Thursday, June 6, 2019

Checking on the Trump SWOT -- The Mueller Report

In what seems like eons ago (but was just last March) I published my crack at a Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis for Donald Trump heading into the 2020 election. There are some interesting developments since then, especially in the Threat category, that point to advantages for Democratic hopefuls. The threats to Trump identified in the SWOT are listed below. We'll start with the Mueller Report. The other threats will be addressed in future posts.
  1. Mueller investigation shows collusion or obstruction
  2. SDNY indicts Trump
  3. Member of Trump family indicted (that idiot, Donald Jr!)
  4. House passes bill to force Trump to release tax returns
  5. Evidence arises showing Trump interfered in security clearance procedure
  6. Enough Republicans in Congress turn against Trump to make impeachment a possibility
  7. Russia does something stupid (e.g., invades Ukraine) and turns on Trump over sanctions
  8. DPRK begins nuclear weapons testing
  9. Market crash
  10. Environmental disaster
  11. Trump suffers serious health problem limiting ability to do rallies 
  12. Democratic Party unites behind strong candidate with wide appeal

Mueller Investigation
The Mueller Report was released to the public on April 18, 2019. Despite the Attorney General, William Barr, covering for the President in the form of a misleading 4-page summary of the 448-page report, followed by an equally misleading press conference the day the report was released, an actual reading of the report presents a damning picture of the President and his campaign.

We all know by now that the Special Counsel did not clear the President on obstruction of justice, and we know why the Special Counsel did not charge him. I think people are less clear about what the Special Counsel found regarding "collusion."

The Special Counsel treated the general idea of collusion as “conspiracy,” a legal concept the Counsel defined as, “An agreement-tacit or express-between the Trump Campaign and the Russian government on election interference.” The Special Counsel’s report pointed out that, “this requires … two parties taking actions that were informed by or responsive to the other's actions or interests.” Proving without a doubt this sort of explicit coordination is difficult and while “the investigation identified numerous links between individuals with ties to the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign, the evidence was not sufficient to support criminal charges.”

The investigation established that “several individuals affiliated with the Trump Campaign lied to the Office, and to Congress, about their interactions with Russian-affiliated individuals and related matters. Those lies materially impaired the investigation of Russian election interference.”

In addition, the Special Counsel’s report stated that:
  • Some individuals invoked their Fifth Amendment right against compelled self-incrimination
  • Even when individuals testified or agreed to be interviewed, they sometimes provided information that was false or incomplete
  • Some individuals, including some associated with the Trump Campaign, deleted relevant communications or communicated during the relevant period using applications that feature encryption or that do not provide for long-term retention of data or communications records.
So, the Special Counsel’s bottom line on collusion was more nuanced than Mr. Barr would have us believe. In fact, the Special Counsel wrote, “Given these identified gaps, the Office cannot rule out the possibility that the unavailable information would shed additional light on (or cast in a new light) the events described in the report.” 

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's May 29th statement provides context for his report's conclusions. It is now up to the House and its Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, to decide on where to go with Mueller's findings.

“If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so."
Impeachment is a possibility being weighed as much by political as by symbolic considerations -- symbolic because of what George Will calls the "supine behavior of most congressional Republicans." Will's op-ed in the Washington Post is an excellent argument against impeachment. Will's acerbic conclusion is that, "Impeachment can be an instrument of civic hygiene. However, most of today’s Senate Republicans, scampering around the president’s ankles, are implausible hygienists."

Monday, March 11, 2019

SWOT Trump

SWOT Analysis for 2020 Presidential Election
Just a few of the possibilities for the 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate
Democrats are known for being inclusive and are demonstrating that by giving a shout out (or shout at) a plethora of announced, emerging, probable, potential, or possible people who may or may not or who've already said they won't (Oprah), run for president in 2020. The other thing democrats are know for is "eating their own."

According to polling, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders stand together at the top of the polls. The anti-establishment Berniecrats are already fulminating that the establishment DNC will try to screw them again a la Hillary-2016, but with Biden assuming the mantle of middle of the road establishment democrat. Russia if your listening, here's where you put your oar in the water.

