Now that state Sen. Doug Ericksen (R-Ferndale) has won re-election, I believe that perhaps the voters of Whatcom County can set up a fund to buy him lunch or dinner or breakfast so he can keep in touch his real constituents. Ericksen likes to claim that these free meals the lobbyists buy him are a way of keeping in touch with his constituents. I’m a registered voter and — having lived in Bellingham since the late 1990s — if I hadn’t seen Ericksen’s picture on his campaign literature, I wouldn’t have known who he was if I literally tripped over him. I’ve never gotten a phone call from him seeking my input on any of the bills up for a vote in Olympia and he’s certainly never knocked on my door for anything. If he wants to keep in touch with his constituents, I believe that he should try talking to actual people in the biggest city in Whatcom County.
If he wants to be a leader (his campaign commercials claimed he was and that Seth Fleetwood wasn’t a leader), I believe he could start by turning down the free lunches from the lobbyists and just living off his legislative per diem allowance and salary. Failing that, I believe that he could show real leadership by telling everyone to just cut out the middleman and vote for the lobbyists instead.