Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Political Desk: Governor

So, it has been a rocky term for the executive branch of the great state of Washington State. We've seen escaped inmates from Western State, hellacious tolls on the 405 HOT lanes, and the state auditor being put on trial by the Feds (more on him later). And the icing on the cake has been a little billet doux that the Viaduct Tunnel (unloved by many Seattlites, pushed hard on the state level) will need three more years and 223 millions more of buckage.

Some of are unforced errors, some are unexpected, and some are leftover from previous bad ideas coming home to roost. The trouble is, they are all coming home to roost right on top of the head of incumbent Jay Inslee. Even if you mumble into your tea how all this is not really his fault, it is his administration, and ultimately he takes the fall. Which is a pity, since Mr. Inslee has been pretty good, having to deal with a legislature that varies between hostile and inert.

And having Democrats at the state level is a pretty good idea. Washington has been solidly blue, and is rocketing up. And you know who else is doing well with Dems in charge? California. That state is ON FIRE and its got a budget surplus. On other other hand, Wisconsin and Kansas, GOP held and led, have been cratering.

But in any other year, Mr. Inslee be vulnerable, and rightly so.But this is not any other year. As mentioned in the PSA, the lack of leadership at the head of the ticket will depress GOP votes more than any disenfranchising effort. Also Mr. Inslee's opponent, Bill Bryant, comes out of my favorite pit of scum and villainy - the port commissioners. Even in the quietest of years, I can look to the Port for a good dose of shennanigans.

Shell kept telling the Port Commission that it was just
a big kayak, and no one would notice.
While Mr. Bryant is running full-page ads in the times about transparency and hugging the environment, his term at the Ports was marked by the secret backroom deal that brought a polluting Shell drill rig into Seattle for a rest-up from despoiling Alaska. You know, the deal that ended up with about a bajillion people in kayaks filling up the waters of Puget Sound in protest? Yeah, THIS is why you don't run Port Commissioners for higher office.

Oh, yeah, Mr. Bryant also refuses to tell anyone if he supports the Presidential candidate for his own party. Republicans should growl at him for not supporting Mr. Trump, Democrats for supporting Mr. Trump, and everyone else gives him the hairy eyeball for not publicly taking a stand.

Yet despite the monkey business of Mr. Bryant's last job and his unwillingness to even comment on the top of his own ticket, he is not the craziest person running for the office. The others vary from well-meaning to endearing to vile. They include:

Goodspaceguy is a perennial candidate who has been running on the issue of minimum wage for years. Unlike practically everyone else, though, he's against it.We will only attain true economic freedom when we are free to pay people the absolute minimum. He is a Republican, but he is not the craziest person running for Governor.

Bill Hirt declares that light rail will not solve all the congestion problems we are facing, so we should not do it at all. He invokes the story of the Emperor's New Clothes, but gets in a little deep assigning all the roles (I am not sure if I am a weaver or a wise man). He is also a Republican, but is also not the craziest person running for Governor.

Mary Martin is from the Socialist Worker Party. As might be expected, she hates war, quotes Malcolm X, and wants to overturn the dictatorship of capital,  She also wants the FBI and Oregon police arrested for the slaying of one of the Malheur NWR protestors/occupiers. OK, I guess that makes sense in a big-picture, all government is bad sorta way, but I doubt the ranchers will be voting for you. Not the craziest person running for Governor.

Steve Rubenstein is a self-declared Independent. Pro State Income Tax and Capital Gains tax. A self-admitted "tree-hugger." I like the cut of his jib, and if Inslee is not the man for you, I would recommend Mr. Rubenstein.

David W. Blomstrom of the Fifth Republic Party wants you to know about the jewarchy, the Seattle Mafia, and Bill Gates' crappy software. If he adds the word jewarchy to your vocabulary, he will consider his campaign as success. Thanks, Dave, but I already know that word from researching George Lincoln Rockwell.

I suppose this is as good a place as any to mention, appropos of nothing, that King County Elections is not authorized to edit statements, nor is it responsible for the contents therein. Don't know why that came to mind. Anyway:

Johnathan Dodds prefers Democrat, thinks well have a great economy no matter whose in charge, and that the issue is how to "manage the social pressures that are derved and suppressed"(derved?). Plus free up the people from the suppressive measures put in place as legislation. Nope, don't know what all that means, either.

Patrick O'Rourke is a Democrat, and supported Bernie Sanders (there are more people on this ballot who will admit to supporting Mr. Sanders than have admitted they like Mr. Trump). Pro-Union, pro-education, pro economic justice. Yeah, that's good. Another good one if Inslee does not float your boat. Also, though it goes without saying, not barking mad.

Christian Pierre Joubert is the Holistic Party, and came in third in the classic Gregroire/Rossi scrum in 2008. He wants to create a new Consciousness movement, restore the people's wholeness, and build a magnificent "New Era" Staue of Holistic Responsiblity. He also wants to treat you to a one week health spa vacation. Not only is not the craziest person running for Governor, I think he's got a good chance.

And finally, James Robert Deal. Democratic Party (OK). Wants to tax the to 10% (OK), Single payer healthcare (Fine). Cut congestion through Uber-style van pools (Ummm, OK). Build gigabyte internet. (That's good). Fight fluoridaition (Wait, what?). Not the craziest person running for Governor.

And yeah, you can see the Summer of my Discontent, distilled down in this one ballot.

More later,