Index of entries from August 2005
August 31, 2005
What would we do without state audit board?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:25 PM, 8 Comments
Thursday's P-I: "State audit board faults monorail"... [read more]

$55,800 Whitewash? (II)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:40 PM, 13 Comments
I obtained a copy of King County's so-called "independent investigation report" on absentee ballot handling that was reported in yesterday's paper. First, here is Dean Logan's press statement that accompanied the release of the report. It opens In the spring,... [read more]

Caddyshack
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:47 PM, 18 Comments
I heard a news report on KVI a moment ago. Ron Sims was giving a news conference and mentioned: New Orleans and the Gulf Course, er, Coast... [read more]

Teacher Salaries
by Marsha Michaelis, 04:38 PM, 55 Comments
If you're interested in knowing individual salaries/benefits for the teachers and other staff in your school district, you can find them at this link. The data is provided by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. It is organized... [read more]

Re: 2005 WASL scores
by Marsha Michaelis, 02:41 PM, 32 Comments
Today’s congratulatory press releases announcing results from the 2005 Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) could have been written last year. Unfortunately, while we all love good news, the euphoria doesn’t reflect the reality in our state’s K-12 schools. Consider... [read more]

Sen. Ed Murray?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:42 AM, 13 Comments
Is Rep. Ed Murray angling to upgrade to state Senate next year? Yesterday's article in The Olympian suggested that he might. The seat is currently held by Sen. Pat Thibaudeau, who is approximately 173 years old. Thibaudeau is possibly hinting... [read more]

A $55,800 Whitewash?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:59 AM, 14 Comments
Buried in yesterday's news reports about the expected termination of mail ballot supervisor Nicole Way were these tidbits -- P-I: Logan's move to fire absentee-ballot supervisor Nicole Way comes after an independent investigation into blunders by his staff ... The... [read more]

Looting in Seattle
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:38 AM, 19 Comments
The horror stories of looting in New Orleans make one wonder if this could happen in one's own community in the event of a terrible natural disaster. This story, from my neighborhood watch captain here in Seattle's Wallingford/Green Lake area... [read more]

Oh, it will make an impression all right
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:29 AM, 8 Comments
Today's Seattle Times editorial on the verdict in the Yousoufian Public Disclosure Act suit:We can only hope that last week's nearly $300,000 judgment against King County for years of flouting a legitimate public-records request will make an impression on public... [read more]

McGavick to stay on as Safeco CEO
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:18 AM, 23 Comments
Today's Tacoma News-Tribune reports that "Likely Senate candidate will stay as Safeco CEO" Mike McGavick, a likely Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in 2006, will remain Safeco CEO indefinitely, the insurance giant announced Tuesday. McGavick had intended to step down... [read more]

August 30, 2005
Stefan Made The New York Sun
by Jim Miller, 05:15 PM, 3 Comments
Or at least his work did.   In an article on the sloppy voting rolls in New York city, I found this paragraph. The author of "Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens our Democracy," John Fund, said improper voter registration... [read more]

Stopping an illegal teacher strike
by Marsha Michaelis, 04:33 PM, 40 Comments
If no contract agreement is reached by negotiators this evening, teachers in the Peninsula School District have voted to begin an illegal strike on Thursday. This is wrong. It harms students and the community. The teachers' union shouldn't get away... [read more]

Logan relents
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:53 PM, 13 Comments
Dean Logan has relented and agreed to release original absentee ballot envelopes for my inspection. These should have been made available to me when I first asked for them two months ago. We'll only have 9 weeks from when they're... [read more]

Luni League Ratings
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:22 PM, 24 Comments
The Muni League (Luni League) of King County released their "2005 candidate evaluations" today, proving yet again why it deserves its spot on our list of "Unsound Institutions". Among its lunier recommendations: Rons Sims -- Outstanding [to David Irons' "Good"]... [read more]

What would voters do without primary rivals?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:57 AM, 4 Comments
Seattle Times: "Primary rivals say they're different". Lame headline, but good article about the Democratic primary contest in the new 1st County Council District (Northeast Seattle, Shoreline, Kenmore, Bothell): Bob Ferguson is again positioning himself as an independent-minded outsider in... [read more]

Penal dysfunction
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:11 AM, 10 Comments
"State prison guard accused of urinating on jail computer"... [read more]

It's in the P-I
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:07 AM, 7 Comments
The P-I editorial board got one right! "Public Disclosure: Penalty too small" At the risk of sounding like spendthrifts of the public purse, we have to agree with Armen Yousoufian that the largest award ever in a state public records... [read more]

