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Saturday, January 08, 2005

Letter to your Legislator Week 

It doesn't officially kick off until Monday. But if you live in a swing district, it might not be a bad idea to call up your legislator and ask them to certify the Governor's race.

The state dems have some more info on contacting your legislator. First a forum you can fill out. Second, a link to the legislative hotline:

Call the Legislative hotline at
1-800-562-6000

Tell your legislators to do the right thing, stand up to Republican rhetoric, do their duty and certify
the election on Tuesday.
It's time to get on with the business of moving our state forward



New Map 

Here's the probable map of King County for the next election. I think I can live with it. A very cursory look tells me that districts 1,2,4, and 8 are safe D. 5,6, and maybe 7 are swinggy (I'd say 5 and 6 swing slightly Dem, 7 Repub). And 3, and 9 are solid R.

I don't know who's running against who. Also, those pop figures, are they 2000 census numbers? And are the maps divided by census tract, precinct, street address, or something else?



Friday, January 07, 2005

Open Thread 

Light posting over the weekend edition.



Republicans File 

Apparently wanting to get their challenge thrown out so they can scream about activist judges. Also, following their decision to file a King County matter in Pierce County, they've decided that a few Western Washington counties are bad, so they filed in Chelan County. At least Chelan County is in Washington, that's actually a step in the right direction.



Bush's Census Bureau 

Moral values! Someone at the Census Bureau decided to change Bevis lake to Butthead lake. It's not April 1, right? I'm not being taken in by a scam? The Herald didn't decide that copying The Onion was the way to make a go at things? I mean because that's pretty amazing.



Daily O Interviews Gregoire 

It's pretty good, except I think they chose the worst possible pictures for the piece.

"All I know is the accusations have been thrown out," she said. "As a lawyer and a member of the law enforcement community, it's one thing to say something. It's a lot more onerous to prove it. When you have something as important as an election, you really have to not just throw out these accusations. You have to have proof of impropriety. I don't know of any."

...

"There is no one in the state of Washington who can be as empathetic with Senator Rossi as me today. I've been there," Gregoire said. "I know what it's like to feel you've lost in this close of a race. It's hard. Very hard. Most important to me is how hard it was on my family.

"It wasn't easy to do, but I forced myself every day ... to go do my job or whatever I was supposed to be doing."

Things got better for her a couple of weeks after the election when she and her family resolved that they would live with the recount results. But she hasn't slept well for two months. "I resorted to Sominex. Now I don't. I'm not much of a pill popper," Gregoire said, adding that she often reads at night.

Gregoire said it definitely was not a case of mourning over the election. "I lost my mother; I know what that's like. This wasn't life or death to me. No. No way. I hope my bout with breast cancer (in 2003) taught me a lot about life and priorities."



Ick (at least the headline wasn't Dunn's son to run) 

Er yeah. Anyway, Jennifer Dunn's son Reagan is going to run for the King County Council. He may run against Hague, depending on the final map.



Contesting Elections 

August and Evergreen Politics do the heavy lifting so I don't have to.



Thursday, January 06, 2005

2 Silly Assed Lawsuits 

Two people filed (actually one filed and one did everything but pay to file) separate lawsuits against Gregoire. They are both pretty insane, and I'll take them one at a time.

First, Daniel P. Stevens of Fall City. He thinks that paying for a recount is somehow unconstitutional. And counting votes is undemocratic. He thinks we should average the three vote totals together, because that makes a lick of sense.

Second, and more dear to my heart is Arthur Coday Jr., of my old stomping grounds, Shoreline. He's so far been unwilling to back his filing with talking to anybody yet. So we'll see what crazy fun he comes up with.

So far Republicans say that they aren't involved in either lawsuit. Since one is insane even by Republican standards, and the other person doesn't have talking points lined up, I'll believe them for the moment. Here's my favorite quote from the AP article about the suits:

State law allows any registered voter to contest an election on a number of grounds, including illegal votes. Neither Coday nor Stevens' filings refer to specific parts of the state law that governs election contests.



New Director of Seattle Office of Housing 

Nickels just nominated Adrienne Quinn to the office. Still to be confirmed by the city council.



I Don't Buy It. 

But the Republicans are alleging fraud. It's nice to know that they've been to the supreme court twice, but these two Republicans didn't want to come forward until after Gregoire was declared the winner. And 150-300 seems to have been pulled out of their asses. They sort of have evidence of 20 votes. If you assume there could be no other reason for those envelopes. And even then there's no evidence of fraud, just voting from the wrong precinct.

O'Donnell, one of the Republican election workers, did not say he personally witnessed provisional ballots put through voting machines, but he said 20 to 30 provisional-ballot envelopes came back empty because voters had mistakenly put their ballots through the machines. Inspectors at other polling places said they had torn up and discarded the ballot envelopes, O'Donnell said.

