Pigs at the trough: it’s time to put the BIAW on a diet

There’s been a rather heated discussion going on in a couple of threads about the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) and the way they use the “retro rebate” program in our workers compensation system to finance their highly partisan political campaigns. So I thought I’d give this topic it’s own thread.

FYI, the discussion was sparked by George Howland’s piece in the Seattle Weekly, “Political Capital“, in which he reveals that the BIAW is using insurance revenues from municipal governments to help finance their political activities. The article also gives some good insight into the winner-takes-all attitude of the BIAW:

This past election cycle, it spent between $1.7 million and $1.8 million, mostly in support of three candidates: Republican gubernatorial hopeful Dino Rossi, Republican Attorney General-elect Rob McKenna, and conservative state Supreme Court Justice-elect Jim Johnson. Erin Shannon, the BIAW’s public relations director, is thrilled with the results: “It was a big ‘Fuck you!’ to all the liberals out there.”

Replies Shannon of the BIAW: “We are kicking their ass. How many years have we whipped labor?”

I may not be an expert on workers compensation reform (yet), but one thing I know a thing or two about is PR. And their PR director’s choice of words was arrogant or calculated or both. Either way, it was revealing.

I like to wear my bias on my sleeve, so you should know that I first became aware of the BIAW last year during their campaign for Initiative 841. You can read my column in the Tacoma News Tribune, “I-841 ergonomics initiative is well-funded flimflam, to get an idea about who I believe we’re dealing with.

Lot’s of organizations across the ideological spectrum have partisan political agendas. But the BIAW stands out for a number of reasons. They are aggressive, relentless, effective… and I believe they have been working on a “big picture” strategy that ends with turning WA into a “right to work” state, effectively defunding Labor. This is a strategy intended to turn WA into a one party state along the lines of Texas.

The time has come for workers compensation reform that benefits both businesses and workers, and in the process, cuts off BIAW from it’s government money trough.

——

UPDATE: I just read Joel Connelly’s latest column in the P-I which includes the following comment pertinent to this discussion:

In looking at Rossi’s campaign, this greenie’s blood runs cold at the half-million-dollar investment by the state’s nastiest, most vocal anti-environmental lobby.

Will the Building Industry Association of Washington now move into the governor’s office, or simply use it as a business address?

Just so you know I’m not out in the wilderness on my opinion of the BIAW.

Comments

  1. 1

    focused spews:

    I heartily agree with your sentiments about the BIAW. For too long it has flown under the radar of public awareness, and consequently, escaped public , critical scrutiny. Unfortunately, during that same period, it has also gotten away with the most partisan, heavy-handed lobbying in Olympia that has two primary objectives – to roll back the enviromental protection regulations to pre-1960’s standards (thus allowing its member companies to be able to build and develop property without being troubled by any nuisance regulations); and, of course, to destroy the labor union movement, thus turning the clock back 50 years on the welfare of working people.
    I would suggest a couple of possible actions in efforts to lance this boil on the body politic. The first would be aimed at its membership, its grass roots. Before anyone hires a builder/building company ask them if they are members of the BIAW. Communicate your distaste for their “political” organization. Give preference to those builders that are not BIAW members (if there are any to be found!).
    Secondly, encourage the establishment of a rival membership organization. This would give at least some choice to builders who do not want to support BIAW policies. It would also serve notice to the BIAW that it may not actually have a monopoly any more on the allegiance of builders and developers in Washington. This industry needs to have a political voice that could an alternative vision to that reactionary one offered by the BIAW.

  2. 2

    Goldy spews:

    Focused, both your suggestions are excellent, but the former wouldn’t be possible without the latter, and the latter would require the hard work and motivation of people within the building industry.

  3. 3

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Goldy–
    Once again, you allow your political agenda to cloud all the facts about Retro. You fail to disclose all the advantages of safety and claim management, light-duty and return to work that benefit workers and employers. You fail to disclose that Retro refunds are only a result when participants outperform non-Retro participants. You fail to disclose that by controlling claim costs benefits both employers and workers thru lower rates (workers pay premiums too!!). All this because of business, workers & the state working cooperatively together.
    The fact that you, Goldy, would support the $750 million Ergonomics bureaucratic boondoggle that accomplishes nothing leads me to believe you or someone close must have had some financial interest in this joke moving forward.
    I am not sticking up for the politics of BIAW. That is another debate. But to recklessly attack Retro without truly understanding it is shameful. You are worse than what you claim to abhor!!! At least with BIAW, they are upfront about who they represent.

  4. 4

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Goldy–Would you cut-off your whole leg just to deal with an ingrown toe-nail??? Nearly half the Washington Workers Comp premium is in Retro. BIAW is just a portion of that. So your solution to deal with your anger toward BIAW is to hurt everyone and raise the cost of doing business in Washington for everyone??? That’s bright. Please look at all aspects of Retro and the advantages of incentives to employers to control cost. Forget about BIAW until you understand this. Once you understand, then come forth honestly and say I Goldy, am will to sacrifice the following to maybe perhaps try to somehow hurt one trade association I don’t like. That is what your banter boils down to.

