Kelley Unger introduces The Washington Policy Center

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The Washington Policy Center 

special to SJCRP 

by Kelley Unger

Director of Development Operations, Discovery Institute 

Washington Policy Center

Washington Policy Center (WPC) is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) research and educational organization that promotes sound public policy based on free-market solutions. They are a statewide organization with offices in Seattle, Olympia, Spokane and the Tri-Cities.

WPC improves lives of Washington state’s citizens by providing accurate, high-quality research for policymakers, the media and the general public. Headquartered in Seattle, WPC publishes studies, sponsors events and conferences and educates citizens on the vital public policy issues facing our region. Broadcast, print, and online media throughout Washington and across the nation cover WPC’s work regularly and seek out its policy experts for analysis and commentary. In addition, lawmakers routinely invite WPC to testify before legislative committees.

Through its research centers, Washington Policy Center focuses on seven core areas of public policy:

  • Education: The Center for Education conducts research and makes recommendations to improve Washington state’s ability to educate every child by giving parents, principals and teachers more control over the spending of public education dollars.
  • The Environment: The Center for the Environment brings balance to the environmental debate by promoting the idea that human progress and prosperity work in a free economy to protect the environment.
  • Government Reform: The Center for Government Reform’s mission is to partner with stakeholders and citizens to work toward a government focused on its core functions while improving its transparency, accountability, performance, and effectiveness for taxpayers.
  • Health Care: The Center for Health Care develops patient-centered solutions to reduce costs and improve the availability and quality of health care for businesses and individuals, providing the only detailed, independent critique of health care issues available in the Northwest.
  • Small Business: The Center for Small Business focuses on improving Washington’s small business climate by working closely with business owners and policymakers. The Center provides accurate information and analysis on the state’s regulatory climate, tax structure, health insurance systems, and more.
  • Transportation: The Center for Transportation researches and analyzes the best practices for relieving traffic congestion by recapturing a vision of a system based on freedom of movement.
  • Agriculture: WPC’s Initiative on Agriculture puts the knowledge and experience of those who work the land at the center of agriculture policy by using free-market incentives and local solutions. This new Initiative encourages policymakers to reduce the burden of excessive and unproductive regulation on family farmers and taxpayers.

Finally, though WashingtonVotes.org: WPC operates the premier website for tracking bills in Olympia, finding objective, plain-English summaries of legislation, and offering quick access to your legislators’ voting records. This is a great resource throughout the year, but is especially useful in the elections season when evaluating the past performance of current legislators.

WPC believes ideas, supported by sound research and promoted through publications, conferences and the media, over time, create an environment in which policymakers and citizens make sound public policy decisions. For more information and to subscribe to newsletters from the Washington Policy Center go to their website at www.washingtonpolicy.org.

AG Ferguson loses another legal skirmish with Tim Eyman — strangely, no AG press release.

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We received this excellent email, which we want to repost. It is from https://www.wethegoverned.com/ag-ferguson-loses-another-legal-skirmish-with-tim-eyman-strangely-no-ag-press-release/ if you would like to read it there.


AG Ferguson loses another legal skirmish with Tim Eyman – strangely, no AG press release

On Friday, in Thurston County Superior Court, Washington State’s Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office failed in yet another attempt to charge Eyman massive fines, and charge him with contempt over another dispute about discovery documents.  Thurston Superior Court Judge Dixon slapped down the state and ruled from the bench against the State and in Eyman’s favor.  Once again, as many have begun to notice, the AG’s office didn’t put out a press release or even a Twitter post to highlight their failure.  See original Motion of Contempt against Eyman (linked here).  See Defendant Eyman’s response (linked here).

The Attorney General was represented in the courtroom by Jeffrey Sprung.  Sprung is a former failed Democratic candidate for the Washington State Auditor’s office in 2016, when his election efforts were cut short with a poor showing in the primary (23%).  Sprung has been a vocal political critic of Eyman for years, so in the increasingly politicized AG department created by Ferguson, it makes sense that Ferguson would hire hyper partisan politicians with law degrees.

It should be noted that Sprung is also a serial violator of Washington State’s campaign finance laws himself (see this complaint filed against Sprung by this author).  However, there is no requirement that the people working at the AG’s office in the campaign finance unit be free from violating those same laws themselves.  Perhaps the AG policy now is that it is best to hire people who break the law in order to prosecute others who might have broken them.

