Citizen Editorial

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It's Not Time For a Neophyte

Weary I am of Tom Davis' attempt to discredit Senator Sheldon. This campaign of his would have you believe the Senator can't be in two elected positions, (don't forget all the committee positions he serves as well Tom), to do the electorate justice.

To me, it seems the Senator has seldom been out of touch with the issues of importance, (gee Tom, does a traffic light require attention from an elected official or, did a bureaucrat fall asleep on their watch?), nor does he lack a reasoned opinion on items that require action.

And, about that fail to follow party-line issue. Well, I don't know about you Tom, but I've lived long enough to know a good politician is about finding a way to compromise in order to do what's right. If you recall our most effective politicians of history were Senator Jackson and Magnuson, neither of which were opposed to seeking a way to accommodate across party lines.

But, let's talk about the most important issues that face our next Legislative session. Our learned justices of the courts in this State have determined that neither education or mental health receives adequate funding to provide adequate services.

And the fact of the matter is that we have created so many State agencies with so many salaried employees that we have used up current tax revenues. (Incidentally Tom, Senator Sheldon has been at the forefront of finding ways to reduce that bureaucratic footprint).

So, it's become apparent that we may have to bite the bullet and possibly fund our State's financial crisis with..........a sales tax increase! And, if that becomes the central issue of our upcoming legislative session, the last thing I'd want in Olympia is a politically unconnected neophyte representing an under represented Mason County and 35th District against the population centers.

So, let political reality overcome your emotional rants Tom. Our situation would seem to favor returning Senator Sheldon. I know it's my choice.

G. Owen Ray, Allyn

28 October, 2014

Lessons In Democracy

As the day to vote in the General Election of 2014 draws near, I feel compelled to figuratively put pen to paper. To begin, the stridency of the personal attacks by backers of one candidate towards other candidates is disheartening. Voters decry the gridlock in our national Congress and state Legislature. The two issues are closely related. Bitter partisan vitriol and blind adherence to the right or left are destroying our republic. Civility and compromise have become lost arts. In this state, we have even found ways to limit the choices by the electorate and manipulate the system to resemble ballots in National Socialist Germany and the Soviet Union with one candidate (party) ballots and allowing only the top two vote getters regardless of party to appear on the general election ballot!

It is obvious that our schools no longer teach 9th grade Civics like they used to. Or, in the rush to Political Correctness and Party Zealotry, we choose to ignore those lessons.

In order to break gridlock and resume effective government of, by, and for "the people", we need to clean house and break the mold of our politicians. I am appalled that we have allowed an idiot Judge to decree that contributing money to political campaigns is political free speech. I don't care what your preference is in political campaigns, but to allow anyone to "buy" any part of an election with a $1 Million contribution is disgusting and , quite frankly, disenfranchises every citizen in the land! We do not allow foreign nationals (non-citizens) to legally vote in our elections. Not yet, but I fear that is coming. We do allow individuals, corporations, unions and special-interest groups from other jurisdictions to make contributions to candidates and issue campaigns in and within our state. Why? Why do we allow these outsiders to influence our elections for legislators and issues (including Referenda and Initiatives) that impact only our State, legislative districts and other political subdivisions?

It's too late to change much right now, but we can start by opening our minds and start accepting the blame for our elected officials who ignore our wishes and start using our votes to demand real choices and real government of, by and for us, the people!

Thank you for reading this and, hopefully, doing what is best for all of us.

Richard Barnes


Put Out The Olympia Fire Of Government Waste And Apathy

Now that Election Day is near, it is time for me to weigh in on the House of Representatives 35th District, Position 1.

I am fully and completely supportive of Dan Griffey for the State House. Things have been out of control in Olympia for much too long and, just like a wildfire, it's time to send in the firefighter to put out the blaze.

The incumbent rarely supports any initiative or vote her constituents put through. It comes out on the ballot, the people of the 35th district vote, it passes, and she pounces on it and votes it down when she can.

