Wednesday, July 13, 2022

And now, introducing the 2022 primary edition of Marianne’s Politiblog

UPDATE ALERT - check out LD 10, position 2 for new info

We find ourselves, in 2022, in a most bizarre and painful political situation. I avoided the latest of the January 6 hearings this morning to work on the blog. I still believe elections matter. Unless we are all very diligent, very active, and very loud, that may not be the case after November.  And of course we have a fascist cabal dominating the Supreme Court which may very well rule quite soon that state legislatures are free to over-rule elections anyway. 

So I’m feeling schizophrenic. On the one hand, it looks like the democratic system in which many of us grew up is about to fall. On the other hand, I can’t imagine what that would even look like, so have to believe that it won’t happen. 

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. 

2) be able to articulate the job description of the post for which they are filing. 

3) have sufficient internet know-how (or the funds to hire that know-how) to create a net presence. 

This primary has been painfully low key, with only a single public forum (I don’t consider the Old Goats a public forum) by the League of Women Voters and the Sno-Isle Libraries. Yay to them and a big thank you. A fair number of candidates have no public presence other than the Voters’ Guide. Slim pickings. I’ve done my best to dredge up information. You’ll also find a certain level of impatience with the many people who seem to enjoy getting their names on the ballot but have no expectation or intention of getting any further than that. I got rather dismissive of those not very serious candidates. 

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 July 25. If all else fails, you can register in person at the 

Island County Elections Office

400 Main Street

Coupeville     up to 8:00 on August 2. 

Ballots are supposed to go into the mail on July 15. Look for your ballot, and if you haven’t seen one by about July 22, contact the elections office at

For more information call 360-679-7366 or email

So, to make your vote count,

1. Try not to use the US Mail, now that Postmaster DeJoy has announced a very deliberate and planned slowdown. If you really have to use the mail, get your ballot in the mail by the Wednesday before election day, July 26.

2. If you really can’t do it earlier, bring your ballot to the Post Office counter on Tuesday, August 2 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, August 2. 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

I've just gotten some questions for which I had no answers, so I consulted our elections supervisor, Michele Reagan. She's a gem and we are lucky to have her.

1. If there are 2 people in the primary, will they go on to the general election?

Yes. So you'll get a second chance.

2. If there is an unopposed candidate, but there are write-ins, does that position go on to the general election?

It depends. If the person has filed as a write-in candidate, votes for them will be counted. If they don't file, votes for them won't count. It is possible to file as a write-in right up to the close of the election, but if you do so less than 18 days before the election, you will have to pay the full filing fee of 1% of the annual salary for that position.

3. What happens to late ballots?

They are collected and delivered to the Canvassing Board, which examines each of them and decides whether they can be accepted or not. Those which are not accepted are recorded on that voter's record and then destroyed without opening. 

 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 (or how I would vote if I could in any particular race) and why. You can make your own decisions from there.

Be aware that I have not researched people who are running unopposed. 

Ok, here they are:

US Senate

Thor Amundson I

I searched, but could find no current on-line info.

Mr Amundson is a perennial candidate. He talks a good line. Check out his agenda in the Voter’s Guide. On the other hand, if he were serious, he would become involved at the local level to make change there, and work his way up. Sorry, not a serious candidate.

Jon Butler I

Mr Butler is another perennial candidate. I remember my research from previous years. He has a serious beef with family courts and child custody. His Facebook page is downright creepy. Again, not a serious candidate.

Dr Pano Churchill I, Lincoln Party 

“Freedom, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”

And yet another perennial candidate. In this case, break out the snake oil. Dr Churchill deals heavily in it. He calls himself a Democrat, a healer, and someone who “always has the interests of the people at heart.” Feel free to read more, but no, not a serious candidate.

Sam Cusmir D

Mr Cusmir is an immigrant from Romania and is terribly grateful to his adopted country, so wants to give back. He feels that he has so much that he wants to share the wealth, by running for Senate. It was hard to discern any agenda, although he does mention school safety and increased law enforcement. He sounds well intentioned but not ready. Yet another not serious candidate. 

Tiffany Smiley R

Ms Smiley is seen as the leading Republican in this race, having raised well over $4 mil. She 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. Sorry, I’m not seeing anything new here.  

Henry Clay Dennison Socialist Workers’ Party

No online presence.

