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November 01, 2005

If You Want Me To Tell You How To Vote

... I would be happy to share the "official" Evergreen Politics endorsement list with you.  Actually, I haven't checked in with Lynn, so maybe this is the "semi-official" endorsement list.  Whatever, the fact is that a bunch of people seem to want to know where I stand on things come election time.  The rundown's below the fold.

Ballot Initiatives

I-900: Tim Eyman's Redudant Performance Audits -- NO
Performance audits are a fine idea.  We passed them into law this year.  We don't need Tim Eyman rewriting a perfectly good law just to suit his one major donor.

I-901: Clean Indoor Air aka "Drinking Without Stinking -- YES

Workplaces should be non-smoking, and that includes bars and restaurants, where thousands of hard-working people and their lungs work.  They shouldn't have to risk cancer from secondhand smoke just to earn a living.  PS, it's good for the economy.

I-912: aka The "Fuck You Democrats" Initiative aka "Let's Let Right Wing Talk Show Wingnuts Destroy Our Transportation System" -- A BIG FAT NO
Duh, duh, and duh. 

I-330: Limiting Access To The Judicial System For Victims of Malpractice - NO
The insurance industry would like you to take away your constitutional right to day in court if you are the victim of malpractice.  Don't let them.

I-336: Revenge of the Lawyers - YES
The world doesn't end if this doesn't pass, since it's most a response by the legal community to I-330.  But it does have some decent ideas in it, like shining more daylight on bad healthcare providers.

County Races

County Executive - Ron Sims
Hey, he's not a serial bully and abuser.  Plus, he's a damn fine politician -- one of Washington's best, in fact.  He's right up there with Chris Gregoire in the "making wingnuts apoplectic" category, and he's way more charismatic to boot.

King County Council
 Hell, the Northwest Progressive Institute has a great rundown, I'm just gonna crib it wholesale.

Seattle Port Commission

I know what you're thinking... "Yawn."  But the Port is incredibly important -- it has huge power over both the environmental and economic health of the entire Puget Sound area, and electing Port Commissioners is pretty much the only way to hold it accountable.

Also, 2005 marks a historic opportunity to finish the task of building a progressive majority on the Port Commission for the first time ever.  We got a bunch of good people elected in 2003, now's the time to complete the takeover and get the Port working in the public interest again.

The people who will make that happen are:

Lawrence Molloy -- he's a progressive incumbent who deserves another term

Lloyd Hara -- running for an open seat, he's considerably more progressive than his opponent.

Jack Jolley - He's running hard to take out business-funded incumbent Pat Davis.

Seattle Mayor

Greg Nickels is gonna win in a walk, but I'm voting for challenger Al Runte. It's a protest vote.  Greg, I love your work on climate change, but you're just too much in the pocket of Paul Allen to earn my vote this time.

Seattle City Council

I'm voting for:

Richard Conlin
Jan Drago
Nick Licata
Dwight Pelz

The first three are the worthwhile incumbents.  Dwight's a strong progressive who's taking on Richard McIver, who is disappointingly ineffective.


Proposition #1 -- YES
Build the goddamn thing.  We've voted for it four times, and traffic isn't getting any better.   I'm tired of watching this city's elites subject the people of this city to endless revotes until we vote they way they want.

Proposition #2 -- YES

Let's elect a majority of the monorail board in order to make sure it's accountable.

If you're still thirsting for more hot endorsement action, check out the Northwest Progressive Institute's Election News and Information section. They've got actually-serious arguments in favor of most of the stuff I spout off about above.  But they're not as funny as me. ;-)

Posted by Jon Stahl on November 1, 2005 at 10:00 AM in Candidate Races | Permalink


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Jon... still, with the monorail? Isn't it clear that the people in charge simply can't get it done? Of course we need transit - but the monorail project won't get us transit!

