Thursday, November 08, 2012

The Political Desk: Wrapping Up

So the election has come and gone, and in Washington State, we have to wait for all the mail-in votes to show up to be certain (which, by the way, is a good thing), but a lot of races have been decided by the votes already cast. So here are the results as they stand right now. I put results different from those I recommended in Red, and comments in brackets.

Proposed by Initiative Petition
Initiative Measure No. 1185
(Retain supermajority to raise taxes) - YES

[I will start on a downer, in that we have a blind spot about wanting government services (good schools, streets, that sort of thing), but as a people are allergic to anything that smacks of paying retail prices for it. This will pop up a couple times in this discussion.]

Proposed by Initiative Petition
Initiative Measure No. 1240 
(Approve charter schools) - YES

[Currently close, but I'm not seeing any movement on it.]

Passed by the Legislature and Ordered Referendum by Petition
Referendum Measure No. 74
(Marriage Equality) - APPROVED

[My Facebook page is aflutter with suddenly-announced engagements]

Proposed to the Legislature and Referred to the People
Initiative Measure No. 502
(Decriminalize and regulate marijuana) - YES
[Let me set out warnings - This is the start of the process. A lot (including how this fits in with the national picture) still needs to be worked out. What it specifically means is that, starting 6 December, you can have an ounce of grass on you and not be prosecuted. On a greater scale, it is an interesting twist on the traditional "Power of the States Vs. Federal Power".]

Proposed to the People by the Legislature
Amendment to the State Constitution
Engrossed Senate Joint Resolution No. 8221
(Changing debt collection and definition of general state revenues) - APPROVED

[So, we can't raise taxes, but we can shift around definitions. I think what sold this was the promise to reduce debt, and devil take the details.]

Proposed to the People by the Legislature
Amendment to the State Constitution
Senate Joint Resolution No. 8223
(Allow Washington universities to invest in private companies and stock) - REJECTED

[This was the most clear of the state economic initiatives, and once explained clearly, was rejected.]

Advisory Vote of the People
Advisory Vote No. 1
Engrossed Senate Bill 6635
(Close a Loophole) - REJECTED

Advisory Vote of the People
Advisory Vote No. 2
Substitute House Bill 2590
(Extend a tax on oil companies) - REJECTED

[I called it legibabble at the time and stand by that judgement.Most people saw the phrase "Shall this tax increase be maintained?" and gleefully voted against anything that was called a tax increase. Note to future initiative-writers - call everything you don't like a tax increase.]

King County
Proposition No. 1
Regular Property Tax Levy for Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) Services
(What it says) - APPROVED

President and Vice President of the United States
Barack Obama and Joe Biden

[I'd like to say that Mitt Romney was the best possible candidate the Republicans had this year. And still that wasn't very good. No, you won't do better if you go out and offend MORE people next time.]

[The Dems pretty much run the table on this from here down. Spoilers.]

United States Senator
Maria Cantwell

United State Representative Congressional District No. 9
Adam Smith

Jay Inslee

[The loser in this race is not Rob McKenna, who made a strong attempt to woo the populous King County, but the Seattle Times, whose owner threw away its journalistic integrity to run full page ads for McKenna. When you're getting beaten on your reporting by the liberal stoners at the Stranger, you have strayed far from the path.]

Lieutenant Governor
Brad Owen

Secretary of State
Kathleen Drew or Kim Wyman

[There is always one race like this one - so close that a recount may be needed, no one can call it either way. Both were good candidates, but it is ironic that the office that oversees elections has a really close race].

State Treasurer
Jim McIntire

State Auditor
Troy Kelley

Attorney General
Bob Ferguson

Commissioner of Public Lands
Peter J. Goldmark

Insurance Commissioner
Mike Kreidler

Legislative District No. 11
State Senator
Bob Hasegawa

Legislative District No. 11
Representative Position No. 1
Zack Hudgins

[Again you're going to hear me whine about taxes. Jim Flynn was a One Issue candidate, but it was an issue I support. This was a lopsided defeat, beyond even the comforts of incumbency, and shows that no, we are not ready to have that discussion.]

Legislative District No. 11
Representative Position No. 2
Steve Berquist

King County
John Urquhart

State Supreme Court
Sheryl Gordon McCloud

Superior Court
Judge Position No. 42
Christopher A. Washington or Susan Parisean

[Future Hazy: Ask Again Later]

City of Kent
Proposition No. 1
Levy to Support Kent Parks and Street
(Yeah, that) - REJECTED

[Again, its that tax thing. ]

Are there lessons to be learned from all this? On a national level, the bulk of the people liked the centrist, wonkish leadership of the current administration, and have given the mandate to keep fixing the stuff we broke previously. On a state/local level, we're still grasping about on how to pay for the stuff we want. The good news is that the economy has been improving, particularly locally, and with that we will see some improvement to state revenues, but that's a dangerous thing to use for long-term planning.

More later.

Friday, November 02, 2012

The Food Desk

So, here's a break to talk about food.

Top Chef, a now-venerable cooking competition show, returns on Bravo this week with a the series set in Seattle. Meaning, that we get a lot of local foodie places and bumpers showing ferries. The trailer (I'd give you a link, but then you'd have to deal with insulting ads from Carnival Cruise Lines, who are big investors this season) shows them embracing the Seattle eating experience - Canlis, the Space Needle, and most of all, clamming. Yeah, that's the nastiest thing I think I can do to a bunch of out-of-town chefs - making them hunt clams on the Hood Canal.

While I won't link to the site, I will pass along this story from the Seattle Met about the filming this past summer. It was very much a stealth operation, an open secret that the media we encouraged not to dig too deeply into.

Speaking of Canlis, here's a much better video on the Staff Dinner for the restaurant.

More later,