Opinion

Confessions of a local lifelong Democrat

I am a lifelong Democrat and will always be.

However, I have also always supported and voted for the best person (at least when we could) regardless of party.

For instance, our Republican Secretary of State Sam Reed, and Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna, whom I strongly recommend. He has served us extremely well and should be returned to office. Both should.

Considering the mess created by the D.C. occupiers for the last eight years, the last thing we want is a questionable Republican of the same ilk as governor, the highest office in our state.

Right now, McKenna is suing for fraud and/or campaign violations, the group of Republicans supporting and funding their boy, Dino Rossi. And, if Rossi was actually too dumb to know what was going on, then he’s too dumb to be governor. Christine Gregoire has been an excellent governor and can no more than any other official fend off some of the budgetary nightmares affecting the entire world, thanks to the thugs currently in charge of this downward spiral.

Closer to home, Federal Way has been under the control of the same small group for 10 to 12 years now. And, like the citizens of Tacoma just said when their city council asked to repeal term limits as they need more than 10 years to complete what they’re doing, “if you can’t get it done in 10 years, we need to get some new people who can.” We have tried several times in various ways to try to get new people, but the controlling group is so entrenched, it is almost impossible.

One solution is to vote for the challenger of any city council person or representative in Olympia who has held office 10 years or more, with the notable exception (when running) of State Sen. Tracey Eide and Federal Way City Council member Linda Kochmar, both dedicated advocates for their people. An example of what’s wrong is Skip Priest’s run to keep his seat in Olympia against the eminently qualified challenger, Carol Gregory, whom I recommend. If you recall, he chose to support the entrenched council members in a citizen initiative effort to vote for a strong mayor system of government in order to take back some control over our city’s destiny. I personally believe that was in the hope of possibly getting his old job back on the Federal Way City Council, should he lose this election. Just more good old boy network; a hold we have to break. Skip, like some career council members, has certainly achieved some goals, but sometimes complacency sets in, or they lose closeness or even respect for their constituents, or become locked into unattainable ideas. We need new people, hungry people, people reflecting new visions and the energetic desire and know-how to achieve them. We are at a standstill, unable to get things off the ground, losing businesses almost daily and change is the only way out.

Concerning the King County Charter Amendments: Making it a nonpartisan group takes away one of the important tools that enable us to evaluate their recommendations, as knowing their party gives you some idea of their basic values up front. It’s also possible that their actual motivation for this change is to disassociate themselves from a party that has so disastrously disintegrated. That and their effort to slip through as Amendment 7, the doubling of the number of signatures required for citizen-initiated amendments so as to squelch the pesky interference of we, their constituents. I would vote no on this.

Initiative 985 concerning transportation is financially doable and can be in place quickly and can’t hurt, but as for Sound Transit’s Prop. 1, to dump billions more into their bad record of productivity in this bear market atmosphere is committing financial suicide. Take it from the very successful Bellevue developer Kemper Freeman: “It’s too much for too little, taking far too long.” In 1996, we cheerfully voted them several billion for 14 miles of light-rail and we still don’t have it. Vote no.

And, although I’m not against the concept of Initiative 1000 (Death with Dignity), this version is lacking some very necessary controls that makes it impossible for me to support at this time. It’s too important not to get it right.

This is a historic election and critical in several ways so we must all think carefully when making the decisions and, should you find my ideas reasonable, please consider being guided by them. Thank you.

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Clara McArthur is a Federal Way resident.

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