Thursday, April 17, 2008

Local R's Finally Recruit a Candidate

The local Republican Party has finally found a candidate to run for the South Kitsap commissioner’s seat — Tim Matthes.

Matthes is actually a pretty sharp guy who is well-informed, thoughtful and pragmatic. However, as a member of the militant Kitsap Alliance of Property Owners (KAPO) you can look for most local news reports concerning him to begin with something like, “County Commission Candidate and KAPO member Tim Matthes said…” Hopefully, the local media can restrain itself where this is concerned, but honestly, I don’t have much hope about that.

As happened with NASCAR, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see an environmental reporter covering at least a part of Matthes’ campaign — instead of a political one. That’s too bad, because it will unfairly color the debate on many of the real issues facing the county.

KAPO, for the uninformed, is a politically active property rights group with about a thousand local members. Led by Vivian Henderson, who is a fixture at most public meetings, it has a reputation as a take-no-prisoners organization that’s been a continual thorn in the side of the county commissioners where land use issues are concerned. The mere mention of its name has a tendency to infuriate local environmental activists.

If Matthes can overcome KAPO to actually get his message out, it may resonate surprisingly well.

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