Saturday, April 23, 2011

Thurston County Commissioners Put People Last

By Scott Roberts
Property Rights Director
Freedom Foundation

Thurston County property owners find themselves pinned down by government crossfire as county regulators continue their assault on private property rights, supposedly in defense of a gopher.

This current encroachment on private property is an effort by government to protect the allegedly threatened Mazama pocket gopher.

For decades, the federal government called this burrowing rodent a “pest” and conducted extensive programs to exterminate it; ironically, the state is now attempting to protect it.

The pocket gopher is resilient and it survived the federal government’s decades-long extermination efforts. But now the state government believes it is threatened. And Thurston County is restricting the use of private property in hopes of saving it.

True to form, these bureaucrats blame the loss and modification of its prairie habitat for this decline in numbers. Translation: Development by humans—instead of 50 years of attempts to eradicate this “pest”— is the cause of its decline.

Panicked by newfound federal concerns about the pocket gopher, Thurston County commissioners and staff use a possible federal listing of the pocket gopher as their excuse to impose new restrictions on landowners.

Many landowners have already experienced life-changing, irreparable harm from the county’s regulations.

Mrs. Baker, a disabled and retired state employee on a fixed income, needs to sell 5 acres so she can pay taxes, medical bills and maintain the rest of her land. But the county told her she would have to first provide over 50 acres of pocket gopher habitat.

Mr. Howell lost the use of 64 percent of his property to create a private gopher reserve—this as government retribution for trying to install a small manufactured home for his son on his own land.

Ms. Bryant fared even worse, losing her house to foreclosure after Thurston County deemed these rodents more important than her right to run a daycare business out of her home.

And Mr. Weaver now has a criminal record for trying to protect his property from a gopher infestation. Five armed Fish and Wildlife agents arrested him earlier this year for trapping the gopher.

Thurston County officials say they must protect prairie habitat in order to save the pocket gopher. They claim less than 1 percent of the remaining prairie is on public lands and use this as another excuse for their misguided regulations on private property.

Yet pocket gopher population numbers fail to support its current state threatened status. A 2005 state government study said that only 2,000-5,000 gophers remain and caused it to become a state threatened species.

Certified biologists have since found 6,500 of the rodents on just two sites, and thousands more gophers have been found elsewhere. These recent field studies are becoming increasingly hard to ignore.

The evidence suggests that pocket gophers are anything but threatened in Thurston County, and contradicts any so-called need for action by bureaucrats and lawmakers at all levels—local, state, or federal – to restrict use of private property.

Thurston County Commissioners have made no attempt to balance reasonable environmental protection with property owner’s rights. Rather, they subscribe to the radical environmentalist’s agenda that accords rights only to animals, and renders private property useless by approving severe regulations.

Thurston County Commissioners continue to ignore field evidence, common sense, and public input. Their ideological beliefs alone guide their policymaking – and these decisions put people last.

It’s time that taxpayers tell the Commissioners to put people first for a change.

Cross posted at

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

There is no profit in government

By Littlefish

I used to argue against unions. I used to consider all unions to be little more than criminal organizations, not because of their actual criminal pasts, but because of the very nature of their stated mission, to extort and coerce. But as I grow older and wiser, I realize there is a time and a place for a union. But what I think a strong and successful union would look like would be more like a PTA than a billion dollar political action committee.

If there is some profitable company, and it is run by a successful but shrewd individual, or board, or whatever the case may be, and the employees are unhappy with their conditions, what would be a natural and beneficial process to correct any perceived injustice? The boss is shrewd, doesn’t really feel like spreading some new windfall around the shop, and of course, we all have the right to be shrewd, everyone has the right to act toward their own goals: just as a boss can be shrewd, so can an employee have demands. Of course, anybody who has managed or owned a business of employees will know that employees always have demands: time off, special shifts, or some other variance in your necessarily planned program that was never agreed to up front, but often comes up none the less during the course of business, and you reasonably try to accommodate even though it is an added labor and expense, which of course isn’t always taken into consideration by the employee when it comes time to talk about an improvement of their conditions in some way, but that is what makes managers managers and employees employees, the ability to see a bigger picture. But I digress.

