Index of entries from March 2007
March 31, 2007
King Canute and Queen Christine
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:27 AM, 18 Comments
ca. 1000 AD: King Canute convenes his flunkies, commands the waves to stop 2007 AD: Mrs. Gregoire convenes her flunkies, commands climatic variation to stop... [read more]

Education Quagmire
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:23 AM, 16 Comments
Two recent Seattle Times articles highlight the Seattle School District's quagmire of misplaced priorities and disregard for its client families. "Race, class splinter Madrona School". and "Racism tough to tackle -- or even talk about -- for Seattle School Board"... [read more]

March 30, 2007
It's not my bag, baby!
by DonWard, 07:07 PM, 38 Comments
Little do they know but every day thousands of Seattleites and Puget Sound residents bring a killer into their home. Because of its mere presence entire ecosystems are wiped out and terrorists receive funding from oil-rich Sheiks. What is this... [read more]

Non-partisan offices for King County?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 06:47 PM, 7 Comments
King County Councilman Pete von Reichbauer is introducing a charter amendment to make county elected offices non-partisan. (County Executive, Councilmembers and Assessor would become non-partisan. Prosecuting Attorney is partisan by state law. Sheriff and judges are already non-partisan). Press release... [read more]

Q: What's the difference between Waukesha County, WI and King County, WA?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:20 PM, 14 Comments
A: King County has Normron Maleng. Waukesha County doesn't. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Dec. 21, 2006:Donovan Riley, a disgraced state Senate candidate, is paying a steep price for voting twice in the same election in 2000. Riley, Democrat, agreed on Thursday to... [read more]

Today in Olympia
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:10 PM, 8 Comments
Today the House committee passed (party-line) a substantially worse version of SB 5566 , now prohibiting the copying not only of mail ballot envelopes, but also other voter signatures. Ranking Republican Rep. Bruce Chandler's amendment, which would criminalize misuse of... [read more]

Mistakes were made
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:32 PM, 8 Comments
Today's Seattle Times reports that "Cops' alleged lie leaves 17 cases in jeopardy" Questions over the credibility of two decorated Seattle police officers have led to the dismissal of one felony drug case and threatened the prosecution of at least... [read more]

Letters from my hometown
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:43 AM, 50 Comments
These letters appeared in today's Seattle Times: I am shocked by [Monday's syndicated column] regarding Venezuela's lawfully elected leader ... Venezuela is a democracy, and its leader truly cares about the poor people of his country ... I would trade... [read more]

Also in Olympia
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:28 AM, 13 Comments
* HB 2079, which would do an end-run around the forthcoming U.S. Supreme Court decision and allow government employee unions to use mandatory fees for political activities without seeking permission, passed out of the Senate Committee on Labor, Commerce, and... [read more]

March 29, 2007
Friday Morning in Olympia
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:45 PM, 7 Comments
The House State Government & Tribal Affairs Committee meets Friday morning at 8:30 and has scheduled "possible executive session" for SB 5566 - "Providing for privacy protection for certain voter registration information" This bill's main purpose is to allow elections... [read more]

Your legislature at work
by Stefan Sharkansky, 07:16 PM, 14 Comments
Expanding government, one ridiculous bit at a time: SSB 5403 "Certifying animal massage practitioners"... [read more]

Global Warming Update (XVII)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:28 PM, 105 Comments
Today's Seattle Times reports on Mayor Greg Nickels field trip to inspect Seattle's water supplyIt's hard to tell by looking that the 90,000-acre watershed could be threatened by climate change. Two years ago, the snowpack was just 25 percent of... [read more]

The Myth of "The Myth of Voter Fraud"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:40 PM, 40 Comments
Thanks to the many readers who e-mailed me about today's Washington Post op-ed "The Myth Of Voter Fraud". It's written by Michael Waldman and Justin Leavitt of the Brennan Center, which with ACORN recently tried to overturn a Washington state... [read more]

Meet the patsy
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:38 AM, 17 Comments
Here's a guy who is only too happy to be the shnook who gets to pay for the state Democrats' fiscally irresponsible budget.... [read more]

Reminder On Joanne Jacobs Visit
by Jim Miller, 08:40 AM, 1 Comments
As I mentioned on Monday, Joanne Jacobs, author of Our School, will be visiting Seattle next week, and will be speaking at the UW on the 4th.  You may still be able to sign for a lunch at that speech.... [read more]

Why the Status Quo?
by Eric Earling, 07:51 AM, 8 Comments
The Everett Herald chimes in today, backing proposed transportation reform in Olympia. One angle of the opposition to such reform is peculiar, on to which the Herald latches: It appears to be based on the faulty assumption that creating a... [read more]

John Koster Is Out
by Eric Earling, 07:10 AM, 5 Comments
County Councilman John Koster has declined to run as the Republican nominee against sitting Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon. It's tough to argue with Koster's logic: "The late withdrawal by Sheriff Bart just does not provide me with enough time... [read more]

March 28, 2007
The loneliest Democrat in Olympia
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:03 PM, 23 Comments
Tuesday's Seattle Times profiles Sen. Tim Sheldon (D-Potlatch), dubbing him "the loneliest Democrat in Olympia". Why is Sheldon lonely? He doesn't always vote as his caucus leadership instructs him to vote, and as a result some of his colleagues have... [read more]

Senate Democrats unveil fiscally irresponsible budget
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:08 PM, 8 Comments
Senate Democrats unveiled their proposed budget today, calling it "Security for Washington's future" Sen. Joe Zarelli, ranking Republican on the Senate budget committee, points out that spending outpaces revenue by $1.3 billion, due to new programs, and that the nearly... [read more]

