January 17, 2013
The Constitution of the United States of America is one of the most remarkable documents ever written. It clearly and in plain language lays out the foundation of our nation, the makeup of our government and establishes the rights of our citizens along with the limitations of government.
It has served our nation well in our short history and guided us into becoming the super power we have been known as, along with being the freest nation on the planet a long as we have abided by it and followed the basic tenets of it.
But government wishes to grow and assume powers our country was founded to get away from, putting the limits on citizens and granting more powers to government denied it when we adhere to our Constitution.
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January 1, 2013
Fresh off being reelected to her first term and before retaking the oath of office, 3rd Congressional District Jaime Herrera Beutler once again reached across the aisle to join with 172 Democrats in the house and 84 other RINO’s to approve the hastily passed “compromise” alleged to avoid the “fiscal Cliff.”
Total count was 172 Democrats and 85 RINO’s voted AYE while 151 Republicans and 16 Democrats wisely votes NOE.
This “compromise” will undoubtedly drive us back into deeper recession by adding $4 Trillion to the deficit over the next 10 years, promises $1 in spending cuts for every $41 in tax increases and extends unemployment entitlements for another year, among other provisions.
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November 17, 2012
Once again, voters in Clark County have spoken on dragging Portland, Oregon’s financially failing light rail into our community by defeating the latest C-Tran Proposition 1 for raising the sales tax to cover the cost of operations & maintenance of the light rail line. Just as before, voters resoundingly rejected it by nearly 20,000 votes.
In spite of claims otherwise by proponents, the vote was well known among voters to be a proxy vote on light rail itself since all promises previously made of letting voters vote on whether or not we even want Portland’s folly have been denied by elected rulers.
One of the first was Vancouver’s Mayor, ‘Teflon’ Tim Leavitt, known for lying through his teeth to win office as upon seeing the results of the election indicated the “result only confirms that voters do not support raising sales tax to pay for light rail.”
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November 12, 2012
As disappointing as the November 6, 2012 elections are, both locally and nationally, a bright and shining result is in the resounding defeat of Clark County Public Transportation Benefit Area Authority (C-TRAN) Proposition No.1, the latest effort to force Clark County residents to cave to the demands of Portland, Oregon and accept their financially failing light rail into our community and run a Bus Rapid Transit line down Fourth Plain Boulevard.
Although the actual vote dealt solely with voting on paying for operations & maintenance of the line from Portland’s Expo Center to Clark College & BRT, for now, it is also widely known that voters saw it as a proxy vote on the project itself, since we have repeatedly been denied the promised vote on whether or not we even wanted it.
Even 3rd Congressional District Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler stated her support hinged on the vote of the people in regards to this measure.
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October 9, 2012
“A society whose citizens refuse to see and investigate the facts, who refuse to believe that their government and their media will routinely lie to them and fabricate a reality contrary to verifiable facts, is a society that chooses and deserves the Police State Dictatorship it’s going to get.” – Ian Williams Goddard
“The genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of the people from ever questioning the inequity of a system where most people drudge along, paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return.” – Gore Vidal
The Columbia River Project, known by the acronym CRC, is once again scurrying around acting defensively as more light is shined on the project. Just like cock roaches scurry away when a light is shined on them, pundits supporting the boondoggle project are lining up and making excuses for the latest revelation on the project, potentially violating public meeting laws and deliberately discouraging public involvement.
Acclaimed Forensic Accountant Tiffany Couch, of Acuity Group PLLC in Vancouver sent out her latest report last evening, along with exhibits that include internal memos from the early days of the project citing discouraging public input.
The announcement said,
“After conducting an in-depth assessment of various documents, conducting public records requests, and analyzing comments made during public meetings, Ms. Couch has identified areas of concern with regard to a decision making body called the Project Sponsors Council as well as potential violations of the Washington State Open Public Meetings Act.”
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September 28, 2012
Guest post by Professor Robert Dean
Klineline Bridge, Vancouver, WA, circa 1955
Has the CRC tripped over the HCT Act?
I once asked the Columbia River Crossing Project Director, Don Wagner, what would cause the project to fail. He looked pensive for a moment and then blurted out, “failure of funding.”
