Immigration bill will create farm labor shortage in Eastern WA

Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) is sponsoring an immigration bill that could devastate Eastern WA’s agricultural industry. The bill would increase border patrols and build a 700-mile fence along the US-Mexico border. It would also criminalize giving assistance to illegal immigrants, potentially handing out five-year prison sentences to doctors, priests and church volunteers who provide humanitarian aid. But as the Seattle Times editorial board points out, what the bill doesn’t do is actually deal with reality.

Missing from Sensenbrenner’s bill is a legal guest-worker program. With only enforcement and no accommodation of economic realities, industries such as agriculture and construction will get stuck with apples left on trees or buildings unfinished.

Washington Republican Reps. Doc Hastings and Cathy McMorris, who represent the state’s two most agrarian districts, voted for Sensenbrenner’s bill even though both support a guest-worker program in concept. They acknowledge this bill’s approach makes for a job only half done.

Once again McMorris and Hastings are voting with the GOP hardline over the sentiment and interests of their own constituents. I’ve watched Yakima Valley farmers plough under fields of ripe tomatoes for want of the farm workers to pick them. I’ve seen orchards littered with fallen fruit as growers failed to round up sufficient labor to meet the narrow window for harvest at optimal quality. The farm labor shortage isn’t hypothetical — it’s happening now — and it will only get worse should Sensenbrenner’s draconian and shortsighted immigration bill pass.

Illegal immigration is driven by economic reality: poverty abroad and the need for cheap labor at home. Nobody is suggesting we should ignore border security, but neither should McMorris and Hastings ignore the economic well being of their own constituents.

Comments

  1. 1

    mark spews:

    How about welfare recipients pick the fruit or better yet
    anyone on unemployment. Of course this would be minus their
    transportation costs. The farmers could pay the going rate.
    Everybody wins. Some day. NO MORE FREE LUNCH.

  2. 2

    spews:

    I live in Olympia (Lacey, actually) in a medium sized apartment complex. Many of my neighbors are now Mexican’s and I suspect very few are citizens as the language troubles and the fact most are young single males. While we converse I never ask them that directly. I am continually amazed at how hard they work to make a living and the jobs they do don’t compete with me. I was “down sized a year ago” and am still professionally unemployed, but I still appreciate their role in our society. If you buy a flower arrangement chances are there are some salal in it as part of the greenery. These guys go out into the woods and spend most of the day bent over chopping. They leave at 5:00 in the morning and when they return late afternoon they then bundle it in florist sized wholesale bunches. They are independent contractors with no benefits, paid piece meal, and largely transparent to any worker protection laws as they are in the woods. They tell me that the 12 to 14 hour days net them 40 to 80 dollars a day. And they are ready, willing, able and do other jobs of similar types. All are largely out of the radar of most of us. Do they contribute to society generally. Well, I know they have added a lot to the diversity and culture of my complex– as I listen to their music. But I also see local churches are adding Spanish services so I see them as people of faith and character and I believe any lawbreakers are the exception. My real life experience is much different than the drugs and violence I read in the media. My point is that the US has always used immigration as a resource and it continues to do so. I bet these folks also follow the trend and their children will be raised to truly participate in the American dream and we will all be better off. Our policy should be to help them assimilate– not be isolated and get mired in poverty and lack of education.

  3. 3

    Tom Johnson spews:

    It is rightfully called stoop labor and in this era only Mexican labor will do it. Period.

    Some dim wit city people think it is half assed funny, it is not.

    Remember those old pix from Russia when the army hearded the city dwellers to fields with guns to the fall harvest.? No potatoes in storage meant winter starvation.

    In the US it will mean skyrocket food prices, and as Goldy so skillfully puts it, then end of much of the ag. of Eastern Washington from aspergrus to wine grapes and apples and cherries.

    Stupid Republicans.

  4. 5

    Marilyn spews:

    Does anyone still remember former President Reagan’s famous request to Gorbachev in Munich: “…TEAR DOWN THIS WALL!”?
    Now we Americans are building walls on our border. Illegal immigration is the concept that shouldn’t exist.

    Security on our Mexican border??? Mexicans are terrorists, now?

    Mark, your’re being simplistic and silly. Your suggestion wouldn’t solve anything. It wouldn’t lower labor costs, and it wouldn’t get the fruit picked. But I have an idea: How about YOU pick the fruit, Mark? Of course, this would be minus YOUR transportation costs, minus YOUR health benefits, minus YOUR pesnion plan…

  5. 6

    RP spews:

    I think immigration is going to be one of the big issues in 2006. Note that the sponsor of the bill is from Wisconsin: somehow I don’t think his state is one of the ones which is really feeling the impacts, one way or another, from illegal immigration.

    Just as an aside, (without attempting to make a political point one way or another), is that one of the reasons for the shortage of agricultural workers is that many of the immigrants (legal & illegal) have found better jobs in construction or the food service industry in Western Washington. Americans have long opposed illegal immigration in principal, but have been willing to turn a blind eye toward immigration which provides cheap labor to the agricultural industry, in jobs no U.S. citizen would take. But now the immigrants are being told: “don’t waste your time doing back-breaking labor for minimum wage and living in migrant worker camps. Go work in the cities, where pay for a construction, landscape, or food service worker can be $10.00 an hour, and work and living conditions are much better”.

    One of the unexpected consequences is the number of fast-food restaurants in the Seattle/Eastside area where the entire crew (including the manager) is speaking Spanish (although I have seen a McDonalds in Bellevue where the entire crew was Asian, speaking a language I couldn’t quite pin down). I normally wouldn’t care, until my teenage son started looking for a job, and found that even the normal “entry” jobs of “flipping burgers” was difficult to find. Lots of help-wanted signs, but at the places within walking distance, it seems only those fluent in Spanish actually got hired.

    So I’m sure many people who see this post will accuse me of racism, although if you saw a picture from my family reunion you would see that I certainly couldn’t hold prejudices very strongly (my extended family includes Samoans, Japanese, Chinese, Hawaiians, Poles, Germans, Mexicans, Koreans, and Blacks of various nationalities, as well as a few of us Scots-Irish who are a minority in this group).

