In this issue:
- 10th Anniversary of the Fourth Corner.
- Representative Shewmake excuses herself from voting on a major bill for Northern County residents and jobs.
- The Corner’s Point of View.
- Will the Legislative Session end on time. (Taxes: galore.)
- Coming to Meridian High School in the Common Threads ongoing series; this one is called: “Its about taxes ain’t it” with David Boze of the Washington Policy Center, Glen Morgan and others. The Fourth Corner is a co-sponsor.
- Fourth Corner Links of Interest.
- Legislative Contacts.
Welcome to the 10th Anniversary Edition of the Fourth Corner.
We started reporting from the Fourth Corner in our Newsletter on April 15th, 2009; when a group of people gathered in Bellingham WA at the Guide Meridian and Telegraph Rd and became the largest group of Conservatives to ever protest in Whatcom County at that time.
We soon found the need to have our newsletter published because the local press could not even get the number of people at the event correct. Sam Taylor, former Reporter for the Bellingham Herald (later hired by the City of Ferndale as clerk), reported less than half the number when compared to individual sign up lists presented by the organizers of the event to the Fourth Corner(over 1500). And so began the Fourth Corner’s Journey on the same day the Tea Party began.
The mission has been the same throughout the ten years and will continue to be: to allow the reader to keep ‘current’ on local issues, help differing views come to light, and find “stuff” the readers haven’t seen anywhere else. And do this as a free service as much as we can.
We continue to improve; moving from a list of a few hundred contacts to a list of over 8000. We have expanded: using Facebook and a full service web page to get our product to you along with a different provider for the e-mail services that we have always provided. All along the way fighting distribution providers of our newsletter to make certain our readers receive the option to see our newsletter.
We hope to continue this newsletter for at least another ten years. Thanks for all of your support and the appreciation and the critique’s that come from you for the effort we make here at The Fourth Corner.
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Rep Shewmake (D) (42) leaves house floor before vote. Former Rep. Buys calls leaving the floor “a cowardly act”.
The Democrats believe this to be a safety issue but don’t have past safety issues to point to at this time. Amendments added and passed on the bill say the ban will not be put in effect unless a 10% increase in Bakken Crude occurs and a 2 year delay. The vote was 53-40 along party lines with the 42nd representative Sharon Shewmake (D) not voting (excused).
I asked (thru e-mail) for a response from Rep Shewmake (D) for those wondering why she was absent on this important vote… I received her response in less than two hours. Here is her response:
“I needed to be home the next morning, and voting was getting late. I left at 10 pm, there were still a number of bills to go but I was worried about getting home
safely. Five us were absent that day. I’ve attached the screenshot.”
On the Saturday Morning Live show with Kris Halterman Former Representative Buys called out Rep. Shewmake for leaving the floor calling it “a cowardly act”. He also reminded the audience that he had missed only one vote in 8 years; the one vote was when all Republicans walked out of the chamber.
Here is his statement on the show concerning the banning of Bakken Crude oil unloading. (Just over 2 minutes)
This from Whatcom County Republican Party Chair Kathy Kershner on the absence:
“I find it disappointing that the newly elected representative in the 42nd District, Sharon Shewmake, neglected her constituents by failing to be present for the vote. The odds are pretty good that Shewmake was trying to side-step this vote for obvious political reasons. Just more evidence that she has no business representing the people and businesses in the 42nd District.”
The Corner’s Point of View:
Bakken Crude Ban; Companies must allow New Unions; Higher Mocha Taxes on fossil fuel production; Carbon Tax; Nondiscrimination of Illegal Immigrants the do not help ICE legislation; Social Justice; An increase in local taxes for schools; More crude oil on Puget Sound (Salish Sea) Higher taxes on Small Business; The changes being brought about by this year’s version of the Legislature can only be termed radical and in some cases misguided and tragic. They are attacking jobs and growth and the future of many here in Whatcom and Skagit Counties.
On a vote on a vital issue of jobs at Cherry Point one Democrat from the 42nd and one from the 40th (Jeff Morris)(both have refineries in their district) decided to be absent.
