Drip, Drip, Drip–The Changing of Minds

Dear Group, 

A few weeks ago I received a Facebook message from a high school classmate. He is the Pastor of Crossroads Church somewhere in Indiana. He’s a nice guy. He means well. He offered me a link to a 2 minute video originating on a Facebook site called “Uplift Post.” I’ve transcribed the presented text below:

Here’s something you may not know about Denzel Washington. Remember this the next time you walk up to the ticket window of your movie theater with $10 in your hand. The media (accidentally?) missed this one. The troops overseas would like you to tell everybody you know. Subject: Denzel Washington and Brooks Army Medical Center. Don’t know whether you heard about this but Denzel Washington and his family visited the troops at Brooks Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, the other day. This is where soldiers who have been evacuated from Germany come to be hospitalized in the United States, especially burn victims. The Fisher House is a Hotel where soldier’s families can stay for little or no charge while their soldier is staying in the Hospital. BAMC has quite a few of these houses on base, but as you can imagine, they are almost filled most of the time. While Denzel Washington was visiting BAMC, they gave him a tour of one of the Fisher Houses. He asked how much one of them would cost to build. Days later Fisher Houses received a huge donation for an undisclosed amount from Denzel Washington. The soldiers overseas were amazed to hear this story and want to get the word out to the American public because it warmed their hearts to hear it. The question is do: Beyonce, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, Tom Cruise, the Kardashians and other Hollywood fluff make front page news with their ridiculous antics and Denzel Washington’s Patriotism doesn’t even make page 3 in the Metro section of the any newspaper except the local newspaper in San Antonio. A true American and a friend to all in uniform. This needs as wide a distribution as we can create. Please share it.

Step back for a moment and consider what you just read. The hook, the vehicle, is a heartwarming parable of generosity woven around a beloved actor and his family visiting injured soldiers and their families and offering monetary assistance. You want to share this message of Good News, don’t you?

But that’s just the vehicle for an Us v. Them message. The propagandist has activated and re-enforced pre-constructed mental frames of sympathy for soldiers, veterans, and Patriots; anger toward the media in general; and suspicion and distrust of Hollywood (excepting Mr. Washington). This modified story is a message of division riding piggyback on a mostly factual story everyone tends to unquestioningly accept. 

Warm fuzzy stories with nasty, divisive subtexts have been circulating by email since long before Facebook and Cambridge Analytica weaponized such messages. How many of you have read an email forward like this one from an otherwise benign friend and email correspondent? How many times have you quietly reacted to yourself, “Yuck. Where did that come from? Who was paid to write that?” How many times have you not written back to your friend, the forwarder, to ask them if they caught the subtext? Would they have told you the story with subtext included if you’d been talking face-to-face? 

Here’s the unsettling thing: When I wrote back as blandly as I could to my high school classmate, the well-meaning Pastor of a church in Indiana. He responded, “Sorry I bothered you sir. I sent this because I had read it before and feel like he needed the recognition! I just wanted to pass this along to people who were not aware of that deed. Will not bother you again.” In my mind’s eye I saw him turn and disappear down his rabbit hole into the warren of his congregation where he could comfortably read such emails, pass them along to his parishioners, and not be bothered to consider the subtext or research the details of the real story. A visit to his current Facebook page is an unsettling experience.

My pastor friend is one reason I canvass here locally, knocking on doors, listening, interacting face-to-face, making it clear I share the angst people often express, making it clear the local Democrats are real people, their neighbors, people who, like they, feel the need to change the hateful, divisive direction our country seems headed.

Attend a canvass training, get out and meet people, show your face and your concern. You don’t need an answer to every (or any) political question. You just need to listen, be nice, be friendly. Contrary to what you’d think from the news, your fellow citizens are by far and away decent people. They do not bite. Having knocked on around a hundred doors, I have yet to encounter a nasty person. When I do, I’ll remember their nastiness is not about me, it’s about them…and it is not my task to engage their nastiness or fix their attitude. “Have a nice evening. Thanks for your time.” goes a long way.

Keep to the high ground,

Jerry

P.S. It turns out the real underlying story around Denzel Washington’s visit dates from 2004. You can read about it’s evolution to its current use here at Snopes.

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In Her Own Words

Click here to listen. I have posted this before. It is a recording of McMorris Rodgers speaking with a Breitbart reporter at the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC), the Republican/Libertarian lovefest last February. 

