Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Message for 8th LDDO PCOs from Chair, John Christenson

8th LD Precinct Committee Officer:

You were elected in the August 2, 2016 Primary as the Democratic Party Precinct Committee Officer (PCO) of your precinct for the 2017-2018 term.  Congratulations!

PCOs here in Washington State are voting members of two local party organizations:  a county and a legislative district organization.  Democratic Party PCOs of the 8th LD belong to the Benton County Democratic Central Committee (BCDCC) and the 8th LD Democratic Organization (8th LDDO).  You can take part in electing 2017-2018 officers for both your local party organizations at a single gathering next week:  BCDCC and 8th LDDO reorganizational meetings will be held on Saturday, January 7 at the Richland Public Library, 955 Northgate Drive, Richland.  The starting time of the BCDCC meeting is 1:30 PM.  The 8th LD meeting will be called to order soon after the BCDCC meeting is concluded, but no earlier than 3:00 PM.

Please plan to attend.  Proposed rules and agenda for the 8th LDDO reorganizational meeting are attached.  Only you and other 8th LD PCOs elected in the August 2, 2016 Primary – a total of 42 persons – will be eligible to vote.

John Christenson, Chair
8th Legislative District Democratic Organization
(509) 783-0282  home

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Is Washington State About to Get its Own Bathroom Law?

Washington State's Republican legislators are moving with alacrity and righteous purpose to frame the laws of the State in ways that reflect their long-held views that "political correctness" and other liberal nonsense have gone too far.

Take for example, proposed House Bill 1011: AN ACT Relating to allowing the use of gender-segregated facilities; and amending RCW 49.60.030. There are two proposed amendments on a law regarding the right to be free from discrimination. The first states:

“Nothing in this chapter prohibits a public or private entity from limiting access to a private facility segregated by gender, such as a bathroom, restroom, toilet, shower, locker room, or sauna, to a person if the person is preoperative, nonoperative, or otherwise has genitalia of a different gender from that for which the facility is segregated. Nothing in this chapter grants any right to a person to access a private facility segregated by gender, such as a bathroom, restroom, toilet, shower, locker room, or sauna, of a public or private entity if the person is preoperative, nonoperative, or otherwise has genitalia of a different gender from that for which the facility is segregated.”

The second proposed amendment would require that a parent or guardian assisting a child or disabled adult in a restroom facility be of the sex designated for the facility.

If you're interested in other bills that have been pre-filed for the next session [and you should be], check them out here: I particularly recommend those co-sponsored by Brad Klippert, Larry Haler, and Matt "The Secessionist" Shea.

Representative Larry Haler will be having a local event on Monday, January 2, to discuss the upcoming legislative session. It runs from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at his Richland district office located in the CSA Building, 719 Jadwin Ave. Let's attend this townhall, then go out and get drunk [responsibly].

Monday, December 26, 2016

Larry Haler Coffee, January 2

Representative Larry Haler will be having a local event on Monday, January 2, to discuss the upcoming legislative session. It runs from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at his Richland district office located in the CSA Building, 719 Jadwin Ave. Let’s show him that his constituents are not all happy with the bills he is sponsoring.

Homework for those attending Larry’s public coffee discussion is to read up on the bills that have been pre-filed for the next session sponsored by Larry. See bills 1003, 1005, 1011, 1012, 1017, and 1033. Link to the pre-filed bills.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Russian Hacking of the US 2016 Election

Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov
According to an October 2016 article in the Guardian, the Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said that  Moscow had offered US officials an opportunity to hold joint talks on fighting cybercrime.

Now that the U.S. has formally accused Russia of hacking the 2016 Election in an effort to help Donald Trump, the offer appears to be off the table. We’ll have to see.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

This is curious. Looked at some stats for the 8th LD blog and saw this:

What does it mean when an itty, bitty blog like ours has the second most hits from Russia?

Friday, December 16, 2016

County and District Reorganizations

The Bylaws of the Washington State Democratic Party require all County and Legislative District Parties to reorganize in the December or January following an even-year general election. At a Reorganization Meeting, Precinct Committee Officers elected during the most recent primary elect a new Chair, new Vice Chairs, and new State Committee members for the organization. Other officers may be elected and additional party business may be conducted.

The Benton County Democratic Central Committee (BCDCC), and the 8th Legislative District Democratic Organization (8LDDO) will meet at the Richland Public Library beginning at 1:30 on January 7, 2017. The Benton County reorganization meeting will be first. Upon its conclusion, the 8th Legislative District reorganization meeting will convene. 

Elected Precinct Committee Officer (PCO) are strongly encouraged to attend both the County and Legislative District reorganization meetings. This is an especially important meeting for elected PCOs. According to our rules, elected PCOs are the only ones who can vote on the new set of officers that will be elected on the 7th.

Both the BCDCC and the 8LDDO will elect chairs, vice chairs, secretaries, and treasurers. In addition, each organization will elect a state committee man and a state committee woman. These four newly elected State Committee Members will meet in the last weekend of January to reorganize the State Party.

At later regular meetings, the new chairs will appoint committee chairs and membership, subject to support of the body. The committees undertake essential work for the organizations, and are responsible for recommending actions to be taken by the organization as a whole.

The BCDCC has six standing committees:
  1. Finance
  2. Organization
  3. Outreach
  4. Candidate Development
  5. Voter Registration
  6. Platform (added in 2016)
The  8th LD has two standing committees: Fundraising, and Legislative Candidate Search.

Chairs of standing committees are members of the respective organization's Executive Boards. The Executive Boards shall assist the chairs in implementing the programs and policies of the BCDCC and 8th LDDO.

Members interested in taking on these essential duties and responsibilities at the committee level should speak with the chairs, and with other members of the Executive Board.

Finally, the BCDCC and 8th LDDO will reexamine their bylaws, rules, and policies and propose amendments as determined necessary by the body as a whole. This is a crucial step in ensuring your party organization operates in an open, democratic, efficient manner.

Every PCO should take it upon themselves to review these documents and be prepared to propose and/or discuss proposed changes. It is quite likely that our governing rules will be examined as an early priority of the new leadership.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Holiday Party -- Trouble Registering?