Meanwhile, according to Tara McGowan of the Hill, Trump is already winning 2020, and not just because he's busy inventing insulting nicknames for anyone foolish enough to challenge him for the title of Commander and Tweet. The Trump Campaign is prioritizing digital channels over traditional paid media and leveraging social media platforms to fire up Trump's base, as well as on acquiring voter data and building potential supporter lists. Brad Parscale, who many credit with Trump's 2016 success, is on board and leading the digital effort.
If you're on Twitter, you're hearing from @parscale.
Wouldn't it be interesting if democrats focused on how best to beat Donald Trump and not on how to beat the democratic establishment candidate, or the socialist candidate, or the corporate candidate? Well, that's what SWOT analysis helps with.

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Let's outline a SWOT for Trump as if we're Trump's [very frank] Campaign Manager. Please add your SWOT items in the comments section.

STRENGTHS

Loyal base will stick with him no matter what
Has a cadre of single-issue voters on board who can be easily manipulated
Can travel all over U.S. on taxpayer dollar
Garners media by virtue of Office
Fox Network reliable channel to voters
Strong with rural voters
Electoral College favors him
Republicans hold 22 states (to Democrats 14) in which they hold all three positions in state government, facilitating efforts to strengthen voting regulations [i.e., further restrict voting rights]
Conservative judges on the SCOTUS have a 5 to 4 advantage (should voting irregularities go before the Court)
Strong economy
Can count on Russian help [again]

WEAKNESSES

Appeals to a narrow demographic
Often speaks without thinking and goes off message; lies compulsively
Needlessly alienates large swaths of people
Extremely limited attention span
Not likely to prepare seriously for debates
Has ethical lapses, e.g., emoluments
WH staff prone to leak potentially damaging material
Under investigation by special council and SDNY

OPPORTUNITIES

Further divide Democrats by manipulating existing factions
Have Trump seem to pivot to the middle, while moving to "socialist" drumbeat
Nominate another person to SCOTUS
Build strong base of support in Senate should Congress move to impeach
Work with local media (e.g., Sinclair Broadcasting) to publicize "atrocities" by undocumented immigrants
Use Executive Orders to appeal to conservative factions
Cement support of evangelicals, e.g., by focusing attention on faux abortion issues
Start an armed conflict (short of outright war)

THREATS

Mueller investigation shows collusion or obstruction
SDNY indicts Trump
Member of Trump family indicted (that idiot, Donald Jr!)
House passes bill to force Trump to release tax returns
Evidence arises showing Trump interfered in security clearance procedure
Enough Republicans in Congress turn against Trump to make impeachment a possibility
Russia does something stupid (e.g., invades Ukraine) and turns on Trump over sanctions
DPRK begins nuclear weapons testing
Market crash
Environmental disaster
Trump suffers serious health problem limiting ability to do rallies 
Democratic Party unites behind strong candidate with wide appeal

Add your ideas for the Trump SWOT and then consider the SWOT for a "generic" democratic candidate.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

What I missed in assessing the Republican Strategy for Winning in 2016

In a piece I wrote in June 2016 titled, The GOP's Strategy for Winning Hearts and Minds, and the 2016 Election, I wrote that Republicans worked at winning the 2016 Presidential Election from the day Barack Obama won the 2008 election. That was accurate. Republicans turned 'loyal opposition' into outright obstructionism. Their thinking was that if nothing worked, if policies weren't promulgated, if laws weren't passed, if vacancies weren't filled, it would thwart Obama's "liberal agenda," and as a bonus, make Americans become disillusioned with government. When that happened, voters would be less likely to turn out for elections. That would favor Republicans, as it has historically, and as it did, ultimately putting the "Grand Old Party" back in control of both the House and the Senate.

But they needed to do more to win the Presidency

The RNC made it their mission to reach out to "low information, low propensity" registered Republicans, who made up some 35% of the Republican base and generally didn't vote. They made a concerted, heavily-funded get out the vote (GOTV) effort through direct, personal contact -- these folks didn't do social media. In my 2016 post I identified some of the organizations they reached out to on this. Click on these hyperlinks and be amazed.

UNIFIED PATRIOTS

REDSTATE

THE PRECINCTS PROJECT

US PRECINCT PROJECT

Uniting the Right Wing Base

The Republican strategy also involved uniting the right-wing base, which consisted of a plethora of single-issue factions (like the Democrats, actually), including:

National Rifle Association (NRA), Gun Owners of America (GOA), other gun groups, and militia organizations.

