottom line: Clyde supports almost all of the things important to me. Greg Gilday opposes every one of those things, including my right to autonomy over my own body. So no, the October Surprise does not impress me.
I will be voting very enthusiastically for Clyde Shavers.
State Representative, LD 10
Karen Lesetmoe R
She implies that she is an immigrant from the Philippines. Turns out that's not quite the case. Her website tells us " Karen Lesetmoe is living proof that the American Dream is real! Karen's family moved to the US from the Philippines when she was six years old. She had a suitcase and no toys." In a more recent piece we read "Karen Lesetmoe was born in Hawaii while her father was serving in the US Navy. Shortly thereafter the family was sent to the Philippines, her father's next duty assignment." Those are two very different narratives. A little truth in advertising would be a good thing.
She lists her priorities as: limit government overreach, tax relief, and support law enforcement. She retired from the Navy and became a real estate broker. She claims that people are being driven out of state by rising taxes and threats of crime.
Not much more to find. No discussion of how or why taxes are high, or how to reduce them. She seems convinced that law enforcement are victims and that the legislature needs to rein in the executive branch. She does not specify just what the executive branch is doing that needs to be curbed.
And here are her responses to the League of Women Voters’ candidate forum questions.
College & trade school affordability: There are already many great programs available. We need to protect small businesses so they can support apprentices.
Mental health issues: without parental oversight schools could make matters worse.
Affordable housing: affordable is not the same as subsidized. Home ownership creates generational wealth. Citizens have to have skin in the game. Once its theirs, its private property and they can do what they want with it. Make sure housing is not expensive to build.
Roe v Wade: it’s a non-issue. Those rights aren’t going anywhere. She wants to focus on making choices available so women are well off enough not to feel “it” is necessary. Translation: she’s anti-abortion and doesn’t want to talk about it.
Climate change & emergency prep: She wants measurable results. Huh? It became pretty clear she had no clue.
Her closing statement was a regurgitation of her voter’s pamphlet statement, including the claim that people are moving out of state because “they’ve lost hope in this political climate.”
So time has passed and her positions have jelled, evidently in direct response to the enormous sums being pushed in her direction - $200,000 from realtor PACs and $42k from “Jobs PAC.” Interestingly, on the hit pieces we get from “independent entities” we find that the prime donors to “Jobs PAC” are Marathon Petroleum, Phillips 66, and Association of Washington Realtors. Then there are the direct donations, another $200k+, mostly from R organizations and lots of large business groups. One has the distinct impression that Ms Lesetmoe is well bought, paid for, and packaged.
It has become pretty well known that the fossil fuel industry is funneling obscene amounts of $ into right-wing candidates, presumably in hopes of warding off the desperately needed and pretty much inevitable shift away from their climate destroying products to a sustainable energy system. It certainly looks like Ms Lesetmoe is one beneficiary of that policy.
From the recent AAUW candidates’ night: Covid was a blessing because it revealed the shortcomings of the public education system, which is failing kids. As a realtor, affordable housing is one of her big issues, which is directly tied to public safety. And then, inexplicably, she claimed that affordable housing is crime ridden. Oh, of course. Poor people are criminals, right?
Her top legislative priority will be the high cost of living, which she will address by cutting the gasoline tax. One wonders how that will affect the price of milk and eggs – or housing.
On climate issues, she talked about the beautiful scenery in our district, how it contributes to the economy, and how she wants to protect that – but it “has to make sense to the community.” She says she will do what the community wants and needs. I translate this to mean that she has no clue.
In her closing statement she made a rather telling mis-statement. In describing the district, she referred to “one hundred thousand dollars” before correcting herself to say “one hundred thousand people” she would represent. Kinda says it all for me.
Ms Lesetmoe is very much not ready for prime time. She is being promoted with many hundreds of thousands of PAC dollars, part of that pattern we are seeing nationwide. We are also seeing those PAC dollars being spent to try to smear Dave Paul with all manner of ludicrous accusations. Just remember who is footing that particular bill: the fossil fuel industry and the real estate industry. Guess who Ms Lesetmoe would represent?
