Index of entries from July 2007
July 31, 2007
War on Wealth Puts Local Democrats in a Bind
by Eric Earling, 09:27 PM, 38 Comments
Both the Seattle Times and the Wall Street Journal had articles today on Democratic plans to increase taxes on private equity firms; plans that have local Democrats front and center in the Congressional debate. Brian Baird is a leading skeptic... [read more]

Is your confidence reduced yet?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:09 PM, 8 Comments
The King County Council yesterday shitcanned Ron Sims's plan for mail-only voting1, after the Council's outside independent expert recommended against Sims' plan to purchase and install new computer systems and to implement forced-mail voting using existing systems. Two weeks ago,... [read more]

Aspiring To Be A National Nuisance
by Jim Miller, 02:53 PM, 24 Comments
Almost all politicians have ambitions, from passing a measure they believe will help the public to winning a higher office.   Some of their ambitions are honorable, and most of them are at least understandable.   So, why I am... [read more]

July 30, 2007
Darcy Burner v. Rodney Tom
by Eric Earling, 11:21 PM, 42 Comments
Keep an eye on a couple dynamics in the budding primary between Darcy Burner and Rodney Tom to take on Dave Reichert in 2008. A couple different conversations I've had in recent months with Democrats possessing particular insight on this... [read more]

"Odds against rookie in race for county executive"
by Eric Earling, 11:03 PM, 5 Comments
That's your Captain Obvious headline from today's Everett Herald discussing the Snohomish County Executive's race. It gives me little joy to say this but this race is officially a joke. I'm sure Jack Turk is a decent guy. He sure... [read more]

Thin-Skinned Partisans
by Eric Earling, 10:31 PM, 46 Comments
There's a disconcerting trend in some of the comments here at Sound Politics, including recently at this post on Rudy Giuliani and this one on Fred Thompson: pro-candidate partisans who refuse to accept reasonable scrutiny of their preferred standard bearer.... [read more]

Democracy held hostage: Day 21
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:41 AM, 35 Comments
The Elections Office has now had the I-25 petitions for verification for 21 days. If they had used a legally defined statistical sample, I-25 should have been qualified by now. Instead, they've chosen to spend an estimated $50,000 extra in... [read more]

July 29, 2007
A Tale of Two Campaigns: Fred Thompson
by Eric Earling, 02:47 PM, 25 Comments
Since a post expressing some skepticism about Fred Thompson and his non-campaign campaign, news surrounding his candidacy has been bizarre. MSNBC's FirstRead has as good a summary as any of the news, which included story after story after story this... [read more]

A Tale of Two Campaigns: Rudy Giuliani
by Eric Earling, 02:12 PM, 18 Comments
Since a post on some difficult long-term trends facing Rudy Giuliani's campaign some interesting things have happened: His campaign has begun the overdue process of staffing up to the level needed of a national campaign, plus his campaign operation is... [read more]

July 28, 2007
To YouTube or Not to YouTube
by Eric Earling, 05:07 PM, 27 Comments
David Postman covers the current reticence of Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney to join the CNN/YouTube debate. There is a robust debate going on in the blogoshpere about the issue. Hugh Hewitt says no, Patrick Ruffini says yes. Some conservative... [read more]

Visiting the Nation's Capital
by Eric Earling, 03:34 PM, 5 Comments
During my work-related trip to DC this past week I had the pleasure of staying at one of the true gems of the capital's lodging portfolio: the Willard. I highly recommend it. "Grand historic landmark" does not begin to describe... [read more]

Tom Greene Responds
by Eric Earling, 02:23 PM, 20 Comments
In answer to my questionnaire for the candidates running for Snohomish County Sheriff, Tom Greene is the first to respond. John Lovick also said he'll be answering the questions, which I'll post as soon as I receive them. No response... [read more]

July 27, 2007
Let us give thanks
by DonWard, 04:59 PM, 21 Comments
As we know and what has finally been reported, Gov. Christine Gregoire's leadership is responsible for this state's roaring economy. Because of this and so much more, when 2008 comes around any challenger vying for her rightful office will stand... [read more]

