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Saturday, October 02, 2004

Mount St. Helens

The Columbian has gone absolutely St. Helens mad. Are you folks nearby at all worried? I've been ignoring this, because I don't understand geology all that well. And so far it seems minor.



This and That

First, Saturdays will be like this for a while. Not much I can do about it barring becoming wealthy. On a happy note, between Brenda and me, this blog has passed 1000 posts. So here's to a sustained stream of begging for money for people who I don't know (mostly), obsessive posting of polls stolen from other sites, making a big deal of candidates the rest of the country doesn't care about, and of course open threads.



Bush Lead Evaporates

According to Newsweek, Kerry leads Little bush 49% to 46% (with Nader included, it is Kerry 47%, Preznit 45%, Nader 3%). The Coward-in-Chief is down from an 11% lead in this poll following the rethugnican Convention.

UPDATE: The MOE is 4%. The Newsweek poll was conducted on September 30 (post-debate). More at MyDD.



Strippergate Prosecutions May Be Forthcoming

But my favorite thing about the article is that the headline writer put Strippergate in quotes.

King County prosecutors have asked for the home and office telephone numbers of Seattle City Council members and their staff as part of what prosecutors describe as a "background investigation" into campaign contributions tied to Seattle strip-club magnate Frank Colacurcio Jr.

...

County Prosecutor Norm Maleng will decide in the next few weeks whether to proceed with a formal criminal investigation, said Dan Satterberg, Maleng's chief of staff



Friday, October 01, 2004

Open Thread Meaningless Record Breaking Edition

It's just a regular open thread, but that's a possible topic.



Ruderman Web Ad

Scroll down to See Laura's views on protecting our votes. It's her talking to the camera about her plans for electronic voting. Best line: "If voting machine companies want to play politics, they won't do business in our state"



Dolan Fundraiser

From her web page:

Join Governor Gary Locke, Senator Lisa Brown, and Laurie Dolan

A very limited number of seats are still available the luncheon with Governor Locke this Wednesday from 11:30am-1:00pm at the Ridpath Hotel, Empire Room.

Please call the office at 509-456-6654 to reserve your seat. Suggested contribution is $100, divided as you choose between the Lisa Brown Campaign and Elect Laurie Dolan.

That's what you get for moving, and not having as much time as you'd like to see this sort of thing. It was last Wednesday. But it's still at the top of the page, and it doesn't have a date.



The Other Debate

The PI has info on the Reichert/Ross debate.



Number 1 in Minimum Wage

I've never worked minimum wage, but I'm sure I've had higher wages as a result of our floor being higher than the rest of the country. And with our MW indexed to inflation, it won't fall behind like the federal MW and so many states. In January when it increases again we'll be back on the top.



Watergate Style Break In?

The Washington State BC04 office was broken into last night. Thieves stole some computers that had info relating to the GOTV efforts. Everything is backed up, and at this point it's simply too early to know what happened. But Chris Vance is already comparing it to Watergate:

State Republican Party Chairman Chris Vance called it a "Watergate-style break in" and said he suspects Democrats are behind it.

"If you're just some burglar looking for computers to sell to buy drugs you take every laptop in the office maybe," he said. "But they knew exactly whose computers to get. They got the executive director's computer and the get-out-the-vote director's computer."

State Democratic Party spokeswoman Kirstin Brost said Democrats had nothing to do with the break-in.

"I feel really bad. I know how upset I'd be if it happened to us," she said.

"There was nothing for us to gain by stealing those computers. Their secret plan isn't so secret."

Vance said the break in follows reports of vandalized Bush campaign signs and what he said were telephone calls to voters alleging Bush would reinstate a military draft if re-elected.

What strikes me as odd, and I'm by no means an expert, is the timing. I mean the BC04 office was more likely to stay open later tonight than most nights. So this would be one of the worst days of the campaign to break in. And why steal Washington computers when we're barely a swing state?



Thursday, September 30, 2004

Stranger Monorail Edition

The whole thing is here

Some highlights: Dan Savage thinks that the city's leaders are weak assed.