Benton County Democratic Central Committe Holiday Party Planners aware that multiple people have had difficulties getting registered online. If you have attempted to register but have not received a confirmation email please notify BCDCC treasurer by sending a note using the following link:

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Is Democracy Strong in Washington State? Not So Much

Every member of Congress from Washington State who ran for reelection in 2016 raised at least eight times more campaign cash than their nearest challenger, writes John Ryan (no relation to the Jack Clancy character you know from the movies) in Seattle's (94.9 FM).

Patty Murray raised $8 million, or 33 times more than her Republican challenger, Chris Vance. Suzan DelBene reeled in 10 times more money than her Republican challenger, Elizabeth Scott. Republican Congressman Dave Reichert raised 23 times more cash than Democrat Jason Ritchie (who dropped out to run for the state Legislature) and 46 times more than challengers, Democrats Santiago Ramos and Alida Skold.

Ryan writes that, "Once in a blue moon, a candidate will win even though they were outspent. But in the past decade... nobody has made it into Congress from Washington state without raking in at least 65% as much cash as their main opponent. So far this year, no challengers are even close."

Washington State isn't unusual in this, unfortunately. According to Ryan, "Nationwide, incumbent candidates for the House of Representatives raised nearly 5 times more money than their challengers between 1998 and 2014, according to the California nonprofit MapLight. The incumbents won re-election 94 percent of the time."

According to the organization, Public Interest Research Groups -- PRIG, 77% of disclosed contributions in 2016's 34 senate races came from donors who lived outside the state they targeted. In the case of swing state races and in the case of spending by external groups in particular, out-of-state money made up a larger share of campaign spending. This applies to both democratic and republican races.

But it's difficult to know just how much outside organizations are spending to influence elections. Political Action Committees -- principally 501(c)(4)s and 501(c)(6)s, -- known euphemistically as "social welfare" organizations, don't have to disclose their donors, thus the term "dark money." Who's buying our elections? Who the hell knows?!

It was widely predicted that SCOTUS decisions on campaign financing, e.g., Citizens United, would result in a wild west of money being thrown at various races throughout the Nation. Unsurprisingly, the 2016 Election was the most expensive ever at $6,917,636,161; well over double what was spent in 2000.

Washington State passed Initiative 735 with 65% of the vote to become the 17th state to urge Congress to amend the US Constitution to overturn the corporate Citizens United and other decisions that opened the anonymous floodgate of corporate and other dark money in elections.

I-735's objective is to get Washington State's congressional delegation to go on record supporting a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. Passing it is only the first, "small step for mankind." Holding our legislators' feet to the fire will be harder.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Democrats Holiday Party Update

Democrats Holiday Party Update

December 11th, 1:00 PM
Shilo Inn, Richland

Guest Speakers:

Andy Miller
Benton County Prosecutor

Jennifer Goulet
No Hate, Pasco Won't Discriminate Coordinator
Jennifer can be found at the epicenter of the Progressive Movement in the Tri-Cities--you will want to hear about what is happening!
Jennifer's Bio


​John Crigler
​Jazz Pianist

Cost is $30 per person
Please register in advance at
Make a contribution and put "Holiday Party" in the comments box. List the names of the people for whom you are paying in the comments box as well. If you have questions about payment please call the treasurer at 509 375-0392.

Click here to see the buffet menu

​RSVP's must be received by
Wednesday, December 7

Food and Pet Drive
Please bring non-perishable food for the food bank
--and for our companion animals, too!

Come celebrate the season and connect with your fellow Democrats!

Sponsored by the Benton County Democratic Central Committee
with the Tri-City Democrats

A Day That Will Live in Infamy

On December 7th, "A day that will live in infamy," let's display our American Flags and otherwise honor those who gave their lives, those who served, and those who continue to serve in protecting the freedoms we hold dear.

No matter the results of this election, we love our country, and we will continue to work to protect those hard-won freedoms. We will allow no president or potentate to restrict or diminish them.

December 7th also happens to be the deadline for returning your RSVP regarding our Christmas Party. Please register in advance at

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Holiday Party

December 11th, 1:00 PM
Shilo Inn, Richland
Cost is $30 per person
Please register in advance at
Make a contribution and put “Holiday Party” in the comments box. List the names of the people for whom you are paying in the comments box as well.
RSVP’s must be received by Wednesday, December 7.
Guest Speakers:
Benton County Prosecutor, Andy Miller
Jennifer Goulet, Coordinator
No Hate, Pasco Won’t Discriminate
Come celebrate the season and connect with your fellow Democrats!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

In Case You Missed It

The 2016 Election results are in. Benton County voters went in a big way for Donald Trump, favoring a man his own Republican Party stalwarts called unqualified and unfit to be President, by 59% to 33% over Hillary Clinton.

Among 3rd party candidates, Gary 'What's an Aleppo' Johnson garnered 6% of the vote, cast by republicans who just couldn't bring themselves to vote for a lying, cheating, confidence man.

Senator Patty Murray, a long-time friend of our region, lost in our county to Chris Vance, former Chair of the Washington State Republican Party, and one of the few republican candidates with the courage to refuse to endorse Trump. Murray won statewide, of course.

Incumbent Dan Newhouse edged out Superbowl Ring Wearer, Clint Didier, 54% to 46%, leaving Didier to ponder his next elective office run.

Governor Jay Inslee was soundly defeated in Benton County by Bill Bryant, 62% to 38%. Inslee won statewide, leaving county republicans once again calling for secession from the liberal-left West.

One surprise was incumbent AG Bob Ferguson winning the vote in Benton County, 55% to 45%, over little-known Libertarian candidate Joshua B Trumbell, who stressed his experience working in his father's auto body shop.

Rebecca Francik and Gary Downing both lost their races for 16th LD seats 1 and 2, respectively, by similar 40+% margins. They worked exceptionally hard in their campaigns, and we owe them a debt of gratitude for running.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

2016 Election Results for Measures as of Nov 29, 2016

The final ballot count for Benton County as of Nov 29, 2016, was 84,663, a turnout of almost 79%.

