Index of entries from December 2005
December 31, 2005
Good news and bad news
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:44 AM, 18 Comments
According to the data files I received from King County last week, the good news is that the late Mr. and Mrs. Ringhofer have finally been removed from the voter rolls. The other good news is that a non-citizen named... [read more]

"I love the smell of napalm in the morning"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:00 AM, 39 Comments
There's almost nothing funnier in politics than watching the Democrats incinerate each other in an intra-party fight: "Race for leader of state Democratic Party heats up". The funniest thing here is that some Democrats fabricated a controversy over former candidate... [read more]

No it won't
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:01 AM, 14 Comments
Headline in today's Seattle Times1: "All-mail voting may cut fraud". That claim is almost as accurate as suggesting that smoking Camels may be good for you. The article quotes Black Box Voting activist Bev Harris and focuses on the one... [read more]

It's in the P-I
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:53 AM, 10 Comments
Unnamed staffers at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer feel threatened by the fact that Sound Politics broke more news about the bogus 2004 governor's race than the P-I did: "Five to remember from 2005 in Seattle news ... And five to forget... [read more]

December 30, 2005
It's in the P-I
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:17 PM, 75 Comments
Today's P-I has an unwitting self-parody in its partisan thumbsucker masquerading as news: "State's top power trio sets mark for women" The rise of Gov. Christine Gregoire and U.S. Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell has broken another lock on... [read more]

A safe harbor for election fraud
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:54 AM, 28 Comments
Here is the text of SB 6134 , one of the bills co-sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Seattle/Jim Wells County). This is one of the most reprehensible pro-fraud "election reform" proposals I've seen in the last year, as it would... [read more]

December 29, 2005
Today on the Times editorial page: Brain-wasting disease
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:19 PM, 15 Comments
Today's Seattle Times editorial: "Live! Battle of the beefsteaks". Monday, U.S. beef returned to Japanese groceries for the first time since the country banned it after the first case of U.S.-detected mad-cow disease was discovered in late 2003. ... Japan... [read more]

Statewide Voter Database
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:32 PM, 12 Comments
Secretary of State Sam Reed has been congratulating himself for years on the statewide voter database which has an advertised debut date of Jan. 1, 2006. The electronic database of registrations, which goes online Jan. 1 to comply with a... [read more]

Dumb E-mails from Elected Officials
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:07 AM, 70 Comments
Yesterday we mentioned that Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles introduced legislation that would make it impossible for citizens to challenge fraudulently registered voters. We share a couple of dumb emails that Sen. Kohl-Welles sent in response to concerns about her proposed legislation.... [read more]

Your tax dollars at work
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:00 AM, 26 Comments
"Injustice of 1884 on state agenda for 2006" In 1884, a vigilante mob of more than 100 men from Washington Territory rode into Canada, abducted a 14-year-old Indian boy and hanged him from a tree. ... Now, more than a... [read more]

December 28, 2005
The November 2005 election: The whitewash report vs. the reality
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:10 PM, 75 Comments
We read in the P-I last week that "King County elections gets good report on Nov. 8 vote". Sadly, that's more of a reflection on the shoddiness of the Election Center's report than it is on the quality of King... [read more]

Strident Buskers At Pike Place Market Hit Wrong Note
by Matt Rosenberg, 01:22 PM, 61 Comments
Although a key employee was sentenced in 2002 to two years for embezzling up to $171,000, Seattle's Pike Place Market is generally run pretty well, by a city-chartered non profit whose board is appointed by the City Council, Mayor and... [read more]

The worst of Times
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:07 PM, 20 Comments
The Seattle Times' Bruce Ramsey is our best local editorial writer on local issues, but he's less impressive when he wanders off and writes about the Middle East. His occasional op-eds and unsigned editorials on the subject are as biased... [read more]

December 27, 2005
But Joni Balter likes it
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:04 PM, 56 Comments
Today's Seattle Times editorial in support of mail-only voting is unmistakably Joni Balter: a dumb policy recommendation based on ignorant and illogical arguments, delivered with snotty condescension. "To the mailbox, ye sons of Freedom"The core of her argument is an... [read more]

More Democratic legislation to facilitate election fraud
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:40 AM, 57 Comments
State Senators Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Monorail) and Karen Keiser (D-AFL/CIO) are sponsoring a bill to protect fraudulently registered voters. As one has come to expect from the Democrat election "reformers", the proposed legislation ignores a problem that actually exists (in this... [read more]

