2019-2020 Executive Board!

From left to right: Mathew Tomaskin, State Committee Member Pos 1; Ron Shaw, Treasurer; Patricia Whitefoot, State Committee Member Pos 2; Sasha Bentley, Chair; Matt Sagen, Vice Chair; Elizabeth Shedd, Sergeant at Arms; and Leslie Van Guse, Secretary 

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Contact us!

Email ld14democraticparty@gmail.com to be added to the email list or if you have any questions. 

Like us on Facebook!

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Take our survey!

If you haven’t yet, please take our survey! Go to: http://bit.ly/ld14dems.

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Meeting information

The LD14 Democratic Party will meet on April 10 at 6 pm. Starting May 1 we will be meeting on the First Wednesday of the Month at 6 pm.
We provide virtual participation options. We also have gatherings in each county. 

  • Vice-Chair Matt Sagen will be at the Yakima County Democrats Office. 
  • Contact Chair, Sasha Bentley for Klickitat County locations. 
  • Contact Joe Kear, Vice-Chair of Skamania Democrats, for Skamania County locations. 
  • Contact Rebecca Keith, Clark County PCO, for Clark County locations.
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Secretary Leslie Van Guse and Chair Sasha Bentley have resigned from our board. Matt Sagen, previous Vice-Chair, has taken the role of Chair.

Details about an upcoming special meeting to elect a Vice-Chair and appoint a Secretary will follow!

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Obamacare for all…

I keep hearing that Obama is making me purchase something I do not want to purchase and that is unconstitutional. I’m speaking about the Affordable Health Care Act. We really should have SINGLE PAYER instead, but the insurance companies lobbyists made sure that our congress people did not make that happen.

First off, It is not unconstitutional and that has already been proven by the supreme court upholding the law as is.

Second, the law is here and can not be repealed – House of Representatives have been trying to do that 46 times and counting.

Third, it is the insurance companies that have worthless insurance policies that are canceling your polices not President Obama. These policies need to be upgraded by the insurance companies to the new standards. Insurance companies have been doing this for years to improve their bottom line. Car insurance companies can not sell worthless insurance policies to you either. Why do I have to pay for uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, because of the people who do not have insurance even though it is the law.

Fourth, if you own a car and you want to drive it, you must have a minimum amount of insurance to do so. And if you don’t have insurance you will be ticketed and have to pay a fine. Sound familiar!

Five, we are the only industrialize country that does not provide health coverage for its own people. We are supposed to be the great country on earth, but we treat our poor (including veterans) like second class citizens.

Sixth, THE WEBSITE – https://www.wahealthplanfinder.org. Get over it people, very few Website work at their best the first time, especially when millions of people go to it at the same time. That is why companies sell technical support services as an add on – their products are released with bugs in them.

Finally, the whole law has not taken into effect yet. President Obama has given businesses with more than 49 (not sure on the exact number is) employees one year to start proving health insurance to their employees. Big businesses already has known about this three years ago, but President Obama is helping them out.

Protect your family and do the right thing by comparing health care plans TODAY by going to https://www.wahealthplanfinder.org

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Lorrie Receives Her Maggie!

We are proud of the leaders in the 14th LD. There were lots of reasons to recognize what Lorrie DeKay has done for Klickitat County and  Washington State Democrats. She seems to thrive on working for our benefit. 


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The Stand-up Economist – Buy Your Tickets Here!

The Stand-up Economist is coming to Yakima at the invitation of the 14th LD Democrats. Please share on facebook or google + and send to your email list. We hope to fill The Seasons Performance Hall with ordinary folks interested in a unique twist on the oldest form of entertainment, comedy. Tickets are available at The Seasons box office and website. Alternatively, use the Donate button in the sidebar to buy tickets with PayPal. Please type in the number of tickets you want. Your donation will be confirmed and your tickets will be be at the will-call table inside the main doors. Yoram has video clips on his website should you like a preview. 

Yoram Bauman, “the world’s first and only stand-up economist”, performs regularly at colleges, companies, and comedy clubs, and has shared the stage with everyone from Robin Williams to Paul Krugman. He has appeared in TIME Magazine and on PBS and NPR, and is the co-author of the two-volume Cartoon Introduction to Economics, which is now available in Chinese, German, Italian, etc. Speaking of foreign languages, he is also the organizer of the humor session at the annual meeting of the American Economic Association.

Yoram lives in Seattle, where he founded Non-Profit Comedy, a series of benefit shows that raised almost $100,000 for local non-profits. He has a BA in mathematics from Reed College, a PhD in economics from the University of Washington, and spends his non-comedy hours campaigning for environmental tax reform. In 2011 he spent 5 months in Beijing as a visiting scholar at the University of International Business and Economics.