An employee in a situation in which they have somehow improved profitability of the company through improving productivity would have every right to ask for a larger share of the take. Any one can ask for any thing right? A boss would then weigh the cost/benefit of improving the condition or finding a substitution for the employee. And again, anyone who has managed a company will note, if you have a stellar staff, you don’t consider letting them go lightly. If the cost of replacing the quality of the staff outweighed the cost of the improved condition, then the improvement would likely be granted. Too often of course, employees assume that they ‘deserve’ a raise for many reasons, sometimes just because a period of time has passed. There are several reasons a company may become more profitable without increased worker productivity. Better brand acceptance might be the cause. That doesn’t mean that everyone on production deserves a raise, but the department that elevated the brand image might find themselves in a position of being able to demand better conditions.

A natural balance is constantly at work between the conditions under which a person is willing to work, and the conditions an employer is willing to provide to maintain a workforce at a level of quality required to perform the business at hand. Demand for labor is the major factor deciding which side has the upper hand. The more specialized the skill set, the higher the demand for that labor. The higher value of that skill is represented in a higher salary in many cases, but other ‘conditions’ are included in any salary or benefit negotiation so I will stick with ‘conditions’ as the goal.

A person who works for themselves sets their conditions themselves. What will they get out of bed for? What will they fly out of town for? What will they do every day and what for? The negotiation is made between the person and themselves, they then work under those guidelines as they interact with potential counter parties to achieve or acquire whatever business it is that two parties in any situation may aspire to conduct. The agreed outcome represents the value of the transaction to both parties.

If one of those people were so successful that they needed help doing their business at another level, they would then undertake a second negotiation with other people, to acquire their skills to fulfill the processes of said business. To do this they will need to offer conditions that will attract the needed skills, but still leave room for the vast array of other expenses required to maintain the operation, and also, God willing, provide a little scratch off the top in a strong quarter.

If that new person, the new employee, decides that the boss is taking a little too much scratch off the top, and they have a skill set that is in demand, they can demand more money, or threaten to leave. If there is a large group of employees and they all have a skill set that is in demand, and they collectively decide they want to approach the boss and demand better conditions or threaten to leave, the boss would be posed with an even greater problem. Replacing an entire workforce, or a department, could come with severe expense and delay, possibly a reduction in quality of product and a diminished brand. If the employee’s demands were reasonable, they would likely have to be acceptable. But the boss will know where that line is, and a reasonable group of employees would also know where that line was. No reasonable employee would ask for more than the business could support. Killing the goose isn’t the goal, just getting bigger eggs. That’s why unions should be a common and effective tool for solving short term grievances and maintaining a check on unscrupulous managers in profit driven organizations.

The organized unions of today, with their multi million dollar budgets, and their millions in campaign contributions, and their career union bosses earning many times what their constituents earn and pay in from their paychecks; these are not beneficial to employee interests, not beneficial to employer interests, and not beneficial to the interests of society at large. There is no need for permanent standing unions of paid lobbyists. When there are situations where employees are deserving of a larger share and better conditions, and their labor is in such demand that their demands for improvement are outweighed by the cost of their replacement, those employees would likely take it upon themselves to meet on facebook, over coffee, or in the parking lot, appoint a representative or two, and take their statement to management, prepared to prove their point. That is a useful union.

Employees of companies not only have a right, but a responsibility to stand up for them selves and demand their worth. The economy needs each input to be working and earning at the highest potential, therefore, putting out labor for less then the highest market price is an inefficiency in the system, just as paying someone more than their labor is worth is an inefficiency in the system. Therefore, it is imperative that employees unionize for temporary battles against aloof management until a certain wrong is righted. But after that, the union really has no reason to exist. Unions are only needed when a disparity between the success of the company and the input of the laborers grows beyond the point at which both parties will perform as agreed. If there is no greater profit, there is nothing to ask for. Short term, temporary unions, to fight the good fight against unruly profiteers, to help keep the market honest and competitive, those are unions I could get behind. I believe unions have their place, and when properly applied, a collective voice is an important check on potential greed in our system.

But what about when the operation in question hasn’t experienced any increase in profit? In fact, what if the operation in question never shows a profit? What if profit is not the motive of the operation at all? What if the business at hand is the governance of a population? I’ll agree that a group of employees has the right to re-negotiate with an employer if they feel profit has been made on their backs, but if there is no profit, what exactly is the justification behind demanding improved conditions?