 In Benton County, measures 1491, 1501, and 735 passed. Measures 1433, 1464, and 732 failed to pass.

About 60% of Benton County voters voted "No" on raising the minimum wage to $11.00 in 2017, $11.50 in 2018, $12.00 in 2019, and $13.50 in 2020. Statewide, the measure passed 57% to 43%.

There were two "advisory vote" measures on the ballot. Voters could vote to "maintain" the legislation, or "repeal" it. Both bills brought up for vote were sensible "maintain" votes, and voters voted to repeal both. Mostly, in my opinion, voters have little or no idea what they're voting about. Here's what the Washington Budget Policy Center says about the measures.

Advisory Vote #14: Clarifying taxation of stand-alone family dental plans 
In the 2016 legislative session, the legislature overwhelmingly approved House Bill 2768, which clarified that some stand-alone family dental plans can be charged an insurance premium tax. This legislation is largely a technical change that allows the Washington Health Plan Finder to offer stand-alone adult dental insurance coverage through the state exchange.

Advisory Vote #15: Modifying tax exemption criteria for clean energy cars
Also in 2016, a broad majority of legislators voted to extend and narrow an existing tax break for customers who buy clean energy cars (House Bill 2778). This tax break is intended to encourage the use of clean alternative fuel vehicles in Washington. The public policy objective of this tax exemption is clearly stated, and a tax preference performance statement is included. While the exemption previously applied to all plug-in and alternative fuel cars, even niche, luxury cars like Teslas selling for $100,000 or more, the 2016 legislation limited the exemption to cars selling for $35,000 per year or less. This change will save the state money by more efficiently targeting the benefit toward consumers for whom a sales tax exemption would make a difference in their purchasing decisions.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Resolution Supporting Arlene's Flowers Rejected by Pasco

The "religious freedom" resolution — proposed earlier this month by Pasco Councilman Bob Hoffmann — was rejected Monday night, Nov 21, by a majority of the council. On a vote of 5 to 2, the council decided not to further consider the issue.

Read more here:

Monday, November 21, 2016

Pasco City Council to Consider "Arlene's Flowers" Resolution at Tonight's Meeting

Arlene's Flowers, Richland, Washington
The Pasco City Council will consider a resolution proclaiming the City Of Pasco's support of Baronelle Stutzman in the case brought against her by the Washington State Attorney General.

The council meets at 7 pm tonight, Monday, November 21st, at City Hall, 525 N. Third Ave., Pasco, WA  99301.

The resolution was proposed by council member Bob Hoffman.

To boil the case down to its essentials, the supporters of Arlene's Flowers and Baronelle Stutzman argue that it's okay to discriminate against others, if your religious beliefs dictate that you do so. The precedence this would set is so obvious it isn't worth elaborating.

The Alliance Defending Freedom is supporting Baronelle Stutzman. The ADF, a powerful, tax-exempt conservative religious group, reportedly stated that it, “seeks to recover the robust Christendomic theology of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th centuries." It has been prominent in taking a stand against, "the homosexual agenda," abortion, contraception, and other issues that violate the teachings of the Bible

Attend the meeting and have your say. You do not have to be a resident of Pasco to do so.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Another Dam Meeting

Lower Monumental Dam bridges the Snake River between Franklin and Walla Walla counties near Kahlotus. Courtesy Army Corps

Read more here:
The Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, and Bonneville Power Administration scheduled an additional meeting on a proposal to remove dams on the lower Snake River to save salmon. The meeting will be from 4 to 7 p.m., this coming Monday, Nov. 21, at the Holiday Inn Express, 4525 Convention Place, Pasco. The meeting will be open house-style, with more than a dozen information stations.

According to the Tri-City Herald, officials will solicit input on flood risk management, power generation, navigation, fish and wildlife, recreation, socioeconomic and other issues related to the 14 federal hydropower projects in the Columbia Basin, which include four dams on the Snake River.

Environmentalists, fisheries, and Native American tribes, and others have renewed a push to remove four giant dams from the Snake River to save wild salmon runs, after U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon criticized the government for failing to consider whether breaching the dams would save the fish.

In May 2016, the judge rejected the government's fifth and latest plan for protecting threatened and endangered salmon in the Columbia River system. Agencies must take a new look at all approaches to managing the southeast Washington dams, including breaching, Simon said.

"Scientists tell us that removing the four Lower Snake dams is the single most important action we could take to restore salmon in the entire Columbia-Snake river basin," said Sam Mace of Save Our Wild Salmon.

Opponents of breaching the dams say they provide irrigation, hydropower and shipping benefits, and allow grain barges to operate all the way to Lewiston, Idaho, more than 400 miles from the mouth of the Columbia River.

"We think those dams need to stay in place because of the multiple benefits they provide," said Terry Flores, executive director of Northwest River Partners, which represents public utilities, port districts and farm groups. "They provide clean, carbon-free energy." The four dams produce about 5 percent of the Northwest's hydroelectric power. "We think they're an important part of the Northwest economy and the environment," Flores said.

Chuck Lopresti, an 8th LD Precinct Committee Officer, and Chairman of the Platform Committee for the Benton County Democrats, has been following the dam debate. The final platform opposed Snake River dam removal, which the platform stated were, "integral parts of Washington State’s 'green' electricity production, agricultural and flood control systems, and recreational opportunities."

Despite this, Lopresti plans to attend the meeting, and urges others interested in the issue to do so as well. The better informed we are, the more cogent our comments to the involved agencies can be.

Please let Chuck know if you plan to attend, and if you'd like to meet to discuss the issue after the meeting. He can be contacted at:, 509-946-0926.
Read more here:

Monday, November 14, 2016

First Meetings After the Election

The 8th LD will meet this coming Wednesday, the 16th, at 6:00 pm at Laborers’ Local 348 Hall, 2505 Duportail St, Richland, WA. The 8th LD meeting will be followed at 7 pm by the Benton County Democrats meeting.

