Sunday, August 31, 2008

R. Scott's "Romero cost the county $1.5 million" falls flat on its face

The Olympian follows up on R. Scott's lead and has a pretty thorough, if not exciting, report:

"I think Thurston County is in better shape now, after the revisions," McCormick said. "They certainly got a plan that is more congruent with the GMA."



Turns out it was failed political leadership, and not a challenge from a Thurston County resident, that cost the county all that money to comply with the Growth Management Act. R. Scott has tried and tried to pin it on commission candidate Sandra Romero, but the piece this morning just seems to point out that the lawsuit helped Thurston County revise its plan into a much better version.

Also, it seems like R. Scott's fakey LTE did actually tip the Olympian to follow up on the how-much-the-lawsuit-cost-the-county storyline. Its just too bad that the actual story was sooo different than what R. Scott would have wanted.

Drats!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Gawd, not "another woman on the bench"

You know, emotionally, I have a lot of sympathy for the "dads rights" folks. I don't want my children ever taken away from me.

But, if you want to be taken seriously, I'd hope the guys over at the Thurston County Family Court Reporter blog stop being sexist jerks:


Well, Ms. Murphy, I hope you prove me wrong. Every woman I have talked to about women on the bench has agreed that women rule by emotion first and foremost despite what the facts of record are. Additionally, the women judges tend to rule like a Monarchist and can't seem to treat it like a job. People who are employed by the people are public servants not "officials" or royalty. Anyone that has witnessed Pomeroy, Schaller and Casey on the bench knows exactly what I am talking about. Power corrupts.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Ken says Obama lifted lines from "The American President," which seems like BS

But, I'm too busy right now to really look, and since Ken doesn't actually give any actual examples, I'm willing to just think he's blowing smoke. But, I'd actually like to know.

So, here's your assignment:

Compare the Obama convention speech text and the script from the "American President" and find any similar lines.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Washington State Dems have a blog (2 years, 4 months, and one day later)

Ken Camp had a great idea, oh two freaking years ago. That the state party should use the web in a better way, including developing a blog, to expand their reach.

Chair Dwight Pelz' reaction at the time was pretty stupid:


Invariably some comment will be posted there, and then attributed by someone as being from “an official State Party publication”. A scandal is then born.


Yeah, right, ok. Whatever Dwight.

Now, you'll be happy to know that the state Dems are blogging.

I guess in the two intervening years, blogging has become a lot less scary to some folks.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Dear over-the-top anonymous commenter

You are right, the port protests and the sometimes over the top reaction to the ithmus debate have nothing to do with each other:


Protesting war equipment at our port? Tall condos for rich people? Olympia as a nuclear-free zone? Improving downtown - but how? Traffic conditions(bikes & cars)

Our community needs to discuss a number of controversial issues, and every person has values, experiences and perspectives worth sharing. Solving our community concerns needs everyone's voice - including YOURS!

Jim Cooper in Denver

Our very own will be blogging the convention. Follow him at the Thurston Dems blog, and here's his first post:

Our first event was the party at the Convention Center for the New Orleans Katrina Survivors. We got to see many diverse Americans from all walks of life, as well as great music, that included Randy Newman. We also heard form the Colorado State Dems Chair, the DNC Convention Chair, and DNC Chair Howard Dean! We also got to see Nancy Pelosi. There was even a tornado 20 miles from here this afternoon...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Going to Denver on a coin toss

Probably the most interesting story I've heard this caucus/convention season was how Jim Cooper, one of our Thurston County delegates finally got to go to Denver.

On a coin toss.

Well, let's back up. Jim was elected at the state convention is Spokane to one of the many spots that are alloted in Spokane. I'm not sure of the actual process, but Jim left Spokane assuming he was going to Denver, as long as he could get a plane ticket and a hotel room.

Well, someone screwed up counting.

Turns out that there are strict rules regarding the distribution of delegates between the men and the women, and there was one to many male delegates for Obama in the category of delegates that Jim was in.

So, how to settle this situation?

Coin Toss!