Organized labor is a problem. If anything, they give a bad name to what a true union should be. But even in the private sector, an organized, standing union, is under the gun of competition. Their bargaining power is largely limited by the actual profits in the industries they participate in. State worker’s unions, however, are different. They hold complete monopoly over employment in local and regional governments. Their negotiations are not limited by the profit of the industry they participate in, negotiating with a public employee union is simply an exercise in how much money they can extort from constituents to then coerce government managers through continued political and financial support to continually give-in to their demands of every increasing shares of the pie. The irony? A concept designed to help the working person, unions, suddenly becomes a leach on the working population at large. Working people all over the state pay in, so that a select anointed few can receive benefits and conditions that very few, if any, in the private sector receive for similar work in similar conditions. The union leadership skims a share, and a slice is served in the halls of government to harangue a larger share in the next negotiation cycle. Corruption at its most sublime.

Unions are a check against profiteers, but there are no profits in government, therefore there should be no unionization of government workers. Public servants in all positions should be compensated according to what the next best person would do the job for. And changes in that compensation can only come from one place. If wages in the private sector rose, so then would government income, from increased use of services and increased consumption. Those increased private sector wages would entice public sector employees to leave for private sector work. The government would need to maintain a workforce to perform its basic tasks, so with the increased revenue from a more robust private economy, they could afford to compete with the private sector and maintain a workforce at market rates. If wages begin to slide in the private sector, then the wages of public servants could and should come down. That’s all. Wages should not go up just because. Government operates on a budget, not on cash flow, so only a cost savings in one area of government can afford an increased expenditure in another area, there is no profit margin to share in.

When it comes to government workers, there is no negotiation to be had. There is no greedy boss taking an unfair share, the boss is the people. The cost of running the government should only be as high as absolutely necessary for the safety and sanitation of the population. There is nothing a union can do. There is no money to negotiate for. Any increase in government worker’s salaries that a union might be able to negotiate, comes directly from the taxes paid by those workers, along with the rest of the population. The only winners in that senseless arrangement are the union bosses that, of course, take their salary from the margin. Where are the unions to protect us from unscrupulous union bosses?

Every so often, an industry outlives its usefulness; buggy whips, pay phones. It is time for public employee’s unions to stand up for the working man by walking away and shutting down. Combating the corrupting incentives created by public employee unions is in the best interest of every citizen, even those who belong to unions.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

An Open Letter to Governor Gregoire

A hand delivered letter from Evergreen Freedom Foundation to Gov. Gregoire. They are right when they say, "One courageous governor can change a state's course. Washington needs you to be that governor."

The full text of the letter is below, the summary is here, and the link to the PDF is here.

Dear Governor Gregoire,

We fully agree with statements in your November 23 letter to legislative leaders that "we need to make sustainable policy and budget decisions that are reflective of current revenue. We need decisions that meet our immediate need and those that will provide direction for the 2011-13 biennium. There are only seven months left in the biennium, and delay will result in deeper cuts and additional harm."

In the wake of your statements, it is clear that legislative leaders are dragging their feet. The first step to compel action is to disclose the actual fiscal state of the state in a transparent manner that lawmakers and citizens can understand. If legislators do not understand the full extent of the state’s financial problems, they will not respond properly or in a timely manner. The state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report is a classic case of being unable to see the forest for the trees. State spending and indebtedness levels, unfunded liabilities and financial trends are extremely difficult to locate. Critical information is buried in footnotes amidst hundreds of pages and less important details.

Therefore, we recommend that your office release a report similar to the one we created that clearly outlines and discloses the financial state of the state. Such a report would include an accurate accounting of total state spending, including the unsustainable tactics used to balance the General Fund—transfers from dedicated accounts, use of one-time federal funds, delaying pension obligations and other tactics resulting in short-term gain and long-term pain for the state budget. The report should also assess and compare state employee salary and benefit increases over time, and outline the long-term pension and retiree health care unfunded liabilities. It would clearly state the solvency problems that exist within certain state funds, such as workers’ compensation, as well as examining the growth rate of state debt.

