By: g.h.kirsch (69)

Face It

In the early days of the nation, back in 1789 at the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention, a woman approached Ben Franklin and asked, “So what will we have Doctor Frankiln, a monarchy or a repu

In the early days of the nation, back in 1789 at the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention, a woman approached Ben Franklin and asked, “So what will we have Doctor Frankiln, a monarchy or a repu

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• Topics: Whatcom County, Elections,

In the early days of the nation, back in 1789 at the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention, a woman approached Ben Franklin and asked, "So what will we have Doctor Frankiln, a monarchy or a republic?"

To which Franklin insightfully replied, "A republic, if you can keep it."

The question remains today. Are we up to governing ourselves?

We needn't look at the terrible shape our national government has taken to be seized by despair.

Unheralded, now for several days, finally Dan McShane predictably announced he intends to sit on the county council again. Missing was the hoped for cry of "Draft!"

Apparently our local paper doesn't classify such information as newsworthy. And they are probably right.

Not too long ago the Herald's editorial board made a cogent plea for "new blood" in local government. But instead we will apparently be presented a bunch of old faces in some game of musical chairs.

We'll have Laurie Caskey-Schreiber (already 8yrs in office) seeking Seth Fleetwoods position. While Seth attempts to move into Louise (finally retiring after decades) Bjornson's city slot. And of course Dan (already 8yrs in office) back from the grave, attempting the Lazarus thing to restart his campaign for full time government employment.

What's wrong with this picture? It appears that in all the county races there's a likelihood that every candidate could run unopposed. Well you won't get "new blood" out of that turnip cart!

If we are to "keep it" and fulfill the democratic aspirations that came out of the Age of Reason, we need to do better than this.

Why are there no electable alternatives to these old faces? Has the system become so corrupted and taken under the control of a few partisans that their grip on local government can't be broken?

Surely there is nothing so outstanding about the performance of these incumbents to give them a lock on an election.

Aside from the fact they have given the community their time and service, few if any of our problems have been solved. And they have put forward few if any proposals that might.

So who will accept the call of duty and put a new face on county government?

About g.h.kirsch

Citizen Journalist • Member since Jan 16, 2008

Tip Johnson

May 20, 2009

Go for it, Greg! Running for office is far and away the best way to get a piece of the community’s mind, insight into the nuts and bolts of the issues and a good sense of what it takes to be effective in a (democratic) republic. Think of the things you could accomplish on the County Council.  It’s not too late to put your money where your mouth is and file for office!

On a bright note, there are four challengers to the two Port Commission seats up for election this August.  The two top candidates for both seats will proceed to the general election in November.

I cannot imagine a more efficient way to take Whatcom County forward than to oust the two long-term incumbent commission curmudgeons in the August primary. I can’t think of a single better way to improve government or protect taxpayers of Whatcom County.

So there is not a wholesale deficit of candidates.  They will generally emerge when issues reach crisis proportions.  A lack of challengers for county seats just means that most folks aren’t as unhappy with their performance as you are.  That’s exactly why you should be considering filing, Greg.

The real problem is the difficulty challengers have unseating incumbents. The incredible shrinking Herald will be even less equipped to address the issues than they ever didn’t. Our local radio monopoly will, as with all corporate media, hew to the status quo. But perhaps Port issues have finally hit the front burner.  Lord knows they have been simmering on the back burner long enough.

For instance, the last batch of commissioners got so old they had to retire, having served for more than three decades!  That’s too long.  The commissioners up for election this August are already pushing half of that term. That’s too long, too.

So folks, lets get busy and repair the Port before they bury all the toxins, sell off our waterfront, wreck downtown, foreclose on opportunities for good paying jobs and saddle taxpayers with an interminable bill for their waterfront real estate pipe dream.  Un-elect two incumbent commissioners this August and save the waterfront from disaster. Voters will save a lot of campaign contribution money by doing it in the August primary.

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Craig Mayberry

May 21, 2009

This situation is one of the reasons I strongly advocate public campaign financing.  The task of running for office is daunting, especially when having to take on established candidates.  At least if it were a fair financial fight it would be worthwhile for more to attempt to run for office.  The worst part of campaigning is raising money, especially if you do not have the established networks that incumbents, and public campaign financing allows candidates to focus on voters and not special interests and fund raising.

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Sharon Crozier

May 21, 2009

What would make anyone think that many people haven’t approached Dan McShane? What does a “draft” have to look like for you?

And how does a cartoon of a presumed potential candidate going “blah blah blah” encourage new blood? It more likely warns that, should their hats be thrown into the ring, the bloodthirsty will jump all over them.

We should thank Dan for caring enough to go through all the crap that running for office presents. Dan—along with Laurie—did more for the environment than anyone before or since. Scary stuff, eh?

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Tip Johnson

May 21, 2009

Sharon is absolutely correct.  Thanks, Dan!

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Robert Ashworth

May 30, 2009

Ken Mann would be a new face on county council even though his face has been seen before on (I think) county planning commission. 

I remember meeting Ken, only once a few years back.  It was at an event called “Bike With Your Politician” sponsored by (I think) Mount Baker Bicycle Club. 

