portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reposts oregon & cascadia

community building | government

Is Gov Gregoire realizing we need an independent Cascadia

recently there has been articles in the corporate media that are responses to the corporatist desire to divide Cascadia and even media outright accepting the name Cascadia for the bioregion. Are election fraud from the 2000 and 2004 campaigns reenter the popular media and races for senate and governor heat up in the Cascadian states will we see increase realization that our only real solution is an independant bioregional cooperative commonwealth of Cascadia or some other manifestation of Cascadia?
I have wundered this for some time and it is also why i push the stories aboutthe US trying to cut more into Cascadian identity.... Could Gov Gregoire be one of the first politicians to favor Cascadia as an independent bioregion. Remember her difficulty with an attempted fraudulent election with Dino. As well as overcoming an attempt by some connected to the Bush regime to divide the state west-east.
Cascadia creeps up on cat feet 07.Jul.2006 15:51

Tom Fletcher

VICTORIA - Washington state governor Chris Gregoire's big black Chevy Suburban slipped in and out of the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Vancouver last week without attracting much attention here in B.C. or back home.

A Seattle TV reporter made the trip north to witness the signing of a series of agreements on emergency preparations and border security, and a call by Gregoire and Premier Gordon Campbell to delay new U.S. passport requirements until after the 2010 Olympics. But passport worries are an old story in Seattle, especially on a day when eight U.S. soldiers were charged with murder in Iraq.

The meeting would have warmed the hearts of Canadian nationalists, used to Americans who know little about their northern neighbour and seem to care even less.

Campbell made it clear that it was the governor who had sought out a closer relationship, which led to the first-ever joint cabinet meeting attended by a half a dozen ministers from each capital.

Gregoire made it clear why, praising Campbell for his "aggressive agenda" for the Pacific Northwest, also known as Cascadia. With a quarter of 2010 Olympic visitors expected to pass through Washington, a big trade relationship is about to get bigger.

How big? Commerce amounts to $1 million an hour between B.C. and Washington, and 32,000 vehicles cross the border on an average day.

Gregoire laughed politely when the premier promoted her as a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, although comparisons with her look-alike Hillary Clinton may also be yesterday's bagels in her home state. She was a fan of Whistler's ski slopes before she met Campbell, and with her genuine affection for B.C., he should wish her a long stay in the state capital of Olympia.

The agreements are mostly technical stuff like speeding up truck traffic at the border.

Their letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President George Bush seeks a delay to allow the state and province to come up with a better identification card than a passport, perhaps upgrading the driver's licence with fingerprint and other security features. The thinly veiled message is that the less 'help' they get from federal authorities on this file, the better. Campbell suggested the U.S. government is pushing for passports because that's the first thing they thought of.

The Washington state effort follows closely on another little-noticed move, a cooperation agreement with Alberta that harmonizes business registration, allows people to work in either province with the same credentials, and ends discrimination in government purchasing.

Contrast that with a federal government that promotes free trade abroad and hasn't made much progress on it at home.

Gone, it seems, are the days when B.C. complains about having fewer senators and MPs than Quebec and the Maritimes. Nova Scotia has lots of senators and MPs, and where has it got them? The big story there last week was that the provincial government is still trying to keep supermarkets from opening on Sundays.

Also gone, it seems, are the days when B.C. waves its kayak paddle frantically to try to get Ottawa's attention away from Quebec. As yet another prime minister tries to make aloof Quebecers like him, B.C. makes its own way.

 link to www.northislandgazette.com

bridging the Cascade Curtain 07.Jul.2006 15:54


Gregoire working to rip down Cascade Curtain Cascade Curtain

When she campaigned for the job, candidate Chris Gregoire made it clear that if elected she wanted to be governor of "one Washington" and pull back the "Cascade Curtain" that so often separates east and west in the state.

That would mean a presence in Central and Eastern Washington and attention to issues of importance on this side of the mountains. But, honestly, we were skeptical. We've heard such promises before in campaigns for statewide office.

The difference with now-Gov. Gregoire is that she's already made huge strides toward achieving those goals.

As noted in an earlier story, Gregoire has been in Yakima nine times since taking office in January 2005, on the heels of the closest gubernatorial election in state history.

The visit that stands out in our mind is March of last year, when she brought key personnel with her to declare a drought emergency and promise all the necessary resources of state government to deal with it. She had barely settled into office and the worst drought in recorded local history hadn't even hit yet. But she was well ahead of the curve and her presence underscored the seriousness of her commitment.

It also signaled this governor will not just govern from Olympia.

We were reminded of that recently when Yakima Mayor Dave Edler acknowledged three appearances in the city by Gregoire in as many weeks, prompting him to think about "setting up a Governor's Mansion East." His quip came during a party for HouseValues, the online real estate company that Gregoire helped persuade to expand in the city.