Come and share your thoughts on getting through the next four years under a Trump Presidency (yikes!), how to strengthen our party, help our country, and make Trump a one-term president.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A Local Hero

Neil Norman Manning the Benton County Democrats Booth at the Fair
I have in my short association with the 8th Legislative District Democratic Organization (8LDDO), and the Benton County Democratic Central Committee (BCDCC) met many smart, committed, hardworking democrats. They put their heart and soul into this 2016 Election. I would like to exercise my literary license to recognize one in particular for whom I have the greatest admiration and affection -- Neil A Norman.

That's Neil in the photo manning our booth at the 2016 Benton County Fair. It was a very hot day, as you may remember. Neil took the shift starting at 1230, and stood the entire time talking with fair goers -- pitching the democratic message. Becky Voll took on the daunting task of organizing our appearance at this year's fair.

Neil came up with the idea and wrote (with help from others, mostly Chuck Lopresti) the bi-weekly PCO Newsletter, keeping us informed and motivated through the latter stages of the election.

Neil walked his precinct time and again, canvassing for democratic candidates. He put up his "Ready for Hillary" sign three or four times, raising it higher and higher on the garage to avoid it getting torn down every time.

Neil served on a number of committees, including; the Platform Committee, the Climate Committee, and the Nuclear Committee.

He helped the 8th LD Chair plan for the campaign and recruit PCOs.

Neil was always ready to offer assistance and advice to newcomers, and old timers alike.

Neil is an exemplar of our Democratic Party.

Message from the DCCC, and Another From Jaxon Ravens

We simply want to thank you.

We know last night didn’t go as any of us planned. We’re upset. We’re disappointed. And we’re heartbroken.

But we aren’t giving up. We’re going to keep fighting.

We know today doesn’t feel like a victory. But thanks to your support this year, we were able to elect new, strong, and diverse Democrats to the House.

We can’t forget the important wins we did make last night. And we couldn’t have done it without each and every one of you with us.

President Obama reminded us this morning that the most important thing we can do is move forward. He told us that “we brush ourselves off, we get back in the arena, we go at it.”

And that’s exactly what we’re going to do.

Thank you for being with us in this fight -- and for being with us as we forge ahead.

The DCCC Team


Last night, I looked out across a room packed with hundreds of Democrats, their families, and friends. As the national results played out on screen, I was more thankful than ever for the voters, supporters, candidates, and leaders who make Washington a beacon of light for the rest of the country.

Thanks to Democrats like you, we have a lot to celebrate here at home:
  • We re-elected Governor Jay Inslee, Senator Patty Murray, Attorney General Bob Ferguson, and Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler.
  • We re-elected every one of our members congress by decisive margins, and elected Pramila Jayapal to fill the vacant 7th district seat.
  • We filled our statewide offices with new Democratic champions -- Cyrus Habib for Lieutenant Governor, Hilary Franz for Public Lands Commissioner, Pat McCarthy for Auditor, and Chris Reykdal for Superintendent.
  • We strengthened our majority in the State House and are excited to welcome new Democratic legislators in both the House and Senate.
  • And we approved a historic statewide minimum wage increase.
Our victories are your victories. You made it possible to run a top notch statewide Coordinated Campaign. You gave our team the resources, and the motivation, to bring hundreds of volunteers together to get out the vote for our Democratic candidates and values.

I am proud and honored to be a Washington State Democrat, and I hope you are too.

There's more work to be done, but for now -- Thank you.

Jaxon Ravens

Hillary Clinton's Concession Speech

Last night, I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country. I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans.

This is not the outcome we wanted or we worked so hard for, and I'm sorry we did not win this election for the values we share and the vision we hold for our country.

But I feel pride and gratitude for this wonderful campaign that we built together -- this vast, diverse, creative, unruly, energized campaign. You represent the best of America, and being your candidate has been one of the greatest honors of my life.

I know how disappointed you feel, because I feel it too. And so do tens of millions of Americans who invested their hopes and dreams in this effort. This is painful, and it will be for a long time. But I want you to remember this: Our campaign was never about one person or even one election. It was about the country we love -- and about building an America that's hopeful, inclusive, and big-hearted.

We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought. But I still believe in America -- and I always will. And if you do, too, then we must accept this result -- and then look to the future.

Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.

Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power, and we don't just respect that, we cherish it. It also enshrines other things -- the rule of law, the principle that we're all equal in rights and dignity, and the freedom of worship and expression. We respect and cherish these things too -- and we must defend them.

And let me add: Our constitutional democracy demands our participation, not just every four years, but all the time. So let's do all we can to keep advancing the causes and values we all hold dear: making our economy work for everyone, not just those at the top; protecting our country and protecting our planet; and breaking down all the barriers that hold anyone back from achieving their dreams.

We've spent a year and a half bringing together millions of people from every corner of our country to say with one voice that we believe that the American Dream is big enough for everyone -- for people of all races and religions, for men and women, for immigrants, for LGBT people, and people with disabilities.

Our responsibility as citizens is to keep doing our part to build that better, stronger, fairer America we seek. And I know you will.

I am so grateful to stand with all of you.

I want to thank Tim Kaine and Anne Holton for being our partners on this journey. It gives me great hope and comfort to know that Tim will remain on the front-lines of our democracy, representing Virginia in the Senate.

To Barack and Michelle Obama: Our country owes you an enormous debt of gratitude for your graceful, determined leadership, and so do I.

To Bill, Chelsea, Marc, Charlotte, Aidan, our brothers, and our entire family, my love for you means more than I can ever express.

You crisscrossed this country on my behalf and lifted me up when I needed it most -- even four-month old Aidan traveling with his mom.

I will always be grateful to the creative, talented, dedicated men and women at our headquarters in Brooklyn and across our country who poured their hearts into this campaign. For you veterans, this was a campaign after a campaign -- for some of you, this was your first campaign ever. I want each of you to know that you were the best campaign anyone has had.

To all the volunteers, community leaders, activists, and union organizers who knocked on doors, talked to neighbors, posted on Facebook - even in secret or in private: Thank you.

To everyone who sent in contributions as small as $5 and kept us going, thank you.

And to all the young people in particular, I want you to hear this. I've spent my entire adult life fighting for what I believe in. I've had successes and I've had setbacks -- sometimes really painful ones. Many of you are at the beginning of your careers. You will have successes and setbacks, too.