  5. 5

    Goldy spews:

    Geesh… you are so Cynical. Read my fucking blog, before you attack my intentions:

    The time has come for workers compensation reform that benefits both businesses and workers, and in the process, cuts off BIAW from it’s government money trough.

    I’m looking for a creative solution that performs both objectives. Perhaps there’s not one there. But if there is, I’ll find it.

  6. 6

    Josef spews:

    Goldy, thank you for stepping up on BIAW.

    If I had known how perverse they were 2 months ago, my vote may have changed. Let’s just be cautiously optimistic that McKenna & Rossi are man enough to tell them were to get off. Otherwise, they’re “girlie men” (to use a popular Republican phrase)!

  7. 7

    focused spews:

    I think that challenging the BIAW on its political agenda is enough of a battle. The aspect of the Retro program that needs a lot more critiquing is how it is used to fund BIAW political lobbying,etc. It seems Mr Cynical is trying to identify the BIAW solely with the “benefits” of the Retro program, and shrug off its reactionary political stances. I am sure that attitude is common in the building industry. It is just not good enough! When a business association puts as much effort and money directly into the politics of Washington state, and with a very regressive agenda at that, then that association is primarily a Political organization. Any service they may be involved with becomes secondary to their main purpose. Unfortunately for our state, the Republican party seems to have been bought out, lock, stock and barrel, by these would-be-Texans! So we, the people, can only rely on one party, the Democrats, to resist their agenda!

  8. 8

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    I am not defending BIAW Politics. There are about 60 sponsoring associations in Retro. Because of incentives of refunds, they have invest millions in safety, light-duty and return to work programs. Big labor hates this because being good to workers minimizes their need. They want a dependent work force that thinks all employers are evil and out to screw the worker. Not the case.
    So Goldy, when you invest in something that involves risk, don’t you expect a return??? Without sponsoring associations, Retro won’t work. It has been around now for 20 years. It’s nothing new…but has worked. Private insurance companies in other states off group retro programs. Associations are to business what unions are to workers. On your own, you are vulnerable. United, there is a balance. I see room for both associations and unions. Go ahead and try to start a funding war Goldy. You brought up the idea of Washington becoming a right to work state. No one I know has ever seriously suggested that. But my guess is if you & your ilk try to attack funding sources on programs that are truly beneficial to many for the sole reason of trying to neutralize them…you may see a right to work initiative real soon. Thanks for the great idea Goldy!!!

  9. 9

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    So Goldy…you never answered my question. Do you or someone you are close to in anyway benefit from this ridiculous ergonomics boondoggle that was repealed by initiative??? Is that what this is about? Obviously you have some very personal financial or political connection to spew about Retro without doing your homework. Hopefully you aren’t some government workers or government independent contractor worried about the BS trough drying up!!! Come on Goldy…level with us.

  10. 10

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Goldy–I read your bio. I’m sure you have some talents aside from your 15 minutes of fame spent attacking someone who actually accomplished something (not that I’m in any way a fan of Eyman…but he did understand the #1 rule of government reform….a rule I think Rossi understands when it comes to cleaning up 20 years of bureaucratic goo that has piled up).

    OH YA–The #1 rule for bureaucratic reform is—-
    “A straight flush beats a full house”

  11. 11

    Goldy spews:

    So Goldy…you never answered my question. Do you or someone you are close to in anyway benefit from this ridiculous ergonomics boondoggle that was repealed by initiative??? Is that what this is about? Obviously you have some very personal financial or political connection to spew about Retro without doing your homework. Hopefully you aren’t some government workers or government independent contractor worried about the BS trough drying up!!! Come on Goldy…level with us.

    See, that’s another unfortunate side effect of Mr. Eyman’s for-profit screwing with the electorate… it becomes impossible to accept that somebody could work selflessly for a cause, simply because they believe in it.

    Not that your question, as stated, is really worthy of an answer, but I am indeed an unpaid citizen activist. I have not received a dime for my political activities, apart from the $10.99 in beer money contributed through my web site. (Hey, I just double-checked, and it looks like somebody just donated $20! So make that $30.99.)

    As to my interest in the BIAW, I never even heard of them before I saw the TV ad for I-841 that said “Paid for by Workers Against Job Killing Rules,” a PAC name that clearly sounded Orwellian. As it was. And the more I learned about the BIAW the more they pissed me off.

    That all said, I enjoy politics, and I’m not opposed to making a living at it (if I can do it honestly.) But nobody’s ever offered me money, and so far, I’ve never asked.

