Index of entries from January 2006
January 31, 2006
King County in Economic Decline
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:16 AM, 73 Comments
CNNMoney.com reports on the latest BLS wage statistics -- most of the large counties enjoyed real wage growth. The most notable exception was Ron Sims' King County, which suffered an astonishing 7% shrinkage in real wages from 2003 to 2005.... [read more]

January 30, 2006
Bestiality Bill
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:34 PM, 45 Comments
The state Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing Tuesday on SB 6417 "Prohibiting sexual conduct or sexual contact with an animal". The bill offers the following definitions: "Animal" means every creature, either alive or dead, other than a human... [read more]

Update on Statewide Voter Database
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:07 PM, 13 Comments
I received a few e-mails and posted comments over the weekend from staff at the Secretary of State's office with answers to some questions I had posted about the statewide voter database. I appreciate them taking the time to communicate... [read more]

Solidarity forever
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:24 PM, 50 Comments
The people of Washington have lost the services of a dedicated public servant who refused to pay protection money to the union extortion mafia.... [read more]

Initiative on the gay pride bill
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:46 AM, 133 Comments
Today's Seattle Times editorial reveals what the so-called gay civil rights bill was really about: "Pride in Olympia over gay rights": HB 2661 which passed in the legislature last Friday was a gay pride bill more than a gay rights... [read more]

Biodiesel Boondoggle
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:36 AM, 42 Comments
Today's Tacoma News Tribune has an editorial critical of the biodiesel boondoggle bills circulating in the legislature: "Olympia should keep eye on hot biofuels market". In Washington, the Legislature is considering a host of proposals that seek to boost production... [read more]

January 29, 2006
"We found support for Castro"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:17 PM, 65 Comments
Cuba Dwight Pelz, the newly elected chairman of the Washington State Democrat Party, penned this Castro-praising travelogue for the P-I after his visit to Cuba in 2002 "County could build ties with Cuban people". We found teachers and students and... [read more]

Pelz speaks
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:04 PM, 60 Comments
Josh Feit at the The Stranger summarizes his conversation with Cuba Dwight Pelz upon Pelz's election as Washington state Democrat party chairman: [Pelz] went on to bash President Bush’s record of misleading the public about Iraq, the Republicans’ “Culture of... [read more]

January 28, 2006
Pelz elected State Dem Chairman
by Stefan Sharkansky, 06:31 PM, 36 Comments
Cuba Dwight Pelz appears to have been elected chairman of the Washington state Democrat Party. Pelz was endorsed by Mrs. Gregoire1 and Sen. Patty Murray: Dwight will come to this job with a wealth of experience in precisely the areas... [read more]

The worst of Times
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:55 PM, 16 Comments
Yesterday's Seattle Times has a delirious unsigned editorial (I assume written by Bruce Ramsey) celebrating the victory of terrorist group Hamas in this week's Palestinian elections: Palestinian voters were not crazy when they roughly replaced the long-ruling Fatah Party with... [read more]

This violent predator lives in your community
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:34 PM, 6 Comments
KOMO News reports: A 29-year-old registered sex offender has been arrested in connection with the abduction and rape of a 17-year-old girl in Bremerton Wednesday. we learn further that Police say the man had just moved to Kitsap County earlier... [read more]

Tebelius elected state GOP chairman
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:31 PM, 60 Comments
According to an e-mailed press release: Diane Tebelius elected new state GOP Chair Seattle, WA – Earlier today Diane Tebelius of Bellevue was elected Chairman of the Washington State Republican Party at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Tukwila. Tebelius, who... [read more]

January 27, 2006
Dwight Pelz, Campaign Finance Criminal?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:41 PM, 27 Comments
Richard Pope has filed a complaint with the Attorney General and Public Disclosure Commission against former King County Councilman Dwight "Cuba" Pelz, alleging numerous campaign finance reporting violations. Pelz is the front runner for the Washington State Democrat party chairman,... [read more]

Let's give Danny a hand
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:16 PM, 70 Comments
Danny Westneat reacts to Mike McGavick's stump speech icebreaker line which humorously acknowledges (and helps move beyond) the fact that many people elsewhere in the state think of Seattle as more than a little weird. Is McGavick right — are... [read more]

Gay rights bill passed, but is it really needed?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:15 PM, 55 Comments
The gay rights bill has now passed the Senate. As Matt pointed out the other day, for all the debate over the "gay civil rights bill", there is a remarkable dearth of press reports about actual recent discrimination cases that... [read more]

Sally Clark appointed to Council
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:35 AM, 11 Comments
The Seattle City Council has just voted to appoint Sally Clark to fill the vacant seat, contrary to the stated intention to appoint a "woman of color". Although Councilmen Della and McIver, who were the most vocal about wanting a... [read more]