    So how do we keep getting cheep agricultural workers (so we can all eat more cheaply than we deserve), secure our borders against entry by terrorists, maintain our goals of allowing legal immigrants to advance upward in our society through hard work and enterprise, and yet still keep available at least some entry-level jobs for our own teenagers? I certainly don’t know the answer that delima, and I haven’t seen a proposal from either side (Democrats or Republicans) which answers all those questions yet. I would think that a Guest Worker program would have to be part of any such solution. But our Guest Workers may not be coming from Mexico, as we presume.

    We may find that we have to start looking further away – perhaps to Asia for the cheap labor we need. (I hear North Korea is contracting out its workers to factorys in the Czech Repupblic!)

  6. 7

    Mike Miller spews:

    illegal aliens do drive wages down . They have no choice but to work for any wage they can get. Non Union construction workers in many states get the same wages now as they did twenty years ago. Many illegal aliens won’t work on farms anymore because they get a bit more working construction. It seems funny to me that liberals talk about supporting labor but they support sub-standard wages. I have been a union ironworker since 1965 and I can’t belive almost a third of our members voted republican in 2004.I will keep voting democratic but I sure see half hearted support for unions from many liberals. At least the repubs do support gun owners.

  7. 8

    Vanderleun spews:

    “It seems funny to me that liberals talk about supporting labor but they support sub-standard wages.”

    Not funny at all. The standard liberal position on most things is that everyone else should reach for their wallets. But if they decline to do so readily, the liberals will arrange for said wallets to be lifted and rifled anyway.

  8. 9

    Proud to be an Ass spews:

    Couldn’t agree with you more, Mr. Miller. The eviceration of the Wagner Act since WWII under both dem and rep administrations has been criminal. It remains on the books, but as a “national policy” it is almost a dead letter.

    It is dismaying to see folks tout “free trade” and “free markets” but throw these principles out the window when it comes to labor.

  9. 10

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Leave it to Republicans to criminalize treating a sick child or giving food to a hungry person!

  10. 12

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    5

    “The standard liberal position on most things is that everyone else should reach for their wallets.”

    What a load of horse shit! Republicans devote their lives to relieving other people of their wallets, and they’re doing a damn good job of it. Since Bush became president, wages have stagnated or fallen, workers have lost health care and pensions, electricity prices have tripled, natural gas prices have tripled, gasoline prices have tripled, food prices up 40% to 50%, housing prices have doubled … and WHO is getting all the money? The rich, of course.

  11. 13

    Mark The Redneck spews:

    Glad to see Goldy being a shill for Big Ag. Let corporations make excessive profits on the backs of poor immigrants.

  12. 15

    citizensteve spews:

    Obviously what Senselessbrenner (R-WI) is sponsoring is a bill to keep working people in their place… 5 yrs in prison for giving humanitarian aid! The goal of the people who wrote the bill for him is to keep illegal immigrants outside the system so they can’t get uppity about unsafe working conditions and wage theft.

    At the bottom of all (R) ‘labor’ and immigration legislation is the goal of making us all peons. [our perhaps in light of “trickle down” economics, it’s peed-ons].

    Mark @ 1.’s comment “…or better yet anyone on unemployment” is a typical example of how anti-labor propoganda has been successful with morons. In his weak little mind working people who pay into unemployment insurance are somehow ‘cheating’ if they lose their job and file an UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE CLAIM. He probably also thinks it’s unfair to expect businesses to honor their commitments to pay pensions to workers who paid in for 20-30 yrs..

    Mike @ 4. – Don’t blame liberals, the dominance of the (center right) DLC is the reason the Democratic Party has turned on organized labor [- and working people as a whole]. It’s way past time to dislodge the DLC and elect Progressive’s.

  13. 16

    spews:

    HorsesAss.Org » Immigration bill will create farm labor shortage in Eastern WA

    HorsesAss.Org » Immigration bill will create farm labor shortage in Eastern WA
    Once again McMorris and Hastings are voting with the GOP hardline over the sentiment and interests of their own constituents. I’ve watched Yakima Valley farmers plough…

  14. 17

    tom spews:

    In a few words….I don’t care. If your trying to threaten people with higher food prices, if we actually enforce the immagration laws, find a better stick to beat us with. When you tally up the medical, educational, and criminal costs, I think you will find the cost of food becomes a non issue. Control the border, legal immagration is fine, hell I’ll even tolerate a “guest” (slave) worker program, but control the border, and enforce the immagration laws. Come here legally or be sent home, it has to be that way.

  15. 18

    Voter Advocate spews:

    4.

    First of all, illegal immigration by farm workers has been occuring without interuption for as long as I can remember. The Bracero Program in California was in full force during my childood and youth, Edward R. Murrow’s “Harvest of Shame” was produced in 1960, and the situation today hasn’t changed much. Since this is a situation that has persisted through the heyday of the labor movement, I don’t think its continued existance can be blamed on “the liberals.”

    As a liberal who supported the United Farm Workers movement, I object to being told that I support sub-standard wages because they continue to exist. As an American consumer, I supported Chavez’s boycotts of agricultural goods for decades, even after he died. In addition, if you want to see the union viewpoint on this bill:

    http://www.unionvoice.org/camp.....fVzd16q6CE

    It doesn’t appear to square with yours.

  16. 19

    Janet S spews:

    The free market is at work. The illegals know how much they will be paid when they freely cross the border. No one has captured them and put them into slavery. The wages offered are still far more than they will get if they stay home. This is what happens when kind-hearted dems and union workers artificially set a minimum wage. The legal job market is off limits to those who will work for less.

    What ever happened to the freedom to enter into contract with others? The union line is an elitist one, and actually results in keeping the poor even poorer.

  17. 20

    Proud to be an Ass spews:

    @12:

    When you tally up the medical, educational, and criminal costs, I think you will find the cost of food becomes a non issue.

    This assertion is both disingenuous (limited to ‘cost of food’) and irredemably false.

