The most perplexing instance I’ve seen of an elected representative whose views don’t match up with the views of their electorate is one I’ve watched for quite some time in my own backyard. It’s Jim Moeller (D), State Representative in Washington’s 49th Legislative District. Making this even more perturbing is that Moeller has been elected to this post six times, after sitting on the Vancouver WA City Council for two terms. The only logical explanation I can come up with for “Why has this been happening?!” is that he hasn’t had to face an opponent whose views are more in line than his are with those of the voters. However, this year Moeller is being more than matched by a candidate who, unlike him, is very much like the constituency of the 49th and who shares their views … Lisa Ross (R).
DOGMA WITHOUT COMMON SENSE
In order for a Career Politician to be elected repeatedly, he must do more than be lucky in drawing weak opposition, though. Added to this is that Moeller’s engaging intellect comes across in his presentation. The combination of these two things usually leads to it being overlooked that most of his positions reflect his own personal views (the views of an extreme ideologue), not those of his electorate and that they lack a key element … Common Sense.
OF THE PEOPLE
Lisa Ross, on the other hand, decided to run for State Representative, specifically, because she recognized that her views are most consistent with voters in the 49th while Moeller’s are not. Here’s Lisa statement on that:
BEGINNING WITH COMMON SENSE
“I am running to represent you in the 49th because the people of the 49th deserve a representative who knows many of the struggles that come with being a family in this day and age. You also deserve someone who makes budgetary decisions based on sound fiscal policy, the principles of smaller government, and the best interest of the constituents – someone who will treat you with respect and civility – even if you disagree with them.”
And, Lisa’s approach with each of the issues that concern those voters begins with Common Sense. As she puts it,
“Before I propose or vote for a bill, it must have a ‘Yes’ answer to three basic questions:
1. Is it something the state government should be doing?
2. Does it make fiscal sense?
3. Does it work? That is, could it accomplish what it was designed to accomplish?”
LOOK AT ALL THE ISSUES …
Of course, you shouldn’t just take my recommendation for Lisa Ross. As you should before voting for any candidate, you should check out Lisa thoroughly on your own. I suggest beginning by looking at her support for a State Constitutional Amendment requiring a two-thirds majority of the legislature to raise taxes or close tax loopholes. Voters in the 49th favored a 2010 initiative for this by 67%. Adversely, Moeller opposed it and joined in a subsequent lawsuit against the voters to have it overturned.
… BELIEFS …
Next, I suggest looking at Lisa’s stance relative to some of Moeller’s deep-seated personal dogmatic positions. To illustrate what I have in mind, here is one of Moeller’s opinions, from the “I Believe” tab on his campaign website:
“I believe that we have an obligation to prepare the way for the next generation through tax investments in our schools, roads, and other basic civic structures just as our parents did for us. We should ‘leave the campground better than we found it!'”
At first blush, that sounds fairly reasonable doesn’t it? As I said earlier, Moeller’s engaging intellect comes across in his presentation. Certainly, “investments in our schools, roads, and other basic civic structures” are needed but in checking out the whole thought for Common Sense, it’s found to be lacking in the part that says “… just as our parents did for us. We should ‘leave the campground better than we found it!'” to make that clear, let’s take a closer look at what “our parents did for us” and how we’re “(leaving) the campground”.
My Dad was a Greatest Generation guy. One of the best summaries I’ve read about this group was in an article written by a fellow-Baby-Boomer. It was entitled “The Greatest Generation and its Legacy …“. It said:
“… my parents were born prior to the Great Depression and their childhood was shaped by the devastation of that era. They grew up with little (in comparison to me or to my children). They worked from early youth with family chores and to make a buck here and there. They endured adversity and want only to find the world at war in their young adulthood. They and their families worked and served at home and abroad to secure victory against the Nazis. Their married life was shaped by Korea and the Cold War. My father started his own business and poured his heart and soul and countless hours of effort and energy to make a living and to make a life for his family. My mother worked in the business and kept the house and served as primary parent on site. In addition to all of this, both were extremely active in the community — the Town Board, the volunteer Fire Department, the Women’s Club, Scouts, etc… Their legacy was one of sacrifice and service.”
Of course, these folks recognized that they wouldn’t be around to reap the benefits of some of their “investments in our schools, roads, and other basic civic structures”. They, also, knew that the following generations who would realize those benefits would, likewise, inherit the tab for this. But, as they did with every other aspect of their lives, they did all they could to do their part and to leave as little as possible for the next guy. As the summary said, “Their legacy was one of sacrifice and service”.
But, look at what’s been done with that legacy. When guys my Dad’s age reached retirement in 1982, the per capita GDP was $25,000. When I reached retirement age in 2012, the per capita GDP had increased by a factor of 2.1 to $51,775. Although that may seem like a dramatic increase it’s nothing like the increase in our national debt. During that same time, our national debt has increased by a factor of 14.1. That is not “just as our parents did for us”. It is the legacy of ideologues, like Moeller, who want to keep heaping up that unbearable burden for future generations. That’s a long way from “(leaving) the campground better than we found it!”
Lisa Ross expresses her differing belief in this regard with a down-to-earth Common Sense approach that says,
“I believe that most people are good at heart, and that moreover we gladly contribute to prepare a better way for our children and grandchildren. I believe that people want their money spent wisely and responsibly, not on projects that can’t solve the problem.I believe that duty and responsibility, and not simply supposed obligations to the future, are what made this country great and different. We the people have these duties because we are the government. We the people get to choose the direction we are headed. We the people can decide what to do with our money.”
… AND ATTITUDES
Finally, as you consider the differences between Lisa Ross and her opponent on the many other issues, I recommend that you bear in mind a fundamental difference underlying all of those issues. That is their respective attitudes towards the city where they both live, Vancouver, WA, the city that encompasses the legislative district they’re vying to represent.
Since Moeller is a native of Vancouver, you’d expect him to consistently speak favorably of his hometown. Just by taking a look at his comments on social media, though, you find that’s not always the case. He’s been known to disparage the city by referring to it as “Vantucky”. In hand with that, he seems to aspire to make Vancouver more like Portland or Seattle, places where he seems to spend much of his time. In other words, Moeller doesn’t seem to be as interested in making Vancouver better as he is in making it somewhere else.
By contrast, in her own words, here is Lisa’s outlook on Vancouver, as her home:
“Eleven years ago in May, we decided to move from our home in Alabama, after searching all over the United States to find the best combination of climate, educational opportunities, and proximity to nature. We found all that here in Southwest Washington. So, we packed up all of our worldly belongings, as well as those of my parents and we moved here with the hope of a brighter future for our family. When we got to Vancouver, we felt at home right away. We feel incredibly blessed to live here.”
With that, as you proceed to thoroughly check out Lisa Ross on your own, to see if you agree with me and that she merits your endorsement, let me leave you with what she has to say about why you should Select Lisa Ross (R) for State Representative (WA 49):
“You deserve someone who believes that where we are going still can be better than where we have been. Someone who knows first-hand about second chances, new beginnings, and that hope springs eternal. I would represent you with distinction. Don’t choose the well-worn path that leads in the wrong direction. Select Lisa Ross. Because you have a choice, choose more.”