<$BlogRSDURL$>

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Pop Quiz 

What do Adams, Walla Walla, Pierce, Kittitas, Skagit, and Grant Counties have in common? Answer here.

...Edit grammar



State Re-Org 

Democracy for Washington has some info on the State Dems' re-org meeting.

Chadlupkes at DFW is angry about the info not being up on the state's webpage. I don't think it's a closed door so much as a not that good web team. They also don't have too much on the recount. And early in the life of this webpage, I emailed them asking about if they had a fundraising page (they do and I've linked to it on the sidebar, but it wasn't obvious at the time) and they never got back to me.



Oh man! 

I love the King Cafe. I haven't eaten there in a while but I'm still sad it's closing. Although I also like the Wing Luke. So yeah.



Open Thread 

Yule edition



Friday, December 24, 2004

98 is still less than 130, right? 

I'm not sure how you count these 98 new votes in Alaska since all the counties have certified their results. Maybe if they pay $700,000 we'll take Republicans more seriously.



Thursday, December 23, 2004

More on Smith v. Social Security 

From Talking Points Memo:
Finally, Congressman Adam Smith of Washington, from what we can glean from TPM constituent-readers who've contacted his office and this article he wrote on December 17th, is very much keeping his options open on private accounts.
Could someone from his District please call Congressman Smith and remind him that he is a Democrat?

...Carl here, I just wanted to give Smith's contact info:

1717 Pacific Avenue #2135
Tacoma, Washington 98402
Telephone: 253-593-6600
Toll Free: 1-888-SMITH09
(1-888-764-8409)
Fax: 253-593-6776



Dear Chris Gregoire, 

130 votes huh? Congratulations! We're all very happy. While it technically isn't over yet, it looks like you'll be our next governor. Now please do those who voted for you (and even those who didn't) proud.

You have at least 2 years of significant majorities in both houses. Please use them well. The last time we had this situation, it didn't work out too well for Democrats. I hope you'll do better than Lowery. In any event there probably won't be the same strong anti-Democrats sentiment that there was in 1994 across the country.

You're probably getting a lot of advice today, most of it unsolicited. But let me add myself to the list of people offering up advice. There are a core group of people who would never vote for you in a million years. These people would claim you were acting like you had a huge mandate if you outlawed abortion, cut taxes in half, and supported state and federal constitutional amendments outlawing gay marriage. Ignore these people. You don't have a mandate, but you do have a legislature and you will be the governor.

If you can appeal to the people who supported Kerry, Murray, and Rossi, you'll probably do fine. While the African American community and the liberal activist community supported you, that support wasn't nearly as strong as for Kerry or Murray. Part of that is the distinction between federal and state politics. Simply, Dino couldn't send them to war for no reason or appoint Supreme Court justices. But part of it is that you were so enamored with running in rightwing communities that you didn't tend to your core constituency. Certainly you shouldn't forget your support in the xurban and rural communities, but they weren't the people who did GOTV, they weren't the people who raised money for the recount, and they weren't the main place your votes came from.

Finally, prove yourself on gay rights. Ruth Bennett's 2 and a quarter percent made the difference about 100 times over. I'm not saying support gay marriage with all your heart if you don't support gay marriage. But sign the good stuff into law. And don't run away from it. The Libertarians will be running someone in 4 years, they may as well take away votes from the Republicans.

Good luck,

Carl Ballard



130 Votes 

King County weighs in. With all counties reporting, Gregoire is up by 130.



Gah! 

Insane!

Things began to unravel the day after the divorce came through. The county prosecutor called Hughes' lawyer and told her that Shawnna's divorce was going to be revoked. The state was seeking to force Hughes back into her marriage with an abusive husband. The reason was shocking: Shawnna was pregnant and the Spokane prosecutor, according to Shawnna Hughes' lawyer, said that no woman in Spokane County is permitted to get divorced if she's pregnant. Not even an abused woman.

...

After the prosecutor informed Judge Bastine that Shawnna Hughes was pregnant, he gave the Center for Justice one week to come up with arguments for why he shouldn't revoke the divorce he had just granted Hughes.

To obtain a divorce in Washington State one needs a certificate of dissolution of the marriage. Once all the paperwork has been filed and the request for the certificate of dissolution has been issued, the spouse has 90 days to contest the dissolution. If the spouse doesn't complain, can't be found, or won't respond, the dissolution must be granted by default. The 90 days passed without a word from Carlos. "There was nothing that we could find in the statute that precluded Shawnna Hughes from getting divorced," Sloyer says. The Dissolution Act doesn't say anything about pregnancy. According to the law, a woman can get a divorce no matter what, even if she's pregnant.