"They knew what would happen"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:30 AM, 4 Comments
A reader with intimate knowledge of King County's mail ballot operation e-mailed to comment on my report yesterday that Dean Logan sat on the GOP's challenges of mail box voters for an extra week, which was long enough to allow... [read more]

Does Senator Cantwell Hate The Inuit?
by Jim Miller, 10:14 AM, 25 Comments
Probably not, but the Inuit who live in Kaktovik have good reason to think that she does.  More than anyone else, those native Americans would benefit from drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.  Many would be able to find... [read more]

The unbiased media's favorite unbiased professor
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:10 AM, 3 Comments
I've noticed that a remarkable number of newspaper articles on state politics quote political scientist Todd Donovan of Western Washington University. Yesterday's article on the legislature by the AP's David Ammons quotes Donovan yet again: "GOP looks to new leaders... [read more]

December 26, 2005
Dean Logan's error rate on challenged ballots was over 30%
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:50 PM, 20 Comments
Last month the Democrats and their amen choir in the local newspapers savaged the Republicans for inadvertent errors in challenges against illegally registered mail box voters -- even though the Republican errors were promptly acknowledged and corrected and no legitimate... [read more]

This doesn't surprise me
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:17 AM, 37 Comments
The front page of today's Seattle Times reports that "College grads' literacy skills slide; experts unsure why". "Only 31 percent of college graduates can read a complex book and extrapolate from it. That's not saying much for the remainder." I... [read more]

December 25, 2005
Merry Christmas
by Andy MacDonald, 11:20 AM, 7 Comments
Merry Christmas to our readers, and a Happy Hanukkah, too. May we all take the time to reflect on the true meaning of the season; to love our neighbors and heal our differences; to give to those in need and... [read more]

December 23, 2005
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:28 PM, 21 Comments
Comments should be back now. We lost a few that were posted today, but everything else that looked like it had disappeared should be restored by now. Let me know if you notice any other problems.... [read more]

The last refuge of the scoundrel
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:34 PM, 80 Comments
In his op-ed in yesterday's Seattle Times, Ron Sims demonstrates that the race card has displaced patriotism as the last refuge of the scoundrel. The op-ed criticizes the recent Republican challenges to hundreds of voters who were improperly registered at... [read more]

A message from the systems administrator
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:53 AM, 3 Comments
Comments are broken at the moment. Investigating... In technobabble, the Movable Type comments database files (Berkeley DB) appears to have been corrupted as a result of a "disk full" situation. It looks like any newly posted comment is stored, and... [read more]

Getting Soaked, and Loving It
by Matt Rosenberg, 07:24 AM, 11 Comments
America is the land of opportunity, red meat, shooting ranges, and spa showers. But that last part has City of Seattle officials upset. The Seattle Times reports today on water waste worries emanating from the city's water czars. The city... [read more]

December 22, 2005
Dino Rossi Broadcast
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:42 PM, 9 Comments
Dino Rossi's talk at the Downtown Seattle Republican Club will be broadcast on the Seattle Channel several times over the next few days (schedule, here). You can also watch the program on Internet streaming video, here. Dino's book, "Dino Rossi:... [read more]

Shield Law
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:32 PM, 28 Comments
Attorney General Rob McKenna has proposed a "shield law" to protect journalists and their confidential sources. The text of the proposed law is here. When this was announced in early November I wondered aloud whether the bill defined "news media"... [read more]

The best choice for increasing diversity on the Seattle City Council
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:24 AM, 26 Comments
In today's Seattle Times, Joni Balter handicaps the backroom dealings to appoint a successor to departing Seattle City Councilmember Jim Compton: "Cranking up the intrigue at Seattle City Hall" The betting person says the next council member will not be... [read more]

An Idiot with a very loud "I"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:56 AM, 50 Comments
Left-wing Seattle radio host Mike Webb has been charged with insurance fraud. Webb submitted apparently forged documents purporting to show that he purchased a GEICO auto insurance policy weeks before he was involved in a collision for which he filed... [read more]

"Unsound Transit"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:45 AM, 12 Comments
Ted Van Dyk, one of the token sensible voices at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer editiorial page, has a first-rate piece about Seattle's transit lunacy in today's Wall Street Journal Opinion Journal: "Unsound Transit" Seattle has a long history of providing subsidies... [read more]