August 29, 2005
Way to Go
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:58 PM, 26 Comments
KING 5: "More elections department employees facing discipline" As the King County Supervisor of Absentee Ballots, Nicole Way found herself in the spotlight when things went wrong. When Republicans tried to get the governor's election thrown out, Way testified that... [read more]

Photo ID at the polls
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:48 PM, 35 Comments
"Feds OK Georgia law requiring photo ID to vote" Naturally, the usual suspects are outraged.... [read more]

Credibility on the line
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:52 PM, 17 Comments
Today's Seattle Times reports that "Credibility on the line in Sept. vote". Who knew? The companion article lists some of the changes to training and procedures that are designed to restore credibility. Some of these even make sense: Problem: Ballots... [read more]

What would monorail reviews do without some?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:59 AM, 15 Comments
"Some doubt monorail review can meet mayor's deadline".... [read more]

August 27, 2005
Projects galore
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:28 AM, 20 Comments
I've got projects galore this weekend, so my own blogging will be light. But I will stop by the King County GOP picnic this afternoon!... [read more]

August 26, 2005
Majorities matter (go figure)
by Timothy Goddard, 11:12 PM, 32 Comments
A couple months ago, I took a lot of flack in the comments for making the wild claim that, somehow, members of the majority party would have an easier time protecting military bases in their constituency from closure than those... [read more]

Three news items that should make the Monorail board nervous
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:53 PM, 4 Comments
Danny Westneat: "Monorail's good news not great" Times editorial: "Last days of the Monorail" P-I: "$10 million to be given to UW Jewish Studies"... [read more]

Who's push-polling the 8th district?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:48 PM, 14 Comments
Politicalities wants to know.... [read more]

Q: What kind of wine goes with pork?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:05 PM, 13 Comments
A: Port Wine. The Pork of Walla Walla (sorry the Port of Walla Walla) is using a $1 million state grant to "incubate" new wineries.... [read more]

ID at the polls
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:24 PM, 26 Comments
The Secretary of State has released a TV ad [Quicktime version] educating voters about some of the new election reforms. It includes this one line about ID: Bring photo ID to the polls, because voter ID is now required to... [read more]

What Works?
by Marsha Michaelis, 11:53 AM, 6 Comments
Check out the Evergreen Freedom Foundation's new report on public education in Washington state. Titled What Works? Creating Successful Public Schools, the report 1) contrasts claims and facts about student academic achievement in Washington’s K-12 public schools, 2) shows why... [read more]

No consequences for failing schools (II)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:29 AM, 37 Comments
The folks managing Seattle's Families and Education Levy have finally agreed upon the long-promised accountability for results, today's Seattle Times reports : "Student achievement to dictate some funds" The target for the 2005-06 year is that 160, or 8 percent,... [read more]

No consequences for failing schools (I)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:28 AM, 1 Comments
Today's Seattle Times article on the consequences for Washington schools that fail to meet No Child Left Behind Standards asks the question: "Federal hammer to fall on schools?" The short answer is "no". the law requires districts to start planning... [read more]

August 25, 2005
Washington Legislature Spam
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:46 PM, 7 Comments
The Washington Legislature's listserv has been hijacked by spammers.... [read more]

Public Non-Disclosure
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:35 PM, 30 Comments
A ruling has been issued in the case of Yousoufian v. Sims: Penalties of $15 dollars a day for a total of $123,780 and attorney fees of $171,100.35. This is a relative pittance given the time and expense that Armen... [read more]

Intelligent Redesign of Public Schools
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:59 AM, 92 Comments
My column in this week's The Stranger is up! The controversy over "Intelligent Design" was guaranteed a marquee role in the 2008 presidential race last week when Senator Majority Leader and White House aspirant Bill Frist endorsed President Bush's proposal... [read more]

EFF to Norm Maleng: Enforce state elections laws
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:18 AM, 14 Comments
In a follow-up to Norm Maleng's talk at the Downtown Seattle Republican Club last week, the "EFF sent him a letter encouraging him to enforce election laws" The Evergreen Freedom Foundation (EFF) today called on King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng... [read more]

New Monorail Boss
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:51 AM, 20 Comments
"New monorail leader bullish despite deadline" Five hours into the job, new monorail chief John Haley was asked if Seattle will ever have its voter-approved line, given its cash shortage. "I don't know," he told reporters. They're paying the guy,... [read more]

August 24, 2005
Questions and Answers on Federal Write-In Ballots
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:47 PM, 10 Comments
I e-mailed this inquiry to King County Elections yesterday regarding the apparent irregularities with the Federal Write-In ballots that I posted earlier this week. Bobbie Egan replied today that she's out of the office with an injury and will get... [read more]

