Monday, September 30, 2013

Update from Rep Lytton

Dear friends and neighbors,  
Fall is here, school is back in session, and, believe it or not, I’m already preparing for next the next legislative session. Recently, I’ve been meeting with colleagues and stakeholders in our district and from across the state. Some of those meetings have included cochairing the Quality Education Council for an education policy discussion, sitting down with farmers and fishermen to talk about how we support these important industries and capitalize on our community’s unique assets, and visiting schools around the 40th.  
I especially want to highlight my stop at Washington Elementary in Mount Vernon. Washington Elementary is one of several pilot schools participating in the Collaborative Schools for Innovation and Success pilot program (CSIS). Created by House Bill 2799, the goal of the program is to support collaboration between colleges of education and school districts to improve student achievement and better prepare educators. Washington Elementary is collaborating with Western Washington University’s Woodring College of Education to serve its students in new and innovative ways. This is an exciting example of the good work being done for our students and communities, and I appreciated the update on how the program is working.
Rep Lytton meets with CSIS leaders at Washington Elementary

With things getting busy, I also wanted to take a brief moment and share a couple of updates with you on our recent revenue forecast and the upcoming implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Revenue Forecast
Last week, the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council released its September revenue forecast. The forecast contained good news for Washingtonians as our state continues to recover from the Great Recession. Forecasted revenues for the current biennium and the next biennium are slightly higher than we thought in the June forecast.
However, even as revenue continues to recover, revenue growth remains below average. While the economy—and state revenues—continue to improve, we continue to face significant risk and budget pressures. That includes state, national, and international influences on our economy as well as the need to increase our investments in education to fully fund our paramount duty.
As I continue to prepare for the coming session, I look forward to productive conversations with my colleagues on how we can make the needed investments in education, work to grow our economy, and keep Washington a great place to live and work.
Healthcare Reform
You’ve probably been hearing and reading a lot about the next steps in implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that are coming soon. There’s a lot of information available on the ACA, and I hope that consolidating some of it here will be helpful. In Washington state, we’re committed to effectively and efficiently implementing the ACA (sometimes called Obamacare) – and Washington families are already benefitting from this decision. So far:
  • Sick kids can’t be denied health insurance.
  • Young adults can stay on their parents’ plan until the age of 26.
  • Full coverage of FDA-approved birth control is available at no cost to women.
  • There are no out-of-pocket costs for preventative services. 
We’ve also elected to accept federal dollars to expand the Medicaid program. This means:
  • An additional 385,000 working Washingtonians will be covered by 2020.
  • Adults earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level will be eligible for enrollment. To learn more, click here.
  • We will provide health care in the most effective and least expensive setting – saving us all money in the long run.
  • The decision to expand Medicaid saved us $200 million over the next two years alone.
And, finally, our state’s health insurance exchange is up and running. The Exchange, called the Washington Healthplanfinder, is an online marketplace for individuals, families and small businesses in Washington to compare and enroll in health insurance coverage.
Healthplanfinder also has a toll-free Customer Support Center up-and-running. Folks can get their questions answered about how it works, what types of health coverage will be offered, how to access financial help and what you need to know about the enrollment process that starts on Oct. 1.
Representatives will be on the line weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. by dialing 1-855-WAFINDER (1-855-923-4633) or by emailing Help will be available in up to 175 languages.
And you’re always welcome to call my office (360.786.7800) or email me ( with questions or comments—on the ACA, the revenue forecast or anything else that’s on your mind! It’s an honor to serve you.  

Warning. Voter Candy. Watch Out For Razor Blades.

This is a thought piece. Connecting the dots. Or maybe just seeing them.

How much could food cost in years ahead?
How many people can a non-industrialized farm worker feed?
How many people could a hunter/gatherer feed?
How many college students will dirty their hands for one year in a market garden business?
How many days will Bellingham have food if the food transport system breaks down?
What is the food shortage record of Marxist economies? Could hunger games happen here?