Dear Group,

I wish I could play the recording posted above as Exhibit One for every undecided or disconnected voter in Washington State’s Congressional District 5. The soundtrack is McMorris Rodgers among friends. At twenty seconds she breathlessly declares Trump’s speech at CPAC, “Excellent!” Then she launches into:

What is most exciting to me right now is the momentum that is building again, that we’re seeing some results on Capitol Hill whether with the Tax Bill, the repeal of the Individual Mandate, opening up ANWR. It’s building the momentum that we need in order to tackle some of these other big issues that we want to heading into 2018 and really rethink the federal government from top to bottom, restore…ah…some accountability and make sure that these agencies and the programs are run efficiently and are accountable to hardworking taxpayers. 0:21-0:54 seconds [Bold is mine.}

Note the congressional actions that exemplify the momentum that excites McMorris Rodgers. “The Tax Bill, the repeal of the Individual Mandate, opening up ANWR.” This is the woman who claims to represent the interests of the taxpayers of CD5 in the U.S. House of Representatives? 

Proud of the Tax Bill? The Republican/Libertarian Tax Bill, in spite of McMorris Rodgers’ tireless efforts to characterize it as “money in your pocket,” is losing popularity as voters realize that eighty percent of its tax reduction goes to the already wealthy and to corporations, as voters realize the personal tax cuts are uncertain, and, worse, they expire while the giveaway to the wealthy is permanent, as voters begin to understand the 1.5 trillion dollar addition to the national debt over ten years, as voters understand that whatever dollars they may gain will soon melt away in Republican efforts to dismantle the social safety net.

Proud of the Repeal of the Individual Mandate? The average voter with a life needs a translation. McMorris Rodgers is excited about this repeal because it is a substantial blow to the function of the Affordable Care Act. McMorris Rodgers was a vocal supporter her party’s American Health Care Act (AHCA), the one that dramatically failed in the Senate on John McCain’s (R-AZ) vote. The AHCA was an attempt to return health insurance to the days of rampant medical bankruptcy, to the days of working people neglecting their diabetes in favor of putting food on the table. Their AHCA was so deeply unpopular it had approval ratings among the general population in the twenty percent range. What McMorris Rodgers is proud of with the repeal of the individual mandate is that what she and her Republican colleagues couldn’t repeal outright they have at least managed to wound. They are proud to damage a social program rather than work to improve it.

And finally, she’s proud of “opening up ANWR.” I’ve been surprised how many people I’ve talked with who draw a blank when I say “ANWR” (usually pronounced An-whar). It seems that many folks who are very proud and protective of our national park system are only vaguely aware of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is home to countless species. Among them is the Porcupine Caribou, whose calving grounds are ground zero for oil exploration. A place of breathtaking beauty, situated as it is in northeast Alaska, it is infrequently visited and, I suppose, out of the mind of most Americans. Since the 1970s oil companies have pushed to open ANWR to oil exploration and drilling. There was a brief lull after the massive Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989, but Republicans and oil companies are patient and persistent. It’s about money. It’s about more oil in a time when, thanks to fracking, we have ample oil, in a time when we need to transition away carbon fuels to avoid eventual disaster. Now, of all times, now McMorris Rodgers is proud to finally ram through violation of one of the last pristine places. For me, McMorris Rodgers’ glee at the “opening up” of ANWR is emblematic of the twisted priorities of the Republican Party.

If the Tax Bill, the repeal of the Individual Mandate, and opening up ANWR are examples of Republican momentum McMorris Rodgers finds exciting, just imagine how much more she and her Party want to dismantle and liquidate and then award the proceeds to the already wealthy. 

Keep to the high ground,

Jerry

P.S. Take note who this unguarded interview is with. McMorris Rodgers apparently feels she is playing to a friendly audience. She is talking with a Breitbart reporter. Breitbart was, until recently the low rent, alt-right mouthpiece of that great moral beacon, Steve Bannon.  Breitbart was also the stomping ground of Milo Yiannopoulos. He was ousted from a speaking engagement at this same Conservative Political Action Committee gathering after youtube videos surfaced of Milo condoning pedophilia. That McMorris Rodgers, a woman who poses as a devout Christian, even allows an interview with Breitbart, is a statement of personal debasement. Instead, she is obviously comfortable here. She knows this is a select audience living in its own media bubble. She feels confident that most independents won’t be found wandering in this fetid swamp of the alt-right. 

