July 2004 • Volume 14, Issue 7
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN by Bob Williams
s a student at Penn State in the 60’s, I used to listen to Ronald Reagan’s daily radio commentaries. His words of wisdom, along with many of his speeches over the years, helped form my political philosophy and create in my mind a clear vision of freedom that has guided my work for the past forty years. In his acceptance speech at the 1980 Republican National Convention, Reagan called on Americans to help him renew the American compact by stating: “I ask you not to simply trust me, but to trust your values—our values—and hold me responsible for living up to them.” He called for a renewal of the American spirit that he said knew no bounds. I clearly remember the conditions in America when Reagan became President in January 1981. The nation was in an economic fiasco, with double digit inflation. American morale was low. Few people thought the Cold War would end. And many Americans thought the job of President had gotten too big and complicated for any one person to handle. On Reagan’s first day in office, hostages were released in Iran because there was reason to believe he might send in troops if they weren’t. In eight years, Reagan clearly identified the Soviet Union as the “evil empire,” and he helped end the Cold War. The collapse of Soviet rule and the breakup of an empire that was
responsible for the death of more than 100 million people took place because of his vision and persistence. Who can forget Reagan standing near the Berlin Wall calling for Gorbachev to tear it down? Within a year after he left office, East Germany opened the gates separating East and West Berlin, and shortly thereafter the wall was gone. Reagan’s economic package revived our economy and spurred record growth. And he gave Americans a sense of optimism with his vision of America as the “shining city on a hill.” Reagan’s optimism was contagious. As former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said: “He sought to mend America’s wounded spirit, to restore the strength of the free world, and to free the slaves of communism. These were causes hard to accomplish and heavy with risk. Yet they were pursued with almost a lightness of spirit. For Ronald Reagan also embodied another great cause—what Arnold Bennett once called the ‘great cause of cheering us all up.’ His politics had a freshness and optimism that won converts from every class and every nation—and ultimately from the very heart of the Evil Empire.” Reagan had a lifelong love affair with America and thoroughly understood its history and heroes. Again Margaret Thatcher probably best summed this up with her words: “Ronald Reagan President Reagan continued on page 10
A publication of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation
Letter from Lynn
by Lynn Harsh
Thank you, Mr. President “Are you all right, ma’am?” was the question from a lady at the gas pump next to me. I was lost in thought, oblivious to the fact that tears were running down my cheeks. The poor woman just stared at me when I blurted out, “I just hugged my son goodbye. He’s going to Iraq. And Margaret Thatcher just talked.” That’s all I could say. No doubt those two points were not connected in her mind, but in mine they were welded. My son was off to fight for freedom for us and others—the freedom that President Reagan and Prime Minister Thatcher brought to millions of oppressed people around the globe. Fifteen minutes after I hugged my son good-bye, Lady Thatcher was speaking the most poignant words about the man and the times that taught me to love liberty. It was a moment I’ll never forget, as were the years when Ronald Reagan was our president. ——————————— It was 1980. I was a young wife and mother, worried about the fate of my country and my own family’s future. Interest rates were twice what they are today, making home ownership impossible for most young families. Double-digit inflation eroded the value of our savings. Tax rates of 70 percent were the penalty for those whose hard work and ingenuity allowed them to be financially successful. Moral clarity was an oxymoron. Young people were trying to figure out if building a lasting relationship was possible, and if having children was a good or bad idea. We had a menu of new options, but few offered more than short-term gratification, and still fewer worked. On one hand, many of us felt the rush of new choices. On the other hand, we were anchorless.
On the foreign front, Iran had taken 52 Americans hostage. Communist leaders in the Soviet Union were bullying America into submission, and the socialism that had impoverished many human beings around the globe had slithered its way into American institutions. Viet Nam and drug abuse had ravaged and demoralized my generation. We had watched one president board Air Force One for the last time after being forced out of office because he and many in his cabinet had participated in dirty deeds and lied to us about them. The current president was telling us we should just get used to the fact that we lived in times of trouble and decline. Then, like a warm fire in a cold cave, came a straight-talking, optimistic man who asked permission to be our new president. He said we lived in a time of opportunity. His speech was persuasive, uplifting and intelligent. He seemed brave and modest; funny and warm-hearted. So we chose him as our president, and for eight years we watched him talk and behave exactly like he told us he would when he first asked us for our vote. You could tell he really liked us—really believed in us. He was Ronald Reagan.
Reagan and Thatcher in calling for political oppressors to let their people go. Britain, Eastern Europe and much of South America were challenged and changed. Reagan called on “Mr. Gorbachev” to “tear down this wall,” and we cheered as the Berlin Wall crumbled a few years later into little more than masonry souvenirs. It was from this president that I truly learned to differentiate between utopian economic theory (the kind I learned in school) and practical economic theory. For two tumultuous and recessionary years, Reagan and Federal Reserve Chairman Volker used tight monetary policy, deregulation, and tax cuts to tame doubledigit inflation. This was part of supplyside economics, and the behavioral and investment responses predicted by Reagan and Volker occurred. Inflation was cut by two-thirds, the economy grew by one-third—and sustained itself. Millions of new jobs were created, family incomes rose by eleven percent, productivity was up, and unemployment was down. Keynesians—those who believe that it is government’s responsibility to keep people fully employed by increasing the debt to create jobs during economic downturns—predicted inflation would worsen under Reagan’s formula, and since that was the economic philosophy I was taught as the gospel-truth, I eagerly awaited results. The Keynesians were wrong, and for the first time in my life, the political and economic pieces fit.
He used the word evil (gasp!) to describe leaders around the globe who were attempting to crush under their despotic heels the human need for hope and I also learned what didn’t work. The freedom. Reagan and Prime Minister spending cuts that were to coincide with Thatcher became the “free marketeers,” Reagan’s tax cuts, deregulation, and tight using swords of truth to make swaths of monetary policy never materialized. hope in countries full of the economically Reagan’s plan to cut taxes, increase defense and politically oppressed. Frequently the You Make thecontinued Call continued Polish-born Pope John Paul II joined Letter on pageon15page 8
July 2004 • Volume 14, Issue 7
of the month
...because freedom matters. “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 down 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 when men were free.” -Ronald Reagan
1 President Ronald Reagan In his acceptance speech at the 1980 Republican National Convention, Reagan called on Americans to help him renew the American compact by stating: “I ask you not to simply trust me, but to trust your values—our values—and hold me responsible for living up to them.” He called for a renewal of the American spirit that he said knew no bounds.
4 Ferry workers arrested Sometimes, it doesn’t pay to be arrogant. The Washington State Ferry system learned that lesson last month.