Comments on today's pollworker training
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:23 PM, 12 Comments
I spent the morning in a lecture hall at North Seattle Community College for training for my first time as a King County Elections poll worker this fall. Here are my impressions -- praise for some positive improvements but also... [read more]

Greg Nickels helps I-912 campaign
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:31 PM, 24 Comments
Today's Seattle Times editorial says that support for I-912 might be softening "One for the roads". Indeed, even though polls indicate that a commanding margin of voters wants to repeal the gas tax, we shouldn't fall into complacency. Those of... [read more]

Should Peninsula teachers be paid more?
by Marsha Michaelis, 02:10 PM, 46 Comments
Peninsula public school teachers Brenda and David Aston were featured on the front page of the August 17, 2005, edition of The Peninsula Gateway, picketing school district officials for higher pay. They held signs reading “Our family qualifies for W.I.C.... [read more]

The P-I's Lazy Hit Job On David Irons
by Matt Rosenberg, 01:40 PM, 45 Comments
Gawd, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer should be embarrassed about this: they print an editorial today actually daring to bemoan Democratic King County Executive Ron Sims' horrid record of ineptitude and mismanagement, and THEN launch into a blind, backhanded slam against his... [read more]

Gone to training
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:33 AM, 10 Comments
I'm off at pollworker training this morning. Back later.... [read more]

August 23, 2005
Eyman on the initiative process
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:18 PM, 62 Comments
Tim Eyman's remarks at the National Conference of State Legislators last week are well worth reading. First the preface from the e-mail that he sent to his list: It was a panel discussion on initiatives and whether the process was... [read more]

Sewer of Corruption (IX)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:30 PM, 25 Comments
"WEA puts teachers at risk of violating campaign finance laws" In clear violation of state law and Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) guidelines, the Washington Education Association (WEA) is instructing members they can promote ballot initiatives using school district facilities. The... [read more]

Sewer of Corruption (VIII)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:44 PM, 12 Comments
Christine Gregoire, whose election campaign, manual recount and contest lawsuit were all bought by government employee unions, now admits that the vote by state workers to go to a "closed shop" with mandatory union dues was not properly conducted: Christine... [read more]

Ron Sims, "Technology Evangelist"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:58 AM, 30 Comments
A 1999 profile of Ron Sims calls him a "technology evangelist" Washington's Ron Sims preaches and practices technology as King County executive. Six years later, Ron still needs more practice. On the front page of today's Seattle Times we read... [read more]

Federal Write-In ballots
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:00 AM, 55 Comments
This is a substantially rewritten and expanded version of Saturday's post on the topic of "Federal Write-In Ballots" for unregistered voters. Based on newly obtained documents, it now appears that there were enough problems with the federal write-ins that the... [read more]

August 22, 2005
"Let's Get Seattle Fiscally Fit"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:51 PM, 18 Comments
Seattle City Council candidate Robert Rosencrantz now advocates "the affordable option for replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct -- above ground". See the online video at his campaign website, here. I find this interesting for two reasons -- First, Rosencrantz' two... [read more]

Cleaning up the voter rolls, one illegal voter at a time
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:23 PM, 29 Comments
And speaking of of cleaning up the voter rolls, a registration challenge was filed Saturday against Ron Sims' nephew, who was registered to vote at Uncle Ron's house and voted absentee last September while living in New York, and is... [read more]

P-I in race to bottom with horse's bottom
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:51 PM, 22 Comments
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer now recognizes that competition exists from alternative media "We have a very direct and very vigorous editorial competition with The Seattle Times," McCumber said. "But today, what we're really competing with is a huge range of media... [read more]

Cleaning up the voter rolls
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:46 AM, 11 Comments
Sam Reed must be on a full-bore P.R. campaign, the Seattle Times and Tacoma News Tribune have nearly identical editorials this morning -- TNT: "Voters need to help clean up voter rolls" Times: "Voters can help make election run smoothly".... [read more]

More Transparency in the Elections Office
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:58 AM, 16 Comments
This morning's King County Council Committee-Of-the-Whole meeting is a briefing on "Operational improvements to the King County Elections Division in preparation of the September Primary Election". Curiously, the briefing is being held at the elections office, where unlike most other... [read more]

Seattle hate crime
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:52 AM, 41 Comments
Yet another incident of political violence in a city that is proud of its tradition of tolerance and inclusion.... [read more]