  18. 21

    dj spews:

    Mark the Redneck,
    Are you going to start the year off with a clean slate? Pay up on your Bet from November. Otherwise get the fuck outta here, ya ingorant punk.

  19. 22

    deb spews:

    Mark had it right, welfare recipients, unemployed should be sent to work. Paid of course to help supplement the tax dollars I pay to support them(welfare). Before the depression we had no welfare bums that spend generations being taken care of by tax payers, having a job meant something back then. Borders should be watched the illegals sent back, then the welfare bums can work and take care of their own. No more free rides that the liberals, soicialists want to hand out to make them feel better.

  20. 24

    Tom Johnson spews:

    The last one posted, no content about the issue on the table.

    Software glich? Very frustrating, and self defeating.

  21. 26

    Mark The Redneck spews:

    Tom – thoughtful comments are usually screen out. “Good” posts must include the words “fuck”, “nazi” and “fascist” to get by the filter.

    Jus’ tryin to help…

  22. 27

    Seeking the truth spews:

    Don’t let them fool you. The fence is really to keep americans from crossing into Mexico for cheap drugs.

  23. 28

    sgmmac spews:

    Gregoire has a new health care plan for the children of immigrants and it won’t cover all of them so they are having a lotto style drawing for it. Washington State has long given driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants too. That is scheduled to stop in the future though thanks to Sensenbrenner.

  24. 29

    Dale spews:

    This is one more example of pandering to their base. This bill has no chance of passing. We need these workers and if we could get a guest worker system where they were given rights and protection, we could stop the exploitation.

  25. 30

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I wish to take this opportunity to wish a happy and prosperous New Year to the NSA spooks illegally wiretapping my keyboard. Hey, we’re all Americans here, including you guys. Oh, and before I forget — FUCK YOU!!! (middle toe of rabbit paw extended in obscene gesture)

  26. 31

    karl spews:

    having lived in the Bay Area, another place that benefited from illegal workers, I have a hard time being sympathetic to any of this.

    Illegal is supposed to mean illegal, not look the other way because apples will be cheaper.

    Guest worker program, fine, but that can be done independently of the measure cited here.

    I see no reason to leave the borders open unconditionally.

  27. 32

    cougar spews:

    and especially for Mark the Redneck, CynicalIdiot, GS, Janet and the rest of our pet trolls. How will your ‘spin machine’ change the results of the latest military poll? What is the GOPP (government of pillage and profiteering) going to do? GWB is losing his credibility with the armed forces. The poll was mainly given to career men. See for yourselves @

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20.....litarypoll

  28. 33

    Mark The Redneck spews:

    Cougar – Let me splain about GOP leadership. See, we govern by something called “principles”. These are ideas that have been tested in the crucible of the real world and are known to work. Things like “peace comes from destroying your enemy’s ability to make war”, or “people have a right to keep their money and property”. There are lots more, but you get the idea?

    Democrats on the other hand mostly cater to people who merely react to events around them. Life washes over them like a wave. “Shit happens” to them, and they can’t figure out why, but then decide it’s random, or luck or somebody is screwing them. When they ask these people what they “think”, they get opinions that are based on feeeeelings, not anything that actually makes any kind of big picture sense or anything grounded in principles. But regardless, Dems being the ‘ho’s that they are cater to these people (because even uninformed idiots get to vote)and they adjust their policies to cater to the idiots.

    So what I’m saying is that GOP doesn’t GAF about polls, except the ones that occur every 4 years.

  29. 34

    Voter Advocate spews:

    “We need election-law reform, but that must mean strengthening our current protections rather than weakening them, as Republicans are proposing. What we need is strong, loophole-free legislation in Olympia that will bar, once and for all, the sort of mass-challenge abuses we just experienced here in King County.”

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.c.....ims22.html

  30. 35

    Donnageddon spews:

    Mark The Yellowdick said

    Let me splain about GOP leadership. See, we govern by something called “principles”. These are ideas that have been tested in the crucible of the real world and are known to work. Things like “peace comes from destroying your enemy’s ability to make war”, or “people have a right to keep their money and property”. There are lots more,

    as a further example of these “principles” Mark the Yellowdick said

    Have ya ever noticed the correlation between presence of a vagina and stoopidty?

    and Child support is

    vaginamoney

    Yeah, you know, deep felt Republican principles like that.

  31. 36

    cougar spews:

    MTR @ 33 said “Let me splain about GOP leadership. See, we govern by something called “principles”.

    Now I understand, thank you ever so much. Delay, Frist, GWB lying, wiretaps, torture, sleeping with big corporations…. I understand your principles.

    And you must understand the US justice principles that a neocon nut like yourself had to pay child support, and not just spend your welfare check on Aurora Avenue, right?

    Get a life in the real world, before another rake smacks you down AGAIN

  32. 37

    karl spews:

    34,

    Sorry but a self serving self rationalizing column by Sims himself is hardly that assurance I need.

    Would you mind explaining to clarify for me, and I ask this in 100% seriousness, what legislation the Republicans have specifically presented that “weakens protections” as Sims claims?

  33. 38

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    Mark the Dick: What a load of bilge. By the way, engineer wannabe, you never did acknowledge that you knew who “Galloping Gertie” was. You claim some technical expertise but advertise abysmal ignorance instead. Moron.

  34. 40

    Voter Advocate spews:

    [Norm] Maleng said he will ask Secretary of State Sam Reed and Attorney General Rob McKenna for opinions on whether challengers must provide voters’ actual addresses for any challenges that remain. While he said he believes the answer is no, Maleng said his office is ready to investigate and provide those addresses if they are needed to make the challenges stick.

    Assistant Secretary of State Steve Excell said his office agrees with Maleng’s interpretation of the law, “but when people read the statute, reasonable people could differ.”

    He said Reed plans to ask the Legislature to clarify the law.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.c.....es30m.html

    I believe all three of the worthies mentioned above are Republicans.

  35. 41

    karl spews:

    39? I never said I need it. I asked if you can support his claims.

    You are the self proclaimed voter advocate, you support the KCRE and work there too as i recall.

