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Election Edition

October 31st, 2020

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IN THIS ISSUE OF THE FLAME ELECTION 2020:

Election Day 2020: Tuesday, November 3rd

Ignite Foundation: Candidate Endorsements

"A Letter to the Voters" From Judge Dave Larson, Candidate for State Supreme Court pos. 3

Op-ed: "Teachers Union Keeping Kids out of School"

Ignite Legal: Ha Thu Dao, Esq. on "Do All Roads Lead to Foreclosure?"

The Suburban Anarchist: Businesses Have a Right to Open

Ignite Events: Recap #SchoolChoiceNow Rally from Tara Childs

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Election Day 2020: Tuesday November 3rd

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Did you know Washington state allows same-day voter registration?

Election day is this Tuesday, November 3rd! Haven't registered yet? Haven't filled out your ballot? Don't fret - you have until 8 p.m. on Tuesday to MAKE YOUR VOTE COUNT!

Ignite Foundation has endorsed candidates on your ballot. Visit our candidate page to see who we believe are the best people for our future. 

a Note From the Honorable Judge Dave Larson. Running for Supreme Court, Position 3 in Washington State.

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To the voters of Washington state:

"I decided to run for the Supreme Court this year to do the right thing by upholding the law and Constitution as written, and to make a difference for the people of our state.
The day I filed to run for the state Supreme Court a high-ranking member of the judiciary and supporter of my opponent contacted me and suggested that I withdraw from the campaign.
The joy of public service and optimism about serving on the Court was replaced with a sense of dread as I wonder if the political allies of my opponent will attack me personally or professionally.
This election cycle has revealed many of the flaws in the system used to elect and appoint judges in our state. This election cycle has proven that we need the changes I have proposed.
One of the values of this letter is to expose these issues to you, the people, as the first step in making the process more ethical, balanced, fair and transparent."

Why aren’t your children participating in in-person schooling? It has nothing to do with the president, and it may have little to do with your governor or state. Most incredibly, it may have little to do with our children and public safety and a lot to do with teachers’ unions and politics.

Written by: Matthew Hayward

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If you have a school-aged child who would otherwise be in school, but your district is not offering or allowing in-person schooling, the least you deserve is to know why.

It could be a governor’s order and health directives preventing individual counties or municipalities from doing in-person school, but depending on your state, it’s even more likely that local health officers and school boards are the ones deciding to prevent schools from fully opening.

Frequently, it’s up to the school board itself. While it may defer to health officers’ concerns or advice, it is the elected officials’ choice.

Remember, “It doesn’t matter who the president is.” During most elections, people focus on the top of the ticket, reading about those running, following scandals and gaffes, posting on social media, and participating in sign waves.

School boards, sheriffs, city and town councils, and county commissioner races have much more significant and immediate consequences for you and your family. Ironically, you also have tremendously more ability to influence the outcome.

Depending on the district, there may be lots of pressure from parents and teachers to go back to in-person instruction.

For example, more teachers in Moses Lake were interested in returning to school under a hybrid of in-person and remote than 100% remote. There was also greater support for going back to in-person-only instruction than entirely remote.

Pressure not to reopen comes from governors like Jay Inslee, who are funded and supported by the teachers’ unions that also oppose getting back to in-person instruction.

In fact, the Moses Lake Education Association president Jay Mather publicly came out speaking on behalf of the teachers in opposition to going back to in-person schooling while acknowledging that his position was not popular, not even with those he is supposed to represent.

This pressure from the governor is passed on to the state health department and trickles down to the county health departments.

Moses Lake School District is a prime example of what it looks like to have top-down pressure without a mandate.

The Health Officer for Grant and Adams counties, Dr. Brzezny starts at 5:00. If you want to get to the exchanges between the elected officials and the county health officer, skip to 1:38:00 of the 8-13-2020 School Board Meeting (via Zoom).

There is a fascinating and telling exchange between several school board members and the county health officer.

The health officer makes it abundantly clear he believes it’s not safe to reopen in-person instruction. Simultaneously, the health officer refuses to use his authority to prevent the schools from opening.

The question is why. Why would the health officer, the person whose job it is to make the call if schools can open or not, refuse to prevent the schools from opening if he believed so passionately that it was unsafe to open?

If the health officers’ professional opinion that in-person instruction is unsafe, does he not have liability when publicly refusing to prevent such actions, which is his prerogative, and is his job?