How much does college cost?
How long should college loans take to pay back?
How much grant money should one student get?
How much should a college professor earn?
If the business tax base is destroyed, who will pay the college professor?
How adequate are teacher pensions in Marxist countries?

What is the final cost of a “free love”, “hookup” lifestyle?
What is the value of a young Marxist guerilla’s life?
What is the value of a Latino campesino’s life?
What is the value of a right wing militiaman’s life?
What is the value of a drug runner’s life?
Why do Marxist rulers build fences to control citizen movements? How many millions of citizens have Marxist rulers murdered for the sake of remaking a nation “as it should be”?

Last week, Whatcom Wins (Whatcom Democrats) handed out a recommended voting slate to college students. Apart from inferred promises that it cannot guarantee, (so and so will kill the “Coal” Terminal), and from perverting justice (Ken Mann and Carl Weimer cannot legally address the “Coal” Terminal issue, but their proxies boldly do so), is the “Coal” Terminal contest the real issue?

Are college age voters being manipulated as “tactic proxies” by Whatcom Wins? (See chapter 9, “Rules for Radicals” by Saul Alinsky). Do progressive community organizers really care about the welfare of local tribal groups? Global warming? Marine life? Or do they seek to destroy something else?

Sky diving can be extremely pleasureable. Free fall is fun—until you hit the ground. To quote the comic, “If at first you don’t succeed, don’t try skydiving”. College is often a skydive, paid for by others, puffed along by activist professors. A decade or two after college is when the cheap gin wears off and the hangover bites hard. Read “Destructive Generation” by David Horowitz, an architect of the Vietnam / Black Panther protest media, and ultimately an arch traitor of the American progressive / Marxist movement.

Karl Marx went through high school with pocket spending money that was double what a family man of his era normally earned. Does this sound like “grant money”? He called Russians and Slavs “scum”. Karl Marx was described by contemporaries as a young man consumed with destruction. He was a nihilist. He was not even a socialist to start with. That came from Moses Hess, a later mentor.

Karl Marx hated God. He was not an athiest. His writings trumpet rebellion against God, a desire to destroy religion and supercede God. Richard Wurmbrand, religious prisoner for fourteen years in Ceauciescu’s Marxist gulag, after being exiled from Romania, published his primary research on Marx. Marx was without argument a brilliant, self described anarchist, whose poetry, letters and testimonials showed his prime delight was destruction of people and goods. He positively identified with occultic, Luciferian ideas and loyalties.

Saul Alinsky, the father of the modern Marxist / progressive movement, mentor of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, author of Rules for Radicals, dedicated his first editions to “Lucifer, the first rebel”. This is not the odor of atheism, but rather of black Sabbath delight. Why do Marxists destroy churches in Colombia and North Korea? Is there a back story here? Yes.

What did Jahweh, the Creator command man? To “replenish the earth and subdue it” (not destroy it, like the Marxist Chinese industrial complex), and to “be fruitful and multiply.” What better rebellion could the Marxist movement further today than to depopulate the planet, to indoctrinate a remnant that a hunter / gatherer culture is inviolably the height of social equity? (Or to set up a ruling elite who feeds on the masses like the former leaders of the USSR—see Dostoyevksi’s Complete Works, vol 12, p.194: Catechism of the Revolutionists by Netchaiev)  Who needs or wants a God looking over his shoulder? What do many young men do after fulfilling the primal desire to “hook up”? They walk away and laugh, setting the young woman out like a trash can, demanding that she follow through and destroy any new life they procreated.

Frankly, can any elected official guarantee a perfect result at Cherry Point, however that is defined? What if the Obama government decides that coal via Cherry Point would pay off some IOU’s to China. Herring bed preservation and global warming talk will go out the window faster than spit.