Dave Paul D incumbent
Dave Paul is an educator, and it reflects in his issues of concern: health care, education, family wage jobs, environment, and supporting veterans. I’ve provided a summary of his voting record in the last session If you compare Dave’s voting record with that of Greg Gilday, above, you will find that they are pretty much mirror image opposites.
on environment and climate change:
yes amending state planning to improve salmon recovery
yes reducing carbon emissions by altering transportation fuels
on guns & public safety:
yes prohibiting firearms in certain locations
yes prohibiting sale of high capacity firearm magazines
yes prohibiting sale of ghost guns
yes requiring law enforcement to provide attorney access to juveniles
yes establishing investigations of use of deadly force
yes amending protection order laws to include domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, etc
yes establishing the category of safety and security staff for k-12 schools
yes prohibiting the state from contracting with private for-profit prisons
yes repealing restrictions on legal aid for undocumented immigrants
yes authorizing state auditor to audit deadly force investigations
on health issues:
yes expanding plan to prevent homelessness among mental health patients
yes expanding abortion rights
yes establishing criminal & civil protections for marijuana patients
yes expanding paid family & medical leave
yes establishing school based health centers
yes requiring disclosure of hospital funding information
yes requiring schools address secondary trauma of k-12 employees
yes appropriating funds for Covid pandemic relief
on tech & communications:
yes requiring development of a tech grant program
yes requiring city & county agreements re local tax distribution
yes amending congressional districts
yes extending voting rights to citizens on parole
And here are Dave’s responses to those League of Women Voters’ candidate forum questions.
College & trade school affordability: he’s working to make summer apprenticeships free for poor families. He’s working with K-12 schools to make connections. And he works every day at Skagit Valley College on these issues.
Mental health: He sees many students struggling. He saw it worsen during the recession and it never let up. And then Covid hit. He’s been speaking with other educators. He’s working with Island County Public Health on a pilot program. He got funding from the legislature for a K-12 program through such organizations as Big Brother/Big Sister. He talks to young people and holds forums to listen to them. He reports that they want to talk to adults who are not counsellors. He wants to respond by training teachers and others. He wants to avoid those crisis situations.
Affordable housing: there is no silver bullet. Our district is experiencing a major population influx. There are many different paths, and the legislature can help with code amendments to allow for mother-in-law units, duplexes, triplexes, and other non-traditional forms of housing.
Roe v Wade: this is a top issue with voters. This is a threat to women and LGBT people. It is an attack on personal privacy. Yes, we’re only one election away from losing it all, which is why he supports a Constitutional amendment.
Climate change, emergency prep: he ran to protect our quality of life, and climate change is affecting that. Farmers are seeing the effects. The legislature has done some good work toward a 100% clean energy grid and reducing carbon in the transportation budget. He’s looking at workplace resilience and electrifying the ferries. The Economic Development Council is working on prep for tsunamis and earthquakes.
In closing, he says that much of his agenda comes from constituents. So he’s been working to get those cargo ships out of Holmes Harbor; ending emergency room surprise billings; making college more affordable; and enhancing K-12 programs to prepare students for this new world, among other things.
Here’s an update with his responses to the AAUW candidates’ night:
He says he’s hearing mostly about Roe v Wade and housing affordability. He wrote a bill last year to enact a sales tax holiday. It passed the house with bipartisan support but died in the senate. On housing affordability, among other things he is looking at expanding the property tax exemption for smaller homes.
On the climate question he said they were working on transitioning the electric grid to 100% clean energy sources and said that public utilities were going to need help with that. He talked about the great work they were doing to reduce CO2 in transportation, and assuring that refineries were the cleanest they could be. He acknowledged that it would take a generation to transition from gas powered cars and ferries to electric based.
I get a bit frustrated with Dave because he is a little more centrist than I like. I want to see him leading boldly, but he is more careful than that. Still, as you can see by his voting record, for the most part he is there when you need him. And right now we very much need him.
I will be voting for Dave Paul.
State Supreme Court
All 3 candidates are running unopposed. They’re all good people and good judges. As I said in the opening, I just don’t have the band width to go into depth with unopposed candidates. I’ll be voting for all of them.