...Columbian Watch reminds us that Whitman, Walla Walla and Whakiakum Counties had similar problems and the Democrats pointed it out in early December. You may remember the Republicans taking the opposite side as they're taking now. And you may remember the supremes agreeing with them unanimously then.



ST Visibility 

I haven't been downtown in a while. But it looks like the building of the commuter rail is coming along. Hopefully it isn't too inconvenient. But it's good for it to have some visibility. The only really inconvenient part, I think, will be when the tunnel closes. But hopefully it won't be that bad.



Wednesday, January 05, 2005

From the Ground 

A nice report in the Weekly from a King County Democratic ballot counter. The whole thing is good, but these are my favorite bits:

Speaking of transparency, one morning, as I entered the counting room, my clear plastic baggie containing lip balm, eye drops, rubber finger, surgical glove, and two Band-Aids was confiscated. I was now a seasoned professional ballot counter, and these were my tools of the trade. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed and I got my baggie back in short order. Happily, I positioned my rubber finger on the middle finger of my right hand and donned my glove on my left. Later that day, standing in line at the coat check, I noticed that the Sean Hannity look-alike had a bunch of papers tucked inside the roomy inside pocket of his suit jacket, in blatant violation of the rules. I was left with the distinct impression that there were two sets of criteria for enforcement: one for tall guys wearing designer suits and an air of self-importance, and another for short, scruffy-looking Democrats.

As it happened, I continued my unlucky streak in the partner lottery for several days. I was forced to sit through a litany of unpleasant topics, including the glory of guns, subtle and not-so-subtle homophobic arguments against gay marriage, and that ever-popular anthem of the right, the evil of taxes. So it was not a moment too soon that I got hooked up with a smart, affable guy I'll call Ben. The first day we sat side by side, idly chatting for eight-plus hours, along with our designated recorder. Of course, the observers were there, too, ever hopeful for something to observe. However, we had virtually nothing to do that day. I kept thinking about all the money being spent to have us sit on our hands. We handled at most a dozen ballots, and other tables were similarly idled. Apparently, we had gotten ahead of the sorters. So we spent the day increasingly desperate for something—anything—to do but unable to leave the table. We discovered that the only thing worse than counting ballots was not counting ballots.

The next day, we had plenty of work to do, and officials had mixed things up again. I was beginning to doubt that there was a partner lottery. Often the partner matchups seemed quite intentional. This time, I was stuck with a high-strung partner with almost palpable hostility. The following day, I was paired with another aggressive partisan, but thankfully we were in no position for small talk. We were stuck in what ballot counters had come to call the "hot seat." The hot seat was in the most prominent section. Cameras were in our faces all day, and a large gaggle of observers monitored even the tiniest of personal tics with an intensity bordering on perversion.

...

Our ballot-counting effort changed the outcome of the governor's race. Gregoire won by 129 votes out of more than 2.8 million. The likely ensuing legal wrangling aside, the Hand Recount of 2004 was probably the fairest and most accurate election tabulation ever. If Republicans are complaining about the outcome, they do so with knowledge that they did everything they possibly could to game the system. On one point, at least, there should be no argument: Election reform, at the state and national level, is sorely needed. We simply must find a way to ensure that no legally entitled citizen is disenfranchised, that every vote is counted.



Baird and New House Ethics Rules 

Nice to see this kind of push back from one of the more moderate state Democrats. This is a clean-dirty issue, not a left-center-right issue.

Thanks as are so often the case to Columbian Watch.



Question 

Are there any Republicans who'll be serving in the next legislature who ever won either a primary or a general election by less than 129 votes? If so do we have the ability to object to their certification? I mean it's too close to call, so they should have a re-vote of that primary/general election.



Dear House Minority Leader Bruce Chandler, 

I don't think you want an explanation of why there are differences between the number of registered votes and the number of votes cast. If your party did, they would have asked county officials before screaming fraud. But since you asked, here are the things that account for the discrepancies; you can tell your caucus not to object to certification of the vote after all:

*Federal law says that members of the military can register to vote the day of an election. Since you're calling military votes into question, I have to wonder why Republicans hate the military? I mean first you call on them to die in an illegal oil war, and then you use their votes to allege fraud, that's pretty pathetic even for Republicans.

*People who move within a county can still vote in that county. The new address isn't counted as a registered vote.

*People can request not to have their info on file. This is often times something domestic abuse victims do as a way to escape their abuse and still have the legal right to vote. So is your caucus pro abuse?

Hope that helps your lying ass,

Carl Ballard

... Changed slightly and sent



Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Open Thread 




Dr. Lou Anne Cummings 

Walla Walla County just named her administrator of the health department. Congrats Dr. Lou Anne Cummings!