[Woman of] Color TV
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:37 AM, 4 Comments
The Seattle City Council is meeting at this hour to elect the new city councilwomanofcolor. Watch it live, here. UPDATE 10am The preliminary ranking of candidates in ascending order of preference. The first vote, still in progress is in this... [read more]

Don't Quit Your Day Job
by Matt Rosenberg, 09:24 AM, 8 Comments
Republican state senator Dan Swecker wants serving in the legislature to be a full-time job, with higher pay. More from The Olympian. “I would like to see the Legislature get more proactive in getting involved in the nitty-gritty details of... [read more]

Ya-ya Sisterhood
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:11 AM, 15 Comments
The talk of the town this month has been the unmitigated silliness of the Seattle City Council's declared fixation to appoint a "woman of color" to fill the vacant seat. Even the lamestream dailies have run unusually critical opinion columns... [read more]

January 26, 2006
Unlawfully collected and unlawfully spent
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:14 PM, 11 Comments
Buried in this article on a proposed "road improvements package" (read: a ridiculous amount will be allocated to HOV lanes and "mass" transit), we learn that Sound Transit is spending its unlawfully collected MVET unlawfully: a Sound Transit spokesman, Geoff... [read more]

Recall the Seattle City Council?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:46 PM, 35 Comments
I know there are immense barriers to recall an elected official in this state, but can anybody who understands such things weigh in on the legal (if not political) feasibility of meeting the conditions of a recall? Fact: RCW 49.60.400:... [read more]

Tens of thousands of deceased and duplicate voters found
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:37 PM, 31 Comments
This might be some of what the Secretary of State's Office didn't want me to discover in the statewide database before they could put their own spin on it: "11,500 Dead Washingtonians Still Registered To Vote" The sweep this month... [read more]

Roll out the barrel
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:21 PM, 8 Comments
More pork barrel legislation: The Washington legislature is contemplating a bill to subsidize the renovation of luxury boxes at Key Arena. The bill is HB 3233 "Extending the extension of local taxes to fund arts, cultural and heritage institutions and... [read more]

Democrats: Pro-Union, anti-worker
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:04 PM, 10 Comments
To gain more perspective on the Washington Democrats' union-pandering campaign against Wal-Mart, consider two bits of Wal-Mart news from other states. In Chicago: "Thousands apply for jobs at new Wal-Mart" Eighteen months after the Chicago City Council torpedoed a South... [read more]

Public Sector Economics 101
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:57 AM, 19 Comments
The Washington Legislature is considering a bill to outlaw overseas sex tours Arranging such tours would be a Class C felony, intended to crack down on sex tours to such places as Thailand. Violators would face up to five years... [read more]

A $100,000 stupid tourist trap
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:37 AM, 21 Comments
I find flagrantly stupid uses of public funds as entertaining as the next guy, but I still don't think I would drive 3 hours each way just to marvel at this example of stupid government.... [read more]

Two Little Ankle-Biters, And A Barracuda
by Matt Rosenberg, 10:01 AM, 11 Comments
I do agree, the best non-fiction writing has to actually be devoid of fiction. But isn't this taking things a bit far? Two Seattle readers have filed a lawsuit to recover the value of their lost time, spent reading James... [read more]

Mrs. Gregoire, gambler
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:00 AM, 36 Comments
One of the side benefits of all these Seahawks victories is that we get to watch the state's most famous nanny-state liberal engage in what the nanny-staters consider socially unacceptable behavior. Not only does Mrs. Gregoire1 engage in gambling with... [read more]

Believe it or not
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:44 AM, 16 Comments
Al-Jazeera reports that terrorist group Hamas has won the Parliamentary election in the Palestinian territories. This is shocking enough, but vote counters also found 32 more votes for Christine Gregoire!... [read more]

January 25, 2006
Engendering a new perspective
by Brian Crouch, 03:03 PM, 61 Comments
Since the rhetoric has been so polarized and strident in the debate over the main issue of adding "sexual orientation" to the Washington Law Against Discrimination, an essential element of ESHB 2661 has been overlooked: the legal definition of sexual... [read more]

Lose weight now! Ask Ron how!
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:54 AM, 37 Comments
A report in today's Seattle Times says: "Urban sprawl adds pounds, pollution" Residents of King County's less-walkable neighborhoods — can you say sprawl? — are more likely to be overweight, a recently completed study concludes. Another related study has found,... [read more]

The Stink Of King County Bungling Blankets Seattle, Regularly
by Matt Rosenberg, 10:43 AM, 21 Comments
Today's daily newspapers and several online TV news outlets report on the hideous odor that blanketed Seattle yesterday. The mistaken implication is that it was caused by a one-time, freakish malfunction at a King County (Metro) sewer substation in Seattle's... [read more]

