Letter: Will obligation to PACs divert attention from district needs?

Editor,

In order to be an informed voter one must research the candidates to learn about their backgrounds and the positions they take on issues. One easy way to gain valuable information about each candidate is to read the small print on the campaign flyers in your mail box or hanging on your door knob.

To be successful campaigning for a political office requires money. Some candidates have considerable resources of their own. Others have a local committee providing both monetary donations and donations of time and material goods. The third way candidates receive support is from PACs, political action/special interest groups. In order to receive funds from and be endorsed by a PAC, the candidates are usually interviewed or fill out a questionnaire and implicitly agree with the political agenda of the PAC.

Once a candidate accepts money and support from a PAC, if elected, the individual is now expected to propose and support legislation that benefits the PAC and advances the PAC’s “agenda.”

I observed prior to the primary election that Helen Price Johnson sent out numerous flyers. Because it is expensive to design, print and mail even one flyer to every voter in the 10th District, a number of those flyers were paid for by various PACs. At least one of the flyers listed Planned Parenthood as one of the groups that paid for the flyer.

Voters should be aware that Planned Parenthood lobbied legislators to pass the comprehensive K-12 sex ed bill that caused concerned citizens to gather signatures to put Referendum 90 on the ballot, allowing voters to determine the fate of that bill. The three flyers in my mailbox the last two weeks from Price Johnson were all paid for by New Direction PAC with a Seattle address. Prior to the primary, Rep. Dave Paul also sent a flyer paid for by New Direction PAC based in Seattle.)

The question voters should ask is, “If elected, will Helen Price Johnson’s priority be the needs of her constituents in the 10th District, or will it be the agenda of the various PACs that supported her campaign?” Will her obligation to the PACs divert her attention away from the concerns of the 10th District residents?

Despite the “hit piece” allegation in the television ad from the Price Johnson campaign claiming that Senator Muzzall is out of touch with his constituents, Ron Muzzall represented the 10th District well during his first session in the state senate. He is now past the initial “learning curve” and will be able to be effective from the onset of the next session. Senator Muzzall has demonstrated that he is an independent thinker who votes based on his strong values and principles. One example is that, unlike Representative Dave Paul, he joined former Representative Norma Smith in voting against the comprehensive K-12 sex education bill that was passed in the last session. (It should be noted that 254,000-plus voters, a record number of Washington citizens, signed petitions amid the pandemic to get Referendum 90 on the ballot giving voters a chance to have a say on this issue.) Also, to my knowledge, campaign flyers I received prior to the primary for Ron Muzzall were paid for by a local committee and not PACs.

Please cast your vote for Ron Muzzall and allow him to build upon the foundation he now has in the Washington State Senate. Remember that the candidate who fills your mail box with campaign flyers may not be the best person for the job. He/she may just be indebted to special interest groups and obligated to represent them in Olympia instead of you, the 10th District voter.

Claudia L. Talmadge

Oak Harbor

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