The following is a big long email (really long email) from the state Dem chair Dwight Pelz explaining the whole thing.

Here's the boring part that lays the background (mostly what I said above, but what the hell, skip this if you want):

According to our current, still unofficial projects; here is the profile of delegates that Obama and Clinton will add in Spokane. Let me know if you disagree with these findings.

----------------------------------------------------------

Clinton will add 3 PLEO's, 6 At-Large, and 1 Alternate.

Obama will add 7 PLEO's, 11 At-Large, and 3 Alternates.

Clinton will add 4 men and 6 women.

Obama will add 9 men and 12 women.

Clinton will seek to include 1 LGBT delegate, I disabled delegate, and 3 Hispanic delegates

Obama will seek to add 1 LGBT delegate, and 1 Hispanic delegate

------------------------------------------------------------

In fact, on Sunday, June 15th the Elections Committee added for Obama 10 men and 11 women. Over the past week Sharon Smith, who chaired the Obama Sub-Caucus in Spokane, has reviewed these numbers and concurred with the DNC findings.

As a result, we must now:

1. Elevate a female Obama alternate to delegate, and appoint a female Obama alternate.
2. Move one male Obama delegate to alternate.
3. Remove one male Obama alternate from the delegation.

Adjusting the Delegation to Meet the Requirements of the DNC

Jaxon, Sharon, and I have reviewed the result of the balloting by the Obama Sub-Caucus on June 15 at Spokane. Here are the relevant results of that balloting.

1. Elevate a female Obama alternate to delegate, and appoint a female Obama alternate.

The female Obama alternate chosen in Spokane was Didi Saluja. She would become a delegate.

The next highest vote-getting female candidate who was not elected delegate or alternate was Michelle Gonzalez. She would become an alternate.

2. Move one male Obama delegate to alternate.

Here is where it gets tricky. The last two male delegates chosen were tied in the balloting. They are Robert Stowers and Jim Cooper.

3. Remove one male Obama alternate from the delegation.

This is also tricky, because the last two male alternates chosen were also tied in the balloting. They are Harvey Brooks and Mori Rothman.

This means we will have to remove at least one alternate from our delegation, understanding that he has purchased a ticket to Denver and reserved a hotel room. We will continue to consider this person a valuable and welcomed member of our group, including provision of a four-day Guest Pass to the Pepsi Center.

How to Proceed

The 2008 Rules for Election of Delegates and Alernates at the Congressional District Caucuses address the matter of tie votes in choosing delegates and alternates:

1. Presidential preference sub-caucuses shall be conducted as follows:

(D) After nominations are completed, voting shall be by signed ballot with all positions filled, no duplications and distribution by gender in accordance with subsections F, G and H. that follow. Any candidate for Delegate who receives a majority of the valid ballots cast on the first ballot shall be eligible for election. If all of the available delegate positions have not been filled after the first ballot a second ballot shall be held between the next two highest voter getters, for each position remaining in the field (if there is one position remaining there will be two candidates, if there are two positions four candidates, three positions, six candidates.) Ties will be decided by lot.

After receiving notice from the DNC I contacted David McDonald, member of the DNC Rules Committee and State Party Parliamentarian, on how we might proceed. He conferred with Phil McNamara, Director of Party Affairs and Delegate Selection with the DNC, who confirmed it would be appropriate to break the ties in the male delegate and alternate positions by lot to allow us to finalize the delegation.


Ok, here's the fun part:


Therefore, I have asked delegates David McDonald, Helen Howell, and Sima Sarrafan to join me as witnesses in the State Party office on Thursday, June 17, at 4:30 for a coin toss to determine which delegate shall become an alternate; and which alternate shall become an unofficial member of our Washington delegation.

Thank you for your patience on this matter, and for agreeing to serve in our delegation.

Sincerely,

Dwight Pelz
Chair, Washington State Democratic Party
Chair for Washington's 2008 DNC Convention Delegation


Turns out that Jim won the toss, so he's going to Denver as a delegate. The other guy, Robert Stower, if he is going, is an unofficial guest.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

R. Scott on Romero's victory (I guess)

R. Scott hasn't blogged since August 2, so I was wondering if he'd have anything up on Halvorson's meltdown and Romero's victory.