If you are interested in your children getting back to school, make sure you are spending as much time, if not more, focusing on your local elections than you are on top of the tickets races.

About the Author

MATTHEW HAYWARD

Before coming to work at the Freedom Foundation, Matthew worked at the Washington State Department of Agriculture, where he supervised and helped coordinate efforts between federal and state agencies, tribes, and volunteer organizations around the Puget Sound.

The year's he spent volunteering with grassroots politics has provided Matthew with many unique and sometimes controversial experiences. Some of those experiences range from successfully working to build coalitions between different factions to training and organizing volunteers to maximize their effectiveness.

If you get the chance to speak with Matthew, you will immediately notice his passion for freedom and work to educate the public about their Constitutional rights.

Ignite Legal: Ha Thu Dao, Esq. on "Do All Roads Lead to Foreclosure?"

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Although we are prone to short-term memory lapses, in Washington State, there was in fact a tidal wave of residential foreclosure commencing in 2010, where the crisis has given birth to the Washington Foreclosure Fairness Act, Bain v. Metropolitan Mortgage Group, 175 Wn.2d 83 (2012), and MERS entered our collective consciousness as a new four-letter word.

DISCLAIMER: There is no attorney-client relationship being created by the communication of information here between myself and my law firm with anyone in connection with the publication of the below article. No one should act upon any such information without first seeking one or more qualified professionals concerning your specific facts. The hiring of an attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely upon information posted on the internet or advertisements.

Written by: Ha Thu Dao, Esq.

Even though Seattle is listed as No. 2 in the nation for growth in real estate, and home equity has soared in the State of Washington overall, nonjudicial foreclosures remain a realistic threat to many Washingtonians.

The current homeowners’ fight in Washington state, is not because homes are underwater or because of the overall crumbling economy, but how their mortgage is being manipulated by the loan, mortgage and financial institutions.

Homeowners should be aware of the following scenarios:

Second mortgages as zombie debts. For those homeowners who were able to receive a loan modification on their first mortgage and have not made payments on their second mortgage for many, many years, they are now getting notices of intent to foreclose upon the second. It is difficult to resolve these second mortgages due to the interests that accrued over this long period of time.

The main issue in these cases is whether the statute of limitations has expired disallowing the creditor to pursue foreclose. Notable victories for the consumers include Hernandez v. Franklin Credit Management Corp., 2020 U.S.App. LEXIS 28369 (9th Cir., Sept. 9, 2020) (Bankruptcy court dismissed debtor’s suit to quiet title and he appealed to the district court and won; the creditor appealed to the Ninth Circuit which upheld the district court’s decision), and Taylor v. PNC Bank, 2:19-cv-01142 (W.D.Wash. July31, 2020) (Judge Coughenour granted judgment in favor of homeowner holding that time had ran out on PNC to foreclose on a HELOC).[1]

In homeowners’ continuing fight concerning Washington’s statute of limitations to foreclose, RCW 4.16.005, lenders and servicers have gained some traction on their argument that if the homeowner made some payments, even after bankruptcy discharge, applied for loan modification, or in some ways took actions that can be construed as “acknowledge of the debt,” then the debt can be “revived.”

Erroneous accounting of mortgage payments being made in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy:  A homeowner who is in the third-year of a five-year repayment plan and a homeowner who had successfully finished his five-year repayment plan in a chapter 13 bankruptcy plan to work out the arrears of his mortgage face the same risk of mortgage servicers’ botching the accounting of all payments received through the bankruptcy trustee and declaring the loan to be in default.  It is incredible that even when the bankruptcy trustee receives all payments and confirmation from the servicer that the loan has been made current, the servicer thereafter still declares the loan to be in arrears. Yet, this phenomenon has happened regularly.

Mortgage escrow accounts screw-ups: Ocwen, the 4th largest mortgage servicer in the country, got sued by the feds, the states, and class-action consumers, for, among many misdeeds, failure to accurately account for escrow payments made by homeowners on their mortgage, and had to pay millions. Yet, the mishandling of the escrow account occurs with other servicers as well. One of the signs of escrow mishandling is where the services sends different escrow analyses and other communication announcing increases in your mortgage payment due to escrow shortage.

