The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Lyle Ferch
Guest Commentary 

Strange mystery candidates are out there in the mail


Ballots will be coming in the mail in Washington State, approximately Oct. 20. The political rhetoric has been flying hot and heavy, and of course, the presidential campaign garners most of the attention. Following that, the most familiar candidates in Washington would be Bill Bryant’s challenge to the incumbent governor. We also have our U.S. Senate candidate Chris Vance, and congressional candidate Jamie Herrera Beutler. There are other offices, such as the lieutenant governor, attorney general, state treasurer, state auditor, land Commissioner and others.

Many voters feel they are well-informed, but predominantly pay attention only to the well known positions, both state and federal. As we look through the ballot, we invariably come across people whom we know nothing about, running for positions in government. And even beyond that, many voters have no idea what the purpose or functions those offices serve. Our solutions are either leave it blank or flip a coin.

One of the worst black holes on the ballot pertains to the judiciary. We are asked to vote for these judges we know little or nothing about because the media doesn’t see the glamour and hype that sells newsprint or commands attention. This year is quite unique because Washington voters will have the opportunity to replace three of the state Supreme Court justices. We tend not to pay much attention to the Supreme Court until they ruffle our feathers with one of their radical decisions.

The State Supreme Court vacancies can be filled temporarily by an appointment from the governor. The result is three sitting Supreme Court justices appointed by liberal Democrat governors. With those Judges, we have a very liberal court that appears to usurp the responsibility of the legislative branch. The McCleary decision from last August demonstrates that type of conduct, when the Supreme Court took upon itself to hold the entire state legislature of Washington in contempt and fine the state of Washington $100,000 a day until the legislature complied with the court’s demands. The funding bill was a completely legislative prerogative and responsibility, but the court decided take over.

Our state Supreme Court was rated as the fifth most liberal court in all 50 states. That study is based on contributions by judges themselves, the partisan leaning contributions of the judges, or, in the absence of elections, the ideology of the appointing body (GOVENOR) and their campaign finance score. The study was done by political science professors Adam Bonica and Michael Woodruff at Stanford University. The state of Washington is essentially divided by the cascade curtain; the West side being much more liberal than Central and Eastern Washington. The predominant ideology of the East side Washingtonians is not being represented in a balanced Supreme Court. I am urging all Washington voters to correct this inequality that results in court decisions contrary, geographically, to 90 percent of this entire state.

We have three Supreme Court justice candidates who will protect the rights and will of the majority of the state and temper the radical ideology exuding from the current court. Please consider voting for David DeWolf, justice position one, Greg Zempel, justice position five, and David Larson, justice position six. If every East side voter votes for these three candidates we can override the Puget Sound Machine. Get registered and vote.


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