Bottom Stories of the Day
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:58 PM, 3 Comments
"State quarter will enter circulation next week" -- KOMO-TV headline "Rescued budgies all adopted within 2 hours" -- Seattle Times headline "McKay says he doesn't want his job back" -- AP headline... [read more]

Hillary '08
by DonWard, 08:23 PM, 6 Comments
Democrat presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton will be appearing on South Park tonight at 10 p.m. on Comedy Central. Mrs. Clinton is expected to unveil several new policy initiatives. This follows a recent trend of political candidates like John McCain, Al... [read more]

Sometimes The Seattle Times Is Embarrassing To Read
by Jim Miller, 04:58 PM, 13 Comments
For example, when they assign Mark Rahner to interview (by email) physicists Brian Greene and Stephen Hawking.  Mark Rahner may know something about pop culture, but he does not know enough about science to interview these two men, at least... [read more]

by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:47 AM, 38 Comments
Postman reports that the media has successfully inflated the non-story of the President's replacement of political appointees: "U.S. Attorneys story is officially the big story". Postman cites the "Project for Excellence in Journalism", which claims that the [non-]story fills "18%... [read more]

Today in Olympia
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:11 AM, 6 Comments
SB 5561 "Allowing voter frauder registration up to and on election day" is scheduled for possible executive session at 1:30 in the House State Government and Tribal Affairs Committee. (Vote-fraud mafia ACORN testified for the bill in the Senate last... [read more]

I'll contribute too
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:46 AM, 5 Comments
David Sucher has a modest proposal to determine the true level of support for tearing down the Viaduct and replacing it with surface-gridlock -- the most electable surface-gridlock advocate (Erica Barnett? Cary Moon? Peter Steinbrueck?) should run for City Council... [read more]

Mistakes were made
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:28 AM, 7 Comments
The Olympian reports that a state worker has been accused of embezzlement:A woman formerly employed at the state Office of Administrative Hearings is accused of embezzling about $55,000 from the state agency over an eight-year period.The State Auditor and State... [read more]

"Ferries can't account for cash"
by Eric Earling, 07:07 AM, 33 Comments
Another boost to the faith of Washingtonians in their state government. OLYMPIA - A new state audit has found a very old problem for Washington State Ferries - it doesn't know whether any of the millions of dollars paid by... [read more]

Re: The Better Viaduct Poll
by Eric Earling, 06:59 AM, 21 Comments
I admire Stefan's zeal in pushing the theory that the elevated rebuild came out a winner from our recent non-election election on the Viaduct. I just don't agree. The SurveyUSA poll in question does offer some information worth digesting on... [read more]

March 27, 2007
The root causes of the "affordable health-care crisis"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:58 PM, 33 Comments
Republican Sens. Linda Evans Parlette and Janea Holmquist have an op-ed in today's P-I: "State insurance laws keep costs too high for young adults" What's preventing those young adults from buying health insurance? Simply put -- it's too expensive. Although... [read more]

Mrs. Gregoire gets tough on crime
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:45 PM, 29 Comments
Mrs. Gregoire has a new policy to get really tough on prematurely-released felons who violate the conditions of their release. And it's not like before. This time she really, really means business: Under the new policies, community-corrections officers will have... [read more]

Mistakes were made
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:30 PM, 3 Comments
The Associated Press reports what should have been obvious to any fair minded person long ago: ""Human factors" caused sinking of B.C. ferry that killed 2" In a long-awaited report probing last year's fatal ferry crash, B.C. Ferries officials said... [read more]

A warm welcome for a baby killer?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:49 PM, 9 Comments
P-I headline: "Baby killer whale joins Puget Sound population"... [read more]

The better Viaduct opinion poll
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:34 PM, 9 Comments
Silly me, here I am still trying to derive information from the brain-dead Gregoire/Nickels/Clowncil Viaduct opinion poll that cost the taxpayers $1 million only to be wildly misinterpreted by the innumerate media. Instead, I should have just read the KING-5/SurveyUSA... [read more]

The latest in a long string of "Republican" judges
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:09 AM, 18 Comments
Today's Seattle Times editorial praises King County Superior Court Judge Richard A. Jones, who has been nominated by the White House to the federal district court for Western Washington. Hmmm. Chimpy Bushitlerburton can do no right these days, so when... [read more]

Tim Blair Catches An Old Joel Connelly Mistake
by Jim Miller, 10:18 AM, 12 Comments
Along with others on the left, Connelly believes (or believed) that American cars don't meet Chinese standards.  Blair has the facts here.  (Our favorite PI columnist wasn't alone in making that mistake, or similar mistakes.  It is odd, by the... [read more]

At this hour in Olympia
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:10 AM, 24 Comments
The House State Government & Tribal Affairs Committee is now hearing two bills that passed out of the Senate -- SB 5561 - "Allowing voter registration up to and on election day" and SB 5566 - "Providing for privacy protection... [read more]

Outrage? Not yet.
by Eric Earling, 07:56 AM, 49 Comments
When the mere thought of the United States not adhering to the Geneva Conventions was on the front page there was great outrage in certain local circles. The blogosphere said we had lost our "moral grounding" in the world. The... [read more]

March 26, 2007
Wishing for an Opponent Against Aaron Reardon
by Eric Earling, 10:22 PM, 10 Comments
Jerry Cornfield used some newsprint in yesterday's Everett Herald to wish for a John Koster candidacy against sitting Democratic County Executive Aaron Reardon. An interesting thought. I know and respect both of them, and the race would have some fireworks.... [read more]