A distraction from the real issue
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:56 AM, 30 Comments
What is happening today? First the Seattle Post-Intelligencer editorial board agrees with me, now WEA President Charles Hasse agrees with me. Regarding a proposed initiative to require that a school district spend "65% of its budget on classroom instruction", Hasse... [read more]

The beauty and majesty of voting by mail (II)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:08 AM, 10 Comments
One of the nice things of voting at the polling place is that the poll workers can make helpful suggestions such as "there are measures on both sides of the ballot"... [read more]

Brian Baird gives lesson in (bad) manners
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:00 AM, 57 Comments
This item appears today in Roll Call [subscription only]: Calling Miss Manners. Rep. Brian Baird (D-Wash.) must have been channeling Emily Post when he wrote a letter lecturing a college student — who had just been awarded a scholarship in... [read more]

January 24, 2006
It's in the P-I
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:30 PM, 12 Comments
I congratulate the P-I editorial board for a sensible editorial on the Seattle City Council's slate of finalists to fill the Jim Compton seat: "Hire the temp": the council has performed the reverse alchemy of making six finalists with some... [read more]

Lakeside School Disinvites Dinesh D'Souza
by Jim Miller, 03:10 PM, 44 Comments
The fancy school, best known for Bill Gates and Paul Allen, invited author Dinesh D'Souza to speak about Iraq and foreign policy.  After he had been invited (by the headmaster), he says that a group of teachers learned that his... [read more]

Another Take On Leaky Case Against Wal-Mart
by Matt Rosenberg, 01:49 PM, 13 Comments
You'll want to make sure to read Stefan's post today on the Wal-Mart health care data leak from Olympia. He makes some excellent points. I've got a few things to say about it, too. One being that if we're going... [read more]

Sewer of Corruption (XII)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:34 AM, 52 Comments
Members of the legislature have illegally leaked confidential reports about businesses with employees using state health assistance Citing state and federal confidentiality rules, the state last month provided the new reports to only a handful of legislators and legislative staff... [read more]

Dean Logan, Dogcatcher
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:50 AM, 14 Comments
Dean Logan is not just in charge of King County Elections. He is the Director of Records, Elections and Licensing Services Division. Licensing, as in pet licensing and animal control. In other words, Dean Logan is the county dogcatcher. Some... [read more]

January 23, 2006
Is Joel Connelly losing it?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:50 PM, 26 Comments
Joel Connelly, the contumelious liberal columnist for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer has an unusually (even for him) incoherent column today. Among Connelly's confused claims --... [read more]

Seattle's racist, sexist City Council
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:17 PM, 32 Comments
The Seattle City Council has announced its list of six finalists to fill the Council seat vacated by Jim Compton: The finalists are: Stella Su-Li Chao; Sally Clark; Ven Knox; Sharon Maeda; Venus Valezquez and Doloros Sibonga. As expected, the... [read more]

Wal-Mart Health Care Bill Gets Poor Reviews In Evergreen State
by Matt Rosenberg, 02:30 PM, 27 Comments
They love Wal-Mart in Oakland, but not maybe not in the fractionally quasi-liberal Eastern Washington outpost of Pullman. The Pullman Alliance for Responsible Developmnent (PARD) is fighting a proposed Wal-Mart, and Palousitics blogger Tom Forbes has news of projections the... [read more]

The very real "Bogus" Sex Offender
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:14 PM, 101 Comments
Some of the more hysterically mendacious liberal Democrats are all excited and congratulating themselves for exposing what they call "bogus sex offender postcards" In reference to the above postcard that was sent out to state residents, Democrat blogger David Goldstein... [read more]

Keep an eye on that statewide voter database
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:56 AM, 10 Comments
The Secretary of State's long-touted but as yet unexamined statewide voter database is supposed to be available next Wednesday, February 1, a month later than promised. I was informed on January 4 that the earlier January 3 delivery date would... [read more]

Bad luck?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:22 AM, 24 Comments
Today's Seattle Times reports: Tyrone BrownEL hasn't had a lot of luck in his life. By the time he was 15, he had repeatedly spent time in King County's juvenile detention. He says he has been charged with everything from... [read more]

Dishonor System
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:20 AM, 8 Comments
The Everett Herald reports on the frightfully lackadaisical attitude of Snohomish County Elections administrators: "County obliged to trust voters" "It is the honor system, and that's what all elections in the state of Washington are based on," Diepenbrock said. "We... [read more]

January 22, 2006
Just Mrs.
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:46 PM, 24 Comments
This weekend's David Ammons column brings us an urgent update: JUST CHRIS: The Associated Press has begun referring to the governor on first reference as Chris Gregoire, per her preference. Her web site, stationery and formal documents will continue to... [read more]

