SJI strike, ferry drama continues, locals on harassment of Republicans and more

posted in: Chair's Corner | 0



As residents of an island, I think we know better than many how vulnerable one can be when things go wrong. We express our sincerest condolences to those in harms way as Hurricane Harvey causes untold devastation and trauma. You are in our thoughts and prayers. The Houston Chronicle lists some ways you can help.

Locals Respond to SJCRP Statement on Harassment of Republicans

This week our press release regarding harassment Republicans received in the county fair was covered by all of Sound Publishing’s papers. It was posted online in the Journal, the Sounder, and the Islands weekly. Islands Guardian chose not to cover it. It went online well in advance of the print version, so there has already been plenty of response.

  • It was interesting to see how it was handled differently. For instance, the Sounder states “alleged harassment” (despite 12 signatories), while the other two simply state that we were harassed. They made some modest edits for length, but fairly represented it. The original statement can be found here.
  • This ignited a firestorm of discussion. I’m told the number of comments on Rant and Rave exceeds several hundred. Certainly the message threads on the articles themselves have been extensive.
  • Many have said that we deserved it because of Trump, others have been supportive. It never ceases to amaze me the philosophical gymnastics made to justify very bad behavior when it’s “their” side. Case in point: Martha Fuller’s full length article on this subject in the Sounder. I’ll let you read it and decide for yourself.
  • Even so, plenty of people have been supportive and we thank them.

Local and State News

As previously circulated, last week the Journal published an editorial criticizing the speed with which the county council passed the “sanctuary county” measure, and the fact that they didn’t allow the public to vote on it. We also published several letters criticizing the measure.

  • In response, the reporter was attacked (in print, I should say) for publishing an opinion piece, despite also covering it in the news. It seems more likely that it was because she dared take a position that was vaguely conservative, I’ve seen their reporters take liberal positions on issues they previously reported on many times.
  • The Chairman of the Democrats, David Turnoy, published a letter defending the sanctuary county measure and the way it was handled. I thought his letter was an articulate defense of immigration, but I couldn’t figure out how it justifies illegal immigration.
  • I think his letter was at least in part a response to letters published by myself, Barry Cave, and Katherine Schwartz (see last week), which may provide some context.

Although it has no real political significance for this newsletter, please note a general burn ban, including campfires.

There is some news regarding health care services on Orcas and Lopez. For one, UW has named a chief for their Orcas and Lopez island clinics. For another, a group calling itself “Coalition for Orcas Health Care” has petitioned for the establishment of a public hospital district.

Some school related news. Orcas Island School district hired a new para-educator. In San Juan Island School District the teachers are striking.

If you want to vote for a custom SJC license plate click here for guidance.

Regarding ferries, the Hyak has been pulled, and its slot is being filled by the Kitsap from the Mukilteo/Clinton route. During routine maintenance on the 30th it was discovered to have more serious problems. It will be out for two weeks.

Last week the news covered the release of farmed Salmon from a damaged pen. Legislators are seeking review of the industry.

New rules governing public records requests are being considered in WA State. The Seattle Times didn’t run an article on this that I could find, but they did have an editorial.

In an article giving plenty of space to her challenger, the Seattle Times noted that the US House’s most high ranking Republican female is facing a new opponent.

The League of Women Voters is starting a “County Comp Plan” program, to be held on September 11th.

In the last couple months I’ve been published at least a dozen times. I can’t possibly respond to them all. Please consider speaking up. Thank you to those who have done so. Links to local media here.

Last, but not least, I think this headline is emblamatic of how hysterical the left has become: “Last straw: Flyer on campus calls for banning veterans from attending class.” Horrifying. Truly horrifying. If the “common sense” of the left is that Republicans are all racist (an assumption I encoured over and over again at the fair), we will see more of this. It is genuinely frightening to see how something so patently untrue and damaging could be assumed true by so many.



Nathan Butler

Chair, San Juan County Republican Party



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