    So as someone trying to learn the truth, I am asking if you know.

    If you dont know say so.

    I will write Sims himself instead.

    Its easy to accuse in a partisan letter. Lets see some evidence.

  36. 42

    cougar spews:

    Goldy said “but neither should McMorris and Hastings ignore the economic well being of their own constituents.”

    LOL, when has a GOPP polihack ever voted for the best interests of their constituents? GOPP the ‘me first, second and only’ party.

  37. 43

    Voter Advocate spews:

    WAC 434-324-115
    Challenge of voter’s registration.

    All county auditors shall maintain a supply of, and furnish to the public on request, forms substantially similar to the sample included below for the purpose of allowing a registered voter to challenge the registration of another voter pursuant to RCW 29A.08.830. A copy of the form shall be sent to the voter, whose voter registration has been challenged and to the challenger pursuant to RCW 29A.08.840. The form shall be substantially similar to the following:

    VOTER REGISTRATION CHALLENGE FORM

    REASON FOR CHALLENGE

    Check the appropriate box below.

    The individual challenged is not a U.S. Citizen.

    The individual challenged is not at least eighteen years old.

    The individual challenged is currently being denied his or her civil rights by reason of a felony conviction.

    The individual challenged has been judicially declared mentally incompetent.

    The individual challenged does not reside at the address at which he or she is registered to vote. Under Article VI, section 4, of the Washington State Constitution, a voting residence is not lost if the person is absent due to state or federal employment, military service, school attendance, confinement in prison, or engaged in navigation at sea. State law requires the person filing the challenge to provide the address at which the challenged voter actually resides:

    What’s so hard for you righties to understand in that?

  38. 44

    karl spews:

    40,

    And how do those 3 worthies questions weaken protection?

    Should the law protect the guilty?

    Do they not simply seek to clarify existing law to make sure it is enforced accurately?

  39. 46

    Voter Advocate spews:

    WAC 434-324-115
    Challenge of voter’s registration.

    Read it and see, particularlay the last item in the challenge form.

  40. 48

    karl spews:

    46,

    I agree.

    It specifies they can use a mail box as a mailing address but not a residence.

    Thanks for agreeing.

  41. 50

    spews:

    King County will forever be tainted as “crooked” and deservedly so. I hope the repubs challenge voter registrations before every election since the KCRE is not willing to clean up the voter rolls. Every vote in KC will be questioned because the donks running the county cheat.

  42. 51

    Voter Advocate spews:

    The individual challenged does not reside at the address at which he or she is registered to vote. Under Article VI, section 4, of the Washington State Constitution, a voting residence is not lost if the person is absent due to state or federal employment, military service, school attendance, confinement in prison, or engaged in navigation at sea. State law requires the person filing the challenge to provide the address at which the challenged voter actually resides:

    The only challenges that were successful were those where the voter admitted they had filled out the form improperly. The GOP challenge did nothing to meet the legal requirement.

  43. 52

    Voter Advocate spews:

    The Republican Party in Washington will forever be known as a bunch of thugs out to rob citizens of their right to vote.

  44. 54

    cougar spews:

    the biggest fraud of 2005 was the Republican Election Challenge. It showed the world what a bunch of cry babies and liars the GOPP really is.

  45. 55

    Voter Advocate spews:

    The only fraud committed was the fraudulent affidavits of Lori Sotelo. The challenged voters had no intent to commit fraud, they admitted their error and were punished for it — their votes were rejected.

    The Republican Party could have acted responsibly, by cooperating with KCRE in the matter and giving voters ample time to rectify their errors. But, the GOP was only interested in having a political issue for David Irons to run on. An issue that was insufficient to get him elected, that being KCRE.

    The law is clear. WAC 434-324-115 says “State law requires the person filing the challenge to provide the address at which the challenged voter actually resides”.

    The three Republican office holders quoted in the Times article of 11/30 either cannot comprehend the English language or are acting as party hacks. In either case, we deserved an Attorney General and County Prosecutor who are more able to read and do not let their party affiliations get in the way of enforcing the law.

  46. 56

    klake spews:

    1. The three Republican office holders quoted in the Times article of 11/30 either cannot comprehend the English language or are acting as party hacks. In either case, we deserved an Attorney General and County Prosecutor who are more able to read and do not let their party affiliations get in the way of enforcing the law.
    Comment by Voter Advocate— 1/2/06 @ 11:05 pm
    VA: King County along with a few others really does not care about the voters but are cherry picking those voters who represent their views. You and some of you clowns will provide transportation for drunks in the gutter and a bottle if they fill out their ballot a certain way. You will go to great lengths to invalidate Military ballots or send them out knowing they will never show up on time. In the military, I cannot buy a pack of gum without showing proper ID. This state you can vote without providing any valid identification and you can do it more than once. Mr. Voter Advocate you sound more like a government worker cover up a crime and not a real Demarcate who is looking after the best interest of its citizens. Besides how is you Spanish? You all have a Happy New Year.

  47. 57

    dj spews:

    klake @ 56

    “King County along with a few others really does not care about the voters but are cherry picking those voters who represent their views.”

    Bullshit.

    “You and some of you clowns will provide transportation for drunks in the gutter and a bottle if they fill out their ballot a certain way.”

    Hogwash.

    “You will go to great lengths to invalidate Military ballots or send them out knowing they will never show up on time.”

    Bullshit…not a shred of evidence for this claim.

    “In the military, I cannot buy a pack of gum without showing proper ID. This state you can vote without providing any valid identification and you can do it more than once.”

    Bullshit. Double voter “problem” in 2004 was 6 people who voted twice identified for the entire state (and they were probably Republicans).

    Klake…another simpleton lost to talk radio, compounded by “sore loser syndrome.”

  48. 58

    Voter Advocate spews:

    Klake, you will have to deal in an unusual realm for you, the world of reality.

    No one at KCREALS wants to stop anyone who is eligible to vote from voting.

    Absentee ballots for the February 7 election will be sent to military and overseas registrants today, but any of them can request a ballot by fax and even return their ballot by fax by making the request.