It’s an event held in May each year where local politicians, those running for office and the general public are invited to attend a bike ride through Bellingham.  A good way to see the street system from a bicyclist’s perspective.  Something very useful for politicians.  Barbara Brenner, currently on County Council, and a few other politicians have come along on that ride in years past.

It’s something more politicians could benefit from.

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Face It

By g.h.kirschOn May 20, 2009

In the early days of the nation, back in 1789 at the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention, a woman approached Ben Franklin and asked, “So what will we have Doctor Frankiln, a monarchy or a repu

5 comments, most recent 13 years ago

Shocking Revelation: President Impotent

By g.h.kirschOn May 14, 2009

Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, asks, “What do you suppose it is like to be elected president of the United States only to find that your power is restricted to t

4 comments, most recent 13 years ago

Coming Up - The Weather

By g.h.kirschOn May 14, 2009

Events have forced those who earlier warned of global warming to modulate their hysteria and instead ring the alarm for catastrophic “climate change” instead.

Why the nuance? If

2 comments, most recent 13 years ago

Bait and Switch

By g.h.kirschOn May 06, 2009

While after a hundred days the Obama administration may be spinnin’ and grinnin’, the rising chorus of criticism on the left evidences the disillusionment and disenchantment growing among those who be

4 comments, most recent 13 years ago

Then and Now, Now and Then

By g.h.kirschOn May 04, 2009

For those who still remember the idealism of their youth, this link will take you back to Kent State Univ

3 comments, most recent 13 years ago

Doug vs Doug

By g.h.kirschOn May 02, 2009

Clearly, Doug Karlberg’s announcement, he’d be a candidate for Doug Smith’s position at the Port of Bellingham, was the highlight of the week for local political junkies.

Indeed both the Her

6 comments, most recent 13 years ago

Some Piggies More Equal Than Others

By g.h.kirschOn Apr 27, 2009

Congressional correspondent Susan Ferrechio reports passing cap & trade legislation is business as usual in Washington, not always pretty to watch.

“In exchange for votes to pass a controversia

Osgood Wonders

By g.h.kirschOn Apr 22, 2009

Evidencing the emerging understanding that not all is right with the theories of global warming doomsayers, the completely mainstream Charles Osgood offers this in support of skeptics backing the sola

4 comments, most recent 13 years ago

Global Warming Warnings

By g.h.kirschOn Apr 19, 2009

As we race towards a future fraught with economic and environmental uncertainty; and as global forces pull at our cherished freedoms and political institutions, at the risk of more ridicule and condes

5 comments, most recent 13 years ago

Nader Counterpunches

By g.h.kirschOn Apr 17, 2009

The eternally committed Ralph Nader continues to follow and speak frankly about the affairs important to average Americans.

In an article today at Counterpunch, The Greedsters

2 comments, most recent 13 years ago

She Said He Said

By g.h.kirschOn Apr 14, 2009

Mark Russell used to joke, “If you call your opponent a politician, it’s grounds for libel.”

But I must admit I was amazed as the minions of the McShane machine mobilized to march

7 comments, most recent 13 years ago

Draft McShane ???

By g.h.kirschOn Apr 04, 2009

Remember when Tricky Dick told reporters in California, “You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore.”

Remember when Dan McShane told us, after a brutally negative campaign for Ma

2 comments, most recent 13 years ago

A Convenient Half-Truth

By g.h.kirschOn Mar 29, 2009

What do you know, and what do you take on faith? Who do you trust, and should you trust them? Do you believe that failing to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere will have catastrophic environmental consequ

11 comments, most recent 13 years ago

Outa Sight & Outa Their Minds

By g.h.kirschOn Mar 24, 2009

The good news for ordinary American taxpayers just keeps coming. Monday’s formal announcement of Treasury Secretary Geithner’s oft floated It-Ain’t-Really-a-Bailout Plan thrilled Wall Street.
<b

7 comments, most recent 13 years ago

Still Moron Money

By g.h.kirschOn Mar 22, 2009

The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday it would buy $300 billion of long-term Treasurys over the next six months. The Fed also announced plans to buy an additional $750 billion in mortgage-backed se

Moron Money

By g.h.kirschOn Mar 15, 2009

“I place economy among the first and most important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.”

6 comments, most recent 13 years ago

Blind, Deaf and Dumb

By g.h.kirschOn Mar 08, 2009

Kremen County has re-issued and revised its earlier Determination of Non-significance for the road to Vineyard Development. And as predicted (surprise, surprise) again determ

Cap or Trade

By g.h.kirschOn Mar 03, 2009

There’s a disturbing pattern emerging in the current administration’s approach to national problems.

Last week they proposed to saddle the citizenry with the costs of salvaging a priva

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Banking and Revolution

By g.h.kirschOn Feb 21, 2009

It is difficult to appreciate the momentousness of the moment at hand as the struggle to resolve matters swirling in the banking sector come to the critical pass. The debate over nationalization of o

6 comments, most recent 13 years ago

Self Fulfilling Profits

By g.h.kirschOn Feb 19, 2009

Our friend over at The Syre Times continues with great circularity to confound the growth debate. And what better way to begin than misstating the position of those opposed to continuing unman

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