February 2004 • Volume 14, Issue 2
Boeing’s new deal unmasks true state of business climate by Bob Williams
1. Boeing will not be responsible for paying any of the costs associated with the agreement unless specific terms are set in the agreement. 2. The city of Everett will hire and pay a full-time staff person (selected with Boeing’s approval) who will be responsible for making sure the City keeps its commitments to Boeing.
hen the news came that Boeing would host its 7E7 aircraft project in Washington, the governor and state officials who vied to win the company’s hand gave a victory shout and issued soundbites about our state’s nice business climate. What we heard in the news is that Boeing would receive a sizeable tax break and some long overdue unemployment insurance reforms. Knowing that our state’s business climate is abysmal, and realizing those two items alone weren’t enough to keep Boeing here, I went in search of the details of “our” deal with the company. I had to threaten public embarrassment to pry it out of the hands of a state agency after getting the runaround from the governor’s office. We still have not been able to obtain copies of several key documents because “the state does not have any copies.” It’s difficult to believe the state wouldn’t keep copies of a $3.2 billion contract, until you discover the provision in the agreement that requires all parties who have access to those details to do whatever they can to keep the information out of the hands of the public. When I finally saw the agreement, I was astounded. If Boeing— a company founded in our state and run by officials who call Washington home—couldn’t stomach the business climate here without the concessions they just received, what does that say for the rest of the businesses in our state? Our business climate is in desperate need of immediate and meaningful reforms if we want to keep our family-wage jobs. The inaction of many state officials on this matter is inexcusable, and so are some of the provisions of the agreement with Boeing. Following is a summary:
3. The state will hire and pay a full-time staff person (selected with Boeing’s approval) who will be responsible for expediting and monitoring all permit processes in which Boeing is involved. 4. The state will hire and pay a full-time project coordinator (selected with Boeing’s approval) who will be responsible for making sure everything goes smoothly between Boeing and all state and local government agencies and departments. 5. The state will hire and pay a full-time “tax, commitment and incentives coordinator” (selected with Boeing’s approval) who will advise Boeing on all matters related to state taxes, and will apply for and pursue all grants for which the company may be either directly or indirectly eligible. 6. The state will hire and pay a full-time “transportation infrastructure coordinator” (selected with Boeing’s approval) who will be responsible for coordinating all “road, rail, port and airport transportation matters” between Boeing, state and local government agencies, and outside service vendors. 7. The state will hire and pay a full-time “workforce development coordinator” (selected with Boeing’s approval) who will be responsible for coordinating “all workforce development matters, including but not limited to training and recruiting” between Boeing, state and local government agencies, and outside service vendors. 8. The state will hire and pay a full-time “large cargo freight coordinator” (selected with Boeing’s approval) who will be responsible for coordinating all “matters related to the development Continued on page 7
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Letter from Lynn
by Lynn Harsh
He was right, and I was wrong. So it was that last month Bob and Jane Williams and I watched my son and 545 other young men become new Marines. As I surveyed their fresh faces and ramrod-straight frames, I knew some of those young men would not return home again. They would sacrifice their lives to provide liberty for others and to safeguard America’s future.
A new perspective T
he day is etched in my memory. My youngest son came home from school more than a year ago and told me he wanted to join the military. My jaw dropped, and I said, “Absolutely not!” He was a senior in high school then—a bright young leader with good SAT scores. He thought economics and journalism might be his fields of study and had never expressed an interest in the military before. But he said he wasn’t ready to go to college yet, and he wanted to serve his country. The mother in me recoiled. Though this was months before the war in Iraq began, I felt certain we were facing a decade of global conflict, with American troops in hot spots everywhere. Since I already had mixed feelings about our foreign policy direction, the fact that my baby would be in the middle of it didn’t settle well. My son used good judgment in addressing my angst. In addition to mentioning that he would soon be 18 (really old), he also reminded me that his upbringing taught him that the most important things in life are to serve God, other people and his country.
PFC John Harsh
“Yes, that’s what I’m saying.”
Besides, hadn’t my son spent his life being raised by a mother up to her neck in the battle of ideas for what America is and should be? That he would take up arms— literally—to defend the very ideals his mother had fought for all his life, should not be unusual, he reasoned.
