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Saturday, November 20, 2004

Ground Effort 

I got an email about the next chair after the questions were sent. But it was something I'd like to touch on. I only experienced it for a few hours on election day, but the efforts of the Democratic party at turning out the vote was wonderful. And Paul does deserve a lot of credit. They got out places not just in Seattle. They were quite organized and professional. The ground game did a lot to turn the senate and solidify our hold on the house. Patty Murray and Kerry would have been squeekers if we hadn't got people to the polls. And the Governor's race would have been a blow out for Rossi if we didn't drive old ladies to the polls.

As I say, most of the election day and before that were Cooper for me. But the party did do an amazing job on that, and Paul and the GOTV people in the party deserve a shout out. I don't know if I've ever told my South Africa GOTV story here, but if I haven't ask about it.



Friday, November 19, 2004

PAC 

Evergreen Politics wants to start a PAC. And I guess he wants your help and or money.



ST Overlake 

ST is looking at several options for crossing Lake Washington more effectively. And not a second too soon as far as I'm concerned; their current bus only system is a mess. I'm not sold on BRT as a technology, but I don't know exactly what's best.



DeLay Rule Update 

From Talking Points Memo:
Washington state's Doc Hastings is not only a member of the House Ethics Committee. We had him down as a letter-writer. But now we're hearing that while he won't disclose how he voted because it was a 'secret' vote that he does support the DeLay Rule.

If other Hastings constituents have gotten a clearer word, please let us know.
Does anyone out there want to try to get a straight answer?

UPDATE: When contacting Hastings and Dunn, ask if DeLay's financial contributions ($5,930 to Hastings and $2,205 to Dunn) affected their vote.



Anti War Protest at Port of Olympia 

About 100 people protested, two were arrested.




Second Degree Murder 

(Library Blogging)

The case that was decided a while ago has repercussions for everybody in the state charged with second degree murder. Many will be released early, and the Everett Herald reviews some of their cases.



Thursday, November 18, 2004

Kathleen Overman Responds 

She did color changes but I'm having trouble repeating that, so her responses are in italics.

1) What are the 3 most important issues that state and local Democrats should work on in your term as chair of the Washington State Democrats?
1. Retaining the people new to the Party who came out this election cycle is of utmost importance to me. When I was Snohomish County Chair we were not blessed with the numbers of people that we have now. Over the years I have watched as the number of PCO's dwindled away. We need to reach out to these people and utilize their skills and talents. 2. The State Party's voter file needs a lot of work. During this election cycle I walked 21 precincts by myself. I must say, the lists I was given to work with left much to be desired. I want better interactive technology installed and voter information updated. 3. Of course, fund raising, fund raising, fund raising. That's essential.

2) There has been some controversy with Paul Berendt's support of Howard Dean, Dave Ross, and candidates in contested legislative seats. What would your approach be in contested primaries?
I have always believed that ideas and decisions should bubble up from the membership. Topdown leadership is never appreciated. The Chair should have a close working relationship with the district leadership. Decisions about candidate recruitment and candidate support should be a joint decision between the Chair and the membership.

3) What would you do to work with and enhance the new grassroots tools that are developing such as ACT, and the blogs? Where do they fit into the older models with organized labor and the party structure?
Communication has always been vital in working with grassroots and party building. The more we talk with one another the more understanding we have. The new tools we have need to be utilized and embraced by the party and labor as fully as possible.

4) How do we grow the party in Eastern Washington and rural and suburban Western Washington without alienating our base in the I-5 corridor?
I read an article recently in which a consultant stated that Eastern Washington could easily increase the number of Democrats in office with just a little more effort and resources applied. I have been talking for months with our members in these areas and have made a commitment to them to work closely with them. Increasing the number of D's in the East should not leave the rest of the state feeling alienated.

5) Finally what do you see as the roll of the party chair if you are elected?
The job of the chair is to listen to the membership and work with them to insure that Democrats are elected to as many positions as humanly possible.
-- Kat Overman



Olympics Steering Committee 

I thought there already was one, but maybe that's the state. Anyway Seattle announced the formation of it's own steering committee to siphon money off of the Olympics. It may be tough because of how we're pissing off foreigners. But you never know.