G Helen Whitener
Island County positions
Kelly Todd Mauck R
He’s a former Island County undersheriff and current real estate broker. I’m wondering how this background prepares him for the job of tax assessor. He says because he has done construction inspection, he is qualified.
I have now had a number of interactions with Kelly Mauck. He is quite personable, knows how to get along with people. He explained that his experience as a realtor and training courses have brought him mostly up to speed on the Assessor’s duties. I’ve just looked over his website and will give points for his having imported a lot of explanatory material produced by the state.
I’m being lobbied heavily by people who complain that his signs are all to be found in company with the more wild-eyed MAGA candidates, and imply that he must support the same agenda(s). He told me that he filed as an R because he didn’t think he could win otherwise. Not the most noble of motivations. Now he tells me that was not what he said. His detractors told me that he was heavily subsidized by the R party. So I looked it up. Thus far he has received $1200.00 from the party, $1k from someone in Colorado (his brothers), and has borrowed $1k. Total receipts thus far are actually under the $5k reporting requirement, but barely. Most of his donations are $100 or less. He seems to be open and aboveboard in his finances, and not being bought by special interests.
His detractors tell me he’s just too smooth. My own notes say he is justifying a bit too much. He assured me that he would support what is right over supporting his friends. And finally we got down to the actual job. He said his intent was to reduce the number of appeals and gave a whole program for how to make the assessor’s office more fair and accountable. Among other things, he wants to create a manual of procedures for the office, with the intent of achieving uniformity in assessments, to avoid potential claims of prejudice. And he wants to do public outreach/education so we all learn what that garble on our assessments actually means.
Theodore James Kubisiak non-partisan
His campaign website is basic, to say the least. No fluff there. Just the facts, ma'am. Which is consistent with a low-cost self-funded campaign.
Yet another retired Navy pilot. He has actually worked in the Assessor’s office, at least for a while. Good start. He says that he has completed the Washington State Appraiser 101 course and has over 1000 hours of local training. On his agenda are improving office retention (cutting the turnover rate) and improving appraiser training.
It was really hard to find out much of anything about Mr TJ. I watched the AAUW candidates’ night and found him painfully inarticulate. That led to a whole internal debate about whether one could do a job well if one could not communicate. After he got past figuring out how to unmute himself and turn on the camera he told us about his many qualifications. Because he was inarticulate it was hard to distill what he was trying to convey. One question was: how will you appraise all properties fairly and with equity? His response: “While our training is adequate, we do a great job, but we lack appraiser training qualification. If we need to, we will train and re-train.” I’m still trying to untangle that one. I asked him about that and he did untangle it. Translation: We've got a good training program. When it works right, we do a great job. We have to keep testing appraisers and if necessary provide more training.
He has not filed with the PDC so we have no clue how much $ he has or has not raised. I asked him about that and he said he was self-financing. Fair enough.
On the question of how to keep low income seniors in their homes, both candidates agreed that Island County is seriously behind the curve. There is a senior tax exemption program, but household income must be below $40k/year. The threshold in Snohomish County is $60k. Both want to see that threshold increased in Island County. Neither mentioned how that was to be done. In fairness, response times were very short.
I asked Mr Kubisiak about that and he told me that those thresholds are set, county by county, by the legislature. Which means that Island County officials must go to our legislative delegation and ask them to move legislation to change the threshold. He was very concerned about the 8.7% Social Security increase because he thought it might be just enough to push a lot of recipients over that $40k/year limit and thus disqualify them from the tax abatement program. A reasonable concern. He also wanted to do public outreach because he felt not enough people who qualify for the program take advantage of it, or even know about it.
I am bothered by both candidates. They have sniped and bad-mouthed each other. I don’t like that. Makes them sound like punky kids instead of serious candidates for taking care of the people’s business.
So after all of that, here is my update: Mr Kubisiak got in his big truck and drove all the way down here yesterday. Freaked me out. I got over it. We froze our hindquarters off talking for several hours at the picnic table. Turns out I was right to wonder what was behind that inarticulate presentation. We've got a genuine human being here. We'll never be best of buddies. His true loves are his family, Christianity, the Navy, and refereeing youth sports. But in our wide-ranging talk he touched on all manner of other matters and I genuinely like what I see. I think he's for real about caring about the people of Island County and wanting to do the best possible job of keeping property assessments fair and accurate. I happen to have just a little background in some of the jargon and he was happy to be able to share without having to translate.
