2018 Election

I’ve made it a habit to do a lot of research regarding candidates and issues before I vote, but occasionally I didn’t have time to look at everything and everyone, so I would defer to the judgment of a political party to fill in the blanks.  However, I see more and more how both major political parties are caring more about their particular party and caring less about doing what is right by the average person.  Don’t tell me that’s not so, look at Trump vs. Clinton…really the best candidates that the political parties could offer us?   There are millions upon millions of us and they were the best?   No,I don’t buy that for a second, in fact I feel a bit violated.  The political parties are working their agenda first, my needs second, or third.  Clearly, I can no longer defer to their judgment and in fact I don’t think I can even trust their literature any longer.

So my approach this time around is to return to my base premise that everyone really wants the same thing, they just tend to have different ideas of how to get that same thing.  You know, regardless of party affiliations, nobody wants to kill children, nobody wants higher taxes, nobody wants to destroy our environment, everyone wants to feel needed by others, and everyone wants to feel safe and secure, etc.  I have my own ideas of how best to accomplish these things, as I am sure every other thinking human being also does, but the first step to accomplishing any of them is to get along with each other, not to demonize each other as it seems has become the political norm.

We have to channel our inner kindergarten self and get to working and playing well with others if we are to break out of this cycle of political division.  And as I was trying to say in a recent post, the virulent animosity some people have for people of the other party is so crippling that as a nation we are going nowhere but backwards. So with all that in mind, this election season I have again done a lot of research on my own, lots of reading, watching clips, asking questions and meeting candidates, always with a special ear for how candidates might work and play with others.

Here’s what I am thinking on both candidates and issues for which I have done enough research to make what I feel is an educated decision:


State Senate

  • Vargas – YES, I don’t know a lot about her, but I do appreciate that, unlike her opponent, when she responds to a question, she actually answers the question rather than just saying something she thinks everyone wants to hear.  I don’t align with her on many issues, however after briefly meeting her yesterday I do believe that she cares more about people than political gamesmanship.
  • Ericksen – NO,  On paper, he and I may lineup on many issues, but I can no longer support him because I don’t trust him, and I don’t trust him because he isn’t straight with people.  He won’t address their questions, rather responds with a campaign bullet or with an “oh yeah” partisan comment, often negative towards his opponent.  Add to that his involvement with the Trump Campaign, and he has just lost his ability to effectively represent the wide variety of people in his district.

State Representative Position 1

  • Van Werven -YES, Proven as a caring and capable representative, would love to see her get out of the comfort zone of her political party more, but even so I am glad to vote for her again.
  • Boneau – NO, I don’t see him having the necessary life experiences to represent the people in the 42nd district.  He appeared to do well in the primaries simply because the votes split down party lines, not because of any extraordinary capabilities.  That’s not to say that he isn’t an intelligent capable person, I just don’t think he is ready for prime time yet.  Perhaps sometime in the future?

State Representative Position 2 

Shewmake – YES, When I watched the first clip or two of hers I realized that she had her opponent outgunned, even though I wasn’t sure sure who her opponent was at that time.   Her intelligence and experience leaves her with a deeper understanding of issues, and her internal compass seems driven by a compassion for people, not politics.

Buys – NO,  Sorry, you’ve been a good representative, but I think your opponent has the potential to be great.


I-940 – NO

Law enforcement doesn’t need another layer of bureaucracy to deal with when trying to protect us.  I’d like them to focus on protecting and serving rather than worrying about the yet another layer of training on the same subject.  This is just another poorly written knee-jerk reaction to viral social media posts about killer cops gone wild.     NO on I-940


I-1631 – YES

I don’t believe, as many do, that the carbon dioxide (CO2) we put into the atmosphere is 100% responsible for climate change/global warming.  However, it is quite obvious from raw data that the climate is changing, while at the same time we are pumping many types of hydrocarbons into the air like never before.  Coincidence, contribution, or 100% cause?  I don’t really know.

I do really know that there are a lot of us humans on this planet and we primarily burn hydrocarbons (natural gas, propane, gasoline, diesel, coal, wood,) to fuel our planes, trains, trucks, tractors, cars, furnaces, lawn mowers, grills, everything we do.  Water and CO2 are the primary by-products from burning hydrocarbons and as it happens, both water and CO2 are also the primary greenhouse gases.  So there you go, pretty obvious that we are at the very least contributing.

