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Dear Readers,

This writer sent an invitation to the two announced candidates for State Representative, District 2, Position 1, which includes this area to present their stands to all of you in depth, since the September 19 Primary is closing fast:
The incumbant Rep. Jim McCune (R)

Photo from Rep. McCune’s website

The challenger Jean Marie Christenson (D)

Photo courtesy of Stephany Ray, Professional Photographer and Webmaster of MastersConnection.com

To date, only Ms. Christenson has responded to the request. Her statement to the Yelm Community Blog is below, unabridged in any way and in its entirety. This writer hopes Rep. McCune will share his vision with all of you, as well.

Dear Steve Klein and Voters,

Thank you for your invitation to be a guest on your Blog, and congratulations on the great reviews your Blog has been receiving!

As a resident and voter in District 2, I would like to thank you for your willingness to put yourself out there. As a Candidate for State Representative for District 2, I thank you for your participation in the political process, and for always encouraging others to do the same.

Additionally, I would feel remiss if I did not say, Bravo, Mr. Klein for your direct influence in the passing of Senate Bill 6323 which requires all candidates raising more than $5,000 file a public disclosure report regardless of the city’s population.

I have personally felt this sort of legislation has been way over-do, and now because of your direct influence the citizens in our State will be protected from a loophole that had allowed candidates in smaller jurisdictions to raise and spend unreported money. Bravo, Mr. Klein. Bravo!

With the upcoming very important September 19th Primary, the Campaign to elect Jean Marie Christenson is going full speed ahead. Campaign press releases will be going to all our Districts newspapers the first week in August.

We have a wonderful crew of volunteers and welcome everyone to participate. The Campaign to Elect Jean Marie Christensons wonderful Volunteer Coordinator, Jennifer Braun and I invite anyone who would like to support this incredible campaign to come aboard. You can contact Jennifer at quantummonad@hotmail.com

or phone her at: (360) 446-5623.

Out on the Campaign trail I am often asked to share something about my own life.

Well, I am a lifelong Washington resident, born in Spokane, and grew up in Wenatchee. I am the mother of a grown son, and my home is in Rainier, Washington.

Growing up in a rural community meant that I went to work in local orchards at a young age. Picking fruit in orchards, and packing fruit in the local packing sheds, along with income from my parents farm and cattle ranch, I was able to earn enough money for a good education, and I subsequently pursued a career as a counselor, both in private practice, and as a teacher of motivational seminars.

I have always held the belief that we should give back to our communities, and with that belief I made sure to find time to donate my services as a counselor to youth-at-risk, as a foster mother, and in the psychiatric department of the hospital at Washington State Reformatory. My experiences at the Reformatory led to my published book, The Keepers and the Caged.

My background has given me the life experiences that allow me to understand how to get something of value accomplished. In order for District 2 to have the sort of considerations it deserves, we must elect someone who is not afraid to stand up, challenge the status-quo, and be heard.

District 2 is known as the abandoned child of the State, and it is about time someone has the courage to say so, and declare, We deserve considerably more attention, respect, and funding!

If the current popular consensus is that District 2, a rural district, is not that important, I would say, Where do you think the food you are going to eat for your dinner came from? I will tell you, It came from a farm or a ranch!

I am committed to success for District 2, and hold a strong focus for the creation of jobs, protecting the environment, pursuing alternative energy resources, encouraging economic vitality for our farmers, supporting our educators and schools, and requiring accountability for our taxpayers dollars.

I ask you to please vote in the upcoming Primary Election on September 19th. Many political races are won or lost in the Primary Election!

You do not have to register by Party, but in order to vote you must be registered by August 19th.

September 19th … Primary Election:

You will receive 2 Ballots for the Primary Election. One will be Democrat … and the other Republican. You must choose which Ballot you wish to vote on, and may only vote on one-or-the other! This is the case only for the Primary Election. No one will know which you choose. (In the General Election you will be able to cross Party lines.)

Please remember to vote for your Candidate in the Primary Election!

Thank you again, Mr. Klein, for this opportunity to address the voters of District 2.

And I would remind all the voters that even if you think you may not be interested in politics, that does not mean politics is not interested in you!

Its about the future, now.

Jean Marie Christenson, Candidate for State Representative, District 2, Position 1

Posted by Steve on July 28, 2006 at 8:27 am | Permalink

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  1. In response to Ms. Christenson’s comment Bravo, Mr. Klein for your direct influence in the passing of Senate Bill 6323 which requires all candidates raising more than $5,000 file a public disclosure report regardless of the city’s population.”

    SB 6323 was signed into law March 28, 2006 by the Governor.