Citizens Election Out-of-sight Committee
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:56 PM, 7 Comments
When the King County Council reactivated the "Citizens’ Election Oversight Committee" last spring, the stated goal of the enabling legislation was: The goals of the committee and this ordinance are to investigate and report on problems identified in the 2004... [read more]

School Levy Campaign Brochure
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:38 PM, 29 Comments
A Pierce County reader sent us this photo from a school levy campaign brochure for the upcoming special election: Except that it wasn't exactly a campaign brochure, it is the front page of the official Pierce County Voter's Guide. Of... [read more]

January 21, 2006
Murray won't "taint" tribes. She'll keep the dough.
by Brian Crouch, 06:55 PM, 43 Comments
A Native American proverb: "Never criticize a man until you've walked a mile in his moccasins." How about tennis shoes? Dave Ammons reports: Sen. Patty Murray said... returning contributions from Indian tribes represented by Jack Abramoff would "taint" the tribes...... [read more]

Sooner or later it adds up to real money
by Stefan Sharkansky, 06:06 PM, 7 Comments
Sunday's P-I editorial, "Fools rush in", informs us that: As of midweek, word has reached Olympia that officials in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties had reached agreement on a plan to raise about $14 million for regional road projects and... [read more]

January 20, 2006
But they're pro-choice
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:23 PM, 42 Comments
The Seattle Weakly has finally caught on that "progressivism" is the curtailment of liberty -- "Big Nanny Is Watching You" Stripping, booze, and smoking bans: Seattle's nannies are in full scold mode, and progressives are the biggest party poopers of... [read more]

And speaking of pro-choice
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:21 PM, 4 Comments
State Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe (D-WEA), chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee, is in today's Seattle Times with an op-ed "Rising to [eliminate] the WASL challenge". McAuliffe outlines a "bill of rights" for Washington high school students. The most obvious right... [read more]

A Dose Of Olympia Civility
by Matt Rosenberg, 01:58 PM, 45 Comments
Pro-lifers get a real Olympia welcome, and we're not talking about the legislature. Via the Spokane Spokesman-Review's Eye on Olympia blog.... [read more]

The Best of Times
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:24 PM, 22 Comments
Today's Seattle Times has a rare praiseworthy unsigned editorial -- "Three ideas for cleaner government" Three bills introduced by Rep. Toby Nixon, R-Kirkland, deserve special attention. The topics are different, but they have two things in common: Each protects a... [read more]

Newspapers Must Embrace Blogs
by Matt Rosenberg, 12:59 PM, 8 Comments
Some SP readers are happy to simply damn newspapers all to hell, but like other bloggers, we get a lot of material from them here. They need to get more from us, and many other bloggers. Veteran newspaper journalist, magazine... [read more]

Cyberbullies vs. real bullies
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:52 PM, 5 Comments
It was strange reading Sen Jeanne Kohl-Welles' op-ed yesterday calling for tough laws against "cyberbullies" (i.e. people who write mean things on web pages) at the same time that she is sponsoring a bill to expedite the restoration of voting... [read more]

A challenging morning in Olympia
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:39 PM, 6 Comments
Spent the morning in Olympia at the House State Government Operations and Accountability Committee where I testified on two of the election reform bills on the agenda. Testifying on the other side of the bills were Nixon Handy and his... [read more]

Everybody: Give Dan Rather A Warm Seattle Welcome
by Matt Rosenberg, 09:49 AM, 14 Comments
Disgraced Demo Dupe Dan Rather comes to Seattle next Tuesday, Jan. 24th, and for $25-$75 you can hear him speak on "What The Media Is Not Reporting" at McCaw Hall. Courtesy of Foolproof Performing Arts, natch. A rich topic indeed,... [read more]

January 19, 2006
Supes, Principals, Biz Urge Dems, GOP To Hold Line On WASL
by Matt Rosenberg, 07:00 PM, 76 Comments
A new report finds that U.S. college students lack basic reading comprehension and math skills. And naturally, legislators in Olympia are angling to do away with or weaken the graduation requirement linked to passage of the Washington Assessment of Student... [read more]

McGavick Campaign Kick-off
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:37 PM, 28 Comments
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike McGavick launches his campaign in Seattle this Saturday WHEN: Saturday, January 21st, 2006 11:30AM – 12:30PM (doors open at 11:00) WHERE: Seattle Center Rainier Room (On the corner of 1st and Republican – North of... [read more]

Stiff-necked or monarchist?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:24 PM, 25 Comments
State Sen. Ken Jacobsen (D-Seattle) told today's P-I that he is holding firm against SEIU demands, explaining that he is a "stiff-necked Scandinavian". Scandinavians aren't often said to be "stiff-necked". But as a member of the original "stiff-necked people", I... [read more]

Protect your voting rights
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:34 PM, 22 Comments
As I mentioned the other day, our civil rights to fair and honest elections are under attack by some in Olympia who wish to make it impossible to remove fraudulently registered voters from the voter rolls. There are other bills... [read more]