This loss hurts. But please, please never stop believing that fighting for what's right is worth it. It's always worth it. And we need you keep up these fights now and for the rest of your lives.

To all the women, and especially the young women, who put their faith in this campaign and in me, I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion.

I know that we still have not shattered that highest glass ceiling. But some day someone will -- hopefully sooner than we might think right now.

And to all the little girls watching right now, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world.

Finally, I am grateful to our country for all it has given me.

I count my blessings every day that I am an American. And I still believe, as deeply as I ever have, that if we stand together and work together, with respect for our differences, strength in our convictions, and love for this nation -- our best days are still ahead of us.

You know I believe we are stronger together and will go forward together. And you should never be sorry that you fought for that.

Scripture tells us: "Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season, we shall reap, if we do not lose heart."

My friends, let us have faith in each other. Let us not grow weary. Let us not lose heart. For there are more seasons to come and there is more work to do.

I am incredibly honored and grateful to have had this chance to represent all of you in this consequential election. May God bless you and God bless the United States of America.


Despair Is No Answer

"Despair is no answer. To combat authoritarianism, to call out lies, to struggle honorably and fiercely in the name of American ideals—that is what is left to do. That is all there is to do."

David Remmick, The New Yorker

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Use VoteBuilder to Check on Who Has Voted in Your Precinct

8th LD PCOs and Precinct Leaders:

It’s Election Day!  People voting today must use the ballot drop boxes, because a ballot placed in a mailbox today will not necessarily receive today’s postmark.  Ballot drop boxes close at 8:00 PM.
Benton Co. Elections and the State Party office have come through with all the “Early Voting” data we need.  When I logged into VoteBuilder this morning, I found that “Early Voting” data is now complete, right through yesterday’s returns!  (After Thursday, 121 of 313 votes were in in my precinct; now 184 are in!)
   * Compare your list of the Democratic and leaning Democratic voters in your precinct against a final VoteBuilder list of people who have not yet voted.  (Contact either me or your GOTV Coordinator if you want a final VB list.)
   * Contact everyone who has not voted and find out why.
   * If at all possible, enable them to vote!

The list of the 8th LDDO’s endorsements – which is especially useful today, when time is short! – is attached.  This can be a big help to people who want to vote and help our party, but don’t have time to study the Voter’s Pamphlet, which is 144 pages long.  Your constituents will appreciate knowing where their local Democratic Party organization stands on these five initiatives and ten offices.

Election Night Parties!  (I’ll be there shortly after the drop boxes close!)
As previously announced, there will be an election night party at the home of Misty Harris-Muchlinski, 2345 Carriage Avenue, Richland.  The party starts at 6:30 PM.  Please RSVP to  BYOB.
There will also be a gathering at the Tapteal Apartments clubhouse at 1775 Columbia Park Trail, Richland. This party starts at 5:00 PM. Bring some food to share.

Let’s Get Out The Vote and win this election!

John Christenson, Chair
8th Legislative District Democratic Organization
(509) 783-0282  home

Election Night Parties

As previously announced, there will be an election night party at the home of Misty Harris-Muchlinski, 2345 Carriage Avenue, Richland. The party starts at 6:30 PM. Please RSVP to BYOB.

There will also be a gathering at the Tapteal Apartments clubouse at 1775 Columbia Park Trail, Richland. This party starts at 5:00 PM. Bring some food to share.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Know Your Rights ( Intimidación al votante)

The ACLU prepared this Know Your Rights resource for election season in response to heightened concern regarding voter intimidation at polling places. Download a printable version of this info here (en Español aquí), and a shareable social media graphic here. Contact the Election Protection Hotline (866-OUR-VOTE), the Department of Justice Voting Rights Hotline (800-253-3931), or an attorney if you believe that your rights have been violated.

48 Hours

PCOs and Precinct Leaders:

Yesterday’s big GOTV rally in Pasco was great!  Thank you, Gov. Jay Inslee and Sen. Patty Murray, for all you do!  Tony Ramirez (WA Democrats’ Coordinated Campaign; UA Local 598, 1328 N 28th Ave, Pascoantonio@wavictory16.org509-790-8556) is conducting our ground game’s final phase masterfully.  I asked for a Kennewick list and was sent to the apartment complexes on N. Arthur St. east and south of Kamiakin H.S.  (This is in Precinct W1-P646, which, as it happens, is within half a mile of my home precinct, Yellowstone, and does not have a precinct leader!)  It was great seeing voters in Precinct W1-P646 eyes light up when we reminded them what a safe, sound alternative to Donald Trump is available to them, in our party’s standard-bearer, Hillary Clinton!  

As a precinct leader, you have a specific responsibility to get out the vote in your precinct!  The 8th LDDO’s concise voting guide, attached, is extremely useful now, in this final phase of GOTV.  A person may be very eager to exercise the franchise (and help us make history!), yet lead a busy life and find the 144-page Voter’s Pamphlet daunting.  The attached concise list – a single sheet of paper yields six – is “just the ticket” for enabling them to vote!  Your constituents will really appreciate knowing where their local Democratic Party stands on these five initiatives and ten offices.
NOTE:  Along with the Presidency and other offices at the top of the ballot, it can be persuasive to emphasize our support for the well-known and important initiatives I-1433 (Raise the Minimum Wage) and I-735 (Get Big Money Out Of Elections, Citizens United).  In addition to 10 or 20 of the little 8th LDDO endorsement slips, carry with you a copy of the Voter’s Pamphlet, so you can provide details.

If you need anything, please contact me or the GOTV Coordinator for your area, see below.  Thank you for doing your part in this historic 2016 election!  