Andrew Villeneuve – Eyman Groupee and Critic

Groupees in the Courtroom

The courtroom audience on Friday was also filled with a cast of characters who seem to be orbiting around Eyman’s solar system of travails.  Of note was the presence of Walter Smith, a former AG employee who quit late last year once he decided it was unfair for the AG’s office to sue Democrats (he believed the AG’s office should only sue Republicans and people like

Walter Smith

Eyman).  Smith’s presence in the audience was logical because he had done a lot of legwork investigating Eyman when he worked at the AG’s office.  Additionally, long-time Eyman critic Andrew Villeneuve  sat in the audience.  Mr. Villeneuve appears to have an unusually obsessive fixation on Tim Eyman and Eyman’s initiative efforts to cut taxes in Washington State.  Villeneuve has clearly dedicated his life to Eyman as a permanent critic  and groupee of sorts (this was a long drive for him to come down from King County for such disappointing results).  According to an older Seattle Met article – he may run his website Northwest Progressive Institute from his parent’s basement, which is a very frugal platform from which to demand higher taxes from everyone else.

The AG had also issued a Tweet bragging about this motion for contempt filed against Eyman, which inspired this article in the Seattle PI.  This is in addition to the nine Eyman press releases linked below. The fact that the AG’s Communications Director – Brionna Aho was attending the hearing along with KOMO news in the lobby implied the AG had great expectations that Eyman was going to get slapped with a contempt charge.

Alas, the expectations were dashed in a few short minutes by Judge Dixon, and it isn’t clear if these expectations were ever warranted in the first place.  The AG spent months arguing with Eyman’s attorney, Mark Lamb, over various aspects of the discovery process.  As a result, the AG pushed the court to appoint a special “Discovery Master” who is former Thurston County Superior Court Judge Gary Tabor to fill this role.  The theory of this appointment is that the court can save itself the costs and expense related to arguments over discovery documents and have an appropriate judge sort out those details for the main show in the courtroom.

“It is somewhat ironic that the Plaintiff (AG) complains loudly of the Defendants (Eyman) not following court orders in a motion that directly contradicts an order of this Court” (Eyman response to AG contempt motion p2 – Wa State vs. Eyman)
Retired Thurston County Superior Court Judge Tabor is the “Discovery Master” in the State vs. Eyman lawsuit

The weirdness of this recent motion filed by the AG against Eyman is that the AG complains throughout the document (linked here) that Eyman was not following the law or the rules of the court.  Yet, the very contempt motion filed by the AG’s office was an attempt to circumvent the very “Discovery Master” judge system that they had so eloquently demanded just a few weeks before.  In short, the AG breaks their own court rules while complaining that the other guy is breaking the rules.

Usually we want to believe that law, practiced at this level, is actually an intellectual chess match of sorts with dueling sides presenting facts, evidence, and points of law hoping to prevail.  While perfect justice is a bit utopian and naive, we still wish to believe at this level of the legal system that these guys are professionals – skilled in their craft and capable in their skill set.  However, as Friday’s AG fumble in the courtroom demonstrates – some of these guys don’t know what is going on either.

“In response, the Plaintiff (AG) seeks to distract from this cold reality with colorful diagrams, breathless press releases and pleadings that paint the Defendants (Eyman) (who have undergone five sworn interviews in the past four years – including just last month – and turned over thousands of pages of highly sensitive documents) as recalcitrant scofflaws.  The Plaintiff resorts to this hyperbole because its case is weak and, unless it can distract the Court with conspiracy theories and conjecture, it will lose at trial on the facts that have been established and known by both sides for four years…” (Eyman response to AG contempt motion p2 – Wa State vs. Eyman)

Friday’s courtroom drama should be embarrassing to the AG’s office.  It certainly was a waste of time for Mr. Villeneuve to drive all that way from King County.  However, this legal decision was really just a skirmish in a fairly major court battle between AG Ferguson and Tim Eyman.  Friday went well for Eyman, and if the AG’s office was capable of being embarrassed, they would go back and rethink their ways.  Unfortunately, it isn’t their own money they are wasting (it’s ours), so this behavior will probably be repeated in the future.

