Category Archives: Media

What happened? What do we do now? Living in Trumpland

For many here is America, the world has changed. They have woken up in a strange land called Trumpland. Democrats, progressives, liberals, independents and even some Republicans are asking what the hell happened.   How did we get here and what do we do now? Below is some recommended reading that attempts to give some insight as to this new reality that has set in. Suggestions are offered by some as to what to do. This is an ongoing search for answers. I will add new articles as they emerge.

Indivisible Guide –  A Practical Guide for resisting the Trump Agenda   has been written by former Congressional staffers, Jan 2017. They give suggestions based on the success of the Tea Party as to how Progressives can fight back, to limit the negative impacts of the GOP and Trump. They also provide links to Indivisible groups that have formed across the country.

‘Data-driven’ campaigns are killing the Democratic Party. Politico Feb 12, 2017  – This article argues that data driven campaign over the last 4 cycles have resulted in catastrophic losses for Democrats.  It urges connecting with voters through storytelling, having a clear message that reaches voters on an emotional level.

A Low Tech Guide to Becoming Politically Active, New York Times, Feb 8, 2017 – Lots of good advice here – the title in the print edition is “How to Turn Your Facebook Rants Into Real-Life Activism”

How to Build an Autocracy, Atlantic March 2017  – Good discussion of the ways Trump and Bannon are working to convert our democracy to an autocracy that benefits the wealthy.
David Frum – “What is spreading today is repressive kleptocracy, lead by rulers based on greed…Such rulers rely less on terror and more on rule twisting, the manipulation of information, and the co-option of elites.

What Effective Protest Could Look Like, Atlantic, Feb 6, 2017 –  “Perspective From the Right, for Effective Challenge From the Left

Post-Fascist Europe Tells Us Exactly How to Defend Our Democracy -Yes Magazine Jan 13, 2017 – “Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. Now is a good time to do so. Here are 20 lessons from the 20th century, adapted to the circumstances of today.”

10 Investigative Reporting Outlets to Follow, Bill Moyers, Jan 13,2017  – “Here are some new organizations to follow as well as a few established ones  that are working to uncover the truth.

A Guide for Rebuilding the Democratic Party from the Ground Up, VOX, Jan 5,2017 -“Organizationally, the US right is light years ahead of the left. A leading political scientist explains what Democrats should do to change that”

To Stop Trump, Democrats Can Learn from the Tea Party, New York Times, Jan 2, 2107 –  Op-Ed – “The Tea Party’s ideas were wrong, and their often racist rhetoric and physical threats were unacceptable. But they understood how to wield political power and made two critical strategic decisions. First, they organized locally, focusing on their own members of Congress. Second, they played defense, sticking together to aggressively resist anything with President Obama’s support. With this playbook, they rattled our elected officials, targeting Democrats and Republicans alike.”

The Democratic Ggame Plan for Making Trump Miserable – and Regaining Power,  New York Magazine, Dec. 23, 2016

What Those Who Studied Nazis Can Teach Us About the Strange Reaction to Donald Trump, Huffington Post Dec 19, 2016 – “While its Important to watch the President Elect Closely, We also Must be Mindful of Our Own Response to Him.”

Why the Electoral College is the absolute worst, explained, VOX, Dec 19, 2016  –  The Electoral College is a rigged archaic voting system that violates the one person, one vote 1962 Supreme Court Decision that changed state elections..

99 Ways to Fight Trump, Do One, Do them all, But do Something

Steve Bannon and Breitbart News, in their own words, New York Times,  Nov 14, 2016 – Bannon and Breitbart News in their own words – necessary reading to help understand the man behind Donald Trump.

Trump’s Choice of Stephen Bannon Is Nod to Anti-Washington Base, New York Times , Nov 14, 2016 – ” In naming Stephen K. Bannon to a senior White House post, President-elect Donald J. Trump has elevated the hard-right nationalist movement that Mr. Bannon has nurtured for years from the fringes of American politics to its very heart, a remarkable shift that has further intensified concern about the new administration’s direction.”

