Skagit Republicans Newsletter (5-17)

   Skagit Republicans

             May 2017


View this newsletter on our website at:



In This Issue

*   Lincoln/Reagan Day Dinner – May 6th   

*   SCRP Monthly Meeting

*    HQ News

*    Letter to the Editor – Gorsuch Confirmation

*    Mike Newman’s Letters – Salmon Restrictions

*    The Hirst Heist and Our Diminishing Legislature

*    Elaine Willman Workshop

*    Quote of the Month

*    J.K. Rowling: Call Your Office – The Dems Need Help

*    Ann Coulter - A Green America or a Brown America

*    Coming Events

*    Bill Nye – Huckster

*    The First 100 Days

*     Ayaan Hirsi Ali – Don’t Dismiss Female Genital Mutilation

*    George Soros and Hydra – Both Have Long Tentacles

*    Climate Change Alarmists’ Warnings About the Pacific Northwest Now Look Embarassingly Bad

*    Links of Interest

*    Imprimus - The Left's War on Free Speech

*    Skagit County Republican Party Info


Lincoln/Reagan Day Dinner - May 6th

The Skagit County Republican Party Lincoln / Reagan Day Dinner Tickets: $60 per person, $110 per couple, and $425 for a table of eight. Please RSVP by May 2nd to reserve your seat.

The SCRP will have its Lincoln / Reagan Day Dinner on Saturday, May 6th. This year our annual fundraiser event will be held at Bertelsen Winery in Mount Vernon. The venue is a new facility called the "The Vine Event Centre" and is in a beautiful setting with a wonderful view of the Skagit Valley and the San Juan Islands (located 1/4 mile east of I-5 exit 218 at 20598 Starbird Rd).

Bertelsen will provide a no-host bar with premium beer and wines. The dinner will be specially prepared by Max Dale's Steak & Chop House and will feature a Prime Rib Buffet with all the fixings. Live music presented by Peterson Conservatory of Music & Arts, Sharyn Peterson director.

The Special Guest Speaker is Elaine Willman, one of the nations foremost leading experts in Federal Indian policy and best selling author of "Going to Pieces...The Dismantling of the United States of America." Elaine's talk is entitled "Explaining and Exposing the Corruption of the Indian Tribal Industry."

Our Keynote Speaker is Lieutenant Governor candidate and radio talk show host Marty McClendon. Marty's talk is "Religious Liberty (the battle ahead, where we are and where we are going) Dubunking the lines between Church, Government, Business and Education."

Also, many of our state and local legislators will be speaking and in attendance, and as always special fun events like the live, silent & dessert auctions and gun raffle will take place.

Doors open at 5 pm; dinner program begins at 5:30 pm. To RSVP with a credit card please go to and/or click on the blue "GetTickets" button, or just mail a check to the SCRP, 2021 E. College Way, Ste 200 Mount Vernon, WA 98273 Re: L/R Day Dinner.



SCRP Monthly Meeting

The monthly Central Committee meeting of the Skagit County Republican Party will take place on Thursday, May 18th  at 7:00 PM.  As usual, the location is the downstairs conference room at 2021 E. College Way, Mt Vernon.  All PCO’s should plan to attend.  Discussion items will include plans for our annual Salmon BBQ.  This year, that event will be held on July 22nd.  There will be a short Executive Board meeting afterwards.



HQ News

* The Skagit GOP Office HQ is now open six days a week: Monday through Saturday

from 10 AM to 2 PM or by appointment.



If you wish to volunteer or need more info, call (360) 424-9792

*See our ONLINE NEWSLETTER on our website for news and info about our events.

To subscribe to our Newsletter, type your email address in the box in the lower right hand corner of our webpage.   



Letter to the Editor - Gorsuch Confirmation

Responding to flagrant disregard of readily available facts by someone who obviously places no high priority on truth, your humble editor fired off a letter to the Skagit Valley Herald setting the record straight about the Senate vote that confirmed Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court.  The letter was printed on April 22nd


Democrats set the precedent

Re: "Troubling times" (Letters, April 16).

A letter writer in Sunday’s Skagit Valley Herald took Republican senators, and especially their leader, Sen. McConnell, to task for confirming President Trump’s nominee, Neil Gorsuch (which he initially misspelled as “Neal Grouch”) with only a simple majority instead of the traditional minimum 60 votes.

