U.S. SUPREME COURT DESTROYS THE RIGHT TO PRIVATE PROPERTY
A PUBLICATIONELECTIONS OF THE EVERGREEN ONFREEDOM TRIAL FOUNDATION 8
LIVING LIBERTY JULY 2005
A PUBLICATION OF THE EVERGREEN FREEDOM FOUNDATION
by Bob Williams
he July 4th weekend will be a time for family, food, and fireworks at my house. I don’t know what will be going on at your house, but no matter where we are or what we will be doing, we need to remember the point of celebrating Independence Day. It’s all about our Founders signing and approving the Declaration of Independence, now 229 years ago. Please take a moment on the 4th to contemplate that momentous event. Freedom is the indispensable foundation of our Republic: we cannot survive without it. Today, freedom is in jeopardy on almost all fronts. This article is a call to action. We must rebuild our nation’s foundation, and this will be difficult. But the alternative is the erosion of personal liberty and the free market, so we cannot give up. You’ll remember Edmund Burke’s counsel: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” And remember Ben Franklin’s sage observation about what kind of government he and his colleagues had created: “A republic, if you can keep it.” Many of today’s lawmakers behave, speak, and govern as if they are the ruling class—elevated above the rest of us—convinced they know better than we do about the laws and policies that govern our daily lives. Some of the recent actions by our elected officials border on tyranny and, unless checked by “we the people,” could lead us down the road to a permanent loss of personal liberty and economic freedom. We see evidence of this abuse at all levels of government: city, county, state, and federal. In the recent gubernatorial lawsuit in Wenatchee, much was said about the “culture problem,” referring to the culture of government in King County. Judge Bridges addressed this directly when he said, “Almost anyone who works in state or local government knows exactly what this culture is. It’s inertia. It’s selfishness. It’s taking our paycheck but not doing the work. It’s not
caring about either our fellow workers or the public we are supposed to serve. It’s not taking responsibility. It’s refusing to be held accountable. And so it is the voters who should send the message.” What type of message do we need to send? Let me first lay out some of the more recent indications of abuse of power, and then I’ll make a suggestion or two. Interference with the people’s constitutional right to vote • In the 2002 legislative session, lawmakers passed an unemployment insurance reform bill that gave a special break to Boeing—a break that small businesses would have paid for. The Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) ran a referendum (R-53) to repeal it. Governor Gary Locke responded by going to the Supreme Court (using taxpayer dollars) to try to stop BIAW and the referendum. The Supreme Court rejected Locke’s intervention by a 9-0 vote. BIAW got the signatures, and in the November election, 60 percent of the people voted to repeal the law. Locke and former Attorney General Christine Gregoire went to court (using taxpayer dollars) to stop the elec-
Evergreen Freedom Foundation PO Box 552 Olympia, WA 98507 Address service requested
tion from being certified. They also asked the court to declare the referendum unconstitutional! The Supreme Court ruled against the governor and attorney general, and the election results were certified. This was the first time a governor filed a lawsuit to try to prevent an election from being certified. • In our November 2004 election, votes by dead people, non-US citizens, and convicted felons were counted. Some people’s votes were counted twice. Nevertheless, Judge Bridges recently ruled that Gregoire was duly elected governor. It certainly wasn’t because she got the most votes in the election, but because the Republicans were unable to prove who the 1,678 illegal voters voted for! Further, the judge could not determine what to do with 168 uncounted ballots found in April. Thus, the total number of illegal and uncounted ballots is more than 13 times the margin of victory in this election. Still, most county auditors, Democrat leaders, and our Republican Secretary of State say election officials did a pretty good job overall.
Continued on next page
NON-PROFIT ORG. U.S. POSTAGE
OLYMPIA, WA PERMIT #462
Declare Independence Continued from page 1 . . .
Another way to look at this: If Secretary of State Reed had been the Florida Secretary of State in 2000, and if he had made the same extra-legal electionrelation decisions there that he did here, Al Gore would be the U.S. President right now. Had Kathleen Harris, the former Florida Secretary of State, been our Secretary of State last year, Dino Rossi would be governor. It all comes down to whether or not elected officials know, follow and enforce the law. Our system of self-government dies without ballot box integrity. • During the 2005 session, the emergency clause was attached to 98 bills. This means we, the people, cannot not file a referendum. “Emergencies” are clearly defined in law, and a mere handful of the 98 bills may have risen to the standard. The Evergreen Freedom Foundation will be before the Supreme Court on June 30 along with BIAW (the Homebuilders), the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the Grange, the Farm Bureau, and Realtors to try to get the court to overturn what we believe is an
illegal use of an emergency clause to shred I-601 (a taxpayer imposed state spending limit). Interference with voter intent In the recently concluded legislative session, the governor and many legislators acted as if taxpayers exist for the benefit of government! Multiple times, they completely disregarded the will of the people and our right to initiative and referendum. • In 1992, voters passed I-134. This initiative forbids unions and corporations from taking campaign contributions from employees/members without express permission, forces them to disclose campaign contributions, and limits their contributions. Unions disregarded the law as did the state watchdog agency (the PDC). Citizen Bob Edelman sued, and the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the law as written and against the unions. The 2005 Legislature overrode the court decision to make it easier for labor to give more campaign money to candidates and issues. Nearly all the contributions go to Democrats.
Is it coincidence that Democrat leaders decided to do this while they held the reins of power in Olympia? They attached an emergency clause so we citizens cannot run a referendum on their decision. • In 1981, voters passed I-402 to eliminate the state’s death tax. (It tied the rate to the federal pick-up tax.) The Department of Revenue violated the initiative and started collecting the tax anyway. The agency was sued, and the Supreme Court ruled against it. In the 2005 Legislature passed a bill that reimposes the death tax, and added an emergency clause so the people could not pass a referendum. • In 1993, voters passed I-601 to rein in state spending. If lawmakers wanted to raise taxes within forecasted revenue, they had two ways to do it: get a 2/3 vote in the legislature or put the issue on the ballot to the people. Instead, the 2005 Legislature suspended the 2/3 vote and redefined “spending.” Then they passed $500 million in tax and fee increases by a majority vote. The legislature saw fit to add an emer-
gency clause to this bill as well so we voters cannot pass a referendum. • In 2001, voters passed I-728 and I-732 (class size and cost of living increase initiatives) based on promises that taxes would not have to be raised and no harm would be done to the state budget. But the budget surplus vanished and a recession hit, so lawmakers did not have the agreed-upon funds for either initiative. In 2004, voters were asked to approve I-884, which would have raised funds for I-728 and I-732. Voters resoundingly said no. The 2005 Legislature gutted I-601 and raised taxes to accomplish both purposes. And, you guessed it: they added an emergency clause to the bill so the people could not pass a referendum. • In 2002, voters turned down R-51 to raise gas taxes for transportation projects. The 2003 Legislature passed a major gas tax increase anyway. So did the 2005 Legislature. Of course, they attached an emergency clause so the people cannot pass a referendum.
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3 LETTER FROM LYNN CELEBRATE AMERICA!