    In a general election, Military personel can even send in a ballot for statewide offices they can obtain from their commanding officer, which will be duplicated onto an official ballot when received, so they don’t have to wait for a ballot, at all.

    While there are many volunteer services for getting people to the polls, attempting to influence a voter as you charge is a serious crime and should not be made without proof. Something that, evidently, right wingers are unable to provide on any election matter.

    The reality is, the only entity that is attempting to squelch the votes of citizens is the Republican Party.

  49. 59

    Tom Johnson spews:

    Let’s remember that this form of voter supression is part of a national Rovian plan, discusssed at national conf. and tried in several other locatiuons.

    The bigest Bullshit is that Lori has ever registered any voter, and did this because of a rousing concern about voting.

    She should be charged with some low level fraud – and be given community service registering people at that working class mall in Bellevue on 148th.

  50. 60

    karl spews:

    55

    And that is a crappy law that protects people who illegally register.

    Laws should protect the integrity of the system.

  51. 61

    Voter Advocate spews:

    60.

    Not so, Karl. You are denying the facts. You aren’t a talk radio host, you can’t make it up as you go.

    Submit to reality.

  52. 62

    Voter Advocate spews:

    What you Republican ass-kissers want the law to allow is this.

    You decide that you don’t like the way I’m going to vote, and I assure you, you won’t like who and what I vote for. So, you want to be able to go the county and accuse me of making a false statement on my voter registration, forcing me to prove something that can be learned from the King County tax records, but something you are too damned lazy to research.

    Then, once you have put me through the inconvenience, embarassment, cost, and, possibly, loss of my voting rights, say “never mind” and go on to your next victim.

    In a pigs eye you can do that. I’ve written to all my state reps telling them to get the Attorney General and KC Prosecutor off their asses and make them do their jobs.

  53. 63

    mark spews:

    Citizen Steve #15, Actually in Washington the employees don’t
    pay a penny of employment security. The employer pays all of
    it. In fact I think our lovely state has the most expensive
    unemployment in the country, with the exception of Massachusetts
    maybe, another liberal bastion.

  54. 64

    klake spews:

    60.

    Not so, Karl. You are denying the facts. You aren’t a talk radio host, you can’t make it up as you go.

    Submit to reality.

    Comment by Voter Advocate— 1/3/06 @ 7:58 am

    Voter Advocate you must be refured to as Dean Logan in disguise. You seem to dislike talk radio real bad,what is your fear about this media? Your house is not as clean as you claim, and your friends are hiding the evidence behind lock doors. How about inviting the FED’s in and prove you are correct? Or do you have more than one dirty secert to hide? Deen or is it Dean, your handly Voter Advocate is not fitting to your coments. Have a good day mate.

  55. 65

    karl spews:

    If the law conatains an obviously loophole to allow people to illegally register, then it is a bad law.

    You deal with reality.

  56. 66

    Daddy Love spews:

    karl
    The law does not “protect people who illegally register.” The law keeps frivolous or spurious challenges from being filed, to protect legal voters from political chicanery.

  57. 67

    Voter Advocate spews:

    64, 65

    You guys just can’t handle a factual discussion, can you. You have to revert to repetition of the talkfest lies, or personal attacks.

    Why don’t you learn something before you bleat out the same old nonsense.

    You don’t like people to vote against your cherished fantasies. That’s what its all about. You want to win without working.

    I know, it’s hard to attract votes to your idiotic ideas of governance. But, stop trying to deny the votes of your opponents.

    Win some support, for a change.

  58. 68

    Donnageddon spews:

    Rufus the Dufus stated

    King County will forever be tainted as ?crooked? and deservedly so

    Only in the minds of Kool Aid drunk wingnuts, Rufus.

  59. 69

    Thomas spews:

    @20 …prove it…California Hospitals and schools would have gone and were threatening to go bankrupt, if the national( read non border states) goverment didn’t help subsidize their cost. If it is a non issue then don’t provide free medical at the emergency room, don’t grant squat n squeeze citizenship, and don’t provide any free education, bank loans, drivers liscences, subsidized housing, et. al….and see what happens. THEY COME HERE BECAUSE IT SUCKS LESS THAN WHERE THERE FROM, WHEN IT SUCKS MORE THEY WON’T COME.

  60. 70

    C spews:

    Goldy says:

    “The farm labor shortage isn’t hypothetical – it’s happening now ”

    But the Dept of Labor says:
    “5.0% national unemployment as of Nov 2005″
    “5.6% Washington unemployment as of Nov 2005″
    “6.6% Tri-Cities unemployment as of Nov 2005″
    “8.2% Yakima unemployment as of Nov 2005″

    So Goldy, how do you reconcile the facts with your silly “labor shortage” line?

  61. 71

    Sven spews:

    Sorry, the law is designed poorly.

    Rewrite that sucker to

    a) make the registration requirements clear regarding mailing address versus residence address.

    b) allow a reasonable standard to identify fraud. Under this statute you would have to subpena the mial box records for a billing address, or stake it out and follow people home, which I am sure would generate howls about harassment.

    In the meantime follow Spokane’s lead and identify public mail drops and flag them, send a letter of verification to any voter with that as their residence address, and make them correct it according to WAC.

    Easy, fair and done.

    It will never cease to amaze me how you justify obvious illegal registration. Obvious. Blatant. In your face crystal clear.

    Why not just fix it and move on?

  62. 73

    Sven spews:

    62

    You decide that you don’t like the way I’m going to vote, and I assure you, you won’t like who and what I vote for. So, you want to be able to go the county and accuse me of making a false statement on my voter registration, forcing me to prove something that can be learned from the King County tax records, but something you are too damned lazy to research.

    If you were dumb enough to list your *residence* as a mailbox in complete disreard for the WAC, then take you lumps and fix it.

    Its really that simple sir.

  63. 74

    Voter Advocate spews:

    72.

    No, Mr. Sven, I am among the 140 illegally challenged voters who had their registrations upheld.

    The ones whose rights your Republican heart-throbs, Maleng and McKenna, refuse to uphold.

