On June 17th, Okanogan County Farm Bureau hosted a Seventh Legislative District Senate Candidate Debate (video online). At the end of the debate, I myself asked the candidates if they supported mandatory community service for high school students. Mike Brunson and Brian Dansel both opposed mandatory community service. John Smith clearly supported it. The candidate’s statements were also published in the Omak newspaper.
Later I was copied on an email between John Smith and blogger Lynn Stuter. Lynn asked Smith the following, “I’m given to understand that, at a recent forum, you indicated that the state has the right to force public school students to perform community service. Is this correct? If so, please provide a constitutional reference for this.” Smith’s reply, “No, that statement is not correct. On the contrary, at a public forum I expressed my wishes to require schools to highly recommend volunteer service to students.” Lynn then followed up attaching the newspaper article covering the debate as well as Roger Harnack’s editorial, “Please comment on the two attached articles, concerning the forum referenced below. Both of these articles state you support mandatory community service.” Lynn, to my knowledge, has yet to receive a reply.
As a Farm Bureau member who asked the very question, there was no discussion in terms of “voluntary.” The question was in regards to “mandatory” community service. A lie or incompetence? Either way, John Smith has shown his stripes. Please join me in supporting Brian Dansel for Seventh Legislative District Senator.