U.S. SUPREME COURT DESTROYS THE RIGHT TO PRIVATE PROPERTY 4 ANNOUNCING EFF’S LABOR POLICY CENTER EFF EARNS AWARD FOR STATE POLICY WORK THE GADSDEN FLAG AND ITS LEGACY OF LIBERTY
5 HOME OF THE BRAVE TWO GENERATIONS OF AMERICAN HEROES IN THEIR OWN WORDS
State employees demonstrate against forced union membership
6 DISNEY GETS ONE RIGHT A REVIEW OF NATIONAL TREASURE, NOW AVAILABLE ON DVD
Freedom Still Matters
7 EFF LAUNCHES A NEW WEBSITE . . . “In 1775, Patrick Henry offered a stirring description of the value of liberty: ‘Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!’ If life itself is not worth the price of chains and slavery, how much less so one’s employment?” For state employees Lorie Wharton, Barbara Stuart and Julie Rich, liberty is no less important today and union membership should be an individual choice. See article on page 11
BECAUSE FREEDOM MATTERS!
8 ELECTIONS ON TRIAL OBSERVATIONS OF THE ELECTION CONTEST IN CHELAN COUNTY
“ETERNAL VIGILANCE” LOCAL BUSINESS TAKES ON THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE AND WINS
9 IS CONVENIENCE ENOUGH? THE TREND TOWARD COMPLETE VOTE-BY-MAIL
10 2005 BALLOT INITIATIVES COMING INTO FOCUS 11 FREEDOM STILL MATTERS TODAY
A PUBLICATION OF THE EVERGREEN FREEDOM FOUNDATION
LetterLET fromTER Lynn FROM LY NN Celebrate America!
he relentless push to reshape America into multi-cultural and multi-lingual enclaves is a formula for our destruction. So, on this July 4th, I make a plea for national unity around the First Principles that form our purpose as a nation. We are a young country, so the bloodlines for most of us do not run centuries deep on this soil. Most of our citizens came here from someplace else, and they arrived speaking many different languages and posessing a panoply of unique cultural traditions. What drew us or our ancestors here is America’s purpose, and it is a purpose that distinguishes us from the lands of our ancestors’ origins. The American Founders chartered the course for citizens to govern themselves under laws formed around specific principles. They gave us a republic, where the sovereigns are not an elite ruling class, but are citizens from every walk of life, who possess inalienable rights to certain individual liberties. This distinct and unique purpose sets our country apart. It has wooed many people from other nations and cultures to come to America to become part of this nation—one nation. They assimilated. The cultural left defines assimilation as decimation, as if one’s identity in language and culture must be obliterated to become part of this unique place; as if the
populace agreeing to unite around essential governing principles makes America a monolith. In fact, assimilation in America is a creative process that forms enormous energy. The end goal of assimilation here is to ensure individual liberty and to establish justice—an impossible combination unless sovereign authority rests with citizens. When ruling authority shifts to the hands of an elite few, assimilation becomes tyranny instead of liberation. First Principles are meaningless when rulers can insist that subjects conform their thoughts, behaviors, beliefs, customs and commerce to the rulers’ ideals. Furthermore, in this country, reaching those noble ends cannot be justified under the law if means are used that violate the end itself. In other words, it is not okay to force someone to lose their liberty in pursuit of yours, a principle discarded by the left when it suits their purposes. In Federalist No. 51, James Madison said, “Justice is the end of government. It is the end of civil society. It ever has been, and ever will be pursued, until it be obtained, or until liberty be lost in the pursuit. In a society under the forms of which the stronger faction can readily unite and oppress the weaker, anarchy may as truly be said to reign, as in a state of nature where the weaker individual is
U.S. Supreme Court destroys the right to private property On June 23, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Kelo v. City of New London that local governments can seize private property for private development even when that property is not “put into use for the general public.” Susette Kelo is a private homeowner in New London, Connecticut, a historical family neighborhood where one 80-yearold couple has lived in the same house for 50 years. When Kelo and several other neighborhood residents refused to sell their property to the New London Development Corporation, a private developer, the city used its power of eminent domain to condemn their private homes and businesses. Eminent domain is the legal authority for a governing body to confiscate private property for public use, as outlined
in the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. New London officials announced plans to raze the neighborhood in order to build high-end condominiums, a luxury hotel and several office buildings, arguing that private development serves a public interest in boosting economic growth. Ed O’Connell, the lawyer for the New London Development Corporation, told The New York Times, “We need to get housing at the upper end, for people like the Pfizer employees.” The U.S. Supreme Court was asked to determine if the Fifth Amendment’s “public use” requirement offered any protection for individuals like Kelo, whose property is being condemned for the sole purpose of private economic development.
not secured against the violence of the stronger… .” America has defined itself distinctly as a nation seeking justice for its citizens— justice that protects individual liberty and hence, opportunity. But a significant number of opinion-shapers and policymakers have deliberately set about to change this historical and unique American model. They argue that mandating cultural diversity is a prerequisite for peace. In truth, not every culture is okay. Some of them are downright barbaric and should be shunned by peace-loving, freedom-loving people. National assimilation is a macro-function that centers around the few big principles that define our national purpose. It is like looking at a colorful woven blanket from a distance. The blanket is a unified fabric with definable borders. Up close, however, the warp and weft of the blanket show unique individuals, families and communities whose differences are significant. We can appreciate the strength and beauty afforded by these differences, and we can realize the horror of tearing apart the “national blanket” because of our differences. People who believe assimilation means the loss of personal identity show their ignorance of the American purpose. Others clearly understand the American purpose and despise it. They have redefined patriotism to mean something more akin to tribalism or clannishness. They celebrate division and call it diversity. They teach hate and call it tolerance.
Our country cannot survive if citizens within our national borders view themselves as subcultures all fighting for their own independence. We must understand the insidiousness of this ideology. It is destroying our beloved America. This has come about in large part because the ideological left is over-represented in our elementary, secondary and post-secondary educational institutions. For decades now, we have allowed them to mal-educate and under-educate impressionable students. This has occurred in startling proportions among certain demographic groups, causing people within those groups to feel like victims—and they often are. They become angry and strike back at a system they believe has repressed them. Instead, students in all demographic groups should learn that our system of government, while imperfect in its application, is constructed around the belief that each person possesses certain inalienable rights that must be protected, and that these rights will afford them opportunity. They should have learned about America’s distinct purpose and their important role in participating in its application. Exacerbating the problem is the incessant maneuvering to make America multi-lingual. No reasonable or desirable argument exists to extinguish the many languages spoken in this country, but
The Evergreen Freedom Foundation was just one of a diverse group of property rights and individual liberty activists who filed 25 “friend of the court” amicus briefs with the Supreme Court, urging the justices to end the abuse of eminent domain. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court deferred to the city and ruled against Kelo and other property owners. “The city has carefully formulated a development plan that it believes will provide appreciable benefits to the community, including, but not limited to, new jobs and increased tax revenue,” wrote Justice John Paul Stevens in the majority opinion. In other words, the Court believes your property belongs to the highest bidder. This decision is an unacceptable assault on the constitutional right to private property. It means that no home, church or business is safe if government officials decide they have a better use
for the property. The decision also disenfranchises poor and middle class property owners who cannot afford to defend their homes. Public interest groups like the Institute for Justice (who represented Kelo) and the Evergreen Freedom Foundation will continue to fight for property rights, but citizens must demand that their state legislatures pass laws to ensure every person’s home is truly his or her castle. If the legislature does not take steps to protect property rights, the people must do so themselves at the ballot box. In protest of the Kelo decision, the Evergreen Freedom Foundation raised the Gadsden flag outside its office building. You can read about the history and meaning of the Gadsden flag on page four.
