Personally, I think it's because there's a great deal of rot and corruption in this entire State - going right to the top, infecting much of what happens in Olympia.
The latest example: The PDN is "breaking" the not-so-new news that our Commissioner of Public Lands, Peter Goldmark broke his own campaign vow to not accept money from industries that he regulates. So now he is very much exposed as a liar and a hypocrite. Which, frankly, is no surprise at all to anyone who has been paying attention all along.
When he ran for the office, he attacked his opponent for taking such money, saying it was unethical. Now however, Goldmark, who obviously overvalues his own ethical standards, is assuring the public that it's okay for him to take such money because, gee whiz, he promises he won't be influenced by it.
Translation: "Job One is keeping my job - and I know you environmentalists would never vote for a Republican for this job. So go pound sand."
Aside from being a Washington State story, this very much has local angles. Lots of locally connected names pop up among Goldmark's contributors: Port Angeles Hardwood LLC - $800 on 10/25/2011. Nippon Paper Industries - $800 on 10/25/2011. John D. Crow (of Green Crow) - $1000 on 9/6/2012. Also Merrill & Ring - $1200 on 6/27/2012, and Rayonier - $1800 on 7/24/2012, and again, $1800 on 10/15/2012.
In the broader picture, looking at the dates connected with donations gives you a pretty good idea of exactly when Peter Goldmark completely sold his soul, and his office. Here's a (partial!) list of some donations that are all dated 10/25/2011: Port Angeles Hardwood LLC - $800; Port Blakely Tree Farms LP - $800; Sierra Pacific Industries - Two donations of $800; Stimson Lumber Co. - $800; Teevin Bros. Land & Timber Co. - $800; Interfor Pacific Inc. - $800; Hampton Lumber Sales - $800; Longview Fibre Paper & Packaging Inc. - $800; Mary's River Lumber Co. - $800; McFarland Cascade Pole & Lumber Co. - $800; Nippon - $800; Northwest Hardwoods Inc. - $800; Nygaard Scott - $800.
The next year brought another, even better, big payoff day - 6/27/2012. Here's a (very partial!) list of some of the donations to Goldmark dated on that day: Northwest Hardwoods Inc. - $1000; TMI Forest Products - $1000; North Fork Timber Company - $800; Hampton Lumber Sales - $1000; Longview Fibre Paper & Packaging Inc. - $1000; Mary's River Lumber Co. - $1000; Weyerhaeuser - $1400; Merril & Ring - $1200; Teevin Bros. Land & Timber Co. - $800; Warrenton Fiber Company-Nygaard Logging Inc. - $1200. Plus there were these from various logging "resource" fronts: Olympic Resource Management LLC - $1000; American Forest Resource Council - Three donations: one for $1160.19; one for $910.47; and one for $839.81.
And remember: These are only partial lists of the timber dollars that came in on those dates.
Peter Goldmark acknowledging his Biomasters in 2011.
In case anyone doesn't get the "I've been bought by timber interests" message from all that, here's the first paragraph from an article in Biomass Magazine from January of 2011:
Peter Goldmark, commissioner of public lands for the Washington Department of Natural Resources, didn’t conceal his pride while discussing his Forest Biomass Initiative at the Pacific West Biomass Conference & Trade Show Jan. 11 at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel.
And finally, let's not forget another local example of corruption that's connected to Peter Goldmark's office - literally. After all, that's where Matthew Randazzo wound up working, as Goldmark's right-hand man. Yes, the same Matthew Randazzo who caused so much chaos and damage to the Clallam County Democratic Party. The same Matthew Randazzo who has a demonstrated history of attacking and undermining women who run for office - even when they're members of his own party. The same Matthew Randazzo who was a facilitator of the scandal and suffering at Steve Markwell's hellish "animal shelter." And the same Matthew Randazzo who has never been to college, has never held a real job, and has no real skills or relevant experience to bring to Peter Goldmark's office - other than that he's politically connected. Yes, that Matthew Randazzo now lurks in Peter Goldmark's office.
Rat meets rat. How many can the Capitol hold
before they start eating each other?
Which, if nothing else, proves that liars and conmen do tend to find each other, and to stick together. And that is perhaps the key reason that Clallam County is still stuck where it is. How can we rise up from below with so much corruption pressing down from above?