He was also very disappointed by the Republican Senate not acting on Merrick Garland in 2016. Unfortunately, the writer left out a few pertinent details that provide context to the majority leader’s decision.

1992: In what became known as the “Biden Rule,” with the Senate then in Democrat hands, the Delaware senator and future vice president warned George H.W. Bush not to nominate a Supreme Court justice during an election year.

2004: Patrick Leahy demanded that Senate leaders from both parties agree to any Supreme Court nominee.

2005: Minority Leader Harry Reid said that the Senate is under no obligation to vote on any presidential nominee.

2007: Chuck Schumer, with the Senate again in Democrat hands, advised his colleagues not to confirm any appointee during President Bush’s last year in office.

2013: Harry Reid, now majority leader, invoked the “nuclear option” and dispensed with the 60-vote rule to confirm President Obama’s administrative and judicial appointees.

Whether history will show that Sen. McConnell’s action was a “tragic mistake,” as the writer claimed, has to be left to history. His statement that the majority leader’s conduct was a “complete dereliction of duty” is questionable and certainly hyperbole.

However, the assertion that the Republican leader’s decision was “probably unprecedented in U.S. history” is factually incorrect. The precedent was set by Democrats.

Gary Hagland




Mike Newman's Letters - Salmon Restrictions

The following letter by Mike Newman, former Skagit Republicans Chairman, Mt Vernon realtor and recognized expert on matters of water availability and fish appeared in the April 16th edition of the Skagit Valley Herald.  Once again, Mike questions the information being given to us about management of our salmon resources by the state and the tribes.

We are facing another season of severe restrictions for Puget Sound salmon anglers and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is dragging out the same old tired excuses.

Poor ocean conditions caused by global warming. Why is it that just to the north, outside of WDFW/Tribal jurisdiction, the Fraser River in Canada is experiencing record returns of salmon? Did Canadians somehow teach their salmon to use a different ocean?

In Washington, we have increased allotments of salmon for sport anglers in the ocean. If the ocean is really the problem why does the impact seem to be worse in Puget Sound and rivers draining into the Sound than anywhere else in the state? The “ocean excuse,” because of what is happening all around us, is completely illogical.

Shouldn’t we be looking at something that is more unique to Puget Sound? How about the unrecorded catch allotment of our fisheries co-managers, the tribes? It seems logical that if salmon can’t get up the river to spawn then the next generation of salmon will be reduced. It also seems that if we have an “unrecorded allotment” then our resource managers have no idea how many fish are being caught or what the impact to the runs will be.

Can they manage the resource this way? Could it be that our resource managers are not actually managing to protect the resource, but rather to protect their access to the billions of dollars available in federal grants for salmon recovery? Access to that grant money goes away if the salmon runs recover enough to be delisted under the Endangered Species Act and the WDFW/Tribal cabal are the primary recipients of the grant monies.

Mike Newman

Mount Vernon



The Hirst Heist and Our Diminishing Legislature

Glen Morgan, Executive Director of Citizens Alliance for Property Rights, with input from Cindy Alia, CAPR’s Legislative Representative, has produced a brilliant analysis of how the WA legislature is increasingly irrelevant and the courts, especially the WA Supreme Court, although biased and inept and some say corrupt, is actually running and ruining the state.  The environmental NGO’s, the tribes and the executive agency bureaucrats are playing a willing part too, but the WA Supreme Court is the key to the whole fiasco.    

“Who needs state senators, legislators, or commissioners if you can just control a handful of judges in black robes?  This is indeed a wise use of donor cash, and most of the people who oppose the hostile policies of Futurewise, the Sierra Club, and tribes like the Swinomish are late to the party.  They are pleading with our elected officials to “fix” Hirst, not realizing that the majority of our elected officials have long ago ceded their power to a handful of judges.  Policy, it appears, will no longer be written by the legislators, but by the Black Robed in the Hall of Justice.  This is the outcome demanded by the donors who support the “environmental” agenda?  They really want, as Hirst dictates, thousands of families to suffer, and it doesn’t matter that these families use less than 1% of the water in Washington State.”

Read the entire article at We The Governed . . .



Elaine Willman Workshop



Quote of the Month

Every great cause begins as movement, becomes a business and eventually degenerates into a racket.      – Eric Hoffer



J.K. Rowling: Call Your Office - The Dems Need Help

To counter Donald Trump, witches, who are presumably members of the Democrat Party in good standing, have been casting spells against the new President.  In hopes of what, we don’t know. 