After all, how can we ask young men and women to sacrifice their lives on foreign soil to preserve liberty for America and others, if we are not willing ourselves to do the heavy lifting here at home? Preserving liberty and the American way of life does not begin on the battlefield with rifles, tanks and bombs. It begins right here at home with what we believe about the role of government, personal liberty and free enterprise. It begins by electing people who understand the need for a limited and lean government, and who are willing to fight intelligently to move us that direction. It begins when we and our elected officials respect the rule of law— when we, as individuals, are willing to govern ourselves and assume responsibility for the personal and economic risks we take in life. So here we are, facing an important skirmish in this battle—a skirmish otherwise known as the 2004 Legislative Session. We need to understand our opposition, be clear about the direction we need to head, and equip ourselves to do battle. Our opponents believe government must be larger and more encompassing so it can do things like educate our children for us, create jobs for the unemployed, and provide health care for everyone. Accomplishing all of this requires a lot of money, and since government has none of its own, it must take the money it needs from businesses and households. It does this in the form of higher taxes and regulatory fees.
“Besides,” he said, “are you saying you want other mothers’ sons to risk death, but not your own?”
Over the course of the next few days, he reminded me of some of the hard days our family had faced because of my choice of vocation and avocation. There were the extra safety precautions after our Foundation angered a particular group of people—you know, like a union or two. There were the discussions about how he and his brother should handle questions from their teachers or friends’ parents regarding things they might read in the paper about me or the Evergreen Freedom Foundation.
It brought new importance and urgency to the work I do day in and day out at the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, and I made a quiet vow to renew my vigor to win this battle of ideas.
Now here’s a fact that surprises a lot of people. The average Washingtonian already pays more than half his or her wages to federal, state or local governments in the form of taxes or regulatory costs. We will work well into July this year to pay for the cost of the government we already have! Most people don’t believe this because they don’t see all the costs. But tens of thousands of dollars are imbedded in the price of the homes we buy; and thousands more are added to the cost of our cars, gasoline, telephone service, and utilities. Continued on page 10
EFF alert holds agency accountable
February 2004 • Volume 14, Issue 2
ast month we ran a newsletter article about how our state’s Employment Security Department (ESD) was “misinterpreting” newlypassed unemployment insurance reforms. Thanks to our alert and three consequent letters of reprimand from the state senator who sponsored the reforms, this problem has now been corrected. Unfortunately, Governor Locke vetoed a law that would have required the governor’s signature on all agency rules. Apparently he felt it would be too burdensome. That leaves citizens, and groups like EFF, to bear the burden. But we’ll be working hard to put that responsibility back where it belongs.
Evergreen Freedom Foundation PO Box 552 Olympia, WA 98507 (360) 956-3482 Fax (360) 352-1874 firstname.lastname@example.org • www.effwa.org Living Liberty is a publication of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation.
Editors: Lynn Harsh Marsha Richards
Publisher: Joel Sorrell
Contents 4 Appeals court rules in EFF’s favor You may remember that way back in April 2002 we filed a lawsuit against the National Education Association. And you may remember that, in August of that same year, the case was taken away from us by the court (in a questionable and far-reaching ruling) and handed back to the state. Well, good news . . .
5 State of Denial In his final State of the State address January 13, Governor Locke was in denial about the true state of affairs in Washington, and sounded more like a candidate running for the University of Washington presidency than a governor reporting to the people who hired him.
6 “My hotel services are shrinking” After being subjected to numerous and outrageous minimum wage, government fee, and payroll tax increases since 9/11, not to mention increased regulations, etc—all while hotel occupancy and food and beverage revenue were decimated—I have closed my hotel’s restaurant and cocktail lounge operation as we knew it.
7 The Governator: Still an Action Hero Arnold Schwarzenegger hasn’t entirely left his Hollywood action hero persona behind now that he’s in the California governor’s mansion. In his recent inauguration remarks and a State of the State speech, he articulated the kind of vision we need here in Washington. We recommend our governor and lawmakers take a few tips from The Governator.
8 Was your contribution worthwhile? As an investor in the work we do here at EFF, we’d like to answer two questions for you: First, is our work worthwhile? And second, how do we know?
9 Hail to the Chief This month America celebrates Presidents’ Day—most notably the birthdays of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Ronald Reagan.
EFF’s mission is to advance individual liberty, personal responsibility, and limited and accountable government.
Nothing in this publication should be construed as an attempt to aid or hinder the passage of any legislation.
