In the July 2010 issue of Thurston County Democrat, Representative Sam Hunt authored an article titled, “2010 Ballot Measures: Two ‘Yes’ and Five ‘No’”. If you want to see a fine show of how out of touch he is with the middle class, just have a read. Hunt made us a nice, neat, list of his many hypocrisies.
Hunt starts with Initiative 1053, the two-thirds majority requirement for tax increases. Hunt starts out by sticking Tim Eyman with the Big Oil label. Didn’t Sam take money from the very same people? Sure, the names of the lobbyists are different, but they all represent BP, Shell, Texaco, and the rest of the Bubblin’ Crude Gang. He whines about how this policy gives “control of fiscal matters to the minority party.” Did it ever occur to Sam that if his party, the one that actually controls the Legislature, would come up with policies for the people instead of crying about how the minority party has too much control, that this law wouldn’t be a problem? Was Sam ignoring the cacophony of screaming voters when they passed this requirement the second time? When Sam talks about how, “our government was founded on the principle of majority rule,” did Hunt forget that the majority of the public is bigger than the majority in the Legislature? Out of touch with voters, criticizing his opponents for things he has done himself, this is what we mean when we describe the hypocrisy of Sam Hunt.
Next is Initiative 1098, the state income tax. Hunt and friends never call it that because even though they are as out of touch as they are, they still realize that the voters have rejected this silly idea over and over again and won’t accept it on its face. They keep trotting out the name of Bill Gates Sr. like we’re supposed to be impressed and follow the shepherd and empty our pockets like good livestock should. The funny thing is, in the next sentence Hunt tries to sell us the initiative on the idea that businesses will be given a tax cut. Isn’t he always complaining about how regressive our tax system is? Then he tries to sell us the idea that voters will always get a say in how much we are taxed. He just got done telling us in the spiel about I-1053 that he “had” to vote to suspend the initiative, and now we’re supposed to believe Hunt and his friends will just leave well enough alone and not raise taxes again? What does he care, now that he’s double-dipping as a lawmaker working for the state while he collects a sweet PERS pension? This is what we mean when we say a lack of consideration for constituents, and again this is what we mean when we describe the hypocrisy of Sam Hunt.
Next is Initiative 1100 and 1105, the bills to give the people back the liquor business. Hunt says, “The initiatives would eliminate family wage jobs currently held by liquor store employees while providing no guarantee that the private sector would adequately prevent liquor store sales to minors.” Does Hunt suggest he has never heard of the work of Stacy Cutlip and his team of young enforcers who regularly run sting operations to ensure private businesses aren’t selling to minors already? Does he suggest that they are not professional enough to handle the same mission post-initiative? If Hunt is so concerned about family-wage jobs, then why is he constantly voting to raise taxes? The answer is clear. For Sam Hunt, it’s about the money he won’t get to help spend. Hurting family-wage jobs doesn’t matter when it’s time to raise taxes or dish out furloughs and layoffs, but when Hunt’s legislative fiefdom is threatened, it’s all about the “family-wage jobs”. This is what we mean when we describe the hypocrisy of Sam Hunt.
Finally, we have Referendum 52. This referendum is an example of Sam Hunt’s primary modus operandi: using our schools as an excuse to guilt the voters into coughing up more money for Hunt’s legislative fiefdom. Another calling card of a Sam Hunt shenanigan is when the money goes not to educators, but to developers, the group most likely to profit from this bill. Yet worse is that it is not just a tax; it’s a bond measure. We will borrow this money and pay interest on it, and given the Legislature’s record on handling such funds, the voters can be assured they will not get what they paid for again. “For a state with a devastated job picture,” as Hunt says, it makes sense to him to borrow money on the backs of the working class to fund a program based on the model of a failed stimulus program. When I said this bill isn’t just a tax, I wasn’t kidding either. Hunt favors taxing water in order to finance his borrowing on our backs. The size of this “energy-efficiency” scam must make Stew Henderson envious in its magnitude. When you hear that we’re going to create jobs for a devastated job market by borrowing even more money we can’t pay back on the backs of the people in that devastated job market, you know you have encountered the hypocrisy of Sam Hunt.
As a voter, do you like it when lawmakers vote to suspend the laws you’ve enacted? Do you think giving tax breaks to businesses while workers get an income tax will make our system less regressive? Does it make sense when you hear your representative criticize his opponents for receiving support from people who also contributed to his own campaign? For all the money we pay in taxes, do you see your children getting a better education than we did? If we vote for the same person over and over again, we can’t expect different results. If we do as we’ve always done, we can expect more of the same. It’s time to vote against the hypocrisy of Sam Hunt.