December 21, 2005
Greg Nickels, Call your office
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:47 PM, 22 Comments
Not to throw cold water on Mayor Nickels' campaign to save the planet from progress, or anything, but breaking news reminds us that global warming predates George W. Bush's opposition to the Kyoto Protocol: "Ice Age Footprints Said Found in... [read more]

Jack Abramoff And Senator Murray
by Jim Miller, 04:47 PM, 42 Comments
As the Abramoff scandals grow, politicians who once eagerly accepted his money are beginning to have second thoughts. The announcement by two senators last week that they would return $217,000 in contributions linked to the indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff has... [read more]

It's the density, stupid (I)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:56 PM, 21 Comments
This essay explains why urban density produces urban politicians and media that are so, er, dense.... [read more]

It's the density, stupid (II)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:55 PM, 15 Comments
And if our urban media weren't so dense in the first place, the biggest story of the year would be that there really was organized fraud in the 2004 election and not that some hick judge was fooled into thinking... [read more]

The Dark Side Of Procreation
by Matt Rosenberg, 03:18 PM, 29 Comments
At the Seattle-based environmental webzine Grist, writer John Kurmann worries that if he fathers a child, the earth will suffer.'s the rub: I'm...striving to progressively reduce my destructive impact on the world, walking a path to reach sustainability. Yet... [read more]

Thousands of King County voters are registered at non-residential addresses
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:32 PM, 32 Comments
The problem of voters registering at bogus addresses seems to be more pervasive than I ever realized. Here is a spreadsheet of King County addresses where individuals are currently registered at commercial address. There are over 5,000 such registrations on... [read more]

You've Been Warned........
by Matt Rosenberg, 12:06 PM, 26 Comments
Legislators, especially State Sen. Bill Finkbeiner, consider yourself warned: if both chambers don't pass the gay anti-discrimination law in Olympia next session, Anne Levinson just might up and move to Canada, where social justice for sexual minorities isn't taken lightly.... [read more]

Then let's give her one
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:03 AM, 41 Comments
"Gregoire expects budget fight" Christine Gregoire on Tuesday called for spending about $500 million of a projected $1.4 billion surplus in tax money and setting aside the rest for later use.... [read more]

December 20, 2005
The Issue Is Terrorism, Not E-Surveillance
by Matt Rosenberg, 06:01 PM, 77 Comments
Some rare sane opinion in Puget Sound print media today on electronic surveillance, from The King County Journal. The editorial is titled: "9/11 Changes Debate On Electronic Spying." It caught my attention because the KCJ showed common sense that our... [read more]

What Postman Doesn't Know
by Jim Miller, 03:20 PM, 23 Comments
This morning I was listening, briefly, to Seattle Times reporter David Postman on KIRO 710.  Since the announcement that that King County would move to all mail elections had just come out, he and the host, John Procaccino, were discussing... [read more]

Sims calls for abolishing meaningful elections
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:00 PM, 75 Comments
I attended Ron Sims' press conference this morning: "Executive calls for all-mail voting" King County Executive Ron Sims today announced he is proposing to change King County elections to an all-mail ballot system. So I won my own contest and... [read more]

Partisan battle over all-mail voting in Snohomish County
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:48 AM, 34 Comments
"All-mail balloting voted down - for now" A pitch to switch to all-mail elections was rejected by Snohomish County Council Republicans on Monday, but Democrats vowed to revisit the issue in January when they are in the majority Democrat Executive... [read more]

December 19, 2005
Elections announcement
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:59 PM, 68 Comments
Ron Sims has announced that he'll be making an announcement: King County Executive Ron Sims will be joined by King County council members Julia Patterson and Bob Ferguson as he makes a major announcement about King County elections. 10 a.m.... [read more]

Dino Rossi at the Downtown Seattle Republican Club
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:00 PM, 18 Comments
Just a couple of seats left for this evening's Downtown Republican Club dinner with special guest speaker Dino Rossi The event will be held at the College Club, Fifth and Madison in downtown Seattle, starting at 6pm, featuring dinner and... [read more]

Fraudulent Audit Team issues another worthless report
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:13 AM, 17 Comments
The Election Center, which performed a fraudulent $300,000 audit of the King County Elections section earlier this year has returned with another glowing endorsement of Dean Logan, today's P-I reports: "King County elections gets good report on Nov. 8 vote".... [read more]