Letter Continued on page 8
Announcing EFF’s Labor Policy Center by Michael Reitz
e are excited to announce the expansion of our Teachers’ Paycheck Protection (TPP) project into the Labor Policy Center, where we will continue to advocate for free speech and free association with regard to union membership and employment. The TPP project began in 1996 when a group of teachers came to us for help. They were concerned that their union dues were being used to support political candidates and initiatives with which they disagree. With his background as a former state legislator and government auditor, Bob Williams was able to unearth a host of campaign finance violations committed by the Washington Education Association (WEA), which he presented to the Public Disclosure Commission (PDC). After pursuing its own investigation, the executive director of the PDC described the WEA’s 1996 campaign activities as “the most serious campaign finance violations in state history.” Realizing the WEA treated its members as little more than cash cows to fund its massive political machine, we began to advocate in earnest for the rights of teachers who were forced to pay for the union’s politics in order to keep their jobs. In the last several years we have made amazing progress, but we know this is only the beginning. When given information and a choice, teachers overwhelmingly refuse to support the union’s political agenda. Since the adoption of Initiative 134 in 1992, which required unions to get permission before using member dues for politics, teacher contributions to the WEA’s political committee dropped from 82 percent to 6 percent. Without the ability to get money voluntarily from teachers, the WEA continually flouts our state’s campaign disclosure laws by failing to properly report
its use of dues to influence state elections. As a result of EFF complaints and lawsuits, the WEA has been fined more than $1,000,000. The union has been ordered to repay hundreds of thousands of dollars to teachers for improperly spending their money. The PDC has penalized several union operatives for using school facilities for political activity. Our battle to expose the union’s misdeeds has been covered by every major daily newspaper in the state and has generated hundreds of news items, including several national stories. Most papers in the state have editorialized against the illegal practices of union officials, causing WEA president Charles Hasse to lament in 2003, “Praise from newspaper editors must be a powerful intoxicant, the effect of which WEA appears unlikely to ever experience directly.” Our direct outreach campaign to teachers has resulted in thousands of teachers obtaining refunds for the union’s politicking. Just this month we heard from a teacher who had been paying for WEA political activity against her will for 30 years. When she heard that she can get a refund from the union, she exclaimed, “It’s about time!” Of course, the union has not sat by idly while its monopoly over teachers is challenged. In 2002 the WEA spent at least $200,000 on a vicious public relations campaign to smear EFF. This attack backfired and only hurt the union’s credibility. As you know, we also have pending litigation in several courts. The Washington Supreme Court heard arguments in the Attorney General’s case against the WEA on May 27, 2004. While the slow pace of justice can be exhausting, we expect a ruling by the end of the year. Our class action lawsuit seeking restitution for approximately 5,000 teachers is also pending before the state Supreme Court.
EFF has developed a national reputation on union accountability issues, and we have been consulted by dozens of organizations in more than 25 states. Lawmakers in nine states, two congressional committees and two federal agencies have sought advice regarding union abuses. In 2001, Department of Labor staff contacted EFF about union accountability. One of our recommendations was to enhance union reporting requirements so members could know how funds were used. The agency subsequently issued a regulation and updated the union reporting requirements. This new regulation was just upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals in May 2005. In September 2004, Washington public employees unions negotiated a contract with the state that forces 65,000 state workers to pay for representation, regardless of whether they want to join the union. Dozens of workers contacted us for advice and 32 employee units subsequently filed to throw off union representation. The union predictably lashed out against those who would challenge its multi-million dollar monopoly, labeling EFF the “axis of evil,” along with National Right to Work and the state workers who objected to forced representation. Given our national focus, our expansion into the Labor Policy Center allows us to advocate for worker freedom and make policy recommendations on a broad range of labor issues. TPP will continue as a project within the Labor Policy Center. We appreciate your support and we look forward to future success. For periodic updates, you can sign up for our Labor Policy e-mail. Go to our website www.effwa.org and click on “Receive Updates” in the left sidebar.
EFF earns award for state policy work The Gadsden Flag and its Legacy of Liberty by Stephen Smith
he Heritage Foundation hosted its annual Resource Bank Dinner for State Policy Network members on April 27. That night, Dick Rowland, president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, gave EFF president Bob Williams a Gadsden flag. He referred to Mr. Williams as the “think-tank leader who had stirred up the most hornets’ nests in the state governor’s office in the past 12 months,” and awarded him the flag for furthering the cause of freedom in Washington State. The Gadsden flag is a fitting award for a true champion of freedom due to its long use as a symbol of resilience and liberty. The symbol’s origin dates back to 1754, when Benjamin Franklin drew the first political cartoon in an American newspaper. In it, he linked the image of a snake with the cause of colonial unity during the French and Indian War. The cartoon was quite popular and different renditions of it were seen in newspapers throughout the colonies. Franklin, who was opposed to making the bald eagle America’s national emblem because it was a bird of “bad moral character,” favored the rattlesnake instead. In 1775, he wrote a letter to the Pennsylvania Journal under the alias “An American Guesser,” in which he made his case for the rattlesnake as America’s insignia. As he noted, the rattlesnake “is found in no other quarter of the world besides
America,” and, without eyelids, it could “be esteemed an emblem of vigilance.” Furthermore, Franklin pointed out that the rattlesnake “never begins an attack, nor, when once engaged, ever surrenders: She is therefore an emblem of magnanimity and true courage... she never wounds ‘till she has generously given notice, even to her enemy, and cautioned him against the danger of treading on her….’Tis curious and amazing to observe how distinct and independent of each other the rattles of this animal are, and yet how firmly they are united together, so as never to be separated but by breaking them to pieces. One of those rattles singly, is incapable of producing sound, but the ringing of thirteen together, is sufficient to alarm the boldest man living.” In 1775, a shipment of weaponry for the British troops in America was set to arrive from England. The Continental Congress, intending to take the British ships, formed the Continental Navy. Some of the marines deployed for this mission painted their drums bright yellow with a coiled rattlesnake and the words “Don’t Tread on Me” in the center. When Colonel Christopher Gadsden, leader of the Sons of Liberty,
saw the drums, he had a flag made with the same image. He presented one to the commander-in-chief of the new Navy, Esek Hopkins, and another to the South Carolina legislature. As the idea of using a flag with a rattlesnake on it as the standard for the revolution caught on, the colonists rallied around flags similar to the one that Col. Gadsden had made, making it the symbol of freedom for which these men had resolved to die. Because of the Gadsden flag’s rich, patriotic history, the EFF staff would like to thank the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii for giving our boss this award. We also thank all of our members for their support, which makes our defense of liberty possible.
A PUBLICATION OF THE EVERGREEN FREEDOM FOUNDATION
of Ho ome e th he h e Brave
TWO GENER ATIONS
A MERICAN HEROES
THEIR OWN WORDS
By Kristen Mercier For many of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation’s staff and members, patriotism is more than simply putting a flag out on the porch on Memorial Day and enjoying a backyard barbecue on the Fourth of July. Some of our members have served or are currently serving in the Armed Forces. We have family members and friends who have made it their life’s work to spread democracy, freedom and free market principles. In this issue of Living Liberty, we’ve chosen to highlight two people—a World War II veteran and a soldier currently serving in Iraq. They are representative of the millions of men and women we wish to honor as we celebrate Independence Day. To those who have fought and who currently fight for freedom and democracy all over the world, we salute you.
