Clark County (WA) Votes on Home Rule Charter

Taxpayers Lose Representation While Gaining Wasteful Bureaucracy

Cross-Posted From:

RedState

Vote No

MISSING THE TARGET

In November 2013, Clark County (WA) voters elected five county residents from each of the three Clark County Commissioner districts to serve as a Board of Freeholders. In May 2014, the board approved a drafted home rule charter, specifying a form of government for the county, to be placed on the ballot for the November 4th general election. By law, the Board of Freeholders dissolved when the proposed charter was completed. According to one of the (now former) Freeholders, the aim of the proposed charter is “to give taxpayers better representation, more local control and needed protections against abuse of power and wasteful government.” In my view, if this was the aim of the Board of Freeholders, they missed their target altogether. In fact, I believe the proposed charter would produce results that are fully opposite of the board’s stated objectives. The following summarizes my perspective on this:

A SIMPLE CHOICE

If you’re in favor of self-government, you should vote “No!” on the proposed Clark County Home Rule Charter. If you’re in favor of handing over your authority to a small group of career politicians, their special interest friends and the wasteful bureaucracy they aim to build up, you should vote “Yes”. It’s that simple.

THE POWER OF THE BALLOT

Presently, Clark County government is headed up by three full-time elected Commissioners. This means you have ultimate control by choosing to vote a Commissioner in or out at the end of their respective four-year term.

EMPOWERING THE POLITICAL ELITE

The proposed Charter would replace the three full-time Commissioners with five part-time Councilors whose authority would be placed in an appointed County Executive – i.e. an unelected bureaucrat. This would mean the complete removal of the ultimate control you presently have over Clark County government.

WHAT WILL YOU DO, WHAT WILL YOU DO?!

For clarity on this last point, think about the current County Commissioner you are most interested in removing from office. Now, think about that person resigning and successfully seeking to be appointed as the new County Executive (with his or her resume, it would be hard to fault their qualifications). Now what are you going to do?!

IT ALL ADDS UP TO “VOTE NO!”

The pro-Charter elitists have added a petition and initiative process to their proposal, as a seeming enticement to vote “Yes”. Since it cannot be used to eliminate or reduce taxes or fees, or change a county policy, or stop or amend a county project, or add or get rid of a program, or reverse a budget decision, or amend the charter or repeal the charter, or … , it is pretty much impotent.

Although the aspect of the proposed Charter that takes authority out of the hands of Clark County voters provides more than enough reason for a “NO!” vote, it has many other negative features. These include: The marginalization of rural interests through redistricting and a planned four-year transition that is likely to bring chaos to a presently stable county government, where the costs of governing have been seeing dramatic reductions, contributing to the overall thriving of the county itself.

As the British say, the proof of the pudding is in its eating. There are 133 counties on the West Coast. Only 28 are Charter Counties. Only 5 of them have County Executives. Zero (0) of them have County Executives with the autonomy Clark County’s would have. This makes it abundantly clear that the right thing to do is to …

Vote NO Charter!

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Lisa Ross (R) for State Rep. (WA 49)

REPLACING A NON-REPRESENTATIVE REPRESENTATIVE

Cross-Posted From:

RedState

Select Lisa Ross (R) for State Representative (WA 49)

Select Lisa Ross (R) for State Representative

The most perplexing instance I’ve seen of an elected representative whose views don’t match up with the views of their electorate is one I’ve watched for quite some time in my own backyard. It’s Jim Moeller (D), State Representative in Washington’s 49th Legislative District. Making this even more perturbing is that Moeller has been elected to this post six times, after sitting on the Vancouver WA City Council for two terms. The only logical explanation I can come up with for “Why has this been happening?!” is that he hasn’t had to face an opponent whose views are more in line than his are with those of the voters. However, this year Moeller is being more than matched by a candidate who, unlike him, is very much like the constituency of the 49th and who shares their views … Lisa Ross (R).

Jim Moeller

Jim Moeller

DOGMA WITHOUT COMMON SENSE

In order for a Career Politician to be elected repeatedly, he must do more than be lucky in drawing weak opposition, though. Added to this is that Moeller’s engaging intellect comes across in his presentation. The combination of these two things usually leads to it being overlooked that most of his positions reflect his own personal views (the views of an extreme ideologue), not those of his electorate and that they lack a key element … Common Sense.

OF THE PEOPLE

Lisa Ross, on the other hand, decided to run for State Representative, specifically, because she recognized that her views are most consistent with voters in the 49th while Moeller’s are not. Here’s Lisa statement on that:

“I am running to represent you in the 49th because the people of the 49th deserve a representative who knows many of the struggles that come with being a family in this day and age. You also deserve someone who makes budgetary decisions based on sound fiscal policy, the principles of smaller government, and the best interest of the constituents – someone who will treat you with respect and civility – even if you disagree with them.”

