Trump’s environmental choices prompt questions locally

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has been nominated to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt has a record of fighting EPA regulations. The EPA adopts regs for clean water and protecting threatened/endangered species--like the Kokanee salmon in Lake Sammamish.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has been nominated to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt has a record of fighting EPA regulations. The EPA adopts regs for clean water and protecting threatened/endangered species–like the Kokanee salmon in Lake Sammamish.

Scott Pruitt for director of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Ryan Zinke for Secretary of Interior.

Rick Perry for Secretary of, umm, ahh, Oops.

These are President-Elect Donald Trump’s choices for environmental departments. In the case of Perry, the Department of Energy, the agency he wanted  close but for which he famously forgot and said Oops in his 2012 run for president. Energy has no small impact on the environment.

Pruitt, the attorney general of Oklahoma, fought EPA regulations for years. Zinke, a first-term Congressman from Montana, received just s 3% rating from the League of Conservation Voters.

And now they will be in charge of clean water and endangered/threatened species regulations.

There are direct, local implications.

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A protest vote for president not even an alternative

Sammamish Comment focuses on elections that are specific to Sammamish. Accordingly, it doesn’t ordinarily consider Statewide and Federal races, nor statewide initiatives.

This election is unusual because of the divisive nature of the heads of the Republican and Democratic tickets. Donald Trump’s candidacy in particular has down-ballot implications for the Republicans because he is so divisive. The same can’t be said for Hillary Clinton, despite her divisive character.

Because of that, Sammamish Comment is deviating from its past a bit. In addition to making endorsements in the State Legislative races for those districts that cover Sammamish (the 5th, 41st and 45th), for the first time The Comment will hazard into the presidential arena.

A colleague summed up the choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton nicely: “When you add everything up, you still get less than zero.”

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The Vision Thing

  • Tonight is the first of three debates between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, beginning at 6pm PDT.

“The Vision Thing” was George H. W. Bush’s lament about which he was having trouble articulating when he was running for President the first time.

George H. W, Bush had trouble with The Vision Thing. Photo via Google images.

George H. W, Bush had trouble with The Vision Thing. Photo via Google images.

Bush, well qualified from his decades of public service, and at the time two-term vice president to Ronald Reagan, went on to win election in 1988. But the “vision thing” dogged him throughout his first term. He couldn’t create a “vision” to synopsize his goals for the American people.

He lost reelection to Bill Clinton in 1992, an election in which a third party candidate—Ross Perot—hurt his reelection chances.

It’s a lesson Hillary Clinton should take to heart.

Like it or not, Donald Trump has no trouble articulating a vision, regardless of how repugnant some find it and how mangled his syntax.

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Valderrama: denounces, has no “plan” to support Trump (or Hillary) (Update)

Ramiro Valderrama still ducks the question of whether he supports Donald Trump for president.

Update, Aug. 13: Valderrama emailed that in addition to denouncing Donald Trump’s comments, not does not support Trump, either. Valderrama’s original email is below the jump.

Ramiro Valderrama, candidate for the 45th District State House of Representatives and current deputy mayor of Sammamish, still won’t take a position on whether he supports, endorses or disowns Donald Trump.

He denounces Trump, the Republican nominee for President, for things Trump says. But that’s as far as he goes.

This is the position Valderrama took when Sammamish Comment first asked his position in May.

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Donald Trump: making America not so great

Source: Google images.

Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president this year, visited Washington State Saturday. State Sen. Steve Litzow (R-Mercer Island) of the 41st Legislative District (Southern Sammamish) took a strong stand against his own party’s nominee. So did Rob McKenna, a Republican, the former attorney general and candidate for governor here and then Chris Vance, former chairman of the state Republican Party and candidate opposing incumbent US Sen Patty Murray (D-Washington).

Sammamish Deputy Mayor Ramiro Valderrama, running as a Republican for the State House in the 45th District (northern Sammamish), as yet hasn’t taken a position supporting or opposing Trump.

I’ve been following presidential elections since 1968 and voting in them since 1972. I’ve seen George Wallace, then the Alabama governor, run against “pointy-headed” liberals, appealing to racist instincts. I’ve seen then US Sen. George McGovern (D-SD), a former World War II US bomber pilot in Europe, run on a far-left campaign. I’ve watched the two major parties go in wrong directions (by my standards). I watched outsider Ross Perot in 1992 and 1996. I like outsiders who are squeaky wheels (hence, supporting Valderrama for City Council last year).

But I’ve never seen anything like Trump. His destructive approach to everything and everybody is mind boggling.

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