I razzed him about that big truck and he said it was a bit of an emergency purchase but now he's looking into an electric car. In fact, he expanded to say that in the position of assessor, he could specifically include in budget requests that when cars are replaced (assessors drive around a lot) they be electric. That made points with me.
In part, what I saw was someone who is quite articulate one-on-one, and even in a room full of people - who got flummoxed by the Zoom. Not the first there. And I liked what he had to say on a whole range of subjects having nothing to do with property taxes.
So there, I have changed my mind.
I will be voting for T J Kubisiak.
Sheilah Crider R incumbent
no meaningful internet presence
I have, unfortunately, known Sheilah Crider for many years. She began as an Oak Harbor City Council member. She graduated to Island County Planning Commission, and eventually ran for the position of Auditor. Her background is as a realtor. Her husband is/was lobbyist for the Skagit Island Builders’ Association, in which role he occasionally sidled up to us to offer some sort of deal on upcoming county regulations being considered by his wife.
In writing this blog I have many occasions to contact the Auditor’s office about election matters. I always end up dealing with Michele Reagan, who is highly competent. I don’t believe Sheilah Crider is up to the task of actually conducting an election. We are very lucky to have Michele Reagan covering that base.
It’s a good thing there are very competent people who do most of the work of running the department. It really is time for Sheilah to retire.
Barbara Fuller D
no internet presence detected
I spoke with Ms Fuller and am definitely favorably impressed. I asked what sort of engineering she did, and she told me she did safety engineering, consulting with aircraft manufacturers on “failure analysis.”
She speaks of integrity and diligence, both desirable qualities which she intends to model for adoption by all Auditor’s office staff. She has done consulting for various county departments. She notes the importance of the County Auditor in assuring fair and honest elections.
She assured me that she could indeed give the job description. She talked about the divisions: licensing; financial services; county payroll; maintaining county records; and the elections office.
She believes the position should be non-partisan, but acknowledged that the state Constitution mandates that it be partisan. She made very clear that she understood that once in office, party becomes irrelevant, and that she would of course administer the office in a completely non-partisan way and represent all the people. She also pointed out that you don’t discover in-house issues until you are in fact in the house. She will be looking for those issues and work to resolve them. She boiled the job down to: make sure you have competent people and functional systems for them to use.
I got a very good hit from speaking with Ms Fuller. Now, instead of just an “anyone but” vote, I will be voting positively for Barbara Fuller.
Dierdre Butler non-partisan
Ms Butler appears to have bounced around various Island County offices, including as a deputy Superior Court Clerk, which would argue for her at least knowing the job.
There is precious little information to be found on her website or on the net generally. Not terribly helpful. She failed to appear for a League of Women Voters' candidate night, with no message or excuse. It is reported that she quit here deputy clerk job without notice. Reminds me of children I have known. Does not reflect well on the importance of the office or willingness to do the job.
Debra Van Pelt D
She’s been the elected Clerk since 2010 and was a deputy clerk for 5 years before that. She certainly knows the job. Being the nerd I am, I rather enjoyed her description of the technical aspects of the job and how she has improved efficiency within the courts. Most people have little reason to interact with the courts. We do a lot, so appreciate the improvements.
I have had the painful need to file a court case. Ms Van Pelt touts on her campaign website that she has helped the public to navigate the new procedures. My experience has been more than frustrating. No, I don’t think she or her office have been particularly helpful in that regard.
She also touts success with public access to court records. Oh yeah? Sorry, but after months, I’m still waiting. And they’re charging hefty fees for what really should be publicly available records. So no, I am not favorably impressed.
Well, I’m at a bit of a loss on this one. The current clerk has earned my ire because of problems I’ve had with her office. Her challenger says little more than that she’s had experience in the office and wants to serve the public.
Given the latest news, I will be voting to retain Debra Van Pelt.
