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eye on labor 5

protect and serve 7

EMINENT DOMAIN ABUSE 6

THE EVERGREEN FREEDOM FOUNDATION regulationsA PUBLICATION threatenOF internet schooling options 8 1

LIVING LIBERTY JANUARY 2010 | WWW.EFFWA.ORG

A PUBLICATION OF THE EVERGREEN FREEDOM FOUNDATION

looking

ahead t o

t h e

2 0 1 0

L e g i s l a t i v e

S e s s i o n

by Amber Gunn

Imagine PAID

OLYMPIA, WA PERMIT #462

NON-PROFIT ORG. U.S. POSTAGE

for a moment that you are a politician. For this exercise, you are either a state senator or representative. You are also a member of the Democratic leadership team. The scenario you face is as follows:

Your state’s unemployment rate is at its highest

budget using program cuts, tax increases, or some

level in decades. In the last 18 months, a bank that

combination of the two. Unions have threatened

got its start in your state went bust and became the

to stop contributing to your own campaign and

largest banking failure in U.S. history. Your state’s

your legislative caucus if you fail to support a tax

largest private employer laid off 4,500 workers

increase. However, you and most of your colleagues

locally and announced it would add workers in

are up for re-election in 2010, which makes the

a state with a more favorable business climate,

situation even more delicate. Still, you are feeling

where unions don’t call the shots. Small businesses

fairly confident, since voters recently rejected a

are struggling under a tight credit market, reduced

statewide initiative that would have restricted the

consumer appetites, workers’ compensation and

rate of government’s growth. In addition, you can

unemployment insurance tax hikes.

now suspend a voter-approved initiative requiring a

You are halfway through a two-year budget cycle,

two-thirds vote of the legislature for tax increases.

facing a $2.6 billion budget deficit. Unfortunately,

Your party can afford to sacrifice a few members

you have used up most of your available one-

in certain swing districts without losing its majority.

time funds (federal stimulus, dedicated account

Too many losses, however, will turn your majority

transfers, rainy day) and you must balance the

into a minority.

What’s your move?

Change service requested

B

y now, the Democratic leadership’s primary, secondary and tertiary plans have all been established. They’ll wait until the last minute to reveal their hand, so the opposition can’t organize in time to mount targeted campaigns. Publicly, legislators will use Governor Gregoire’s budget proposal as a starting point for their own. But this year’s gubernatorial budget was essentially a publicity stunt—declared dead on arrival by Gregoire herself. By law, the governor must propose a balanced budget within existing revenue. She did so using the so-called Washington Monument strategy of cutting highlyvisible and much-loved state programs in order to resist any suggestion that the state should shoulder the burden of its reduced means.

“We’re at a point now where there’s no doubt in my mind I can’t live with that budget. I can’t cut hospice care. I can’t cut maternity care. I can’t cut all state need grants. I can’t do that. That’s not my values, and I don’t believe it’s the values of the people of the state of Washington,” Gregoire said in a December 3, 2009 statement released by the taxpayer-subsidized TVW television station. Apparently publicly-financed television, even in the context of a major budget crisis, is something she can live with. Her budget was designed to give the Democratic majority cover for new tax proposals by illustrating “just how bad” an all-cuts budget would be. It was also released early so that she could attend an all-expensesContinued on page 8 . . .


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LIVING LIBERTY

Our new study, Sweeping the Shop Floor: A New Labor Model for America, traces the origins of organized labor in America to reveal that current labor laws not only hamper worker freedom, but are simply obsolete. Worse, this coercive, collective labor model hobbles a thriving free marketplace—and thus the overall economy. In order for our nation to re-emerge as a global leader, we need to change. Labor laws should be as innovative and dynamic as the Americans they serve. Sweeping the Shop Floor proposes a new labor model which would neutralize government’s involvement in the workplace and disarm powerful union monopolies, placing the American Dream back into the hands of the American people.

Watch for the release of Sweeping the Shop Floor at the beginning of 2010!

“Quote” “Millions of individuals making their own decisions in the marketplace will always allocate resources better than any centralized government planning process.” – Ronald Reagan

VOLUME 20, Issue 1 EFF’s mission is to advance individual liberty, free enterprise and limited, accountable government.

Publisher: Lynn Harsh Editors: Steven Maggi Rich Frias Layout: Joel Sorrell

JANUARY 2010

This Issue

3 4 5 6

LETTER FROM LYNN | by Lynn Harsh

EMINENT DOMAIN ABUSE | by Trent England

haute couture economics

A TALE OF TWO WASHINGTONS | by Anna Stinogel and Rachel Culbertson CONTINUED DISPARITY BETWEEN PUBLIC-SECTOR AND PRIVATE-SECTOR WAGES

FOR IT IS IN GIVING THAT WE RECEIVE | by Irene Endicott EYE ON LABOR | by Scott St. Clair WHAT TO EXPECT THIS YEAR IN THE LEGISLATURE

CITY OF SEATAC PLANS TO TAKE FAMILY BUSINESS

INTRODUCING SCOTT ROBERTS

ENTREPRENEUR-TURNED-ACTIVIST WILL DIRECT EFF’S PROPERTY RIGHTS CENTER

SUPREME COURT DECLINES TO REVIEW EMINENT DOMAIN CASE | by Michael Reitz

7 8 10 11

PROTECT AND SERVE | by Scott St. Clair EDUCATION IN 2010 | by Diana Cieslak

REGULATIONS THREATEN INTERNET SCHOOLING OPTIONS

Evergreen Freedom Foundation PO Box 552 Olympia, WA 98507 (360) 956-3482 Fax (360) 352-1874 info@effwa.org • www.effwa.org

WASHINGTON’S NEW CHIEF JUSTICE | by Michael Reitz

DIARY OF A FREEDOM LOVING MOM | by Judy Parkins ARE MEN FROM MARS? FERRY SAFETY LAPSES RAISE CONCERNS | by Scott St. Clair

12

GIVE THE GIFT OF FREEDOM | by Juliana McMahan

Save the Date

February 15, 2010 at 10:00am Push Back - Legislative Action Day

North Capitol Steps, Olympia, WA Join us as we Push Back against increasing taxes and a larger government role in our lives.

www.pushbacknotax.com


A PUBLICATION OF THE EVERGREEN FREEDOM FOUNDATION

3

LetterLET fromTER Lynn FROM LY NN by Lynn Harsh

Haute couture economics ound economic policy is unfashionable. This is dangerous, since economics is the necessary study of how people, governments and businesses make decisions about using scarce resources. Centuries of human history retell predictable scenarios about how we behave under varying incentives and situations. Really, it’s not as hard as rocket science. The behavior of political elites when they have too much power over the lives of others is predictable, too. Most civilizations whose people have suffered under the crushing heels of elites have been dominated by unelected monarchs, despots and/or military conquerors. In America, we’ve been electing leaders who act like monarchs, despots and/or military conquerors. How foolish is that!?! Once a person or group of people considers themselves to be members of the elite, trying to reason with them on the merits or demerits of a matter becomes useless. This makes perfect sense when their overriding incentive is to remain in power. A Hans Christian Andersen tale we learned as children serves as a useful illustration here. Remember the emperor whose principal ambition was how he appeared to others in public. He was driven to be welldressed. Knowing this was his chief vulnerability, two swindlers came into town posing as talented tailors. They pledged to make him look better than anyone else had before. As a bonus, the suit of clothes they would make for him would have the wonderful quality of being invisible to “any man who was unfit for office or unpardonably stupid.” Haute couture! The emperor’s pride was the hook on which the swindlers hung their shingle. They were hired for the job. The pseudo-tailors received a large advance payment and began to work on empty looms late into many nights. The emperor’s curiosity got the best of him, so he sent a trusted advisor to check on their progress. In fact, it was the emperor’s “honest old minister” who was sent, since “he is intelligent, and nobody understands his office better than he,” said the emperor. The minister checked it out, but to his horror, he could see nothing. Presuming this meant his intelligence and qualifications for his position were lacking, he said nothing. After all, everyone in town knew about the materials’ remarkable power. So he reported to the emperor that the clothes were indeed of the most remarkable quality imaginable. When the time came for the emperor to parade himself and his new clothes in public, his man-servants and tailors dressed him for the day. No one saw the clothes. No one said so. That would mean they were too stupid to hold their jobs.