The following true story is told from the viewpoint of Bill Endicott, husband of Irene Endicott, EFF’s liaison to the Puget Sound area. Bill served in World War II. He insists we report he is not a hero. “The real heroes were those that never returned,” says Bill.
n September 1, 1939, war clouds over Europe burst wide open as Hitler invaded Poland. I remember riding my paper route in Aberdeen and getting an “Extra” edition for an extra nickel, of which I got to keep two cents. I remember the “Day that Lives in Infamy”—Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. In Aberdeen, WA, soldiers from Ft. Lewis ran barbed wire along the beaches in case of enemy assault by sea. My stepfather was an air raid warden, making sure every evening all windows were dark and unable to be spotted from the air. In woodworking class at school, we abandoned regular projects to make wooden models of Japanese aircraft so air spotters could recognize them if they flew in. Girls wrapped bandages and young men were drafted in their senior year. On June 6, 1944, while my classmates and I celebrated our high school graduation ceremony, one of our drafted classmates died on the shores of Normandy. Following graduation, I enlisted in the Army and went to Camp Roberts, California, for infantry basic training. We were in our training cycle when the Germans broke through in the Battle of the Bulge. Troops that were just weeks ahead of us in the training cycle were rushed overseas to bolster our troops in what was one of the worst European winters ever recorded. Some of these kids were dead within 90 days of beginning their training. I was sent to the Island of Luzon in the Philippines where some of the toughest terrain in the Pacific was conquered. The enemy was vanquished from Question Mark, Benchmark Hill and other precipitous hills, en route to Baguio, the summer capital of the Philippines. There my division, the 33rd Infantry, liberated the Filipino people who had endured three and a half years of Japanese occupation and atrocities. In early July 1945,
we were relieved of combat on northern Luzon to return awareness for the Army Historical Foundation and its plan for a National Museum. to the Lingayan Gulf for amphibious training. We left Patriot’s Landing at Ft. Lewis, WA, on Flag Despite an initial lack of unanimity among the U.S. Joint Chiefs, the conclusion was reached that continued Day, after a week of mechanical work on the vehicle. assaults were not going to end the long, costly war. Ja- We had a nine-gallon gas tank and a five-gallon jeep pan had not indicated a willingness to accept terms of can on the back. Our top speed was 45 mph. We were the Potsdam Declaration for a “full and unconditional stopped by a few state troopers, but we were not ticketed surrender” issued in July. The invasion of the Japanese for going too slow. Many people waved and saluted from mainland, called Operation Downfall, promised to be their car windows as they passed by. Young people gathered around the jeep when we the largest and costliest amphibious assault in history. Spearheading the November 1, 1945, landings in Kyushu, Japan’s southernmost island, were to have been elements of the “YOUNG PEOPLE GATHERED AROUND THE JEEP WHEN Army’s I Corps, comprised of my division, the 33rd, and the 25th and 41st Infantry Divi- WE STOPPED FOR A BREAK OR FOR OVERNIGHT REST. sions. WE WERE ABLE TO TELL THEM WHY WE WERE DOING Many years later, researching the National THIS AND SOME OF THE IDEALS AND PRINCIPLES WE Archives, I obtained a copy of the plan for HOLD DEAR ABOUT THIS GREAT NATION.” “the invasion that never was.” My division was to hit the shores of Miyazaki, Kyushu. Initial estimates were that we would experience up to two-thirds stopped for a break or for overnight rest. We were able to casualties. Our position had the highest casualty figure tell them why we were doing this and some of the ideals estimate. and principles we hold dear about this great nation. We The atomic bombs and Japan’s surrender shortly were interviewed by media across the country and had thereafter caused plans for Operation Downfall to be the privilege of talking to many citizens about the Army tucked away in the historical archives, later to be ig- Museum and about the America we love and about nored by historical revisionists in both Japan and the its great military men and women serving around the United States. world. As often as we had the chance, we said, “Let To this day, there remain thousands of us who are us never forget the sacrifices made to keep our people grateful that Operation Downfall was made unneces- free!” sary, not only for our generation but for those that have Ten days later, we ended our trip at Ft. Belvoir, VA. As followed. We deeply regret the terrible death toll asso- part of our welcoming, we were invited to lay a wreath ciated with the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, at the Tomb of the Unknowns in tribute to the men of which was ultimately near 200,000, including those our Infantry Division who gave their lives in WWII. later dying of radiation sickness. The alternative would On this 229th anniversary of our freedom, I reflect have been much more grim: anywhere from 35 to 65 on the fact that five successive generations of Endicotts percent casualties for the invading force and as many have defended America. Our family is grateful for the as two million or more for the Japanese, civilian as well sacrifices of our military then and now. as military. In the year 2000, a WWII buddy and I made a cross-country trip in a vintage military jeep to create Continued on page 12
Disney gets one right
A review of National Treasure, now available on DVD by Booker T. Stallworth
© 2004 Buena Vista Pictures Distribution. All Rights Reserved.
n recent years, Disney has become synonymous with political correctness and a reliance on multiculturalism, mysticism and anti-Christian themes. Its support for liberal lifestyles and production of antiCatholic films have even led to boycotts. Then comes National Treasure, the popular Disney historical adventure flick, which was released in 2004 and recently became available on DVD. Like Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ, National Treasure hit theatres amidst almost universally bad reviews from the Hollywood establishment and critics, yet both films proved to be major winners at the box office. National Treasure tells the story of Benjamin Franklin Gates (played by Nicolas Cage), who descends from a family of treasure hunters and historians, who’ve all searched far and wide for an immense treasure that was hidden by the Founding Fathers after the Revolutionary War. While clearly the protagonist, Gates is not the central hero of the film. Through his love of history and liberty, National Treasure’s true heroes are revealed to be America’s Founding Fathers. Our national monuments, sacred documents and historical creeds play as central a role as any person in the picture. National Treasure is a proudly patriotic movie. While Gates and his colleagues search for a literal treasure of gold, diamonds, historical documents and rare artifacts, the film makes it clear that our real “national treasure” is the legacy of liberty left to us by our nation’s founders. “A toast, yeah,” Gates declares. “A toast to High Treason. That’s what these men were committing
writer Jim Kouf confirmed this when he told National Geographic: “I hope it gets people interested in the past. After seeing the movie, my daughter grabbed a copy of the Declaration of Independence and brought it to school with her. That was very exciting.” In addition to its surprisingly patriotic themes, National Treasure is the perfect film to watch with young children. The violence is minimal and there are none of the typical unnecessary sexual innuendos that are common in so-called family-oriented, PG-rated films. In fact, the male and female leads find their main attraction to one another in their shared love of history. There is one brief “kiss for good luck” and charming moments in which a general fondness and trust is apparent, but no further signs of romance until the final scene of the movie, where, presumably, the two have wed. The DVD itself is a treat, especially for younger viewers. While it may seem a little thin on extras at first, a little treasure hunt of your own will reveal numerous additional “hidden” features. Clues from the movie are used to access additional bonus features. These codes are fun, and most children will be able to figure them out on their own. The featurettes are educational documentaries on everything from the history of the Knights Templar and the First Crusade to the various secret codes used throughout history. There is also a fascinating section on the history of real life treasure hunters. National Treasure is one of the films in which Hollywood got it right. There is a lesson in it for everyone, young and old.
when they signed the Declaration. Had we lost the war, they would have been hanged, beheaded, drawn and quartered and oh, oh, my personal favorite, had their entrails cut out and burned! So, here’s to men who did what was considered wrong, in order to do what they knew was right.” At one point in the film, Benjamin Gates reads from the Declaration: “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” The character follows by stating, “It means if there is something wrong, those who have the ability to take action, have Director: Jon Turteltaub the responsibility to take action.” Writer: Jim Kouf, Cormac That is a lesson we at EFF always take Wibberley, Marianne Wibberley to heart. Stars: Nicolas Cage, Diane Like many recent historical films, Kruger, Justin Bartha, Sean especially those aimed at a mass Bean, Jon Voight, Harvey Keitel, audience, National Treasure is a mix of Christopher Plummer real history and the fanciful. The film shows a treasure map on the back of the Genre: Action, Adventure Declaration of Independence. However, Length: 130 minutes even the film’s derivation from true Cinema: 24 December 2004 history is compensated for by its DVD: 25 April 2005 original ending, where it is made clear that the writers’ intent for these fictitious moments is to build interest and love of American history in children. Co-
A PUBLICATION OF THE EVERGREEN FREEDOM FOUNDATION
LAUNCHES A NEW WEBSITE… BECAUSE FREEDOM MATTERS!