County Commissioner, District 3
Timothy S Hazelo R
Mr Hazelo ran for Congress in 2020. Back then he was complaining about anti-American activism being all the fault of Democrats. And my favorite: he complained that the silent majority was going unheard. He also did the Trump-style name calling: “absent Rick,” “nasty Nancy.” Back then he wanted to cut government to a minimum so it could get out of the way of free enterprise. He wanted to privatize medical insurance and reduce regulation of health care.
Since then he has set his sights a little lower, at County Commissioner. He has become a precinct committee officer and joined any number of helping organizations. He chaired the Island County Republicans meeting that voted to reject the results of the 2020 presidential election. In his website he claims “roadside and community farms are under attack from left-leaning bureaucrats, our schools are being corrupted by big city, state, and federal regulations.” As with so many newcomers, he believes there was no homelessness until 2009. He believes in tough love and no handouts. There is that unspoken assumption that homelessness is a character failure.
He claims to have a position on health care, but all I see is blame on federal and state policies.
He’s a serious “law’n order” kind of guy. He hates what those damned liberals have done to cities across the country. He insists that any large gathering of progressives is a riot and that moderates and Democrats are dismantling society. “As your commissioner I will support our police, law, and order, and especially personal property rights. We need to expand the sheriff’s presence on Camano and build a temporary holding facility there. Jails and incarceration need to remain an option for criminals to protect society and uphold law and order.” Yawohl, Herr Commissar.
And while he does not mention it, his truck bears a large poster “Defend Life.” This leads me to conclude that he is quite happy with the Supreme Court’s destruction of Roe v Wade.
His July 4 parade vehicle sported a lot of flags, including “don’t tread on me”
Here are his responses to last summer’s League of Women Voters’ candidates’ forum questions.
Low income housing, the Freeland Motel controversy: this is tough. People are in need. The problem is that if we keep throwing money at a situation we exasperate (sic – yeah, his abuse of language exasperates me. I think he meant exacerbate) the situation. We conservatives are compassionate. I’ve taken homeless people into my own home. We need to give them a hand up, train them, teach them, make them productive citizens. Housing first has failed nationally. (Not that he would have a patronizing superior attitude toward those morally failed homeless people).
Mental health services: his son had mental health issues and they took him to the Coupeville hospital, which didn’t help. We need to take care of these issues while children are young. It starts in the home and the church. County commissioners can’t just focus on budgets but have to focus on everything in the county.
Does this mean that he and his home and church failed his son?
On climate change: He doesn’t even know anyone who is a climate denier. Island County is doing a pretty darn good job. There’s not a lot of waste. Disposal systems are pretty good. The infrastructure has not caught up with all this electricity we want to demand. A single volcano puts out more carbon than our whole state did in the last few years.
- This seems to be the new right-wing angle. Yeah, the climate is changing but its not our fault and there’s nothing we can do about it anyway.
On Growth Management, open space, rural character, and housing development: this is very serious. His #1 concern is not high speed internet but rural lifestyle. He doesn’t want his neighbor to clearcut and build a high-rise. We need to figure out how to grow. We need to reduce regulation to make housing affordable and keep our rural community.
- Once again, this equation of removing regulations to allow developers to create more affordable housing. Somehow the fact that it hasn’t worked in the last century or so doesn’t seem to impress them. The regulations are there for a reason.
On legal loopholes that allow clearcutting: You’re killing me. This is tough. There’s a lot of clearcutting going on. Its not pretty, but you have to balance that with property rights. There’s a fine line with zoning and codes. You need to be very specific to let people know before they buy, build, and clearcut. We need to keep the flora and fauna for peace, quiet, and public safety.
- It became clear he had no clue. He wants his surroundings to stay pretty, but he also believes in the primacy of property rights. He offers no solution.
On his priorities: Most people don’t trust government no more. They don’t trust them to spend their money or even to return phone calls. He wants transparent and honest government. Make sure spending brings results. He loves the health care system but on Camano its important to get Stanwood Health Care up and running.
In closing: he’s got a great work ethic. He wants to give back. We can do better. Going backwards will harm us. I like my community.
And here’s what he had to say at the AAUW candidates’ night:
The things he came here for are leaving. There’s crime, homelessness, addiction. He wants to provide safety and security. His new mantra is “lets keep it rural.”
