LEGISLATIVE CORRUPTION IN WASHINGTON: THEN AND NOW, The Story of Democrat Steve Hobbs… February 15, 2015

This is an article about Democrat Senator Steve Hobbs of Lake Stevens. If my blog makes you want to contact him, please do so. Here is his information.

Hobbs, Steve (D) 239 John A. Cherberg Building (360) 786-7686

Senator Hobbs is indebted to a rather slimeball special interest group. Nonjudicial trustees who make money when they can nonjudicially foreclose on homes. Senator Hobbs, a democrat, has sponsored Senate Bill 5968 which has been written by special interests is intended to undo what few protections the people of Washington have left against illegal foreclosures. His justification for doing so: to correct mistakes the legislature previously made to protect homeowners from his wealthy supporters unabashed greed.

The bill will be considered in committee on Wednesday. This is a bill which should be killed now. Please contact Seantor Hobb and your own legislators to lead them no this bill is “bad news”!!

But the story doesn’t begin with Senator Hobbs. It begins in 1889 when Washington’s Constitution was written.

This article by Brian Snure, A FREQUENT RECURRENCE TO FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES: INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS, FREE GOVERNMENT, AND THE WASHINGTON STATE CONSTITUTION helps me explain. It is worth reading and you can do so by touching the previous link.

Snure’s article discusses the legislative corruption which gave rise to Washington’s Constitution and how our founders separated Washington’s government into one which contained structural checks on the legislature’s power to interfere with those rights the Supreme Ruler of the Universe gave every individual. Snure writes:


Washington’s citizens were poised at a crossroad of change when they drafted their constitution. A crossroad between the industrial age of robber barons and the rural frontier of the rugged individual, between the future and the past. In the ten years prior to the 1889 Constitutional Convention, Washington Territory evolved from a wilderness populated by 75,000 settlers, cut off by a month’s travel time from the nation’s capital, to a rapidly growing state of 350,000, linked by a three-day train ride to the eastern seaboard.”

The delegates at the 1889 Constitutional Convention” faced two major challenges stemming from the territory’s rapid transformation. First, Washington Territory experienced government corruption. Second, private corporate power grew tremendously over the latter half of the nineteenth century, bringing both progress and problems to Washington. The delegates addressed the turbulent changes wrought by these forces by protecting individual rights with a broadly phrased Declaration of Rights, and through specific constitutional restrictions on both governmental and private power,” Additionally, the framers removed traditional powers from the legislative branch and placed democratic checks on all three branches, legislative, executive, and judicial.” The parameters ofthese responses contribute to understanding the fundamental principles embraced by the constitution, and the manner in which the principles were intended to secure individual rights and perpetuate free government.

A. The Historical Context: Government Tyranny and Corporate Abuses

Washington’s citizens feared governmental tyranny, a tyranny they generally identified with the legislative branch. The settlers, who were primarily immigrants from other states, had extensive experience with and knowledge of legislative abuses.” In addition, Washington Territory itself experienced legislative abuses. In 1862-63, the legislature reportedly passed no general laws, but enacted more than 150 pieces of special legislation for the benefit of “private interests against the general welfare,” The delegates to the Constitutional Convention carried these experiences with them; one delegate remarked that if a stranger were to step into the convention “he would conclude that we were fighting a great enemy and that this enemy is the legislature.” (emphasis added)

While the legislature may have been the enemy, governmental corruption also existed in the executive and judicial branches. Washington’s governors were criticized for abusing their patronage powers. Although Washington’s citizens respected the level of justice provided by the judiciary, they vocally criticized the judiciary because of absentee judges, political manipulations, and the lack of local control over appointments.

The presence of powerful corporations in Washington was often at the root of the governmental corruption. (emphasis added) The late nineteenth century in America was an era of rapidly increasing concentrations of wealth in the hands of relatively few individuals.” Notably, Washington would probably not have contemplated statehood in 1889 if it had not benefitted from the economic growth, and associated population increase, that corporate wealth had provided.