FEC Rules And Volunteers

Dear Group,

Have you ever felt uneasy about working with a political candidate or political party for fear you might be breaking some arcane campaign finance rule? I have. Digging around the Federal Elections Commission website FEC.gov wasn’t a lot of help at first, but then I found a link there to  https://www.youtube.com/user/FECTube. It is a trove in nicely explained information. I haven’t digested more than a fraction of it so far. The video above answered a lot of questions I had.

First, remember these are the FEDERAL (Federal Elections Commission, FEC) rules, not the Washington State rules. The state rules are somewhat different and we’re not dealing with them today.

I got to thinking about this because I know a lot of people who are donating time and effort to political campaigns. It is clear to me that the monetary advantages of a Republican incumbent can only be overcome with “boots on the ground” AND money. I’m delighted to see the ranks swelling every day, folks knocking on doors, talking to neighbors, planting signs…and friends with Republican leanings acknowledging it is time for a change….

I urge you to watch the video above, but the short take is this:

  • The volunteering of all personal services, as long as one receives no compensation in return, is NOT considered a campaign contribution. So writing a blog, canvassing, training others, or hosting an event in one’s home related to a federal candidate or a political party…all that is NOT a campaign contribution. Phew!
  • The use of space in a home, library, church or community center is also NOT a campaign contribution as long as it is a space that a member or citizen can ordinarily use without paying a fee. If there usually IS a fee then that should be reported as a contribution. A discount offered to whatever is the regular fee is also an “in-kind” contribution and should be reported.
  • “Independent Expenditures,” like a billboard not coordinated with a Party or a Campaign have special reporting rules I’d have to study more.

There is always a lot more to learn.

If you want to get out in the nice weather tomorrow as one of those volunteers, there is a canvass in the Perry District from 10A-1PM. Check it out and sign up here.

Back on Monday.

Keep to the high ground,
Jerry

M Perez And CMR

Dear Group,

Megan Perez is leaving McMorris Rodgers’ staff, according to her LinkedIn page, Most of you have probably never heard of Ms. Perez, but I find her story most interesting. Ms. Perez has served McMorris Rodgers as her “Legislative Director” for a year and eight months and as “Policy Advisor” for the ten months prior. As Legislative Director Ms. Perez annualized salary was $94,000 (see page 1370). Her LinkedIn page is worth visiting. Ms. Perez lays claim to a pivotal roll in legislation with which we are familiar, for example, the ABLE Act and the Steve Gleason Act, as well as work to “analyze and provide guidance on legislative policy on healthcare.” It is probably fair to assume Ms. Perez contributed to the last minute insertion into the Omnibus Appropriations (Spending) Bill a nice perk for the Omeros Corporation. I wonder if she is also responsible for McMorris Rodgers, framing the Omeros perk as ensuring access to “safe, innovative, and life-changing drug[s]?” The sole purpose at least of the Omeros drug in question, Omidria, is to dilate the pupil in cataract surgery, (For more detail check out my post from March 27, 2018.)

Ms. Perez is leaving McMorris Rodgers to join the Petrizzo Group. Never heard of it? Neither had I, but through the wonders of the internet you can visit its public face with just a click. I encourage you to visit and read what they offer…and to whom they offer it.  The website mentions no partisan lean, only that they “…excel at complicated, high-stakes endeavors that blend skilled thinking, sophisticated strategy and precise execution.” Among the notable accomplishments they cite is “engaging influential policymakers on national healthcare issues.” They appear to me as the perfect example of a firm that makes its money by lobbying. Photos of the U.S. Capitol and Lincoln’s statue in the Lincoln Memorial are featured on the website. (Is Lincoln’s image borrowed as code for a Party whose major fundraising event is a “Lincoln Day” dinner?)

