Opinions expressed in The Soap Box do not necessarily represent opinions of The Whatcom Tea Party.
Time to Go?
Below is a message I sent my US Congresswoman:
Representative Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) has once again introduced the “American Sovereignty Restoration Act” to get the U.S. out of the UN. With the incoming presidential administration lined up as anti-establishment and anti-globalist, now is the best chance we have ever had to get out of the United Nations. Get US Out! of the UN started in 1962, and we must educate others on the anti-American agenda of the U.N. Governor Haley and President Trump know that a one world UN view is not best for America.
by Dale R Petersen, Ferndale 01/21/17
Thoughts from the fair: New American Life?
I have been volunteering at the Whatcom Tea Party Booth since we started going to the fair. It is a fun week to meet with people, discuss politics in a friendly atmosphere and encourage people to read and study the constitution. I also get to observe our community at a very grassroots level.
This year I noticed we are getting used to things: Used to deficit spending, used to kicking the can down the road, used to political corruption, used to crony capitalism. We are getting so used to things that people are starting to shun a free pocket constitution when I offered it — as if it would burn their hands if they touched it! I see this shunning of the constitution much like one who waits to go see a doctor until it is too late. She thinks she might be sick, she thinks it might be deadly; she doesn’t want to face the bad news. So she postpones making that appointment until the only prognosis left is the deadly one.
I read the article below “New American Way of Life” and it struck a bell. I wondered are these behaviors, however ever pragmatic, symptoms of a healthy life? Have you noticed that the people of our country are not feeling well? Are you concerned that this discontent is spreading like a cancer? Do you think we should limp along as we are? Are you too afraid to look beyond your hobbies, and friends, and the good times to face this head on? Are we going to wait until it is too late?
There was an excellent well studied group of “physicians” in the 1700’s. They studied human nature and governance. They wrote prolifically about their discoveries. They even wrote an easy to read “medical reference book” — the United States Constitution.
My recommendation: Beware of those who tell you to accept the inevitable. Don’t be afraid, don’t drag your feet, read the “5000 Year Leap”, grab a Constitution and study it and share your knowledge.
Let’s heal ourselves and make a healthy and good American life for all.
~ by Lorraine Newman, Bellingham 08/27/2016
Five Districts – Impacts and Effects
At the May General Meeting Brett Bonner did an excellent job of explaining the convolutions of how we got Five Districts instead of three per the Proposition on the ballot passed by the voters in November 2015. When I get spare moments I’m trying to research this through the county auditor’s office and some of the essential information is a bit sparse to find. That aside, here are some of the issues, aspects and impacts of interest, for example,
- I’ve been able to identify which current council members will represent which of the new districts and at-large seats and it looks like the election clause allows them to complete their terms, however, I’m still not sure they reside in the districts they will represent in the change over. Note that as of this afternoon (June 29, 2016) the County Charter, regarding Council – Composition, Chapter 2.02.005 still retains language of three districts, not five.
- A clause in Proposition #9, which the voters approved states: “WHEREAS, moving from three districts to five districts will ensure rural and urban geographic areas are represented by a person who resides within their district; and …” Again, still to be determined is if all current members of the council actually reside within the district they will represent when five districts goes into effect.
- It is not clear when the Five District restructure goes into effect. This author has heard it happens once the redistricting committee had settled on a plan/map, but the County Auditor website doesn’t provide any sign of such, yet.
- Combined with the voter approved Proposition #1, district oriented voting for council member representation from their own districts, and it seems to me that county council structure might be in violation of Proposition #1 as well as the wording in Proposition #9.
- To avoid tie votes with the old configuration of three districts with two reps each, there was a need for one additional, at-large position, to provide an odd number of seats on the council. With five districts, and one rep per each district, the council already has an odd number of members and no chance of a “tie vote”, so the at-large positions would seem redundant and unnecessary. Perhaps we need an initiative on the 2018 ballot to remove the at-large positions, and go to a simple five member council.
- With re-organizing from three to five districts, district oriented voting, and the likelihood that some current members of the council may not actually reside within the districts they will represent, would not the “spirit of the transition” suggest the voters get to have a new, clean slate for the county council that would truly represent the new county structure? It may require another voter initiative on the 2018 ballot to elect a fresh, new set of county council members.