    So sorry to disappoint you and your buddies at the BIAW, but I’m the most dangerous type of opponent… a true believer with no constituency. So go ahead… try to discredit the guy who sponsored the “horse’s ass” initiative.

  12. 12

    focused spews:

    Mr Cynical is attempting to kill this thread by smothering it with his partisan propaganda, thereby discouraging any other thoughtful input. His attacks on Goldy are, of course, classic Rovian tactics designed to mislead our attention away from the real issue! I would like to see what other folks think about the whole BIAW political presence. I think we can dismiss Mr Cynical’s vitriolic verbage as mere hot air, especially with his identification with the whore Eyman!

  13. 13

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    OK Goldy & focused—you guys win. I understand this club is only for people that agree with you. You both continue to attack Retro because of the politics of 1 of 60 associations in a program that has benefitted millions for 20 years. Oh and don’t bother trying to get the facts about why these Retro programs are successful. Just go down your merry path. Never mind that folks like myself and Jim King have a clear understanding of Retro.
    Oh and I’m not BIAW’s buddy. I know they have developed a great program and returned hundreds of millions to members thru hard work and risk. Perhaps you 2 have never met a payroll before. I have and I’ve worked with hundreds of businesses here in Washington. I know directly of the stifling, costly bureaucratic goo they must deal with.
    So dismiss me. I’m merely an informed bean-counter who believes Retro is the best business-government-worker program in the State (from firsthand knowledge). If you 2 clowns have a better idea—let’s here it. But if all your ideas revolve around screwing BIAW and other trade associations…folks will minimize both of you.
    And one last thing–I said I’m NOT a fan of Eyman’s. He just knew the only way to reform government is to take away some of the money. Painful…but the only way.

  14. 14

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Goldy–I accept you at your word that you have no backers on your efforts and this is merely your deep-felt belief. I do however doubt that you have ever had to make a payroll or truly understand the Washington business climate. I know a number of BIAW numbers…every single one of them appreciates their approach. I’m sure you can find some that don’t but it will be a mighty small minority. Besides, when you step out—you will never please everyone. That is one thing that I admire about you Goldy. You are fearless. Ignorant about Workers Comp and Retro and all the benefits…but fearlessly ignorant.

  15. 15

    Goldy spews:

    Hey… I’ll own to being ignorant (by my standards) of workers comp… in fact, I think I’ve been pretty up front about my lack of expertise in that area, an ignorance that I’m in the process of correcting. I also think I’ve been pretty open in my entreaties to Jim King, to help educate me.

    I can only suppose that in your opinion, workers comp and Retro are absolutely perfect the way they are, and require no reform whatsoever. Because you certainly haven’t offered any constructive comments.

  16. 16

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    There are many reforms necessary. Jim hit on one that I’ve always wanted to see and that is outsourcing claim management. It is the only way to get rid of the mass incompetence caused by L&I being a welfare-type dumping ground. Not that all L&I claims managers are incompetent. Far from it. However as a whole its a complete disaster. This is why Retro has been so important. You see Goldy, the dollars L&I collects are the employers dollars. Understand??? L&I is like a trust fund for those dollars. L&I has legal responsibilities regarding use of those dollars. They have misspent $$ on many occassions. But they also realize that business cannot sit back and expect government to do the work. Even with outsourcing, Retro is still a good idea. However, outsourcing MAY help overall…in fact, I know it will. There are a variety of issues surrounding how they calculate time-loss, PPD awards, pensions etc. that need reform. They also need to more aggressively prosecute fraud. In fact, even 1 prosecution would be more aggressive since they never do. You should see some of the BS claims. Claimants on film clam-digging, skydiving, lifting engine blocks, running their own side business all while collecting time-loss. Does L&I prosecute??? Hell no…in fact some of these people appeal when time-loss is stopped and get back on. The law is slanted to injured workers big-time. In fact, a couple specialty law firms make a fortune…they get a % of the L&I settlement and virtually never lose. Oh and the lawyer does little work…it’s all form letters!!

    I could share more outrageous stories…but the point is Retro has given employers the incentive to try and stop abuse. That’s a good thing. There are no other short cuts. If everyone pays the same rate and there is no incentive to control costs…everyones rate would skyrocket even worse than now. Despite onerously written laws, rates are not totally off the map. WHY??? Retro!!

  17. 17

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    The Retro Program has been fine-tuned over the past 20 years. It is pretty reasonable. The bigger Retro Groups are successful because they underwrite members (not everyone can get in) and members agree contractually to do certain things. There is a tremendous investment by Retro Groups in higher experienced claim management and safety people. Jim King is correct that in theory L&I should be doing this. But they never will..because after all it is NOT the governments money. These are like trust funds that truly belong to the businesses and a % to workers. In fact, L&I has artificially held done rates in election years (like this year 3.7%) after 40% increase the prior 2 years. HOW? By spending down reserves. And also L&I is holding back nearly $2 Billion of excess reserves. They have over-reserved claims which allows them to politically manipulate rates. An outside Actuarial firm, Price-Waterhouse-Coopers exposed this using L&I’s own data!!!! And nothing was done…If this money were distributed to the Washington business who rightfully it belongs to, think of the boost to our economy. If Rossi is Governor…maybe that will happen…and it should.