“The relief Plaintiff (AG) seeks in its motion is as extreme as its rhetoric and just as revealing of its true purpose.  Plaintiff only brought this motion after it was served with discovery requests by Defendant Eyman last month, responses to which are due 10 days after this hearing.  The State seeks in its contempt motion that which it cannot achieve through litigation on the merits of this case:  crippling fines against the Defendants and dismissal of the Defendants’ counterclaims which are focused on the Attorney General’s unlawful and self-serving conduct in this matter” (Eyman response to AG contempt motion p3- Wa State vs. Eyman) 

The Battles of Tim Eyman continue

Years ago, long before I ever met Tim Eyman, I was given a video called “the Battles of Tim Eyman.”  It was a well-produced documentary style video which covered the circus and saga that Eyman evoked every time he filed another initiative or dressed in a gorilla suit, or made the media’s head explode with some new initiative crusade against the relentless effort of government to absorb more and more of our tax dollars.  It was a sympathetic portrayal.  Eyman isn’t perfect.  Nobody is.  The documentary included many interviews with Eyman’s critics – mostly politicians.  I was surprised at how bitter and angry most of them seemed to be when they spoke of Eyman.  That personal bitterness and enmity shows no sign of abatement.

This recent AG lawsuit against Eyman should inspire someone to make another documentary to follow up the first.  It is clear that Ferguson’s office is attempting to make THIS battle against Eyman the last one, and based on Friday’s ruling, the AG’s office is just not doing a very good job of it.  Tim Eyman’s battles are far from over.

______________________________________________

OUR CONSTITUTION BEGINS WITH THE PHRASE “WE THE PEOPLE.”  IT WAS THE FOUNDER’S INTENT THAT GOVERNMENT BE CREATED BY THE PEOPLE, TO SERVE THE PEOPLE.  IT WASN’T THEIR INTENTION FOR THE PEOPLE TO SERVE THE GOVERNMENT.  IT WAS ALWAYS INTENDED THAT GOVERNMENT WHICH FAILED TO SERVE THE PEOPLE SHOULD BE “ALTERED OR ABOLISHED.”  UNTIL WE RETURN TO THE FOUNDER’S INTENT, WE REMAIN WE THE GOVERNED

Lot’s of News to Cover!

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Newsletter from Jan 10, 2018:

GREETINGS CONSERVATIVES!!

Happy New Year!

It’s been a while since my last newsletter, but it’s a new year, the holidays are over, and it’s time to get back to work! If you have a comment, you can email me at sjcrpchair@gmail.com. I wish you and yours all the best in 2018! Thanks for sticking around!

–Nathan Butler, Chairman SJC Republican Party (SJCRP)

 

CHAIRMAN OF WSRP RESIGNS

 

Susan Hutchison is stepping down as Chairman of the Washington State Republican Party (WSRP), read the press release here. She announced it on January 2nd, and it is effective Feb 4th, 2018.

She said: “The WSRP is in a robust financial position with a bright future. I expect that 2018 will result in many exciting wins for the GOP in our state—among them, Dino Rossi will hold the 8th Congressional seat, the Republicans will move into leadership in the State House of Representatives by flipping at least one seat, and there might even be some surprises in the State Senate.”

Susan has been an excellent leader, and is highly respected. Every person I have talked to in our county that has attended meetings at the state level noted her exceptional performance. I can only concur.

Later this month our delegates will attend state meetings to elect a new chairman — Vice Chair Lynda Gerpheide in my place — State Committeeman Rick Boucher, and State Committeewoman Cindy Carter. Chairman of WSRP is an elected, but paid full-time position.

The News Tribune reports three contestants for the slot, but actually there’s another one as well. Monique Trudnowski (link goes to NewsTribune), Lance Henderson (link is to Union-Bulletin), Caleb Heimlich (Current chief of staff to WSRP), and Marty McClendon. As we head into a major election year, we can ill afford instability as a party.

Caleb Heimlich is the favorite (but he had a headstart since he knew in advance), and will probably have the votes from most if not all of our county delegation. Do you have an opinion? Let me know and I will pass it along to our team.

 

Pictured: Susan Hutchison (from WSRP website)

We can only hope that the new chairman will be as good as Susan Hutchison!

All the best to her and her family going forward!

You can read her bio here

LOCAL NEWS DIGEST

 

Judge Eaton Retires (Journal), and Loring sworn in as San Juan County Superior Court Judge. (Journal)

“Public hospital district appoints interim chief, against EMS staff recommendations.” (Journal)

Sheriff Ron Krebs Spread ‘Stand Up’ message. (Journal)

“Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, announced new legislation to protect Washington state’s Orca Whales and marine waters under the Salish Sea Protection package.” (Journal)

  • “NOAA says vessel rules are a win for orcas and whale watch boaters.” (Journal)
  • “Ranker unveils ambitious plan to protect Salish Sea.” (Sounder)

“San Juan Island School District meetings recap.” (Journal)

“The year ahead: A conversation with Councilman Rick Hughes.” (Journal or Sounder)

“Washington State Ferries management in San Juans.” (Guest Column in the Journal)

“Second public hospital district [on Orcas] town hall held.” (Sounder)

“Lopez public hospital district hires Orcas resident to be superintendent.” (Sounder)

“OPALCO unites with regional co-op.” (Islands Weekly)

“Vacancies for San Juan County boards and commissions.” (Islands Weekly)

Friends of the San Juans published an article in the Islands Weekly, “Friends appeals the Shoreline Master Program.”