My advice to (college) voters? Challenge the happy Marxist apologists. Identify the  bitter Marxist fruits. Question the salaries of the tenured Marxist professors. Question the career/retirement ambitions of the Marxist community organizers. A country without fences is most easily subverted by diligent Marxist operatives. A country subverted by Marxist operatives cannot continue without Berlinesque walls. Consider the violent deaths of 25 of the 29 historic members/candidates of the 1917 Soviet Central Committee—mostly at the hand of their two leaders, Lenin and Stalin.

There is more to this election than a “coal” terminal. This is a choice of politicians who will favor worker freedom and free market equal opportunities, or will favor monopolies and grossly regulated equal outcomes, and ultimately, gulags. Don’t be a sucker for Whatcom Wins voter candy. Look for the Marxist razor blades. Connect the dots.


Whatcom County Slaughterhouse Vote Backlights Sustainable "No Land Use" Agenda

"No Land Use" Hawk Futurewise Loses Zoning Fight; Brenner, Mann, Weimer Vote NO; Crawford, Kershner, Knutzen, Kremen Vote YES; Slaughter Houses Now Allowed On Whatcom Ag Land
Packinghouses where farm animals are slaughtered and the meat is processed for sale are legal on farmland in Whatcom County, after the County Council voted 4-3 on Tuesday, Sept. 10, to allow them.
The new rules allow slaughterhouses less than 7,000 square feet with no more than a building permit, state permits for waste handling and discharge, and rights to the water they will use.
Read more here.
Eastern WA Ranchers Build Their Own Slaughter Facility 
ODESSA, Wash. — Friends and neighbors would often ask rancher Willard Wolf where they could buy his beef.
“I’d have to tell them, ‘I don’t know where you can go do that other than the grocery store,’” Wolf said. “You have to have a place you can get federal inspection for me to legally sell it to you.”
Now Wolf and other ranchers in eastern Washington have another option for marketing cuts of their beef, pork and other meats. They formed the Cattle Producers of Washington Livestock Processors Cooperative Association, whose new slaughter facility opened last month in Odessa, Wash. Federal inspections began at the plant this week, allowing ranchers to sell cuts of meat to consumers.
ODESSA, Wash. — Friends and neighbors would often ask rancher Willard Wolf where they could buy his beef.
“I’d have to tell them, ‘I don’t know where you can go do that other than the grocery store,’” Wolf said. “You have to have a place you can get federal inspection for me to legally sell it to you.”
Now Wolf and other ranchers in eastern Washington have another option for marketing cuts of their beef, pork and other meats. They formed the Cattle Producers of Washington Livestock Processors Cooperative Association, whose new slaughter facility opened last month in Odessa, Wash. Federal inspections began at the plant this week, allowing ranchers to sell cuts of meat to consumers.
- See more at:
ODESSA, Wash. — Friends and neighbors would often ask rancher Willard Wolf where they could buy his beef.
“I’d have to tell them, ‘I don’t know where you can go do that other than the grocery store,’” Wolf said. “You have to have a place you can get federal inspection for me to legally sell it to you.”
Now Wolf and other ranchers in eastern Washington have another option for marketing cuts of their beef, pork and other meats. They formed the Cattle Producers of Washington Livestock Processors Cooperative Association, whose new slaughter facility opened last month in Odessa, Wash. Federal inspections began at the plant this week, allowing ranchers to sell cuts of meat to consumers.
- See more at:
ODESSA, Wash. — Friends and neighbors would often ask rancher Willard Wolf where they could buy his beef.
“I’d have to tell them, ‘I don’t know where you can go do that other than the grocery store,’” Wolf said. “You have to have a place you can get federal inspection for me to legally sell it to you.”
Now Wolf and other ranchers in eastern Washington have another option for marketing cuts of their beef, pork and other meats. They formed the Cattle Producers of Washington Livestock Processors Cooperative Association, whose new slaughter facility opened last month in Odessa, Wash. Federal inspections began at the plant this week, allowing ranchers to sell cuts of meat to consumers.
- See more at:
Read more here. 