So it naturally followed that shortly after the story appeared, Gregoire's office was announcing she will host a series of statewide town hall meetings. in Spokane, June 27; Vancouver, July 6; Tri-Cities, July 13; Puyallup, July 27; and Everett, Aug. 1. The governor wants residents to share their thoughts on the issues most important to them.

It comes as no surprise that that local Republicans see a political agenda on the part of the Democrat governor that her regular presence in the area has something to do with the fact she won by 129 votes in the 2004 election over Republican Dino Rossi, a former GOP state senator.

Right. She's mining votes in Yakima County where Ross received a commanding 2-1 edge in votes.

The governor had a more realistic view when talking to our reporter:

"This is not about getting votes. Back in January of '05, I said I was going to put my head down and work on breaking down barriers in our state so this area can flourish. If I looked at Yakima for votes, I'd be crazy," she said.

We're convinced Republican activists would be sniping at her either way. If she wasn't coming to Yakima and other parts of Eastern Washington, GOP naysayers would no doubt be calling her a typical Democrat, focused only on western Washington.

Whatever her motivation, Gregoire is coming to Central Washington much more than her predecessors. And she not only listens, she has helped make progress with many issues important to folks around here.

Is it a vote-getting scheme, or good leadership?

Could it possibly be both?

Regardless, it has opened new avenues of communication and cooperation between this side of the Cascade Curtain and the executive branch of state government in Olympia. That bodes well not only for the area, but the whole state.

That sound you hear is the Cascade Curtain retracting.

* Members of the Yakima Herald-Republic editorial board are Michael Shepard, Sarah Jenkins and Bill Lee.

more stories 07.Jul.2006 16:05


On Gregoire, Exxon, lobbyists and a clearcut


A Mixed Friday message, with news of a governor, a foot-dragging oil company, lobbyists and logging:

A gubernatorial snub: Under the heading "Listening to You," Gov. Christine Gregoire has scheduled a series of town hall meetings around the state, asking citizens to "share thoughts on issues important to them."

Residents of Seattle and King County, who gave Gregoire her victory margin in 2004, have not been invited.

The governor's meetings began in Spokane on Tuesday, with a session slated next Thursday in Vancouver. The Tri-Cities, Puyallup and Everett are the selected sites for future meetings.

Why give a cold shoulder to the state's most populous county? It's reminiscent of the 1970s, when Gov. Dixy Lee Ray held her first town meeting in Steilacoom.

Gregoire needs to get around. Although a heavy favorite, her 2004 campaign managed to lose 34 of the state's 39 counties and ran far behind the Democrats' presidential and U.S. Senate nominees.

Still, King County came through. The governor did court the minority community after her election, but is a bit standoffish toward the Emerald City and its environs.

Gregoire has frosty relations with the Seattle mayor's office over both the Alaskan Way Viaduct and the Evergreen Point Bridge.

She does occasional high-profile events -- like a winter tour de force before the Seattle CityClub -- but otherwise isn't around much. Gregoire strikes this observer as part of a tight-knit Olympia and state bureaucracy culture. Seattle journalists don't even get informed of turnovers in her press office.

It's fine to hold town halls in Everett and Puyallup: Gregoire stank up the polls in Snohomish and Pierce counties. But why not be nice to a county she carried by 150,000 votes?

The late House Speaker Thomas "Tip" O'Neill used to tell a great story. Arriving home at the rooming house after his first -- losing -- bid for the Massachusetts Legislature, O'Neill was greeted by his landlady.

"I voted for you, Thomas, even though you never asked me," she told him. O'Neill responded that he always felt that he could "count on" her support at the polls.

"Thomas, it's always nice to be asked," she replied.

Gov. Gregoire, take note.

The longest delay: In terms of prolonged defense and inflicting casualties, the Exxon Corp.'s stonewalling of a $4.5 billion punitive damages judgment is the litigation equivalent of Verdun or Stalingrad.

The world's largest oil company has been in the appeals courts ever since an Alaska jury decided in 1994 that it should pay up to 32,000 commercial fishermen, Prince William Sound natives and others harmed by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.

"More than 10 percent of the victims have already died while waiting for your company to resolve this litigation," said a U.S. Senate letter circulated by Sens. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.

A total of 24 senators have signed the letter. It urges Exxon, in a time of record oil profits, to pay up.

"Unfortunately, your corporation has chosen a legal strategy of delay and appeal," the letter states. "Your lawyers have filed hundreds of motions and over a dozen appeals, while the fishermen and fisheries of the region have never fully recovered."

