Vote Now! (Image: prima seadiva via Flickr)
Your 2012 August primary ballot needs to be post-marked or dropped off by Tuesday night, August 7th. For those of you like CHS who haven’t voted yet, here’s a quick run-through of the issues you’ll find and some Capitol Hill-flavored notes to consider. Happy voting.
King County-Proposition No. 1 Children and Family Services Center Capital Levy
Thanks to Tim Eyman’s tomfoolery the only way to get funds to the Juvenile Facility at 12th Ave and Alder is through a vote, and unfortunately the facility needs an upgrade. Critics point out it would cost $20 million to make it habitable — we’re being asked to foot 10 times that over the course of nine years. A recent Seattle Times opinion piece by County Executive Dow Constantine and Prosecutor Dan Satterberg reads, “The cost for a home worth $350,000 is $25 per year, $2 a month, or 7 cents a day, for nine years,” ($225 over the course of a near decade for homeowners with homes worth that much). If approved it would allow for a revamped building to be constructed, co-locate “services like medical treatment, counseling, and placement,” and sell off public land to offset the price.
Seattle-Proposition No. 1 Regular Tax levy Including Seattle Public Libraries -
A recent CHS community post talks about the measure here. This tax levy will allocate $123 million dollars over the course of seven years to the libraries. This will keep current library hours open (instead of closing on Fridays), maintain facilities, and making necessary upgrades. Opposition has called this a, “manufactured crisis,” and suggests we, “fund it fully from the regular budget.” If the measure is not approved as many as five branches could close.
United States Senator
Though she has been a very middle of the road politician, Maria Cantwell (D) has the experience and the constituency to win the Senate seat again, and again, and again. Her main opponent in the Senate race, Michael Baumgartner (R), Washington native has the backing of Rob McKenna, and bio says he has sponsored legislation that, “protect higher education funding and prevent further cutbacks.” Cantwell recently appealed to the Capitol Hill environmental vote while speaking at Taylors Shellfish Farm *on said Hill* on the importance of studies around Ocean acidification and their effects to local shellfish.
United States Representative Congressional District #7
Andrew Hughes (D), a well-read lawyer and volunteer teacher at Cleveland High School, his bio reads, “tax fairness, marriage equality, drug law reform, and our shared progressive values.” Jim McDermott (D), with a political career born well before Hughes, shares many of the same values. McDermott recently called for the auditing of the Federal Reserve and is a well-known advocate for marriage equality. Hughes displayed his youthful exuberance in the area and held an event on Capitol Hill that promised free drinks to all members of the press. How I am just now hearing of this?!
Jay Inslee has a well-known presence on the Hill and local business Cupcake Royale hosted a recent campaign event. Inslee has an extensive history in the political game and his stances on marriage equality will no doubt appeal to our diverse neighborhood. Rob McKenna and his posturing against gay marriage will likely not play well with Capitol Hill. On the flip side he is a supporter of the Washington Growth Management Act which may tickle the environmental fancy of some.
Though Brad Owen (D) looks ready for a repeat with campaign spending only matched by Bill Finkbeiner (R), assertions of his partisan nature and vendetta against marijuana will likely not impress Capitol Hill. Finkbeiner the Eastside Republican will also be in the same boat, but hopes to reduce the partisan nature of Olympia if elected. James Robert Deal an attorney with the desire to do away with fluoride, and a need for accountability of finance spending may pique some interest.
Secretary of State
Incumbent Jim Kastama (D) has Seattle Times backing and supports gay marriage. This former Chairman of Government Operations and Election Committee is on track for an election win come August 7. His biggest opponent (arguably) is former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels (D), with a lengthy political background and history in Seattle will make for tight election.
Jim McIntire is Capitol Hill’s choice… by default. Running unopposed and with a plethora of education, no other way to go. (Unless you want to write me in on the ballot, I wouldn’t mind the salary bump.)
The State Auditor race is arguably the most up-in-the-air race in the upcoming election. Craig Pridemore (D) however stands out from the pack with a stern line against auditing of “Planned Parenthood” and endorsements of King and Pierce County, lending him the Capitol Hill appeal. Candidate Troy Kelley (D), too has extensive a business history, and cut his own pay during the recent economic crisis. He places education and managing the state’s budget responsibly as his top priorities.
King County Council Member Bob Ferguson (D) sponsoring legislation for increased mental health spending, a longtime attorney, and an immense list of backers he is on a fast track to the AG position. Last month he held an event on Capitol Hill. His closest opponent Reagan Dunn (R), another council member, has a long list of endorsers; he recently opposed the SODO arena development.
Commissioner of Public Lands
A clear-cut case here – Peter J. Goldmark (D), a doctor in Molecular Biology, with the support of the Washington Conservation Voters. His bio reads, “He preserved 15,000 acres along the I-90 corridor, created the Community Forest Trust to protect endangered timberlands, and kept forests open for recreation.” Sounds good to me, his closest opponent, Clint Didier (R), an ex-NFL player holds a B.S. in Politcal Science, but has no political experience will have a tough time finding a niche on the Hill.