Downright heartwarming. If you’ve ever been involved in the multiple variants of socialists and workers, you know that they can split hairs better than any. Mr Dennison espouses the fairly standard line of the Socialist Workers. And it’s a good line. Sadly, much of it is still relevant. His focus is on unions, which are a good and necessary thing. He also defends free speech and debate, supports Black farmers, opposes racism, supports immigrant farm workers, wants Moscow’s troops out of Ukraine – and all the rest. My image is of someone debating over a table full of empty coffee cups and overflowing ashtrays in an obscure coffee house.  Yet another perennial, not serious candidate.

Mohammad Hassan Said, MD D

The Facebook page is not very helpful, being primarily in Arabic.

Another perennial candidate, with an obvious focus on health. Says he was a co-founder of the Rainbow Coalition. Says he was convinced not to run back in 1992 because Patty Murray was running. Then he goes into a diatribe about how his license to practice was revoked and he was labeled as demented. While he may have some interesting ideas, I think Dr Said may be radioactive politically. Yet another not serious candidate.

John Guenther

Mr Guenther touts his credentials as a Christian and a tribal member whose focus would be on helping schools, fixing crime and homelessness, and working on a local level. And he touts the usual Republican line about the need for school vouchers, opposition to “sex ed” and CRT. He goes on to object to illegal immigration, and wants to go hardline on crime, not allowing “dangerous individuals” bail. He wants to go big on nuclear, to “get the uranium, oil, and gas from American states.”

Yowza. This guy scares me. Luckily, not a serious candidate.

Dan Phan Doan none

no online presence

While Mr Doan has various college degrees, his writing gives the impression that English is at best a second language. I was not able to find any information beyond the very short candidates’ statement. I love the naiveté of his statement that constituents should decide who they elect not based on popularity but on intelligence. This young man has potential, but needs to do a lot more work at the local level before aiming for the big time. Yet another not serious candidate.

Dave Saulibio JFK Republican

His focus is on “voters with unhappy wallets.” He says he was “a middle-road, JFK legacy Democrat. The Democratic Party abandoned me. I became a Republican. Praise God.”

He also opposes amnesty for “invasion by illegal aliens.” Luckily, not a serious candidate.

Bill Hirt R

no current online presence

Mr Hirt goes beyond being a perennial candidate. He says upfront that he has no intention of winning, that he is only using this opportunity to flog his longtime fight with Sound Transit. He goes into all manner of gory details about traffic congestion, ridership, and transit budgets. Unless this is your particular rabbit hole, I would recommend a pass. I really object to what I consider the hijacking of the electoral process, and Mr Hirt has been doing it, by his own statement, for the last 10 years. Yet another not-serious candidate.

Bryan Solstin D

He’s an aerospace engineer whose wife works in homelessness & women’s health.

He says he’s a social liberal and a fiscal conservative. Gee, sounds familiar. On the other hand, he believes Bitcoin will save us from inflation while Crypto will not. He seems to equate Bitcoin with individual sovereignty, privacy, and private property. He worries about something called Central Bank Digital Coin and calls it dystopian slave money. But he will fight for clean air, clean water, clean soil, and clean energy. I wonder if he knows that Bitcoin mining is sucking so much electricity that its draining small utilities dry, to the detriment of genuine human customers. Sounds very much like a one-trick pony. Another not-serious candidate.

Martin D Hash none

no current online presence

Ran for US House 2 years ago. Came in 3rd. Claims 3 doctorates, in law, medicine, & computer science. He seems to enjoy telling us how very smart he is, but seems awfully short on actual ideas. Yet another not-serious candidate.

Charlie (Chuck) Jackson I

no online presence

Well, at least he has actually read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. That’s more than can be said for many candidates, and for far too many citizens. He worries about the national debt. His writing is a bit less than coherent. I have a thing about random capitalization. He advocates for “throw out the bums – all of them.” and start over. Enough. Not a serious candidate. 

Naz Paul     I

Ms Paul is Iranian, married to a Romanian, and a successful businesswoman. She does not believe the 2 party system serves the people (gotta agree with her on that). She promises to be honest and upright and independent of special interests. She lists issues such as fighting big Pharma, inflation, education, student loans, energy innovation, immigration – etc. But she does not elaborate her position on any of these.  I checked her campaign website and she seems a bit confused between the US Senate and the Washington state legislature. Perhaps she should begin there. Not a serious candidate.

