Election Results

posted in: Chair's Corner | 0

Newsletter from 11/16/17


View this email in your browser
Greetings Conservatives!

SJCRP Central Committee Meeting
Dec 2, 2017
12 pm
Friday Harbor Heritage Bank
details here


VETERAN’S DAY (11/11)A special thanks to those who serve or who have family that serve in the Armed Services. The percentage of our population that does so is ever shrinking.

Fox news analyst wrote, “Army officer: In a divided country, will it soon become dangerous to wear my uniform in public?” To quote:

“To be clear, I’m not calling for Americans to blindly worship the military. As Army veteran David French aptly pointed out in a recent piece in the National Review: “Not everyone in the military is a hero. The mere act of donning a uniform does not make you any better than any other American.”

And I agree with French’s assertion that “loving the troops and supporting the military means holding both accountable.” But military accountability is an entirely different issue from the growing anti-American sentiment percolating through our culture.”

Yes, indeed. On that matter, someone else sent me this video, “We Swore We Would Never Forget 9/11. But We Did. — Reality Check” (MRC TV)

Note also the Island Guardian on Veteran’s Day

Although politics seems the very opposite of military service in many negative ways, it is the decisions that politicians make that determine whether the sacrifices made by our armed services are made on a forgotten battlefield or as part of a remembered victory. I can think of no better reason to do our part in our democracy than that.

Pictured: Candidate Englund

No beating around the bush, this was a difficult election. But it was not a hopeless one. If you still haven’t seen the results:

If you need some humor to cheer you up, SNL took pot shots at Democrats (for once).

We had a large group of observers this year spread across SJI, Orcas, and especially Lopez. Thank you each for your efforts!!



“Friday Harbor forum on how to treat Muslims as neighbors,” Nov 19th (Journal)

“County topics addressed at San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau membership meeting” (Journal)

“Inslee names Loring as San Juan County Superior Court Judge” (Journal)

“OPALCO Seeks Board Member for Lopez.” (Islands Weekly) This is a great way to serve your community, and as it is “non-partisan” it can be a great way for a conservative to contribute.

“San Juan County staff to assess how much land is undeveloped | Comprehensive Plan” (Islands Weekly)

“Environmental Groups Speak Out Against Anacortes Refinery Petrochemical Expansion Proposal in Salish Sea” (Islands Weekly)

“Leadership San Juan Islands (LSJI) continues recruiting for Class XIV, with applications due by Monday, Nov. 27 at 5 p.m.” (Sounder)

State Sen Kevin Ranker’s new editorial, “Building the blue wall” (I think this is drawn from a speech, although the text doesn’t say that)
“Washington State Ferries honor veterans” (Journal)

“Assessed Value And Levy Rates Sent Out” (Island Guardian)

I have updated our calendar on the website, including the WS Rep Party calendar.

Ballots due Tuesday; newsletter (yes, boring title…)

posted in: Chair's Corner | 0
Greetings Conservatives!

Ballots Due Tuesday 11/7!

These types of elections are always a challenge for us. Although they are “non-partisan,” just saying it doesn’t make it so. Many of the most partisan, vicious people I have met claim to have no party affiliation.


On the other hand, some of the most temperamentally cheerful and welcoming people I have met embrace their party. They recognize the value of a coalition of like-minded (not same-minded) people, and see a party not as an oppressive system of same-ness, but as a coalition of allied people with diverse beliefs and intents. We stick together to allow each person the right to speak their conscience, rather than to be targeted by those who oppose us all.


So here is our solution: we do not have official positions as a party. But just as with the last special elections last spring, if you wish I can put you in touch with a conservative in your area to give you their thoughts. Or, you can use our list of PCOs on our website here.


Lastly, the voter’s guide is here. Most of the candidates are pretty upfront about where they stand if you pay attention. The papers have published many letters and candidate Q & As, which we have tried our best to post over the last few weeks.



This week we have a special from Kelley Unger, who works for the Discovery Institute as the Director of Development Operations. We asked her to tell us a little bit about it for our membership:



In an age of fake media, polarizing social media posts, and left-leaning academic institutions, where do conservatives turn for positive news and programming? Believe it or not, there are many reliable and trustworthy organizations who are promoting conservative values.