Found: Effective, Green-speaking...Republicans?
by DonWard, 10:14 PM, 3 Comments
Republicans often get castigated for not caring about the environment. Eric Earling alluded to this a while back here at Sound Politics when he asked if there were any green-talking Republicans in Washington state and whether they could present a... [read more]

Vehicles burn; I suspect human error
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:55 PM, 14 Comments
P-I: "Vehicles burn in suspected arson"Twelve city vehicles are charred ruins after they deliberately were set on fire early Monday morning in a city lot on South Royal Brougham Way, Seattle fire and police officials said.I'm confused. There's no suspect... [read more]

Voters say King County has "considerable room for improvement"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 06:53 PM, 17 Comments
Gregory Roberts posts on the P-I's Strange Bedfellows blog on a public opinion survey commissioned by the King County Council:[King] County has considerable room for improvement," is how the Elway Research report on the survey puts it. On "performance measurement... [read more]

Open Post On The WASL
by Jim Miller, 02:25 PM, 59 Comments
Today, the Seattle Times tells us that Washington legislators may be about to retreat. State lawmakers appear on the verge of dumping the math and science sections of the 10th-grade Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL), and replacing them with... [read more]

Our School Comes To Our Town
by Jim Miller, 01:13 PM, 0 Comments
Joanne Jacobs, author of an inspiring book, Our School, will be visiting Seattle next week.  Here's what she wrote me about her public appearance on April 4th: I'm speaking at 11:30 am in the Commons, third floor of Parrington Hall,... [read more]

Shark Radio
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:49 AM, 41 Comments
I'm about to be on the Dave Ross Show, 710 KIRO, to talk about John McKay. UPDATE: We only had a couple of minutes in the last segment, and there's more to talk about, so Dave will have me back... [read more]

Nickels runs out of nickels
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:44 AM, 24 Comments
P-I: "Nickels doesn't have the cash for more police" Promising more police was the easy part. But Mayor Greg Nickels has yet to answer this crucial question about his recently announced plan to add 105 officers to the city's police... [read more]

Wasted Government Expenditure
by Eric Earling, 07:24 AM, 9 Comments
Remember that snafu with the property tax rolls in Snohomish County? A couple large properties were left off the rolls, requiring minor adjustments to the tax bills just sent to property owners across the county. In the case of taxpayers... [read more]

March 25, 2007
A Little Bit About Me
by Eric Earling, 06:45 PM, 18 Comments
It is obviously difficult to have a full understanding of the person pontificating at the other end of the Internet connection in the world of blogs. Too often we know very little about those with whom we agree or disagree.... [read more]

Another Reason Conservatives Get Annoyed with the MSM
by Eric Earling, 05:58 PM, 17 Comments
I'm belated in getting to this editorial cartoon from David Horsey earlier in the week. As with his usual fare, his artistic talent in the genre of editorial cartoons is impressive, his use of caricatures, effective. The rub is the... [read more]

It's easy to gather signatures for a popular issue
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:53 PM, 6 Comments
I spent part of this afternoon walking around Green Lake collecting signatures for I-25, to make King County Elections a separately elected non-partisan office. I've collected signatures for other initiatives at Green Lake, but this was my most popular one... [read more]

Westneat defends McKay
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:32 AM, 28 Comments
Danny Westneat today writes that John McKay was fired for being too honest. Westneat praises McKay for heading the Legal Services Corp. under Clinton and defending the agency from partisan Republican attacks. (Westneat neglected to note that McKay's LSC was... [read more]

March 24, 2007
Two for the Viaduct (II)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:44 PM, 37 Comments
The real problem with the establishment's inept misinterpretation of the Viaduct vote is not that the region's elites are lousy mathematicians, but that they're lousy politicians. The big winner out of this whole fiasco could be ... Dino Rossi, if... [read more]

Two for the Viaduct (I)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:22 PM, 43 Comments
As previously noted, the early debate on the Viaduct election has been dominated by those who either ineptly misinterpreted the results as NO-NO, or who are exploiting the confusion to push the "surface-transit" scheme. But recent articles in the P-I... [read more]

March 23, 2007
State elections update
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:48 AM, 16 Comments
The Democrats appear to have capitulated and there probably will be a Presidential preference primary after all. The parties have yet to agree on a date. The ACORN/Brennan Center suit which aimed to strike down the state law requiring the... [read more]

Sewer of Corruption (XXXII)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:26 AM, 27 Comments
More payoffs and special favors from the Democrats in the Legislature to their patrons in the public employee unions. Union members get pay raises before non-members Rep. Helen Sommers, who serves as chairwoman of the House budget committee, said the... [read more]

March 22, 2007
90 day clock has started
by Stefan Sharkansky, 07:09 PM, 26 Comments
Citizens for Accountable Elections received final approval for its petitions. It now has 90 days (until June 20) to collect 54,732 valid signatures of King County voters. If successful, the following question will appear on this November's ballot:Shall the King... [read more]

Reichert and the U.S. Attorneys
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:46 PM, 81 Comments
Postman wonders aloud how I could criticize Dave Reichert for supporting John McKay when I had been an enthusiastic Reichert supporter last election. What's the contradiction? I like Dave Reichert and fully expect to support him next election, not that... [read more]

Scandals in King County government, then and now
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:32 PM, 20 Comments
From a 1989 article about King County Judge Gary Little, a child rapist, whose crimes many in the establishment knew about for years, but chose not to expose:"Ultimately, it came down to questions of human judgment," ... "There were repeated... [read more]