FF has recently revamped its website, www.effwa.org, with a series of design and functionality changes intended to give Washington state internet users an opportunity to stay informed and get active with just the click of a mouse. We are continuously working on ways to make the website more effective, especially in terms of the citizens’ action network. The new EFF website is designed to better connect people with all the research and information they need to be an informed and active citizenry.
The re-launch includes a new interface, which stresses our new colors and torch logo, as well as our overall them: “… because freedom matters!”
An interactive web calendar, which will allow users to view EFF events, as well as register for EFF lunches and conferences.
It also includes several new features and enhanced functionality, including a detailed data-based structure. This means that information is sorted by topic, project, publication-type and date, and can be easily located. The site makes better use of interactive forms, polls, streaming video and audio, and various other options.
EFF’s new website also allows individuals to make online donations, sign up for updates, download and view photos from our photo library, read news updates on EFF’s work, and much more.
Freedom Poll, which allows us to survey vistors to our website on current hot topics.
A Cartoon Archive.
In the days to come, EFF will also be launching: • A multi-media center with sound and video archives. • The Education Reform Center’s online resource center • A collaborative web log or “blog,” Washingtonfreedomblog.com, which will allow EFF staff and other coalition members to post regular comments online and receive responses from citizens. • A Citizen Action Network Resource Center that will allow volunteers to easily download meeting times, flyer templates, talking points, and other tools useful to citizen activism. We will continue to look for ways to improve the quality and usefulness of EFF’s website. Our goal is to make the website as informative and userfriendly as possible. If you have a suggestion on how we can improve the website, please let us know. Email your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Choose Your Medicine: An on-line consumerdirected healthcare information bank.
Elections on Trial
Observations of the election contest in Chelan County
by Bob Williams
he governor’s election challenge trial captivated the state’s attention and provided remarkable insights into how flawed the election system is. It featured thousands of documents and hours of testimony describing the negligence and mismanagement that occurred in the 2004 election. Chelan County Superior Court Judge John Bridges, who presided over Dino Rossi’s election challenge trial, ruled decisively against the Rossi position, but only because he felt constrained by existing state law. His ruling, for all intents and purposes, makes a successful election contest impossible. Bridges did not rule that Gregoire was the duly elected Governor, because she got the most votes in the election, but because the Republicans were unable to prove how the 1,678 illegal voters voted! The total of the illegal and uncounted votes is more than 13 times the margin of victory in this election. While Bridges ruled against Rossi, he also said a mouthful about the conduct of the election itself: This court is not in a position to fix the deficiencies in the election process that we heard about in this courtroom over the past nine days. However, the voters of this state are in a position to demand of their executive and legislative bodies that remedial measures be instituted immediately. He ripped into the culture of the King County election office, re-enforcing the attitudes that so many people have about government anyway. Almost anyone who works in state or local government knows exactly what this culture is. It’s
inertia. It’s selfishness. It’s taking our paycheck but not doing the work. It’s not caring about either our fellow workers or the public we are supposed to serve. It’s not taking responsibility. It’s refusing to be held accountable. And so it is the voters who should send the message. [emphasis added] The trial revealed two root problems affecting the integrity of the elections and the slow progress in cleaning up the mess. 1. Elections are not considered a core function of government—either by the elected officials who fund elections or by the election officials who are charged with implementing the laws. 2. The “culture problem” is serious. Election officials defend each other in a “circle the wagons” mentality. County auditors and the Secretary of State say that we have an “honor system” for elections and that everyone is working very hard. This type of mentality glosses over serious election problems, including the possibility of fraud, by saying that any problems uncovered are just innocent mistakes. How many speeding tickets would the state patrol issue if they said we were on an honor system not to speed? And how many more serious accidents would occur because they failed to enforce the law? Evidence at the trial proved that King County could not, and still has not, reconciled its ballot count. There was no audit trail of how many absentee ballots were printed, issued or returned. There were 875 more votes than people who voted in King County and 785 provisional ballots were improperly fed into the Accuvote machines prior to verification.
Judge Bridges and the rest of us were treated to the spectacle of King County elections official Nicole Way testifying that she warned her bosses in the spring of 2004 that the new software system wasn’t up to the task. Nothing was done. She testified that she and her immediate superior, Garth Fell, essentially made up the absentee ballot reconciliation sheet given to the canvassing board by elections supervisor Bill Huennekens. We saw both Bill Huennekens and Dean Logan, the supervisors of King County elections, testify with apparent indifference to the problems that county experienced. Finally, we watched as Nick Handy, the state’s director of elections in the Secretary of State’s office, demonstrated a total ignorance of election law and proper procedures. It was an embarrassing performance all around, frequently leaving Judge Bridges shaking his head and no doubt inspiring his comments during his ruling. He found 1,678 illegal votes, but ruled Republicans failed to show how those people voted or that it changed the election outcome—a standard impossible to meet under state law because of ballot secrecy requirements. The judge also rejected the “proportional deduction” method that was presented in court, because he felt it was not generally accepted in the scientific community. He only gave weight to illegal votes where there was direct testimony from the voter, a difficult standard to meet when the voter is a felon. The key issue in the trial was whether the vast number of mistakes and the counting of illegal votes were inadvertent and unavoidable errors by elections workers (Democrat position) or a sign of official misconduct and/or fraud (Republican position). It is difficult to tell where the mismanagement and errors in King County end and actual fraud begins. Whether fraud or negligence, however, the trial showed that our election system will not be fixed by the judiciary. Government officials have shirked their responsibilities, and the people will have to be the ones to hold them accountable. Judge Bridges also sounded an alarm about the move to vote by mail. Bridges said, “Extraordinary efforts are in place to make it easier to vote. But unfortunately I fear that it will be much more difficult to account for those voters in the future.” We want to assure our members that EFF will take Judge Bridges comments seriously and we will demand that our executive and legislative bodies take remedial measures. The EFF Voter Integrity Project (VIP) is committed to restoring the integrity of the election process.
Local business takes on the Department of Revenue and wins by Stephen Smith
oday, more than ever, it is imperative that we take note of Patrick Henry’s wisdom and heed his advice to “guard with jealous attention the public liberty [and] suspect every one who approaches that jewel.” Without watching our government officials with tireless eyes, we will unknowingly relinquish our freedom and liberty. Thomas Jefferson said it well: “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” Though Americans have been quick to resist a clear seizure of their rights, they have unfortunately allowed their liberties to be systematically confiscated. Perhaps we can learn from the example set by a corporation in Bellingham, Washington. This corporation has closely watched the Department of Revenue (DOR) and caught some costly errors committed by this government agency. Furthermore, they fought for justice by appealing the DOR assessment.