A modest proposal
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:07 AM, 29 Comments
Today's P-I mourns yesterday's state Supreme Court decision requiring convicted felons to complete their sentences before having their voting rights restored. The P-I wants the Legislature to "find a solution that welcomes people who have done their time back into... [read more]

It's in the P-I
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:17 AM, 40 Comments
In today's P-I, a guest editorial by John Burbank, perhaps best known for fathering the unsuccessful Seattle "latte tax" initiative. Burbank writes today that "Privileged should invest more in public schools", hectoring private school parents to send their children to... [read more]

July 26, 2007
We're not gonna take it (Now with extra snark)
by DonWard, 09:31 PM, 58 Comments
So former Republican State Chair Chris Vance had a couple pieces at Crosscut about what he thinks Team Elephant needs to do in order to stop Team Donkey from shoving them into a locker every morning before gym class. Basically... [read more]

It's all about accountability
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:14 PM, 38 Comments
King County Councilman Reagan Dunn in a Seattle Times guest editorial today: "Let the people decide who runs their elections", calling on his fellow councilmembers to put the I-25 charter change directly on this November's ballot:Why would we want to... [read more]

Bad Seed
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:36 AM, 18 Comments
The King County Canvassing Board this morning cancelled the registrations of 1,762 "voters" who had been fraudulently registered by ACORN:The board took the action after senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Stephen Hobbs told the board that six signature gatherers hired by... [read more]

Whither the Washington GOP?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:11 AM, 38 Comments
Former state Republican chairman Chris Vance has a two-part series on Crosscut this week -- (1) "Why Washington Republicans got creamed in 2006 and what they can do about it" (2) "Dino Rossi + money + smart candidate recruiting +... [read more]

State high court: Felons must complete sentence in order to vote
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:51 AM, 9 Comments
The Washington Supreme Court has upheld the current state law which requires felons to complete their sentence (including payment of all fines and restitution) before getting their voting rights back, reversing a King County trial court. The punch line is... [read more]

Bad Seed
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:40 AM, 12 Comments
The King County Canvassing Board is holding a challenge hearing this morning1 on 1,768 fraudulent voter registrations submitted by ACORN last fall. As stated in an affidavit from the Prosecuting Attorney's Office:it has been determined that the voter registrations [on... [read more]

July 25, 2007
Democracy held hostage: Day 16
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:56 PM, 16 Comments
It's been 16 days since Council Clerk Anne Noris transmitted the I-25 signature petitions to the Elections Office for verification. If the Elections Office had opted to use statistical sampling to verify the signatures, as allowed by state and county... [read more]

Here's A Hint For Danny Westneat
by Jim Miller, 01:01 PM, 47 Comments
In today's column, he wrote: On paper anyway, the case against the death penalty is a no-brainer. It's often unfairly applied.  It fails to deter serious crime.... [read more]

Light rail: not so good for the environment
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:38 AM, 35 Comments
Environmentalist Emory Bundy argues in today's Crosscut that Sound Transit light rail doesn't deliver the environmental benefits that the boondoggle's promoters claim. Start with the energy cost of digging a six mile tunnel: If all the energy consumed by tunnel-excavating... [read more]

July 24, 2007
Taking credit where none is due
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:45 AM, 34 Comments
Here's how Mrs. Gregoire congratulated herself on a recent Forbes article:Under [Mrs.] Gregoire's leadership, business owners are using a more streamlined process for managing regulation. As Forbes also stated, "One of Washington's big strengths is reduced red tape. The Office... [read more]

By the content of their character
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:46 AM, 51 Comments
There's a sad irony in seeing the likeness of Martin Luther King, Jr. on King County's "2008-2012 Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Plan". It's not about preventing discrimination (according to the summary of recent discrimination complaints, hardly any actual discrimination has... [read more]

July 23, 2007
P-I: Four elections systems instead of two!
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:26 PM, 19 Comments
Last year the P-I cheered mail-only elections, repeating the mantra that:it no longer makes sense for the county to operate essentially two distinct elections systemsIt's a dishonest argument. There aren't "two distinct elections systems"-- There's one voter database and one... [read more]

Rons Sims' $50,000 gift of public funds to oppose I-25
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:22 AM, 9 Comments
Ron Sims knows that he will lose the election on I-25 if it goes to the ballot this November. So instead of accommodating himself to the voters' wishes, or raising money for a long-shot opposition campaign, he is spending public... [read more]