August 20, 2005
A Statement Training Can't Fix
by Andy MacDonald, 04:06 PM, 34 Comments
On the heels of yesterday's story of Cindi Laws remarks about Jews implying they control her opposition comes the news that she will seek anti-bias training in an attempt to fix the damage she has done to her reputation and... [read more]

Dow Constantine, meet Milo Minderbinder
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:06 AM, 19 Comments
King County Councilmember Dow Constantine is all excited about the Elliott Bay Water Taxi The Elliott Bay Water Taxi route took top marks in several categories: —Farebox recovery: The Elliott Bay Water Taxi’s established 30 percent farebox recovery rate compares... [read more]

August 19, 2005
King County is for Cat Lovers
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:26 PM, 17 Comments
This time I'm posting a Ron Sims news release and I'm not even being snarky. This is a bona fide public service announcement -- "King County Animal Shelters full special adoption prices for cat lovers" (That should read "King County... [read more]

"Another Day with Ron"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:25 PM, 24 Comments
Click on the photo to visit AnotherDayWithRon.com!... [read more]

More B.S. from Sam Reed, lazy reporting from M.S.M
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:33 PM, 19 Comments
Today's Seattle Times reports that "ID to be required at the polls". "The rubber hits the road," said Reed, in detailing a series of changes that will take place this election year across the state. Buy Sam Reed a beer!... [read more]

RFQ for "Turnaround Team"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:15 PM, 23 Comments
Ron Sims has issued a 17-page RFQ for a "Turnaround Team for King County's Elections Office". The accompanying press release says The team ... will be fully engaged in the cultural, leadership, management and operational issues of King County Elections,... [read more]

"Every Vote Counts"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:49 AM, 16 Comments
The National Council of State Legislatures, meeting in Seattle this week, today has an afternoon break-out session on elections titled "Every Vote Counts" History is filled with examples of elections decided by a handful of votes, sometimes by one vote.... [read more]

Monorail Board member Cindi Laws blames the Jews for opposition to Monorail
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:36 AM, 48 Comments
Monorail Board member Cindi Laws made some weird Jew-baiting comments in a candidate interview this week --... [read more]

Dean Logan to King County GOP: "Drop Dead"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:03 AM, 31 Comments
My head is beginning to hurt from all of this, but every time I turn around Dean Logan pulls yet another stunt that appears designed to eliminate transparency and public oversight. Tim Borders, the nominal plaintiff in the governor's election... [read more]

August 18, 2005
Yet another cover-up by Dean Logan to protect Ron Sims
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:23 PM, 51 Comments
Dean Logan has violated the Public Disclosure Act yet again, this time to evade disclosure of documents about Ron Sims' nephew who appears to be illegally registered and voting at Sims' house.... [read more]

King County Elections needs more pollworkers; Republicans discouraged from applying
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:24 PM, 22 Comments
The King County Elections office announced today that "600 Poll Workers needed to work Election Day". Of course, when the elections office states that People interested in the democratic process should call (206) 296-1606. what they seem to mean is... [read more]

New comedian joins King County Canvassing Board
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:56 AM, 10 Comments
The King County Canvassing Board, which illegally certified the November 2004 election, will have a new member this fall, Democrat Councilman Dow Constantine (D-CAO). Constantine replaces retiring Councilman Dwight Pelz (D-Havana), pictured above as Chico. Constantine's most distinguished contribution... [read more]

It's in the P-I
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:07 AM, 29 Comments
The Shi'itle Post-Intelligencer has apparently added a new member to its "editorial board" -- D. Parvaz (Her name is in the ed. board roster in the print edition, not on the online). Parvaz debuted this month with this Saturday Snark... [read more]

Monorail Deathwatch
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:40 AM, 19 Comments
Yet another report reveals that the Monorail is hopelessly munted: "Shortened monorail route may not save enough". Nevertheless, the Monorail Board has hired an expensive messiah to try to postpone the inevitable: "Transportation pro to lead monorail temporarily" -- at... [read more]

August 17, 2005
Ron Sims re-election strategy
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:57 PM, 40 Comments
Ron Sims re-election strategy is now becoming apparent. The centerpiece is to turn the county elections office into a de facto subsidiary of the re-election campaign organization. Specifically, that entails putting the non-team player (= honest) employees on administrative leave,... [read more]

Three Cheers for the Monorail
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:37 AM, 11 Comments
Seattle Times: "Report challenges monorail's growth" Cindi Laws: "'Joel Horn Lied to Us'" Knute Berger: "Time for a Mercy Killing"... [read more]