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Summer Time, Picnic Time

Our summer picnic will be in White Salmon on Saturday, July 21, from 11 AM to 2 PM. Check the calendar page or the sidebar for details.

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Memo to Rob McKenna

Outside of the Washington State Attorney General’s office in Yakima, Eleanor Hungate and Heather Squire prepare to leave a Planned Parenthood message for Rob McKenna demanding that he discontinue his opposition to the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act. 

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Will They, Won’t They – Fiscal Policy

Usually I make use of government statistics to make my economic arguments. This time I will use graphs sent out by an established Wall Street investment firm called John Thomas Financial. That’s kind of amusing, although Wall Street is a great place to find authentic economic reports without any trace of ideology. This series of graphs is simple and easy to digest. It shows various measures of the performance of the US economy between January 2007 and early 2012, with the enactment of the 2009 Stimulus marked clearly on each one. When you page through the graphs you can see the lag time between enactment and impact. You can see that the impact was significant and you can see that the impact is receding rapidly now.

President Obama has asked Congress to reconcile their respective Transportation bills and to pass something. The Transportation bill pays for the kind of public works programs that have always been approved by Republicans. Now, suddenly they aren’t okay, never mind what is good government. The President has asked for revenue-sharing for states, no more or less than in previous recessions under Republican Presidents. What was good for Reagan is good for the country. Today the House of Representatives refuses to take any fiscal steps to help the country get on its feet again. That’s not ideology, that’s a shame.

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They’ll Have a Blast in Charlotte

The National Democratic Party Convention will be in Charlotte, NC during the first week of September.  13 Delegates from Central Washington will participate.

Teri Staudinger of Pasco
Brad Taylor of Prosser
Rosalinda Mendoza of Union Gap
Jeremie Dufualt of Yakima
Matt Tomaskin of the Yakama Nation
Elizabeth Mendoza of Yakima
Mary Stephenson of Yakima
Ken Caylor of Othello
George Fearing of Richland
Dennis Montes of Nespelem
Lorrie DeKay of White Salmon
Jon Ferguson of Ellensburg
Karen Keleman of East Wenatchee

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A Letter from George Fearing

The Washington State Democratic Party conducted its biannual party convention in Seattle this past weekend.  The convention was devoted to speeches, adoption of a platform, nomination of statewide candidates, nomination of congressional candidates, and harassment of hotel security guards.  Your teetotaler vice chair garnered two strikes against him for noise in his hotel room, and, with one more strike, he will merit a lifetime banishment from the Seattle Westin. 

Convention delegates heard rousing and inspiring speeches from Senator Maria Cantwell, Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark, our next Governor Jay Inslee, and our next Attorney General Bob Ferguson, among others.  Newark Mayor Cory Booker held the audience in the palm of his hand and sweat of his forehead during Friday’s banquet, with an African-American preacher’s inspirational political challenge.  His fifty-three minute speech repeatedly included the phrase: “and just one more thing.”  Our Fourth Congressional District candidate Mary Baechler participated in a trivia contest during Saturday’s congressional breakfast. 

The convention nominated the following candidates for statewide office: Jay Inslee for Governor, Brad Owen for Lieutenant Governor, Kathleen Drew for Secretary of State, Bob Ferguson for Attorney General, Peter Goldmark for Lands Commissioner, Jim McIntire for State Treasurer, Mike Kreidler for Insurance Commissioner, Craig Pridemore for State Auditor, and Jan Connolly for State Linguist.  Owen, Goldmark, McIntire, Kreidler, and Connolly are incumbents. The convention, upon the recommendation of the Fourth Congressional District Caucus, nominated Mary Baechler as the party’s candidate for Congress in central Washington. [No nomination was made in the Third District.]

shortened by eleanor 6/10




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Getting Together as an LD

The LD was invited to the Klickitat County meeting in Goldendale on Monday May 7 at the Methodist Church. Don’t potlucks always lead to friendships and improved relationships?  Thank you, Lorrie, for the invitation. Klickitat is the geographic center of the LD and the natural, best place for some togetherness. 

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From LD to CD to State

Legislative District Caucuses were held across the State on either Saturday, April 28 or Sunday, April 29 for the purpose of electing delegates and alternates to the Congressional Caucuses and to the State Convention.  Because the county conventions were on the same day, for the most part, it was necessary to split our caucus among the four counties and for Yakima and Clark Counties to hold more than one simultaneous caucus. 

Practically everyone who wished to become a delegate at the next level was either elected or chosen as an alternate.

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Gasoline Prices

Why did gasoline prices go up?

1) Our economic recovery has increased our demand for fuel.

2) The export of gasoline (petroleum products are our biggest export) has reduced our domestic supply. Global demand is up, especially in Japan, China and India.

3) Bart Chilton, Commodity Futures Trading Commissioner, said in an interview recently that speculation accounts for an extra $7/tank for an Accord and $14/tank for an F150 pickup.