Following is a list of the current Council members, with each named showing the current 3 district and position they hold, followed by the district and position they will hold under the five district reorganization, as well as the year their position is next up for election.
- Barbara Brenner; 3B to 5; term expires 2019
- Rud Browne; At-Large to At-Large A; term expires 2017
- Barry Buchanan; 1A to 1; term expires 2017
- Todd Donovan; 1B to At-Large B; term expires 2019
- Ken Mann; 2A to 2; term expires 2017
- Satpal Sidhu; 2B to 4; term expires 2019
- Carl Weimar; 3A to 3; term expires 2017
In my original post, I made a slight error that needs correction. This passage: “… Note that as of this afternoon (June 29, 2016) the County Charter, regarding Council – Composition, Chapter 2.02.005 still retains language of three districts, not five.” is actually from the County Code, which can be found here. The County Charter has been corrected to reflect the five district restructure. I apologize for the confusion and as can be seen, the County Code is still in need of correction to match the County Charter.
The above minor technical glitch aside, we still have a larger conundrum and potential legal issue, if not at least a ethics and integrity one. That would be the conflict between the voter approved Proposition #9 establishing the five districts and the voter approved Proposition #1 of district only voting for their representative. The transition language of Proposition #9 allows the current council members to serve out there term of office (up to four years) and reassigns them to represent the new structure of five districts and two at-large seats. The huge problem here is that four of those members do not reside within the districts they now represent and this violates the spirit and intent of Proposition #1.
Common sense, along with a healthy dose of integrity and ethics, would suggest a special election at the earliest possible time to allow the voters to apply Proposition #1 and vote for a new council membership. This would include all seven seats in the same election with half-plus for a term of two years the half-minus for four years to preserve the staggered election cycle called out in the County Charter and County Code. Will our current council membership show this level of integrity, ethics, and honest character in placing such a proposition before the voters at the earliest possible time?
With thanks to citizen Chet Dow for his research in this matter and bringing it to my attention, here are the four apparently “illegal” representatives of the County Council:
- Barry Buchanan – did hold position District 1 – A; now holds new position District 1; lives in new District 2, up for election in 2017
- Satpal Sidhu – did hold position District 2 – B; now holds new position District 4; lives in new District 3, up for election in 2019
- Carl Weimer – did hold position District 3 – A; now holds new position District 3; lives in new District 4, up for election in 2017
- Barbara Brenner – did hold position District 3 – B; now holds new position District 5; lives in new District 4, up for election in 2019
Clearly, the voters of Whatcom County are not being properly represented or served by the County Council, and while this may not be “illegal” (to be determined still) it is a travesty of the recent County Charter Review and implies a highly unethical circumvention of the desire and will of the people and citizens/voters of Whatcom County. Time is now to “hold their feet to the fire” of our current County Council and compel them to serve the citizens of the County, not the other way around.
~ by G David Bock, Whatcom County 06/30/16
Board Member, Whatcom County Citizens for Freedom
What happened after the tea was dumped into the harbor?
Here is an interesting analysis of the Trump phenomenon by David Limbaugh: The Establishment Birthed Trump.
I think we Tea Partiers need to share in the responsibility of “birthing Trump”. As much as both parties tried to ignore us, stifle us, demean us, and threaten us with government officials, The Tea Party sent a message that resonated with a lot of people. It looks like those people intend to vote this year.
~ by Lorraine Newman, Bellingham 02/09/16
Outgoing Board Member, Whatcom Tea Party
Don’t Give Up — Just Show Up
From time to time we receive emails concerned with issues like: Shariah Law Creeping into the Public School Classroom. Whatcom County Citizens for Freedom (WCCF, a.k.a., the Whatcom Tea Party) believes all citizens should be aware of trends of education in their local school districts. The Founders set up our government to come from the local level first and migrate upwards. This is why for the last 3 years we have been encouraging all people to become more involved on the local level. It is why we continue to encourage citizens to just show up.
If you have a concern about education issues in our community:
- Show Up at School Board meetings.
