On this page, we will present some of our candidate's perspectives on different topics and questions that may be of concern to the voters of the 12th Legislative District. It will not be exhaustive and we'll not be able to respond to every question website visitors may pose, but hopefully this page will shed some valuable light on Danny Stone's positions and ideas as he seeks to serve the voters of this district in Olympia.
I was recently asked in an email, "Why should I vote for you?" This is the way I answered this lady's question.
Many folks running for office actively seek endorsements from individuals or organizations. My lack of experience in this campaign stuff meant I really didn't know it was such a huge part of this process. Please don't read this as me being critical of any who have sought endorsements. I've just decided to do this campaign thing a little differently. I've chosen to only seek a few select endorsements and have also responded to a few organizations which have asked me to fill out surveys or questionaires. I'm proud to say that Human Life PAC of Washington has co-endorsed me (along with one of my competitors) because of my unwavering pro-life stance. Also, Rep. Matt Shea recently encouraged voters in the 12th Legislative District to vote for me. I guess that's as good as an endorsement. Additionally, I've been "endorsed" by many contributors. They believe in me and have given financially to this campaign. I am deeply humbled by their support and their confidence in me. I'm very grateful too. I am hoping that organizations such as the Washington State Farm Bureau and The Washington Wheat PAC will endorse me if I'm selected to go on into the general election after the August 2nd primary. Agriculture is close to my heart. It's my livelihood and I think I'll represent the industry well. I hope to also receive endorsements from the four county Republican central committees of the 12th Legislative District following the primary. If I receive none of the aforementioned endorsements, I'm at peace with that. You see, my perspective is that, potentially, many endorsements come with strings attached. It's like I said in my statement about contributions. The person who can contribute nothing is just as important as the person or business that can contribute much. I'll represent them the same. So, if an organization or individual chooses to endorse me, I'll be grateful, but my decisions will still be filtered through my core values and what I believe is best for this district and this state. Those decisions will not be made to benefit or please a person or organization who endorses my campaign. Endorsements should be a recognition of trust. It's saying, "I believe in the core values of this person and believe he/she will do their utmost to make good decisions on behalf of all of us." If you can say that about me, I'll welcome your endorsement. Just don't expect me to come to you. I won't be doing much of that. :) Besides, I'm too busy campaigning and working the farm anyway! :)
I recommend you check out the Washington State Republican platform. It is a very conservative document. It can be found at the following web address: http://wsrp.org/platform2016/
I served on the platform committee of the Grant County Republican Central Committee and I'm happy to announce that several of the important items which were part of our platform were included in the state platform committee. I support the state platform and think it is an excellent document. Congratulations to the platform committee on a job well done.
If you would like a copy of the Grant County Platform, just email us here on our contact page and we'll send you a copy.
We've just started a campaign Facebook page and one of the first comments presented some questions. The questions are followed by our candidate's response.
I have a question...Specifically, which portions of government do you feel are too big? Also in specific terms, what exactly would you recommend reducing, eliminating, or leaving alone? Specifics, please. That is what is really lacking in political campaigning and could distinguish you from other candidates. Do you have any innovative ideas for how the public sector can better serve its constituents?
Those are great questions. When I referenced the statement, “The bigger the government, the smaller the people,” I was generally speaking about the excess control, power, and intrusion that government so often exercises over the lives of everyday citizens. Folks who are just trying to live, work and raise their families. We are told that our government is “of the people, for the people and by the people,” but so many feel as if their government is a separate, far-away entity that is out of touch with the cares, concerns and reality of their lives. Remember that statement, “Hello, we’re the government and we’re here to help you?” Now, to many folks, it often seems it’s more like, “Hello, we’re the government and we’re gonna tell you what to do.”
You probably thought I was referring to the size and scope of government. Well, I also believe the size and scope, of both the state and the federal governments, has gotten too big. As to the size and scope of our state government, I will mention a couple of things, but I’ll will continue to evaluate this as I learn just what can be done to alleviate its continued growth. Each session of our legislature, it seems the other side of the aisle has lots of ideas on how to grow government and what new taxes should be levied to pay for them. I want to help hold the line on that kind of governing so our state can be a place where businesses and families can prosper, not languish under those kinds of policies.
