Wednesday, November 09, 2011

What if they had an election…

…and our side won? Won a bunch. All over the place.

Like I said, yesterday was a good one for the good guys.

Key Republican issues and political strategies took hits from coast to coast. Voter suppression? Maine offered the first blow for liberty of the day, restoring the same-day voter registration that Republican legislators had taken from them. Mississippi, of all places, scored a hat trick of sorts, setting back the Republican anti-science, anti-choice and anti-woman agendas when they rejected Amendment 26, which would have granted "personhood" to embryos.

Republican ant-unionism was dealt a critical blow by Ohio voters, with 82 of 88 counties rejecting Gov. John Kasich's attack on public-sector workers right to organize and bargain collectively. Republican anti-immigrant champion Russell Pearse, President of the State Senate, was removed in a recall election after sponsoring legislation that provided a blueprint for devastation of agriculture in several states. (Another noteworthy Arizona outcome - both Tucson and Phoenix have Democratic Mayors for the first time in decades.)

Here in the upper left, voters approved stronger training and regulation requirements for home health care workers, took the state out of the retail liquor business (a probably good thing accomplished in a highly dubious fashion) and, so far, are rejecting Tim Eyman's effort to cripple our transportation infrastructure.

Our local elections have turned out to be a pretty status quo affair. Where the results are clear, they're clearly in favor of incumbents for the most part.

Sherril Huff will continue as King County Director of Elections with over 75% of the vote against a patently unqualified challenger. Port Commissioner Gael Tarleton has a margin of 33,000 votes over her opponent, but apparently won't be joined by fellow reformer Dean Willard, who trails incumbent Bill Bryant by a margin of 37% to 62%.

Here in Shoreline, that pro-incumbency trend holds, with City Councilmembers Chris Eggen and Doris McConnell having margins of over 60% after the second day of ballot counting. I'm afraid that means my friend Janet Way won't be returning to the Council, but the Janet I know is indefatigable, and it won't be long before she sets her eyes on a new target for her effective activism.

In the open seat for Shoreline City Council, Jesse Salomon is less than 500 votes behind former Planning Commissioner Robin McClelland, still too close to call in my view.

Our School Board incumbents, Mike Jacobs and Richard Potter, appear safe at this point.

After the Huff/Greene and Willard/Bryant races, the campaign that brought generated the most search engine interest according to my logs was for our local sewer service, the Ronald Wastewater District. Bob Ransom, a fixture in local politics for decades and a former School Board member and City Councilmember, took on longtime sewer commissioner Arne Lind, largely over the question of whether and how the city should absorb the district. Ransom says it's time, and that it can be done administratively. Lind is not so sure, and favors a public vote before any change is made. Ransom, with an overwhelming advantage in name recognition, is leading by a scant 311 votes in another race I won't be ready to call for a while.

So what happened where you are?

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Anonymous Terry Parkhurst said...

Having been a poll worker in every election, from the fall of 2002 through the fall of 2008, I voted for Mark Greene, the disgruntled guy whose main reason for running seemed to be a grudge against Dean Logan.

Admittedly, I myself have a grudge against Sherril Huff, having worked hard to get a temporary job as a signature verifyer in this past summer's primary election; only to be dismissed after my third day on the job. That was after I really busted my rump to do all that needed to be done, even to the extent of borrowing a car, since mine isn't freeway worthy, and despite what King County Executive Constantine preaches, the human resources person almost nixed me; when I said that I'd taken three buses to get to the offices in Renton.

I have to thank King County Councilman Bob Ferguson, for helping me get some rental assistance from the King County Veterans Program, to make ends meet. Bob's father and grandfather were both veterans, and that's one reason he helped me. That and the fact that we live in the same neighborhood and we've talked, several times, over the years.

The King County Elections office was like working on prison release must be. It was about as joyless as the Navy air base in El Centro, California, where I spent most of my four years of duty; but at least the base had a coffee machine that worked. Both of those in the lounge at Elections didn't work. I was told, "There was a sign that said coffee was 50 cents, but no one paid. So they quit buying coffee."

Ms. Huff is a consumate bureaucrat who main goal is to cover her derriere. While she might not have been directly involved, those approximately 20,000 ballots, that never got to the east side of Lake Washington and their intended voters, stand as testimony to how hands-off her marginal leaderships skills are.

The job she has pays pretty well. Maybe someone - a CPA perhaps - will come along and challenge the political machine which installed Ms. Huff and keeps out anyone but malcontents who run on a grudge.

10:01 PM  
Anonymous Terry Parkhurst said...

On Wednesday, November 9th, used King County Elections' "ballot tracker" and saw that my ballot, mailed out on Monday, November 7th, had been received. It was pending signature verification.

Tonight, being Veterans Day's closing hours, decided to see how things were going with my ballot. It was still pending signature verification.

Admittedly, today was a day off for King County Elections. But since most of the election campaigns have been decided, it made me wonder what the point of voting in King County might be. Hardly the sort of thing that makes me feel Ms. Huff is doing all she can to empower the citizenry.

10:52 PM  

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