John Christenson, Chair
8th Legislative District Democratic Organization
(509) 783-0282  home

Sunday, November 6, 2016

A Plea from the Climate Scientists Who Write for Real Climate

Dear US voters:

The world is holding its breath. The stakes are high in the upcoming US elections. At stake is a million times more than which email server one candidate used, or how another treated women. The future of humanity will be profoundly affected by your choice, for many generations to come

The coming four years is the last term during which a US government still has the chance, jointly with the rest of the world, to do what is needed to stop global warming well below 2°C and closer to 1.5°C, as was unanimously decided by 195 nations in the Paris Agreement last December. The total amount of carbon dioxide the world can still emit in order to have at least a 50% chance to stop warming at 1.5 °C will, at the current rate of emissions, be all used up in under ten years! This time can only be stretched out by making emissions fall rapidly.
Greenland and parts of neighboring Canada have experienced some of the most extreme warming since 1979, at a rate of about 1 degree Celsius per decade, or several times the global average.
Even 2°C of global warming is very likely to spell the end of most coral reefs on Earth. 2°C would mean a largely ice-free Arctic ocean in summer, right up to the North Pole. Even 2°C of warming is likely to destabilize continental ice sheets and commit the world to many meters of sea-level rise, lasting for millennia. Further global warming will likely lead to increasing extreme weather, droughts, harvest failures, and the risk of armed conflict and mass migration
In case you have any doubts about the science: in the scientific community there is a long-standing consensus that humans are causing dangerous global warming, reflected in the clear statements of many scientific academies and societies from around the world. None of the 195 governments that signed the Paris Agreement saw any reasons for doubting the underlying scientific facts; doubts about the science that you see in some media are largely manufactured by interest groups trying to fool you

You have a fateful choice to make. The policies of candidates and parties on climate change could hardly be more different. Hillary Clinton would continue to work with the international community to tackle the global warming crisis and help the transition to modern clean and renewable energies. Donald Trump denies that the problem even exists and has promised to go back to coal and to undo the Paris Agreement, which comes into force today, November 4, 2016, as culmination of over twenty years of negotiations

Please consider this carefully. This is not an election about personalities, it is about policies that will determine our future for a long time to come. While the presidential race has gotten the most attention, voters should consider climate not just at the ‘top of the ticket’, but all the way down the ballot. Don’t make a choice that you, your children and your children’s children will regret forever

David Archer, Rasmus Benestad, Ray Bradley, Michael Mann, Ray Pierrehumbert, Stefan Rahmstorf and Eric Steig

Let's Retire Kim Wyman

Kim Wyman, Washngton's Republican incumbent Secretary of State, has demonstrated an alarming pattern of mismanagement and voter suppression tactics. Voter participation under her watch has plummeted. Mistranslated and inaccurate voting guidelines were mailed to 136,000 Spanish-speaking voters. And a recent investigation revealed her back-room meetings with NRA and tobacco industry representatives, hosted by the same Republican organization that poured over $67,000 to get her re-elected.

We need to retired her!

Vote for integrity, activism for voter engagement and empowerment, vote for Tina Podlodowski!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Get Out the Vote Using VoteBuilder

8th LD PCOs and Precinct Leaders:

I encourage you to take part in tomorrow’s mass GOTV event in Pasco, but I want to remind you of your special responsibility to get out the vote in the precinct where you serve!

One of the fundamental duties of a PCO or Precinct Leader is to deliver the votes of identified Democrats in the precinct.  Now is the time when this must be done!  If you canvassed your precinct earlier this year, you have a long list of residents whom you judge likely to vote Democratic.  If you did not canvass, you can go by the “Likely Party” data in VoteBuilder.  The goal now is to get as many as possible of the voters on your list to vote and turn in their ballots by Election Day.

VoteBuilder can tell you which voters on your list have cast ballots so far, enabling you to focus in on the remainder.  This requires the use of VoteBuilder’s “Early Voting” search criteria.  If you need help using Early Voting in VoteBuilder, or you don’t have your own VoteBuilder account, contact either me or the GOTV Coordinator assigned your precinct, see below.

As an example, consider my precinct, Yellowstone.  Every night after the Benton County Election Dept. closes, Monday through Saturday, the staff outputs a computer file showing which voters have cast their ballots.  They send a copy of this file to our State Party office, where the data are loaded into VoteBuilder.  Today, VoteBuilder showed the voters whose ballots were received through yesterday, Thursday, 11/3.  Here were the Early Voting numbers, day by day, for Yellowstone Precinct:
Monday, 10/24 – 14
Tuesday, 10/25 – 12
Wednesday, 10/26 – 11
Thursday, 10/27 – 22
Friday, 10/28 – 10
Saturday, 10/29 – 16
Monday, 10/31 – 14
Tuesday, 11/1 – 9
Wednesday, 11/2 – 7
Thursday, 11/3 – 6
In toto, this accounts for 121 of Yellowstone Precinct’s 313 registered voters.  Those among the 121 who are on my list of identified Democrats, I can now cross off my list.  After the election I will thank them for voting early:  they have enabled the Democratic Party to do its GOTV work faster and helped Democratic candidates to win!

I have defined four Get Out The Vote areas in the 8th LD and named an area Coordinator in each.  GOTV Coordinators will monitor and coordinate the GOTV activities of the PCOs and Precinct Leaders in their territories.
Kennewick Ward 1.  26 precincts in the City of Kennewick’s Ward 1.  GOTV Coordinator:  Brent Kirby, Precinct W1-P665 Precinct Leader;; (509) 396-7620.
Kennewick Ward 3.  21 precincts in the City of Kennewick’s Ward 3.  GOTV Coordinator:  Yvonne Aguilar, Precinct W3-P555 PCO;; (509) 240-2199.
Richland North.  37 Richland precincts north of the Columbia River.  GOTV Coordinator:  Brandi Baker, Precinct 186 Precinct Leader;; (509) 859-9715.
West Richland.  19 West Richland precincts WR 1-WR 17, Enterprise, Harrington.  GOTV Coordinator:  Kate Moran, Precinct WR 13 PCO;; (636) 443-5583.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our GOTV Coordinators:  Yvonne Aguilar, Brandi Baker, Brent Kirby, and Kate Moran.  The areas they serve comprise 104 of the 8th LD’s 175 precincts, a large share.  They are giving a very significant boost to our GOTV efforts!

Thank you, too, for Getting Out The Vote in your precinct!

