Political Parties: Irreconcilable Differences?

It has been said, “It does not matter who is in charge, both parties look the same.” On this point I must respectfully disagree. One brief look into differing agendas of the political parties in Olympia and the vast division becomes obvious.

We are one month into the 60th legislative biennium and well over 1800 bills have been introduced by state legislators. Clearly, with Washington State tightly under one-party control, the Democrats control the debate, the agenda and direction of public policy but it is still a useful exercise to elucidate political party disparities.

There are fundamental issues being determined on our behalf in Olympia and who controls the outcome should be of great concern to Washington citizens. Let’s take a look at a few of the most debated issues:

Marriage
Simply stated Republicans support the traditional marriage definition as limited to one man and one woman. Republican Sen. Dan Swecker has introduced SJR 8219 to amend the Constitution to define marriage as between male and female. Democrats have introduced a handful of bills related to the radical gay agenda. HB1350 & SB5335 would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that the State Supreme Court recently upheld. HB1351 & SB5336 are domestic partnership bills that create special rights for homosexuals. All four bills will have irreversible damage on traditional marriage and must be defeated.

Sexual Education for Children
Backed by Planned Parenthood and introduced by Democrats, HB1297 & SB5297 require the use of a state-approved “Sexuality Education” curriculum. Lessons include many kinds of alternative behaviors and lifestyles and introduces young children to very graphic sexual instruction. Republicans oppose this bill because they prefer to keep sex education decisions in the hands of local school boards and parents. Currently federal funding provides for abstinent education materials but this bill will eliminate this funding.

Election Reform
Republican-sponsored proposals:
» Require photo ID to vote at polls (HB 1774)
» Require photo ID and proof of citizenship to register to vote. (HB1468, HB1774)
» Prohibit mailed ballots from being forwarded if voter no longer resides at address. (HB1438)

Democrat-sponsored bills:
» Restore voting rights for felons (HB1473, SB5530)
» Use of public tax dollars to finance political campaigns (HB1186, HB1589, HB1350, SB5510, HB1551)
» Criminalize paid signature gatherers for initiatives (HB1087)

Budget Surplus
Tax collections are soaring. There is a budget surplus of about $2 billion which means the state is collecting far more money than it needs to fund government programs. The Governor’s proposed budget, however, returns no part of the surplus to the people. Meanwhile, Democrats are eager to boost state spending in order to satisfy an array of special interest groups. Republicans have proposed returning some or all of the surplus to taxpayers in the form of property tax relief.

Olympia is a very lonely place for principled conservatives and this session and Republican legislators need our encouragement to stand boldly on principle despite great odds, because these principles offer the best hope for our state and for every citizen of our state.