How "No Land Use" Grants And Environmental Advocates Destroy Resource Based Industry
I recently toured parts of southern New Mexico where my travels took me to a small town called Glenwood, right next to the Gila National Forest. The folks in Glenwood were very friendly and eager to show me around this small community. I was invited to visit with a group of locals at the Blue Front restaurant in Glenwood. After the best beef brisket lunch I've ever had, I was introduced and given a few minutes to give a presentation about BRC.
Read more here. 

Taking Away Land Resources Equals Taking Away Liberty - In WA State

One hour before the U.S. Senate was to adopt the United Nations Treaty on Biodiversity, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX) went to the floor with a 300-plus-page draft copy of Chapter 10 of the United Nations Global Biodiversity Assessment and a 4 ́x 6 ́ poster.
Read more here. 

Animated Presentation Of Wildlands/Bio Diversity Property/Resource Takings

Coordination Works: Counties Roll Back Bio Diversity Takings By US Fish And Wildlife
On June 14, 2012, American Stewards of Liberty had a remarkable victory.  After a year of working with the oil and gas industry, eight counties in Texas and New Mexico and one soil and water conservation district, we prevented the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) from listing a three-inch lizard known as the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard (DSL) as endangered.
Read more here. 

What Might Development Of A Coordination Plan Costs?
Ravalli County commissioners approved a contract with consultants to move forward with "coordination" with federal agencies.
Commissioners voted unanimously to contract with American Stewards of Liberty, a conservative nonprofit organization, with a one-time fee of $1,500.
American Stewards, a Texas-based organization that touts itself as "protecting people and property," says that Congress, through federal statues, requires federal agencies to "coordinate" with local government.
Read more here.

Social Equity: Benefit Corporations - Enlarge The "Free Stuff" Quicksands

Benefit Corporations: When "Normal" Taxation Revenue Is Not Enough For "Equal Outcomes". 

In 2010, Maryland was the first US state to enact a bill that gives class status and legal protection to a new type of corporation called the benefit corporation. Vermont and New Jersey quickly followed. Soon, bills were filed in a number of other states. State legislators passed the bills no questions asked. Benefit! That sounds good doesn’t it? What could be wrong with helping corporations to do good things for society? Things are seldom as they seem.

The Block Grant Mindset In Whatcom County

  A seemingly endless stream of private NGO's (non-government organizations) have set-up shop in Bellingham and Whatcom County since 2000.  There's no question that many are making a pretty good living as non-profits while creating and promoting public projects that match and advance the groups' ideologies and goals. 

Read more here. 



Sept 2008 Flashback: Three Bellingham B Corp Rated Businesses
Moka Joe’s Trudy Scherting poses with a bag of Café Feminino, which is coffee sourced from a network that supports thousands of women farmers in seven countries across the globe.
Trudy Scherting, owner of Moka Joe Coffee, is the kind of business owner who doesn’t care too much about the bottom line — and it has gotten her into plenty of trouble. But it’s also what has made her one of the most respected members of Bellingham’s sustainable business community.

State Legislatures Flirt With Benefit "B" Corporations: Cronyism And Shareholder Takings Get Legs.
Benefit corporation legislation helps return business to its proper role in society to create shared and durable prosperity.
As benefit corporations, business leaders and investors have a new freedom to make decisions that are in the best interests of society as well as their bottom line, and we – as citizens, customers, workers, and investors -- have the tools to identify and support them. 

Read more here.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The WRIA 1 Planning Unit Meets. Who Is The Agricultural Water Caucus?

Last night a breath of fresh air blew in Whatcom County. Between seventy and eighty people gathered for the first meeting of the WRIA 1 (Water Resources Inventory Area One) Planning Unit since June, 2009. Don’t be fooled. Getting people to work together is complex, yet the primacy of water is simple.