Well, I think he does. And, simply put, R. Scott says voters are stupid.

Well, that explains it.

Hey, lookee here, Top Two didn't hurt parties in swing districts

Kari from Blue Oregon pokes a nice big hole in one of the main arguments in the Top Two primary, that a major party could be "aced out" (boy I love that term this morning) in a swing district:


The argument goes something like this: In a top-two primary, situations would arise in which districts that are usually closely divided between the Democrats and Republicans could wind up with a general election featuring two candidates from the same party - effectively wiping out the other party's "right" to contest a close seat in the November election. Presumably, that situation could arise with four (or more) candidates tightly bunched together -- say Donnie Democrat 26%, Lucy Liberal 25%, Ralph Republican 24%, Connie Conservative 23%. And while the Democrats combined for only 51% of the vote, they would get 100% of the spots in the general election (acing out the GOP.)

But here's the thing: In Washington's inaugural top-two primary, across 124 separate legislative races, that didn't happen a single time. In fact, in every single swing district, the top two candidates were one Democrat and one Republican.



Read his entire post, its well worth your time.

Also, given the weird situation with Halvorson, Romero and whatever the Republican's name was, this "swing districts will still elect a Republican and a Democrat" theory holds water.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Halvorson not in the Top Two?

UPDATE: From this, it looks like there are about 10,000 more ballots to count, so maybe Halvorson isn't sunk yet. Too damn close for someone who spent that much though.

Wow. Have to say the surprise of the night so far is Jon Halvorson seemingly packing his bags early from the county commissioners race.

I think everyone sort of assume that it would be Halvorson and Romero facing off in November and the nominally funded Republican and Independent would head home. But, despite spending the most of any candidate ($39,000) and raising the most ($51,000) it just goes to show that money isn't everything.

County Commissioner District No. 2
Vote for One 1
Sandra Romero . . . . . . . . . 3,885 31.49
Robin Edmondson . . . . . . . . 3,792 30.74
Jon W. Halvorson . . . . . . . . 3,245 26.31
Bill Pilkey. . . . . . . . . . 1,059 8.58
Lucius Daye. . . . . . . . . . 342 2.77
WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . . 13 .11
Total . . . . . . . . . 12,336


Just a few thoughts:

1. Halvorson was running for a really long time. If memory serves, he announced in February of 2007, even before most city council candidates had gotten on the ground. Were people just tired of him?

2. He was endorsed by the local builders and well-liked by other local conservatives, but he failed to get the nomination of the local Dem party. I don't think this had anything to do with it exactly, but...

3. Despite fears by some that Thurston County would be the prototypical "Top Two" locality with two Dems in the running in November, maybe voters really do sort themselves by party.

You have to admit that with the endorsement of the builders, Halvorson was cutting to the right of Romero. Maybe voters who wanted to vote for a more conservative candidate just couldn't bring themselves to vote for someone who preferred Democrat?

Maybe Halvorson was just plain bad at spending his money and people just voted the labels and Romero just did a plain better job getting her name out to people who vote the Democratic label. I think that's likely.

Election day China thoughts




Other than some early morning soccer games, I watched the first night of Olympics last night, pushing these thoughts to the front.

From one of the best political books I've read:


For those concerned about democracy and freedom in our world, there is no more important place than China. ...A decisive step by China onto the road to democracy would by itself -- in population terms -- be no less significant than each of the previous "waves" of global democratization. Indeed, it might well bring many of the remaining dictatorships in the world through to democracy.


From President George W. Bush's second inaugural:


The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.


Sigh.

Oh, that Pam Pugel!

Joe Nilsson, via email:

Folks,

I'm sure many have seen the BIAW front group's anti-Christine ads focused on transportation. They feature a woman, identified as Pam Pugel, talking about living on a tight budget and slamming the Governor on taxes and transportation.