The emperor saw nothing except his nakedness either. Of course he could say nothing out loud. But to himself, he said, “I do not see anything at all. That is terrible! Am I stupid? Am I unfit to be emperor? That would indeed be the most dreadful thing that could happen to me.” As the emperor paraded through town, nobody saw a gorgeous suit of new clothes, but they were silent. All except for a small child who blurted out, “But he has nothing on at all.” The people began to whisper, and pretty soon the entire town agreed and began to voice their observations. And the tale ends with these words: “That made a deep impression upon the emperor, for it seemed to him that they were right; but he thought to himself, ‘Now I must bear up to the end.’ And the chamberlains walked with still greater dignity, as if they carried the train which did not exist.” This tale could represent modern-day America. Townfolk across the country have begun whispering, thanks to the child-like honesty of people like Joe the Plumber, and others. Echoes from a growing number of disenchanted voices have reached the ears of our own national and state “emperors” and “empresses”, their counselors and those who are holding their trains. Yet the majority of our elected officials march on with their fantasy economic programs. Sadly, their immodesty and presumption will affect more than their pride when they fail. All of us will feel the blow. Perhaps no group will be affected as much as young people, particularly young black males. Thanks to our ineffective education system and foolish policies like the minimum wage, a new underclass has been created . . . to our peril.

“The bureaucracy that blindly carries out harmful, misguided policies must be reduced or even eliminated.” For many decades now, we have often elected “emperors” whose pride has been our undoing. Their policies have exposed all of us to economic peril. We need to elect people who understand what real cloth looks and feels like. That means they need to have held a private sector job beyond a high school stint at McDonalds. They need to view elected office as service—a sacrifice

they make for a short period of their lives. They need to live among the people they represent. The political elite who do not understand this must be replaced. The bureaucracy that blindly carries out harmful, misguided policies must be reduced or even eliminated. Dear friends, there is no shortcut. This is hard work that will require a few decades to accomplish, even if we get right to it. Our education system must be overhauled; and young people must be reached and offered genuine opportunity before they become volatile. In the meantime, since we can’t appeal to the intellects of most elected officials, perhaps we can appeal to their pride. Since many appear to be infatuated by Europe, perhaps they could be convinced to listen to a Frenchman, Frédéric Bastiat, whose brilliant series of economic and political essays from the mid-1800s are still widely read today. One of his best essays titled, “That Which Is Seen, and That Which Is Not Seen” describes our modern times well. Here are a few excerpts:

“There is only one difference between a bad economist and a good one: the bad economist confines himself to the visible effect; the good economist takes into account both the effect that can be seen and those effects that must be foreseen. “The State opens a road, builds a palace, straightens a street, cuts a canal; and so gives work to cer-

Frédéric Bastiat

S

tain workmen—this is what is seen: but it deprives certain other workmen of work, and this is what is not seen. “When a government official spends on his own behalf one hundred sous more, this implies that a taxpayer spends on his own behalf one hundred sous the less. But the spending of the government official is seen, because it is done; while that of the taxpayer is not seen, because, alas! he is prevented from doing it.”

Ultimately, if we wish to live in a country that honors freedom and personal responsibility, we need to remove the unclothed elites from office and replace them with elected officials wearing real clothes. It is our responsibility to speak up with the honesty of a child, to spread the word among family, friends and colleagues everywhere, and make hard choices about who gets our precious vote.


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LIVING LIBERTY

Legislative Training Day

1-9-2010

Saturday, January 9, 2010 | 9:00a m - 3:00p m     Double Tree Hotel 16500 Southcenter Parkway Legislative Session Overview Seattle, WA • Learn the Legislative Process (and how you can   impact it) The Citizen Action Network is equip• Discover Tips and Tricks for Making Your Voice ping the citizens of Washington to “Push Heard Back” during the upcoming  2010 Leg• Harness the Power of Internet Tools islative Session.  As our state represen• Learn How to Read and Track a Bill tatives seek to increase taxes and de• Receive Insider Info From Legislative Staff Members crease freedom in our state, we need   people who are ready and willing at a is $20 per person (includes lunch; parking is free)   moment’s notice to make a difference.  Cost Group Rate: $15 per person for groups of 15 or more   By attending our Legislative TrainIf you have questions or would like to register, please ing Day, you’ll receive the tools and   call Lasse Lund at 360-956-3482. the knowledge to do just that.

2010

A Tale of Two Washingtons: Continued Disparity Between Public-Sector and Private-Sector Wages by Anna Stinogel with Rachel Culbertson

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he U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis recently released data from 2007 showing that the average government employee in Washington state made $19,488 more per year than their private-sector counterparts. The average public-sector annual income was $52,542 while the average private sector annual income was $33,054. In Washington, public-sector wages have been higher than private-sector wages since 1977. While the Bureau of Economic Analysis numbers show a dramatic disparity, these figures are based on yearly salary. Bureau of Labor Statistics data—based on hours worked—shows an even greater disparity. That is, typical government employees work less hours for more pay than privatesector workers. Now more than ever, businesses in the private sector must address issues such as scarcity of resources and competition if they wish to stay afloat during tough times. They must operate efficiently enough to make a profit, unlike government. By perpetually siphoning money from the private sector in the form of taxes, government has an almost infinite amount of resources. It uses those resources to continue funding inefficient government programs without the normal market repercussions of profit, loss or failure. It is easier to raise taxes than to address the true issues behind rising costs; a principle that becomes apparent in the wage disparity between public-sector and private-sector workers. Local, state and federal governments are monopolies, and largely insulated from market forces; such as inflation, scarcity, and most recently relevant, recessions. The private sector could never sustain an average annual income as high as the public sector’s because the government uses a skewed system to determine wages. Private-sector pay is based on the value the employee provides the company. Public-sector pay is based on politics, often heavily influenced by large, lobbyistladen labor unions. With pressure from big labor and without the restraints of scarce resources, government has little incentive not to overpay for salaries and benefits—something to keep in mind for the upcoming legislative session, where organized labor is calling for tax increases instead of cuts to services. It is up to taxpayers and voters to require government to be as responsible as privatesector employers.