Ravin Pierre D

Well, lets hear it for up-front honesty. “F Q-anon, F Putin.” He calls these existential threats to Constitutional democracy. I agree. The question, of course, is what to do about them. He calls himself a Progressive. He proposes strict term limits and “radical transparency” – to include legislators wearing body-cams. I like his ‘reframe national security’ to focus on meeting the basic needs of all Americans, i.e. healthcare, higher education, public infrastructure, and fighting climate change. He points out that the US Defense Dept budget has never been audited, and proposes to lock down the budget until an audit is performed. I could go with that. I really object to his website which headlines “Get Out The Vote! F Patty Murray!” So, while I agree with some of his positions, I very much disagree with his approach. Sorry, but basic courtesy is part of the game. So no, not a serious candidate.

Leon Lawson Trump

He ran for governor in 2020. And he uses the hated random capitalization. For him everything and everybody is a special interest which must be fought. Evidently “the homeless”, drug’s (sic), crime, are doing things to our kids. Need to decriminalize marijuana and criminalize big pharma.

His website features the Federalist Society. He welcomes us to the digital battlefield and offers discounts on American flags. He seems a bit confused, since the website says he’s running for state Senate. Did he register for the wrong race? I hate an un-spellchecked website. He calls himself a roll (sic) model. Oh, and he features Pepe the frog. This guy is toxic. Luckily not a serious candidate.

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, she’s a serious candidate and yes, I will be voting for Patty Murray.

US House, District 2

Cody Hart MAGA-R

This guy is 1) a perennial candidate and 2) scary. He stands for parental rights (to limit what their kids learn in school), election integrity (our elections are being stolen), gun rights, anti-abortion, border security, religious freedom (which he thinks is being trampled), affordable housing (stop unnecessary regulation). This is indeed the MAGA agenda brought home. He considers himself a whistleblower revealing massive election fraud in Skagit County. Really? Scary but hard to take seriously. 

Leif Johnson R

The issues on his website are 2nd Amendment (image of candidate with AR 15 and good looking dog); immigration (secure the borders to keep ‘dangerous’ people, cartels, and fentanyl out); oil (climate change & clean energy are just an excuse to destroy the oil industry); homelessness (gov’t is unable to deal with it, religious institutions are doing a good job, hand the issue – and the funding – to them); economy (gov’t taxes create dependency); gov’t overreach (Covid was just an excuse to impose mandates); abortion (will fight to de-fund Planned Parenthood, personhood begins at conception); education (schools are teaching Marxism); foreign affairs (isolationist); family values (the Marxist system is destroying them). This guy out MAGAs the one before him. Where do they find these people? 

Carrie R Kennedy R

Her important issues: over-reach of government; mental health reform; America first, America strong.

She cites Trump as the model of how to govern. Aside from failing to read/edit, she quotes Dinesh D’Sousa, one of the most out-there, toxic, right-wing nut jobs. Yet another MAGA head.

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. 

He believes COVID is real.

He voted for impeachment.

He believes climate change is real and needs to be addressed.

After researching a bunch of toxic right-wingers, none of whom have actually campaigned or raised any money, it becomes obvious that the contest, such as it is, is between a challenger from the left, Jason Call, and long time Congressman Rick Larsen.

There are several trends which seem to be crossing here. There is the rightward drift of the “mainstream” Dems, who seem to believe that the only way they can hold onto what little power they still have is to emulate the repugnant Republicans. As the Rs pull farther to the right, the Ds, who should by rights be countering with equal or greater energy toward the left, are in fact simply shifting the center farther right. This then gave rise to the progressive wing, who are trying mightily to pull the Dems back to what used to be mainstream Dem thinking and is now seen as somehow far left. Jason is very much a part of that movement.

Larsen has been moving somewhat farther left. He is by no means a genuine progressive yet. The man appears to be educable after all. That is a good thing, but I’m beginning to believe that it is not enough. 

Dan Matthews R    (this is from his run in 2012)   This is a bit confusing. It gives info re Dan Matthews, even though it says its about Tiffany Smiley.

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. No thanks. 

Doug “Yoshe” Revelle no party

no online presence

Not sure what he’s doing here at all. He tells us that 1) he has spent his life seeking Spiritual Truth and 2) he is recovering from suicidal depression. I wish the man the best in his spiritual searches and hopes for world peace, but fail to see the connection between that and the US Congress. 

