Index of entries from September 2004
September 30, 2004
Public Non-Disclosure
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:45 PM, 5 Comments
The Washington State Supreme Court has taken another whack at the Public Disclosure Act today, with its mixed ruling in the case of Yousoufian v. Ron Sims. The court found that a lower court was incorrect for arbitrarily reducng the... [read more]

Washington Policy Center Dinner
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:17 PM, 3 Comments
Yesterday evening I attended the annual dinner of the Washington Policy Center. The pre-dinner speaker was the very funny P.J. O'Rourke, with an award acceptance speech by former local TV news anchor Susan Hutchison, and a keynote address by Colorado... [read more]

Going easy on Patty "Osama Mama" Murray
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:45 AM, 8 Comments
Yesterday the Nethercutt for Senate campaign released a new video ad with a clip of Sen. Patty Murray making her now infamous statement from 2002 attempting to explain why Osama bin Laden is popular in the Muslim world: Hes been... [read more]

September 29, 2004
The Seattle Times front-page trashing of Dino Rossi
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:16 PM, 5 Comments
Today's Seattle Times published an appalling front-page hit piece on Dino Rossi. The Times trashes Dino for having worked in the same firms as a man who was later convicted of investment fraud, even though the Times itself acknowledged that... [read more]

Nick Hanauer Redux
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:26 PM, 4 Comments
Here is the follow-up email from Nick Hanauer, father of I-884, the initiative to increase the state sales tax by a billion dollars a year in order boost education spending. Hanauer and his immediate family have spent more than $350,000... [read more]

School Choice is a Civil Rights Issue
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:11 PM, 1 Comments
As columnist Ruben Navarette wrote last July basically what you have is a teaching profession dominated by whites standing in the way of a reform movement that provides schooling options to other people's children. The effect is to deny opportunities... [read more]

Why the Monorail will lose
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:38 AM, 4 Comments
Two articles in the newspapers yesterday on the upcoming Monorail revote reveal why the Recall will succeed and the Monorail will go down in flames. The Seattle Times article, "Who's behind "Monorail Recall"" actually says more about the pro-Monorail people... [read more]

Patty "Osama Mama" Murray video
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:04 AM, 16 Comments
The Nethercutt for Senate campaign has released a new ad featuring a video clip of Patty Murray making her infamous statement praising Osama Bin Laden for "building daycare facilities" and for having "made people's lives better". That statement has been... [read more]

September 28, 2004
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:20 PM, 3 Comments
By way of Michelle Malkin, I found this WaPo op-ed by Seattle Times owner Frank Blethen Democracy is in crisis -- not in far parts of the world but right here in the United States. As with most democracies, the... [read more]

Good News for Charter Schools
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:41 PM, 0 Comments
A recent statewide poll shows that Referendum 55 to establish charter schools is leading 53 - 36%. The Approve Referendum 55 Campaign is endorsed by a bipartisan group of elected officials, educators, community activists and businesspeople who believe that parents... [read more]

Dino Rossi's Humble Beginnings
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:29 AM, 0 Comments
Today's Seattle Times has a deeply moving account of Dino Rossi's humble beginnings. Dino grew up to become a self-made successful businessman and a leading legislator. He has a more compelling gubernatorial biography than Christine Gregoire -- a child of... [read more]

Now Change the Definition
by Ron Hebron, 09:49 AM, 0 Comments
The Lake Forest Park city council is trying to make sure that... they say their intent is protecting the environment and safety. But it appears that they want to make sure the Burke-Gilman trail does not get widened. They have... [read more]

September 27, 2004
C'mon. Teachers are professionals.
by Marsha Michaelis, 09:07 PM, 4 Comments
I was paired with a former school principal to offer a point-counterpoint on Initiative 884 (the billion-dollar education tax increase) at a Seattle-area PTA meeting tonight. During Q&A the issue of "merit pay" for teachers came up, and the former... [read more]

Christine Gregoire, Robo-caller
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:15 PM, 4 Comments
After running across the house to pick up the telephone, it turns out that it was only a robo-call from "Chris Gregoire, candidate for governor". Chris told me to be sure to check my mailbox, because I'm supposed to receive... [read more]

