Bold Colors Blog

Stickin’ it to the libs, one day at a time

Posts Tagged ‘Washington State’

Some good investigative work on “green” schools in Washington State

Posted by Liberty on April 8, 2009

I heard an interview with Todd Myers [Director of WPC’s Center for the Environment] on the radio the other afternoon.  He’s been conducting an investigation into the efficacy of Washington State’s “green schools” mandate and has concluded that supporters of the mandate have made exaggerated the cost savings of green schools.

“Lawmakers passed the mandate for one-size-fits-all “green” government building construction standards in 2005 based on numerous promises, including that it would reduce energy costs for state buildings and increase test scores. WPC looked at the data and discovered the top-down mandate has failed to live up to its proponents’ promises and in some cases is actually using more energy and costing more than non-green buildings. After reviewing WPC’s research, KING 5’s Susannah Frame decided to investigate school district claims, resulting in at least one official confirming there are no actual cost savings from these mandates.”

And a link to the KING 5 story:

Investigators: Green school claims oversold

There’s video of the report available at that link as well. 

“It [Gray Middle School, Tacoma] has impressive environmentally friendly features everywhere you look. Some of them include banks of windows for lots of natural light, recycled beams from an old high school, rubber flooring that doesn’t require chemicals, drought tolerant landscaping, and a filtration system that circulates fresh air all day long.”

There’s a video on the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s website that promotes the benefits of these green schools.  In the video, the SPI and Department of Ecology claim that in exchange for an approximate 2% increase in design and building cost, green schools cost 10-15% less in operating costs.  Kudos to Susannah Frame at KING 5 and Todd Myers at WPC for digging for the truth on this one. 

“Large districts in the state tell us it’s [green school construction] between 3 and 7 percent more expensive. That adds up.

Half a billion dollars will be spent on school construction in the state this year.

If green mandates cost 5 percent more, that’s $25,000,000 additional dollars. All that money comes from local school district tax dollars.

After the first year, the legislature pulled all funding for the green schools mandate.”

That last sentence made me wonder:  if the very people [the Legislature] who imposed this green school mandate don’t believe in it enough to fund it, why is it still in effect?

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Posted in Environlunacy, Liberalism, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

They really are turning over every rock to find more revenue…

Posted by Liberty on April 8, 2009

Senate passes bill hoping to lure ‘Twilight’ vampires

“The Senate on Tuesday passed a bill designed to make the area more attractive for television and film productions, like the teen vampire thriller ‘Twilight,’ which was shot in Kalama – though the popular book series actually takes place in the Olympic Peninsula town of Forks.

Speaking in favor of House Bill 2042, Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, said she was disturbed that the ‘Twilight’ sequel is supposedly going to film in British Columbia to take advantage of the better deals producers can get there.

‘This has to do with making our state more competitive in motion picture production,’ Kohl-Welles said.”

Senator Kohl-Welles, our state could be more competitive in so many ways–not just motion picture production.  You could focus less on giving sweetheart deals to selected sectors of the economy and more on enabling Washington’s native industries.  Just a thought.

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Socialist economics, Stupid legislation, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Stimulating the Washington DOT

Posted by Liberty on March 8, 2009

Where’s that federal “stimulus” money going?

Great post from Sound Politics…just in case you’re curious how stimulus money is going to be spent in Washington State.  I especially like the part about how stimulus money is being used to fund projects that Washingtonians have already been funding with our gigantic gas tax.  So…technically, we’re paying twice.

Posted in Bureaucratic ineptitude, Innate hypocrisy, Just plain dishonest, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Social engineering, Socialist economics, Stupid legislation, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The legislature just doesn’t get it!

Posted by Liberty on March 7, 2009

From Joe Turner’s Political Buzz, here’s a nice list of the tax increases that the Washington State Legislature is considering. 

Here are tax hike options for lawmakers (and voters?)

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Social engineering, Socialist economics, Stupid legislation, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

What will Washington’s living wage be if all the businesses leave?