Water is the stuff of life, and access to water is a death or life issue. He who controls water rights (and land/property rights) controls people. Free people work out their own water allocations. Captive people are dictated to. Recent Washington Growth Management Hearings Boards judgments treat Whatcom Citizens as their captive subjects. Even the Lummi and Nooksack tribes should be suspicious when state and federal governments play favorites. This is important stuff!!!

Civil, thoughtful, funny, testy—the discussion was productive and forward moving. The full meeting notes should be posted on the WRIA 1 website in a day or two. Some water caucuses were notably absent. Both tribal groups. The environmental caucus. The fisherman’s caucus. The purse seiner’s caucus. Diking and drainage. I also did not recognize very many of the recent WIT consortium in the observation seats. It was an evening meeting though, and paid government staff are often grudging about giving up their recreational time.

An interesting piece of theater was the body language of Doug Allen, Department of Ecology in Bellingham. He stood in the back for the first part of the meeting, then quietly went and took a place at the table. Do the major political stakeholders WANT local (water planning unit) governance to succeed? I have large suspicions that the planning unit is seen as an undesirable placenta that will challenge current recipients of federal and state grants, monies that largely undermine citizen governance concerns.

Our family has a stake in two caucuses represented last night. Agriculture and water associations. We do not have a well. (Well owners should be very on edge over recent events, given the threats to deny new wells in various areas in the county. The well owner’s caucus has probably been the most thorough in organizing for the planning unit re-start, but only about 1% of the 10,000 well owners voted on representation recently).

Was our water association represented last night? Sumas Rural Water Association did not send out any notification to us. Having followed this issue, I have been kept appraised by officials of other water associations or districts. Who takes care of your water? Who represents you in this process?

I am not a little burned over our agricultural water representation. Henry Bierlink sat at the table. He runs Farm Friends, and I am on the mailing and e-mail lists. I received no notification of this meeting. In fact, Farm Friends may send out one or two e-mails  a year. I did not vote for or against Henry Bierlink. Who sent him there? Who does he represent?

Landon Van Dyke was stated to be the ag water caucus alternate if Henry can not be there. He sits on the Whatcom County Agricultural Advisory Council. This council was spearheaded by Henry Bierlink and Chuck Antholt a number of years ago. We have been looking for the dates for the fall series of Ag Advisory Council meetings and they are no where to be found. Recently, Samya Lutz, the Whatcom County PDS staff person working with Ag Advisory moved on. Hello-o-o? Is anybody home?

We have lived here since 1994. We are a “small potatos”, value added, wannabee sheep dairy. We pay taxes and are subject to dictates just like the big guys. I could drill an illegal well and irrigate my dried out pasture in the summer, I suppose, but I have not done so. A neighbor told me that Henry Bierlink did him tremendous service a decade or more ago, in dealing with a very aggressive Ecology staffer, but it seems that Henry Bierlink is only concerned with the big boys now.

In fact, Henry is up to his eyeballs in working with Futurewise and Whatcom Land Trust, the “no land use” activists. I am also NOT sold on the Natural Resources Marketplace thing that Henry is pushing.  He had the gall to start out by saying last night, that he was not interested in participating in something that was not going to have authority. Does Futurewise represent me? Whatcom Land Trust? Absolutely not. Should my water, plant or wildlife property rights be separable from the land I live on? Who DOES Henry represent? Some one world government environmentalist capital funds investor in Stockholm?

The bottom line. Who is the agricultural water caucus? Where is the Soil Conservation Service in this? Whatcom Cattleman’s Association? The dairy and berry people? Who authorized Henry Bierlink to represent me? I would like some answers here.

Maybe Claire Fogelsong, City of Bellingham rep last night, was onto something in suggesting that the caucuses provide documentation of representing and reporting to their members. Henry, are you listening? Do you duly represent the agricultural water caucus? Are you engaged, farmers?

John Kirk, Sumas.

