Reader outlines votor’s options in primary

Letter to the Editor.

  • Friday, October 3, 2008 3:25am
  • Opinion

District Democratic candidates for the state Legislature and their party platform – who are they?

Kathy Huckabay (current mayor of Sammamish) – Kathy will bring an outstanding depth of administrative and small business experience to the state Senate. We can count on her to provide strong leadership on legislation to improve transportation, our economy and the full range of community services.

Her race is against Republican Cheryl Pflug, who was recently appointed and is making her first run for the office. Loyal Republican party-line followership while she was in the Legislature appears to have been the primary qualification for her promotion. Since moving to the Senate, one of her more notable actions was support for Senate Bill 5053 to prohibit our state agencies from adopting stronger environmental protections than provided by federal law for clean air, water and public health unless the Legislature specifically allows it. Is this the person we want to have continue to influence the future of the environment and conservation of Snoqualmie Valley?

Barbara De Michelle – longtime Issaquah school board member including three terms as president, King County Department of Transportation community relations planner, two-time small business owner, former member of the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce, plus past-president of Community Enterprises of Issaquah and Kiwanis Club are some of her many accomplishments. Barb’s hands-on experience dealing with Issaquah schools and county transportation problems offer an ideal match for achieving better solutions in the state Legislature. She will not be satisfied to see the Snoqualmie Valley School District continue to be listed among the 10 most underfunded districts in the state, according to the Washington State PTA.

Incumbent Republican Glenn Anderson is running for re-election, but not necessarily on his record. Evidence of this was brought forth in a conversation I had with Glenn when he stopped by the Democrat party booth at the recent Fall City Days Festival. He emphasized his diligent work on education matters as a member of the education committee. Sounded so good I went home to check his record.

In the 2003 session, after votes and amendments to defeat the “50 percent majority” education bill, he finally voted for it at the same time he made a floor speech saying if it ever actually got on the ballot, he would probably oppose it. He voted for charter schools. He supported the “delay” of I-728, the class size reduction initiative passed with the second highest percentage of votes ever in Washington. He argued there wasn’t any money to fund it. He also made no effort to solve the problem.

He also argues teachers’ pay is high enough even as we find local teachers who can’t afford to live here and teachers in attractive specializations moving on to higher compensation elsewhere. We discussed his “green” views on conservation and the environment. But on these issues the League of Conservation Voters scores him at 56 percent in the 2003/04 Legislative session and lifetime at 60 percent. Can we expect Glenn to really fight for improvements in our Valley life on these important issues? Doubtful!

Jeff Griffin – career experience and interests have focused on public safety, transportation and education. Jeff is also very active in youth advocacy groups. He is a bright, articulate, friendly, but forceful, advocate who has done his homework on the issues. He has the tools to do well representing core democratic values (more jobs, economic growth, relief from highway congestion, better health care, defense of our natural resources) for our district in the state Legislature.

His opponent is Republican Jay Rodne, an attorney and Iraq veteran who was appointed to his House seat following the elevation of Cheryl Pflug to the Senate. We can be sure Jay and his supporters will be communicating where he stands on the issues for better comparisons by November.

Finally, a word on the party platform responding to “Democratic platform reveals agenda” (Letters, Valley Record, July 7). The platform is a voluminous discussion of many issues initially generated at the precinct level expressing the objectives of individual party members. They pass through the various political jurisdictions where they are voted up or down or amended to reach a majority.

Party candidates are not required to and do not run on the party platform as representing their views on every issue. Competitors for the primary vote often run in disagreement on a particular issue. For example, the current candidates for governor are running on opposite sides of the income tax issue. Opinion on gay marriage within the party, including among the candidates, will be found on every side of the issue. The same kinds of differences hold true for individual Republicans in the views they hold of their own party’s platform.

Mr. Johnson should join a political party and learn about how the system works.

Dave Olson

North Bend

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Dr. Jayendrina Singha Ray’s research interests include postcolonial studies, spatial literary studies, British literature, and rhetoric and composition. Prior to teaching in the U.S., she worked as an editor with Routledge and taught English at colleges in India. She is a resident of Kirkland.
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