Team 18

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I like to talk about “Team 18”

Why?

Everything significant I’ve ever been a part of in my life, has been as part of a team. It started as one of six kids in the Ley family. But that also carried into school sports and the band, or Junior Achievement & DeMolay, or in ROTC.

Yes, an incredible amount of hard work, focus, and persistence was required on my part. BUT — we were able to accomplish more by working as a team and striving towards a common goal.

My 11 1/2 years in the Air Force. Two different staffs working together on Public Relations, at a local and then a headquarters level. Then on a KC-135 refueling tanker crew, with an Aircraft Commander and copilot, a navigator & boom operator. But we also had crew chiefs and superb support teams to keep the airplane well maintained and in safe flying condition.

As an airline Captain, I have a huge team working with me and behind the scenes to allow us to depart and arrive on time, in a safe and comfortable operation.

Working with fellow Delta employees, several of us took on the federal Department of Health and Human Services, to fight “faux science” they used to create bad drug testing rules for airline employees. We got the DHHS & DOT rules changed, and saved the jobs of roughly a dozen employees.

As a member of the pilot’s leadership for over half a decade, I worked with many experts in numerous areas — scheduling, retirement & insurance, training, security, FAA, pay & benefits, and so many other areas, ultimately improving the contract and lives of Delta pilots and their families.

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The citizens get the opportunity to put together a team to represent them in Olympia every two years. Can they make the team better & stronger?

I think the world of Ann Rivers & Liz Pike. They are an amazing team, working together to address so many aspects of the concerns of our citizens.

What do I bring to the team?

I have over 30 years flying Boeing airplanes, for both the military and in the private sector. They are our state’s largest employer and my experiences and involvement in both their military and private airplanes will allow me to bring that expertise to bear in the legislature’s dealings with Boeing on a host of levels.

My 11 1/2 years in the Air Force gives me a special appreciation and empathy for those serving our nation today. The struggles of the families of our service members must be attended to, and a strong desire to fight on behalf of those veterans who served in the past, but still need our support.

The devastation of 9/11 is shared by all Americans. But it hit extra close to home with airlines being used as weapons of mass destruction. Without security, all else pales in importance. Protecting our citizens is a must, be it in on our borders, or within our cities and towns, or in airports and transportation systems. And that includes citizens right to protect themselves and their loved ones, via their 2nd Amendment right to bear arms.

My airline’s post 9/11 trip through bankruptcy brings home the realities of responsible financial management, and the devastation bad corporate and personal financial decisions can have on people and their families. I don’t want Washington to become the next Detroit or Illinois. We must live within our financial means and conservatively manage the taxpayers money our state government is entrusted with.

I became a self-studied expert in pensions & pension funding issues even before I lost my pension in my airline’s bankruptcy. This causes me to want to work to reform pension laws and our public employee pension system. Right now, both the employees and the tax payer are at risk in the current system.

I formed a small business after losing my pension. My experiences lead me to want to reduce the intrusiveness of government with regards to small business creation and the people who struggle so hard in the small business community. The B&O tax “maze” is far too complicated. It is wrong to tax the first dollar of revenue, rather than the “net profit” of small businesses. So many aspects of government regulation make it difficult for small businesses to create jobs and employ people. That must change if we want to grow our state’s economy.

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“The devil is in the details” I always say. I love digging into the details of a problem, be it fighting the Columbia River Crossing, pension reform, healthcare reform, job creation, energy independence, or so many other vital issues of concern.

But no one person can be a true “expert” in everything our state legislature has oversight and makes law on. So that’s why you need the best possible “Team” to work together on behalf of the people of our state.

Who would make the best possible “Team 18”? That’s up to the citizens of the 18th District.

I am happy to offer my life experience, my expertise, and my work ethic to the people of the 18th District, to make “Team 18” even better.