Your vote, your choice. Our vote, our choices.

The ballots have been mailed to us, and should be arriving today, or soon.  We have interviewed some of the candidates, and read the position papers, or worked with,  all of them over the last few years. And so, here are our thoughts, on the best choices for the environment of the Peninsula, and why. The telling thing here is that there is not one Republican candidate running in these races, that can clearly articulate an environmental stand. What I have heard is “roll back protections, to create jobs”, “roll back protections to allow us to do whatever we want on our land”, and of course, that anyone supporting environmental protection is against jobs, against the ‘common’ person. All of this flies in the face of forty years of various environmental protection that has led to higher property values for anyone along the shores of our county (you can ask friends of mine or yours who used to live on the shore prior to these regs). I am more than willing to support the best candidate, be they Republican or Democrat, that is proven to support the environment along with the economy. They are not mutually exclusive.  Germany, for example, is a leader in solar panel technology, as well as clean coal. It can be done. So vote for folks who will get the job done. These are the folks below. Maybe someday, this list will include Republicans. It used to. Dan Evans comes to mind.

United States Senator: Patty Murray

-Patty has continuously fought for environmental protections, including the Neah Bay rescue tug, along with other environmental jobs programs. She can be counted on to do the right thing, given the conflicting issues of the Senate. Additionally, she supports with actions as well as words, veteran programs, so badly lacking after 8 years of war. There is no reason to change this sitting Senator for anyone else.

United States Representative – 6th Congressional District: Norm Dicks

– Norm has demonstrated his support for environmental protection consistently, along with supporting military needs, and job creation. He owns property on Hood Canal, and understands the need to make proper choices for it’s protection. Another example of an incumbent who has earned his keep.

State Representative: Kevin Van De Wege

– Kevin’s has done an outstanding job of getting things done for the environment. After 10 years of trying, Kevin and another Representative got the Neah Bay Rescue tug funded permanently. That alone, from an environmental point of view, earns him the ability to return. A fabulous outcome to protect our Straits. He also listened to people about eliminating fire retardant from our clothing and bedding, and after looking at the facts, and the information that showed that Europe ended the use with no uptick in deaths by fire, Kevin changed his mind. This is enormously satisfying that a politician was willing to modify his beliefs based on science and not the pressure from industry lobbyists. No doubt, a champion for our jobs and our environment.

State Representative Position 2: Steve Tharinger

-Steve has been a great supporter for the environment, including participation in the Puget Sound Partnership meetings here,  among other issues. The two challengers are running out of anger over the Jefferson SMP, which neither Dwyer or Tharinger had anything to do about. You draw your own conclusions. Anti-environmental candidates vs. someone who supports protections. It seems clear.

Jefferson County Commissioner, Dist. 3 – John Austin

This is simple. John has supported, against angry opposition, the Jefferson County Shoreline Master Program. His opponents not only don’t believe in protection of our shorelines, they actively either worked against it for the last five years, or are members of the organization, The Olympic Stewardship Foundation, that is opposing all protections in our county. A vote for either candidate other than John, will serve to roll back hard fought protections that were implemented at enormous cost and the input of thousands of hours of volunteer time.  One of his opponents, has refused to even discuss her thoughts on the SMP.

Think of this, where were these opponents when the hundreds of volunteer hours were being given to put together this SMP?  Now they are here, claiming that the public had no input, which is totally untrue. Over 40 people gave up over 4 years of meetings to give input. The SMP cost the state and county hundreds of thousands of dollars to implement. Vote for the candidate that has a proven track record of supporting a strong protection of our shores. As well as his support for substance abuse programs, home nurse programs, and other beneficial support of our ‘health’ environment.

Having gone to the Democrats fish fry today, I looked for and didn’t find the other democratic candidates running against these folks. Why weren’t they there? How could someone who supports either party, not show up at the largest, most influential yearly celebration of their party?  Just think back, Obama always showed up when possible even though he new some places were Hilary camps. You can’t just walk away from your party because you don’t get their support. This is how the sausage gets made. If you don’t like it, change your stripes.

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