Financial transparency is a necessary—but not sufficient—step on the road toward budget recovery. As the state’s chief executive, you must also accurately assess the state’s revenues and expenditures. The current budget problem is worse than what you and legislative leaders are describing. In the current biennium, the state will spend $2.34 billion more than the revenue forecast. You are cutting the real deficit in half by using one-time funds from dedicated accounts and the budget stabilization account to pay for ongoing expenses.

The budget fixes outlined in your draft supplemental budget do not address the real shortfall between revenue and spending in the current budget. The accounting gimmicks and funding delays you proposed only push the problem forward to the next budget. These gimmicks include: delaying college need grants until 2012 to save $76 million; using $208 million in federal “edujobs” money to balance the budget, which is a violation of the intended use of these funds; sweeping $51 million from other dedicated funds; and delaying the June K-12 apportionment payment until July to save $240 million.

The 2011-13 budget problem is big enough without these additional pressures. OFM has announced an expected $5.7 billion shortfall for the 2011-13 budget. Though we agree the incoming budget problem is substantial, is the state really planning on increasing spending by 26 percent? The current revenue forecast for 2011-13 is $32.6 billion. A $5.7 billion shortfall would mean the state needs $38.3 billion to keep up with planned spending levels. The current budget is $30.5 billion (before any supplemental cuts). Does the state plan on increasing spending by $7.8 billion in the next biennium? We believe the problem is not so large if you and legislators look at outcomes to determine spending priorities, rather than considering everything in the budget mandatory.

There are some things you can do to change the state’s trajectory and truly transform the budget:

1) Thoroughly examine all state spending, which increased $4.2 billion during the current biennium, despite the 2010 supplemental budget’s dramatic “cuts.” You and legislators tend to focus only on one account—the state’s General Fund—while ignoring total spending and opportunities for reform elsewhere.

2) Call a special session on December 6 and ask legislators to reduce the budget by $2.34 billion to bring state spending in line with actual revenue. This will end the state’s dependence on one-time funds and the savings achieved will carry forward to help with the 2011-13 deficit. Issue an executive order implementing across-the-board cuts to close the deficit effective December 13 if the legislature does not enact similar savings by December 12.

3) Call on agencies to update their Priorities of Government assessments to include prioritization of agency projects: one-third high priority, one-third medium priority and one-third low priority. Then prioritize spending as Governor Locke did within existing revenue.

You requested ideas for transforming the state budget. “Transform” by definition is a revolutionary concept. Along those lines, here are some ideas:

1) Reinstate Initiative 601. Return to the original fiscal growth factor of population + inflation growth. Using personal income as the fiscal growth factor has allowed the legislature to ratchet up spending to unsustainable levels. Restoring the original voter-approved spending limit will restrain lawmakers in the good times, so that the bad times aren’t as painful.

2) Analyze programs on an outcome basis.
a. Change higher education funding from institutionally-based to student-based using a per-credit basis. Pay for degree completion rather than student enrollment.
b. Eliminate Educational Service Districts.
c. Eliminate perverse incentives for learning assistance program and bilingual education by funding success based on outcomes from the program, not on how many students enter the program.
d. For K-12 students, fund the student rather than the institution and allow the dollars to follow them to the public school of their choice. In addition to budget savings, this will dramatically improve educational outcomes.

3) Require teachers and state employees to contribute at least 28 percent of the cost of their health care benefits. Freeze (or cancel) all STEP increases. Repeal the initiatives mandating teacher COLAs and class size reduction funds. The state can no longer afford these benefits and programs, especially when the outcomes are unproven or dubious at best.

4) Eliminate all agencies, boards and commissions that are not core functions of government (i.e. may be handled by the private sector) including ethnic commissions, the state printer, Puget Sound Partnership, the Lottery Commission, etc.

5) Replace the defined-benefit pension system for all new employees with a defined-contribution model. Modify pension benefits for existing employees that are not contractual—for example, annual cost of living raises, retirement ages, etc. Eliminate or reduce retiree health care benefits, which are not a vested right.

6) Determine the actual penalty for failure to maintain federal “maintenance of effort” requirements. Seek a waiver if necessary in order to stop funding these requirements.

