These are my endorsements for state legislative races on Tuesday's ballot. These endorsements reflect only my personal opinions and not necessarily those of other Sound Politics contributors.
My rule of thumb for legislative races is to always endorse the Republican, except when the Republican is a whackjob or does something hideous to betray the party, such as join forces with the teacher union to oppose education reform.
I'm not aware of any whackjobs running as Republicans this time, so I'll make a blanket endorsement of all Republican candidates WITH THE ONE EXCEPTION of Tony Moore in the 30th District (South King County). Tony Moore sent this pandering campaign flyer to WEA members opposing both charter schools and the WASL. Yes, Tony Moore sold out the public school students in his district for a $675 contribution and the WEA's endorsement. It doesn't get any more pathetic than that. Moore's opponent, incumbent Mark Miloscia is a moderate Democrat and a leader in education reform. He deserves to be re-elected.
In all other legislative races, vote Republican, especially in the following crucial contests.
I'm giving particularly high priority to candidates who support positive education reforms, standing up to the teacher union to create better educational opportunities for all of our children. One of my main tests is the candidate's position on charter schools. This is a proxy issue that transcends the importance of the question itself -- candidates who support charter schools have at least some understanding that schools are all about the children who attend them. Those who oppose charters schools act as if the school system is only about the grown-ups who earn their livings in the public school monopoly -- bureaucrats, teachers, bus drivers and union bosses, etc. They don't give a whit about children or education. They form an Axis of Evil and they should be defeated.
1st District (Bothell, Mountlake Terrace) [map]
Senate: Democrat incumbent Rosemary MacAuliffe is a member of the Axis of Evil, one of the WEA's most reliable water carriers and biggest enemies of education reform.
McAuliffe even looks like the Wicked Witch of the West, which is more or less what she is. Vote for Jason Bontrager.
House Pos. 2 Vote for Joshua Freed.
34th District (West Seattle, Vashon Island) [map]
Elect Savun Neang, an immigrant from Cambodia who escaped the "Killing Fields" for a new life in America. He embodies the American Dream and understands the difference between freedom and socialism. Incumbent Democrat Eileen Cody is a member of the Axis of Evil who seeks to destroy opportunity for ordinary Americans in order to make the world a better place for her fellow government employee union bosses.
35th District (Bremerton, Mason County) [map]
House Pos. 2. Vote for Bob Benze. Incumbent Democrat William "Ike" Eickmeyer is a member of the Axis of Evil and is also under investigation for gambling "irregularities".
41st District (Mercer Island, Bellevue) [map]
Re-elect Sen. Jim Horn, chair of the Senate Highways and Transportation Comittee, defender of the citizens from the goofy-assed transportation visions from the enviromental extremists. Re-elect Rep. Fred Jarrett. Elect Fawn Spady, one of the state's leading education advocates.
43rd District (North Central Seattle) [map]
Elect Mark Griswold, running against the incumbent Democrat Speaker of the House Frank Chopp. Griswold is the only Republican challenger that Chopp has faced since he first ran a decade ago. In spite of the long odds, Griswold has raised more money from district residents than Chopp has.
House Pos. 2
Re-elect Jack Cairnes
48th District (Kirkland, Medina, Bellevue) [map]
House Pos. 1
Elect James Whitfield. Whitfield is one of the sharpest candidates I've met this year. He's still in his 30s and displays tremendous brains, charisma, vision and political skills. I'll go out on a limb and predict that we'll elect him governor one day. (watch him in this video of a public panel on affirmative action and you'll see what I mean). The incumbent Democrat Ross Hunter is one of the less awful Democrats -- he even helped lead the fight for charter schools in the legislature this year. But he's a little too fond of spending too much money -- he even says he's "on a jihad for education funding". I hope I'm not in the room when Hunter straps on the explosive belt. Whitfield is a voice for fiscal responsibility -- and against jihad. The Democrats can't handle the idea of a talented black Republican and so they launched a sleazy and racially insensitive ad campaign against Whitfield.
House Pos. 2
Re-elect Rodney Tom.