  18. 18

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Goldy–your real story should be about the $2 Billion of excess reserves being held by L&I that belongs to Washington businesses!!!!

  19. 19

    Jim King spews:

    Gee, I’ve been gone all day…

    Two questions- if it is so wrong for BIAW to spend earned money on politics, why is it not also wrong for every other entity- unions, tribes, corporations, associations, and individuals- to spend earned money- their OWN money- on politics?

    And, are the municipalities who enrolled their eligible workers in the BIAW retro program supposed to instead pay, bottom line, one-third higher worker comp premiums- premiums that are paid with tax dollars?

    I’ve pointed out how a very significant reform might hurt BIAW, without hurting employers or employees (although I support that reform because it is needed, NOT because it would hurt BIAW), but I would be, in reality, fundamentally opposed to trying to block ANY entity from using their free speech right to speak out/spend on a political campaign or in any other way.

    And that is the underbelly of Goldy’s effort- it is fundamentally about abridging the free speech rights of those he doesn’t like.

  20. 20

    cn spews:

    i had foolishly thought that the BIAW house in bellingham was a local organization. who are these folks? are they everywhere? the “business” organizations in whatcom county are gearing up in a local political action comm….information will bring balance….keep up your work

  21. 21

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Jim—Simply lowering premiums alone does not fix the problem. Retro out-performs non-Retro and with this incentive everyone wins…don’t you think?? Yup—Goldy has really revealed his neurosis…knee-jerk reaction to try and quiet those he disagrees with. When he grows up, he will understand that the $$$ spent by business & labor on politics and ideas are ok. And that anything short yields higher taxes and all mighty powerful bureaucratic micro-management of our daily lives.
    And I found out these City’s enrolled in BIAW because the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) had a Retro Program that failed and had penalties 3 TIMES!!!!!!!!!!! The City’s incredibly poor management of their own program cost us taxpayers millions. Of course Goldy didn’t research that nor did the Seattle Weekly disclose that because they were blinded by a desire to kill a valuable cooperative program because of their blinded intense dislike for 1 of 60 Retro Program sponsors. YIKES!!! You know I just started reading Goldy’s site. He is actually a bright guy in many regards. Just blinded when he sees he can silence someone who disagrees with his politics. I think there is a support group for Goldie. See http://www.shantimai.com
    She will give you that deep healing you desperately need.

  22. 22

    Goldy spews:

    Of course Goldy didn’t research that

    Enough already, Cynical… how many times do I have to say that I’m in the process of researching this, and that is why I am encouraging a discussion of Retro (even by you) on my blog? I’ve made it clear that I’m not interested in workers comp reform that isn’t better than what we have now. You can attempt to educate without all the vitriol (though a little vitriol is always welcome.) Just keep in mind that once I educate myself, I’ll know if you’ve been blowing smoke, so while you are welcome to remain partisan, please keep the discussion honest.

    And Jim, I’m not trying to abridge anybody’s free speech. But I see a government program that has become a cash cow for an organization that is dedicated to turning WA into a one party state, and as somebody who sympathizes with the party to be eliminated, I have made the very pragmatic, political decision to see what, if anything, I might do to help take away the BIAW’s financial advantage.

    The stakes are huge. The BIAW talks about defunding labor, a move that would permanently shift the balance of power in this state. But reducing the BIAW’s Retro money would still leave the business lobby with an enormous financial advantage over labor and other progressive groups.

    That said, I wouldn’t work for any workers comp reform that I didn’t believe stood on its own as good policy.

  23. 23

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Goldy–based on my prior comments…you should be able to tell I know a lot about Retro and from my background as a CPA, I have seen the huge benefits to business, labor and cooperatively working with the State. I guess I get a little anxious when I see The Seattle Weekly, with its obvious left-wing agenda, micharacterize this program because they hate BIAW. The Weekly got the ball rolling. And I saw you picking up the mantle.
    So many Washington businesses are on the verge of moving to another state because of the cost of doing business. Workers Comp., with Retro, is one area where we can at least stay in line and somewhat compete. Another costs of taxation & regulation are so onerous. Everyone knows it. Pure lack of leadership in Olympia for many moons.. Actually Dixy Lee Ray was a good Governor and she was a DEM.
    Gary Locke and his anti-business henchmen have hurt losts of businesses and working people. I’ll give you one example. Last year, a heavy equipment dirt contractor called me to tell me the 40% L&I rate increases over 2 years is the end for him, despite Retro. That and so many jobs being dragged out by micro-managing State & Local bureaucrats who couldn’t even build a doghouse…but they knew more than he did even though he moved dirt for 40 years. This 65 year old man was crying. He had lost almost $1 million over the past 2 years and saw at his age, could no longer take the risk of losing more. So he sold his equipment up in Alaska and laid off 35 men & women, most with families, who made an average of nearly $60,000/yr. He had his $$$ but was crying for them. What will they do??? This man could have just run to Hawaii and lived off the fruits of 40 years of hard work. But instead, he helped every single one of them find another job. Most had to take pay cuts but at least they could put bread on the table. Oh and he was a non-union employer!!!
    And a BIAW member and staunch supporter.
    So go ahead with your blind-hatred anti-BIAW picture. There are a lot of business owners at BIAW just like this. They would give the shirt off their backs to their employees and they will fight quasi-Socialists like you Goldy with or without Retro. Mark my words!!