It is typical that Greg "Four Priorities" Nickels would fail to use his big address as a bully pulpit for a pressing issue and urge Seattle voters to vote "no" on I-83, an initiative that one court has already declared illegal. When the going gets tough around here, you can count on Seattle's "leaders" to head for the nearest dark room and assume the fetal position. We don't mean to single out Nickels, but his reticence on this issue just five weeks from election day (in a speech that purported to take the lead on transportation!) demonstrates why we're stuck in this position in the first place: When it comes to rapid transit, Seattle's leaders refuse to lead.

It's mystifying that Nickels--or anyone at city hall--would be so gutless at this point. Again, Seattle voters have gone to the polls and approved an expanded monorail system in Seattle three times--in 1997, 2000, and 2002. I guess Seattle "leaders" are scared voters might nix the monorail this time. They're right, that might happen. But that's exactly why Nickels and other leaders need to speak out rather than playing it safe.

Erica C. Barnett talks about the funding of the campaign.

Since April, Selig has donated $273,156 to Monorail Recall, a campaign that aims to dismantle the voter-approved Seattle Monorail Project by revoking its ability to build the monorail in city streets. Of Selig's contribution, about $76,000 has gone to two companies hired to gather signatures to place the initiative, I-83, on the November ballot. The rest has been largely in so-called "in-kind" contributions, including the use of Selig's personal attorney, Bill McInerney, to defend the campaign against an ongoing lawsuit challenging the legality of the initiative.

Bradley Steinbacher will finally be fed up with the city if they reject the monorail.

That is, I'll defend it until the absurd moment when the monorail recall succeeds. If/when that happens, I'll be more than happy to line up with the rest of the complainers--the out-of-towners and the chumps who refuse to leave Seattle in favor of remaining and whining about it--in declaring that our city is indeed a backwater shithole, afraid of both the possibility of growth and the possibility for excitement. If the monorail loses, Seattle will officially suck. The culture of no, as it's called, will have triumphed.

...

At least, it will be open to me if the Seattle Way doesn't destroy our chance to build a rapid transit system. As it stands now, our city is a stilted city, unable to grow due to both its lack of rapid transit and its often-idiotic populace. The monorail will fix the former, as long as the latter doesn't get in its way. I've never found myself ashamed of living in Seattle--if I-83 succeeds, I will.

Edited cause it ain't called The Strange



Debate Open Thread

I'll be hanging out on Kos and maybe atrios, but if you want to talk, go ahead.



Murray Responds to Negative Ads

A couple days ago, Brenda had a note on negative Nethercutt ads about Patty Murray and Bin Laden. Patty's hitting back. From her blog:

"George Nethercutt's ad is a lie - and he knows it.

...

My remarks are being taken out of context.

I only raised questions about why he is supported in Arab countries and what we might do to combat that.

We should stop playing politics with the war on terrorism and get on with winning it.

The people of the state of Washington deserve an honest discussion of the issues. My opponent needs to stop playing politics with terrorism. This is a war we need to win by working together."



After The Debate Tonite

Seeing the Forest has some post-debate activities:

"National and local news organizations will be conducting online polls during and after the debate asking for readers' opinions. Look for online polls at these national news websites, and make sure to vote in every one of them:

ABC News: http://www.abcnews.com/

CBS News: http://www.cbsnews.com/

CNN: http://www.cnn.com/

Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/

MSNBC: http://www.msnbc.com/

USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/

And be sure to check the websites of your local newspapers and TV stations for online polls. It is crucial that you do this in the minutes immediately following the debate."



Post Debate Spin

Shaun has the goods on what the party wants you to do to help control the post debate debate.



New CFO for Vancouver

I don't know what a CFO does, or even if he's worth $110,000. But Vancouver has a new one.

Also if you're curious how a press release turns into an article here's something:

Press release:

The Vancouver position will mark Tyler's return to the Pacific Northwest. From 1985 to 1997, he was with the investment banking and financial advisory firm of Seattle-Northwest Securities Corporation where he served as Vice President of Public Finance. From 1981 to 1984 he served as Partnership Administration Supervisor for ENI Exploration Company in Bellevue. He grew up in Walla Walla and still has family there. Tyler is a graduate of the University of Washington and also holds an MBA in International Management from Thunderbird, The American Graduate School of International Management, in Arizona.