I have seen her stoop to nothing short of slander to get her opponent out of the way so she can continue to sit in Olympia and vote against everything her constituents want. And the last comedy act---walking out of a public question and answer session--is totally unbecoming of an elected official.

Dan wants to get our jobs back. He does not want to raise taxes. He wants to see your and my rights protected and valued. Dan grew up in Mason County and has a great deal of knowledge on how to better our economy. He is a family man and has served for many years as a firefighter, in both volunteer and paid positions.

We need Dan Griffey in the State House. We've had fourteen years of spinning wheels and getting nowhere fast. Let's put out the fires of state waste, state apathy, and state insolence. Elected officials who refuse to support their constituents and who stoop to slander to stop their opponents are not worthy of the job and need to be dismissed.

It's time to clean House. Elect Dan Griffey, State House of Representatives.

Robert Aaron, Shelton

27 October, 2014

Every Dog Had It’s Day

Tim Sheldon has had a quarter-century to guide Mason County toward a healthier, safer, more prosperous future and has failed to do so. That’s not to say he’s done nothing: as a county commissioner he brought in a wave of lawsuits and a tsunami of long term debt; he cut services, dumped the county fair, divided the community through wedge issues and almost single handedly destroyed the working relationship between the commissioners and other elected officials and department heads.

But it is in serving as both a State Senator and County Commissioner concurrently that Tim Sheldon’s lack of accomplishments are so notable: There are still no traffic signals at the deadly intersections of State Hwy. 3 and Pickering, Agate and Johns Prairie Roads, and funding to fix the Lynch Rd/Hwy 101 death exchange awaits yet another casualty. (What was the purpose of serving in state and local positions concurrently if not to make Mason County a safer place to live?)

Also worthy of note is the fact that neither Commissioner Sheldon nor Senator Sheldon is inclined to take a hands-on approach to improve our community: As a volunteer, Mr. Sheldon is a no-show at the County Fair, Oysterfest, community cleanups, veteran events, charity cook-offs, or any other effort in which a fee or publicity is not attached to his attendance.

What Mr. Sheldon does better than most is run between Portland and Seattle, collecting paychecks and cuddling up to campaign donors who have little if any interest in investing in the 35th Legislative District. Now I know how hard it is to have to say goodbye to that old spotted hound sunning himself out on the back porch. But he’s had his day and it’s been a long time since he caught a hare that he didn’t eat himself. So, if Mason County is ever to become a healthier, safer more prosperous community, we need to make some hard decisions. And one of those decisions is to dump Tim Sheldon like he’s dumped us, and take control of our future before it takes control of us.

Tom Davis, Shelton

October 27, 2014

Citizen Editorial: Irene Bowling Will Fight For Our Values

Why would two moms don raincoats and slog around your neighborhood for hours, knocking on doors?
My friend Julie and I made this trek because Election Day (November 4) is just around the corner and voters in the 35th District have a wonderful opportunity to elect Irene Bowling to the state Senate. She is a practical, community-minded leader.
Irene grew up along the shores of Chico Creek, near Bremerton, raised three kids and managed a successful business there. She understands the challenges families in our region face. She will champion quality education and a level playing field for all. Irene Bowling will fight for the people whose doors we knocked on, caregivers like Susan, and preschool teachers like Chelsea- who need and deserve fair wages.
Irene’s opponent, Tim Sheldon, has occupied this Senate seat for years, but does little for families. He prefers to play political games. Last year, he nearly forced our state government to shut down, which would've hurt lots of people. He killed the transportation package that would have made our highways safe and provided good jobs, despite warnings from engineers that more bridge collapses are imminent. The gridlock is so out of hand parents around the state are running bake sales to pay teacher salaries .
It's time for a change. Irene Bowling is the best candidate for the job.

Roberta Riley, Seattle
Roberta Riley is a lifelong Washingtonian who currently lives in Seattle. She is a member of Win With Women, a statewide PAC dedicated to electing lawmakers who support quality education, childcare, pay equity and paid family leave.

October 24, 2014