Glen Beaton, correspondent for The Aspen Times comments on this peculiar situation. . .


"Double, double, toil and trouble;

Fire burn and caldron bubble."

— The witches in Macbeth, William Shakespeare.


The Democrats, the purported "party of science," have a new strategy to beat back President Donald Trump and the other Republicans who've overrun the Senate, the House, the Supreme Court, two-thirds of the state legislatures and most of the governorships.

Their new strategy is witchcraft.

It had to happen. The recount ruse didn't add up. The Electoral College refused to go rogue. The Russian conspiracy theory backfired.

But the Dems are nothing if not creative in demonizing those with whom they disagree.

For example, Dems are typically non-scientists, but they equate scientists who question the Dems' global warming religion to neo-Nazi holocaust deniers. Their expertise in plants is based only on having smoked them, but they declare that the farms that grow food for billions of people are evil because they also grow profits. They proclaim that a fetus is merely a blob of cells until the woman in whom it resides wants it to be a baby and then, by alchemy, it transforms into one, unless the woman changes her mind, at which time it transforms back into a blob of cells.

According to a recent National Science Foundation survey, Democrats are far more likely to believe in astrology than Republicans (and I mean that statement in both ways).

Read the rest of Glen Beaton’s article at The Aspen Times . . .



Ann Coulter - A Green America or a Brown America

What does it take for one of the largest and most influencial environmental organizations in this country to radically change its position on a vital matter?  Apparently, $100 million dollars. 



In celebration of Earth Day this Saturday, let's review how the Sierra Club sold its soul and screwed the Earth for a $100 million donation. They must hate themselves for it, so why shouldn't we hate them, too? 

After Teddy Kennedy's 1965 immigration  act began dumping millions of Third-Worlders on the country, the Sierra Club talked of little else besides reducing immigration. 

In 1970, the club adopted a resolution complaining that the country's growing population was polluting the "air, water and land" -- to the point that "our very survival (is) threatened." 

In 1978, the Sierra Club adopted a resolution urging Congress to "conduct a thorough examination of U.S. immigration laws," noting that the United States, Canada and Australia were the only countries admitting "more than a handful of permanent immigrants." 

In 1980, the club dropped its promotion of birth control, in order to focus on immigration. "It is obvious," the club said, "that the numbers of immigrants the United States accepts affects our population size and growth rate," even more than "the number of children per family." 

In 1989, the club's Population Report expressly called for reducing the number of immigrants. 

In 1990, the club's grassroots leaders voted overwhelmingly to launch a major national campaign on the immigration problem. 

Even people who don't live in yurts can't help but notice the environmental damage being done by hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans clamoring across the border every year, setting fires, dumping litter, spray-painting gang signs in our parks and defacing ancient Indian petroglyphs. 

The problem isn't just the number of people traipsing through our wilderness areas; it's that primitive societies have no concept of "litter." 

Writing in an environmental journal at New York University, Rosa P. Oakes described the "reprehensible" damage being done to "towering cactus, Joshua trees, flowering cactus varieties, colorful wildflowers and rock formations" by illegals. With accompanying photos, she noted that the immigrants' litter included "abandoned vehicles ... used needles, drug paraphernalia, plastic grocery bags, paper products, empty water containers, blankets, clothing, used disposable diapers, among other things." 

Read the entire article at:



Coming Events

5/6 Sat 5:30 PM – Skagit Republican’s Lincoln/Reagan Day Dinner, Bertelsen Winery,  20598 Starbird Roard, Mt Vernon

5/10 Wed 11:30 AM – Northwest business Club, Elks Lodge, 710 Samish Way, Bellingham

5/13 Sat 9:00 AM – Skagit CAPR Chapter, Farmhouse Restaurant, SR20 & LaConner Road

5/17 Wed 1:30 PM – SCOG, Burlington City Council Chambers. 813 S. Spruce St. Burlington

5/18 Thu 7:00 PM – SCRP Meeting, 2021 E. College Way, Mt Vernon

5/20 Sat 10:00 AM – Elaine Willman Workshop, Tequila Azteca Restaurant, Sedro-Woolley  

5/29 Mon – Memorial Day



Bill Nye - Huckster

Bill Nye has a degree in mechanical engineering.  However, his work experience is in the field of kid’s entertainment.  Lately he’s been leading activist marches and producing salacious YouTube video shows.  However, he presents himself as a scientific expert, especially as regards to climate. 