So, for specifics, I’m obviously on a sharp learning curve. As I’ve said before, if you want a career politician, don’t vote for me. If elected, I’m sure I will get a quick education as soon as I get to Olympia. I’m not waiting until then to start, but I’m sure I’ll have a better idea then on what I would recommend or try to legislate. Examples of some things I’m concerned about now include the following:
Non-legislative rules & regulations -- There are unelected bureaucrats and boards making rules and regulations that were not approved by the legislature. Often these adversely affect the businesses and families of our state. One such rule came down from the Human Rights Commission this past year. The new rule specifically prohibits businesses and schools from creating a separate, gender neutral facility for use by those who prefer not to use the bathroom or locker room designated for their gender. So, ultimately, the overwhelming majority of us can be denied our right to privacy in locker rooms and bathrooms to accommodate the gender dysphoria of a select few. And what will stop the frustrated peeping Tom from seeing this as an opportunity for “viewing pleasure?” I haven’t figured out how an appointed group of folks on a “Human Rights Commission” can have that kind of authority and just what it will take to get it reined in. Then just recently, the Obama administration has mandated, by providing “significant guidance” for schools, that Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 requires schools to allow transgender students access to the locker rooms, bathrooms and team sports of the gender they identify with. Wow, it took 46 years until someone came along who was smart enough to interpret for us what Title IX really meant. This is government overreach and intrusion times 50.
The governor & "climate change" -- Another example is the obsession our current governor has with the “settled science” of anthropogenic climate change. Last year he ordered the Department of Ecology to take serious action on climate change and to initiate a formal rule-making process to cap carbon emissions here in Washington because he said he just couldn’t wait any longer for the legislature to act. In a statement he released at the time, Gov. Inslee said “Carbon pollution and the climate change it causes pose a very real existential threat to our state. Farmers in the Yakima Valley know this. Shellfish growers on the coast know this. Firefighters battling Eastern Washington blazes know this. And children suffering from asthma know this all too well and are right to question why Washington hasn’t acted to protect them.” First of all, what’s “very real” to him certainly isn’t so to many climatologists. Secondly, I don’t believe most of the folks he mentioned “know this” and they’re most likely not asking that “why” question. So now, because of controversial and “unsettled” science, we have unelected bureaucrats working on rules that will undoubtedly end up costing you and me a lot of money. Power like that needs to be overseen by elected, legislative officials that really speak for the people.
The Attorney General & climate change -- Continuing the topic of climate change, we have a state attorney general that needs to settle down a bit. It certainly would look foolish, if it weren’t actually scary, that he has joined with state attornies general from various states and with environmental groups to try to squash the free speech rights of fossil fuel businesses that question the reality of anthropogenic climate change. They are looking to litigate (go after) these businesses to make them accountable for the “impact” of climate change. I wonder who they would have sued during the warming period of the middle ages when Greenland was green? There weren’t too many SUV’s burning fossil fuels back then. Who will they go after next? Elected officials, scientists or maybe climatologists that aren’t buying in? Maybe even you and I?
Religious freedom -- Also concerning the attorney general, there is the issue of him suing to deny the constitutionally protected religious liberty of citizens. The U.S. Constitution guarantees the citizens of the United States that, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…” The Washington State Constitution states in: “Article 1 Section 11 RELIGIOUS FREEDOM the following: “Absolute freedom of conscience in all matters of religious sentiment, belief and worship, shall be guaranteed to every individual, and no one shall be molested or disturbed in person or property on account of religion;…” Still the State of Washington’s attorney general, apparently with the governor’s approval, wants to force “Arlene’s Flowers” of Richland, WA to supply their products for homosexual marriage ceremonies, even if doing so would violate store owner Barronelle Stutzman’s religious beliefs and conscience. And, the State of Washington also wants to force the Stormans’ family, owner-operators of Ralph’s and Bayview Thriftways in Olympia, WA to stock and sell (Plan-B) morning-after pills (abortifacients) at their stores, in violation to their firmly held religious beliefs, conscience and convictions. I would be in favor of repealing the legislation that caused the Stormans’ case to come up in the first place. No one is sick and in need of medication in the case of a potential pregnancy. The Stormans’ should absolutely have the “choice” as to whether or not they stock this drug. I hope to see legislation come up again, and be passed this time, reversing the unconstitutional trend represented by these two examples.
