Chief: Money drives

Burke’s decisions

I’m troubled by Mr. Burke’s political advertisement which claims he doesn’t let budget concerns affect prosecution. That is simply inaccurate and perhaps the most glaring example of this was his dismissal of 26 of the 27 felony counts which involved a government official’s misconduct and embezzlement. Mr. Burke specifically claimed it would cost $10,000 to bring a witness from Kentucky, which I dispute given that an airplane ticket and a hotel room is simply not that expensive. Regardless, I personally went to Mr. Burke’s office to inform him of the toll that her criminal actions had on our citizens, administration, and employee’s.

As I was explaining to Mr. Burke how the court clerk’s criminal act required criminal charges that would address not only the monetary loss but also to hold her accountable for violating the law and the public’s trust. I also expressed how important it was to ensure she admit her conduct. At this point Mr. Burke waved his arms and said, “I don’t care what she pleads to, as long as she is off my case load!”

That statement alone shows that our current Prosecutor David Burke looks at justice as simple semantics and will continue to prosecute at the convenience of his schedule and not the justice required. What his political advertising says is one thing, but the truth of his performance is altogether quite different. This is but one of many examples of why my fellow police chiefs and I have done something unprecedented by publicly endorsing a sitting prosecutor’s opponent. This is not only a vote of no confidence, but a genuine request to our community for a change.

Please join us by voting Mark McClain in as our new Pacific County prosecutor. Mark is someone who will help us make Pacific County a safer place to work, play and live.

Chief Dave Eastham

South Bend Police Department

County resident

stands by Burke

Eric Eisenberg, a deputy prosecutor from Lewis County and a colleague of Mark McClain, writes (Sept. 24, Chinook Observer Letters to the Editor) that he is appalled to hear about a smear campaign targeting McClain.

He doesn’t mention specific claims or offer any evidence of what was said, where he saw it, when it was said, or who said it; only that it was unfair ,out of context character bashing.

Then Mr. Eisenberg does a little bashing of his own, saying David Burke botches cases, discourages his staff from taking principled positions and is a hoarder.

Really? Can Mr. Eisenberg be so in tune with inside Pacific County that he knows better than we who live and work here? I think the voters and residents of Pacific County are very able to judge for themselves David Burke’s abilities.

David is a long time resident of our county and a successful prosecutor for almost twelve years. He has prosecuted cases efficiently and with compassion.

David has managed the Prosecutor’s Office on a very tight budget, requiring him to pick and choose which cases to take to trial and which to plead down. By doing this, he has provided justice for all the citizens of the county while saving tax dollars for the taxpayers. He doesn’t make decisions based on emotions.

David Burke understands the job of Prosecutor and our citizens’ needs. Please join me in voting for David Burke and returning him as our prosecutor.

Sallie Mckay

Long Beach

Goelz best

for tough cases

We write as long-time Pacific County judges and attorneys to urge the voters to keep Doug Goelz as your South District Court judge. A story will explain our support:

Imagine your neighbor has lived happily in Ocean Park for many years. Until last week. Five days ago her boyfriend knocked her down, called her a string of expletives and threatened to kill her and her children. Your neighbor is headed to South District Court. Does it matter who the judge is? You bet it does.

Luckily for your neighbor, the South District Court Judge is Doug Goelz. Judge Goelz has been the judge since 1988. He knows the law and the criminal justice system like no one else. He and Mary have raised their children on the Peninsula and they are active in a broad array of community activities. Judge Goelz has heard hundreds of domestic violence cases and both your neighbor and the defendant’s rights are safe in his capable hands.

Judge Goelz’ opponent has little experience as a judge. But she is a lawyer and has recently moved to Washington state so she is technically eligible to try for the position.

As a voter, you will choose who hears your neighbor’s case. The choice is clear and you don’t need our help in making it. But we have over 50 years together in service as judges for you in Pacific County and we hope you will choose to keep Judge Doug Goelz as your South District Court judge.

Joel Penoyar

Retired-Superior & Appellate Court Judge

Elizabeth Penoyar

North Pacific District Court Judge

Time to change

sales tax split

On July 1, 2008, the destination sales tax went into effect. The destination sales tax was set up so if a retailer (seller) sold something (purchaser), and the item(s) was to be delivered to the purchaser in a different city or county, the retailer would charge the sales tax applicable to the delivered city/county and then pay that sales tax to that city/county. If the purchaser was to take the item(s) with them (not have it delivered by a third party), then the sales tax would be determined by the tax applicable to the location of the seller and the sales tax would be paid to the seller’s city/county.

This distribution of the sales tax to the destination city/county was long overdue, but it fell short of what should have been in the law. Since each transaction has a buyer and a seller, both of whom bring benefits to the transaction, why is 100 percent of the sales tax being paid to the destination city/county, when the selling city/county is an equal party to the transaction, but the selling city/county receives none of the applicable sales tax. Right now the destination city/county gets 100 percent of the sales tax and the selling city/county gets 0 percent. Is it not more equitable for both the purchasing city/county and the selling city/county to split the sales tax equally, 50/50.