Open Thread 

More computer weirdness edition. So if there's light posting, that's why.



Voting on the DeLay Rule 

Josh Marshall at Talking Points memo is developing a list of the votes on the so-called "DeLay Rule," the new rule that permits Tom DeLay to continue in his House leadership position if he is indicted on criminal charges in Texas, as many anticipate.

Are there any Hastings, Nethercutt, or Dunn constituents out there who would contact these fine Congressfolk to determine how they voted on DeLay's Get Our of Jail Free card?

UPDATE to add Jennifer Dunn, whom I am trying desperately to forget. According to The Daily DeLay, none of our fine rethugnican Congresspeople have responded.



Deadlines 

The two major ones coming up are November 24 and December 2. On November 24 the recount needs to be complete. Then the loser (and maybe other people) can demand a second recount. But they'll have to pay for it out of campaign funds or by raising it through other means. On December 2 the election gets certified.



Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Recount 

Reed has announced he'll order a recount.



$1.7 Billion Hole 

Can we finally admit that the no new taxes budget didn't work? When the legislature comes in we'll have a $1.7 Billion hole for the biannual budget.



Kennewick Budget 

They made up a $5 million shortfall through budget tricks. Hopefully it won't come back to haunt them. But what I'm surprised at is that for the second time they passed the budget there was no public comment.



Monorail Stations 

I'm a believer that the simpler the better. I don't need exposed trusses or illuminated walls. And it looks like that will win out.

But the sole company bidding to build the monorail isn't obliged to use any of the designs — and chances are, the actual stations will wind up more modest and much cheaper than the images the SMP has released so far.

The architects for Cascadia Monorail Co., the sole bidder to build the 14-mile line, have created their own station drawings, so the stops will be more uniform, according to Jeff Fielder, a lead Cascadia negotiator. The public still hasn't seen precisely what Cascadia has in mind because confidential contract talks are still unresolved.

One thing about station design here versus New York, Boston or London is that they will be above ground. So the view will be of the city or the Sound. And they will stand out more than a hole in the ground. Take the two stations now. Westlake is basically just a platform. You can look North and East and the views are pretty good. The Seattle Center is built up and fancy, and there are no real views. Of course part of that is the location; what are you going to look at that water fall roller coaster? Still, give me the simple Westlake design any day.



Fresh Air 

The words of Liberal Democrats, courtesy of Oliver Wills.



Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Phillips and Rodriguez Respond 

It's unedited in any way, although I might go back and change the ’s in Phillips' email if it's easy. (done! The 's and -s may be mine in his message, I've tried to do the most logical thing, but any strange puncuation may be mine)

Rodriguez:

Carl,

Many of your questions can be answered at my website at
www.gregrodriguez.com. It will give you far more detail than I will write
here, but I will answer your questions. Thank you for the opportunity and
let me know if you need any clarification.

Greg Rodriguez

1. The three most important issues for me as Chair would be grass roots
development, technological improvements and reaching out to more people
across this state.

The grass roots need to be developed by supporting our local legislative and
county organizations better. Much of this can be done through training,
holding forums in all areas of the states on messaging, candidate
recruitment, fundraising and event management. We should also employ
technology to provide the best database systems to monitor and enhance our
grass roots development.

Technological improvements is one of my major goals and is highlighted
throughout my plans. We do have a voter file system, but we need to take it
to a much higher level. We need to enable PCOs to do real-time updates and
enhance the lists that they receive. We also should develop a data system
that does issue tracking of voters so that we can not only use it at
election time for messaging and get out the vote efforts, but can utilize it
year-round for issue advocacy and public policy influence.

We also need to increase our ability to reach out. This means reaching out
to our varied cultures and communities across this state. We need to enhance
and support our Labor Caucus, Black Caucus, Latino Caucus, Disability Caucus
and the proposed Progressive caucus to assist us in these endeavors. We
should also look into printing Democratic message materials in various
languages. Our web presence and information dispersal should also be
improved, again utilizing translation software to offer it in a variety of
languages.

