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.

Candidate Forum

Who:  Candidates running for the office of Attorney General and OSPI
What:  Candidate forum sponsored by:
             League of Women Voters
             Latino Coalition Tri Cities
             STEM Foundation
Where:  Pasco Police Dept Regional Training Center, 204 W Clark St, Pasco
When:  Wednesday, October 12,  6:00 pm
                AG candidates at 6:00 
                OSPI candidates at 7:00
Bob Ferguson, Incumbent Washington Attorney General
Erin Jones (left) and Chris Rykdal, candidates for Superintendent of Public Instruction

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

We Are More Than a 'Thing,' We Are a Vote

by David Torres, in America's Voice, October 5, 2016
La columna está disponible en línea en inglés aquí [in English here] y en español aquí.
Washington, DC – En un nuevo artículo, David Torres, consejero de medios en español de America’s Voice, un nuevo ciudadano recientemente naturalizado, y votante por primera vez, provee su franca reacción al debate vicepresidencial de anoche.  
En respuesta al comentario del gobernador Mike Pence al referirse a “esa cosa mexicana”, Torres rechaza la tentación de usar el mismo nivel de insultos e injurias de Trump, y en lugar de ello se prepara a emitir su voto en noviembre, “y noviembre está más cerca que nunca. Esa es la buena noticia”.
El artículo completo, “Somos más que una ‘cosa’: Somos un voto”  se reproduce abajo y está disponible aquí en inglés y aquí en español.
Cada vez que escucho comentarios como el que emitió con cierto disgusto y clasismo el gobernador republicano Mike Pence durante el debate vicepresidencial del martes, al referirse a “la cosa mexicana esa”, luego de que el tema lo trajo a colación su contendiente demócrata Tim Kaine, trato de no pensar en mí en primera instancia. Aunque como mexicano es realmente difícil no sentirse insultado, dadas las circunstancias.

Bueno, podría reaccionar, como ocurrió, pensando en una serie de esas hermosas y significativas “malas palabras a la mexicana” listas para ser usadas en contra del Trumpismo y de todos aquellos que apoyan las ideas del candidato presidencial republicano, incluyendo a Pence y a una buena parte de sus ancestros, aunque estos últimos, claro está, no tienen la culpa de tan mala semilla, ni es mi estilo rebajarme a ese nivel de insultos.

Incluso podría reaccionar de una manera, digamos, “más educada o intelectual”, tratando de entender la moderna psique estadounidense en relación con el racismo, un racismo que intenta ser impuesto como algo “normal” en la sociedad contemporánea a través de una campaña sostenida por fanáticos, demagogos y xenófobos.

Sin embargo, prefiero pensar en las millones de personas del pasado y del presente que sacrificaron todo —y cuando digo todo es todo— para venir a esta “tierra de oportunidades”, dando a este país lo mejor de sus vidas y proveyendo a esta nación al mismo tiempo la oportunidad de reinventarse una vez más, como ha sido a lo largo de toda su historia.

Pero en lugar de que el sacrificio –militar, económico, social, cultural, demográfico, lingüístico, etc.-- que esos millones de inmigrantes han hecho a lo largo de la historia de Estados Unidos sea reconocido, o al menos esperar un decente y humano nivel de aceptación, somos considerados como “una cosa”, sólo una “cosa” que puede ser usada en un debate para continuar con el vituperio, la majadería cultural y el insulto claro y evidente contra una comunidad como la mexicana.

Pence también ha mostrado de este modo la despreciable y verdadera esencia de un racista que aspira a ganar la Casa Blanca, con el fin de imponer su visión de un país que, muy a su pesar, cambió hace mucho, mucho tiempo. Pero parece que la xenofobia no les permite ver más allá de un solo color.

Aun así, estoy convencido, como inmigrante que sufragará por primera vez con base en los derechos que me otorga la Constitución como nuevo ciudadano, de que los mexicanos y, en general, los inmigrantes naturalizados de cualquier origen, somos más que “una cosa”: somos un voto.

Y noviembre está cada vez más cerca. Esa es la buena noticia.
David Torres es consejero de medios en español de America’s Voice.
Siga a Frank Sharry, Maribel Hastings, David Torres y America’s Voice en Twitter: @FrankSharry, @MaribelHastings , @datorg64 and @AmericasVoice
America's Voice – Reuniendo el poder de las voces y los valores estadounidenses para lograr una reforma migratoria de sentido común

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Initiative 732 Forum

PCOs Richard Badalamente and Lora Rathbone were key players in arranging a forum on I-732, the initiative sponsored by CarbonWA designed to lower CO2 emissions in Washington State. The forum took place last Friday, September 30th, at WSU-Tri-Cities. An estimated 60 to 70 people turned out to hear panelists representing CarbonWA, Audubon-WA, Labor, and Latino Progress discuss the pros and cons of the initiative.

The Benton-Franklin League of Women Voters moderated the forum. The event was co-hosted by the WSU-Tri-Cities Environmental Club. The club's student president, Elinor Lake did yeoman's work arranging the venue, and assisting in the conduct of the forum. Northwest Public TV recorded the forum and will televise it soon.

A critical element of the ever increasing concentration of CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere is the unprecendated rate of change we're witnessing since the Industrial Revolution.

 I-732 is patterned after the proven and highly successful carbon tax in British Columbia and will:

1.  Establish a 25 dollar per ton tax on carbon emissions associated with fossil fuels.
2.  Reduce the sales tax by a full percent.
3.  Provide a Working Families Tax Rebate to provide up to $1,500 a year for 460,000 low-income households
4.  Lower the Business & Occupation tax on manufacturing to 0.001 percent of gross receipts, effectively eliminating the tax.

I-732 is designed to be revenue neutral, so that the money collected by the carbon tax is used to reduce other taxes. Government will not grow as a result, but CO2 will decline.

Benton County Democrats will discuss endorsing I-732 at the October monthly meeting.