Posted by Liberty on March 2, 2009

Update 12:18 pm:
For those of you who don’t read the comments, I received a comment from Representative Miloscia regarding this post. I’d like to take the opportunity to make a correction to my earlier post. My statement that Representative Miloscia lacks private sector experience was inaccurate. He does, in fact, have quite a bit of private sector experience. He has run or managed a variety of companies and has served as a business consultant as well.
The last thing that I want to do here is base my arguments on false information. I’d like to thank Representative Miloscia for bringing this error to my attention and I’d like to apologize for mischaracterizing his work experience.
Liberty

A ‘living’ wage apparently is between $9.70 and $11.55 an hour

Great blog post by Joe Turner from the Tacoma News Tribune.  State Representative Mark Miloscia [that’s the porn tax guy] has put another bill on the table.

“Miloscia has introduced House Bill 1716, which would require ‘living wages’ be paid after Jan. 1, 2010 to anyone being paid under a contract let by the state Community, Trade and Economic Development Department.”

And:

“If the employee gets health coverage, those wages would be $9.70 an hour. Without health coverage, the pay would be $11.55 an hour.”

Washington State’s minimum wage just recently went up to $8.55 an hour.  While I’m sure Representative Miloscia has nothing but the best intentions for the workers of Washington State, a “living wage” dictated by state government is the last thing we need.  It doesn’t do much good to be perpetually legislating in favor of the workers if the same legislation discourages companies from doing business here in Washington.

I looked into Miloscia’s background [from his campaign website] and discovered that he appears to have no private sector job experience.  He was an Air Force pilot [and thank you for your service, Representative Miloscia], a substitute teacher, director or executive director for a couple of non-profits and a utility district commissioner.  Perhaps if Representative Miloscia had run his own small business and had to meet a payroll, he would have a better understanding of the burdens employers already face.


Posted in Liberalism, Social engineering, Socialist economics, Stupid legislation, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Seattle Tea Party Pictures

Posted by Liberty on February 28, 2009

Seattle Tea Party Protest

Yesterday was a day of tea parties.  While I wasn’t able to attend one in person, believe me, I was there in spirit.  And, I was delighted to find these pictures on Byron Dazey’s blog this morning.  You’ll see that Conservatives are great at protesting, despite the fact that most Conservatives don’t smoke dope, have never been arrested for “the cause” and are gainfully employed.  The photos are awesome and the signs are so clever!  Here’s just one teaser–you’ll have to check out www.myownside.com for the rest!

Posted in Conservatism, Constitutional Rights, Freedom of Speech, Future of the GOP, Liberalism, Obama, Positive News, Redistribution of wealth, Socialist economics, Sticking to their guns, Stupid legislation, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Landowners: want to make an impression on Olympia?

Posted by Liberty on February 25, 2009

http://www.mylandnotyours.com/

There is a property rights rally on Monday, March 2, 2009. 

Meet at noon on the North steps of the Capitol.

Join Evergreen Freedom Foundation, The Christian Coalition, Cattle Producers of Washington and Citizens’ Alliance for Property Rights in taking a stand against Olympia’s intrusion on your private property rights!

Posted in Conservatism, Constitutional Rights, Freedom of Speech, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

On transparency and Olympia

Posted by Liberty on February 22, 2009

Stiffing the public on the big budget issues in Olympia

“As a reporter, I always try to imagine what questions my audience might have. In the case of the state budget crisis, the two obvious questions seem to be: what are lawmakers going to cut and what might a tax hike package look like? Good luck getting a straight answer to either question.

Now, I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck. I know that politics dictates that politicians not reveal their strategic plans to the opposition party, voters or, God forbid, reporters. Nonetheless, the state is in a crisis and there’s a big lack of straight-talking going on in Olympia.”

I found this article on Crosscut this morning.  For some reason, it’s a little comforting to know that Conservatives aren’t the only ones feeling stymied by the closed door processes of our state Capitol.

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Conservatism, Just plain dishonest, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Socialist economics, Stupid legislation, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Powerful forces at work to increase your taxes–public employee unions

Posted by Liberty on February 19, 2009

About that Looming Tax Hike

Posted in Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Socialist economics, Taxes, Union Thuggery, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

State income tax analysis from EFF

Posted by Liberty on February 18, 2009

Will state income tax appear on November 2009 ballot?

