Index of entries from February 2006
February 28, 2006
Truck-Driving Scholarships For King County's Homeless
by Matt Rosenberg, 08:57 PM, 14 Comments
An obvious breakthrough moment in homeless policy for Seattle, and Urban North America. If I may immodestly so claim. Read the link - and please share your innermost thoughts. As you already know, I have a thick skin. UPDATE: There... [read more]

Great moments in overregulated health care
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:29 PM, 19 Comments
I just caught a bit of the House floor debate on TVW and heard Rep. Judy Clibborn (D-Mercer Island) speak in support of SB 6391 "Concerning the provision of services for nonresident individuals residing in long-term care settings", the essence... [read more]

Elections Can Be Inconvenient
by Jim Miller, 01:46 PM, 30 Comments
At least that's what Lornet Turnbull of the Seattle Times believes. A proposed referendum by Tim Eyman would overturn a statewide gay-rights measure passed by lawmakers and signed into law by the governor last month. And as forces line up... [read more]

Truth held hostage: Day 151
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:29 AM, 14 Comments
Today's P-I editorial is on the money: The state's intent on open meetings and records is clear. The government works for the public and the public has a right to know what is done. Somebody should tell this to Deanron,... [read more]

Yes, she can
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:37 AM, 39 Comments
Fred Barnes has a nice article on the McGavick / Cantwell race in this week's Weekly Standard: "Well, Can't Cantwell Be Beat?" Yes, she can. But obviously not if McGavick takes Joni Balter's advice to "look and act like a... [read more]

February 27, 2006
This is not a tribute that King's admirers should welcome
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:58 PM, 43 Comments
The King County Council voted 7-2 today to spend (at least) $500,000 to replace the county's crown logo with a likeness of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King should be spinning in his grave with embarrassment... [read more]

Not-too-Bright-water costs continue to escalate out of control
by Stefan Sharkansky, 06:04 PM, 15 Comments
Ron Sims has just released the latest numbers on his Brightwater sewage treatment plant fiasco: Rising inflation, higher global commodities prices and mitigation commitments have prompted King County's Wastewater Treatment Division to revise cost trends for the Brightwater wastewater treatment... [read more]

Sam Reed and Deanron demonstrate why citizen challenges of Duplicate Registrations are necessary
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:28 PM, 18 Comments
There's more to say about Sam Reed's Dumb E-mail from an Elected Official explaining why he directed his people to lobby against HB 2526, which would have allowed citizens to challenge the redundant registrations of a multiply registered voter. Reed... [read more]

WEA "Take the Lead" Campaign Misleads
by Marsha Michaelis, 10:23 AM, 45 Comments
The Washington Education Association (WEA) is running radio and television ads decrying the fact that our state is 46th in the nation for class size, and 42nd in the nation for per-pupil spending. The ads, part of a campaign dubbed... [read more]

Corporate Welfare Watch
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:02 AM, 14 Comments
The fiscally incontinent state legislature is still trying to pass a huge corporate welfare giveaway to the motion picture industry. Today's P-I: "State bills aim to lure lights, camera and action by cutting costs". I'm all in favor of lowering... [read more]

Public Non-Disclosure
by Stefan Sharkansky, 07:15 AM, 11 Comments
Today's P-I reports that Seattle city government is catching up with King County for violations of public records laws: "City keeps many records private" The city of Seattle, caught illegally filling wetlands at a construction site, has refused to release... [read more]

February 26, 2006
More evidence of illegal voting than the Secretary of State wants to admit
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:49 AM, 44 Comments
The AP reported this week that an Evergreen Freedom Foundation affiliate is filing an initiative to clean up the Washington voter rolls by requiring all state voters to reregister with proof of citizenship. As it turns out, the EFF hasn't... [read more]

Come Make Your Voice Heard
by Andy MacDonald, 08:21 AM, 24 Comments
Every other year the King County Republican Party adopts a new platform. In 2004 it was significantly revised to reach out beyond the traditional base of Rs in the state. This year, the process will be even more open, including... [read more]

February 24, 2006
I guess this means he didn't bury himself
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:46 PM, 34 Comments
AP headline: "Kennewick Man buried by others, scientist finds"... [read more]

No to campaign contribution limits
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:04 PM, 11 Comments
The Seattle Times keeps campaigning to protect its favored position in influencing judicial races. Yesterday's editorial endorses a speech-suppressing bill in the legislature that would cap contributions to judicial campaigns. Nationwide, money has been flooding into state appellate-court races, especially... [read more]

"Group seeking recount of levy results"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:18 AM, 12 Comments
A Snohomish County citizens group is seeking a recount in the razor-close Marysville school levy vote. I would look at not only the ballots, but also the quality of Auditor "Sideshow Bob" Terwilliger's canvassing work product. Does every vote have... [read more]

Federal Trial Starts For Seattle Animal Rights Hoodlum
by Matt Rosenberg, 11:17 AM, 24 Comments
The Trenton, N.J. federal trial has begun for animal rights thug-provocateur Josh Harper of Seattle, and his cohorts. In reported collaboration with SHAC (Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty), they've allegedly played a central role in a campaign of personal terror including... [read more]