And speaking of "cyberbullying" ...
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:03 AM, 37 Comments
Joni Balter, in today's bilious rant on the Seattle Times editorial page, tells us she has no use for people who demand fiscal responsibility and accountability from our government, dismissing them as: right-wing wackos or negativists who sit around listening... [read more]

"Cyberbullying"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:27 AM, 23 Comments
State Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-UW Womens' Studies Dept.) has an op-ed in today's Seattle Times, calling for, among other things, government censorship of web sites: "Dealing with cyberbullies" Cyberbullying — the use of e-mail, instant messaging, Web sites, camera phones... [read more]

sat·ire
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:07 AM, 35 Comments
From the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary: Main Entry: sat·ire Pronunciation: 'sa-"tIr Function: noun 1 : a literary work holding up human vices and follies to ridicule or scorn 2 : trenchant wit, irony, or sarcasm used to expose and discredit vice... [read more]

January 18, 2006
Worker Retraining, in the the New Age
by Brian Crouch, 07:03 PM, 26 Comments
Yesterday during my quest to support the family eating habit (ie- job hunting), I researched training benefits under the state Employment Security Dept. For laid-off workers such as myself, if one's occupation title is "in decline" and if the job... [read more]

The bottomless moneypit that is Sound Transit
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:27 PM, 26 Comments
The P-I reported last week that "Sound Transit warned on costs" A citizen panel has warned Sound Transit that the cost of running its regional transit system could rise more than the agency has predicted, and the higher costs could... [read more]

Operation: Red Washington
by Timothy Goddard, 11:16 AM, 35 Comments
Some of you may be familiar with my series of Operation: Red Washington posts over at my personal blog. Today, I've expanded those posts into a full-fledged blog, along with Nathan Azinger of Pajama Jihad (a fine site you should... [read more]

Forum on vote-by-mail
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:04 AM, 10 Comments
A group called "Washington Citizens for Fair Elections" is hosting a forum in Seattle next Tuesday evening, Jan. 24, on vote-by-mail (and specifically the King County mail-only voting proposal). WCFE is a non-partisan group, founded mostly but not exclusively by... [read more]

Your legislature at work
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:47 AM, 13 Comments
Senator Craig Pridemore (D-Vancouver) has introduced a resolution "Calling for a second Major League Baseball Team". All this needs is an emergency clause. A group of (mostly) Democrats in the House have introduced a bill for "Improving the state of... [read more]

Democrats for felon voting
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:23 AM, 19 Comments
Democrat Senators Kohl-Welles, Kline, Regala and Fraser have introduced SB 6651 "Modifying provisions relating to voting rights for incarcerated felons", which would allow a convicted felon to vote as soon as he is "released from total confinement". This would include,... [read more]

Compromising our childrens' futures
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:57 AM, 18 Comments
Today's Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that "WASL fans, foes seek middle ground". But it's not the fans of academic standards who are seeking to compromise and lower standards: Calling for the elimination of the 10th-grade WASL as a sole graduation requirement... [read more]

January 17, 2006
Seattle's Judenrein City Council
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:16 PM, 75 Comments
The Seattle City Council has announced the 14 semi-finalists for the seat vacated by Jim Compton. (Names and resumes here). After the Councilmembers announced that they would be most interested in a "woman of color", the 14 semi-finalists (out of... [read more]

Seattle Fans are So Nice
by Ron Hebron, 03:51 PM, 43 Comments
The Washington Post in a column last week informed its readers that the Seattle football fans are very nice. (Link requires free registration.) When the Redskins take the field Saturday against the hometown Seahawks, more than 66,000 Seattle fans are... [read more]

But don't call it "The Boeing Pier"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:37 PM, 13 Comments
The Pork of Everett is using public funds to build a pier for Boeing's exclusive use. Just don't call it "The Boeing Pier"... [read more]

The new voting rights movement
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:26 AM, 16 Comments
During this week of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we celebrate the accomplishments of Dr. King and his colleagues in the civil rights movement to secure voting rights for all Americans. We may also reflect how some today seek to... [read more]

Hutch Off Base
by Matt Rosenberg, 10:17 AM, 176 Comments
They call them "wedge" issues for a reason. Personally, I think proposed Washington state legislation to add sexual orientation to banned grounds for discrimination is more about gays and lesbians flexing political muscle than actual discrimination against them. And sexual... [read more]

January 16, 2006
An even better tribute to King
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:41 AM, 42 Comments
Today's Seattle Times editorial endorses King County Councilman Larry Gossett's proposal to spend $600,000 to change the county's logo from a crown to a likeness of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., calling it a "worth-while investment". Before the County Council... [read more]

