Monday, November 08, 2010

Election Day Cleanup

So here we are, about a week after election day and I finally get around to reporting the results. Part of it is the result of not having a machine over the weekend (another story) but part of is because of the nature of Washington State Elections. We vote by mail, and the ballots must be postmarked by election day (In California, they have to have arrived by election day). So the result is that close elections will hang fire for a couple days before the near-final results are known. Oddly enough, I'm good with this, but this is why people in the business of shaping a narration for this election thought our Senate race would make us the "New Florida" (Spoiler Alert - It didn't).

So, how did things go?

Some things surprised me. Some things saddened me. Only one did both.

I-1053 (Tim Eyeman hearts the oil companies) PASSES - This is the one that both surprised and saddened me. Really, really bad idea that will come back to haunt people (Heck, in the time since the election, Eyeman has already challenged a fare increase for the ferries fares as a "tax").
I-1082 (BIAW hearts big insurance) FAILS
I-1098 (Bill Gates and his Dad want to pay taxes) FAILS
I-1100 (Costco wants to keep the Stranger staff drunk) FAILS
I-1105 (Smaller distributors want to keep the Stranger staff drunk) FAILS
I-1107 (Beverage companies want to avoid taxes) PASSES - this is what happens when you put a candy tax on the ballot so close to Halloween.

R-52 (Cute Puppy wants to repair schools) FAILS
Amendment 8225 (Redefine interest calculation to let the state take advantage of Federal loans) - PASSES (which is surprising because it is a relatively complex issue, which voters supposedly would not understand)
Amendment 4220 (Allow judges to deny bail under narrow conditions) PASSES Handily.

And what have we learned? The people have pretty much sent a message that new taxes, new fees, and closing loopholes are off the table. Get ready for deep and painful cuts in services, since that's the only option you've got left.

King County Amendment 1 - (Revise charter's preamble to put business on same level as environment) - PASSES
King County Amendment 2 - (Remove duplication of effort in Public Disclosures) - PASSES
King County Amendment 3 - (Allow Sheriff to negotiate collective bargaining, but not for important stuff like wages or benefits ) - PASSES
King Count Proposition 1 (Cute Puppy wants to keep cops, firemen, and rest of the government) - FAILS

US Senator - Patty Murray (the media hesitated long and hard even though more King County votes piled up in her favor - finally, denied of their promised narrative)
US REP, 8th District - Dave Reichert

State Senator, 47th District - Joe Fain, who out-hustled Claudia Kauffman (and I just found out he's brother to a local sports radio host - the stuff you don't learn until later).

Representative, 47th District, Position 1 - Mike Hargrove (Two-Thirds majority to raise any tax, plus Representative who has pledged never to raise a tax = what could go wrong?)

Representative, 47th District, Position 2 - Pat Sullivan.

State Supreme Court Justice Position #6 - This is, oddly, the one that is hanging fire, refusing to resolve. When the ballots first went out, Sanders had a comfortable incumbent's lead. Since then, though, a lot of stuff that happened recently (racially-tinged statements made alongside fellow Justice Jim Johnson, who, alas, was running unopposed on this ballots), combined with articles from the Stranger and Times on past questionable behavior has resulted in late ballots breaking towards challenger Wiggins. At this point, things are so close that Sanders is already claiming fraud.

Position #3 - David Meyer
Position #6 - Matt Williams (I'm O-for-2 on this one).

And what is the larger picture? Well, pretty good considering that the recent election was supposed to be such a massive rejection of the current administration that time and space would be ruptured, Bush would be put back into office for a third term, and the Rangers would retroactively win the World's Series on a 5-4 decision. Instead, a populace frustrated with the economy turned the more volatile House over to the party out of power. Sounds about right (In the state house, the Dem majorities are reduced by not overturned).

Actually, what is interesting is that most of the US House Dem losses occurred in areas where conservative "Blue Dog" Democrats were running AWAY from the achievements of their party, Of the thirty+ Dems who voted against Health Care Reform, less then a dozen are coming back. Meanwhile, the "progressive wing" of the party held its own, with a couple notable exceptions.

But as noted above, the state government is charged with covering anticipated shortfalls without increasing taxes, raising fees, or closing any loopholes. So buckle down for a slew of "local Cute Puppy lacks funds, must be tossed into shredder" stories. Because that is now the new narrative.

More later,