Supression of Dissent in Christine Gregoire's Amerikkka
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:15 AM, 42 Comments
More suppression of dissent in Amerikkka, and this time it's not John Ashcroft's fault. The Democrat majority in the state House of Representatives is censoring Republican commentary on Mrs. Gregoire's1 budget. The Olympian reports "House orders news releases edited for... [read more]

Park-fee repeal dies
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:22 AM, 20 Comments
... for now, at least. Autocratic Sen. Ken Jacobsen has killed the House bill to remove the $5 day-use parking fee from state parks. But the livid House sponsor — powerful Majority Leader Lynn Kessler, a fellow Democrat — vowed... [read more]

39
by Andy MacDonald, 07:08 AM, 18 Comments
Alert reader Irene tips us off that today is Stefan's birthday. Happy birthday, Stefan! He is apparently turning 39 for the fourth (correction: fifth) time, a feat previously possible only near the Oregon Vortex.... [read more]

February 23, 2006
Well now I know why there are so many duplicate registrations
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:53 PM, 18 Comments
Here's one explanation, anyway. This afternoon I accompanied an acquaintance to the DOL to apply for a Washington driver's license. The counter clerk asked the applicant if he needed to register to vote. (Needless to say, she did not first... [read more]

Dumb E-mails from Elected Officials
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:36 PM, 16 Comments
Today's dumb e-mail from an elected official is from Secretary of State Sam Reed. Reader Shannon recently e-mailed Secretary Reed to ask why he directed his staff to testify against HB 2526, which would have enabled citizens to challenge a... [read more]

"Talk show radios"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:05 PM, 6 Comments
Recall when Mrs. Gregoire1 tried to invent a climate of sympathy for herself last February, when she claimed that "these talk show radios" were responsible for death threats against her. Feb. 3, 2005: The level of discussion on some of... [read more]

Bogus Voting Residences (IX): Stone Way N, Seattle
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:40 AM, 19 Comments
Today's installment of Bogus Voting Residences takes us to Stone Way N in Seattle's Wallingford neighborhood. Based on a tip from reader Mark A. I took a walk over to Stone Way N to visit some bogus voting residences. I... [read more]

Would you trust Ron Sims with a blank check?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:06 AM, 21 Comments
Today's Seattle Times reports that "County could get free hand to spend under KeyArena bill "In striving to broaden political support for a taxpayer-funded KeyArena expansion, the Sonics have sent a bill to state lawmakers that would hand King County... [read more]

February 22, 2006
Die, Monorail-car-tab-fee, Die
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:57 PM, 68 Comments
I thought I could retire the "Die, Monorail, Die" headline when the Seattle Monorail Project died at the ballot box last November. But maybe not. As the P-I reports: "Monorail car-tab fee may live on" That could be a result... [read more]

Democrats dismantle election integrity safeguards yet again
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:14 PM, 20 Comments
Rep. Toby Nixon e-mailed this update on SB 6362, the Democrats' deranged, fraud-friendly "election reform" bill: FYI, SB 6362 was passed out of the House committee on State Government Operations and Accountability this afternoon on a straight party-line vote. The... [read more]

"like having your toe worked on when you need bypass surgery"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:54 AM, 28 Comments
Today's Seattle Times editorial lavishes praise on Mrs. Gregoire1 for her supposed leadership in an alleged breakthrough on medical malpractice reform: "Gregoire herds cats to malpractice law"Gov. Christine Gregoire's strong suit is getting feuding interests in a heated political fight... [read more]

"It's Wal-Mart's business, not the legislature's"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:40 AM, 60 Comments
Bruce Ramsey has a good column today about the Democrats' anti-Wal-Mart crusade.... [read more]

State High Court Upholds Oregon Property Rights Measure
by Matt Rosenberg, 09:20 AM, 13 Comments
The Oregon Supreme Court yesterday upheld Measure 37, which voters approved in 2004. It requires the state to either compensate property owners who lose value due to state land use regulations, or to forego the regulations. Outside of urban growth... [read more]

Dumb E-mails from Elected Officials
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:08 AM, 20 Comments
Today's dumb e-mail from an elected official is from Sen. Dan Swecker (R-Rochester). A constituent e-mailed Sen. Swecker to ask him to explain his YEA vote on the deranged "election reform" bill SB 6362. Sen. Swecker's dumb reply follows: There... [read more]

February 21, 2006
Still a Black Sheep
by Andy MacDonald, 05:39 PM, 34 Comments
Lt. Col. Gregory "Pappy" Boyington was a colorful man, a fighter, and a real (but flawed) hero. At a time when many Americans were ignoring or downplaying the threat of Fascism, he went to China as a volunteer pilot to... [read more]