I personally think we should do something about the stuff we are pumping into our atmosphere even if it is not a perfect solution to start, and even if no one has proven that we are wholly responsible for climate change, and even if it doesn’t work at all, and even if it costs us money.  We need to keep moving the right direction, certainly we could reduce our use, but really we need to start cleaning up the mess we’ve made already.  The earth doesn’t have a big window that our kids can open when it gets too stuffy in here.

YES on I-1631


I-1634 – NO

First, this is in no way shape or form an initiative about food and/or groceries, get that out of your mind.

I-1634 is a campaign by the biggest players in the soft drink industry to mislead us into banning taxes on their sodas and sugar laden drinks.   Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper and Red Bull account for 99.88% of the $21,000,000 raised in support of this initiative.  They know this isn’t about broccoli, bananas and hamburger.  They know that their sales and profits margins are both on the line as people wise up to the damage that their drinks are doing and start demanding government action.

Sugars, sweeteners, caffeine, taurine, etc are major drivers in the majority of health issues we face in America today, things like obesity diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, liver disease to name a few.  So how stupid would we be to pass a law that ties our hands when it comes to restrictions on them?  Large soda companies don’t want these taxes the same way that tobacco companies didn’t want cigarette taxes.  Oh, and for perspective, refined sugars have likely cause more deaths than tobacco.

We should do what is right for us, not what is right for the soda companies that are funding this initiative.

NO on I-1634, and I also recommend running from any candidate that still insists that this is about groceries and food.


I-1639 – NO

I am for our right to own guns and at the same time also for some reasonable restrictions on that right, in order to keep society safe.  I could reluctantly agree that it’d be prudent to limit semi-automatic firearms to 21 or older, I totally agree that gun owners should keep guns locked when not in use(but what does use mean?), I agree that gun ownership should require training, etc.  So on the surface I should like this law, but I don’t because it is confusing, unmanageable, and just poorly written.  All the references to “semiautomatic assault rifles” appears to be for dramatic effect rather than conciseness, because objectively they could accomplish the same thing by identifying a rifle or any firearm as simply semiautomatic.

I-1639 also tasks the State Patrol and the Dept. of Licensing with annual verification that each gun owner is still authorized to own a gun, so does that mean we pay for a gun license?, an endorsement on our drivers license? or tabs? or who knows what?  Shouldn’t we know what the new law is before voting on the new law?

There is also this problem in Section 7 of the initiative,

A signed application to purchase a pistol or semiautomatic assault rifle shall constitute a waiver of confidentiality…

So just by signing to purchase a gun I am signing away all or some medical confidentiality?  From reading I-1639, I don’t know exactly how far that waiver goes, but Section 9 is a couple of pages granting immunity for seemingly every kind of mistake that a person could make following this initiative so I can only imagine what the full extent of this waiver may be.

I believe we already have maybe 40 gun laws on the books in our state, we don’t need another, especially a poorly written one.  I’d be interested in a new gun law only if our legislators would like to remove all the other gun laws in the process of coming up with a single well written law.   As written, I-1639 is a largely redundant mess.  NO on I-1639


FERNDALE SCHOOL BOND – YES

Two words, Oversight Committee.  Were it not for the inclusion of an Oversight Committee, I would be voting no on this bond because I don’t trust the School Board to make good decisions…they have zero track record.   After the last Ferndale Bond failure, the District ran a survey which showed that in general, people have a tremendous lack of trust when it comes to the Ferndale School District.  The trust issues stem from the Ferndale School Board, so until they are replaced or they have some sort of miraculous born again moment, an Oversight Committee is a must because Ferndale kids need schools.  So, despite the current School Board I am voting YES on the Bond.

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Garin

Poor as my writing might be, I still like to write. I’ve written a blog or two in the past, but at one point or another they each became a chore rather than a joyful pastime. C.S. Lewis said, regarding writing, “Write about what really interests you, whether it is real things or imaginary things, and nothing else.” I will be following Lewis’ advice so this blog, which bears my name, will remain a joyful pastime. Hope you like bikes.

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