Lot’s of News to Cover!

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Newsletter from Jan 10, 2018:


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)




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



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.”



“‘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.