Laws should affect those who vote for them

Print Article

Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf? Well, it seems we have a chance to find out.

Recently state Rep. Sherry Appleton, D-Bainbridge Island, introduced legislation to prohibit killing wolves in eastern Washington. For those who don’t have a state map in their heads, her district is decidedly not part of the area affected by this legislation, either geographically or culturally.

In response, our own Rep. Tom Dent and two other rural lawmakers introduced a bill of their own, establishing Bainbridge Island as a refuge for wolves. As the bill describes it, “Bainbridge Island, known for its beauty and biological diversity, is an ideal location for the first state gray wolf sanctuary. The geographic isolation of Bainbridge Island creates a natural border to keep the wolves isolated to an area where they can be protected, studied, and, most importantly, admired by the region’s animal lovers.” A wolf may be killed, the bill allows, provided all other measures have been taken and it has killed either four pets or two children.

Clearly, Dent et. al. are being facetious, or “trolling” in the parlance of the Internet Age. But equally clearly, they are kidding on the square.

One of the pitfalls of a state like Washington, where the population is largely concentrated in a single urban area, is that a fairly large area is governed by a majority that doesn’t actually live there. This shows itself in a number of ways: land use laws, water rights, taxes, minimum wage. One glaring example can be seen following every senatorial or presidential election. The counties east of the Cascades and a fair number of west side counties vote one way, and King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties vote the other way. Guess who wins.

In principle this is perfectly reasonable. One person, one vote. But in practice, what works for Seattle doesn’t always work for Moses Lake or Coulee City or Othello.

We saw this in the election last November. A ballot initiative was narrowly defeated that would have levied heavy taxes on fuel, heavily favored by people who live close to electric public transportation. A gun control measure was passed that was very popular with folks who live where law enforcement is always nearby and who may not rely on hunting to fill their freezer through the winter. That one has been so divisive that several east side sheriffs have announced that they won’t enforce the law and once again eastern Washington lawmakers are floating the idea of seceding from Washington altogether.

Which brings us back to the wolves. In farm and ranch country, wolves are a menace to livestock and people. In the urban centers and the suburban enclaves of the west side, they are viewed as majestic, noble creatures, because people there aren’t affected by them.

Which is why we applaud Dent’s bill and wish it could pass. While we bear Bainbridge Island no malice, we do feel that it is manifestly unfair for people who are safe to vote others into danger and to inflict on rural people problems which they themselves do not share.

If the wolf must be at the door, let it be at the door of those who insisted on inviting it.

— Editorial board

Print Article

Read More Editorial

We remember the Carlton Complex Fire

July 31, 2019 at 7:11 pm | Columbia Basin Herald Five years ago, Washington state experienced the most catastrophic wildfire in its history. The Carlton Complex Fire raged through Central Washington, burning more than a quarter of a million acres...

Comments

Read More

Something needs to be done

July 31, 2019 at 7:07 pm | Columbia Basin Herald In mid-July the Grant County Health District (GCHD) issued an advisory with regard to Moses Lake’s water quality, stating a water sample taken at Connelly Park – managed by the Moses Lake Irrigation ...

Comments

Read More

American troops deserve better

July 17, 2019 at 6:31 pm | Columbia Basin Herald One of Congress’ most important Constitutional responsibilities is providing for our military and national defense. For the past 58 years, this has been a bipartisan affair. Members of the House an...

Comments

Read More

Protecting freedom and opportunity

July 10, 2019 at 5:10 pm | Columbia Basin Herald On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed, and the United States of America was established. Last week, families across the country celebrated this momentous anniversary with firewo...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(509) 765-4561
PO Box 910
Moses Lake, WA 98837

©2019 Columbia Basin Herald Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X