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Appeals Court rules in EFF’s favor by Marsha Richards
ou may remember that way back in April 2002 we filed a lawsuit against the National Education Association. And you may remember that, in August of that same year, the case was taken away from us by the court (in a questionable and far-reaching ruling) and handed back to the state. Well, good news! We appealed that decision, and on Christmas Eve we got the news that the state Court of Appeals ruled in our favor and reversed it. The reversal does two things: 1) It restores the right of citizens to enforce campaign finance laws if the attorney
general fails to act, and 2) it allows EFF to get back in the driver’s seat of the lawsuit against the NEA (if we choose). Since it’s difficult even for us to keep track of all the details in all the different lawsuits we follow, here’s a quick summary of events that will bring you up to date on this case: What’s it all about? Our investigations over the past few years showed the WEA and NEA were violating a state law that prohibits them from making political expenditures with money they take from teachers who aren’t even members of the union. When the attorney general (AG) won a $400,000 fine against the WEA at the Superior Court level for these violations, we followed up with a complaint against the NEA. Here’s a timeline:
January 31, 2002 – EFF files complaint against NEA with attorney general’s office. This gives the AG 55 days to “commence enforcement action” before the case is open for citizen action. Shortly after, the AG turns it over to the Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) for investigation. April 8, 2002 – Knowing the PDC is going to announce violations on the part of the NEA, the union’s state affiliate (WEA) launches a statewide attack campaign calling EFF a “dangerous” and “extreme” organization. The union admits to spending $180,000 on full-color newspaper ads and radio spots. April 9, 2002 – EFF files a lawsuit against the NEA after discovering the PDC plans to recommend a settlement with NEA. It is four days past the AG’s 55-day deadline. July 1, 2002 – The NEA fails to respond to EFF’s lawsuit by the court deadline and a judge levies an $800,000 default judgement against the union for its violations of state law. NEA officials quickly claim they missed the deadline because EFF filed “false documents” in court.
Who will help us slay the statist dragons? In the battle of ideas, it is our quest to slay the statist dragons: • Union officials who believe they can exploit millions of their fellow Americans in pursuit of a radical political agenda. • Education bureaucrats who believe the public schools exist to provide adults with jobs, rather than provide children with an opportunity to achieve academic excellence. • State agencies willing to raise rates on struggling businesses before considering common sense measures to eliminate rampant fraud and waste. • State legislators who would rather raise your taxes than say “no” to special interest contributors. They come in all shapes and sizes, some large and fiery, others small and easily frightened. As we march to defeat them on the battlefield, please remember that every dollar you contribute is an arrow in our quiver. You can help us slay dragons with a few clicks by contributing through our secure online server, or by filling out and returning the coupon in this newsletter. If you have any questions, the Lady Juliana McMahan will be delighted to answer them by phone (360.956.3482) or email (email@example.com).
July 12, 2002 – In a routine decision, the judge vacates his default judgment against the NEA and allows the case to progress to trial. August 23, 2002 – A Superior Court judge dismisses EFF’s case against the NEA, citing an Appellate Court ruling that was handed down after the lawsuit was filed. The decision says EFF’s citizen action was filed prematurely and the case is sent back to the state. Alarmingly, the wording of the decision renders the “citizen action” Continued on page 11
February 2004 • Volume 14, Issue 2
State of the State shows State of Denial by Bob Williams
n his final State of the State address January 13, Governor Locke was in denial about the true state of affairs in Washington, and sounded more like a candidate running for the University of Washington presidency than a governor reporting to the people who hired him. Budget analysts predict Washington will face a $3 billion deficit six years from now if state spenders don’t prioritize expenditures within available revenue. Not only did the governor fail to acknowledge this forecast, he voiced his support for a $1 billion tax increase next year for education programs. He has jumped on the bandwagon with groups who are pushing for a 15.4% increase in the sales tax (raising the state portion from 6.5% to 7.5%), which is being cleverly marketed as the “one penny increase.” Locke also promoted his proposal to increase state spending by $193 million in the current budget cycle. The governor’s supplemental budget would eliminate the state’s emergency reserve and reduce general reserves to less than one percent of the total budget. It would nearly double the current state deficit to $453 million, and it would create carryforward costs that cannot be paid for in the next budget without a major tax increase or major cuts.