Bogus Voting Residences (VIII): Non-existent Addresses
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:05 PM, 14 Comments
I don't normally post two installments of Bogus Voting Residences in the same day. But today's discovery takes the cake -- Bogus Voting Residences that are so bogus they don't even exist. Yes, boys and girls. It appears that Deanron... [read more]

Siphoning wealth for the connected few
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:52 AM, 31 Comments
The WaPo's E. J. Dionne writes today about King County Executive Ron Sims. Dionne's column is remarkable only for its apparent sincerity and lack of irony. "Creating Wealth for the Poor" Ron Sims, the county executive in Washington state's King... [read more]

Bogus Voting Residences (VII): Shopping Malls
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:40 AM, 5 Comments
In today's installment of Bogus Voting Residences, we visit a few of the shopping malls where some of King County's voters are bogusly registered to vote. Meadows Shopping Center, Issaquah, 1420 NW Gilman Blvd (many of these voters appear to... [read more]

We have the funds, they're just being misspent
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:08 AM, 50 Comments
King County Executive Ron Sims and Councilwoman Julia Patterson have an op-ed in today's P-I whining about a supposed lack of funds for bus service Our buses are often full, people throughout the county want more and we lack the... [read more]

February 20, 2006
More praise for Toby Nixon
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:26 PM, 22 Comments
Saturday's King County Journal has a favorable profile of Rep. Toby Nixon: "A Nixon that Democrats actually like: Kirkland Republican says he isn't bound by conservative line". Actually, from what I know of Rep. Nixon, his philosophy, like mine, is... [read more]

Budget Follies
by Stefan Sharkansky, 07:41 PM, 21 Comments
The Washington state Senate approved the supplemental operating budget on Friday. The bill is SB 6386, "Making 2006 supplemental operating appropriations". The supplemental budget is chock full of pork. Among the items getting the most chuckles: (43) $7,000,000 of the... [read more]

Patty Murray And Pork
by Jim Miller, 11:04 AM, 67 Comments
The senior senator from Washington state has a position on pork; she's in favor of it.  For those who have doubts about that, read this interchange in a George Will column: When [Oklahoma senator Tom] Coburn disparaged an earmark for... [read more]

February 19, 2006
Voter Database Enhancement
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:01 PM, 30 Comments
I enhanced the voter database so that it's now integrated with the King County Assessor's property records. When you look up an exact King County address, if anybody is registered to vote at that address, the output will also show... [read more]

Learning From Idaho
by Jim Miller, 05:46 AM, 43 Comments
If we want to make houses affordable in this area, we can learn what not to do from, for example, San Francisco. If we want to make houses affordable in this area, we can learn what to do from, for... [read more]

February 18, 2006
Lunatic Fringe Liberals suddenly turn into clean elections advocates
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:42 PM, 29 Comments
I'm pleasantly surprised to see that our local lunatic fringe liberals, who have long been champions for election fraud, have suddenly become advocates for clean elections. The unhinged lefties are all atwitter about an episode where right-wing talking head Ann... [read more]

February 17, 2006
Another note on the Eminent Domain Ruling
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:23 PM, 93 Comments
With but a 5-4 majority, the state high court effectively rewrote a section of the state Constitution yesterday: Article I, Section 16 Whenever an attempt is made to take private property for a use alleged to be public, the question... [read more]

Mail box voters spotted
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:51 PM, 7 Comments
Some of the little people who claim to live in King County mail boxes have been identified: hat tip: The Stranger blog... [read more]

Fix SB 6362 or kill it
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:44 PM, 8 Comments
SB 6362 is the strange bill that would modify voter challenge procedures in some disturbing ways and create some exciting new safe harbors for vote fraud. Even though 14 of 23 Republicans joined all 26 Democrats to pass the bill... [read more]

Unsound Ruling
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:25 PM, 16 Comments
The Washington Supreme Court today issued an unsound ruling in the eminent domain case of [un]Sound Transit v. Kenneth Miller. A Tacoma couple lost their court fight Thursday to keep Sound Transit from seizing their property to build a commuter... [read more]

Bogus Voting Residences (VI): Post Offices
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:35 AM, 10 Comments
In today's installment of Bogus Voting Residences we visit some of the post offices which some voters bogusly claim as their residence. I'm not talking about the famous private mail boxes which thousands of King County's smaller voters claim as... [read more]

The Future Awaits
by Matt Rosenberg, 11:19 AM, 6 Comments
Good news! Seattle gets its very own Big Dig! I like the privatization angle.... [read more]

What would we do without task forces?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:13 AM, 3 Comments
Today's Seattle Times reports: "Task force says trust not yet restored in elections office" The P-I's report "County election trouble not yet fixed" The task force is still pushing for a "turnaround team" to take over the Elections section. I... [read more]

Baby Blethen Watch
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:55 AM, 27 Comments
Ryan Blethen, son of Seattle Times Publisher Frank Blethen, is apparently being groomed to take over the family business. He was recently appointed as the fourth Blethen on the editorial board . Ryan now has his own semi-regular signed column,... [read more]

