The 2022 Election will be upon us before the U.S. Supreme Court has a chance to rule that the recently imposed voter suppression measures enacted by 27 state Republican legislatures, are just fine and dandy.
Fortunately, those measures will not be applicable in Washington State, because our legislature is not afraid to let its citizens vote, i.e., it's not ruled by Republicans. Well, not as a whole, but certainly Eastern Washington is by and large a Republican stronghold.
The 4th Congressional District runs up and down the center of Eastern Washington from Kennewick at the Oregon border to Oroville at the Canadian border. It encompasses the counties of Douglas, Okanogan, Grant, Yakima, Franklin, Benton, and Adams, and part of Walla Walla County (CD4 will lose its small part of Walla Walla, and part of Franklin, not including Pasco, and pick up Klickitat in the redistricting). The population is centered in Benton and Franklin counties in south eastern Washington. The largest urban areas are Yakima, and the Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Richland, and Pasco). The 4th CD is considered "predominantly rural," and is the
most Republican district in the Pacific States. A Democrat hasn't been elected to this seat for over a quarter of a century.
What makes the 2022 Election more interesting than the previous 14 in which Republicans were elected by wide margins, is former President Donald Trump's "revenge rallies." Trump has targeted incumbent Republicans that considered seditious insurrection unacceptable, and voted to impeach him. Rep. Dan Newhouse, in a fit of rare moral rectitude, joined with those "disloyal" legislators.
|Newhouse votes to impeach President Donald Trump|
Bowing to their Commander-in-Cheat, whose anger knew no bounds (as did much of his behavior), the chairmen of six GOP Republican Committees (Adams, Benton, Douglas, Franklin, Grant, and Yakima) wrote Newhouse a letter (and shared it publicly) calling for him to resign. He declined, saying basically, I followed my conscience; I hope you'll forgive me.
|Newhouse Declines to Resign|
The Benton County Republican Party censured Dan (having narrowly defeated a vote to boot him from the Party entirely). In his place they endorsed state Representative Brad Klippert, of whom the Tri-Cities Herald (not known as a liberal clarion) has written disparagingly, including that he co-sponsored a "harebrained scheme" to divide Washington into two states, with the Eastern half named "Liberty." I wrote about Klippert's "Guns, God, and Country" (emphasis on guns) platform on a previous post.
There are four other Republican candidates running for Newhouse's seat in addition to Klippert: Loren Culp, Benancio Garcia III, Cory Gibson, and Jerrod Sessler. The lone Democrat running is Doug White.
Perhaps in order to punish Washington State, which went for Biden in the 2020 Election, Trump endorsed Loren Culp for Congress to replace Newhouse. This was very disappointing to Jerrod Sessler, who did everything but adopt Eric to get Daddy's endorsement. Let's take a look at the top Republican contenders; Culp, Klippert, and Sessler.
Culp was the police chief, and as it happens, the sole member of the "force" of Republic, a city of about 1,062, that lies about 30 miles from the border with Canada. Culp lost that job when Republic agreed to get its law enforcement services from the Ferry County Sheriff's office.
|Loren Culp, Republic Police Chief|
Culp gained a measure of fame throughout the state when he announced he would refuse to enforce laws stemming from the passage of Initiative 1639, which increased the age to purchase a semi-automatic rifle from 18 to 21, and expanded background check requirements. Culp said he would designate Republic a "2nd Amendment Sanctuary City." Culp's outspoken opposition to I-1639 was very popular with Washington's rural counties, especially those in the 4th CD, which voted overwhelmingly against the Initiative.
Culp translated his new-found fame into a run for governor, beating out a crowded Republican primary field in 2020 to challenge Governor Jay Inslee. Culp lost that bid by well over a half million votes and, channeling Donald Trump, promptly sued claiming fraud. His lawyer withdrew the suit “with prejudice,” meaning it cannot be refiled. Now Culp, who still lives in Republic, has filed to run against Newhouse. Federal laws do not require congressional candidates to live in the district they are running for; they only need to live in the same state.
