Sunday, November 04, 2007

Local Politics: Stragglers

So Washington State has been very successful with vote-by-mail, and will go to that fully next year. I'm a traditionalist, and will mourn the passing of the old-fashioned voting booth, but so it goes. What this means, though, is that a lot of people have already voted, while others are still thinking about it/putting it off. For them we put up the lists of Voting Suggestions and advice on how to figure out how to vote without slashing your own electoral throat.

Because the campaigns, even at this late date, are not going to be particularly helpful.

Example is a late mailer here from the Bill Bryant (Port Commissioner) campaign. It is pretty well-done, showing his opponent Alec FIsken on one side is scary b/w photo, and pull quotes about how the port is disfunctional from the PI and the online Crosscut. Now, the PI reference doesn't reference Fisken at all (talking actually about Bryant's allies), while the Crosscut piece actually holds opponent Fisken up as being one of the voices of reform for the port ("a very interesting new political phenom who might be a harbinger of Seattle politics to come"), but don't expect Bryant's mailer to say that - instead, among the charges leveled is that Fisken has spent four years on the job without breaking the stranglehold of the big business interests - oh, the horror!

The flip side is just as charming and disingenuous. It's time to clean up the port, says candidate and International Trade Negotiator Bill Bryant. And he is shown in a turtleneck! With a beard and aviator frames! And hiking boots! AND he has an orca on his brochure and his yard signs! He looks like he's from Seattle! He must be a good guy!

And Bryant may well be a good person and love marine mammals, but he is also the big business candidate who will more likely support the shennanigans going on in the Port at the moment, like big-ticket golden parachutes for former CEOs. So file this one definitely as "Flying under false colors" and vote for Alec Fisken.

Secondly, we have the King County Prosecutor race between interim incumbent Dan Satterberg and challenger Bill Sherman. Satterberg has made a big play for how the KC Prosecutor's office must be non-partisan, while running as a partisan candidate. The lib blogs and weeklies have been reporting on this, and the dailies are just catching up with the sudden cash dump from the Washington State Republican Party into the campaign, some of it little more than money laundering from big-ticket donors. Satterberg is apparently shocked, simply shocked, that all the people giving money to his non-partisan campaign are the usual GOP suspects. As a reminder, vote Bill Sherman.

And then we have ST/RTID Proposition 1, which, as you know, I think is a balanced, well-explained compromise in addressing Seattle's #1 headache - traffic. (so Vote Yes - it ain't sexy, but it works). But I did get a cute recorded message yesterday morning from some anti-folks. Which anti-folks, I can't tell, and I don't remember it exactly, but I think went something like this:

MUSIC: "Leave It To Beaver" theme song,
SFX: Funky old car horn
SAM (Folksy Vote): Hey, Mona, we've got an election coming up.
MONA (equally Folksy): Do we, Sam?
SAM: Yeah, and those scoundrels in charge of our government is trying to pull a fast one on us just plain folks.
MONA: Really?
SAM: Yeppers, with Proposition 1, which will raise our taxes more than our taxes have ever been raised before!
MONA: Really?
SAM: Sure Enough, and despite all that, it won't do a thing to making the highways less congested, because people will keep moving in unless we let our roads collapse.
MONA: Well, I don't like that! Bad roads are the only thing keeping all those Californians out.
SAM: That's right. And I understand that those supporting this measure are puppy-kickers!
MONA: Puppy-kickers?
SAM: Yep, they love to pour concrete and kick puppies! And raise our taxes!
MONA: Well, I'd never vote for concrete-pouring, tax-raising puppy-kickers!
SAM: Neither would I, and neither should you, person-we've-never-met-because-we're-recording-this-in-Chicago.
MONA: So vote no! Or else evil people are going to come over and kick your puppies!

Then again, I may have missed the exact quotes.

So hang on, there's some life in this election yet.

More later,