YouTube Debate
by DonWard, 08:24 AM, 21 Comments
CNN will be airing its much vaunted YouTube Democratic Presidential Debate tonight at 4 p.m. (PST). Supposedly the big draw is the fact that average Americans get to submit questions to the potential leader of the free world while sitting... [read more]

Dumb Things Airlines Do
by Eric Earling, 07:17 AM, 16 Comments
So, a while back I mentioned I'm not a huge fan of the legacy airlines. Chalk up another reason why. I'm traveling to DC at zero-dark-thirty for work tomorrow. I'm flying United because that's what the government says I'm going... [read more]

Fred Thompson Needs to Get in the Game
by Eric Earling, 06:39 AM, 58 Comments
Reader Note: This first went online Saturday morning, but I'm moving it up because I would like to hear more from readers on it. This post is primarily to get some feedback from the local Fredheads that have made their... [read more]

July 22, 2007
A modest proposal
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:06 PM, 10 Comments
Jim Vesely appropriately laments the nannyist King County Board of Health's mandate that (certain) restaurants include calorie counts on the menus. My modest proposal to stem the expansion of nannyist restaurant regulation -- require that any nutritional disclosure regulations that... [read more]

Bad Seed
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:19 PM, 13 Comments
Pierce County is now joining King County and mounting a criminal investigation into voter registration fraud apparently committed by ACORN last year. A couple of related things I still find intriguing. 1) The involvement of ACORN/Project Vote in the illegal... [read more]

July 21, 2007
Snohomish County Sheriff Questionnaire
by Eric Earling, 12:06 PM, 17 Comments
I just sent a questionnaire to the three candidates running for Snohomish County Sheriff: Rob Beidler, Tom Greene, and John Lovick. Though I've personally endorsed Tom Greene, all response will be run here without editing or editorial comment, and the... [read more]

July 20, 2007
Something to think about
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:07 PM, 24 Comments
Ralph Nichols in this week's Highline Times and Des Moines NewsAN INTRIGUING phenomenon is the lip service many liberals give to the concept of democracy, for many of them fear and mistrust the people when we vote. Evidence of this... [read more]

A correction
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:33 PM, 6 Comments
Oops. I significantly underestimated the number of unecessary extra signatures that King County Elections has decided to examine in order to qualify I-24 and I-25 for the November ballot. My Wednesday post reported that they would be checking "109,000 signatures... [read more]

Stick a fork in him
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:30 AM, 16 Comments
NPR had the best summary I've found on the financial position of the major Republican presidential candidates. (and yes, the Democrats this year are vastly out-fundraising the Republicans) Giuliani raised $17 million last quarter, for $18 million cash on hand.... [read more]

Stick a fork in her
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:49 AM, 17 Comments
Darcy Burner's erstwhile cheerleaders at The Stranger are now pouring cold water on Burner's assertion that she has a better chance of defeating Congressman Dave Reichert than does the disgruntled former Republican legislator who is now challenging Burner in the... [read more]

July 19, 2007
I-960 qualifies for ballot
by Stefan Sharkansky, 06:15 PM, 38 Comments
I-960, The Taxpayer Protection Initiative, has been qualified for the November ballot. 1) The Times article says:I-960 is sponsored by Tim Eyman, who earns a living trying to pass ballot measures.If the article were written by a fair-minded journalist, and... [read more]

Ron Sims on KUOW
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:45 AM, 15 Comments
Ron Sims will be taking listener questions on KUOW Weekday today at 10am. If you have a moment, call or e-mail the program and ask Sims why his Elections Office is wasting taxpayer dollars to examine more than 100,000 unnecessary... [read more]

Times welcomes Tom
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:32 AM, 49 Comments
Today's Seattle Times editorial welcomes Rodney Tom into the 8th congressional district primary race and simultaneously marginalizes Darcy Burner. I won't go so far as to predict that the Times endorses Tom in the primary, but I'd wager a modest... [read more]