I sensed that he seemed somewhat melancholy. Republican Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler had just been elected to Congress and the Columbian newspaper had endorsed the opponent of Democrat State Representative, and CRC booster, Jim Moeller. Various citizen movements were ascending to public prominence and the Vancouver City Council was still reeling over an infamous “meltdown” incident. There was, at the time, January 2011, a palpable disenchantment for the project brewing in the community.
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September 24, 2012
It looks like Washington State Democrats and their chair, Dwight Pelz have broken ranks with 49th Legislative District incumbent representative, Jim Moeller and finally come out and endorse the only Democrat to challenge Republican, Jaime Herrera Beutler for her 3rd Congressional District seat.
If readers recall, it was Jim Moeller and his inflated ego who led the effort at the Democrats State Convention to deny Haugen the party endorsement, primarily due to his sensible stance on the Columbia River Project, covered at Why Was Jon Haugen ‘Sanctioned’ By the Democrats?
Now that it appears the wheels just may be falling off of the CRC, the Columbian is reporting State Democrats endorse Haugen — finally where they state,
“Democrats didn’t say exactly what made them decide to now endorse Haugen, but Washington State Democrats’ Chairman Dwight Pelz on Monday called Haugen a ‘strong candidate.’ Pelz also said Democrats ‘will spend the next six weeks working (to) elect Democrats and ensure this election keeps our state moving forward’.”
Left out of the article is that it was Jim Moeller leading the charge to deny Haugen the endorsement, presumably due to Moeller being one of the Columbian’s sweethearts who does no wrong.
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August 29, 2012
Tim Probst and Sen. Don Benton
There is little doubt that the State Senate race in the 17th Legislative District is one of them, if not the hottest race in the state this election. It is no secret that Democrats have long sought to see Senator Don Benton, elected to the Senate 4 times now, ousted and a Democrat take his place.
Tim Probst, Representative for position 1 in the 17th was enticed to leave his fairly safe House seat and take on Benton, a hard charging and very effective Senator, even though he has been in the minority party his entire time in the Senate.
Evidence of the urgency for the Democrats to defeat Senator Benton comes from several areas, but one of the best would be the words from a Democrat candidate for the State Senate running against Senator Ann Rivers, Ralph Schmidt, who openly says he realizes he has no chance of winning.
Schmidt told the Columbian,
“I actually don’t have a lot of money. The party is supporting me some, but mostly the 17th (District) is like a vortex sucking up all the time and money, because that’s where the competitive races are.”
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August 11, 2012
It was just this past May when Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler raised a few eyebrows around her district over a comment she made and reported in the May 4, 2012 Columbian, the unofficial daily newsletter of the CRC and Democrat Party, that she intended to endorse both incumbent County Commissioners up for reelection, Republican Tom Mielke and alleged Republican Marc Boldt.
Considering that Commissioner Boldt has been sanctioned in November 2011 by the Clark County Republican Party for abandoning the party platform, turning his back on constituents who elected him and began siding with Democrat Steve Stuart, even to the point of saying “nothing would get done if he didn’t compromise with Stuart,” Herrera Beutler began catching flak, just as she predicted she would.
One such example was an open letter written to her by Carolyn Schultz-Rathbun with a copy posted on her blog, Cry Beloved Country.
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July 23, 2012
I find it unbelievable that we in the 3rd Congressional District still cannot find a good conservative candidate to run. Democrats and a RINO have held the seat for far too long.
Democrat Brian Baird held the seat comfortably for several years with no challenger coming close to defeating him.
That seemed to change in 2010 when then chair of the Clark County GOP Ryan Hart requested I find out what I could about an Olympia area Republican stepping up to run against him and begin blogging in support of him. I met David Castillo shortly after and saw that we finally had a strong conservative with impeccable experience who was willing to step up and confront Baird.
Whether or not he could have defeated Baird became academic when Baird announced he was not going to run for reelection in 2010.