The Rhythm of the Blog
by P. Scott Cummins, 10:43 AM, 5 Comments
Maybe you are like me, because it was with absolute certainty as I looked forward to the twenty first century, there would be really useful technology to make life easier and more interesting. Sure, sure there is GPS and Roomba... [read more]

January 15, 2006
Foie Gras Ban Eyed By Dems
by Matt Rosenberg, 03:23 PM, 56 Comments
Had to happen, didn't it? Concerned about alleged cruelty in the force-feeding process, and taking a page from Maude's book of values, Democrats in the state legislature are advancing a bill to ban foie gras production in Washington state, and... [read more]

January 14, 2006
Only The Gong Was Missing
by Matt Rosenberg, 11:33 PM, 21 Comments
In case you missed it, the Seattle Times reported about the procession of candidates who auditioned in front of the Seattle City Council the other day for appointment to the council seat left open by Jim Compton's resignation. The huge... [read more]

A green light for vote fraud
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:34 PM, 70 Comments
As mentioned previously, SB 6362 "Modifying voter registration provisions" was introduced by Senate Democrats Kohl-Welles, Keiser, Jacobsen and Kline in order to make it difficult if not impossible for citizens to file legitimate challenges against fraudulently registered voters. There's much... [read more]

Prevent Privilege Abuse
by Andy MacDonald, 01:08 PM, 2 Comments
The primary topic of this morning’s Seattle Neighborhood Coalition meeting was reform of public disclosure law. Attorney General Rob McKenna was the first speaker, and after he finished Representative Toby Nixon presented a list of bills on open government now... [read more]

Making a Journalist Shield Law Work for Bloggers
by Andy MacDonald, 12:26 PM, 18 Comments
Attorney General Rob McKenna has proposed a journalist shield law for Washington State, and the bill is now making its way through the legislature. As Stefan mentioned in December, the bill defines a journalist as someone who derives a "substantial... [read more]

"King County Council spreads the power ..."
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:25 PM, 4 Comments
... among the Democrats who are already in power. Under a reorganization bordering on the bizarre, majority Democrats on the King County Council have agreed to let Larry Phillips remain as council chairman for a third consecutive year. ... Although... [read more]

January 13, 2006
What exactly is Sam Reed trying to sweep under the rug this time?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:41 PM, 25 Comments
Secretary of State Sam Reed is continuing his P.R. offensive to hype the new statewide voter database, as in today's report by the AP's Rachel La Corte -- "Statewide voter database checking for duplicate, dead voters ". La Corte called... [read more]

Public Disclosure Act appears to be out of danger, for now
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:25 PM, 2 Comments
I testified at the Attorney General's public hearing yesterday on the proposed model rules for the Public Disclosure Act. As I mentioned the other day, my main concern was to encourage the AG to discard the proposed rules which would... [read more]

Mrs. Gregoire follows my lead!
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:46 AM, 67 Comments
Mrs. Gregoire1 has followed my lead and endorsed Dwight Pelz for state Democratic chairman In a joint letter to party central committee members, Gov. Christine Gregoire and Sen. Patty Murray said Pelz "stands out" in the field. "Dwight will come... [read more]

Affordable Housing, Seattle-style
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:32 AM, 28 Comments
Seattle City Councilman Peter Steinbrueck wants to inspire more people to live downtown by "making housing more affordable" How will Steinbrueck accomplish this goal? By raising taxes on developers who increase the supply of housing "City seeks cut of profits... [read more]

Where all the children are above average
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:06 AM, 28 Comments
"Options for those who fail WASL explored" The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction recently put the finishing touches on its two proposals — the portfolio of class work ... and a comparison of a student's grades with those... [read more]

January 12, 2006
Election Reform Bills in Olympia
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:00 PM, 99 Comments
The vote-fraud-addicted Democrats in the Washington House of Representatives have proposed this bill to make voting easier for illegal immigrants who don't speak English: HB 2594 "Providing assistance to non-English speaking voters" The Senate Republicans have proposed SB 6333 "Requiring... [read more]

January 11, 2006
Because cats are people too
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:49 PM, 77 Comments
SB 6265, introduced in the State Senate yesterday by 3 Seattle Democrats and a Kitsap County Republican -- "Concerning the rescue of pets by emergency workers" It is the policy of the state of Washington that in the event of... [read more]

Alexander wants six more years
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:51 AM, 35 Comments
Washington State Supreme Court Chief Justice Gerry Alexander announced today that he is running for re-election. Alexander is behind the most appalling recent rulings that have transferred unprecedented power from the people to the government: upholding the "emergency" baseball stadium... [read more]

Is it a function of race or family?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:26 AM, 30 Comments
Today's Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that "Race gap in school discipline persists in Seattle" Nearly two decades after it began tracking student discipline, Seattle Public Schools continues to struggle with a chronic problem: African American students are still far more likely... [read more]

