Chuck Carrell
40th Legislative District
Position 1

Issues

            First and foremost I think that people need to have an understanding of what they think the governments role in the lives of the citizens should be. 

            The government can not and should not be the "end all be all" for any problem that people may face in their lives.  

        The government can not be a surrogate parent that gives you money and bails you out every time that you make a mistake in your life. 

            I think that there has been this idea in certain political groups for years, that whenever there is a problem, then go to the government and they will give you money for it. 

        Certain politicians like this idea, because this now makes those people dependent on the government for their well being. And for those people receiving benefits, they feel like they must now continue to vote for those types of politicians in order to make sure they are taken care of with government hand outs. 

        It's almost like what a drug dealer does to an unsuspecting person to turn them into a drug addict. They give them the first couple of doses for free so they can go out and have a good time and play. But once they're hooked, the fun is over and the drug dealer expects them to start paying in one way or another. The drug addict will do almost anything the drug dealer asks, because by now they need their fix just to feel normal. 

        The only way to break the cycle is to go through the excrutiating pain that is associated with drug withdrawals. 

Of course no one wants to go through the pain of those withdrawals, so they will try to finance their addiction any way that they can until there is nothing left to give. Once they can no longer finance their habit, their drug supply is cut off and they will start their withdrawal process anyway. 

        But once the withdrawals are over, there is no physical need for the drug anymore, only the psychological ones for those that want to go back to the old habits and start the addiction cycle all over again.

        This is no different than all of the government hand outs and programs that big government has many people addicted to now. We need to break the cycle of expecting the government to do everything for us, or start another program to help us. We need to start being responsible for our own successes and failures again. 

        You start this process by getting Government out of our lives as much as possible and let LOCAL small businesses thrive and be creative. I say local small business because most of them know and care about the area that they are doing business in, unlike a Walmart or some other out of state company.
 
                 You don't have to do regulation enforcement as much with local businesses, because they will want to do right by the communities that they live and work in. If they don't, then they probably won't be in business very long. 

          Even if it is just a new start up business that just employs the owner, that is one less person in the unemployment line or on welfare looking for a government hand out which means less money that needs to be spent by our government. 

       I am against raising any new taxes or "creating revenue" and I will not vote for any new tax increases if I am elected. The only exception would be to add a simpler business tax and completely eliminate the B&O tax. This should actually reduce the amount of tax burden on local businesses but it would be the only type of "new tax" that I would even consider voting on. And I would only vote for this tax if it can actually reduce our tax on local businesses and help them succeed.

        We simply can not afford a new tax, and government needs to start living within its means and stop spending money it doesn't have.  For too long, just adding another tax or raising an existing tax was the answer for many of our politicians in Olympia and now we are paying the price. 

        This money doesn't come out of nowhere, it is forced to come out of the pockets of private citizens by our government in the form of taxes.  Regular citizens have little input on those taxes, for the most part, unless they come in the form of a levy. 

           Government needs to be more responsible with how this money is used. I believe that the government should only be using tax dollars for things that are a long term benefit to the majority of the citizens.

           With that in mind, here are the Items that I feel have the highest priority in the next session of the Legislature.
 
        I have also listed where I stand on various other issues, and how I intend to vote on those issues if elected. If you have any different subjects that I haven't covered that you would like to see addressed, please do not hesitate to let me know on my contact page.
 

 

 

         Taxes - This is the single biggest issue that needs to be addressed in the legislatures next session. Too many people in government have no other solution than to continue to raise taxes despite our economic downturn in the private sector. 

        We need to simplify the tax system and get this straightened out before any other business can occur and you can't get the budget realistically figured out unless you know how much taxes will be collected.

        Most of the taxes imposed right now are percentage based and we need to stop looking at taxes as a never ending supply of money to take from the citizens. There should be no need to increase the percentage of taxes on the citizens. 

        If the government is taking 10% (as an example) of the peoples money now for services then it should stay within that percentage.
 