2. I was an avid Howard Dean supporter for a year and half before the caucus
cycle, but you can ask any other campaign how fairly I operated my office.
As soon as it was clear that John Kerry was going to be our nominee, I
switched my focus to getting him elected. As a County Chair I had to support
the overall nominee. This did not mean I abandoned my core beliefs that drew
me to Dean. I worked tirelessly to bring the Dean people into the campaign
and emphasized to them to bring those ideals with them as well. As a State
Chair I would remain as neutral as possible in the primary season. If other
candidates were not meeting the Party's expectations I would speak with my
local organizations that are affected by that race before making any
decisions.

3. The development of the internet and various advocacy groups is a good
thing for the Democratic Party. What we need to do is find the right balance
that incorporates the new forms of political activism with some of the old
ways of doing politics. The grass roots campaign and mobilizing the base is
still important as evidenced by the results of the general election, however
the way they can be used can be strongly enhanced by the use of these new
ways of activism. The importance of messaging, communicating and keeping
people informed has never been greater. The use of e-mail and blogs is a
great way to enhance this type of political activity on a year-round basis.
I am proud of our blog on the King County website and credit our web
development for allot of communication through the caucus and convention
cycle right up to the general election.

4. Balancing the development of Eastern Washington with protecting the I-5
corridors interests is admittedly a difficult task, but one that must be
done to ensure larger Democratic victories in this State. As a Party we must
look at how we message to different geographical and demographic areas. The
message that resonates in Moses Lake is different then in Seattle. This does
not mean shying away from where we stand, but highlighting how Democrats
better meet the bread and butter issues and the concerns of Democrats on a
variety of issues. The important thing here is to involve the local
organizations in the crafting and delivering of these messages to assist us
in building up their bases.

5. The role of the State Party Chair is a vast one. They must be an
effective and constant communicator of the Democratic message. Again that
means communicating and developing a message that works for specific
demographic and geographical areas. The Chair must also work with our local
organizations and friends in labor, the environment, women's groups and so
on to help recruit, train and offer guidance to candidates. The Chair as
well must be a tool to increase the financial resources to the Party. This
means not only increasing the resources to the Sate level, but to all levels
of the Party throughout this state. Finally the Chair must be someone who
can bring allot of people together to build this Party to heights it has
never seen. The new interest this year is amazing and has been brought on by
all of our candidates. I am honored to have built great relationships with
people from all of the Presidential campaigns that played in this state and
feel our number one goal is to provide the tools, leadership and vision to
make sure as many of these people stay involved as possible.

Thanks again Carl!

Greg

Phillips:

Hi Carl -

Thank you for this opportunity to share our campaign's vision for the Washington State Democratic Party.

I'm familiar with your blog and read it frequently. I'm pleased to answer the questions of you and your readers.

I will frequently refer to *your* campaign, because this race for State Party leadership is not about me. It's about the thousands of people all over Washington who donate their time and money to our party, expecting nothing in return but a strong defense of their Democratic values.

Enthusiasm for our campaign is strong because we have strong ideas and a solid vision. We have a wonderful chance to strengthen our Democratic party for the future, and I'm excited to be a part of it.


Responses to the Washington State Political Report

1) What are the 3 most important issues that state and local Democrats should work on in your term as chair of the Washington State Democrats?

Each one of these three is vitally important, so nothing should be read into the order of this list:

A) We need to stop the rising tide of red that is threatening our state on the electoral map. With losses in the 5th and 8th Congressional Districts, we've seen that the model of finding a candidate with high name recognition and good fundraising potential just doesn't work when it comes to building a Democratic base or taking back a red area.

Similarly, we can't protect Democratic office-holders by simply shoring up our base in Democratic areas. If we continue on that path, the red tide will continue to swell and eventually overwhelm us. No matter how the Governor's race turns out, the closeness of this election shows the folly of ignoring entire portions of Washington.

We have to constantly play offense if we're going to win consistently all across Washington.

It's going to take time and patience to turn back the red tide. We're literally starting from scratch in some areas. What we'll do in those areas - Eastern Washington, for example - is focus on local races. This is what we've done with great success in the 21st LD, where I am privileged to serve as Democratic Chair.