Although science requires a vigorous exchange of views, Nye doesn’t care for contrary information and opinions.  On a recent CNN program, he took the moderator and the network to task for allowing William Happer, Emeritus Professor of Physics at Princeton and a skeptic, to participate in a panel discussion on climate change.  Nye proves that he is the real “science denier,” a slur he often hurls at those who disagree with him.    

Dolph Lundgren, on the other hand, has an impressive academic record, which was cut short by actress Grace Jones influencing him to pursue a career in acting instead of furthering his studies at MIT.  Just as you can’t tell a book by its cover, Lundgren is a lot smarter than what most people give him credit for.  And probably a lot smarter than “Bill Nye, the Science Guy.”  At least he knows not to pop off about topics he’s ill equipped to comment on. 



The First 100 Days

The media savages President Trump at every opportunity, never missing a chance to attack, denigrate and marginalize everything he does.  Obvious successes are ignored or spinned as failures.  However, is the media’s assessment accurate?  Joel Pollack from Breitbart begs to differ and provides a realistic perspective on the new President’s accomplishments, which are substantial.



Ayaan Hirsi Ali - Don't Dismiss Female Genital Mutilation

While she was in the WA House of Representatives, Elizabeth Scott introduced a bill criminalizing female genital mutilation (FGM).   Unfortunately, there was no one in the legislature courageous enough to cosponsor or support the bill.  Apparently, the PC culture is strong with our elected representatives.  They don’t want to stigmatize new arrivals who may not be completely down with our values.  

FGM is a barbaric  procedure practiced on young girls in many Islamic countries in Africa and the Middle East to ensure chastity, and later on, faithfulness in marriage.  Often the girls are sent back to their home countries during school vacations where relatives insure the procedure occurs.  It also happens in this country among immigrants from those areas.     

Recently, two Detroit area doctors were arrested after it was found they were performing FGM.  However, some media, although reporting the arrests, couched the procedure in less graphic terms.     

In the following Fox News op-ed, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who suffered FGM herself as a young girl, castigates the New York Times for trying to downplay the procedure.

Reader warning:  Graphic descriptions of the various forms of FGM.



George Soros and Hydra - Both Have Long Tentacles


George Soros, one of the world’s most successful hedge fund managers, is a hero of the first order to the radical left as he funds their NGO’s and activist groups such as Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter.  Through a complex and often confusing array of front organizations, his money promotes everything from environmental lawsuits to violent demonstrations.  His political influence permeates most liberal groups and a Saturday Night Live comedy sketch once joked that he was the owner of the Democrat Party.   

That’s just in the United States.  Outside the country, Soros has wreaked havoc on major currencies and economies from Britain to Thailand.  France and Russia have issued arrest warrants against him.  He has been responsible for collapsing governments in Eastern Europe and his influence has helped create chaos on a regional scale, including the Arab Spring that has led to so much death and destruction in the Middle East.     

Soros once acknowledged that the most satisfying and exhilarating time in his life was as a teenager in Nazi occupied Hungary.  He accompanied his guardian, a government official charged with identifying and pointing out Jewish homes to the Nazi overlords, who then confiscated the valuable possessions within.  Ironically, Soros was born a Jew.

Soros has been described as a sociopath with a God complex.  He believes that it his mission to change the world to one without borders and lead humanity to global governance.  He pursues this vision with messianic obsession regardless of the negative consequences that ensure. 

George Soros is often likened to Dr. Evil, the villain Mike Myers played in the Austin Powers film series. 


However, Austin Powers movies were parodies of the popular spy genre at the time.  Dr. Evil, a cartoonish antagonist with dreams of taking over the world, was the Austin Powers spoof answer to Ernst Stavro Blofeld, James Bond’s arch nemesis.    

Soros is anything but cartoonish.  Rather, he resembles the masterminds of Hydra, working in the shadows behind the scenes, pulling the strings of an organization bent on dominating the world.  Although first introduced in comic books and then brought to cinematic life in the Captain America movies, Hydra villains are deathly serious as they cause mayhem and chaos across the globe.  This has been Soros’ MO as well, although done with a more subtlety and respectability.    