The Tea Party, which had split into the Tea Party Patriots, Tea Party Nation, Tea Party Express, and unaffiliated voters who call themselves Tea Partiers.

The 9-12 Project (an Ayn Rand sort of group with god thrown in for good measure). Their principles included, "Government cannot force me to be charitable."

Smart Girl Politics Action (SGPA) This organization began with the mission to "engage, educate, and empower conservative women to get involved in the political process." The RNC didn't think they'd have to do much to entice them into the fold, but they began to worry when Trump became the nominee. They needn't have worried. Trump won 53% of the vote of white women -- not Republican white women -- all white women voters. Digest that.


SarahPAC.com was Sarah Palin's personal money making venture designed to capitalize on what she termed "her historic endorsement of Donald Trump." Palin's fund-raising message to prospective donors was that she supported "anti-establishment" candidates, but the RNC wasn't particular. If they could latch on to Sarah's "momma grizzlies," they'd use their money and voter network and nominate who they damn well felt like nominating. Of course things didn't quite turn out the way they hoped.

Grassfire a very social media centric group, which the RNC used it to network with the organizations outlined above.

Evangelical Christians. In the 2014 midterm elections, white evangelicals or born-again Christians made up 26 percent of the electorate and 78% of them voted for Republican candidates. During the primaries, a plurality of self-identified white evangelicals voted for Trump (40%), while the majority split their votes between Ted Cruz (34%), Marco Rubio (11%), and John Kasich (10%). The RNC's challenge was to unify that voting block behind their presumptive nominee. It wasn't a problem once Trump promised to rollback the last half century of progress made on women's reproductive rights ("Two Corinthians" notwithstanding). Evangelicals continue to stand firmly with Trump, as I write about here.

The laying on of hands
AsaMom mission was, "to empower Moms and Moms at Heart in preserving our Constitution, country and children’s future." The RNC had to convince this voting block that Donald Trump was only kidding when he said it doesn't matter what the media said, "as long as you have a beautiful piece of ass with you." The Access Hollywood video surfaced later and the RNC thought, "Oh, shit," but once Trump explained that it was "only locker room talk" everything was okay.

Why the RNC got Donald Trump instead of JEB!

The problem the RNC had in leading up to the Republican 2016 Primaries and in then trying to unify the above groups, whose commonality was primarily angry disaffection, was that the RNC was the 'establishment' and it was peddling the same, tired establishment bullshit. In other words, they totally misjudged the give-a-shit basis for their audience's mood, which was poor-paying jobs, no jobs, shitty jobs, and Mexicans taking all the shitty jobs that they didn't want, but were unhappy to see said Mexicans making money at. But the elephant in the room was named 'Xenophobia' -- a fear that the white person's place atop the slag heap was in danger of toppling. So yeah, "Fuck you, RNC, we'll vote for an asshole, that'll teach you!" And voilĂ  -- Donald Trump.

And then came Russia barreling down the Fulda Gap

Now this rather too-long piece is about my 2016 assessment of the Republican strategy for wining the election, not why Hillary Clinton lost -- there have been plenty of hand-wringing analyses of that. What I want to express is how embarrassed I am for missing what turned out to be a key ingredient in the Republican strategy, viz, Russia. I didn't see Russia coming. Did you?

Ultimately, our Intelligence agencies ferreted it out and not long after Trump's inauguration, their findings led to the Mueller investigation looking into whether the Trump Campaign and Trump himself had been colluding with Russia (remember, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing"?).

Is it too far fetched to think that the RNC itself was colluding with Russia. After all, the RNC watered down language in the Republican Platform supporting U.S. assistance to the Ukraine in its efforts to resist Russian interference in their internal affairs. And according to reports, the RNC was also penetrated by Russian hackers, but their data were not released. More recently, Republican lawmakers faced scorn when they decided to celebrate July 4th in Moscow. Did they have favors to return?

Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.) led the eight-member Republican delegation on a multi-day tour of Russia.
Donald Trump claims the Russia investigation is a "witch hunt." Well, a lot of witches have been rounded up. It will be interesting to see what the latest witch, Maria Butina, revealed about her contacts with the RNC and with her handler, Alexander Torshin when questioned by the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and by Robert Mueller.