        If government is taking a higher percentage of peoples income then the government is probably getting too big and/or trying to do things that government was never intended to do. 

        I believe that any increase in taxes should be at least by a super majority in the legislature and/or a vote to the people in the next general election.

        My biggest goal, if I am elected, is to go through the budget and see where the state can save money. If we can fund all of our essential functions without a budget shortfall, then we should pass these savings onto the citizens in the form of either tax cuts or put that money into the dedicated rainy day fund. 

        Having worked in county government for the last 19 years, I am confident that there are many ways to reduce spending without reducing our essential services.  

        One of the biggest problems that I have seen over the years is the "special projects" and political favors that seem to occur at all levels of government.  We need to stop the earmark entitlements or "political kickbacks" that continue to happen at every level.  

        If the County and City governments want to continue doing things this way, then the State should not send money to those government entities and support their irresponsible decisions with the people's money.

           
        Jobs/Economy -  I think this goes right in line with our tax system. We need to simplify the tax code in this state and simplify the paperwork for current LOCAL businesses and for those people trying to start a new business. Private small business is the heart of our economy and we need to help them succeed.

        We need to start by looking at the B&O tax and how we can be more responsive to the private sector businesses that are creating our jobs.

        I would like to see a simplified system of a "gross receipts margins" tax replace the B&O tax and completely eliminate the B&O tax. 

        If that isn't possible, then we should provide a B&O tax incentive for any business that has their headquarters in this state. This would be a huge advantage for Local small business and would encourage other businesses to possibly move their headquarters to this state if they intend on doing a lot of business here.

        We need to simplify the paperwork to make it easier for local businesses and startups to manage their business without a lot of government interference.  I have heard many complaints about how people spend just as much time filling out paperwork as they do actually running their business. I think the government needs to be more responsive to their needs and encourage their growth instead of trying to smother it.

        More private sector jobs means less people on unemployment and more people spending their disposable income. The more people that are employed in private industry then the less people that are looking for government hand outs. Less government programs and handouts means that many of our current government spending would be unnecessary.
 
        I am a firm believer that private sector jobs are real jobs and real growth compared to Government jobs.
 
        Any job created by the Government isn't a sustainable job. It may be a public service and may have a benefit to the person receiving a paycheck, but it doesn't create revenue, it only drains the states resources. 

        Therefore, any job in the Government should have a specific purpose and a direct long term benefit to the citizens. If it doesn't then we need to eliminate it and not create a new level of bureaucracy in its place.
 
        Any savings should be passed on to the taxpayers, in the form of reduced taxes or in a dedicated rainy day fund for future recessions to avoid the problems that we are in right now.
 

        Balancing the Budget realistically -  We need to look at ways to consolidate some of our programs and agencies so that they can be run more efficiently. One of the biggest problems in government, and especially right now, is the culture of "empire building" that dominates most of the government managers thinking in government agencies. 

 

        The basic idea of thinking in this culture is that once a program or staffing position is created, management will try to justify keeping it there forever, regardless of whether it is now obsolete or unnecessary, because voluntarily giving up that departments' resources would mean that their power will be reduced in relation to the other agencies.

 

       Likewise managers are always looking for ways to create new programs and staffing levels to increase their power among the other agencies. These are serious issues that need to be addressed in order to realistically balance our state budget.

 

        This last year the state relied on grants (Federal tax dollars) to balance our budget. This is a false number crunching game since it is still taxes paid by us, and the Federal government debt is already at an all time high. 

        Relying on those types of grants is unsustainable. This last state budget was nothing more than a "robbing Peter to pay Paul" mentality because the legislators in this past session could not make the leadership decisions that they were elected to do.

 

       The other problem is political favor or "earmarks" for certain projects. These amount to nothing more than a political payoff for a special interest group, or trying to buy votes in a particular district through the promise of state tax dollars being spent on unnecessary projects and is essentially a welfare project for that area.

 

       Despite a serious financial crisis with the state budget this year, these unethical legislators continued to do earmarks to gain political favor instead of doing what they are supposed to do to help the citizens of this state.