Average Public-Sector vs. Private-Sector Wages – 2007 (amounts rounded to nearest dollar) Average Individual

Average Individual

Private-Sector Salary

Public-Sector Salary**

Island Kitsap Garfield Pierce Pacific Jefferson Walla Walla Clallam Ferry Thurston Grant Okanogan Skamania San Juan Chelan Douglas Wahkiakum Whitman Columbia Kittitas Mason Spokane Stevens Lincoln Yakima Klickitat Clark Pend Oreille Benton Grays Harbor Franklin Whatcom Snohomish Lewis Asotin Adams Skagit Cowlitz

24,051 32,615 21,737 42,324 23,128 25,750 33,708 28,392 22,909 36,489 30,833 25,497 26,389 24,288 32,464 31,334 23,959 29,762 29,546 29,001 29,480 38,399 29,165 25,299 34,297 31,684 40,834 36,075 47,734 33,626 37,227 37,118 48,288 34,772 31,201 32,215 41,032 41,693

King Total Average:

County

**Average Individual

Average Individual

Average Individual

Disparity

Federal Salary

State Salary

Local Salary

78,546 81,373 52,714 71,232 50,290 51,132 58,846 52,634 46,363 59,935 53,163 47,768 48,657 46,264 53,940 52,519 43,805 49,350 48,559 47,925 47,938 56,741 45,986 41,619 49,777 47,075 55,854 50,581 61,818 47,307 50,903 49,666 60,381 46,024 40,523 41,357 48,659 48,888

54,495 48,758 30,978 28,907 27,162 25,382 25,138 24,241 23,453 23,446 22,331 22,271 22,268 21,976 21,476 21,184 19,847 19,588 19,013 18,923 18,458 18,342 16,821 16,319 15,480 15,391 15,021 14,506 14,084 13,681 13,677 12,548 12,092 11,252 9,322 9,141 7,628 7,195

89,148 97,986 91,820 88,382 61,269 71,722 98,133 70,748 74,416 72,175 78,284 76,400 72,660 59,062 72,462 78,867 52,593 66,967 88,221 65,230 48,809 79,602 70,941 54,569 68,584 57,982 84,912 72,338 89,221 51,560 77,550 82,952 76,187 55,289 56,318 52,698 59,937 56,955

34,692 46,739 41,504 51,716 50,637 51,580 50,838 51,781 42,375 64,485 42,670 45,954 42,627 33,488 50,711 52,588 42,914 48,531 48,909 48,153 55,681 49,470 54,334 48,652 52,295 50,907 47,489 47,714 48,402 51,863 43,786 45,820 50,729 46,410 40,639 47,000 44,698 45,518

49,401 49,491 (state & local) 56,894 48,532 47,908 45,495 49,430 39,565 48,495 51,002 43,896 41,321 47,148 51,290 48,151 (state & local) (state & local) 39,913 45,190 46,046 50,175 39,821 40,188 46,112 45,358 50,577 47,914 60,188 45,632 47,198 45,249 57,063 44,728 38,422 40,334 48,346 48,812

64,783

63,027

-1,756

84,475

55,157

61,065

33,054

52,542

19,488

86,139

54,079

53,641

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysishttp://www.bea.gov/regional/reis/default.cfm

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**Public-sector averages reflect a sum of federal, state, and local salaries (federal salary averages include both civilian and military salaries). These figures are averages of all industries. The information is meant to give an indication of the disparity between the two sectors, not provide a comprehensive comparison of wage rates of specific positions between the sectors. These figures include employer contributions to supplemental income, but do not include benefits paid out to employees.


A PUBLICATION OF THE EVERGREEN FREEDOM FOUNDATION

5

For it is in giving that we receive by Irene Endicott

W

hen Lynn Harsh and Bob Williams presented our first legacy workshop back in 2004, the whole idea was to give our members and friends the gift of free information about estate planning and making a will. Ironically, it turns out that we at the Evergreen Freedom Foundation have received both thanks and blessings beyond measure from the people who attend. That has surprised and delighted me. Hosting these workshops around the state each year is such a privilege. I meet some of the most wonderful people. You know who you are—salt-of-the-earth Americans who reflect the values and principles we at

don’t create one for yourself, the government has one for you . . . and your family won’t much like it.” Some of the people who come to the workshops aren’t sure they can trust a lawyer or a financial planner, but they trust the Freedom Foundation to have experienced professionals who love liberty to present the material. Nobody is asked to sign up for anything and nothing is sold at our workshops. The instructors explain why it is important to have a plan and how to create it with the new estate planning tools available today—tools that can even grow your estate while decreasing or transferring your tax burden. This can be done through charitable giving and careful management of assets, whether the estate is large or small.

“Everybody has an estate plan. If you don’t create one for yourself, the government has one for you . . . and your family won’t much like it.”

the Freedom Foundation talk and write and pray about every day. Ordinary folks, business leaders, entrepreneurs, moms, dads, and grandparents attend these workshops and they all want one thing—to leave a legacy that reflects their values and protects their hard-earned assets from unnecessary taxation. As the morning presenter, Alan Pratt always says, “Everybody has an estate plan. If you

Some attendees were hesitant to attend because their estate plans were finished; but then found out at the workshop that they needed tweaking because the laws have changed and their plans were now out of date. Others procrastinated or just wanted to get this done for their families and their own peace of mind. The comments after the workshops are affirming and touch my heart. People say things like:

“I’ve never heard estate planning explained this way.” “I should have talked my wife into coming. She needs to hear this.” “We had no idea something like this could be fun, too.” “I was surprised that I learned so much.” “This workshop isn’t really about death and taxes. It’s about life!” “We thought we might be in for a dry lecture, but the day flew by.” “We’re so glad we came.” “We can’t thank you enough for what you have done for us.” What started out as a gift to you, our loyal members and friends, has become your gift to us. To all who have attended, thank you for your support of our work and for the precious gift of your friendship. We will always remember you. Now, as we start the new year, we will post the upcoming workshop schedule for this year in the next issue of Living Liberty. If you have attended one of these free workshops, please tell your friends and family members what you learned and ask them to attend the one nearest them. Approximately sixty percent of Americans do not have a will, and we don’t want to count you in that number. Feel free to attend one of our workshops and bring your spouse, your grown children, and/or your financial advisor. Or just come by yourself! Come and learn what you need to do and then talk to your financial advisor and make it happen. Leaving a legacy of a well-crafted will or estate plan is the greatest last gift you can give your loved ones.

