Monday, November 07, 2005

Deja Vu (Local Politics Version)

Before I get into all this, I want to point out to fellow Seattle-natives that Shelly in Seattle has put her recommendations on Initiatives. She and I don't agree on everything, but I think she makes a lot of good points, and I recommend you tune her in.

Done? 'Cause let me sit down because I'm getting deja vu all over again with the upcoming election for King County Executive. It feels like it is the year 2000, compacted down to a county-sized bite.

Here's the sitch - we have a Democrat who has brought the county from a nasty economic time to its best rating ever, strong on environment and family, but is plagued by a scandal (in this case the voting huggamugga from the last Governor's election - a scandal that produced much more heat than light). On the Republican side, we have one of those guys who swear he's going run the government "like a business" but who owes his business experience to his family name and backing, and who jumped ship (as COO) from one company just before it augered in. Add to that some murky issues of personal integrity (which has resulted that not only his former co-workers but his own family coming out publicly against him), a now-hidden agenda or two (involving previous support for running a highway through Seattle's watershed, not talked about much now), and baleful cries that the Dems are saying horrible things about him (Like sending out mailers showing him holding a Bush/Cheney sign, knowing full well that our commander in chief's approval ratings are only slightly above freezing).

Does any of this sound familiar?

Oh yeah, add a third party candidate to the race who operates on the left but is positive that he will take as many votes from the GOP as the Dems. NOW does it sound like the US back in 2000? Does King County finally have the chance to fall off its high horse and choose the pig in the poke? Do we have a chance to prove that we're just as dumb as the rest of the country?

Hang on, because it does get worse. In a last-moment assault, the State GOP loudly and publicly "found" almost 2000 "illegal" voters, bringing back the questions of that scandal-prone vote count (never mind they never came up with anything - the accusastions are enough under a relentless drumbeat of repetition). Trouble is, the next day they had to back-pedal on about ten percent of their accusations (and more coming) as those disenfranchised turned out to be both a) real voters, and b) real angry about this stunt.

Yep, it's our old favorite, Vote Supression - if you make it tougher for people to vote the odds are that your core voters will count for more. Because, it is unlikely that the people who were "accidentally" bounced off the voting rolls would vote GOP (at least, not anymore).

So here we are again, with a flawed vessel of a candidate being put forward by a strong-arm campaign. The thing is, the GOP stands a decent chance, because it has been two terms of a Democrat who has never met an idea he didn't want to play with. (some of which I like, some of which I don't). So some folk think it may be time for a change.

Not this time. We need to send a message of our own about all this, so I am strongly recommending and endorsing Ron Sims for King County Executive.

'Cause, yaknow, the similarities are so striking, that if the Republicans get in, by this time next year we'll be invading Pierce County.

More later.