In fact, Seattle, Washington is home to one such organization. Discovery Institute is a nonpartisan, secular think that that promotes thoughtful analysis and effective action on local, regional, national and international issues. The Institute is home to an inter-disciplinary community of scholars and policy advocates dedicated to the reinvigoration of traditional Western principles and institutions and the worldview from which they issued.


Discovery Institute has a special concern for the role that science and technology play in our culture and how they can advance free markets, illuminate public policy and support the theistic foundations of the West. The Institute was founded by Bruce Chapman and George Gilder in 1991. Their board was at one time chaired by Congressman John R. Miller (RIP) and Michael Medved is one of their Senior Fellows.


Many may have heard about their largest program, the Center for Science & Culture (CSC), because since 2004 the intelligent design movement has gotten a lot of press (whether fair or unfair). The CSC is the institutional hub for scientists, educators, and inquiring minds who think that nature supplies compelling evidence of intelligent design. It supports research, sponsor educational programs, defend free speech, and produce articles, books, and multimedia content.


Discovery Institute also has a number of other programs that have made a significant impact both regionally and nationally, including: [read the rest on our website here.]  


This is the first of several articles from Kelley Unger, introducing us to the world of conservative think tanks. 


Thank you Kelley!!




Voter’s Guide here.


The Journal’s endorsements for 2017 here. They are usually pretty candid, so even if you disagree on every race it’s still a useful springboard for those on SJI.


There are a LOT of letters. I’d encourage you to read them on each paper’s website under “letters to the editor.” Letters for each candidate are often posted on the same web link, so that one link may include 4 letters. Also, the editorials are not published on the front page of the website, you have to click “opinion.”


Recycling and waste processing has been in the local news quite a bit.

San Juan Island EMS faces budget concerns as chief resigns.”


If you live in F.H., there was a Q&A with mayoral candidates, published here.

Four steps to lower your monthly energy bill | Guest Column


Housing and land use remains in the local news:


OPALCO Board Member Jim Lett to retire


WSDOT seeking input on 20-year plan, ends on Nov 7th.


Our community faces numerous challenges, and SJC Dems have hit on a solution: Spend their effort sending a resolution to their state leaders stating that a single payer health care system is the way to go. Yeah for politically realistic goals and constructive solutions! It makes me wince, though I guess I shouldn’t mind that they are busy wasting their time.


The Islands Weekly and the Sounder have had few if any op-ed or editorial since mid October. If anybody wants to write something, it’s a good time. There have been lots of letters though, and that may be why.




“Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has now filed or joined 17 lawsuits against the Trump administration. Ferguson this week outlined the lawsuits in response to a request from some GOP state senators.” (Seattle Times)


Last week the Seattle Times reported that “Washington’s Supreme Court justices on Tuesday weighed whether lawmakers have done enough to fulfill the court’s landmark school-funding ruling, known as the McCleary decision.”

  • Somewhat predicatably, the Seattle TImes ran an editorial arguing that the state should raise more taxes to increase funding: “The “mission accomplished” banner was hung prematurely in the state Legislature. The Supreme Court should retain jurisdiction on the McCleary case and tell lawmakers to keep working.”
  • There’s a pretty good summary as part of a series of live updates from the State Supreme Court hearing here. (Seattle Times)
  • This activist State Supreme Court has made a highly subjective decision about how well schools are funded, and it may yet mean substantial tax increases for state residents

For those still in the workforce, Washinton State passed a new parental leave law, though it doesn’t take effect until 2020. Fox News (local channel 13) has spends a little more time discussing the nuts and bolts of it here.


Ballot Observers Needed!

posted in: Chair's Corner | 0

It’s Election Time…


… and observers are needed!


Have you ever wondered how ballots are collected from Lopez and Orcas?

The relevant law is found here: WAC 434-250-100: Ballot deposit sites.

On Lopez and orcas, the ballots are usually picked up two to three times per election. The Box can only be opened with two people present, per state law. They open the box, move the ballots into a secure container (see picture), sign the log with the proper ID number (corresponding to the seal) and place it INSIDE the container with the ballots, attach a padlock, and then secure a plastic seal (see picture). The seal has a number on it, and it must align with the log that is inside the container.