In April 2003, Pacific Helicopter Leasing, Inc. of Bellingham, WA, was cited by DOR for deferring sales tax and using its equipment for purposes other than leasing. Company officials appealed the assessment on the grounds that they had purchased the equipment specifically to lease it, that it was only operated under a valid lease, and that sales tax was in fact collected and sent to DOR. Pacific Helicopter Leasing, Inc. also claimed that the assessment documents contained the wrong corporation name, an inaccurate price for the equipment in question, and an inaccurate purchase date. Further, DOR used the wrong tax rate. An administrative law judge cancelled the assessment when these assertions were established as fact. Justice came at a high price. The appeals process was finally completed in April 2005. Countless hours of
DOR staff time as well as thousands of taxpayer dollars were wasted because of a job poorly done. Additionally, Pacific Helicopter Leasing, Inc. decided to relocate to another state. Such willful or inadvertent errors are a cause of government growth and free-market frustrations. When bureaucrats look at their records and see that a significant amount of money is used for litigation, they believe more money is needed to fight the inevitable appeals and choose to increase taxes. However, the incident involving Pacific Helicopter Leasing, Inc. is just one example of a frequent problem. If we do not closely watch the actions of the government and keep it accountable, costly errors will force bureaucracy to grow. The unavoidable outcome is the loss of the very freedom our founding fathers designed government to protect.
A PUBLICATION OF THE EVERGREEN FREEDOM FOUNDATION
Is Convenience Enough?
The trend toward complete vote-by-mail by Jonathan Bechtle
bsentee voting has skyrocketed in popularity in recent yearsk and is about to get a lot more popular in several Washington counties. In fact, it’s about to become mandatory. During the 2005 legislative session lawmakers passed a bill allowing counties to voluntarily switch to voteby-mail, and twenty-five counties have made or are discussing making the switch. Proponents of the system cite numerous benefits and say there is little added risk. Among the benefits they claim are better security, cost savings, increased voter turnout, and convenience to election officials. Secretary of State Sam Reed has stated, “[Vote-by-mail is] going to simplify the process considerably and help avoid some of the mistakes we saw made during the gubernatorial election.” If these benefits are genuine, we should accept the change with open arms. Such an historic change, however, deserves thorough consideration. Questions must be asked about the supposed benefits of vote-bymail that many officials take for granted. 1. Does vote-by-mail increase the security of the ballot? No. Unlike the polls, where election workers are present, mail ballots are out of the state’s control during the actual voting process. This creates an opportunity for mail tampering, intimidation of voters (even by family members), and ballot buying. The openness of mail ballots to fraud was shown in recent elections in the United Kingdom, where six officials were found guilty of the crime. The charges reveal that officials capitalized on the mail ballot system to steal the election. Among other things, they are alleged to have sent children to steal ballots from postal boxes, using bribes and death threats to obtain ballots from police officers, slipping a mail bag full of ballots into the count at the last minute, and standing on street corners offering money to people for their ballots. At the conclusion of the hearing, the presiding judge concluded: “Postal ballots are sent out by ordinary mail in clearly identifiable envelopes. Short of writing ‘STEAL ME’ on the envelopes, it is hard to see what more could be done to ensure their coming into the wrong hands.” 2. Does vote-by-mail reduce the cost of the election process? No. Melody Rose, an Oregon State University professor who has extensively researched Oregon’s vote-by-mail system, says that “as for the often touted savings, we have no evidence [the system] saves money —that largely depends on how costs are defined.” The county elections office itself may save, but citizens are forced to cover the ever increasing cost of postage. Also, the county is required to send ballots to every registered voter, many of which are never returned. 3. Does vote-by-mail increase voter turnout? No. This issue has been extensively researched and discredited. The use of absentee ballots does not appear to raise voter participation. It appears that at best it boosts turnout of the people who are likely to vote anyway, even if they had to use a polling place. 4. Is vote-by-mail legal? Currently no court has found the system to be illegal, but legal challenges have been made. Oregon’s voting law was challenged in 2000 on grounds that it violated the Federal Constitution’s Article II requirement that “Congress may determine the Time of choosing the electors, and the Day on which they shall give their votes, which day shall be the same throughout the United States.” Congress codified this provision in 1872 by requiring that elections be held on the same day. The federal district and appeals courts ruled for the state, but they agreed that the legal arguments against absentee ballots were sound. The decision was made primarily because ruling against the state would endanger the entire system of absentee ballots, and the courts were
not willing to go that far. The Supreme Court has not taken up the issue. In Washington state, Article VI, Section 8 of the constitution requires elections to be held “on the Tuesday succeeding the first Monday in November.” County and state election officials, however, have not shown much awareness of this provision. 5. Is vote-by-mail more convenient for election officials? Yes, it probably is. The question that should be asked, however, is whether convenience should take priority over security. Besides the errors it allows, does making convenience the priority cheapen the voting process? Voting in the traditional fashion, gathering as a community, reminds us of our civic duty. As Professor Rose notes, children see their parents come out of a mysterious booth with an “I Voted Today” sticker, and eagerly await their own chance to cast a ballot. Vote-by-mail reduces this proud tradition to finding a ballot among the daily credit card offers, then filling it out during a commercial break in the latest episode of American Idol. Vote-by-mail inherently covers up election problems. Voters will never know the extent of these problems because of the lack of visibility of vote-by-mail as opposed to voting at the polls, where party and citizen observers can be present. Recommendations: Vote-by-mail, even if seemingly inevitable, should be carefully analyzed by citizens and county auditors before a commitment is made. Tight controls and redundant security may sufficiently reduce the opportunity for fraud, but complete vote-by-mail will never match the traditional system for accuracy, effectiveness, integrity, and good old-fashioned community spirit. Vote-by-mail should be reduced to a minimum instead of being expanded. We should require that mail ballots be allowed only for those who cannot vote at the poll on Election Day and application should be made each election cycle. If government officials insist on expanding vote-bymail, voters should insist on increased layers of security. Signature comparison by non-experts is notoriously inexact. Means should be devised to ensure that anyone assisting an invalid to vote should have a witness present to ensure that the ballot represents the voter’s choice and not the person assisting. Unique identification should be required, such as a voter’s secret registration number and a driver’s license number, or an Identicard number plus the last four digits of a person’s Social Security number. Strict accounting of returned ballots should be required, as well as a reconciliation report of absentee ballots applied for; absentee ballots mailed out; absentee ballots returned; the number of valid ballots; the number rejected; and the number of ballots unaccounted for. Concerned Washington citizens should contact their legislators and county auditors to oppose expansion of vote-by-mail and to insist on stricter standards for absentee balloting.
