If that sounds "extreme" WE assure you that we've followed this for some time and seen the evidence - emails that you can read for yourself (links are provided below, they're underlined) - and there's no question that a small circle of insiders has been slathering and snickering over ways to manipulate the political system so that Bellingham elitists can dominate the will of 60% of the county.
Seldom has the expression “elections have consequences” held more meaning to Whatcom County than it will this November. Fearing that Whatcom voters will approve ballot Propositions 1-2-3 to establish district voting for County Council, local “progressives” led by Lisa McShane, former Bellingham Mayor Tim Douglas, Charter Review Commissioner Todd Donovan, and the environmental extremist group RE Sources for Sustainable Communities began planning a campaign to undermine
You may have noticed that your perspective on local issues has little or no voice on our current County Council. Not satisfied with controlling seven out of seven council seats under our current system, on July 7 the liberal/progressive monopoly, with the help of their leader Council Chair Carl Weimer, rammed through Ordinance 2015-029, throwing normal process under the bus. This ordinance deliberately added yet another proposed Charter Amendment, ballot Proposition 9, to an already complicated and lengthy ballot.
Promoted by RE Sources using subtle warm and fuzzy propaganda terms like “equal” and “fair”, Council’s proposed Charter Amendment 9 would gerrymander Whatcom County’s long-established voting districts by redrawing the map to create five new districts out of three, two of them in Bellingham.
Using mandatory language contained in their ordinance (which carries the force of law), council directs that each of the five new districts “shall contain” specific small cities, communities, and areas of the county. The council would also add an additional at-large council position, making two “at-large” seats on the council of seven.
If voters approve Propositions 1-2-3 enacting district voting, and they were also to approve ballot Proposition 9, here is what you would likely see for the indefinite future, or at least until the next Charter Review is scheduled to take place ten years from now: two “safe seats” in Bellingham,along with two more seats elected “at large” (same system that produced our current monopoly), for a “permanent majority” of at least four of seven seats, before even considering the McShane/Donovan group’s defined and gerrymandered new county districts.
The exercise amounts to a carefully planned and blatant power grab by the progressives and their environmental extremist allies at RE Sources. The ultimate objective, of course, is to create as much chaos and confusion as possible among unsuspecting voters. the theory is that confused or angry voters would be likely to reject recommended Charter Review Commission amendments to the County Charter.
Last month the popular blog The Fourth Corner began publishing an expose’ series on behind the scenes workings of the Tom Steyer-elected Commissioners and County Council during the Charter Review Process. Here is a brief outline of the series, with links to each part:
Part 1: Much Revealed in Public Records Request … They met early and often
The Fourth Corner made a Public Records Request for the Charter Review Commissioners’ and County Council’s records, emails, and texts concerning the Whatcom County Charter.
Records reveal that barely ten days after election results were certified in 2014, the liberal faction of the Charter Review Commission had a plan to defeat fair district voting and present a 5-district proposal that would retain Democrat power.
Part 2: “Five Districts" was never meant to be Fair and Equitable….. "Five Districts" is about fighting against District Only voting (click “Part 2” link)
Part 3: Behind the scenes maneuvering puts the "5 District" proposal on the ballot Those with plenty of curiosity won’t want to miss the “live”, super-script sized numbered links to several of the more damning e-mails uncovered through public disclosure with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission (PDC).
PDC Complaint filed against RE Sources
Finally, on September 3, 2015 Charlie Crabtree filed an official complaint with the PDC against RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, alleging numerous violations of our state’s Public Disclosure Act. (Charlie currently serves as Chair of the Whatcom County Republican Party). The complaint may be viewed in its entirety at the above link.
Part 4: Postscript: "You won't see this reported in the local media" (Charlie Crabtree, quoted in The Fourth Corner).
Part 4 provides additional background on the PDC complaint and events leading to its filing, including content from several key emails obtained through public disclosure requests.