Steve Bannon, Trump’s Top Guy, Told Me He Was a ‘Leninist” Who Wanted to ‘Destroy the State’,,  August 21, 2016, – When the President’s top advisor’s goal is to tear America apart not build it up we as a nation are under siege. That is what is happening now.
Daily Beast – “I’m a Leninist,” Bannon proudly proclaimed. Shocked, I asked him what he meant. Lenin,” he answered, “wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.” Bannon was employing Lenin’s strategy for Tea Party populist goals. He included in that group the Republican and Democratic Parties, as well as the traditional conservative press.”

Uneasy About the Future, Readers Turn to Dystopian Classics, New York Times, Jan 27, 2017 – Big surge in dystopian classics happening as people buy copies of Margaret Atwood’s Tales of a Handmaid, George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm, and Sinclair Lewis’s It Can’t Happen Here. Not surprising considering what is happening.

Shape Tomorrow, Register and Vote –  the Democrats’ Sleeping Giant – Down with Tyranny, Jan 18,2017  – Case Study on successful impact of registering people to vote.

Autocracy , Rules for Survival, New York Review of Books, Nov. 10, 2016, – “But Trump is anything but a regular politician and this has been anything but a regular election. Trump will be only the fourth candidate in history and the second in more than a century to win the presidency after losing the popular vote. He is also probably the first candidate in history to win the presidency despite having been shown repeatedly by the national media to be a chronic liar, sexual predator, serial tax-avoider, and race-baiter who has attracted the likes of the Ku Klux Klan. Most important, Trump is the first candidate in memory who ran not for president but for autocrat—and won.”

On Ignoring Trump’s Tweets – Time to Attack GOP’s Bad Policy Proposals

It’s time for Democrats and others who do not support Trump’s proposed agenda and that of the GOP that now controls Congress, to start talking about the issues facing our country. Many of the programs and laws that progressives have put in place to help people and make America a better place to live are now  under threat of being reversed and lost.

It’s time to stop responding to Trump’s inane and diversionary tweets (and other comments) as Jack Shafer on Politico writes in a post entitled “Stop Being Trump’s Twitter Fool” As Shafer says:

“By this time you’d expect that people would have figured out when Donald Trump is yanking their chain and pay him the same mind they do phone calls tagged “Out of Area” by Caller ID. But, no. Like Pavlov’s dog, too many of us leap to object or correct the president-elect whenever he composes a deliberately provocative tweet …”

It’s time to refocus on America and protecting the advances made by Democrats over the years. Trump has dominated the media for the last year and a half with his reality TV show hype and rant. The media was taken in by it as well as the Democratic Party. He has snookered many Americans into voting for him based on short soundbites that says little about what he would do.

We do know however the broad outline based on years of right wing proposals in Congress and Trump seems to be in the their camp on most of these proposals. Have no doubt –  the agenda of the far right, the tea party and GOP conservatives will be advancing through Congress now with Trump winning the Presidency and Republicans controlling both the US House and US Senate. There is no sense that the Republicans will be restrained or reasonable in their moving forward. And there is no longer someone in the White House to veto their proposals.

It’s time to now aggressively go on the offense and work to change the discussion to where they are vulnerable. It’s time, for example,  to emphasize how they are threatening human health and our planet by proposing to ignore or reject the Paris Climate Agreement. We need to aggressively reduce carbon pollution, not work to produce more while enriching coal and oil companies and  generating more pollution. We need to shift to a post carbon economy.

Push them on the national minimum wage not being raised because of Republican opposition since 2009, stuck at $7.25 and no automatic adjustment for inflation. The current minimum wage is a starvation wage, not a living wage. It is an affront to human dignity and decency and Republicans should be ashamed. Push for a $15/hour minimum wage.

Talk about how cutting taxes for the wealthy like the inheritance tax and income taxes is just going to further increase income inequality. The country more and more is a plutocracy where a wealthy few are running it. Electing a so called billionaire who has used the anger of working families to get elected by offering them change he never really defined is a recipe for being hoodwinked.

