Opponents attack GOP candidate's character again; disingenuous letter attempts to cloud candidates' credibility

In My View

Editorial by Lois Krafsky-Perry,
Editor of Citizen Review

September 21, 2007

Clallam County, WA - It appears that Bob Forde's opponent and his confederates are worried. (Bob Forde is the GOP candidate for Clallam County commissioner District 1.) They've already started their "hit" pieces, full of slanted inaccuracies to lead the reader to a false conclusion about Bob Forde's character.

A letter to the editor of the Peninsula Daily News (PDN) from someone "new" (Bud Johansen) to the Sequim area, supposedly "researching" Forde's "history" - charged Forde with avoiding payment of a debt by using a "Constitution" defense. (See letter & Forde's response.)

Forde was not involved with the disputed debt in question; it had to do with a disputed bill charged to Bob's wife Sue by the Peninsula Daily News (PDN) regarding the publishing of her formerly owned newspaper. (See "Slant is Obvious " "Forde responds to lawsuit with counterclaims; PDN quits case" and "PDN lawsuit against Fordes ends" stories).

The PDN, together with the Sequim Gazette, whose publisher was Forde's opponent's campaign manager - published a last-minute "hit" piece on Bob's wife Sue when she ran for county commissioner four years ago. The matter was finally settled out of court, when the PDN finally agreed to look at the evidence and agreed that the amount Forde claimed was owed was recognized as accurate. (There was over a $2,000 difference between what the PDN said was owed and what was actually owed.)

Bob Forde, who has been an outspoken advocate for citizens' Constitutional rights, has often sparred in the past with his current opponent - and 8-year sitting commissioner - Steve Tharinger (D).

Tharinger, a proponent of more government programs, higher taxes and more environmental regulations, has often gone against the outspoken wishes of his constituents. For instance, he joined in a lawsuit to overturn Initiative 722, which would have limited property tax growth to 2 percent a year and would have rolled back some tax and fee increases. (Clallam County voters overwhelmingly voted in favor of I-722.)

Forde was a leader in the fight against the Clallam County Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO), when Tharinger backed regulations in excess of what the state legislature had required. (See Critical Areas stories, click here.) Many citizens complained that the regulations were excessive and would harm their property rights, and over 3,100 citizens joined in an initiative (allowed by the county's home rule charter) to repeal it, so it could be begun again. (Since that effort, three other counties have attempted or are in the process of attempting to repeal their own version of the GMA-mandated critical areas code.) Forde filed the initiative on behalf of the people with the county auditor, and the next step called for a public hearing by the county commissioners, according the home rule charter. Instead of setting a public hearing, Tharinger filed a lawsuit against Forde individually, to prevent it from going forward. (The lone Republican commissioner strongly disagreed with this circumvention of the peoples' rights.)

Forde stood against the Buyer's Excise Tax (BET) See "Proposition 1 is not a good BET", when Tharinger was strongly in favor of it. This is not the only tax that Tharinger has proposed. Over the last three years, he has raised sales taxes alone three times. He expanded the Clean Water District beyond what was required, which is a taxing district. Forde is a proponent of the people's right to vote on any new taxes for new programs.

Bob Forde has lived and worked in Clallam County for almost 20 years. He is well-liked and respected both in his personal and work relationships. To attack his character in this manner is a travesty.




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