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Saturday, January 01, 2005

Dear Dino. Rossi, 

This is a letter encouraging you not to drop out despite the fact that there's no way you could possibly become governor at this point. You clearly have no proof of fruad or you would have mentioned it now. And your re-vote idea is so crazy it's beyond assinine. But the more you pretend to be the legit governor when everybody knows different, the more over your political career is.

I was living in the First Congressional District in 1994, and I know firsthand that Maria Cantwell makes a vulnrable incumbant. And her support of the stupid assed war in Iraq hasn't helped her. Hell she might have a viscious primary. So I'd really like you to make as big a jackass out of yourself as possible.

Progressive Majority Washington claims to have over 2,000 letters asking you to drop out just from people using their forum. But I say stay in. Also if you could piss your pants, I'd like that too. Oh! And if you've never had an affair, now might be the time. A big public messy one too!

Good luck with your meltdown,

Carl Ballard



Mental Health Reprive 

At least for 6 months.

This week the state Department of Social and Health Services announced a continuation of services for patients who are not eligible for Medicaid, but who have low incomes and little or no insurance coverage to pay for mental health treatment. That population has received some benefits from money saved in the state's Medicaid program, but last spring the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that the practice of sharing those savings with other clients must cease.

U.S. Rep. Brian Baird, D-Vancouver, who has met with local mental health providers about the problem, helped negotiate the extension with the federal agency, reported Karl Brimner, director of the state's mental health services.



Low Mt. Hood Snopack 

21% of the average.



Dennis Braddock Retires 

The secretary of the Department of Social and Health Services leaves his post.

"I think it's good for a new governor to get a secretary they can trust and work with, and someone who would stay with them for four years or eight years," he said. "To have an impact on the direction, it takes more than a year."



Friday, December 31, 2004

Talk About Getting Scooped 

The PI just today is running an AP story about Shawnna Hughes, the pregnant woman who a Spokane judge won't let get a divorce. As far as I can tell, there isn't anything in the article that wasn't in The Stranger a week ago. I mean it's so old it's fallen off my main page, and that stuff lasts a week.

But I do like this passage: "Further complicating things, Shawnna Hughes claims her husband is not the child's father." They don't mention that he was in jail when she got pregnant. It's something they could check out for themselves, but I guess that would be too tough.



Fine 

I was probably too harsh to Greg Kimsey.

"Every time we have a close election, are we going to resolve it with another election?" asked Greg Kimsey, the county's chief elections official. "If somebody believes there is fraud or illegal votes, they should go to a judge with that information."



Thursday, December 30, 2004

Ideas 

I'm thinking of something like letter you your legislator week. Something similar to letter to the editor week except encouraging you guys to write to your legislators. I'm not exactly sure what it would look like, but I'm thinking of the first week of the session.

Also the first blogoversery of Ye Olde Political Report is coming up. I'd like to celebrate it somehow. I don't drink, but if there's interest we could go to the Owl N Thistle or something. But then I'd have to drive into town and be charming, so I don't know.



Governor's Race Freeping 

I'm generally opposed to freeping web polls. I think it rewards annoying questions and sometimes bad journalism with hits on your web page. But AlexD in the comments thinks you should freep these fine sites:

Northwest Cable News (registration required)

KXLY Spokane

KIRO Seattle

The PI

...edit to lower case freep



If the Gas Tax Revenue Goes Away 

The dispute between Snohomish County and the state probably won't amount to anything. They have until March to solve this impasse. And the money won't necessarily be lost even if they don't figure it out. But the Everett Herald has an article on what might happen if the gas tax money isn't restored:

Peter Hahn, director of the county's public works department, said the county would move forward with road projects that have already been planned and are in the pipeline. "I'm not pulling the plug on anything," he said.

"For the time being, we're going ahead with whatever we have," Hahn added. "We're just going to continue our annual construction program."

The bulk of spending on road projects starts in the spring. If the sanctions aren't immediately lifted and gas tax revenues are withheld, Hahn said the county has enough in its fund balance to keep the 2005 road projects moving forward. The fund balance contains previously received revenues that have been set aside for future projects.



Greg Kimsey Re-responds 

I'll post it mostly without comment, because they didn't re-open their board. Except to say that the first supreme court decision was made before they certified their election, and they knew there was a supreme court case pending when they certified their results. And they certified the results instead of waiting for a ruling:

Mr. Ballard,

Q - My first question is what conditions changed between the time you
certified your county's election results and when you decided to
re-convene your canvassing board?

A - The State Supreme Court issued Opinion Order numbers 76321-6 and
76399-2 and the Canvassing Board received a request from the State
Republican Party to "... recanvass the ballots that were mistakenly
excluded.."

-Greg

P.S.

From your original e-mail:

Q - "Then remember when the state supreme court said that counties could
count votes based on their own standards while the recount was still
going on?

A - I do not agree with your intrepretation of what the State Supreme
Court ruled. The court said in No. 76321 - 6 that "... this court
cannot order the Secretary of State to establish standards for the
recanvassing of ballots previously rejected in this election." and then
in No. 76399-2 that the 573 ballots in King County "... were never fully
canvassed ..." and that "... this is just the sort of apparent
discrepancy or inconsistency that the board can correct through
recanvassing." The actions of the Clark County Canvassing Board have
been in accordance with both of these rulings.



It's official 

Reed certified the election

As usual Shaun is right; This time about the differences in tenor between the candidates:

Chris Gregoire has been resolute, hopeful and has consistently said she would respect the vote of the people once all the people's votes were tallied. She's been, in fact, the mirror image of Rossi, who declared himself 'Governor-elect' while the ballots were still being counted, apparently going so far as to drag the kids over to the Governor's mansion to pick out their bedrooms. She's been downright gubenatorial, while Dino's been a shameless, obstructionist hack.