  24. 24

    rudy spews:

    SOME MORE ELECTION GUNK- From the Everett Herald this Sat am. (heraldnet.com)

    “In four precincts in Snohomish County, more people may have voted than were registered to vote on Nov. 2, meaning that voter turnout totaled more than 100 percent in those precincts, state Democrats charged Friday.

    Because of that inconsistency and other problems, the Democrats on Friday called for a hand recount in the contentious race for Washington’s new governor.”

    This is not posted to enrage anyone, or to suggest fraud. Of course it is the machines revenge- an old sci-fi script. Happened in Grays Harbor, now Snohomish. Where next now that the machines have rebelled????

    Taked to my friend Michael who opinioned for the “sly fix” where you manipulate just enough ballots so you win without a recount ……God, that smart ass moron-type might be right. And it would appear that the audior who went on TV on Thrusdy was covering his butt- but wait, if you know the count is off why not recount at once, or something very rational like telling the Sec of State you have problems. Throwing a spoiled count into this close race, how bright was that? …… heaver forbid that any Democrat Supporter of Gregoire might imply a plan was hatched. Oh no, not that……

    Another rumor, Mr. Vance shit his pants this am.

    GO CHRISTINE

  25. 25

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Keep at it Rudy–you go girl!!!
    Oh, and just keep in mind that every single one of those provisional ballots (400+) turned in by the tearful Mr. Berendt will be contacted. It is public information exactly who signed those affadavits and new voter registration card. Since Berendt brought in the box personally, he was attesting to their validity. If even one of those provisional ballots turns out to be from a dead guy…or someone out of the country & unavailable or someone who publicly denies signing that affadavit, then what??? If the Chair of the State Dems turned in even 1 fraudulent affadavit…then what. Would that be ok with you Rudy? What should the consequences be Rudy??
    Frankly, I’ll bet a lot of Dems will be glad when this is over!!!

  26. 26

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Goldy–I am passionate about Retro because I have seen over the past 20 years how incentive has gotten businesses to invest more on safety, light-duty etc…things that are good for business & workers. I sure agree there still needs to be plenty of reforms at L&I. The first step will be if Rossi is Governor and you get a house-cleaning of 20 years of incompetence that has built. Attitudes suck. Some claim managers refuse to do everything they can to get a claim closed. WHY?? Because once it’s closed, they get a new claim added to their workload. The easiest thing is for Claim Manager to roll follow-up dates and allow closable claims to linger…just some they can loaf. Good CM’s are frustrated and know what I’m talking about. Retro at least helps make them more accountable. No Retro…less accountability.

  27. 27

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Oh and Rudy–every County Auditor is obligated before certifying the election in his County to make sure that the total votes received check off on the voter registration list ties into the total ballots counted. And they do it by precindt. Now if an Auditor certified before reconciling these totals…well he or she should be fired. I have personally spoken with Auditors in several Counties who would stake their lives on the fact that their are no uncounted ballots. The only potential problem in most of these Counties is if a ballot goes thru very crooked. That could change a vote count by 1 or 2. However, Counties also do whats called Logic & Accuracy tests on their machine periodically that confirms accuracy of counts. Again, crooked ballots, some hanging chads in other counties…possible. Overvotes are outstacked and reviewed at the count with Party observors as witnesses. I’m not saying their couldn’t be such a mistake…I’m saying it would likely be from gross incompetence. Perhaps the Dems are spreading these rumors trying to angle for a free hand-recount????? If the margin stays over 150 after the machine recount…they will have to pay up to $700,000 if they want it done. Everyone knows the Dems are famous for wanting things for “FREE”. Isn’t it the Party motto??

  28. 28

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Update–
    Chris Vance has hit on a fundamental problem surrounding ballot security. My biggest fear is that without security, ballots could be replaced or altered prior to the recount changing totals. One lapse where a partisan or election worker has solo access opens the door. YIKES!!!! No one can feel good about that. Berendt is deflecting attention away from that by calling for a hand recount. BS Do the machine counts first and the audit the hell out any exceptios to the original count. If there is any Dem monkey-business on altering ballots or falsified provisional affadavits, there right thing to do is for Gregoire to concede.