learning, what the governor meant is that the state should pay for it. He didn’t define what that means or how much it will cost. We think the governor could do more good by simply eliminating the problems the current K-12 bureaucracy is creating for students. Currently, 61 percent of all black students in our state drop out of high school before graduation. Of all of the high school graduates who go on to community colleges, 57 percent must take a remedial course in math or writing. State test scores are alarmingly low. And still the governor has not told us how a $1 billion tax increase will solve these problems. The second governor-given “right” for citizens is “opportunities for family wage jobs in a vibrant and expanding economy.” This sounds very nice, but again, the best thing government can do is get out of the way so our economy can become vibrant. The current dismal business conditions are caused by agency rules created under the governor’s watch. But instead of acknowledging the tens of thousands of jobs that have left the state (more than 90,000), Locke talked happily about the seven new companies that have moved to our state. Seven.
The governor has jumped on the bandwagon with groups who are pushing for a 15.4% increase in the sales tax, which is being cleverly marketed as the “one penny increase.”
It was only a year ago that we praised the governor and he received national attention and acclaim for his new “Priorities of Government” budget model. Unfortunately, he has abandoned this responsible approach. The new spending he proposes is not prioritized, does not include measurable standards for evaluating success, and does not have identified accountability measures. The governor expounded on five “fundamental rights” of citizens as he discussed expanding state programs. None of these reflect the state’s obligations as defined in Article 1 of the state constitution (Declaration of Rights), and the governor seems to have forgotten the section that says “all political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.” Period. The first “right” Locke bestowed on citizens was the right “to a quality education and opportunities for lifelong learning.” While every individual does have a God-given right to pursue lifelong
The governor did not mention the necessity for reforms in our workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance programs, nor the state’s high minimum wage. These three problems are killing businesses in our state. Further, the governor did not level with the legislature on what it took to convince Boeing to stay here. (See our cover article in this issue.)
Locke next mentioned citizens’ right to “comprehensive health care that is affordable and available.” Yet state government is responsible for chasing the private insurance market out of the state with onerous mandates that dramatically increased the cost of providing and purchasing policies. Lack of meaningful tort reform is another reason doctors are going out of business. The governor was vague on his fourth right (“a clean, healthy environment”), though we know he is working to implement the Kyoto treaty at the state level. He was also vague about the fifth right “to live in a respectful, fair and safe society.” That could mean anything and will likely be used to justify further expansions in the size, cost and power of government. Our state is in desperate need of a visionary leader who is capable of making a realistic assessment and taking meaningful action. If Locke is successful, his legacy will be massive tax increases and crisis-level budget deficits. We hope wiser heads will prevail in the legislature. Stay tuned. We’ll be your watchdog.
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U.S. Bankruptcy Court, we enjoyed a robust breakfast and lunch business, in spite of only mediocre food and service (by my standards). Over the years, despite improvements in food quality and service and increased advertising and creative marketing, business declined—a sign of the same trends that have caused most new “limited service” hotels to leave restaurants out of their design altogether.
Approximately 10 jobs have been eliminated in the process of taking the above steps. As for the economic pain and insults imposed on my operation by local government, there follows below a partial list of what I have endured:
1. 47% to 49.6% increase in unemployment insurance payroll tax, effective January 1, 2004, following a 30% increase in the same tax only a year ago.
Shuttered: Why my hotel services are shrinking by Armen Yousoufian
o industry colleagues and others I thought might be interested:
After being subjected to numerous and outrageous minimum wage, government fee, and payroll tax increases since 9/11 (see below), not to mention increased regulations, etc—all while hotel occupancy and food and beverage revenue were decimated—I have closed my hotel’s restaurant and cocktail lounge operation as we knew it. As of last month, I ended dinner and all other operations in the cocktail lounge. As it was, the lounge was the only room we were serving dinner in, since months ago. I had previously stopped serving lunch and dinner in the restaurant dining room, having limited that outlet to only breakfast. Lunch business had practically disappeared, and dinner had become too slow to support having staff in two rooms. Within the next few weeks, full-service breakfasts will be eliminated as well, in favor of a continental breakfast operation. The latter is typical of what most new hotels, and many existing hotels, have limited themselves to during the past ten or more years. In comparison, when I bought the University Plaza Hotel in 1986 from the
2. 10% increase in Labor and Industries payroll tax, effective January 1,2004, following a 30% increase in the same tax only a year ago. 3. 25% increase in the Seattle-King County Board of Health annual food permit license fee. 4. 58% increase in electricity rates in Seattle in the past two years. 5. 50% increase in the past year for the Seattle Building Department’s permit for the boiler that produces the hot water to wash dishes. 6. 25% increase in the past year for the Seattle Building Department’s permits for the elevators our guests ride to get to our restaurant. 7. 25% increase in the past year for the Seattle Building Department’s permit for the sign advertising the restaurant to passers-by. 8. A further miscellany of minimum wage increases, water and sewer rate increases, assorted new regulatory reporting requirements, etc. It is disheartening to simultaneously watch local bureaucrats, who have driven many small businesses to the point of desperation with fee increases, going to great lengths to encourage development in South Lake Union by changing new building height restrictions and potentially spending hundreds of millions of dollars on new infrastructure. Over the next 20 years, these bureaucrats claim, some 20,000 jobs may be created.