It cites a recent National Marine Fisheries Service study, which found 100 tons of oil still in one six-mile stretch of shoreline. More than 400 miles of shoreline and beaches were fouled by the spill.

The signers are an interesting cross-section of the Senate. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., is on the letter, as is conservative Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, and 2004 presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.

One signature is notably absent -- powerful Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska.

Stevens rebuffed Cantwell at a Senate hearing last winter when she requested that he swear in oil industry executives before they gave testimony on rising oil prices.

Discoveries low and high: The Washington State Society dinner is an annual ritual of backslapping and high jinks for the temporarily stationed and those who've gone native in the "other" Washington.

If you want a feel for our capital's special-interest culture, go to the CleanUpWashington.org Web site and punch up a deliciously funny essay called "The Lobbyist and Me."

Its author, Collin Jergens, is a Johns Hopkins student from the Seattle area who spent a term working for Public Citizen, a public interest group. Suffice it to say Jergens went to the dinner, won a drawing, and discovered the identity of the giver. Won't spoil your reading by giving away further details.

In past issues of the Seattle P-I's "Getaways" section, I've touted Lake of the Hanging Glacier, in the Purcell Range of British Columbia. Pictured in the Encyclopedia of B.C., it is one of Earth's most beautiful places.

Jason Bausher, a teacher-guide who runs the Olympic Mountain School, recently sought to find the trail and hike up to the lake. Twenty-eight miles out of Radium, on the Horsethief Creek Road, he came across an unsigned, locked gate. A big, new, debris-covered clearcut extended up the hill.

When next you see one of the B.C. government's "Super, Natural British Columbia" travel come-ons, feel free to mutter "Horsethief!" or a saltier version.

P-I columnist Joel Connelly can be reached at 206-448-8160 or  joelconnelly@seattlepi.com.

Gregoire takes state global
But critics say her trade travels do little to ease problems at home


OLYMPIA -- She's not exactly selling ice cubes to Eskimos, but Gov. Christine Gregoire has been selling Washington wine to France, beef to Australia and computer chip technology to Japan.

And that's just part of her effort to raise Washington's profile -- and her own -- on the world stage.

In her first two years in office, Gregoire has traveled to four continents on trade missions and welcomed the leaders of China and Mexico, as well as numerous foreign ministers and dignitaries, to Washington.

And in recent weeks she's also been an outspoken critic on such issues as North Korean missile testing, the Bush administration's border security policies and the Iraq war.

From a distance, it might look as if Gregoire is gearing up for a run at the White House. In fact, British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell recently joked that she should throw her hat in the ring.

Gregoire insists her work outside the United States is an important duty for the governor of an international border state that depends more on foreign trade than any other. With more countries visited in the first 18 months of her first term than her predecessor Gary Locke logged in his eight years in office, Gregoire has clearly made it a priority.

But critics say the good things that come from gubernatorial trade missions are often overstated, and that Gregoire would do well to concentrate on problems within the state's borders.

"The actual benefit is questionable beyond a certain point," said Paul Guppy, research director of the conservative think tank the Washington Policy Center. "It's possible that if the governor did no international travel, it would not affect our trade position at all."

Guppy said there's nothing wrong with trade missions, per se.

"We are not critical of any governor traveling to other countries. We think that's a good thing," Guppy said. "But international trade delegations led by the government can be overblown ... because 99 percent of that activity is most effectively done in the private sector."

Guppy said Gregoire's travels help build goodwill and make contacts, "but beyond that, I don't think it contributes very much."

Gregoire disagrees.

On a trip to Paris last year, Gregoire met with 11 potential suppliers that could expand or bring their businesses to Washington state. Since then, five of those companies have come to the state, she said.

"No question, that was unbelievably productive," Gregoire said.

In addition to several other payoffs from Gregoire's recent visit to China, she said her trip across the Pacific nailed down the Washington state stop Chinese President Hu Jintao made when he came to the United States.

She said Hu postponed his planned visit after Hurricane Katrina struck, but by re-establishing connections on the trade mission, the Washington trip remained on Hu's agenda.

"You know how much he purchased from both Microsoft and Boeing while he was here," Gregoire said.

But Gregoire's concerns about international politics and policies go beyond trade.

Gregoire started last week with a news conference in which she announced she was bracing for the danger posed by North Korea's posturing and beginning response exercises with National Guard Gen. Timothy Lowenberg.

And she said Washington residents were paying the price for what she described as a failed border security policy in the form of an unnecessary passport requirement for U.S. families visiting Canada.

Gregoire also urged U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq as soon as possible.

She said Washington's geographic proximity to other countries necessitates a higher international profile for its governor.

The majority of the commerce that comes through the Port of Seattle is from China, and the northern border is a major part of the state economy, she said.