Free Conscience
by Andy MacDonald, 10:27 AM, 20 Comments
I want to make you aware of an organization called As we noted at the beginning of this month, the state is trying to force non-union employees to pay union dues, threatening non-compliers with termination. A lovely Christmas bonus,... [read more]

NASCAR proposal slams into wall
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:13 AM, 21 Comments
Even some of the big spenders in the legislature are appalled by the requested handout for building a race track in Kitsap County: "Projected big spending by NASCAR fans draws questions" [state Sen. Margarita Prentice, D-Renton] said the company hasn't... [read more]

The new Gregoire
by Stefan Sharkansky, 06:41 AM, 34 Comments
Mrs. Gregoire and her handlers have finally realized that most of the people in the state don't like her very much, so they are giving her an image makeover. they've freed up her schedule to put her on the road... [read more]

December 18, 2005
You know, someone could have leaked something to a certain Snohomish County blogger...
by Timothy Goddard, 10:57 PM, 8 Comments
As Stefan just noted, the Everett Herald reported yesterday, Snohomish County Auditor "Sideshow" Bob Terwilliger has canceled the registration of former independent county council candidate Greg Stephens. Why? He didn't live in Snohomish County--and thus was an ineligible candidate, despite... [read more]

Another reason why voting addresses matter
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:53 PM, 16 Comments
From the Everett Herald -- "Candidate didn't live in the county, auditor concludes" Snohomish County has canceled the voter registration of Greg Stephens, an independent candidate who ran for the Snohomish County Council while living in King County. Unfortunately, Stephens'... [read more]

The soft bigotry of low expectations (II)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:06 PM, 45 Comments
Former Gov. Booth Gardner has an op-ed in today's Seattle Times where he calls for abolishing objective educational standards: "WASL: the home stretch". The central claim in his argument is that the school system is inherently biased in favor of... [read more]

December 17, 2005
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:14 AM, 30 Comments
Ron Sims vetoed $3.7 million of proposed spending recently added to the county's budget by the Council, claiming that the supplemental allocations jeopardize the county's reserves. Council Budget Chairman Larry Gossett was displeased: Gossett said it's "hogwash" for Sims to... [read more]

December 16, 2005
The soft bigotry of low expectations
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:38 PM, 95 Comments
Yesterday Matt dinged Mrs. Gregoire for proposing that English-learning students be allowed to take the math WASL in their native language. State Rep. Gigi Talcott, ranking Republican on the House Education Committee, also states it very well today in a... [read more]

Signature Verification
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:14 PM, 45 Comments
The BIAW reported some suspected double voters to the Thurston County Sheriff's Office. The incident report is here. The good news is that one of the suspected double voters has been exonerated. The bad news is: After comparing the signatures,... [read more]

Council Cat Fight
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:38 AM, 23 Comments
The Democrats on the King County Council are having a brawl over the Council chairmanship. Larry Phillips, who bears an amusing resemblance to the late USSR Communist Party General Secretary Konstantin Chernenko, is supported by fellow urban Bolsheviks Larry Gossett... [read more]

December 15, 2005
City Council Member Charged For Allegedly Dealing Coke
by Matt Rosenberg, 05:45 PM, 14 Comments
A Union Gap, Washington city council member, Dale Glaspey, has been arrested for allegedly selling cocaine to an undercover informant. And that's not all that's been happening in Union Gap politics, not by a long shot.... [read more]

State Quashes Wapato's Bid To Accelerate English Language Skills
by Matt Rosenberg, 05:38 PM, 18 Comments
It's not just - as I noted in this recent post at Sound Politics - that unassimilated, non-English-speaking parents in the Wapato, Washington school district are protesting that homework doesn't come with Spanish language instructions so they can help their... [read more]

Kudos To Senator Cantwell
by Jim Miller, 01:05 PM, 51 Comments
For supporting the liberation of Iraq and for supporting today's election in Iraq. "People obviously are excited about (the) election and the fact it is happening," Cantwell said in a telephone interview Wednesday with The Associated Press after she arrived... [read more]

Another Justice Johnson?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:04 PM, 7 Comments
Washington state Senator Stephen Johnson (R-Kent) has announced he will not seek re-election in 2006 and is contemplating a run for the state Supreme Court. If elected, he would become the third Johnson on the state's high court. Associate Chief... [read more]

