Vancouver attorney offers rebuttal to County Council in open letter


D. Angus Lee provides a response to councilors’ decision to reject a mini initiative petition that would have banned some mandates in Clark County

Dear Council Members: 

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky recently announced that “what the vaccines can’t do anymore is prevent transmission.” The CDC’s website states: “CDC expects that anyone with Omicron infection can spread the virus to others, even if they are vaccinated or don’t have symptoms.” Washington State has already seen 238,895 documented breakthrough cases as of January 22, 2022.

Angus Lee
Angus Lee

It is beyond dispute that government-imposed containment measures based upon vaccination status have not, and will not, stop the spread of Covid-19. Thus, while the citizens of Clark County voluntarily participated in “two weeks to flatten the curve,” continued socially distancing, and continued making sacrifices, they are tired of the mandates. Most of all, they are unwilling to tolerate irrational discrimination against those who, for religious or medical reasons, are unable to use any of the currently available “vaccines.” 

While the tide of public opinion has turned throughout the majority of the United States regarding the “vaccines” and their ability to stop transmission, the citizens of Clark County know that they cannot rely on the State legislature to act. Nor can they expect that Czar Inslee will voluntarily surrender his “emergency” powers after two long years of having carte blanche. Thus, they came to you, expecting respect for their human dignity, and asking you to fight for their liberty and protect them from discrimination. They brought you an Initiative with over 10,000 signatures. The spirit of the initiative was simple: fight for us against irrational medical discrimination. Rather than agreeing to fight, it appears that you hardened your hearts and turned a deaf ear to their plea for help. 

Making law takes time, drafting, comment, debate, and redrafting. The central purpose of the citizen’s initiative was not to present a perfectly crafted law to be accepted or rejected in a single night, but to present to you the need of the people to be protected by your legislative action from medical and religious discrimination. An initiative is the start of the rule-making process, not the end, and it gives the County Council an opportunity to lead… if it has the courage. 

D. Angus Lee provides a response to councilors’ decision to reject a mini initiative petition that would have banned some mandates in Clark County.
Click to view PDF of letter.

Instead of leading on this issue, at this week’s hearing on the Initiative, the Council majority tremblingly huddled behind two bureaucratic-toned letters: one written by Czar Inslee’s lawyer and another written by Prosecutor Golik’s office. Neither letter discussed or addressed the merits of the central purpose of the initiative (to prevent medical and religious discrimination). Instead, the letters focused on easily remedied technical deficiencies, and placed the biases of the authors on full display where neither offered legal options to address the perceived deficiencies. 

The failure of Prosecutor Golik’s office to provide the County Council with legal options to address the perceived deficiencies was a total disservice to the County Council and the citizens of Clark County. To be very clear, every perceived deficiency noted in the memo from Prosecutor Golik’s office would be immediately and easily resolved by the addition of a single provision to the Initiative limiting its application to the full extent of that which is not contradicted by State law. This legal reality stands wholly unrefuted by Prosecutor Golik’s office. In fact, when Chairwoman Quiring O’Brien asked Prosecutor Golik’s representative if the addition of such a clause would eliminate any concerns about the legal viability of the initiative, Prosecutor Golik’s representative appeared stunned, attempted to evade the question, and eventually said that she did not know the answer to the legal question. The takeaway is simple: the addition of a clause limiting the Initiative’s application to the extent allowed by state law would eliminate all legal concerns raised by Prosecutor Golik’s office and Czar Inslee. 

Likewise, the concern expressed by Councilor Medvigy at the hearing had nothing to do with the anti-discriminatory purpose of the Initiative, but instead questioned whether the passage of the Initiative directly into law might lead to litigation with Clark County when enforced. Again, this concern is easily navigated by the addition of a simple and often used provision placing the right of enforcement on the citizen who is the victim of discrimination. The addition of such a provision would eliminate any possibility of litigation with (and cost to) the County. 

Such provisions have been included in other state and federal laws before and are on the books today. For example, Washington State provided for exactly such private enforcement in the area of campaign finance laws. The private enforcement provision is also a critical provision of the federal Civil Rights Act. A private enforcement provision was lawfully used yet again in 2021 in Texas where the State provided for private enforcement of a newly enacted civil rights law. 

It is quite troubling that the government lawyers did not advise the County Council of these simple remedies in their memos on the Initiative. 

The Clark County Council has clear authority and ability to craft legislation to fight discrimination. They have legal options at hand. Over 10,000 members of the local electorate asked you to give due consideration to an issue of great concern by signing the recent Initiative started by Rob Anderson. Mr. Anderson, and those who supported the signature gathering effort, should be commended for such an impressive act of civic engagement, not scolded as they were by Karen Bowerman, whose comments at the hearing were bizarre and a disappointment to all. 

