In a new piece of writing about last year's county-wide electrical service contest, John D. Pearce, former chair Thurston Public Power Initiative Chair argues the electrical system would better be held in public trust for the benefit of the common wealth, rather than held privately by a corporate monopoly.
Did you know that PSE broke the record 5x over for spending in a Thurston County-wide election? PSE quintupled the previous high-spending mark. What do you think?
PSE’s campaign has distinguished itself, not only for the sheer brazenness of its misinformation, but also by its unprecedented spending.
Prior to this campaign, the most expensive ever run in Thurston County was Kevin O’Sullivan’s failed bid for a County Commission seat. He spent around $110,000. PSE’s front group, the Alliance to Protect Thurston Power (APTP), will have spent more than five times that amount be election day.
PSE itself has provided the bulk of that money, with smaller amounts donated by other for-profit utilities in the state, and an affiliated business group.
Not one dollar has been contributed by a human being, and not one dollar has come from any person or group in Thurston County.
Voters must ask themselves: Is our democracy for sale? Can we afford to allow any corporation to have this much influence on our local political system?
A Grays Harbor PUD Commissioner back in the 1950′s was interviewed about the effects of bringing public power to that county. His answer surprised the interviewer. He didn’t cite lower rates or better service or local control as the biggest effect. He said the most important effect was “getting those S.O.B.s out of our local politics,” so they could no longer buy city councils, county commissioners or local legislators.
Did you know that Public Utility District customers in 22 counties across the State of Washington enjoy lower rates and more reliable electrical service? Vote Yes for Thurston County Proposition 1 so TC PUD #1 can provide electrical service. Yay!
Please check out this video with Tom Casey, Grays Harbor County PUD Commissioner, information includes background on the battle between public and private electrical in Washington State. Be informed. Want to pay into an electrical company to pad shareholder profits and million dollar executive salaries (who are rewarded for cutting costs by laying off workers,) or want a company where the bottom line is service and stewardship? ...You Decide!
If you support public power, local control, and what stands to be a better way for labor and environment, as well as more affordable rates to benefit customers (both residential and commercial/industrial) then please spread the word. In the face of hundreds of thousands of PSE dollars and a daily newspaper that is gung-ho to support special private corporate interests, the best bet to win may be through generating a popular buzz amongst the grass roots. So please, do what you can to spread the word far and wide—to the far reaches of the County Electorate.
In case you haven't already heard, the Thurston Public Power Initiative is on the ballot. Over 15,000 signatures were gathered and the campaign handily blew by the necessary 10,734 mark to qualify for the ballot. It was the first ever county-wide petition for a ballot initiative. You can find more information about the campaign on the website: http://www.thurstonpublicpower.org/. There's also a Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/ThurstonPublicPower.
We're throwing a party for Thurston County, to celebrate the launch of the campaign, everyone's invited. Details for that below.
The Initiative is up against formidable opposition, and can definitely use your support. Please vote YES for Public Power, tell your friends and family. Authorize the Public Utility District (PUD) to go into electricity. Thank you, and cheers!
It's Party Time!
Thursday August 9 - A party for all of Thurston County - Thank You! Thurston County Voters for your effort to collect signatures, as well as other supporters of the Public Power Initiative. Those of you who want to know what the BUZZ is all about, please attend! Desserts and Drink will be provided. Dessert potluck, bring your favorite dessert if you want to show off a little :-)
What: Official Launch of Electoral Campaign for PUD Party!
The biennial and quadrennial debate between those described (usually by the other side) as idealists vs. those who consider themselves far more practical about our political system is happening again, maybe with more ferocity than ever before. From tea partiers to disillusioned democrats, whether one should vote for the forecasted winner, despite their sometimes considerable liabilities, in order to further the power of a particular party, is weighing heavy on many peoples minds.
Denny Heck, the winning Democratic candidate in the 3rd District Primary, scored 32% or 44,700 votes, out of 139,000 votes cast. When adding the Republican vote totals (R candidates- 73,700) and comparing it to the votes cast for Democrats (Heck and Crist -60,700) it is clear that candidate Heck has clearly not resonated with voters in the 3rd District. If Mr. Heck wants to win this tough race, he needs to inspire the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. He has not done that to date, as evidenced by Cheryl Crist's strong showing (30% of Denny's vote with 3% of Denny's money.
A good start could be to say he would vote only to bring our troops home, and spend not one cent for continued foreign wars.
29 July 2010—This is the Diversity and Equity Center at SPSCC (South Puget Sound Community College.) I was at the student union building on campus to deliver the August issue of WIP (Works in Progress.) As always, the WIP welcomes submissions from from community members, please send your letters to the editor, and if you have ideas for feature articles, contact the editor to check in and see if there might be space in the paper. firstname.lastname@example.org
[updated with segment from Democracy Now! and an additional comment.]
Regarding the discussion about Capitol Lake, it seems to me that the lake is unnatural and environmentally destructive. It seems to make sense that the correct way forward - the way that it ecologically correct (and therefore in the long-run also economically correct and socially just) - is to restore function to the natural estuarine ecosystem.
I think it's understandable, considering how industrialization has divorced us, as a society, from the natural world, how it would be difficult to imagine living - to imagine life - in an environment that comes complete within healthy ecosystems, to imagine life in a stable and productive ecosystem, an ecosystem that is teeming with life. It's a real contradiction with our present reality of ecological disease; at one time this area teemed with wildlife. For my part, I believe that to restore ecological health, vibrancy and vitality is an ideal to strive for.
Democracy Now! video below]
The following is a three part video series containing a speech by Mari Margil about law, environmental protection and regulation, and corporate power. After the videos there is an excerpt from and a link to a related article by Mari Margil from Yes! Magazine.
Video Description: The associate director of the Community Environmental Defense Fund (CELDF) describes the inspiring, groundbreaking work she and CELDF are doing to recognize Rights of Nature in law in both the U.S. and Ecuador, which recently became the worlds first nation to enshrine such rights in its constitution.
Mari Margil Part 1 (of 3)
So the campaign to replace Brian Baird and represent us in the 3rd District has begun in, well, earnest.
We already have our first possible criminal violation when the Governor pimped for Mr. Heck and leaned on contributors, during a legislative session, to lend a hand to Denny.
We have campaign websites up (boy, what did we poor uninformed constituents do before campaign websites?) which inform us not at all and seem to be merely a digital conduit for money transfers. When looking at Mr. Heck’s website tonight I could find ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about how he feels about any issue. In fact there nothing on there about why he wants to represent us – save for his 20 yr old elective service and his savvy investing.
I think what’s most troubling about this process is that the standard that many (i.e., Governor, Thurston County Democrats, prognosticators, etc) apparently hold when determining who to support is not at all who will be the best for the community, will serve with integrity and has a strong record of (current) commitment and involvement on at least some of the complex issues of our time. No, the standard is simply who is likely to win. And even there that assessment is made using antiquated, and failed, notions of what makes a winning candidate.
Here’s a quaint idea: how about we have a real debate, hold the candidates responsible to tell us how they feel about certain issues and would likely vote (at least on issues we know are already on the congressional table), and have them tell us WHY they want to represent us BEFORE endorsements.