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July 18, 2012
It’s not like this blog and Clark County Politics blog hasn’t been trying to warn you all for the last few years, but first term congress member Jaime Herrera Beutler has expressed her support of replacing the Interstate Bridge and supporting light rail from Portland, allegedly depending on how voters vote for a tax increase on the operations & maintenance of the light rail portion this November.
That the pro-CRC Columbian, also known as the unofficial daily newsletter of the Democrat Party endorses her again speaks tons as the paper is hard pressed to back any candidate not in full support of the ripping off Clark County taxpayers to bail out Portland’s Metro and their financially plagued light rail.
They attempt to soft shoe her with, “Herrera Beutler is so Republican as to sign Grover Norquist’s no-tax-increase pledge, but not so deeply Republican as to oppose all aspects of the Columbia River Crossing. She supports replacing the Interstate 5 Bridge and is waiting to see the outcome of a fall vote when C-Tran service district voters will decide if the sales tax should be increased to fund maintenance and operation of light rail. If voters reject that proposal, Herrera Beutler says she would support a bridge replacement without light rail or a bridge built to accommodate light rail later. She said tolls is a matter to be decided by the state.”
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May 2, 2012
Authored and submitted by Professor Robert Dean
Nothing much gets by “The Hounds of Whinerville.” A recent letter from Columbia River Crossing Director, Nancy Boyd, addressed to Shari Hildreth, Deputy District Director to Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, who asked 28 pointed questions on behalf of constituent, Professor Robert Dean, makes it clear that Downtown businesses will not be financially compensated for general loss of access to their establishments or for diminished incomes during 6.3 years (or 5 years or 15 years) of construction on the CRC project. The letter also reveals that the problem was not studied for the $150 million Environmental Impact Statement.
CRC critic, and master “ankle biter,” Larry Patella, likes to ask the rhetorical question: “who is minding the store?” How prescient and appropriate have his observations been when it comes to the impacts of the CRC and light rail on Downtown Vancouver? It turns out that nobody has accounted for the indirect impacts on businesses during 6.3 years of construction.
Didn’t Downtown businesses flock to the City Council with concerns about disruptions to commerce during construction?
Didn’t the City pass resolution M3663 back in July 7, 2008 instructing the CRC to study “possibly severe” disruptions to commerce during construction of the bridge, I-5, light rail and the three parking garages?
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March 15, 2012
Time and again the utter incompetence surrounding the Columbia River Crossing project is revealed to the public. This blog, the Willamette Week, other blogs and even both the Columbian and the Oregonian have run articles exposing the sheer incompetence we still see pertaining to the CRC.
Supporters and those involved with the CRC just continue burying their heads and plowing ahead, though.
Accounting irregularities were poo pooed by an “internal audit.”
Traffic predictions being much less than anticipated were ignored.
The Oregon Supreme Court finding that light rail was the driving force behind the bridge, after years of denials from CRC, was swept under the rug.
And of late, the refusal of the US Coast Guard to grant a permit to the CRC for the bridge was all blamed on the US Coast Guard.
And now, concerning the fact that the bridge is designed with too little clearance to handle river traffic, we read in the Columbian LaHood: CRC height won’t derail plan, “LaHood” being Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
We read that Washington Senator Patty called upon LaHood to intercede between the CRC and the US Coast Guard, Murray saying, “It’s an issue everyone frankly thought was solved years ago.”
It is just another display of incompetence for Murray to claim “everybody thought it was resolved years ago.”
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March 7, 2012
Totally unbelievable that as more and more revelations of incompetence keep being revealed, Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, in who’s district the bridge is located seems to be completely oblivious to what continues being revealed. A partial list can be seen in my recent posts here and here or simply scanning through current editions and archives of Couv.com and the Willamette Week, particularly articles by Nigel Jaquiss.
With all of the revelations of the bridge not supply sufficient clearance for river traffic, the Oregon Supreme Court admitting the prime reason for the project was to overcome Clark County’s objection to light rail, traffic estimates being wrong that proposed tolling is based upon, questionable financing and accounting and many more problems facing this $3.6 Billion boondoggle, what does our freshman 3rd Congressional District do?
Send out the following mailer, of course.