The key to this system is the seal. Much like a wax seal in the middle ages or the seal on a container of a yogurt/bottle of juice, it is very easy to see if the box has been tampered with — assuming it’s used properly. If the padlock is opened, the seal breaks. It cannot be resealed, whereas a padlock can simply be simply be closed. It would be like trying to make a ziptie look like you didn’t cut it.

In Friday Harbor they are kept in in a metal cage, only two official full time election workers have access to it. They must sign a log when doing so. It is kept out in the open at the elections office to help avoid impropriety.

Camolyn is the current elections supervisor following Doris’s retirement. She has been forthright and helpful. Their office agreed to observers when the ballots are picked up on Lopez and orcas. But we need people who are willing to do it.

We may also observe in Friday Harbor, though this is the least vulnerable part.




Padlock with numbered plastic seal; its the same thing that goes on the transfer container


 Transfer container



Voter’s guide found here.

The Big News in WA State politics was that the Seattle Times endorsed Republican Jinyoung Englund for state senate in the 45th legislative district. This district will play the pivotal role in determining which party has control of the state senate. It’s not too late to donate to Englund!

  • “…thank goodness the Republican-controlled Senate stood in the way of less responsible spending. As the state has scrambled to address the Supreme Court’s McCleary decision demanding more state money for education, Republicans forced some hard compromises to answer those demands.”
  • Read about their debate here.
  • Read the Englund campaign’s press release here on our website.

Republican Dino Rossi piles up cash advantage over Democrats to succeed U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert in the 8th district. Keep in mind that the Democrats haven’t settled on one candidate, so it’s unclear how difficult a fight this will be. This is for 2018.

Q&A with San Juan County Public Hospital District 1 candidates (Journal)

Petition for public hospital district  [on Orcas] to go before council”

Draft county budget set; challenging, says auditor.” (Journal)

One county health insurer remains for individual plans” (Sounder)

Three of the five positions on the Orcas Island School District school board are being vacated, making room for new directors. The following candidates are running unopposed in the November election: Diane Boerstler, Joshua Culp and John Fleming.” (Sounder)

There are lots of letters, too many to note. You can find letters in the Journal hereSounder here, and Islands Weekly here, as well as “Senator Ranker endorses bond and levy

Does anybody miss the county calendar feature? Email me if you do. 

Central Committee Meeting on Sept 30th (and the news digest)

posted in: Chair's Corner | 0





Central Committee Meeting 

Sept 30th, 12 pm

Heritage Bank meeting room

in Friday Harbor 

535 Market Street 

(go around back)


And Announcing an Encore Event:

with Ed Kilduff, Hydrologist 

Oct 7th

Orcas Island 

More details forthcoming

Save the Date!


Public Service Announcements: Flu Clinic, Burn Ban lightened 

First a public service announcement — fall flu clinics are coming shortly, between Sept 20th and Nov 15th, depending on your island.


Also, campfire restrictions are being eased. It’s been a bad year for fires!


Lasty, the “local newspapers are producing the second annual Senior Resource Guide. Like last year, it will feature information about local services that strive to meet just about every senior need from housing to healthcare. We have incredible organizations and dedicated volunteers in San Juan County… If you have a business or program that you would like to be in the guide, please call Colleen Armstrong at the Sounder at 360-376-4500.”

Housing and Land Use


After being in the hands of the Ericson family for decades, 380 A Street, the property housing Friday Harbor Freight Lines, Susie Mopeds, Groovy Things, and KFD Construction, sold to JAC 175 Web San Juan LLC of Seattle, for $1,770,000 on Aug. 21.”
On a related subject:


The county is attempting to increase the amount of affordable housing. “The San Juan County Land Bank has owned the 1.7 acres of empty lots at the corner of Malcolm Street and Argyle Avenue since 2003, according to data from the county assessor’s office… A public hearing on the sale is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 3”


It’s hard to see how 1.7 acres of land would make a difference unless they build apartments, and I’ve never seen them do that. Also, some conservatives have serious concerns about some of thes organizations. But it might be a great idea, who knows? If you do, let me know.
Also, the Comprehensive plan update meetings begin in a couple weeks, Oct 2-4. I posted this link last week as well. This matters quite a bit for land use and housing.