Not surprisingly, Soros is no hero in his native Hungary.  In their long history, Hungarians have endured much, from tyrants like Attila in the 5th Century to the Soviet occupation in the latter half of the 20th.   As in many countries where he attempts to wield his toxic influence through money and subversion, Soros bankrolled the formation of a leftwing university, installed NGO’s, and attempted to force Hungary to throw open its borders to Middle Eastern immigrants who are mostly male, in their late teens and early twenties, and who have caused serious problems wherever they were allowed to go in Europe. 

Hungary is having none of it.  Jealously guarding its borders against what its people and government consider a new invasion, they refuse to yield to Soros and his open borders and globalist promoting minions.     

Michael Walsh writes in PJ Media about the situation in Hungary and its Prime Minister taking on the Soros shadowy organization.

For an extensive Soros history, especially his activities in the United States, check out this biographical sketch at Discover the Networks:



Climate change alarmists’ prediction about Pacific Northwest now looks embarrassingly bad

From The Blaze: 

During the past decade, a common theme in the research findings of climate alarmists studying California, Oregon, and Washington state has been reduced snowfall. Some alarmists even lamented it could be “the end of snow,” as Porter Fox did for the New York Times in 2014. Yet, despite these extreme predictions, which also blamed humans for burning the fossil fuels that caused the warmer temperatures, the 2017 winter has provided the region with greater snowfall, leaving climate change advocates looking more than just a little foolish.

According to a report by the Los Angeles Times, the snowpack in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains is the seventh-deepest it’s been since 1950 and the biggest since 2011.

“As of Thursday, the snowpack across the entire Sierra was at 164% of average for this time of year,” reported the Times. “The northern region was at 147%, the central was at 175% and the southern was 164% of average, respectively, state data showed.”

Writing for the Washington Policy Center, Todd Myers, the organization’s director of the Center for the Environment, reported on Wednesday there is “no sign of warming” in Washington state. Among Myers’ “key findings” is that despite the fact “academics, like U.W. Professor Paul Johnson, say that declining snowpack levels in the Northwest is a sign of global warming,” “They’re wrong. Snowpack levels have been above average in eight of the last ten years.”

Myers also wrote, “In the winter of 2015-16 snowpack was 112% of normal. In 2016-17 it was 115% of normal.”

The Bend, a newspaper in central Oregon, reported in January the central Oregon region had received “historic snow depths” that smashed records going back at least 20 years.

These findings are in total contradiction to the claims made by climate change alarmists over the past decade. For instance, in 2015, climate change researchers at the University of Arizona claimed their findings revealed the “extreme character” of the Sierra Nevada snowpack and the changing nature of California winters.

Read the entire article at:



Links of Interest

Washington State Republican Party  

Republican National Committee        

Freedom Foundation                            

The Whatcom Excavator                     

Ctizen Review Online                           

Rage Against The Kakistocracy           

Washington State Wire                       

Washington Free Beacon                     

Go Patriots                                              

Patriots Tea Party                                   

The Trojan Heron (San Juan County)    

Island Politics (Island County)               

Skagit CAPR Chapter                               and

Saturday Morning Live                           

We The Governed                                    


Imprimus - The Left's War on Free Speech

Kimberley Strassel

Author, The Intimidation Game: How the Left Is Silencing Free Speech

 • Volume 46, Number 4


Kimberley Strassel writes the weekly “Potomac Watch” column for The Wall Street Journal, where she is also a member of the editorial board. A graduate of Princeton University, her previous positions at the Journal include news assistant in Brussels, internet reporter in London, commercial real estate reporter in New York, assistant editorial features editor, columnist for, and senior editorial page writer. In 2013 she served as a Pulliam Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Hillsdale College, and in 2014 she was a recipient of the Bradley Prize. She is the author of The Intimidation Game: How the Left Is Silencing Free Speech.


The following is adapted from a speech delivered on April 26, 2017, at Hillsdale College’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C., as part of the AWC Family Foundation Lecture Series.

I like to introduce the topic of free speech with an anecdote about my children. I have three kids, ages twelve, nine, and five. They are your average, normal kids—which means they live to annoy the heck out of each other.