I pursued Ms. Perez’ imminent migration to the Patrizzo Group from McMorris Rodgers’ office while wondering if Ms. Perez were leaving what she may perceive as McMorris Rodgers’ sinking ship. Was she bailing out to the safety of a lobbyist position, part of the infamous D.C. “revolving door” between lawmaker’s offices and the lobbyists who are paid to influence them? While visiting the Petrizzo Group website, I clicked “Our Clients.” There I found eleven corporate insignia from the familiar (Starbucks), to the obscure (BSquare). But right there in the middle was Omeros, one of the companies for which McMorris Rodgers inserted a nice little perk paying out a total $26 million dollars over ten years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Even better, some investors must have gotten advance word, since the stock price of Omeros jumped 45% over the Wednesday night before the Omnibus Spending Bill finally passed on Friday.

On Good Friday at Centerplace in Spokane Valley McMorris Rodgers was specifically asked about the newspaper reports on the Omeros perk. For an instant she appeared flustered…and immediately reverted to message, defending her insertion to the bill as necessary “to provide patients across the country access to safe, innovative, life-changing drugs.” Omidria, a $400 per dose drug for dilating the pupil, fits none of those adjectives. Either McMorris Rodgers did not do her homework to understand the drugs for which she was putting forward this exception to Medicare rules or she did understand them and assumed the voters would be mollified by her messaging. In either case she failed us and she seems unwilling to live up to that failure. Even if we believed health care in this country were really a free market (it isn’t), how can she justify legislating a specific exception to Medicare rules for the benefit of a select few drug companies?

There is a pattern here. McMorris Rodgers and her Republican colleagues want to rein in the costs of “entitlement” programs, i.e. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act. She votes for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. It is just too expensive, too much of a strain on the federal budget to continue, she says…and then she legislates special expenditures out of those same tax coffers for a handful of drug companies.

She is either appeasing a Republican donor or she is in over her head. Either way, she is not representing my best interests or the interests of eastern Washington.

Keep to the high ground,
Jerry

P.S. The Petrizzo Group is not on K Street, the infamous location of so many lobbying firms. If proximity is any measure of wealth and influence take note: the Petrizzo Group is located at an easy ten minute walk from the U.S. Capitol. K Street is twice as far away.

P.P.S. Ms. Perez LinkedIn resume shows she has worked for U.S. Representatives since she graduated from the University of South Florida with a B.A. in Political Science in 2011. While still in college she served as an intern with Rep. Bill Young of south Florida, at time the longest-serving Republican member of Congress. It is probably fair to guess Ms. Perez will be amply rewarded in her new position with the Petrizzo Group. Not bad for someone apparently in her late twenties with an undergraduate degree in Political Science.

CMR/Republican “Ethics”

Dear Group,

The beginning of the 115th Congress (running from January 3, 2017 to January 3, 2019) seems like a lifetime ago, but we in Washington State Congressional District 5 would do well to remember it.

Right at the opening of the 115th Congress, McMorris Rodgers, as Chair of the House Republican Congress, presided over a closed door meeting in which the first act was an attempt to eliminate the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) and put its function under the control of the House Ethics Committee. The key concept here is that the OCE is independent of House leadership, while the House Ethics Committee is directly responsive to the majority party. 

Elimination of the independent, non-partisan Office of Congressional Ethics at the opening of the 115th Congress was a blatant attempt to avoid scrutiny. It is essentially the House Republicans saying, “We want to control whether or not any ethics investigation of our members moves forward. We’re obviously so ethical we will assume responsibility for policing ourselves.” 

What were they thinking? 

McMorris Rodgers personally has reason to wish the independent Office of Congressional Ethics didn’t exist. Shawn Vestal wrote a scathing article in the Spokesman on McMorris Rodgers’ involvement in January 2017 in the dust-up after the Republican effort to disband the OCE: 

She has a history with the Office of Congressional Ethics and the House Ethics Committee. The former produced a stinging report in 2014 that McMorris Rodgers had apparently broken House rules and federal law by using taxpayer resources in election campaigns, and it recommended the Ethics Committee delve into the matter further.

The committee declined, in utter silence.

Vestal adds: “McMorris Rodgers told a reporter for Cox Media that she would have voted for the proposal had it been brought to the House for a vote.”