A clique with an olfactory problem
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:39 AM, 33 Comments
Yesterday's Seattle Times reported that Larry Corrigan, former staffer and campaign bookkeeper for King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng, pleaded guilty to attempted child molestation.I was astonished to discover that many of the names in the Corrigan story also show up... [read more]

March 21, 2007
2008 Republican Presidential preference
by DonWard, 06:40 PM, 126 Comments
Just taking a fun, informal and un-scientific poll of you Sound Politics readers about which Republican Presidential candidate(s) you like in 2008. I've included just about everyone whom I could think of expressing an interest in seeking the GOP nomination,... [read more]

John McKay in today's newspapers
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:27 AM, 58 Comments
P-I: "Justice Dept. saw McKay as 'effective' -- yet bristled at his 'insubordination'" New York Times: "Gonzales Bowed to Politics, a Former U.S. Attorney Says " Seattle Times: "McKay went from hero to zero with Justice Department" Especially worth noting:... [read more]

"Ballot stuffing" as a federal crime
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:50 AM, 28 Comments
As I mentioned the other day, in May 2005 John McKay promised to get tough on election crimes: if there is ballot stuffing - then, if it involves a Federal election, the Federal Government's involved.I posed the question whether the... [read more]

Global Warming Update (XVI)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:03 AM, 113 Comments
Breaking news from ancient Egypt: "NASA Finds Sun-Climate Connection in Old Nile Records". Maybe the last few ice ages weren't prematurely terminated by over-reliance on the internal combustion engine after all. Al Gore, call your office!... [read more]

Rick Bart is Out
by Eric Earling, 07:38 AM, 13 Comments
Snohomish County Sheriff and presumed Republican nominee for County Executive this year has bowed out of the race. The move leaves incumbent Democrat Aaron Reardon in stronger position to win reelection this fall. Bart cited money as a key factor... [read more]

March 20, 2007
Should David Mathews Be Banned?
by Eric Earling, 09:30 PM, 210 Comments
9:30 PM UPDATE: Well, that brought more attention in the comments than I suspected, and probably more than the topic deserved. Mathews stays. A ban was unlikely, though my query was in response to a number of readers who have... [read more]

March 19, 2007
Dean's World
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:43 PM, 13 Comments
From the latest "Poll Cat", the L.A. County Recorder's newsletter for poll workers. Just thought I'd throw that up there to reminisce about old times. And also appeal to you to donate to Citizens for Accountable Elections so we... [read more]

Pictures from the Seattle ANSWER Rally at Westlake Mall
by byrond, 09:10 PM, 26 Comments
I lugged my gear down to the Seattle ANSWER protest Sunday at Westlake Mall and took pictures. There were the usual suspects, but this time Senator Eric Oemig was one of the speakers. You can view pictures and my... [read more]

Sick and tired of getting half-truths
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:51 PM, 14 Comments
Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy is "sick and tired of getting half-truths" about the fired U.S. Attorneys. Tell me about it. Meanwhile, I'm told John McKay said this on the Mike Siegel Show, May 26, 2005:The Federal Government has... [read more]

Your legislature at work
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:59 PM, 17 Comments
The Senate Republican Caucus lists several Republican-sponsored bills that the Democrats wouldn't bring to a floor vote, along with several bills that the Democrats pushed through. The House Republican Caucus has similar lists for that chamberhere and here... [read more]

Buried Lede
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:48 AM, 46 Comments
Yesterday's Seattle Times had this article on the ballooning "scandal" over the terminated U.S. Attorneys. "Why attorney firings kicked up such a huge fuss" Several former U.S. attorneys and legal scholars say the timing of the Bush administration's replacement of... [read more]

More dumb reporting on the Viaduct vote
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:20 AM, 9 Comments
David Ammons is the latest reporter to completely misread the results of last week's Seattle Viaduct vote:On Tuesday, the voters said no to both projects - or "no" and "hell, no" as the wags put it.When the wags said "no... [read more]

Something for the Senate Judiciary Committee to consider if they subpoena John McKay
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:16 AM, 17 Comments
Thanks to the Powerline for posting my e-mail summarizing Washington's 2004 election and aftermath:Why would McKay ignore the legitimate suggestions of election violations and fight back so aggressively now? Western Washington is overwhelmingly Democrat, especially Seattle. The dominant voices in... [read more]

The next step toward clean elections
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:59 AM, 0 Comments
Citizens for Accountable Elections, the initiative campaign for electing the King County elections director, will have signature petitions available this week. To qualify for the ballot, the campaign needs 55,000 valid signatures from King County registered voters within 90 days.... [read more]

March 18, 2007
Momentum for Transportation Reform
by Eric Earling, 10:32 PM, 10 Comments
Joel Connelly and the Seattle Times editorial board have voiced support for a "Regional Transportation Commission," to reform the chaotic, fractured "system" that makes for local, transportation planning. Based on how easily the bill moved through the Senate with Ed... [read more]

GOP Has to Be For Something
by Eric Earling, 06:00 PM, 30 Comments
Today's Seattle Times runs an op-ed by Frank Luntz that ran in the Washington Post on February 25th. It's worth a read. Luntz is an interesting fellow, though the trick with his analysis is getting past his relentless self-promotion that... [read more]

March 17, 2007
A Correction? No Thanks
by Eric Earling, 12:09 PM, 122 Comments
In the comments at this post on media coverage of the Scooter Libby story, "thehim" asks for a correction based on the Valerie Plame news of yesterday: Eric, If you haven't seen it, Valerie Plame testified under oath this morning... [read more]

