Newsletter: Great Weather, Big Fun - Kickoff, Parades, and Burgers

Friends and Neighbors,

It has been an incredibly busy week and the last few days have flown by. However we are making excellent progress on the campaign and having a great time in the process!

The campaign officially kicked off last Tuesday in Lakewood, and more than 200 folks came to support our vision for Pierce County. Locally-made desserts and wonderful guest speakers highlighted the night. Kim Wyman, Rob McKenna, Diane Larsen, Chaplain Mike Neil, Thomas O’Ban, and Joe Fain made the evening particularly special. The event also could not have happened without the help of Sarah and my wife Lauren - they spent countless hours preparing the venue and making sure everything ran smoothly. Thank you to everyone for coming, helping, and supporting!

 

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Newsletter: Tonight's the Night!

Friends and Neighbors,


May 31st has arrived and the campaign kickoff is here! Tonight will feature local community leaders, a family friendly environment, and honest discussion about how we can make Pierce County an even better place to live. But I would not be taking this campaign seriously enough if I did not sweeten the deal - literally.

Come enjoy fresh local treats this evening from around our county: handmade chocolates, home-baked pies, and a certain popular jam-filled pastry. This is a celebration about the work we’ve done and the even harder work left to do. Hope to see you soon!

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Newsletter: Candidate Filing In, Now It's Time To Win

Friends and Neighbors,

Our campaign continues to build momentum. We’re already setting up signs, ringing doorbells, and laying the groundwork for an action-packed election summer. And that’s us just getting started! Monday marked the beginning of candidate filing, and I wasted no time submitting my materials. I am fully committed to earning your support in the coming weeks and improving our community in the coming years.

My kickoff celebration is only two weeks away and we need you there to make this event a true success. Bring your family, bring your friends, bring the entire neighborhood - the more, the merrier! Join special guest Rob McKenna and many friends for an evening of good company and delectable desserts. The fun begins 7pm, May 31st, at the McGavick Center.

 

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Don't Miss My Campaign Kickoff Celebration!

Friends and Neighbors,

Summer is fast approaching, but we can’t finish off the spring without a little fun first:

Save the date for 7pm, Tuesday, May 31st, as we kick my campaign into high gear to be your next Pierce County Executive!

Come enjoy favorite local desserts, fresh coffee, and special guest Rob McKenna as we discuss making our county an even sweeter place to live, work, and play. Hope to see you soon!

Sincerely,

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Newsletter: Let's Make Pierce County Even Sweeter

Friends and Neighbors,

The sun is shining, those comfortable spring evenings are here, and the campaign is really heating up! Since our last update, the team has picked up hundreds more yard signs (reserve yours now), set up multiple fundraisers, and packed the calendar full of fun activities throughout the area. We are going to have one busy and exciting summer!

Here’s the best news - the campaign kickoff is officially scheduled! Save the date for Tuesday, May 31st, 7pm at the McGavick Center. We’ll talk about creating 'A Sweet Future For Pierce County,' enjoy desserts from districts countywide, and hear former Attorney General Rob McKenna share his thoughts on how we’ll make our community even better. All ages and political views welcome. More details to come soon.

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Rural marijuana retailers face uncertain future

"Voters in unincorporated Pierce County were saying no to pot businesses Tuesday, setting the stage for the Pierce County Council to consider reinstating a ban on such businesses that is due expire July 1."

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Newsletter: Time to shake up Pierce County!

Friends and Neighbors,

The last few days have been refreshing! It feels great to unwind from business in Olympia, enjoy more time with Lauren, and focus on the campaign. We’re really kicking into high gear! Yard signs are printing, events are being organized, and we are building a great team of friends and volunteers.

Now is the time I need you to reach out and let me know how you can help. There are many ways to be part of the team, and we have roles for all ages. Here are some key ones:

  1. Let’s talk - Your thoughts about the county and the campaign are critical. We can’t transform county government without citizen input. Contact me and we’ll find a time to talk.
  2. Request a yard sign - Get one hot off the press! Whether you want one or many, we can deliver and help set up. 
  3. Volunteer - There will be many fun opportunities to get out, make friends, and lend support. We all have something to offer, and you can participate in the campaign at whatever level you are comfortable with. Whether you enjoy talking to voters on their doorsteps, staffing events, waving signs, or something else, we are happy to have you!

It’s going to be a busy and exciting summer, and I want everyone involved!

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Tacoma methanol plant canceled

"A proposal to build the world’s largest methanol plant at the Port of Tacoma has been canceled.

Northwest Innovation Works, the China-backed company that had proposed the $3.4 billion facility on the waterfront former Kaiser smelter site, announced Tuesday that the project had been canceled. Vee Godley, the president of Northwest Innovation Works, said regulatory uncertainty was the reason for the cancellation."