...Shaun is so right, that I'll even add the link to his post.



Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Rossi's Position 

As near as I can make it out without a good link (so from memory of what the radio said) is this: Without any actual proof of fraud, and given that all counties had the opportunity to include votes the way King County did, and given that all the county canvassing boards that have met subsequent to Gregoire's victory have decided not to re-open and most important, given that he got less votes than Gregoire in the most accurate way to count, we should re-vote.

No mention of how it will be paid for. No mention of how we get around the fact that there's nothing in the state constitution that would allow it (but IIRC, Texas has a provision, so that's something). No time table. No mention if Locke, or Owen, or someone else would fill in in the mean time. So because some Republicans won't admit the outcome is legit, we should have someone act as governor who nobody voted for.



Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Open Thread 

I don't know how much posting I'll get done tomorrow edition.



Snohomish County Doesn't Live up to GMA Standards 

Governor Locke initiated the process for denying them gas tax money. That would amount to about a $9 million hit.

Locke said Snohomish County officials violated an order from the Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board when the county tried to change the protected status of agricultural land in the Island Crossing area and rezone the land for a car dealership.

In June, the board recommended to the governor that he impose sanctions on the county and, in July, Locke wrote to Snohomish County Council Chair John Koster, asking the council "to use legislative tools at their disposal to come into compliance and avoid sanctions."



Meth in Snohomish County 

Rep. John Lovick is going to have a bill that would appropriate $1.2 million for Snohomish County to crack down on their meth labs and another $1.2 Million for Pierce County. Each would be mostly police efforts. In Snohomish it's $300,000 for treatment and the rest for a 10 member strike team. I'm not entirely sure if the Pierce County money would go in the same proportions.



Greg Kimsey Responds 

Mr. Ballard,

Thank you for your interest in the elections process.

The Clark County Canvassing Board decided that it should meet today in
order to respond to requests made by the Democratic Party and the
Republican party to count the ballots of 28 voters whose ballots had not
previously been counted because of a missing signature on the absentee
ballot affidavit envelope or the signature differed from the signature
on the voters' voter registration form.

I trust this is an adequate response to your questions, if you would
like additional information please let me know and I will be happy to
supply it.

Sincerely,
Greg Kimsey
Clark County Auditor

Here's my response:

Dear Greg Kimsey,

I certainly appreciate your reply. However it didn't really answer any of my questions. But I'll try to break it down into two manageable questions:

1) When you certified the election, your county had requests from the Democratic party to make sure possible legit vote counted. You knew the state supreme court had allowed counties leeway, and that there was a case pending over opening more ballots up in King County that might be applicable to your county. At that time you chose to certify your results rather than wait for the ruling from the supreme court. My first question is what conditions changed between the time you certified your county's election results and when you decided to re-convene your canvassing board?

2) Why do you hate America?

More love and extra hugs,

Carl Ballard



Dear Greg Kimsey, 

Remember when the Democrats were begging you to count all your legit votes? Then remember when the state supreme court said that counties could count votes based on their own standards while the recount was still going on? And then remember how you certified your counties elections anyway? What's changed since then other than a Gregoire victory to make you re-convene the canvassing board?

Is it that affidavits from Republicans (including the 10 who's vote definitely did count) mean more than affidavits form Democrats? If you had these concerns before, why did you certify Clark County's votes, if you didn't what changed? If you were concerned about the supreme court's decision, why didn't you wait for their decision like King County did? Also, why do you hate America?

Love and hugs,

Carl Ballard



McDermott Under House Ethics Investigation 

I'm just trying to clear all this up. Gingrich and Boehner are crooks. Naturally leaking that is far worse than leaking Clinton's grand jury testimony. Or a CIA agent's identity.

Also, correct me if I'm wrong but 1997 came and went a good while ago. Is this just payback for Democrats filing ethics complaints against DeLay?



Tsunami 

The early warning system for the state is not wonderful and has limited testing. Fortunately Seattle and the other major Washington cities are protected by the Olympic Peninsula.

And Bob has good info on disaster relief agencies for the recent one.



Monday, December 27, 2004

SCLM 

King County has from the beginning tried to be open and transparent, and succeeded at least as much as any other county; King County made the greatest effort of any county to count all its legit votes; King County's position was upheld by the state supreme court. So it may seem that calling it "problem-plagued" would just be for rightwingers. But no, here's the lede from an AP story about the Republicans wanting more info from the county:

Washington Republicans, considering whether to challenge Democrat Christine Gregoire's razor-thin victory for governor, on Monday demanded a list of the 900,000 who cast ballots in vote-rich, problem-plagued King County.
...Edits, grammar.



Small Changes 

A minor road revision in Bellevue has dramatically decreased the number of customers to a small strip mall just north of Crossroads. There may be less accidents and traffic will flow better. And city officials think that people will eventually adjust their driving patterns to go there. But it is interesting how minor changes can make major differences in business revenue.



Too Bad 

Small cities and towns really shot themselves in the foot supporting the Eyman initiatives. I lived a lot of my life in a small suburban city, and I'm currently in a rural area. So I know the pinch is tough. I'm not sure what you do about it, but whining that the state isn't paying your way is kind of pathetic.



Sudden Oak Death 

The quarantine is coming Jan 10.



Sunday, December 26, 2004

Open Thread 

Slow news day edition.



Pierce County Regional Center for Domestic Violence Victims 

It's got the funding to get off the ground. Although the long term ability to succeed is still in doubt.



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