All is not as it seems. Googling Mrs. Pugel and a little net surfing reveal she is a Republican PCO who lives in a $935,000 Mercer Island home. Her husband works for a high end construction outfit and she works for a Texas based military supply company. She also provides a web testimonial for her tennis coach - I don't think she clips coupons.

I share this as an FYI and in case anyone wishes to pen letters to the editor to the Times, P-I, TNT, or Olympian.

In Solidarity,
Joe Nilsson


Her work in the defense industry

Monday, August 18, 2008

On citizen journalism and this blog

Chill out indeed:

Do you make any effort whatsoever to gather facts before you make statements, or do you just type whatever pops into your head? Because the leaders of the opponents to the rezone, people like Bonnie Jacobs, Bob Jacobs, Thad Curtz, Barbara Gooding, etc., were certainly not participants in the Port protests. There's very little overlap between resistance to the "rezone for sale" of the isthmus, and Oly PMR. It just astonishes me that you would write something so ridiculous, that has no basis in fact. So much for citizen journalism.



Good point that none of the actual leaders of the "don't wall" groups where down at the protests, but dude, chill.

Its still my opinion that we're riding a wave of emotion in Olympia, pitting the people who supported the protests, to those who didn't.

And, this blog isn't for any sort of citizen journalism stuff, I never claimed that. I do try to do that sort of stuff at Olyblog.

When Keri thinks about can of beer

There was a recipe that called for a can of beer. This is what Keri thought it called for:





I love my wife.

Day before the Top Two thought: Randy wants all the party he can get

As long as it isn't Republican. Randy Neatherlin sign out near Steamboat Island Road last week:



This is from the guy who orginally said he prefers the "No Gas Tax’s (R) Party," but then changed it to the good old "GOP Party."

Thursday, August 14, 2008

So called "frivolous" lawsuit upheld by State Supreme Court

Hey, R. Scott, frivolous (and here, here) lawsuits don't get upheld by the State Supreme Court (even partially):

We affirm the Court of Appeals in part and reverse in part. We hold a party may challenge a county's failures to revise aspects of a comprehensive plan that are directly affected by new or recently amended GMA provisions if a petition is filed within 60 days after publication of the county's seven year update. We hold a party may challenge a county's failure to revise its UGA designations following a 10 year update only if there is a different OFM population projection for the county. We reverse the Court of Appeals' holding that a county must identify and justify the use of a land market supply factor in its comprehensive plan. We remand the case to the Board to determine whether a land market supply factor was used and whether, Thurston County v. W. Wash. Growth Mgmt. Hearings Bd., No. 80115-1 based on local circumstances, the County's UGA designations were clearly erroneous. We reverse the Court of Appeals' ruling that densities greater than one dwelling unit per five acres cannot be considered in determining whether a comprehensive plan provides for a variety of rural densities. We remand the case to the Board to consider whether the various densities identified by the County in the rural element and/or the use of innovative zoning techniques are sufficient to achieve a variety of rural densities.



So, the summarize:

The State Supreme Court mostly upheld the decision which seems to be the crux of the Tim Ford vs. Robin Hunt Appeals Court race (Hunt was on the appeals court that originally made the decision considered by the court).

R. Scott's dumb argument, no matter how or how many times its copied, its still dumb.

The State Supreme Court's email notification tool is freaking awesome.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Interesting Reading at Washington Independents blog

Not really sure what to make of this blog, other than its written by three pseudonyms and sometimes comes out with something interesting. Recently two posts on Gregoire, one on the race in general and another focusing on GMAP.

I was hoping to write two separate posts responding, but I couldn't quite get my hands around the two pieces to respond, especially the GMAP one. I'm thinking there is more there for Motel Martin to say, but he just couldn't get it out.

Anyway, good reading there lately.

RE: Political Parties Reap What They Sow

You can't pull at the edges of our electoral system and not expect the voters to react:

The Republicans and the Democrats are also complaining about Initiative 872.