In the meantime, a few million dollars of extra fees are driving small businesses out of business, or out of Seattle. And, some 96,000 local jobs have been lost in the past three years— a number that continues to grow with new announcements weekly. Armen Yousoufian is the Managing General Partner at the University Plaza Hotel in Seattle.
February 2004 • Volume 14, Issue 2
Boeing continued from page 1 . . .
labor, services and tangible personal property in the construction process; a property tax exemption; and a property tax credit.
and operation of the 747-400 large cargo freighter operations” between Boeing, state and local government agencies, and outside service vendors.
13. Boeing will receive water, sewer, wastewater treatment, and solid waste services from the City of Everett and Snohomish County. The City and County are obligated to provide these services to Boeing’s specifications as long as it is financially feasible.
In effect, items 2-8 mean the state will hire seven full-time employees (selected with Boeing’s approval) to ensure that the state “shall do all things and take all actions” to facilitate Boeing in building and operating a state-of-the-art facility to assemble the 7E7 Aircraft.
14. If requested by Boeing, the Port of Everett and Snohomish County will purchase (to the extent possible) and lease back to Boeing some of the facilities needed for the 7E7 under terms and conditions the company finds acceptable within the parameters of state law.
9. Boeing will receive priority over all other same-day applicants when it applies for permits. 10. The state will hire a nationally-recognized consulting firm to publish a study that shows the economic benefits of Boeing’s 7E7 project for the state.
15. The state will give Boeing favorable treatment in its environmental impact analysis. 16. Boeing will receive priority for road access related to its project.
11. The state will give Boeing a $3.2 billion reduction in Business and Occupation taxes over the life of the agreement.
17. The Port of Everett will pay all dock and port fees and expenses related to its agreement with Boeing.
12. The state will give Boeing a credit to purchase computer equipment and software; a sales and use tax exemption for the purchase of computer-related equipment; a sales and use tax exemption for
Continued on page 9
Photo courtesy of JoinArnold.com
is—that in a republic, sovereignty rests with the PEOPLE—not the government.”
California’s Governator: Still an Action Hero
rnold Schwarzenegger hasn’t entirely left his Hollywood action hero persona behind now that he’s in the California governor’s mansion. In his recent inauguration remarks and a State of the State speech, he articulated the kind of vision we need here in Washington. We recommend our governor and lawmakers take a few tips from The Governator. Here are some choice quotes from his recent speeches: “When I became a citizen 20 years ago, I had to take a citizenship test. I had to learn about the history and the principles of our republic. What I learned—and what I’ve NEVER forgotten
“The fact of the matter is we do not have a tax crisis; we do not have a budget crisis; we have a spending crisis. We cannot tax our way out of this problem. More taxes will destroy what we are trying to save, which is jobs and revenue.” “A tax increase would be the final nail in California’s financial coffin. The people of California did not elect me to destroy jobs and businesses by raising taxes. We have no choice but to cut spending, which is what caused this crisis in the first place.” “We must give local schools the freedom to be more cost efficient. One way to do this is to repeal the law that prevents schools from contracting out services such as busing and maintenance.” “Every governor proposes moving boxes around to reorganize government. I don’t want to move boxes around; I want to blow them up.” “We have boards and commissions that serve no pressing public need. I say abolish them. We have a state purchasing program that is archaic and expensive. I say modernize it.” “We must fix the state’s business climate. And we must start with the workers’ compensation system. I call on legislators to deliver real workers’ comp reform to my desk by March 1st. Modest reform is not enough. If modest reform is all that lands on my desk, I am prepared to take my workers’ comp solution directly to the people and I will put it on the ballot in November. California employers are bleeding red ink from the workers’ comp system.”
