Honesty and accountability in government commonly rate as the biggest deciding factors for voters all over the country and in Washington State. Accountability and transparency appear to have taken a back seat on the national level with the Department of Justice refusing to disclose information to Congress over the Fast and Furious government gun-running scandal, as well as its challenges in federal court to voter identification laws. As Governor Gregoire fights the Freedom Foundation in State Supreme Court over public records requests, we appear to be a microcosm of the nation as a whole here in the Pacific Northwest.
Votes deciding what our political direction should be locally and nationally must be made again this year as citizens are again being inundated with political ads. A few political tiffs that caught this writer’s attention this week were from the Montana Secretary of State race in parallel with the Washington State Auditor and Secretary of State races.
The race for Washington State Auditor took a sharp turn from being relatively quiet when local businessman and State Auditor candidate James Watkins recently released a campaign website about his opponent, FactCheckTroyKelley.com. The website outlines State Representative Kelley’s history of involvement in not just one, but many bizarre lawsuits. When given a chance to clear the air, Rep. Kelley took the ball and went home, refusing to appear at a televised debate with Watkins.
Brad Johnson recently released the website LindaIgnoresFraud.com, slamming Montana Secretary of State Linda McCulloch on the subject of voter fraud. The website addresses and refutes McCulloch’s assertion that voter fraud does not exist and her staunch opposition to a voter identification law. Endorsed early on in the race by Washington State’s retiring Secretary of State Sam Reed, Johnson pledged to fight voter fraud and made that a cornerstone of his campaign.
Washington State voters face a Secretary of State choice between experienced Thurston County Auditor Kim Wyman — a proponent of keeping the voting system accountable to the people — and former State Senator Kathleen Drew. Drew focuses not as much on securing our votes here in the Evergreen State, but on things like voter pre-registration of 16 and 17-year-olds and mischaracterizes voter fraud prevention on her website as “efforts to suppress or discourage any groups or individuals from voting.”
With trust and accountability a large factor determining elections could Kelly, Drew, and McCulloch could all be on the outside looking in after voters make their decision in November? Only time will tell.
Phil Watson blogs on TheGunMag.com, the Director of Special Projects at the Second Amendment Foundation, and the Executive Director for the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights. Connect with Phil on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.