January 10, 2006
Alice Woldt is back!
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:56 PM, 74 Comments
Far-left moonbat Alice Woldt, who lost her primary bid to unseat Rep. Helen Sommers in 2004, has thrown her (tinfoil) hat in the ring for the vacant Seattle City Council seat. I'd be surprised if Woldt wins the appointment to... [read more]

Financial literacy education
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:00 PM, 39 Comments
State Senate Democrats have introduced SB 6219 "Providing for financial literacy education [for public school students]" "Financial literacy" means the achievement of skills and knowledge necessary to make informed judgments and effective decisions regarding earning, spending, and the management of... [read more]

Save the Public Disclosure Act
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:06 PM, 10 Comments
Attorney General Rob McKenna has introduced draft model rules for the Public Disclosure Act designed to help both agencies and citizens with public records requests. While more sweeping changes to the PDA are called for (e.g. personal fines and criminal... [read more]

Update on statewide voter database
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:05 PM, 17 Comments
Assistant Secretary of State Steve Excell called me this morning with an update on the statewide voter database and to explain why they're not releasing a copy until February --... [read more]

Judicial Independence
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:31 AM, 12 Comments
Today's Seattle Times has an editorial calling for limits on contributions to judicial campaigns, in the name of preserving "judicial independence": "Putting the clamps on campaign money" The Democrats in the legislature have proposed just such a bill Rep. Shay... [read more]

Your tax dollars at work
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:51 AM, 44 Comments
I think there are more appropriate and effective ways to honor the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr's legacy than to spend several hundred thousand dollars changing King County's logo.... [read more]

Contest for WA GOP chairman heats up
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:31 AM, 117 Comments
The King County Republican Party Central Committee has endorsed Diane Tebelius for state party chairman. I know both Fredi Simpson and Diane Tebelius only slightly. I like them both and think they're both capable. I'm not qualified to say which... [read more]

January 09, 2006
Rossi endorses Fredi Simpson for GOP State Chair
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:20 PM, 70 Comments
Dino Rossi has sent the attached letter to the Republican State Committee endorsing Vice-Chairwoman Fredi Simpson [scroll down] to succeed Chris Vance. Also signing the letter are Attorney General Rob McKenna, Congressmen Dave Reichert and Doc Hastings and former state... [read more]

Sewer of Corruption (XI)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:40 PM, 35 Comments
State Senate Democrats introduced SB 6221 today, "Revising limitations on use of public funds for political purposes". Notice what is stricken: Sec. 1. RCW 42.17.128 and 1993 c 2 s 24 are each amended to read as follows: Public funds,... [read more]

Chris Vance has resigned
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:50 PM, 75 Comments
The Washington State Republican Party just announced that Chairman Chris Vance resigned today, effective when a new Chairman is elected on Saturday, January 28. The announcement is on the WSRP website, here... [read more]

The imaginary statewide voter database
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:22 PM, 12 Comments
Secretary of State Sam Reed continues to tell tall tales to the press about the statewide voter database that probably doesn't exist yet. Sunday's Everett Herald "Database should help vote problems" Washington's handcrafted $6 million system for tracking every registered... [read more]

Diversity, Seattle-style
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:06 PM, 14 Comments
The Seattle City Council convenes this week to choose from the applicants to replace departing Councilman Jim Compton. The buzzword is diversity. The P-I: "City Council opening draws diverse group" "I would like to see another woman on the council,"... [read more]

Public Non-Disclosure
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:13 AM, 6 Comments
The Seattle Times' Kate Riley observes that "Disclosure law lacks teeth" No teeth. No attention. That's the problem with Washington state's open-records laws. How else to explain so many examples of government officials disrespecting the people's right to know? Indeed.... [read more]

January 08, 2006
Anniversary of a tainted "victory"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:35 PM, 79 Comments
Today's Seattle Times: "2004 election controversy still hounds Gregoire" A year ago this week, as the Democrat-controlled Legislature prepared to certify Christine Gregoire as Washington's new governor, a throng of angry Republicans gathered on the Capitol lawn and chanted "revote!... [read more]

And the controversy is about much more than the tainted election
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:34 PM, 13 Comments
And another thing on today's Times article "2004 election controversy still hounds Gregoire". The reason the controversy over the tainted election still sticks is because Mrs. Gregoire's performance in office has been controversial and divisive. Even though she campaigned promising... [read more]

January 06, 2006
Great Moments in Public Education
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:45 PM, 54 Comments
KING 5 reports: "Cheerleading coach accused of teaching sex acts" A high school cheerleading coach resigned after allegedly teaching her team how to perform certain sex acts. It happened in the small Snohomish county town of Sultan, apparently during a... [read more]