5 Why is the NEA bad for kids? It’s hard to imagine that anyone would knowingly pursue policies that harm kids. But it’s also hard to imagine that officials of our state’s monopoly teachers’ union (and its national affiliate) could be blind to the fact that their policies do exactly that.
Evergreen Freedom Foundation PO Box 552 Olympia, WA 98507 (360) 956-3482 Fax (360) 352-1874 email@example.com • www.effwa.org Living Liberty is a publication of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation.
Editors: Lynn Harsh Marsha Richards
Publisher: Joel Sorrell 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.
6 Supreme Court hears arguments On May 27, 2004, the Washington State Supreme Court heard oral arguments for Washington State Public Disclosure Commission, Gary Davenport v. Washington Education Association.
8 DSHS and your tax dollars When thinking about your tax dollars, what words come to mind? Investment? Civic duty? Necessary public services? It would be nice if these were accurate. Unfortunately, in light of recent events, more appropriate terms might be: Fraud, drugs, illegal aliens, and obstruction.
9 Public disclosure under attack The right of citizens to gain access to public information has come under heavy assault and may be harmed irreparably if we do not make a stand now.
10Budget reforms move forward In the last month, EFF has been able to make significant progress on performancebased budgeting both here and across the country.
13Turning your life plan into a legacy The title above communicates precisely what we want to accomplish in our lifetime: living with purpose and leaving something of value when we’re gone. I borrowed the title from an informative seminar I recently attended.
A publication of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation
Ferry workers arrested for stealing fares by Jason Mercier The findings date back to 1986. Eighteen years later, officials still don’t know how many passengers ride the ferries, or where all the money collected from passengers ends up.
ometimes, it doesn’t pay to be arrogant. The Washington State Ferry (WSF) system learned that lesson last month.
In response to yet another failed audit finding regarding WSF’s less than stellar ability to account for ferry fares (a finding that happens to date back nearly two decades), officials from the agency stated: “WSF does not concur with this finding. Management has Idamae balancedSchack considerations John and (Idamaeof cost, benefit, and risk, and believes the current system of internal controls is Schack not pictured) adequate given the existing point-of-sale receipting system. The fact that no significant employee theft losses have been discovered in the eighteen years the auditors have reported this condition underscores this assessment.” Whoops. No sooner had the ink dried on that statement than news broke of four WSF employees being arrested for stealing ferry fares. While noting that the ferry system has raised fares by 35 percent over the past three years, a KING 5 news headlines reported: “A hidden camera investigation nabs four state ferry workers suspected of stealing thousands of dollars in passenger fares. The Washington State Patrol believes more money is missing and more arrests could be on the way.” Responding to WSF’s defense of its ticket collection process, the state auditor said: “As first reported in 1986, our concern with the Ferries Division revenue collection system is that it does not adequately prevent nor would it adequately detect unrecorded sales that could then be misappropriated. The inability of the system to adequately detect unrecorded sales severely hampers the ability to discover misappropriation. Therefore, we disagree with the statement of Ferries Division management that the lack of discovery of a significant employee misappropriation in the last 18 years supports an assessment that additional controls are not needed. Further, if a misappropriation were discovered, the system would be inadequate to determine its magnitude.” For nearly two decades, the ferry system has failed audits due to inadequate controls over ticket sales and revenue collection.
As for defensive responses, we were particulary concerned with the dismissive statement of Department of Transportation (DOT) auditor Wayne Donaldson concerning the WSF ticket sale audit finding. Donaldson said in a briefing paper to the Transportation Commission: “With the exception of the now tired and worn finding at WSF by the State Auditor, relating to the revenue collection process, the agency has faired reasonably well.” EFF wrote to state transportation commissioners on April 23 to ask what corrective action they planned to take in response to WSF’s repeat audit findings. The Commission replied that it agreed with WSF and responded, in part: “There is every reason to believe, given the nature of this finding by the State Auditor and the fundamental disagreement it meets at WSF, that next year’s statewide Accountability Report will again make a critical finding in this area. . . . The Commission also supports WSF in its business judgement that it would not be cost-effective to put in place the additional checks and safeguards as necessary to meet every facet of the reservations held by the State Auditor for the current point-of-sale system.” EFF also sent letters on May 6 to the chairs of the state’s legislative transportation committees, Sen. Jim Horn and Rep. Ed Murray, requesting that they hold legislative hearings to address the WSF audit findings. Sen. Horn indicated a response is on its way, but EFF has not yet received a response from either legislator.
Conflict of interest
We did however receive an email from one legislator concerning the news of the WSF workers’ arrest, in which she said: “I think I will read the audit report.” In light of this comment, it may be time to make state audit findings required reading for all legislators before they receive their paychecks. While news of the WSF workers’ arrests is troubling, the ferry system is not the only problem. Repeat audit findings against state agencies are common. Hopefully these arrests will finally force the legislature to exercise some much-needed oversight. Repeat audit findings against an agency should never go uncorrected, especially when they span nearly two decades. Until agencies are held accountable for resolving audit findings, we will face an indifferent and defiant bureaucracy. If legislators don’t demand accountability, we can expect to see continued disregard for tax dollars.