Eye on labor: What to expect this year in the Legislature by Scott St. Clair

W

ith Governor Christine Gregoire on record favoring a tax increase rather than relying on cuts to close a $2.6 billion budget shortfall, the legislative “barn door” is wide open. Labor came out of the last session empty, and it’s in no mood for a repeat performance. Legislative Democrats who don’t toe the line are being threatened with opposition. Labor created Don’t Invest in More Excuses, or DIME, a political action committee to channel campaign funds to labor-friendly candidates rather than to the Democrat Party. Labor will judge Democrats on how they vote on bills and on how pro-active they are in advancing labor’s issues. In other words, show more team spirit or labor will bench you. Prospects for success are debatable, said sources on both sides of the aisle. One Democrat said this strategy could spur bi-partisan coalition building. To Republicans who’ve never been in the majority, coalition building is a way of life. They shrug their shoulders as if to say, “What else is new?” Labor will fight against budget cuts and support whatever tax increases the governor proposes. Business interests hope for a “do no harm” session. Hard times are still with us, unemployment is high, and business conditions are precarious. Business will resist anything that makes things worse. Based upon interviews with legislators and legislative staff and a review of what labor is on the record as wanting, here’s what to expect from the 2010 60-day legislative session:

Budget and Taxes: This is the largest overriding issue. Specifics of the governor’s tax package weren’t released during presession legislative meetings, but Democrats predict any increase won’t be “substantial.” They did not define substantial. Republicans don’t expect any reductions in government spending through budget cuts. Nobody sees a groundswell of support for a tax increase, despite what the governor says. One Democrat said, “Both sides will have to learn to claim victory by not losing as much as they could have.” Labor wants “new sources of revenue.” The Washington Federation of State Employees said on its Web site, “Finding new revenue makes more sense than the drastic cuts needed to close the new budget gap.” The Washington Education Association has a legislative agenda calling for more spending on K-12 and higher education, wage increases for teachers, and more. Workers’ Compensation and Unemployment Insurance: Our state’s Workers’ Compensation program is in trouble. Business sees reform as a top priority. Costs are too high; workers stay on it too long; and it’s a reason companies like Boeing flee the state. Because the Legislature raids both the Labor & Industries and Unemployment Insurance trust funds to fund other programs or balance the budget, the trust funds

are at risk. Trust funds at risk mean tax increases for business. In Washington state, the average Workers’ Compensation “lost days” are 266. In Oregon they’re 63. The lifetime-pensions award disparity is staggering. In Oregon, nine were awarded in 2008. In Washington state it was 1,122. A $117 million tax increase is expected in 2010. Other states are seeing rate reductions. Oregon hasn’t increased rates in 20 years. Because it would cut lost days and lifetime pensions, Republicans want a final-claim negotiation process similar to what 43 other states do. Opposition is expected from trial attorneys and labor, neither of whom favors limits on awards. Republicans say their best hope for reform lies in establishing medical provider networks to specialize in treating injured workers. Labor wants Workers’ Compensation expanded. The Washington State Labor Council (WSLC) advocates abolishing the “parking lot” exemption, which precludes an employee injured in an employer-owned parking lot from receiving benefits. Expect Unemployment Insurance rates to increase because of individual employer experience ratings and the broader effects of unemployment. Look for efforts to increase benefits and extend them to workers looking for part-time employment. Last year, a raid on the Unemployment Insurance trust fund was stymied by I-960’s two-thirds requirement for Continued on page 9 . . .


6

LIVING LIBERTY

Eminent Domain Abuse:

City of SeaTac plans to take family business by Trent England

M

eet the new sister cities of eminent domain abuse: New London, Connecticut, and SeaTac, Washington. Separated by almost 3,000 miles, these two cities stand side-by-side when it comes to government abusing its power to take private property. In 2001, the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer opened a corporate office in the City of New London. The City’s government-sponsored development corporation hoped to entice Pfizer to create a much larger facility. It used the power of eminent domain to take the homes of Suzette Kelo and her neighbors to free up the land for the City’s Pfizer-centered vision. Late last year, Pfizer announced that it will close all its New London offices by 2011. Suzette Kelo’s neighborhood remains a wasteland—the homes were bulldozed after the Supreme Court of the United States, in a 5-4 decision, sided with the City. Despite the public outcry against New London, SeaTac has decided to follow its lead. James and Doris Cassan have operated Park and Fly, a valet and self-park facility that serves travelers at SeattleTacoma International Airport, since the 1960s. Their family business is located on International Boulevard, just across from the airport in an area dominated by hotels and other parking facilities. The Cassans worked hard and slowly purchased more and more of the property that they originally leased for

their business. They carefully grew their business, eventually employing more than 40 people as part of their staff “family.” When Sound Transit used eminent domain—not once, but twice—to carve out pieces of the Park and Fly property for a light rail station, the Cassans reluctantly complied. Now the City of SeaTac has decided to use eminent domain to take over the entire property to make way for a massive, expensive, and uncertain redevelopment scheme. SeaTac has been careful in its public statements to insist that it will only use the confiscated property for a “public purpose.” City officials have even claimed that they need to take Park and Fly so that they can transform the private parking facility into a public parking facility. Yet emails between staff at the Port of Seattle and the City reveal an understanding that the Port wants less parking, not more, near its own airport parking garages. Public-records requests by the Cassan’s daughter Traci have also exposed that SeaTac may resell much of the property in their planned redevelopment area to “developer(s) capable of implementing the City’s vision.” Notes from a meeting with the city attorney record the following strategic advice: “conversation w/ Cassan – mention public uses in a general fashion.” Other documents reveal the city’s opportunism. When government takes property, it is required to pay

Introducing

Scott Roberts:

Entrepreneur-turned-activist will direct EFF’s Property Rights Center

T

he path I followed to politics is typical: a young For the past ten years, I’ve worked in real estate, entrepreneur facing off with government specializing in builder and developer services. I built bureaucracy finally decides to do an expertise in land acquisition and something about it. residential development while expeMy formal education is in architecriencing the best and the worst of the ture. In the early 1990s I worked for real estate market. a small firm and designed schools. At My career so far has paralleled a age 23, I was the principal designer dramatic increase in government’s for the North East Tacoma Elemenreach into the private sector. I’ve tary school in Brown’s Point. It was watched projects fail because reguan exciting time in Tacoma: the lations were too rigid or bureaucrats design competition and rehabilitation too near-sighted. I’ve seen family of Union Station, the planning of the legacies destroyed by rezoning. I am University of Washington, Tacoma witness to the systematic destruction campus, and a host of economic of property rights, once the corner“I’ve seen family legacies development projects. Entrepreneurs stone of the American Dream. destroyed by rezoning. were flourishing. Free enterprise was The time has come to push back, I am witness to the reaching a full head of steam. to reassert the human right to own systematic destruction And about that time, the Washingand use private property. It’s time to of property rights, once ton State Legislature gave birth to the restore the roots of our freedom and the cornerstone of the Growth Management Act. prosperity. American Dream.” I left architecture and joined two I am fortunate to join a team that partners in an excavating company. is leading the fight for freedom, has I learned to operate heavy equipextraordinary talent, and has the ment. I was responsible for making payroll every two resolve to advance individual liberty. weeks. I learned a lot.

“Now the City of SeaTac has decided to use eminent domain to take over the entire property to make way for a massive, expensive, and uncertain redevelopment scheme.”

“just compensation.” Yet in the midst of the real estate downturn, that compensation will be much less than the Cassan’s own investment. And of course, if things turn around, the City will reap a windfall at the expense of the Cassan family. A City Council executive session presentation calls this a “potentially advantageous cost environment.” SeaTac officials have a grand vision for their City’s future. Like the planners and development experts in New London, SeaTac has decided that private property owners are a hindrance to be swept aside in pursuit of bigger, fancier buildings and increased tax revenues. Today, New London’s redevelopment plans are a shambles. The property taken from private citizens remains a wasteland. Politicians and officials involved in that taking are reviled. Even so, the City of SeaTac is now eagerly following New London’s path.