Redistricting 

The county's commission has drawn up 4 possible maps. I could live with any of them but B after a cursory glance. The quick pace means that there should be something finished by Friday. There will be a public meeting on it on Saturday (ooh boy, that'll be good for deep analysis).



...More details from the county website.



Permanent Sports Subsidy 

You've heard about the idea to keep up the stadium taxes a while longer to pay for renovation on Key Arena? Well now it looks like it might become a permanent slush fund for stadium repair.

Instead of expiring by 2020, as originally conceived, some or all of the taxes would remain in place to raise money for future renovations to Qwest Field and Safeco Field, as well as KeyArena, according to Sonics officials and others briefed on the plans.



Monday, January 03, 2005

Q & A 

The 46th District Dems have asked questions of the candidates for state chair. Here are the answers for:

Overman

Rodriguez

Berendt



You Know They're Serious 

When GOP operatives won't even talk to the county officials of the counties they're alleging trouble from.

But Flynn said it’s unclear exactly what the discrepancy represents, partly because it’s unclear what list the GOP is using.

"We don’t know what list they’re even working from," Flynn said. "It would be really nice if they asked us" about the discrepancies.
If the GOP had bothered to ask, they would have found out that there are many possible reasons for the differences between the number of certified voters and number of votes including:

-- Non-registered military who requested a ballot on Election Day.

...

-- People who were placed on an inactive voter list because they moved to another place in Kitsap County, but failed to register their new address until they showed up to a polling location on Election Day.

-- People who registered to vote on time with a third party, but the third party did not send their forms early enough for the auditor’s office to process them in time.

In addition, some voters, such as domestic violence victims, have requested confidentiality so their names will never appear on a voter list.
But don't worry, GOP trolls, Columbian Watch just confessed to rigging the whole election. So that's 129 more votes from a dead illegal alien Gregoire voter.



Letter 

Governor-elect Gregoire gets a letter from Jon Stahl at Evergreen Politics.



Manufacturing Boom 

Predictions of anything 3 years out are obviously not set in stone. But the state thinks there will be 3 years of more manufacturing jobs for the state:

"Washington lost an estimated 100,000 manufacturing jobs since 1998," he said. "But the worst appears to be past us and we're expecting an upswing starting in 2005."

Employment in the sector is expected to increase a modest 0.5 percent in 2005, and should be followed by increases of 2.3 percent in 2006 and 2.5 percent in 2007, Weeks said. The increases are expected to come mainly in machinery and equipment, food processing and aerospace, which would outpace most other industries, including education, health care and retail, he said.



Everett Council 

Most city and county councils are going to have members up for re-election in November. So far in Everett "former city planning director Paul Roberts and downtown restaurateur Jim Staniford said they might run."



Sunday, January 02, 2005

Letter Policy 

One of my favorite things I do on this blog is to send pithy open letters. But with the last few they have run the gamut from bad grammar to forgetting to spell check. When I do that in a post, I often go back and fix crazy grammar, punctuation, or spelling. But if I send something out I feel like it's dishonest to change it.

Someone suggested that I put the letters up here first, and then if someone catches something it can be fixed. I'm not sure I like that because it would take away some of the off the cuff nature of the letters. And some letters are time sensitive. But for now, I'll probably wait a while between posting a letter and sending it out. Just so you know, if there are comma splices and weird syntax in an open letter (or something else) please don't hesitate to call me on it.



Cow Waste 

Or if you prefer, nutrients.

State officials are developing a new permit required by federal law that will regulate how livestock owners handle excrement, often euphemistically referred to as nutrients.

The idea is to keep the nutrients out of surface and groundwater where, in dangerous concentrations, they will choke streams and rivers, making the water inhospitable to humans and fish.

In a series of public hearings around the state that start Wednesday in Yakima, the Department of Ecology will gather suggestions from livestock owners and anyone else who wants a say on requirements for the permit.

...

It's up to individual owners to determine if they need to apply for a permit, said Nora Mena of the state Department of Agriculture. A rough estimate by the department lists at least 57 facilities in Yakima County as likely in need of a permit.

If an operator doesn't apply and a neighbor complains about the way manure is handled, or not handled, the government can step in.

"If any problem comes up, then we're in the enforcement mode. We'd much rather be working with folks proactively," Mena said.

Every permitted operation will be inspected once every two years. The annual cost will vary, but a general range is between $700 for smaller operations to $1,400 for feedlots of more than 1,000 beef cows.
The state already has some provisions for dairy cows' waste. So this is mostly beef, I guess. And the bigger lots still have more regulations now anyway.



Locke's Record 

It's decidedly mixed. Here's a good rundown from the King County Journal.



I Don't Know 

What it means to be in the liberal wing of the party. But if Gregoire feels in debt to them for helping finance the recount, well I think there are worse people to feel in debt to. Also, check out the article for DFW's Ray Minchew with some choice quotes.



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