Sunday, March 22, 2015

Calling On You

Tomorrow evening, Monday, March 23rd, Steve Tharinger and Kevin Van De Wege will be having a "telephone town hall," from 6:30 to 7:30PM.
To participate, phone 877-229-8493, and enter the pin number 18646.
This is supposed to be an opportunity for these two to "field comments from constituents and answer questions about what they have accomplished this legislative session." Hopefully people with questions outside that scope will not be moderated out. ("So, Steve, are you ever going to actually pay Clallam County back those salary dollars you said you would years ago?")
I know I'd also want to ask them why they're doing a "telephone town hall" rather than an actual one. Seems like it would be easy enough to do a real-world, in-person town hall, being that they both live in Clallam County.

But this format does lend itself to the appearance of connecting to the community, while also facilitating the easy avoidance of any uncomfortable questions, with just the press of a button. "Oh, oops! We lost your call!"
That's a lot harder to do when the person is standing right there in front of you...


  1. You have it right.

    During the last couple of personal appearances with their adoring public, these so-called representatives of the public were peppered with questions about the attempts by the military (hear Navy) to turn the Olympic National Park and areas around it into a military weapons testing range.

    Now, as this would require these two to take an actual position on the subject, they were not happy. So, we see they have come up with this approach. "Selective hearings".

  2. Who knew weasels could use the phone? You learn something new every day.

  3. We now have three Republican county commissioners.

    Personally, I attribute this at least in part to the disarray and poisonous scheming that has occurred in the local Democratic Party during several recent local elections.

    Much of that poison, and much of that scheming, can be traced back to one Matthew Randazzo, aided and abetted by his lunatic cohort Jack Slowriver. They were placed in their positions of authority through the efforts of Mr. Tharinger and Mr. Van De Wege.

    So my questions for those two are: Do you feel any sense of responsibility for the local failings of Democratic candidates? Do you have any regrets about having put Matthew Randazzo in charge? And related to all that, what on earth qualified Mr. Randazzo for the cushy job at the state that you both helped him land after causing so much turmoil here?

    Phone lines are open, but it remains to be seen just how open...

    1. Seriously, do you really think any of these party faithful have anything worthwhile to offer the community? Do you really think there is any worthwhile difference between any of these political parties?

      Who cares about Randazzo? Who cares about the poisoned Democratic Party, or the Repubs? They all act first and foremost for the benefit of their chosen party, not the benefit of our future or our communities.

      You may find it satisfying to spend time discussing their shenanigans, but I see it as a complete waste of my time. I'm interested in my community, and what needs to be done to make it a better place.

      IF I were completely bored, and wanted to waste time, I might call in. IF I did, I'd be asking about concrete things they are doing to help the here and now, in Port Angeles and Clallam county.

    2. As someone who is fairly new here, can anyone explain the background behind this? I've heard rumors about the democrats fighting among themselves but don't know how true that is. No matter what, it's a real shame to have three conservative commissioners.

    3. Anonymous 7:04 PM: On one hand, I agree with you. It's always best to keep your eyes on the future, right? Who could argue with that?

      But, it's hard to believe Van De Wege and Tharinger are doing that, and it's hard to have any faith in them, given what they've done in the past. Even if we accept the premise that what's past is done, we're still talking about the same people who created those disruptive and destructive events in the past being in positions to make more (bad) decisions going forward. In other words, the past may be dead, but it does serve as a good place to look for examples of people's judgment. Van De Wege and Tharinger have shown a lot of very bad judgment in the past. Thus, I have a lot less faith in their ability going forward than I once did.

      Bogus "listening and outreach" events like this one only serve to confirm my worries that they are removed from the real concerns of people who live here, and don't want to hear anything that will challenge their version of reality.

      These "public servants" both live here, for God's sake. So why would they have some weird, at a distance faux "town hall" when they could have a real one? It makes no sense, other than as a way to control what happens at the event, and the messages coming out of it.

      So, yes, Democracy is messy. It should be, anyway. But this thing is just sleazy and suspect.

    4. Well, the truth and reality is that Tharinger and Van de Wege are sitting in those seats, now. IF you think that Big "P" politics is worth ANYTHING, then those are the people who you have to work with, IF you think that system is actually doing anything useful for the public.