State Democrats object to citizenship verification
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:25 AM, 53 Comments
Today's Seattle Times reports on the federal REAL ID law -- "REAL ID's cost angers state leaders" The law, billed as an anti-terrorism measure, requires states to get proof that applicants for a driver's license or state identification card are... [read more]

It's in the P-I
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:14 AM, 27 Comments
Today's Seattle Post-Intelligencer has an article about children who are raised by relatives other than parents: This so-called "kinship care" is the largely unseen fallout from a confluence of social problems -- parental drug addiction, incarceration, mental illness and, more... [read more]

August 16, 2005
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:28 PM, 31 Comments
(Edmund Burke probably never said that, but it's still a good quote). My interview with King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng at last night's Downtown Seattle Republican Club will be shown on the Seattle Channel this Thursday at 8:30pm and repeated... [read more]

Ed Murray Says We Don't Know What We Want
by Jim Miller, 05:26 PM, 27 Comments
Or at least what we want for transportation policies.   After a muddle of questions on transportation from the Stranger, Murray gave this summary reply: It doesn't appear that we know what things we want, when we want them, and... [read more]

Save public voting in Snohomish County
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:38 AM, 10 Comments
Snohomish County Auditor "Sideshow Bob" Terwilliger wants to move to "all-mail voting" . Of course he does. Lazy, incompetent and/or fervently partisan elections officials like Sideshow Bob prefer to process ballots in secret, with party "observers" roped off and unable... [read more]

Soviet-Style Election Reform
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:30 AM, 19 Comments
King County Politburo Chairman Larry Phillips reassures us that "Election Oversight Efforts in High Gear" USSR Communist Party General Secretary Konstantin Chernenko King County Politburo Chairman Larry Phillips Metropolitan King County Council Chair Larry Phillips said today’s briefing from the... [read more]

Sims tells "turnaround team" to sit and spin
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:23 AM, 16 Comments
Ron Sims is defiantly standing by his man in the elections office, ignoring even the tepid recommendations of his lame-ass task force -- "Sims says "turnaround team" wouldn't have election control": King County Executive Ron Sims wants to bring in... [read more]

August 15, 2005
King County: sex education resource
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:39 PM, 34 Comments
A reader just emailed a pointer to this gem from King County's repository of public health wisdom: No method of contraception or disease prevention is effective when practiced incorrectly or inconsistently. A 1988 National Survey of Family Growth found abstinence... [read more]

Dean Logan: The Amazing Transparent Man
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:00 PM, 18 Comments
Dean Logan, who promises "transparency and public access", draws the line at actually giving the public access to information that is potentially embarrassing to himself and Ron Sims. The Amazing Transparent Man continues to stonewall my public records requests.... [read more]

COW blogging
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:38 AM, 18 Comments
The King County Council Committe-Of-the-Whole is now having its elections briefing. Watch on KCTV. Meeting is now adjourned. Some running commentary in the extended entry...... [read more]

Have another COW, Man
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:27 AM, 9 Comments
Monday's King County Council Committee-Of-the-Whole will have a briefing on elections. If this is like all of the previous council meetings on elections, we can expect: Good questions and comments from Kathy Lambert, David Irons, Steve Hammond, Reagan Dunn, Bob... [read more]

August 14, 2005
Norm Maleng at the Downtown Seattle Republican Club
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:42 PM, 9 Comments
UPDATE, Sunday, 11pm: We have just a few spots left. Please RSVP ASAP if you're interested in attending. If you can't attend in person but would like to pose a question to Norm Maleng, please e-mail me your questions and... [read more]

Shari'a Swimtime
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:59 AM, 82 Comments
Mark Steyn's latest article in The Spectator, on the western liberal idiocy of celebrating the sociopathologies of foreign cultures, reminds me of a recent Seattle incident I've been meaning to blog about: government-funded Islamic apartheid. Steyn: By pretending that all... [read more]

The mayor that nobody likes
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:46 AM, 12 Comments
The oddest thing in Seattle politics this election is that Seattle's unloved, fiscally incontinent mayor Greg Nickels doesn't have any strong challengers. After all, even the hardcore hippie-dippie liberal activists don't really like him, today's Seattle Times reports: "Democratic groups... [read more]

August 12, 2005
Who Cares?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:16 PM, 73 Comments
"Trucks to pose as trains in test on I-90" Can the Interstate 90 floating bridge be made safe enough to support light rail? The issue is not whether the bridge can support the weight of trains, but whether region's taxpayers... [read more]