The Loan was not on-boarded properly. The securitization of residential mortgage is very much alive and well and no loan is exempt from being mishandled during the transition from one servicer to another, and another, and another. The risk of the subsequent mortgage servicer’s onboarding incomplete or inaccurate information about your account is not only real, it is very high and the payments that you make, albeit current and correct, may be declared as insufficient and could cause your loan to be on free fall status. For example, while the homeowner completed and returned a loan modification application and made payments pursuant to the modified terms, the subsequent servicer failed to note the agreement and the new terms, declared the payments as insufficient and accelerated the loan.

How Coronavirus impacts your pending loan modification application? There are homeowners who were under consideration for a loan modification when the COVID-19 pandemic began; some have experienced layoffs and a reduction in income. These individuals are likely to have received repeated demands for submission of the same paperwork over and over as well as threat of foreclosure.

How does the pandemic affect your ability to keep your home? The National Consumer Law Center just released their report on October 29, 2020, examining exemption laws of the 50 states in the face of COVID-19, which concludes that not one state meets the basic standard of preserving the family’s home when it comes to state exemption laws.  Therefore, homeowners must be vigilant in guarding against the above-discussed systemic practices of mortgage servicers and debt collectors. These cases should be reviewed for violations of the federal Real Estate Procedures Act, Truth in Lending Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Telephone Consumer Protection Act, and Washington’s own Consumer Protection Act.  And vigilance means once you recognize the fact pattern, you must tackle these problems early and not allow them to fester into a full-blown foreclosure.

[1] Both of these cases were spearheaded by Christina L. Henry, Esq., of Henry DeGraaf, P.S., Seattle, WA.

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The Suburban Anarchist: A Weekly Column from your Local Suburban Anarchist Jeff Jared

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Businesses Have a Right to Open; There’s No “Pandemic Exception” to the US Constitution

Constitutional arguments to open your business right now are:

If you own an open business against an imperial governor or health department's rule, and a government official comes to close you down, may I suggest that you politely & peacefully give them a memo like this, “please good sir, your closing me down is unconstitutional. Therefore, you can’t enforce it.”

 “Here are the 6 reasons why your order to close me down is unconstitutional, as it violates economic liberty:"

  1. You don’t have a judge's or administrative law judge’s signature on an Order. (If there is one, go to next step)
  2. This Order to close me down violates Separation of Powers & the three equal branches of government. No imperial governor whose 1st 30-day edict is done and whose emergency has ended (as curve flattened) can legally order a shutdown as Legislative approval is needed to extend it. And Washington Governor Inslee can’t appoint a non-elected administrative health official to decree a lockdown. Wisconsin’s Supreme Court just said this when it opened its state’s businesses after striking down its stay at home order last week.
  3. Violation of Privileges & Immunities Clause/Right to Earn a Livelihood/economic liberty. I've got a right to work.
  4. 5th Amendment Taking. Taking not only of physical property/real estate, but also of physical & mental earning power violates my economic liberty.
  5. Equal Protection Violation. Some can open, others can’t.
  6. 1st Amendment Violation. Free business speech.  I’ve a right to post an “open” sign.
  7. Due Process Violation.  "The lockdown is not rationally related to slowing spread of disease; masks may actually accentuate it; masks don't work . . ." (This is the political and scientific debate on this).

NOTE:

If you open, you'll probably get a warning and then a civil citation perhaps with threats of fines/day. Then fines/day. THEY CAN EVEN REVOKE YOUR BUSINESS LICENSE, so be careful.  That's civil enforcement.Then perhaps criminal arrest for staying open. 

If criminally arrested, please peacefully submit and have your attorney tell the judge in

48 hours (you’ve a right to a hearing w/in 48 hours in most states) to release you. “Tell the judge in the morning.”

Jeff Jared, The Suburban Anarchist

Ignite Events: Recap of #SchoolChoiceNow Rally 

Written by Tara Childs, Chair for the Committee for the Advancement of School Choice 

On October 27th, 2020, my team held a rally fighting to get kids back in school. We deserve to have a choice.

We began this rally in Pasco, Washington with our cars decorated along with our message to our community and signs big and bold. After networking and receiving lots of honks and waives and people wishing their community was doing the same, we carried on to Jefferson Park in Richland, Washington.

Interviews were done of young people fighting for their right to attend school!  People left with hope and courage and they realized that what may be uncomfortable at first gives us strength and unity. We are the people and we will not be silenced.

#SchoolChoiceNow Let’s provide funding to take governmental tyranny out of our schools!

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