State of Washington:
Initiative 1033 – Tim Eyman’s measure to limit property taxes. This is a basic “starve the beast” initiative. The theory is limiting government income will control government spending and excess regulation. While that may be true and I’d love to send a message to our Democrat controlled legislature and city and county councils, I have to agree with Chris Vance (former State Legislator, King County Councilmember and State Republican Chair) when he says, “As a fiscal conservative, therefore, I hope I can say this with some credibility: King County really does have a revenue problem. In fact, it is closer to a revenue crisis.” The Eyman initiative will only exacerbate the problem and in the end not be effective because the Legislature can repeal or revise the initiative (by two-thirds vote in first two years, majority vote after that). One can bet the farm that regardless of which party controls Olympia, if passed, 1033 will be gutted by 2012. Worse, it will serve as one more reason to impose an income tax. A reluctant vote “No” on 1033.
Referendum 71 – The everything but marriage act (State Senate Bill 5688) was passed by the Legislature last session. A citizen signature drive placed the law on the 2009 ballot as Referendum 71. A good sumary of the law can be found on ballotpedia.org. A “Rejected” vote rejects the law. I am tempted to agree with my Liberterian friends that the government should get out of the marriage business and leave it to the religious groups. Unfortunately, laws affecting children, property ownership, health and retirement benefits, inheritance and a host of case law are based on the traditional one man, one woman definition of marriage. A few states have expanded marriage to include same sex couples while others have revised the laws regarding adoption, benefits etc. by passing so called “domestic partner” legislation. Senate Bill 5688 falls in the latter category just short of the Gay community goal of full marriage but it opens the door to all manner of law suits and legally forced acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle. Much of what is in Senate Bill 5688 is currently available to domestic partners. It comes too close to redefining marriage and threatens my right to hold a biblical view. What’s next, polygamy? However, I fully recognize there are strong differences of opinion. Many leading citizens of good will, including some in the religious community, approve of Ref. 71. I just plan to draw the line here and vote “Rejected”..
Executive – Dour Dow vs Sunny Susan. Anyone following the performance of King County – election debacles, cost overruns, mismangement, state audit reports, budget crisis – knows the County needs a major shakeup. It sure won’t get it by elevating a long time insider and narrow minded liberal from the Council to the Executive’s office. Only Susan Hutchison offers change and reform. Even the Seattle Times endorsed her. Vote for Hutchison for County Executive.
Sheriff – Incumbant Sue Rahr is unopposed.
Assessor – There was no primary due to the last minute resignation of the incumbant. Five people are running for the unexpired term of two years. Lloyd Hara has the government and management experience for the job. Vote for Hara.
County Council Districts 1 – Bob Ferguson, ,3 – Kathy Lambert and 5 – Julia Patterson are all unopposed. (Weren’t we told making the Council non-partisan would encourage more choice? Do you think the political parties would have let these incumbants go unchallenged?)
Reagan Dunn in District 9 has an opponent but Dunn is the clear choice for re-election.
Charter Amendments 1,2, and 3 – All appear to be house keeping. Vote yes.
Charter Amendment 4 makes it more difficult for the County to sell , alter or transfer certain open space land already owned by the County. Vote yes.
Court of Appeals Div 1, Dist 1 – Anne L. Ellington is unopposed.
Port of Seattle:
Position 1 – John Creighton is unopposed.
Position 3 – Rob Holland is the union, ACORN guy. David Doud has broad support across the political spectrum. Vote for Doud.
Position 4 – Tom Albro is widely endorsed and is past president of the Municiple League. His opponent is a former Democrat legislator backed by the unions. A clear choice, Vote for Tom Albro.
City of Seattle:
Proposition No. 1 – Low Income Housing Levy – The whole question of taxpayer funded housing aside, this measure replaces the expiring $86,000,000 low income housing levy with a $145,000,000 levy. Proponents say it will only cost “the typical Seattle homeowner $5.50 per month”. It’s the nickel and dime property tax increases, when added up, that price people out of there homes and apartments. Not in a recession. Vote “No”.
Mayor – This race makes one long for Mayor Corpulent Greg. People voted for Obama hoping against hope that he would govern from the center despite his past statements and association with radical leftist. Mike McGinn is similar. He expresses concern about the tunnel costs but his real agenda is anti automoble extremism. Joe Mallahan is at least a little more reasonable. Vote for Mallahan
City Attorney – The Seattle Times endorsed challenger Pete Holmes in part because of their battles with the city over disclosure of public records. They felt incumbent Tom Carr represented the city and not the people. However, the City Attorney is the city’s lawyer just like the State Attorney General represents the state. Carr got an “Outstanding” rating from the Municiple League and besides, the cops endorsed him. Vote for Tom Carr.
Position 2 – Incumbent Richard Conlin is one of the liberals on the Council but then so are the rest of them. There is nothing to be gained by replacing him with Dave Ginsberg thus losing Conlin’s experience. Vote for Conlin.
Position 4 – An open seat sought by David Bloom and Sally Bagshaw. Looking at her endorsements in the Voter’s Pamphlet, she appears a shade or two less less left of center than Bloom and besides, the cops endorsed her. Vote for Bagshaw.
Position 6 – Stick with Nick or Jump to Jessie? Our experience with young women elected to the Council (Judy Nicastro, Heidi Wills) has been less than sterling but Nick Licata has been in office since 1998 and Jessie Israel makes a strong case for change. Besides, the cops endorsed her. Vote for Israel.
Position 8 – Perhaps the most important City Council race in years. A McGinn clone on cars (he proposes tolling selected city streets to discourage automobiles), Mike O’Brien is opposed by Robert Rosencrantz, a common sense (at least by Seattle standards) candidate that would bring some degree of idelogical balance to the City Council. Clear choice, Vote for Rosencrantz.
Seattle School Board
Director District 1 – Incumbant Michael DeBell is unopposed.
Director District 5 – Kay Smith-Blum is the clear choice over the ineffective incumbant, famous for voting “no”, Mary Bass. Vote for Smith-Blum.
Director District 7 – The School Board could use the perspective of a scientist. Vote for Wilson Chin.