Democratic-backed winners of "non-partisan" races can be recruited, after two or three election cycles, to run for higher office. By this time they've established a track record of public service and have made a name for themselves in their communities while the State Party has been working with local Democratic organizations to build membership. This is a powerful combination that can begin the process of taking back those red areas.

B) We need new methods of fundraising. While we must keep every one of our high donors - and find more - Howard Dean showed that large numbers of small donors could result in highly successful fundraising.

Groups such as Democracy for America and MoveOn.org have shown what a committed and energetic base can do via the Internet. There is no reason the Washington State Democratic Party cannot put those methods into effect while at the same time developing other innovative fundraising techniques.

C) Communication. Communication is vital in every area of Democratic politics.
Communication with voters means coming through with a consistent, solid message that people can relate to. It means putting our values in words that people can understand. It means having a strong sense of who we are and where we stand.

Democrats have very strong values and very strong core beliefs. We need to voice those beliefs in a strong manner and not equivocate or back down from them. We must work with our candidates to frame our message in a way that their constituencies can understand - and we must do so without compromising our core Democratic beliefs.

Communication within our party means constantly working with our District and County leadership. It's not up to the State Party to decide what our local Democrats need; it's up to the State Party to listen to the needs of our local Democrats. The attitude of the State Party should always be one of assistance and cooperation.

As Chair, I will make sure a State Party representative is present at every major area Democratic meeting in the state, usually meaning district organization meetings in the East and county meetings in the West. We can't know the concerns of our local Democrats if we aren't there to hear them.

Communication means responsiveness. When a question is asked or a need expressed, State Party leadership must respond promptly. No question or problem is too small to warrant a returned phone call or E-mail.

Communication means outreach to our communities and building relationships with our elected Democratic officials. How can we expect our message to reach our communities if we're not out there discussing our values? How can we expect our elected Democrats to reflect and vote in accordance with our Democratic principles if we haven't built solid relationships with them?

There are many other areas in which communication plays a vital role. We will be constantly improving our communication methods and investing in new technology to facilitate communication in all phases of Democratic politics.

2) There has been some controversy with Paul Berendt's support of Howard Dean, Dave Ross, and candidates in contested legislative seats. What would your approach be in contested primaries?

It's politically naive to think a State Chair can take a public position in a contested primary and not alienate many dedicated Democrats. That's just simple human nature. I believe in letting campaigns run their course, allowing the voters to decide.

It is not the role of the State Party Chair to publicly endorse a candidate in a contested primary without consulting party leadership at the level the primary is occurring. This means we will be consulting our District and County organizations to get their input and guidance on local and legislative races, while the State Central Committee may be asked to choose a state or national candidate for official State Party endorsement.

With few exceptions, I will not publicly announce a preference in a contested statewide or national primary without an endorsement vote of the Central Committee.

The only exceptions to this rule are incumbents. If an incumbent Democrat has been involved in the party and believes in - and publicly supports - our platform, if they are good and competent public servants, then the Party must protect them against challengers. I won't hesitate to protect Democratic incumbents who are supported by their local Democratic organizations in a contested primary.

3) What would you do to work with and enhance the new grassroots tools that are developing such as ACT, and the blogs? Where do they fit into the older models with organized labor and the party structure?

In addition to E-mail discussion groups, the Washington State Democratic Party will have a frequently updated blog when I am State Party Chair. Our party has always been about freedom of expression and hearing all points of view. Blogs fit perfectly with our Democratic value of free speech.

Groups such as America Coming Together (ACT) are a long-needed response to the dozens of conservative think tanks in existence. These organizations can help sharpen and refine a message or study issues that the party may not have the time or resources to study in-depth. Democratic think tanks have a lot of potential – and I will utilize that potential as Washington State Democratic Party Chair.

Think tanks and blogs, while vital tools, will never replace our friends in organized labor, the environmental community, or any other ally of our party. Every organization has a role to play in spreading the Democratic message across Washington.

4) How do we grow the party in Eastern Washington and rural and suburban Western Washington without alienating our base in the I-5 corridor?

What a great question. Our campaign website, www.opov.org, has a bedrock plan for doing just that. It's called Our Vision for ALL of Washington, and I would encourage your readers to look it over.