However, in at least one courtroom in Spokane County, pregnant women are not allowed to get divorced because, according to the judge, Spokane County has a policy against children being born "in limbo." A child's paternity must be determined before a divorce can be granted. While one state law allows women to divorce at will, there is another law that prohibits the courts from leaving a child without a source of financial support.

...

The Stranger has yet to obtain a copy of the court transcript, but according to people involved in the case Judge Bastine found that a pregnant woman couldn't get divorced because her child would be born out of wedlock. Bastine would not speak on the record about the case. According to people who were at the hearing, Bastine said that if Shawnna Hughes were permitted to divorce, her child would not have a father and her child would be left in financial and paternal limbo. According to Sloyer, one legal right on Shawnna's side was the standard of "significant infringement," which holds that the state can't significantly interfere with a woman's right to marry. However, the judge's opinion was that forcing Shawnna to stay married to her abusive husband until she had another man's child did not amount to a "significant infringement" under the law because Shawnna Hughes had gotten pregnant willingly.

...

The reason this situation continues to exist may be the Uniform Parentage Act (UPA), adopted in 1975. Although another law, the state's Dissolution Act, prevents the state from infringing on anyone's right to divorce (and remarry), the UPA, which governs parenting, puts pregnant women seeking divorces at a disadvantage. It mandates that paternity must be established after a baby is born, often within two years of divorce, or else the presumed mother and father at the time of birth forever forfeit the right to name another legal father. This works for and against Shawnna Hughes. It works for her, in Sloyer's opinion, because under the law Carlos is the presumed father and this upends Bastine's claim that the child is "in limbo." Even the UPA itself states that "a child born to parents who are not married to each other has the same rights under the law as a child born to parents who are married to each other."

But the UPA could work against her as well because it is possible that unless she goes to court within a certain time frame, she could be forced to stay attached to Carlos through the child after the divorce--even though the child is not his.


And this is a judge who's generally considered pro women and pro poor. What the hell do you have to do to be anti- woman in Spokane County?



"Our democracy is not falling apart at the seams." 

Sam Reed's editorial in the Times:

Each contested ballot must be judged on its own merits so that every voter is given full consideration in the democratic process.

What are the standards?

In a recount, your ballot is held to the same standards used in the original count.

Your ballot counts if:

• You are a registered voter of the state of Washington;

• Your signature matches the signature on your voter registration card;

• Your ballot arrived on time;

• And you clearly voted for one candidate in the governor's race.


Tip of the hat to the SCYD's.



$700,000 

Many of us gave a little to the state party for the recount. Now they are getting it back and a question arises; What are they going to do with that money? Can they give it back? If they do does campaign finance law count the money given against a total ledger? Are they going to keep it in their coffers? Should they start a permanent recount fund for Democratic candidates?



Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Open Thread 

For you chitty Chesters and chatty Cathys.



More Analysis of the Governor's Decision 

Well obviously everybody's weighing in, so let me direct you to some of the better places.

Shaun says count every vote. If the Repubs can find more votes, more power to them.

N in Seattle has a diary on Kos with all the juicy details.

Columbian Watch has already taken to calling her "Governor-elect Gregoire"

Progressive Majority is calling Vance a flip-flopper for saying we should keep going. They also want you to write to Rossi and tell him to concede. I say let him complain all he wants, he's got a right.



10 Votes 

That's this state total. Plus the King County 700 to come tomorrow.



Letters 

Rep. Inslee, and Sens. Murray and Cantwell get a Christmas time letter from natasha at Pacific Views. She thinks electing Tim Roemer to the DNC chair's seat would be a disaster for social security. She's also encouraging others to write their own letters.



30-50 7E7s 

Japan Airlines to buy 30 7E7 Dreamliners with an option to buy 20 more.



King County Ballots Will Count! 

The Supremes have decided.

The state Supreme Court today unanimously overturned a lower court order that had stopped King County from counting 735 disputed ballots cast in the closest governor's race in state history.

The court, siding with Democrats, King County and Secretary of State Sam Reed, said that state law gives counties the power to reconsider ballots mistakenly rejected in earlier counts if there is evidence of an error.

Also, here's the court ruling.



8 Votes 

Well the court proceedings going on now may be academic. Because if you only recanvas some Republican counties and not King, Gregoire still won. By 8 votes. Even with that, I'd still prefer the X factor of the King County votes to be counted, so I hope the court does that.