We know that state senator Rosa Franklin [a Democrat…who else?] has again introduced her perennial bill that would impose a state income tax.  Anybody who would believe that a state income tax would be a straight across trade for the way we pay into the state coffers now is deceiving themselves.  Any alteration in taxes proposed by our dear Washington State Democrats will result in a raw deal for the taxpayers and more revenue for state government. 

It is my understanding that this measure would be have to be voted upon by us little people but sometimes, I have my doubts that my fellow Washingtonians could choose right.  At any rate, the better informed Conservatives are, the better we will be able to articulate our opposition to any more taxes.

“The bill has three major fiscal reform elements that would drastically change the state’s revenue structure. First, it proposes a graduated state income tax on individuals and businesses (except corporations). Second, it eliminates the state portion of the property tax. Third, it reduces the state portion of the sales tax from 6.5 percent to 3.5 percent.”

And a few points against it from the EFF blog:

“Legislators add the income tax as another category, thus allowing tax-creep in every category. 

The proposed income tax adds another layer of complexity and cost for citizens.

It would dramatically increase taxes for people who do not own a home or have children.

It would punish those who succeed financially by taking larger portions of their income as it increases.”

The EFF blog [www.libertylive.org] has details about the proposed income tax rates and also a few scenarios that help illustrate how an income tax would impact people.  Here’s a thought I’d like to throw out there.  Will this finally be the year?  Has the time finally come?  Are we here in Washington going to finally hit the breaking point as far as taxes are concerned?  I propose a Boston Tea Party-esque tax revolt.  Anybody in?

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Conservatism, Educate yourself, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Social engineering, Socialist economics, Stupid legislation, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Democrat Rosa Franklin has introduced a state income tax bill…what’s different about this year?

Posted by Liberty on February 14, 2009

Washington state income tax could raise $6.67 billion in 2012

“Is the income tax proposal for real this year? Every year, state Sen. Rosa Franklin, D-Tacoma, introduces a bill calling for a state income tax. Hers often is the only name listed as a sponsor. Such is the case this year. She dropped the bill Jan. 13.

The real interesting thing is that a fiscal note was completed on Feb. 11 and it is really elaborate! I mean, state agency and legislative committee staff put one heckuva lot of work into something that in years past has been a non-starter of a bill.

Has something changed? Is this what Democratic majorities in the House and Senate really have been waiting for? (Next week, we also get word from Congress on how much money Washington will get in bailout money, and how bad the financial situation is. Is it a $7.5 billion shortfall?)

Here is a link to the full text of Senate Bill 5104. But just even more interesting are the numbers in the fiscal note.

One thing that’s worth noting.  On a lot of the bills that have been introduced, the fiscal impact information is not complete–especially the spending bills.  Isn’t it interesting that they have completed the fiscal impact statement on this bill–a REVENUE bill? 

Call your legislator at 1-800-562-6000! 

Tell them NO MORE TAXES!

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Innate hypocrisy, Just plain dishonest, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Socialist economics, Stupid legislation, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The porno tax–why you ought not support it

Posted by Liberty on February 11, 2009

Washington lawmaker wants huge porn tax to restore GAU cuts

Have you heard about the proposed 18.5% tax on “adult”entertainment? 

“State Rep. Mark Miloscia, D-Federal Way, is prime sponsor of House Bill 2103, which would levy an 18.5 percent tax on all visual or audio pornographic materials.

But he’s not the only one.

House Majority Leader Lynn Kessler, D-Hoquiam, has signed on. So have Reps. Al O’Brien, D-Mountlake Terrace, Bob Hasegawa, D-Seattle, John McCoy, D-Tulalip, and Marilyn Chase, D-Shoreline.”