February 16, 2006
An Epiphany
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:08 PM, 29 Comments
Silly me. It only now occured to me after thinking about the Waldron "turnaround team" report on King County Elections that I've been approaching the whole elections reform controversy from the wrong angle. Maybe Deanron would pay me $115,000 if... [read more]

It's in the P-I
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:15 PM, 22 Comments
Today's Seattle Post-Intelligencer has this article "San Francisco housing out of reach -- Seattle should heed the warning" "We all know we don't want to have a housing unaffordability situation as San Francisco does," said Adrienne Quinn, director of the... [read more]

Turnaround Team
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:06 AM, 19 Comments
As reported last week, Deanron decided against hiring a "turnaround team" to revamp his Elections Office. It's probably just as well. The consultancy which had originally been selected to lead the turnaround effort, Waldron & Co., filed an initial report... [read more]

February 15, 2006
McGavick Interview at Operation: Red Washington
by Timothy Goddard, 09:31 PM, 36 Comments
I interviewed US Senate candidate Mike McGavick today, and you can hear the result here. He made a pitch to both moderates and conservatives, and outlined why he thinks he's got a great shot at winning in November. He also... [read more]

Challenging Legislation
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:01 PM, 36 Comments
The state Senate this week passed SB 6362 "Modifying voter registration provisions", which both (a) makes it harder for a citizen to challenge an improper voter registration, and (b) creates some new legal safe harbors for vote fraud. 14 Republicans... [read more]

Strategic Vision poll
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:08 PM, 42 Comments
Strategic Vision released its latest poll of Washington voters today. It's interesting to compare today's answers with those of May 20, 2005, on the eve of the election contest. If present trends continue Sam Reed should not expect to be... [read more]

Bogus Voting Birthdates
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:55 AM, 28 Comments
Thanks to all the readers who have been sending me tips about Bogus Voting Residences. I'll be posting these. Today I'll take a break to bring you some Bogus Voting Birthdates. Thanks to another reader tip, it turns out that... [read more]

Courthouse Kerfuffle
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:55 AM, 18 Comments
King County Executive Ron Sims is feuding with the County Council over the relocation of the Executive's office. Sims covets the view penthouse in a new 13-story county building that is slated for completion next year. Members of the Council... [read more]

February 14, 2006
What Deanron means by "transparency"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:12 AM, 30 Comments
As I noted last week, Deanron claimed that forcing everybody to vote by mail will somehow increase "transparency". Deanron and transparency go together like Fidel Castro goes with human rights and capitalism. Deanron has a long and glorious track record... [read more]

Mommas (And Daddies), Don't Let Your Babies Go To The Seattle Central Library
by Jim Miller, 09:14 AM, 56 Comments
At least not by themselves, assuming this KIRO report is correct. Seattle's new $169 million downtown library has attracted national attention for its design and beauty. It has also attracted perverts, mental patients, and other security problems. And I have... [read more]

February 13, 2006
Bogus Voting Residences (V): Downtown Bellevue Office Buildings
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:53 PM, 8 Comments
Today's installment of Bogus Voting Residences visits downtown Bellevue: City Center Bellevue, 500 108th Ave NE 110 Atrium Place, 110 110th Ave. NE Bellevue Place, 10500 NE 8th St First Mutual Center, 400 108th Ave NE Plaza Center, 10900 NE... [read more]

Priscilla Feral V. Alaska
by Matt Rosenberg, 06:47 PM, 25 Comments
The Seattle Times reports today that Priscilla Feral, of the Darien, Ct.-based group Friends of Animals, would like everyone to boycott Alaska tourism. This because of a wolf culling program going forward over the political and legal protests of her... [read more]

Will the Seattle newspapers print these cartoons?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:57 PM, 26 Comments
In a non-sequitur form of retaliation against the Danish Muhammad cartoons, an Iranian newspaper is holding a contest for cartoons about the Holocaust: A prominent Iranian newspaper on Monday opened an international competition seeking cartoons about the Holocaust in what... [read more]

The Seattle Times responds ...
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:00 PM, 21 Comments
... or at least one person posted a comment to this blog today from an IP address on the Seattle Times corporate network. In answer to my post yesterday "It is a clash of civilizations and the Seattle Times is... [read more]

Self-Censorship In Seattle
by Jim Miller, 01:14 PM, 19 Comments
At a Belltown art gallery. When Seattle artist Kurt Geissel learned that the Taliban had destroyed Afghanistan’s historic and beautiful Bamiyan Buddhas in spring of 2001 he got angry.  Then he got creative.  He carved a realistic miniature likeness of... [read more]

Beaver Relocation Bill
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:06 PM, 18 Comments
HB 2381 "Authorizing a beaver relocation permit" has just passed unanimously in the state House of Representatives. In an e-mailed statement, Rep. Joel Kretz (R-Wauconda) says: “While the media has poked a little fun at this bill, I promise it’s... [read more]

