Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed published an email message Friday telling citizens across the state: "Voters Wild About 'Direct Democracy.'"
Since our memo to the King of England back in 1776, we have indeed liked our freedoms and the practice of democracy.
The Secretary's office reports that this is, "one of those high-watermark years" in that a record 75 initiatives to the people were filed and 6 have qualified for the November ballot with enough signatures.
Secretary Reed's conclusion is articulated by his Director of Elections, Nick Handy:
"We have heard some critics say that people will be less willing to take part in the initiative process this year, given all the talk of the Secretary of State's policy of allowing public release of petitions. But we are certainly not seeing any hesitation at all."
"We are certainly not seeing" is an operative phrase. I'll come back to that.
OF RELATED NOTE: We received a lengthy comment from Tom Lang, a director of the national knowthyneighbor organization, this weekend. He requested we publish his comment in response to our Friday's blog regarding the R-71 names. He is attempting to explain the mission of his organization. In the spirit of fairness we published it. We are not bigoted, nor do we "hate" homosexuals. While we believe God loves all people and wants to deliver, forgive and restore all of us, we do not believe biblical teaching allows for affirmation and celebration of the homosexual lifestyle. Nor do we believe it is an expression of "hate" to reject the notion that marriage and family must be redefined to prove our tolerance or their equality.
You will note, Lang takes considerable issue with Josh Friedes and his "cronies" at Equal Rights Washington. While we reject the mission and frankly question the transparency of his statements, we felt you should read them and have opportunity to respond directly to him.
Mr. Handy says 2.2 million signatures have been gathered this summer for various petitions, affirming, "That many, many people are more than happy to sign their names and addresses to petitions."
The conclusion? "The system is alive and well."
But, Reed is wrong. Here's why.
What the Secretary "is not seeing" is that 2.2 million people did not sign petitions this summer because he has promised to disclose their names to the public to be harvested for direct marketing and in the case of R-71, personal attacks, threats and harassment.
They signed petitions in spite of Reed's policy and because of the extreme inefficiencies they see in the present state government and are willing to risk the personal exposure of the Secretary's policies.
Should Secretary Reed decide to publish how each citizen voted on their ballot, I bet most would also continue to vote. But it would not be right.
The motivation of record numbers of people to participate is not found in the "Secretary's System" of disclosure, but in the frustration with the present lack of leadership in the state.
Many feel Governor Gregoire, and her left to far left majority in the Legislature, is doing a terrible job of leading the state. Initiatives and referenda are one of the few ways people can save themselves from their government. In spite of Reed's policy.
My friend Bob Williams and Evergreen Freedom Foundation has been consistently exposing and commenting on the fiscal fiasco of state government.
Within the past few weeks they have exposed that 68 Washington State public agencies are either improperly reporting their lobbying expenses or not reporting them at all.
Is discloser selective?
Williams and his Foundation are assisting a group of citizens who have filed a lawsuit against Governor Gregoire for "abuse of power". I have linked the information.
Reed is wrong. Perhaps he is warming himself by the embers and afterglow of the left wing campfire in Olympia.
And the smoke has gotten in his eyes causing him to "certainly not see."
Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Active. Be Blessed.
Faith and Freedom
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