The political desk opens early and is a tad more concise this year, since I am crushing on a deadline and going to be otherwise occupied for a while (like, going to LUCCA). . Long-term readers, know the drill by now; Here are the ever-shrinking Seattle Times' endorsements. Here are aging pot-heads over at the Stranger. And here are the ones from the Progressive Voter's Guide. Beyond that, you're on your own.
Long-time readers also know my biases.. I tend to lean left, pro workers, pro good government. I tend to view with a jaundiced eye pro-business candidates, people endorsed by the Chamber of Commerce, NRA, the former Soviet Union, shadow groups with acronym names and mysterious funders, and other folk that do not seem to have my interests at heart.
As always, I try to comment on races that I actually vote on, and my list comes from VoteWA web site.
Whenever someone says that one man cannot effect the world, show them this ballot. One of the initiatives and ALL the advisory votes come from the tireless efforts of initiative maven Tim Eyeman, who has discovered how to monetize the process. This is by coming up with Magic Pony initiatives, in which wealthy backers pitch in money for things which sound good (hey, we're lowering your car tabs!) but are really sucky (Hey, we have no money to repair the roads! Sorry!). None of these initiatives have been fully implemented, being generally unconstitutional, and his one half-victory has been a pain in the butt ever since.
And I may rant further in the middle of this, but let's take a look.
State of Washington,
Referendum Measure No. 88
I want to say that we've come a long way in the cause of equality, and we don't need stuff like affirmative action anymore. Sadly, I am wrong. Measures like REF-88 provide the opportunity for equality in government hiring, but do not deal with other underlying causes. Still, we need to have the opportunities addressed as a first step. Opponents have out yard signs declaring "Equality Under the Law", which in their case means "Nobody but ME gets a break around here." So yeah, APPROVE this sucker.
State of Washington,
Initiative Measure No. 976
This is the Magic Pony I was talking about above. Who couldn't hate lowering your car tabs? Heck, this woulds reduce my personal costs, since they expect Electrics to pay for road repairs that usually come from gas taxes. Of course, this means we throw another roadblock in the way of solving our horrible traffic situation by starving the beast. I have no problem with actually paying for services rendered. Sadly, the best I can do (and you can do) is vote NO on this steaming pile.
All the god-forsaken advisory votes..
OK, I'm going to get ranty on these..
This is the Eyeman legacy. There was a initiative that the state government would have to get voter approval on every new tax, tax increase, rate change, bake sale, and anything else that could be construed as the government raising money to actually provide services. Part of the initiative was declared unconstitutional, but a fragment remained that results in this legislative crud on the ballot.
At the same time,t these are Advisory Votes - they don't mean squat. There is no imperative behind these to actually overturn the measures they discuss. They are no more than expensive push polls to allow anti-gov types to thump their chests about how their hard-earned dollars are being wasted giving food and shelter to orphans.
Here's an example: The text from Advisory Vote No. 20 says:
The legislature imposed, without a vote of the people, an additional wage
premium for long-term care services, costing an indeterminate amount in its
first ten years, for government spending.
Man, look at those scare words. Imposed - they voted on this, which was their job. without a vote of the people, which is ALSO their job. An additional wage premium for long-term care service - which, after a lot of digging, means that they created a trust that employees can pay into to specifically handle long-term care. Costing an indeterminate amount in its first ten years - because they don't know how successful this voluntary program would be. For government spending, as in, spending on this particular matter.
Almost reasonable when you scrape all the crud off.
This type of BS is rife throughout these entire BS advisory. Hey, go look at them yourself, because somewhere in there is a real tax that affects YOU. But I say vote MAINTAINED on all of them. And remember to thank Tim Eyeman for this scary, no-effect push poll in the middle of your ballot.
Washington, Advisory Vote No. 20 Second Substitute House Bill 1087
Washington, Advisory Vote No. 21 Engrossed Third Substitute House Bill 1324
Washington, Advisory Vote No. 22 Substitute House Bill 1652
Washington, Advisory Vote No. 23 Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill 1873
Washington, Advisory Vote No. 24 Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill 2158
Washington, Advisory Vote No. 25 Substitute House Bill 2167
Washington, Advisory Vote No. 26 Substitute Senate Bill 5581
Washington, Advisory Vote No. 27 Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5993
Washington, Advisory Vote No. 28 Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5997
State of Washington,
Advisory Vote No. 29 Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5998
Washington, Advisory Vote No. 30 Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6004
Washington, Advisory Vote No. 31 Engrossed Senate Bill 6016
Washington, Senate Joint Resolution No. 8200 -
This one is weird, because it proposes writing an amendment to the state constitution to add "catastrophic incidents" to the list of situations where the legislature can act decisively when need. OK, it's a proposal to make a proposal. I'd like to know more about the nature of such Catastrophic Incidents that would be covers. Rainier going off? Sure. Tim Eyeman finally passing a clean initiative that stands up in court? OK, we're going with Approved on this.
Proposition No. 1
Medic One – Emergency Medical Services Replacement of Existing Levy
Hey, here's a real tax bill you can really vote on and has some affect on the outside world. This is replacing an existing levy that's being retired. So, yeah, I'm voting YES on this one.
King County, Director of Elections
Julie Wise - Incumbent, Dem, actually has done a good job.
Mark Greene - Challenger, Rep, runs for various offices every cycle.
Let's go with Julie Wise.
The judges I'm voting on are running unopposed. OK, then. Moving on..
Port of Seattle
Port of Seattle, Commissioner Position No. 2 nonpartisan
I supposed Sam Cho in the primary, and have had no reason to change my mind.
Port of Seattle, Commissioner Position No. 5 nonpartisan
I supported Fred Felleman in the primary, and haven't seen anything to make me pull that support.
Now we are down in the weeds. Really local politics. And I will be honest, on brief inspection none of these people raise my hackles or send off warning shots either as to their professionalism, their intentions, or their morality. Good job, Primaries! So I make recommendations confident in the fact that even if the other person wins, we are OK. Here are my calls in boldface, but don't let that stop you from checking out web sites, mailers, and other endorsements.
City of Kent, Council Position No. 1 short and full term
City of Kent, Council Position No. 3 nonpartisan office
Hira Singh Bhullar
City of Kent, Council Position No. 5 nonpartisan office
City of Kent, Council Position No. 7 short and full term
Awale A. Farah
Kent School District No. 415, Director District No. 2 nonpartisan
So here's a conflict of interest - Michele Greenwood Bettinger is former WotC (Wizards of the Coast), so I have a strong lean in for her. So I will cheerfully admit that she worked for the same company I worked for, long ago and far away, and recommend her in any event. I won't even make a snarky remark about HR (wait, I think I just did).
And finally, we are in the weeds. These are the small positions that people only pay attention at elections and when there is a scandal (in the case of the Hospital District, that would be any day with a "y" in it - it is picking up the slack for the Port of Seattle).
Special Purpose District
Soos Creek Water and Sewer District, Commissioner Position
No. 2 nonpartisan office
Logan K. Wallace
Public Hospital District No. 1, Commissioner District No. 2
unexpired 2-year term nonpartisan office
Public Hospital District No. 1, Commissioner District No. 3
Barbara J. Drennen
Public Hospital District No. 1, Commissioner Position No. 5
Tamara J. Sleeter
That is it for this installment. Sorry not to break it up into bite-sized bits this time out, but, as things happen, I'm going to be busy for a while (did I mention I was going to LUCCA