July 2004 • Volume 14, Issue 7
Why is the teachers’ union bad for kids? by Marsha Richards
t’s hard to imagine that anyone would knowingly pursue policies that harm kids. But it’s also hard to imagine that officials of our state’s monopoly teachers’ union (and its national affiliate) could be blind to the fact that their policies do exactly that. A clear and consistent pattern begins to emerge in reviewing the National Education Association’s (NEA) positions on various education policies: The union opposes policies that undermine its power and supports policies that expand its power. So why blame anyone for that? It sounds like a sound business practice . . . until you consider that the NEA is a monopoly union in a monopoly education system. The NEA’s members have to pay up and shut up or find another job. The taxpayers who fund the education system have to pay up and shut up or find another country. And many of the consumers relying on the product (education) just have to shut up because there’s nowhere else they can afford to go. Within that context, the union’s positions on education policies—and the millions and millions of dollars it takes from teachers to make sure those positions become the law of the land—suddenly become a very serious issue. Consider the NEA’s positions on major education issues being discussed these days: charter schools, school vouchers, classsize reduction, teacher pay, teacher strikes, and student safety. Charter schools. The union hates charter schools (public schools that are largely deregulated, managed by non-profit boards and corporations, and accountable to charters). When Washington became the 41st state in the nation to allow such schools this year, WEA president Charles Hasse personally filed a referendum (R-55) to revoke the new law. On June 9, the union turned in enough signatures to put the measure on the ballot in November, when voters will be asked to decide. The WEA’s loud opposition to the charter school law centers around education funding. Union officials claim the schools are “expensive experiments” that will “drain more than $100 million
from existing public schools at a time when the state has suspended initiatives for teacher pay and smaller class sizes.” Ironically, at the same time, union officials published a memo to remind members that defeating charter schools is a “higher priority” this year than supporting another initiative voters will likely see on the ballot: a proposal to raise the state sales tax and collect a billion dollars more each year for class-size reduction, teacher pay raises, and other education programs. Ignoring, for a moment, the arguments for and against each measure, the WEA’s priorities tell us a great deal about its motives. If it’s all about education funding for our current schools, keeping a few charter schools out of our state in the interest of corralling $100 million dollars wouldn’t be more important than winning a one-billion-dollar-per-year tax increase. No, the union’s real problem with charter schools is that they’re not unionized. Many charter schools aren’t permitted to unionize at all for a period of time, and after that only if teachers choose to do so. This is a nail in the union’s coffin, and that’s why officials are willing to ignore the fact that charters around the nation are giving the neediest kids opportunities to succeed—opportunities they weren’t getting in the traditional, and too often failing, public schools. School vouchers. Same “problem.” Vouchers introduce choice and competition, and these kill monopolies. Class-size reduction. The NEA is a big fan of class-size reduction, despite the fact that hundreds of studies show that, while it is important, it isn’t the magic elixir the union claims, and despite the NEA’s own admission that “no state-by-state actual class size information exists.” What does class-size reduction offer without doubt? More members for the union. When California implemented sweeping statewide class-size reduction between 1996-99, the total number of teachers in the state increased by 46 percent. With mandatory unionization statewide, the NEA and its affiliates enjoyed a corresponding increase in membership and dues collection. Teacher salaries. While an employee union certainly should have something to say about employee salaries, the NEA’s positions on the issue don’t always benefit good teachers. The union advocates for across-the-board increases in teacher salaries (which Union continued on page 7
A publication of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation
WA Supreme Court hears oral arguments on forced political payments by Michael Reitz
n May 27, 2004, the Washington Supreme Court heard oral arguments for Washington State Public Disclosure Commission, Gary Davenport v. Washington Education Association.
said Ms. Lonnquist. This argument, however, conveniently ignores the fact that these teachers had already objected and never authorized a political deduction in the first place.
Arguing for the Washington Education Association (WEA), attorney Judith Lonnquist said: “This case is the culmination of a series of attempts by right-wing organizations to quietly steal the collective voice of 80,000 people in the state of Washington.” She later mentioned the Evergreen Freedom Foundation by name.
The WEA’s position is that non-action equals affirmative authorization. When asked how she defined “affirmative authorization,” Ms. Lonnquist said: “Not taking affirmative response [by requesting a refund].” Justice Sanders noted that affirmative authorization requires some prior approval on the part of the teacher. “These guys have done nothing,” he said.
The WEA was sued by the state attorney general (AG) and found guilty in July 2001 of willfully violating the state law that prohibits the union from using fees taken from non-member teachers to advance political causes without permission from those teachers. The WEA was ordered to pay $570,000 in fines and penalties and return nearly $200,000 to teachers.
“They have,” Ms. Lonnquist replied. “They haven’t responded. They have received notice and they haven’t responded.” “That’s not affirmative authorization,” protested Justice Sanders. “The union doesn’t get my money unless I say ‘okay.’ You can’t just sit over there and say, ‘Well, I’ve asked Richard for his wallet and he hasn’t said anything, so I’ll just come over and get it.”
The Court of Appeals ruled in 2003 that the teacher paycheck protection law was unconstitutional, and dismissed the case along Chief Justice Gerry Alexander also noted the WEA’s twisted with a class action lawsuit brought by a group of logic by questioning whether he would autoteachers. The case was then appealed to the state matically become a member of the American State law: Agency shop Supreme Court. Association of Retired People if the AARP confees as contributions. tacted him with a message saying, “If we don’t Teachers can “opt-out” of having their dues used hear from you in 10 days we’ll just assume for political purposes by informing the union that A labor organization may you’re a member.” they object. Such teachers pay a reduced “agency not use agency shop fees fee” for actual workplace representation. paid by an individual Assistant Attorney General Tom Wendell arUnfortunately, the WEA continues to deduct who is not a member of gued the state’s case. Justices questioned the full dues amount from objecting teachers’ the organization to make Wendell closely as to what would constitute paychecks, insisting that teachers must request contributions or “affirmative authorization” by an individual, a refund every year. expenditures to influence as required by statute. Wendell stated that this an election or to operate authorization would require some affirmative This practice is a clear violation of the paycheck a political committee, action on the part of an individual—whether protection law that requires a teacher’s “affirmative unless affirmatively that authorization is in writing, by telephone, authorization” before the union can use any funds authorized by the email, or even a face-to-face discussion. Ultifor political purposes. individual. mately, Wendell argued, the WEA’s refund sysDuring oral arguments, the WEA sidestepped the tem is not sufficient. “‘Affirmative’ has to have issue of its repeated violations of campaign finance Q: What is your some meaning,” he said. “There is nothing law by attacking those who have brought suit definition of “affirmative affirmative about silence.” against the labor union. Ms. Lonnquist revealed authorization”? The state’s case was previously combined with the WEA’s extreme prejudice toward teachers who a class action lawsuit by a group of Washingdare to take a stand, characterizing them as “ideoA: “Not taking an ton teachers who sued the WEA for failing to logues.” “They don’t like unions, for whatever reaaffirmative response....” provide a refund of their union dues. Speakson,” she said. -Judith Lonnquist ing on behalf of these teachers, attorney Steven Justice Richard Sanders questioned Ms. Lonnquist O’Ban argued that, in addition to the state’s on why the WEA calls political deductions “authorized” when it prosecution of the WEA, individual teachers should have a pritakes money without prior approval for its political expendi- vate right to sue the WEA for unauthorized paycheck deductions tures. that are used for political purposes. In the WEA’s opinion, apparently, there is no incongruity: “All The Supreme Court is expected to rule on this case in the next [teachers] needed to do was drop a postcard to the WEA and several months. say ‘I object’ and they would have gotten their money back,”
July 2004 • Volume 14, Issue 7
Choose your medicine:
Changing the way we look at health care
Are you frustrated by double-digit health coverage inflation?
Will the new federal legislation help you find affordable health insurance?
Is there anything more you can do as an employer to lower health care costs?
Do you wonder what’s happening with consumer-driven health plans nationwide and in Washington state? Are they working? Are these plans right for you?