I touched on a basic principle of growing our party earlier, that of electing Democrats to local office. I firmly believe that today's school board member is tomorrow's governor, and I believe we can best build our party at the local level.

I don't believe in alienating anyone. Our party must stick to our core Democratic values without compromise. I've always admired the way the late Bill Gallant, a former radio talk show host, described those values:

Peace is better than war. Love is better than hate. Helping people is better than ignoring them. Freedom is better than oppression.

Those are the principles that I believe define our party's values. Those principles are why we work for diversity, equality, peace, choice, compassion, fairness, union rights, and free speech, among other important causes. I believe the values we hold apply to people, not geography. They resonate everywhere when presented properly.

We can rebuild our Democratic base in rural and suburban areas - and we will.

5) Finally what do you see as the role of the party chair if you are elected?

Being Washington State Democratic Party Chair means more than merely growing the party and raising money. Those two items are given, kind of like saying a bus driver's job is to press the gas and turn the steering wheel - it's true in a sense, but there is so much more to the job.

Just as a bus driver must constantly take in - and act on - information in order to safely reach a destination, a State Party Chair must constantly map the political landscape and respond accordingly. Information must be received, processed, and turned into action.

The role of the State Party Chair is to turn our vision for a Democratic future into reality.

Thank you for the great questions. I look forward to serving as the next Chair of the Washington State Democrats.

Bill Phillips
Candidate For Washington State Democratic Party Chair
www.opov.org



Rossi leads Gregoire 

After a long day of counting, Dino leads Gregoire by 19 votes.

Who says that every single vote isn't important!

UPDATED for 7:25 p.m. results.



6.75 Million People by 2010 

According to the state demographer. Apparently we're creating jobs faster than the rest of the region and so we're attracting people.



Correction 

I've said that a quarter percent or closer would merit a hand recount. Apparently it's only if there's less than 150 votes difference. And a machine recount will happen when it's half a percent.



Questions 

I just sent the following to the 4 candidates for party chair. Like the email says, I'll put anything up as soon as I get it.

To the candidates running for state party chair

I run a blog called the Washington State Political Report and some of my readers and I are thinking of what we want in our next chair. Many of us are part of the local infrastructure and we have some questions. Any response will be put up on the blog as soon as it’s received:

1) What are the 3 most important issues that state and local Democrats should work on in your term as chair of the Washington State Democrats?

2) There has been some controversy with Paul Berendt’s support of Howard Dean, Dave Ross, and candidates in contested legislative seats. What would your approach be in contested primaries?

3) What would you do to work with and enhance the new grassroots tools that are developing such as ACT, and the blogs? Where do they fit into the older models with organized labor and the party structure?

4) How do we grow the party in Eastern Washington and rural and suburban Western Washington without alienating our base in the I-5 corridor?

5) Finally what do you see as the roll of the party chair if you are elected?

... The address I found for Kathleen Overman bounced back. So I'll keep looking, but if anybody knows one, could you pass it forward? Thanks.



Monday, November 15, 2004

Websites for Running for Chair 

In the process of finding people's email address to send questionnaire (still time to get your question in) I was delighted to see the websites for: Bill Phillips, and Greg Rodriguez. If there's any for Paul or Kathleen Overman, I don't see them.



I Don't Know 

Botana from Adam, but that's funny. Forgot to sign his ballot. I did live down there in 2001 though. So that may tell you about his appeal. Or not, I'm one guy, and it was 3 years ago.



UW Pay 

The new UW president Mark Emmert makes more money than any other public university president.



Gregoire Leads 

Overcoming Friday's deficit, Christine the Good has pulled slightly ahead of Dino the Sleazy by 158 votes.



12 

It's pretty amazing that 12 year olds can be questioned by police without their parents present. It may be something that the legislature takes up in the next session.

I have no idea what the correct age is, but twelve seems low. The bottom line is that children certainly have some idea what's going on, but it isn't as developed as an adult. And I'd rather the legislature deal with this than various courts.



LR 

Boeing will make a 777 just for use in hauling freight. It will be called the 777-200LR. And most importantly it will be built in Everett.