Last fall, sitting around the dinner table, the twelve-year-old was doing a particularly good job at this with his youngest sister. She finally grew so frustrated that she said, “Oliver, you need to stop talking—forever.” This inspired a volley of protests about free speech rights, and ended with them yelling “shut up” at each other. Desperate to stop the fighting and restore order, I asked each of them in turn to tell me what they thought “free speech” meant.

The twelve-year-old went first. A serious and academic child, he gave a textbook definition that included “Congress shall make no law,” an evocation of James Madison, a tutorial on the Bill of Rights, and warnings about “certain exceptions for public safety and libel.” I was happy to know the private-school fees were yielding something.

The nine-year-old went next. A rebel convinced that everyone ignores her, she said that she had no idea what “public safety” or “libel” were, but that “it doesn’t matter, because free speech means there should never be any restrictions onanything that anybody says, anytime or anywhere.” She added that we could all start by listening more to what she says.

Then it was the five-year-old’s turn. You could tell she’d been thinking hard about her answer. She fixed both her brother and sister with a ferocious stare and said: “Free speech is that you can say what you want—as long as I like it.”

It was at this moment that I had one of those sudden insights as a parent. I realized that my oldest was a constitutional conservative, my middle child a libertarian, and my youngest a socialist with totalitarian tendencies.

With that introduction, my main point today is that we’ve experienced over the past eight years a profound shift in our political culture, a shift that has resulted in a significant portion of our body politic holding a five-year-old’s view of free speech. What makes this shift notable is that unlike most changes in politics, you can trace it back to one day: January 21, 2010, the day the Supreme Court issued its Citizens United ruling and restored free speech rights to millions of Americans.

For nearly 100 years up to that point, both sides of the political aisle had used campaign finance laws—I call them speech laws—to muzzle their political opponents. The Right used them to push unions out of elections. The Left used them to push corporations out of elections. These speech laws kept building and building until we got the mack daddy of them all—McCain-Feingold. It was at this point the Supreme Court said, “Enough.” A five-judge majority ruled that Congress had gone way too far in violating the Constitution’s free speech protections.

The Citizens United ruling was viewed as a blow for freedom by most on the Right, which had in recent years gotten some free speech religion, but as an unmitigated disaster by the Left. Over the decades, the Left had found it harder and harder to win policy arguments, and had come to rely more and more on these laws to muzzle political opponents. And here was the Supreme Court knocking back those laws, reopening the floodgates for non-profits and corporations to speak freely again in the public arena.

In the Left’s view, the ruling couldn’t have come at a worse time. Remember the political environment in 2010. Democrats were experiencing an enormous backlash against the policies and agenda of the Obama administration. There were revolts over auto bailouts, stimulus spending, and Obamacare. The Tea Party movement was in full swing and vowing to use the midterm elections to effect dramatic change. Democrats feared an electoral tidal wave would sweep them out of Congress.

In the weeks following the Citizens United ruling, the Left settled on a new strategy. If it could no longer use speech laws against its opponents,  it would do the next best thing—it would threaten, harass, and intimidate its opponents out of participation. It would send a message: conservatives choosing to exercise their constitutional rights will pay a political and personal price.

We’ve seen this strategy unfold, in a coordinated fashion and using a variety of tactics, since 2010.

One tactic is the unleashing of federal and state bureaucracies on political opponents. The best example of this is the IRS targeting of conservative non-profits. To this day, Obama acolytes and Senate Democrats characterize that targeting as a mistake by a few minor IRS employees in Cincinnati who didn’t understand the law. That is a lie.

Congress held several investigations of this targeting, and the truth is clear. In the months following the Citizens United ruling, President Obama delivered speech after speech on behalf of Democratic midterm candidates, repeating the same grave warning at each stop—thanks to Citizens United, he would say, shadowy and scary organizations are flooding into our elections. He suggested these organizations might be operating illegally and might be funded by foreign players. He noted that somebody should do something about it.

These speeches acted as a dog whistle to an IRS bureaucracy that was already primed to act. Former IRS official Lois Lerner was well aware of Democratic demands that the agency go after conservative Tea Party and non-profit groups. Senate Democrats and left-wing interest groups had been sending letters to the agency for months, demanding it go after the very groups it ultimately went after. And Ms. Lerner had her own biases—we know this from her recoverable emails—that put her politically and substantively in the anti-free speech camp. The result is that the IRS deliberately put some 400 conservative organizations, representing tens of thousands of Americans, on political ice for the 2010 and 2012 elections.