Scott Walker between Walker stood between Maria Butina and Alexander Torshinh
We now know that Russia deployed active measures to influence the 2016 Election, and they did so to aid Donald Trump. There is growing evidence that members of the Trump Campaign colluded with Russia, with the latest revelation being that Paul Manafort shared campaign polling data with the Russians before the 2016 Election. Certainly this aided the Russians social media blitz. What we don't know for sure, and may never know, is how much Russia's interference impacted election results. Opinions?

Friday, January 18, 2019

Stop Waiting for Robert Mueller to Do Your Work

The 2020 election is just two more episodes of “March Madness” away, and I mean the college basketball tournament, not the debacle that poses as DC politics. In the meantime, left-leaning political operatives are conducting their own madness as various factions maneuver to place their preferred progressive on the Presidential Ballot. Not all, or even most of these groups are democrats. Some are decidedly not democrats, such as DemExit, which appears to be more a hashtag than a coherent organization.

We have to hope that the one coherent party with an opportunity to overthrow the wannabe dictator, Trump, can get its act together and unite like-minded progressives behind that imperative. Even if it does, there’s no guarantee Trump can be defeated in 2020.

Past experience shows that an incumbent president is re-elected 75% of the time. Democrats may feel that their impressive gains in the 2018 midterms will carryover to the 2020 Presidential election and sweep Trump out of office. But history has shown that there is very little correlation between a president’s first midterm election and their reelection bid. For example, Bill Clinton’s party lost 52 House seats in 1994 and Barack Obama’s party lost 63 House seats in 2010, yet both men garnered more than 330 Electoral Votes in 1996 and 2012, respectively.

Political analysts, licking their wounds after most predicted Hillary Clinton would wipe the floor with Donald Trump, have since explained to us why he won. Their verdict? It’s the rural voters. If that’s the case, what changes in 2020 to turn the red tide (given that we still have an Electoral College, and we will)?

Pollsters show Donald Trump retaining a dedicated cadre of supporters, no matter what the latest “blockbuster” reveal is about his repugnant behavior or his criminal exploits during or after his campaign. The best assessment I’ve found of what factions of society make up Trump’s base comes from Sean McElwee (@SeanMcElwee) in Data for Politics. Rural voters are just the tip of the cornstalk. It shouldn’t surprise you to find out that the real barnacles on the hull of our ship of state are white evangelicals. Being “born again” seems to equate to being born yesterday when it comes to believing and/or believing in Donald Trump. That demographic is no small thing when it comes to making Trump a one-term president. Evangelical voters account for 1 in 4 voters; roughly equivalent to the share of the electorate accounted for by people of color.

Laying on of Hands by the Clergy on the Chosen One
I’ve read the posts of many progressives who try to reason with evangelicals, arguing that their positions on many issues actually run counter to the teachings of Jesus. Forget about it! Evangelicals are a lot more practical, not to say hypocritical, than that. Donald Trump has embraced and actualized anti-choice rhetoric, selected Mike Pence as his Vice President, appointed culturally conservative Supreme Court justices, and promised to repeal RoeWade and the Johnson Amendment. His Administration recently negotiated the release of American Evangelical Pastor Andrew Brunson after two years of captivity in Turkish confinement, after which one televangelist said, “I love him so much I can hardly explain it.”

I haven’t seen a substantive plan for how the DNC plans to take on Trump in the 2020 election. Rather, I see a widening chasm forming over whether to run full socialist, or take over the right of center territory abandoned by Republicans when they veered hard right into Donald Trump’s fascism — in other words, to run a moderate and move left incrementally. So this could shape up as the socialists versus the incrementalists.

Lacking a unified platform, let alone the broad general outlines of a plan, the Democrats, the disaffected, the Dem Exits and Enters, the “Our Revolution,” and the “Resist” movements wait with fretful anticipation for Robert Mueller’s report, which they hope will put the stake through the heart of Trump’s presidency, if not Trump himself. But will it?

According to @MuellerSheWrote, writing in The Economist, "the report, when it eventually comes, will probably not be made public." William Barr's testimony during his confirmation hearings did nothing to assuage my fears that it won't be. @MuellerSheWrote went on to point out that, "The judgment on what that report means for the president will be political, rather than legal. It will rest on the views of Republicans in Congress. And many of them would rather not think about it."

So, my feeling is that since the president could not be removed by articles of impeachment unless around 20 Republican senators break with him, almost no matter what Mr Mueller may find, we may find Donald J Trump on the 2020 Ticket as the Republican nee Fascist nominee. Given that eventuality, I recommend we come up with the best damned plan for defeating him that the best damned minds in the progressive multiverse can devise.