The Evergreen Freedom Foundation is pleased to host a townhall meeting to help answer these questions. It will feature some of our country’s top experts on the subject. If you are an employer of a small to medium-size business, or if you are an employee without coverage or afraid you will lose what coverage you do have, please join us for a continental breakfast and workshop.
SAVE THIS DATE & TIME! CHOOSE YOUR MEDICINE: Changing the way we look at health care Friday, July 30, 2004, 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m Meydenbauer Center 11100 NE 6th Street Bellevue, WA 98004
Details on this important townhall meeting are on our website at www.effwa.org. If you have questions, contact Cheryl Hymes at firstname.lastname@example.org. Attendance is limited to 80 people. Please RSVP as soon as possible.
Union continued from page 5 . . . are forever “inadequate”), but hotly opposes higher pay for demonstrably better teachers. These positions make sense for the union: With mandatory dues often set as a percentage of teacher pay, the NEA’s wallet grows fatter with every salary increase. At the same time, performance pay would mean more independence for teachers. If excellent teachers could bargain their own salaries higher based on their proven ability to teach, they wouldn’t need the union. Teacher strikes. As we all saw in the 51-day Marysville strike last year, the WEA is more than willing to break the law in pursuit of its own ends. Union officials began planning the strike more than a year in advance and stonewalled district negotiators in the months prior to ensure teachers would not have a contract when the school year started. Over the past two decades in Washington, court injunctions have been granted to end teacher strikes in 24 of 29 cases in which they were sought. The union never appeals such decisions
to higher courts, fearing the precedent it would set, but defends its actions by claiming no higher court has ruled on the issue. Student safety. The WEA was recently caught organizing “file parties” to allow teachers to review their personnel records and remove documents related to charges of sexual misconduct. Union officials have been known to threaten school districts with lawsuits and lengthy court-battles to obtain large settlements for sexual predators, and to negotiate contracts that make it difficult for schools to track dangerous predators. Clearly the union isn’t working “for the children” or even “for the teachers.” Union officials are working for themselves. Once a professional association, the NEA has now become a militant labor union bent on amassing more money and more power to implement its political and social agenda. Students in our nation will never enjoy the benefits of meaningful education reform until the NEA monopoly is broken. Marsha Richards is the director of EFF’s Education Reform Center. She can be reached at email@example.com.
A publication of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation
Fraud, drugs, illegal aliens, obstruction, and your tax dollars DSHS standing between local officials, enforcement of the law and protection of children by Jason Mercier
hen thinking about your tax dollars, what words come to mind?
Investment? Civic duty? Necessary public services? It would be nice if these were accurate. Unfortunately, in light of recent events, more appropriate terms might be: Fraud, drugs, illegal aliens, and obstruction. Concerned? So are we. Since 2001, EFF has issued reports about the inability of Washington’s Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) to pass important audits. For example, the department does not adequately verify the validity of payments made to child care providers. Staff members throw away federal department warnings about recipients who are using falsified or stolen Social Security numbers to collect benefits. Based on these facts, Grant County Sheriff Frank De Trolio and Prosecutor John Knodell realized fraud was likely being committed by individuals running day care facilities in the city of Mattawa, WA. Depending on seasonal migrant workers, Mattawa has a total population of between 3,000 and 6,000— and 51 day care facilities. Of these, the sheriff ’s preliminary investigation indicates criminal activity is likely in 40 facilities, but he needs further information from DSHS for ongoing investigation and prosecutions. Shockingly, DSHS now refuses to cooperate with county law enforcement. Initially DSHS cooperated with the sheriff and prosecutor, leading to the conviction of Maria Celia de La O, an illegal alien who used another person’s Social Security number to become a DSHS licensed and funded day care provider. Prosecutors could find no evidence that de La O had cared for any children. She was subsequently ordered to repay $242,000 to the state (which she has not done) and was later deported. Since then, Sheriff De Trolio says DSHS has stopped referring fraud cases to the county prosecutor and has not provided requested documents necessary for additional prosecutions. Randy Shaw of Spokane’s KREM 2 broke part of the story last month. Shaw quotes Grant County Prosecutor John Knodell as saying: “These are crimes being committed and there’s a massive
amount of taxpayer money that’s gone out the door. The auditor’s office seems to agree with that, yet we don’t seem to get any interest from DSHS about doing anything about it.” Recent police raids have also indicated that drug activity is occurring at these day care facilities. In fact, an internal DSHS email obtained by KREM 2 indicates that DSHS has been aware of the fact that illegal aliens are running these day care facilities and that drug activity is present. The email reads in part: “A woman who gave licensors fake I-D because she’s an illegal alien was endangering children by packaging and selling cocaine in their presence.” Frustrated with the lack of cooperation, Grant County officials have been pondering the merits of subpoenaing the needed records from DSHS, but they worry about the fiscal impacts on the small county of going up against the well-funded state agency. DSHS Secretary Dennis Braddock responded to Shaw’s questions saying: “If it’s a serious case, why doesn’t he subpoena us?” However, the department’s website states: “DSHS is willing to provide any other relevant records that the law enforcement agencies request. DSHS Secretary Dennis Braddock has offered to personally deliver any records that have not been provided.” As of the printing of this newsletter, the sheriff is still waiting for Braddock to make good on that promise. Thankfully, area legislators are now working to hold DSHS accountable. Sen. Joyce Mulliken, R-Ephrata, told EFF: “This issue goes to the core of government trust. Are we going to have an open, accountable government providing services to the public or are we going to settle for this ‘circle-the-wagons’ response every time we have questions? Personally, I’m always a little skeptical when an agency feels like they have something to hide, and I am committed to seeing a thorough investigation where the whole truth can be brought to light.” Rep. Bill Hinkle, R-Cle Elum, echoed Mulliken’s sentiment: “If there is fraud and a cover-up that DSHS is aware of, we stand the chance of losing millions of federal dollars. This may explain why DSHS has not been forthcoming with the requested records. If necessary, I will personally request from DSHS the documents needed for prosecuting those who violate our laws.” On June 2, EFF warned DSHS that if the requested records were not turned over to Grant County by June 9, We would be filing a formal complaint with the federal government. Much to our disappointment, on June 10 we had no choice but to follow through on our promise with a letter to the U.S. Department of DSHS continued on page 12