He was asked how he would represent Camano, since he lives just outside of Oak Harbor. He claimed to spend more time on Camano than Janet St Clair. He claimed the current commissioners were talking about blocking roads on Camano in winter to prevent accidents, but that should be the residents’ prerogative.
He was asked how he would manage population growth on Camano. He claimed that Camano residents are worried about “overgrowth” and that they don’t mind higher prices if it will keep Camano rural. They’re delighted that Whidbey Camano Land Trust is buying up properties there. He claimed the commissioners had imposed a $0.02 tax on Camano. This got pretty fuzzy. Not sure what he was talking about.
He responded to Janet St Clair reeling off a list of accomplishments by asking “Are you better off today? Is your life less expensive today? Are there fewer homeless addicts? If you want government paid broadband, she’s your person. If you want property rights and safe schools, I’m your man.”
Several people reported to me that at an Old Goats’ meeting he announced that he was proudly unvaxxed. So, he’s a Covid denier.
He knows nothing of climate change or how to deal with it. He likes rural, and someone has found him his latest campaign slogan “lets keep it rural.” That amounts to: lets keep “those” people out of our rural bastion.
Lets just say I was underwhelmed. Two years ago he was a fire-spitting Trumpist. Now he’s learned to tone it down, which makes him look hapless. He’s still a MAGA authoritarian. Thanks, but.
Janet St Clair D
I’ve been dealing with Janet since before she took office. Not surprising that I find those dealings a bit frustrating. She describes herself as a “pragmatic incrementalist.” I’m learning what that means. One of the issues we’ve both been dealing with is the rampant clearcutting in Island County. I’ve been working for years to teach county staff and commissioners the finer points of the Forest Practices Act and how it is that its ok to clearcut acres of wetland and then ask to have the development moratorium lifted so the landowner can build – whatever. We went to court to close that loophole, and we certainly got it narrowed. Now we want it entirely shut and to her credit, Janet is working on doing that. Her approach is to take small steps, get those secured, and then go for the next step. Sure, we want big results all at once, but I understand why she’s doing it as she does.
Here are her responses to the League of Women Voters’ candidates’ forum questions.
Low income housing/Freeland Motel controversy: we’ll be voting on this tomorrow. It is critical to listen to all voices, take time to process the information, and address issues with facts. No, low income housing does not increase crime. In fact it often decreases crime.
Update on this issue: the 10-15-22 Whidbey Record contains a ¼ page unattributed ad slamming Janet over the Freeland Motel issue, claiming she gave away $1.5 mil toward purchase of the Freeland Motel, etc, ad nauseum. To start, Whidbey Press should never have accepted an unattributed political ad. Their bad. Given the slightly hysterical tone of the hit piece, one strongly suspects that the people who created the LLC which sued over this issue and lost are likely behind this ad.
Mental health services: I was a social worker for 30 years, a child mental health specialist. A shout out to Dave Paul for what we got from the legislature (funding for a mental health center) based on what youth said they needed. I promote peer group support. We had to downsize some local programs because of Covid, but we’ve pivoted to serve more people.
Climate change, emergency prep: this has been the focus of my leadership. We’re seeking a grant to update our greenhouse gas emissions study. We’re working to increase resiliency and to address sea level rise. We want to protect the forest canopy to protect recharge of our sole source aquifer. We’re supporting sustainable agriculture.
Growth Management, open space, rural character, and housing development: GMA is intended to protect rural character. We’ve come up with various strategies to balance housing development with preserving rural character, such as allowing accessory dwelling units, keeping property in agriculture, providing for cluster development to keep the majority of a site in open space. We’re encouraging incentives to start or stay in agriculture.
Logging loopholes: I’ve been working on this for years. There is a cross jurisdictional issue with Island County and DNR. I support sustainable timber harvesting. We don’t want to let people out of the 6 year development moratorium after they’ve logged under a DNR permit (which is exempt from Island County’s critical area protections and claims the land will remain in long term forest production) and then change their minds and develop afterwards. We’re working to enforce the 40 acre rule (this is a rule WEAN wrung out of DNR back in 1990, which limits the size of clearcuts on islands to 40 acres). A BC developer is currently working the system to be able to get around that limit to clear 120 acres.