Well, that is just two bad for these political parties. They are now reaping what they sowed. They took away the right of the people to vote in a truly democratic manner, and now they complain and whine about the alternative chosen by those self-same voters. There is a movement in King County to make all county elected positions non-partisan. Hopefully, this effort will succeed, and another voter initiative will drive the authoritarian political parties out the door. The parties started this battle, and now the voters need to finish it. The voters need to make every state office, from the governor to the legislature, legally and publicly non-partisan.


From everything I've heard, the state parties have decided to continue to challenge the Top Two primary. By nominating our own candidates, we're supposed to be able to show damages when those candidates don't make it to the general election ballot.

If the courts then do strike down the Top Two, putting back the Montana Primary, the Grange has said they're going after a true non-partisan system.

Friday, August 08, 2008

"they should be working to make all citizens more political"

Nafzblog writes about the flip side of the Monica Goodling effect:

In 1992, after the Clinton election, I flew to Washington D.C. with Governor Booth Gardner who met with four western governors to discuss cabinet posts with Clinton's transition team. Cecil Andrus, Carter Interior Secretary and Governor of Idaho described his frustration in trying to set out a new direction for Interior upon Carter's election. Every turn or change was thwarted and opposed by the internal bureaucrats. He skillfully laid out the need to root out the embedded Interior bureaucracy that had thrived under 12 years of Republican rule. Bush, facing the same problem after 8 years of Democratic rule met the same charge of "politicizing" government.

While Washington is considered by virtually every governing organization or magazine as one of the top three best managed states, Rossi has a point when he says the same people have ruled Washington's state government for 25 years. As one of those Democratic insiders, I often wonder why new ideas and approaches are so easily ignored.

Much of the media and good government crowd have spent a lot of time trying to exorcise politics from governing. Instead, they should be working to make all citizens more political. Only through elections and politics is there ever any semblance of changes, creativity, checks and balances.


I wish there was more of a "lay all the cards on the table" sort of attitude towards politics. That, instead of avoiding it as a topic and trying to remove it because its an uncomfortable topic, accept it because it is an important topic. Accept others' ideas and don't let them become enemies because you disagree with them.

Except they don't explain WHY the builders are going after Robin Hunt

So, the Olympian points out builders money going into the Appeals Court races between Robin Hunt and Tim Ford (whose signs look a lot like John McCain's, btw).

The three cases that the builders are trying to highlight have nothing to do with their typical common refrain of environmental protections being overboard. They're a public disclosure case, one dealing with a sex predator and another condemnation case (well, I guess that might be close to their wheelhouse).

But, its safe to say that the builders don't go after a judge because she ruled badly on cases involving public disclosure. They do go after a judge if she ruled on the wrong side of a case involving Thurston County's comprehensive plan, which governs where people can build things.

From the builders' perspective, she did (here's the ruling).

Local conserverative blogger R. Scott has already tried to tie the case to county commision candidate Sandra Romero, who is a board member of the organization that filed the suit. He says that while defending the case that they eventually lost because of Hunt's ruling, the county spent $1.5 million therby putting the county in deficit.

It isn't enough for them to go after the person who filed suit against bad growth rules, they're going after the judge who said the rules were bad.

Washington Land Use Law Blog: Thurston County v. WWGMHB
Oly Master Builders: Futurewise vs. Thurston County Ruling

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Another reason I don't feel bad for third parties in the Top Two

More on this:

Twenty seven legislative candidates are running unopposed this year.

Down by 12 from the all time high of 39 two years ago, but still a weirdly high number for people interested in healthy democracy. And, I would assume that anyone who would give their time to a third party would be someone interested in a healthy democracy.

If you're a member or a leader of a third party, and you think the Top Two primary hurts your organization because it forces you off the November ballot, look at the 27 seats where there will only be one candidate in November (hell, one candidate in August).

Then, ask yourself why your party didn't file a candidate in that district.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Don't waste that stamp mailing your ballot (24 locations to drop off your ballot)

In Thurston County, you don't have to bother putting a stamp on your ballot, because there are 24 locations throughout the county where you can easily drop your ballot off.

