We will aim to bring you overviews of candidates that are key to the environmental concerns of the Olympic Peninsula, and why you should consider voting for them.
General Elections (Fall 2012): THE ENVIRONMENTAL SCORECARD
19 Candidates tracked. 17 Won. – Have to say, it was an environmental landslide.
President: Barack Obama – WON
While there is much to criticize in the record of President Obama, the notion of the opposition, and their outspoken criticism of any kind of environmental protection that might impede industry at any level means that we, at this point in time, cannot take them seriously for the presidency. We look forward to a time when the meaning of ‘conservation’ which is the foundation of the word ‘conservative’ can be seriously taken for the highest position in the land, and a thought leader for protecting our air, water and land. We hold no enmity to their party, but simply take it at it’s word and deed. We also look forward to a time when a third party candidate, such as the Green Party’s Jill Stein, can seem a credible competitor to both parties. The tightness of this race, means that we cannot end up throwing the election to anti-environmental politicians who have declared their intention to end the EPA and FDA.
Circuit Court of Appeals: Tom Bjorgen -WON
Perhaps one of the most important races is the Circuit Court of Appeals, a critical but lightly covered race. Environmental issues that end up going to the courts, often reach the C.of.A. Tom’s background in land use law, including shoreline law, could be critical as the impending Shoreline Master Program (SMP) is adjudicated in the courts. We have met with the Tom and consider his credentials to be excellent for this post.
You can find more about Tom at: http://bjorgenforjudge.com/
County Commissioners – Jefferson County
We support our current county commissioners in their re-election campaigns. They have worked hard for supporting environmental protection.
Phil Johnson – Supported. – WON
David Sullivan – Supported. – WON
Dist. 24 Representative: Steve Tharinger -EASILY WON
Steve’s environmental grade is ok, but his blind support of the biomass issue has left some of his environmental based constituents feeling as if he has taken them for granted when push comes to shove. Significant competition has not shown up in the election, so we are continuing our support of him.
Dist. 24 Representative Kevin Van De Wege – EASILY WON
Senator Hargrove – EASILY WON
Peter Goldmark - Commissioner of Public Lands – WON
Peter has supported establishment of Aquatic Reserves around Protection Island, as well as elsewhere. He has shown himself to support environmental protections. His opponent has publicly stated that he wants to overturn environmental protection and he doesn’t believe that Global Warming is real. If there ever was a black and white decision to vote on, it’s between these two men.
WA State Senator: Maria Cantwell- WON
Cantwell is the logical environmental choice, as her national votes, have endeared her to many national organizations. Cantwell received the highest rating possible from the League of Conservation Voters for her environmental voting record. Her continued support for military expansion within Puget Sound is a depressing, and ultimately is an anti-envionmental stand. But she has grown in her role and we continue to back her being re-elected.
Congressional District 6 (Norm Dicks seat): Derek Kilmer – WON
Kilmer seems the logical vote to replace the environmental legacy of Norm Dicks. He has voted consistently for environmental bills, such as banning mining on Maury Island, conversion of coal fired electric plants, reducing greenhouse emissions, banning PBDE’s which were getting into the Sound, and setting minimum renewable fuel requirements. His support of these key bills shows that the voters can count on him to vote in favor of environmental legislation, against the pressure of groups that oppose these laws. His opponent do not have the length of environmental support in real voting situations to draw on, and is totally in favor of development over any protections.
WA State Governor: Jay Inslee – WON
Jay has a long record of supporting environmental legislation, and more importantly, opposing anti-environmental legislation. A logical choice for governor, given the opposition’s point of view. While Jay’s opposition claims to be a moderate Republican on environmental issues (by his own admission), the platform and supporters he surrounds himself with put this claim to question. We will go for supporting deed not just words.
WA State Attorney General: Bob Ferguson - WON
From the Washington Conservation Voters web site:
On the King County Council, Ferguson has long been a champion for Puget Sound, farmland and open space, as well as parks and recreation lands throughout the region. Washington Conservation Voters is thankful for his consistent and unrelenting supported for the effort to preserve Maury Island, the longest stretch of undeveloped Shoreline in King County.
Lieutenant Governor: Bill Finkbeiner – LOST
Odd choice as he is a Republican but with a strong environmental protection background. Endorsed by Washington Conservation Voters.
State Auditor – No endorsement based on environmental issues.
State Treasurer – Jim McIntire – WON
Washington Conservation Voters said, “He has supported the directing of hundreds of millions of capital budget dollars to energy efficiency and clean energy upgrades in public buildings.”
Secretary of State – Kathleen Drew -Lost
The Washington Conservation Voters said: Ms. Drew has shown support for same-day voter registration,
• Providing a printed primary voter’s guide for all Washington voters,
• Support for pre-registration of 16- and 17- year old voters when they obtain their driver’s license,
• Support for the reversal of Citizen United.
Supreme Court -Judge Steven Gonzales Position 8 -WON (UNOPPOSED)
Justice Gonzales is a highly-qualified Supreme Court Justice.
Judge Susan Owens for Supreme Court Position 2 -WON (UNOPPOSED)
Judge Sheryl McCloud for Supreme Court – Position 9 -WON
All three endorsed by the Washington Conservation Voters.
Jefferson County Superior Court Judge Position 1:Keith Harper -WON
I have talked to a number of local lawyers, people who have been in the courtroom both with Ms. Bierbaum, and Mr. Harper. All of the supported Mr. Harper. All of them had serious concerns about the judicial conduct of Ms. Beirbaum. While this position is not directly an issue of environmental law, it could be, and I was very concerned at the feedback that I received. I personally have never been in an lawsuit that involved either candidate. These kind of concerns cannot be lightly glossed over. So saying, I am recommending Mr. Harper.
Initiative 1185 – NO – PASSED
Another Tim Eyman ill conceived initiative.
Initiative 1240 – NO – APPROVED
No to charter schools. My older son is a high school teacher. The bottom line is that we are continuing to underfund our schools, and pretend that the results should be better. Now the move is on to get the public out of funding them altogether. This is just not a way to move towards a better outcome. Let’s fund the schools properly and let the teachers have the resources to do their job. My son was asked to teach high school government and was not provided a curriculum or text books to use, because the school was underfunded. He took a $20k pay cut to teach because he wanted to. To say that teachers are overpaid is just not accurate.
Referendum #74- Same Sex Marriage – Approve- APPROVED
Healthy families help create healthy environments. We support the notion of allowing all people who want to be in a committed and loving relationship, to do so. This is also a legal issue. Married couples have more legal rights than same sex couples denied the institution of marriage, including medical and end of life legal issues.
Referendum 502 – Legalizing Marijuana – Yes – APPROVED
While there are a lot of issues around this measure, and I am not totally in favor of legalizing marijuana personally, it is time to pretend that the criminalization of many members of our state for simply doing something that seems no different than drinking beer, seems absurd. Additionally, it is a revenue issue. If you can tax alcohol and gambling revenues, it seems ridiculous to not tax pot. Our state needs this income.