Richard Elfers

The power of legacy | Rich Elfers’ Politics in Focus

My grandfather Elfers loved to argue, and on one occasion when I was about 10 years old, I saw him get a glint in his eye, and raise his voice as he talked about politics. I, too, became interested in politics and later ran for public office. I, too, love to argue and discuss what’s going on in the world. That’s partly why I write this column.

Editorial | Presidents used media wisely | Rich Elfers

A major reason President Obama won the elections of 2008 and 2012 was because he and his advisers harnessed the power of the data-mining capacities of the computer and the mass appeal of the Internet. Obama for America polled, communicated with, organized and milked supporters for donations more effectively than any other candidate in American history.

Media is a powerful hammer in the politician’s toolbox | Rich Elfers’ Politics in Focus

A major reason President Obama won the elections of 2008 and 2012 was because he and his advisers harnessed the power of the data-mining capacities of the computer and the mass appeal of the Internet. Obama for America polled, communicated with, organized and milked supporters for donations more effectively than any other candidate in American history.

Politicians need to adapt to the new reality | Rich Elfers’ Politics in Focus

Politics deals with what is, not what we would like humans and society to be. That’s one of the major things that I miss about being on the Enumclaw City Council.

Do we know right from wrong? | RICH ELFERS

Are children born with an innate sense of right and wrong? That was the question a 60 Minutes segment explored on Nov. 18. The Yale study used hand puppets to test whether children as young as 3 months knew right from wrong. This study gives us a more complete picture of moral development with deep implications for us all.

In the sock drawer of good and evil | Rich Elfers’ Politics in Focus

Are children born with an innate sense of right and wrong? That was the question a 60 Minutes segment explored on Nov. 18. The Yale study used hand puppets to test whether children as young as 3 months knew right from wrong. This study gives us a more complete picture of moral development with deep implications for us all.

Quality, not quantity, is the key | RICH ELFERS

The 2012 election was the most expensive political war in American history. Republicans and Democrats spent $6 billion on all the campaigns – presidential and congressional and on the state level.

Election spending about quality, not quantity | Rich Elfers’ Politics in Focus

The 2012 election was the most expensive political war in American history. Republicans and Democrats spent $6 billion on all the campaigns - presidential and congressional and on the state level.

All candidates can get ‘framed’ | Rich Elfers’ Politics in Focus

In order to win big stakes elections in America, it’s necessary to frame your opponent in an unfavorable light.

Politicians master the art of framing | Rich Elfers’ Politics in Focus

In order to win big stakes elections in America, it’s necessary to frame your opponent in an unfavorable light. Your opponent tries to do the same thing to you. Whoever is more successful in framing their opponent will win the election.

Reaching for the other side of the aisle | Rich Elfers’ Politics in Focus

Have you had enough of slanted political views, slander and stubborn, self-righteous partisanship? I have. I’m glad elections are done for at least a year. It seems what Americans are hungry for is cooperation and compromise between the political parties in the nation’s Congress and the state and local governments for the good of the nation. What most of us really would like to see is a sense of balance and moderation.

Understanding Syria | Rich Elfers’ Politics in Focus

Syria is a nation formed by Britain and France out of the remains of the Ottoman Empire after World War I. France chose to have Syria and Lebanon as its mandated protectorate as formulated by the League of Nations, the precursor of the United Nations.

What happens if no one wins? | RICH ELFERS

All the polls say this presidential election will be very close. According to one political writer, it will come down to about a million people who live in the battleground states whose highest education is a high school diploma. What if there is no clear Electoral College winner?

Could this year’s election beget a historic glitch? | Politics in Focus

All the polls say this presidential election will be very close. According to one political writer, it will come down to about a million people who live in the battleground states whose highest education is a high school diploma.

Politics and ethics can coexist | RICH ELFERS

Recently I announced a guest Pacific Lutheran University professor at my church would be discussing Christian ethics and politics during the Adult Forum. I received laughter when I noted those two terms didn’t have to be mutually exclusive.

Political fractures fuel candidates’ dishonesty | Politics in Focus

Recently I announced a guest Pacific Lutheran University professor at my church would be discussing Christian ethics and politics during the Adult Forum. I received laughter when I noted those two terms didn’t have to be mutually exclusive. Both presidential candidates claim to be Christian, but in the heat of political battle for the highest office in the land, truth seems to have taken a back seat to winning – or is it to avoid losing?

Apartheid impacts are still felt in South Africa | RICH ELFERS

Crime and violence are notoriously high in South Africa. If you drive around just about anywhere you will see high walls with barbed or concertina wire encircling nearly every middle- or upper-class home. Often, broken glass or metal spikes stick out of the tops of these walls to discourage thieves from climbing over.

Executive privilege a tricky trap | Rich Elfers

Gov. Chris Gregoire is under pressure for claiming executive privilege. The issues involve withholding of emails and internal documents on the Alaskan Way Viaduct, medical marijuana laws, and criminal pardons, to name three.

Editorial | A high price paid for freedom | Rich Elfers

How do you react to injustice when dealing with your government or in the workplace? That was one of the questions I asked myself on my recent trip to visit my daughter and family in South Africa.

Racism of apartheid had deep economic roots | Rich Elfers’ Politics in Focus

How do you react to injustice when dealing with your government or in the workplace? That was one of the questions I asked myself on my recent trip to visit my daughter and family in South Africa.