EFF Policy Highlighters and In-Briefs are available to members online at the websites listed below. To request a printed copy of a publication, please call (360) 956-3482. 2004 BUDGET & TAXES POLICY HIGHLIGHTERS http://www.effwa.org/budget_highlighters.php Volume 14, Number 13| June 29, 2004 | Washington’s public records law under assault Volume 14, Number 12 | May 20, 2004 | DLC renews call for outcome-based budgets Volume 14, Number 11 | May 11, 2004 | Boeing 7E7 = Washington jobs? Volume 14, Number 10 | May 5, 2004 | State audit oversight: Legislature’s deafening silence Volume 14, Number 9 | April 12, 2004 | Ferries defiant to state auditor’s findings Volume 14, Number 8 | April 9, 2004 | DSHS response to the 2003 Statewide Audit in its own words Volume 14, Number 7 | April 8, 2004 | Washington’s “disadvantageous” business climate Volume 14, Number 6 | April 1, 2004 | L&I: Failing audits, increasing rates Volume 14, Number 5 | March 31, 2004 | State auditor uncovers $767,677 in faulty unemployment benefit payments Volume 14, Number 4 | March 8, 2004 | Public employment continues to grow
2004 EDUCATION POLICY HIGHLIGHTERS http://www.effwa.org/education_highlighters.php Volume 14, Number 2 | May 18, 2004 | Education spending: How much is enough? Volume 14, Number 1 | January 13, 2004 | HB 2343: Binding arbitration for teachers
2004 BUDGET & TAXES POLICY IN-BRIEFS http://www.effwa.org/education_highlighters.php Volume 14, Number 1 | April 28, 2004 | Determining government’s priorities: Lessons from New Zealand
WANTED: Volunteer Citizen Action Network Coordinator
We’re looking for a skilled volunteer coordinator to help us contact, train and organize our statewide army of active citizens. This will require some specific skills and a fairly substantial commitment. If you have 10-15 hours a week you’d like to dedicate to the cause, and you fit the following description, we’d like to hear from you. Activities and Responsibilities • Maintain regular contact with citizen activists around state. • Keep citizen action network database up-to-date. • Draft and distribute talking points for letters-to-the-editor and radio call-ins. • Manage content for citizen action network website. • Distribute publications to active citizens and field calls. • Help coordinate meetings around state (working from EFF office or home). • Help train activists in speaking, writing and organizing. • Work with EFF staff to identify public access television markets. • Act as EFF’s citizen action spokesperson if necessary.
Qualifications • Dedication to liberty, free enterprise and limited government. • Excellent management and organizational skills. • Good judgment. • Proficient writing skills (grammar, structure and style). • Excellent personal presentation. • Proficient speaking skills (organization and style). • Knowledge of basic computer programs (Word Perfect, Internet). Please send a resume and cover letter to: Evergreen Freedom Foundation Attn: Booker Stallworth PO Box 552, Olympia, WA 98507 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (360) 956-3482 Fax: (360) 352-1874
WANTED: Informed and Active Citizens
All of us here at EFF want to win the battle for liberty and accountable government. And we can . . . but only with your help. We need a statewide network of enthusiastic, dedicated “freedom-fighters” who are willing to stay current on key issues and spread the word about common sense reforms to family, friends, neighbors, legislators and media. If you’re willing to invest a little bit of time each week or month to help us win battles that defend and advance liberty in our state, we want to hear from you! This survey will help us target our efforts and contact you with information and opportunities that fit your skills and interests.
Please return by mail, fax or e-mail to: Evergreen Freedom Foundation Attn: Booker Stallworth PO Box 552, Olympia, WA 98507 Email: email@example.com Phone: (360) 956-3482 Fax: (360) 352-1874
ISSUES Which of the following issues are you passionate about? (Choose as many as you’d like.) F F F F F F F F
Budget and taxes State business climate Unemployment insurance Education reform Health care reform Welfare reform Citizenship and governance Paycheck protection ACTIVITIES What do you enjoy doing? What are you good at? What are you willing to try?
F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F
Write letters to local newspaper editors Start a letter-writers club Call radio talk shows Contact my legislators Speak to groups in my area Host meetings in my home Help organize meetings in my area Deliver literature to local libraries, coffee shops, etc. Be a community contact for my area Monitor local news for EFF issues Get involved in local community groups Get involved in local political party Write guest editorials for local publications Attend public town hall meetings Distribute talking points and publications to friends Put a bumper sticker (removable) on my car Put a sign in my yard Contribute money to EFF Volunteer at EFF’s Olympia office Doorbell in my neighborhood to talk about key issues Buy an ad in my local newspaper
NAME ADDRESS PHONE E-MAIL
July 2004 • Volume 14, Issue 7
Public disclosure under attack
he right of citizens to gain access to public information has come under heavy assault and may be harmed irreparably if we do not make a stand now.
the Court upheld this principle, ruling in Amren v. City of Kalama that the PDA is ‘a strongly worded mandate for broad disclosure of public records.
When the attorney general first used the courts to limit EFF’s access to public records, we warned that we would not be the last. Then, on May 13, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to limit public disclosure requests in a case related to two mass transit projects in Seattle.
The brief further argues that PDA requests are the most common and effective means by which citizens, state legislators and business associations monitor agencies and ensure their actions are lawful.