Do Seattle City Workers have too much time on their hands?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:25 AM, 12 Comments
"City turns off Muzak for a taste of Seattle" Hoping to promote the city's musical heritage and make those waits more tolerable, Seattle today debuted OnHold, a program that plays a rotation of tunes by local musicians during the 56... [read more]

World's Smallest Violin?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:22 AM, 34 Comments
"Muslim inmates unhappy with food in state's prisons"... [read more]

February 12, 2006
A Performance Audit They Like
by Ron Hebron, 09:35 PM, 24 Comments
Our Democrat-majority Legislature finally found a performance audit they can get whole heartedly behind. They fought performance audits tooth and nail for year after year. Performance audits go beyond the normal accounting that money for fund A got spent on... [read more]

What the Seattle newspapers are surrendering to
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:45 PM, 21 Comments
This chilling video of an anti-cartoon demonstration in Paris shows what the Seattle Times, the P-I and most of the rest of the U.S. media have surrendered to. (More at this blog, by way of Andrew Sullivan). The Times and... [read more]

Who Will Stay And Who Will Go?
by Jim Miller, 12:53 PM, 17 Comments
Stefan has already criticized Michael Fancher's decision to duck publishing the Danish cartoons here.  What I find interesting about the decision is that it marks a major change in policy at the Seattle Times.   If, before any picture, article,... [read more]

It is a clash of civilizations and the Seattle Times is ducking for cover
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:49 AM, 30 Comments
In today's column, Seattle Times Executive Editor Mike Fancher fails to give a credible explanation why his paper won't publish the Danish Muhammad cartoons, except to say: "Showing cartoons isn't worth hurt to readers" We haven't published the cartoons because... [read more]

February 11, 2006
It's in the P-I
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:58 PM, 23 Comments
Robert L. Jamieson, Jr. had a chat with a local Muslim about the Muhammad cartoons: [Lena] Tuffaha, 30, is a writer who comes from a family of Middle East writers. As a former board member of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee,... [read more]

Voter information as public information
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:45 PM, 10 Comments
Assistant Secretary of State Steve Excell e-mailed to put the privacy concerns that Dave Ross raised about the voter database into proper context: --- Dave obviously does not know that most information in the Voter Registration Database had been a... [read more]

Bogus Voting Residences (IV): Real Estate Agencies
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:21 PM, 9 Comments
Here are some more of the thousands of bogus voting residences we've found in the new voter database. RE/MAX, Seattle at 2312 Eastlake Ave E Windermere, Burien at 401 S.W. 152nd St. Windermere, Bellevue West at 435 108th Ave NE... [read more]

Seattle "Islamophobia" Hustlers Jump The Gun
by Matt Rosenberg, 03:50 PM, 4 Comments
"To keep the ummah (Muslim community) in a jihad frame of mind" in Western locales, a sense of alienation and victimization must be peddled by local "Islamophobia" husters. That dovetails conveniently with what was previously a little-known document on an... [read more]

Dhimmitude
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:01 AM, 22 Comments
A number of readers pointed me to yesterday's op-ed in the Washington Times: "Cartoon Rage" We need to learn a new word: dhimmitude ... Wherever Islam conquered, surrendering dhimmi, known to Muslims as "people of the book [the Bible]," were... [read more]

February 10, 2006
Shark Radio
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:47 PM, 21 Comments
I just got a call from the Dave Ross Show 710 KIRO to go on the air this afternoon at 3pm to talk about the voter database. I was on until about 3:25 and then Ross continued to discuss the... [read more]

A selective willingness to offend (iii)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:10 PM, 24 Comments
Hank Bradley posted a comment in an earlier entry reminding us that the Seattle Post-Intelligencer publishes the cartoons of Ted Rall. That jarred my memory of a column that Editorial Page Editor Mark Trahant wrote in November 2003 defending his... [read more]

Deanron says "turnaround team" not needed
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:43 AM, 34 Comments
USA Today reports Friday, February 10 Seattle - King County [Executive/Elections Director Deanron] says the elections department has made so much improvement that it no longer needs an overhaul by an outside turnaround team. The team was hired on the... [read more]

A selective willingness to take offense
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:08 AM, 16 Comments
Also in today's P-I is a report on the reaction of local Muslims to the Danish cartoons "Area Muslims channel anger over cartoons" no local demonstrations are planned ... Aziz Junejo, who hosts a local cable television show on Islam,... [read more]

A selective willingness to offend (ii)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:47 AM, 12 Comments
Today's Seattle Post-Intelligencer treats us to a non-explanation why "Not showing drawings responsible choice" news organizations are frequently faced with choices regarding images that force them to consider the likelihood those images will be offensive to segments of readers. In... [read more]

State's taxpayers paid for a sex change
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:42 AM, 24 Comments
Today's P-I reports that Medicaid paid $9,549.92 to surgically transform a woman into a man At a time when lawmakers struggled to find money for health care for the state's most vulnerable people, Washington taxpayers footed the bill for a... [read more]