    The law is quite clear, you must know where the person you challenge lives. The test is that you think he doesn’t live where he said he does.

    Believe me, you righties are going to have hell to pay to get that law changed.

  64. 75

    Voter Advocate spews:

    58 voters who filled out their registrations incorrectly is not even worth mentioning in relation to several hundred counts of perjury.

  65. 76

    Sven spews:

    72,

    YOu realize that most of those were upheld due to lack of evidence to the contrary. They still had their residence addresses illegally presented as a mail box.

    I fully join you in your scorn for the apartment/condo dwellers falsely accused. INexcusable reasearch.

    But anyone with a mailbox as a residence address is doing so against the law.

    Period.

  66. 77

    Sven spews:

    74,

    58 voters who also signed their voter registration form under penalty of perjury also.

    Should you wish to penalize Lori for perjury, please apply a consistent standard to those who also did so.

    Or is one form of a mistake better then anothe rin your eyes?

    Again, Rewrite that sucker to

    a) make the registration requirements clear regarding mailing address versus residence address.

    b) allow a reasonable standard to identify fraud. Under this statute you would have to subpena the mial box records for a billing address, or stake it out and follow people home, which I am sure would generate howls about harassment.

    In the meantime follow Spokane’s lead and identify public mail drops and flag them, send a letter of verification to any voter with that as their residence address, and make them correct it according to WAC.

    Easy, fair and done

  67. 78

    Voter Advocate spews:

    David McDonald, representing houseboat resident Barbara Harriet.

    McDonald: Do you have any personal knowledge that Ms. Harriet can’t vote?
    Sotelo: I won’t answer that question.

    McDonald: Do you have any personal knowledge about Ms. Harriet’s age, which could affect her ability to vote?
    Sotelo: I won’t answer that question.

    McDonald: Do you have any personal knowledge about Ms. Harriet’s status as a United States citizen that could affect her ability to vote?
    Sotelo: I won’t answer that question.

    McDonald: Do you have any personal knowledge that Ms. Harriet doesn’t meet any of the exceptions laid out in the Washington State Constitution in regards to her voting registration?
    Sotelo: I won’t answer that question.

    McDonald: Do you know where in this storage facility the resident manager lives?
    Sotelo: I won’t answer that question

    McDonald: I move for dismissal. Her statement that she has a “reasonable idea of where she (Ms. Harriet) lives” doesn’t meet the requirements laid out in the statute. These “drive by challenges” will enormously burden the public. If you let these challenges to forward, then you’ll be allowing future fishing expeditions.

    This was the typical case at the hearings, Sotelo ducking questions.

    Mr. McDonald’s other major point was that because Ms. Sotelo couldn’t produce a new address for Ms. Harriet (as required by the statute in order to file the challenge), the challenge never should have made it this far – if Ms. Sotelo couldn’t meet that minimum level of due diligence, then she didn’t deserve to have her challenge move forward. If we’re willing to keep entertaining challenges that don’t meet these minimum thresholds, then we allow groups to use the challenge statutes to intimidate – not to clean the roles, as the law was intended.

    The Canvassing Board decided:

    “State law correctly puts the burden on the challenger to prove a voter’s registration is not valid. Given the seriousness of the issue, the threshold for denying a citizen the right to vote must be high. Therefore, it is incumbent on the challenger to meet all the requirements of the law, including the requirement that he or she provide the actual address at which the challenger believes the voter resides. That requirement is important because of the real risk of casting suspicion on a voter because he shares an address with private mail box or commercial storage facility.

    “In the majority of challenges, the evidence provided to the Canvassing Board did not establish a residential address other than what was provided by the voter, nor did they present clear and convincing evidence that the voter does not reside at the address listed on their registration.”

  68. 79

    Sven spews:

    As has been said by others.

    It is a bad law that needs to be changed.

    Bottom line VA, If her actual physical residence was a boat, and not the mail box, then her registration is in violation of WAC.

    Period.

  69. 80

    Puddybud spews:

    Voter Ad: Making it up as you go like Al Franken[stein] and Randi [Quadruple Gunshots] Rhodes on Scare America?

  70. 81

    Voter Advocate spews:

    78.

    That’s not the bottom line, unless you know where the houseboat is.

    Period. You don’t get a bigger bite at the apple than anyone else.

    Ms. Sotelo had to be able to come into the Canvass Board and say that Ms. Hariet didn’t live in the precinct she was voting in. That is the heart of the matter.

    A person can vote in King County if they live in a tree in Lincoln Park.

    The law is proper as it stands, and I predict that any attempt to change it will be met with severe opposition.

    All of you jawboning that this is some huge issue are merely the modern day versions of Bull Conner and George Wallace. In fact, it has even been said here that there should be literacy tests today. That is pure Jim Crow, as anti-American as anything I can think of. It will not return.

  71. 82

    Voter Advocate spews:

    Theresa Bushnell, a resident at the home of Barbara Taylor, both voters who have also been challenged by Lori Sotelo. Ms. Taylor manages a storage warehouse, and her home is onsite, as many storage facilities require their managers to live on the property. Ms. Taylor has four registered voters in her home including Ms. Bushnell, and has lived and voted at this address for at least eleven years. They have not met, nor do they live near Lori Sotelo, yet Sotelo claimed “personal knowledge or belief” that these validly registered voters are not qualified to vote or don’t live where they say they do.

    Lori Sotelo is a liar. She should be prosecuted

  72. 83

    Sven spews:

    VA,

    Sigh.

    Ok…slowly here. Let me repeat. I said freely that the republicans did not prove the issues. Ok?

    What i also is that it is

    A) a stupid law, when an obviously faulty address can be overlooked under that technicality. It needs to be rewritten to allow for cases where a residence address cannot clearly be real. Common sense. i also said:

    b) KCRE needs to do what Spokane did and identify, flag, notify the voters and correct these mailbox residence registrations because:

    c) they are in 100% violation of the WAC. There is no room wiggle, the law does not allow a mail blox to be used as a residence.

    Period.