The tax would apply to all forms of pornographic material–magazines, movies, phone services, photos, cable tv services, etc.  It would be used to restore funding to General Assistance Unemployable (GAU) and Alcohol and Drug Addiction Treatment Support Act (ADATSA) programs that have been cut [or failed to grow, which equals a cut in bureaucrat speak] under Queen Christine’s budget.  So, why am I opposed to this?  Why am I calling 1-800-562-6000 later today to let my legislators know that this is a bad idea?

Trust me, it’s not because I like porn.  It’s not because I think that porn is a good influence upon our society; it certainly is not.  It’s not because I think the people who create and distribute porn are worthy of being defended; they aren’t.  I oppose this on principle.  I don’t believe the State of Washington should be taking another penny from any of us, even filthy porn users.   They confiscate enough and they redistribute enough already.  Government has a seemingly insatiable appetite for our money.  Maybe filthy porn users aren’t the most sympathetic group to choose to defend but here I am, making my case because I am so fed up with the taxes.

I also think it is potentially dangerous to have government trying to influence and control our behaviors.  So they’re targeting pornography today.  Who’s to say they won’t take this concept [an exhorbitant tax on a behavior they don’t like] and apply it to other target groups.  Are we going to see higher ammunition taxes because some politician doesn’t want you shooting your guns?  A lot of kids get hurt on trampolines…maybe there should be a tax on trampolines.  They want your kids signed up on SCHIP anyway.  A trampoline tax will just pay to fix all those broken arms and bonked heads.  An extra tax on auto parts to make you re-think repairing your car instead of opting for mass transit?  Maybe I’m extrapolating too far but you never know when government is involved.

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Guns, Health care, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Social engineering, Socialist economics, Stupid legislation, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Washington Senators Cantwell and Murray: check your voicemail, will ya?

Posted by Liberty on February 5, 2009

I intended to post this reminder earlier this morning but I wanted to make sure that I practiced what I preach first.  Whether it’s a futile gesture or not, you need to call your Senators [for Washington, Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray] to let them know your opinion of the Capitalism-killing pork plan that they’re currently debating. 

You can reach the main Senate switchboard at 202-224-3121.

Find your Senator’s direct line here.

Maria Cantwell’s direct phone number is 202-224-3441.

Patty Murray’s direct phone number is 202-224-2621.

As of about an hour ago, nobody answered either of those numbers.  My call went to voicemail for both Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray.  And both voicemail boxes were completely full.

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Socialist economics, Stupid legislation, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Once again, Queen Christine needs your help

Posted by Liberty on February 5, 2009

The Governor apparently either really cares what the public thinks about the budget or wants you to think that she really cares what the public thinks about the budget.

Go to:

http://www.governor.wa.gov/priorities/budget/default.asp

There’s a budget calculator where you can adjust levels of state government spending to get rid of the budget gap.  This brings me to one thing that needs to be made clear about Washington’s budget problem.  According to the Governor’s budget calculator webpage, under the current budget, the projected revenue for the 2009-2011 budget cycle is $31,573 million.  The proposed spending is $35,274 million.  We aren’t in debt yet but if we continue spending as proposed, we will be.  The spending is the problem!

The Governor’s proposed budget has spending dropped down to $32,079 million and she adds in $122 million from “Other Fund Transfers and Budget Driven Revenue.”  [Not really sure where that came from?!]  She also includes $609 million from the state’s Rainy Day Fund.  Note that the Rainy Day Fund starts out at $709 million and she wants to use almost all of that in this 2009-2011 budget cycle.  If the economic downturn is prolonged and if the State of Washington does not gain a better understanding of what functions actually are the legitimate responsibility of state government, we could get into serious trouble.  Can you say, California?

Do you understand what I’m saying here, though?  Much has been made of Washington’s Budget crisis and I’ve posted several times about it before, too.  The point I’m trying to make is that we don’t have to have a budget crisis.  It is not a foregone conclusion.  All that the Governor and the Legislature have to do is cut spending.  There is plenty of waste, fraud and abuse hidden in that budget.  Will anyone tackle that?  There is a lot of spending for things that are not really the responsibility of state government.  Are we going to see some of it reversed?  With Democrats in control, it isn’t likely.  Instead, they’ll make visible, painful cuts to essential services.  And then, they’ll use those cuts to sell the public on a tax hike.