February 09, 2006
A selective willingness to offend
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:44 PM, 37 Comments
Today's Seattle Times reports on The Stranger's decision to publish some of the Danish Muhammad cartoons -- "Local alternative paper: Let the readers decide". (The Stranger's terrific article is here). Some are offended by The Stranger's publication of the images... [read more]

Risks to privacy, opportunites for intimidation
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:46 PM, 8 Comments
In today's OpinionJournal, John Fund reports on some frightening election [counter-]reform legislation from the Democratically-controlled Maryland legislature: The most troublesome bill undermines the concept of local polling places by allowing all voters to vote anywhere in Maryland using a provisional... [read more]

Bogus Voting Residences (III): Police Stations
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:54 PM, 17 Comments
In today's installment of Bogus Voting Residences we find voters registered at four of the Seattle Police Department's five precinct stations North Precinct, 10049 College Way N West Precinct, 810 Virginia St East Precinct, 1519 12th Ave South Precinct, 3001... [read more]

Maybe the two are related
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:00 AM, 31 Comments
Seattle Weekly: "Getting Ready for Rails: Sound Transit is on time and under budget—if you don't count the first five years" P-I: Seattle Bus Service: Status quo special When it comes to bus service, what Seattle sees may be uncomfortably... [read more]

Zillow
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:36 AM, 21 Comments
A Seattle start-up company called "Zillow.com" just launched an amazing service that offers home real estate valuations for major markets around the county. Check it out (though the initial flood of visitors might mean slow access during business hours). I... [read more]

Shark Radio
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:01 AM, 2 Comments
I'm on KOMO 1000 radio at this hour (until 10:15am) speaking with John Carson and Ken Schram about Deanron's mail-only voting proposal.... [read more]

Feds: Listen Away!
by Matt Rosenberg, 09:56 AM, 39 Comments
Robert Wright of Yakima has a great letter to the editor in today's Seattle Times, on domestic surveillance (third one down, here). He writes: I'm tired of "civil libertarians" fighting against my rights of safety and freedom...Do I really care... [read more]

"It's more efficient, but it costs more"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:50 AM, 10 Comments
Today's Seattle Post-Intelligencer has a report on Deanron's proposal for mail-only voting: "Mail-vote ballots for everyone in King County next year". But before I get to the details of the P-I article, let us review one of the main arguments... [read more]

February 08, 2006
Deanron
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:57 PM, 11 Comments
When writing about the ongong crisis in King County elections, I find myself using the phrase "Ron Sims and Dean Logan", pronounced "RonSimsAndDeanLogan", as if they were one person, which they essentially are. Dean serves at Ron's pleasure and merely... [read more]

Bogus Voting Residences (II): Microsoft HQ
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:44 PM, 19 Comments
Thanks to everyone for sending their findings of people who are registered to vote at bogus residences, discovered using the new online statewide voter database. I'll post examples of these as a recurring feature, until either (a) our elections officials... [read more]

"Accountability and Transparency"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 06:23 PM, 19 Comments
I attended Ron Sims' press conference this morning on his mail-only voting proposal. His people handed out Dean Logan's report "Moving to Vote By Mail". The report claims that one of the county's goals with mail-only voting is to "Be... [read more]

More On That Bruce Ramsey Column
by Jim Miller, 06:10 PM, 15 Comments
Andy Macdonald has already said most of what needs to be said about the column, but Ramsey came on the John Carlson show and left me so annoyed that I have to add some points. Let me begin by noting... [read more]

A tale of two cartoons
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:03 PM, 22 Comments
Andy had a nice post this morning about Bruce Ramsey's op-ed arguing why the Seattle Times should not publish the Danish Muhammad cartoons "Free speech leavened by a thing called judgment". Ramsey mentioned me by name in his column so... [read more]

Deadline Vu all over again
by Timothy Goddard, 03:04 PM, 18 Comments
You likely remember the kerfuffle several years ago when the office of Attorney General Christine (as she was calling herself then) Gregoire http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis.cgi/web/vortex/display?slug=gregoire25m&date=20040425">missed a deadline that cost the state $17.8 million dollars. The same sort of thing is playing out... [read more]

Illegal campaigning for school levy
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:47 PM, 21 Comments
A Pierce County resident named Katrina Lewis reports what she and her husband found when they went to their local polling place yesterday to vote on the school levy measure: We arrived at Graham Elementary at 6:45p.m. to cast our... [read more]

Sims advances All-Mail voting
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:00 AM, 17 Comments
Ron Sims press event this morning: King County Executive Ron Sims will update the press on the county's plan to transition to all-mail balloting. Copies of a report to the Executive from Records and Elections Director Dean Logan outlining and... [read more]

Be nice
by Andy MacDonald, 08:27 AM, 46 Comments
That is basically the message in Bruce Ramsey's column this morning: Free speech leavened by a thing called judgment. Ramsey rejects calls by Seattle Times readers and this blog for the Times to publish the twelve Jyllands-Posten cartoons. His argument... [read more]