Talk about how their continuing to propose to privatize medicare and social security will hurt millions of low income people. That is not caring for working families – it is merely following the agenda of those that want to extract more profit for the few at the top of medical corporations and pharmaceutical companies. Health care is a human right and should not turn wage earners into pawns to extract money from to further enrich the wealthy.

Talk about how Democratic economic policies will help working families while Trump’s are focused on helping the already wealthy 1% and corporate America.

Talk about how to educate our children, not make schools into profit machines to enrich the few by using public money for private schools and charter schools.

The change we need is to talk about the impact of his proposed policies, not his personality since we’ve seen that is not effective even if what is said is true. Talk about how Democratic polices  make life better for working families while Republican policies have been a driving force for wealth creation by the 1% at the expense of the 99%.

It’s time to move forward  by emphasizing where the GOP and Trump are  not helping working families. Do this by proposing an aggressive agenda to raise the minimum wage, push for Green jobs and protect public health and safety and welfare from corporate greed.

If Congress won’t do this then work at the state and local level to push these issues and involve the public in building  support for voting the GOP out of Congress in 2 years and replacing them with Democrats who really are working to help the people of America.

It’s time to get to work!

Two recent cases provide clear evidence that the Federal Elections Commission is broken

Two recent decisions by the Federal Elections Commission provide clear evidence that the Commission is broken and nonfunctional just like Congress. On split partisan votes it took no action on two separate cases.

As the Washington Post reported in an article entitled, “FEC deadlocked on allegations that Gingrich used 2012 campaign to sell books“:

“Former House speaker Newt Gingrich will not face a Federal Election Commission investigation into allegations that he broke federal law by using his 2012 presidential campaign to promote books that he and his wife wrote, documents released Friday show.

…The FEC’s top attorney recommended in 2013 that the agency investigate Gingrich, but the case languished and the six-member commission eventually deadlocked along partisan lines in June, with the three Republican commissioners voting against an inquiry.

The general counsel’s initial review found evidence of seven violations of campaign finance laws, the FEC documents show. Among the findings: Gingrich’s campaign staff and the employees of his production company at times swapped duties as the then-candidate was holding concurrent campaign rallies and book-signing events….

The general counsel also found evidence that the campaign’s resources benefited Gingrich personally, noting that his campaign website included more than 80 links to the Gingrich Productions website, along with blog entries promoting book signings and movie screenings. Many of the links went to pages urging supporters to buy books written by Newt and Callista Gingrich.”

The second case also was decided on a split partisan vote, meaning no action was taken on what clearly appeared to be political action and avoidance of reporting of campaign donations. As the Washington Post reported “How a film about Obama’s communist ‘real father’ won at the FEC “ was also won because of a partisan split. It is a revisit of the Hillary Clinton case that was decided in the so called “Citizens United” decision by the US Supreme Court which opened the floodgates on money in elections since then. The film in that case mailed also right before the election was  “Hillary:  the movie”

As the Washington Post post reported:

“Four years ago, voters in Ohio and a few other swing states opened their mailboxes to discover a documentary they’d never ordered. “Dreams From My Real Father” posited that the president of the United States was not the son of Barack Obama Sr., but of Frank Marshall Davis, a Communist activist and poet who moved to Hawaii late in life ….

In 2014, a progressive activist named Loren Collins filed a Federal Election Commission complaint against Gilbert, arguing that the filmmaker had a responsibility to disclose his donors. The FEC finally weighed in last month, and in a typical 3-3 split decision — by law, the FEC is perpetually split between Democratic and Republican commissioners — Gilbert’s DVD mailing was considered “press,” not subject to donor disclosure, comparable to any political documentary.

“With the right framing, even the most dishonest, smear-mongering attacks can skirt FEC regulations under our current regulations,” said Collins. “His mailing cost at least $1 million, and that could’ve been paid for by Mitt Romney or Donald Trump, and there’s no way to know. Taken together with [the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision], this could have very serious negative ramifications. The general counsel’s report might as well be an instruction manual on how to avoid the transparency that comes with public disclosure of financiers.”