In Rick Hangartner v. City of Seattle, the Court ruled that documents covered by attorney-client privilege are exempt from disclosure, and that “overbroad requests” may be rejected by state agencies. Because of the differences between this case and our own appeal of the court decision to subject EFF to a separate and unequal records request process, the decision did not have a negative impact on our case. However, it further damages an already weakened Public Disclosure Act (PDA). The courts continue to rescue politicians who don’t want the public to be informed and don’t want us to know what they are doing or how much it costs. At the urging of Attorney General Christine Gregoire, the courts are striking blow after blow to public disclosure rights in our state. At a recent Open Government forum at The News Tribune, former Chief Justice James Andersen discussed his fears that the recent actions of the state Supreme Court had taken us back to the days when government officials could choose which records to release and which to keep secret (prior to the 1972 voterapproved Public Disclosure Act). Andersen predicted that, should the Supreme Court refuse to reconsider these damaging decisions, the people will have to reestablish their right to public documents again, from scratch, through the initiative process. The Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) has filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the Washington State Supreme Court, urging the Court to reconsider its decision in the Hangartner case. Former Justice Andersen, a board member of the Washington Coalition for Open Government (WACOG), joined in support of the BIAW brief, stating that the decision effectively gutted the PDA. WACOG’s website states: BIAW and its coalition filed a brief explaining why the Court erred in its decision and should reconsider. The brief argues the Court’s decision exempting “overbroad requests” from the PDA directly contradicts the language of the PDA. Specifically, the brief points out that the PDA was enacted by voters in 1972 to ensure sovereignty of the people and the accountability of the government agencies that serve them. The PDA clearly requires the ‘free and open examination of public records’ and mandates that ‘all public records shall be available for public inspection and copying.’ And in 1997
In addition to reconsidering the Hangartner decision, another key advance for open government could be achieved if we had an attorney general who was actually committed to enforcing the Public Disclosure Act. Gregoire claims to support open government. Her official state website even states: “Citizens can control their government only if they can remain informed about the decisions their government officials are making.” That important principle underlies Washington’s open public records and meeting laws. The laws, which are now more than two decades old, are intended to give us an informed electorate which can evaluate the performance of our elected officials and provide us with an honest, competent and responsive government. Here is how the Legislature stated the purpose of these two laws: “The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so they may maintain control over the instruments they created.” It is said, however, that a tree is known by its fruits, and what bitter fruits the AG’s office has produced on the issue of public disclosure. It was Gregoire’s office that advocated subjecting EFF to a discriminatory public records process in order to shield the state and Boeing from our watchful eyes. Gregoire also filed an amicus brief supporting the Court’s decision in the Hangartner case to hide records using the attorney-client privilege argument. As her own actions demonstrate, and as Assistant Attorney General Bill Williams told those attending the News Tribune’s Open Government forum, Gregoire views her main job as defending state agencies from the public. By contrast, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has recently hired a “people’s” attorney to prosecute violations of the Texas Public Information Act. Abbott’s leadership means state and local officials who refuse to comply with the Texas Public Information act could now face fines and/or jail time. Without such an advocate here, citizens are facing a tough battle. We have a fight on our hands, and in order to win it we must take action immediately. There are several things you can do to help Public disclosure continued on page 12
A publication of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation
Budget reforms move forward by Bob Williams In the last month, EFF has been able to make significant progress on performance-based budgeting both here and across the country. EFF Budget and Tax Analyst Jason Mercier and I met with Washington’s budget director again to offer EFF’s assistance on moving the Priority of Government (POG) system forward. With Gov. Locke staking his legacy on POG, the key to making progress here in the state is for the legislature to get as deeply involved as it should be. Jason and I developed suggestions for the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee (JLARC) on how the legislature can better implement the POG budget model. In Snohomish County, EFF is attempting to work with County Executive Aaron Reardon and the Council on implementing performance-based budgeting. We have some concerns that Reardon is not fully involving the Council early in this process. While these developments are positive, we have even more progress taking place out-of-state. President Reagan continued from page 1 . . . carried the American people with him in his great endeavors because there was perfect sympathy between them. He and they loved America and what it stands for —freedom and opportunity for ordinary people.” Of all the tributes to Reagan, the one that struck me the most was from his adopted son, Michael. Michael read from a personal letter of advice he received from his dad: “He sent me a letter about marriage and how important it was to be faithful to the woman you love, with a P.S.—‘You’ll never get in trouble if you say I love you at least once a day,’ and I’m sure he told Nancy every day ‘I love you’ as I tell Colleen.” Michael Reagan went on to thank his dad for passing on to him the gift of faith. “I know where he is. I know he’s in heaven. Someday I want to be there with him, and I know I will be. My father and I, and all of us, will be dancing before the great Father in heaven, Alzheimer’s free.…I can’t think of a better gift for a father to give a son. And I hope to honor my father by giving my son Cameron and my daughter Ashley that very same gift he gave to me.” Reagan left many of us a valuable gift in the example he set. He demonstrated that principled and forceful leadership from the White House could make a difference in national policy,
I was invited to speak at the recent Oregon Republican Legislators retreat last month. Thirty-nine of the fifty Republican state legislators attended the retreat, where I was able to explain how to apply core governing principles to the Oregon budget. I got an excellent response and I’m hopeful these reforms will move forward in Oregon. In Colorado, EFF was able to furnish information to Governor Owens and key legislative leaders to resist attempts to weaken Colorado’s spending limit. Colorado has the best spending limit in the nation. I was also able to meet with New Mexico Governor Richardson’s staff and discuss performance measures and performance-based budgets. EFF plans to continue to work with Richardson’s staff. While in New Mexico, I was the keynote speaker at a conference of state policy groups (groups like EFF) to discuss performancebased budgeting and core functions of government. All of the seeds we have been planting are beginning to take root. The ideas EFF discussed will be used by other state-based think tanks in reviewing their state’s budgets and I am very hopeful that successes elsewhere will be replicated in Washington state. I will continue to keep you up-to-date on our progress.
contrary to the prevailing views at that time. Reagan showed that a political leader who had a vision for America and who worked hard to accomplish his goals could bring about significant changes, even though the odds seemed stacked against him. I believe the real secret of Reagan’s success was that he communicated timeless truths about America—truths about freedom, limited government, hard work, and opportunity— and these truths guided him and his staff while he was in office. The best legacy we can give the memory of President Reagan is to stand up for the principles he fought for all his life. As he said in a speech to the National Conference of Christians and Jews on March 23, 1982: “America has already succeeded where so many other historic attempts at freedom have failed. Already, we’ve made this cherished land the last best hope of mankind. It’s up to us, in our generation, to carry on the hallowed task. It is up to us, however we may disagree on politics, to work together for progress and humanity so that our grandchildren, when they look back on us, can truly say that we not only preserved the flame of freedom, but cast its warmth and light further than those who came before us.”
July 2004 • Volume 14, Issue 7
Around the EFF office, Louise is known as the “Queen of the Volunteers.” Her contribution of time and effort has saved EFF thousands of dollars over the years, and she always knew what to do. Louise is a natural leader. She has trained new volunteers and outlasted several volunteer coordinators. She always says that coming to EFF adds special meaning and purpose to her life.
n May 27th EFF said thank you and goodbye to longtime volunteer Louise Moore, who moved away from Olympia. Her chair (which she purchased herself ) is vacant and no one wants to fill it . . . they know they can’t. Louise has been a part of the EFF family longer than anyone can remember. (Even before there was an EFF, Louise was coming to Bob’s aid, helping his campaign for governor in 1988.) Her devotion to EFF and the ideals of liberty humbles us and makes us grateful for her constant support.
EFF Volunteer Coordinator Denise Brandt and Louise developed a special mother-daughter bond. “You might as well have cut off my right arm,” Denise said about Louise’s move, noting how important Louise is to her both personally and in her job here at EFF. “Her loving attitude toward me always lifts my spirit on hectic days.”
Louise has a steady smile, quick wit and a dedicated spirit that we will all miss very much, but we know that she has more than earned some rest and relaxation. We wish her many happy days ahead with her dear friends John and Candace Wright, who built a special place for her in their home at Elma. Don’t be surprised if we manage to lure Louise back occasionally to visit with us. She has always been there when she is needed. Who knows? We may even be able to convince her to stuff a few more envelopes, too!
he Evergreen Freedom Foundation would like to thank the Institute for Justice
(IJ) for its recent recognition of our commitment to liberty in Washington state.
