Unsure whether or not their 1st LD candidates can win on merit in what appears to be a very bad year for Democrats (or a very good year for Republicans if you're a glass-half-full kind of person), the Washington State Democratic Central Committee has chosen to instead muddy the waters with mail pieces intended to paint the Republican candidates, Dennis Richter (Pos. 1) and Heidi Munson (Pos. 2), with the extremist brush.
Should the State Legislature be overrun by these right wing extremists and their ilk, they will immediately put into effect a nefarious plan masterminded by Dennis Richter to "Abolish Social Security!" Once our seniors, deprived of their Social Security benefits, are sleeping under bridges and sharing Fido's Alpo, they'll move onto Phase Two of their wicked scheme...Did you have hopes and dreams for your children's education? Kiss those dreams good-bye, people! Under Heidi Munson's direction, the U.S. Department of Education will be dismantled, causing schools across the country to immediately collapse into rubble. Rubble, I say!
Sounds silly, doesn't it? But is it any sillier than bringing up issues that are clearly irrelevant to State governance concerning a phase-out of Social Security or cutting the federal Department of Education? Whether or not you agree with these positions, logic forces the honest person to acknowledge that Richter and Munson won't be in any position to act on them in the State Legislature.
Richter's other "offenses" include his preposterous idea that private businesses should be allowed to decide on their own which goods or services to offer based on consumer demand and an interesting proposal based on the Texas sunset model.
The Texas Sunset provision was established in 1977. Under Texas law, all agencies – except universities, courts, and agencies established by the Texas Constitution – will be abolished on a specific date, generally 12 years after creation or renewal, unless the Texas Legislature passes specific legislation to continue its functions.
A 12-member Sunset Advisory Commission oversees the provisions of the Texas Sunset Act. The commission consisting of five members of the Texas Senate and one member from the general public appointed by the Lieutenant Governor of Texas, and five members of the House and one member from the general public appointed by the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives. Legislative members are appointed for four-year terms, with half of the commission reappointed on or before September 1 of odd-numbered years, while public members serve two-year terms. The chairman and vice-chairman are appointed by the lieutenant governor and speaker, and the chairmanship alternates between the Senate and House every two years. The Commission is assisted by an executive director and staff, who review each agency subject to sunset provisions.
Under the process, each agency must perform for the commission a self-review of its roles and responsibilities, including areas in which its duties may overlap those of other agencies and the effect of the agency's abolition on loss of federal funding. The self-review must be completed by September 1 of the odd-numbered year before the year when the agency would be otherwise abolished. The commission must then complete its own review by the following January 1 and hold public hearings by the following February 1.
About 20 to 30 agencies go through the sunset process each legislative session. Constitutionally-established agencies are subject to review, but they cannot be abolished under the sunset provisions.
The commission may recommend that an agency be continued in its present form (nearly always with recommendations to the legislature for improvement), consolidated with another agency, or abolished, with its duties either eliminated or transferred to other agencies.
Maybe not coincidentally, Texas is currently one of the - if not the most - fiscally healthy states, making the WSDCC's contention that such provisions lead to excessive bureaucracy and "periods with no laws on the books" seem especially absurd.
As for Ms. Munson? You can't vote for her because...Rush! Yes, she's among the tens of millions totally non-mainstream people who make up Rush Limbaugh's listening audience. Not only that, she opposes expanding State government beyond its Constitutional limits. If that's not the crazy talking, tell me, what is?
So if it's muddy water the WSDCC is looking for, how about this? We've been inundated with mail pieces paid for by the Washington State Labor Council AFL-CIO in support of the Democrat candidates in L.D. 1. If they're elected, who will they answer to? The voters? Or the union bosses who purchased their seats for them?