Rep. Overstreet and the Republican Liberty Caucus

I ran for state representative last year because I felt we were not being well served by our current representation. Unfortunately, I didn’t win, so we will have to deal with Mr. Overstreet for two more years. Let’s dig in to what Mr. Overstreet is trying to do to us, oops, for us.

Overstreet has joined forces in a big way with three other ultra-conservative legislators to form the “Republican Liberty Caucus” to advance their “Freedom Agenda.” His compatriots are Rep. Matt Shea, of Spokane Valley, who pulled a gun in a road rage incident during his re-election campaign last year, Rep. Dave Taylor representing the Yakima Valley, and newly-elected Rep. Elizabeth Scott, of the 39th District which includes the foothills of King, Snohomish and Skagit Counties. You can keep up with them on their almost daily chats called FreedomCast.

Legislators have to specialize in one or two areas of policy, so their Prime sponsored bills are going to reflect this focus. Here we find bills to repeal the estate tax, reduce the sales tax rate, require all state regulations that have economic impact to go back to the legislature for adoption, familiar property rights “takings” legislation, and declaring life begins at conception.

The secondary sponsorship of bills is just as revealing, however, about where a legislator’s values lie. Many, most, of the bills Overstreet has co-sponsored are only sponsored by a handful of the most conservative legislators, mainly the Liberty Caucus. Here we have an abnormal focus on the Federal government telling us what to do, but also a worry about Agenda 21 and other insidious international bodies making recommendations to us. Scary, recommendations. At least four bills declare that state law trumps federal law, invoking the discredited concept of nullification, in the areas of ObamaCare, greenhouse gas emissions, and gun control. Surprise!

Rep. Overstreet’s primary and secondary sponsored bills provide us with the best, and worst, of the ultra-conservative agenda this year. Most will not see the light of day in the Democratic-majority House of Representatives, so our job is to track them to be sure they don’t get any traction. I and a couple other volunteers will do this.

I ask you to help let your neighbors, co-workers and friends know about just how extreme Rep. Overstreet is, by talking to them about these bills. Find the list of the bills in a separate post. Please read through the summaries below, find something that raises your hackles. If you are game, please write a letter to your local paper, including the weeklies. Do it while it’s fresh. I will also be sharing this document with the local reporters who cover politics, in the hopes that they, too, find something they want to write about. If any articles appear in the papers, please write a response to them.

Thanks so much for reading all of this, and caring to learn and act.

–Natalie

2013 Cutoff Calendar
http://www.leg.wa.gov/legislature/pages/cutoff.aspx
January 14, 2013     First Day of Session
we are here
February 22, 2013     Last day to read in committee reports in house of origin, except House fiscal committees and Senate Ways & Means and Transportation committees.
March 1, 2013     Last day to read in committee reports from House fiscal committees and Senate Ways & Means and Transportation committees in house of origin.
March 13, 2013     Last day to consider bills in house of origin (5 p.m.).
April 3, 2013     Last day to read in committee reports from opposite house, except House fiscal committees and Senate Ways & Means and Transportation committees.
April 9, 2013     Last day to read in opposite house committee reports from House fiscal committees and Senate Ways & Means and Transportation committees.
April 17, 2013     Last day to consider opposite house bills (5 p.m.) (except initiatives and alternatives to initiatives, budgets and matters necessary to implement budgets, differences between the houses, and matters incident to the interim and closing of the session).
April 28, 2013     Last day allowed for regular session under state constitution.