It is hard not to believe that this was designed to help Democrats in those elections. We know that senior members of the Treasury Department were aware of the targeting abuse in early 2012, and took steps to try to slow it. Yet those officials did not inform Congress this was happening, and chose not to divulge the abuse until well after that year’s election.

Another intimidation tactic is for prosecutors to abuse their awesome powers in order to hound and frighten political opponents. The most terrifying example of this was the John Doe probe in Wisconsin. Democratic prosecutors in Milwaukee launched a bogus criminal campaign finance investigation into some 30 conservative groups that supported the public-sector union reforms championed by Governor Scott Walker. Wisconsin’s John Doe law gave these prosecutors the right to conduct this investigation in secret and to subject their individual targets to gag orders. Prosecutors secretly looked through these individuals’ financial records, bank accounts, and emails.

Prosecutors also conducted pre-dawn raids on some of their targets’ homes. In one horrifying instance, the target of such a raid was on an out-of-town trip with his wife, and their teenage son was home alone. Law enforcement came into the house and sequestered the boy, refusing to allow him to call a lawyer or even his grandparents, who lived down the road. They hauled items out of the house, and as they left they told the boy that he too was subject to the gag order—that if he told anyone what had happened to him, he could go to jail.

We only learned of this because one brave target of the probe, Eric O’Keefe, toldThe Wall Street Journal what was going on. We broke that story, and it became national headline news. But it ultimately took a lawsuit and the Wisconsin Supreme Court to shut down the probe. In its ruling, the Court made clear its view that the probe’s purpose had been intimidation. The prosecutors had been sending the message: if you dare to speak, we will turn your lives into a living hell and potentially put you in prison.

More recently we have seen this tactic in the joint action of 17 state attorneys general, who launched a probe into Exxon and some 100 different groups that have worked with Exxon over the years. The implicit prosecutorial threat: get on board with our climate change agenda or we might bring racketeering charges against you.

A third intimidation tactic is for activist groups to use blackmail against corporations and non-profits in order to silence them. One subject of such attacks was the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group that works to promote free-market policies at the state level. As a non-profit, it is largely funded by corporate donations. Because it is so successful, it has long been despised by left-wing activist groups.

These groups focused their efforts on ALEC in 2012, in the wake of the tragic shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida. ALEC had played a tangential role in crafting the popular stand-your-ground laws that the Left attacked after the shooting. On that basis, left-wing activists branded ALEC a racist organization and threatened to run ad campaigns against its corporate donors, branding them as racists too—unless they stopped funding ALEC. In a coordinated action, Democratic U.S. Senator Dick Durbin sent letters to a thousand organizations across the country, demanding to know if they supported ALEC and suggesting they’d get hauled in front of Congress if they did. ALEC lost nearly half of its donors in the space of a few months.

We’ve also seen this tactic employed against private individuals. One such person was Idaho businessman Frank VanderSloot, who Barack Obama’s reelection campaign singled out in 2012, following a VanderSloot donation to Mitt Romney. The campaign publicly branded him a disreputable person, painting a target on his back. Not long after that, VanderSloot was audited by the IRS and visited by other federal agencies.

Out in California, left-wing activists targeted donors to the state’s Prop 8 ballot initiative, which supported traditional marriage. They combed through campaign finance records, and put the names and addresses of Prop 8’s donors on a searchable map. Citizens on this list had their cars keyed, their windows broken, their small businesses flash-mobbed, and their voicemails and emails flooded with threats and insults. Some of them even lost their jobs—most notably Brendan Eich, the founder and CEO of Mozilla. In later depositions, many of these targets told lawyers that they wouldn’t donate to future ballot initiatives. So the attacks were successful in silencing them.

Note the use of disclosure in these attacks. We have come to associate transparency and disclosure with good government. But unfortunately, our system of disclosure has been turned on its head. Disclosure was supposed to enable citizens to keep track of politicians; but if you followed Hillary Clinton’s server scandal, you know that politicians have now become expert at hiding their business. Instead, disclosure is increasingly becoming a tool by which government and political thugs identify people and organizations who oppose them.