Milk/Allergy Questions: Value Added Food Opportunities (Equals Hard Work)

Whatcom Works Has Legs
We have readers, and are getting affirming feedback. Thank you! It looks like this local “Drudge Page” has value. In conjunction with the theme of value added dairy, we want to say hello.  
Read more here

A1/A2 Milk Debate: The New Zealand Heavy Weights Face Off

A Short "Course" On A1/A2 Milk Impacts: Why New Zealand Farmers Convert To A2 Milk Herds
There’s a devil in the milk, says agricultural scientist Keith Woodford, and it has little to do with production methods. Woodford’s startling thesis, backed up by a pile of research, is that a mutation many years ago created an aberrant protein in some European cows, called A1 cows to set them aside from all other cows, which are called A2. As a result, the milk from these cows has been linked to a host of maladies, including Type 1 diabetes, autism and heart disease.
Read more here

Alleviating Allergies With Sheep's Milk
 A study of 206 individuals from the UK, 195 of whom were intolerant to cow's milk (11 were tolerant to cow's milk.) demonstrated the advantageous nature of using sheep's milk for treatment of food allergies and symptoms associated therewith. These individuals listed other offensive dairy products (containing cow's milk) such as custard, chocolate, yogurt, milk puddings, butter, cheese, cream and ice cream.
Read more here

Nutrition In Sheep, Goat, & Cow Milks
Calcium and minerals like zinc. These are high in sheep milk compared with other milks (see table) and remember that Lacto-calcium is much more easily absorbed than Calcium carbonate which is, after all, marble. Together with lactose and Vitamin D, (almost twice as much as cows milk) the calcium in sheep milk is vital in the fight against Osteoporosis, the scourge in both the UK and USA. Bone density is laid down in adolescence and it is vitally important for children going on into their teens to drink milk.
Read more here

Why Sheep Milk Sells For $18.00 Gallon - If You Can Get It. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Local Media Outlet Plans Local Election Campaign

Sliding through our door on a weekly basis comes the county advertising edition of the Bellingham Herald. Chock full of ads and coupons. Advertising revenue is cake, you know. Slathered with an icing of happy do good stories, Whatcom County eats up, smacks their lips, and goes to bed, thinking that kindergartens and and raspberry harvests are the definition of Whatcom County.

As our family has gotten involved in public policy, I am seeing a different face of the Herald. A seedy, back room, conspiratorial ghoul seems to run the show in the tall building on State Street. And, if you’ve toured the facility, it shows in the bottom line.

Last week I received a letter. It is released on Whatcom Works today. A county resident decided to do work that the Bellingham Herald is too cash strapped to do. Or maybe unwilling to do. These facts need to be kindly and firmly vetted. And, the record of the chairperson of the Whatcom County Council Finance Committee needs to be examined.

Ken Mann needs to have a chance to talk about fumbling his campaign PDC ball. He needs to reassure Whatcom County that the financial hawk is not letting other critical oversight issues fall through his talons.

 Maybe it is an innocent lack of practice. Maybe it is not. First string players that mess up sometimes need a spell on the bench. But the Bellingham Herald is not the “team owner” or the “coach”. They are the megaphone, the game announcer. And the PA system is broken.

It used to be that the media was largely a trustworthy organ in the community body, justifying its existence by publishing stories that benefited all citizens. Not so today.

Weeks  have passed since the Herald was given a lead on a critical piece of information for the Whatcom County Council election race, and no traditional local media have chosen to publish this story.

When a civil servant stumbles, it is not the end of the world! Many political careers are punctuated by dropped balls, missed cues, forgotten promises, tired days in public service, one drink too many before the drive home. A good person will fall and rise again, stronger.

But when the media become unilateral kingmakers, personal character is reduced to sniveling hackery. Why not let Ken Mann stand on his own feet?