Asking a Commission composed of partisan politicians divided evenly between Republicans and Democrats in a clearly highly charged partisan Washington DC atmosphere is a sure way to have more gridlock. If anything the decisions need to be made by those without a direct stake in a partisan outcome. Time to restructure the FEC to  enable it to make decisions. The simplest  solution is to add a fifth member chosen by the other four members. Another alternative is to remove partisan politicians  and to have the issues decided by a panel of judges. Clearly the current  system is broken.


Press Release – Initiative 735 Passes 239,000 Signatures 12/1/2015

For immediate release:
For more information:
Gabe Meyer – Campaign Director
Steve Zemke – State Field Director
Campaign phone – 206-547-9961
Initiative 735 Passes 239,000 Signatures

 Supporters of Initiative 735 in Washington State have now collected over 239,000 signatures on Initiative 735. A minimum of 246,273 valid signatures is required to file with the Secretary of State by December 31, 2015. WAmend (Washington Coalition to Amend the Constitution), the sponsor of Initiative 735, is targeting to get 320,000 signatures to cover duplicate and invalid signatures.

Continue reading

We must amend the U.S. Constitution

The Citizens United ruling shows we must amend the U.S. Constitution

Our destiny – our laws and public policy – should be determined by people and the public interest — not by Wall Street banks and global corporations and their private interest.

In the Citizens United ruling (January 2010), the Supreme Court said that corporations have the same rights as persons to free speech, including political speech. This allows corporate entities to spend unlimited amounts to influence election outcomes and lawmaking. And they are doing it.

“One-person, one-vote” becomes “one-dollar, one-vote” — because of the power of money to purchase media, to influence election outcomes, and to influence laws with expensive lobbying.

  • Corporate influence in Congress is why Wall Street banks got big bailouts and bonuses.
  • It’s why health care insurance premiums keep rising and prescription drugs cost so much.
  • It’s why oil dominates our energy policy -and why corporate farms and food additives dominate our food supply.
  • And it’s why factories are closed when global corporate owners can make more profit overseas – regardless of the impact on local communities and families.

Can Congress overturn Citizens United by law?

No. When the Supreme Court declares a law unconstitutional, as they did in Citizens United, that takes precedence over any law or act of Congress.

Congress can try to bandage the damage within the scope of the Supreme Court ruling. But so long as corporate wealth shares power equally with people – protected as “free speech” through court rulings – campaigns, elections and lawmaking itself will be auctions, “for sale” to the highest bidder.

Public financing for campaigns would partially offset the power of private wealth. But only an amendment to the constitution is durable as “the final word” to protect American democracy.

Can states take action to limit undue corporate influence?

States can amend their constitutions to prevent undue influence by wealthy donors and political speech by global corporations. And they should. Corporate charters granted by states can specify what a corporation is allowed to do. Some states and local cities are passing laws that limit corporate activity to the economic sphere only, and prohibiting corporations from engaging in political electioneering.

But such state laws might be overruled by the U.S. Supreme Court – using the same reasoning as in the Citizens United ruling – unless the Constitution is amended.

Constitutional amendments have been done before

In 1971, the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was adopted by 3/4ths of the states – within four months! — giving voting rights to anyone 18 or older. It was motivated by popular uprising resulting from the Vietnam War era: “If I’m old enough to be drafted, I’m old enough to vote!”

Boston Tea Party (1773) — a response to undue corporate influence

Our nation’s founding began when the American colonies rose up against a corporate monopoly. The East India Tea Company used their wealth and power in the British Parliament to achieve tax preferences on imported tea – undercutting local business in the American colonies. In effect, this “WalMart-ization” of the tea trade led to the 1776 Declaration of Independence and the great American experiment in democracy.

Now, two centuries later, we have global corporations exercising their wealth and muscle in our democracy. It’s time once again to reclaim the vision and promises of our nations’ founding – and to amend the constitution to spell it out. People – not corporations, and not wealth and privilege – should determine our nation’s destiny!
And we must amend the U.S. Constitution to clearly say so.