Sewer of Corruption (XIV)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:01 AM, 22 Comments
Another egregious "emergency clause" was attached to HB 2475 "Requiring collective bargaining regarding hours of work for individual providers". This highly urgent piece of legislation forces all independent home caregivers who contract through DSHS to join a union, and also... [read more]

February 07, 2006
Kudos To Dan Savage
by Jim Miller, 04:24 PM, 34 Comments
For spotting a free speech poster on Capitol Hill with this message: No individual, nation, or religion has the right to tell another what to say or what not to say, what songs to sing or what songs not to... [read more]

Bogus Voting Residences (I): Seattle Office Towers
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:47 AM, 33 Comments
The new statewide voter database is not just for finding duplicate registrations and double voters. It's also a handy tool for finding people who are registered claiming residence at commercial addresses where nobody lives. The statewide database does not claim... [read more]

"Emergency, Emergency, Everybody to get from street"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:47 AM, 20 Comments
The Evergreen Freedom Foundation reports on this session's legislative emergencies: SB 6615 - "Limiting social card games." SB 6708 - "Providing guidelines for the issuance and renewal of a geoduck diver license and requiring harvesters to help reseed state commercial... [read more]

Clamping down on Piercing
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:15 AM, 13 Comments
"Senate approves bill to set tattoo, piercing standards" Three days after the House passed a measure to regulate body piercers, state senators unanimously approved a bill Monday that would clamp down on Washington's tattoo and piercing industry. Clamp down on... [read more]

Seattle Times stands for a free press
by Andy MacDonald, 08:08 AM, 18 Comments
This morning's lead editorial in the Seattle Times is something rare to see in the media these days: a paean to a free press: Cartoons Turn Ugly. They don't just defend a free press, they do so unashamedly and without... [read more]

Levy Tuesday
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:25 AM, 64 Comments
This Tuesday communities throughout the region are voting on school construction and operation levies. (Not Seattle, we had ours two years ago). School levies are traditionally voted on in "special elections" when turnout is lowest, presumably because the school bureaucrats... [read more]

February 06, 2006
Franz Gregoire, R.I.P.
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:23 PM, 125 Comments
I was saddened to read this report on the AP wire just minutes ago "Gregoire family's 'first dog' killed by car"[Mrs.] Gregoire's1 tiny dog Franz, a "first dog" so popular with school children and state capital visitors that he... [read more]

Mrs. Gregoire, campaign finance criminal?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:41 PM, 13 Comments
Richard Pope has filed a complaint against Mrs. Gregoire1 alleging numerous violations of campaign finance laws, mostly having to do with incomplete disclosure reports and missed deadlines. When Mrs. Gregoire endorsed Cuba Dwight Pelz for state Democrat Party Chairman as... [read more]

Ron Sims' mother didn't vote for him
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:53 AM, 10 Comments
Perhaps the saddest episode of the November 2005 King County Executive race was when Sims operatives trotted out David Irons' ailing elderly mother to declare that she wasn't going to vote for her own son. As it turns out, Ron... [read more]

Remember Dustin S. O'Coilain?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:06 AM, 14 Comments
And no discussion of duplicate registrations in Sam Reed's new statewide voter database would be complete without a mention of Dustin S. O'Coilain. O'Coilain was the first suspected double voter of the Nov. 2004 election, reported on this blog on... [read more]

Seeing Double
by Stefan Sharkansky, 06:00 AM, 25 Comments
Taking a closer look at the Secretary of State's new statewide voter database, there appear to be many more duplicate registrations than the SoS and county officials are owning up to. And Sam Reed's claim that his office "hasn't found... [read more]

February 04, 2006
Seattle Attorney Bites (Apple)
by Matt Rosenberg, 04:41 PM, 14 Comments
Nothing beats cozy public cocooning with an iPod, but Seattle attorney and class action specialist Steve Berman has filed an action against Apple in San Jose, currently on behalf of a Louisiana client who says he may or may not... [read more]

State Pension Funds have a Multi-Billion $ Problem
by Ron Hebron, 04:20 PM, 29 Comments
Our Legislators gave a plum called "gain sharing" to the state pension Funds in 1998 that wasn't supposed to cost anything to the taxpayers. Now the latest estimate is that it will cost an additional $9 billion over 25 years.... [read more]

Statewide Voter Database now online!
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:51 AM, 25 Comments
I've created an online searchable version of the recently released Washington state voter database. This replaces the older 2004 database and is available at the same link, http://soundpolitics.com/voterlookup.html. It's similar in functionality to the 2004 database, but it now allows... [read more]

"We all share our toys"
by Andy MacDonald, 10:41 AM, 42 Comments
This doesn't bear directly on the Puget Sound, but it is too hilarious to pass up. A reader alerts us to the book Why Mommy is a Democrat. From the product description:Using plain and non-judgmental language, along with warm and... [read more]

February 03, 2006
Duplicate detection
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:46 PM, 30 Comments
Crunching through the statewide database with my exquisitely fast server, I find 31,214 pairs that match exactly for birthdate, last name and first name. 1,824 of these pairs are within the same county. 1,408 (77%) of the intracounty duplicates are... [read more]