Article:

The Vancouver position will mark Tyler's return to the Pacific Northwest. From 1985 to 1997, he was with the investment banking and financial advisory firm of Seattle-Northwest Securities Corp., where he served as vice president of public finance. From 1981 to 1984 he served as partnership administration supervisor for ENI Exploration Co. in Bellevue.


Press release:

Tyler will earn $110,000 annually and is expected to start in January, 2005.


Article:

Officials said Tyler will earn $110,000 annually as Vancouver's CFO and is expected to start in January 2005.



Patty Murray, Debi Srali and Others

A fundraiser event at University Place. From an email:

University Place Welcomes...

U.S. Senator Patty Murray

And Candidates Debi Srail, Tami Green, and Helen McGovern

For a rally on Sunday, October 3rd in the 28th LD!

Narrows View Intermediary School Commons

7813 44th St West , University Place

1:15 PM

Let’s make 2004 another Year of the Woman!

Please RSVP to Senator Murray's Tacoma Office:

1127 Broadway, Suite 10

253-627-1980 OR
chelsea@pattymurray.com



Get Well Soon

Chris Gregoire has food poisoning or a stomach virus. She isn't sure yet.



Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Brian Baird Speaks Out

Washington Congressman Brian Baird received national attention today following an interview about Quagmire Iraq Nam (Quicktime file).



ST Buys Land

$13.4 million for 6 and a half miles between Tacoma and Lakewood. It's the second of three parts, the first was the stations, and the third will be South to the Thurston County line.



Unfunded Mandates and Ferry Security

I've never been the biggest boo hooer of unfunded mandates. I think the requirements of environmental laws should hurt polluters. And if we give money to get to a certain point it hurts the people who were already at or beyond that point.

But with homeland security, things are different. 25 million rides a year on Washington State ferries, and we think terrorists want on board. There's also the Staten Island ferry, that goes from that island to Southern Manhattan. And I think it's fair to say that Southern Manhattan is a target. And other ferry systems are vulnerable too.

So in cases like this where the government sees a specific threat and says deal with it, they ought to give the resources too. So we know our system is a target. We know that other systems around the country are targets. And what do we do? According to Patty Murray, not enough:

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., who sits on the Senate budget committee and is ranking member of the transportation appropriations subcommittee, said she is very concerned about the effects of the new regulations. She has pressed the Department of Homeland Security — so far to no avail — to make additional money available. So far, the state has received about $14 million in homeland-security grants, although State Patrol budget officials have said none of that money has gone to hire troopers or buy dogs.



Daniel Ellsberg in Olympia

If anybody is interested.



Osama bin Nethercutt

Twice now during the KOMO-4 11 a.m. news, I have seen a Nethercutt ad claiming that Senator Murray either supports Osama or that she thinks that Osama is no threat. I'm not really sure of his point.

What a pitiful, pitiful excuse for a candidate. If anyone needed a reason to send this guy to the showers, this one fills the bill.



Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Debi Srail Email

A good chance to volunteer for a Featured Dem:

Here it is! We are going to have one last big leafleting before the general, and we want you to join us! Saturday, October 16th, we will be meeting at the Starbucks in DuPont, for a hit-every-house leaflet blitz.

The DuPont precincts are 2 of only 7 that Debi didn't carry in the primary, and here is a way we can change that! We will be meeting at 10:00AM, and should be done by 1:00. Bring comfortable shoes, sunscreen, a raincoat, (yes, we are in the Puget Sound area!) and a smile! See you there!



Nickles' Proposed Budget

Here. And here's the PI's take. Generally good news.



Spokane Debate Watching

At the Hamilton Studio. West 1247 Dean. The Young Dems have more details.



Monorail

I knew Selig had given a lot of the anti monorail money, but I didn't realize quite how much.