Microsoft Censors Chinese Blog
by Matt Rosenberg, 04:19 PM, 26 Comments
Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft has submitted to the wishes of Communist Party censors in China by pulling the plug on a politically controversial blog written from there, by a New York Times Beijing bureau research assistant. The blog had recently reported... [read more]

SCACIEE?
by Andy MacDonald, 03:41 PM, 20 Comments
You may remember that last year Seattle Schools proposed closing several campuses to save money. The resulting outcry was so large that the plan was abandoned, but the deficit that prompted it remains, and so the superintendent is again looking... [read more]

January 05, 2006
Snohomish County outlaws polling places
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:03 AM, 103 Comments
As Tim noted yesterday, the new Democrat majority on the Snohomish County Council approved a motion for mail-only voting [text of the motion, here]. One of the reasons given for outlawing the polling places was that it would "save money"... [read more]

January 04, 2006
Pork of Seattle
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:35 PM, 13 Comments
"Port of Seattle spending slammed in state audit" The Port of Seattle has spent thousands of dollars on causes it shouldn't have supported and kept records so poorly that employee theft at the airport might have gone undetected, according to... [read more]

Abramoff and our Democrats
by Ron Hebron, 09:28 PM, 104 Comments
Our Senator Patty Murray is high on the list of Senators and Congressmen who received money from groups connected to convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. She is the second highest Democrat, ninth on the list, receiving over $40,000 from out-of-state tribes... [read more]

Our Friend: Treated Wastewater
by Matt Rosenberg, 04:37 PM, 8 Comments
As Puget Sound looks forward to welcoming several million more residents in coming decades, strains on supplies of potable water will likely grow even as current expansion projects come on line. Which will make it even more vital to get... [read more]

Statewide Voter Database Might Not Really Exist
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:18 PM, 19 Comments
I started making inquiries nearly a month ago for the long awaited statewide voter database, which Secretary of State Sam Reed promised to have ready by now: On January 1, 2006, Washington State will have a fully populated statewide voter... [read more]

Congratulations, Snohomish County...
by Timothy Goddard, 01:45 PM, 59 Comments
You just lost your right to vote at the polls. What rights will the newly Democrat county council use a party line vote to take away next? I don't know about you, but I'm on the edge of my seat.... [read more]

State Patrol assigned to protect Gregoire's dog
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:38 AM, 108 Comments
The state patrol detail assigned to protect Mrs. Gregoire1 from the imaginary death threats from "these talk show radios" has undergone mission creep -- "Governor's protective detail extends to keeping wildlife from dog": "If you have a small dog like... [read more]

Palestinian Gunmen Try To Kidnap Rachel Corrie's Parents
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:58 AM, 46 Comments
The orgy of terrorism and lawlessness that came in the wake of Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip has a local angle Palestinian gunmen burst into a house in and tried to kidnap the parents of Rachel Corrie, who was... [read more]

January 03, 2006
Senator Kohl-Welles' Ethical Problem
by Jim Miller, 05:48 PM, 33 Comments
This post on the senator from the 36th district reminded me of an ethical problem I noticed in the last session of the legislature, but never got around to writing about.  I think the problem important enough to mention, especially... [read more]

"Gentle PC Toilet Seat Liners"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:23 PM, 16 Comments
is the best anagram I've seen yet for "Seattle Post-Intelligencer" A decent second place entry is "REPELLING TOILET SEAT SCENT". A big thanks to the anonymous readers who posted these anagrams in the comments.... [read more]

Investing in Education, Wisely
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:02 AM, 14 Comments
Today's Seattle Times describes a program in the Seattle public schools which seems to have some success in teaching English to non-native English speakers. Good. A companion article describes an even more successful program in Federal Way. Federal Way appears... [read more]

Law and Order, Seattle-style
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:37 AM, 40 Comments
Here in Seattle, they choose not to enforce laws against illegal immigration, corrupt police officers or vote-rigging. They occasionally try to enforce the laws against property crimes, but such crimes nevertheless increased 11% here last year [p. 12]. But don't... [read more]

January 02, 2006
"Ignore the Seattle Times article claiming Black Box Voting supports mail-in voting"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:06 PM, 27 Comments
The other day I was surprised to see Bev Harris of Black Box Voting quoted in the Seattle Times1 in support of all-mail voting. My surprise was well-founded. Today Harris posted this item on her bulletin board, and also left... [read more]

New Years Resolutions
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:18 AM, 50 Comments
Happy New Year to all of our cherished readers! Here are some of my resolutions for 2006 --... [read more]

January 01, 2006
Republican Commitments
by Timothy Goddard, 03:36 PM, 141 Comments
A frequently stated desire of Washington State's Republicans in the past year of reflection has been to recreate 1994. The Republican sweep into Washington DC under the banner of the Contract with America was mirrored here by a sweep into... [read more]

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