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March 7, 2012
After years of “studies” and planning, not to mention sinking nearly $150 Million of taxpayer money into the abyss we call the Columbia River Crossing project, revelations previously marginalized, if not hidden, seem to be coming forth in a rapid pace. By all appearances, more and more it shows that we “Hounds of Whinerville,” citizens and business owners who have spoken against this boondoggle have been largely correct in their warnings.
The appearance of gross incompetence of this project is almost unimaginable. That anybody would even attempt to defend this high level of incompetence is even more unbelievable. But, with every revelation that has come out, that is exactly what some elected leaders and directors of the WSDOT and CRC continue to do.
How can we forget the abysmal treatment of forensic accountant Tiffany Couch after her independent audit of what documents she received from CRC pertaining to the finances of the project raised several red flags? Questionable payments, unaccounted for funds, questionable accounting practices all swept under the rug as WSDOT used two of their top level people to review her findings before writing them off and claiming theirs was an “independent review.”
Tie that to the claims of 49th legislative district representative Jim Moeller who said of her findings, “In a project of such huge scale and complexity, at least some errant billing and bookkeeping is inevitable,” before demeaning Ms. Couch with, “I think that Tiffany is doing the job she was hired to do, and that’s stop the project” questioning her objectivity due to her being hired by successful businessman David Madore, a critic of the project.
But who questions Moeller’s “objectivity” what with the project being in his district?
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March 4, 2012
The Columbian’s political page editor, John Laird, known for his acerbic and outlandish editorials every Sunday has shown he knows how to push the community’s buttons over the years. A staunch liberal apparently, he has shown himself to support and promote just about anything liberal Democrats desire. About the only time he has shown himself to be agreeable to a Republican or conservative point of view was when they crossed the aisle to adopt the Democrat point of view.
Like most liberals I have spoken to, his idea of “bipartisanship” or “Compromise” appears to be when conservatism is abandoned and liberalism embraced. It never seems to cross in the other direction in his editorials.
But I was somewhat taken aback to read his Sunday, March 3, 2012 editorial, ‘Puppet’ accusations don’t always hold up to scrutiny where he is defending Republican first term Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler (Wa. 03) against frequent allegations of her just being a “puppet.”
In the political sense, a puppet is “a person, group, government, etc., whose actions are prompted and controlled by another or others.” Many of Herrera Beutler’s actions do give that impression to conservatives. From her time in the Washington State House of Representatives where she co-sponsored and twice voted to approve a bill that would have forced child care centers into union to crossing the aisle to help Democrats raid the last $120 Million from the state “Rainy Day Fund,” claiming she did it to prevent further tax increase. Taxes increased anyways.
She has shown herself to be an “establishment Republican” more so than a conservative Republican. Hence, many label her a “puppet” doing the bidding of others to retain her “cushioned seat of authority” at $174,000 a year salary plus generous benefits.
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January 24, 2012
Robert Dean, know for his humorous posts here concerning the state of our community in regards to CRC also has very serious side and is very serious on concerns of the potential damage this massive, overly expensive project could cause our community.
With the release of Forensic Accountant Tiffany Couch’s assessment of CRC handling of financing and seeing how WSDOT and CRC are going into damage control mode, we taxpayers who will be forced to pay for this monstrosity deserve answers, not more rhetoric.
In that light, Dean has addressed many of these concerns with Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler in a letter he has authorized to be shared with the public.
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January 16, 2012
From the Columbian
Okay, I’m confused. She was asked point blank, do you think it can be built without tolls?
After rambling on a couple minutes, she says yes, she thinks so under one plan, but is not going to advocate that plan, but also the tolling plan should be sold better?
Follow up will appear in Tuesday’s Columbian
Classic Jaime, squarely on top of the fence.
December 28, 2011
From the Tacoma Tribune, “The new 10th District is centered on Olympia, includes some of Pierce County and reaches up into Shelton. It has no incumbent living in it and is divided between Republican and Democratic leaning areas.”
It appears the 3rd loses much of Thurston County and gains all of Klickitat County, making it more of a Republican district, which will help Jaime Herrera Beutler, who so far faces no significant challenge for reelection.
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