IN THEIR OWN
FOUNDING FATHERS “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” ~Benjamin Franklin “Nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people.” ~John Adams “When the government fears the people there is liberty; when the people fear the government there is tyranny.” ~Thomas Jefferson “Yes, we did produce a near-perfect republic. But will they keep it? Or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom? Material abundance without character is the path of destruction.” ~Thomas Jefferson “Liberty is to the collective body, what health is to every individual body. Without health no pleasure can be tasted by man; without liberty, no happiness can be enjoyed by society.” ~Thomas Jefferson “Since the general civilization of mankind, I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of freedoms of the people by gradual and silent encroachment of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” ~James Madison “Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.” ~George Washington —compiled by Stephen Smith
2005 ballot initiatives coming into focus by Jason Mercier
ith a July 8 deadline approaching for initiative signatures to be turned in to the Secretary of State, two medical malpractice insurance initiatives have already qualified for the 2005 ballot: I-330 and I-336. A performance audit initiative, I-900, is also within striking distance of qualifying, and gas tax foes remain hopeful that they will qualify their gas tax rollback measure, I-912. Battle lines are already forming in response and anticipation. Here’s a look at what supporters and opponents of the various initiatives are saying. I-900: Performance audits Tim Eyman’s I-900 (www.permanent-offense.org) hopes to untie the hands of the state auditor and authorize independent performance audits of both state and local government. Recent comments by the state auditor have added credibility to I-900’s efforts. Appearing on the June 2 edition of TVW’s Inside Olympia, hosted by David Ammons, State Auditor Brian Sonntag agreed with the criticisms offered by the Evergreen Freedom Foundation (EFF) and Eyman concerning the performance audit law passed by the legislature this session. The new performance audit law (HB 1064) allows an unelected political board to restrict the state auditor’s ability to conduct performance audits. The text of HB 1064 clearly states that the unelected board will “establish criteria for performance audits” as well as be jointly empowered with the state auditor to develop the methodology for the performance review and work plan. Here is a snippet from the TVW interview: David Ammons: “Tim Eyman, who has relied on the expert research of various interest groups, including the Evergreen Freedom Foundation which has done a lot of research, he believes that the legislation isn’t adequately funded, that it doesn’t apply to local government; and that it does not give you [state auditor] sole authority over performance audits; and that you have a shared relationship with a citizen advisory board, which he says that they run the show, not you, and that you are the elected official. What do you make of those comments and then, what do you think about his initiative [I-900], which he says takes care of the criticisms that I just ticked off?” Sonntag: “It does and certainly his work, and primarily that of Bob Williams and the Evergreen Freedom Foundation—they’re not wrong. Also, I have to say, this is the best piece of legislation [HB 1064] to come along and to get through that [legislative] process…. “ Ammons: “You agree with each of his criticisms of the legislation?” Sonntag: “I do. In fact, legislation that we offered, our draft legislation, didn’t have such an oversight board, didn’t have the restrictions as outlined, and so we would prefer that it didn’t.” No organized opposition to I-900 has surfaced, but an anti-Eyman website, Permanent Defense (www.permanentdefense.org), offers the following criticism of I-900: It’s clear that auditing every single government agency in the state—including local government—is a ridiculous idea. It’s a waste of money. The cost will simply outweigh any savings we get from doing it. Eyman’s failure to come up with a reasonable proposal is not a surprise. Tim has never been in favor of a serious and honest discussion about taxation and budgeting—he prefers lies and myths that will spur people to believe in his ideas, which brings him more money and attention.
I-912: Repealing gas tax increase In 2002, voters overwhelming rejected Referendum 51, a nine-cent state gas tax increase. In 2003, the legislature raised the gas tax by five cents anyway. This year, the legislature voted to raise the gas tax by another 9.5 cents per gallon. This means that by 2008 (full phase-in of gas tax increase), the total gas taxes in Washington will be 55.9 cents per gallon (including the 18.4 cents per gallon federal tax). I-912 was filed to repeal the recent 9.5 cent gas tax increase. Supporters of I-912 (www.nonewgastax.com) argue the 2005 legislative gas-tax needs to be repealed because: • •
It’s the LARGEST tax increase in Washington state history. It was passed at the last minute and without a vote of the people. The new gas tax, vehicle weight and license fees will cost families hundreds of dollars each year. And it won’t cut a single minute off the time you spend stuck in traffic. The new gas tax will give Washington the “honor” of having the HIGHEST gas tax in the nation. Taxes here are already high enough. Can we afford to pay more and get nothing in return?
Opponents of I-912 (www.washingtondefense.org) argue the gas tax is necessary because: • • • • •
Critical roadways need to be replaced. More transportation funding is desperately needed. Citizens shouldn’t override well thought out legislative decisions. The gas tax increase is an adjustment to keep up with inflation. Increased transportation funding will boost the economy.
I-912 opponents also highlight on their website that the sponsor of I-912, Jane Milhans, “is [a] 47-year old right-wing activist … is apparently also religious, and she was recently drawn into the public limelight when a Pierce County woman filed a complaint over Milhans’ vanity license plate, which reads JOHN 3-16.” What Milhans’ religion has to do with her effort to repeal the gas taxes enacted this session is not addressed, however, by I-912 opponents. I-330 and I-336: Medical malpractice insurance reform Two competing medical malpractice reform initiatives have already qualified for the ballot. I-330, sponsored by doctors, hopes to simplify the malpractice claims process and limit the amount of money attorneys can receive from jury verdicts. I-336, sponsored by trial lawyers, seeks to rein-in the ability of insurance companies to increase the rates they charge doctors for medical malpractice insurance and to provide transparency of a doctor’s malpractice claim history. I-330 (www.yesoni330.com) supporters argue their proposal will: • • • • • • • • •
Maximize patient recovery of damages. Fully compensate patient injury. Guarantee payments over time. Simplify the process. Make juries aware of other payments— prevents double payments. Require defendants to be accountable for their share of fault. Require notice prior to a claim. Attorney fees in vulnerable adult cases will be the same as in other health care litigation. Establish a specific period of time for filing suits.
Supporters of I-330 include: Association of Washington Business, National Federation of Independent Business, various hospitals and clinics, Washington Academy of Family Physicians, Washington Academy of Physician Assistants, Washington Health Care Forum, Washington State Hospital Association, Washington State Medical Association, and Washington State Medical Group Management Association. I-336 (www.bettersafercare.org) supporters argue their proposal: • Holds doctors accountable for preventable medical injuries that have resulted in three jury verdicts in 10 years. • Requires mandatory state investigation of doctors with three preventable medical injuries or death events and holds them accountable for those injuries. • Outlaws secrecy agreements on medical malpractice lawsuits. • Requires health care professionals to disclose all malpractice history to patients and families upon request. • Requires insurance companies to justify all major rate hikes and open their financial records to the public. • Links health care professionals’ insurance premiums to malpractice history. • Requires mandatory reporting of all medical malpractice payouts over $100,000 to the Department of Health. Supporters of I-336 include: Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, Washington State Labor Council, United Farm Workers (AFL-CIO), Washington State Labor Council, Washington ACORN, Washington Chapter National Organization of Women, NAACP of Washington State, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Community Coalition for Environmental Justice, Brain Injury Association of Washington, Mental Health Association of Washington, and Puget Sound Chapter of Legal Nurse Consultants. Supporters and opponents of the various initiatives are already hard at work trying to frame the debate, even though the 2005 election season will not kick off in earnest until September. As charges and countercharges are made, EFF will continue to follow the ballot measures and offer updates on our website if necessary. Detailed ballot analysis will be offered in our September newsletter.
Letter from Lynn Continued from page 3 . . . we must have a common national language to tie us together. America does have a cultural identity distinct from all others. Speaking English as our common language (to distinguish it from our native language) is part of this, and the left should quit apologizing for it. How can we be a peaceful society if we can’t talk and work with one another? How can each citizen have equal opportunity if the national and global language of commerce is not shared? Right now, this language is English. In America, it is both a practical and cultural consideration. And how can we protect America’s distinctiveness if whole groups of people think our First Principles don’t matter or are possibly dangerous for them? The answer to all these questions above is, we can’t. We must drown out the numbing drumbeat of division preached by the left. This can be done by practicing true patriotism. Patriotism is not mindless or spineless acceptance of certain politics and policies. It is understanding and protecting those principles that form the backbone of our country. Often that means rejecting particular partisans and their pet policies, in part or in whole. The Declaration of Independence is America’s truth. It is our purpose. And it is noble, worthy of protecting and celebrating. To celebrate Independence Day 2005 in America, I say, forget about celebrating diversity. Let’s celebrate unity! E Pluribus Unum.
