Monday, July 23, 2012

Political Desk: The Beginnening.

The lawn signs have sprouted. The first commercials are nosing their way into our lives. The robocalls have started and the wind promises the first hints of mailings in the Panther Lake area.

Primary season.

I usually cover the elections from my perch here on Grubb Street, but I'm a little off-kilter this time out. Perhaps I'm getting jaded. Maybe I'm getting too old to be sufficiently snarky. Maybe I'm turning cynical about the process. Maybe I just think there are enough people doing politics, and I can't maintain the entire sense of continual outrage that seems to be a base-line requirement for political blogging. Maybe I've just lived in Washington long enough to get irritated at politically-drawn district boundaries, a seriously busted initiative process, and a top-two primary system.

But then, someone always sends me a note thanking me for my recommendations, even if they don't agree with them. And that's pretty cool.

As voters, many Washington State voters are less well-armed than normal this year, in that there is no paper voters' guide being mailed out by the state this time out. King County was good enough to launch its own paper voters' guide, which is interesting - the most populous county gets to be the best informed. For the rest of you, you can head for the state's miserable-to-navigate site, but that's about all the democracy we want to pay for this time around.

But, there are resources. The online site for the state voter's guide is here, as noted. Voting-For-Judges, an nonpartisan aggregator site for judicial recommendations is here. The King County Municipal League weighs in here. And for those who want more cursing in their recommendations, the Stranger is here. The Seattle Times also makes recommendations, but to be frank, their editorial board often seems like they're taking more recreational medications than the Stranger. (Nope, still snarky).

And the thing is, this stuff matters.We are putting the entire state executive branch up for vote this year. Most of the "top-two" is going to boil down to the Democratic-endorsed candidate versus the Republican-endorsed candidate squaring off for the big show in November. But the Judgeships are an exception, in that if a candidate gets 50%+, then they just get the position and the bye. And that's pretty important - some judicial positions will be decided right now. So pay attention.

In addition, because of redistricting, you may not be in the same legislative district that you were in before, so some of the names on the ballot may be new to you. Registered votes should have gotten cards (Grubbstreet is Congressional district 9, Legislative district 11, and Kent City Council district 5, just so you know). 

I'll get these out over the course of the coming week or so.

More later,