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Thomas Mielke (R) Information

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C-Tran Mismanagement, Lack of Common Moral Sense

By Rian Girard

October 2004

Jeanne Harris is currently Chairwoman of the Board of Directors for C-Tran and Betty Sue Morris is also a member of the Board.  In January 2004, buses began showing up around town with large advertisements on the side panels for the local abortionist organization, Planned Parenthood. These ads contributed to the likelihood of teens participating in sexual activity and promoted the various products sold by Planned Parenthood that supposedly make it "safe."

Ad Reads "The Pill? Sure! Or maybe the Ring, or the Patch, or the Shot or EC (so called emergency contraception) ..."

Many members of the community complained with phone calls and letters to the C-Tran main office. Lynne Griffith, CEO of C-Tran, answered with written statements that, due to legal constraints, C-Tran could only restrict ads that encouraged unlawful or illegal behavior.  This is true.  It is, in fact, the way C-Tran prevents alcohol or cigarette companies from advertising on city buses since these ads would be seen by minors who are too young to drink or smoke.

It was pointed out in letters to the C-Tran Management and Board of Directors that minors who view the Planned Parenthood ads will be too young in many cases to legally participate in sexual activity and that the ads are inappropriate for display on publicly-funded buses. C-Tran chose not to listen and continued to allow Planned Parenthood's shameless display on buses in the C-Tran system. Their next excuse was that the ad campaign had been withdrawn in June 2004 and so the problem has "gone away."  Of course, this means that the controversial subject was buried in time to promote the C-Tran tax increase, but it could easily be rolled back out in the future.

These elected officials, Jeanne Harris from the Vancouver City Council and current Clark County Commissioner Betty Sue Morris have shown a lack of leadership and common moral sense in this situation.  State Representatives Marc Boldt and Thomas Mielke have both stated on question #6 on the LifePac survey that they would not support public funds being spent on advertising for abortion clinics like Planned Parenthood.  Please consider supporting them with your vote in this year's race for Clark County Commissioner. 


Mielke plays blame game in race against Morris
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
By ERIN MIDDLEWOOD, Columbian staff writer

Mielke took the commissioners to task for the Fort Vancouver Regional
Library's policy that lets adults look at sexually explicit material on
Internet terminals.

County commissioners did not make that decision. But they, along with
commissioners from two other counties, approve appointments to the library
board, which decided to filter the Internet for minors, but lets those 17
and older request unfiltered access.

Morris said commissioners don't "get into the middle" of the
appointments, and added that she supports filters for minors.

Full story at:


Springhill Review, September 2004

A revealing question/answer forum for the Clark County Commissioner race
was featured in the September 2004 issue of the SpringHill Review, a local
journal of northwest culture.

Among other questions, the Commissioner candidates were asked, "Would you appoint library board members who support or who oppose blocking
patrons’ Internet access to pornography as long as legitimate research could
be accessed? Why?" County Commissioners in Clark, Klickitat, and Skamania
Counties appoint and confirm Fort Vancouver Regional Library board members
to seven year terms.

Incumbent Betty Sue Morris (D) - District 1
Declined to answer citing time restraints.

Tom Mielke (R)- District 1
" I have run legislation repeatedly to have library boards elected in hopes
of making them more accountable to citizens. However, as a member of the
minority party in the House of Representatives, even though I was able to
get a hearing twice, the Chairperson would not allow it to come to a vote in
the committee. As Commissioner, I would not appoint board members who took
their marching orders from the American Library Association. I am
foursquare behind Internet filtering and have been dismayed at the lack of
support for this common sense step to protect our children in our libraries.
Further, I oppose the idea of a seven year term as being a tool that stifles
responsiveness to the community of matters such as these. If we cannot get
library board members elected, them we can at least put them through a
confirmation process every two years that would force them to answer for
their acts, good or bad."


Library Trustee Appointments

by Margaret Tweet

Clark County Commissioners (Currently Betty Sue Morris since ’96, Craig Pridemore since ’98, and Judie Stanton) recommend 3 out of 7 Ft. Vancouver (FVRL) library trustees and the City of Vancouver recommends 2. Skamania and Klickitat County Commissioners each recommend 1 trustee, and all 3 counties vote on each lengthy 7-year appointment. In Skamania County, the last trustee opening in 1998 was not given public notice. All 3 counties and Vancouver will recommend a new trustee in the next 4 years. Commissioners have appointed trustees who don’t reflect our community well.

Since 1998, thousands of citizens have supported clean Internet via many packed public hearings, board meetings, letters, and petitions. In that time, I’ve never seen a county commissioner at any of the several public hearings on Internet access, although state legislators showed up. Since 1997 public records of serious, repeated library complaints have included porno screens and printouts, obscene behaviors, offenders, and illegal materials, forwarded to the commissioners. Nevertheless, from 1997 to April 2004, county libraries furnished netporn, chat access, and hardcopy porno to minors, without parental consent. Although citizens took these concerns to commissioners and Vancouver, they kept appointing trustees who oppose widely accepted community standards.
Trustee Marilyn Butler (Skamania) chaired the committee that recommended unfiltered Internet for all ages in 1998, which was adopted.

Trustee Jerry King explained his 1998 vote against filtering out porn:
"In fact, the conclusion that pornography is often harmful to kids does not seem to be supported by much evidence, especially when some other factors are considered."

Clark Co. Commissioners recommended and voted in King for a second term starting 2002. In August 2002, King again voted against filtering porn for children along with Dunn (Clark) and Smith (Klickitat). A narrow majority (4-3) voted to filter porn for children under 13. However, that decision was not activated until a year later, after the Children’s Internet Protection Act was upheld by the Supreme Court. FVRL staff testified against the Act in the senate and federal court. The Act finally moved FVRL to filter for minors under 17, implemented in 2004. In comparison, the large Snohomish-Island Library system decided to automatically filter for minors under 18, and implemented it 3 months later, in 2001.
FVRL explained in a 2004 letter that hardcopy for minors, as well as unfiltered access,(including porn) for those 17 and up will continue. In Wenatchee (27 branches), Tacoma (10 branches, 1 unfiltered computer downtown), Puyallup, Camas, and elsewhere, netporn is blocked or prohibited and hardcopy not subscribed to. San Diego, Anchorage, and many libraries nationwide have similar policies.

Commissioner candidate and Vancouver councilwoman Jeanne Harris has helped appoint a library trustee. She suggests special accommodations for porn users such as "a separate room with enough visual access to control unwanted behavior". Clark County residents living outside Camas city limits may apply for a FVRL trustee vacancy now. (Call 397-2232 )

State Representatives Mielke (8 years), Boldt (10 years), Dunn (6 years) and Senators Benton (10 years-2 as Representative) and Zarelli (8 years) have consistently sponsored legislation to block illegal Internet porn and prohibit distribution to minors in libraries. They also sponsored or voted for a bill to elect library boards that are taxing authorities like FVRL. (No taxation without representation). As county commissioners, Mielke and Boldt support public interviews for trustees who will better reflect our community and public safety.

Click here for an FVRL porn timeline.

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