A PUBLICATION OF THE EVERGREEN FREEDOM FOUNDATION
Declare Independence Continued from page 2 . . .
Freedom Still Matters Today by Lorie Wharton, Barbara Stuart and Julie Rich
n his famous speech to the Virginia House in 1775, Patrick Henry offered a stirring description of the value of liberty: “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” If life itself is not worth the price of chains and slavery, how much less so one’s employment? Unfortunately, this is the choice Washington state employees now face. The legislature passed a law and the unions negotiated contracts that force state workers to pay for union representation at the risk of losing their jobs. Starting July 1, 2005, more than 62,000 general government and higher education workers must pay or be fired. Union leaders and supportive elected officials predictably point out what they claim are the benefits of union representation—higher pay, better benefits, a voice in the legislature—but they completely miss the point. Most state employees are not opposed to union representation as long as it is an individual choice and not a forced obligation. Those of us who work for the state of Washington do so to provide a public service. Teachers, social workers and health professionals are not in it for the
money and we’re definitely not working for the state in order to contribute to the union’s bottom line. Forcing us to pay for a service we did not ask for is offensive and tyrannical, and inconsistent with the principles of liberty upon which our country was founded. State employees who refuse to pay for union representation face serious consequences. The union will request that our agency fire us, and the state is obligated to comply. This will create the risk of suspending essential state services while the state hires new, lessexperienced employees who will also be “good” union members. Qualified employees who are committed to their work should be able to keep their jobs on the basis of qualification and performance—not because they pay a portion of their salary to the union. This is a disservice to us employees and a disservice to the citizens of Washington. Two hundred twenty-nine years ago, 56 men signed the Declaration of Independence because they objected to forced taxation by a distant and nonresponsive government. Liberty is no less important today. Lorie Wharton, Barbara Stuart and Julie Rich are employees with the Department of Health.
Irresponsible budget practices I have followed the state budget since 1976, during which time I served as a legislator for ten years on the House Budget Committee. I’ve seen some startling and sometimes unexplainable things. But this legislative session and the budget they passed was the worst yet. The budget is economically unsustainable, a fact agreed to by Democrat budget writers and Governor Gregoire. Forecasted revenue was up 7 percent at the time the budget was adopted, but Democrat leaders wanted to increase spending by 12 percent. So they raised taxes, robbed dedicated funds, and underfunded pensions thereby setting up taxpayers for a major tax increase in 2007. On June 15, the state engaged in an Enron-like financial shell game. The new budget passed by the legislature is higher than the spending limit. That’s illegal. In order to make it legal, the legislature did three things. Note where each action begins and ends. 1. Appropriated $250 million from the general fund to the violence reduction and drug enforcement account. 2. Transfered $250 million from the violence reduction and drug enforcement account to the health services fund. 3. Transfered $250 million from the health services fund to the general fund. So, at the end of the day, all the fund balances were the same as they were at the beginning of the day, but the manner in which the funds were transferred pushed up the spending limit! Undermining the public’s right to know EFF has documented state agency violations of the public records act in the offices of the State Treasurer; Department of Commerce, Trade, and Economic Development (Boeing); and the Secretary of State.
Our state law on public records specifically states, “The people of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies that serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for them to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may maintain control over the instruments that they have created. The public records subdivision of this chapter shall be liberally construed and its exemptions narrowly construed to promote this public policy.” Eroding private property rights Elected officials are making more and more decisions about how property owners can use their land. Through zoning laws and regulations, property is taken without compensation. Some elected officials appear to ignore their oath of office and have little knowledge of the state constitution’s property protections. Solutions So, what kind of message should we send to our elected officials? We need to reclaim our government. Some elected officials need to be reminded that, in America, being a citizen is powerful. Our Founders gave us a federal and state constitution to protect our individual rights, and government is required to operate within its bounds. Article 1 is the declaration of rights. Before we the people give the legislature, governor or courts any power, we reserve our rights. Article 1, Section 1 states, “All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.” In Article 2, before we the people give any power to the legislature, we reserve the rights of initiative and referendum. The public records act is clear that the people are sovereign, and we do not yield our rights to government officials. We have the constitution and laws on our side. Missing is citizens demanding adherence. EFF is deeply involved in this battle to reclaim our freedom, and we will not give up. The stakes are too high. On this July 4th we ask you to: 1. Take some time to discuss with your family what freedom is and the price it requires. Make sure they understand the principles of the free market and personal responsibility—the principles of liberty. 2. Write letters to your legislators and insist they return to the ideals of personal liberty and free enterprise. 3. Write letters to your newspapers. Get your ideas out. 4. Get involved in your community and with other active citizens. 5. Tell your friends about EFF’s website: www.effwa.org We update it regularly with important information, policy research, and breaking news. Thank you for your support of EFF and your commitment to the principles of freedom. Let me leave you with the words of Winston Churchill: “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.”
of Home e the Brave TWO GENER ATIONS
A MERICAN HEROES
THEIR OWN WORDS
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 . . .
Major Cindy Medlin is a soldier and friend of EFF’s volunteer coordinator, Denise Brandt. She is actively involved in the rebuilding of Iraq, and she shared with us a little about herself and the current state of soldiers overseas.
am the Automation and Communication officer for the 42nd Military Police Brigade, deployed at Camp Victory near Baghdad International Airport (BIAP), Iraq. I joined the Army in 1986 after much encouragement and influence from my father, who thought that after growing up with a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer, I would do well in the military. He told me to go in as an officer, but I chose to go in enlisted to pay off my student loans. It was a good choice because, as a leader, I am able to understand more clearly the tasks that I ask my soldiers to accomplish, because I was once an enlisted soldier. I am from San Antonio, Texas. I have a BBA in Accounting and recently completed my Masters in Computer Information Systems. My husband and I have one son, Zachary, who will be nine in September. He was born in Germany while we were stationed there. He is our pride and joy. On a typical day here in Iraq, I start off with a 40- to 60-minute run at 5:45 a.m. My brigade lives in upgraded trailers with separate bathroom and shower facilities. I shower and go to work. I drive a “gator”—basically a souped-up golf cart—to work. On Monday and Wednesday, I travel with the military policeman (MPs) in a military
convoy and go to the Iraqi police stations. We are helping the Iraqi police transition their business procedures to include automated technologies. I usually return at about 1600 (4:00 pm) in time to prepare for our nightly update to the Brigade Commander. American citizens can make the lives of those serving better by appreciating us authentically. Encourage the media to show real stories and good news stories—not just bad news. There are young soldiers who chose to be here when they had other opportunities in the United States. We are a nation of heroes, but we are often taken for granted. We are away from our families and denied normal comforts. All soldiers, not just officers, should be paid more and given discounts at businesses and veteran privileges for employment. An employer should be proud to hire a soldier who has performed honorably. American companies can help soldiers with morale issues. We recently had to wait almost 60 days to let soldiers swim in a swimming pool because there was no “money” to pay for their recreation. We expect a lot out of these kids and they need to feel appreciated. Knowing that I am empowering young soldiers to be excellent and making a difference in the world has been the most rewarding aspect of my service to our country. Thank you for this opportunity to share with you and your readers.
VOLUME 15, Issue 7 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.
“Quote” of the month
Freedom is not merely the opportunity to do as one pleases; neither is it merely the opportunity to choose between set alternatives. Freedom is, first of all, the chance to formulate the available choices, to argue over them—and then, the opportunity to choose. – C. Wright Mills
Published on Sep 25, 2013