Index of entries from August 2004
August 31, 2004
Caution about Election Oversight
by Ron Hebron, 11:11 PM, 0 Comments
International observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) have been invited to "oversee" the US Presidential election. To show how impartial OSCE is they selected an impeached US judge (and Congressman) Alcee Hasting to lead their... [read more]

Levy Hysteria
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:29 PM, 0 Comments
The Sound Politics opposition to the Seattle Families and Education Levy, questioning whether this sacred cow actually yields any milk, seems to be having something of an impact on the public discussion. Come see how some of the levy campaigners... [read more]

Perverse Incentives
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:13 AM, 0 Comments
The Seattle School District has reached agreement with the city teachers's union over a new five year contract, today's Seattle Times reports. The subheadline in the print edition says: 9% raise over 4 years, other pay incentives What are these... [read more]

August 30, 2004
Jean Kerei pour le president!
by Marsha Michaelis, 06:29 PM, 1 Comments
So I went to the John Kerry rally in Tacoma Saturday because I'm curious about such things, and because I'm curious about people who go to such things for reasons other than curiosity. The MC was Garrison Keillor, famed for... [read more]

Multiple Choice Question
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:59 PM, 5 Comments
Let's suppose there was a hypothetical public figure who had all of these qualities: 1) He created and later served as president of the hippie-dippie Evergreen State "College". 2) He led the campaign against Initiative 200, which abolished racial preferences.... [read more]

August 29, 2004
Judith Billings
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:06 PM, 0 Comments
Reader T.L. from Tacoma writes: Dear Sound Politics, Do you have any thoughts on the race for Superintendent of Public Instruction? I'm new to the area and still trying to come up to speed on the idiosyncrasies of Washington State... [read more]

Alice Woldt
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:03 PM, 1 Comments
State House candidate Alice Woldt apparently flunked her candidate interview with the Seattle Times: When progressives fight, it's not a pretty sight, but the attempt to unseat state Rep. Helen Sommers in Seattle's hard-left Queen Anne-Magnolia-Ballard neighborhoods has dimensions for... [read more]

August 28, 2004
Levy Weasel Logic
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:09 PM, 0 Comments
At yesterday's levy debate before The Stranger editorial board, I saw for myself the extent to which some of the levy campaigners are willing to behave like shameless weasels in service of their proposed tax increase. Weaselism #1 Levy campaign... [read more]

Fun with Strangers
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:29 AM, 0 Comments
I had about the most fun I've had since moving to Seattle when I met with the editorial board of the weekly newspaper The Stranger yesterday afternoon. Pat Dolan and I were there debating two representatives from the Families and... [read more]

August 27, 2004
Spin and grin
by Marsha Michaelis, 06:24 PM, 2 Comments
Awareness of our nation’s education crisis is fueling market-based reforms, and the National Education Association (NEA) is stepping up efforts to bolster the image of status quo public schools. The union’s latest effort is a report trumpeting “good news about... [read more]

Seattle Times endorses Kerry
by Andy MacDonald, 05:04 PM, 2 Comments
The Seattle Times has endorsed John Kerry for president. Four years ago they endorsed George Bush. Today's endorsement seems to be based on a misconception: that John Kerry will remove troops from Iraq. ("The first priority of a new president... [read more]

It's in the P-I
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:04 PM, 1 Comments
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer's still blames Bush for the Enron scandal: This transcript of an actual telephone conversation from August 4, 2000 is offered up as proof, proof! that Bush admnistration regulators were puppets of the energy industry. Please ignore the... [read more]

August 26, 2004
Christine Gregoire Meltdown
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:53 PM, 7 Comments
Christine Gregoire and her campaign can't seem to do anything right. First the Seattle Times reported this week that Gregoire was the president of a college sorority that excluded blacks and Jews. Gregoire's explanation that she hoped to "change the... [read more]

August 25, 2004
Charter Schools Work
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:58 PM, 0 Comments
There are a few articles in the news this week that show how well many (non-union) public charter schools are helping children succeed where the (unionized) traditional public schools have only failed (in California, Florida and New York). Here in... [read more]

Condi in Conversation
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:26 AM, 0 Comments
National Security Advisor Dr. Condoleezza Rice will be speaking in Seattle on Tuesday, September 7. More details and online ticket purchasing here. I'll be there.... [read more]