    As stated, I am always for full public disclosure if the playing field is level and the rules are established up front for all to know. That will now be the case in the future with the passage of this bill. However, this gives me an opportunity to set the record straight.

    Quoting the front page Nisqually Valley News (NVN) of March 31, 2006:

    “…Senate Bill 6323 requires that all candidates raising more than $5,000 file a public disclosure report, regardless of the city’s population…
    ‘Someone from Yelm contacted me and was concerned that a single donor was able to influence a race without accountability,’ Swecker [Senator Dan Swecker http://www1.leg.wa.gov/senate/swecker%5D said, and he believes it was through an e-mail, although he couldn’t say for sure. In question was what seemed like a large amount of money being spent by Yelm mayoral candidate Steve Klein, whose campaign produced a DVD for distribution to voters….
    For there to be a level playing field, ‘there has to be guidelines,’ said Harding [Yelm Mayor]. ‘Everyone has to make decisions how to run their campaigns, and people told me my opponent’s campaign was more representative of a big city campaign.’…
    The bill was basically a ‘slam dunk,” she said [Senator Marilyn Rasmussen http://www1.leg.wa.gov/senate/rasmussen%5D.
    ‘I think it’s real lenient,’ she said. ‘The two mayoral candidates who spent alot of money on the races both lost [Klein in Yelm and the Mayoral candidate in Ruston],
    so it shows the public is much smarter than we sometimes give them credit for.'”

    And in Mayor Ron Harding’s NVN column of the same date:
    “I believe that, partially as a result of the recent election in Yelm, our state lawmakers in Olympia proposed and approved Senate Bill 6323. This bill eliminates
    a loophole that allowed candidates in smaller jurisdictions to raise and spend unlimited amounts of unreported money on local political races.
    I am not sure how much money was spent during the last election in Yelm, and quite honestly I don’t know if the real number will ever be known…Historically, our elections were funded by very modest amounts. Most campaigns were funded at less than $1,000. Those who wanted to serve as elected officials would campaign in very reserved ways because their motivation was to serve our community. When our elections turn into a money race, we lose the ability to believe the community is in fact the motivation”

    As a comment, this writer as the former Yelm Mayoral candidate has been very up-front in telling both the NVN and The Olympian that my campaign spent $50,000, 25% coming from my wife’s and my own personal resources. Ours was the largest single campaign contribution. The comments by Senator Swecker & Rasmussen and Mayor Harding imply that my campaign was influenced by a single donor. Such was not the case, as the balance of funds raised came from contributions from a broad spectrum of the community. As mentioned to both newspapers, if an agreement would have occurred BEFORE the campaign kick-off in July, 2005 where both mayoral candidate’s contributions would have been made public, I would have been all for that so that all donors would have known in advance that their contributions would be made public. To demand that of me after the fact as requested by my opponent’s campaign would have been unfair and disingenuous to the donors, based on their understandings of privacy at the time of the contribution.

    Further, in addressing Mayor Harding’s comment, “Historically, our elections were funded by very modest amounts. Most campaigns were funded at less than $1,000.” Of course that was so as there had not been an opponent to the City Hall candidate for Yelm Mayor in years, so there has been no need to spend money on a campaign by an unopposed mayoral candidate.

    Additionally, Mr. Harding stated, “people told me my opponent’s campaign was more representative of a big city campaign.”
    Not one of the media reported that my opponent’s campaign website link, donors list name in the NVN and adviser was Joyce Williams of Washington Media Services, professional campaign consultants and according to their website “Experts at communicating your message clearly and effectively.” http://www.wamedia.com/index.html
    “Joyce Willms, Business co-owner since 1988. Responsibilities include: customer relations, consulting projects, involved marketing programs, campaigns and marketing research, project tracking, estimating and overall financial management.”
    If full disclosure would have been part of the 2005 Yelm Mayor’s race, not only would the voters have known the exact source of my campaign’s fundraising efforts, all would have the documented sources of my opponent’s campaign contributors, as well.

    Klein For Mayor, 2005 campaign advisers were all local talented residents of either the 98597 or 98576 zip codes, and none of them had any prior campaign experience.

    Who’s “was more representative of a big city campaign?”

    You decide…

    Comment by Steve Klein on July 28, 2006 at 11:13 am

  2. In response to Ms. Christenson’s remarks about SB 6323, I thank you for your compliment, yet must put this in perspective.
    Even though my campaign for Mayor of Yelm, 2005 reportedly influenced the bill, this was not specifically something I intended.
    However, I am for full disclosure and support this bill’s passage.

    Steve Klein

    Comment by Steve Klein on July 28, 2006 at 1:23 pm

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