BEGINNING WITH COMMON SENSE

And, Lisa’s approach with each of the issues that concern those voters begins with Common Sense. As she puts it,

“Before I propose or vote for a bill, it must have a ‘Yes’ answer to three basic questions:

1. Is it something the state government should be doing?

2. Does it make fiscal sense?

3. Does it work? That is, could it accomplish what it was designed to accomplish?”

LOOK AT ALL THE ISSUES … Continue reading

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FATHERLESSNESS AND THE FATHER WHO NEVER FAILS

By: Trevin Wax

Cross-Posted From: The Gospel Coalition

Adapted from Trevin’s foreword to Jonathan Edwards’ book,

Left: The Struggle to Make Sense of Life When a Parent Leaves.

Parents are important.

We know this. We recognize the need for a solid education, a stable home, and parents who are present and involved in the lives of their children.

But too often we think of parenting in generic terms, and thereby minimize the distinctive contribution of a father to a family.

How important is fatherhood?

Sometimes, you don’t know how important something is until it’s missing.

A few years ago, my wife and I were caught up in the popular television drama, Lost. The intriguing storyline and compelling characters had us coming back every week to see what would take place next.

Midway through the series, I was struck by how many of the main characters had “daddy issues.” Much of the ongoing struggle and personal conflict was traced back to the characters’ unresolved issues with their fathers – some who’d been present (and bad) and others who were absent.

Most disturbing was how, in some cases, the anger toward fathers led to patricide. Lost presented a frightening picture of what can take place when the biblical vision of fatherhood is missing. Suffering, anger, pain and violence followed a father’s abdication of responsibility.

Flash forward a few years, and I’m sitting in my living room with a group of college students. We’re talking about the subject matter for a new book I am writing – a work of fiction that teaches theological truth in story form. As I talk with them about the main character, a young college student struggling with big questions about Christianity, they advise me.

There needs to be a dad problem.

I was puzzled. But they insisted.

If you want this book to resonate with lots of guys, the dad needs to be absent. College students will relate.

There needs to be a dad problem.

Those of us who seek to proclaim the gospel today cannot ignore the massive implications of a distorted vision of fatherhood – fathers who have failed or fathers who have left. Due to fickle fathers and distant dads, our culture’s view of God has been massively affected by the failures of our fathers.

And yet, the gospel becomes all the sweeter when it gains a foothold in the heart of someone longing for a Father who never fails. A Father whose gracious love for His creation led Him to reveal Himself as our Creator and Redeemer. In the gospel, we encounter a Son who was abandoned that we might be accepted, cast out that we might be brought in, crucified that we might be raised.

Jonathan Edwards understands the pain of fatherlessness. He also understands the sweetness of the gospel. His book, Left, is a raw and riveting series of reflections on life in the wake of parental abandonment.

If you are fatherless, you’ll resonate.

If you are like me and you’ve been blessed with an earthly father who faithfully models our heavenly Father, you will find this book to be a window into how best to minister and serve our friends from broken families.

Here is a book that gives us a taste of a particular kind of pain, a pain felt by those who are seeking to remember what’s good and forget what’s bad, cherish the true and discard the false, love and forgive…and hope again.

- READ ORIGINAL ARTICLE -

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Obama’s ISIL Strategy – Watching and Praying

Obama - ISIL Strategy

DECISIVE ACTION

My last article on Obama’s ISIL Strategy, “WWII Groundhog Day – Starring Barack Obama in the role of Neville Chamberlain?”, concluded with me saying, “… it’s a must for Obama to … continue in developing a thorough and well thought out strategy to decisively meet this overwhelmingly daunting and extremely complex challenge.” As I see it, from his address to the nation on this matter, this past Wednesday evening , he is clearly attempting to do just that.

THE CRITICS

Criticism of this newly-announced strategy came quickly and vociferously. While much of that has been legitimate, in my view, nearly as much has been over-the-top. Of course, constructive criticism is appropriate and I would join in with that. However, I refuse to throw in with counterproductive objections only meant to disparage. For now, I believe the most fitting attitude is to be watching and praying for Obama’s strategy to succeed.

An article in The Christian Post, entitled “Obama ISIS Strategy Heavily Criticized by GOP, Senate Dems, Pentagon Official”, may offer the most broad-ranging view of criticisms that are legitimate. One comment is that, in order to succeed, American “boots on the ground” will be required. Another observation questions the wisdom of our arming Syrian rebel forces. And there is skepticism about the strategy’s reliance on the Syrian civil war being solved politically. From my perspective, the key element making these criticisms legitimate is that they are presented as ways to change the strategy in order for it to be successful.