          Education -     First of all, when it comes time to do the budget, funding education should be our highest priority. 

        Having said that, I don't think the amount of money that we are spending on education is the problem. The real problem is HOW we are spending the money. As taxpayers we need to start demanding more accountability on where the money is spent and how it is helping our children learn and be prepared to enter the work force when their schooling is over.
 

            I believe that we need to be spending the majority of the money on actual teaching. 

        That means 90% should be spent on the classroom teachers and their supplies to teach the children. If we are spending more than 10% on administration then we are probably being wasteful with some of the budget. 

        This is a rough approximation of course, and every school district will vary SLIGHTLY depending on their size, but this should be the norm and not the exception. 

        We need to get back to the basics of what the Education System was intended to do. It was designed to prepare our children to be ready to enter the "real world" and enter the workforce after their schooling was over, either by getting a job working for someone else or starting their own business.
           

         We need to have schools change the way our grade level testing is done for K-12.  The current system doesn't let the student or teachers know the results of their grade level test until the following year. 

        This does no good for anyone since no one will go back to help the student learn what was lacking from the previous year. The student has moved on to the next grade level and is working on new subject matter and probably with a different teacher. That teacher is now concerned about teaching this years curriculum and not trying to teach what the student didn't learn from last years curriculum.

        Our school testing needs to be more in line with a computerized SAT style format so that they can be graded quickly and efficiently. This would allow teachers and students immediate feedback IN THE SAME YEAR on what a student has learned and what they still need help with. This testing should take place before the end of the 3rd quarter. This would allow that teacher immediate feed back on what the student has truly learned and retained that year at the beginning of the 4th quarter.
 
        This would allow the teachers to focus their resources for the remainder of the year on what the student still needs to learn for that grade level and if necessary, retake any grade level tests by the end of that year, to make sure they are proficient in the subject matter for that grade level.

 

           I would like to see some of our education money spent for an online and/or DVD statewide instructional video that would be available for the student and their parents at home for each grade and subject. These instructional videos would cover all of the subject matter that is required of the student to pass that grade level. 

 

           I believe creating a statewide standardized instructional video would be the simplest, most cost effective way to help our students learn the essential materials required of them at each grade level. It would also allow parents to be involved in their children's education and help their children have an opportunity to reach their educational goals.

    Immigration -  Before I explain how I would fix our immigration laws in this state let me "rant" and give my philosophy/opinion on the subject. So bear with me for a second or skip down about 11 paragraphs.

        First of all, let me just say that I am in total agreement with the Arizona law and I am not sure why any normal citizen would be upset that Arizona passed a state law that is a "watered down" and a less intrusive law than what currently exists in the Federal law.

        I am all for LEGAL immigration and I think that it is one of the things that makes our country so great. I think the American dream still exists, where you can come to this country with almost nothing and still make a great life for your family and their future. 

        I personally know several Deputies that I consider my friends that have immigrated to this country from around the world and have done very well for themselves. That is the way it is supposed to be, and I encourage people like them that are doing immigration the right way.

        But on the other hand, I have zero tolerance for people that disobey our laws right from the start by coming into this country illegally. I would never even consider going into another country without their permission, much less walk in and start demanding that they take care of me and any children that I may have just because I didn't get caught red-handed in an illegal act during my border crossing. 

        The ACLU and other special interest groups are opposed to the Arizona law, not because they think that it is more intrusive than the federal law (because it isn't), but because they know that Arizona actually has every intention of enforcing their law. 

        Those groups are keenly aware that the Federal laws are merely there for show to appease the population when they complain about immigration. The Federal government doesn't have any intention of enforcing the laws that they have on the books. They never have and they probably never will. 

        If the federal government had been doing their job and securing our borders, then this whole thing would have been completely unnecessary. But they didn't and they still aren't, and it is an embarrassment that the President of the United States would actually sue one of the states because they are trying to protect their borders from illegal immigration when the Federal government has failed them so miserably.