Dunn v. Hammond
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:46 AM, 84 Comments
My column in this week's The Stranger is on the primary contest between Steve Hammond and Reagan Dunn to represent the new 9th County Council District: "Freshman Mistake" The brightest new political star to appear in the local firmament this... [read more]

Eroding confidence daily
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:26 AM, 12 Comments
Today's P-I report on Ron Sims latest dog-and-pony efforts to "fix" the elections office should only undermine confidence further -- "Consultant to recruit team to repair elections system" The man charged with finding the turnaround team is Jim Reid, chief... [read more]

August 11, 2005
Mike McGavick
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:32 PM, 48 Comments
The other interesting finding in the new Strategic Visions poll is that Senator Maria Cantwell has only a 47% approval rating (contrast with 57% for Patty Murray). In a race held today between Cantwell and Mike McGavick, Cantwell would only... [read more]

New Strategic Visions Poll
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:11 AM, 41 Comments
Strategic Visions has released its latest statewide poll. Among the more interesting, but not entirely surprising findings: 1. On Christine Gregoire's job performance: 36% Approve, 56% Disapprove 2. In a hypothetical rematch for governor in 2008: Gregoire 39%, Dino Rossi... [read more]

Die, Monorail, Die
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:49 AM, 16 Comments
Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, in one of his first sensible acts in years, handed the Seattle Monorail Project an ultimatum: file a ballot initiative for voters to approve more funding and/or changes to the project by September 15, or dissolve... [read more]

Where's the beef?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:02 AM, 23 Comments
Today's Seattle Times reports that "County elections office gets beefed up" King County Executive Ron Sims has temporarily reassigned two veteran managers to help run this fall's elections ... In all, more than a dozen employees from other departments are... [read more]

August 10, 2005
Maleng cracks down on car thieves
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:16 PM, 35 Comments
King County Prosectuor Norm Maleng announced today he is cracking down on a record spate of car theftIn coordination with local police agencies, the new car theft initiative will create a special unit of three deputy prosecutors to work full... [read more]

National ASS
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:27 PM, 22 Comments
Sam Reed has been named president of the National Association of Secretaries of State.... [read more]

I-912 makes ballot, counter-sues suppressors of free speech
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:12 PM, 24 Comments
I-912, The No New Gas Tax initiative has, as expected, officially qualified for the November ballot. Meanwhile, the Institute of Justice is representing the I-912 campaign to protect free speech rights. Also, the Public Disclosure Commission has ruled in response... [read more]

Where does Ron Sims think he is, Zimbabwe?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:58 AM, 23 Comments
The Sims administration is approaching the upcoming election in a manner that shows how increasingly desperate and frightened they've become. In this week's Seattle Weekly, Skip Berger reports that two of Sims top aides, chief spokeswoman Carolyn Duncan and chief-of-staff... [read more]

Connelly scores another journalistic coup
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:06 AM, 18 Comments
Joel Connelly, the contumelious liberal columnist for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, who is best known for being duped into thinking that a spoof Mike McGavick campaign web site was for real, reveals his insight and reportorial skills yet again in his... [read more]

"WA For Judge Roberts.com" Wants Your Support
by Matt Rosenberg, 10:58 AM, 7 Comments
As part of its $700,000 national anti-Borking campaign, a national conservative group called Progress For America is paying for a new ad hoc coalition called "WA For Judge Roberts.com." Two big-name Washington Republicans have lent their names to the Web... [read more]

New WA blogs in blogroll
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:38 AM, 2 Comments
I added three more WA bloggers to the blogroll: Mike Costello, Stephanie Sandlin and Karl Swenson. Check them out!... [read more]

August 09, 2005
Ron Sims nephew voted in King County while living in New York
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:41 PM, 32 Comments
The only thing more amusing than reporting that Ron Sims has an out-of-county nephew registered to vote at his house, is reporting that said out-of-county nephew actually voted claiming Ron Sims' address as his residence while he was living in... [read more]

Ron Sims has an illegally registered voter at his own house
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:36 PM, 39 Comments
Ron Sims' nephew is illegally registered to vote at Ron Sims' own residence. Go to the Sound Politics voter database, lookup the 3200 block of Hunter Blvd S in Seattle and scroll down to Sims. In addition to Ron C... [read more]

Nickels' Folly
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:43 AM, 59 Comments
Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels plan to "Vancouverize" Seattle is deemed unrealistic by the Vancouver planners he brought in to review his plan. No kidding. Nickels thinks he can "stop urban sprawl in the region" by attracting families with children to... [read more]