Here's my map last time I checked (some are missing because they've added more locations. And here's the updated list from the county.

Chances are you will drive close to one of these locations between right now and the 19th.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Why isn't there a minor party candidate in LD 22?

Another thought about the Top Two is Killing minor party thing: In a district like mine, LD 22, we have only elected Democrats since the 1980s. So, we're pretty liberal and only a Dem has a chance.

So, as a Green why not try to relegate the Republicans to "third party" status by filing against one of the three established Dem candidates? This year, one Democrat and one Republican filed against the three sitting legislatures.

Say in that race against sitting legislator, Sam Hunt (Dem) and challenger Don Crawford, a Green Party member were to file. Hunt is pretty well funded ($54,000+ raised) and Crawford isn't (no contributions, just over $800 spent).

If a Green could raise just a bit of money (say $10,000) they could win the primary, and then who knows what happens in the general.

And, maybe they were thinking of doing this, just didn't have the chance. From the notes of the local Green Party's most recent retreat:

The Top Two Primary has some advantages we can learn to exploit
And, hey check it out, former Olympia city councilmember TJ Johnson is an officer of the local Greens too.

The Top Two primary won't kill third parties

Because you can't kill something deader than dead.



Political divisions in the state senate. Click for larger version.

The problem with the minor parties' argument that the Top Two primary hurts their chances is that a minor party candidate hasn't been elected to the state legislature since the 1920s. While you could blame that on the original primary system, that system still advanced one member of each party to the general ballot, which is what they're complaining the Top Two doesn't necessarily do.

What changed in the 1920s to hurt minor parties was the designation by the state of "minor and major" parties. Because major parties get the gift of state paid for organizational elections (PCO elections) every two years, they have a built in grass roots advantage over minor parties.

There's easy access to the machinery of major parties through becoming a PCO, and because they're required by state law, most legislative districts and counties have local major party organizations. Minor parties, not so much.

It would be better for the minor party folks to worry less about getting candidates to a November ballot where they're going to lose anyway, and worry more about the structural and organizational benefits major parties enjoy.

KUOW: Will The Top Two Primary Kill Third Parties?
Seattle Times: Third parties say top-two primary hurts their chances

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Norm Dicks' old field organizer endorses challenger

Interesting stuff, via email:

As ballots go out in the mail, Congressman Norm Dicks 2006 Field Organizer Endorses Democratic Challenger Paul Richmond

William Jamie Nixon, 2006 Field Organizer for the Dicks Campaign gave his support to Democratic Challenger Paul Richmond.

In a letter released today, Dicks former Field Organizer describes how he worked tirele ssly for the Dicks Campaign because he had wanted to hold the Bush administration accountable and end the Iraq War. He grew unsettled when none of these happened.

“The time for new leadership has come,” Nixon concludes. “Let us thank Norm for his service and give our vote to Paul Richmond. “

“Paul Richmond has the judgment we need now,” wrote Nixon. “Why would we settle for a candidate that continues to show an inability to heed the wishes of the people of his district, or one whose vision is simply outdated? Instead let us come together to select the candidate that will put the people's needs first.”

“I couldn't have been happier to work for Congressman Dicks during the 2006 election cycle,” Nixon wrote. “All of us on the campaign worked tirelessly to help Norm win one of his largest victories. I was filled with hope and pride as we gathered together on election night and realized that not only had Norm won re-election in a landslide, but the Democrats had won huge victories all over the country giving them control of the house and the senate. The Democrats, and Dicks with them, were given a mandate to end the war in Iraq, and hold the Bush Administration accountable for its actions. That hope and pride has been replaced with frustration that two years later neither has happened or appears likely to happen with representatives such as Congressman Dicks in office.”

Nixon states that Dicks has continued to ally himself with the leadership of his party on issues like impeachment and the Iraq War. He also takes issue with many of the incumbent’s votes. These include Dicks’ votes in favor of the updated FISA Bill granting retroactive immunity to telecoms and damaging the Fourth Amendment, Dicks vote on the PATRIOT Act, and Dicks support of the Homegrown Terrorism Act, which he describes as little more than “reawakening of McCarthyism.”