July 18, 2007
"Will Giuliani be the next McCain?"
by Eric Earling, 11:52 PM, 34 Comments
That title overstates things a bit, but it touches on a topic worth exploring. The P-I's Strange Bedfellows blog posed the question in a way last week. explored the issue further yesterday in an analysis worth noodling. The pollster... [read more]

Dog Days of Summer Political Fix
by Eric Earling, 11:00 PM, 2 Comments
If you join me in being bored with the slow pace of political news this summer, check out this site from an outfit based in Seattle. It allows you to self-select issues of import in the Presidential election, assess whether... [read more]

Sewer of Corruption (XXXVI)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:17 PM, 31 Comments
The self-serving conduct of Ron Sims' Elections Office regarding I-25 illustrates exactly why the office should be taken away from the County Executive and turned into a separately elected non-partisan office. The Elections Office is responsible for verifying the I-25... [read more]

Rodney Tom
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:00 PM, 11 Comments
Today's P-I proclaims that disgruntled former Republican legislator turned Democrat congressional candidate Rodney Tom "must overcome Republican past". But seriously, while many of Tom's current positions are silly ("begin pulling troops out of Iraq within six months"? How does preannouncing... [read more]

One sign that Mrs. Gregoire knows she's not as good for business as she wants us to think she is
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:49 AM, 21 Comments
Mrs. Gregoire is trying to position herself as "good for business", taking credit for all sorts of economic good news. Credulous liberal journalists might believe Gregoire, but actual business people understand that Mrs. Gregoire's 30-month occupation of the Governor's office... [read more]

July 17, 2007
Because We Say So, That's Why
by Jim Miller, 04:44 PM, 0 Comments
The Seattle Times, perhaps inspired by a strange New York Times editorial, calls for immediate withdrawal from Iraq. There is no good time to get out of Iraq, but once we know we must leave, there is no excuse to... [read more]

This primary catfight should be fun to watch
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:31 PM, 54 Comments
Disgruntled former Republican legislator Rodney Tom has entered the 8th Congressional District Democrat primary for the nomination to challenge Congressman Dave Reichert in 2008. This should be an interesting primary. Tom will undoubtedly run on his record as a disgruntled... [read more]

No and Hell No
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:00 AM, 16 Comments
The Times reports on yesterday's County Council hearing: "County gets mixed advice on mail-vote technology" First the council heard from Ellen Hansen, Citizens' Elections Oversight Committee chairwoman and former elections manager, who said it would be too risky to install... [read more]

July 16, 2007
Seattle's Garbage Police
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:38 PM, 61 Comments
The totalitarian nannyists of the Seattle City Clowncil have voted to microregulate residential garbage: "City to require table-scrap recycling at homes in 2009"All single-family homes in Seattle must sign up for table-scrap recycling in 2009, the City Council decided Monday.... [read more]

Rumor Mill
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:57 PM, 4 Comments
I heard an (uncomfirmed) rumor that Sherril Huff has tapped Assistant Superintendent Garth Fell to be the next Superintendent of Elections. The Superintendent position has been vacant since Bill Huennekens was demoted two years ago. Worth noting that Garth Fell... [read more]

Danny Westneat, real-estate mogul
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:43 PM, 61 Comments
Danny Westneat continues his campaign against the real estate market with Sunday's column, complaining about this:There's a new landlord in town. It's called the "Lease Rent Optimizer." The Optimizer is software developed a few years ago by Archstone, which manages... [read more]

by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:15 PM, 11 Comments
Live on KCTV:Julia Patterson: So there really is no Plan B to move to all vote-by-mail for 2008? Sherril Huff: Not for 2008 Julia Patterson: So if the new equipment is not certified, there is no plan for a mail-only... [read more]

ROTFLMAO at the Council hearing on mail-only voting
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:02 PM, 6 Comments
Do watch the Council hearing on the vote-by-mail transition plan, now on KCTV This is the most screamingly funny Council hearing I can recall watching. 1) The partisan Democrat Councilmembers are insisting with a straight face that mail-only voting is... [read more]

Time for a new mail-only voting plan -- or maybe just let people keep voting at the polls
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:38 AM, 2 Comments
Last year Ron Sims was bragging about his plan for implementing mail-only voting:We do have a very good plan. And Dean has really put together a very, very good planNo surprise when it was revealed that the plan then existed... [read more]