Brandon Lee Stalnaker R

no online presence

He’s a truck driver and volunteers at an animal sanctuary. His focus: economy, inflation, crime, government overreach, national debt. Not much substance there. Another also-ran.

Jon Welch Conservative Party

He’s the Orcas Island ferry terminal manager. He wants to fight inflation, fuel costs, and reckless federal spending. And campaign platforms should be put aside until a turnaround in recession and housing bubble. And that’s about all he’s got to say. To put it charitably, a bit thin. Another also-ran.

Bill Wheeler R

His Facebook image includes a flag. Minus 1 point. His #1 agenda item: impeach Biden and his cronies. He’s a member of the Term Limits organization. I’d be more inclined to support them if they weren’t right wingers. He rails about the Liberal World Order which is evidently responsible for the high price of fossil fuels. He rails about the State stepping in to deprive parents of their rights and children of father figures. I think this may have to do with a divorce and child support, but I’m guessing. The Jan 6 commission is a fraud costing millions. And evidently he is unhappy with WA State Rs who would not endorse him. “I am motivated by being pissed all the time.” Well, if even the Rs won’t support him, I guess neither will I. Another also-ran. 

Jason Call D

Jason has run for this position before. He is challenging Rick Larsen from the progressive left. His top priorities are: medicare for all, green new deal, tuition free college, strengthening labor, and ending war. His program is refreshing because it actually is a coherent program, with specific actions toward the stated goals. On the Green New Deal, he recognizes that climate change is going to kill us all if not addressed. Evidently his platform on ending war was written before the invasion of Ukraine. I am most curious about his response to that. I guess I’ll have to ask.

So I did ask, and Jason responded with a rather long dissertation on the state of politics in Eastern Europe. His bottom line is that there are many guilty parties, and that what really needs to happen - ASAP if not sooner - is a cease fire so no more people get killed. Yep. We can argue the many finer points later, but yes, whatever we can do to stop the carnage is a good thing. 

I’ve spoken with Jason a few times. We share a lot of political philosophy. I contacted him a couple of days ago and he told me there is a good deal of very ignoble backbiting and maneuvering in the Dem party. His back was bitten. There is a certain cost to being an avowed progressive. Who knew that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was blacklisting progressive vendors? Talk about stupid internecine warfare. Lets all shoot each other so the opposition can simply walk in and take over. 

He is running a “people powered campaign” which means he is not accepting any corporate cash. As a progressive he looks forward to joining Pramila Jayapal in the House. That will make 2 progressives from Washington. Good start. 

I strongly recommend that you check out his website. He’s got a lot to say and he says it coherently.

He talks about the importance of having 2 Dems on the general election ballot. This will make it possible to have a genuine policy debate. After a good deal of thought, research, and political balancing, I’ll be voting for Jason Call.  

Legislative District 10

position 1

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

yes  establishing a category: safety & security staff, in k-12 schools

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  increasing access to death with dignity act

no  appropriating funds for Covid pandemic relief

no  requiring disclosure of information re hospital funding

on tech and communications:

no  expanding authority for public entities to provide telecommunications services (PUDs) yes    authorizing PUDs or Port Districts to provide retail telecommunications

no  requiring development of a tech grant program

on housing:

no  requiring an affordable housing element in the Growth Management Act

no  establishing a state funded rental assistance program

no  requiring city/county distribution agreements re local sales tax

on elections:

yes  classifying misrepresentation of unofficial ballot collection sites as a gross        misdemeanor

no  prohibiting disclosing records to the public to preserve election security

no  extending voting rights to citizens on parole


no  limiting non-disclosure agreements for employees

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, climate denying authoritarian. Very much not my cup of tea.

He gave some very interesting responses to last night’s 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. Gilday says that subsidizing education makes it more expensive.

On affordable housing: reduce the cost of construction by reducing regulations.

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?

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.

And to sum up: do away with remote work & learning. 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. 

Clyde Shavers D

I’m a little bothered by Clyde’s website because it, like Gilday’s, does not include an issues page. He explained that he didn’t want to waste too much time and energy on it because he prefers to speak with people directly. 

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. 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 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. 

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 night’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 & tax exemptions.

Roe v Wade: he condemns the decision and believes it is important to amend the state Constitution because at present “we are 1 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 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?