  29. 29

    Jim King spews:

    Goldy- I know you would not want to abridge free speech, but I am asking you to do a little self-examination here- we all find motives within ourselves that do not reflect our better angels. And I see no difference between BIAW making a profit off of a public program, and public employee/teacher unions making a profit off of public programs, and then both dumping tons of money into political activity. At least the BIAW expenditures are reportable and are reported…

  30. 30

    rudy spews:

    Cynical, are you gender confused. I am not girlie. The buchest male on the planet- all me, since a very early and rewarding puberty- but to other topics

    I have too very close friends who worked full time for a few days fas volunteers on the project you mentioned. Both are of the the sort that after 20 years of friendship- you would trust them with your wallet and/or your life.
    There was no fraud in the worthy attempt to help qualified voters get signature problems aligned so their vote would count.

    My very male buddies report multiple cases of parkinsons disease, voter too shakey to do anything much less sign their name as the did many years earlier. They mentioned one woman who cried tears of joy when helped. Her simple problem is near blindness from diabetic complications- very, very common side effect of long term diabetes.The list goes on. And a little help from many volunteers helped the folds get their vote counted. Is this Christian ow what? Sounds like something my Jesus would appreciate- the milk of human kindness.

    Also they mentioned many folk when contacted who were very pleased and rushed to the courthouse and corrected the problems with out aid.

    They mentined a volunteer named Mary Cynical helping, that the little wife?

    Hey, Cyndie, did you read the Everet Herald? I think the suggestion is this count with bad counting machines just do ahand recount. If you want a FAIR count seems reasonable to me. In fact Sam Reed will begin to look as if he lacks balls if he dpesn’t make the determination. You go on TV and say your machines don’t work well, local NEWS says there is repotedly a problem, only the governrship at stake- would a rocket scientist suggest an immediate handcount. Think so- in fact I think a Snohomish County Superior Court Judge- mostly know known as socialist reds, might even impond the ballots and mandate a hand count.

    File the suit Cynie, then you can tell a judge about how the brutish democrats are trying to steal the election from the clutches of dull eyed Rossie.

    What next- revenge of the machineS number 3, coming up. Cause we all know it is the machines and not human error or mendacity.

    G0, G0, WIN CHRISTINE

  31. 31

    Jim King spews:

    Update that latest- another set of state employees, this time at Department of Information Services- is protesting the compulsory union dues that they were told would be voted on separately. Talk about transforming tax dollars into political action, to benefit a group that is committed to a one-party state and the defunding of the opposition… One can check it out in today’s Olympian…

  32. 32

    rudy spews:

    Cynicalie- point of info, I m not a girlie, but the most male guy on the planet. All me, well rewarded by early puberty. Suggest again, some therapy for this need to vent all that anger in a conversation about votes. Look up the word civil in any cheap dictionary.

    ON THE TOPIC. The is no fraud in the help given to folks about their ballots. Two of my best and oldest friends worked almost full time for several days on the project, unpaid volunteers. These are the type of guys that after twenty years you trust with your wallet and/or your life.

    They mentioned many folk with Parkinson’s, too shaky to do anything, much less sign their name well. They reported one woman with diabetic blindness, yes tears again, who was so pleased with the help and very upset at the thought she was about to be “not voted.” They also mentioned messaging to folks who just went to the courthouse for themselves.

    Since Christian values seem to be a theme these days, this project sounds very much like Good Jesus Stuff, helping the blind and the afflicted in some essential way. But then what do Democrats know of such. I am sure that even those of us who go to church go to the wrong church.

    They mentioned a dedicated volunteer, Mary Cynical-is that the little wife? Did you know?

    BACK TO REVENGE-suggest there will be Revenge of the Machines 3, two counties hit so far, next week should be like the dime movies. Chaplinesque. Immense anticipation.

    GO GO WIN WIN CHRISINE

  33. 33

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    OK Rudy–I can appreciate that “some” or maybe “most” of these provisional ballot affadavits is very real. However, if your Good Samaritan friends were able to track down these 400+, I’m sure you wouldn’t mind if others tracked them down too, would you?? You know just to make sure. That would be ok, wouldn’t it. Just to make sure. Because I would bet that at least 1 of these affadavits is not. And if 1 is bad…the whole process is poisoned. And the guy responsible is your pal Mr. Berendt because you see he personally delivered them to King County elections. Any bad ones are nis personal responsibility. If I’m wrong, my apologies. If you are wrong, the Washington Dems will have spayed and neutered themselves. I don’t know how Paul would do in prison…especially after seeing that crying episode!!!! I’m sure some big brute with hair on his back and knuckles would comfort Paul!!!