Unfortunately, I think that the Governor’s budget calculator page is designed to make you more sympathetic towards Queen Christine.  It lets you play with the numbers but ultimately, I think you’re supposed to walk away with a new appreciation for how tough it is for the Governor to make everyone happy.  The budget calculator doesn’t let you adjust specific programs–only general areas like “student achievement,” public safety,” “human services for vulnerable children & adults,” and “health of Washingtonians.”  Like her earlier request for your e-mailed budget suggestions, I think this budget calculator is just a public relations stunt.

Posted in Bureaucratic ineptitude, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Socialist economics, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Your resistance to tax increases is under attack

Posted by Liberty on January 27, 2009

Here are just three examples of the news stories I’ve been noticing lately about the “victims” of state budget cuts.  We’re going to be innundated with sad stories about the necessary serices that are being slashed under Washington’s new scorched earth budget.  That way, when the legislature puts a tax increase on the ballot for the next election, it has a better chance of passing.  Nice.

Center gives runaways peace, but now finds itself in need

“Spruce Street and eight other facilities like it, called Secure Crisis Residential Centers, face elimination by state budget cuts, some of which are under way and others that have been proposed by Gov. Chris Gregoire for the Department of Social and Health Services.”

Poison Center’s hot line in peril

“Parents could no longer call the Washington Poison Center’s hot line under Gov. Chris Gregoire’s proposed budget because it would cut critical funding for the service, the nonprofit said Monday.

Gregoire wants to slash the center’s funding from $4 million to $2 million a year — a move the 50-year-old group says would force it to close.”

Detox center loses in budget cuts

“The North Cascade Secure Detox is the first of what could become many social services programs to be shut down in the coming year while the Legislature and the Department of Social and Health Services trim their budgets.

The cuts will save the state money in the short term. One patient costs $275 a night at North Cascade, and the state pays out $2 million a year for the Skagit County branch. But it will cost individual counties more in the long run as the same patients seek help at emergency rooms and mental health treatment facilities, which can cost up to $565 a night.”

Posted in Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Socialist economics, Washington State | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Grocers don’t like state liquor store plans

Posted by Liberty on January 26, 2009

Grocers don’t like state liquor store plans

“Independent grocers don’t like Gov. Chris Gregoire’s plan to raise money by opening more state-controlled liquor stores.

It’s part of Gregoire’s plan to bridge a nearly $6 billion deficit. She hopes to get about $21 million over the next two years by opening more liquor stores, and expanding Sunday sales.

But the Washington Food Industry group, which represents independent grocery stores, is against that idea.

President Jan Gee tells The Olympian that state liquor stores should get out of selling beer and wine, because they compete with private businesses. State liquor stores already have a monopoly on hard alcohol.

House Minority Leader Richard DeBolt, R-Chehalis, also worries about the state competing with business.”

I agree with Minority Leader DeBolt–doesn’t the state of Washington do enough to make things tough on business owners?

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Liberalism, Washington State | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Washington Democrat power play: encourage the felons to vote

Posted by Liberty on January 22, 2009

ACLU wants to restore voting rights for ex-convicts

“Over 160,000 Washingtonians cannot vote because of prior convictions. Support has been growing for ACLU-backed legislation to automatically restore the right to vote to individuals who have come out of the criminal justice system.”

More:

“Under the current system, people convicted of a felony and who have served their time still can’t vote until they’ve paid all of their outstanding court fees and legal financial obligations. As a result, people of means can vote, but those with limited incomes cannot. The system also disproportionately affects communities of color: The disenfranchisement rate among African-Americans is five times that of the general population and roughly three times as high among Latinos. And the system for restoring voting rights is so convoluted that even elections officials have difficulty determining who is and is not eligible to vote.