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Newsletter: The Race Is On

Friends and Neighbors,

Budgets are written, bills are becoming law, and the legislative session is officially done. This has been a challenging time at the capitol, but I am happy to say the Legislature completed its 2016 business. I served as one of the chief negotiators on the operating and capital budgets. After a 20-day special session and many long evenings, we found ways to address urgent needs while still having responsible state finances going forward.

Our supplemental budget will recruit more teachers for schools, help combat homelessness, and assist recovery from last year’s devastating wildfires. It also funds capital projects that impact Pierce County, including more than $3 million for improved mental health services at Western State Hospital and $5.5 million for K-3 classroom size reduction. This isn’t a perfect budget, and it leaves a lot of work for the Legislature next year, especially when it comes to education. But it’s a solid compromise and keeps us moving in the right direction. KOMO News did a nice budget summary.

I’m also proud of my colleagues’ dedication to enact much-needed legislation. We rescued charter schools, created a new savings program for our disabled citizens, and protected children from vapor products throughout the state. I fought hard for these bills and am thankful we got the job done.

With legislative work finished, it’s full focus on the campaign and earning your support. We’re off to the races!

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State lawmakers pass $191 million supplemental budget

"Washington state lawmakers adjourned late Tuesday after passing a 2016 supplemental budget, following 20 days in overtime struggling to reach an agreement.

The compromise budget approved Tuesday boosts staffing at Western State Hospital in Lakewood and covers the costs of fighting last year’s wildfires."

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Newsletter: Special session, special memories in Olympia

Friends and Neighbors,

It’s been busy in Olympia since my last update, and I have good and bad news to share.

I’ll start with the bad - the Legislature failed to complete its work during the 60-day legislative session. I am incredibly disappointed a responsible, balanced budget could not be agreed upon before our deadline. As we go forward, fiscal responsibility is essential for us to fully support education and our schools. Pierce County is disproportionately impacted by our over-reliance on local levies and we need state resources available to finally address the problem.

This budget failure also created lasting repercussions. The Governor vetoed a number of non-controversial bills and called lawmakers back to Olympia for a 30-day special session. Negotiations are still in progress, and I am committed to finding a solution.

The good news is a number of bills I sponsored and worked closely on passed in the House and Senate.

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Governor vetoes bills as budget negotiations continue

"The Democratic governor had threatened to veto the bills piling up on his desk if no on-time deal was reached. In the end, Inslee rejected 27 measures . . . ."

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Newsletter: Budgets, Bills, and Daffodils at the Capitol

Friends and Neighbors,

We are quickly approaching the end of the 60-day session at the Legislature. This is a ‘short’ legislative session where we provide funding for unexpected expenses, fine-tune the biennial budgets agreed upon last year, and address time-sensitive policy issues. Bills are passing in both chambers, supplemental operating and capital budgets are being negotiated, and the midnight oil is burning. It is a fast-paced and exciting time at the capitol!

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Senate passes budget to aid wildfire relief, enhance mental-health services, and protect charter schools

"The chamber eventually voted 25-22 in favor of a plan that would add about $34 million to the two-year, $38 billion operating budget adopted last year.

The proposal would direct about $173 million for addressing damage caused by last summer's wildfires that destroyed more than 300 homes and burned 1 million acres, as well as provide more than $54 million to address safety issues at Western State Hospital and aid other mental-health services.

It would also keep charter schools open by supplying them with $6.6 million from the state's Opportunity Pathways Account."

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Permitting on hold for proposed Tacoma methanol plant

"A controversial proposal to build the world’s largest methanol manufacturing plant at the Port of Tacoma has been shelved for 'the next several months,' the company proposing to build the facility said Friday afternoon."

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Senate passes legislation to create school-funding task force

"On a 26-23 vote, the Senate passed legislation that will create a task force to work on school funding issues, while promising to correct funding gaps identified in the Washington State Supreme Court’s McCleary decision by the time lawmakers adjourn in 2017."

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Carol's law passes unanimously in Senate

“Sometimes it takes an appalling case for us to see the gaps in state law,” Dammeier said in a statement after the 49-0 vote. “This bill will ensure we will never have a case like it again, and it should bring closure to Mrs. Selland’s family.”

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Time for new transportation leadership

"The state Senate on Friday rejected the gubernatorial appointment of Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson, ousting her from the job she has held since shortly after Gov. Jay Inslee took office in 2013."

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Solution to school funding still uncertain

"In the McCleary school-funding case, the court ruled in 2012 that the state is shirking its constitutional duty to cover basic education costs, and must correct the funding problems by 2018. The state is now in contempt of court over lawmakers’ failure to deliver a plan to meet the 2018 funding deadline, with the court imposing sanctions of $100,000 a day.

Yet the plan floated this month by a bipartisan group of lawmakers doesn’t propose how the state should take on the cost of school employee salaries that are being borne unconstitutionally by local school districts, the biggest remaining part of the McCleary decision.

Instead, the bill would create a new task force and hire a consultant to gather more data about the problem, while committing to fixing it all next year."