This practice of CYOA works when one side or the other in Olympia has a commanding majority and as far as numbers are concerned can pass their priorities while releasing members from their duty to represent their districts because they might lose some of their support.
In this year’s legislature it is the Democrats and Rep Sharon Shewmake; her predecessor Vince Buys; never missed a vote in the legislature in eight years.
But like it or not if you voted Democrat in the 42nd in the last election you voted to subjugate jobs to an unknown future you can call it bad policy and try to mitigate our amazing lack of any representation from Democrats in this district on this floor vote but it doesn’t change a bad decision for Whatcom County workers and for the environment and for our county’s future.
In Rep Shewmake’s case she had already voted yes on this bill in committee.
Why so many taxes this year? Do we need them at all? Are we Taxed Enough Already? What do the Voters really think?
4 billion in Surplus funds over what the current budget allows to be spent; yet Democrats need 4 plus billion more going from 44.7 Billion over 2 Years to 52.6 Billion over 2 years.
The following may not be a complete list of proposals but it does give the idea of what the Democrat’s in Olympia’s fiscal policies will be. If the 2 Billion dollar request is voted; a family of 4 will see an average increase of $1145.00 to their tax bill.
- Income Tax on Capital Gains -(Income Tax has been declared unconstitutional)
- Excise Tax increase on Real Estate Transactions-(Creates a Graduated tax rate up to 3% of the value.)
- Business and Occupation Tax for Service Businesses from 1.5% of gross receipts graduating up to 2.5% of gross receipts.
- New Taxes on Insurance; to raise 125 million on Insurance payers.
- Head Tax for agriculture legal immigrants (This may have been voted down)
- Tax on Carbon (Tax defeated in November election this one with a different distribution of funds twist)
- Local School Tax (lifting the lid of 1.50 per thousand to higher for local levies)
- Oil Barrel Tax (Large increase on per Barrel tax for refiners of oil… Pass thru in increased per gallon gas prices)
- The list goes on..Bicycle tax; Wood Stove tax; Auto Parts sales and use tax; Energy tax; Payroll Tax; Higher Car Tabs; Ferry Surcharge; Ride Share(Uber) tax; Home energy efficiency tax.
In the case of the local School Levy Tax the Democrats in the Senate and House disagree over how to implement the increase. The Senate does not want any funding for teacher raises out of this additional funding the House follows the Washington Education Association and does not want any fund usage restrictions.
Do the People really want this tax increase bonanza??!!
Democrat Senator Tim Sheldon from the 35th District took a poll of his voters.
- 92 percent say they oppose proposals to raise taxes, nearly half of them saying the Legislature ought to return money to the taxpayers in the form of tax cuts.
- 90 percent oppose higher taxes on small business.
- 85 percent oppose Seattle’s plan to impose tolls on downtown streets, which would have great impact on outlying districts like the 35th, where there are no practical transit options.
- 80 percent oppose low carbon fuel standards, a plan that would require motorists to subsidize carbon-reduction programs, very similar to the carbon-tax initiative rejected by Washington voters last fall.
- 73 percent oppose replacing the state’s gas tax with a per-mile tax.
- 84 percent oppose legislative efforts to prohibit independent contracting or impose high taxes on contractors, such as barbers, hairdressers and independent contractors.
- 41 percent say jobs and the economy are the biggest issue before the Legislature.
Will the Senate and House take into consideration the vote of the people? You Decide.
See everyone at Meridian High School on the 25th.
Fourth Corner links of interest:
- When is “Tax Freedom Day” this year… A hint it is in April.
- Week ending Apr 6th Polls “Voters continue to view illegal immigration as a serious problem but don’t think Democrats want to stop it. Read the Article.
- “Editors” and “FactCheckers” for Facebook to be left wing news.
- Trump’s executive order would make it harder to block new pipelines and New Terminals.
Contact Local Legislators:
40th District Senator Senator Liz Lovett
40 District Representative Representative Debra Lekanoff
40 District Representative. Representative Jeff Morris
42nd District Senator Senator Doug Ericksen
42nd District Representative. Representative Sharon Shewmake
42nd District Representative Representative Luanne VanWerven