Cleaning up the voter rolls, one illegal voter at a time
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:56 AM, 14 Comments
The federal appeals court judge who was illegally registered to vote at the King County Administration Building has re-registered at her lawful residence address, heading off a formal challenge to her registration.... [read more]

Justice Speaks
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:52 AM, 20 Comments
I donated $50 to last year's re-election campaign for Justice Richard Sanders. His op-ed in today's Seattle Times, critical of a partisan-motivated proposal to impose campaign finance limits on judicial campaigns, reminds me yet again why a contribution to his... [read more]

August 08, 2005
Republican Bests
by Andy MacDonald, 10:20 PM, 32 Comments
Back in June I wrote about the Seattle Weekly's Best of Seattle contest. Now the Best of Seattle results are in. And although Sound Politics didn't get the reader's nod as best local blog, we still have a lot to... [read more]

"Up in the air, junior birdsman"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:47 AM, 28 Comments
Ron Sims approaches his job with his head in the clouds and is reluctant to return to planet earth. Both figuratively and literally: From his temporary, 32nd-floor offices in the Bank of America Tower, King County Executive Ron Sims enjoys... [read more]

August 06, 2005
All-mail voting in Kitsap
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:19 AM, 45 Comments
The Kitsap County Commission voted last month to abolish public voting and adopt all-mail voting. Chris Shardelman is asking the Commission to reconsider. He claims that arguments made by the Kitsap Auditor were bogus. Her letter to a local newspaper... [read more]

August 05, 2005
Councilmembers Call for State to Run Election
by Stefan Sharkansky, 07:33 PM, 31 Comments
All six Republicans on the King County Council today called on Ron Sims to get out of the way and invite Sam Reed to run the county's elections this fall. I'm certainly in favor of taking the election out of... [read more]

A handy way to restore confidence
by Stefan Sharkansky, 07:25 PM, 23 Comments
I e-mailed Nick Handy earlier to thank him for promptly sending the information that nailed the case that King County failed to mail all of the required overseas and military ballots on time and also misrepresented the facts: It looks... [read more]

Alki Beach Patrol: Standing Around Doing Nothing
by Matt Rosenberg, 11:50 AM, 14 Comments
At least they were last night, the two vested young city beach "patrollers," watching legal fires inside the six fire rings at Alki Beach in West Seattle, while several short blocks north, on the same beach, an illegal fire of... [read more]

August 04, 2005
Proof: King County misled Sec. of State and DoJ about military and overseas ballots. Not all went out on time
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:55 PM, 147 Comments
I now have documentation from King County and the Secretary of State proving what has been suspected for months but which state and county officials have insistently denied all along -- King County did NOT mail all of the required... [read more]

Change the canvassing board
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:23 PM, 18 Comments
King County Councilman Reagan Dunn has called for a non-partisan canvassing board, asking Ron Sims to appoint someone other than Dean Logan to the canvassing board for the fall elections. I second that. I would also call on Larry Phillips... [read more]

August Activism
by Andy MacDonald, 03:11 PM, 1 Comments
Taxation, like death, is inevitable, as the saying goes. Taxes imply a government to collect them, so government is also inevitable. And any institution whose existence is so cosmically determined will not let anything so mundane as the season restrain... [read more]

Another squeaky wheel that will need to be greased
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:08 PM, 7 Comments
Mike Costello of Redmond, (whose letters to the editor you might have seen in the Times), has been doggedly reporting by e-mail on the scandal involving the King County Department of Transportation and falsified traffic reports to favor a large... [read more]

Public Non-disclosure
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:11 AM, 9 Comments
Thanks to everybody who has hit the tip jar since last week to help me Sue Ron Sims to compel him to release the various (potentially embarrassing) public records that King County Elections keeps stonewalling me on. An experienced public... [read more]

Blowhard without a microphone
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:30 AM, 46 Comments
It's condescending! It's illogical! It's an insult to your intelligence! You guessed it, it's Joni Balter's latest column! Today Joni bemoans the expected passage of I-912, blaming those talk show radios for causing Washington voters to be so selfish and... [read more]

Ron Sims Is A Bad Manager
by Jim Miller, 09:15 AM, 10 Comments
Who says so? Knute Berger of the Seattle Weekly. Talk with some of Sims' most ardent fans—staffers, former staffers, close political supporters—and they will acknowledge that the boss' charisma and energy are often undercut by his lack of focus, his... [read more]

Seattle NAACP Head Burning Bridges
by Matt Rosenberg, 08:38 AM, 8 Comments
The NAACP's Seattle chapter was badly embarrassed earlier this year when a judge threw out a high-profile legal case against the Kent School District that was filed in response to allegedly inappropriate use of handcuffs and physical force in a... [read more]