I will be voting very enthusiastically for Clyde Shavers.

position 2

Karen Lesetmoe R

She’s an immigrant from the Philippines, and I detect that ultra-patriotism often displayed by immigrants (hey, I can say that. I are one). 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: many great programs are already 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. 

Climate change & emergency prep: She wants measurable results. Huh?

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.”

I’m finding not a whole lot of there there. Sorry, not impressed.

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, and was surprised to find some ‘no’ votes on issues I know he cares about. Now I’m wondering if those bills were maybe flawed in some way. 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:

no requiring state to reach net 0 CO2 by 2050 

no increasing state energy code standards

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

no prohibiting chokeholds, no-knock warrants, & other police tactics

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 expanding paid family & medical leave

yes establishing civil & criminal protections for medical cannabis patients

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 expanding authority for PUD to provide telecommunications services

yes requiring development of a tech grant program

yes authorizing PUDs or Port Districts to provide retail telecommunications services

on housing:

no establishing state funded rental assistance program

yes requiring city & county agreements re local tax distribution

on elections:

yes amending congressional districts

yes classifying misrepresentation of unofficial ballot collection sites as a gross misdemeanor

no prohibiting disclosure of records to the public to preserve election security

yes extending voting rights to citizens on parole


yes limiting non-disclosure agreements for employees

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 1 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.

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.

POLITIBLOG UPDATE Legislative District 10, position 2

One way to really T me off is to send me a political hit piece against a candidate I like. I got one of those yesterday. I am T’d off. 

So of course I did some research. 

The piece accuses Dave Paul of having tied the hands of police and left them struggling. So I looked it up. The piece cites HB 1310, which

~ establishes a standard for use of physical force by peace officers

~ modifies the criminal liability protections for homicide or use of deadly force by peace officers.

So basically, the George Floyd memorial bill, which says no, you can’t just kill someone and point to the uniform as an excuse. It sets standards which, to me, leave an awful lot of leeway. As long as the officer reasonably fears imminent harm, and stops using the force when the risk has ended, they’re good. 

Which means the claim of “left departments struggling” is a crock. 

The primary accusation, or claim: “Retail and property crime have EXPLODED across Washington,” with a quote from KOMO news claiming a loss of $2.7 billion to organized retail crime.  Just what this has to do with Dave Paul is left to the imagination.

Then there’s the flip side, Karen Lesetmoe, who says – well actually, she doesn’t say because this hit piece was not produced by her or her campaign but by a completely independent PAC which, by law, is not allowed to coordinate with her. Right.

So, the PAC claims that she will

~ repeal anti-policing laws (doesn’t say what those are)

~ support first responders (which implies that others, like Dave Paul, do not)

~ provide necessary training and equipment (for what?)

~ ensure proper staffing levels (implying present staffing is not proper)

I’ve done a good bit of searching and have found nothing in her campaign to back up any of those claims. But then, she didn’t make them, right?

So I looked at what independent PAC had gone to the trouble to create this, and we find that it was authorized by:

Sound Jobs, with an address in Lacey. Couldn’t find them, but that address hosts the offices of CodeSmart, Inc, Boggs Inspection Services, Washington Farm Bureau, and Skyline Construction, but no Sound Jobs. I will note that the Farm Bureau was a reasonably big donor to her campaign. 

Oh well, didn’t matter really because we find that its actually a front for Jobs PAC. No hit on that one either. At least they tell us the top 3 donors, and those are:

~ Marathon Petroleum

~ Building Industry Association of Washington

~ Washington Food Industry Association 

This made me curious about who was contributing to Ms Lesetmoe’s campaign. Turns out some aren’t bothering. There is $133,144.26 in “independent expenditures” like this one for which she does not have to account. I went on to see who was contributing directly and found a lot of builders’ associations, PHRMA (that’s big Pharma), various HMO organizations, telecommunications providers, real estate developers, and one which was evidently dissolved last year but is still donating. This does imply that she will be beholden to these large organizations and will likely represent their interests over those of the rest of us. By my admittedly sloppy count there were at least 34 donations of $1k or more, many of them multiples from the same PAC or association.  

Which led me to check Dave Paul’s contributions and guess what? His supporters are not rich corporations. Page after page of $25 and $50 donations. So I looked into endorsements, and it turns out all those people Ms Lesetmoe says are harmed by Dave Paul’s actions are in fact endorsing him. That includes state troopers, firefighters, a bunch of unions, and positive social organizations working for things like gun responsibility and women’s bodily autonomy. 