4) Middle Eastern insurgencies have caused supply interruptions and an embargo on Iranian oil is planned to begin soon.

What is not causing gasoline to be more expensive?

1) The President – When Barack Obama was inaugurated the number of active drilling rigs was way down from its historic peak. Now there are more active rigs than at any time since 1975 with the exception of one year in the 80’s. We are close to setting a new record.

2) Oil and gas industries receive unjustifiable subsidies, accounting breaks, and tax favors. These expenditures and tax spending have no effect whatsoever on the price of gasoline, absolutely none.

3) Delaying the Keystone Pipeline decision has no effect on gas prices today. In the long-term, the pipeline increases the price of gasoline. Its purpose is to throughput Canadian bituminous crude for export. 

 What can be done now to lower the price of gasoline?

1) OPEC could say that they will increase production during the Iranian embargo. (likely)

2) Congress could pass a transaction tax of less than a hundredth of a point in order to slow speculation in the market. (not likely)

3) Congress could impose a tariff on the export of gasoline and other refined petroleum products. (not likely)

4) The Commodity Futures Trading Commission could adopt the proposed final rule that is before them that bans none-users from trading in the market.  (likely)

5) The President can release some of the National Petroleum Reserve to offset the price change due to the embargo on Iran. (likely)


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Wealth Disparity and Tax Rates

Post written by Norm Luther, Underwood

 A frequently quoted statistic by those trying to justify the huge disparity in US wealth is that the top 10% pays 70% of federal income taxes.  This is a classic example of a true, but meaningless statistic because this situation can happen with all sorts of income and tax rate scenarios.  These include some with huge income disparities–and also with flat tax rates that are currently popular with Republican presidential candidates. 

 As a simple hypothetical example, this statistic would be true of any population in which 10% each earn $700,000, the remaining 90% each earn $33,333.33, and there is a flat income tax rate of 10%; then after tax, the 10% each take home $630,000 and the 90% each take home $30,000 so the income inequity is a huge $600,000.  (Using a 25% flat rate, closer to current reality, would still create a huge inequity of $500,000 in after-tax income.)  And clearly from this example, if we increase the inequity in income between the top 10% and the bottom 90%, we increase the percentage paid by the top 10%, even with a flat rate that favors the rich and penalizes the poor.  

 Some really meaningful statistics are: (1) From 1935 until 1980, the top income tax bracket rate was at least 70% (90% under the Republican Eisenhower administration), whereas now the top rate is 35%; (2) CEOs made 40 times the average wages of their workers in 1980, whereas it is almost 400 times today; (3) After-tax income of the top 1% grew 275% from 1979 to 2007, compared with 65% growth for the next 19% of the population,  just 40% for the middle 60%, and only 18% for the bottom 20% (recent nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office report) .

 Astoundingly, in 2007 the top 1% owned 42 % of the country’s financial wealth (total net worth minus the value of one’s home) compared with only 7% for the bottom 80% (http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html ).

 Occupy Wall Street is indeed right-on!

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Attacks on the WEA

The WEA is the dominant teacher union in Washington. In the current legislative session the WEA has been under attack by conservatives and blue dogs.  In the newspapers the WEA has been maligned as the body that is holding back education reform. There is more to it than what the legislative hearings, the public correspondence and the newspaper accounts have covered. Read Who Breaks a Butterfly Upon a Wheel for a perspective provided by a member of Washington State’s higher education faculty union.

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More Coal, Far More

Those multinational coal companies are back with new export port permit applications. This newspaper account suggests that Longview is agog with anticipation. To us it is a different story and any benefits look very parochial and time limited at that. Within a decade the  market for Wyoming coal will collapse because Mongolian coal will be cheaper. (We can hope so.)

Would sending coal down river on barges be less destructive to the way of life in the gorge? Can the Governor and legislature be convinced that state taxpayers should not pay for any new infrastructure at or near the old Reynold’s property or the Port of Longview?

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It is Not Class Warfare

a letter from Norm Luther:

The call for a bit more vertical equity in the tax system has been met with cries of  “Class Warfare”. That seems an extreme over-reaction to President Obama’s plan to only raise the top federal income tax bracket rate from 35% back to the 39.6% of the Clinton era.  Contrast that to Franklin Roosevelt raising it from 25% to 63% upon taking office in 1933, to 79% in 1936 and finally to 90% while dealing with the Great Depression.  The top rate remained near 90% through the Eisenhower Republican administration and stayed at 70% or above on through the Republican administrations of Nixon and Ford until the Reagan administration drastically lowered it during the 1980s.

From this perspective President Obama’s ambitious program of change would simply move us to the center of the political spectrum, not nearly as far left as during the majority of the 20th century under both Republican and Democrat administrations.

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