7) Put more existing in-house activities up for competitive bid. This would require a change in the so-called civil service reform law passed in 2002. The law bogs down an agency’s ability to contract out with time-consuming requirements. Some examples of activities that could be contracted out include:
a. College dormitories—allow the private sector to build and maintain by charging students rent.
b. State ferries—Privatize them. Or in the meantime, consolidate the ferry unions to reduce costs and collective bargaining hassles.

8) Give some agencies the chance to become charter agencies. As you know because of your sponsorship of a presentation on the idea in 2007, charter agencies are freed from many bureaucratic regulations in order to achieve better outcomes for citizens, such as streamlining the permit process. They agree to be accountable for measurable results on a reduced budget. For example, Iowa’s charter agency program has saved tens of millions of dollars. Why not here? Why not now? Why not under your leadership?

9) Sell surplus state property and apply the proceeds toward the unfunded pension liability.

We have many more budget transforming ideas. Should you need more, don’t hesitate to contact us.

One courageous governor can change a state’s course. Washington needs you to be that governor.


Bob Williams, Founder and Senior Fellow
Amber Gunn, Economic Policy Director

Thursday, November 18, 2010

An open letter to the President from an American businessman

Website here. I'm reprinting the letter in full, but there is more to his original post. Be sure to read the whole thing.

Dear Mr. President,

Mr. President, please allow me to introduce you to America’s small business owners. They reside in every state and town in the country. These men and women are the backbone of the communities where they live. They represent the 20% that do 80%. They are the ones who serve on school boards and hospital boards, coach Little League, lead Boy Scout troops, serve in Indian Guides and volunteer in their churches and synagogues. They pay a disproportionate share of the property taxes that build the public schools and hospitals. They give generously to local charities and United Way, buy the uniforms for the Boys & Girls Club basketball teams and make anonymous gifts to send underprivileged kids to summer camp.

You may not care about the community service and enrichment activities that mark the lives of so many small businesspeople. But did I mention that the 34 million small businesses provide 144 million jobs (75% of the jobs in this country) and generate over half of the private GDP? Since our country is in the midst of a recession that you say is “the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression,” I assume that the health of the engine that sustains employment might be of some concern to you. However, your proposed tax increases upon the “rich” will land squarely on small businesses like a ton of bricks. You see Mr. President, 66% of those who earn above $250,000 are small businessmen. I understand that you believe that business owners are rich predators who “need to give more,” but have you considered the effect of your policies upon their employees? I respectfully direct you to Boetcker’s warning that “you cannot lift up the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.”

As a businessman facing the prospect of higher taxation, please allow me to personalize the likely effect upon my own small enterprise. First, you must understand that taxes are a direct deduction from my bottom line and capital reserve. Why is this important? Every dollar you subtract from my bottom line is a dollar I cannot use to give raises, increase benefits or add employees. Although this may appeal to your “spread the wealth” instincts, it may not be such good news to my current employees or to job-seeking college graduates. Every dollar you take from my capital reserve is a dollar I cannot invest in new property or equipment. This may satisfy your sense of “shared prosperity,” but will not be as heartwarming to my suppliers or to those hoping to market assets next year. Is this beginning to make any sense to you?

The decision to increase my taxes will of course also reduce my disposable income. This will result in fewer dollars allocated to consumption which, ironically, you say is critical to the economic recovery of the nation. Although you may be delighted that I won’t have as much discretionary money to travel, buy a condo at the beach, or remodel my home, those employed by the airlines, mortgage companies, real estate industry and the construction trades may not be as cheery. And though you may be pleased to see me mowing my own lawn and cleaning my own pool again, it may not bring as much joy to my long-time contractors, Bibiano Ortega and Gina McDaniel.

We have observed your tendency to punish your “enemies” and borne witness to your willingness to use executive power to sanction certain industries. Your unwarranted drilling moratorium that has decimated the oil and gas and service sectors in the Gulf States provides a recent example. This policy has already created more unemployment and inflicted more economic carnage on small businesses in Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana and the other gulf states than the actual oil spill could have ever done.