So now you know more than you ever wanted to about PACs and their hit pieces. Please share this information with anyone who might fall for the ruse.

And if you haven’t voted yet – JUST DO IT! 

Secretary of State,294524

Bob Hagglund R

He believes election security is “completely substandard.” He touts his business experience and being a long-standing real Republican. He supported Reagan and Newt Gingrich, and never supported any Dem or Socialist, ever. “My successful career was built outside of the swamp of government.” He implies that elections in Washington are not fair or accurate. He wants to bring back to in-person voting. Sorry. No go. 

Kurtis Engle Union Party

Mr Engle is not running to win but to raise issues, to “start the conversation”. In particular he believes that the Republican party has gone ‘round the bend. He wants to start a 3rd party, the Union Party – because it invokes the idea of Lincoln and the working man (evidently working women don't count). He has absolutely no experience in the field but says that’s ok, he can always hire experts. He believes Washington has one of the best election systems in the country and wants to challenge other states to meet the same high standard. Since he says he’s not running to win, we’ll agree.

Marquez Tiggs D

I didn’t even know one could earn a degree in Election Administration, but Mr Tiggs is in process of doing so, along with an MBA. Unfortunately, his website appears to be broken or incomplete. All other things being equal, I would likely vote for Mr Tiggs. But other things are not equal, so I will have to give him a pass.

Tamborine Borrelli America First, R

She is director of Washington Election Integrity Coalition United, a group alleging voter fraud in the 2020 election. She’s running ads on Tucker Carlson’s shows. Her platform: replace “insecure” mail in voting with in-person voting; remove every ‘hackable’ voting machine; hand count paper ballots at the precinct level on election night. Hard to believe she used to be a Berniecrat who flipped to Trump. Hard to trust anything from such a person, especially one who now operates a whole organization dedicated to the proposition that any election she’s not involved in is automatically suspect if not outright fraudulent. I could go on at great length, but patently this is not someone we want anywhere near our election process. 

Steve Hobbs D incumbent

He was appointed by Governor Inslee to replace Kim Wyman, who quit mid-term to join Homeland Security. Former State Senator. He has expanded the election security operations center to defend against cyber attack. He actually has a background in cyber security. Convenient. I’m not sure I agree with him on centralizing all of the state’s archives in Tumwater. On the other hand, I’m not sure any of the other candidates even know what that is about. 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. 

And then I read the story about Inslee appointing Hobbs, above other more qualified candidates, because Hobbs was a thorn in his (Inslee’s) side in the legislature. I may just give him a pass.

Keith Wagoner R

State Senator (appointed, not elected, 2018), former mayor of Sedro-Woolley. 

Yep, the flag behind the face. Seems like an R staple. And even a pair of flag suspenders. The issues page on his website is mostly a list of complaints. He appears to be running on the fact that Inslee had the temerity to appoint a Dem to the position when the incumbent left. This is the first Dem in 56 years to hold the position. He seems to feel it belongs to the Rs. Oh dear, the heir apparent has been slighted. Sorry, that’s not a good enough reason to vote for him.

Mark Miloscia R

He questions the validity of Biden’s presidency. Somehow keeping the Secretary of State’s office in Republican hands will be a check on “single party power” in Olympia. Given that we voted for the people in Olympia, what exactly is he saying? He served 7 terms as a Dem before switching parties in 2014. His website is singularly uninformative. He is a lobbyist for the Washington State Catholic Conference of Bishops. In 2018 he became the executive director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington (the “right to life” lobby). He switched parties because of his retro positions on abortion and same-sex marriage. Sounds like someone to keep well away from.

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.  The more I read, the more I like. I intend to vote for Ms Julie Anderson. 

 County Assessor

Kelly Todd Mauck R

no online presence found

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. Hmm. 

Theodore James Kubisiak non-partisan

very limited online presence

Yet another retired Navy pilot, but at least he has actually worked in the Assessor’s office. 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.

At least he knows what he’s talking about. Between an ex-cop turned realtor and a trained appraiser, I think maybe I’ll go with the guy who has the training. I’ll be voting for Theodore James Kubisiak

County Auditor

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 searched, and I posted to Ms Fuller, but no response, so will have to go by what she tells us in the rather limited voters’ pamphlet. Ms Fuller informs us that she has earned both an MBA and a Masters in Engineering. Good start. I’m wondering, though, about her description of the job, which she describes as financial accountability and accurate recordkeeping. Both of those are, of course, important. I just thought the Treasurer’s office did those things. 

