Griffey v. Haigh – 35th District

Last Minute Candidate Shopping:

Dan Griffey (35th Dist.)

Kathy Haigh (35th Dist.)

Much can be gleaned from the video clip of these 2 candidates posted elsewhere on this blog presenting their positions at a candidates forum held 10-16-12 @ Shelton’s Oakland Bay Jr. High School. In that forum (and responding to a post forum question on the issue) Rep. Kathy Haigh made it clear she was adamantly opposed to a super-majority (2/3rds) as a precursor to any new/increased taxes. She also made it clear, despite her campaign literature promising to be part of leadership that LISTENS, she would emasculate citizen initiatives repeatedly (7x) mandating the super-majority as soon as the law allowed (2 years after passage).  The voters have consistently expressed their support of the super-majority requirement. Haigh has as consistently expressed her opposition. Perhaps all legislators, before being allowed to vote on any tax increases, should be required to attend a tax auction sale where people’s homes are foreclosed by the government for failure/inability to pay back property taxes?–a sobering experience.

A recently received flyer extols (in the opinion of the Daily Olympian) the incumbent, Kathy Haigh,  at the expense of challenger Dan Griffey. Many (if not most) ballots may have already been mailed. This article is posted because Mr. Griffey really has not been afforded a meaningful opportunity to respond to some of the unfair/untrue allegations contained therein.

I.)  Yes, Kathy Haigh is a moderate old school Democrat who has worked across the aisle to reach the necessary majority to pass various laws during her years as 35th District State Representative.

But being ‘equipped’ to meet her constituents’ needs isn’t the same as meeting them. e.g. Her dismissal of her constituents often expressed desire for a 2/3rds super-majority as a precursor to tax increase legislation…an expressed desire to the tune of 70% of the voters according to polls and the results of 7 Initiatives on this very subject. When asked, after the forum, if her objections based on the argument that such a super-majority allowed a minority to hold the rest ‘hostage’ didn’t fly in the face of a 3/4ths majority of States being required to ratify a change to the U.S. Constitution, a 2/3rds majority of the legislature to modify the State Constitution, a 12 vote unanimous jury verdict in criminal trials, and a 9 vote jury verdict in civil trials, Kathy continued to opine a simple majority was best for tax legislation even in the face of overwhelming public/constituent opposition.

Mr. Griffey may have had no elected office experience, but as Justin Stang (a write in candidate) once said, neither did Abraham Lincoln. Or, as Dan Griffey observed, George Washington. Come to think of it, neither had Kathy Haigh when she was first elected in the 35th to her current office. Griffey recounts his ‘auditing’ (sitting in) the legislature the past 2 years tracking various bills to learn the details of State government at the legislative level. He is an avid reader of American history.

If Griffey ‘gushes’ (Daily Olympian) the Republican Party Line, Haigh gushes the Democratic one. And while such criticism might be expected from a ‘liberal rag’, the Kitsap Sun endorsed Griffey. Haigh was clueless when she voted for legislation that greased the skids for the likes of Adage and may allow coal trains to swamp Washington and the climate. She’s hardly the greener of the 2 candidates, though she acknowledged once receiving letters at her office opposed to Adage by a margin of “100:1”.

Kathy may ‘understand’ her district well and is undeniably charming in person. But she has developed a habit of too often following a different drummer from that of her constituents.

II.) While Kathy Haigh claims to have led by example in cutting her own pay during extended house sessions including reimbursement for meals & housing, she gladly claimed $850/mo. for her home office in the neighboring County of Mason, only 20 miles from Olympia…in session and out. Haigh has often argued, when confronted with her legislative record, she is but ONE vote. Griffey aptly points out that his job as an elected Representative will be to establish a coalition of like minded legislators. Hence, the lack of specific budget details derided by the Olympian displays an efficiency of planning based on the need to remain sufficiently flexible to achieve consensus with the coalition Griffey envisions.

Griffey goes on to observe the State is expected to have an increase of 7%, or 2 Billion$, in GDP. He argues if current spending can simply be restricted to what exists, the increased revenue will balance the State’s budget. Dan Griffey also promises he will refuse per diem reimbursements during legislative sessions, reasoning no other workers are allowed expenses for commuting to work…something with which many Mason County residents working in Olympia are familiar.

Griffey recalled the following quote: “The power to tax is the power to destroy.” -T. Jefferson-

Perhaps the old aphorism holds true in this instance: “Liberals are those who are fond of people in general, just not in the particular.”

III.) Haigh claims she stood up against insurance companies and argues your relationship with your doctor shouldn’t be dictated by politicians in Olympia–a logical conclusion for a veterinarian.

Griffey categorically denies the unfounded assertions in Haigh’s campaign literature he opposes basic health services like maternity care and breast cancer screenings. Moreover, he favors more competition beyond the current 3 major health care providers by encouraging others to set up shop  in the State in order to promote more choices with better rates for patients. As a professional firefighter, Griffey is committed to not only extinguishing blazes in the community, but providing for the welfare of its residents.

IV.) Kathy Haigh’s record as a firm proponent of State supported basic education is undeniable. She favors fully funded all-day kindergarten. She claims to have ‘reformed’ State education and raised standards. But Griffey categorically denies the Olympian’s assertion he seeks to eliminate all-day kindergarten or that he favors diverting million$ from State public schools. In fact, he favors all-day kindergarten, but wants parents to retain the legal option of partial-day kindergarten.

Griffey cites a Haigh quote expressing the opinion education starts at birth. But he eyes such pronouncements with suspicion if they imply the State should, by artifice or design, usurp parental responsibility for the same. He also notes how only $0.48 of every State dollar designated for basic education is actually spent on the pupils.

Dan Griffey does not favor R-1240 (charter schools) because it is too fettered with government controls, basically a duplication, in all but name only, of our existing public education infrastructure on a parallel track–something for which many parents have sought an alternative. Griffey believes the Referendum does not represent a true alternative. It would also dilute already scarce State funds for basic education.

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