Democrat Christine Gregoire will defeat Republican Dino Rossi by eight votes in the governor's race recount when King County reports results today, state Democratic Party Chairman Paul Berendt said last night.

"We are absolutely confident that she is going to be the next governor of the state of Washington," Berendt said.

Both parties have been provided with daily tallies of the county's manual recount. Berendt said those updates and results from the county canvassing board's review of unclear ballots provided the data he needed to call the race.



Viva Sea-Tac 

All the way to the airport!

Sound Transit, the Port of Seattle and SeaTac city officials yesterday announced a plan that would allow light rail to go from downtown Seattle to Sea-Tac Airport, instead of falling 1.7 miles short.

And it could be done without Sound Transit's having to ask voters for more money, the officials said.

...

Work on the final segment to the airport is expected to be finished by December 2009, a few months after the rest of the line is expected to open, and in time for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, B.C.

I'm not sure what the deal is with the Olympics. Oh look the games are 100 miles North of where this line ends, I'm sure it'll be helpful. Maybe I'm an idiot, but I don't see how a Seattle-SeaTac line does more for the BC Olympics than a Seattle-Tukwila line.



Adam Smith v. Social Security? 

Talking Points Memo presents a list of some Democratic U.S. Representatives who might be inclined to vote on the Chimperor's plan to castrate Social Security. I was surprised to see our own Adam Smith on the list.

If you are a Smith constituent, please consider asking him about his position on Social Security.



Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Question 

I won't bore you with the email the FCC sent me today in response to my email a week ago because it's clearly a form letter and not very interesting. But my question is why did it take a week to get that out to me? Shouldn't a please check out our website for more deatils email be instant? Is that the way Powell runs the FCC?



Island Meth Lab 

Well that's strange. There's an island on the Skykomish River near Goldbar that the Cascade Land Conservancy owns. Their goal is of course to keep the land in good shape, and not have dangerous chemicals on it. And that's why it's so depressing that people set up a meth lab on the island.

It's also depressing that the Conservancy is on the hook for cleanup costs. I don't know about this specific law, but most of the time laws like that are to discourage landlords from looking the other way when drug labs are being built. Still $5,000 to $20,000 of the organization's money could be put to better use.



Seattle Arch Troubles 

1.8 Million divided by 12 victims. It's bad but it's in the past. What's much worse is that a board "charged with reviewing cases of Roman Catholic priests accused of sexual abuse" wrote a letter to the Archbishop saying in part that they don't know that the problem is over, and that Brunett hasn't done enough to fix the problems. Here's the letter (.pdf).

In your letter, you state that there will not likely be any further incidents of child sexual abuse committed by a priest of the Archdiocese. We do not believe that the Archdiocese can reasonably guarantee that priests in the future will not engage in sexual abuse of minors, any more than society at large can guarantee that sexual abuse of minors can be completely eliminated. We believe that to imply or state otherwise as you have is misleading to the public and the Catholic community. It is just such a position that has come back to haunt many an organization that believed the risk was gone. Although one may hope that your sentiments prove accurate, prudence dictates that the opposite is much more likely. Not only must strong policies be in place to prevent and respond to abuse claims, but organizations must maintain an attitude of vigilance that recognizes that child molesters can and often do exploit complacency.

Collaterally, we note that you have publicly repeated several times that these incidents are 30-50 years old as if to suggest that the problem was resolved long ago. That is not accurate. The case review board dealt with allegations that date at least to the 1980s. In fact, the case that lead to the original Blue Ribbon Committee took place in the late 1980s.



Not Just King, Part 2 

Sam Reed says that since other counties have already recanvised ballots, it would be insane to deny it to King County. Here's some more recanvising that the Republicans didn't object to when they had the chance:

The Whatcom County canvassing board decided to include in the manual recount nine provisional ballots that didn't get counted in either of the first two tallies, according to Handy's declaration. Seven were ballots that had been mistakenly put in a pile of empty envelopes and not discovered until after the first recount. The other two were valid provisional ballots that were mailed from other counties but didn't arrive in time to be included in the first two counts.

...

But at least one county that added new ballots will not be able to go back and undo that decision. During the first recount, Grant County discovered and tallied 52 ballots that hadn't been included in the initial count. County elections manager Faith Anderson said that before those ballots could be tallied on election night, someone had mistakenly put them in a pile of already-counted ballots.



Monday, December 20, 2004

$12 Million 

The Seattle Times has lost $12 Million this year. And they're going to be making cutbacks on staff and other things.