Where all children are above average
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:12 AM, 46 Comments
Mrs. Gregoire wants every student to pass the WASL, a worthwhile goal. But her plan for achieving this is to spend millions of dollars on what, it's hard to tell, and also to lower standards to the point where it's... [read more]

December 14, 2005
Freedom isn't free
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:34 PM, 52 Comments
Seattle-area Iraqis are voting this week in their country's first-ever free parliamentary election. They understand the value of their franchise and they gladly bear additional burdens to ensure that their hard-won votes are counted correctly: They left the Seattle area... [read more]

Sundborg's Silence On Sex Abuse Revealed
by Matt Rosenberg, 05:41 PM, 28 Comments
Turning a blind eye to first-person acknowledgements of sexual abuse, or simply zipping your lips about it, is highly questionable at the least, if not a pretty heinous moral transgression. That's true whether the accomplices work for the U.N., or... [read more]

Good Advice From Danny Westneat
by Jim Miller, 02:35 PM, 26 Comments
The Seattle Times columnist learned the hard way that not everyone understood that he was being satirical in his previous column on Christmas.   (I could have warned him about that.  There are a few people who simply don't get... [read more]

Dwight Pelz for WA Democrat Chairman
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:32 PM, 40 Comments
Retiring King County Councilman Dwight Pelz has announced his candidacy to succeed Paul Berendt as chairman of the Washington State Democratic Party. At the risk of spoiling his chances, I hereby endorse Councilman Pelz. Pelz's two most notable achievements in... [read more]

Pet Projects
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:20 AM, 14 Comments
Today's Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that "County Council slips in millions for pet projects". The exact amount is $15,853,709 and I find no evidence of actual pet projects (as in cats and horses), just a long list of appropriations for various... [read more]

Compton calls it quits
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:05 AM, 13 Comments
Seattle City Councilmember Jim Compton is resigning his seat halfway into his 4-year-term in order to work overseas. I had almost forgotten that Compton was even on the City Council anymore. He hasn't been in the news very much since... [read more]

Paul Berendt Says He's Sorry
by Jim Miller, 06:51 AM, 51 Comments
The state Democratic chairman is sorry about the anti-Christian fish magnet the Washington state Democrats were, briefly, offering for sale. The item — a magnetic version of the fish, emblazoned with flames and the word "Hypocrite" alongside a cross —... [read more]

December 13, 2005
NARN Wants Seattle To Free Bamboo The Elephant
by Matt Rosenberg, 12:52 PM, 19 Comments
I'll bet you thought that after that last go-around on elephants, the Seattle City Council was done with pachyderm policy. No such luck. The Tacoma News Tribune reports today that the Northwest Animal Rights Network wants to improve the quality... [read more]

State taxpayers on hook for billions
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:26 PM, 47 Comments
Some astonishingly stupid decisions by the Washington Legislature in 1998 have left a $4.9 billion deficit in the state public pension system. The problems are partly attributable to a handout called "gain-sharing", where unexpectedly large investment gains are distributed to... [read more]

Disband City Of Seattle's Office Of Civil rights
by Matt Rosenberg, 07:41 AM, 24 Comments
The City of Seattle's Office Of Civil Rights fosters awareness of discrimination and administers the mayor's Race and Social Justice Initiative. With that mission, plus 22 employees and an annual budget of $1.8 million, you might suppose that out of... [read more]

December 12, 2005
Of Mice and Men
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:09 PM, 17 Comments
This is somewhat off-topic, but I couldn't resist making a pun on this AP headline at the P-I web site: "Mice created with human brain cells" Coincidentally, I recently read the Steinbeck masterpiece and I recommend it highly.... [read more]

Hewitt elected Senate Republican leader
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:33 PM, 18 Comments
Washington state Sen. Mike Hewitt, R-Walla Walla, has been elected leader of the Senate Republican Caucus, succeeding Sen. Bill Finkbeiner.... [read more]

Sam's new proposals
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:32 PM, 8 Comments
Reed to Announce Voting Changes Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed will propose changes to the State's voting process Wednesday, December 14, 2005 at 11:00 a.m. Reed will brief media on a series of bills in his executive-request elections package... [read more]