I was reminded of ethics referral yesterday when I was researching the Members Representational Allowance. Taxpayer money used to cover House duties must be kept separate from campaign money (and also cannot be used for personal expenses). The allegations against McMorris Rodgers were referred from the independent Office of Congressional Ethics (the office she wanted to eliminate) to the House Ethics Committee with the following words, “...there is substantial reason to believe that Representative McMorris Rodgers used congressional funds, staff, and office space for campaign activities.”  A specific allegation is that she used taxpayer dollars in her campaign in 2012 to become the Chair of the House Republican Conference, a position she assumed on January 3, 2013. Todd Winer, McMorris Rodgers former communications director (later the same for Raúl Labrador) is one of the sources. Part of his complaint can be read here in Roll Call. In it he adds that he was not the origin of the original complaint. 

On December 23, 2013, the Office of Congressional Ethics transmitted its referral of the matter to the House Ethics Committee for further investigation and review. By that time it was clear the House would remain under the control of a Republican majority. Three months later in early 2014 several articles appeared confirming the referral would languish in House Ethics Committee. The issue disappeared from the news until McMorris Rodgers was floated as a contender for a cabinet position heading the Department of the Interior after the Trump election: Read and listen to “Trump’s likely Interior pick from Spokane still under ethics probe” from KUOW on December 13. 

Perhaps that article was fresh in her mind when less than a month later she chaired the meeting that tried to eliminate the Office of Congressional Ethics entirely. Has she been in Washington, D.C. so long she thought no one was paying attention? If the allegations from the OCE referral have no merit why were they not investigated and dispensed with by the House Ethics Committee in 2014 when they received the referral? What are they afraid of? 

When McMorris Rodgers offers her slightly nervous toothy smile along with her tired talking points I see a conniving politician who has too long been in Washington. Judging by the article that appeared in Politico on Monday entitled, “The one woman in Republican leadership is under siege” I’m not alone.

Keep to the high ground,

Jerry

Member’s Representational Allowance

2017 HON. CATHY MCMORRIS RODGERS OFFICIAL EXPENSES OF MEMBERS. The first column is the Year-to-date, the second column is Quarterly, from the STATEMENT OF DISBURSEMENTS OF THE HOUSE, October 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017, page 1369. You can click on it and scroll around it here.

Dear Group,

Ever wonder how McMorris Rodgers…or, similarly, any member of the U.S. House…can afford to keep an office and manage staff in Spokane, Walla Walla, Colville, and Washington, D.C.? Like other U.S. Representatives, McMorris Rodgers’ personal salary is $174,000. $174,000 might provide a home and support for a husband and three children in Washington, D.C., but that wouldn’t begin to cover district offices, staff, and travel. It turns out there is a whole other pool of money, the MRA, that covers those expenses. Furthermore, both the personal salary and the MRA are supposed to be separate and distinct from all that campaign money McMorris Rodgers raises from entities like the National Rifle Association, Omeros Pharmaceuticals, and benefit auctions of AR-15’s (snideness alert). So what’s this “MRA”? How much is it?

As explained in a richly referenced article, the money is allotted from federal coffers, yours and my tax money, money specified in the Members’ Representational Allowance (MRA). The MRA is a prescribed sum currently budgeted between 1.2 and 1.4 million per House member (in round figures). The actual amount offered a House member depends on the Congressional District’s distance from Washington, D.C. and the local cost of office space rental. The MRA is to defray expenses of the House member’s “representational duties,” those being; the personal expenses component; the office expenses component; and the mailing expenses component.

In 2017 McMorris Rodgers’ spent $1,273,844.71 of her MRA. Her actual expenditures are close to the average allowed. (I don’t know the Congressional District 5 maximum allowed amount she had available, only what she actually spent, and that amount is close to the average MRA.) As you can see from the table above, the biggest share of the money, $1,013,209, was paid as staff salaries. So who are these people and what do they get paid? Look at the two tables below, (copied from the same federal document) for the last quarter of 2017. To figure the annual salary multiply by four (the presented numbers are last quarter of 2017 only).

Each House Member is allowed to employ up to eighteen full time staffers. I count sixteen staffers with annualized salaries over $30,000, including four with annual salaries between $95,000 and $120,000. (For reference, $30,000 is $15/hour annualized. $11/hour is the minimum wage in WA, $7.25 in ID.) There are five “shared employees.” I recognize four or five names as employees primarily located in Eastern Washington, and several that are mostly in Washington D.C. I believe office space in D.C. is not paid for out of the Members Representational Allowance.