STATE NEWS DIGEST

 

“‘Faithless’ electors $1,000 fines upheld.” (The Spokesman Review) YES!!

“Commissioner Franz statement on governor’s carbon proposal.” (Sounder)

  • The conservative Washington Policy Center describes it as “Governor’s Carbon/Gas Tax: 20 cents a gallon & lots of subsidies.”
  • “Inslee to propose Washington carbon tax” (Capital Press, from mid Dec.)

“Legislature will re-attempt their New Year’s resolution by delivering Hirst Fix.” (Washington Policy Center)

“Four storylines to watch in Olympia during the 2018 legislative session.” (The NewsTribune)

“Washington DOH adds a third option to birth certificates.” (Journal)

The Trump administration is opening offshore areas for drilling in the Northwest. You can read about it in the Seattle Times or KOMO News 4. Another article in the Seattle Times here.

Seattle Times on sex education: “To prevent sexual violence, educators and activists say students need to look at root causes — and that sometimes means having uncomfortable classroom conversations about consent.”

Fractured West: In Oregon and elsewhere, rural residents increasingly balk at Democrats’ progressive governance. (City Journal)

Federal DOJ announces that it will no longer allow states to set policy on Marijuana that conflicts with State law.

  • You can watch Fox News discuss it here.
  • Seattle Times: “‘An attack on Seattle’: Washington state officials say they won’t back down on legal pot as Sessions rescinds Obama-era policy.”
  • King 5 News: “Justice Department ending federal policy that let legal pot flourish.”
  • Sequim Gazette: “Peninsula pot shop owners take wait-and-see stance after federal policy change.”
  • Sessions did not outline any new enforcement priorities, and seemed to indicate that U.S. Attorneys now have discretion to prosecute marijuana crimes as they see fit. (text from Seattle Times article)

Some Democrats and Republicans have been trying to shut down Atlantic fish farming after the release of the farmed salmon (branded “Atlantic Salmon”) over the summer.

  • “Escaped Atlantic salmon found 42 miles up Skagit River.” (Seattle Times)
  • “Puget Sound fish farmers say banning Atlantic salmon operations would be unfair.” (Seattle Times)
  • “Lawmakers consider bill to ban commercial net pens for fish farms after massive spill.” (KOMO 4)
  • Journal: “Cooke fined for water quality violations at Bainbridge Island net pen facility.”
  • Note also the article on Kevin Ranker above.

Behind Seattle’s government spending spree: a deluge of taxes, six-figure pay and officials eager to do more.” (Seattle Times)

  • Summary: Over the past five years, the cost of Seattle’s government has grown faster than almost any other major U.S. city, propelled by surging tax collections and a scope of government services that has expanded faster than Seattle’s population. So far, it’s mostly been supported by taxpayers, whose willingness to pay up has contributed to a 35 percent surge in tax revenue. But our tolerance for ever-increasing taxes may be at its limit. “So much of the city’s revenue thirst has been quenched with taxes that aren’t necessarily sustainable…”

Bob Ferguson, our trigger happy WA State Attorney General is in the news a lot. Really. Just recently:

  • “Washington state AG Bob Ferguson says he’ll sue over FCC’s net-neutrality repeal.” (Seattle Times)
  • “Washington AG sues Value Village, claiming thrift-shop chain isn’t as charitable as it seems.” (Seattle Times)
  • “Value Village sues Washington attorney general, fighting a demand for millions to settle investigation.” (Seattle Times)
  • He’s also suing Motel 6 for cooperating with ICE (USA Today). Setting aside whether ICE should have asked them to do so which is something seperate, witness the specticle of one government agency (WA AG office) suing a company for cooperating with another government agency (ICE). That’s just immoral. He should sue ICE if he believes he has a case — and maybe Motel 6 shouldn’t have done what they did. But should I not cooperate with the FBI because I’m scared Bob Ferguson will sue me?
  • This guy is more active than Governor Inslee. “With a growing number ofWashington adults owing money on student loans, state Attorney General Bob Ferguson wants new legislation to license and regulate student-loan servicers.” (Seattle Times)
  • Not everything he does is bad (though the vast majority is), but he is the most political state AG I can recall — he is more political than the governor. And that is not acceptable for an attorney general.

