GOAL Post 2013-SPECIAL 4
Legislative Update from Olympia 7 June 2013
FOUR DAYS LEFT IN SPECIAL SESSION
REP. STEVE O’BAN REPLACES SENATOR MIKE CARRELL
SNOHOMISH COUNTY SHERIFF JOHN LOVICK APPOINTED COUNTY EXECUTIVE
NJ SENATOR FRANK LAUTENBERG PASSES
BIDEN, REID, MANCHIN MEET ON S. 649
UN ATT – 71 COUNTRIES SIGNED SO FAR
SCANDAL(S) OF THE WEEK
There are four days left in the 30-day special legislative session. At this point the focus remains on closing the gap between the House and Senate budget offerings. The House passed a few bills this week, mostly affecting education budgets.
Freshman Representative Steve O’Ban (R-28-Lakewood) was selected by the Pierce County Council to replace Senator Mike Carrel, also of Lakewood. That restores the 25-24 balance for the Majority Coalition in the state Senate. The County Council will now choose a House replacement for O’Ban, but that appointment is less critical as it has no impact on the Democrat majority in the House (55D-43R).
Former State Representative and later Snohomish County Sheriff John Lovick was sworn in on Monday to replace disgraced Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon. Both are Democrats. Representative/Sheriff Lovick was no particular friend of gun owners, but his office door was always open and he would rationally discuss gun-related issues. John is a gentleman. For the record, he is also a 30+ year Washington State Trooper, now retired.
Undersheriff Tom Davis will fill in until the County Council appoints a replacement, who must stand for election in 2014. While the sheriff’s position is non-partisan, the incumbents attitude on guns could influence the County Council, among others.
Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ,) author of the 1996 “domestic violence misdemeanor” gun ban and most recently of the failed magazine ban amendment to S.649, passed away earlier this week of viral pneumonia. He was 89. NJ Republican Governor Chris Christie has set a date for a special election, and in the interim has appointed NJ Attorney General (and Republican) Jeffrey Chiesa as Lautenberg’s temporary replacement. Reportedly Chiesa is equally anti-gun.
Vice President Biden and Senators Harry Reid and Joe Manchin reportedly met behind closed doors this week to strategize about passage of S. 649, the omnibus Senate gun control bill. No further information as to what was discussed is available at this time.
71 nations have now signed the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (UN ATT). Earlier this week the White House announced President Obama will sign the treaty in August during the summer Congressional recess, usually a slow season from a political perspective. It appears he is trying to stretch out his controversies! A complete list of the countries that have signed the treaty can be found at http://www.un.org/disarmament/ATT/
Two new scandals have erupted this week. A British newspaper revealed the existence of a FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court order directing Verizon Wireless to turn over to the National Security Agency all “metadata” (externals of wireless communications: telephone numbers, subscribers’ names, duration and location of call, etc). If they’re getting it from Verizon, they’re getting it from all the other providers as well. That was followed by a report from another British newspaper about the existence of an alleged top secret program called “PRISM,” where NSA is supposed to have back door access to Google, Facebook and a host of other internet media programs.
The initial Obama administration response was something to the effect that “it started in the Bush years” as a response to 9/11. Apparently true. But all of these programs have been continued by the Obama administration, as the President himself acknowledged at a presentation in California today. He called it an acceptable balance between security and personal privacy. I believe Benjamin Franklin had the proper response to that one more than 200 years ago. “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
I’m not going to get into this in any detailed way. ANY time you post something, or search for something, on the internet, it crosses many lines. Internet privacy is nonexistent. And cellphones are RADIOS. If it goes out over the air, it can be intercepted.
But I do see one major difference between what went on in the Bush years and what has been happening here since Obama took office. There is no record that the Bush administration used non-partisan government agencies for partisan political purposes. It’s clear now that Obama & Co used the IRS to target political opponents. Congress is still attempting to determine the degree — and source — of that abuse. The question is, what else has the current administration used/abused in the name of partisan politics?, what else have they used/abused?
All bills filed in during the regular session are available and may be acted upon. At this time there are no new gun bills, nor has there been any action on bills previously filed.
GOAL POSITION ON BILLS
No active gun bills at this time
LEGISLATIVE HOT LINE: You may reach your Representatives and Senator by calling the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000. Toll free!!! The hearing impaired may obtain TDD access at 1-800-635-9993. Also toll free!!!
1-800-562-6000 TDD 1-800-635-9993
OTHER DATA: Copies of pending legislation (bills), legislative schedules and other information are available on the legislature’s web site at “www.leg.wa.gov“. Bills are available in Acrobat (.pdf) format. You may download a free version of Adobe Acrobat Reader from Adobe’s web site (http://www.adobe.com). You may also obtain hard copy bills, initiatives, etc, in the mail from the Legislative Bill Room FREE OF CHARGE by calling 1-360-786-7573. Copies of bills may also be ordered toll free by calling the Legislative Hotline at (800) 562-6000. You may also hear floor and committee hearing action live at http://www.tvw.org/ (you need “RealAudio” to do this, available free at the TVW web site).
By reading the House and Senate “bill reports” (hbr, sbr) for each bill, you can see how individual committee members voted. By reading the “roll call” for each bill, you can see how the entire House or Senate voted on any bill. The beauty of the web site is that ALL this information is available, on line, to any citizen.
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Upcoming WAC gun show(s):
Monroe 8-9 June
Puyallup 22-23 June
“The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.”
Article 1, Section 24
Constitution of the State of Washington
Copyright 2013 Gun Owners Action League of WA