I-83 has been bankrolled almost entirely by skyscraper developer Martin Selig, who has given nearly $225,000 of the campaign's $256,000 to date, including payments for paid signature gatherers. The group lists 200 smaller contributors and says volunteers gave 5,000 hours.



Monday, September 27, 2004

Open Thread

Got to get something out.



Losing the Tax Game

The Tax Foundation has released a report listing the level of Federal spending among the States. Here's where Washington stands:

Expenditures per Dollar of Taxes:
FY 1992 - $0.89
FY 2002 - $0.91

10-Year Change in spending per Dollar of Tax: $0.02

Ranking:
FY 1992 - 39
FY 2002 - 37

Change in Ranking: -2

For comparison, Oregon's numbers were $0.94, $1.00, $0.07, 36, 33, and -3.

Not surprisingly, 8 of the top 10 States are Republican and 7 of the bottom 10 states are Democratic. And the top recipient was D.C., where Congress lives.



Outsourcing in Seattle

From the Daily Kos:
Two years prior to the 2002 elections, the RNC hired Advanced Custom Software (ACS) of Seattle to build a Web-based database to help campaign workers target likely Republican voters. According to information posted on Elance.com, an online directory of outsourcing firms, ACS subcontracted development of the database to Compulink Systems of Maharashtra, India.
Too bad we don't have any software programers here, eh?




More Debate Rules

Bob Harris has read the debate side-agreement betwen John Kerry and the Never-elected Monkey.
The candidates are forbidden from asking each other any direct questions of any kind, nor can they challenge each other with proposed pledges. Thus, much of the skill used in actual debating is explicitly forbidden. Point for Monkey.

No pre-written notes of any kind will be allowed, nor can candidates use any props or have anyone in the audience to point to (like, say, Allawi) to examplify their rhetoric. Point for Kerry.

In the "Town Hall" debate, audience members will ask their moderator-screened questions, but they won't be allowed any follow-up, and if they deviate from approved levels of free speech, they will be silenced. Candidates will therefore be able to a) change the subject entirely, b) misleadingly paraphrase the question (one of Monkey's best tactics), or c) stall by following-up an earlier point, especially since their opponent is forbidden from asking any direct questions in response. Huge point for Monkey.

Remaining-time lights will be mounted directly onto the cameras, so the candidates don't have to break fake eye contact with TV viewers.

In the "Town Hall" debate, the candidates will have small, predesignated areas in which they can "move about" in their attempts to simulate the body language of actual human connection. The candidates' "move about" areas will not overlap in any way.

The shaking of hands is contractually mandatory.

I guess we should be happy that Kerry isn't required to kiss President Cheney's ring.



Mad Cow in the NYT

Did you ever wonder what happened to the new regulations to control Mad Cow Disease? It seem that our Coward-in-Chief is delaying the regulations until after the election. Suprise, Surprise, Surprise.



Alben in the NY Times

It's an opinion piece, and it's quite good. Both as a post-mortem of the campaign, and as a call for reform.

If every radio and television station licensed by the Federal Communications Commission were required to devote three hours to each Congressional race, the amount of electronic coverage would increase tenfold.

Since the airwaves are publicly owned, we should demand that Congress and the F.C.C. mandate broader coverage of important political races. The lack of broadcast media attention to local races collides with the increasing ability of well-financed candidates to dominate local airwaves through paid media.

Even well-financed candidates agree that the system is out of balance. Without such changes, money and celebrity will continue to dominate politics, because those with recognizable names or big checkbooks will prevail in local contests.



Sunday, September 26, 2004

Tim Eyman Versus the Truth

Tim Eyman is lying again. He knows that the free market will mean that not every slot machine will pay out at 75%. I mean in the Indian casinos where they are now, the payout is higher than that. And that's without as much competition driving them up as the new slots would if his initiative passed.

The state puts the number significantly lower. And they get paid no matter how many initiatives get put on the ballot, or how many pass.



More on the MOE

Our pal Holden over at First Draft points us to an American Statistical Association pamphlet (caution - pdf file) that explains the Margin of Error. Holden also links to another explanation by a self-described math geek.



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