March 16, 2007
NYT: John McKay was "standing up for the integrity of the election system"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:07 PM, 57 Comments
No, really:By resisting pressure to crack down on "fraud," the fired United States attorneys actually appear to have been standing up for the integrity of the election system. Let's recap: Two years after Democrat Christine Gregoire "won" the governor's race... [read more]

Bills for "publicly funded campaigns" died
by Stefan Sharkansky, 06:15 PM, 14 Comments
Mrs. Gregoire's request bills for publicly funded judicial campaigns died before coming to a floor vote in either the House or the Senate. Damn. I was hoping to inspire Michael Leonard Johnson to run for Supreme Court again (with me... [read more]

Bad Seed
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:56 PM, 11 Comments
"King County investigates apparent forgery of hundreds of voter cards"King County prosecutors are investigating apparent voter-registration fraud in the 2006 general election. Dan Satterberg, chief deputy to King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng, confirmed late Thursday that attorneys from his office... [read more]

Democrats digging in their heels against democracy
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:06 PM, 19 Comments
Postman: "Demo chair says no way to primary" State Democratic Party Chairman [Cuba Dwight] Pelz says his party will stick to its caucuses for selecting presidential delegates and will not use the primary even if lawmakers keep it on the... [read more]

Biggest lesson of Viaduct vote: many newspaper writers are clueless
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:50 AM, 27 Comments
P-I editorial board:It appears that voting no and no yielded the intended resultsJoel Connelly:The no-no Alaskan Way Viaduct advisory verdict...Um, how many exactly voted no-no? I e-mailed that question to Danny Westneat. He replied:There's no way of knowing. It doesn't... [read more]

John McKay and his interesting double standard
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:41 AM, 17 Comments
Back in 2005, John McKay insisted he couldn't comment on any possible investigation into allegations of fraud in the 2004 election, yet at the same time he was only too eager to announce he was conducting a different investigation. From... [read more]

Happy Sunshine Week
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:26 AM, 7 Comments
The day after I appeared on a Sunshine Week open records panel, the Senate passed SB 5566, which prohibits copying of signatures from mail ballot envelopes. (I testified against the companion House bill last month). Should this bill become law,... [read more]

March 15, 2007
McKay calls for investigation by Justice Department Inspector General
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:32 PM, 23 Comments
The AP reports:The former U.S. attorney in Seattle, John McKay, says his firing and the firing of seven other federal prosecutors should be investigated by the Justice Department's inspector general. McKay says he's the only indepdent authority in the department... [read more]

Cancelling the Presidential Primary
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:19 PM, 12 Comments
Rep. Sam Hunt and the Democrats want to cancel the Presidential preference primary. The Appropriations committee hearing is live on TVW at this moment. A representative from the League of Women Voters just testified and boy was she pissed. Sam... [read more]

An interesting lacuna in McKay's interview with NPR
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:58 PM, 16 Comments
Former U.S. Attorney John McKay was on NPR this morning defending himself from accusations that he failed to investigate complaints of voter fraud:"I was surprised because the case was so clear," McKay told All Things Considered in a recent interview.... [read more]

"Initiative process survives legislative jihad"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:44 AM, 37 Comments
Tim Eyman e-mailed to report that every one of the anti-initiative bills introduced in the legislature this session died with yesterday's cut-off deadline. Good. And now that Eyman is free (at least for now) from having to protect the state... [read more]

Must Read Story of The Day
by Eric Earling, 07:20 AM, 85 Comments
On the heels of the New York Times questioning Al Gore's global warming hype, comes an interesting tale at the University of Washington from the Seattle Times. From all appearances, the state climatologist "fired" the assistant state climatologist for not... [read more]

March 14, 2007
An Unproductive Election
by Eric Earling, 10:07 PM, 26 Comments
If I may, allow me to flail away at this horse carcass for a minute... It takes little genius to figure out Stefan and I don't see eye-to-eye on the results from the Viaduct vote. My thoughts are here, Stefan's... [read more]

Elevated: 44%, Tunnel: 30%, No on Both: 26%
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:00 PM, 25 Comments
King County Elections has posted today's update in the (admittedly meaningless) Viaduct advisory ballot, with no major change from yesterday. An overwhelming majority, 74%, wants to preserve the highway capacity. The surface-gridlock option, which enjoyed the loudest and best-funded campaign,... [read more]

What did McKay know and when did he know it?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:50 PM, 39 Comments
The story about former U.S. Attorney John McKay's performance on the 2004 election is growing. It has national significance as Attorney General Gonzalez is under increasing criticism. Today's Seattle Times : "GOP chair called McKay about '04 election" The Wall... [read more]

More Viaduct scribblings
by DonWard, 03:49 PM, 7 Comments
It looks like the results are in for yesterday's masturbatory special election to decide whether to maybe build a $3.4 billion dollar Tunnel Hybrid or a new $2.8 billion dollar Elevated Structure. Look for further special elections coming up to... [read more]

How many voted NO on both?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:46 PM, 16 Comments
The various politicians and columnists have convinced themselves that "none of the above" won yesterday's Viaduct vote, so it's important to remind them that they have no basis for drawing that conclusion. I called in to KUOW Weekday this morning... [read more]