You have the authority to act and an opportunity to lead on the issue of medical and religious freedom while opposing discrimination in Clark County. The only question is do you have the courage? 

D. Angus Lee
Citizen of Clark County

Also read:

Receive comment notifications
Notify of
guest

18 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
K.J. Hinton
K.J. Hinton
9 months ago

It would seem that Mr. Lee, like most on his side of the issue, simply doesn’t care about the council breaking the law as long as they do what he, and others like him, want.

That’s known as “coat holding.”

It’s easy for Mr. Lee to have these positions. Particularly when the responsibility for implementation of these demand rests with others.

So, here’s a suggestion: next election for these positions, I urge Mr. Lee and those like him to run against the incumbents so they can do more than talk.

Meanwhile, I support the council’s action in this matter. It was the right call and it enabled the council to live up to their oaths… Usually a big deal for this side of the aisle, but not so much when it gets in the way of their hissy-fit.

Wolfie
Wolfie
9 months ago
Reply to  K.J. Hinton

Hissy fit? I read your opinions alot and you really seem to enjoy being under the governors thumb. This isn’t a hissy fit. Many people are seeing the lies this whole thing has been about and are absolutely fed up. The councilors didn’t act because they were intimidated by Inslee and also they saw dollar signs being threatened. The need for masks has been disproven over and over again. However, if you continue to listen to the people who benefit in making people wear them and getting vaccines, then fear will be your companion forever. I support Mr. Anderson and Mr. Lee and agree.. this fight will continue because we want our freedom!

M Jelineo
M Jelineo
9 months ago
Reply to  K.J. Hinton

Hissy Fit? You wouldn’t happen to work for the Vancouver Public Schools? Seems like a lot of whiners on here that love Discrimination and love Government OverREACH, no one likes to have a choice of what best fits them and their family, they’d rather have Government tell them to do what they want to control their everyday lives.

Rob Anderson
9 months ago

On February 1st, 2022, the Clark County Council hastily voted 4-1 to reject a lawful and historic Mini-Initiative that collected 11,505 signatures which nearly represents 10% of the 111,000 total that voted in the last election during the collection efforts. The submitted signatures, calling the Councilors to ban all mandates that discriminate, was then certified to contained at minimum the required number of 8,311 on December 30th and was forwarded to the Council for action.

Even though the Council had 30 days to vote, Councilor Julie Olson quickly made a motion to reject which was eagerly seconded by Councilor Lentz and Medvigy. What is more outrageous is the Council voted the week before to only allow 5 minutes for the ordinance to be presented, preventing a vigorous legal presentation. Yet, on Tuesday, the Council allowed what seemed to be an unfettered amount of time for the County lawyer to give their legal opinions, coupled with a threatening letter from Governor Jay Inslee’s legal counsel, and then moved immediately to a vote. Councilor Gary Medvigy boasted at the end that the petition had received a “fair hearing” which we, and most of the public who watched, disagree.

As a result, Attorney Angus Lee, was charged with writing an open letter to the Councilors and now is being released to the public. The open letter is available to download at http://www.ClarkCountyGroup.com.

What’s at stake is not banning all mandates or vaccines or masks as Councilor Lentz erroneously misguided the public concerning the petition. The heart of the petition is who’s looking out for the basic Constitutional protections from discriminatory outcomes which have been completely ignored by the Council and continue to be ignored by many that represent the people of Clark County and Washington State.

The petition efforts succeeded in all the areas that the people controlled. We gathered enough registered voter signatures, flooded the Councilors with emails, phone calls and comments and even the Clark County Republican Party sent clear and decisive support to pass the ordinance. But when it came to our elected representatives part, including 3 Republicans, they failed to address the concerns brought up by the citizens and rejected it 4-1.

Our fight does not end here but only just begins. They, the bureaucracy and elected representatives that did not support the petition are exposed, while those that petitioned for action are stronger and more united and determined to prevail.

This is just the first punch in a prize fight and the people will prevail.

Rob Anderson
Chief Petitioner
http://www.ClarkCountyGroup.com

K.J. Hinton
K.J. Hinton
9 months ago
Reply to  Rob Anderson

It was 3% of the 2020 general election numbers, so let’s keep it real. That was not even enough to be a tiny number of voters.

Punch? It wasn’t even a slap.

Susan
Susan
9 months ago
Reply to  K.J. Hinton

Your response shows a lack of understanding of the petition process. Petitions do not need to represent a majority of anything. A petition is not a “mini election” but, rather, an indicator of enough interest in the topic to warrant further evaluation.

The Councilors made a grievous error in handling it the way they did. Elections have consequences… hopefully the Councilors and Tony all remember this the next time around.