Kelly wrote the company has not made decisions on how many staff members will be affected and who will lose their jobs. The Times will freeze hiring for selected open staff positions.

The newspaper plans to reduce daily news content by 18 percent, cutting back in the Sports, Ticket, NW Weekend and Wine sections, and eliminating movie listings three days per week.

Over the next year, the company will reduce the Sunday section by 130 pages, according to the memo. The Times also will cut back on travel coverage, shrink use of syndicated material and color, and reduce the number of pages in the TV book.



From Talmadge 

Almost candidate for governor, and former state senator Phil Talmadge has a message that they've got at DFW.

We should re-affirm our commitment to:

*Equal opportunity for all Americans, with particular attention to health care, education, and higher education for our children;
*Civil liberties (no more Patriot Acts);
*Fiscal responsibility (balance our budgets and give people a dollar's worth of service for each tax dollar);
*A foreign policy that lives up to our democratic principles;
*Stewardship of our environment and its resources.

These values can be applied at the natinal and state levels.



Air Spokane 

Air America is coming to Spokane. AM 1280. Starting January 3rd. It's good to see it getting out to a more conservative area of the country.



Snokist Strike 

The Yakima Herald-Republic has a few articles about the strike at the Snokist cannery.

"I'm out here because the contract they offered wasn't a contract at all," he said.

Godinez is supporting his wife and daughter with $100 a week in strike benefits, which he knows cannot last. Extended family members are helping, too.

"I'd like to be in there working with a contract. I miss this place," he said.



2003 Homeless Death Review 

77 homeless died in King County last year. That number may be low for a verity of reasons.

The stat that surprised me the most is that 51% happen in the summer. I realize that there are more homeless on the street in the summer. But I would have thought that our cold wet winters would still kill more people.

Here's the study from the county.



Letters 

August has a mailbag Monday. And he starts with one from me on the governor's race. (the stupidest person on the planet is his description, but one I gladly agree with)



Sunday, December 19, 2004

Doc's Letter 

Our very own Bluesky lives in Doc Hastings' district and wrote him a letter about the ethics rules. Here's the letter she got back. I'll pass it along without comment, although if you want comment, there's some good stuff available in the comments of Brenda's post a few days ago.

December 3, 2004

Dear --

Thank you for taking the time to share your views about a recent change made in the House republican conference rules. In recent days I have been contacted by several constituents who are concerned about this issue--some who support it and other who believe the change was unwise.

The question facing our Conference (all Republican Members of the House) was whether an elected house leader who is indicted should be automatically removed from his or her leadership position pending disposition of the indictment.

Although the rules change was passed by "voice vote" in a closed meeting and no record was kept of how members voted, please be assured that I supported this rules change after taking into account the following considerations:

* In the American criminal justice system, individuals who are indicted by grand juries are presumed innocent until proven guilty. The previous Republican Conference rule turned this pillar of justice upside down for Members of Congress. While some individuals who are indicted are subsequently convicted, countless others are found innocent by judges and juries or have the charges against them dropped.

* Only their colleagues can elect congressional leaders and only their colleagues should be empowered to remove them from leadership positions. Under the new rule, within 30 legislative days of an indictment the House Republican Steering Committee is required to recommend what action the full Conference should take with respect to an indicted leader. This new rule actually strengthens accountability by requiring Members of Congress to vote on whether they believe an indicted leader should be removed or not. Because the previous rule triggered removal automatically, Members couldn't be held accountable by the voters for either removing or failing to remove a leader who had been indicted.

* Although the previous rule was adopted in 1993 (before I entered Congress), I have been advised that it was intended primarily to embarrass the Democrats who then controlled the House, because they had no such policy in their caucus. That's an unacceptable reason to take action on an important ethics-related matter. For the record, apparently the tactic failed because Democrats failed to follow our lead (and still haven't) by passing a similar rule requiring removal of their leaders, in the event one is indicted.


Thank you for taking the time to contact me. I hope you find this information useful and hope that you won't hesitate to let me know if I may ever be of further assistance.

Sincerely,

Doc Hastings
Member of Congress





Not Just King 

Oh my God, they found more voters in conservative Chelan County too. People only seem to complain when King County finds votes. And yes Rossi technically says he doesn't think Johnson's vote should be counted but as Columbian Watch points out that, "overlooks the fact that IT WAS, IN FACT, COUNTED."



200 7E7's 

Boeing still thinks they can have 200 orders for 7E7's by the end of the year. Since they've only sold 52 so far, that may mean they expect something to come down the pike soon.



Site Meter
Technorati Profile