Supreme Court declines to review eminent domain case by Michael Reitz

T

he Washington State Supreme Court missed an opportunity last month to clarify the rules about property rights and eminent domain when it declined to review the case of Martini v. Department of Transportation. Luc Martini owns a parcel of land along State Route 18 in King County. The State condemned a portion of his land for a road expansion, and he received compensation for this taking. But additional damage subsequently occurred to the remainder of Mr. Martini’s land. He filed a new lawsuit for the new damages, but the trial court and the Court of Appeals ruled that he “should have known” during the first eminent domain proceeding that this damage would have occurred. Mr. Martini appealed to the state Supreme Court, and the Evergreen Freedom Foundation’s Constitutional Law Center filed an amicus curiae brief in support of his position, arguing that property owners shouldn’t be held to a “fortune teller” standard of predicting all possible damage to someone’s property when the government takes part of it. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court declined to get involved. While the Court of Appeals’ decision was unpublished, and cannot be cited as precedent, it is likely Department of Transportation lawyers will continue to offer this argument in future inverse condemnation cases. The Washington Constitution identifies the right to private property as one of the key liberties to be protected from government invasion; but the Supreme Court’s decision erodes this protection.


A PUBLICATION OF THE EVERGREEN FREEDOM FOUNDATION

7

Protect and Serve by Scott St. Clair

T

he Sunday after Thanksgiving, a raw and ugly wound was inflicted upon us. Four Lakewood, Washington police officers were gunned down in cold blood by Maurice Clemmons, 37, a vicious thug with a criminal record as long as your arm. Clemmons walked into a Parkland coffee shop, drew a gun and slaughtered Sergeant Mark Renninger and Officers Ronald Owens, Tina Griswold, and Greg Richards. The officers were there doing paperwork in preparation for their shift to begin. Clemmons didn’t escape unscathed—before he died, Officer Richards was able to return fire wounding him in the stomach. What followed was probably the largest manhunt in Washington state history. It ended early on the morning of December 1, when Seattle police officer Benjamin J. Kelly came face-to-face with Clemmons during a routine stolen-car investigation. Recognizing Clemmons, Officer Kelly confronted him and then drew his weapon when Clemmons advanced toward him. The encounter left Clemmons dead. In his pocket, Clemmons had a weapon stolen from one of the murdered officers. Nine children lost a parent, and collectively the community lost some of its sanity and security. If those whose job it is to protect us from harm cannot themselves be

protected from harm, then what is to become of us? The This is understandable—people are angry and hurt. answer to this question troubles or eludes us. They have questions and demand answers. What hapOn the Lakewood Police Independent Guild Web pened that Sunday is a seminal event that left them in site was a tribute to the four officers that included no mood to settle for anything less than the truth and biographical information. One of the slain officers, Tina for a change in whatever policy it was that let Maurice Owens, was a limited-government conservative who Clemmons walk into that coffee shop intent upon killsupported the Olympia Tea Party movement. Officer ing cops. And they’re in no mood to risk letting another Owens lived in Lacey, and before joining the Lakewood Department, she was a member of the Lacey Police Department. “Clemmons walked into a Parkland coffee shop, The Web site said, “If you wanted any details over the massive government spenddrew a gun and slaughtered Sergeant Mark ing she would have them for you. She was Renninger and Officers Ronald Owens, Tina the toughest little cop I have ever known.” We take the police for granted. We Griswold, and Greg Richards.” grumble at their presence on the highway. We complain when we’re stopped for using a cell phone or speeding up to beat a red light. We don’t like them generally because we once Clemmons loose on the street—they want to keep those had a bad encounter with one. And we joke about them prisons open. We can only hope that over the course of time answers when we see them in a coffee shop. are found, necessary changes made, and those responUntil, that is, something like this happens. In the aftermath, fingers of blame were pointed. Who sible held accountable. In the meantime, the cost paid to protect and serve allowed Clemmons to walk the streets? Why wasn’t he left to rot in jail in some other jurisdiction? Whose po- has gone up. Those who count it the most—those nine litical hide should be nailed to the barn door? Are we children—can tell you what it is. really going to close prisons rather than cut other programs?

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8

LIVING LIBERTY

Education in 2010 Session: Regulations threaten internet schooling options by Diana Cieslak

T

he 2010 legislative session will be critical for education in Washington state. President Obama’s federal “Race to the Top” program set many states on a path to reform. By having states compete with each other for extra education funding, he and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan threw the questions of charter schools, teacher pay, school accountability, and testing back onto the table. Meanwhile, the “education establishment” (i.e. teacher unions and bureaucrats) continues to rule the roost here in Washington state, propelling our kids (and economy) into a future of mediocrity and outsourcing. The 2010 legislative session will reflect both momentum for reform and the education establishment’s staunch resistance to it. One important case study of this conflict will be about regulating Washington’s internet academies. Since Washington state does not allow charter schools, families have only two choices: a brick-and-mortar public school or private (or home) schooling. For many, the latter is not on the list of options. They already pay for schooling in their taxes and are not confident they can afford to pay for it again. Internet academies provide an alternative. Five school districts in Washington state contract with private curriculum providers to offer students online

instruction. These are state-funded home-based learning programs. They allow parents to decide what will best meet their child’s needs, and allow students to work at their own pace while meeting state standards. Internet academies give families an alternative. But alternatives threaten the status quo. This session the education establishment will do its best to institute an extensive new bureaucracy and more red tape—the kind of red tape that forces out some of education’s best and brightest professionals and compels the others to keep their success a secret. District-contracted online-learning falls under the oversight of Washington’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). In 2009 the legislature created an Office of Online Learning, staffed mostly by employees of the previously-established Digital Learning Commons. In early December, OSPI was to present the legislature with its recommendations for approving internet academies. As of November, OSPI’s draft included more than fifty scoring criteria for “Approval of Multi-District Online Providers.” Those that manage to qualify will have an uphill fight to avoid the regulations that hobble brick-and-mortar schools. At a Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) informational meeting I had the opportunity to speak with a student in the fifth grade who is currently doing ninth grade work. If he had no choice but to stay in a traditional public school, this child might have given up altogether.

Looking ahead Continued from page 1 . . .

full percentage increase would not raise enough cash, and it would boost the top marginal tax rates to 10.5 and 11 percent in King County retail stores and restaurants. That doesn’t spell economic growth. Sin taxes are more popular with voters, but they can’t come close to plugging the budget hole. A business and occupation tax hike would discourage hiring and lead to lay-offs and wage reductions in some cases, further slowing economic recovery. A property tax increase is more visible to voters than almost any other tax, and therefore not likely to be considered.

paid trip to Copenhagen to talk global taxation—pardon me, global warming—with other elected officials. There’s nothing like skipping the country after dropping a multi-billion dollar budget-and-tax bomb on your constituents. She is scheduled to release her ‘real’ budget in early January, which will propose at least $700 million in new taxes. This is equivalent to a 25 percent surtax on all Business & Occupation tax rates for every business in the state. Even with that high of an increase, the state will still have to confront a $2.8 billion problem in 2011! The governor has hinted that most of the increases will come in the form of “tax loophole closures.” An honest discussion about tax reform, including the closure of various tax loopholes, is generally a good thing. Tax loopholes were created by the legislature to give preferential legal treatment to certain industries and behaviors that legislators wanted to encourage. Loopholes narrow the tax base, which necessarily creates a higher tax burden (rate) for the remaining taxpayers. The vast majority of economists without a favored horse in the political race will argue that everything should be taxed once, and only once, to keep tax rates as low and as broad-based as possible. However, by seeking various forms of new revenue instead of engaging in the hard work of budget prioritization, the governor and legislators are not only setting themselves up for deeper budget problems in 2011, they are slowing economic recovery. The tax loophole closure idea is not being advanced with the hope of broadening the base and lowering the rate for all taxpayers, thereby stimulating economic growth. It is solely a revenue grab. Is the tax package proposed by Gregoire going to be the one the legislature runs with? Possibly. Consider the alternatives. A sales tax increase is considered regressive (read: “angers the Democrat base”). Even a

“. . . $700 MILLION

IN NEW TAXES.”