We support legislation proposed by [added by Liberty: Democrat] Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles and [added by Liberty: Democrat] Rep. Jeannie Darnielle that automatically restores the right to vote to individuals once they have exited the criminal justice system. The legislation would not relieve anyone of the obligation to pay court-imposed fees and penalties—but that obligation would no longer be tied to the right to vote. The legislation would create the bright-line rule so badly need for voting rights restoration to be effective. In enacting this legislation, Washington would join a growing list of states, including Oregon, that have successfully implemented automatic restoration.”

Cementing your power by sucking up to criminals.  Nice.

Posted in Crime and Punishment, Liberalism, Social engineering, Stupid legislation, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Will Washington’s economy withstand four more years of Gregoire “leadership”?

Posted by Liberty on January 21, 2009

Wash unemployment rate jumps to 7.1 percent in Dec

“Washington’s unemployment rate jumped to 7.1 percent last month, the largest one month increase in more than three decades.”

Gregoire pushes cap-and-trade bill

“A cap would be placed on the amount of carbon dioxide emissions that companies release, and companies would be required to buy permits in order to emit at the acceptable level. Companies also could auction off their permits between each other, creating their own market system.”

Good thinking, Queen Christine!  Let’s make doing business in Washington State even more expensive.  All based on the flawed theory of man-made global warming.  Way to go.  Oh and isn’t it ironic that a “market system” would be great for auctioning these worthless carbon emission permits but the free market can’t be permitted to work in ways that would really help Washingtonians?  How about a free market for health insurance?

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Environlunacy, Liberalism, Social engineering, Stupid legislation, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A good start but not nearly enough…

Posted by Liberty on January 16, 2009

Washington cut 186 state employees in December

Posted in Bureaucratic ineptitude, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Stupid potential Washington laws, Volume 1

Posted by Liberty on January 16, 2009

From the Washington Votes.org e-mail update:

2009 Senate Bill 5139 (ergonomic requirements for the solicitation of air travel)

“Introduced by Sen. Ken Jacobsen, (D-Seattle) (D) on January 15, 2009, to require the general administration to seek out ergonomic seating for state employees when they travel. This would require airlines to supply ergonomic seating.”

Glad to see there’s someone in Olympia tackling the really…UNIMPORTANT ISSUES!

2009 Senate Bill 5140 (provide language access services in health care and insurance matters for limited English persons)

“Introduced by Sen. Paull Shin, (D-Edmonds) (D) on January 15, 2009, to require health care and insurance providers to provide language access services to persons with limited English. This bill also directs the insurance commissioner to study the obstacles that are present for persons with limited English in purchasing health insurance.”

How do all you unlimited English persons feel about your health care and insurance costs going even higher on behalf of those limited English persons?  After all, that would be a lot easier that limited English persons actually learning English!

2009 Senate Bill 5158 (beer and wine sales at the legislative gift center)

“Introduced by Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, (D-Seattle) (D) on January 15, 2009, to allow the retail sale of beer and wine at the legislative gift center for off-site consumption.”

I can see how they might need beer and wine flowing freely in Olympia to help them make sense of all the silly laws they’re proposing.  Then again, it is entirely possible that most of these laws are being written while the legislators are under the influence of adult beverages.  That should probably stop!

2009 House Bill 1299 (local government crime-free rental housing programs)

“Introduced by Rep. Al O’Brien, (D-Mountlake Terrace) (D) on January 16, 2009, to create a local government crime-free rental housing program. The purpose of the program is to allow local governments to designate areas of rental housing as crime-free. This act provides direction to the local governments for the implementation of the crime-free rental program including, landlord participation, education courses and other necessary programs.”

Let me get this straight…a “local government crime-free rental housing program.”  So if we just designate areas of rental house as “crime-free,” they will just magically be…”crime-free!”  How about this?  Instead of wasting money making another stupid, pointless program, how about we give the funding to law enforcement instead?  That way, instead of having little pockets of supposedly “crime-free” rental housing, law enforcement officers can strive to make entire jurisdictions a little more “crime-free?”

Oh, you Democrats just make this too easy.  On a more positive note, I intend to sift back through the updates I’ve received to find some examples of outstanding, necessary legislation that’s been proposed thusfar in Olympia.  Believe it or not, there are some of those, too!