She speaks of integrity and diligence, both desirable qualities which she intends to model for adoption by all Auditor’s office staff.  She seeks to change the culture of that office, but does not elaborate.  She does note the importance of the County Auditor in assuring fair and honest elections, citing to the example of Kim Johnson in Kentucky as the opposite of integrity and professionalism. 

I wish I knew more about Ms Fuller. I know more than enough about Sheilah Crider and am essentially voting for “anyone but.” I will be voting for Barbara Fuller.

County Clerk

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. 

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.

Given the little bit of information available, and the very specific information provided by the incumbent, I’m willing to keep on with a known quantity. I will be voting for Debra Van Pelt.

County Commissioner, District 3

Note that in the primary only people registered in District 3 will be voting. The rest of us will get our turn in the November general election. 

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. 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 (at least that he could see) until 2009. Funny that. There were a bunch of us couch surfers/house sitters/tent dwellers here on the south end back in the 1970s. But he wasn’t here to see it then. He believes in tough love and no handouts.

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 sports a lot of flags, including “don’t tread on me.” 

Here are his responses to last night’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 homeless people and assume their situation is of their own making).

Mental health services: his son had mental health issues and they took him to the Coupeville hospital, which didn’t help. 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.

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. (So were you looking for consistency or something?)

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.

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.

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. No thanks.

Quick update: Mr Hazelo is chair of the Island County Republicans. That would be the organization which voted to disavow the 2020 presidential election and claim that Joe Biden is not in fact the president. Methinks his true colors are showing. 

Richard Hannold R

Probably his best quote was at an “Old Goats” meeting where he said that what the Island County Commission really needs is a man. He backpedaled furiously when that quote made the Whidbey press, but its really hard to stuff that particularly sexist genie back into its bottle. He let his guard down among perceived friends and said what he really believes. 

Rick was commissioner from 2014 to 2018. He ran for re-election in 2018 and lost to Janet St Clair. 

For reasons not entirely clear, he failed to provide any information for the Voters’ Guide. He claims he sent it, they acknowledged it, and then failed to include it. Must be a conspiracy.

His “key issues”: county budget has spiraled out of control; costly needless development regulations; lack of solid leadership.”

I am personally seriously PO’d by his claiming credit for work that we did. No, he did not support environmental protections. Quite the contrary. We had to fight him tooth and nail every inch of the way. This is the guy who wanted to do away with the Conservation Futures program because he (and Commissioner Jill Johnson) claimed that we’d already protected enough land. He claims to have stopped the Atlantic salmon net pens when in fact it was my partner, Steve Erickson, who produced a major research paper which the Dept of Ecology people spent 2 years studying. They openly acknowledged that it was Steve’s paper which turned the tide and led them to approve Island County’s Shoreline Master Program, complete with the ban on net pens. I believe in giving credit where it is due.

He touts his great relationship with the Navy, and claims (along with many others) that the Navy is the economic backbone of Island County. But in fact an economic impact study done a few years ago demonstrated that in reality the Navy costs Island County residents more than it contributes – and that’s not counting the fact that all of us pay federal taxes to support that Navy. 

And of course he takes credit for reorganizing the Sheriff’s department. Since the sheriff is an elected official, that is simply not a decision county commissioners can make. Yes, they have to approve the budget, but they cannot interfere in internal matters. 

That Conservation Futures fund which Hannold wanted to eliminate is what provided the seed funding for the parks created by Whidbey Camano Land Trust. Usually about 10% of the funding came from Island County, with the rest being procured by WCLT from state and federal programs. It definitely burns me to see Hannold now take credit for what was done over his loud objections then. 

He now evidently acknowledges that the climate is changing. His biggest worry there is not to duplicate what state and federal agencies might be doing in response. He has no concept of what this will mean in terms of Island County and sea level rise. 

On racial equality: he sees no evidence of inequality. He never heard any complaints from the unions, staff, or public, so there must be no issue. 

And he believes the county’s Covid response was “more than adequate.” Really?

I have to admit that after 4 years of having to deal with him, I despise everything he stands for. 

Here are his responses to the League of Women Voters’ candidates’ forum questions.