 

Newsletter: Freedom Foundation, local news digest

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EMAIL FROM NOV 29, 2017

 

Greetings Conservatives!

Central Committee Meeting
Dec 2, 2017 (this Sat)
12 pm
Heritage Bank in F.H.
(535 Market Street)
All conservatives are welcome.
 
Special to our Newsletter:

Kelley Unger, Director of Development Operations at Discovery Institute

Discovery Institute is a nonpartisan, secular think that that promotes thoughtful analysis and effective action on local, regional, national and international issues. Read more on our website here, or theirs here. Read about Kelley here.

Kelley Unger, Discovery Institute
 
In this article Kelley introduces us to another conservative WA State think tank, The Evergreen Freedom Foundation:

Washington is known as the Evergreen state, which for many elicits images of green farmlands and forests, and open spaces for hiking, hunting, and exploring. Originally settled by explorers, fur traders, miners and fishermen, Washington has been the home of free spirits and innovators from the time of its early settlement until the present time. But over time, expanded government, more invasive conservation and animal protection legislation, as well as organized unions, have robbed our state’s residents of their freedom and rights.

To combat this loss of freedom and rights, another local think tank was formed, The Freedom Foundation, with offices in Washington and Oregon. Founded in 1991 by Bob Williams and Lynn Harsh as the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, today they are a national leader in winning the fight for freedom at the state and local level. They’ve even received acclaim nationally for their work.

As The Freedom Foundation’s mission states, their goal is to “advance individual liberty, free enterprise, and limited, accountable government.” The organization has a vision of a day when opportunity, responsible self-governance, and free markets flourish in America because its citizens understand and defend the principles from which freedom is derived.

Currently, the primary focus of The Freedom Foundation is Labor Reform. They are working hard to educate the public, and more specifically union members, on the stronghold that public and private sector labor unions have on our citizens.

Most Americans don’t like being told what to do. Yet many government employees are forced, as a condition of working, to pay dues to private union organizations. These union monopolies overcharge workers and spend huge sums of money on political campaigns and lobbying. And, since union power comes from government, union lobbyists always push for bigger and more powerful government.

In fact, government unions are the biggest lobby in Washington State for bigger government. Their undue influence drowns out taxpayers, but taxpayers have had enough. Just like citizens in Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan, Washington is ripe for change, for reforms that protect workers and taxpayers alike. The Freedom Foundation is the leading advocate for that change.

The Freedom Foundation has also been successful in several other areas of public policy that impact Washingtonians: [continued on our website here]

Local News Digest

 

Two of our observers in Friday Harbor had their report published in the paper, “Wonderful watch of the vote count.” Next time considering pitching in! We had a robust group this year, and the elections office was very accommodating.

San Juan County residents face property tax increase, mostly from state” (Journal), but not to worry, “Unlike the rest of the state, San Juan County residents voted to maintain almost all of Washington’s tax increases in November’s general election.” (also Journal) Not making this up.

  • A part of me appreciates the honesty and consistency though — the rest of the state votes for Democrats, and then slaps taxing limitations on legislators to keep them from acting like Democrats.
  • Also useful is the Guardian’s article “Assessed Value And Levy Rates Sent Out

Katie Loring appointed judge for San Juan County Superior Court (Journal)

The shortage of leadership in our county continues, “San Juan County boards and commissions vacancies.” Every 6 months or so the Journal runs an article noting just how many positions in our community are left unfilled.

Debates on lodging tax distributions at San Juan County Council” (Journal).

If you are on Lopez or Orcas, this article on the new UW owned rural clinics on Lopez and Orcas may be of interest: “What you need to know about UW Medicine in the islands” (Islands Weekly)

Task force formed to look at elder care options,”

On Orcas Island there are a series of forums on the proposed Public Hospital District, the next one is this week, Nov.30, 2017, 5:30-7 p.m, at Eastsound Fire Station, with more in December, January, and March.

There are a lot of letters at the moment, I’ve given up running them all. You can look them up for the JournalSounder, or Islands Weekly. The paper that gets the least by far is the Islands Weekly.