ROTFLMAO at how incorrectly the politicians and media are reading the Viaduct vote
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:46 AM, 40 Comments
Several commentators have looked at the inconclusive results from yesterday's vote and prematurely ejaculated with the baseless conclusion that NO-NO won. See Clowncilman Peter Steinbrueck, or Westneat:The choices were A or B. You picked "neither."or Times editoral board:"Double no" means,... [read more]

March 13, 2007
Seattle Voters Speak, Politicians Go Back to the Drawing Board...Again
by Eric Earling, 11:58 PM, 21 Comments
The voters of Seattle have spoken, now it's time for the politicians, especially in Olympia, to respond. The answer is likely to be a rush to study the surface plus transit option waiting in the wings of the advisory ballot... [read more]

New elevated Viaduct is likely winner!
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:57 PM, 15 Comments
It appears that Seattle voters chose the new elevated Viaduct as their first choice tonight, although the ineluctable logic went over the heads of the liberal arts majors who are reporting for the Times, the P-I and The Stranger. The... [read more]

Ed Murray & Me v. Liberal Bloggers
by Eric Earling, 09:28 PM, 7 Comments
Call it your odd combination of the day, but I support a bill sponsored by liberal State Senator Ed Murray to reform our regional transportation "system" as it is currently structured. That position has one local liberal blogger upset, and... [read more]

First returns in Viaduct advisory vote
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:16 PM, 14 Comments
King County Elections reports: Tunnel? YES: 30.1% NO: 69.9% Elevated? YES: 45.5% NO: 55.5% Meaning ... whatever you want it to mean.... [read more]

Legislative Round-up
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:29 PM, 19 Comments
Rep. Sam Hunt and the Democrats are seeking to unilaterally cancel the 2008 Presidential Primary. (because they prefer smoke-filled rooms, or something) Rep. Eileen Cody and the Democrats are trying to impose Soviet-style healthcare and eliminate market choices (silly me,... [read more]

Viaduct vote predictions
by DonWard, 12:43 PM, 18 Comments
Today is election day for Seattle residents. On the ballot is City of Seattle Advisory Measure No. 1 and 2. Residents who haven't voted by mail need to shuffle to the nearest post office, drop-off location or at least leave... [read more]

What would MLK have to say about an elected elections director?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:33 PM, 7 Comments
This week in 1965, the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led the Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March Fast forward to 2007. The same week that King County adopts Dr. King's image as its logo, county government insiders... [read more]

No evidence of election crimes?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:43 AM, 43 Comments
Today's Seattle Times reports that John McKay insists that there was no evidence of election crimes in Washington's November 2004 election. Granted, he appears to have relied solely on what the Republican legal team presented in the contest trial. And... [read more]

March 12, 2007
Who's the Newby?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:54 PM, 15 Comments
Some little birds gave me some interesting tips today. 1) Ron Sims is reportedly negotiating an offer with an undisclosed candidate to become Sims' next (appointed) elections director. 2) Interim Elections Director Jim Buck (Jimron) was reportedly entertaining a visitor... [read more]

Yes to Transportation Governance Reform
by Eric Earling, 10:41 PM, 12 Comments
The Washington State Senate has approved a bill to reform the alphabet soup of indecision which has fueled regional indecision on transportation. The ongoing drama of replacing the Viaduct has most recently served to illustrate how desperately the greater Seattle... [read more]

MLK must be rolling over in his grave
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:15 PM, 52 Comments
The late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of our greatest Americans. So why tarnish his legacy by affixing his image to a county government which is best known for junk science, scandalous secrecy, election fraud and the... [read more]

Legislative Round-up
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:25 PM, 26 Comments
Here are some of the fascinating things going on in the state Legislature these days: Sen. Ken Jacobsen is still trying to get Dogs in Bars, this time by proposing an amendment to a liquor license bill. Jacobsen's amendment has... [read more]

Happy Sunshine Week
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:17 PM, 12 Comments
I had a great opportunity earlier today to be part of a panel discussion on public disclosure, along with Attorney General Rob McKenna, House Majority Leader Lynn Kessler and others. It will be broadcat on TVW in the coming days.... [read more]

Ron Sims takes a stand against democracy
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:02 PM, 9 Comments
Ron Sims is behind the "decline to sign" campaign against Initiative 25, using this excuse:The Republicans have formed a new group called Citizens for Accountable Elections to sponsor an initiative for an elected elections director in King County.Actually, I-25's early... [read more]

"Will Rossi Run Again?"
by Eric Earling, 07:49 AM, 39 Comments
The P-I has a decent profile out today chewing on Dino Rossi's potential undertakings next year. Your thoughts?... [read more]

March 11, 2007
It's A Rainy Day
by Jim Miller, 04:24 PM, 5 Comments
Why not curl up with a good book?  For instance, Our School. [Joanne] Jacobs had been an education-beat journalist for more than 15 years before she decided to quit and find out what was really going on with the charter... [read more]

March 10, 2007
Sewer of Corruption (XXXI)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:43 PM, 21 Comments
Here's the legislature's analysis of the multi-tribe gambling expansion that was approved yesterday by the state Gambling Commission. Republicans in the legislature are trying to block the deal. A Republican-sponsored bill to require legislative approval of gambling compacts was killed... [read more]

Sewer of Corruption (XXX)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:22 PM, 16 Comments
"State House OKs bill on political spending of non-member union fees" The state House passed a measure Friday night that would allow labor unions' to spend nonmembers' bargaining fees on political causes without first getting their permission, an issue that... [read more]

Mail Ballot Horror Show (XXXV): The manufacturing of voter intent
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:17 PM, 21 Comments
Tuesday is the deadline for returning your no-choice mail ballot in Seattle's Viaduct advisory vote. There's a good chance that one of these temporary elections workers will get to manually redo your ballot for you. According to these summary reports... [read more]

