Sunday, November 03, 2013

The Political Desk - Bits and Pieces

You'd think I'd be relieved to be done with all this political stuff, but in the process of writing these up, I came up with some stuff that didn't fit anywhere else.

The Secretary of Rock
1) According to my reports on blog traffic, the page with the MOST hits is about the Advisory Votes. Had I only known, I probably would have come up with a less-snarky title. Probably the surge in interest is because most of the other issues which are BETTER known have a lot more people commenting on them, and the stuff that is LESS well known affects fewer people. I'd like to point people interested in further information on the Advisor Votes to both the Washington Secretary of State's Blog for this entry on the matter, which is informative and only a little snarky, as well as this entry from Publico, which is informative and a LOT snarky.  (As an added bonus, the Secretary of State's Blog has pictures of her going as a rocker for Halloween. Yeah, I think she'll work out OK.)

2) On the GMO Initiative. Like most of you out here I have been pelted by fliers and ads saying how this is a bad, bad initiative and is confusing and terrible and scare-mongering and all sorts of things. Then I hit this response from the outspent pro-I-522 campaign:

Really? Consumer Union? The guys who put out Consumer Reports? An operation that makes it its JOB to point out confusing language, bad product, and poorly-written scams? They are saying that the language is OK? Huh. So if you need another reason, vote YES on I-522.

3) On stuff I can't vote for, let me dwell upon the Seattle Mayor's race. Like in Kent, the policy differences between the two candidates are very slight. Actually, you couldn't pass a city council resolution between the two of them. So the campaign is all about who is more likable. And Mr. McGinn is a bristly as his beard, and has cheesed off a lot of powers-that-be in his term. He didn't come up through the party machinery. He has supported another stadium down by the Port. He has opposed the tunnel, which, to date, has carved out less yardage that Marshawn Lynch on a good day.  Mr. Murray has strongly benefited by being the "Not-McGinn", and this is solid thing - all the polls are putting him ahead.

And that's cool, but I have been watching our paper of record, the Seattle Times, going in big for Mr. Murray. Not as deeply as they did for Rob McKenna last time out, but still they have used their newspaperly mojo to nice effect. It is not in the reporting- that's usually pretty good. But stuff that may reflect badly on Mr. Murray tends to get shifted to the middle of section B (Thursday morning there was a bit about how the Chamber of Commerce Pro-Murray PAC has been caught in an election violation), or gets very "soft" headlines (an article on an ad stating that McGinnn is misrepresented on his Domestic Violence record has a headline that doesn't really note that said ad comes from another pro-Murray operation). A small bit about Murray's unpaid parking tickets showed up in the on-line version, and only made print when other news groups picked it up. And this past Friday, a piece on how much is being spent on the mayor kinda softpedals the fact that Murray's campaign is outspending McGinns to the tune of $700k ro $450k.

Oh, and we have to go to the Washington Post (In the "Other Washington") to break the story that one of the big contributors to Mr. Murray's campaign is Comcast, who feels it will benefit better from a mayor who is part of the normal political process and not so independent. And that's not even getting into the relaxed attitude towards someone under Mr. Murray's supervision embezzling a bunch of cash and as a result perhaps costing the Dems a close race in the legislature.

Were all this stuff happening to the incumbent, and the papers would have a field day. In the Times, not so much. So yeah, even though I'm not voting in this (not part of Seattle proper, yaknow), I'd go with MIKE MCGINN for Mayor. As elsewhere, I'm just trying to spare us the later headlines.

4) And speaking of the Seattle Times slant, last time out for County Council, there was a leaning-conservative newsperson  (Susan Hutchison, now head of the state GOP) running for King County Executive, and the paper made of lot about how the position was non-partisan, so even TALKING about candidate's party allegiance was just not proper. This time out, a Dem (Shari Song) has a chance to uproot a relatively inert Republican (Reagan Dunn), and the paper is deeply deeply afraid that this will pitch the County Council into the hands of (gasp) DEMOCRATS!

Yeah, whatever. Go for SHARI SONG for those of you in District 9. With district representation, you really should have a councilperson who shows up.

And finally, this blog will not be reporting on the election results until Thursday or Friday. This is because the deadline for turning your ballot in (getting it post-marked) is Tuesday, so while they do release some results on election day, the bulk show up later (and the Times whines about how this is a bad thing). Sometimes the early votes will go one way, the later votes another. So stay tuned, and if you are a Washington Voter, it is not too late. Go vote.

More later,