Serving Franklin County, WA

Commissioners back First, Second Amendments

Debate gets personal when Peck calls for Didier to don mask

PASCO —Franklin County commissioners unanimously approved a resolution voicing support of the First and Second Amendments of the U.S. Constitution during this morning’s meeting, Tuesday, April 20, but not without a dustup between Chairman Clint Didier and Commissioner Lowell “Brad” Peck.

The resolution, 2021-081, was brought proposed by Didier and drafted by Franklin County Administrator Keith Johnson.

Commissioner Rocky Mullen brought it forward to discuss with a motion to approve and a second by Didier.

Under the resolution, Franklin County reaffirms its support to rights guaranteed under the U.S. and state constitutions and “recognizes the citizens’ right to exercise freedom of speech and assemble peaceably, the right to keep and bear arms for personal protection of life and property, protect against unreasonable search and seizure, and ensure all other fundamental rights.”

But what looked like it would be a clear unanimous vote was interrupted by Peck.

“What is the purpose behind this resolution,” Peck asked Didier. “Why are we doing it?”

“To re-emphasize our constitutional rights granted to us by the supreme law of the land, the U.S. Constitution, and our state constitution,” Didier responded. “We have the right to assemble. We have the right of free speech and we have the right to our Second Amendment to protect our lives, our families and our possessions.”

Didier pointed out that President Joe Biden and Gov. Jay Inslee, both Democrats, are using executive powers to usurp constitutional rights.

“We see the attack is on our freedom of assembly, freedom of speech and our on Second Amendment under attack by executive orders,” Didier said. “It (Resolution 2021-081) basically says were standing with our Constitution, the supreme law of the land.”

All three Franklin County commissioners are Republicans.

Peck questioned if the it is “appropriate” for commissioners to challenge decisions by the president or governor.

“Absolutely,” Didier responded.

Peck tried a personal shot at Didier, chastising him for not wearing a mask while standing up for the Constitution.

“I’d appreciate if you put your mask on,” he said. “By the way, that’s one of our current laws in our state.”

“It’s not a law,” Didier responded. “Show me where the Legislature passed that law.”

The state and federal constitutions grant law-making authority to legislative branches of government while charging the executive branch with enforcement.

Didier tried to shrug off the personal attack and called Sheriff Jim Raymond to offer his view on the resolution.

But Peck interrupted.

“You don’t get to just end my comment. I’m speaking,” Peck said.

“Actually, I will,” Sheriff Raymond said, ending the brief exchange.

“I am supportive of this resolution and have no objections,” the sheriff said, noting it doesn’t interfere with the ability of deputies to enforce laws. “I believe it creates a statement… I am fully supportive and have no objections.”

After the sheriff concluded, Didier recognized Peck and allowed him to continue.

“Let’s not pander and posture over the Constitution while were simultaneously violating our oath of office by ignoring state laws,” he said, again focusing on Didier’s decision not to wear a mask.

Peck’s comments fell on deaf ears as the motion passed, 3-0.

Author Bio

Roger Harnack, Publisher

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Roger Harnack is the co-owner/publisher of Free Press Publishing. Having grown up Benton City, Roger is an award-winning journalist, photographer, editor and publisher. He's one of only two editorial/commentary writers from Washington state to ever receive the international Golden Quill. Roger is dedicated to the preservation of local media, and the voice it retains for Eastern Washington.


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