Consider taking a poll regarding drug abuse in our community, sponsored by the Prevention Coalition. They always struggle to get enough responses in our county.

A friend requested I run this quote from the last newsletter’s article on the military, written by a veteran: “The more we normalize disrespect to the national anthem, applaud pledge of allegiance protests, and entertain discussions about how democratic ideals are somehow inherently flawed – the easier it will be to disrespect the people who are sworn to protect those ideals.”

DON’T FORGET TO COME BY THIS SATURDAY AND JOIN OUR PLANNING SESSSION (CENTRAL COMMITTEE MEETING)

Kelley Unger on the Freedom Foundation

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Liberty in the Evergreen State:

The Freedom Foundation 

special to SJCRP 

by Kelley Unger

Director of Development Operations, Discovery Institute 

 

Washington is known as the Evergreen state, which for many elicits images of green farmlands and forests, and open spaces for hiking, hunting, and exploring. Originally settled by explorers, fur traders, miners and fishermen, Washington has been the home of free spirits and innovators from the time of its early settlement until the present time. But over time, expanded government, more invasive conservation and animal protection legislation, as well as organized unions, have robbed our state’s residents of their freedom and rights.

To combat this loss of freedom and rights, another local think tank was formed, now known as The Freedom Foundation, with offices in Washington and Oregon. Founded in 1991 by Bob Williams and Lynn Harsh as the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, today they are a national leader in winning the fight for freedom at the state and local level. They’ve even received acclaim nationally for their work.

As The Freedom Foundation’s mission states, their goal is to “advance individual liberty, free enterprise, and limited, accountable government.” The organization has a vision of a day when opportunity, responsible self-governance, and free markets flourish in America because its citizens understand and defend the principles from which freedom is derived.

Currently, the primary focus of The Freedom Foundation is Labor Reform. They are working hard to educate the public, and more specifically union members, on the stronghold that public and private sector labor unions have on our citizens.

Most Americans don’t like being told what to do. Yet many government employees are forced, as a condition of working, to pay dues to private union organizations. These union monopolies overcharge workers and spend huge sums of money on political campaigns and lobbying. And, since union power comes from government, union lobbyists always push for bigger and more powerful government.

In fact, government unions are the biggest lobby in Washington State for bigger government. Their undue influence drowns out taxpayers, but taxpayers have had enough. Just like citizens in Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan, Washington is ripe for change, for reforms that protect workers and taxpayers alike. The Freedom Foundation is the leading advocate for that change.

The Freedom Foundation has also been successful in several other areas of public policy that impact Washingtonians:

Education: Students and parents in Washington State are not getting their money’s worth, especially given how much the state spends per pupil. Stagnant test scores and embarrassing graduation rates are the results. They analyze reform efforts and recommend solutions to bring Washington students a World Class education system to meet 21st Century needs.

Property Rights: Property rights are intertwined with all other human rights. From works of art to loaves of bread, people produce the things because they are able to own and use resources. The Freedom Foundation stands up for property rights and property owners in Washington State. Most powerfully, they empower property owners themselves to build coalitions, confront local governments, and–often–win.

Budget & Taxes: The Freedom Foundation is a tireless voice for priority-based budgeting in state and local government. They work with responsible policymakers to craft sound, balanced budgets. They helped launch performance audits in Washington State as well as the model for health savings accounts eventually adopted into federal law. They work with elected officials and citizens to make government budget writing transparent and to focus it on real priorities, cutting spending on programs that are unnecessary, counterproductive or unconstitutional.

Constitutional Law: The Freedom Foundation’s Theodore L. Stiles Center for Liberty advances the rule of law and a legal climate where individuals can exercise their fundamental liberties and government is limited to its proper role. They seek to defend individuals against government encroachments upon their rights; unite lawyers who believe that the purpose of the law is to protect liberty; promote a judiciary that embraces its obligation to interpret the constitution; and expand the public’s understanding of the rule of law.

Principles & Voting: The Freedom Foundation anchors their policy work on the principles that made this nation great, and to offer educational programs and presentations on these “first principles.” The Freedom Foundation is also a leading voice for constitutional federalism and election integrity.

You can find lots of resources on all these topics, including blogs, daily radio show podcasts, and weekly video updates at The Freedom Foundation’s website at www.freedomfoundation.com. Sign-up for their email at the bottom of their homepage.

This article was submitted by Kelley Unger, Friday Harbor resident since 2015. Kelley is currently employed as the Director of Development Operations at Discovery Institute, where she has served since 2006.