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Levy reform critical to fully funding schools

"In his new budget proposal, Gov. Jay Inslee asks the Legislature to give beginning teachers a big bump in pay. He’s got the right idea, but he’s passing up an obvious way to finance it – levy reform."

"The obvious solution is for the Legislature to assume all responsibility for paying teachers — as the Washington Constitution demands. That will require shifting some existing levy revenues to the state, which can then distribute them equitably to rich and poor districts, factoring in regional differences in the cost of living."

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China considering pandas for Washington

"Backers of the movement to bring pandas to Washington announced Monday that their letters have received an encouraging response from Chinese President Xi Jinping: He’s having his people look into it."

"Sen. Bruce Dammeier, R-Puyallup, called Xi’s letter 'a very positive move toward the prospect of ultimately getting pandas.'"

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Dammeier bill a positive for Pierce County

"Connoisseurs of Pierce County politics enjoyed another plot twist this week when state Sen. Bruce Dammeier said he’s working up a bill that would highlight council Chairman Dan Roach’s accommodating relationship with Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. (Dammeier didn’t put it that way, of course.)

Lindquist has been battling a sheriff’s deputy’s attempts to obtain cell phone information she believes could show that he retaliated against her. He recently appointed two outside attorneys to review his decision to withhold particular text messages sent from his personal phone.

State law says prosecutors should handle county litigation. But County Executive Pat McCarthy argues for an exception; she says Lindquist shouldn’t be allowed to hand-pick the people charged with reviewing his own actions when his personal interests are at stake."

 

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County elected officials prepare for legal collision

"An unprecedented legal spectacle will play out Friday in Thurston County Superior Court, as Pierce County’s elected leaders clash in an argument drawing attention from law junkies throughout the state.

The case has everything: arguments over conflicts of interest, separation of powers, legal misconduct and public disclosure. As many as eight lawyers could appear, all claiming to represent Pierce County in some fashion, and contending that their rivals in court lack the authority to claim the same.

At its heart, the argument involves six text messages written by Prosecutor Mark Lindquist four years ago on his personal phone. Since 2011, sheriff’s deputy Glenda Nissen has been trying to obtain those messages, believing they will prove Lindquist retaliated against her because she criticized him politically."

 

 

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Dammeier Files Bill to Address Attorney Conflicts of Interest

"A state senator seeking to lead Pierce County as its next executive wants to intervene in one of the biggest legal issues facing the county right now: County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist.

Bruce Dammeier, R-Puyallup, said he is preparing legislation that would allow county governments to seek help from the state attorney general when the county prosecutor is accused of wrongdoing or of having a conflict of interest.

Dammeier said the legislation would apply statewide, but is prompted by the current situation in Pierce County, where County Executive Pat McCarthy has filed suit to try to force Lindquist to step away from a case concerning the disclosure of text messages sent from his personal cellphone."

 

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Voters reject expensive Pierce County headquarters

"Early general election returns pointed to the death of Pierce County’s proposed headquarters with a strong majority of voters rejecting it Tuesday night.

The results punctuated what voters already told Pierce County in the primary election: Don’t build the $127 million general services building."

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Impeachment possible for Troy Kelley

"Unless state Auditor Troy Kelley resigns first, the 2016 Legislature’s first order of business should be his impeachment.

Kelley has faced 10 federal felony charges since last April. Last month, the U.S. Justice Department filed more charges; he now faces 17. They range from large-scale theft to money laundering to tax evasion. All of them impugn his honesty and put the Auditor’s Office — which investigates financial malfeasance — under a cloud."

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Pandas coming to Washington?

"About a third of the Legislature has signed a letter asking Chinese President Xi Jinping to consider loaning Washington state two pandas. [ . . . ] So far, 12 state senators and 31 state House members have signed the letter asking the Chinese president to consider loaning the state pandas, said Sam Hunt, D-Olympia, who has been working to gather signatures for the effort."

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Tacoma families rally to save charter schools

"To chants of 'Save our schools!,' at least 450 kids, parents and charter supporters gathered at Destiny Charter Middle School in the Dometop neighborhood. They pushed back against last week’s state Supreme Court ruling that struck down Washington’s 2012 voter-approved charter law. [ . . . ] Parents at the rally heard from two local state legislators: Sen. Bruce Dammeier and Rep. Hans Zeiger, both Republicans from Puyallup."

 

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Senator Bruce Dammeier running for Pierce County Executive

PUYALLUP… Bruce Dammeier, a Washington State Senator representing Pierce County, today announced his candidacy for Pierce County Executive in 2016.

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Dammeier announces run for Pierce County Executive

"State Sen. Bruce Dammeier, R-Puyallup, announced Thursday that he plans to run for Pierce County executive next year and won’t seek re-election to the Senate. Dammeier will face a sitting Pierce County Council member in the race for the top county job."

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Paid for by The Committee to Elect Bruce Dammeier
PO Box 398, Puyallup, WA 98371
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