WA State Dems


US Representative Rick Larsen, who represents northwest Washington State, Friday signed the anti-net neutrality letter shopped around by the telcos and cable cos.  The letter was shopped around to Democratic reps in the hopes of scaring off FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.  In the letter,  the signers recite a litany of telco lies and misrepresentations.  For example, they attribute the growth of the Internet on ‘regulatory restraint,’ an allusion to the polices of Michael Powell, Reed Hundt and Kevin Martin.  But those policies slowed and eventually destroyed the growth of the Internet, so that now the US has one of the lowest Internet use rates of any developed country.  And the quality of our service is just about the worst in the developed world (slowest, most expensive) , again, thanks to regulatory restraint.

A least one signer has already made signs of his intent to possibly repudiate his signature on the letter. I guess in this age of the Internet, he had received assurances the telcos would block any comments about his signature. They can do that, right? Not yet, Rep. Jared Polis, sorry.  But we know where you want go, now.

It’s a surprise Larsen would sell out to the telco/cableco sock puppets.  His district used to have dozens of independent ISPs.  Now, there are nearly none, and the nascent high-tech industry that was developing in this beautiful area of Washington State is gone.  Larsen’s district suffers from lack of high-speed Internet service; I know because I’ve met with the leaders in the area.  Lack of quality Internet has hampered job creation and made it impossible to create or relocate the kind of jobs that would permit young people to remain in the area.  And the few success stories (Bellingham’s fiber to the industrial park project, San Juan County’s decision to build it themselves) are public efforts to get around the tail-dragging, dishonest, manipulative telcos.  Thanks Rick Larsen, you outed yourself as a telco sock puppet.

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It’s been disappointing and discouraging to learn that 36th District State Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles has been engaging in an effort to attack my reputation, the work I do, and the progressive policies I advocate for.  Word comes second-hand from more than one person she has been button-holing that she wants to be sure that I do not advocate on behalf of the public interest in telecom and broadband issues, that I should stop blogging about her, and that I should cease my campaign against her sitting on the King County Council.

Reports also confirm that she is running her own campaign behind the scenes to get a seat on the Council.  Since she is so unqualified and lacking in support in the community, any negative comments about her are deemed out of order, in her opinion.  Her latest tack is to complain to people on organizations that belong to, to say that if I am in a leadership position in Democratic politics, or community politics, or advocacy groups, then I should not say anything negative about Kohl-Welles.

Kohl-Welles behavior is exactly what has so many people in Seattle frustrated and discouraged by our political leadership.  Instead of exhibiting leadership, integrity, and backbone, they spend their time shutting down and slandering anyone in the community who opposes them.  It is often disguised as the widely discredited ‘Seattle Nice,’  passive aggressive and dysfunctional personalities who are wholly incapable of having a policy discussion with anyone who doesn’t agree with them.   Instead of seeking to improve her record, reach out to her critics to learn from them, and take controversial and courageous positions, she seeks to shoot the messenger of any criticism at all.   It is the same technique used by Greg Nickels, Dow Constantine, Richard Conlin, and Jim Compton.  It’s despicable.

Jeane Kohl-Welles and Mary Lou Dickerson are interested in replacing whoever replaces Ron Sims on the County Council.  First the  good news, we finally got  rid of Ron Sims. The barely educated Sims has been ruining the county for years. Now, we’re sending him to Washington where he can do some ruining there. Don’t expect to hear anything more from this guy, ever.

The bad news is that every incompetent politician and underemployed social activist in the county is trying to get on the Council for one of those high-paying, no-work jobs. Neither Kohl-Welles or Dickerson and have an intelligent idea to share between them. Kohl-Welles primary legislative task is correcting the pronouns in the RCW. Dickerson’s claim to fame was passing legislation (soon ruled unconstitutional) to restrict the sale of violent video games. Kohl-Welles also shares the distinction of being a strong advocate for taxpayer subsidized sports stadiums, sculpture parks, and other assorted playgrounds of the investor class.

We can all do ourselves a favor by getting behind better candidates to fill these positions. I’m thinking about John Burbank, Alice Woldt, or Peter Steinbrueck. In any case, there are loads of people that are better qualified than these two to fill any empty slots that open on the County Council.