September 26, 2004
Nick Hanauer Replies
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:34 PM, 3 Comments
I earlier reported that Nick Hanauer, who wrote the I-884 initiative to raise the state sales tax by a billion dollars a year to boost education spending, and also paid for most of the campaign to put the initiative on... [read more]

Foolproof Campaign Finance Violations
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:40 PM, 0 Comments
Seattle lecture series sponsor "Foolproof Performing Arts" appears to be in flagrant violation of federal campaign finance and tax regulations. The Foolproof roster of speakers is silly enough, but to risk the wrath of both the IRS and the FEC... [read more]

September 24, 2004
Another Poll Shows Tight Prez Race In WA
by Matt Rosenberg, 01:28 PM, 0 Comments
Yesterday, I wrote about a SurveyUSA poll of likely voters refuting the dated and flawed Ipsos-Public Affairs survey of less-likely-to-turn-out registered voters in WA. Kerry's been losing ground.....and his WA lead is almost within the four-point margin of error, SurveyUSA... [read more]

September 23, 2004
Wilderness Bill Killed in Squabble
by Ron Hebron, 11:36 PM, 4 Comments
Rep. Rick Larsen won and wilderness lost. Everett Herald Larsen, Congressman in the second district, killed the "Wild Sky" wilderness bill because it didn't include areas that are obviously not wild. The intent of the 1964 wilderness act is to... [read more]

Chopp SEIU
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:28 PM, 0 Comments
The Stranger speculates that State House Speaker Frank Chopp may have made chopp suey of his political future by tacitly siding with the SEIU and Alice Woldt in their failed move against Helen Sommers The biggest loser in the contretemps... [read more]

Survey USA: Rossi-Gregoire A Toss-Up; Kerry's WA Lead Dwindles
by Matt Rosenberg, 05:06 PM, 2 Comments
A neck-and-neck race for Governor of Washington State, and two somewhat conflicting polls on Kerry-Bush in WA. First, Governor: A SurveyUSA poll of 621 likely voters, conducted Sept. 19-21, gives Democrat Christine Gregoire 47 percent to Republican Dino Rossi's 46... [read more]

Viewer Mail
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:10 AM, 12 Comments
Reader Michael Taylor-Judd e-mails: Subject: Moronorail Wow! What's an intelligent, and seemingly wonky, guy like you so angrily supportive of Monorail Recall for? They're a bunch of well-connected, rich liars trying to overturn a vote of the people. Well, Michael... [read more]

Dense Minds Pursuing City Density
by Kevin Leo, 12:41 AM, 3 Comments
It appears that the city has finally got around to figuring out ways to increase the condo, apartment and shopping density, according to this report in the PI this week. This could be just the latest effort in a long... [read more]

September 22, 2004
Seattle Times article about blogs
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:37 AM, 6 Comments
Sound Politics and I are mentioned in today's front-page Seattle Times article about blogs: "Web logs catch fire as kindling for change" From his cyber pulpit, the Shark Blog, Stefan Sharkansky rips into local education levies and the monorail, among... [read more]

September 21, 2004
Washington State Kids Who Kill
by Matt Rosenberg, 05:44 PM, 2 Comments
Teens keep committing murders here in Washington state, and news reports follow - in the usual piecemeal, value-neutral fashion. Occasionally, reporters may drill down into a particular case. Or not. Either way, there are precious few timely trend pieces, editorials... [read more]

Secretary of State race
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:06 PM, 8 Comments
Back in May I took the unusual step of endorsing Democrat Laura Ruderman for Secretary of State. I decided to endorse Ruderman for one basic reason: I was unhappy with Republican incumbent Sam Reed's support for the "Top Two" primary... [read more]

The pro-Gregoire Seattle Times
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:27 AM, 0 Comments
Here's how the Seattle Times praised Democrat nominee Christine Gregoire to the rafters in its Sep. 15 editorial Democratic voters cleaved toward the political middle in Washington's gubernatorial race: Attorney General Christine Gregoire's sensible, moderate positions on issues explain why... [read more]

September 20, 2004
Axis of Evil
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:15 PM, 1 Comments
The Service Employees International Union, which represents public employees around the country, has declared war on the people of Washington State by pouring $825,000 skimmed off the taxpayer-funded paychecks of out-of-state government workers into its state political action committee. Nearly... [read more]

Run for the schools! or the hills!
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:24 PM, 0 Comments
The Seattle Times wants to see better people running for the Seattle School Board Most current board members are well-intended but, together, lack leadership and cohesiveness. That would be a polite way of saying that they're a bunch of ignorant,... [read more]

September 19, 2004
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:48 PM, 38 Comments
Seattle's Professional Pooh-Bahs of the Press are whining and wailing about the Monorail Recall vote. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer: "Can we build anything" The people of Seattle face yet another round in the battle to build an innovative transportation system. Having... [read more]

Seattle Talk Jock Sacked, Rather's Honor Upheld
by Matt Rosenberg, 01:41 PM, 1 Comments
(UPDATED, 9/20/04) Apparently, there are some things you just can't say on the radio, in Seattle. About Dan Rather. On a CBS radio affiliate. Or else - you get fired. Brian Maloney says CBS affiliate KIRO-AM in Seattle fired him... [read more]

September 17, 2004
Post-Levy Editorials
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:57 PM, 0 Comments
The Seattle Times offers this editorial to mark the passage of the Families and Education Levy: "School levy approval means accountability" The headline itself is interesting, given that three other recent editorials informed us that this levy "is not a... [read more]

"Republicans for Gregoire"?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:49 AM, 11 Comments
Following a link from the Chris Gregoire campaign home page, I found a website that calls itself "Republicans and Independents for Gregoire": The suggestion that a signficant number of Republicans would be supporting Gregoire is funny enough, but it's... [read more]

Seattle School Board to Poor Children: Drop Dead
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:03 AM, 1 Comments
Seattle School Board Member Darlene Flynn, desperately lashing out at parents who seek the choice of sending their kids to an independently-managed public school, wants you to believe that every charter public school is worse than the worst Seattle public... [read more]

September 16, 2004
Seeking principled partisan politicians
by Marsha Michaelis, 09:53 PM, 4 Comments
Note to certain Republican politicians: You weren't hired to be "bipartisan." Bipartisanship is a clever "value" invented by statists who want you to believe you're doing a good thing by making sure all of the policies you pursue and promote... [read more]

September 15, 2004
Supremes to Monorail: Drop Dead
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:59 PM, 0 Comments
"High court allows measure to recall monorail onto Seattle ballot": The "Monorail Recall" initiative in Seattle will be allowed onto the ballot by the state Supreme Court. A court commissioner this afternoon decided against giving the Seattle Monorail Project the... [read more]

Viewer Mail
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:50 PM, 0 Comments
An anonymous reader writes about the Families and Education Levy: Dear Sound Politics, Thanks for preparing and disseminating the information about the impact and lack of value of this proposal as presented for the ordinary homeowner/taxpayer to educate themselves. I... [read more]

Who's the right-wing extremist here?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:12 AM, 4 Comments
The Washington Democrats, faced with the first competitive GOP gubernatorial candidate in decades, have no choice but to try to falsely smear him as a right-wing extremist: "The people of the state of Washington do not want right-wing conservatives," said... [read more]

Preliminary Primary Results
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:10 AM, 7 Comments
From the Washington Secretary of State, still subject to change. U.S. Senate (Republican) George Nethercutt 82.6% Reed Davis 6.6% (ouch) Governor (Democrat) Christine Gregoire 67.2% Ron Sims 28.9% (ouch) Attorney General (Republican) Rob McKenna 77.4% Mike Vaska 22.6% (ouch) [Free... [read more]

September 14, 2004
by Brian Crouch, 11:49 PM, 1 Comments
He slept soundly in Iraq, we're told. But although Seattle's version of George Galloway never felt terror at the name of Al Qaeda, he's found something to be afraid of..."We are here because each of us is an ambassador and... [read more]

Plus ça change
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:05 PM, 0 Comments
Have the programs funded by the F&E levy been effective in improving academic achievement? Campaign literature acknowledges that it is "very difficult" to "gage (sic) the success" of those programs, but there's a feeling that higher student test scores can... [read more]

Monorail Mania
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:48 AM, 3 Comments
The Monomaniacs are not happy that the people of Seattle will finally have a chance to revote on the Monorail. The One-Track Minds are starting to say some really, really silly things: "It's really a bunch of wealthy Republicans and... [read more]

September 13, 2004
SMP: Home Wrecker Dying Fast
by Kevin Leo, 08:11 PM, 4 Comments
I seriously was going to sell my Audi if we lost the lastest judges' decision on Initiative I-83. But the Recall effort lives! Sorry Matt. But check out this statement from the unhappy Anne Levinson, SMP deputy director: "...On top... [read more]

Gaming The Washington Primary
by Matt Rosenberg, 11:27 AM, 5 Comments
Volunteers at polling places have been warned to brace themselves for nastiness tommorow, from Washington voters incensed they now must choose a Republican or Democratic ballot in the primary. We're not that kind of state, see - we want to... [read more]

Primary Endorsements
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:24 AM, 2 Comments
These are my personal endorsements for the September 14 primary ballot. Other Sound Politics contributors may have different recommendations. Note: An endorsement for a Democrat in a race with a competitive Republican is a nod to the less electable Democrat... [read more]

Die, Monorail, Die
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:46 AM, 0 Comments
This news doesn't seem to be online yet, but Mayor Nickels announced at the outset of this morning's discussion on KUOW that the Appeals Court has ruled to allow the Monorail Recall Initiative to proceed to the November ballot. And... [read more]

Andy MacDonald on KUOW
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:08 AM, 0 Comments
Andy MacDonald is now on KUOW -FM 94.9 at this writing (10 - 11am), facing off against Mayor Greg Nickels over the Families and Education Levy! Tune in and call in. UPDATE: Andy held his own against Hizzoner, who by... [read more]

September 12, 2004
It's in the P-I
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:43 AM, 6 Comments
Today's Seattle Post-Intelligencer reprints Garrison Keillor's very silly anti-Republican screed "Here's what happened to the Republican Party". This particular sentence caught my attention: The party of Lincoln and Liberty was transmogrified into the party of hairy-backed swamp developers and corporate... [read more]

It's in the P-I
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:28 AM, 0 Comments
I was quoted in yesterday's Seattle Post-Intelligencer article about the Families and Education Levy: "Campaign 2004: School levy seen as social safety net". Even though the article seems to be biased in favor of the levy, the reporter quoted me... [read more]

September 11, 2004
Delve Deeper
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:59 PM, 3 Comments
KUOW-FM interviewed me the other day for a short news item about the Families and Education Levy. They also interviewed a representative of the Muni League, which claims to have "delved deeply into the intricacies" of the ballot measure before... [read more]

September 10, 2004
Blinded By Bile
by Matt Rosenberg, 03:02 PM, 2 Comments
UPDATE, 9/11/04: The ad has been pulled, wisely. An independent political group called the Voter Education Committee, which includes the attorney for Washington state's GOP and two officials of the prominent state business group United For Washington, today finally agreed... [read more]

Monorail Monotony
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:19 PM, 1 Comments
I spoke at two different neighborhood meetings about the levy this week and both times I had to suffer through the same Monotonous Monomythical Monologue given by the same Monorail project Monotreme, who is also making the rounds. She was... [read more]

The "Anti-Families" Levy "Foes"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:21 AM, 1 Comments
Today's Seattle Times quotes me in today's news article about the Families and Education Levy. Unfortunately, the story is more about the opponents of the levy than an investigative report of the program itself: "Foes of Families and Education Levy... [read more]

It's in the P-I
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:44 AM, 4 Comments
Seattle Post-Intelligencer editorial, Aug. 27 "Credibility Taking Hits"The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign is taking on water. Hole after hole has been blown in the group's credibility. We hope the damage is sufficient to finally sink 30-year-old anguish over... [read more]

September 09, 2004
Seattle Weakly: "We don't report, but decide for you anyway"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:38 PM, 0 Comments
The Seattle Weakly endorsed the Families and Education Levy today: Opponents say these programs have been ineffective and lack accountability, and that the city would have too much discretion in spending. We disagree with the former and think the latter... [read more]

September 08, 2004
Gregoire's Stage Fright a Liability?
by Matt Rosenberg, 01:47 PM, 8 Comments
With less than week left before the primary, Democratic contender for Washington Governor Christine Gregoire continues to sharply limit her debate appearances with party rival Ron Sims and the assured GOP nominee, Dino Rossi. Today's Seattle Times carries news Gregoire... [read more]

In these Times
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:43 PM, 0 Comments
Andy MacDonald and I are in today's Seattle Times with our op-ed on the Families and Education Levy. The Times wrote the headline: "Families and Education Levy earned itself a failing grade ". That refers to this passage: We read... [read more]

September 07, 2004
Unsound Transit
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:21 PM, 5 Comments
From the latest news about the taxpayer-financed ongoing exhibit of surrealist performance art commonly known as "Sound Transit": Agency planners are now working feverishly to extend to SeaTac airport the light-rail line that would otherwise dead-end in the middle of... [read more]

September 06, 2004
The Times predictable November endorsements
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:04 PM, 4 Comments
The Seattle Times has endorsed Christine Gregoire for governor. No surprise here. Last Monday the paper papered over Gregoire's incompetent defense of her tenure as the president of a segregated sorority, even praising her for her lame claim that she... [read more]

Labor Day Exploits
by Brian Crouch, 02:02 PM, 3 Comments
Are Union leaders a new bourgeoisie, taking the surplus value from workers?:Teachers in Washington state pay an average of $759 in annual union dues, which is divided between the NEAs four affiliate levels. In return, teachers receive an annual liability... [read more]

September 05, 2004
Columbian: Dems Slime Rossi
by Matt Rosenberg, 08:28 PM, 10 Comments
In a Sunday editorial notable for its even-handed criticism of both political parties, the (WA) Vancouver Columbian takes Republicans to task for distortions in an attack ad on U.S. Rep. Brian Baird, and lays into Washington Democrats for a hit... [read more]

September 03, 2004
School ... or Job Program?
by Marsha Michaelis, 06:03 PM, 6 Comments
Public schools exist to educate students, but sometimes I don't think the adults who run them know that. According to the Skagit Valley Herald, schools in Skagit County are lamenting "a difficult budget year" (as do all public schools, every... [read more]

Your School Board at Work
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:15 PM, 0 Comments
The Seattle School Board burned the midnight oil this morning, passing a slew of highly important resolutions. First, they lowered academic standards in order to send many more young people out into the world with nothing more than poor skills... [read more]

It's in the P-I
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:24 PM, 1 Comments
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, along with its comrades in the Washington state Democratic Party, is showering unprecedented admiration on a conservative Republican Senate candidate who has no chance of winning the nomination, let alone the general election: Reed Davis is waging... [read more]

September 02, 2004
Where all the children are above average
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:26 PM, 1 Comments
Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction Terry Bergeson is dancing on the tabletops to celebrate the newly released WASL scores: The official numbers, released yesterday, show strong gains, especially in seventh grade, which were larger than ever. The percentage of seventh-graders... [read more]

Balanced Levy Coverage
by Andy MacDonald, 12:14 PM, 0 Comments
If you'd like to see an example of balanced coverage of the issues behind the Families and Education Levy, pick up a copy of the Ballard News Tribune. They interviewed Levy campaign manager Julien Loh and myself. (Here are Stefan's... [read more]

The Stranger says NO to levy
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:16 AM, 0 Comments
Überliberal alternative weekly The Stranger urges a NO vote on the Families and Education Levy! The Stranger Department of Homeland Security is urging a "no" vote because we hate children. They run around in restaurants and their diapers clog landfills.... [read more]

The Times says yes to levy
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:58 AM, 0 Comments
The Seattle Times has endorsed the Families and Education Levy: Seattle voters should extend the Families and Education Levy for another seven years despite City Council add-ons that ratcheted up the cost. This package is too important to turn down.... [read more]

It's in the P-I
by Stefan Sharkansky, 07:00 AM, 0 Comments
Today's Seattle Post-Intelligencer gives us equal time for our op-ed against the Families and Education Levy: "Vote no on inadequate proposal", by Stefan Sharkansky and Andy MacDonald. The P-I was also kind enough to include a link to Sound Politics!... [read more]

September 01, 2004
Manly Man in a Dither
by Matt Rosenberg, 11:11 AM, 9 Comments
Touchy, touchy. Silly. That was celebrity Republican candidate and King County Sherriff Dave Reichert, storming off the stage at a candidate forum, upset his GOP opponents in the Sept. 14 primary for Jennifer Dunn's old seat (WA-8) had dared to... [read more]

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