Finally, Mr. President, let me assure you that we have nothing in common with your friend Tony Rezko and we bear no resemblance to your benefactor George Soros. After laboring all of my adult life in the private sector, I know a thing or two about real entrepreneurs. First, we were made to innovate and risk capital to support our dreams and visions. But we will only do so when we feel that the rules of the game are fair and predictable. Secondly, we will not put our hard-earned money at risk if we feel that the portion absorbed by taxation is too great. Lastly, when we sense an animus toward us from the highest office in the land that questions our motivations, integrity and patriotism, we begin to take defensive measures, not increase our investments. I hope this letter provides you with a more accurate view of who the real small businessmen in this country are. And I hope it helps you realize the destructive consequences of your policies on the small businessmen you profess to support.

Kyle Stallings is the Managing Partner of a small oil and gas investment company in Midland, Texas and serves on the Governor’s Business Council of Texas.

Two Thoughts on Socio-Economy

By Littlefish

If one has received a certain amount of compensation for performing a certain procedure, they should not expect more money at a later time for performing the same procedure.

Unless some new element has been invented, or some procedure has been streamlined, or some other proactive benefit to production has been introduced, there is no new value added and therefore no new reason for increased income. Furthermore, without such increases in productivity or invention, there is no reason to expect that some new amount of money has been created to be distributed.

If a group of employees have been performing the same task for a period of time, and the only thing that has changed is the profit margin of the company, the workers that are still performing the same duty as ever were not the cause of the increase in revenue, unless they increased efficiency or procedure in some way. It was more likely a cause of more targeted advertising, better input sourcing, or a shift in consumer need. Employees are hired to perform tasks, a task is only worth as much as any other individual capable of performing that task would charge to perform it, absent any obfuscating government intervention that may make the employee feel as though they deserve more when in fact they are performing the same task as always, and that many other people could also perform.

This is even more true when talking about government jobs. For example, processing licensing applications (for anything, business, autos, etc), managing the office in which such processing happens, or cleaning the room in which the processing occurs, are each the same job today as they were yesterday. There may be more license applications to process, but there are still only eight hours to work with in a day, so, processing, managing, or cleaning will occur for eight hours, and then pick up again tomorrow, no matter how many applications were processed. Why is someone, who’s job it is to file, or manage, or clean at the government level, paid more one year than they were paid the year before? Did the work get harder? Likely, in recent history, because of technological advancements (created by people actually creating wealth in society) have made the jobs less technically and or physically difficult, and logically, this should allow for the positions to pay less, not more. Remember, there is no profit in a government agency, any savings at that level is a savings for every member of society.

Cost of living increases have the same insidious affect on the economy as artificial minimum wages or ‘prevailing wage’ contracts, inflation, inflation that eliminates any perceived gain that a cost of living increase or any upward movement in a false wage such as a minimum wage was supposed to provide. Without value added, there is no value added. That is why milk used to cost a nickel and now costs 5 bucks, while people used to make 70 a week, now likely make 700 a week and are no better off. Why?

People expect increased pay without increased effort or productivity, and there is an entire industry of snake oil salesmen that continually spout off about the evil businessman profiteering off the backs of the lowly working man, never mind that both are trying to raise families.

It seems to be assumed that making more money is some measure of increased value in society. That might be one basic metric of success if there weren’t hundreds of government programs designed to allow people to believe that the same amount of effort should garner ever increasing shares of pseudo wealth. Actual wealth, the kind that spreads throughout society and increases living standards for all, isn’t created by using political strong arm tactics to cause people to be paid more to do the same thing they’ve always done, wealth is created by people inventing, creating efficiency, and generally doing new things that add new value, new products, new systems and new opportunity to society by fulfilling needs in a new or more efficient way.

Along the same lines…

If you think the answer to your problems lies in a government program, I am sorry to say, you are the problem. Until you realize that you are the only path to your own salvation, whether it be financial, physical, spiritual, or in regards to any other possible human consideration; until you realize that you are the only person that can be dependably consulted as to how to actually advance or even maintain your position in life in a comfortable and sustainable way, you will always be part of the problem.

You are not part of some socio-economically oppressed minority, as those who profit from selling you continued plight would have you believe. You are a capable and beautiful individual, who has more than a thousand thoughts on how the world could be a better place, and you have every asset at your disposal to enact those positive changes if you would just get up and ignore the doom salesmen that profit from your plight and take a stand yourself.

