As the long-time reader of this blog knows, I wait for a while before reporting on the political results. This is because we have mail-in ballots in Washington State, and Election Day is just the day they stop taking them and start counting them. As a result, early results may be incorrect (late voters in this neck of the woods tend to be younger and more liberal – your own local mileage may vary). Anyway, about after a week things have calmed down a bit.
The news that went national was the city council races next door in Seattle proper. Seattle does have a two party system, though both of them are Democrats. One is a pro-business wing, the other a progressive wing. And there is often an overlap. This year the business end threw a TON of money into its preferred candidates. And the Seattle Times on the day after quickly reassured everyone that it was OK that the Chamber of Commerce's moneyed candidates won only 4 out of the 7 seats that were up. Well, after the rest of the votes were counted, just two seats. And those two were already leading before the big infusion of cash.
Not to say that there wasn’t a good stepping back from positive, progressive policies. A couple state-wide initiatives went more conservative, but that was state-wide. So it is good to know that King County doesn’t control the state, but still, some of these results are going to painful.
Let’s take a look at the damages:
State of Washington, Referendum Measure No. 88
I say let's put a little more fairness in state contracting, the opposition says "affirmative action." Like that's a bad thing. Still, it scared enough Washingtonians to REJECT this. OK, will of the people and all that.
State of Washington, Initiative Measure No. 976
This was the Eyeman Magic Pony Initiative that would cut your car tabs by gutting funding for transportation, and it won! Seattle will celebrate by having the world's slowest parade, twice a day, for the rest of your life. Yay!
OK, King County, the transportation folk, and a lot of other people are launching a lawsuit against this, but I dunno. We did warn everyone about the repercussions, and now we should be prepared to see them repercussed. And if anyone knows how to build a bullet-proof initiative, it should be a guy who has put so many of them on the ballot (unless it's not about really changing the law, but rather about scamming wealthy conservative donors, but what's the chances of THAT being the case?).
The governor, on the other hand, has laid out a plan already about where the cutbacks would occur. Were it me, I would cut all the transportation projects in counties where the measure passed, and when they come begging for money for destroyed bridges, suggest they hold a bake sale to raise the funds. But that is why I am not a servant of the people, but rather a loud-mouthed blogger.
All the god-forsaken advisory votes.
Does it matter? Not to me. Maybe it had an effect on the voters in that, confronted with ALL these options, they just gave up on voting. Now, I would be in favor of this type of democracy if they: A) made it binding, b) made it honest in its descriptions, and c) allowed us to vote on every tax break the state provides to corporations. Just throwing that out there.
State of Washington, Senate Joint Resolution No. 8200 -
This one got approved. OK, I'm good with that. It is one of those little details that actually makes sense to vote on. It's a good thing.
Proposition No. 1 Medic One – Emergency Medical Services Replacement of Existing Levy
Passed handily. Good job on that.
And on to real people running for things:
And on to real people running for things:
King County, Director of Elections
Julie Wise, who also won handily.
Port of Seattle, Commissioner Position No. 2 nonpartisan office
Port of Seattle, Commissioner Position No. 5 nonpartisan office
City of Kent, Council Position No. 1 short and full term nonpartisan office
City of Kent, Council Position No. 3 nonpartisan office
City of Kent, Council Position No. 5 nonpartisan office
City of Kent, Council Position No. 7 short and full term nonpartisan office
Kent School District No. 415, Director District No. 2 nonpartisan office
Michele Greenwood Bettinger
Soos Creek Water and Sewer District, Commissioner Position No. 2 nonpartisan office
Public Hospital District No. 1, Commissioner District No. 2 unexpired 2-year term nonpartisan office
Public Hospital District No. 1, Commissioner District No. 3 nonpartisan office
Public Hospital District No. 1, Commissioner Position No. 5 nonpartisan office
OK, some of these folks I recommended. None of them did I not specifically recommend. I think they'll all do a good job, and I am enheartened by the increased commitment. The Political Desk will see you next year.