Priorities: My top priority is identifying what is most important to constituents. I want to focus on shoreline protection in the face of sea level rise, providing improved broadband, dealing with mental health issues, and protecting our community.
In closing: What matters is that you tell people what you intend to do and then do it. Stay humble, work on problem solving, address critical concerns. The pandemic amplified all sorts of problems, like the need for reliable broadband, childcare, and affordable housing. The biggest part of getting things done is showing up. I show up.
She said many of the same things at the AAUW candidates’ night. She listed all of the issues with which she is involved (see above). She did add protection of women’s health. She points out that she works with state and federal lawmakers to bring resources to Island County. And she shows up. She holds town halls and office hours. She said she was very proud of the funds coming to Island County for Environmental Health projects. She’s still looking for help with stormwater and flooding services.
On managing growth on Camano she talked about zoning, managing the code to encourage sustainable growth. She’s been working for years on forest protection, including a code update. She’s been working with Whidbey Camano Land Trust to protect natural areas and has secured $9 mil for affordable housing infill in urban areas.
Yes, she has worked on broadband, on mental health, on housing, on environmental issues. Her focus in all of this has been the needs of rural residents.
So to summarize: Tim Hazelo is a MAGA election denier.
And then there’s Janet St Clair, who is doing a reasonably good job and actually works to understand and deal with real issues. Not a hard choice there.
I’ll be voting for Janet St Clair.
Island County Coroner
She is running unopposed, so no research or recommendation.
Island County Sheriff
Lane Campbell R
He claims that incumbent Sheriff Felici has done nothing to improve matters. His platform:
1. If I’m not safe, you’re not safe. He’s griping about short staffing (join the crowd), wants more “less than lethal” means to subdue people, and more K-9 for drug trafficking on water, land, and at the jail. (I presume that he didn’t mean he wants more drug trafficking, and meant ‘detection of’)
2. Be the guardian of the people. I think this boils down to the fact that he is #2 in the office but is not officially commissioned so does not have the power he would like.
3. Require accountability in order to administer compassion. This is where the iron fist comes in. “remove the criminal element from the street.”, “actively work to get drugs off our streets”. At least I can appreciate his wish for more communication among mental health care providers. Here’s what I find is a terribly offensive statement: “We offer services now to those on the street and unfortunately most decline. this is where requiring accountability becomes crucial with regard to compassion.” I read this as “It’s their own damned fault and they don’t even have the decency to be grateful.”
He doesn’t mention it this time, but 4 years ago he earned the ire of both Superior Court judges with his caustic criticism of the drug court program. He saw no reason why people caught in possession of drugs should be given any opportunity to change their behavior to end their drug use. This matters a lot right now because the state Supreme Court issued the Blake decision, voiding the felony of simple drug possession. The legislature has responded by making possession a misdemeanor. Law enforcement is furious. They’re also somewhat confused about what they can and cannot do around drug possession.
Further down he says “The first step is to elect a sheriff that is willing to work for you.” Given that Sheriff Felici has in fact been working for us for the last 4 years, I’m wondering what Mr Campbell has in mind. What comes through is that he resents his boss and wants to become the boss. That’s hard when there is so very little to criticize.
Mr Campbell mailed me the entire brief by an attorney in the very dirty case of the deputy recently arrested for rape. I read the brief but saw no reason to hold the matter against sheriff Felici.
Asked about how he would deal with opioids & fentanyl, he responded by falling back on his favorite subject: K9. He really really wants a K9 unit and seems to think it will solve all manner of problems. In fact he said that he wants to get aggressive, to stop crimes before they occur. To me that is dangerous talk.
I’ve been hearing a whole lot of rather scary rumors, but no one seems able to substantiate any of them. I cannot report on unsubstantiated rumors, so will have to let them go.
UPDATE: At least some of those scary rumors have now been substantiated, and the Whidbey Record reports that Mr Campbell himself says that he is a "Constitutional Sheriff." This particular group believes that the county sheriff is the highest law of the land, above state troopers, the FBI, or anybody, and can decide which laws they will or will not enforce and on whom. Basically, they are a part of the fascist Right.