Numerous problems, however, also accompanied the expansion of corporate power in Washington. Chapters of national third-party political organizations such as the Grange, the Farmers Alliance, and the Knights of Labor sprang up in Washington Territory, partly in response to the expansion of corporate power. These organizations feared that uncontrolled concentrations of capital were threatening social stability and individual freedoms throughout the country. (emphasis added) For instance, the populist-minded Washington State Grange lashed out at the “money Kings of the East,” the trusts and monopolies that “were oppressing the laborer and robbing agriculture of its just rewards. The Grange’s concerns were not imagined. Washington’s citizens had a history of conflict with corporations, primarily railroads.” Excessive freight rates charged by railroad monopolies plagued Washington’s farmers. The territorial legislature’s failure to set railroad rates further angered farmers.”

Laborers and labor sympathizers expressed additional distrust and anger toward the growth of corporations.” A great deal of this anger stemmed from the conditions and disturbances in the mining camps around the state. In 1886 and 1889, violence broke out in Roslyn and Newcastle when mining companies hired armed guards to thwart striking miners.” Dangerous working conditions faced by industrial workers around the state led to requests for constitutional provisions requiring the legislature to enact health and safety laws.”

Snure’s reference to the legislative corruption which inspired Washington’s constitutional separation of powers   is based on our founders’ own words, newspaper accounts reporting the convention, and commentaries from observers who were there. It is beyond dispute that Washington‟s Constitution was written and ratified at a time “when the wholesale corruption of state legislatures [was] laughed at by honest men throughout America.” Ockletree v. Franciscan Health Sys., 179 Wash. 2d 769, 790, 317 P.3d 1009 (2014) (Stephens J dissenting, quoting James Leonard Fitts, The Washington Constitutional Convention of 1889, at 28- 29 (1951)). Delegates to Washington‟s constitutional convention were united in their desire to reign in legislative corruption. Id.; see also Jonathan Thompson, J., The Washington Constitution’s Prohibition on Special Privileges and Immunities: Real Bite for “Equal Protection” Review of Regulatory Legislation?, 69 Temp. L. Rev. 1247, 1277-78 (1996); Utter & Spitzer, at 9-11.

So flash-forward to February, 2014. Democrat Senator Steve Hobbs of Lynnwood, elected via a campaign heavily financed by those trustee interests who make money throwing people out there homes (even when they are not in default) has sponsored Senate Bill SB 5968 to help special interests at the expense of his constituents. Hobb’s bill was written by special to undo what few protections the people of Washington have left against illegal foreclosures.

Hobbs’ bill, SB 5968, is designed by lawyers for trustees to undo what few protections the people of Washington have against slimeball debt collectors taking Washingtonians’ homes. Why? Because the trustee makes money on every house it can take away from a Washington voter. And the trustee gives a enough of that money to someone like Hobbs, who has no interest in protecting his constituents’ rights.

Hey, Lake Stephens, don’t elect this guy again. He’s bad news.





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About Scott . Stafne

Mr. Stafne is very experienced in property rights, including banking wrongs and foreclosure prevention; Constitutional Law (under the United States and Washington State Constitution); Appellate law; land use law; personal injury law. Scott has recently become a media focal point as his win record of foreclosure defense cases against the largest financial institutions, servicers, trustees as well as MERS have blazed the trail toward ending the foreclosure crisis and representing the rights of the homeowner above the profits and secret dealings of corporations.   Scott sees law as a foundation for establishing a system of twenty first century liberties for the people; and for removing that corruption of power within our government which makes the achievement of real purpose beholden to only money.   Scott Stafne has been an attorney since graduating from the University of Iowa in 1974. He worked for a large law firm in Indianapolis (Baker & Daniels) for two years. Thereafter, he moved to Seattle Washington in order to obtain a Masters of Law degree from the University of Washington, which he obtained in 1977. Scott practiced law while going to graduate school and has practiced ever since.   This is a personal blog, and does not constitute legal advice in any form, and is not necessarily reflective of the policies or opinions of Stafne Law Firm. Visit the Law Firm: https://stafnelaw.com Visit the Google+ Page: https://plus.google.com/+ScottStafne Visit the Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/scott.stafne.75   *Web Developer: David J. Posel
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