      You can question them about their past, but I doubt that is going to produce much. You can use the time to ask them what they are *actually* doing for area residents, and hold the conversations to actual, measurable, accountable deeds, instead of allowing them to ramble on with canned poli-speak that results in nothing.

      Personally, I think "Big P" politics is a waste of time. It is a big self-serving machine by which billions get given to the media companies to put on a show with a lot of meaningless rhetoric, and in the end accomplishes very little.

      But local politics? I think we should adopt the policies as in other countries, where you get fined for not voting! I think we have an obligation to be involved in the whats and hows of our community.

      It is OUR community, not theirs.

    5. Anon 8:35 PM: Here's a shorthand version of a much longer and more sordid story.

      Several years ago Tharinger and Van De Wege installed Matthew Randazzo as the head of the local Democratic Party. Randazzo was a self-serving creep from out of the area. He picked a woman named Jack Slowriver to be his second in command. She was a known liar and kook.

      Randazzo, with Slowriver's assistance, turned the Clallam County Democratic Party into a cash cow for the Randazzo family. Candidates were "encouraged" to hire Randazzo's wife, Melissa, to do their campaign websites and materials. Candidates were also "encouraged" to pay Matthew to run their campaigns - or else.

      The or else took a couple of different forms, but, long story short, he worked hard to sabotage the County Commissioner campaigns of both Linda Barnfather and Dr. Dale Holiday, neither of whom would hire him to run their campaigns.

      Sissi Bruch, on the other hand, paid him a lot of money to help with her City Council campaign, only Randazzo did nothing more than cash her check and sit back.

      Meanwhile, as acting heads of the local Democratic Party, Randazzo worked hard to elect non-Democrat Mike Chapman during his last campaign. I suspect there was money changing hands there, too.

      And that's the short version of how Clallam County wound up with three Republican County Commissioners. Randazzo was hustled out of town into a cozy job at the state by his handlers, both of whom are still holding public office (as Democrats). And the local Democratic Party is still locked into paying rent to Tom Harper for a storefront they don't really need, but that was apparently crucial to soothing Matthew Randazzo's ego.

    6. Fuggetabout the parties doing anything of substance. They are looking out for the moneyed set and the rest of us just pay the bills. Get over the democrat/republican bull. Elect independents. Run as an independent. Think like and independent and you will no longer be disappointed by their self-serving croc.

    7. "They all act first and foremost for the benefit of THEMSELVES, not the benefit of our future or our communities."

      Fixed that for you.

  4. Let's not forget Tharinger's role in sinking Dr. Holiday's campaign. How he acted on orders from Nippon to do so and how he rounded up Randazzo and Slowriver to foul Tom Harper's blog with vile comments about Max Mania.

    1. And we know this, exactly, how?

    2. Which also killed Tom Harper's blog. The Max Mania troll sure drove me away. Well, among other things.

    3. Yes, Max (as a sitting City Council member) and Dale (as a candidate for County Commissioner) must have made Nippon very nervous with all their talk about air filters and biomass health hazards. Meanwhile, Steve Tharinger, purported progressive, was busy pushing tax breaks for Nippon at the state level. The connection is easy to see, even if you don't look too hard. Nippon has a leash on Tharinger, and like a good dog...

      Now Max and Dale are gone, Nippon is polluting at will (and with those tax breaks), and Tharinger is fat and happy. All of which does not bode well for Clallam County.

      But what else is new, right?

    4. Tom Harper was - and is - getting money from the Democrats. He's the one they rent their storefront from. So I'm sure he was happy to go along with whatever Tharinger/Randazzo/Slowriver wanted, because it put money in his pocket to stay in the good graces of the Clallam County Democrats - and by extension, Nippon. They are the real and true masters of Port Angeles. They just have to whisper the word "jobs" - either as a promise or a threat - and everyone falls all over themselves trying to kiss their corporate ass.

  5. Remember all those photos of Tharinger smiling and laughing with the Nippon executives when the biomass was being started? I sure do. He was all smiles and worked hard to ingratiate himself with those Japanese executives.

    At the same time, I was attending the meetings being held by people who were worried about the health effects of biomass on the citizens of Clallam County. I don't remember ever seeing Tharinger at one of those meetings.

    Follow the money, and that's where you'll find Steve Tharinger.