Although Culp lost the 2020 governor's race to Inslee by a lot, he won 27 of the state's 39 counties, pulling in close to 1.75 million votes. In the 4th Congressional District, Culp beat Inslee handily, 62% to 38%; about the same margin as most races in the district go.
If Culp and Newhouse make it through the top-two primary, data suggest Culp would give Newhouse a run for his money (pun intended). Newhouse drew 200,033 votes in his 2020 Election victory for representative. Culp drew 196,371 in his race against Inslee in the same election. But if money buys elections (and it almost always, it does), then Newhouse should be a shoe-in. As FEC records show, Dan Newhouse has received more money than all other candidates combined, and has close to three time as much cash on hand (see Table 1).
In addition to Culp's money disadvantage, questions about his campaign spending dogged him after the election. Culp had the campaign, i.e., his contributors, pay him for lost wages, pay his wife as a consultant, and "field representative," pay him for mileage, and pay a high-priced political consultant, and an even higher-priced "digital consultant" that had no prior campaign history in the PDC database. Culp's campaign consultant continued to grift the campaign after the fact by engaging with contributors over the aforementioned frivolous law suit against the Washington Secretary of State over allegations of fraud.
|Table 1. FEC Totals as of: 03/08/2022|
Loren Culp's issues trumpet most of the talking points the GOP has mucked out of the barn since Joe Biden's election:
- Election integrity (aka, the election was stolen)
- Critical Race Theory (aka, they're indoctrinating our kids)
- No "jab mandate" (aka, anti-vax, plus anti Medicare4All)
- Border security (aka, "build the wall")
- Fiscal responsibility (aka, reinstate the Trump tax cut)
- Energy independence (aka, "drill baby drill," plus withdraw from Paris Climate Accord)
- Constitutional Government (aka, "America First")
In addition, Culp weaves an anti-globalist message through his talking points, including a call to "level the playing field" by rolling back government subsidies for farmers. Culp claims this will free the farmers from government "bondage." Culp may have some explaining to do on this, since the record subsidies farmers received ($51.2 billion according to Reuters) up to the 2020 Election were what carried farmers through Trump's failed trade war with China.
Bradley Allen Klippert's letter announcing his intention to run for the 4th Congressional District's seat in the House of Representatives is a reflection of his personality and his intellect. Brad Klippert is a licensed Pentecostal minister and his announcement is full of patriotic one-liners, platitudes, and nationalistic evangelism worthy of a sermon on the mount. Saying that Klippert is conservative when it comes to sexual orientation and gender identity is like saying that Donald Trump struggled with the truth. But it's hard to argue with success. Klippert was elected to the Washington House of Representatives in 2008 and has been re-elected each year since. As an anti-tax, anti-government conservative, he is a reliable 'No' vote on most bills.
|Brad Klippert, State Representative, LD8|
Klippert's ultra-conservative playbook resonates well in what is an ultra-conservative district; his vote total only fell below 60% once (at 59%), and that was running against another Republican (Rick Jansons in 2016). But his pulpit may not translate well from the state level to the federal level. He is:
- Anti-Gay Rights
- Anti-Minimun Wage Increase
- Anti-Mail-In Voting
- Anti-Increased Education Funding (supports government funding of charter schools)
- Anti-Climate Change Regulation
- Anti-Gun Control
- Anti-Affordable Care Act
- Anti-Equal Pay Amendment
- Anti-Dam Breaching
- Anti-Mask & Vaccination Mandates
- Anti-Critical Race Theory
|Klippert Used Tax Payer Money to Attend Lindell's Evidence-Free Symposium|
What may bite Klippert this time around is his charging tax payers for his expenses to attend a three-day “Cyber Symposium” in South Dakota, sponsored by "MyPillow" CEO, Mike Lindell, promising to provide “irrefutable” evidence the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump by hackers. According to the Tri-Citiy Herald, "The three-day, livestreamed event, rife with debunked conspiracy theories, produced no such proof and ended in embarrassing fashion when even some of Lindell’s own invited experts said hacking data he’d touted was nonsensical."