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Where to go to find Washington State’s biggest spenders

Posted by Liberty on January 15, 2009

Who will be session’s first Big Spender? Place your wagers here

The Evergreen Freedom Foundation is hard at work compiling their list of the biggest spenders for the 2009 legislative session.

“Thanks to Initiative 960’s transparency provisions, the 2008 session was the first time taxpayers had the opportunity to know how much a new law would cost them before it passed. EFF used the cost projections from the Office of Financial Management to add the cost of each bill by sponsor and co-sponsor. We then ranked legislators from the highest to the lowest for their costly new legislation.”

I think it’s important to really publicize what our legislators in Olympia are doing.  They seem to have enjoyed a certain degree of anonymity over the years but thanks to groups like EFF, maybe we can remind them that their actions are subject to public scrutiny. 

Incidentally, here’s the link to last year’s ranking of the biggest spenders:

Hey, Big Spender!
How much will your legislator cost you?

Posted in Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Socialist economics, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Tunnel vision

Posted by Liberty on January 14, 2009

Tolls and taxes would help to pay for tunnel

So Queen Christine…oops, I mean Governor Gregoire has finally made a decision about replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct.  This was supposedly an urgent problem a couple of years ago when she and the state legislature raised our gas tax–just in case you’re not paying attention, it’s one of the highest in the entire country.  Even though they now collect $0.375 on every gallon of gas purchased statewide, the Governor and assorted other politicians are wondering how in the world they’re going to pay for the tunnel.  [Incidentally, the tunnel is the most expensive option for replacing the viaduct.] 

The entire state of Washington has been paying ridiculously high gas taxes for quite some time now.  People in Eastern Washington are paying a disproportionate share of these taxes that go for primarily West side projects.  The gas tax package was passed and a subsequent repeal initiative failed because these politicians fomented hysteria over “crumbling” infrastructure like the viaduct, the 520 bridge and rock slide-prone mountain passes.  So where did all this money go?  Down the rat-hole of state government, that’s where.  And guess what?  It wasn’t enough!

“A new package of tolls and taxes would pay for part of the $4.2 billion tunnel destined to replace Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct.”

What can you do but laugh? 

“In addition, King County has asked legislators for authority to levy a 1 percent vehicle license fee to help raise its $190 million share of the project that will come in the form of additional transit service to substitute for reduction in the number of lanes and help commuters during construction. The tunnel would have four lanes; the viaduct now has six.”

Two things.  First, why should vehicles be taxed more to pay for transit?  Maybe the people riding the transit should pay the actual cost of hauling their bus-riding butts around!  Second, the tunnel is the most expensive option to replace the viaduct and it will represent a net loss of capacity–four lanes as opposed to six.  These people are criminally incompetent and yet, they keep getting elected!  And, in the future, when the city is bigger and there is more traffic, how easy is it to expand the tunnel to accommodate more cars?  Hey, maybe it’s a moot point–maybe cars will be illegal by then.  Or perhaps they’ll be just too darn expensive to license and fill with gas.

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Bureaucratic ineptitude, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Social engineering, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

I told you so…

Posted by Liberty on January 14, 2009

http://nwrepublican.blogspot.com/2009/01/washington-state-engine-displacement.html

The engine displacement tax reared its ugly head last session as well.  This plan is yet another way for Washington State government to thwart the will of the voters [$30.00 vehicle licensing, anyone?] and separate you from a little [or a lot] more of your money.  Basically, the larger your vehicle’s engine, the more you’re going to pay.  From the NW Republican blog:

Engine Size (in liters) Fee Schedule
Up to 1.9 $0
2.0 to 2.0 $70
3.0 to 3.9 $225
4.0 to 4.9 $275
5.0 to 5.9 $325
6.0 to 7.9 $400
8.0 or over $600

The sponsors of this bill are all Democrats, no surprise there.  These arrogant, self-righteous liberals want to punish you for driving what you want.  Perhaps in their ideal world, we’d all be driving Toyota Prius’s or Smartcars and thus not paying any additional displacement fee. 

