When arson hit an Olympia women’s health clinic, the clinic faced the loss of insurance coverage. Those trying to close churches and clinics through crimes such as arson and malicious mischief were abetted by insurance cancellations. Some celebrated the crimes.
When I called the clinic arson an act of terror, the Virginia-based Army of God, which encourages clinic bombings, called me a terrorist. To date the arsonist hasn’t been found. I introduced a bill with a simple-intent statement: “Rather than allow criminals to achieve their objectives, it is the intent of the Legislature that criminals, through criminal acts, should not dictate insurance underwriting decisions.” Protecting religious sanctuaries and clinics, it passed into law in 2006 with bipartisan support (the Senate vote was 45-4) – opposed only by a handful of far-right Republicans.
Those far-right Republicans included Gary Alexander, who is now both a state representative and our county auditor. Like Alexander, I pledged to serve only six years in the House. Unlike Alexander, now in his 17th year in the House, I kept that promise. During his long tenure Alexander has voted against every civil rights measure I am aware of.
Not only an opponent of the most basic civil rights for gays and lesbians, in 2007 he even voted against a law affirming the state legal rights of those with disabilities — a law that passed the Senate 46-2. Thurston County deserves an auditor who values the rights of all of its citizens.
Gary Alexander is not that candidate.
Originally published at the Olympian.