August 03, 2005
Affordable Housing
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:13 AM, 39 Comments
Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels has said repeatedly that one of his main priorities is to increase the supply of affordable housing. His latest housing initiative is to increase the cost of new housing.... [read more]

Dumb E-mail is making Moeller famous
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:04 AM, 50 Comments
Rep. Jim Moeller's dumb e-mail to Bob Williams is the subject of an article in today's The Columbian.... [read more]

Why we need an elected auditor
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:36 AM, 13 Comments
Today's P-I reports "King County gets no takers for elections job" "We can't fill the superintendent of elections job," County Executive Ron Sims admitted yesterday. "We posted (the opening), and nobody wanted it. Nobody wants a career breaker. I don't... [read more]

Was Dean Logan lying then or is he lying now?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:29 AM, 20 Comments
As Matt wrote below, King County Elections allowed convicted felon and would-be mayoral candidate James C. Garrett to re-register to vote in 2004 after his registration had been properly cancelled in 2002. Today's Seattle Times article includes this intriguing tidbit:... [read more]

Tipping Point For Dean Logan
by Matt Rosenberg, 08:54 AM, 12 Comments
State law says candidates for elected office must be legally registered voters. But Seattle mayoral candidate James C. Garrett (a.k.a. Omari Tahir-Garrett) didn't have his voting rights legally restored after a felony assault rap for bashing then-Seattle mayor Paul Schell... [read more]

August 02, 2005
It's in the P-I
by Stefan Sharkansky, 06:39 PM, 29 Comments
On the op-ed page of tomorrow's Seattle Post-Intelligencer -- "How to regain trust in elections" By JIM MILLER AND STEFAN SHARKANSKY GUEST COLUMNISTS The report by the King County Task Force on Elections is a disappointment. The committee that prepared... [read more]

I-901 Qualifies For Ballot
by Matt Rosenberg, 05:45 PM, 168 Comments
Initiative 901 was qualified today for the November ballot in Washington state: if approved it would result in an indoor public smoking ban. It will pass handily, with more than a few Republicans voting for it; myself included. Previous Sound... [read more]

Ron Sims Buys into (some) task force recommendations
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:14 PM, 15 Comments
Ron Sims sent this letter to the County Council today, summarized in this press statement. Sims said he intends to implement the task force’s key recommendation, the creation of a “turnaround team” reporting directly to the Executive. The turnaround team... [read more]

Seattle Schools impose new restrictions on military recruiters
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:47 AM, 32 Comments
The Seattle School District is caving in to the rabid anti-military crowd and imposing all sorts of senseless regulations designed to keep military recruiters out of Seattle high schools. Among the weirder rules, which doesn't seem to apply to recruiters... [read more]

Don't tell anybody
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:06 AM, 31 Comments
On the QT: The Silly Seattle blog reports that Patty Murray is holding a secret community meeting in Bellevue tomorrow to discuss the Reauthorization of Violence Against Women Act.... [read more]

Yet another dumb e-mail from an elected official
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:00 AM, 33 Comments
We're on a roll with a whole spate of Dumb E-mails from Elected Officials this week. Reader Pat C. sends us this dumb e-mail from Rep. Geoff Simpson (D-Covington) You showed your stripes as an unthinking, knee-jerk, anti-government, selfish whacko... [read more]

Vice Ring
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:51 AM, 14 Comments
King County Sheriff's Deputy Dan Ring of the vice squad had a few vices of his own -- Part 1 --"Conduct Unbecoming: How a disgraced sheriff's deputy beat the system" Part 2 -- "Reports of sex, drug abuse -- and... [read more]

Believe it or not
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:47 AM, 17 Comments
Nicole Brodeur: "Ron Sims "a believer" who has yet to deliver" Last month, Sims presented his "Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness" to the County Council. The $300 million plan seeks, among other things, to develop 4,500 housing units for the... [read more]

August 01, 2005
Another dumb e-mail from an elected official
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:34 PM, 47 Comments
My father lives in Jerusalem and sends e-mail dispatches about current events in Israel to his friends-and-family list. As it turns out, one of my dad's recent e-mails induced a Dumb e-mail from an elected official Rep. Sam Hunt received... [read more]

Size Matters
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:19 PM, 26 Comments
"State government's hiring outpaces population growth" Office of Financial Management data show that the number of full-time workers employed by the state has increased by 16.3 percent since 1996, not counting local government employees and teachers. Analysts at the Evergreen... [read more]

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