It is a great and unexpected honor to receive the Partner in Liberty Award from such an impressive band of freedom fighters like IJ. The beautiful plaque they awarded us is inscribed:
Evergreen Freedom Foundation Partner in Liberty Award In honor of your organization’s contribution to the work of IJ-Washington and defense of freedom in the state and around the country. With sincere thanks from the Institute of Justice 11
A publication of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation
DSHS continued from page 8 . . .
the Department, it does not verify the validity of the number or conduct a nationwide background search using this information.
Health and Human Services, the U.S. General Accounting Office, and the U.S. Western Washington Prosecuting Attorney.
• This condition creates a risk that the Department may not be aware of a person who could pose a potential danger to the children placed in the care of this provider.
In our complaint we highlighted the state auditor’s recent findings against DSHS concerning the Mattawa day care centers. The findings include: • DSHS… does not perform any procedures to verify that the correct SSN [Social Security Number] has been provided or that an applicant has supplied his or her real name. • All providers billed the Department for services that they could not document they provided. We estimate that $2 million in federal Child Care Development funds was paid to these 50 providers during the periods reviewed. In addition, most providers have not yet corrected all of the deficiencies cited in this report but continue to receive child care payments from the Department. • Some in-home providers did not provide accurate and complete information on the Criminal History and Background Information form. One provider had a 1997 felony warrant that was not identified during the application process. This provider is still licensed and operating as a child care provider. • This condition occurred because the Department’s procedures for criminal history and background inquiries are inadequate. The applicant is not required to provide a SSN on the background inquiry form and this number is not used during the review. The Department uses only the name and address of the applicant to perform a background check. When the SSN is available to
Public disclosure continued from page 9 . . . us defend our right as citizens to know what our public officials are doing “on our behalf.” Among them: • Contact your local newspaper and write a letter-to-the-editor about EFF’s appeal and the unfair system the court has designated for EFF alone. You can find your local paper’s letter-to-the-editor email on our website. You can also find all the information about our case and our appeal. • Call your favorite radio talk show and let the host know you care about open government and don’t approve of the court system being used to hide public documents and tie EFF’s hands. If you are able, contact the AG’s office directly also at 360-7254050. Beware, we have heard reports that staff there are not being honest with EFF members who have already called. (Surprise, surprise.) • Call or email your state senator and representatives and ask them to support open and responsible government. Ask them if they have signed the EFF Performance Audit Pledge. Inform
A June 14, 2004, Tri-City Herald article (“Group files complaint against day care probe”) had this to say about the alleged drug activity occurring: “Grant County Sheriff Frank De Trolio wants to stop the payment of state day care subsidies to illegal aliens, saying some could be diverting the money to buy drugs. ‘I believe it does help fund the drug business,’ De Trolio said. ‘The money we give out to the day care providers is used to purchase drugs in Mexico.’” The same Tri-City Herald article also notes this troubling comment from DSHS Secretary Braddock: “DSHS does not have the capability of performing the task of immigration and naturalization, nor do we have the role or responsibility of overcoming the racial conflicts that are associated with this influx of immigrants.” Overcoming racial conflicts? How about DSHS simply obeying current state and federal laws? Hopefully, by the time you read this article, the situation will be resolved and Grant County will finally have the records it has been requesting from DSHS. A meeting has tentatively been scheduled for July 22 between area legislators, Grant County law enforcement, EFF and DSHS Secretary Braddock. As for our federal complaint against the agency, look for future updates on this very troubling story.
them that if they have not signed it yet, they may do so at www.effwa.org/auditpledge. You can find your state officials’ contact information at www.washingtonvotes.org. • Be prepared to take further action. As Justice Andersen stated, it may be necessary for the people to reaffirm their right to public records through the initiative process. We will keep you up-to-date on what steps may be required to protect open government here in Washington. It will not be easy to change the behavior of arrogant state officials who want to keep taxpayers in the dark. However, failure in this case is not an option. Open government and access to public information are vital to making informed decisions. They are the keys to every other major issue we face. We must win this battle, and with your continued support, we are confident we will.
July 2004 • Volume 14, Issue 7
Turning your life plan into a legacy by Lynn Harsh
he title above communicates precisely what we want to accomplish in our lifetime: living with purpose and leaving something of value when we’re gone. I borrowed the title from an informative seminar I recently attended.
nuts and bolts of our financial plan. Even those of you who already have developed a plan will find this information very useful. You may want to go back to your experts after the session is over and fine-tune or alter your plan.
I went to the seminar hoping to glean information that would help me answer more of the questions our members and my friends ask me about being good stewards of the assets they have accumulated in their lives. I’m thinking about such things myself, though what I possess in the way of earthly assets is comparatively small. (Do my children, friends and books count?)
Attendance will be limited to 35 individuals/couples, because we want to provide time for questions to be asked and answered. If this seminar works well for those who attend, we will plan another for the fall.
Most of us have more assets than we realize, and if we are wise investors our net worth will increase greatly over the next decade or so. We know we can’t take it with us, and most of us aren’t predisposed to leave Uncle Sam any more than is necessary. What Uncle Sam doesn’t take, we often give to unseasoned, ill-reasoned relatives. That’s not always a good idea either. All of us understand that money can both empower and destroy. What to do? I’ve been to a few financial or estate planning seminars, and I have spoken with several attorneys and CPAs who specialize in such matters, but something was always missing. Moving money around to protect our estates from higher-than-necessary taxes is different from protecting our estates from higher than necessary taxes while furthering the ideals we believe in during our lives. The right question to ask is: “What are my values, and how can I use the assets I have accumulated to advance them both now and when I am gone?” Once that question is answered, a number of options exist for wisely managing assets, all of which significantly reduce tax liability. Some of the people who talk with me about such things plan to give to EFF in their wills. Others want to do more now, but don’t know how to work it into their estate planning. Some of the questions come from friends or relatives who will likely never give a dime to EFF. Still, I love them and want them to make wise decisions. Most people feel as I do: We have questions that need answers, then we will plan, and we don’t want anyone pushing us in a self-serving direction.