Splitting the sales tax 50/50 between purchaser and the seller locations can easily be accomplished today with computers that are doing the work anyway. We all have nine-digit zip codes for our street, city/county address. (It is on our driver’s license.) I suggest the Washington State Senate and/or House make this modification to the sales tax distribution without any delay, so that all of the parties — the purchasing city/county and the selling city/county — to the transaction get an equal and equitable share of the sales tax. The sales tax charged should be based upon the seller’s location, to keep it simple.

Mike Lantz

Retired tax attorney


Reader worries

about teen group

This is the second time I have voiced my concern on this new organization — new at least to Pacific County — known as TAC (Teen Advocate Coalition). Because of the privacy laws in this state for minors, a parent cannot be informed about their child’s situation from even by their long-time family doctor, such as your child is pregnant or has venereal disease and much more!

This federal yearly grant coming through the mental health department here in Pacific county to fund this teen advocate program doesn’t have to follow the same laws the sheriff’s department does, for example. The sheriff takes an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, whereas mental health officials in this state can place a priority on concealment and also, without parental knowledge, allow abortion to young girls 13 years and up!

This new Teen Advocate Coalition in Pacific County is set up like other teen-advocate groups, with mental health involved so that all is kept confidential. The state of Washington has no parental notification laws thanks to our state senator and representatives. They have granted all this privacy for your child about matters that parents are not privy to, but the Department of Health and Social Services is. All of our government is involved — local school resource officers, schools, business and citizens, county government — do you think a mistake will ever surface?

Administrations at our local school districts can stop these people from having access to our children without parental knowledge. If not, school boards can make the administration stop this group!

Lincoln said, “If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”

Hugh Fleet

South Bend

Ayers works hard

and is effective

Lisa Ayers has proven herself one of the hardest-working county employees we have and she has a great deal to show for the work. We can all appreciate what she has done for Pacific County.

Commissioner Ayers was instrumental in the county being awarded an A+ rating by Standard and Poors for financial management and credit worthiness. She saved the county in excess of $400,000 in interest charges by reviewing county debt and financing.

Not only has she met with the legislature to advocate for the needs of Pacific County, she has made herself available to citizens who want to bring concerns. She initiated monthly commissioner forums.

Those are just a few reasons I encourage voters to keep Ms. Ayers working for all of us.

Betty L. Johnson


Writer defends

Burke again

Too many of us want, want, want; but don’t “want” to pay, pay, pay. Our national infrastructure is collapsing, and though everybody wants new roads, bridges, etc. they don’t want to pay a few more cents for a gallon of gas. Bush/Cheney drove the U.S. economy into the ditch with its unfunded trillion-dollar Iraq war, at the expense of investing in education, health care, and job creation/training. These all reduce crime and recidivism through lowering unemployment and providing incentives for bettering oneself.

One construction/service sector is booming, though: the prison industry — the U.S. has the highest percentage in the world of its population incarcerated, and by a large margin. In Pacific County, the Old Testament folks are hollering about justice undone, and putting folks in jail and throwing away the key, at an average taxpayer cost of $29,000 per year. They want an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth; until a large segment of our population is wandering around with prison records, blind and all gummy-mouthed. And, I’m not talking about just the meth addicts.

Folks, true exacted justice is expensive — almost prohibitively expensive these days! Our county can’t afford all that is demanded, unless you complainers want to pony up more taxes... Hmmm, don’t see any hands going up. We are fortunate that David Burke is an astute and pragmatic prosecutor. He continually gets the best overall “deal” Pacific County can afford, even at the cost of bitter personal attacks, given his office’s limited financial and personnel resources. I wouldn’t say he’s totally New Testament, but unless all of you complainers want to render more unto Caesar — let’s consider turning the other cheek just a wee bit in a more cost-effective manner, and always remember: There but fortune go you or I.

We now have a Kittitas County reject saying if he becomes prosecuting attorney (PA), he will prosecute to the full extent of the law, costs be damned, and have them locked up until the cows come home. Notwithstanding the fact that hardly a week goes by without higher courts throughout the state overturning convictions obtained by overzealous and ambitious PAs. This in turn causes costly re-trials at those city’s and county’s (i.e., taxpayers) expense and severely impacts their already limited budgets.

Of course, budget whiz Mark McClain doesn’t seem to mind, having twice himself declared Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy. Driving Pacific County into the ditch financially would be just another day at the office for him, apparently. He has no qualms about making sure everyone else fully repays their debt to society, while he walks away from his — by knowing how to make the legal system work to his advantage.

As a county commissioner, McClain had a recall petition filed against him, and was the subject of investigations by law enforcement authorities regarding alleged threats/assaults, as well as an incident regarding trespass of a bar. Several complaints of unethical practices while teaching a class at CWU were documented during that same period, not to mention some allegations of election results counting shenanigans. I find it quite ironic that with Mark McClain as Pacific County PA, he could end up sometimes having a longer ”rap sheet” than some of those he may be tasked with prosecuting.

I believe I have presented a compelling argument that if you are any kind Democrat worth your salt, with the cajones and the backbone and the foresight to support justice at a cost our county can truly afford, you can understand why I beg of you not to throw our guy under the bus. It’s all about the money, folks, it’s not incompetency or malfeasance of job duties by Mr. Burke!

I can appreciate and accept if you may have a problem of one sort or another with David Burke, but it is very apparent to me, and hopefully by now to you too, that Mark McClain is not the answer. He apparently wasn’t for Kittitas County and he’s not for ours, either.

Michael Spencer


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