Mystery of the federal write-in ballots solved ... sort of
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:21 PM, 16 Comments
After five months of public records requests, I finally have some answers on the mysterious claim made nearly a year ago by King County Elections that Staff confirmed ... 251 federal write-in absentee ballots were tabulated. These represent validly cast... [read more]

Manufacturing "voter intent"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:45 AM, 41 Comments
Today's Seattle Times reports on the astonishing number of flawed ballots that were "duplicated" by election workers last month in an attempt to determine the "voter's intent" In all, [King] county workers redid more than 45,000 ballots so that voters'... [read more]

Tax Cutter Cantwell
by Ron Hebron, 12:00 AM, 34 Comments
Cantwell’s Tax Cut Clears House She is fighting high taxes for us?? Really? Is she fighting the 3 big tax increases that will hit us very soon unless Congress takes action? The Dividend Tax and the Captial Gains tax require... [read more]

December 11, 2005
Fishy Fund Raising
by Jim Miller, 02:00 PM, 56 Comments
Briefly, the Washington state Democratic party was selling this magnetic Christian fish symbol on its site, along with the ribbons that you can still see there. Somehow I don't think this particular fish was intended to honor Christians, given the... [read more]

December 10, 2005
Community Events Calendar
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:56 PM, 3 Comments
I'm experimenting with a Sound Politics community events calendar. It's intended for listing events that generally fall within the scope of this blog. We'll include partisan and candidate events as well as lectures and discussions on politics and current events.... [read more]

Uncle Ron Wants You
by Matt Rosenberg, 12:07 PM, 27 Comments
King County is short on front-line law enforcement personnel. KING-TV reports the sheriff's department has 21 vacancies to fill for deputies, and another 54 deputies are on leave. (Hmmm). "For some reason, the job of being a police officer, who... [read more]

December 09, 2005
Nickels For Mayor Of Beijing
by Matt Rosenberg, 03:02 PM, 35 Comments
With post-Kyoto approaches to global warming concerns on the agenda lately at a major meeting in Montreal, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels - Rolling Stone's "pied piper" on the issue - says it's time for the United States to "join the... [read more]

How to Monkey-Wrench Education
by Matt Rosenberg, 02:47 PM, 57 Comments
Former two-term Democratic governor of Washington Booth Gardner helped launch education reform in this state, which gave birth to the Washington Assessment of Student Learning. That's the crucial test now used to measure progress by schools and their students under... [read more]

Public Non-disclosure
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:25 PM, 38 Comments
Dean Logan is dragging his heels on my public records request for the key data files from the 2005 fall elections. Everything I asked for in this request should be readily available (e.g. the standard voter registration file, which Logan,... [read more]

Thousands served
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:08 PM, 20 Comments
Sound Transit has released a Christmas wish list that would give Santa Claus an aneurysm: If Sound Transit asked voters to pay for all the projects it's considering for its next regional package, the price would easily top $12 billion.... [read more]

Think: supply and demand
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:43 AM, 8 Comments
Seattle City Councilman Peter Steinbrueck says he wants to increase the supply of "affordable housing" -- his solution? New obstacles and disincentives for developers who seek to increase the housing stock. It might not make economic sense, but it does... [read more]

Coaches who prey
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:32 AM, 7 Comments
"Court rules girl not responsible for sex with teacher"... [read more]

Transparency in government
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:27 AM, 14 Comments
"Car-tax bills no longer to break out spending" New car-tab bills issued by the state Department of Licensing no longer show a breakdown of how much cash goes to Sound Transit, the Seattle Monorail Project or state highways.... [read more]

December 08, 2005
Office Building Voters
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:09 PM, 82 Comments
After running an errand in downtown Seattle this afternoon, I thought I'd walk around and look at some of the more intriguing "residences" where people are registered to vote. Norwegian Consulate, 1402 3rd Ave, Suite 806 The rest of the... [read more]

UW Library Lovingly Archives Anti-Bush Graffiti, Online
by Matt Rosenberg, 01:05 PM, 46 Comments
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports today on a new graffiti studies program and archive at the University of Washington. The UW library's Urban Archives Database is divided into several sections; the political graffiti portfolio has 89 pix; and now we can... [read more]

Mrs. Gregoire's legitimacy problem
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:27 AM, 40 Comments
Joni Balter looks at the latest KING5/SurveyUSA poll which shows off Mrs. Gregoire's chronically low approval ratings. Balter writes off Gregoire's unpopularity as an (unjustified) "perception problem". Balter understatedly acknowledges, but doesn't fully comprehend Gregoire's "whiff of illegitimacy". The latest... [read more]