In 1997, we voted on a privately funded 40 mile system expected to be $18-30 million a mile.
In 2000, we voted on an extension of a city feasibility study and $200 million for a starter system - at a maximum of $50 million a mile.
In 2002, we voted on a $70-120 million a mile system.
The plan as submitted would have cost nearly a billion a mile with debt recovery, in comparison to light rail at $250 million a mile (with debt recovery). The new plan shows monorail at $400m/mile with debt recovery. ST's light rail is beating it hands down for price with a tunnel under Beacon Hill!

During all this time, the monorail board hasn't considered most of the realistic options put before them. I'll list some of them again:

-Using light rail for the alignment as planned. Pylon size would be approximately the same with a Bombardier SkyTrain system, or they could subcontract to Sound Transit for operation of a manned system.
-Leasing trackage rights for runs in the tunnel, again with Sound Transit, and building an elevated spur to West Seattle. A cut-and-cover tunnel could continue northbound to break out to elevation at the base of Queen Anne, and continue elevated to Ballard. This is huge - it would save hundreds of millions through downtown because they wouldn't need a new alignment.

None of the arguments against using this cheaper and more standardized technology have held up. Light rail can climb the grade to West Seattle, and it can operate with lower headways because we wouldn't need to single-track any of it. Light rail is approximately the same weight as monorail, and requires about the same weight of support structure - bridges for both would be very similar. I bring your attention to the SkyTrain bridge in Vancouver, BC as an example of a good light rail bridge.

I won't even get into the outright lies we've gotten from SMP - we've had to force them with lawsuits to be publicly accountable, and they're spending more money on advertising and planning than they're even bringing in. How can we expect them to be able to afford the system when they're already $100m more in debt than they had planned, without building anything? We already have two transit agencies here - ST has shown that they can turn around a bad situation, and they're currently under budget and on time with their rail project.

Posted by: Ben Schiendelman | Nov 1, 2005 11:40:47 AM

And while we're at it - if the line's only going to Interbay, we do indeed need a park-and-ride there or local parking will be overwhelmed by people coming from the north. Many people who are happy to use a real transit system like monorail or light rail will not use buses to get there.

Posted by: Ben Schiendelman | Nov 1, 2005 11:42:41 AM

Lloyd Hara, more progressive than his opponent? Thats interesting considering his opponent, Rich Berkowitz, has been working for Labor causes, including working for SEIU, for over 20 years. Plus he supports local causes such as the Pike Place Market (he sits on the Board) and youth maritime programs. Hara was rumored to be a Republican back in the 80's and has Dino Rossi backing him.

When did the Progressive way become supporting less experienced and overtly political candidates? Or ones with a checkered history of service? Berkowitz has worked with business-true. But he's worked for people and jobs alot longer. The Seattle Weekly recognized this recently (http://www.seattleweekly.com/features/0543/051026_news_endorsements.php)

Posted by: Brian | Nov 1, 2005 8:05:14 PM

I concur with pretty much all of Jon's choices. I haven't voted yet and am still going back and forth between Drago and Corr but agree with all of his picks with that possible exception.

I know its not so sexy to be for the monorail these days but I believe that if we can agree to do it, we'll find the money to extend it into Ballard at least.

Posted by: Lynn | Nov 2, 2005 8:49:35 AM

Your choices are a little tragic. I-901 singles out smokers as easy targets in place of setting exposure standards to all kinds of workplace smoke.

You back Lloyd Hara because somebody told you that is what to do. No serious examination of his record could result in the conclusion that he is a Progressive. Certainly the King County Republicans and Deano Rossi didn't think so when they endorsed him.

The Monorail? Yeah just "build the goddam thing." How about you start the process by sending them $500. Forget the present projections, there is very little chance the Monorail will not be 50-100% over budget. Certainly no reasonable person would predict anything else, given all the evidence.

Posted by: boddi | Nov 2, 2005 9:43:25 AM

Why is the State of Washington in the business of selling and distributing liquor? Just think how much money the State of Washington could save if they farmed that function out to the grocery store chains; much like other states do.

Posted by: Scott Allen | May 22, 2007 4:38:01 PM

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