The county has quite a bit of detail on their website here. It also has a calendar for the upcoming events and access to many of the documents.


This stuff isn’t sexy, but it matters quite a lot. I’d like to publish some research based work by conservatives that deal with these subjects. If you’re interested, you know the number (as it were): sjcrpchair@gmail.com . I actually do check it, and answer it; many of you have taken me up on that offer.



Councilman Rick Hughes on ferries and the sanctuary county measure. Do you agree? Orcas public hospital district to be on April 2018 ballot. Last week there were at least 6 letters. I posted some of those last week.


A few weeks ago I mentioned a major state transportation meeting in our county. Sound Publishing posted this account, titled “Ranker speaks to Washington State Transportation Commission about summer ferry interruptions.” It notes that more coverage is forthcoming.


A few weeks ago I noted that hunting season opened, and that our deer density is too high currently. The paper published an article on that, though they posted it two days before the event it mentions so part of the article is irrelevant. Article titled “The impact of deer on the San Juan Islands



“The release of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) analyzing an increase of EA-18G Growler aircraft at the NAS Whidbey Island complex, originally scheduled for autumn of this year, is being extended for about 10 months.”


Cali Baby’s editorial this week was on agriculture in the county. “Many ways to savor the San Juans.”


TED(x), the local version of TED talks is Sat 9/23 (today) in San Juan County. You may have seen signs around about it. if you’re attending, I’d be interested to hear how it went.


SJC Council Monday Meeting

September 25, 2017, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM @ Legislative Building


OPALCO Open Houses
Sept 25-28th, Lopez, SJI, Orcas, Shaw; OPALCO website has more info


Building Advisory Council Meeting
September 28, 2017, 11:45 AM - 1:00 PM @ Large Legislative Conference Room


Veterans Advisory Board Meeting
September 29, 2017, 11:45 AM - 1:45 PM @ Large Legislative Conference Room


Eastsound Plan Review Committee Meeting
October 5, 2017, 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM @ Eastsound Station 21


Noxious Weed Control Board Meeting
October 6, 2017, 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM @ WSU – Skagit Campus


NOTE: Herb Meyer is speaking to Skagit Republicans on Oct 4th. Email Bob Eberle for details: bob@eberlecb.com

A Difficult Summer

posted in: Chair's Corner | 0




view email in original formatting here


Another September 11th has come and gone, but we haven’t forgotten the fallen. I still remember exactly where I was and exactly what I was doing. I can’t say that about last Thursday, much less a date almost 2 decades ago.

Soon thereafter I changed my major to Middle East Studies/Arabic and planned a career in the Intelligence Services — a life plan that didn’t pan out, as is often the case.

Many other life plans didn’t workout that day, and in much more profound ways. Our thoughts and prayers go with those they left behind. Our entire country was changed by that day.

So likewise, but less severely, over the last few months many lives have been uprooted by Irma, Harvey, and various fires across the Northwest. Our own state had at least two public shootings that I can think of, most recently in Spokane. This summer there were many more funerals than I am accustomed to seeing.

We hope and pray for all who are in harm’s way, and those who must struggle to piece their lives back together, whatever the reason.


County Health Care: Proposed Public Hospital District (PHD) on Orcas, SJI Lifecare Center to close, and PP Coming to Orcas

Late Friday the Sounder published a series of articles regarding health care on Orcas Island.

The generically titled “Hospital district could be on April 2018 ballot” which lays out the case for a PHD. A PHD is not a hospital, despite the name, rather a junior taxing district which can contract debt, propose taxing levies, and contract for medical services of many kinds.

A group calling itself “Our Revolution of San Juan County” had a press release published in the Sounder regarding an upcoming lecture on Sept 22 on Orcas by Linda McCarthy, the executive director of the Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood in Bellingham.

The Orcas Medical Foundation reported on their first day of operation under UW leadership.

Several letters, one by conservative Tom Ritter (of the Gentleman’s Club), one by JoEllen Moldoff, and one by Art Lange all advocate for having the establishment of a PHD on the ballot (though do not all necessarily explicitly advocate voting for it).

ON SJI, the Lifecare center is slated to close this fall.

The State AG last week sued St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma for “withheld charity care from tens of thousands of low-income patients since 2012.” The industry across the state is paying attention.