Turnaround team needed for turnaround team selection team
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:00 AM, 14 Comments
Ron Sims and his team still haven't managed to hire the turnaround team to clean up the elections office: King County's second try at hiring a "turnaround team" to rebuild its elections office turned into a confused jumble Wednesday. The... [read more]

State Dem Chief Stepping Down
by Matt Rosenberg, 10:14 AM, 22 Comments
Washington state Democratic Party Chairman Paul Berendt is going to MoveOn. I'm sure it's not because he disgraced himself by trying to lay blame for the plight of Hurricane Katrina's New Orleans victims at the feet of supposed Republican racists.... [read more]

December 07, 2005
Charity Auction: Breakfast with the Shark
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:37 PM, 10 Comments
My wife and I are hosting a table at the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle fundraiser breakfast this Friday morning, December 9th at the Washington State Convention Center. Keynote speaker: talk show host Tavis Smiley. We're especially excited to host... [read more]

New Regional Air Carrier To Operate From Bellingham
by Matt Rosenberg, 03:59 PM, 6 Comments
The Bellingham Herald reports today that pending FAA certification, Western Airlines expects to be offering flights next year from Bellingham to West Coast destinations and perhaps Utah, Nevada and Arizona. Jerry Welch, president of Western Airlines, said..."The trend in the... [read more]

Dino Rossi Booksignings
by Timothy Goddard, 02:27 PM, 4 Comments
If you can't make it to the Downtown Seattle Republican Club--and even if you can--Dino Rossi has two booksigning events coming up this weekend. On Saturday, December 10, he'll be at the Everett Borders bookstore, from 2- 5 p.m. The... [read more]

Young 3, Logan 0
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:42 PM, 7 Comments
King County GOP Chairman Michael Young has a good op-ed in today's Seattle Times where he raises the bar for Dean Logan to do a better job of cleaning up the voter rolls -- "It's still important to count every... [read more]

Sacked in Nooksack
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:05 PM, 7 Comments
Sometimes there are consequences for illegal voter registrations: A Nooksack City Councilman resigned his position Monday night after having his voter registration revoked that afternoon. Lynn W. Knutsen, a three-term council member, admitted he hasn't lived in Nooksack since May,... [read more]

Travelogue of peculiar voting residences
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:39 AM, 57 Comments
I walked along N 45th St. in Seattle's Wallingford neighborhood yesterday to visit some of the more creative locations where people are registered to vote. Chevron gas station / minimart, 1420 N 45th St. The rest of the travelogue follows... [read more]

Christmas And The Individual
by Matt Rosenberg, 09:53 AM, 91 Comments
How would you feel if every year at the approriate time, the streets, schools, and stores were plastered with signs and displays exhorting us all to have a "Joyous Ramadan?" Uh, just curious. Today's Seattle papers remind us that school... [read more]

December 06, 2005
West ousted
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:16 PM, 39 Comments
Spokane Mayor Jim West has been recalled from office.... [read more]

by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:10 PM, 37 Comments
Thanks for the feedback on my formatting experiment. I've reverted to the familiar template and will take all your helpful suggestions under advisement.... [read more]

WASL Gap For Boys Most Acute In Writing
by Matt Rosenberg, 04:59 PM, 29 Comments
Boys are faring worse than girls on the 10th-grade Washington Assessment of Student Learning test they will have to pass to graduate from 12th grade starting in 2008, and the gap is especially great in writing. At many schools, the... [read more]

Some Security
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:24 PM, 6 Comments
From the "I'm from the government and I'm here to help you" files -- "State computer stolen with data on 530 Seattle workers" A laptop computer with information on about 530 workers at 50 Seattle-area employers has been stolen from... [read more]

December 05, 2005
Illegal voter registrations: it's not just for mail boxes anymore
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:29 PM, 92 Comments
I had an epiphany this weekend and started cross-checking the King County Assessor's file of commercial buildings against the voter rolls. I wasn't surprised to discover a significant number of people illegally registered to vote at commercial buildings. Not just... [read more]