John Christenson, Chair
8th Legislative District Democratic Organization

Friday, November 4, 2016

Governor Jay Inslee and Senator Patty Murray to Speak at GOTV Rally in Pasco

8th LD PCOs, Precinct Leaders, and GOTV volunteers:

Washington Governor Jay Inslee and U.S. Senator Patty Murray will speak at a GOTV rally in Pasco this Saturday!
     When:  2:00 PM, Saturday, November 5
     Where:  UA Local Union 598 Plumbers and Steamfitters, 1328 N 28th Ave, Pasco

These two elected officials are Washington Democrats’ brightest stars and the heroes of our state party’s Coordinated Campaign!  By hitching their re-election campaigns to campaigns of Democrats all across the state, they propel forward and upward all our candidates and local party organizations.

The timing of this meeting is three days before Election Day and it is a work meeting.  Come prepared to knock on doors!  We will visit Democratic-leaning voters who have not yet voted, remind them of what is at stake in Tuesday’s election, and urge them to vote immediately.

This is the ground game, a key element in Democratic Party successes.  It relies on the efforts of people like you and me.  As Democrats, we share the core values and vision for America’s future written in our platform.  As precinct leaders – effective communicators with a firm grasp of the issues, citizens committed to active involvement in the process of American self-government – we have special ability, and responsibility, to rouse our neighbors to vote.

Please do your part.  This 2016 election is truly momentous and historic!  Come and work together on Saturday, gain inspiration from our state’s great Democratic leaders, and lend your strong hand and voice to our worthy cause!

John Christenson, Chair
8th Legislative District Democratic Organization
(509) 783-0282  home

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Endorsed by 8th LD Democratic Organization

I-1433 - Yes
I-1464 - Yes
I-1491 - Yes
I-1501 - Yes
I-735 - Yes

U.S. President - Hillary Clinton
U.S. Senator - Patty Murray
Governor - Jay Inslee
Lt. Governor - Cyrus Habib
Secretary of State - Tina Podlodowski
Auditor - Pat (Patrice) McCarthy
Attorney General - Bob Ferguson
Commissioner of Public Lands - Hilary Franz
Supt. of Public Instruction - Chris Reykdal
Insurance Commissioner - Mike Kreidler

Monday, October 31, 2016

A Night for Monsters

Halloween night in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Republican Presidential Candidate, Donald J. Trump, called for waterboarding and "much worse." He didn't specify who the enemy was, but alluded to the fight against ISIS, and to "hundreds of millions" of people flooding into the United States if Hillary Clinton is elected President.

According to CNN Politics, "Trump also stoked fears about undocumented immigrant crime, warning that continued illegal immigration would result 'in the loss of American lives,' even though undocumented immigrants do not commit crimes at a higher rate than legal US residents."

We do have something to fear on this Halloween night, and every night for another nine days -- the monster that is Donald Trump.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

President Obama's Approval Rating Outpaces Reagan's

CNN/ORC poll: President Obama's approval rating of 55% now outpaces Ronald Reagan's 51% at this time in 1988

Washington Gubernatorial Candidate Bill Bryant Meeting with Latino Coalition in Kennewick

Bill Bryant will meet with the Latino Coalition this coming Friday morning, the 28th, from 11am to 11:45am, at the Lampson Crane Building located at 602 Columbia Drive (off Cable Bridge), in Kennewick. If you plan to attend, please notify David Cortinas, ASAP.

Monday, October 24, 2016

October 31st Last Day to Register to Vote

In Washington State, October 31st is the last day to register to vote.
One must register in person before close of business.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

On-Line Voters' Guide

Here is a link to the on-line voters' guide provided by the Washington Secretary of State.

The buttons across the top of the page provide links to:

Click the + sign to expand each section.

Gary Downing for the State Legislature

Gary Downing is a candidate for the Washington State Legislature, 16th District (House Seat # 2)
My name is Gary Downing and I have formally announced my candidacy for the 16th Legislative District, Position 2.

I’ve been involved in politics for over 40 years and have always spoken out on issues to support the working class, better education, jobs, and benefits.

I believe in human rights, be it women, people who come to our Nation for a better life or those in love with the same sex. Everyone is a human being and needs to be respected equally. When it comes to race, let it be known there is only one — IT’S CALLED THE HUMAN RACE.

 As a father of twin daughters who have been the best part of my life, I understand what it's like to raise children and pay that mortgage, the bills and make sure enough money is left over to put food on the table. We need people in office who understand issues that face the average person.

There are a number of things that need to be addressed in our State Legislature. These are only a few.

Education: I do not believe that the public should be funding charter schools with profits from the lotto, no matter what they are called, they are still corporations for profit. They take care of stock holders and the CEO before the children unlike Public Education in our state that has and always will place our children FIRST.

Today we have two sources to create a base for our public education. One source was the profits from the Lotto which always should have been placed in a fund called Public Education not in the general fund. Now add a second tax revenue to that to create a solid base. That other tax revenue source is a marijuana sales tax. Some have told me we don't mix pot and education. I say placing that tax revenue into a pot that all people grab. Why not make use of it in a proper manner.

Tax Reform: We need to close the tax loopholes that have been given to the corporations in this state. There should be no tax relief for those corporations who lay off their workforce and send jobs out of state.

Jobs and the Economy: The funds from closing tax loopholes would be directed towards rebuilding our state infrastructure, new highways, bridges and overpasses. We need to make sure small businesses grow and can produce the products they invest in.  The bullet train that has been discussed for years between eastern Washington and the west side needs to be built. All of these things will create hundreds of thousands of new jobs in this state. I also understand, if it were not for Unions our Nation today would be in slave labor. Skilled workers will always be the backbone of progress.

Homeless and Veterans: We need funding for families in need and our veterans. There are homeless veterans, disabled people, and families with children. However in our state is not just adults alone who are homeless. Today in our state we have over 32,000 single children who are sleeping under bridges, in allies, in cars and at friends. As a state and people we can do better than this.

Religion: Every person has their own beliefs, and I don't care what your personal religious belief is as it's not mine. Understand always if any wall is to be built it will be between religion and our government.

Minimum Wage: I support a living wage statewide, not a starving wage. Families cannot live on $800 - $1000 a month.

Campaign Finance Reform: Getting money out of politics. I support Initiative 735. Constitutional rights belong only to individuals, not corporations. Corporations are not people.