Sadly, our federal judiciary has refused to honor important precedents that protect anonymity in politics—most notably the famous 1958 case, NAACP v. Alabama. In that case, a unanimous Supreme Court ruled against the Alabama attorney general, who had demanded a list of the state’s NAACP members. The civil rights group knew this was tantamount to making targets of its members in a state that was riven at the time with race-related violence. The Court held that some level of anonymity is sometimes required to protect the rights of free speech and free assembly. The Court expanded on this precedent until the Watergate scandal, when it too got caught up in the disclosure fad. Political privacy rights have been eroding ever since.

What is to be done? For starters, we need to be aware that this is happening, and that it is not random. The intimidation game is very real. It is the work of left-wing groups and politicians, it is coordinated, and it is well-honed. Many of the targets of intimidation who I interviewed for my recent book weren’t aware of what was happening to them, and that allowed the intimidation to go on for too long. Awareness is key.

We need to think hard about ways to limit the powers of the administrative state, to stop rogue agents at the IRS and other agencies from trampling on free speech rights. We can make great progress simply by cutting the size of federal and state bureaucracies. But beyond that, we need to conduct systematic reviews of agency powers and strip from unaccountable bureaucracies any discretion over the political activities of Americans. The IRS should be doing what it was created to do—making sure taxpayers fill out their forms correctly. Period.

We need to push corporations to grow backbones and to defend more aggressively their free speech interests—rather than leaving that defense to others.

We need to overhaul our disclosure laws, and once again put the onus of disclosure on government rather than citizens. At the moment, every American who donates $200 or more to a federal politician goes into a database. Without meaning to sound cynical, no politician in Washington is capable of being bought off for a mere $200. We need to raise that donation threshold. And we need to think hard about whether there is good reason to force disclosure of any donations to ballot initiatives or to the production and broadcast of issue ads—ads designed to educate the public rather than to promote or oppose candidates.

Most important, we need to call out intimidation in any form and manner we see it—and do so instantly. Bullies don’t like to be exposed. They’d rather practice their ugliness in the dark. And one lesson that emerged from all my interviews on this topic is that speaking out works. Those who rolled over merely set themselves up for future attacks. Those who called out the intimidators maintained their rights and won the day.

Finally, conservatives need to tamp down any impulse to practice such intimidation themselves. Our country is best when it is engaging in vigorous debate. The Framers of the Constitution envisioned a multiplicity of interests that would argue their way to a common good. We succeed with more voices, not fewer, and we should have enough confidence in our arguments to hear out our opponents.





Upcoming Events

June 14, 2017 - 11:30am
July 22, 2017 - 1:00pm


Published May 10th, La Conner Weekly News by Sandy Stokes

   Organizers were hoping the annual Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner put on by the Skagit County Republican Party would draw a good crowd.  As it was, 194 attendees crammed into the Bertelsen Winery Event Centre on Starbird Road Saturday to hear guest speakers, Elaine Willman and Marty McClendon.  Skagit GOP Party Chairman Bill Bruch said the event, advertised at $60 per person, was sold out and then some.


The Skagit Republican Womans Club will host a Conservative Values Forum on Wednesday, June 14th at Skagit Valley's Farmhouse Restaurant at 11:30 AM.  The topic will be Vote Fraud in Washington State and the speaker will be Tom McCabe.  Tom is the CEO of the Freedom Foundation and served in Washington, D.C. as Director of Congressional Affairs for the U.S.

Skagit County Republican Party

The Skagit County Republican Party is composed of and represents people of every age, race, religion, and station in life who share a passion for liberty.  We understand that fredom from oppressive government was the reason our nation was founded, and to provide this freedom our United States Constitution was created.

We believe freedom is maintained by the strict application of this Constitution, recognizing that the basic government entities are the states, and believing that the Federal Government should exercise only those powers granted by the Constitution.



Service Area: 

We have over 350 members and serve the Republicans and citizens of Skagit County.

2021 E. College Way, Ste 200
Mount Vernon, WA 98273

Open six days a week Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 2 PM (or by appointment).

Skagit County Republican Party

The Skagit County Republican Party is composed of and represents people of every age, race, religion, and station in life who share a passion for liberty.

Service Area: 

We now have 350 members and serve the Republicans and citizens of Skagit County.

2021 E. College Way, Ste 200
Mt Vernon, WA 98273
(360) 424-9792

We are now open five days a week:  Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri and Sat.  10 AM to 2 PM (or by appointment)