  34. 34

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Jim–my wife is a teacher. As you know, the Evergreen Freedom Foundation represented a group of teachers on use of dues for Dem politics. They put the teachers thru hell and then settled on the Courthouse steps. The mandatory union dues is much much worse than some voluntary Retro program where there are 60 seperate Groups sponsoring or you can go on an Individual Retro. Perhaps Goldy ought to turn his attention to the real outrage. He claims to be a free thinker with good intentions….NOT!!! Goldy appears to be a political idealogue who gets off on calling himself “pragmatic”. We’ll see if he takes the time to look into these union dues before he continues off on his blind hate of BIAW.

  35. 35

    rudy spews:

    BLLOT UPDATE- Lawsuit being filed as I post to supress counting in King Coumty even in this early period. Note-Rossi up by 1 vote from Klicitat, recount finished there. Reports live from King 5-whew- big mistake on the part of the R’s. May lead to immediate hand recount in King under court supervision- but the R base will love it – ballots in question were clearly marked, one with line not colored in but clear intent, one has edge damage so no auto processing, and the R’s want to supress voter count. Wrong state, this is not Florida. Good pro voter laws going back decades……….Good bye Dino, good bye R’s in the next election cycle. WOW

    GO GO WIN WIN WIN CHRISTINE

  36. 36

    Goldy spews:

    Jim.. I don’t think the BIAW and public employee unions are equivalent. But let’s compare apples to apples here. When labor talks about “defunding BIAW” they’re talking about eliminating or reducing its Retro profit. When the BIAW talks about “defunding labor” they’re talking about making WA a “right to work” state.

    BIAW has no inherent right to Retro dollars. Retro is there to serve the interests of businesses and workers, not the BIAW, and if positive reform can be achieved that eliminates Retro, well… that’s too bad for the BIAW.

  37. 37

    Goldy spews:

    And if 1 is bad…the whole process is poisoned.

    So you’re suggesting is that if 1 affidavit is bad, than 400 other votes shouldn’t count?

    I don’t know how Paul would do in prison…especially after seeing that crying episode!!!! I’m sure some big brute with hair on his back and knuckles would comfort Paul!!!

    What is this fixation with R’s fantasizing about sending D’s to jail? Over the past year and a half I’ve gotten more than handful of gleeful hate mails talking about how I’m going to get mine, and they’ll have the last laugh once I’m behind bars.

    Pretty sick.

  38. 38

    Goldy spews:

    The Weekly got the ball rolling. And I saw you picking up the mantle.

    I merely used The Weekly article as a springboard for a blog entry. I’ve been interested in the BIAW since last year, and have actually been giving them serious thought for quite some time (ever since I came to the conclusion that Eyman was no longer enough of a challenge.)

    And oh… now your on to calling me socialist. Well, I do have a copy of “Das Kapital” on my bookshelf… right between my copies of “Mein Kampf” and “The New Testament.”

  39. 39

    Jim King spews:

    Goldy- You’ve lost me. No one said BIAW had an inherent right to retro dollars, just as no one has an inherent right to a state job, a private contract, or any other source of making money. BUT BIAW has the same right as any other association to participate in retro, and what they do with their earnings IS THEIR BUSINESS.

    Other than economic reality, no one is coerced into joining BIAW.

    What you are saying, whether you realize it or not, is that you are wanting to set a political philosophy test for participating in a state program. That is just what the unions do- not union, no state contract. It is wrong. It IS an attempted abridgement of free speech. And BIAW has NEVER tried to cut off union participation in politics- go look to the AWB folks for that lame-brained move.

  40. 40

    Goldy spews:

    No Jim, what I am saying is that I see a state program being exploited by an extremely partisan organization, to fund highly partisan campaigns, and so I am looking to take away their advantage by eliminating the program that funds them. To be blunt… that’s politics.

    No “political philosophy test for participating in a program.” I want to eliminate the program entirely.

    That said, I’m not so mercenary that I would want to replace Retro with something inferior. But if I can find a better solution, great.

    And I never said the BIAW has attempted to defund labor… I’ve only said that they intend to. Consider my objective a preemptive strike.

  41. 42

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Goldy you must suspect some Dem monkey-business on these ballots. If Berendt brought them in…he is responsible for their validity. PERIOD!! Isn’t accoutability important in our election process? If it were a Republican than brought in a whole batch of affadavits and new voter registration cards AFTER the election…you would be suspicious too. I’m shre you would be screaming for someone to independently validate these affadavits. What is wrong with that???

    And your Retro spin is outrageous. The Retro Groups take a risk of penalty. Do you understand that??? Thereis no guarantee (like a government workers paycheck and pension). This is true risk taking. In the real world, it is about risk and reward. In the bureaucratic world, it is about BS and reward. Reward for screwing business by creating costly, ineffective bureaucratic programs like Ergonomics.