Low income housing/Freeland Motel controversy: he says the Freeland motel has a lot of issues. Yes, people need a hand up. He applauds the current commissioners (that would include his rival Janet St Clair) for the lot off Old Oak Harbor Road which evidently is being developed as long term low income housing. 

Mental health services: the legislature has already addressed this for K-12. This needs to be addressed at home and in church. Parents need to be involved in their children’s lives, but this also applies to veterans and older people. He wants to invite service providers to Island County. (Not clear what service or what is missing)

Climate change and emergency preparedness: Yes, climate is changing, extreme events are happening. We don’t prepare by just throwing money at it. The state has passed legislation. The feds are increasing regulations. We need to be careful how far we go. The Washington Builders’ Association and the Skagit Island Builders’ Association complain that these new regulations will add $85 – 100k to the cost of a new home. We already have robust emergency prep.

Growth management, open space, rural character, and housing development: GMA is adverse to affordable housing. Yes, we have to accommodate open space and rural character, but we need more flexibility at the county level. Cities and towns need to build up, not out. How much is enough? If we keep growing we will lose our rural character.

Logging loopholes: Not sure what you’re asking. Is this about harvesting and then building, or about clearing already developed property? People have property rights. Clearing is regulated by DNR. We need to harvest to keep forests healthy.

(He so obviously has no clue).

Priorities: First, get the budget back under control. Last year’s budget increased 17%. Its time to provide essential public services, not just health care and environmental protection. We need to support Public Works, Public Safety/Law Enforcement.

(Does this seem just a little inconsistent? The budget has grown and we need to "get it under control" but we're falling short in public works & public safety. So does he want to spend more or less?)

In closing: this primary is extremely important. While he won’t talk about his previous record he then goes on to talk about his previous record. I never lied while I was in office I was transparent. I’m being honest, truthful, and open.

Methinks he doth protest too much. As mentioned above, he has taken credit for what he never did. And now he’s telling us about how he never lied. Oh come on. And given his firm belief that what the county needs is a male commissioner, even without all his other far right leanings, I would never vote for him. 

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. 

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. 

So to summarize: Tim Hazelo is a loser. Rick Hannold is a self aggrandizing, woman hating liar. 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. When I get the chance in November, I’ll be voting for Janet St Clair.

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. 

And now I'm getting new (unconfirmed) information to the effect that Mr Campbell is sympathetic to the "Constitutional Sheriff" contingent

which believes that the county sheriff is the highest law in the land. We've seen this in other counties and definitely do not need that here. 

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. I'm not seeing anyone I would want in charge of our public safety.

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. 

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. 

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 McQuarrie’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. 

Tony Lam D  He’s the 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. He say’s he’s ready to move up. I’m ready to give him that opportunity. I will be voting for Tony Lam.

Island County Fire Protection District No 1 

Authorizing Property Tax Levy Lid Lift

The Board of Fire Commissioners of Island County Fire Protection District No. 1 doing business as Camano Island Fire and Rescue (the “District”) adopted Resolution No 2022-03 concerning a proposition to authorize the District’s regular property tax levy. This measure would authorize a regular property tax levy of $1.35 per $1,000.00 of assessed valuation in 2022 (for collection in 2023) and an annual increase in the limit factor of up to 105% (subject to otherwise applicable limitations) for each of the five subsequent years. The maximum allowable levy in 2027 (collectible in 2028) shall serve as the base for subsequent levy limitations as provided by Chapter 84.55 RCW. 

Should this proposition be approved?

0 yes

0 no

Here’s the ever so clear explanation in the Voters’ Guide:

This levy is the primary funding source for emergency services provided by the District. Fire and emergency medical services response standards and demand for service have increased. State limitations on funding increases do not allow the District to keep up with increasing labor and operational costs, and planned capital improvement projects. Voter approval of Proposition 1 will provide funding for the district to continue with the staffing plan. for fire and emergency medical services at current levels, and for the planned capital improvement projects.  

I went so far as to look up the Fire District’s meeting minutes. Not very enlightening. So – I don’t know the situation on Camano, whether this is a nest feathering exercise or in fact desperately needed. For all the dense language, what they’re asking is for up to a 5% increase for the next 5 years. Given the rate of inflation that is probably reasonable. So, without any real information, I would probably vote yes, just because I usually vote in favor of necessary public services. I would vote an uninformed yes.