Seattle Tax Burden
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:26 AM, 1 Comments
Today's Seattle Times had a useful op-ed column that contained a detailed breakdown of the property tax burden faced by the median city homeowner. (Unfortunately, the column by Paul Guppy of the Washington Policy Center does not seem to be... [read more]

August 24, 2004
I-884: Empty Promises, Dishonest Rhetoric
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:28 PM, 2 Comments
The campaign website for I-884, the "Education Trust Fund Initiative" which aims to increase the state sales tax by a billion dollars a year to boost education spending, has a page that allows you to Tell a Friend about the... [read more]

August 23, 2004
Slow Tennis Shoes
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:47 PM, 2 Comments
Democrat Sen. Patty Murray has once again been named by Washingtonian Magazine as "No Rocket Scientist". The actual article isn't online yet, the link is to a GOP press release. Washingtonian's awards page from 2002 is online here. Sure enough,... [read more]

Judith Billings
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:01 PM, 3 Comments
State Superintendent of Public Instruction candidate Judith Billings has been endorsed by the teachers' union: WEA-PAC backs Billings over Bergeson -- Current state schools superintendent fails to win school employees' confidence. The union bosses are upset that incumbent Terry Bergeson... [read more]

Christine Gregoire Meltdown
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:40 AM, 5 Comments
Attorney General / Democrat gubernatorial hopeful Christine Gregoire was president of a college sorority that excluded blacks and Jews, we learn in today's Seattle Times. Gregoire's response: she disagreed with the exclusionary policy, but enforced it anyway, hoping to "change... [read more]

August 22, 2004
Rep. McDermott Loses In Boehner Lawsuit
by Ron Hebron, 11:16 PM, 0 Comments
After six years there is some justice for Congressman Jim McDermott. Clinton's Justice Department found a reason not to convict him for criminal possession of an illegally recorded phone conversation -- even though he admitted he did it. He says... [read more]

Affordable Housing in Seattle
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:53 PM, 1 Comments
The Seattle Times reports that an increasing number of first-time home buyers are being totally priced out of the city's housing market. Fortunately, the Mayor and City Council are on the case: The City of Seattle recognizes that local policies... [read more]

It's in the P-I
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:35 AM, 4 Comments
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has endorsed Democrat Senator Patty Murray for re-election. Who knew that the P-I favors Democrats? "I shall alert the media." What is noteworthy here is that the P-I is making a general election endorsement before the primary.... [read more]

August 20, 2004
Unsound Transit
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:30 PM, 0 Comments
Sound Transit breaks yet another promise: Sound Transit says it won't be able to run more Sounder commuter-rail trains between Tacoma and Seattle until 2007 ... Sound Transit runs three trains from Tacoma to Seattle each weekday morning and three... [read more]

It's in the P-I
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:51 AM, 1 Comments
Today's Seattle Post-Intelligencer has an article about the Families and Education Levy: "Starbucks backs schools levy with $50,000". Unmentioned is the fact that Starbucks helped kill last year's "latte tax", which was intended to fund some of the same programs... [read more]

Washington is ground zero in the fight for education reform
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:32 AM, 4 Comments
This week's New York Times ran an article that badly misreported a teacher union study comparing charter public schools with traditional public schools. This article is of special interest to Washington State residents, as we will be voting in November... [read more]

August 19, 2004
Murray Praises President!?
by Ron Hebron, 11:23 PM, 7 Comments
"Unlikely Duo" Everett Herald, August 18 Senator Patty Murray praised Pres. Bush for attacking Airbus's taxpayer subsidies for developing the new jumbo A380. Repeat... Senator Patty praised Bush last Friday. She seems to be seeking her place as "the Senator... [read more]

Dangerous Dino
by Matt Rosenberg, 04:57 PM, 8 Comments
The likely Republican nominee for Governor of Washington, Dino Rossi, is actually a slick huckster whose carefully-manicured image as a likeable suburban moderate - and experienced state legislator - masks an extremist conservative soul. At least, so writes Sandeep Kaushik... [read more]