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Was your 2003 contribution to EFF worthwhile? As an investor in the work we do here at EFF, we’d like to answer two questions for you: First, is our work worthwhile? And second, how do we know? We answer those questions for ourselves as much as for our supporters. While we love the work we do, it’s not something most of us would choose for the sake of activity alone. For one thing, we wish government watchdogging wasn’t so necessary; two, it would be far less frustrating to smile and mix fancy coffee drinks at an espresso stand all day (and far tastier for those of us who like such things). At the end of the day it’s not the activity but the results that make our work rewarding. Eternal vigilance truly is the price of liberty. We have ground to take, and it has never been our intention to simply hold the line in this battle. Happily, 2003 was a hugely rewarding year. We saw fruit ripen from seeds planted years ago, and projects conceived and put into motion seemingly overnight paid off well. It’s our pleasure to share with you what we consider some of EFF’s more notable accomplishments from the past year, none of which would have been possible without your support. We hope you’ll consider your investment in us a wise one.
General Last year, EFF’s work was featured in more than 400 articles published around the state and nation, reaching an average of 1.5 million households each month. Staff appeared on 169 radio shows for a total of 4,367 minutes on air, as well as six different television programs. We spoke directly to more than 3,500 people in and out of the state, worked closely with key legislators, and reached 116,228 different people through our website. Budget and Taxes • Last January, we held a Taxpayer Action Rally across the street from 20,000 teachers who were bused into Olympia by the WEA to demand more money. We reserved the only available location on the capitol campus, right under the governor’s office window. The union was forced to rally in front of DSHS. While several state legislators spoke at our rally to support our message of lower taxes, less regulation, and more government accountability, the union had just one legislator: Sen. Frank Chopp. (Surprise.) We believe our supporters helped give the governor and lawmakers the courage they needed to stand up to the union and pass a budget without general tax increases. • Governor Locke and his team adopted a priority-based budget model this year. This has been our principal budget reform ideal for the last decade. Our praise of the governor was so rare it made media headlines across the state, and to our great joy reporters and editors not only reported the facts but took them to heart. • When the governor abandoned priority-based budgeting by requesting a $193 million supplemental spending increase late last year, we put the word out and newspapers around the state used our facts in their criticism of the governor’s proposal. • Our Stewardship Project has been jointly published with the Heritage Foundation and the State Policy Network. We are now working in
some capacity with governors, legislators and organizations in 18 other states around the nation to promote priority-based budgeting, and we received word recently that our model is being used by legislators in Nigeria. Bob Williams was invited to speak to thousands of state legislators at national conferences, and his presentation aired on CSPAN three times. We helped put performance audits front-and-center last session. With the help of talk radio host Mike Siegel (KTTH 770 AM) and his listeners, we designed and bought two humorous, full-color newspaper ads pointing out the weak bills legislators drafted in hopes the public would be satisfied. These were defeated, and we have drafted model language for legislators. Last session, legislators adopted some of the unemployment insurance reforms we championed, and our data was used by both Boeing management and the machinist union to promote the reforms. When we discovered later in the year that the agency responsible for implementation of the reforms was misinterpreting the new law to benefit labor unions, we blew the whistle and a key sponsor of the bills reprimanded the agency in three separate letters. The “misinterpretation” was corrected. At the federal level, President Bush’s administration proposed reducing the Federal Unemployment Insurance Tax from 0.8 percent to 0.2 percent after EFF recommended eliminating it altogether.