An estate tax increase is a possibility. “Soak the rich” is always popular with the Democrat base; and most voters won’t feel it hit their pocket books. Doubling the rate could raise $260 million over a two-year period, but that doesn’t solve the deficit issue either. Never mind the perverse incentives estate taxes generate over the long run. We are, after all, thinking with the microtime horizon of politicians who want to win their next election. The only other real possibility is an income tax. Yes, this is a dreaded phrase for most voters and politicians. However, the situation appears just dire enough, and the majority is just cocky enough, that an income tax is a genuine possibility, though the Democratic leadership has publicly denied it. It’s true that Washington’s Constitution has a uniformity clause that mostly blows any prospects of a “progressive” income tax out of the water. Still, a broad-based “temporary” income tax is not unprecedented; and it could be done by statute if it were in the form of a flat tax on gross income, no higher than 1 percent. New Jersey passed a similar income tax measure in 1976, scheduled to expire in 1978. Not surprisingly,

“They allow parents to decide what will best meet their child’s needs, and allow students to work at their own pace while meeting state standards.”

Internet academies are one (extremely important) case in point. Imagine education with a broad menu of options, catering to the people they serve. Now is the time to advocate choices and defend the few that already exist. With a liberal administration pushing school choice and an election around the corner, legislators are cornered. Will they choose meaningful reforms or election support from education special-interest groups? The voters will need to make their voices heard on this critically important issue.

the “temporary” income tax did not go the way of bell bottoms and disco, eventually morphing into one of the most “progressive” tax systems in the nation, with a top income tax bracket of 10.75 percent. Fortunately, we have an added hurdle that would prevent such a metamorphosis without a constitutional amendment. A low, flat income tax is not what Democrats want. It could, however, serve two functions: 1) Plug a good portion of the budget hole, even if only temporarily; 2) Get voters used to the idea of an income tax. Once it’s in place, Democrats could possibly entice a majority of voters into passing a constitutional amendment, if they can convince them that their level of income would be exempt, and that “the other guy” would pay more. It’s risky, but still possible. For legislators, 2010 is a year of dilemma. For taxpayers, 2011 will be worse. The upcoming elections are a check on legislative behavior; but taxpayers will have no such protection in 2011. In addition, billions in one-time funds that were used to plug the current budget holes will not be available next year. If legislators fail to make needed structural changes to the budget to address the unsustainable level of state spending, it will be “déjà vu all over again” in 2011. Even if legislators get away with plugging the current budget holes with new taxes, the nature and size of the problem is such that they will be back again with their hands out next year. For this reason, this year’s battle will have repercussions well into the future. Taxpayers are going to have to stake their ground firmly and clearly. Unions, lobbyists and interest groups are in full panic-mode. It will take a mighty effort to counter their demands. A wise woman once told me that in order to influence legislators, one either has to put the fear of God into them or give them the chance to be heroes. We at the Freedom Foundation know what we’ll be doing in 2010. If you’d like to join the movement, find out more at PUSHBACKNOTAX.COM.


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Eye on labor Continued from page 5 . . . tax increases. This year I-960 is two years old, so the Legislature can amend or eliminate it by a simple majority. Watch for this to happen. Employer Gag Bill: This will get nasty. Last year, a bill giving employees the right to refuse to attend employer meetings to discuss labor/management issues got caught up in WSLC pressure tactics that were investigated by the Washington State Patrol. Citing the controversy, Governor Gregoire, Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown (D-Spokane) and House Speaker Frank Chopp (D-Seattle) yanked the bill. That kicked the can down the road, since labor vowed to bring it back. To labor, this is a hill upon which Democrats must be prepared to die. It may be the most important vote a Democrat takes this year.

Labor will push it despite an Attorney General’s Opinion that said the matter was pre-empted by federal law. No matter—to labor, it’s a holy crusade. It may pass, since many moderate Democrats support it. But the Attorney General’s Opinion and a certain court challenge hang over it. The business community also regards this as important. One list of major business legislative priorities said, “RESIST THIS BILL.” Paid Family Leave and Child Care Unionization: Even using the H1N1 flu epidemic as an excuse for it, the consensus opinion among opponents and supporters is that paid family leave is unaffordable. The same goes for child-care unionization. The Service Employees International Union stands to benefit the most from it; and they claim Democrats owe them. But there’s no money.

“Labor will fight against budget cuts and support whatever tax increases the governor proposes.” Jobs: This is a huge issue to both parties. But defining “job” is another thing. To Republicans, jobs are in the private sector. To many Democrats they’re in the public sector. The jobs Democrats create are on the public payroll. Since labor is dominated by public-sector unions, expanding the public-sector payroll at the expense of private-sector growth isn’t relevant. One legislator said, “When your livelihood doesn’t depend upon the private sector, you don’t get it.” A legislative staffer said, “When we talk about unions, we mean public-sector unions.”


10

LIVING LIBERTY

Washington’s new Chief Justice by Michael Reitz

O

n November 5, 2009, Justice Barbara Madsen was selected to serve as the next Chief Justice of the Washington State Supreme Court. A few months earlier, long-time Chief Justice Gerry Alexander announced he would be stepping down as chief and would serve the remainder of his time on the bench as an associate justice. Unlike the U.S. Supreme Court, where the chief justice is appointed by the president, the state chief justice is selected from among his or her fellow justices by a secret-ballot vote. Madsen will be sworn in as Chief Justice on January 11, 2010. With this news, we thought it would be a good opportunity to review some of Justice Madsen’s noteworthy opinions.

Open government

Livingston v. Cedeno (2008) Inmate Michael Livingston filed a request for the training records of a corrections officer with the Department of Corrections under the state’s Public Records Act. The Department copied and mailed the records to him at the Olympic Corrections Center where he was incarcerated, but the corrections center intercepted the documents as “contraband.” The inmate sued, arguing the Department’s action violated the Public Records Act. The Supreme Court (Madsen writing) ruled that correctional facilities are under no obligation to deliver public records to an inmate. “The Public Records Act does not limit the department’s discretion in prohibiting entry of public records that it reasonably deems inappropriate in a prison setting,” Madsen wrote.

Free speech

San Juan County v. No New Gas Tax (2007) San Juan County brought an enforcement action against the political action committee which sought to repeal a gas tax increase passed by the legislature in 2005. The county claimed the No New Gas Tax PAC violated the state’s campaign finance law by failing to disclose as a contribution the on-air support of the initiative by radio talk-show hosts Kirby Wilbur and John Carlson. A Thurston County judge ruled that campaign finance law mandated the disclosure of the value of radio broadcasts. The Supreme Court (Madsen writing) disagreed, holding that the state Fair Campaign Practices Act contains a media exemption that allows “commentary,” including advocacy for or against an issue. The court said the radio hosts’ support for the initiative fell within the media exemption and was therefore not a political contribution.