In addition, as I posted previously, the Tri-City Herald is no fan of Klippert, and is very unlikely to support him over Newhouse in the August 2nd Primary, or should they both get through the top-two, the General Election in November.
Of the six Republicans who've filed to run, only Ben Garcia has less money than Brad Klippert -- Garcia has no money. Brad, who filed way back in March of last year, has received $18,104, disbursed $14,509, has $3,595 on hand, and owes $12,225. It will be interesting to see what pops up on the FEC radar at the end of March this year, when quarterly reports are due.
|Jerrod Sessler at the January 6, 2020, Insurrection|
- fiercely anti-abortion
- for securing the Southern Border
- opposed to mask and vaccine mandates
- for unrestricted gun rights
- opposed to critical race theory
- in favor of supporting "J6 victims"
- Lt Gen Michael Flynn (Ret.)
- Arizona State Senator Wendy Rogers, who is a member of the Oath Keepers
- Virginia State Sen Amanda Chase (censured for conduct unbecoming a senator)
- Arizona State Representative Mark Finchem (who tried to reverse the AZ Presidential election result)
- State Trooper Robert LaMay (now deceased as a result of contracting COVID)
Sessler started HomeTask Handyman Service, Inc. (602 343 174)** after first running a construction company, Siblings, incorporated on 2000-4-27 (601 872 987), which was dissolved 2004-08-02, reinstated with Nicole Sessler in charge (602 033 222), and ultimately dissolved 2008-08-01. Sessler "sponsored" his NASCAR driving adventure with earnings from his Siblings business venture.
HomeTask Handyman Service, Inc. was incorporated 2003-11-05, and was dissolved 2010-03-01. Jerrod Sessler started his franchise business HomeTask, Inc. (603 177 270), 2012-02-01.
On the opengovwa.com website, Sessler is listed as the registered agent for: Todoblue LLC, DD Licensing LLC, and Freggies LLC. All of these franchise brands have been dissolved. Sessler has also promoted; Pet Butler LLC (603 040 904), dissolved 2012-09-26, Lawn Army (zero franchises), Plumbing Doctor, and Data Doctors, neither of which seems to exist.
A post on Sessler promoting his “pet business,” says he was "named SBA Veteran Champion of the Year in 2010 for his work in offering significant discounts to veterans so that they can start their own business.” This isn’t true. The SBA website lists a Lloyd Calderon as National Veteran Champion. Sessler isn’t listed in 2009 or 2011 for this award. The claim is repeated on Sessler’s HomeTask website.
“Lawn Army” has been routed -- there are no, nada, zero Lawn Army franchises (see FDD Item 20, p.28). The failure of the Lawn Army brand didn't stop Sessler from "celebrating" its launch in PRWeb, "Lawn Army has grown from a simple vision to conducting operations in three territories with thousands of pounds of yard waste being cut, trimmed, and hauled away each month."
And despite the various promotions that say, "The company [HomeTask] grew to over 150 locations and five brands nationwide,” the FDD refers only to Yellow Van Handyman, and Lawn Army. Labor & Industries shows 15 Yellow Van Handyman franchisees, of which 9 are shown as having their license expired, including Sessler's.
Sessler is also selling a bearing seal and bearings repair kit for front load washing machines. It goes for $79.99 on line. He claims to have sold 5000 of them. There's no way to verify this, unless one gets Sessler to release his tax returns (fat chance). The on-line order form is hinky. Whatever one enters in the part no. window works, even if it isn't a part no. Sessler even recorded a YouTube DIY for the repair in which clumsy edits make getting the drum off a snap. If you want to void your manufacturer's warranty, there are easier ways, e.g., wash your panini machine in it.
At last check on the FEC website (3/20/2022), Sessler had receipts of $434,774, disbursements of $232,855, and cash on hand of $201,919, less than a quarter of Newhouse's total.
* I got HomeTask’s Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) through a Public
Records Request with Washington State’s department of Financial
Institutions (DFI). Not every state requires the franchisors file their FDD with the state, making it difficult to regulate the franchise business.
**Number in parenthesis are uniform business identifier (UBI)