        Now in fairness to President Obama, this did not start under his administration. In fact, this has been going on for at least the last 40 years. Every president in those years, wether they were Republican or Democrat, has turned and looked the other way when it came to immigration enforcement.

        President Obama has done the exact same thing that all of the Presidents before him have done by looking the other way on this issue.  But the embarrassment to me is that he is now suing one of our own states to stop them from protecting their borders. This only happened because Arizona decided that they are done waiting for the Feds to do their job and decided to fix it themselves. 

        If the President had any integrity he would admit that the Federal government has let down the southern border states. And instead of suing Arizona, he would use those resources to go help Arizona and the other border states enforce the immigration laws and secure our borders which should have been happening all along.  

        Instead he has sided with PAC's and special interest groups and caved in to their demands to stop Arizona from enforcing their state law and the law that the federal government is supposed to be enforcing.

    How I would vote in our state involving immigration -  First I think we should implement the e-verify system immediately.
 
        I think that it should be used for people being hired and any business that is caught hiring illegal immigrants should be severely fined and punished to where it is no longer in anyone's best interest to hire illegal immigrants. 

        I also think that the e-verify system should be put in place for all government entities and programs.  

        Anyone looking for assistance should have to verify that they are a citizen of the United States and the state of Washington before they are eligible for any programs that are funded, either whole or in part, by the state of Washington. 
        

     Ferry system -  Presently our Ferry system is grossly mismanaged and needs to be fixed. I am not saying privatizing the system is the only way to make improvements, but government controlled agencies have a tendency to get bogged down in bureaucratic procedures that tend to make them less efficient than private business. The Ferry system is essential, but its operation isn't considered a critical area that needs to be managed by a government agency. Therefore it is certainly one option that needs to be considered.  

        I would consider privatizing the management of the ferry system as long as there are safeguards in place that allows the state to oversee their operation to make sure that those private companies are not cutting corners on the safety of the workers, passengers and to the environment. One solution would be for the state to retain ownership of the ferries themselves and then lease them to a private company under certain conditions.

 

           If these conditions weren't met then the state could revoke that companies lease agreement and either award the contract to a different company or put the operational management back under the state.

 

           This would allow the ferry system to be operated more efficiently but still have the safeguards to ensure that things will be done correctly and be respectful of the environment. This is especially true in the San Juan area because the ferry system is more than a convenience; it is essentially the roadways and the economic lifeline for the residents of the San Juan Islands.

        One thing that I think needs to be looked at, whether it is privatized or not, is why the cost of a walk-on passenger is so high. 

        Many of these Islands rely on tourism for a substantial part of their revenue. But people will not come to the Islands and spend money if it is cost prohibitive just to get there. 

        I would propose temporarily lowering the walk on rates for next summer. This would encourage more people to use the walk-on system and would likely add many more people to use the ferry system during the summer months than would normally come to the San Juans for tourism. 

        I know that there is limited space for cars and adding another ferry is expensive. But the reality for walk-on passengers is that the ferry is going to run for the cars anyway and there could be many, many more walk on passengers on those ferries with each run. 

        Currently I believe the price of a walk-on ticket to Friday Harbor is over $13 per person. This seems like an extremely high price to add one additional person to a car ferry system that was going to that destination anyway. The additional walk-on passenger wouldn't increase the operating cost of the ferry. 

        In fact, given the food prices on those ferries, the lower ticket price could probably be offset by the increased revenue of the food systems alone, if there were more walk on passengers.      

        This tourism increase could be done without adding anymore ferries. It would also hopefully encourage people to think of other ways to commute from the Islands without taking their car every time. 

        I am sure that there will still be plenty of cars that will use the ferry system even if the walk-on rates are reduced. But hopefully it will be a more pleasant experience for everyone in the form of less sailing waits and less stress if more people used the walk-on system. 

        I know that if I go on vacation or a get away somewhere and it is stressful and overpriced, I will tend not to take that trip again. Hopefully we can encourage more travel to the San Juans during the summer by making it a more enjoyable experience getting there.