    Goldy–your spin on Retro reminds me of the rare bird called the “darkinere”. The darkinere flies around in smaller and smaller circles at an accelerating rate until…you guessed it. The inevitable happens and he flies up his own ass. How do things look up in your spin zone???

  42. 43

    Jim King spews:

    So I guess while you work to destroy the retro program in order to get BIAW, it would be perfectly acceptable for others to destroy state programs to defund the Federation of State Employees. Out of such mutually assured destruction is the road to hell paved…

  43. 44

    rudy spews:

    LISTEN FOR A MINUTE MR. CYNICAL……..The R’s are desperate. You are pissing on your own. If Chirsie Vance thought for a single minute there was hanky panky in those provisional ballots – that cat would have been out of the bag days ago. One person on the phone 6 hours would be able to contact a nice sample of 30 or 40 of those voters. Quite the obvious follow up. Suspect Chrisie V. et al, found total autheticity long ago…. Bad tree to shit under after talking to the local stalwart voter folks with Parkinson’s and blindness caused by the leading cause of blindness in America, complications from diabetics.

    Now a lawsuit in Federal Court- ho, ho, ho. The Federal judge will refuse the injunction, they then appeal to a panel of the 9th Circut…….and get two of those old commies from Frisco the 9th is so famous for. And you think the Federal Supremes will intervene for the protection of an unknown R….. In where? Outback Washington Not a chance. This the president ain’t.

    Interesting that Sam Reed backed by the Attorney General’s finest and best will be defendants. Oh, how rich………now we all know that Gregoire can’t argue the case herself, but I surely do predict the best legal brains in the office of hundreds of attorneys will be involved. And the best local brains the Stae Dems can find – local or imported.

    Can’t wait for tomorrow- Revenge of the Machines number 4 coming up.

    Good friend speculated the Gates Sr. might put up the bucks for hand recount. He is an old time budy of Mike Lowry, and doesn’t need sonny boys dollars, plenty of his own. Liberal attorey, you know. Of course there are quite a few well heeled Dems in Seattle- 500,00. is one fundraiser even hastily called.

    As to the transgender possibilities, a womon stuck with those Star Trek ears just might do the change.

    GO TO THE FINISH LINE CHRISTINE- THE WINNER BY BAD PENCIL AND REVENGE OF THE MACHINES

  44. 45

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Rudy–What are you smokin’ dude? Your fantasizing is typical of a Leftist in denial. Now I’m not saying an honest mistake might not have happened. I am saying in theory, if each County Auditor did his/her job and reconciled voter registration total votes with the actual number counted, then there can be no uncounted or double-counted ballots. We can all agree on that.
    Now whether or not there is some machine error…every County does Logic & Accuracy tests on its machines thru out the counting process. On a very rare occassion, a ballot could go in askew and miscount…but very unlikely. And this doesn’t mean that it was the Governors race that was miscounted.
    Most likely, any significant change would result from election fraud…mainly caused by an Election Supervisor not controlling access to the ballots and extra blank ballots. This is the problem. All outstacked ballots have previously been reviewed by election officials with both Parties present.
    Berendt keeps encouraging Vance to ask for a hand recount. Why would he at this point. Berendt is the guy who should do it and pay for it. Whoever pays for it…fine…I don’t care as long as the public knows who writes the check.
    Gates Sr. is top partner in the biggest trial attorney firm on the West Coast. Of course he wants Gregoire to win.
    You know Jim…if we do serious tort reform and defund all the unions, businesses and the economy will thrive. If the Socialist crowd has their way, people will stay poor, dumb and beholding to unproductive bureaucrats.
    I’ve gotten a real kick out of the flakes like Rudy. Most of what he says comes from heresay, conspiracies & speculation. The more he talks with facts and technical skills…the more likely Washingotn will be completeing R in a few years.

  45. 46

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Jim–Great idea. Let’s see if we defund all unions and pass tort reform to take out the trial attorneys, businesses will thrive. Unfortunately for Goldy, the Socialist crowd based on government dependency will be a thing of the past.
    Rudy–what are you smokin’ dude. Most of what you spew is based on heresay, supposition and fantasizing. I guess you are still in shock about the Governors race, huh? You need some healing & hugs. Please visit http://www.shantimai.com I’m sure she can help…just look at the testimonials of all your friends!!

  46. 47

    rudy spews:

    ON THE FACE — WHEN A RULING SPEAKS FOR ITSELF

    Federal District Court Judge Marsha Pechman today denied the Republican Party’s attempt to stop King County from recounting some ballots.

    “We were confident all along that we were acting in accordance with State Law and were pleased the judge acted quickly and without delay to the recount,” said Dean Logan, director of King County Records and Election Services

    Remember how long it took for WOMEN to get the vote- and then how much longer to become Judges-right wingers, Dems and R’s, take note who might in this era have more incentive toprotect voting right.

    GO GO WIN WIN C.G.