Hammond is the voice of the rural resident

Letter to the Editor

  • Friday, October 3, 2008 5:55am
  • Opinion

For over a year now, actually much, much longer, rural property owners in King County have been kicked in the shins, spat on, rolled over, ignored, determined to be meritless, disenfranchised and considered voiceless. Well folks, the grass roots rural landowners have spoken and they have spoken with a clear and powerful voice. They just put forward their candidate, Steve Hammond, to be on the primary ballot this fall.

Last week, the grass roots won out over money, power, good looks and political influence. It was a huge win and the powerful, wealthy, influential and beautiful people of Bellevue are shaking their collective heads and reassessing how they could have lost. Skip Rowley, campaign chairman for “Junior,” [Reagan Dunn] swore on all that is holy that Junior would not lose his first election. He was wrong.

The combined efforts of Junior’s campaign raised over $171,000 to beat a grass roots, in your face, principled council member who raised a paltry $19,000. Even the purposely gerrymandered 9th district to put Junior in the district didn’t work. And Skip Rowley was on the redistricting committee. I wonder what kind of backroom deal made by the powerful and influential allowed this to happen. Is this a “smoking gun”?

The reason the grass roots won is because they pooled together their collective anger at the arrogance of an influential, inexperienced and well-connected Republican, running against a hard and fast, grass roots politician who won’t play political games while he works to protect the vital and constitutional interests of his rural landowner constituents.

The reason the grass roots won is because of the power of the Internet in getting our message out to the independent landowner who prides him or herself in that independence and self-reliance and even so took the time to cast their votes for the delegates to sweep Steve Hammond back into office where he belongs, protecting our interests.

Junior would only be protecting his political career and that was shown in spades when he partnered with Bob Ferguson to hire an ombudsman (at $70,000 per year) to act as liaison between the disenfranchised rural landowner and King County government. It would have been another waste of our tax money for a solution that wouldn’t work.

I am not in Steve’s district but I pulled out all the stops in sending my messages to the rural landowners who were in his district to get to their caucuses and vote, and boy did they vote. This win is a shot in the arm for rural landowners everywhere. Even though a minority, they can still win.

To everyone of you who made this happen, please accept my sincere gratitude and heart-felt thanks for what you have done. As I have said many times, landowners working together can have their day in the sun and can affect the outcome of government. But they have to get out there and “put their oar in the water.” The days of staying home and hoping for the best from our government are over.

You have now witnessed that the rural landowner, even though a minority, can actually win, so stay in there pitching and don’t let up.

Ron Ewart

Fall City


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