Teachers’ Paycheck Protection • EFF’s work on paycheck protection was mentioned in 133 different articles and editorials in state and national publications last year, as well as on numerous radio shows. We were also featured in a new book by Peter Brimelow called “The Worm in the Apple: How the teacher unions are destroying American education.” • EFF aided students in Marysville when their teachers staged the longest strike in state history (49 days). We also co-
February 2004 • Volume 14, Issue 2
hosted a community forum in the town with talk radio host Mike Siegel, which was attended by 125 concerned citizens, parents and teachers. Union officials were not pleased. Several union supporters marched with signs in front of our forum, and in flyers passed out on the picket line they dubbed us an “evil band of zealots.” We couldn’t have asked for a better measure of our influence, and we had the name printed on mugs. When our state Court of Appeals ruled that the WEA’s right to spend money on politics trumps a teacher’s right to free speech, we went straight to our faithful supporters. More than 500 of you responded by asking the attorney general to pursue the case to the State Supreme Court, which she has done. We expect a decision on whether or not the Court will hear the case in early spring. Thanks in large part to EFF’s work, the WEA hasn’t had favorable press coverage in more than three years. To the contrary, every one of our state’s major dailies has editorialized at least once against the union’s brute behavior. WEA’s president has openly lamented the fact in his newsletter. We published a professional and comprehensive booklet to inform teachers of their right to become “religious objectors” and send 100 percent of their union dues to a charity. This was mailed to thousands of teachers in our state, while we also ran radio ads on Christian stations. We received many calls from teachers Boeing continued from page 7 18. The state will pay for all recruitment, screening, assessment and training of the workforce needed for Boeing’s 7E7 project. 19. The state will buy or design and build a facility to serve as Boeing’s employment resource center. Boeing will have exclusive use of the facility for a minimum of five years, and the state will pay all costs
who wanted to know more. Upon request, our TPP project manager flew to Idaho early in the year to provide advice to state legislators as they passed the toughest paycheck protection law in the country. We are now working in some capacity with organizations and lawmakers in 15 different states to replicate the successes we’ve had here in Washington. The U.S. Department of Labor asked EFF to comment on new rules that would require more financial disclosure from unions, and a set of rules was adopted as a first step. Union officials promptly sued to block the rules. News broke nationally in November that the IRS is auditing the National Education Association. EFF was very pleased to provide a significant portion of the documentation necessary for the complaint filed by the Virginia-based Landmark Legal Foundation. We filed a similar complaint against the WEA shortly after, and will be watching to see if the IRS acts on that one as well.
as “On Alert” for failure to meet academic standards, we researched and compiled the list ourselves and broadcast it statewide. Our facts on education spending and school performance were widely quoted throughout the year. Our work was also on display at the annual conference of Washington State School Directors, where hundreds of school board members received copies of our reports and publications.
Health Care Reform • EFF has been working with other organizations toward Congressional adoption of Health Savings Accounts, and Congress finally approved them starting this year. • We identified ten critical demographic regions of the state where we are holding public information meetings, seminars and workshops on health care reform. • Our staff drafted model language for the legislature related to critical health care reforms.
Education Reform • Though we are not huge fans of the new federal No Child Left Behind Act, we published a report to show school administrators, parents and teachers how they can use the new law to improve schools in our state. We distributed this report to hundreds of school directors around the state. • When Public Schools Superintendent Terry Bergeson refused to release a list of the schools that had been designated
Citizenship and Governance • We were pleased to co-sponsor a userfriendly legislative tracking website called Washington Votes, which was used by more than 35,000 people last year. • We published a monograph that explains the principles behind our Choosing Liberty civics program for high school students, which has been well-received around the state.
associated with operation, maintenance and repair of the facility.
22. All parties involved are instructed to “withhold or redact” all details of the agreement “to the fullest extent permitted by law” and the information will not be included in the master agreement.
20. The state, in consultation with Boeing, will establish and pay for a two-year “aerospace manufacturing degree program” to train workers. 21. Boeing has the right to conduct all tests of the 7E7 and operate its facilities 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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Letter from Lynn continued from page 2 . . . Business people are forced to pass their regulatory costs on to us in higher prices for things we buy . . . and the list goes on. By the time you receive this newsletter, your lawmakers will have been lobbied by more special interest groups than you can imagine, and most of them will have asked for or demanded more money. Did your lawmakers hear from you? Amidst the cacophony of “gimmees,” how many times will they have heard the following message? Please restrict government to those things it can do best. Make government leaner. Leave more of our hard-earned money in our own pockets so we can fix what ails us. Don’t take our money to create government jobs; instead lift burdensome and expensive regulations so entrepreneurs have capital to create private-sector jobs. Let us have more options on how to educate our own children and to decide what kind of health care we want to receive. If your lawmakers haven’t heard from you yet, pick up the phone, or write a postcard, or send an email. If they need to be thanked for unflinchingly staying the course, please do that, too. We are in a pitched battle for the heart, soul and ideals of our country. This is serious business. I don’t know about you, but I intend to win this battle. When weariness and frustration set in, may the faces of those young Marines remind me and others why this battle on the home front is so important.