       Transportation -  I am absolutely opposed to any Toll bridges or highways in this state. In fact I believe that we should introduce legislation that bans these types of projects. There is absolutely no reason with the amount of gas tax that we pay right now why these projects can't be built using these tax dollars.

        I have never seen any state that has toll highways or bridges decrease their dependence on taxes for maintenance and construction.

        The only thing that I have seen from these types of toll bridges is they just create another level of bureaucracy and administration for bigger government with no noticeable benefit to the citizens that are paying the bill.

        I think as far as the budget is concerned, the majority of our focus on transportation should be ACTUAL road construction and maintenance. I already addressed the ferry system earlier so I won't dwell on it here. 

        I will not support any "special projects" in our DOT. This includes building art projects and sound walls. This is not an essential function of our government and is a waste of our tax dollars. 

        I doubt that there are very many people that reside in a house along the I-5 corridor that purchased it before I-5 was built. If there are, then they have my sympathies and we should try to make it right for those people, even if that means offering to buy their property at fair market value so they can move somewhere else. If they accepted that offer, then the state could resell the property to recoup their money back. 

        But almost everyone that bought their house next to I-5 nowadays knew that the freeway was there when they bought their house. If you didn't realize that the largest freeway in our state was going to be noisy when you moved in, then you will just have to chalk that up as a learning experience when you buy your next house. 

        But I will not support any legislation to spend millions of taxpayer dollars to fund more sound walls because you think it's too noisy in your house now that you bought it next to a freeway. 

        I think this goes back to personal responsibility for the choices that we make. Those people should have weighed the pros and cons before they purchased their homes instead of expecting the taxpayers to bail them out after they made a decision they don't like.


OTHER ISSUES:

        Line item voting on bills -
 In addition to line item vetoing by the Governor, the Legislature needs to have the ability to do line item voting on bills.  With today's technology there is no reason that this could not be easily done.
 
        I believe the reason that this has not been considered is because it would be disastrous for those politicians trying to do earmarks or political payoffs within their bills.  Line item voting would virtually eliminate those earmarks because the rest of the Legislature, who are trying to do their job, will not be held hostage by those earmarks included in bills that are essential to run the government. 

           When Politicians vote these bills down because they have unnecessary funding attached to them that have nothing to do with the original bill, they are misrepresented for being against education issues, public safety, the environment or whatever the bill was originally proposed for.
 
            By giving the Legislature line item voting,  those Legislators that are trying to do their job can vote for the items that are vital to operate the state government, and vote against the earmarks and waste hidden in those bills.

 

 

  
                 Alternative energy regulation -  There are many reasons to start looking at alternative energy sources. The two big ones of course have been the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, and the fact that we provide money to foreign governments that consider us their enemy, by purchasing their oil. 

        We need to come up with long term solutions to our dependence on foreign oil and foreign companies to drill domestic oil.  These entities generally only care about our money and not what it will do to our environment or to our future stability.
 
        I have no illusion that there will be an overnight quick fix to our thirst for oil, and we will still need to find domestic sources of it for the foreseeable future. But oil is obviously a finite resource, and we need to start getting serious about other alternatives.

        Even if we were completely dedicated to rid ourselves of oil with a "one mind" approach I believe we would still be at least 5 years away from significantly reducing our oil consumption which is why I think we should get started as soon as possible. To be fair to some of the past Legislatures, I think some of them have taken some good strides in this category but there is so much more we could do with virtually no cost to the taxpayers. I would like to see legislation that encourage businesses to start up in Washington State so that we can be at the forefront of any alternative energy solutions.
 


            Gun Rights -  I am a very staunch gun rights advocate. So if you believe in gun control for the law abiding citizen then I am afraid that we will never agree on this issue. 