"So you better be aware," Gregoire said. "If China's economy had a downturn, it would have an immediate effect on the economy of Washington," she said.

And Gregoire said the effect of her visits to places such as China goes beyond immediate airplane and software sales.

"I can show you some tangible things, actual deals we have made in China where we signed agreements for education and for business -- not big business now -- these are small or medium-sized businesses. But we laid immense amount of groundwork. We've clearly opened up some doors," she said.

Gregoire was not sure how much travel is in store for next year. She did two trade missions in 2005 and plans that by the end of this year, she'll have three more under her belt -- Australia, Canada and a trip to South Korea and Taiwan.

The trips aren't exorbitant. For example Gregoire's trip to England, France and Germany cost about $10,000, an Asian trip about $18,000.

"I'm just a salesperson. I'm just trying to get doors open," Gregoire said.

Although Australia has a go-it-on-our-own attitude about agriculture, Gregoire said talks there helped tap missed opportunities.

"We were able to say, 'Why don't you send your cherries to us, during your season, which is for us a holiday season? And because it's off season, we'll send them to you in June.' It was that awareness that we are not competing with them at all, that began the process."

Still some, notably the state builders, who backed Gregoire's opponent Dino Rossi in the 2004 election, are less than wowed by Gregoire's globe-trotting.

"If Gregoire would spend as much of her time and resources on addressing the affordable housing crisis in Washington, then maybe we wouldn't be in a situation where working families can't afford a home," said Erin Shannon, spokeswoman for the Building Industry Association of Washington.

Gregoire is not the first Washington governor to take trade missions abroad. Others such as Locke worked to expand economic opportunities outside the state.

Locke said he only took one trip a year during most of his two terms in office because, as a new father, he wanted to stay close to his family.

Locke traveled to China (four times), Korea, Taiwan, Mexico and Singapore. As the first Chinese American U.S. governor, he used his celebrity status in China to promote Washington agriculture, software and aerospace.

And like Gregoire, "we brought Washington wines wherever we went," Locke said. "It's actually very popular with government officials."


Since taking office in January 2004, Gov. Christine Gregoire has traveled to France, Germany, England, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Canada to promote Washington state. Though some critics say she should spend more time at home, Gregoire insists her trips are necessary for such a trade-dependent state.

Washington's export shipments of merchandise in 2005 totaled $37.9 billion. Washington ranked fourth among the 50 states in terms of 2005 exports.

Washington exported to 208 foreign destinations in 2005. The state's largest market that year was Japan, which received exports of $6.4 billion.

In 2004, Washington's top export items were: Aircraft- and spacecraft-related products ($17.5 billion); corn ($1.32 billion); soybeans ($1.3 billion); electronic integrated circuits and microassembly ($1 billion); and wheat and muslin ($944 million).
Sources: U.S. Department of Commerce; Washington state Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development.

P-I reporter Chris McGann can be reached at 360-943-3990 or  chrismcgann@seattlepi.com.

Gregoire and B.C. premier want passport rule delayed
Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle) - June 20, 2006

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire and British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell asked President Bush on Tuesday to delay proposed passport rules for people trying to enter the United States.

Air and sea passengers will need a passport to enter the U.S. beginning next year, and the following year, people driving into the country will need to show a passport.

Gregoire and Campbell are sending a letter to President Bush, saying the proposed rules could have adverse economic effects while not doing much to reduce terrorist threats.

"Requiring all travelers to have a passport will significantly alter the quality of life for our citizens and affect the economic prosperity of our businesses, while terrorists will continue to falsify any documents required for travel," Gregoire said in a statement.


radicals didn't invent the name cascadia 07.Jul.2006 19:21

the corporate media probably used it before we did

The term "Cascadia" has been used by geologists to refer to this area for decades. It's really just another Latin settler name. Indigenous names include "Chinook Ilahee" and, ironically enough, "Oregon," which once meant the river now called the "Columbia" and all the lands that drain into it.

Let us not forget 08.Jul.2006 01:24

paul revere and his raiders

The American Revolution occured when the capitalists and politicians of the colonies found that it was no longer in their interest to be part of the British Empire. Eventually the same may be true for capitalists and politicians of the Northwest no longer seeing a need to be a part of the American/Canadian Empire. If the US disolves into a USSR style factional split, with the West and Northeast being secularist holdouts and most of the rest being an American theocracy. Look for Nike, Microsoft et al to support secession rather than follow the path of backward neo-Francoism the Bushites seem to be pushing. Their main loyalty is to profits and integration with the global economy, not religious nationalism. Whether this would be a positive development for radical Cascadians is debatable, but it would seem to be a much better option than the possible fates that we are currently presented with.