Hail to the Chief by Jeanne Montgomery
This month America celebrates Presidents’ Day—most notably the birthdays of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Ronald Reagan. George Washington President Washington was given the formidable task of guiding our nation’s first tottering steps—protecting it from rash decisions and dangerous actions. “We now have a National character to establish, and it is of utmost importance to stamp favorable impressions upon it,” he said. His “fathering” ensured that our young country developed into a strong nation of principled men and women. He desired to see America’s leaders working together, strengthening the nation as a whole, while preserving individual liberty for each citizen.
Abraham Lincoln Abraham Lincoln faced severe crises in his personal and professional life while in office; indeed, throughout his entire life. He faced these challenges with an undaunted faith in his Creator and in the people of this nation. He said, “I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.” He was a man of integrity, honesty and sensitivity.
Ronald Reagan When he began his political career in the early ‘60s, Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” Nearly twenty years later, when our nation was distressed by inflation and the hostage stalemate in Iran, Ronald Reagan was elected president. He immediately set about the tasks of stabilizing America’s economy, promoting a “peace through strength” foreign policy, and supporting limitations on government. He proved the value of principled action, even when plans are initially unpopular.
Lynn Harsh with son John
This month we also celebrate the birthday of EFF’s president, Bob Williams. Although he would never want to be compared to the great men above, Bob’s wisdom, dedication, integrity, and action have proven him to be a true leader in our organization, our community, and our state. Happy Birthday, Bob!
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provision in the law meaningless. EFF files an appeal. September 20, 2002 – EFF is sanctioned for issuing a press release about the default judgment against the NEA. The story generates national media attention and “embarrasses” the NEA. Though the judge admits EFF complied with all technical aspects of the law, he feels we acted in “bad faith” by embarrassing the union. October 2, 2002 – The PDC refers the case against NEA to the attorney general after finding “apparent multiple violations” of the law. October 4, 2002 – The AG files suit against NEA. December 23, 2003 – The Court of Appeals admits the language of its earlier decision was wrong and reverses the decision that dismissed EFF from the case against NEA. EFF begins to review its options. As you can see, the wheels of justice do indeed turn slowly. It’s been two years since our initial complaint was filed against the NEA, and we’re now almost back where we started. In between all of these events, the WEA appealed the $400,000 fine it earned for similar violations, and our state Court of Appeals—
astoundingly—ruled that the union’s right to spend money on politics trumps a teacher’s right to free speech. The Court said our state law violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. We were flabbergasted by the ruling, of course, and thanks to more than five hundred of you who jumped to action and wrote to the attorney general, she has now appealed the decision to the State Supreme Court. That was several months ago and we’re still waiting to hear if the state’s highest court will hear the case, but we believe it is likely. If this chronicle doesn’t prove that vigilance for liberty is often time-consuming, expensive and frustrating, we don’t know what will. The fact is, it’s a price we’re willing to pay. It’s little enough when we remember what our Founders paid to give us this great nation. And the truth is, we expect to see the day when officials of the National Education Association and its affiliates are no longer allowed to force millions of other Americans to support their radical political agenda. We expect to see the day when this giant that stands squarely in the path of free speech, fair elections and true education reform is finally knocked down for good.
A few upcoming events . . . Sunday, February 8 Join us in wishing Bob Williams a happy birthday! Monday, February 9, 2004 Families Northwest will be hosting Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott and special musical guests for “Make Your Marriage Matter” at New Life Center in Everett. The event is also held at City Church in Kirkland on Tuesday, February 10. For more information: (888) 923-2645. Tuesday, February 10 Bob Williams is tentatively scheduled to address the Young President’s Organization and assist radio host Mike Siegel in facilitating a discussion about the Washington business climate. Senator Dino Rossi and other legislators plan to be on the panel. Wednesday, February 11 Whatcom County will receive a visit from Bob Williams, as he addresses the Northwest Business Club. Thursday, February 19 Lynn Harsh will be sharing her ideas about education and our exciting Ten Minute Citizen project with the Bellevue Republican Women. Tuesday, February 24 The Eagle Forum will host Bob Williams at the Quality Inn in Bellingham. For more information, please contact the Eagle Forum at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-354-8505. Questions about these events? Contact Jason Lucarelli at (360) 9563482 or email@example.com.
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