A Chance to Stop Further Damage – Rejecting establishment candidates.
We can hardly keep up with reporting on the corruption and incompetence in Clark County’s Government. Our list of candidate topics is still longer than our capacity to handle. It’s really that bad. Click ‘Clark County‘ above and scroll through article after article about the brazen, self-serving behavior from this government-knows-best crowd and culture.
As in all human societies, those in charge almost always form their ‘special friends’ club and start believing they’re smarter that the rest of us. Those who seek political office are often driven more by their ego and desire for notice and power than any ability or interest to deliver good government for citizens. Many citizens who have reasons to socialize or work with those in charge give them deference and power. They become the groupies who defend the way things are, despite the obvious problems. This is all normal and usually accepted and endured by citizens.
In Clark County we have such an establishment. We’ll call it the legacy establishment, since it’s slowly being destabilized and broken up. It’s arrogant and righteous. It doesn’t like being challenged. It will protect itself and its power. It has well-established advocates such as the nearly bankrupt (again) old media (the Columbian). Even entities like the Vancouver Chamber of Commerce and Vancouver Business Journal are unquestioning to the obvious corruption and incompetence—as was demonstrated in spades during the takedown of the Columbia River Crossing (CRC) boondoggle. Again, fairly typical in human social groups, to a point.
Clark County’s problem is arguably worse than most other counties around the United States. However this situation in our county provides useful insight into politicians. Because of the unambiguous problem with the legacy establishment and how notorious they are, it is not hard to see where politicians stand in their resolve and ability to either (1) help stop the mess, (2) quietly let it continue with minor pushback, or worse, (3) become a facilitator. We grant that it’s a rare politician who knows how to fight such a legacy establishment and still get elected. Even if a politician tells us privately they know there’s a problem, they understandably want to avoid poking the beast with a stick—especially in an election year. Our main area of interest is to identify the politicians who overtly court and collaborate with this legacy Clark County establishment. This brings us to the two open County Council seats.
The history with Clark County government in the last few years has been unfortunate for responsible government citizens:
- The County charter passed in 2014, replacing the prior county government structure.
- Marc Boldt was elected County council chair through some luck and candidate filing sabotage by Jeannie Stewart.
- Julie Olson promoted herself as an independent conservative, which hasn’t been the case at all.
- Jeanne Stewart lost her prior independence and was fully pulled into the establishment’s web of deceit.
- Big government bureaucrats at the county quickly took advantage of the reinvigorated opportunity to rebuild power and control.
These events left those who want honest government with an uphill battle to stop the damage and set a beachhead for first stopping and eventually reversing this mess. Well we have such an opportunity this year.
Two County Council seats are on the ballot for a vote in the August primary and general election in November. They are councilor districts #3 and #4, currently held by David Madore and Tom Mielke. These of course are the two councilors who have tried to stop the constant damage of the other three (Boldt, Stewart, and Olson) as they collude with the legacy establishment and senior county bureaucrats to reclaim the prior level of big-government control in the county government.
County Councilor District 3: David Madore has filed to run again. Most our readers know his record of reducing government expense and regulation burden and as a result of this work has endured the heavy bombardment of the legacy establishment and local old media. His Republican challenger is a fellow named John Blom. Blom is a local Realtor, and based on objective evidence he’s fitting into the category above, politicians who overtly court and collaborate with this legacy Clark County establishment. If one reviews Blom’s donation list and observes who attends his fundraisers and speaks on his behalf, it’s clear who his friends are, where his loyalties will likely lie, and how he would vote on matters on the council.
County Councilor District 4: Tom Mielke is not running for this position again. The two Republicans running are Eileen Quiring and Jennifer McDaniel. Eileen generally fits the category of being unafraid to talk about solutions to our local ‘big and arrogant government’ problems. She was a legislator in Oregon from 1995 to 201 and rose to various committee leadership roles. McDaniel has been a city councilor in Washougal. She’s also like Blom, in overt and persistent collusion with the legacy Clark County establishment.
The writers at ClarkCounty.info have been watching most of these politicians for years and know who’s who. We know the ‘org chart’ of the power structure in this county and it doesn’t take much to see how a newcomer like Blom will line up. Notwithstanding this, we understand this point of view needs more details to be substantiated, and this backup will be coming in the next few months leading up to the primary election in early August.
Related to useful information on candidates, ClarkCounty.info will soon complete the first-level analysis on local politicians based on relevant factors. We have a team of five members who will score the politicians on twelve criteria and develop proper backup to support the scores. The scores for the criteria will be rolled up into an overall suitability score for each politician. See ClarkCounty.info approach to score and evaluate political candidates.
The legacy Clark County establishment has worked to field these candidates. Even though there’s a heavy liberal influence in this establishment, it appears it’s putting its hopes in these two Republican candidates, Blom and McDaniel, as the Democrats fielded are weak for reasons that will be detailed later. Just like current councilors Boldt, Olson, and Stewart, why would the left-of-center legacy establishment need to elect Democrats, when they can assemble a group of Republicans who’ll vote like big-government Democrats? This is an understandable approach in a right-of-center county such as ours.
Battle Ground Reflector article on these county council races.