July 15, 2007
Frank Luntz Warns Darcy Burner
by Eric Earling, 11:57 PM, 32 Comments
Luntz's op-ed in today's LA Times is worth a perusal. Readers familiar with the critique of Darcy "I'm running against George Bush" Burner will catch this passage in particular: In every focus group I have conducted in the last two... [read more]

Thank You Readers...and Commenters
by Eric Earling, 09:44 PM, 7 Comments
I just wanted to take a minute to thank the loyal readers of Sound Politics, with a special thanks that those that take the time to add their thoughts in the comments. Today was a great example of how people... [read more]

Learning From Houston
by Jim Miller, 03:31 PM, 35 Comments
The New York Times begins a light-hearted article on parking spaces with these two paragraphs: In Houston, $225,000 will buy a three-bedroom house with a game room, den, in-ground pool and hot tub. In Manhattan, it will buy a parking... [read more]

McCain's free fall
by Eric Earling, 01:56 PM, 15 Comments
Credit to Eric Devericks at the Seattle Times for his accurate cartoon in today's paper about John McCain's recent travails. One could quibble a bit with how much the Iraq war is actually hurting McCain with likely Republican primary voters,... [read more]

Tim Eyman gets decent press
by Eric Earling, 01:29 PM, 27 Comments
Well, in a way. Jerry Cornfield covers Eyman's latest initiative, calling it a "big dose of democracy." Cornfield correctly captures, I think, that Eyman is trying to do an awful lot with this initiative. There is a compelling case to... [read more]

Transportation Ballot "Roadkill"?
by Eric Earling, 01:05 PM, 24 Comments
An article in the Everett Herald says so. It's possible. Even supporters of the roads & transit joint measure have to acknowledge it won't be an easy sell given the price tag. Yet the arguments presented in this article don't... [read more]

Programming Note
by Eric Earling, 12:45 PM, 2 Comments
Sorry for the light posting as of late. I'm weighing a potential job change that would be quite a shift for my family, thus occupying much of my time as of late. I'll chime in as I'm able in the... [read more]

What the helicopter?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:20 AM, 16 Comments
Yes, it's 2:20 in the morning, but I can't sleep because there's this insanely loud low-flying helicopter that's circling my neighborhood. What's the deal with that?... [read more]

July 14, 2007
SEIU of corruption
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:13 PM, 25 Comments
The SEIU is organizing a campaign to spam King County Councilmembers to encourage them to approve the ill-conceived vote-by-mail proposal:It's a secure, cost-effective way to increase voter participation. As a home health care provider, I know that voting by mail... [read more]

Faustian plea bargain
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:57 AM, 24 Comments
Yesterday I wondered why Terapon Dong Adhahn wasn't deported in 1990 after he violently raped a teenaged relative. Today's P-I reports that Adhahn's earlier victim was his half-sister and explains why he avoided deportation:Initially charged with second-degree rape in 1990,... [read more]

July 13, 2007
Taxpayers - 2, Taxeaters - 0
by Stefan Sharkansky, 05:10 PM, 30 Comments
Tim Eyman e-mails that I-960 survived a bogus legal challenge today:[King County Superior Judge Catherine Shaffer] rejected arguments by opponents of I-960 who sought to prohibit a vote of the people on the measure. Futurewise and SEIU argued that since... [read more]

Safeguarding the integrity of the voter rolls
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:26 PM, 24 Comments
The Evergreen Freedom Foundation recorded this interview with Jane Balogh, the woman who registered her dog to vote as a protest against lax voter registration procedures1 1 Those would be the same lax voter registration procedures that enabled illegal immigrant... [read more]

The Democrats' amusingly senseless arguments against I-25 (II): "If it's on the ballot in November it will pass"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:46 AM, 6 Comments
The Seattle Weekly article on I-25 quotes the senseless anti-I-25 arguments of Councilman Bob Ferguson. Ferguson says he supports the charter change, but wants to postpone the election until 2009, owing to the recent appointment of Sherril Huff as Elections... [read more]

And he's a registered voter
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:36 AM, 103 Comments
Police have found the body of Zina Linnik, the abducted 12-year-old Tacoma girl. The suspect is in custody: Court records name the man as 42-year-old Terapon Dang Adhahn, a convicted sex offender who has been in custody on an unrelated... [read more]