- Invite a School Board member to coffee, ask questions and let them know what you are concerned about.
- Send a letter or email.
- Meet with school board candidates before you vote for them.
The more we are personally involved, the better our government will be.
Don’t Give Up — Just Show Up.
~ by Lorraine Newman, Bellingham 02/09/16
Outgoing Board Member, Whatcom Tea Party
Response to Congresswoman Suzan DelBene
One of the best ways to create more jobs is to make Washington a right to work state. Washington would get more for their money on all state contracts and especially for highway construction. It is ridiculous the state is raising the gas tax without wage reform. There is a reason Boeing built a new plant in South Carolina. There is a reason our son, a contractor, moved his business from Washington to South Carolina. It is called right to work.
~ by Dale Petersen, Ferndale 11/06/15
(In response to…)
In Congress, my top priority is to help create jobs and build the foundation for long-term economic growth. Our nation’s recovery continues to make progress, but there are still too many Americans who can’t find full-time employment.
That’s why on Thursday, Nov. 12, I will be hosting my second Career Fair for the First Congressional District in conjunction with WorkSource and Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWIT). With more than 40 employers attending, the career fair will help connect job-seekers with employment opportunities in the area. If you are unemployed or looking for a new job, consider attending the fair, which will be held in The East Building on LWIT’s campus in Kirkland from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. To register, go to www.wa01careerfair.eventbrite.com.
I also want to hear your ideas on how we can strengthen the middle class, create jobs and build an economy that works for everyone. When back in the district, I discuss these issues with constituents during meetings and events, but when in the “other” Washington, the best way to stay in touch is by hosting tele-town halls. During these calls, I listen to your concerns, answer questions and hear what you believe our priorities should be. If you’d like to join these calls, please feel free to sign up at www.vekeo.com/repdelbene.
As always, my office is here to serve you. If you have questions or comments about the topics that matter most to you, I encourage you to contact me through my website. You may also keep up-to-date on what I’m doing by following me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. If you need assistance dealing with a federal agency, such as the IRS or the VA, please do not hesitate to contact my Bothell office at (425) 485-0085.
A Good Read
Hi to all my Whatcom County friends. I just wanted to tell you about a book I just read that gives a real life example of how to make government better. It is a book written by Scott Walker called Unintimidated: A Governor’s Story and a Nation’s Challenge.
When faced with a huge budget problem when he took office as Governor of Wisconsin, he was told he had two choices: raise taxes or fire state employees including teachers and police officers. Scott Walker did neither of these things. He reformed the State Government. Employees kept their job, services were improved and taxes were lowered for all. How he accomplished this “miracle” is explained in this book in a quick, fun and easy to read way. This good man stood up for what he believed and won. It is inspiring and it gives you a good idea of who is Scott Walker. This is an uplifting, positive book. I would be honored to call this man Mr. President.
Tim and I are happy in our new home in Green Valley, Arizona. Green Valley is about 20 minutes south of Tucson. It is quiet, small community. We have made a lot of new friends, but all of you in Whatcom County still hold a special place in our hearts. I would love to hear from you. Keep up the good work of the Tea Party. Try as they may to make us look like demons. We know we are good Americans who love America and everything it stands for. This is something we must protect and we understand that.
~ by Lynn Carpenter, Green Valley, AZ
Founder, Whatcom Tea Party
I just read a news article from the National Center for Constitutional Studies. Here is their opening question:
How many times in our daily lives have we appreciated our second or third grade teacher who made us memorize the multiplication tables? These principles of mathematics have become so much a part of us that it would be ludicrous for someone to try to convince us that four times four is really thirteen. The only ones that they could really convince are ones who never really learned their multiplication tables or perhaps those who have never periodically reviewed them.
When people ask me what the Whatcom Tea Party is doing my answer is teaching the principles of the constitution. For some of us who are well versed in the history of our country, these principles have become a part of who we are. Yet, sadly during our visits with the people at our fair booth, we have found that education on the very principles that founded our government is being neglected.
Here at the Whatcom Tea Party we have always had fun while supporting the foundational ideas that have made our country great. We have sponsored and encouraged folks to either review their constitutional knowledge or learn about this amazing document for the first time. We have endeavored to make each program an enjoyable and enlightening experience.