State control of land -- I believe there is too much state-owned land in Washington (as well as Federally-owned). I believe that poor management of state-owned timber land, or lack of management, has made much of that land in eastern Washington very susceptible to wildfires. I would be in favor of a moratorium on the State of Washington purchasing farm, grazing or forested land and I’m open to the consideration of individual counties controlling state-owned land within their borders.
Oppressive & unenforceable regulations -- I’ve heard stories of government auditing or regulatory agencies, when they find minor violations of rules, regulations or laws in business practices; instead of using that as a teaching/educational opportunity, immediately levying heavy fines or disciplinary actions against businesses; businesses which are extremely valuable to our citizens, our state’s economy, and our job market. I have a perfect example in mind, but I’m still trying to verify the particulars on it. A quick synopsis is that a business was fined multiple thousands of dollars for missing one check box on a reporting form. The business and the jobs they created left the state. They’d had enough. I’m continuing to verify this, but if true, this could certainly have been handled differently. It is absolutely true, though, that I hear complaints all the time of the hassles and costs that excessive regulations, etc. cause our business community. As an example, one business regulation that affects us here on the farm has to do with the records that are supposed to be kept on any pesticide spraying if you spray over 1 acre during a calendar year. Is it really reasonable out here in the dryland wheat areas that a farmer on his 4-wheeler spraying field edges and around power line towers, etc. should have to come in at night and figure out how to record the exact location of every field edge on, likely, hundreds of acres in different fields (usually spread out over several miles) and know what the wind speeds, wind directions and temperatures were at all times during the day in all the places that he sprayed? Who makes these rules up and have they ever actually applied pesticide? Are they just trying to provide work for commercial applicators because farmers will give up trying to do this job themselves. This is an example of busy work and paperwork that could be eased. Small businesses are the life-blood of our economy. These businesses provide and make family wage jobs to our citizens. Jobs which must be valued and protected. I’d like to seriously look at changing the atmosphere that creates burdensome regulations and rules.
Example of an oppressive/silly law -- And, while I’m on regulations that seem ridiculous, did you know that if you accidentally forget to sign your car’s registration when you put your tabs on; you can receive a $136 fine. Now I know there are some law enforcement officers that would just have you sign it after they verify your identity, but why is this such an offense. Check their I.D., for goodness sake, and have them sign it. In my mind, it’s legal robbery to give a ticket for something so insignificant. That’s another example of government over-reach.
State-mandated testing -- I also think there’s way too much state-mandated testing of our K-12 students. There are way too many state and federally required tests conducted and required for graduation in our public schools. It’s like teaching your child to swim with a scuba weight-belt around their waist. We can’t give our children the highest quality education possible, when we are constantly testing them. Not to mention the incredible cost of all these tests that could be going toward educating our children. And, to top it off, the state can’t even settle on which tests to use. Should it be the WASL or the MSP or the End of Course exams or now Common Core has ushered in the era of Smarter Balanced testing. My 17-year-old has taken tests in all of them. Students are diverted, sometimes for weeks, from their normal curriculum just to prepare for these tests. Often, teachers are unable to get through the planned curriculum they are supposed to be working on. Somehow this has to change. And while I’m on the topic of education, I think Washington State needs to opt out of Common Core. I know the bribing will be hard to turn down, but that program has a lot of negative baggage. I believe, by the way, that’s a topic every parent should investigate for themselves.
Now, can I do something about these sorts of things as an elected representative? I certainly hope so. I am running to make a difference. If I’m naive about what I can do, so be it. I will go anyway and do my best to help make government work for the good of the citizens. It’s not supposed to be the other way around.