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Saturday, November 13, 2004

Redistricting 

So now that the King County Council will be shrinking, there will need to be a redistricting. Does anybody know anything about it? I know there will be some sort of bipartisan commission. But who appoints it? Does the council have more sway than the legislature to change it after the fact? When does it go into effect? Who will do constitute service between then and the election?



School Boards 

Democracy for Washington has a nice post about local school boards. There are 269 school boards. We really need to take back a few more:

The day after these news items came out, the Seattle Times covered the news that the state is creating standard guidelines for sex education. This is because the school boards, all 269 of them, handle sex ed differently. Who knew that teachers aren't allowed to mention abortion in Monroe schools? Who knew that in Marysville, teachers are required to stress the failure rate of condoms rather than their success in preventing HIV? In Federal Way, they don't discuss contraceptives until students' senior year!

...

We need to have a serious discussion about how we can ensure we've got people in every school board in the state, keeping the curriculum focused on eduation over ideology. We have to fight to keep creation in the church, where it belongs. We have to lead this fight, because for too long, progressives have been ignoring school boards and ceding them to fundamentalists. These races are just as important as those for state legislature, Congress, and City Council races. I'll write more about it in coming weeks, but for now, keep this thought in mind - we are outgunned and undermanned on school boards, and we are in danger of ceding the education of our children to these fundamentalists who share George Bush's views of the world.



Friday, November 12, 2004

Open Thread 

And light posting tomorrow. Even moreso than the typical Saturday.



Dino Saur Lead Narrows/Widens 

Christine the Good is closing in on Dino the Evil and now trails by 1,920 votes.

Update III for 6:28 p.m. results.



Democrats Sue King County 

Courtesy of regular reader Moe, we have learned that the Washington State Democrats have sued King County to apply the same standards to provisional ballots that they apply to absentee ballots. The Democrats want to notify people who failed to sign their provisional ballots. The NAACP, El Centro de la Raza and the city's Asian community are all reportedly behind this lawsuit.

Needless to say, the rethugnicans are opposed. Why is it that they are so opposed to a full and fair vote count?

If you want to help, this weekend the Democrats are calling absentee voters in King and Pierce Counties who failed to sign their absentee ballots. RSVP at 206-328-2969.

UPDATE: The King County Superior Court has found in favor of the Democrats and has ruled the voter records are public records and must be released.

This ruling is remarkable because ruling Judge Dean S. Lum is the stupidest son of a bitch on the King County bench.



State Chairman 

When Berendt came to the chairmanship, the state party was a mess. He helped turn our minority in both houses of the state legislature into majorities. He turned our less than half of the Congressional delegation and one Senator into 6 of 9 and both Senators.

Of course it's looking increasingly like we lost the Governor's mansion for the first time in 20 years under him. And I among others didn't like the way he handled the 8th district primary or the Dean endorsement.

So the Times reports on possible replacements.

Greg Rodriguez, chairman of the King County Democratic Party, and Bill Phillips, chairman of the 21st District Democrats in Snohomish County, both said yesterday they already have been talking to members of the state party's central committee, major donors and others as each campaigns for the full-time job of state party chairman.

The decision will be made at a party meeting in January.

Berendt said that a third challenger, former Snohomish County Democratic Chairwoman Kat Overman, also has been contacting party members. She could not be reached yesterday.



NASCAR Suits 

The main complaints are that it's too near an airport and that it's on wetlands:

State law requires local governments to plan dense developments and particularly large concentrations of people a minimum distance from airports. The rules are mostly about safety.

"The chance of an accident is certainly not great, but if you have 80,000 people concentrated near the airport, the consequences could be catastrophic," Angell said.

...

Jeff Eustus, a Seattle attorney hired by SCAR, talked about the other silver bullet that opponents are counting on, state wetlands law.

"The regulations say (a builder) cannot fill a wetland for a nonaquatic use, and a racetrack is a nonaquatic use," Eustus said.

...link



100 

That's an interesting story of the Cathedral Fair at the beginning of St. James existence. The Cathedral turns 100 this week. Nice bit of Seattle history.



Waaah? 

Not all vets are warmongering loonies? War is violent? Quick let's apologize!



DNC Chairman 

As many of you know, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) will choose a new Chairman in February following Terry McAuliffe's term at the DNC helm. The term runs for 4 years. Governor Howard Dean (VT), Governor Tom Vilsack (IA), and Governor Roy Barnes (GA) have expressed interest and there is strong support for Simon Rosenberg, leader of the New Democratic Network)(NDN). If you want to become involved, here are the Washington DNC members who will make the decision:

Paul Berendt, Seattle
Charlotte Coker, Spokane
Ed Cote, Vancouver
Hon. Gary Locke, Olympia
Karen Marchioro, Bellevue
David McDonald, Seattle
Hon. Ron Sims, Seattle




Thursday, November 11, 2004

Class Act 

I got this in my email today.

Dear Friend,

I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you who worked so hard this election cycle. While the results were not what we hoped for, I was amazed at the amount of time, effort, money, and passion that you put into our effort to take back our state, and our country. I believe that you will be able to keep that passion, because the fight is not over. You and I, and millions of other Americans just like us are determined that our country, state, and communities will become the fulfillment of our shared dreams of equality, opportunity, justice and freedom that have always been the American ideal. This election is over, but there will be many other opportunities for you to be involved. Win or lose, our country, our state, and our communities are better for your efforts.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Debi Srail



Hell Yeah! 

As a person who hasn't lived in a big city since I was 12, let me just say a gigantic "hell yeah!" to the new Stranger, and it's feature on the Urban Archipelago.

...Er, except for that time I lived in London. That's kind of a big city, I don't know why it slipped my mind.