"Typical Week in Olympia"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:22 PM, 1 Comments
Here is the latest events calendar[Word doc] for the state capitol and downtown Olympia. One reader describes it as "Typical week in Olympia -- welfare rights, pagan pride and hemp"... [read more]

Evergreen... again.
by Brian Crouch, 03:01 PM, 1 Comments
The academic marvels from within marijuana-stained hallowed halls of Evergreen State College (Olympia) have come up with yet another brilliant idea: As you read this, protesters at this week's Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Boston are being cordoned off into... [read more]

It's in the P-I
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:04 AM, 0 Comments
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer editorial board has endorsed the Families and Education Levy. As I wrote the other day, fellow levy opponent Andy MacDonald and I went in front of the P-I ed board last week to debate the issue against... [read more]

August 18, 2004
I've Been Working on the Railroad
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:11 AM, 3 Comments
Today's Seattle Times reports that Ron Sims' gubernatorial campaign will tout his leadership of Sound Transit "I'm going to do the same thing with the state of Washington," Sims vows. One can only wonder what that might entail. Here are... [read more]

August 17, 2004
What Innumerate Media?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:37 PM, 0 Comments
Gubernatorial candidate Ron Sims is now running a TV ad touting his tax increase package, which he claims will "cut taxes for 78% of Washington's families". Elizabeth M. Gillespie of the Associated Press is correct to call Sims on the... [read more]

August 16, 2004
Savun Neang
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:01 AM, 0 Comments
At Saturday's King County GOP picnic, I met a remarkable gentleman named Savun Neang, who is running for the state House of Representatives in the 34th District (West Seattle and Vashon Island). Savun came to the United States 20 years... [read more]

August 13, 2004
KCGOP Picnic
by Brian Crouch, 05:59 PM, 1 Comments
Talk 770 KTTH announces the King County Republican Party Picnic!You won't want to miss the picnic this year! Come out to meet key candidates and your favorite Talk 770 KTTH hosts: Michael Medved, David Boze, Mike Siegel, Dan Sytman, Rabbi... [read more]

King County Judge Rules Against Monorail Recall
by Matt Rosenberg, 04:47 PM, 1 Comments
A King County judge has declared illegal the initiative for a recall vote on the voter-approved Seattle monorail project. The Seattle Times reports: The measure, which has collected enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot, seeks to block construction... [read more]

Education Quagmire
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:23 AM, 0 Comments
I reported almost two months ago that the Seattle School Board had committed itself to "eradicating institutional racism" in the School District. Board member Brita Butler-Wall e-mailed me that one step towards that goal was: The board and senior staff... [read more]

August 12, 2004
Fawn Spady for State Rep
by Ron Hebron, 09:15 PM, 3 Comments
One of my local heros is running for the legislature. I only met her once several years back. But I have watched while she and her husband Jim worked tirelessly for about 10 years getting a charter school law for... [read more]

August 11, 2004
Performance Audits
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:24 AM, 6 Comments
The Evergreen Freedom Foundation released the list of the state's gubernatorial and legislative candidates who signed (or not) the Performance Audit Pledge (calling for all state agencies to have their performance audited by the state's elected auditor). The list of... [read more]

Street Car Named Disaster
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:33 AM, 1 Comments
Houston's light rail really is taking cars off the road: Once called the "train to nowhere," Houston's new rail line between downtown and the Astrodome is earning a few new nicknames: "Danger Train," the "Wham Bam Tram," "A Streetcar Named... [read more]

August 10, 2004
Positive Press for Nethercutt
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:01 PM, 0 Comments
The Seattle Times has two favorable news items about George Nethercutt in the last few days: Sunday: "Profile: Nethercutt's persistence pays off for Cuba trade" As Republican George Nethercutt campaigns for the U.S. Senate, Democrats frequently mock him as a... [read more]

Des Moines City Budget
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:35 PM, 3 Comments
The City of Des Moines is facing a "potential shortfall of $3.6 million in the 2005 budget". The main sources of the shortfall are the cumulative effects of past initiatives (I-695 and I-747 reduced City revenue by approximately $2.5 million)... [read more]

August 09, 2004
Families and Education Levy Opposition Home Page
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:35 PM, 1 Comments
I've created a home page for the opposition to the Families and Education Levy. The URL for this page will be published in the forthcoming Seattle voters's guide for the September 14 election. This $117 million tax measure affects Seattle... [read more]