Campaign speech and lies

Rickert v. Public Disclosure Commission (2007) In 2002, Marilou Rickert challenged incumbent Senator Tim Sheldon in an election for the state senate. Senator Sheldon filed a complaint with the Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) alleging that one of Ms. Rickert’s campaign mailings contained false information—a violation of a state law that prohibited false statements about a candidate in political advertisements. The PDC determined Ms. Rickert’s mailing contained two false statements and fined her. Rickert appealed, challenging the law as unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court agreed. Justice Madsen dissented: “The majority is wrong when it says that state government cannot constitutionally regulate truth or falsity of political speech. No such blanket rule exists under the First Amendment . . . [T]he use of calculated falsehood is not constitutionally protected.”

Gay marriage

Andersen v. King County (2006) After being denied marriage licenses, several gay and lesbian couples sued, seeking to invalidate the state Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional for prohibiting same-sex marriage. Two separate trial court judges ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. The Supreme Court (Madsen writing) held that DOMA is constitutional and does not violate the privileges and immunities clause, due process, privacy rights, or equal protection. “DOMA is constitutional because the legislature was entitled to believe that limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples furthers procreation, essential to survival of the human race, and furthers the well-being of children by encouraging families where children are reared in homes headed by the children’s biological parents. Allowing same-sex couples to marry does not, in the legislature’s view, further these purposes.”

Eminent domain

HTK Management, L.L.C. v. Seattle Popular Monorail Authority (2005) A Seattle transportation authority condemned a parcel of private property to be used as the site of a Seattle Monorail station. While the station footprint would occupy only one-third of the parcel at most, the Monorail Authority argued the remaining portion was needed for a construction staging area. The Monorail adopted an internal plan to sell the remaining portion of the property to private developers after its use as a staging area was complete. The property owner filed a motion to dismiss but lost at trial. The Supreme Court (Madsen writing) upheld the taking, writing that the condemnation of the property owner’s entire property was necessary for construction, operation, and maintenance of the monorail station. “Washington courts have provided significant deference to legislative determinations of necessity in the context of eminent domain proceedings.”

Use of public funds for religious instruction

Gallwey v. Grimm (2002) A taxpayer sought to terminate the state’s Educational Opportunity Grant (EOG) Program, which provided grants to “placebound” two-year community college students who could not travel to a State institution to finish their junior and senior years of college. The taxpayer

claimed this violated the federal and State Constitutions by allowing the use of public funds for religious instruction. For example, the Washington Constitution, article IX, section 4 states: “All schools maintained or supported wholly or in part by the public funds shall be forever free from sectarian control or influence . . .”. The Supreme Court (Madsen writing) held that colleges, universities, and other institutions of higher education are not “schools,” within the meaning of the State constitutional provision, and that the program did not violate the establishment clause. The ruling stopped short of overturning earlier rulings prohibiting religious options at the K-12 level.

Initiatives

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 587 v. Washington State (2000) A coalition of unions, community councils, cities, and other public entities challenged the constitutionality of Initiative 695 (sponsored by Tim Eyman), which limited license fees tabs to $30 and required voter approval of all future state and local tax increases. The Supreme Court (Madsen writing) invalidated I-695 on several constitutional grounds: violation of the single subject requirement; violation of the subject-in-title requirement; violation of the requirement that four percent of the voters sign a referendum petition by automatically subjecting to voter approval all state tax measures passed by the legislature; and violation of the requirement that legislation that revises or amends other acts must set them forth at full length.

Exotic dancing and free speech

Ino Ino, Inc. v. City of Bellevue (1997) Several adult entertainment corporations and dancers challenged a Bellevue City ordinance that regulated adult cabarets. Specifically, the ordinance required nude or semi-nude dancers to perform on an elevated stage at least eight feet from patrons; dancers performing on non-stage areas were to be at least four feet from any member of the public; minimum lighting levels were established; and adult cabarets were to close from 2 a.m. to 10 a.m. The Supreme Court (Madsen writing) upheld the constitutionality of most of the provisions of the ordinance, specifically the distance regulations, minimum light levels, and closing-hour provisions.

For more about state court rulings, visit EFF’s Supreme Court of Washington Blog at: wasupremecourtblog.com.


A PUBLICATION OF THE EVERGREEN FREEDOM FOUNDATION

11

diary

of a Freedom Loving Mom… by Judy Parkins

ARE MEN FROM MARS?

Y

es . . . Mars is still exporting men. I have lived with my own private alien for just over a year. He’s disguised as a nice guy who likes normal “guy” things: playing with loud power tools . . . impersonating the sounds of loud power tools . . . reading magazines about power tools . . . shopping online for new power tools. This seeming normalness does not hide the obvious fact that he brings his unique alien perspective to every situation. Like the other night as we were getting ready for bed . . . “Are you going to wear it tonight?” Tony asked excitedly. “I don’t know,” I hesitated, “this just isn’t me.” “Come on, Babe, you can do it. I’m going to love it!” “Can we make the room any darker? You can’t watch me put it on.” I was dragging my feet. I knew immediately I was going to be as self-conscious as I had ever been. “I promise you’ll get used to it. Other wives wear it and they say they get used to it—even love it. I’ve heard women say they’ve become dependent on it.” My hand slowly reached under the pillow and found the offending item folded and waiting for me. Tony’s eyes lit up like a starving man being served his first meal in weeks.

“Eloquence is the power to translate a truth into language perfectly intelligible to the person to whom you speak.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let me stop here. On one hand, I am relaying a straightforward, simple conversation between Tony and me. On the other hand, I am well aware that the words I choose are passing through the reader’s filters of emotion, culture, personal beliefs and the planet on which they were born. These filters influence the reader’s perception and interpretation of my story. I find the “personal belief” filter fascinating. We filter everything we hear through our personal beliefs. We relate everything we experience to previous experiences. If we understand an idea or concept, it is because we are relating it to something we learned in the past. We have core beliefs about our lives. These personal understandings of the world help form the perspectives that guide the way we listen to, perceive, and interpret what we hear. Even when confronted with irrefutable, scientific, data-driven research—some personal belief

filters will remain in place. Is there not a Flat Earth Society? Are there not some who deny that men are from Mars? As conservatives we must remember that our messages about freedom, personal responsibility, and the “road to serfdom” will pass through our listeners’ personal beliefs. We need to select our words carefully: craft our presentations so that they will touch our listeners on a deeper emotional level. Well-chosen language can touch the heart and soul, find a common ground, and tear down the walls that divide us. Language that ignores the listener’s emotional state, culture, and personal beliefs will simply be filtered out. Instead of building trust, the language we use will distance us from those we most want to reach. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Eloquence is the power to translate a truth into language perfectly intelligible to the person to whom you speak.” Now, back to the bedroom . . . I reached under the pillow and pulled out my new C-PAP sleeping mask with the horrifying two-foot hose snaking from my nose to a contraption on the headboard. I adjusted the nose piece, tightened the Velcro straps around my head, pushed the start button and listened to the humming ramp up. Yes, Tony was excited—excited to be able to sleep through the night undisturbed by my snoring for the first time in over a year!