March 09, 2007
Legislative Fools' Gold
by Eric Earling, 04:14 PM, 22 Comments
One of the more annoying trends in politics is the fascination with passing feel-good bills; pieces of legislation whose stated purpose sound just grand, but whose actual details inevitably contain serious flaws. The current measure awaiting Governor Gregoire's signature, ostensibly... [read more]

Who is this Scooter Libby of whom you speak?
by Eric Earling, 10:43 AM, 44 Comments
Yes, this might be the over-cooked story of our time. The Times and the P-I have weighed in with predictable thoughts on their editorial pages. Those looking for contrast should view a more balanced editorial from the Washington Post, including... [read more]

Airbus Woes Continue...
by Eric Earling, 10:19 AM, 23 Comments
...and Boeing keeps chugging along. Thomas Lifson continues his indispensable coverage of Airbus and Boeing in the American Thinker, reviewing the latest in Airbus's ongoing struggles. Those troubles include serious labor unhappiness with proposed restructuring at Airbus, to salvage the... [read more]

I'm rooting for Costco
by Eric Earling, 09:57 AM, 30 Comments
Why exactly does the state have an "alcohol regulatory system"? In the modern era it doesn't seem to make much sense. Costco is in litigation with the State to overturn one aspect of that system, a forced middleman process whereby... [read more]

Programming Note
by Eric Earling, 09:55 AM, 2 Comments
I'm taking some time off work today in preparation for going out of town tonight. Thus, you'll be hearing from me during the day decide whether that's a good thing or not.... [read more]

March 08, 2007
Democrats beginning to challenge Dave Reichert for 2008
by Stefan Sharkansky, 06:37 PM, 33 Comments
Postman reported that a Draft Ross Hunter for Congress website has been launched. A commenter claimed that:the domain name was registered by Hangwire [true] -- one of Ross Hunter's consultants, and a firm which has close ties to his general... [read more]

More cost overruns on the light rail boondoggle
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:14 PM, 72 Comments
Seattle Times: "It's back to drawing board: Sea-Tac rail stop gets 1 bid"Just one company bid to build Sound Transit's landmark light-rail stop at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, at a price $43.5 million higher than expected.... [read more]

Support the Troops...Evergreen style
by DonWard, 01:34 PM, 47 Comments
(A picture can be worth a thousand words. And when Sound Politics readers finish reading this you'll probably add a few more choice words of your own.) On Monday, March 5 around midnight, a group of sixty protestors attempted to... [read more]

Initiative filed for King County to elect its elections director
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:41 AM, 27 Comments
Citizens for Accountable Elections today filed its initiative to change the King County charter to make the Director of Elections a separately elected non-partisan office. The initiative will be I-25, text here. The charter change will: * Carve the elections... [read more]

Sewer of Corruption (XXIX)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:16 AM, 12 Comments
The state House passed, on a nearly party-line 59-36 vote, HB 1189 "Regulating campaign contributions by limited liability companies". Rep. Bruce Chandler is calling foul: HB 1189 would change the law so that LLCs which are affiliated even loosely would... [read more]

Last Post on Green Republicans...Really
by Eric Earling, 07:52 AM, 16 Comments
An email I received recently about my original post concerning Republicans & environmental issues has become fodder for David Postman as well. Perhaps I was too glib in my opening gambit at the first post, maybe I didn't articulate my... [read more]

Send Us Your Smart People
by Eric Earling, 06:58 AM, 41 Comments
So advocates Bill Gates, before Congress and in a Washington Post op-ed. Gates is actually advocating two things, improving our education system and expanding immigration for exceptionally talented people. In the latter case, he's referring to the H1-B program used... [read more]

March 07, 2007
Should Government Be in the Marriage Business?
by Eric Earling, 09:59 PM, 70 Comments
Danny Westneat posed that question today in the Seattle Times. State Supreme Court Justice Richard Sanders posed it obliquely as well in a post-DOMA decision interview last July: Asked how he would vote on gay marriage if he himself were... [read more]

Greedy corporate bastards
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:30 PM, 24 Comments
"UW professor pleads guilty to dumping hazardous material"When Daniel R. Storm, a University of Washington professor whose work includes studying the brain, found out that getting rid of some potentially dangerous chemicals in his lab would cost $15,000, he decided... [read more]

Here's something that McKay should have investigated
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:35 PM, 64 Comments
Former U.S. Attorney John McKay is complaining that Congressman Doc Hastings's aide asked him about his apparent unwillingness to investigate allegations of fraud in the 2004 gubernatorial election. McKay should have (but didn't) investigate King County's illegal counting of provisional... [read more]

Million Dollar Bash
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:52 AM, 25 Comments
Bruce Carter of the Muni League urges Seattle voters to "Cast a blank viaduct ballot". I agree that the $1 million Viaduct advisory vote is largely meaningless, but returning a blank ballot isn't a very effective way to make a... [read more]

Sunlight is the best disinfectant
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:35 AM, 16 Comments
REMINDER -- This year's National Sunshine Week, which promotes transparent government and open access to public records, is next week, March 11 - 17. The local event for Sunshine Week is organized by the Washington Coalition for Open Government. Next... [read more]

Bill to Address Felon Early Release Voted Down
by Eric Earling, 07:23 AM, 22 Comments
The House of Representatives rejected an attempt by Republicans to bring a bill addressing the early release of felons to the floor for a vote. The motion to bypass the committee process and deal with the bill directly was defeated... [read more]