Parts of this letter were released on Whatcom Excavator, a local para-media activist site. Ken Mann was very quick to respond with some vindicating information. In the comments section of the Excavator editorial, he points out that even he promptly provided the Herald with his justifications. But the Herald sits like a silent Buddha, smiling—or should I say, brooding over its own political agenda.

We have a Council seat race contested by two younger men. Both have families. Both have businesses.  Ken Mann, however, gets a very large financial lift from sources outside Washington State. Money buys time and service.  Look at his PDC report of donors. With his campaign donations balance, dropping the PDC ball should be less likely to happen. Maybe there is more to this than a simple explanation of forgetfulness. Maybe not.

It is NOT for the Bellingham Herald to play kingmaker. We, the voters, need accurate, balanced information to cast good ballots. If the Bellingham Herald chooses to allow the next door rents of Whatcom Wins and the Democrats and cover up for their candidates, maybe they should close shop for good. Somehow, Pravda in the local media is getting easier to recognize these days.

In a third article in this montage, I link to a Herald report of the recent port commissioner debate hosted by several Bellingham neighborhood associations. According to one source, (I was not present), the Herald reporter left the meeting shortly after the first question, then ran a mocking article of the candidates based on that question. You decide. Is this journalistic integrity? Maybe it is time for a different media business to serve Whatcom County. I think we have a much bigger problem than Ken Mann’s PDC  malpractice.

Bellingham Herald Buries Critical Election News

September 17, 2013

An open letter to my fellow citizens of Whatcom County:

In reviewing Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) reports, sometimes I notice minor discrepancies and give them little thought. In early July, however, I was quite taken aback when looking at campaign finance reports filed by Ken Mann, candidate for re-election to the Whatcom County Council.

Following his election to Council in 2009, Mann filed his end-of-cycle PDC Form C-4 on January 11, 2010, reporting unspent campaign funds of $7,787.47. Most officials wishing to stand for election to more than one term in office follow provisions of state law found in RCW 42.17A.430 (6), “Disposal of surplus funds” and set up a “surplus account” to properly account for unspent funds. This law clearly states that “The surplus funds of a candidate or a candidate’s authorized committee may only be disposed of in any one or more of…” the several ways spelled out in the statute.

When Mann filed his initial PDC Form C-4 for his 2013 re-election campaign on May 6, 2013, he reported a previous total cash balance of $73.60. Between January, 2010 and May, 2013, the PDC posted no reports, amended or otherwise, received from Mann concerning “left over” funds from his 2009 campaign. Despite having more than three years to do so, it appears that Candidate Mann failed to report to the PDC (and thus to his contributors and the public) how he spent or otherwise disposed of more than $7,700 in campaign funds.

Washington State’s public disclosure laws establish a citizen-complaint driven process. On July 3, I filed a complaint with the state’s Public Disclosure Commission to bring the matter to their attention. On July 10 the PDC acknowledged receipt of my complaint and advised they were undertaking a preliminary review of the matter. Because the Commission sometimes receives complaints deemed frivolous, they advise filers they have not made a determination whether a formal investigation or any enforcement action may be warranted at the preliminary stage.

On August 16, PDC Director of Compliance Philip Stutzman wrote to inform me that the PDC had launched a formal investigation of the complaint and assigned PDC Case No. 14-001 to the matter. By this point, the Commission had advised candidate Mann of the complaint, providing him with an opportunity to explain what happened to the money and to file amended PDC reports. The PDC posts reports it receives promptly, usually within 24 hours of receipt.

After ten more days elapsed, I put together a package of hard copies of the complaint, supporting documents, PDC letters, and a cover letter addressed to Bellingham Herald reporter Ralph Schwartz. On Tuesday, August 27, together with an eyewitness, I personally delivered the information to Mr. Schwartz at the Herald offices. Mr. Schwartz opened the package in our presence, took a quick look at the contents and remarked “almost $8,000 – that’s not chump change!” to which I had to agree – even in a year like this one. He said he would take the matter up with his editor, Debbie Townsend, upon her return from vacation after Labor Day. He went on to say the paper “would not likely want to do anything that might impact the outcome” of an election…. Really?