Have an idea, and fulfill it. You are needed in society! You have thoughts that no one else has, every one does. If everyone acted on their own dreams, instead of waiting for someone to provide the bare minimum, then we would finally approach true equality. Equality will never be found by having one group of people confiscate wealth from another group of people to distribute to a third group of people, all the while selling themselves as saviors, implying that the ‘saved’ are helpless without them. They are modern day slave masters, nothing more, parading as saints. It’s despicable. Anyone who creates a system that purports to help you, yet only passes out favors, money, food; those people aren’t trying to help you, they are trying to bring meaning to their own lives, whatever the long term cost to your psyche may be.

Unless you can’t walk, talk, or breathe, I suggest you practice this mantra: “I am fine, and I do not need your hand out. You cannot buy my vote with your incessant stealing and gifting. It is shameful that you would suggest I need help, don’t you think I am capable of doing this myself?”

Friday, October 15, 2010

Campaign Events this weekend and early next week! Updated - More events added

Scroll for updates

With ballots coming out this week, we must get out there to impact the voters that will vote right away! That doesn't mean we stop working after this, but we need to make a really concerted effort to influence these early voters before they vote!!

From the Puget Sound Conservative Underground
Tidal-Wave Sign-Wave - Oct. 15, 22, 29
  • A “get out the vote” effort via campaign sign-waving on I-405 and I-5 overpasses all at the same time during all the remaining Friday afternoon rush hours in October;
  • Since this election is supposed to be a “tidal wave” win by Republicans, this event will be a “tidal wave” like concentration of sign waving on all of the freeway overpasses stretching from Shoreline to Lynnwood and from Kirkland to Bothell;
  • Needless to say, we’ll need everyone to participate to pull this off and “wow” the rush hour drivers in liberal King and Snohomish Counties.
RSVP here -

Phone bank while Patty parties with Obama - Oct. 21
On October 21, President Obama is making his 2nd trip to Washington State to campaign for Patty Murray. (In 2008 when running for President, he only visited our state once.) He'll be partying at the U.W. campus with any Puget Sound progressives who are still supporting him. What do you say about the idea that at the same time he and Patty party, we conservatives work at the the Victory Phone Banks to talk to voters about Dino Rossi?
Here's how you can help:

From Kirby Wilbur and AFP
Eastside - doordrop initiative guides, anti-income tax literature, and incumbent voting records - Oct. 16
Location #1:
Saturday, Oct. 16th - Meet at the Houghton Park and Ride (405 and NE 70th ), 8-10 AM, to pick up materials
Location #2:
Saturday, Oct. 16th - Meet in Federal Way, the parking lot in front of 32610 Pacific Highway South, 9-noon, to pick up materials

Questions should be directed to Kirby Wilbur at

From FreedomWorks
Two days of activism to support Dino Rossi - Oct. 18, 19
1. Morning - Monday, October 18th:
9am-12pm Get out the Vote Training/Activist meet and greet, phone bank with FreedomWorks
  • Presentation introducing new information and GOTV tools for local organizing
  • Presentation and discussion about what comes after Election Day and how we Take America Back
  • Collect GOTV materials for use in your neighborhood as FreedomWorks has created yard signs, bumper stickers and door hangers for our key GOTV efforts
  • Link you to the new online, at home, phone banking technology, allowing you and your neighbors to be more effective when you work to get out the vote for Dino Rossi
Holiday Inn Express, SeaTac Airport
19621 International Boulevard
SeaTac, WA 98188
Please RSVP to as soon as possible

2. Afternoon - Monday, October 18th:
1pm Bring Back Boeing Rally (Where did all the jobs go Patty?)
Join us for rally to ask, where did all of the Boeing jobs go, and how can we get them back? Patty Murray will be holding a fundraiser with Bill Clinton simultaneously and we want to change the messaging of that fundraiser. While she claims to have helped Boeing, we all know the real story. We are working very hard to ensure this is not a political/campaign rally, but rather a rally of citizens concerned about a lot of jobs that are now nonexistent.
Flying Heritage Collection Paine Field
3407 109th st SW
Everett, WA 98204