  73. 84

    Voter Advocate spews:

    Every voter that came to testify had a reasonable explanation as to why they were registered incorrectly, and all were open to taking the steps needed to fix it. In almost every case it was simply a mistake or a misunderstanding. These are all Washington State citizens, and only the most dishonest and partisan among us would want to quash their voice and their vote.

  74. 85

    Sven spews:

    VA

    A person can vote in King County if they live in a tree in Lincoln Park.

    Of course they can, as long as they use the nearest “public Building” as their stated residence for the purpose of assigning a precint.

    They cannot list a mailbox as their residence IAW WAC.

    Period.

  75. 86

    Voter Advocate spews:

    It is not a “stupid” law that protects voters from partisan attacks being focused on them as a surrogate for who the Republican Party actually wanted to attack, Ron Sims.

  76. 87

    Sven spews:

    Every mistake or misunderstanding was still registered with the signer stating under penalty of perjury it was truth.

    They still claimed under penalty of perjry that their physical residence was a mailbox, when they knew it was not.

    Rewrite that sucker to:

    a) Make the registration requirements clear regarding mailing address versus residence address.

    b) Follow Spokane’s lead and identify public mail drops and flag them, send a letter of verification to any voter with that as their residence address, and make them correct it according to WAC.

  77. 88

    Sven spews:

    85

    It IS a stupid law when it shields people who knowingly violate the WAC and make false statements under penalty of perjury from prosecution.

  78. 89

    Donnageddon spews:

    VA, sven is not going to budge. If he can use a technicality (or a simple human mistake) by the part of a citizen to disenfranchise them, that is what he wants to do.

    If Sotelo, blatently viloates the law by hundred of purjured documents, sven does not want to hear abbout it.

    Simple as that.

  79. 90

    Sven spews:

    Donna,

    I simply asked that all mistkaes regarding perjury be treated equally.

    Fact:
    The WAC does not allow a mailbox to be used as a physical residence.

    Fact:
    Anyone who signed a voter registration card with a Mailbox as their residence did so under the penalty of perjury.

    When you apply equal standards call me, other wise you are jsut defending people who circumvented Voter law.

    And aside from the fact that the republicans are the ones challanging, i have heard no justification as to why you defend them, so I challange you to justify why you want illegally registered people to remain on the roles.

    Why do you defend illegal voters?

  80. 91

    Voter Advocate spews:

    I.IIt IS a stupid law when it shields people who knowingly violate the WAC and make false statements under penalty of perjury from prosecution.

    Who is it who knowingly violated this nit-picking aspect of the statute? Do you know?

  81. 92

    Sven spews:

    Anyone who listed their residence address as a mailbox, not their phiyscial residence, or a WAC designated alternative (public building)

    Fact:
    The WAC does not allow a mailbox to be used as a physical residence.

    Fact:
    Anyone who signed a voter registration card with a Mailbox as their residence did so under the penalty of perjury.

  82. 93

    Voter Advocate spews:

    89.

    There is a big difference between making a mistake filling out a form, and taking aim at 2000 people with a legal action for which you have no proof.

    Equivalencing the two is specious.

    It has been reported that all 58 of the “successfully” challenged voters, the ones who admitted they made a mistake, have re-registered correctly. Something that could have been done without costing them their vote in the November election.

  83. 95

    Sven spews:

    I dont have to provide that, i am not making a specific challange. I am pointing out that you are defending people who violated the WAC.

    Anyone who listed their residence address as a mailbox, not their phiyscial residence, or a WAC designated alternative (public building)

    Fact:
    The WAC does not allow a mailbox to be used as a physical residence.

    Fact:
    Anyone who signed a voter registration card with a Mailbox as their residence did so under the penalty of perjury.

  84. 96

    Sven spews:

    And by the way, I have consistently said they need to fix it by contacting all voters thusly registered and having them fix it, the way Spokane does.

    Why won’t you agree to that?

  85. 97

    Sven spews:

    It has been reported that all 58 of the “successfully” challenged voters, the ones who admitted they made a mistake, have re-registered correctly. Something that could have been done without costing them their vote in the November election.

    Pity our elections division wont take any proactive measures to deal with this themselves, like Spokane.

  86. 98

    Donnageddon spews:

    sven, I have no problem with your desire to change what you feel is an inadequate law. And in this case, those who mislabelled their home residence can explain the situation in court (as many have) and the court can throw their asses in jail (they didn’t), or accept their innocent explanation (most cases they did having seen no intent to defraud.

    In Sotelo’s case she not only knowingly perjured herself, but she changed the official forms she signed. This negates any attemtp to explain it as a simple mistake.

    It was a blatent violation of the law, perjury, and a pompous display of arrogance for the right of King County citizens.

    She should be sent to prison for a long time as an example for other Republican hacks who wish to disenfranchise voters.

  87. 99

    Sven spews:

    I have actually never defended Sotelo. I could care less about her except that she has correctly identified a class of illegal votes that needs to be fixed.

    My only interest is in fixing the loopholes in the registration process to lower the percentage of illegal votes to the lowest amount possible.

    Maybe we wont ever have another election close enough for the margin of error to make a practical difference, but then again, if we do, i would like it to be reconciled with more authority.

    The only way to do that is to restore integrity, and in this particular case, common sense.

  88. 100

    Donnageddon spews:

    Admirable aims, sven. But beyond the shrill, whiny world of the KC Republican party, you will find no one who feels that King County elections is any way an example of a flawed election. We had a close Govoner’s race, but none of the investigations found errors larger than you would find in any other similarly sized county.

    There was no loss of integrity, no rampent errors, and certainly no need for more an more expensive methods for more and more diminished returns, in order to improve them.

    But fight on! it is a noble if misguided quest.

  89. 101

    Voter Advocate spews:

    95.

    King County was willing to work with the Republicans on this, Chris Vance wanted a political issue.

    Out of a million registrations, there were about 200 people who voted with addresses that matched the Sotelo list. I don’t think this is an indication of a very large problem, frankly.

    I don’t want King County expending much effort on this sort of activity.