Ferry safety lapses raise concerns by Scott St. Clair

T

he next time you ride a Washington State Ferry, boats, let alone go below decks to find out what’s give some thought to your safety. According to a going on. The sources must remain anonymous because two-part series of investigative articles by the Evergreen they fear retaliation. Freedom Foundation, it might be at risk. David Lindeman, the Wenatchee’s chief engineer This summary of those two articles gives you the tip of the iceberg. If you are interested in obtaining them on duty at the time of the hard landing, wrote in the in their original complete versions, please contact the vessel’s log book, “Consideration should be given Freedom Foundation office for copies or visit our blog, to the power plant control systems as well as the human factors that enter into maneuvering www.Libertylive.org, where they are a vessel of this size and power plant posted in the archives. “The fuel savings configuration in restricted waters The first article deals with the cause with limited power.” of the September 30 “hard landing” thing was dreamed These accounts are supported by of the M/V Wenatchee. Strapped for up by management WSF documents obtained by the cash, Washington State Ferries (WSF) personnel who have Freedom Foundation. implemented a policy of running the Ten days after the incident, the Jumbo Mark II ferries (the Wenatchee never served a watch WSF changed its two-engine policy, is in that class) on only two out of aboard a Washington but the agency remains committed four engines and at slower speeds to state ferry.” to it. Some reports claim the WSF is conserve fuel. When approaching a considering extending the policy to landing, a third engine is then engaged all of its vessels. to generate additional power to a shaft The second article is about a chief engineer on board and propeller for maneuverability and braking. On September 30, that procedure failed, resulting in the M/V Walla Walla who collapsed into a diabetesthe hard landing, one injury, and a bill for $327,000 for induced coma while on duty last February. His name isn’t being released because the Coast Guard is still repairs to the vessel and Seattle’s Colman Dock. Confidential sources within the WSF fleet are furious. investigating the incident. The Coast Guard was not notified of the incident. It They believe management is putting lives and property at risk. One of them said, “The fuel savings thing was learned about it through an anonymous tip and through dreamed up by management personnel who have never our inquiries. This incident happened while the Walla Walla was in served a watch aboard a Washington state ferry.” Another source placed the blame at the feet of dry dock, which, according to the WSF, made an official management personnel who never make it on board the Coast Guard notification unnecessary.

For more information

on the history of Washington State Ferries visit:

www.ferry-tales.org

Because the Walla Walla wasn’t in service, notification requirements are fuzzy, said a Coast Guard official. Still, they were entitled to at least a phone call. The WSF first sought to dismiss inquiries about the incident as “mere conjecture” and “speculation” until confronted with documentary evidence of it. A combination of engine room log book entries, internal WSF e-mails, and Seattle Fire Department 911 dispatch records confirmed that it happened. Like the Wenatchee hard landing, the Walla Walla incident has the potential for disaster. The duties of a chief engineer are such that he must remain alert and engaged at all times. Commands from the pilot house require his immediate response, especially during the numerous and lengthy times when he is in the vessel’s engine room by himself. The WSF has determined that the employee is fit for duty. The Coast Guard’s investigation is on-going. A senior Coast Guard official said there is no immediate concern. That assurance isn’t shared by some on the fleet.


12

LIVING LIBERTY

Give the gift of by Juliana McMahan

freedom.

THis month

. on radio free washington . . Ann Coulter—Ann Coulter is the author of seven New York Times

D

o you enjoy living in a country renowned worldwide for its freedom? Do you want your children and grandchildren to enjoy those same freedoms, or maybe even more? Well too bad. You’re out of luck . . . or rather, out of time. Our country is too far gone down the road to socialism, and you might as well enjoy whatever freedoms are left while you can. And if I believed all that, I certainly wouldn’t waste my time working for the Evergreen Freedom Foundation! I don’t believe it is too late! I believe it is getting late, but we can turn this country away from the road to socialism. We must work together so we can pass along the gift of freedom to the next generation. So how can you give the gift of freedom to your children and grandchildren? Talk about it. Engage those you meet in a discussion about the role of government and the meaning of freedom, especially young people. Go ahead, ask them what freedom means to them. Brace yourself for their self-centered response. And then draw them into a conversation about freedom and its importance. Share your personal story. Talk about what freedom means to you, your father, and your grandfather. Don’t let your experiences and observations die with you. Pass them on to the next generation. Stay informed. Don’t turn a blind eye to what is going on around you. Discuss current events with those you meet. Get involved. Encourage others to become a member of groups like the Evergreen Freedom Foundation so they can become educated and informed about what is going on behind their backs. You can even give a gift membership to a friend or family member who might need some extra encouragement. Vote wisely. Find out which candidate understands the true meaning of freedom and the proper role of government. If there are no good candidates running, consider running for office yourself or encourage someone better to run. We can protect and preserve our freedoms because we must! We must not give up. We must not give in. We must work harder than ever to keep what we have and get back what we have lost. Thank you for standing with us!

EFF FOR BREAKFAST

bestsellers. She is also the legal correspondent for Human Events, and writes a popular syndicated column for Universal Press Syndicate. She is a frequent guest on many TV shows, including The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Early Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Hannity, The O’Reilly Factor, The Glenn Beck Show, HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, and has been profiled in numerous publications, including TV Guide, the Guardian (UK), the New York Observer, National Journal, Harper’s Bazaar, and Elle magazine.

Dr. Richard Vedder—Dr. Richard Vedder is Distinguished Professor of Economics at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. He has written over 100 scholarly papers

published in academic journals and books; and his work has also appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines including The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Investor’s Business Daily, Christian Science Monitor, and USA Today.

Gwen Harmon—Gwen Harmon is the Director of Governmental and

Community Affairs at the National Civil Rights Museum. The museum is located at the Lorraine Motel, the assassination site of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and it chronicles key episodes of the American civil rights movement along with the legacy this movement has left. It serves to inspire participation in civil and human rights efforts globally. In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Radio Free Washington will be airing this special interview the weekend prior to MLK Day.

Fred Barnes—Fred Barnes is a political contributor to the FOX News

Channel. Previously, he was co-host of The Beltway Boys with Mort Kondracke. He is also currently

the executive editor of Roll Call. Barnes is the host of two weekly radio programs, Issues in the News on Voice of America and What’s the Story?, a syndicated show on the media. He also appears as chief correspondent on the PBS Series, National Desk. Barnes has written for numerous publications, including Reader’s Digest, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Spectator, Washingtonian, The Public Interest, Policy Review and both The Sunday Telegraph and Sunday Times of London.

Dr. Burton Folsom—Dr. Burton Folsom is a history professor

at Hillsdale College and Senior Fellow in economic education for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. He has written numerous books including New Deal or Raw Deal?: How FDR’s Economic Legacy Has Damaged America; The Myth of the Robber Barons, now in its third edition; and Urban Capitalists. His work has appeared in major newspapers and magazines including The Detroit News, American Spectator, and The Wall Street Journal.

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Living Liberty January 2010  

exercise, you are either a state senator or representative. You are also a member of the Democratic leadership team. The scenario you face i...

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