Sunday, November 14, 2004

Chair 

Well there's some discussion of who is going to be the next chair of the DNC and the local state Democrats. I think it's healthy, and I've certainly posted about it. But I think the first question is what do we want from the party leadership?

Obviously winning elections is at the top of the list. But there's more to it than that. Do we want someone who can find suburban and rural voters? Do we want someone who'll find every Democrat in Eastern Washington? Do we need to secure our base? Do we want someone who'll engage the grassroots? How will we work with the blogs, ACT, and other new grassroots orgs? How do we keep them engaged even after losing the president twice and maybe the governor's mansion? What should our approach to fundraising be in the future? Will we move to the center or the left? What issues are the most important? What message will we communicate and how are we going to do it? How much power should the local parties have? The state ones?

I didn't provide answers because these are some of the questions I'm dealing with as the process moves forward. I don't know who I'm supporting but these are hopefully the things to think about as we select our leaders.

...And I could ask. Sometimes I forget I can do that. So like the governor and 8th district primaries, I can ask the candidates for state chair some of those questions. So you can add to the list or say what's the most important to you. And hopefully I'll be able to find all of their email.



Marymoor 

$6 million of the next King County budget will go to Marymoor Park as part of a $14 million total for the regional parks. There's more:

* $629,187 to design and build a new maintenance shop for the park and as a station for the crews that mow lawns in the park system's northeast area.

* $199,425 to install automated systems to operate lighting and irrigation systems. Now those systems are operated manually. The new systems will save water and ``more importantly, save labor costs,'' Brown said.

* $307,402 to replace two bunker-style restrooms and for a concession stand. ``They are not a pleasure to use,'' Brown said of the restrooms.

* $244,577 to develop and improve field conditions.



18th and 19th District 

The Daily News has an article on Cowlitz County voting. The 18th is solidly Republican and the 19th Democratic. And it talked about why that is. They suggested there has been lots of gerrymandering over the years to make most districts safe. I don't buy it though. Most of our districts on the national level are really swingy. Except the 7th and maybe the Eastern Washington districts. And similar commissions draw the state and federal districts.



Electronic Voting: Openness v. Conspiracy 

The P-I has an article about Bev Harris of blackboxvoting.org that contained this gem by Pam Floyd, Sam Reed's voter registration services manager:
"The conspiracy theorists are pretty sure that somebody -- a programmer for one of the (voting equipment) vendors or for one of the elections offices -- is going to program (the voting machine) so that someone touches (the screen) for one candidate and it tabulates for another," Floyd said. But she said enough safeguards, including multiple vote-monitoring processes, have been built into the system.
Thanks, Pam. Now I can stop worrying.

However, Washington Election Supervisor Nick Handy said that
watchdog groups benefit the election process by "advocating diligence and good election practices," and activists like Harris "provide that kind of stimulus to election administrators."
It sounds to me as if Mr. Handy is listening and that Ms. Floyd has already made up her mind.



I Guess 

When "The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved," you can spend your last days trying to screw with Oregon's assisted suicide laws. I'm so glad a majority of American voters wanted 4 more years of these people.



Subpoenas 

From some ConocoPhillips employees.



Skylstad 

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is going to meet tomorrow. It will elect a new president and the odds on favorite is Bishop Skylstad of Spokane. He is currently the vice president, and the tradition is that the veep moves up when the president leaves.

But two things have come together to keep it possible that he won't get in. First is the sex abuse scandal. He seems to have had knowledge when he was a priest that another priest was abusing children. He didn't do anything to stop it. Although what he could have done is an open question.

The second thing (and it's related) is the Church in Spokane is in the process of filing for bankruptcy. The larger sex abuse scandal in the Church has hit Spokane pretty hard. And there are more victims to be compensated.

Still he's done a lot of good for the diocese. He came in to his position at an absolutely troubled time. His predecessor is a large part of the reason that the scandal was so bad. And as painful as bankruptcy will likely be, it may be the best of a bad situation for them.

Also I did like the way he stood for common sense during the Kerry communion craziness. I would like to see the majority of Catholic bishops vote for the man who wrote in defense of the sacrament not being used for politics. Especially if we want to ever see another Catholic Democratic president.



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