July 12, 2007
Mrs. Gregoire uses official web site for campaign press release; liberal journalists attack law-abiding private citizen
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:12 PM, 21 Comments
Forbes claims that Washington is among the best states for business. I take this study with as big a grain of salt (or sugar) as, say, the study touting Tom DeLay's home town of Sugar Land, TX as The #3... [read more]

The Democrats' amusingly senseless arguments against I-25 (I): "Ron Sims could have fired Dean Logan"
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:13 PM, 11 Comments
The Seattle Weekly article on I-25 includes Ron Sims's senseless argument for keeping the Elections Director an appointed, not elected, position. Sims' chief-of-staff Kurt Triplett says:"An elected auditor could screw up every election for four years, and you wouldn't have... [read more]

Burner still backed by out-of-district nutroots
by Stefan Sharkansky, 12:03 PM, 21 Comments
Postman gives us an update on the 8th Congressional District. * Congressman Reichert was named again by Congressional Quarterly as one of the most independent members of the House Republican caucus. * Disgruntled former Republican legislator Rodney Tom will challenge... [read more]

An ignoble assessment
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:43 AM, 7 Comments
Today's Seattle Times editorializes about the race for King County Assessor. But instead of assessing incumbent Scott Noble's record, or challenger (Seattle Monorail Board member) Jim Nobles's alternative plan, all the Times offers is this baseless innuendo:Selecting this office and... [read more]

July 11, 2007
Democrats Lining Up to Oppose . . . More Democracy
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:33 PM, 46 Comments
The Seattle Weekly's Sean Ludwig has a new article about I-25: "Initiative 25 Has the County's Democrats Lining Up to Oppose . . . More Democracy" It's a very good article, comprehensive and balanced. Consequently, it makes the local Democrat... [read more]

Can't Anyone Here Play This Game?
by Jim Miller, 11:42 AM, 16 Comments
That's the question Casey Stengel asked about the original Mets, and that's the question that came to mind when I read this Bruce Ramsey column.   Here's what the Seattle Times columnist says about an old controversy: One of the... [read more]

King County Elections gets tough on crime
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:31 AM, 21 Comments
Australian shepherd-terrier mix Duncan M. McDonald has finally been removed from the voter rolls. It is good news that King County Elections is taking action to defend the integrity of the voter rolls: [Elections spokeswoman Bobbie] Egan said department procedures... [read more]

Global Warming Update (XXXII)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:11 AM, 23 Comments
And speaking of bad forecasts, this recent article by Scott Armstrong and Kesten Green, applied statisticians who do rigorous scientific research on making forecasts under uncertainty, argues why many of the forecasting models used in Global Warming research are lousy... [read more]

Global Warming Update (XXXI)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:05 AM, 12 Comments
In today's P-I, contumelious columnist Joel Connelly equates those who question the liberal political establishment's certainty about Global Warming with Nazis:Bluntly put, climate change deniers pose a greater danger than the lingering industry that denies the Holocaust.Good thing Connelly's above... [read more]

July 10, 2007
That Sound You Heard Today...
by Eric Earling, 10:56 PM, 11 Comments
...was one of the great pre-primary campaign implosions of our time. John McCain's senior campaign staff has been eviscerated. David Postman recently reported that McCain will be in town recently, duly noting the woes afflicting the understood then at... [read more]

How Do Your Senators Vote On Earmarks?
by Jim Miller, 11:16 AM, 9 Comments
You can find the answer here.  Not all earmarks are pork, nor do earmarks include all the different kinds of pork.  But earmarks are often pork, and the attitude toward earmarks tells us something about a senator's willingness to control... [read more]

Deja vu all over again
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:45 AM, 15 Comments
Recall this priceless exchange from the contest trial, regarding King County's new computer system, whose "learning curve" was blamed for much of the 2004 election disaster [TVW audio, 3:30:24]Judge Bridges: I guess I have to ask, whose idea was it... [read more]

