This is Jim Walsh. I’m grateful for The Daily News editorial board’s endorsement of my candidacy for the Washington State House, Position 1 in legislative District 19. I consider that endorsement a challenge—the best kind of challenge—to serve my neighbors well in Olympia.
The endorsement mentioned the clarity of my positions on taxes, gun rights and other issues. And I’m glad it did. I’ve worked hard to speak plainly and clearly, to avoid the usual double-talk and weasel words that we hear from so many politicians. I believe it’s essential to speak clearly, so you can hold me accountable for my actions as your representative in Olympia.
To recap, here are my positions on the issues that most local voters consider critical right now:
I categorically oppose a state income tax. And I’ve never qualified my opposition with weasel words like “at this time” or “in their current form.”
I support a two-thirds supermajority requirement for any legislation or initiative that creates a new state tax. Period.
I oppose all efforts to limit or restrict a law-abiding person’s right to own and keep firearms. Those efforts include this year’s Initiative 1491, which would undermine some gun owners’ due process rights.
Here are other important positions:
I’m committed to the adequate funding basic education, in accordance with the State Supreme Court’s McCleary decision.
Certain state agencies—including the Departments of Ecology, Fish and Wildlife and Corrections—have overstepped their constitutional roles or been horribly mismanaged and must be returned to closer oversight by the legislature. A more predictable and reliable regulatory culture will make attracting and retaining private-sector businesses easier. The leg can’t shy away from this responsibility.
I’m committed to reforming the state’s method of using property taxes to pay for public education, so that it is flatter and fairer for all property owners.
We can talk about tax policy. We can talk about gun rights and property rights. But, when I talk to voters in Longview and Kelso, you’re not so interested in the fine points of public policy. What you tell me is that something’s wrong. A growing number of people are living wretched lives. Public debate has become crude and harsh. And full of trivial bickering. You tell me that it makes no sense that this place—with deepwater ports facing Asia, commercial fishing fleets standing by, trees ready to be harvested and people wanting to work—is stuck in permanent recession.
And you’re right.
Of course, legislators can’t fix everything that ails a society. Government can’t repair the broken spirit of a man who injects heroin every morning or of a woman who prostitutes herself. Only people…each of us, in our own lives…can do that.
What government can do is make good, clear ground rules for living and doing business in a place—then get out of the way and let you live and do business as you choose. That’s the sort of government that I want to be part of.
Three decades ago, we accepted a bargain that’s defined our region since. The bargain was that we let radical interests in Seattle and Washington D.C. decimate our timber industry in exchange for an economy based on government benefits and their administration. Of course, that bargain never really worked.
We need a more vibrant, private-sector economy in this area. One that’s driven by local industrial and commercial activity—timber, transportation, fishing, construction—not by begging for budgetary scraps to teach homeless people how to cook kale.
A stronger local economy can lift our neighbors’ broken spirits.
We need to fight for that. For those neighbors. For businesses to see this area as a great place to be. For a local economy that will draw people—including our own children and grandchildren—here. For schools that produce self-reliant citizens. For keeping our property private and our privacy sacred.
I’ve fought to keep a solid marriage in times that don’t make that easy. I’ve fought to build a small business in an industry that’s gone through brutal changes. I’ve fought to raise good, self-reliant kids who contribute to our community. I’ve fought to advance personal liberty and your rights to live life as you choose.
In Olympia, I’ll fight for LD19—which has gotten the short end of government policies for a generation.
In Olympia, I’ll fight for you.
The general election is November 8. I hope you’ll vote for me.