To the editor:
From my extensive campaign travels and conversations with constituents in the neighborhoods, apartment complexes, trailer parks, and workplaces, I draw these Ground Zero insights:
Almost no one I spoke to while door-belling had any idea of what the 23rd Legislative District is or who has ever been in that office. Most people agreed with my stock campaign comment that “Olympia is broken,” and many thought my statement a serious understatement.
People did not understand my label about being a “fiscal conservative” although they did voice concern about the size of the state workforce, state-worker benefits, and rising taxes/fees.
Most people expressed support for Initiative 1185, two-third supermajority. In fact this issue garnered a 65 percent voter approval in the 23rd Legislative District.
FYI: 23rd Legislative District Democrat delegation (Rolfes/Appleton/Hansen) openly called for the termination of the two-third supermajority.
Voters, when told of the 17,000 developmentally-disabled citizens backlogged for overdue assistance, were shocked and deeply concerned.
Also, voters had no clear understanding of how Olympia carries a $39 billion liability on unfunded/underfunded public-sector union benefits.
Citizens remain concerned about the criticality of adequate WSF service but were disheartened by the long-term reality of expensive new replacement vessels every 2.5 years.
I learned firsthand that Highway 305 and Agate Pass are extremely dangerous and must receive Olympia attention to increase flow and solve safety issues (Campaign F-350 truck seriously T-boned on Highway 305 on Oct. 30).
Yes, campaign money matters but I still disdain special-interest out-of-state and in-state campaign money. I’ll take the long odds on funding to keep my integrity (17:1).
Voters are woefully ignorant of the complex financial issues facing Olympia.
Finally, expect little from the local newspapers and you will not be disappointed.
It is an honor to be a candidate. I was humbled by the outpouring of support and trust from the salt-of-the-earth citizens of the 23rd. The People have spoken for 2012.
JAMES M. OLSEN