In the meantime, my favorite really, really non-establishment candidate to go up against Trump so far is Vermin Supreme. Supreme has said that if elected President of the United States, he will pass a law requiring people to brush their teeth. Can’t argue with that.
Vermin Supreme

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Eastern Washington Remains Stubbornly Red After 2018 Midterms

2018 House Election Results, 11/11/18: Democrats 228, Republicans 199, Undecided 8.
As the days after November 6th rolled by and results rolled in, the hoped-for "Blue Wave" took shape. Democrats regained control of the House, and won governorships and state legislative seats. The Blue Wave was real, and the Republican party’s vulnerabilities with Donald Trump at its helm were revealed. The picture wasn't so rosy here in Eastern Washington.

Results won't be certified until November 27th, but, as the map above shows, Eastern Washington's 4th and 5th predominantly rural Congressional Districts voted in lock step with the rest of rural America.

Democrats up and down the ticket were shut out here in Benton and Franklin counties. For federal office, incumbent congressman Dan Newhouse defeated challenger Christine Brown by about the same 65/35 percentage margin Republicans have been winning over Democrats for the last quarter century.

Brown was a phenomenal campaigner, putting something like 30,000 miles on her Prius crisscrossing the district from Kennewick to Okanogan. She campaigned hard and employed her considerable skills as a broadcast journalist to produce excellent TV and digital ads to extend her reach, including Spanish-language ads on Spanish radio stations. Despite this, she won only 21 of Benton County's 244 precincts. She won 1 precinct in Adams County, none in Douglas, 1 in Grant, 41 in Okanogan, and 39 in Yakima. We don't yet have a precinct count for Franklin County, which she lost by 20%.

Christine Brown campaigned hard no matter the weather

Shir Regev
Leo Perales, Shir Regev, and Christopher Tracy, Democrats running for the legislature in District 8 lost by similar if slightly greater margins. Regev ran against Brad Klippert for state representative, and received the endorsement of the Tri-City Herald. The Herald said of Regev:

"She is smart – graduating from Washington State University in two-and-a-half years. And that’s before the Running Start program was implemented. She wants to help people who are struggling with health care, retirement and making ends meet."

The Herald said of Klippert that he, "has a tendency to vote against government just because it is government, and we would encourage people to look at his voting record."

Shir Regev won 7 precincts. Christoper Tracy won 8 precincts. Everett Maroon won 14 precincts in the 16th and Rebecca Francik won 13 precincts.

The turnout for the 2018 Midterms in the 4th Congressional District, at 59.13% was slightly better than that for the 2014 Midterms, at 54.85%. Benton County's turnout was 67.15% vs 55.09% in 2014, which reflects an increase of almost twenty thousand people voting. On the other hand, the county with the most registered voters, Yakima, did what it did in 2014 -- it lagged every other county in turnout, at 43.18%.

The number of registered voters in the 4th Congressional District increased by 35,183 voters between 2014 and 2018, with the biggest jump occurring between 2014 and 2016. 

Registered voters in 4th Congressional District
Over the succeeding months we will be refining the Benton County election numbers and then cross checking precinct-level results with the precincts that have PCOs and those that don't. The PCO data maintained by the Benton County Auditor shows Democrats having only 33 elected PCOs. John Harder will have data on PCOs appointed by our outgoing Chair, Allison Dabler. Benton County data shows Republicans having 61 elected PCOs. Benton County has 244 precincts.

We have work to do!

Read more here: https://www.tri-cityherald.com/opinion/editorials/article219024190.html#storylink=cpy


Read more here: https://www.tri-cityherald.com/opinion/editorials/article219024190.html#storylink=cpy

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Be afraid. Be very afraid!

That’s the message from Donald Trump, who is making a group of immigrants straggling towards hoped-for asylum in America a political issue in the Midterm Elections.

Trump calls these people, many just children,“not little angels,” “bad people,” “criminals and unknown Middle Easterners.” The Republican President said, “Think of and blame the Democrats for not giving us the votes to change our pathetic Immigration Laws!”

The fact that Republicans control not just the Presidency, but the House and Senate as well, seems to have escaped him. It hasn’t escaped us. We know that getting balance back in government is crucial to passing comprehensive, sensible, humanitarian immigration reform.