No doubt some people will wonder why we would sponsor a seminar that may have little direct benefit to EFF. Here’s why: We believe our larger mission—to advance limited government, free enterprise and personal responsibility—requires that thousands more people invest their lives and their material wealth to move causes, people and organizations in the same direction. We’re not the only worthy organization dedicated to moving toward these ends. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if charitable giving to patriotic, family-oriented, liberty-loving causes increased tenfold? It would make a tremendous difference in changing our culture, politics and economics. Please join us if you are at a place in your life where you know you need to make your assets work smarter for your values, both now and when you are gone. Call Juliana or me if you: 1) have questions and want more information, 2) want one of the 35 places reserved for you, or 3) can’t come on the 30th, but would be interested in a September seminar. Our phone number is 360.956.3482, or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 30 1:30 to 3:30pm Sheraton Seattle Hotel 1400 6th Avenue Seattle, WA East Ballroom Sheraton # 206.621.9000
To this end, we will sponsor a different kind of planned giving seminar on July 30th at the Seattle Sheraton from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Unlike some you may have attended before, this is not designed to coerce you into giving to EFF. We like cheerful, purposeful givers. We also know that we are only one of many lighthouses worthy of your support. No products or services will be sold or advertised, though I happily recommend to you further counsel from the gentleman who will talk with us that day. What you will hear is common sense and wisdom that comes from years of experience and personal application. It’s the stuff we need to think about before we hire experts to assemble the
Because freedom matters . . . 13
A publication of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation
“WE THANK BILL AND ALL OTHER DEFENDERS OF FREEDOM FOR THEIR SERVICE TO OUR NATION.”
WORLD WAR II M E M O R I A L D E D I C AT I O N B ill and Irene Endicott (EFF’s Puget Sound Development Associate) had the opportunity to attend the World War II Memorial dedication in Washington, D.C. recently. It was especially meaningful to Bill, who enlisted in the infantry immediately after graduating from high school in 1944 and served in the Pacific theater.
For Bill, there were two special highlights: The first was seeing so many of his miliatry colleagues who made the extraordinary effort to be at the dedication; it was likely the last major travel experience for many of them. Second were the multi-generational families experiencing the memorial and learning about the price of freedom.
We thank Bill and all other defenders of freedom for their service to our nation.
To keep the memory of our fallen heroes, veterans, and those serving in active duty today close to our hearts and in the forefront of our thoughts, the Evergreen Freedom Foundation will be establishing a Memorial to Freedom’s Heroes. If you have a photograph to show, a story to tell, a letter to share, or a medal to display, please contact us. Your sacrifice, or that of a loved one, will be remembered. It will be honored.
For more information, contact EFF at email@example.com or call 360-956-3482
Photo of Bill Endicott taken by Irene Endicott
World War II veterans are dying at a rate of nearly 1,200 per day. Who will tell our children about the sacrifices made by the greatest generation so future generations can live in peace? Who will perpetuate the cause of liberty? Bill hopes the memorial will be a constant reminder of the individual contributions and sacrifices of those who fought and won World War II, many of whom are no longer with us.
Yes, I want to invest in the Evergreen Freedom Foundation July 2004 • Volume 14, Issue 7
Dear Friend of EFF, While we welcome every gift, our greatest need is reliable monthly support. It is imperative for reaching our goals. Please consider monthly giving as a solid way to invest in the cause of freedom. Our secure Egiving System ensures that more of your contribution goes directly to our work. Cordially, Please mail or fax in this form (fax 360-352-1874) or call 360-956-3482. We will send you a confirmation letter for your records. Bank Debit/Credit Card Donation Authorization I request my bank or credit card company to transfer funds in the amount of $ each month until further notice. I understand that I am in full control of my donation, and that I can decide to make any changes or discontinue the service at any time by calling 360-956-3482 or writing to EFF. I would like to give a one time gift of $ Signature
(required for bank and credit card donations)
Checking Account–Egiving Systems (Attach a voided check) Savings Account–Egiving Systems (Attach a voided deposit slip) Please indicate your preferred withdrawal date: VISA
American Express Expiration Date:
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Your Donations to EFF are Tax-Deductible
Company City, State, Zip E-mail Please mail or fax in this form (fax 360-352-1874) or call 360-956-3482.
Letter continued from page 2 . . . spending and balance the budget at the same time were impossible without significant spending decreases, which Congress wasn’t willing to make, and which Reagan didn’t insist upon. Congress outspent every Reagan budget proposal. Even the increased revenue that resulted from changes in tax, monetary and regulatory policy wasn’t enough for Congress, and Reagan used his veto pen far too sparingly. Does this sounds familiar? Pundits wondered why so many young people were drawn to this president who was old enough to be our grandfather. It was a logical question for those steeped in socialism and cynicism. But the answer was clear to those with an eye to see and an ear to hear. Why wouldn’t a young person be drawn to that warm fire in the cold cave—the cave our previous president said was our lot in life? Why wouldn’t we lean kindly toward the man who believed in us and our dreams? Is hope and optimism not better than calloused pessimism? Is truth not inherently more persuasive than manipulation? Many mothers and fathers wondered how their children could have stepped off what seemed to them to be the political deep end. Mine certainly did. Yet the philosophy of limited government, tax cuts, tight monetary policy, and deregulation
does not seem unusual to us today. Our children’s generation does not remember when Reagan’s economic policies were ridiculed instead of debated. President Reagan propelled me and tens of thousands of young people to serve our country in ways we had never before contemplated. He gave us hope in our future, and he helped us fall in love with liberty. How can we honor President Reagan now that he is gone? Some would elevate this beloved mortal to god-like status. Others will seek to honor him by placing his 93 years of life on a pedestal. He would cringe at such notions. Reagan was not a perfect man or a perfect leader, and he would be the first to acknowledge mistakes made under his watch. Symbols are important, but they do not replace substance. We can honor President Reagan best by lighting a torch from the fire that was his life and carrying it boldly into the future for the next generation. That’s my plan.
A few upcoming events . . . Thursday, July 22 Bob will be speaking on performancebased budgeting at the National Conference of State Legislaturesâ€™ annual meeting in Salt Lake City.
Monday, July 26 Washington Policy Centerâ€™s (WPC) Center for Environmental Policy hosts a noon luncheon in Seattle with Lynn Scarlett, Assistant Secretary of Policy, Management and Budget for the U.S. Department of the Interior. Ms. Scarlett will speak on the growth of private conservation initiatives to address state and national environmental concerns. For more information, visit www.washingtonpolicy.org.
Friday, July 30 EFF will be sponsoring a breakfast and townhall meeting on consumer-driven health care in Bellevue. For more information, contact Cheryl Hymes at firstname.lastname@example.org or look for the display announcement inside this issue of Living Liberty.
Friday, July 30 Alan Pratt will give a presentation on valuesbased estate planning for interested EFF members from 1:30-3:30 in the East Ballroom of the Seattle Sheraton Hotel. For more information, call Juliana at 360-956-3482.
Address service requested
by Bob Williams President Reagan continued on page 10 July 2004 1 July 2004 • Volume 14, Issue 7 Living LibertyLivingLibertyLivingLibertyLiv...