Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Meanwhile, here at home...

…my 2011 general election ballot has arrived, reminding me that I've been spending too much time obsessed with next year when there's an election right in front of my face. Beyond a trio of initiatives and a pair of amendments to the state constitution, the races on my ballot are municipal, ranging from county-wide offices to local special districts, but the affect of the choices made can affect the lives of the voters more rapidly and directly than the outcome of next year's higher profile campaigns.

It's no secret that I consider the initiative process corrupted beyond correction, so my default bias is 'no' on each and every one. On the other hand, consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds, and I like to think my my mind is one of generous proportions, so this year I'll be voting for one of the three, I-1163, the SEIU backed proposal to provide background checks and training standards for long-term care workers and providers. The fact that we're voting on this is to some degree an indictment of the legislature, which should have provided these basic protections to some of our most vulnerable citizens in the normal course of business. They didn't, though, and the question remains "Should this measure be enacted into law?" The answer is yes.

Initiative 1125 is this year's offering from one of the initiative process' principal corrupters, Tim Eyman, which is all most right, erm, proper-thinking people need to know to join me in voting no. It's a typical effort to undermine the legislature's budget authority and responsibility combined with and effort to restrict infrastructure revenues that annoy Eyman's wealthy clients. No, no, as many votes as you have in your household NO!

Another example of the corruption that's turned our initiative process into a circus mirror reflection of its original progressive intent can be found with I-1183, this year's liquor privatization initiative. While I'm a supporter of privatizing the distribution and sale of liquor and getting rid of our East German style state retail outlets, I-1183 isn't the way to do it. Costco and the major grocery chains have self-financed a proposal that grants them sort of joint monopoly on retail sales of spirits. The campaign's on each side, funded by industry rivals, are both dishonest and distracting. It's not really a question of where liquor should be sold, or who to, or for how much. It's about whether corporations should be able to buy their own laws via the initiative process. They shouldn't. Vote no.

There are also a pair of constitutional amendments submitted by the legislature, one essentially housekeeping and one to strengthen the state's "rainy day" fund. I'm voting approve both of them.

Candidate races coming up...

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