Sunday, April 22, 2007

Doug Ericksen (R) 42nd LD - Who IS This Guy???

I live in the 42nd Legislative District of Washington State, as a matter of fact my address reads "Ferndale, WA" just like State Representative Doug Ericksen (R - Ferndale). Unfortunately, nothing he does or says comes anywhere close to representing me. Today in a Seattle Times articles titled "Democrats spent big but showed restraint" he's quoted as saying:

... Rep. Doug Ericksen, deputy House Republican leader, contends the Democrats pushed one of the "most radical" agendas the state has seen in years.

"If you look at the mainstream of Washington state, I think this Legislature has been about four steps to the left of the mainstream," said Ericksen, R-Ferndale. ...

But in reality Doug is the one who's out of step... four or five steps to the right of mainstream Washington and the mainstream of his District. I'm far from the only one who thinks so, for example; here's a "Letter to the Editor" in this weeks The Northern Light, the weekly newspaper of Blaine, WA (a border city in the 42nd LD):
The Editor:
I am a Birch Bay resident of the 42nd District who traveled to Olympia to meet Representative Doug Ericksen and urge him to support the Healthy Youth Act (aka sex education bill).
We shook hands as he hurried past me to avoid meeting any more of his constituents who wanted to meet him February 12. I was astonished to hear him say that he hadn’t heard anything about the issue. I know that many local residents sent Representative Ericksen a postcard asking that he vote in favor of the Healthy Youth Act.
I suspect that Representative Ericksen is deliberately ignoring and evading constituents that he disagrees with. Representative Ericksen would appear to be serving his own agenda and is not truly a representative of the 42nd legislative district.
John B. Chadwick

... Representative Ericksen would appear to be serving his own agenda...
A tiny example: a Legislative Page job for the son of Doug's Campaign Treasurer.
From Ericksens Press Release:
Mark Crabtree recently served as a legislative page in the Washington State House of Representatives. He was sponsored by Rep. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale.

Mark, 14, is the son of Charlie and Karolyn Crabtree of Bellingham. An 8th-grader at Meridian Middle School, Mark served as a page from March 12-16.

"I really enjoyed sponsoring Mark as a page. I am hoping he learned a lot about the Washington State Legislature and had some fun in the process," said Ericksen. "I believe it’s important that our young people learn about government and legislative processes, and that they share these experiences with their friends and peers. The decisions we make in Olympia impact them greatly."
"The decisions we make in Olympia impact them greatly." Yes indeed! But when it comes to his decision making, he only listens to his little circle of supporters; Doug doesn't listen to his constituents.

UPDATE: Seattle Times chief political reporter David Postman has written about the House Republicans final smear attempt of the legislative session and Doug Ericksen feature prominently. Ericksen really shows his partisanship before good government philosophy. He's perfectly happy to sabotage good legislation, give young girls nightmares and cause people to live in unfounded fear if he thinks it will get a few more votes for Republicans.

Republican attack on prison bill falls short

Posted by David Postman at 02:15 PM

House Republicans took their big stand of the Legislative session last night when they opposed a prison reform bill. They stood and spoke against the bill, saying it put felons before families. And that just happens to be the House GOP theme of the year. As the Republican's deputy leader, Doug Ericksen, said during debate:

"From the first day of session we said, Mr. Speaker, we need to put families in Washington State before those people who have committed crimes against our families."

But the House Republican stand against what's referred to as the offender re-entry bill came off sounding more like a prelude to a political campaign than a substantive debate about prison policy. It fell short as an attack that the measure is any sign that Democrats are soft on crime. ...

... In fact, the bill does not change sentencing laws at all. It doesn't shorten any sentences or increase good time. It creates a program to give prisoners a "re-entry plan" of job training and education and in some cases assistance in finding a place to live when they do get out of prison.

Rep. Mike Armstrong, R-Wenatchee, said last night that he had gotten a call from a constituent whose 13-year-old daughter had been raped and was worried about the pending release of the rapist. Armstrong said the woman had heard about the "legislation for criminals" the Legislature was considering.

"Her daughter still has nightmares and to think that this state was going to help these people that get out early find housing, find jobs, live in our communities, and make it easier to re-offend other 13 year old girls was very troublesome to this mother."

Is there, in fact, anything in the bill that would make it easier, or more likely, someone would reoffend?

"No, it wouldn't," Ericksen told me after the vote last night. ...

... Republicans have tired before to make crime an issue in campaigns. It clearly wasn't much of a help last year against a Democratic onslaught.

1 comment:

Jack Kintner said...

Doug Ericksen is a competitive, take-no-prisoners born again conservative legislator who cut his teeth on the front pew of his dad's Lutheran parish near the campus of Western Washington University in Bellingham. His father's family is from the Skagit valley, and his mother's family are, or were, Olympic Peninsula loggers.
Like his ancestors, he tends to approach most questions with an "us vs. them" mentality, and acts like he and his supporters and idealogical compatriots are either under attack or are about to be, even when their party is in the majority in Olympia.
It's textbook Karl Rove.
He wrapped himself in a "Quality of Life" agenda for last year's election, in which he beat a fairly strong but unknown Democrat in a Democratic year. But whatever he means by that, it's not a green agenda. Not even close.
He has often used his kids as a campaign prop, giving speeches with his daughter resting on his hip, and like Bush makes use of conservative code language and signals.
He's probably the single most unbendingly partisan ledgislator I've ever met. He's tireless to the point of being relentless, more clever than smart (otherwise he'd have a modicum of perspective), doesn't like to lose and when he does he takes names.
He committed a rare political blunder when he became enthralled a couple of years ago with a group of Bellevue businessmen and legislators who wanted to run an alternate transportation corridor up Highway 9 from the Oregon borderder into Canada, basically their way of dealing with trucking delays on I-5. His name was on the bill appropriating hundreds of millions of dollars for a fat-cat study contract for a rail, power lines and trucks-only freeway corridor awarded to some LA consultant, who at one point told me "I don't think these guys looked at a map [before proposing their idea]."
It's a genuinely stupid and extremely wasteful solution to a problem that would not exist with a more rationally integrated transportation policy.
Which prom,pts me to comment that he's good on train issues, and advocates that as a way of providing transportation that's efficient and would help unclog roads, although has been of virtually no help to Blaine in dealing with our train problems, where intersections are blocked sometimes for up to an hour and no consideration is given to allowing passengers to board amtrak here(the train has to stop here for customs, and it's here longer than in Bellingham picking up and dropping off passengers).
Nor is he particularly interested in train safety issues, with so much highly toxic chlorine and so on moving right through major towns on roadbeds that are at best marginal and prone to slides.
Ericksen's political agenda has always been a priority over service to his constituents, something he'd deny, probably, but unless you fit into his neo-con mold you don't get much attention, as if he's afraid you're going to attack him.
The letter writer in the Blaine Northern Light (where I work) quoted above was right on. Fortunately we have both a Democratic majority in both houses and locally we have Democrat Kelli Linville as our state rep.