At the Whatcom County Council meeting on September 10, I encountered Mr. Schwartz in the hallway outside council chambers. He couldn’t avoid me and managed to say that he had discussed the matter with his boss, and the Herald would not publish any information until the PDC investigation is finished “hopefully by late October.” Apparently this “newspaper” does not want to inform the general public of the publically-available, but not easily located facts that have led the state Public Disclosure Commission to pursue a formal investigation. As of this writing, the investigation is very “live”, and ongoing.

Chet Dow
Whatcom County Resident
P.O. Box 30354
Bellingham, WA 98228

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Do You Know An Outstanding Worker?

Whatcom Works. Does it? Do you? Do you know a young person who works? Works for others? Works for free? Works for a wage?  Perhaps has started their own business?

Do you know an adult who has been a good worker, perhaps, but was laid off? Did that person wait for an employer to re-hire them? Or did they go out and do something new? Change work environments? Bridge between permanent jobs with temporary employment or a short term entrepreneurial jag? Even paid out of pocket for all or part of re-training?

Do you know a senior citizen that could take it easy, but still works? Perhaps runs a part time, home based sales outlet? Maybe consults with younger people still in a growth or maintenance mode? Perhaps provides charitable service for a need or opportunity that is non profit in nature?

There are many facets of life that have color and fragrance. Going to school is a fresh rose for a child. For the young adult, however, who has absorbed the ideal that business is rapacious and using earth resources is a crime, school can become a hangout, a dodge to avoid developing the character needed to create and give and receive. School may also become a gloomy edifice whose only purpose is to qualify living assistance from the public purse.

Going to the beach or woods can be a soothing analgesic for the soul. But when recreation or politicized zoology becomes a reason to destroy another’s livelihood (such as cycling viewsheds or slightly endangered species versus forestry or agriculture harvests), a conviction distills that a certain very aggressive collective who seeks social equity and equal outcomes is intentionally re-aligning communities into large feudal dependencies and away from honest self directed, self supporting work. 

Some community organizers work hard, I’ll grant. And, an ancient sage did say,

 “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.”
This is not enlarging “vertically integrated” “welfare businesses” that forcibly give away what belongs to others. The goal of charity should be to shorten the length and life of the benefits channel, not to elongate it, embedding permanently employed, fully salaried managers at many points along the way. 

What separates the work ethic of yesteryear from that of many youth and adults of today? 

Punctuality?  Respect for the unforgiving minute?

Faith in a good reward after a generous day of work?

Sacrifice of one’s comforts for another’s good? To a point of completion with excellence?

Humor that turns a black day into a golden, rollicking lark?

Penetrating, bone numbing, strategic risk?

Patience? Enduring strange blows and knocks to gain valuable skills and relationships?

Something else? You name it.

The list could go on. But rather than criticize potential workers lingering in the shadows, it is better to honor those that step out. Frankly, the substitution of grant or welfare application or loan writing skills for a work first, entrepreneurial ethic is crippling our society. We admire those who succeed in big numbers over the long haul, but who recounts the small initial steps where success blossomed, or was delayed in a cocoon for a later date, or was walled off by short sightedness and self will.

Work is about people. About character. About making others successful. In a related vein, if you really want to evaluate qualifications for Whatcom County Council candidates, don’t look for vaults of amassed wealth or long lists of degrees and consultancies, but for a vanguard of associates who have been elevated, equipped and established.

In this montage, we link to two young entrepreneurs whose stories have already been written. Do you know some person that fits one of the working profiles I mentioned above? Could you write a short blog post about them? Do you know a person that is training or equipping others to work? This is the stuff of life!

Whatcom Works looks forward to more stories about the beginnings of local success in WORK.