        I couldn't even think of a circumstance when I would not vote in favor of a law abiding citizens right to bear arms. Even if there is a natural disaster or some catastrophic event that would tempt law makers or law enforcement to suspend the peoples right to bear arms like they did after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.  I 100% disagree with that decision, and I would argue that this is when the law abiding citizen would want and need their firearms the most. The police admittedly stated that they were not in a position to help the people and they would have to fend for themselves until they could get reorganized.

        I have seen too many crimes committed on people that likely could have been prevented if they were carrying a firearm and knew how to use it. Many people are murdered, raped and kidnapped each year by felons that have guns while the law abiding citizen was at their mercy because they didn't have one.

        You will never be able to stop the manufacture of firearms and you will never be able to stop felons from possessing them. These type of people don't abide by the law and only a fool would believe that by putting a law on the books would prevent them from possessing and committing felonies with a firearm. Most of the laws on the books are there to punish the criminal AFTER they have committed a crime with a gun. 

        So to me it makes no sense to tie the hands of the law abiding citizens with gun control laws, because they will be the only ones following them. This leaves them vulnerable to the criminals that will still possess guns and prey on innocent law abiding citizens. 


            Property rights -   I am also a staunch property rights activist. I believe that we should not try to steal someone's property by overregulation on what they can do with their property. 

        If there is a true need for a wetland area, or to leave that property forested etc.. Then we as a collective group should give that landowner the option to let us purchase their property at fair market value. This is especially true if a government agency has changed a zoning regulation after the owner had purchased the property.

        If it is not worth our collective tax dollars to purchase their property, then I don't believe that it is that critical to the welfare of the State and we should allow them to do what they please with their property.
 

        Workers comp -  I am voting yes on the initiative this fall to privatize workers compensation. 

        There are a few things that I probably would have done differently if I had written a bill for this in the legislature, but overall I think it is acceptable. 

        That being said, I am not 100% sure what I will do on this issue if elected and I won't be sure until after the November election. I say that for 2 reasons. 

        The first is that we need to be sure that there are proper safeguards for our workers to make sure they are taken care of when they are injured. I think the initiative on the ballot covers these concerns, which is why I am voting in favor of it. 

        The other reason that I am not sure how I would vote on this as a Legislator is, like I said earlier, there is an initiative on the ballot this fall that addresses privatization of workers comp. 

        Given that there is an initiative on the ballot there are several possible scenarios.

          Scenario 1 - The initiative passes and becomes law and there wasn't any loopholes in the initiative that would allow a judge to find it unconstitutional or otherwise dismiss the initiative.

        If the initiative is not thrown out and becomes law, then the only thing for the Legislature to do is  possibly clean up any ambiguous language in the initiative. This would make sure the intent is clear and it passes scrutiny by the lower courts during any litigation proceedings.


            Scenario 2 - The initiative passes but is thrown out by the courts based on a loophole or technicality.

        If the initiative passes but is thrown out by the courts, then this would require the Legislature to be the most involved on this subject. 

        We would need to rewrite a bill that would mirror the intent of the initiative, but will withstand scrutiny by the courts. This would allow the will of the people to still be done legally.

            Scenario 3 - The initiative doesn't pass a vote of the people.

            If the initiative doesn't pass then I would take that as a mandate from the people that they don't want workers compensation insurance privatized. 

            If that is the case then I would only work on legislation to make our current system more efficient without privatizing it. 

            Like I have said earlier, initiatives are a direct voice of the people and I will not override an initiative of the people, whether that was a vote for the initiative or opposing the initiative. 


            State liquor stores -   This is another area that privatization may make sense if it is done correctly. I don't know if I am in favor of either of the initiatives on the ballot this year though.
 
        It seems to me that both of them are proposed by two separate special interest groups and they only have their groups best interest in mind when writing their initiatives. I think a merging of the two may be a better fit for the best interest of the citizens and the state. But still privatizing seems like a pretty good option.


            Abortion rights -   There may be times when an abortion is necessary, but I don't believe in abortions just as a matter of convenience. 

        I am only supportive of abortions in the case of incest, rape and if it is medically necessary for the health of the mother.




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

            
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