March 06, 2007
Environmentalism has a funny side
by Eric Earling, 09:27 PM, 19 Comments
In this case, an absolutely hilarious one. I can't comment much more because I'm too busy laughing. See this article, via Drudge (Fair Warning: if talk about sex offends you, don't click the link...of course by saying that I'm driving... [read more]

Global Warming Update (XV)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:15 PM, 160 Comments
Congressman Jay Inslee says "polar bears, a beloved American icon, are at risk" and calls for massive government intervention to reverse global warming. And maybe the government can also help the Mastodons return to Sequim! But another article suggests America... [read more]

State senate votes to give away something for nothing
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:20 AM, 43 Comments
A state Senate committee yesterday passed a bill "Establishing family and medical leave insurance". Today's Seattle Times has the story:all workers would be entitled to up to five weeks of paid family leave per year. They could use it to... [read more]

Felons Have Been Released Early for Five Years
by Eric Earling, 07:41 AM, 27 Comments
David Postman includes a fascinating point in his coverage of the early release of felons now in the news: State corrections chief Harold Clarke, also at Gregoire's press conference this morning, said the policy has been in place for five... [read more]

March 05, 2007
The Vision Thing
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:03 PM, 26 Comments
Joel Connelly bemoans the surfeit of "vision" over reason that seems to infest local politics, and most recently regarding the Viaduct:[Former Gov. Dan] Evans, a tunnel backer, delivered an Olympian observation on KPLU radio last month, declaring, "30 years from... [read more]

"The odd world of Val Stevens"
by Eric Earling, 07:49 AM, 130 Comments
The Seattle Times called long-time Snohomish County legislator Val Stevens out on the carpet over the weekend. That's likely a good thing. The tipping point in question for the Times seems to have been Stevens's mention of bestiality and necrophilia... [read more]

More votes than voters
by Stefan Sharkansky, 06:30 AM, 26 Comments
I can now confirm yet another screw-up that caused Ron Sims to count more votes than voters in November 2004. As this January 2005 P-I article reported, thousands of voters were sent duplicate absentee ballots. It turns out that over... [read more]

March 04, 2007
Energetic Evening for Snohomish County Republicans
by Eric Earling, 10:28 PM, 11 Comments
Saturday's nights Lincoln Day Dinner in Everett for the Snohomish County Republican Party was better than I expected. Over 300 people were in attendance, one of the larger crowds in the history of such events in the county. The guest... [read more]

March 03, 2007
Rudy Reading Roundup
by Eric Earling, 11:42 AM, 10 Comments
For those readers so inclined, below is a list of articles I've been reading about Rudy Giuliani as of late. Off the top three Republican contenders he's the one I know least about at this point, beyond the obvious "America's... [read more]

March 02, 2007
Vote Yes and Yes on Viaduct Advisory Measure March 13
by DonWard, 05:33 PM, 24 Comments
The Alaska Way Viaduct replacement vote is coming up March 13. Politicians have squared off and taken sides, sometimes more than one. Various members of the print and radio media have chimed in urging a "Yes-No" vote or "No-Yes" vote... [read more]

Credit Where Due
by Jim Miller, 11:53 AM, 50 Comments
Part Credit.  In this post, I wondered whether the Times and PI would cover Al Gore's enormous energy use.  Both newspapers did, though neither made the comparison to the Crawford White House that I think they should.... [read more]

Global Warming Update (XIV)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:08 AM, 126 Comments
Ron Sims, Feb. 7, "King County Proposes Global Warming Action Plan":"The best way to protect the people, economy and environment of the region is to take specific actions to reduce greenhouse gases and invest the money needed to adapt to... [read more]

Meet Me at the Lincoln Day Dinner
by Eric Earling, 07:50 AM, 2 Comments
Well, at least you can if you'd like. I'll be attending the Snohomish County Republican Party's Lincoln Day Dinner this Saturday evening. Featured speakers include Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Bob Williams of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, and new State Party... [read more]

Re: Wanted: Effective, Green-Speaking Republicans
by Eric Earling, 07:31 AM, 27 Comments
Allow me a brief return to this discussion on Republicans and the environment. The original post picked up coverage from Postman and some thoughts from Will at Horse's Ass as well. Considering the comments and content at all three locations... [read more]

March 01, 2007
Re: Quick Thoughts on Impeachment
by Eric Earling, 06:24 PM, 50 Comments
A footnote to the impeachment discussion below; the Westneat column discussed in my original post closes thus in reference to Jay Inslee's view of the issue:... [read more]

Re: McCain Snubs Jimmy Kimmel
by Eric Earling, 05:49 PM, 8 Comments
In other McCain related news, he picked up the endorsement of his former colleague and my former boss, Slade Gorton. Regular readers know I disagree with Slade's choice, but the endorsement is what it is. Here in Washington State, McCain... [read more]

McCain snubs Jimmy Kimmel
by DonWard, 08:15 AM, 26 Comments
John McCain is a man of his word. The Arizona Republican formally announced that he is running for President in 2008 last night on the David Letterman Show. Well sorta. Apparently he's going to make the official announcement in April.... [read more]

Quick Thoughts on Impeachment
by Eric Earling, 08:09 AM, 47 Comments
Postman has been giving some thorough coverage of the impeachment issue brewing in the liberal grassroots, including discussion of Danny Westneat's intriguing column yesterday. Westneat said: Regardless of whether Clinton deserved to be impeached for lying under oath about an... [read more]

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