The letter:

Paul Richmond is the Right Candidate in the 6th District
By William Jamie Nixon, Field Organizer Norm Dicks for Congress, 2006

The time has come in Washington's 6th Congressional District for new leadership. Congressman Dicks should be thanked for his many years of service to our community, however that thanks need not come in the form of our vote. The constituents of this district deserve a leader with the judgment and courage to stand up to the D.C. establishment and put our needs first.


I couldn't have been happier to work for Congressman Dicks during the 2006 election cycle. Canvassing the 6th district put me face to face with the good people of our area, and seeing first hand their frustrations with the direction of the country made me even more motivated to help Norm get the job done. All of us on the campaign worked tirelessly to help Norm win one of his largest victories. I was filled with hope and pride as we gathered together on election night and realized that not only had Norm won re-election in a landslide, but the Democrats had won huge victories all over the country giving them control of the house and the senate. The Democrats, and Dicks with them, were given a mandate to end the war in Iraq, and hold the Bush Administration accountable for its actions. That hope and pride has been replaced with frustration that two years later neither has happened or appears likely to happen with representatives such as Congressman Dicks in office.

Dicks, while saying that he now wishes he hadn't voted for the war, has been a tireless supporter of those who profit from it most. He has also continued to vote into law the blank checks President Bush has needed to continue the worst foreign policy blunder in our nation's history. His judgment was poor then and it remains so today with his continued support of the Iraq catastrophe.

Paul Richmond is fully committed to ending the war in Iraq. He has pledged to vote to cut off funds for the war and to bring our men and women in uniform home as soon as is possible.

Norm has continued to align himself with the leadership of his party over the wishes of the people of his district on the issue of impeachment. When we canvassed on Norm's behalf in 2006 the most talked about issues at the doors of the 6th district were Iraq and impeachment. He has been openly vocal in his opposition to impeachment hearings. When asked about impeachment by Mr. Richmond, Dicks replied "It's not what Nancy Pelosi wants." To which Mr. Richmond rightly responded, "but are you representing us to Nancy Pelosi, or do you represent her to us?"

Paul Richmond fully supports hearings into possible impeachable offenses committed by President Bush and Vice President Cheney. He will also act first and foremost for the people of our district and not just the Democratic leadership.

Dicks shows disturbing arrogance in his disregard of the democratic process. He has refused to debate his challengers during the primary. Why? The people of the 6th district deserve a debate on the issues so that they may make an informed choice. One is left to ponder just what Norm Dicks fears from standing side by side with candidates of good faith and having it out in the American tradition. Paul Richmond is ready to do just this, and Congressman Dicks is ducking him.

Recently Congressman Dicks voted in favor of the updated FISA bill which handed retro-active immunity to the telecomm companies that helped the current President ignore our 4th Amendment protections from unreasonable search and seizure. It seems that Congressman Dicks couldn't care less about accountability or civil liberties. This vote along with his reprehensible vote on the Patriot Act and his support of the Homegrown Terrorism Act, which is little more than a reawakening of McCarthyism, show a continuing lack of judgment on Dicks' part. Our most cherished freedoms seem of little concern t o our Congressman. It may be that he does in fact have the people's needs in mind when he casts these votes, but if he refuses to debate challengers, hold town hall meetings, or even to respond to postings on his own blog before deleting them, how are we to know?

Paul Richmond supports holding those accountable who attempt to undermine the laws of our nation whether they are large corporations or not. Congressman Dicks should know that no one is above the law.

These issues and others have led me to throw my full support behind Paul Richmond.
Paul Richmond has the judgment we need now. Why would we settle for a candidate that continues to show an inability to heed the wishes of the people of his district, or one whose vision is simply outdated? Instead let us come together to select the candidate that will put the people's needs first.

The time for new leadership has come. Let us thank Norm for his service and give our vote to Paul Richmond.

William Jamie Nixon
Field Organizer, 2006 Dicks Campaign