Superintendent of Public Instruction (Nonpartisan)
Randy I. Dorn, an experienced candidate for the job and the incumbent. He has helped replace the failing WASL system, “enacted reforms to hold everyone in education more accountable for student learning,” and is an intelligent progressive thinking pick. He also opposed this Christine Gregoire gem which gets the thumbs up from me! Opponent James Bauckman, is head of the Majestic Academy and the 2012 Washington delegate to the Democratic Convention with the belief that a varied education will lead to less unemployment.
Eleven year incumbent Mike Kriedler (D), with the 43rd Democratic endorsement is in place to put in another eleven years. His conservative rivals and the minimal boat shaking of Kriedler offer little pull for an alternative insurance commissioner. John R. Adams (R), a board member of the Lake Washington School Foundation, has experience, and a hope to lower health care premiums.
State Representative Legislative District No.43- Position 1
Jamie Pedersen (D) is an experienced two-term seasoned politician. The openly-gay Capitol Hill resident has backing from a plethora of local unions, politicians, and organizations. A June article from CHS puts his campaign monies at 40 times that of his opponent, Seattle Central instructor, Kshama Sawant. Sawant, running as a Socialist Alternative candidate hopes to “build a movement and a new party that will fight the richest 1%, and defend workers, women, LGBTQ people, and people of color,” and holds a Ph.D. in Economics.
State Representative Legislative District No. 43 – Position 2
Frank Chopp, the longtime politician would have won easily against relative unknown, Gregory Gadow, however with Gadow recently pulling out of the race citing, “family issues”, Chopp’s win is now assured.
Justice Position #2
Seattle Gay News has called Susan Owens, “a labor organizer, and a strong leader in the early days of the LGBT fight for equality,” and endorsed her. Her stances on gay marriage make her a likely choice for the Hill community. Douglas W. McQuaid, a business owner, educated, former law partner and volunteer for drug addiction services is a solid pick but lacks judge experience.
Justice Position #8
A recent CHS community post shows strong support for Gonzalez stating he “has the leadership, vision and stamina to be a part of making our courts more fair.” He was also in attendance at Capitol Hill Block Party to garner support and increase his appeal with the community. Bruce O. Danielson, a career trial lawyer, with an extensive list of education, and the stance to “insure fundamental constitutional principles are not offended or altered for the sake of accommodating prevailing popular sentiment,” is a sentiment that may pluck some heartstrings around Broadway.
Justice Position #9
Sheryl Gordon McCloud career lawyer and cum laude graduate of State University of New York, has (according to her bio) “a proven record of commitment to communities of color and a long history of providing free legal assistance to those who lack the ability to pay.” Bruce Hilyer has a long history of judge experience, a “JD with High Honors from UW Law School” and the longest list of endorsers I have seen for any position.
Superior Court Judge Position No. 25
Eric Schmidt an adjunct Seattle University law professor has a tough a race ahead of him but has backing from “Washington Supreme Court Justices, Court of Appeals Judges and Superior Court Judges.” Elizabeth Berns, a gay law firm owner, has backing from The Seattle Times and The Stranger.
Superior Court Judge Position No. 29
Sean O’Donnell a Georgetown grad has backing and support from nearly every politician at all levels of government. The adjunct Seattle University law professor (no, it is not deja vu, apparently all aspiring judges work at SU), was a part of the group that put Gary Ridgeway away and takes a hardline against sexual violence with experience learned as, “Chief Trainer (human trafficking) National Association of Attorneys General.” Opponent Hong Tran has 16 years of legal experience is board president of gang intervention program and has support from the King County Superior Court Judges.
Superior Court Judge Position No. 30
Doug North career judge and a wealth of support will likely give him a quick bump in votes, his opponent Kim Allen acts as “in-house counsel for Shell Oil.” Conflict of interest much? Allen has been elected to the Redmond City Council and participated in numerous court cases. North was elected to the Superior Court of King County in 2000 and has heard a plethora of cases in his courtroom.
Superior Court Judge Position No. 42
“52% rated the incumbent Chris Washington’s legal decision making as unacceptable or poor,” I wouldn’t want to go to court knowing my judge makes bad decisions half the time, would you? Marianne Jones is owner of a legal firm, has worked as judge pro-tem, and is a qualified candidate. Incumbent Chris Washington as a good deal of endorsements and for a quarter century before becoming a judge acted as assistant city attorney for the county of Kings as well as a trial attorney.
Superior Court Judge Position No. 46
Judy Ramseyer has the working woman’s knowledge and sensibility lending to her Hill appeal. This single mom has worked with troubled youth, has a lengthy legal background, and is widely endorsed. Gary Enderson, a veteran attorney with endorsements from Mayor Mike McGinn, and city attorney Pete Holmes wants to, “maximize our public resources, achieve justice for our citizens and ensure equal access to our courts.” He prides himself on being endorsed by most of the local police guilds, you picked the wrong time to make that PR move buddy.
Ballot boxes can be found at the following locations (if you’re like me and leave everything to the last minute.) They can be found in the Seattle area, but unfortunately none on the Hill.
Ballard Branch Library, Corner of NW 57th Street and 22nd Avenue NW, Seattle 98107
King County Administration Building, 500 4th Avenue, Seattle 98104
Magnuson Park, 6344 NE 74th Street, Seattle 98115, use NE 74th Street entrance