Let's send Mr. Trump a message that we will not be cowed by his shameless scaremongering. Help GOTV with one of the many campaigns where our fearless democrats are running:


For recommendations on ballot initiatives, check out the Progressive Voters Guide by Fuse. My personal recommendations are; Yes on 1631, 1639, and 940, and No on 1634 (this initiative is being heavily financed by the Sugar lobby, which is also a big contributor to Dan Newhouse). I also recommend voting "Maintained" on Advisory 19.

To participate in reclaiming America, donate to one or more campaigns, canvass, make phone calls, write letters, use social media to reinforce candidate messages. Stop on in at the Democratic Headquarters 1212 N 20th Ave. Ste B in Pasco or call Savanna Steele at (509)209-9825 to get plugged in with Canvass and Phone Banking Opportunities.

Remember, when we win, America wins!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Neil Arthur Norman, 1931 - 2018

Our friend and colleague Neil Norman passed away Wednesday night September 12, 2018, after a long, courageous battle with cancer. We'll miss him -- a lot! Neil was a mentor to many of us, and an inspiration to all of us. He walked the talk, literally, walking his precinct well into his Eighties.

I was honored to present the the Benton County Democrat's 2018 Norm Miller Leadership Award to Neil on May 31 of this year. I'm publishing the text of my presentation here in Neil's memory. It says so much about why we held Neil in such high regard.

Neil A Norman accepting the 2018 Norm Miller Leadership Award

 When I was asked to say a few words about Neil as our 2018 recipient of the Norm Miller Leadership Award, I asked his wife Jan for some input on things Neil did before joining us on the Benton County Democrats. I think she said something like, “Oh, my goodness!” I understood her reaction when I received the “summary” 3-page email outlining Neil’s service and accomplishments.

I read through Neil’s impressive record of public service and political activism. I tried to wrap my head around the idea of someone who started actively looking out for others when he was in the 3rd Grade in a little town in Tulare County, California.

As legend has it, Neil recruited his best friend, a big 5th Grader, the son of migrant farm workers, and Neil’s self-proclaimed bodyguard, to help patrol the playground to ensure children of farm workers were not being bullied. Neil, seeking an advantageous vantage point from which to survey playground unity, rode on his friend’s shoulders.

That was a long time ago — we won’t say how long — but in all that time, Neil’s dedication to fairness, to the ethical treatment of human beings from every walk of life, of every race, and religion, has never wavered. What’s changed is that Neil, throughout his long record of service, has now carried others on his shoulders.

Neil’s record of public and professional service is long and distinguished, ranging from a plethora of democratic party and campaign leadership positions from El Dorado, California, to Lynchburg, Virginia and back to Richland, Washington, and places in between, to achievements in science and technology that include everything from rocket ships to nuclear power plants.

Please visit the displays here in the room, because I don’t have time to go through all of Neil’s accomplishments, and even if I did, you wouldn’t believe me.

Neil has received many prestigious awards. Just last year he received the National Society of Professional Engineers Award — the highest award given to an individual by the Society. Their description says, “It is presented to an engineer who has made outstanding contributions to the engineering profession, the public welfare, and humankind.

And that phrase, “public welfare and humankind,” gave me the inspiration for how to tell you who my friend Neil Norman is.

When our current president attacked Muslims, Neil met with the Imam of the Tri-Cities Islamic Center to find ways to reassure members. When the president attacked immigrants, Neil worked with the Tri-Cities Immigrant Coalition to ensure that immigrants in our community knew their rights. When police in Pasco used what was perceived by the community and others as disproportionate lethal force to subdue a clearly mentally disturbed Hispanic man, Neil advocated for police de-escalation training. When refugees were relocated to our community, Neil collected donations of furniture for them, stored them in his garage, and helped distribute them.

Neil is a man of faith, and so I would like to quote from the Bible, if I may. This Bible was presented to me in 1946 — I think Neil may have been working on Harry Truman’s campaign at that time.

This is from James 2:14 - 26

If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?

You see that a person is justified by works, and not by faith alone.


And so, while Neil is an eminently deserving recipient of our 2018 Norm Miller Leadership award, what I think we are doing here tonight is celebrating the life of a man who lives his faith. A man whose myriad good works, define who he is.

It is my honor to present to Neil Norman our 2018 Norm Miller Leadership Award.