Education Quagmire
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:20 AM, 0 Comments
The Seattle School District is staring into yet another gaping budget hole: A Seattle School District review shows that its school-renovation programs are running deficits that could mean some projects will be delayed, trimmed or eliminated. The Building Excellence I... [read more]

Is it preferable to let a terrorist kill thousands than it is to question one Muslim who might know something about the plot?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:01 AM, 1 Comments
Seattle's Muslims don't wish to be bothered by terrorist-seeking FBI agents, we learn in today's Seattle Times report about a community barbecue at a local mosque: While the mood was festive, there were worries that the FBI may be targeting... [read more]

August 07, 2004
WA GOP Embarrassed By State Auditor Candidate
by Matt Rosenberg, 10:56 AM, 3 Comments
Ah, well. Win some, lose some. The Washington State Republican Party is wiping major egg of its face this a.m., with news that their challenger to erstwhile State Auditor Brian Sonntag has a long arrest record - and, if his... [read more]

August 06, 2004
Bombardier pulls out
by Andy MacDonald, 01:01 PM, 1 Comments
One of the two consortia bidding for the contract to build the Seattle Monorail, Team Monorail, has pulled out. This is the team that was headed by Bombardier, the company the built the Las Vegas monorail. This leaves only one,... [read more]

I-884: A Rotten Apple
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:37 AM, 0 Comments
I-884, a statewide measure on the November ballot, would raise the state sales tax by 15% (an additional 1¢ per dollar) to produce a billion dollars a year in revenue for an "education trust fund". As with other tax hikes... [read more]

August 05, 2004
Ron Sims Wants to Tax Your Ass Off
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:02 PM, 5 Comments
King County Executive / Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ron Sims has announced his new tax plan: As the Seattle Times priceless headline puts it: "Sims pitches four-pronged revamp of tax system". One can even imagine the pain of those prongs ripping... [read more]

August 04, 2004
Supporting Gregoire, Weakly
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:48 PM, 1 Comments
The Seattle Weekly is helping Christine Gregoire launch a negative campaign against Dino Rossi Gregoire is racing to define Rossi as a candidate so conservative that he is far to the right of the vast majority of Washington’s voters. Gregoire... [read more]

Christine Gregoire, Sound Transit and I-776
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:50 PM, 3 Comments
In 2002, Washington voters approved I-776, which rolled back vehicle registration fees to $30 and repealed local Motor Vehicle Excise Taxes (MVETs). After months of lawsuits, the constitutionality of I-776 has been upheld and the state is finally issuing refunds... [read more]

August 03, 2004
Fighting Welfare For Politicians
by Matt Rosenberg, 10:59 PM, 1 Comments
Readers of a certain age might recall the old r&b chestnut, "Give Me Just a Little More Time," by the Chairmen of the Board. Seems the electeds on the board of Washington's largest county are singing that tune, now that... [read more]

Eastside KCGOP Salmonfest
by Brian Crouch, 10:39 PM, 0 Comments
Quite the fundraiser: Eastside Republicans Club met at the Bellevue Senior Center this evening, offering a platform for every State legislative candidate in an Eastside District, as well as George Nethercutt (Candidate for Senate). Standing room only, and lots of... [read more]

August 02, 2004
Die, Monorail, Die
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:53 AM, 3 Comments
Today's Seattle Times reports that "Landlords emerge as foes to monorail", as downtown landlords discover the havoc and destruction the proposed Monorail would wreak on city streets. But the One-Track Minds seem oblivious to the groundswell of opposition to their... [read more]

Dinner with the Shark
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:33 AM, 0 Comments
I'll be today's featured dinner speaker at the Seattle Downtown Republican Club, discussing the Families and Education Levy. The event starts at 5pm, with dinner and fascinating conversation followed by a half-hour interview/Q&A that will be videotaped for rebroadcast on... [read more]

August 01, 2004
McDermott plays politics with the draft
by Brian Crouch, 12:48 AM, 0 Comments
The Seattle Times reported on Rep. Jim McDermott's (D-WA) rising star in the Democratic Party earlier this week, quoting his specific warnings to young people to be afraid, be very afraid: He told the students that changes in military combat... [read more]

Search this site