Rick Felici R incumbent
I supported Sheriff Felici when he ran 4 years ago. I have not regretted that support. His website has a page called “platform” in which he discusses what they’ve been doing and why. He subscribes to the core values of Service, Professionalism, and Accountability. Good. He says he implemented staff performance evaluations. Also good. He’s added opioid outreach and mental health responders. Good.
His priority issues:
Homelessness. He does not offer any solutions but says the community must get involved.
Drugs. He believes the solution is education, treatment, and accountability. We have not heard from him on the Blake decision (decriminalizing drug possession) and how the sheriff’s office is responding.
Diversity. He says there is no room for intolerance or hate.
Traffic safety. He prefers a preventive approach via education & traffic enforcement
School safety. He says his biggest fear is violence in schools. The best he can do is prevention and effective response.
He is challenged by his opponent on staffing. He readily acknowledges the vacancies, and points out the factors involved – such as poor pay and lack of new trainees in the pipeline.
I’ve just re-read what I wrote about these two candidates 4 years ago. I think most of it continues to hold true. We’re dealing with a classic macho male who chafes at not being the boss and is trying to take over the boss’s job. The boss, however, appears to be doing a good job and does not need to be replaced, especially not by somebody as lacking in social nuance and understanding as his challenger.
I will be voting for Rick Felici.
Island County Treasurer
Richard MacQuarrie R
Mr MacQuarrie’s experience and background seem a bit thin. He’s a Business Development Manager. Good for him, but I don’t see that as sufficient qualification for the job. I admit to personal prejudice against people who post photos of themselves with flags. On the plus side, he does seem to have at least a basic understanding of the job. He lists 3 issues: transparency, efficiency, and responsiveness. I’m not aware that any of those have been issues in the past. He wants us to know that he is experienced, honest, and successful. I have to ask: experienced at what? Not in a county treasurer’s office. I’d hate to think that people have to declare their honesty. I sort of assume people are honest until they demonstrate otherwise. I don’t see any drop-deads, but neither do I see anything special.
His website tells us that he has been Navy pretty much all his life, having been born in Japan and raised on bases, and joining the Navy himself. He touts having been an ace recruiter, and discovered that he was an ace salesman.
I watched the AAUW candidates’ night and became a bit concerned. He asserted that every organization has waste and that he would find and eliminate that waste in Island County. He spoke of adding groups to the county’s investment pool to bring in more revenue. I am fiscally exceedingly conservative and am wondering just how much risk this would involve. He described himself as a “compassionate forecloser.” I guess I knew that the Treasurer did the foreclosing, since I have attended some tax auctions. Not sure how one forecloses compassionately.
Asked how he would invest the county’s money, he replied: I would work with staff and the people concerned on where money is invested. I would explain what we can and can’t do. There would be constant public outreach. I would work with the auditor and the county commissioners to get the best investments.
I’m just not finding a whole lot of there there.
Tony Lam D
He’s the Island County chief deputy treasurer/investment officer. Before that he was an accountant in the Treasurer’s office. His campaign website lists out all the various aspects of the job. It all makes sense but its more than I ever thought the treasurer did. It makes sense that there is a ton of bookkeeping involved. I like the term “accounting” – its all about accounting for money and actions. From what I see of his website and his voter guide statement, Mr Lam has the education, the background, and has been doing the job.
I met Mr Lam this summer and found him most likable. We had quite a long conversation. I also found him completely wrapped up in the minutiae of the Treasurer’s office. And I found that he is very much not a politician. A nice guy, yeah. Public speaker? Not so much.
Being at the end of the AAUW candidates’ night, he got only a single question, on how he would invest the county’s money. He replied: by law we are not allowed to invest in stocks. We have to invest only in certain bonds. We are not allowed to risk the public’s money. There is a standard investment pool.
Given the very strict limitations on how public entities invest public funds, I am disturbed by Richard MacQuarrie's response and reassured by Tony Lam's clear understanding.
He say’s he’s ready to move up. I’m ready to give him that opportunity. I will be voting for Tony Lam.
City of Oak Harbor
Sorry folks. Its late. I’m tired. You know what’s happening up there and I don’t. You’re on your own.
Fire Protection Property Tax Levy Lid Lift
General Obligation Bonds for Fire Station and Equipment