Credit Where Credit Isn't Due
by Eric Earling, 08:04 AM, 29 Comments
Darcy Burner's campaign is crowing about her fundraising this past quarter, saying it "is more 'than any Washington state challenger's congressional campaign has ever raised in the second quarter of an off-year in the election cycle.'" Think that might be... [read more]

Credit Where Credit is Due
by Eric Earling, 07:53 AM, 6 Comments
I'm belated in getting to it, but James Vesely mentioned Maria Cantwell's support for the US-South Korea trade agreement in his Sunday column. She said so in the context of bemoaning the decline in support for foreign trade - which... [read more]

July 09, 2007
Test case for "gay civil rights" bill?
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:14 PM, 28 Comments
Personally, I don't think that this sort of thing should be illegal. But isn't it a blatant example of housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation that last year's "gay civil rights" bill was designed to prevent?... [read more]

Learning From Idaho (and Hawaii, Montana, and Utah)
by Jim Miller, 04:06 PM, 9 Comments
Lynne Varner of the Seattle Times is convinced that Democratic governor Chris Gregoire is doing a fine job, in part because unemployment in the state is about average for the nation. For now, revenue predictions are rosy.  According to the... [read more]

Transparency in Taxation
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:58 PM, 6 Comments
The King County Council today unanimously approved the Transparency in Taxation ordinance:Under the legislation approved by the Council, starting in April 2008 the County Treasurer will be required to mail courtesy tax breakdowns summaries to property owners who do not... [read more]

I-25 and the Courthouse Two-Step
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:37 PM, 4 Comments
So the supporters of fair elections have turned in over 74,000 signatures, a comfortable margin over the 54,732 valid signatures needed to ensure I-25's place on the November ballot. We voters earned the right to decide for ourselves whether we... [read more]

It's in the P-I
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:28 AM, 22 Comments
Joel Connelly, the P-I's contumelious liberal columnist, today fulminates against Taxpayer Protection Initiative I-960: "Look to California for the wisdom of Eyman's new folly". Connelly doesn't actually explain what I-960 does, but draws an arc between its requirement of a... [read more]

July 08, 2007
Dear God, Please Let This Man Win...
by Eric Earling, 12:59 PM, 42 Comments
A local man is suing the state over its ridiculous ban on online gambling. Danny Westneat wrote about the law shortly after its passage and more recently as well. If the lawsuit succeeds it would be a welcome victory against... [read more]

Big Day for Boeing
by Eric Earling, 08:58 AM, 8 Comments
The 787 rolls out today, with coverage from the Everett Herald and Seattle Times to digest, plus Boeing's multimedia efforts online. Aside from the pomp and circumstance of a big event emceed by Tom Brokaw, the more important long-term news... [read more]

July 07, 2007
Taxpayer Protection
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:16 AM, 35 Comments
Initiative organizer Tim Eyman yesterday turned in 313,000 signatures forTaxpayer Protection Initiative I-960. The number of signatures should ensure I-960's place on this November's ballot. I-960 would raise the bar and increase public disclosure requirements for the state legislature to... [read more]

July 06, 2007
Here's A Chance For Our Local Journalists To Show Some Class
by Jim Miller, 02:19 PM, 39 Comments
As Don Ward noted, just below, today is President Bush's birthday.  So, if you are a "mainstream" journalist, here's an opportunity for you to show that you can be gracious, even toward a man you often disagree with.  Just leave... [read more]

The Gang Of Four, Part 1
by Jim Miller, 01:41 PM, 10 Comments
Every Friday, four local journalists discuss current events (and, often, their own columns) on the Weekday program on our local PBS affiliate, KUOW.  Usually, the host is KUOW's Steve Scher, and the three journalists are Knute Berger, who edited an... [read more]

Global Warming Update (XXX)
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:04 AM, 48 Comments
A team of scientists recently found proof that "At one time, Greenland really was green"Ice-covered Greenland really was green a half-million or so years ago, covered with forests in a climate much like that of Sweden and eastern Canada today.And... [read more]

Swing and a Miss
by Eric Earling, 08:03 AM, 15 Comments
Behold, Seattle P-I editorial board weighs in on John McCain's sinking Presidential hopes. Amazingly, their list of possible wounds to his candidacy includes mention of the Beach Boys-style "bomb Iran" diddy but omits immigration reform. They seem to think McCain... [read more]