More quality control issues with the statewide voter database
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:06 PM, 8 Comments
In addition to the thousands of implausible birthdates and too-obvious-to-miss duplicate voter I mentioned yesterday, I've found some more quality control issues with the new statewide database --... [read more]

Sewer of Corruption (XIII)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:49 AM, 19 Comments
And speaking of the initiative to protect government employees from being forced to pay union dues (scroll down to the earlier post for more) ... Presumably to quash the bad publicity of state workers getting fired for not signing up... [read more]

I-926
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:28 AM, 53 Comments
The government will never, ever, ever fire its most incompetent employees, but it will fire its best employees who don't pay protection money. Today's Yakima Herald: "State workers fired for refusing to pay union dues" Fortuitously, a statewide initiative to... [read more]

Are Pro Sports Fans Losers?
by Matt Rosenberg, 09:48 AM, 37 Comments
Guest columnist Bill Johnston appears to be a flaming Democrat, but hey, even a broken clock is right twice a day. Seahawk Super Bowl hype in Seattle has got him thinking out loud, in today's Seattle Post-Intelligencer. I think there's... [read more]

February 02, 2006
Federal Deficit - Our Senators Favor It
by Ron Hebron, 09:59 PM, 25 Comments
The pork busters in DC are amused by our senators' efforts to increase the federal deficit. Senator Patty Murray and Senator Maria Cantwell are holding classes in three Washington cities to instruct government agencies and nonprofits how to get more... [read more]

Happy Birthday!
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:05 PM, 23 Comments
A year ago this time I sued the Secretary of State to obtain voter birthdates. The suit was unsuccessful, but the legislature subsequently rewrote the statute to require the disclosure of voter birthdates. The new statewide voter database includes birthdates.... [read more]

Statewide Voter Database is here!
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:47 PM, 15 Comments
My copy of the Washington State Voter Registration Database arrived by Fedex this afternoon. I haven't spent much time with it yet, but a couple of things jumped out at me. First, it doesn't include the voter's county voter... [read more]

Statewide Voter Database released
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:28 AM, 24 Comments
The statewide voter database has been releasedAn initial check of a statewide voter-registration database found at least 5,224 dead people registered to vote in Washington and more than 3,000 voters registered twice. So far, Secretary of State Sam Reed's office... [read more]

Enough of this already
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:13 AM, 107 Comments
The Sonics owner is threatening to leave townSeattle SuperSonics principal owner Howard Schultz said Wednesday he will look at all options - including moving or selling the team - if the state Legislature fails to earmark $200 million for the... [read more]

February 01, 2006
Muhammad Cartoons
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:07 PM, 131 Comments
This post is in support of freedom of the press and in solidarity with the people of Denmark. The Danes are being subjected to boycotts and threats of violence throughout the Middle East, all because a Danish newspaper published satirical... [read more]

"Naked man killed on I-90 owned three McDonald's franchises"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:56 PM, 37 Comments
The AP reports:NORTH BEND, Wash. -- A man who owned three McDonald's fast-food franchises crashed his truck on Interstate 90 early Wednesday, then got out, took his clothes off and stood in a traffic lane, where he was run over... [read more]

But they're pro-choice
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:50 PM, 42 Comments
Former 8th District Democrat Congressional candidate Alex Alben has an op-ed in today's Seattle Times on what is wrong with the Democrat Party: "Democrats need to focus on a coherent message" A few weeks ago, I went to my neighborhood... [read more]

No right to strike
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:15 PM, 36 Comments
The EFF reports that Attorney General Rob McKenna has issued a formal opinion that "State and local public employees, including teachers, have no legally protected right to strike" in this state. The AG's opinion gives a green light to bill... [read more]

Support our parks
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:43 AM, 32 Comments
Today's Seattle Times reports on a proposal to eliminate the state park day use parking fees "Mandatory charge no walk in the park for recreation lovers". The argument being that attendance at state parks has dropped since the fee was... [read more]

Explorations in Math
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:22 AM, 9 Comments
Yesterday's P-I had a nice report on a program called "Explorations in Math" which provides math enrichment for elementary kids in lower income communities where math literacy has been lacking. I've been personally involved in bringing Explorations in Math into... [read more]

Brace yourself for the big dig
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:56 AM, 33 Comments
Today's Seattle Times reports on today's argument du jour for Greg Nickel's insanely expensive proposal to replace the Viaduct with a tunnel. -- building the tunnel could take less time than a rebuild. How? By closing the route altogether for... [read more]

I guess this is what "pro-education" means
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:36 AM, 24 Comments
The Democrats in the legislature are simultaneously proposing to (a) eliminate the WASL and (b) pay for two years of college all students, which would have to include those who couldn't pass the WASL.... [read more]

I applauded the SOTU, but then again I was sober
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:32 AM, 35 Comments
P-I: "Drinking Liberally group jeers speech"... [read more]

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