East and West 

I was going to write something about how Eastern Washington counties pay less in taxes and get more services. Something along the lines of Fuck the South except probably a bit less colorful. I mean they keep voting for tax breaks and demanding we build them more roads. Somehow that's supposed to make sense.

Then Max straightened me out. Although it is easier to see where our money comes from given that it's primarily property, B&O, and sales taxes. But there are still plenty of things that can't really be called East or West. Trade Missions, tourism, advertising Washington products for example. So I'm not prepared to call you Eastern Washingtonians tax cheats yet. But I'm more inclined to want to increase the farm lease rates.



Bankruptcy 

The Spokane Arch took the first official step yesterday.

...The Bishop has more



Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Unconventional 

George Howland Jr debunks the conventional wisdom that I don't think anybody ever thought. Way to go!



Award Winning 

Our crappy budget wins an award.



Chair of the State Dems 

Democracy for Washington is discussing who should be the next one (I don't know if Paul Berendt is leaving).



Land Use Lawsuit 

Well we all knew it was coming.

The lawsuit, to be filed in King County Superior Court, would seek to overturn highly controversial ordinance related to critical areas, clearing and grading and stormwater control that the King County Council approved 7-6 last month.



Dinosaur Lead Narrows 

Overcoming a deficit of 7,259 votes at 4:30 p.m., Christine the Good has closed the gap on Dino the Evil to 3,492 votes.

And for those trolls who dislike my descriptive terms, go tell it to Jo. As in Jo Momma.



Grange 

I heard an ad by the Grange thanking me for voting for their silly initiative. I didn't. And it seems like a waste of money. But it's still kind of classy. So kudos to the Grange, and I hope I'm wrong about how stupid the new primary is.



NASCAR 

The Snohomish people are saying that investors might need to cough up more of their money if they want the track built.



Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Thank God 

I was worried that someone who wasn't local might have won last night's Fear Factor. For the record that's 13 paragraphs. The last time a local soldier died in Iraq it was 9 paragraphs in the Sun.

Edited grammar



Felony Voting Rights 

I'm pretty much opposed to denying voting rights to people who've served their time. I don't know if the fact that they are disproportionately people of color will be enough to satisfy the Civil Rights Act requirements.

I am heartened to see that a group of former convicts are trying to challenge the law. They lost in district court, but had it overturned on appeal. And the supremes have bumped it back down.



Dinosaur Leads 

As of this afternoon, Dino Saur Rossi leads Christine Gorton Eikenberry Locke Gregoire by 2,123 votes.

I truly hope that the Democrats are watching this vote count.



Shaun is Right 

When he says:

It's like I've said before, the Democratic Party consists of the people who show up. Not the ones who just show up for the campaigns, or the fundraisers, but the ones who show up in church basements and VFW halls, sitting through long meetings with bad coffee in order to put together the nuts and bolts of an organization so that there will be a framework in place the next time there is a campaign.

Of course I'm pretty tuned into Democratic Party politics and I'm guilty of not showing up to every meeting and not always staying until the end. But I can make it to the more important votes, and sometimes help with food prep (that may have been my bad coffee Shaun). If you're interested in swelling the ranks of the party, here's info on the district Democrats.



Interim KC sheriff 

Reichert wants one of his Chiefs, Sue Rahr for the job. But the decision is up to the county. And then there is an election next November.



DOE Official to Visit Hanford 

Paul Golan who is the main person in charge of clean up at DOE (and who the Tri-City Herald stupidly calls the "cleanup Czar") is visiting Hanford on November 17. I don't know if this is a result of I-297.



Lisa Brown 

The minority leader moves up to the majority leader position in the state senate. She'll make a fine leader.

Thanks to the Spokane County Young Democrats for the tip.



8700 

By my back of the envelope numbers, the governor's race is out of the hand recount territory and into the run the stuff through the machines again territory.



Monday, November 08, 2004

Open Thread 

My computer is running slow, sorry for the lack of posting edition.



Density 

Bellevue may get a new 34 story office building. I think that's wonderful because Seattle isn't picking up the density slack.



Provisional Ballots 

We had a lot of them. 31,700 in King County. Of course there were a lot of voters. And HAVA I think did something with provisional ballots.



Losing AirAsia Contract 

Boeing just lost out a $5.2 billion contract to Airbus. And it may be worth even more.



Sunday, November 07, 2004

Winners 

With a strengthening hand of the Democrats in the state house and taking the senate, the areas of power are shifting. They are moving away from Eastern Washington and toward Seattle (symbolized best by the transition from Clyde Ballard to Frank Chopp as speaker). The Longview Daily News suggests that Southwestern Washington will get a boost too.



Washington Beef Contract 

Unied Food Workers Local 1439 just got a contract for 5 years. A month of negotiation that went smoothly.



Reardon 

It's too damn early, but Reardon is going to be running for re-election in 2007.



It's so Rare 

But occasionally I hope Von Reichbauer is right about something. I don't think he is. But I hope I'm wrong. He's terrified about the recent vote on council size. I agree with that, but I'm not so sure his reasoning is sound.

``The reduction in the County Council bodes poorly for rural and suburban representation,'' he said.

"But Carl" you might ask, "aren't you from rural King County?" Sure am. But the Seattle Council Members are much better legislators. So I hope they solidify their majority.



$10 Million Debt 

The Seattle Center has taken on quite a bit of debt. Maybe if the Sonics weren't awful the Center would be doing better.



Don't Give Up 

The hundreds of people in the street yesterday were still pissed off about going to war for made up reasons. They were annoyed that Bush can hang his hat on an actual electoral victory. But there they were. And they'll be back in January. And they'll be back periodically for the next 4 years.



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