Dirty Deeds
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:22 PM, 14 Comments
Virginia's aspiring Attorney General is borrowing from the playbook of Washington's former Attorney General. And this is deja vu all over again. My friendly advice to the good people of Virginia: insist that any questions about the canvassing be settled... [read more]

Public Records Reform
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:59 PM, 4 Comments
Attorney General Rob McKenna has issued a set of model rules to help agencies improve compliance with the public records portion of the Public Disclosure Act. These mostly reasonable guidelines are a good start and should help clarify the expectations... [read more]

Bainbridge Enviros Versus Youth Soccer Boosters
by Matt Rosenberg, 04:48 PM, 17 Comments
Youth soccer is big on Bainbridge Island, and the local association boasts some 1,100 members. Even though they've lost out on lights at a proposed new facility (neighbors and astronomers won that one) the kids and their parents - commendably... [read more]

Learn The Language, Already
by Matt Rosenberg, 04:05 PM, 18 Comments
Can you imagine an American family moving to Mexico, or Argentinia, or Bulgaria, and the parents then complaining to the local schools because they didn't send daily homework instructions translated into English? The Yakima-Herald-Republic reports today that at what sounds... [read more]

"The Senator From Windfall"
by Matt Rosenberg, 01:39 PM, 34 Comments
James K. Glassman of Tech Central Station today profiles our very own Senator From Windfall, Maria "Double Tugs" Cantwell.... [read more]

December 03, 2005
Ron Sims wins re-election as county executive ... of Seattle
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:05 PM, 132 Comments
King County Elections yesterday posted the precinct canvass for the Nov. 2005 election, showing how the votes in the various races were distributed by precinct. The punchline is that Ron Sims beat David Irons in Seattle by 74.0% to 21.2%,... [read more]

December 02, 2005
Sam stays for now
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:41 PM, 29 Comments
As expected, the Washington State Supreme Court rejected Martin Ringhofer's appeal to recall Secretary of State Sam Reed. By early 2008 I would expect there will emerge at least one credible challenger to Sam Reed who demonstrates a greater commitment... [read more]

Education Reformer
by Marsha Michaelis, 12:34 PM, 20 Comments
Here's the latest issue of The Education Reformer online. It's a semi-monthly e-newsletter filled with news and commentary about education in Washington state. If you like it, subscribe. It's free.... [read more]

Disturbing Questions
by Marsha Michaelis, 12:27 PM, 37 Comments
I’m disturbed by the questions that weren’t asked last week after state Superintendent Terry Bergeson admitted: “We can’t hide the fact that we gave diplomas last year to kids who couldn’t read.” She plans to remedy this outrage with a... [read more]

How did confidential legal advice wind up on a partisan blog?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:55 AM, 87 Comments
In a recent post, yellow rabid dog Democrat blogger David Goldstein attacked County Prosecuting Attorney Norman Maleng for declaring his intention to take action against the illegally registered mail box voters. It's weird enough to attack Maleng for following both... [read more]

December 01, 2005
Millionaire Rock Star Mail Box Voter
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:40 PM, 52 Comments
Just who are all of these illegally registered mail box voters, anyway? Various crackpot bloggers and crackpot law school professors claim they're mostly lower income and homeless people who have no other options, but that turns out to be a... [read more]

'08 Prez Contender in Port Townsend
by Matt Rosenberg, 04:18 PM, 59 Comments
OK, OK. I don't really know for sure if U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) is going to seek the GOP presidential nomination in 2008. But since he was in Port Townsend last week vacationing with his son, now is as... [read more]

Save the Date: Dinner with Dino
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:26 PM, 16 Comments
This month's special guest speaker at the Downtown Seattle Republican Club will be Dino Rossi. Former state Sen. Rossi, whom most Washington residents believe to have received the largest number of legal votes in the 2004 governor's race, is the... [read more]

State Drops Hammer; Workers To Be Fired For Non-Payment Of Union Dues
by Matt Rosenberg, 10:17 AM, 58 Comments
As promised, the state of Washington is going ahead with plans to fire state workers standing up for the principle that if they are not union members, they should not be forced to pay union dues. New labor contracts negotiated... [read more]

The private gift of public service
by Andy MacDonald, 09:59 AM, 9 Comments
Microsoft's Bill Gates gave his father a wonderful 80th birthday present yesterday: eighty years worth of full scholarships, including room and board, for five students a year to the UW Law School, the school named for Bill Gates Sr. The... [read more]

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