Craig Salins is Executive Director of Washington Public Campaigns,

Seattle PI Gives Short Shift to Gregoire’s New Supreme Court Appointee

Today’s print edition of the Seattle PI that I received at my home relegated Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire’s appointment of Debra Stephens to the Washington State Supreme Court to a scant 131 words. It allotted it a space of 3 inches by 3.25 inches equal to 9.75 square inches.

Meanwhile the Seattle Times in a story entitled Spokane native appointed to state’s top court” wrote 972 words and gave the story some 84 square inches of space. What’s up Seattle PI?

Is it any wonder voters don’t know about candidates who are running for election or re-election to the Washington State Supreme Court when a major newspaper like the Seattle PI gives token only coverage to a new appointee to the Washington State Supreme Court.

The last reported entry on the PI’s webpage is an AP story by Dave Ammons dated 5:48 P.M. on Tuesday Dec 4, 2007. There is no in depth story or any story on today’s webpage this afternoon that I can find. It was only by tying in a search for Stephens that I found the AP story. So much for getting the current news.

Neil Modie in his Strange Bedfellows blog at the PI discusses some of the instant opposition to the appointment of Stephens by the right wing PAC, Justice for Washington, headed up by conservative former Senator Slade Gorton. They raised concern about Stephen’s past association with the Washington State Trial Lawyers. Wonder why? I added the following comments to Modie’s blog post that I think are important for people to know:

“Perhaps you should look at another connection as to why Justice for Washington would so quickly knee jerk oppose new Supreme Court Justice Stephens. Justice for Washington’s most recent C1PC registration form filed with the Public Disclosure Commission has listed as it’s treasurer Dana Childers.

Dana Childers is with the Liability Reform Coalition which represents the insurance industry. She was a chief spokesperson for the Reject R-67 campaign. R-67 was passed by the voters in November. The Washington State Trial Lawyers, although heavily outspent, won.

As you noted Stephens did appellate work for the Trial Lawyers Association. Justice for Washington is obviously a vehicle for the insurance industry to continue to assert itself in Washington politics. The insurance industry spent $11 million trying to defeat R-67.”

I think once again, even though Governor Gregoire tried to appoint someone without controversy, the right wing sees controversy in anyone not believing as they do, and that we can again expect to see huge amounts of money funneled into upcoming state Supreme Court races like this one. As we have previously written, the Washington State Legislature needs to apply the same donor limits that apply for candidates to what individuals can contribute directly to PAC’s because without limits, these so called independent contributions can quickly exceed donations to candidate’s committees.

The Legislature should also revisit public financing for Supreme Court races. For candidates to be truly freely elected, the influence of special interest money needs to be controlled so as not to overwhelm the voice of the candidates themselves. When candidates lose the ability to be heard because special interest money dominates the airwaves, we all lose.

Additional information on Washington State Supreme Court appointee Debra Stephens:

Debra Stephens will replace Justice Bobbe Bridge who has resigned from the court. Stephens was appointed by Governor Gregoire 8 months ago to a seat on the Washington Court of Appeals. She ran unopposed last November. As an appointee to the Washington State Supreme Court she will have to run for re-election in November 2008.

Stephens is a native of Spokane Washington and practiced law there before becoming a judge. She is reported to have made over 100 appearances before the State Supreme Court.
She graduated from Gonzaga Law School in 1973 and has taught constitutional law there.

According to Governor Gregoire’s press release,

Stephens has taught at Gonzaga since 1995, where she helped to develop a course on state constitutional law. She is a founding member of the Washington Appellate Lawyers Association and a contributing author to the Washington Appellate Practice Deskbook. She has received recognition from “Washington Law & Politics” as a “Super Lawyer” (2003, 2005, 2006, 2007) and as one of the “Top 50 Women Lawyers” (2005) and “Top Appellate Lawyers” (2005).

She has also taught as an adjunct professor at Gonzaga University School of Law since 1997.Stephens received her Bachelor of Arts degree, Magna Cum Laude with honors, and her Juris Doctorate, Summa Cum Laude, from Gonzaga University. She is married to Craig Stephens and they reside with their two children, Lindsey and Bob, in Spokane”

Why are Senators Murray and Cantwell Not Co-Sponsors of S 223?

