Monday, August 03, 2009


We’ve got a primary coming up in King County in a few weeks, and most of you have received your mail-in ballots now. And behold that which the will of the people has wrought – a primary in August, non-partisan positions, reducing number of districts for King County Council. And the end result is not much to brag about.

And as always I recommend you check out the Municipal League ratings (though to be honest, this year there are a couple strange outliers), and the endorsements of the Seattle Times and Stranger.

Strap in kids, I’m going try to do this in one sitting.

Let me concentrate on the stuff I can actually vote on; the big one is King County Executive. The former KCE Ron Sims is in the Obama administration now, so we need a replacement, and there has been a host of challengers. It boils down to who is going to compete with front-runner Susan Hutchinson, who is well known as a former local newscaster and less well known for supporting Republicans and conservative operations like Discovery Institute. She’s been trying to keep those connections out of the discussion since "this is a non-partisan position” and you know, you shouldn’t really, um, judge the person you vote for based on what the really believe, anyway. On the other hand, there are a number of excellent candidates in competition, including Ross Hunter and Fred Jarrett, but I am going to recommend Dow Constantine, the current King County Council Chair.

We have five King County Council incumbents seeking re-election, but only have one of them that has primary competition for their offices (Hey, you guys voted for this situation, don’t look at me). Reagan Dunn is the incumbent in position 9, and should be noted on his yard-sign. He has "DUNN" in big blog letters (his mom was the long-serving US Rep from the 8th US House District) while the “Reagan” (a name that does not play well in some parts around here) is a spaghetti-thin script in dark green (against a red background, so it vibrates to unreadability). Back before we decided to non-partisan the position, Dunn was a Republican, but now we want to hide their party, their support, and sometimes their names. Sigh.

At least he sees some competition – Perennial candidate Mark Greene (formerly of the Party of Commons, when parties still gave you a clue) and Beverly Tonda (who does not have a website, and according to the Weekly, is in the race in part due to frustrations over developing her land). I’m not a fan of hereditary political officers, but I got nothing here. At least you get a chance to vote “Throw the Bounders Out”, which is more than you get for the other districts. No Recommendation.

Court of Appeals (Div 1, Dist 1) has Anne Ellington versus Robert Kelly. Ellington walks in with a lot of experience (she’s the incumbent), endorsements, and an Outstanding from the Muni League. Since there are only two candidates, the winner of this primary election gets the job (another recent wrinkle that irritates me). So vote for Anne Ellington.

And then there is the Port of Seattle, our own local Mos Eisley, capable of producing all manner of shady deals and brewing scandals among pro-business corporate types. These pro-business corporate types then either get regularly re-elected despite the woes or retire (with lovely parting gifts) to be replaced by other corporate types. I’m going to go with Rob Holland for the 3rd and Max Vekich in the 4th. Both are strong union, strong reform types with experience on the docks.

Lastly, on a pure local level, Kent School District 415, Director District 5 has three candidates and we have to whittle them down to two. Tim Clark, Dave Wilson, and Dale Smith have their only exposure through the voting guide. All three come off as intelligent people who have children/grandchildren who were in/are the Kent District, and all use the word diverse/diversity correctly in a sentence. I'm going to pitch for Tim Clark for the three readers of this blog who happen to LIVE in Kent, and primarily because of the nod he makes to the arts.

And that’s it – I don’t get to vote for Mayor of Seattle (or rather – who gets to run against incumbent Mayor Greg Nickels) or the Referendum on charging a 20-cent fee for using plastic bags. I will note that the American Chemical Company has pumped $1.4 million into the campaign to defeat this, which works out to about $2.40 per person in the city, or the equivalent of 12 plastic bags. Wouldn’t it be simpler just to mail everyone in the city 12 plastic bags?

More later,

Update: Shelly in Seattle has her recommendations from up in Kirkland. She and I don't agree on all points. Oh, the shock!

Update Update: And the website Publicola weighs in.