Because I work for PHD #1 on SJI, I want to note that I am doing my best to here reproduce the news and consolidate it. I am not taking a position on any of it.


Local and State News Digest

The letters and articles justifying the harassment we received at the fair continues. They all seem to boil down to the same line of reasoning: a laughably mild rebuke of the treatment we received proceeded by justifications for harassing us. This is hardly surprising. In any case, in addition to the ones previously published, Eric Hall on Lopez and Michael Riordan on Orcas both argued in defense of the harassment we received. Barbara Parnes guardedly stuck up for us, which we appreciate.

Barbara Parne’s letter reminded me of a Ted Talk that a friend sent my way about a friendship between a conservative and a liberal (yes, TED talks found this sufficiently original to justify inclusion).

  • Best line ever: “‘Mom, we don’t know anybody who voted for Trump do we?’ and I paused, and I took a deep breath. ‘Yes, we do. The Quatramannis.’ And his response was so great: He kind of got this confused look on his face, and he said ‘But we love them!'”
  • People I have known for years have shown such a similiar response, “wait, you’re a conservative?” And I’ve not exactly been undercover, I’ve been involved for years.
  • In any case, most of us have many friends who are liberals, we are surrounded by them, but I think many liberals in this county honestly think conservatives don’t exist except in stories to frighten children.

letter about the ferry issues over the summer in the Islands Weekly.

Another letter in the Islands Weekly endorsed Chris Greacen for school board on Lopez. This is quite a few letters for Lopez!

Vote counting equipment will be tested on Sept 20th. It seems this is standard in advance of an election.

OPALCO is rolling out details regarding their planned solar array. If I am reading it correctly, they plan to sell shares in the arrays to fund their placement.

On SJI, “Pear Point Road residents question plans for the connector road.” This is a subject that has received quite a bit of coverage and proven fairly controversial.

Deputies injured at San Juan County Sheriff’s Office training” It does not sound like any lasting harm was done. Those steel targets are pretty neat, you fire at it and has a tuning fork behind it so that you hear a different chime depending where you hit it. However, there are definitely distance requirements, and they vary depending on what rounds you are using.

The Port of Friday Harbor is seriously considering buying Jensen Boat Yard.

“The San Juan County Department of Community Development will be hosting events to solicit public input on the County’s Comprehensive Plan vision, values, and priorities.”

Seattle’s mayor stepped down after another accusation of rape, this on from a cousin.

Last, but not least: “Spokane-area school shooting: A gun jams, and a student tries to help,” also on ABC here.

A friend sent this to me, and the linguist in me liked it: “How Orwell Became the Prophet Who Foresaw Our Future.” It describes how the use of language to alter perception impacts how we see the world. Burgess’s “A Clockwork Orange” did the same thing, by using slang words and euphemism to describe horrific acts he showed how evil can loose its impact on us.


Voting Equipment Test
Sept 20th

Board of Health Meeting
September 20, 2017, 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM @ Council Hearing Room

SJC Council Monday Meeting
September 18, 2017, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM @ Legislative Building

SJC Council Tuesday Meeting

September 19, 2017, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM @ Legislative Building

The SJC Council’s Tuesday, September 19 Public Hearing to Adopt a Shoreline Master Program Ordinance will be postponed from its originally published time. The Public Hearing on the Shoreline Master Program Ordinance will open as advertised at 9:15 AM on September 19, and postponed to 02:15 PM in the afternoon. Public testimony will be heard at 2:15. The Washington State Transportation Commission has scheduled a meeting on September 19 in Friday Harbor and the Council plans to attend.

Agricultural Resources Committee Meeting
September 20, 2017, 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM @ Meeting available via videoconference at WSU San Juan Island campus and Lopez and Orcas public libraries

Parks and Recreation Commission Meeting
September 21, 2017, 10:30 AM - 2:30 PM @ Shaw County Park

Lopez Solid Waste Disposal District Meeting
September 21, 2017, 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM @ Lopez Island Fire District 4

SJC Council Monday Meeting
September 25, 2017, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM @ Legislative Building


Nathan Butler

Chair, San Juan County Republican Party

Email: sjcrpchair@gmail.com


“No matter how conservative your views may be, unless you do something about it you really aren’t that conservative.”