BTW… when we gonna hear from Tony about charging the CCSO deputy with a crime? You remember, don’t ya? The CCSO deputy that shot and killed a homeowner last week (who happened to be a cop) simply because the homeowner had a gun in his hand?

caprice
caprice
9 months ago
Reply to  K.J. Hinton

I’m sure the aristocracy thought the same as you…just a few smelly peasant undesirables? Soon these 11,000 “tiny number” of voters will become tens of thousands+ of united voices demanding to be heard.
When people are struggling to pay for food and housing, and are threatened with losing not only their jobs but with access to society over their vaccine status, the chances of another “Storming the Bastille” moment move closer to reality.
The POWER is ultimately with the people, and Inslee, as well as the Councilors should remember they work for us.

M Jelineo
M Jelineo
9 months ago
Reply to  caprice

Yep, The Elected work for “WE THE PEOPLE” Karen Dill Bowerman, Gary Medvigy, Temple Lentz, and Julie Olson all think they Work for themselves, they are Selfish and pathetic, Karen took 10 mins or so to tell what type of idiot she is and it’s not for “WE THE PEOPLE” it’s for herself as we all heard. These people need to be unseated and replaced but before we can do that we need to find good replacements.

Dan Clark
Dan Clark
9 months ago
Reply to  Rob Anderson

Did you seek an attorney’s advice before composing the petition? There were clear flaws in it (namely it infringed on the rights of private businesses and religious organizations). Did you implore the council to amend the petition if they saw issues with it?

I suggest you and Mr. Lee get together and work out a new petition with proper and better language. If it’s such a huge concern of the citizens (and I believe it is) then there should be no problem in acquiring the signatures again.

Mark Engleman
Mark Engleman
9 months ago
Reply to  Dan Clark

Support Karen Bowerman as you like, but it’s not wise to beat up on the mega volunteer that has done so much to elevate this critical fight.
And it Monday morning Quarterbacking to be suggesting the petition team did not do their research–much less attribute short comings based on the blatant agenda of the ‘legal advice’ of the very crooks perpetuating this tyranny.

Margaret
Margaret
9 months ago

Religious, philosophical, and medical exemptions to school vaccinations are available for students in daycare, pre-K and K-12 schools, private and public. For some diseases like chicken pox, natural immunity applies

Neither the CDC, nor WA state count natural immunity for covid, yet.

The free exercise of religion includes the right to act or abstain from action in accordance with one’s religious beliefs.
For information about religious exemptions for students in daycare thru grade 12 see https://informedchoicewa.org/religious-exemptions-clarified/

Residents testified at the hearing that they were not granted a religious exemption. Others shared they lost their job, or could not find a job, and small businesses have gone out of business during this season of unfair mandates.
At the hearing the Prosecutor Golik’s representative noted that residents who applied for religious or medical exemptions, and were not granted one could seek other avenues. There are resources for college and university students and staff, or employees to file religious and medical exemptions, and respond to denials of exemptions.

COVID Vaccine Injuries Continue to Rise, VAERS Data ShowVAERS data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention included a total of 1,088,560 reports of adverse events from all age groups following COVID vaccines, including 23,149 deaths and 183,311 serious injuries between Dec. 14, 2020, and Jan. 28, 2022.

Dan Clark
Dan Clark
9 months ago

Then I’d suggest that Mr. Lee get in contact with Mr. Anderson to craft a superior initiative to get signatures and present it. Clearly Mr. Lee can see the flaws in the petition that was presented, why didn’t he contact Mr. Anderson to fix the issues beforehand? I find it disingenuous of Mr. Lee (an attorney) to expect the counselors to know the nuances of the law. Maybe they should have sought other counsel than the county attorneys, does he know any private attorneys that would have volunteered their time to help the majority of the council? Why didn’t he do this? If it was such a critical issue…

M Jelineo
M Jelineo
9 months ago
Reply to  Dan Clark

The problem is Mandates are not laws. There are No RCW’s Supporting MASKS or Vaccines. Our Governor has no authority to make Laws without the other two Branches of the Government.

Jahn
Jahn
9 months ago

Why is this in the News section instead of the Opinion section?

Crazy
Crazy
9 months ago

Clark County Today posting opinions from a lawyer who was reprimanded by the bar association for ethics violations?? Do some research before you let people post their opinions.

Mark Engleman
Mark Engleman
9 months ago
Reply to  Crazy

Lee was reprimanded by the corrupt incestious bar association for actually trying to address establishment crime.
When the establishment attacks, it’s a badge of honor and it means one is over the target.
Thank you again Mr. Angus Lee.

Crazy
Crazy
9 months ago
Reply to  Mark Engleman

Ahh-the establishment. You sound just like antifa-“it’s a badge of honor to fight against established capitalist institutions”

Johnny Rockette
Johnny Rockette
8 months ago

Agnes is nuttier than a squirrel turd.

18
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x