Actually, now that I think about it, since their primary concern is state revenue, our current situation is probably closer to their ideal.  They know that many people choose to drive SUV’s for the safety, comfort and capacity.  They know that thousands of businesses from farms to construction companies to cable installers have fleets of pick-up’s, vans and large trucks.  They know that many people have vehicles for recreation–motor-homes or trucks to pull their boats and trailers.  They know that not everyone can afford to race right out and buy the very latest politically correct little hybrid status symbol.

And they also know that plenty of people in Washington State are struggling right now.  They know that piling on additional taxes in a down economy will be a burden on a lot of families who really just need more of their own money.  They know that Washington State’s high taxes already contribute to our business-unfriendly climate.  And they don’t care! 

Earth to Senators Tom, Kohl-Welles, Pridemore, Keiser & Kline!  Our engines are none of your business!  Your attempt to legislate us into smaller and smaller vehicles is ridiculous and arrogant.  Even more offensive is the very idea that you could propose even more taxes!  Your focus should be on cutting and streamlining state government and reforming and eliminating redistributive entitlement programs, not imposing higher taxes! 

Check out the text of this bill and find out where it’s at right now on Washington Votes.org:

http://washingtonvotes.org/2008-SB-6900

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Social engineering, Socialist economics, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Holy Botox!

Posted by Liberty on January 12, 2009

Be careful when you open this link!  The picture of Queen Christine is huge and it startled me for a second there!

Dems in control but not in sync as Legislature opens

I think I agree with the premise of this article–we have a lot of Democrat infighting on the way.  Queen Christine spent her first term expanding the scope of Washington State government, creating new programs and increasing funding to old ones.  There are a lot of favors owed to unions, environmentalists and Indian tribes after a contentious campaign but she’s also pledged not to raise taxes.  Something’s gotta give!

Oh, and my favorite quote from this article:

“‘Everybody’s puppy got squashed,’ said Rep. Hans Dunshee, D-Snohomish, chairman of the House Capital Budget Committee.”

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Socialist economics, Union Thuggery, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Look out Washington! The legislature’s back!

Posted by Liberty on January 10, 2009

Check your freedoms at the door and whip out that checkbook–the Washington State legislature’s back in town.  If you’re still in the mood for New Year’s resolutions, may I suggest that you make 2009 the year that you really keep tabs on what’s happening in Olympia?  State lawmakers have been running roughshod over the citizenry of Washington State for a little too long.  One resource for the latest action in the state capitol is the Washington Policy Center’s website, WashingtonVotes.org

WashingtonVotes.org is the Best Way to Follow Lawmakers as They Tackle $5+ Billion Budget Shortfall

You can search for legislation by keyword or bill number and you can also pull up specific legislators to check out what bills they’re introducing and sponsoring, along with how they’re voting.  From there, it’s easy to click directly to your legislator’s e-mail address so you can drop them a little note and let them know how they can serve you better.

I’m also going to recommend the Evergreen Freedom Foundation and their terrific blog, Liberty Live.  While WashingtonVotes.org is non-partisan, the Evergreen Freedom Foundation has more of a Conservative flavor to it.  Just read the opening line of their mission statement:

“Our mission is to advance individual liberty, free enterprise and limited, accountable government.”

With that positive, Conservative message in mind, steel your resolve to watch what your legislator is doing this session.  When they’re right, contact them and let them!  When they’re wrong, do the same! 

And, on that note, here’s a little re-cap of some of the important issues they were working on in 2008, courtesy of Mike Reitz at Liberty Live.

“There ought to be a law…”

“Eyebrow-raising laws from 2008
  • Sellers of raw huckleberries are required to obtain a state permit.
  • Individuals who inadvertently discover skeletal human remains must immediately call the coroner and the police.
  • Antifreeze has apparently become more refreshing since my childhood, prompting the legislature to require the addition of a bitter-tasting chemical to the antifreeze distributed in Washington. Manufacturers must now ‘render the product unpalatable.'”

The list goes on from there so peek at Mike’s blog to see them all.

Posted in Conservatism, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »