Index of entries from July 2005
July 31, 2005
Dumb E-mails from Elected Officials
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:26 PM, 152 Comments
Here's the latest installment in our occasional series of Dumb E-mails from Elected Officials. Rep. Jim Moeller (D-49) of Vancouver, sent this e-mail to Bob Williams of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation upon receipt of Williams' essay on election reform in... [read more]

Keep it Fresh!
by Andy MacDonald, 05:10 PM, 6 Comments
I haven't posted here much since the decision in the governor's race. This is not from lack of interest, but rather because I've been busy with other things. Earlier this month I left my old job at Amazon to start... [read more]

July 30, 2005
Jim Nobles for Monorail Board
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:14 PM, 19 Comments
My friend Jim Nobles has filed to run for a seat on the Seattle Monorail Board. His platform is very simple: shut down the project and dissolve the agency. His opponents are incumbent board member Cleve Stockmeyer and Dick Falkenbury,... [read more]

July 29, 2005
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:54 PM, 36 Comments
One of the weirder "findings" of Ron Sims' Task Force on Elections is that While the new Elections Section managers made headway in introducing procedural and technological changes in the Elections office, they were unable to improve an entrenched organizational... [read more]

Kernel Panic
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:52 PM, 10 Comments
Yikes! I got back from an afternoon errand and discovered that the server had been down for an hour or so because of a kernel panic. Fortunately, everything is back to normal.... [read more]

Cleaning up the voter rolls, one illegal voter at a time
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:21 AM, 24 Comments
The Evergreen Freedom Foundation is challenging the registration of an illegally registered voter. What's interesting about this case is that the illegal voter happens to be a judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.... [read more]

Propaganda in place of reforms
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:08 AM, 30 Comments
Secretary of State Sam Reed is going to blow $2.5 million of the taxpayer's money on advertisements touting last session's vote-fraud-promoting "election reforms" -- "State to spend $2.5M on voter-confidence campaign" The state awarded a $2.5 million contract to an... [read more]

HOV Lanes (II)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:56 AM, 36 Comments
Yesterday's post on HOV lanes generated one of the largest numbers of comments for any post on this blog ever. It's an issue that affects people's daily lives and people feel passionately about it. Only a tiny minority supports HOV... [read more]

Hutchison ends Senate bid on Carlson Show
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:03 AM, 53 Comments
Given the lack of grassroots excitement over Safeco CEO Mike McGavick's announcement of a Senate bid, others are trying to decide whether to jump in the race. The Seattle Weekly reports that former KIRO-TV anchor Susan Hutchison has "pollsters in... [read more]

Today's Westneat
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:37 AM, 19 Comments
Danny Westneat doesn't think members of the military should be allowed to teach Junior ROTC classes in public high schools -- "Military classes are off course" what other government agency, corporation or special-interest group gets to design what is taught... [read more]

A conservative is a liberal whose favorite boondoggle is taken away
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:21 AM, 10 Comments
Some of Seattle's public transportation fetishists have finally woken up and realized that light rail is mostly useless, now that their own overpromised neighborhood station has been cut -- "[unSound Transit] Board cuts First Hill rail station" The decision could... [read more]

Strong (smelling) foolish advice
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:15 AM, 28 Comments
Today's Seattle Times outdoes itself with a delirious editorial praising the Ron Sims' Elections Task Force and its mostly foolish recommendations "Strong, smart advice for county elections" King County Executive Ron Sims and the King County Council should quickly enact... [read more]

July 28, 2005
HOV Lanes
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:16 PM, 169 Comments
I work from home, so I'm spared the hassle of commuting on congested freeways. But two recent experiences convinced me (again) of the perfect idiocy of High Occupancy Vehicle lanes. Yesterday I took a rare rush hour drive on the... [read more]

Elections Task Force Reports
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:44 AM, 16 Comments
I've posted the main report from Ron Sims' Independent Task Force on Elections, here. The final technical report is here. Okay. I just finished reading them. I was actually one of the many citizens interviewed by the task force staff... [read more]

Restoring public trust in King County elections - Not
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:13 AM, 26 Comments
Ron Sims' Indpendent Task Force on Elections released its recommendations Wednesday afternoon. I'm curious to read the full report, which should be available mid-day Thursday. But based on the group's Cover Letter to Ron Sims , news reports and an... [read more]

Missing ... Please Help
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:14 AM, 10 Comments
Regular reader and commenter ChristmasGhost reports that her 17-year-old niece, Cheryl Magner, has been missing since early June. She was last seen in Marin County, CA. Any information or help would be greatly appreciated by the family. Photo and contact... [read more]

July 27, 2005
Connelly admits he was had
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:00 PM, 12 Comments
Joel Connelly revised his column about, admitting he fell for it -- "McGavick Web site a spoof". I managed to save the original column, posted here. We all make mistakes. Even, occasionally, those of us who don't have layers... [read more]

Shark Radio
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:00 PM, 47 Comments
I'll be on Dori Monson (710 KIRO) shortly after noon to talk about the spoof McGavick website, Joel Connelly's column that fell for the spoof, and the revelation of the Young Democrat who put up the spoof site.... [read more]

Public Non-Disclosure (IV)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:46 AM, 7 Comments
Armen Yousoufian's years-long public disclosure court case against Ron Sims is being dragged out even longer.... [read more]

Public Non-Disclosure (III)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:24 AM, 22 Comments
I'm not the only one whose public records requests are being stonewalled by Dean Logan. Bob Edelman of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation has for weeks been asking for documentation on the mailing of military ballots during October 2004, which belive... [read more]

Another Call for Dean Logan's Resignation Expected
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:07 AM, 15 Comments
Today, July 27, is the final meeting of Ron Sims' Independent Task Force on Elections. I've heard from a variety of sources that the task force's final recommendations to be presented today will include a call for new leadership of... [read more]

Kudos to Ed Murray
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:49 AM, 8 Comments
Rep. Ed Murray, Chairman of the House Transportation Committee is setting an example that every elected official should follow. Murray is quoted in today's Times article "Sound Transit to vote on dropping First Hill" "If they kill First Hill, I'm... [read more]

July 26, 2005
Connelly gulled by spoof site
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:37 PM, 27 Comments
The P-I's Joe Connelly in Wednesday's column: "McGavick Web site cleans up; foes ought to do same" Just before leaving work last week, I punched up the volunteer-run Web site touting prospective U.S. Senate candidate Mike McGavick and read its... [read more]

Public Non-Disclosure (II)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:03 PM, 45 Comments
Thanks to everyone who hit the tip jar today to help me Sue Ron Sims for repeated violations of the Public Disclosure Act. More details on King County Election's NON-DISCLOSURE of documents that I've been requesting for months --... [read more]

Public Non-disclosure
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:53 AM, 17 Comments
Yesterday was the day when King County Elections was supposed to satisfy my public records request of July 5 (which wasn't a new request, but merely a reminder to satisfy weeks-old outstanding requests). There were three main items they promised... [read more]

by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:37 AM, 49 Comments
"Labor split could hurt Democrats' campaigns"... [read more]

July 25, 2005
Ed Murray Admits: Sound Transit is Pointless
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:00 PM, 19 Comments
Rep. Ed Murray (D-Fremont Statue of Lenin) and Chairman of the House "Transportation" Committee, admits in Tuesday's op-ed in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that Sound Transit, which has back-burnered its plan to build a light-rail station at the densely populated First... [read more]

King County Council agrees with Judge Bridges
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:56 PM, 10 Comments
The King County Council this afternoon agreed with Judge Bridges' statement about the King County Elections sectionthe evidence here suggests that the problems require more than just constructing new buildings and hiring more staff The Council shot down by a... [read more]

Can You Spot the Mistake?
by Jim Miller, 10:02 AM, 96 Comments
This Seattle Times article makes a common mistake. Historically, urban areas of the state, with their dense populations, have subsidized road work in more rural areas with smaller tax bases. The article backs that up with a chart (not available... [read more]

Will anyone decent run for Seattle School Board?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:04 AM, 22 Comments
Today's Seattle Times asks the question "Will anyone run for Seattle School Board?" As of today, two of the three open board seats are uncontested ... Does the dearth of candidates mean voters are generally satisfied with the district's leadership?... [read more]

July 22, 2005
Can Sea-Tac Be That Inefficient?
by Jim Miller, 03:31 PM, 67 Comments
That was my reaction to these articles in the Seattle PI and the Seattle Times on Southwest Airlines' proposed move from the airport.  Here are some numbers from the Times: The Port already has cut projects, restructured its debt and... [read more]

Leftist Pinheads: Protecting Citizen Voting Rights is an "attack on immigrants"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:42 AM, 76 Comments
LEFTIST PINHEADS, including the P-I reporter who wrote the self-parody of a lead to this article, are besides themselves with rage that somebody wants to take the vote away from illegal immigrants An initiative aimed at halting voting rights and... [read more]

July 21, 2005
Not too bright(water)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:56 PM, 21 Comments
You probably already guessed that Ron Sims' Brightwater Sewage Treatment Plant includes indispensible Public Art, but you probably didn't know that it also includes an education and conference center which plans to compete against established private businesses for market share... [read more]

Joni Balter is only one month behind me
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:33 PM, 5 Comments
Joni Balter, June 23 "Calmer mood won't help City Council challengers" For all the energetic jockeying for seats on the Seattle City Council, this doesn't seem like a year for major change. The economy is steady. Grumbling about King County... [read more]

Seeing Double
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:34 PM, 19 Comments
There appear to be thousands of duplicate voter registrations in King County, i.e. individuals who are listed on the voter rolls more than once. Duplicate registrations damage election integrity in two main ways: (1) they inflate the number of registered... [read more]

Confidential to citizens of Grays Harbor County
by Stefan Sharkansky, 06:12 PM, 47 Comments
Your county auditor, Vern Spatz, who by the way is up for re-election in 2006, seems to be something of a bumbling putz. Not to mention something of an idiot.... [read more]

Seattle Connection to London Bombings
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:36 AM, 61 Comments
Today's Seattle Times reports that "London bomb suspect lived at Seattle mosque" [Haroon] Aswat came to the Northwest in 1999 when James Ujaama, a former Seattle activist, tried to set up a jihad training camp in rural Oregon. "Former Seattle... [read more]

More indications of abuse of power by Ron Sims
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:19 AM, 59 Comments
Yet more fishy business in the investigation and booking of Julie Anne Kempf that adds to the perception that this is politically motivated --... [read more]

July 20, 2005
Dean Logan to spend $90,000+ of the public's money to evade public disclosure
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:12 PM, 60 Comments
Seriously. Dean Logan has decided to spend more than $90,000 of the public's money in order to evade his responsibilities to make a full public disclosure of election records --... [read more]

Where does Ron Sims think he is, Zimbabwe?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:54 AM, 109 Comments
Ron Sims is misusing the police to suppress dissenters and intimidate his subordinates. Former Superintendent of Elections Julie Anne Kempf was arrested yesterday No formal charges have been filed, and details are sketchy. I can't comment on specific sketchy details... [read more]

Die, Monorail, Die
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:33 AM, 76 Comments
The Seattle Monorail Project Board is desparately trying to salvage itself with an "action plan". Rebid the contract? Merge with another agency? Build itself in "phases"? The Monorail's insane insistence to keep fighting for survival even if it has to... [read more]

We'll get a bigger bang for the buck if we don't trust it to Larry Phillips
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:06 AM, 21 Comments
On today's Seattle Times op-ed page, King County Council Chairman Larry Phillips writes: "Getting the most bang for our transportation bucks", which opens: THE good news is that Seattle and the Puget Sound region are in the midst of an... [read more]

July 19, 2005
Seattle, Post Intelligence
by Ron Hebron, 08:41 PM, 13 Comments
Ryan Sager of the NY Post has a great article today on the anti-gas-tax initiative and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's selective honoring of the US Constitution. First, Washington state's speech police came for the talk-radio hosts, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer... [read more]

LEGISLATIVE POWERS (and former powers)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:21 PM, 35 Comments
A public service announcement on the Washington State Constitution in response to two silly statements that were expressed today from unexpectedly diverse quarters: ARTICLE II LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT SECTION 1 LEGISLATIVE POWERS, WHERE VESTED. The legislative authority of the state of... [read more]

Ron Sims' Reign of Terror
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:48 PM, 27 Comments
Last week I mentioned that King County was conducting a criminal investigation against former Superintendent of Elections, Julie Anne Kempf. I posited that this was politically motivated and partly intended to intimidate current election employees from speaking out. I keep... [read more]

McGavick Press Conference
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:32 PM, 37 Comments
I attended Mike McGavick's press conference this afternoon where he announced his exploratory committee for the 2006 U.S. Senate race Mike McGavick with wife Gaelynn. Audio of the press conference is posted here (7 MB). His opening remarks last for... [read more]

Sharkansky and Connelly together for the first time!
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:30 PM, 22 Comments
After the McGavick press conference I had a delightful conversation with the P-I's Joel Connelly, who, as it turns out, is as friendly and engaging in person as he is sometimes curmudgeonly in his column. photo credit: Robert Mak!... [read more]

The building that won't solve the problems
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:38 AM, 16 Comments
As Judge John Bridges said in his tonguelashing of King County Elections at the outset of his ruling last month:the evidence here suggests that the problems require more than just constructing new buildings and hiring more staff. Amazing but true,... [read more]

Die, Monorail, Die
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:19 AM, 16 Comments
The rapidly shriveling Seattle Monorail Project is now proposing to build itself in stages, Sound Transit style. At some point, they'll have to whittle the project down to this. Watchdog group OnTrack is unimpressed with either the Monorail's plans or... [read more]

July 18, 2005
Dean Logan goes Hollywood (II)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:39 PM, 22 Comments
If you didn't already see the trailer of Dean Logan and Ron Sims' first Hollywood movie together be sure to check it out! And on a more serious note, Logan is speaking at the Election Center's conference in Beverly Hills... [read more]

McGavick is "exploring a run for the U.S. Senate"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:39 PM, 61 Comments
Safeco CEO Mike McGavick announced his resignation this afternoon McGavick is stepping down effective Aug. 31 "to give full consideration to the possibility of public service" I received an e-mail that McGavick has scheduled a press conference for noon tomorrow... [read more]

New system for parolee oversight 'a disaster'
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:34 AM, 17 Comments
The P-I reports: Six years ago, the state Department of Corrections launched a multimillion-dollar project to revamp its aging computer system so authorities could keep better track of offenders in and out of prison. Despite a two-year delay and expenditures... [read more]

Venezuela almost as bad as King County
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:20 AM, 11 Comments
The Financial Times reports that Henri Charrière, the convict who vividly recalled his multiple escape bids from the disease-ridden penal colony of French Guiana in the novel Papillon, has been found “alive” in Venezuela, 32 years after his reported death.... [read more]

July 17, 2005
It's in the P-I
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:49 AM, 33 Comments
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer editorial board has invented a new set of ethics guidelines for editorial commentators: "Journalism 101: Right to be responsible" Members of this newspaper's Editorial Board don't write checks, pass or sign petitions or participate in political campaigns.... [read more]

"Struggle over initiatives, referendums intensifies"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:12 AM, 18 Comments
The Washington State Referendum might be dead, but the Initiative lives on. The AP's David Ammons reports today that A national pro-initiative watchdog group has set up camp in Washington state, hoping to protect the time-honored, but oft-criticized tradition of... [read more]

July 16, 2005
Sam Reed is disappointed
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:09 AM, 57 Comments
Secretary of State Sam Reed, who was one of the main promoters of the idiotic top two primary that was ruled unconstitutonal by a federal judge yesterday, is feeling blue: Secretary of State Sam Reed said he was unhappy with... [read more]

Faith-based initiatives
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:30 AM, 11 Comments
The Ron Sims "independent task force on elections" seems to be less interested in figuring out how to fix King County's disastrous management of the November 2004 election than it is in serving up statewide policy recommendations for unrelated and... [read more]

July 15, 2005
P-I: "It's reality time"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:27 PM, 27 Comments
It appears that the Seattle Post-Intelligencer editorial board has succumbed to reality: Reality is that the double-whammy of tax revenue overestimates and project cost increases has left a gap too wide to bridge. Yawning wide as well is the Seattle... [read more]

Ron Sims and Dean Logan go Hollywood!
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:07 PM, 13 Comments
Here is the trailer of their new film... [read more]

FLASH: "Top Two Primary Unconstitutional"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:24 PM, 52 Comments
"Judge strikes down "top two" primary in Washington state"A U.S. District Court judge today struck down Washington state's new "top two" primary system, approved by voters last fall, as unconstitutional, saying it infringed on the rights of political parties to... [read more]

Ron Sims is running away from his record
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:55 PM, 22 Comments
Ron Sims campaign website: running for re-election is not about what you have done in office, but rather what you will do in your next term Certainly you want to avoid running on your record when you're a chronic failure... [read more]

To the trashcan, readers
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:25 AM, 18 Comments
Today's Seattle Times editorial endorsing all-mail balloting is so intellectually dishonest and detached from reality it makes me wonder who these people are that write this nonsense and why the Seattle Times keeps them on the payroll -- "To the... [read more]

Rossi won't run for U.S. Senate in 2006
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:31 AM, 28 Comments
Dino Rossi released a definitive statement today confirming what he has been saying all along. He will not be a candidate for the United States Senate in 2006. The full statement follows --... [read more]

"Light" rail in the sense that it makes your wallet lighter
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:26 AM, 12 Comments
Today's P-I reports that [un]Sound Transit has fantasies of expanding link light rail south to the airport and north to Northgate. The citizens will get less value for more money: Voters in 1996 were told they'd get a 22-mile line... [read more]

Talk To Governor Gregoire At 10
by Jim Miller, 04:55 AM, 18 Comments
By way of Orbusmax, I learn that she will be taking questions on KUOW's "Weekday" program this morning. And I am certain that host Steve Scher, who has made great efforts to include those who disagree with Democratic politicians and... [read more]

July 14, 2005
Horsing Around
by Stefan Sharkansky, 07:43 PM, 76 Comments
The AP reports "King County sheriff's office investigating possible animal abuse" The investigation was launched this month after authorities discovered the July 2 death of a man who suffered internal bleeding after engaging in [certain unnatural acts] with a horse... [read more]

Sound the alarm
by Stefan Sharkansky, 07:38 PM, 10 Comments
The P-I reports that "New downtown sirens will warn Seattleites of pending disasters". I guess they'll be blaring on July 29, the filing deadline for the 2005 election, when it's clear that no credible candidates have stepped forward to challenge... [read more]

Bogus Emergency Upheld
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:07 PM, 38 Comments
The Washington State Supreme Court has upheld the legislature's phoney-baloney declaration of "emergency" in order to shield its evisceration of the voter mandated I-601 budgeting limits from a referendum: The standard of review of a legislative declaration of an emergency... [read more]

What am I, a potted palm?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:41 PM, 35 Comments
The No New Gas Tax campaign took Judge Christopher Wickham's dopey ruling to its illogical extreme yesterday and reported in-kind contributions not only from KVI, but from every media outlet that mentioned the No New Gas Tax campaign in its... [read more]

It's getting darker
by Brian Crouch, 11:08 AM, 79 Comments
Earlier this year, NARAL Pro-choice held its tastelessly marketed "Evening of Decadence / Death by Chocolate" event at SAFECO Field, a provocational slap at the pro-life side of the electorate. In June, a gang of NARAL protesters picketed a Life... [read more]

Gregoire Is 41st
by Jim Miller, 08:28 AM, 31 Comments
In popularity among the governors, according to Survey USA.  Her July ratings (38 percent approve, 52 percent disapprove) show that she is in a hole, but I would not conclude that that she can not get out of it in... [read more]

July 13, 2005
Leadership From Seattle?
by Jim Miller, 02:21 PM, 44 Comments
That's what the Seattle PI believes is needed to defeat I-912, the anti-gas tax initiative. So the leadership in defeating I-912 must come unabashedly from Seattle and the Central Puget Sound region. I can't think of a better way to... [read more]

Antidote to terrorism?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:28 AM, 76 Comments
In light of today's news about suicide terrorism, I went back and re-read the Times editorial from last Friday "Antidote to terrorism" The work of the G-8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, is the best antidote to the mindless violence of... [read more]

Fixation with "Strippergate" ignores a much larger scandal
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:47 AM, 10 Comments
King County Prosecuting Attorney Norm Maleng filed charges in the "Strippergate" scandal yesterday. Timothy Burgess' op-ed in the Times this morning says there's even more to this case that should be revealed: "Public deserves to know the dirty details of... [read more]

"No new gas tax" movement is being heard
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:53 AM, 21 Comments
The state will defer sales of bonds backed by the gas tax if I-912 makes the ballot, which appears certain. Somebody in Olympia is listening. Good. Also listening on the subject of the gas tax is the P-I's Joel Connelly.... [read more]

Meritless allegations
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:28 AM, 21 Comments
Wednesday's P-I reports -- "Former elections worker investigated".A former King County elections worker is under investigation for possible forgery, theft and criminal impersonation, the Sheriff's Office said yesterday, adding that none of the crimes is believed to have occurred while... [read more]

July 12, 2005
Voting by mail: fantasy vs. reality
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:33 PM, 36 Comments
Pierce County displayed the good sense last week to reject all-mail balloting after concluding that voting by mail actually costs a lot more money than voting at the polls. Meanwhile, the independent elections task force appointed by Ron Sims seems... [read more]

Corr takes on Drago
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:16 AM, 11 Comments
Former Nickels aide and now City Council candidate Casey Corr has made a course correction and is now running against incumbent Jan Drago. It's good that Drago finally has a credible opponent. As the Monorail's #1 supporter on the City... [read more]

Die, Monorail, Die
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:33 AM, 19 Comments
Today's Seattle Times has an op-ed by Henry Aronson and Krista Camenzind of OnTrack, who have done stellar work exposing the colossal idiocy of the Seattle Monorail Project: "Monorail board demonstrates its inability to guide project" Indeed it has. But... [read more]

And speaking of Sound Transit
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:32 AM, 16 Comments
Did you realize that Sound Transit is still collecting its extra MVET in spite of the fact that the State Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of I-776, which limited car tab taxes to $30? With thanks to then Attorney General... [read more]

A plan to end homelessness
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:09 AM, 32 Comments
Ron Sims announced more details of his Ten-Year Plan to end homelessness in King County: In 10 years, [Committee to End Homelessness co-chairman Dan] Brettler said, he hopes residents will be able to say, "King County used to have a... [read more]

July 11, 2005
Eight Years and Counting
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:05 PM, 17 Comments
Armen Yousoufian, whose ongoing legal battle with King County over Ron Sims' violations of the Public Disclosure Act has already lasted eight years and has cost county taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in staff time, fines and (Yousoufian's) attorney... [read more]

The fight starts here, with corporate welfare
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:17 PM, 43 Comments
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer's editorial writers gird for battle to protect their ferry subsidies: "Gas Tax Repeal: The fight starts here". Among the P-I's unconvincing arguments in favor of the gas tax is this one: [Business and orgainized labor] both argue... [read more]

Not a ‘Game Over,’ but a ‘Reset’
by Timothy Goddard, 06:22 PM, 28 Comments
Jerry Cornfield of the Everett Herald quotes me in his article "Gas tax anger fuels initiative" this morning. Most of my contribution is pretty standard fare that won't be surprising or thought provoking to anyone who's been paying attention:Opponents are... [read more]

Grim ferry tale
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:02 PM, 24 Comments
Food service is returning to (some) of the state's government-run ferries after a year-and-a-half absence. The article fails to mention the reason why there was such a long gap in onboard food service -- an extortion mafia called the Inlandboatmen's... [read more]

"A double-barreled message to Queen Christine"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:52 AM, 84 Comments
Now that both I-912 "No New Gas Tax" and I-900 "Performance Audits" are on the November ballot, Tim Eyman calls this "a double-barreled message to Queen Christine". Neither issue should be a partisan one. People from all parties should want... [read more]

Institutional Racism
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:48 AM, 22 Comments
Today's Seattle Times' front page reports on a unit of the state DSHS called the Office Of African American Children's Services, whose self-described mission is to prevent the unnecessary disruption of African American families, and to decrease the disproportionate number... [read more]

Nickels' obsession with nipples
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:34 AM, 34 Comments
Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels seeks to impose new regulations on the city's handful of strip clubs The proposed code changes would require dancers to remain at least 4 feet from customers. There are no distance regulations now. ... Clubs also... [read more]

"An accuracy rate any bank would envy"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:00 AM, 7 Comments
More evidence of Ron Sims' accounting prowess. Today's Seattle Times reports on yet another discovery by alert citizen and (frequent Sound Politics commenter) Richard Pope: almost 400 listings of unclaimed property belonging to King County and its various agencies on... [read more]

July 10, 2005
Seattle to Monorail: Drop Dead
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:59 PM, 27 Comments
"52% of voters would scrub the monorail, new poll says" With a note of caution for City Council candidates: The most consistent voters are most likely to support a council member who tries to stop the monorail. The poll found... [read more]

July 09, 2005
Antidote to ignorant editorials
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:16 AM, 149 Comments
Friday's Seattle Times editorial, "Antidote to terrorism"The work of the G-8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, is the best antidote to the mindless violence of yesterday's murderous assault on London commuters. Uniting to fight poverty and disease pushes back hard against... [read more]

July 08, 2005
"A dangerous, unconstitutional ruling"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:24 PM, 70 Comments
Today's Seattle Times editorial defends KVI and excoriates Thurston County Superior Court Judge Christopher Wickham for his ruling that John Carlson and Kirby Wilbur had to report their airtime advocating for I-912 as an in-kind contribution: Two years ago, when... [read more]

Westneat responds to critics
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:17 PM, 21 Comments
Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat today answers the many critics who disagreed with his earlier column about parents who he characterized as "cheating" to get their kids in a popular Seattle public school. Westneat quotes Sound Politics and a comment... [read more]

"No New Gas Tax" turns in 420,000 signatures
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:08 PM, 73 Comments
"Gas tax foes turn in nearly double the signatures needed for ballot"... [read more]

ACLU goes after Pierce County Council
by Marsha Michaelis, 10:40 AM, 71 Comments
The American Civil Liberties Union is going after the Pierce County Council for its new ordinance restricting free speech in public meetings. In a letter to the Council, ACLU attorney Aaron Caplan wrote: "The ability of citizens to state their... [read more]

July 07, 2005
London Terrorist Attack
by Jim Miller, 12:47 PM, 142 Comments
This is not one of our usual subjects here at Sound Politics, but then terrorist attacks on this scale do not happen every day. I think I can speak for all the contributors when I say that we want to... [read more]

The delusions continue
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:01 AM, 35 Comments
The Seattle Monorail Project board members continue to have delusions of building a Monorail, not to mention delusions of grandeur. They declared themselves on Wednesday evening to be the Monorail's "ad hoc" committee. They might as well call themselves the... [read more]

July 06, 2005
No New Gas Tax to make the ballot
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:35 PM, 128 Comments
The No New Gas Tax campaign turned in over 230,000 signatures today. A lot more petitions are coming back to the campaign and will be turned in to the SoS on Friday. Even net of rejected signatures, there should be... [read more]

Diversity Camping Program
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:51 AM, 67 Comments
The State Parks and Recreation Commission is trying to persuade more African-Americans to go camping in the state parks. There doesn't seem to be any evidence of discrimination against black people. It's just that the data shows that people of... [read more]

Suppression of Dissent in Bush's America
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:39 AM, 36 Comments
One of the first official acts of Kristina Hill, the new never-elected chairwoman of the Seattle Monorail Project, was to suppress dissent: the agency raised the eyebrows of even one its longtime supporters yesterday by kicking a member of a... [read more]

Seattle: the environmental city
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:34 AM, 43 Comments
Seattle's new city hall is an energy hog Seattle's new City Hall was designed with the environment in mind, using the most energy-efficient technologies. But the building acts like an old-fashioned electricity hog. It has lofty public spaces and walls... [read more]

July 05, 2005
It's in the P-I (II)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:48 PM, 11 Comments
Joel Connelly has an uncommonly good column Wednesday -- "It's time to pull plug on monorail" He even chides the P-I editorial board for being as silly as all the rest of the Kool-Aid drinking monomaniacs. And he quotes pollster... [read more]

It's in the P-I
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:26 PM, 61 Comments
Wednesday's Seattle Post-Intelligencer applauds the Thurston County judge who ruled that John Carlson and Kirby Wilbur have to report their air-time in support of I-912 as an in-kind contribution "Gas-tax Talk: Jabber over journalism" the on-air hosts are directly campaigning... [read more]

Nursing Home Mail Ballot Fraud
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:36 AM, 104 Comments
Back in February I reported on a tip from a reader who wrote that a family member who is legally incompetent and living in a Lynnwood nursing home had voted by mail last November. we found out my wife's' uncle... [read more]

Speaking Engagement
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:00 AM, 6 Comments
REMINDER -- I'll be speaking at a fundraising dinner for the Skagit County Republican Party on Saturday, July 16th, 6pm at the Avalon Golf Links in Burlington. The other speakers are Attorney General Rob McKenna and KVI's Kirby Wilbur. I... [read more]

July 04, 2005
Say Goodbye it's Independence Day
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:16 PM, 20 Comments
Monorail Board Chairman Tom Weeks and Executive Director Joel Horn have resigned. I'm reminded of that Bruce Springsteen song: "say goodbye it's Independence Day". The winner of the contest to predict Horn's departure date is someone who simply identified themselves... [read more]

Ron Sims' Mentor in the Banking Business
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:00 AM, 17 Comments
When Ron Sims said back in February that King County's performance in the November 2004 election "had an accuracy rate that any bank would envy" he must have been thinking about one bank in particular -- the Federal Home Loan... [read more]

July 02, 2005
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:34 PM, 54 Comments
Ron Sims wants to convert the parking lot next to Qwest Field into a housing development. Huh? Why would anybody want to live next to the stadium? Oh, wait. the stadium area is a "busy and noisy place," said Mike... [read more]

"Goodbye, Monorail"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:26 PM, 19 Comments
Today's Seattle Times editorial page bids adieu to the world's dumbest transportation boondogle: Monorail may remain as an idea and a dream for Seattle, but this monorail project and this monorail agency are finished. The Seattle Popular Monorail Authority should... [read more]

July 01, 2005
Happy Fourth of July Weekend
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:18 PM, 20 Comments
I'll be co-hosting Republican Radio this Saturday 11am - 1pm. Listen on these fine stations around the Northwest and on Internet streaming audio. I'll be off most of the weekend. Blogging will be light. I'll be back by Tuesday with... [read more]

Shameless lying weasels
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:56 PM, 55 Comments
A Thurston County Judge ruled against the No New Gas Tax initiative today. In addition to ordering the I-912 campaign to hold off spending contributions from Internet donors until they provide addresses (not a big deal), he also ordered KVI... [read more]

Pierce County limits free speech
by Marsha Michaelis, 03:47 PM, 33 Comments
As reported in The News Tribune today, Pierce County Council members approved an ordinance earlier this week that says citizens who speak at public council meetings "may not attack or make any allusion to the motives of any council member."... [read more]

More On Congressman Don Young
by Jim Miller, 01:07 PM, 16 Comments
This Seattle Times article describes the chances for federal money to help replace the Alaskan Way viaduct with a tunnel (nil), and the chances for federal money to help replace it with a new viaduct (not bad if Congressman Reichert... [read more]

Another compliment from Joel Connelly
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:06 AM, 38 Comments
Joel Connelly of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer pays me a compliment yet again in today's column, a mid-year list of 2005 achievements Crystal Ball Cup -- gubernatorial division: "I rarely make predictions, but I feel comfortable predicting today that Judge Bridges... [read more]

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