The over-the-top assessments have included views that this strategy is likely to “turn Obama’s presidency around.” In hand with that has been the suggestion that this would lead to Republicans failing to win the majority in the Senate in this Fall’s election. These pronouncements have come from both the Left and the Right, with the former hoping it’s true and the latter hoping it’s not. I think both are absurd. Continue reading

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WWII Groundhog Day – Starring Barack Obama in the role of Neville Chamberlain?

HISTORIC TIMES

I was in the first wave of the Baby Boom Generation. We grew up having all of the adults in our lives being those who had seen the U.S. and its allies through to victory in WWII. Naturally, we were taught a lot about that historic conflict and the events leading up to it. Although it was exciting to have much of that information passed along first-hand, directly from the participants, you could only imagine what it was like to actually live through the experience yourself. I have to admit to some ongoing and perhaps perverse, ambivalence about that. On one hand, I was thankful to have been spared the horrors and hardships we heard about. On the other hand, I felt that I had missed out on getting to go through a most interesting time in history.

REPEATING HISTORY?

As it’s become more and more apparent that the once menacing threat represented by ISIL is no longer a threat but is, in fact, an evil and deadly reality, that’s been disturbing enough on its own. Making it even more disturbing to me is seeing the similarity of these circumstances to events leading up to WWII. It’s been giving me the sense that I may actually end up living through an experience like (or most likely worse than) WWII. No doubt, it would be an “interesting” time but, considering the horrors and hardships that have already come with it, I’m left without any desire to go through something like this myself. Continue reading

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A Lesson from Ralphie for Obama

COPING WITH A BULLY

Justifiably, President Obama is being heavily criticized for lacking a strategy to deal with the menacing reality represented by ISIL. Certainly, a thorough and well thought out strategy is needed to address this overwhelmingly daunting and extremely complex challenge. However, the sorely needed first step in this process is a very simple one that most learn in grade school – i.e. The only way to effectively cope with a bully is to confront him head on.

A CLEAR ILLUSTRATION

Arguably, the most well-known illustration of this is found in the Holiday classic movie, A Christmas Story, when the movie’s central character, Ralphie, deals with his nemesis, Scut Farkus and his “toadie”, Grover Dill. I recognize the element of absurdity in comparing a wonderfully amusing story to a deadly serious reality but, that aside, I believe it offers a clear illustration.

“Hey, ISIL! King’s X, OK?!”

Continue reading

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President Obama’s Mythical 21st Century

By: Trevin Wax

Cross-Posted From: KINGDOM PEOPLETHE GOSPEL COALITION

president-obamaThe beheading of journalist James Foley has shocked the world and elicited outrage from virtually every corner of civilized society.

Unfortunately, this kind of brutality is no longer uncommon. The ISIS rampage has delivered grisly videos of executions, reports of religious minorities being maimed and killed, and beheadings in the Middle East, all designed to draw attention to the bloodthirsty antics of terrorism’s most recent villains.

Foley was not an outlier. He was the public victim of Islamic militancy’s newest wave of terror.

The threat of ISIS should concern anyone who loves freedom and justice. But I fear that the moral convictions needed to confront such unspeakable evil may be missing in the United States today. We seem to be gaining our moral bearings from an overly optimistic vision of the world’s future and human nature.

President Obama’s remarks on the Foley incident included a theme that surfaces frequently in political discourse today. It is the theme of progress, the future, and what it means to live in the 21st century. Obama sounded the note of hope by appealing to the future:

People like [ISIS] ultimately fail. They fail, because the future is won by those who build and not destroy and the world is shaped by people like Jim Foley, and the overwhelming majority of humanity who are appalled by those who killed him.

The president’s comment about the future may be powerful rhetoric, but it is not reality. If history shows us anything, it is that “the future” has often belonged to those who are passionate enough about their cause to destroy anything in their way in order to build something different.

It was “building” a society that inspired Adolph Hitler to exterminate Jews, Gypsies, and homosexuals. It is the “rebuilding” of Russia that led Vladimir Putin across the borders into Crimea, a conflict which has resulted in the destruction of a plane full of civilians.

ISIS does not see itself as destroying; these thugs see themselves as building an Islamic Caliphate. They have an apocalyptic worldview; they are for “progress,” only their definition of progress is radically different than ours. They are righteous; we are evil. Therefore, they can pillage, rape, execute and behead with impunity. They see themselves as the future.

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