Northwest NEWS

August 20, 2001


Now there is reason for hope

Ralph Munro suggested several elections ago that Washingtonians should be grateful for having "clean government" in contrast to some states.
   Although I've wondered about that in the years since, there is reason for hope. Last week, a Thurston County judge found the Washington Education Association (WEA) guilty of deliberately and illegally using money from the paychecks of non-members yes, non-members for political purposes. I find this encouraging.
   With the WEA having already been found guilty and fined $430,000, it's more depressing than shocking that it's happened again. Also depressing is that the fine will be paid not by the top union bosses who did this, but by the rank-and-file teachers they supposedly represent.
   So what's good about it? First, a second offense is more difficult to explain to your members, as are higher dues to pay for it.
   Second, the WEA has 90 days to show how it won't re-offend.
   Third, we see some good judges on the bench.
   Fourth, we see Attorney General Christine Gregoire aggressively doing her job.
   Finally, we have organizations like the Evergreen Freedom Foundation who happily unearth funny money games and file suit.
   Election skewing may be inevitable, but we now have hope that illegal skewing is not.
   Troy Beardslee, Woodinville