Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Political Desk: Summer Session

What fresh hell is this? It is Mid-July, and already yard signs are appearing, mailings are starting to flow into the mailbox, and the Stranger and Seattle Times are making their normally bewildering endorsements (Note that only the Stranger makes theirs purposefully bewildering). It cannot be election season already, can it?

Indeed it is, hitting everyone up with the unwanted vibe of a back-to-school sale. The election deadline is in early August, and if you are in Washington State, you should be getting ballots any time now. So it is time to pull the blue tarpaulin off the Political Desk, chase out the raccoons that were nesting there, and start thinking about the citizen's contribution to the democratic process.

But it all feels so ... minor league. Triple A ball. Friday Night bowling tourney. Nickel and dime poker. After last year, we are facing a deficit of interesting challenges. Part of this is because of the nature of the top-two primary system. Since it is the top-two, only races that have three or more candidates will be considered at the moment. But part of the weakness of this year is also the timing. We have NOTHING at the national level. We are NOT electing the entire state executive branch. There are NO Judges under consideration in the Primary, and Initiatives and Referendums wait for the General Election. We are choosing (kinda) a King County Executive, there is a levy proposal, but other than that, I'm looking at School Boards, City Councils, a Port position. It is pretty lean times.

There ARE state legislature races, but I'm not voting in any of them that have three candidates. And the City of Seattle is choosing a mayor, and while it will have effects on my life, that race is not on my ballot. So I will make do, and lay out the stuff I know, and may just give some bonus points as well.

I am armed with not only the Stranger and Times' recommendations, but, as always, the relatively-trusty Municipal League ratings and the online Voter's Handbook. From this thin gruel I hope to seek enlightenment for the future, but this is really just pre-season - Cactus League Baseball, as we set up for the long, slow grind of the general. Bear with me.

More later (I'm afraid).