The Alleged Torpedoeing of Washington State’s Democracy

“Politics is the art of preventing people from taking part in affairs which properly concern them.” Paul VALERY (French poet, 1943)

THE FACTS

In 2008, the year the US Supreme Court was closely examining the constitutionality of Washington State’s electoral process (1), i ran in Washington State’s governor race and received a decent result given the State Legislature decision to finance the State’s printed primary voters pamphlet. In 2016, contrary to 2008, the Democrat-Republican Legislature decided to not fund these State printed primary voters’ pamphlets. In both the 2016 SOS (Secretary of State) online voters guide and the SOS-TVW’s voters guide, I briefly examined this problem. Below, part of my TVW speech on this consideration:

 “….During my first Governor Campaign in 2008, my holistic platform emerged as Washington’s third-strongest political force. To my surprise, I received twice as many votes as the Green governor candidate. Then, the Legislature had financed the State printed primary voters pamphlets to help secure electoral informed consent. In the following 2012 governor race, i ran with an even better holistic program. However, Washington State’s Legislature preferred to appropriate 4.3 million dollars to build an outhouse in remote Mt Rainer rather than spend 1.3 million dollars to fully fund the State’s printed primary voters pamphlets. As a consequence, my platform did not do as well as in 2008Same scenario for 2016, The State Legislators have not acted to fund these State primary voters pamphlets.

We are told that these pamphlets are not that important given the existence of the online voters’ guide and that there is no money to pay for them. But are these allegations truthful ?

In Washington’s Senate Bill Report number 5601, drafted in February 2007, the following consensus was expressed: I quote:
“Polling has shown that voters rely on voters’ pamphlets far more than anything else to get information before an election. (…) These elections are extremely important, because many judicial and other statewide races are decided in the primary. (…)” (quotationmarks closed)

At this Bill’s hearing, expert witnesses Chief Justice Alexander and Secretary Reed agreed that State printed primary voters pamphlets are the first source of information for voters. Voters carry them to the polls and use them to discuss candidates and issues with friends and family. Online guides can be complementary, but they can never replace them, especially among the elderly, the disabled and other groups. Printed State primary voters pamphlets are also essential for non establishment candidates like myself as we do not have the financial backing the Democrats and Republicans get. And the handful of printed County voters pamphlets that exist can never reach the majority of Washingtonians. Money wise, the State’s 93 Billion dollars Biennium Budget should have been able to absorb the pamphlet cost of 1.3 million dollars. (2) Even with financial constraints, the Legislature could have funded one revised printed State voters’ pamphlet that would have been usable for both the primary elections of August and the general elections in November.

I am not a professional politician, but i have enough civic common sense to know that voters’ information suppression is un- necessary and violates both Constitutional law and the People’s trust in the two party system. I also know that one of the most important duties of the Governor and his Secretary of State is to empower people to become enlightened citizens and more informed voters.

“Government agents derive their just powers from the consent of the governed”, provides Washington’s Constitution. Yet, by choosing to only fund the November printed general election’s pamphlets, today’s Governor and Legislator incumbents have chosen to disempower voters without their consent. They have done this in order to be favored in their August primary re-election bid. (…) In conclusion, regarding this pamphlet issue, the free expression of the will of the State’s electors has been seriously compromised. I know this to be true because as a former professor of Law, I used to teach future attorney politicians and judges international human rights law. I taught this subject at the prestigious Gonzaga Law School in Spokane as well as in my native France, the mother of human rights”.

(To view the full TVW filmed speech on this and other issues, see the link below, this 5 minutes presentation was filmed on June 10th, 2016).

THE ISSUE

Legally speaking, one of the first questions to resolve is based on the legality of Washington State Legislature’s refusal to finance the 2016 State printed primary voters pamphlet. The first place to look is in the direction Washington State’s Code, the controling statute of which provides in pertinent part, the obligation that :

“The secretary of state shall, whenever at least one statewide measure or office is scheduled to appear on the general election ballot, print and distribute a voters’ pamphlet. (RCW 29A.32.010)

This provision does instruct the SOS to print and distribute “a voters’ pamphlet”, but it orders this for the “general election”, meaning the November one and not the primary one.

Yet, in 2008, when Washington State’s Legislature was under the US Supreme Court’s scrutiny, it ordered the SOS (Secretary of State) to print and distribute two voters pamphlets, one for the primary elections and the other one for the general elections of November. 

Since it is the Legislator who make up the laws, the next inquiry is to consult Washington State’s supreme court jurisprudence and eventually the US supreme court case law corpus to examine the issue of legislators’ “conflict of interest” in eliminating the primary voters pamphlet appropriation.

This and other issues will be raise and developed as the election season moves forward. They are relevant as they determine what kind of Governance Washingtonians will have during the next four years. (3)

So stay tuned, we will be publishing updates on Holistic Party and Christian Pierre Joubert FB pages as well as on our new twitter account called Holistic Party.

Christian Pierre Joubert (Washington State’s 2016 gubernatorial candidate)

You can also view this speech directly via TVW’s official site:

Once in the system, you have to select governor candidates and then you can view Joubert’s speech as well as the other eight governor candidates’ speeches.

REFERENCE NOTES

(1).http://www.jurist.org/paperchase/2008/03/go-supreme-court-rules-washington-state.php

(2). This sum comes out to be less than 0.1 percent of the Budget.

(3).  Jay Inslee, who is again a candidate this year, has been Washington State’s governor for the last 4 years and he will most likely win because elected and mainstream party incumbents have obviously a comparative advantaged over those alternative candidates who are not well known. Joubert had a public debate with Jay Inslee 4 years ago at the Stranger newspaper, but given the political and financial weight of an official Democrat nominee, alternative non establishment candidates like Joubert have little if any chances of being talked about in the mainstream media, however competent and relevant their positions may be.

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2016 (c) Holistic Party and Christian Pierre Joubert. All rights reserved

“Freedom is participation in power.” CICERO (ancient roman attorney)

BREAKING NEWS
“All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed…” (first paragraph of the Washington State Constitution)

In 2008, the Supreme Court upheld Washington’s primary election system [JURIST report] as constitutional against a First Amendment [Cornell LII backgrounder] challenge, overturning a contrary decision by the Ninth Circuit. Louisiana has a similar system, but, under that system, a candidate who garners over 50 percent of the vote in the primary will forgo the general election.

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