A few observations:

  • $1.3 million annually is quite a large amount of money. Much of it (1/2?) is likely devoted to “constituent services,” i.e. helping Eastern WA people and businesses deal with issues they have with Social Security, the Veterans Administration, and other government programs and services. This is help McMorris Rodgers gets credit for, but it is help every Representative is expected to provide. It’s part of the job
  • Most of the staff in Eastern WA seems devoted to interfacing with constituents, not discussing legislation. In fact, my experience has been the local staffers are usually less informed regarding legislation than I am.
  • Whoever holds this office uses the money to help advance like-minded individuals by offering internships and work opportunities. During McMorris Rodgers seven two year terms she has fostered the careers of several. Toppling an incumbent House member changes the political landscape of the District more broadly than one might appreciate.

None of this $1.3 is supposed to be spent on political campaigns, including campaigns to acquire leadership positions in the Congress itself. The Members Representational Allowance (MRA) is meant for just what it says, the Member’s duties as a Representative of the District. By law a Representative is not supposed to benefit personally from the Members Representational Allowance, although a Representative may use personal funds to supplement Representational expenses if the expenses exceed the allowance.

Functioning as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives includes managing this $1.3 million “representational” budget for the benefit of the Member’s constituents. Lisa Brown, with five years as Chancellor of EWU Spokane, twenty years in the State House in Olympia, experience as Majority Leader of WA State Senate, and a graduate degree in economics is eminently qualified to step into that role.

Keep to the high ground,
Jerry

P.S. The basic information presented here comes from a series of fascinating articles from Thoughtco.com, in particular an article available here. I highly recommend further reading if you have time.

These numbers are for the last quarter of 2017, so for annual salaries multiply by four. This is publicly available information, the same pdf referenced above, pages 1369 and 1370. Use COMMAND (CMD) + to magnify the table if it is hard to read.

CMR buying coffee?

Dear Group,

The Spokesman graciously deigned to publish three letters to the editor last Saturday that were gently critical of McMorris Rodgers representation of eastern Washington. Since they were numbers thirteen and fifteen of fifteen letters that day, many of which were of far less local interest than these, I thought I would bring them to your attention.

Brown and public access

Having recently attended forums for both Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and candidate Lisa Brown, I am struck by the marked contrast between how each approaches their constituents.

Brown arrived early, mingled, chatted and laughed with attendees before the forum began. McMorris Rodgers arrived to her town hall (March 30 in the Valley) after the audience was seated, through a locked side door, under the heavy armed guard of six Valley police officers.

I think this says a lot about the accessibility, ease and transparency of these two candidates with the public. I, for one, prefer my representative not be afraid of me!

Susan Hammond
Spokane

The new McMorris Rodgers

I have to commend congresswoman McMorris Rodgers for meeting with students, news reporters and other groups who are not safely Republican in the last few weeks. I guess a leopard can change her spots.

For 14 years I’ve watched as Mrs. Rodgers has hidden from the Spokane public behind her phalanx of Republican male congressional leaders and safe meetings back home with fundraisers. She showed little interest in communicating with the rabble and those who didn’t agree with her constant votes against our health care and consistent support of an amazingly unstable president.

Is this a new and improved congressional product … or just a cynical attempt to stave off a loss in November?

Bruce Embrey
Spokane

Several have remarked to me they long for the days of Tom Foley, the venerable Democratic Rep serving Eastern WA for the thirty years. He was frequently seen in the gym or in coffee shops in the District. He lost to George Nethercutt in 1994 in an election that is beginning to look a lot like this November. Ironically, a pivotal issue was Tom’s opposition to term limits, the same opposition McMorris Rodgers recently declared. I will never forget the short personal response he sent me once. In answer to a suggestion I made, he calmly wrote, “I agree with you, but such a measure just isn’t feasible in Congress at this time.” Gingrich succeeded Tom Foley as Speaker of the House…and things have gotten more and more infeasible from then on.

It is time to vote in a Representative for the 5th District who spends more time here, who listens, and isn’t afraid of her own constituents. Lisa Brown is that Representative.

Keep to the high ground,
Jerry

P.S. The Spokesman has settled into a routine for letters to the editor: Weekdays, two to four. Saturday and Sunday, fourteen or fifteen on most of a dedicated page. The placement of letters reasonably and gently critical of McMorris Rodgers performance last Saturday makes me wonder if they’re confident that many of their reader’s don’t have the persistence to make it reading that far…