Happy 61st Birthday "W"
by DonWard, 07:38 AM, 16 Comments
Today is President Bush's 61st birthday. So what do you get for the leader of the free world? Some helpful ideas although you can share yours. Home Depot gift certificate good for 1,200 miles of fencing. A copy of the... [read more]

July 05, 2007
Public non-disclosure
by Stefan Sharkansky, 04:56 PM, 8 Comments
The importance of access to public records to lawful government dates back to this complaint against George III mentioned in the Declaration of Independence:He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their... [read more]

July 04, 2007
Life of a Candidate: July 4th Edition
by Eric Earling, 11:56 PM, 14 Comments
So, anyone see any local candidates in July 4th parades this year? The regular July 4th parades in Edmonds and Everett are usually a reliable bet to catch Snohomish County candidates in action. Wherever you find them, such parades are... [read more]

"Union wanted bigger 787 role"
by Eric Earling, 11:30 PM, 48 Comments
That headline from the Everett Herald is worth a laugh. The Machinist Union, whose consistent contract demands have driven up Boeing's in-house labor costs far past what other private industries bear, wishes it got more of the action with Boeing's... [read more]

Mid-Year Evaluations: Strategy & Next Steps
by Eric Earling, 12:07 PM, 13 Comments
Before going further in follow-up of the first post, a note on the primary schedule is in order. For reference, here's the current schedule (PDF warning). That will likely change, however. South Carolina is set to jump its primary earlier... [read more]

Mid-Year Evaluations: Fundraising & Polling
by Eric Earling, 12:05 PM, 16 Comments
It's a slow news week but we've reached the end of the 2nd quarter of a year where the Presidential campaign has been running in earnest. Let's take a step back from the grind of the daily news and evaluate... [read more]

Declaration of Independence
by Stefan Sharkansky, 08:50 AM, 6 Comments
Along with the other things you're doing to celebrate our nation's independence and enjoy our great blessings today, take a few minutes to read the Declaration of Independence. Worth reposting here is the audio of last year's Sound Politics... [read more]

July 02, 2007
Summer Travel Got you Down?
by Eric Earling, 09:48 PM, 41 Comments
If you're like me, you harbor a deep dislike of the old-school airline carriers. A hatred so intense it might just border on the irrational. Mostly I think it comes down to the fact they generally suck, though perhaps that's... [read more]

Free Scooter!!!
by DonWard, 03:13 PM, 253 Comments
News has just broke that the 30-month prison sentence given to former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby has been commuted by President Bush. A $250,000 fine and two year probation handed down by a jury for Libby's role... [read more]

Sherril Huff does not merit confirmation
by Stefan Sharkansky, 01:14 PM, 13 Comments
The King County Council is scheduled to vote this afternoon to confirm Sherril Huff's appointment as Director of Elections. I expect Huff to be confirmed (and they wouldn't have put it on the agenda if she didn't have the votes),... [read more]

Promises, Promises
by Stefan Sharkansky, 09:41 AM, 29 Comments
To help put the RTID/Sound Transit package in context, a reader sent me PDFs of some of the original "Sound Move" documents from 1996, which were used to sell the original Sound Transit to the voters. I've posted the "Regional... [read more]

July 01, 2007
Holy Obama Donors Batman!
by Eric Earling, 07:56 PM, 52 Comments
That local woman's donation to Barack Obama written up by David Postman was part of something special. Today's announcement of Obama's fundraising totals for the 2nd quarter is simply astounding. The fact he outraised Hillary, Inc. this past quarter by... [read more]

Nothing for Something
by Stefan Sharkansky, 11:24 AM, 28 Comments
The Gregoire Gas Tax went up again today:Washington state's gas tax goes up two more cents per gallon today. It's the third annual increase in a row, pushing the state gas tax to 36 cents a gallon, fifth highest in... [read more]

Mrs. Gregoire kept a promise
by Stefan Sharkansky, 10:55 AM, 25 Comments
Mrs. Gregoire campaigned for governor with the pledge that she would "change the culture in Olympia.". And she has changed the culture in Olympia. The government employee unions have ballooned and have more influence over state government than ever before!... [read more]

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