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Letter to the Editor: Don't Let Cynicism Set in After the Election

Brad Toft, who ran for 5th District state Senator in one of Washington's most bitterly fought 2012 campaigns, says he hopes people will stay involved and hold legislators accountable to honor the voters' wishes.

Dear Editor:

It’s been just weeks since the 2012 elections, and I imagine many of you welcome the reprieve from campaign advertising. You may have been disappointed regarding the ballot box results. However, I encourage you accept the voice of the people and to become more engaged in the process. Washington elected to retain single-party rule for at least another term. It remains to be seen, though, if our new elected leaders will change course from a path that brought us declining quality of public education and fiscal uncertainty. In representative government, we must articulate the citizens’ priorities to our leaders. That task knows no rest, both in and out of election season.

Leadership in Olympia must steer another course and place governing ahead of games. Rather than managing Washington’s citizens, the new governor and legislature should strive to serve the people. Private enterprise must have the confidence to invest and hire employees, and it’s time for elected leaders to take this seriously. That must be immediately followed by fully-funding our public education system with the already-existing dollars in the budget. While speaking of education, I am pleased that public education leaders will be charged with bringing more flexibility to our system with the implementation of charter schools.

Finally, the legislature must honor the voters’ wishes in requiring a two-thirds majority to raise taxes. This necessitates bipartisan support for future budgets and requires government to live within its means. If Olympia tries an end-run, we must hold them accountable.

In the aftermath of an election like 2012, it would be easy for cynicism to set it. It has been said that cynicism is full of naïve disappointments that cause people to disengage from government and politics. But we can ill afford the citizenry’s decoupling from its government. There are still millions of people in Washington State who believe as you do. So now is not the time to succumb to doubt. Rather, it is time to remain both involved and informed so that you can speak with a reasoned voice. 

I am committed to work shoulder to shoulder with those who choose this route. I hope you are, too.

Thanks for reading,

 

Brad Toft

Snoqualmie, WA

dexterjibs November 26, 2012 at 04:26 PM
I am not being cynical, just being realistic. We have had one party rule in this State for years and what do we have to show for it? High unemployment and a horrible business climate. The Democrats will do the exact same thing they have doing for years yet expecting a different result. The result will be businesses leaving and poverty migrating to this State because of our generous welfare benefits. This is not a sustainable model, just look at California.
Bob McCoy December 01, 2012 at 08:27 AM
Does saying a thing make it so? In 2011, WA was in the fourth quartile (fifth is the best) for GDP growth, with 2% growth. The median household income in the US fell by $2,800 from 2000 to 2011. In WA, income increased by $4,035 in the same period. In 2011, WA had the tenth highest median household income. (All medians based on 3-yr moving averages.) The current unemployment rate puts WA at 34th highest rate (8.2%). Not great, especially for those who want jobs, but better than Rhode Island (10.4%) at #50 with Republican governors since 1995, or Nevada, (11.5%) dead last with their Republican governors since 1999. The highest unemployment rates in WA are in a group of counties where one of their Republican legislators ran on Jobs and Education, and whose introduced bills have revolved around overturning environmental regulations and wildlife protection. In the past few years, the legislator has not been a prime sponsor of either a jobs or an education bill. In the meantime, Wildlife watching (WW) has doubled from $1.5 Billion in 2006 to $3.1 B in 2011. One would think that a jobs-oriented Republican would jump on a major growth industry. The 2011 WW jobs estimate report not out yet, but it was 26,000 jobs in 2006. Hunting was a tenth of WW.

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