Please RSVP for the rally here:
Check out ideas for signs and see the kind of message we want to send:

Tuesday, October 19th:
9am-dark Get out the Vote for Dino Rossi with signs and walking lists, and other materials
Meet at the hotel to get signs followed by campaigning in the surrounding area. If you have a truck or other type of vehicle that can carry a lot of signs, please bring that with you. Also, hammers or sledge hammers to place signs in the ground, as well as comfortable walking shoes! :)
Holiday Inn Express, SeaTac Airport
19621 International Boulevard
SeaTac, WA 98188
Please RSVP to as soon as possible

From the James Watkins campaign
Phone banking and meet & greets - Oct. 16, 17, 21
Victory Phone Bank in Silverdale
Saturday, October 16, 2010
9330 Silverdale Way NW Suite 202

James Watkins Meet & Greet in Woodinville
Saturday, October 16, 2010 - 3:00pm
Carlson Residence
14724 173rd Ave NE
Woodinville, WA, 98072

James Watkins Meet & Greet in Snohomish
Sunday, October 17, 2010 - 1:30pm
Sutherland residence
6410 - 158th Street SE
Snohomish, WA

Edmonds-Woodway High Candidate Forum
Thursday, October 21, 2010 - 12:15pm
Edmonds-Woodway High School
7600 212th St SW
Edmonds, WA

Update: More events added as they come in

From the Olympia Tea Party
Sign waving during Bill Clinton's visit
We need help constructing 20+ signs for the I-5 Communication Project when Clinton and the Obamas come to town.

I say Communication Project because
we intend to reach 1/3 Million motorists in I-5 each of these three days:
  1. Monday Oct 18th - Clinton in Everett (details to follow)
  2. Thursday Oct 21st - Obama in Seattle (7 - 8 AM during morning rush hour)
  3. Monday Oct 25th - Michelle O in Tacoma (details to follow)
The point is to put the damper on Obama's attempt to run up enthusiasm. Putting the damper on their enthusiasm has lots of value because when 1/3 Million people see us up and down I-5 with a single message - well, you get the idea.

This Saturday, Oct 16th
You are invited to my home in Olympia
To help make the signs and plan details
  • From Noon to about 2 PM
  • We will have Pizza.
  • The signs cost about $12 each to construct
  • We intend that you keep these big (very useful) signs for your group to use
  • If you can put a few bucks into the hat for the pizza and sign materials we will gladly accept your help.
  • Reply to this email and let me know if you are coming (so we can plan the pizza).
If you can't make it Saturday but want a sign, let me know and we will figure out a way to get you one or tell you how to construct it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Messaging for the Bring Back Boeing Rally

Hey everyone! Thanks for joining us up in Everett for the Bring Back Boeing Rally. Again, this is not so much a campaign rally for Dino or against Patty, rather we are trying to show that it is time for new leadership considering what Boeing (and ultimately our state) has lost over the last few years.

Here are some ideas for signs that go along with that sort of message:

New leadership creates new opportunity
Time 4 new leadership and new opportunities
A better future starts with new leadership
A brighter tomorrow begins with a new direction
Chicago and South Carolina endorse our current leadership.
It is the responsibility of leadership to provide opportunity.
Snohomish County needs Boeing Jobs not Poor leadership!
With new leadership we can bring Boeing back!!!
With new leadership anything is possible
Our current leadership has taken us as far as we can go…
Our leaders have lost Boeing jobs, it’s time they lose there.
It was hard losing all those jobs, and it won’t easy bringing them back but with new leadership anything is
Our current leadership is out of possibilities.
We need new leadership
We need a brighter future
Boeing 72,200 less jobs.
Any sign with a total amount of Boeing jobs losses and dates
Current representatives please understand we need new leadership
Please understand that we need a new direction
Aerospace workers for a brighter tomorrow
Our leadership has shipped jobs to South Carolina and offices to Chicago. It’s time to send them a care package.
New Leadership = More/New Jobs
New leadership, brighter future
A brighter Future for Boeing depends on New Leadership
The future is only better ….ect
Send our leadership to South Carolina and bring Boeing back!
Our current leaders shipped offices to Chicago. Now ship our leaders out of office.
Our government is broken
Outsource our leadership not jobs.