Last year we sponsored our first ever Constitutional Knowledge Bowl for middle school students. We were pretty new to this type of an event, but it surpassed our wildest expectations. Don’t get me wrong, our format was not quite ready for the “big stage”, there were kinks to work out, but the knowledge that the contestants showed blew our socks off.
We are preparing for our Second Annual Knowledge Bowl which will be on January 24th, at the Rome Grange. Doors will be open at 1:15 and the program will run from 2 PM to 5:30 PM.
So whether you are just beginning to learn or ready for a review on your knowledge of our founding principles join us as our younger generation leads the way.
If you want a positive, uplifting event to start your New Year — this is it!
~ by Lorraine Newman, Bellingham 01/15/2015
Board Member, Whatcom Tea Party
What difference does it make? I am only one cog, one opinion, one vote. That’s what I used to think.
But I was also truly frightened at what I saw happening in our economy and government.. The spending that was being initiated by the bailouts was going to lead to higher taxes and/or exorbitant money printing. Neither policies would be good for the middle and lower income classes. So I got up off the couch with my first ever Rally sign “Taxed Enough Already” and I came to the first Tea Party Rally on the Guide. To my surprise I was not just one cog. There were many of us. I talked with the people next to me and found out it was not just me, others shared my opinions, and by November I found I was not just one vote but we could show up in greater numbers and vote and change elections.
It’s been a uphill battle since then. Just as the first Revolutionary War was. Small wins, heavy losses, snow storms, and lack of funds. But most of us from that first rally are still here and we are still engaged.
This year the WTP has given us a new challenge to take our opinions from the street corner and into the halls of governments. They have asked us to show up at board meetings, committee meetings, council meetings, seminars, speakers forums.
I thought, I am not educated enough, articulate enough, quick witted enough to make a difference.
But I am still truly frightened as my government, both federally and locally, is becoming unrecognizable. So I started showing up and I started speaking up, and I started writing about my experiences on a blog. At first it was scary, but I soon found out that those we have elected and that they have in turn appointed get things wrong when they operate in the vacuum we have left them in. I do not have to have MBA in economics to ask the simple question “How are you going to pay for this program?” I am articulate enough to speak for 3 minutes at a meeting or write an email to an councilperson. If the subject is something I have a lifetime of training in I am quick witted enough to state an opinion, ask a question, or write about it.
I have found out that the people we elect are not gods and all seeing. They need our input or else they are going to make policies that do not work and cost too much.
So this month, check out the meeting schedules for your city councils and our county councils. Find a committee that is working on something you are passionate about. They are either on-line or a phone call away.
THEN, PUT ON YOUR WE THE PEOPLE PIN THIS MONTH AND JUST SHOW UP.
You will find you are an important cog in our government, a valued opinion, and a more informed voter.
~ By Lorraine Newman, Bellingham 04/09/2013
Board Member, Whatcom Tea Party
Prior to the November 2010 election, the Whatcom Tea Party sent out a request for tea party supporters to “hit us with your best shot”. You had three minutes to speak on any subject of interest to you.
We got stump speeches, satire, poems, parodies and great patriotic and philosophical insight into our founding principles.
We took this down following the election, but due to popular request, we put it back on the Soap Box. Enjoy!
Do you have an idea or an essay that you’d like to see posted on the Soap Box? Email your submissions to us, or type in the “Leave a Reply” form below.
- Be sure to include your name and a way to contact you (phone or email address) so we can verify it is really you, and properly credit your work.
- Please provide analysis and new information on topics of interest to your tea party compatriots, but more importantly, make the founding principles inviting to the fence-sitters and even those who would consider themselves liberal or progressive.
- Try to frame your arguments in general constitutional terms and principles. Screeds against a political party, or personal attacks are less effective at promoting the mission of The Whatcom Tea Party.
- The Whatcom Tea Party is not a political action committee (PAC), so although issue advocacy is permissible, we must exercise caution regarding articles exhorting people to support or oppose a particular candidate or ballot initiative.
- Please try to limit your articles to 250 words or less.