Gary Downing has been endorsed by the 16th Legislative District Democrats and the Benton County Democrats. Contribute to his campaign here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


Latest 8th Legislative District Democratic Organization Picks

The 8th LDDO endorses the following candidates for elected office in the 2016 Election:

U.S. President - Hillary Clinton
U.S. Senator - Patty Murray
Washington Governor - Jay Inslee
Lt. Governor - Cyrus Habib
Secretary of State - Tina Podlodowski
Auditor - Pat (Patrice) McCarthy
Attorney General - Bob Ferguson
Commissioner of Public Lands - Hilary Franz
Supt. of Public Instruction - Chris Reykdal
Insurance Commissioner - Mike Kreidler

The 8th LDDO supports the following initiatives:

I-1433; Increases the minimum wage
I-1464: Establishes program for registered voters to make "democracy credit contributions"
I-1491: Issue extreme risk protection orders
I-1501: Change law for ID theft on seniors and vulnerable individuals
I-735: Get big money out of politics

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Voters Pamphlet

Voters pamphlets are arriving in your mail. The pamphlets are especially useful in understanding the initiatives. They are described, and arguments for and against are provided. These arguments are written by those supporting or opposing the initiatives, so do your own due diligence.

In past elections, some special interests have sent out advocacy mailings disguised to look very much like official voters' guides. Make sure your 'guide' says 'PUBLISHED BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE,' and has the State Seal on it.

Get informed, vote, and get out the vote!


The 8th LDDO meeting will take place tomorrow MONDAY evening, instead of Wednesday.

Same time, 6 pm, and place, the Laborers Local 348, Union Hall, 2505 Duportail St., Richland.

The Benton County Democrats meet immediately after the 8th LDDO.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Rebecca Francik

Rebecca Francik is running as a Democratic candidate for the 16th district in the Washington State House of Representatives. Her experience in agriculture, education, infrastructure and local government make her uniquely qualified to address some of our state’s most pressing issues.

Descended from relatives who homesteaded in Washington State, Francik was raised on a small family farm in Pullman WA.  Earning her way through college by working for the WSU agronomy department, she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Agronomy from WSU.

Rebecca and her husband of 38 years moved to Pasco in 1983 and raised 7 children.  Subsequently, she earned both a Master in Teaching from Heritage College and a Master in Library and Information Science from the University of Washington.  She has served as a Pasco council member for 19 years and works as a Nationally Board Certified Librarian/Teacher in the Pasco School District.

Francik has been very involved in state and local infrastructure.  Appointed by Governors Gregoire and Locke to the Public Works Trust Fund and the Freight Mobility Strategic Investment board, Francik was involved in prioritizing and funding water, sewer, and highway projects throughout the state for over 10 years.  She has also served 10 years as a board member on the Association of Washington Cities.

Francik’s primary goals for Washington include fully funding Washington Education, maintaining and improving our primary infrastructure, including mental health services.­­­

Rebecca Francik would make an outstanding representative. Let's help her get elected!

Meet Tina Podlodowski

You’re invited to come and meet Tina Podlodowski, our candidate for Secretary of State, Thursday afternoon at the WA Democrats’ Coordinated Campaign office in Pasco.  It is important to elect a leader who supports Same-Day Voter Registration, Postage-Free Ballots, and broad "voter engagement" initiatives.
     When:  4:00 PM-5:00 PM, Thursday, October 13
     Where:  UA Local Union 598 Plumbers and Steamfitters, 1328 N 28th Ave, Pasco

An hour or so after meeting with us at Local 598, Tina will appear at CBC in a debate with incumbent Kim Wyman for election to Secretary of State.
     When:  6:00 PM, Thursday, October 13
     Where:  Gjerde Center, Columbia Basin College, Pasco

PCOs and Precinct Leaders, if you’re going to Pasco to meet Tina Podlodowski tomorrow afternoon, please plan to pick up your list of Coordinated Campaign (general election) targeted voters and accompanying literature.

Exactly one week from today, on October 19, the Benton County Election Dept. will mail out the ballots for the November 8 election.  Before the voters get their ballots, please doorbell the Coordinated Campaign list of “lazy Democrats” in your precinct.  These are people who over the years have voted only sporadically and who therefore should be given extra encouragement.  Contact Tony Ramirez (; 509-790-8556) by tomorrow noon, if possible, so he can have the list and literature for your precinct ready for you to pick up at 4 or 5 PM.  Tell Tony the name of your precinct.  Feel free to contact me if you have questions.

NOTICE:  The date of the 8th LDDO’s October meeting has been changed.  Instead of on the 3rd Wednesday, the usual day for our monthly general meeting, we will meet the Monday before.
     When:  6:00 PM, Monday, October 17
     Where:  Laborers’ Local 348 Hall, 2505 Duportail St, Richland

The agenda will include:  Presentation of the Get Out The Vote (GOTV) plan for the 8th LD.  (GOTV support materials and guidance for PCOs and Precinct Leaders will be provided.)  Report on 8th LD volunteers’ participation to date in the State Party’s “Local Party Challenge”:  doorbelling and phonebanking for the Coordinated Campaign.  Consideration of the Carbon Tax Initiative I-732.

The reason for the change in the date of our October meeting is that two important debates are being held on the evening of Wednesday, October 19:
6:00 PM.  Third and final Presidential Debate.  (Available on a television or computer near you.)
8:00 PM.  Gubernatorial Debate.  Governor Jay Inslee and challenger Bill Bryant will debate at the Gjerde Center, Columbia Basin College, Pasco.  Tickets are available through the Seattle City Club.

John Christenson, Chair
8th Legislative District Democratic Organization
(509) 783-0282  home

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Reminder - Candidate Forum

Candidates for Washington state secretary of state are scheduled to speak at a forum at 6 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Gjerde Center, Building H, on the Columbia Basin College in Pasco.
Incumbent Kim Wyman and challenger Tina Podlodowski will discuss issues facing the secretary of state’s office and answer audience questions at the forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters, the Associated Students of Columbia Basin College and the Tri-Cities Latino Coalition.
Topics may include issues of voter turnout and access to election information and access to historical and current state records.