  90. 102

    Sven spews:

    Well Thank you.

    I disagree on only one point. I agree the margin for error wasn’t that unusual in many comparitive elections, but the narrowness of the contest made it an issue that had to be reckoned with.

    To me this shrieks od a culture of accpetable losses, and in this case, it lead to uncertainty that still exists in most Washington voters.

    And the management of KCRE has done little to restore faith to the process. The people there have taken oaths to treat this problem serioously, and I really am not convinced they do.

    There were documented cases of people not doing their jobs properly, and while I will grant I cannot prove (nor will I try) that these actions lead to a faulty result, the fact is that they were identified, and as of yet have not been fixed, as evidenced by KCRE’s continued inability to get a positive reconciliation of votes cast to voters voting.

    So is it altruistic? Sure, but the fact is that all voters of all parties should equally share the outrage at the mistakes and problems and cry out for remedy. The laws need to be fixed. There is a glaring loophole that easily allows individual fraud. It needs to be closed, and I cannot imagine why anyone would not want it to.

    So far some good work has been done, but in this specific issue, common sense is still being body checked by technicality.

    That’s my beef.

  91. 103

    Sven spews:

    I thought the contest was still ongoing, with 58 out of a couple hundred so far.

    Sure, in the grand scope, it is small numbers but necessary.

    I want king County to expend as much effort on fixing the problems as they did on convincing people they did not exist.

  92. 104

    klake spews:

    Out of a million registrations, there were about 200 people who voted with addresses that matched the Sotelo list. I don’t think this is an indication of a very large problem, frankly.

    I don’t want King County expending much effort on this sort of activity.

    Comment by Voter Advocate— 1/3/06 @ 4:17 pm
    Dean Logan (Voter Advocate) how about making everyone register to vote all over again, and include valid identification. You know when you folks refuse to count my ballot until I prove who signed my ballot. I want King County expending a lot more effort on this sort of activity to restore the voter trust in the system and people administering the system. You are quick to blow off everyone’s concern about what should take place in King County and how the system should work. If there is flaws in how it works fix it, I am not interested about some lame procedure that does not work. Dean if you spent as much time improving the process as you spent defending it, you would not have everybody jumping up you ass. Next election is coming up fast, so suck it up and clean your house up. Please quite blaming the Republicans for your shortcomings, and let go of the baggage with Lori Sotelo. If you think you are so great please invite the Federal Government in for an audit, but remember if you have any skeletons in your closet, they will expose them. So Dean Logan (Voter Advocate) have a good Day.

  93. 105

    klake spews:

    Why won’t you agree to that?

    Comment by Sven— 1/3/06 @ 3:53 pm

    Sven great job; stick to your guns you are dealing with a goverment worker and it’s hard for them to step out of the box.

  94. 106

    Voter Advocate spews:

    how about making everyone register to vote all over again, and include valid identification.

    Hell no.

  95. 107

    Voter Advocate spews:

    101.

    All the voters who voted have been handled. The remaining challenges are the registrants who did not vote.

    The focus shouldn’t be on the 58, the total number of voters with challenged addresses was about 198 — 140 were found to be valid. That’s a big problem with this GOP fishing expedition, it sweeps up many more guppies than baracuda. The 58 are unfortunates who filled out their registration applications incorrectly and had their votes taken from them. It isn’t fair, they are as accurate as the Republican Party is.

    This is mostly a moot point with the advent of the state-wide voter registration database, it is the Secretary of State who has the major role in keeping the registration database up-to-date.

  96. 108

    karl spews:

    The database wont do anything to affect people who register at mail boxes.

    And many of the 140 people who got away with it are still not registered properly, because you cannot use a mailbox as a residence.

    the law just protects them even though common sense says they cannot live where they say their residence is.

    Requiring an address is such obvious cases is just silly and prime example why the law is foolish as written.

  97. 109

    Voter Advocate spews:

    The Republicans are going to badger the legislature to change the law so they can harass voters on the basis of where they live without any danger. They know they can’t count on having a Republican Attorney General and County Prosecutor to keep their leaders from criminal charges forever. In fact, I predict the next of these office holders will be Democrats.

    So, write you state senator and representatives, fellow liberals, tell them not to weaken the law that should prevent the kind of fishing expedition the Republicans foisted on us in 2005. Tell the legislature to get the prosecutors off of their asses and to the work of enforcing the law that should protect voters from harassment.

  98. 110

    karl spews:

    Sure, good answer…no like we should have an elections and registration process with any accuracy and integrity.

    I still sit here amazed you so casually defend individual fraud.

  99. 111

    Voter Advocate spews:

    Clearly, no one is looking at this thread, but…

    Karl, you accuse some voters in the Lori Sotelo fishing expedition of committing fraud.

    Who are they, and what did they do?

    You, of course, will be able to provide proof (not!)

  100. 112

    shauna isabela angel de la cruz spews:

    i wish you dumb ignorant people would leave the hispanics alone you wouldnt know your ass from whole in the ground you know what on second thought why dont you pay for my scholling and i will get off welfare then you can pay for my son and my daughter to go through college and then you can tell my kids why you dumb asses took there dads away because of the color of there skin and there language

  101. 113

    shauna isabela angel de la cruz spews:

    they can not afford to come here legally it would take them years to earn the money to get here they arent hurting anyone so if people are worried about drugs test them get rid of the ones who do but then you need to test the white people and take them to a jail that we dont have enough room in becaus of the white people so who is the prblem here

  102. 114

    shauna isabela angel de la cruz spews:

    lets see if we tally up all the murdrers and all the drug dealers and all the hookers it all =more white people you know the sad thing is i am white and i would rather talk to a mexican than a white person because of all the stupid stuff i here come out of a white guys mouth

  103. 115

    shauna isabela angel de la cruz spews:

    whats wrong we have all the other colored people and thats fine but the mexicans get picked on probebly because they know if they pick on the other races they will blow us out of the water well my kids are half hispanic and there dads are good men i worked in a hispanic bar and met really good people you have to be around it before you can judge anything especially welfare