October 22, 2008

Latte Voters' Guide

(Late update: See also this table comparing progressive voters' guides.)

A few friends have asked my opinion about some of the more obscure races on Seattle ballots. I wish I could point you to one voter's guide that I fully agree with, but none exist.  I look at The Stranger, the 46th District Democrats, the Fuse progressive voters' guide, the voters' pamphlet, and in the case of certain issues (like long-term care and specific judges races), I'm calling up friends with more experience than me. I'd love to hear your feedback, too. Here's where I'm at:

Initiative 985 on transportation: No! Another harebrained Tim Eyman scheme.

Initiative 1000 on death with dignity: Yes. The measure is well-crafted, and has proper controls to prevent abuse.

Initiative 1029 on long-term care: No. This issue should be decided by the legislature, not by initiative.

King County Charter

Amendment 1 Elected Elections Director: No. This job requires specific technical expertise and should be appointed.

Amendment 2 Prohibiting Discrimination: Yes! Self-evident.

Amendment 3 Regional Committees: Yes. Though for a reason I have yet to ascertain, the Dems are against it.

Amendment 4 Additional Qualifications for Elected Officials: No. As elected positions, the choice should be up to the voters.

Amendment 5 Establishing Forecast Council Etc.: Yes. 

Amendment 6 Budget Deadlines: Yes. 

Amendment 7 Charter Amendment by Citizen Initiative: Yes!  It's telling that Tim Eyman wrote the voter pamphlet statement against it.  Initiatives are often hijacked by special interests who mislead the public about their true intentions.  Initiatives result in our elected officials being over-constrained.  This amendment raises the bar to get initiatives on the ballot, while simplifying the process for those that are approved by voters.  Vote yes!

Amendment 8 Nonpartisan Elections: No. In heavily democratic King County, Republicans would love to hide their party affiliation.  Bad sign for the Seattle Times: they support it.


President & VP: Obama  & Biden!!!  For my reasoning, see all the other posts on this blog for the last year :)

US Representative Congressional District 7: Jim McDermott.  I'm endorsing him despite the fact he reminded the audience at my legislative district delegate caucus of Obama's middle name.  Why did he go there?


Governor: Christine Gregoire!  She's done more good than you think (e.g., expanded health insurance for children), and Rossi has some very bad policy prescriptions.  An eight-lane 520 bridge replacement with no toll?  That money is going to have to come from somewhere, most likely education or health care.  No one likes tolls, but no one likes failing schools either, and our schools are already underfunded.

Lieutenant Governor: Marcia McCraw.  I'm going with the Stranger's endorsement here and recommending the Republican.  It's telling that the Democrats do not endorse the incumbent Democrat, Brad Owen, who is running for his fourth term.  As the Stranger points out, Owen uses this largely ceremonial office to advance his reflexively anti-marijuana message, even for legal, medical use.  The progressive voters' guide recommends writing in a candidate, but if you do that you're just registering a protest vote while enabling Owen's re-election.  Owen had 12 years to get it right, it's time for a change.

Secretary of State: Jason Osgood.  For this position and the next few, I support the Dems.  With the possibility to manipulate elections like we've seen in Florida and Ohio, we just can't afford a Republican Secretary of State.

State Treasurer: Jim McIntire

State Auditor: Brian Sonntag

Attorney General: John Ladenburg

Commissioner of Public Lands: Peter Goldmark

Superintendent of Public InstructionRandy Dorn. A public school teacher I spoke to suggested none of the above here, and I very nearly agree, but in the end I believe I have a duty as a voter to decide. Frankly, I'm not sure Dorn's experience as director of a major teachers union is the right experience for this position, but at least he wants to reform the WASL.  It's time for change in this position, too.

Insurance Commissioner: Mike Kreidler

46th Legislative District (warning, you probably live elsewhere :)

Position 1: Scott White.  Thanks to Washingtons "top two" system, both candidates are Dems.  I'm following the Stranger again here.

Position 2: Phyllis G. Kenney

(Supreme Court Judges are all running unopposed.)

Superior Court

Position 1: Tim Bradshaw.  Both candidates are qualified. But the woman with the progressive sounding name (Parisien) is not our choice.

Position 22: Holly Hill. A solid, well-respected candidate.

Position 37: Barbara Mack. She has helped addicts get off the streets without putting them in jail.


Proposition 1: Pike Place Market Levy: Yes.  Pike Place is a key driver of tourism to Seattle. Without our assistance, small farmers could be driven out, and the Market's character could change.
Proposition 2: Parks Levy: Yes.  Parks are part of what make Seattle such a livable city.  This measure is worth the small investment per household.

Special Purpose District

Sound Transit Prop. 1, Mass Transit Expansion: Approved. I generally support more public transportation, having seen the benefits when I lived abroad.  This plan is a logical next step for the region.

I'm looking forward to hearing about your views on this issues. 

By Will Friedman in Election '08 | Permalink  | 


I also voted NO on both 985 and 1029 and also voted YES on 1000.

However, I did not vote for Obama/Biden. I am supporting Ralph Nader this election. I am just sick of the two-party system and would not feel right in the stomach if I perpetuated that by voting for either one of them.

I voted for Jay Inslee in my district.

I did not vote for either Christine Gregoire or Dino Rossi. I do not like the idea of either one of these kooks running our state so I wrote in my own name in protest.

Went with Jason Osgood for Sec of State as well.

You can see my voting details in..well..uhm..detail at my blog here (http://otterlimits.blogspot.com/2008/10/how-i-am-voting-this-election.html)

Posted by: Otter | Nov 2, 2008 11:28:05 PM

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