Senate Bill 223, the Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act, is a simple bill only several sentences long. It would increase accountability of campaign disclosure to the public by requiring that candidates for the US Senate timely file their campaign finance reports electronically the same as candidates for the US House and candidates for President currently do.

Some 40 Senate members are sponsors of this bill, including Senators Hilary Clinton, Russ Feingold, Barack Obama, John F Kerry, Ron Wyden, Barbara Boxer, Joseph R Bidden, Jr, Dianne Feinstein, and Christopher Dodd to name a few. Conspicuously absent are Washington State Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell.

This week a third attempt to move the bill was stopped by Republican Senator John Ensign who filed an unrelated amendment that had not been discussed with a hearing. The amendment originated from the office of Republican Senator Mitch McConnell. It was to require outside organizations filing ethic complaints to disclose their donors. Previously McConnell was involved in holding up the bill and would not disclose who had put a hold on the bill. It seems he had. The amendment needs a separate hearing and is an attempt to stop S 223 from being passed.

Currently in this electronic age, the Senate remains back in the pre-computer and Internet days, filing the campaign paperwork by paper, which then has to be added back to the computer network for filing with the FEC or Federal Elections Commission. The result is a significant time lag in the availability of the public to see the disclosure reports.

As the Campaign Finance Institute reports “All S.223 would do is require Senate candidates and party committees to take information they already are required to collect and disclose, and which they already keep for their own files in electronic format, and send it on to the Secretary of the Senate as an electronic file. Instead, Senate committee now print the same information out on paper and the Federal Election Commission has to keypunch it all over again, at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars and months of wasted time.”

Washington state candidates have filed forms electronically for a number of years.

One major reform missing however in the Federal legislation is that currently campaigns reports are only filed every 3 months. Washington State for years has had monthly reporting of campaign finance reports. The public deserves better accountability and more timely disclosure than every 3 months. The Federal reporting should also be monthly.

You can contact Senator Patty Murray and Senator Maria Cantwell by clicking on their names. Send them an e-mail urging that they join S 223 as co-sponsors and help to get this needed disclosure measure passed. Urge they support monthly reporting also.

Grassroots Democrats Missing in Action on Internet for August 21, 2007 Primary

If you were hoping to find insight and inspiration on the Internet from local Washington State grassroots Democrats for the August 21, 2007 Primary you were bound to be disappointed. A close look at the websites of the local Democratic County and Legislative District organizations right before the Primary was disappointing to say the least.

The local grassroots Democratic groups were looked at first for how well they alerted people visiting their websites about the Primary. A second point of comparison was whether the organizations were using their websites to gear up for the Feb. 2008 Caucus and Presidential Primary next year. These are just a little over 5 months away.

The first step in evaluating the Grassroots Democratic organizations was to check whether or not they even had a website. The list of websites used was taken from the list on the Washington State Democrats website . Out of 39 county Democratic organizations, 11 (28%) did not have a website. Out of 49 Democratic Legislative District organizations in the state, 19 (39%) did not have websites.

Here is a summary of what was found when looking at the Democratic websites.

Washington State County Democratic organizations:

Washington counties – 39
county Democratic organizations with websites – 28 (72%)
August 21 Primary date mentioned- 10 on first page + 2 more in calender = 12 (31%)
counties with primary endorsements posted – 5 (13%) King, Pierce, Snohomish, Thurston, Whatcom
number including a link to endorsed candidates – 4 (10%)
counties listing Feb. 9, 2008 Caucus date – 3 (8%)
counties listing Feb. 19, 2008 Presidential Primary date – 3 (8%)
county Democratic websites with links to Presidential candidates – 6 (15%)

Washington State Legislative District organizations:

Legislative districts –49
Legislative district organizations with websites – 30 (61%)
August 21 Primary mentioned – 7 on first page + 6 more in calender = 13 (27%)
Legislative District organizations with Primary endorsements posted – 12 (24%)
number including a link to endorsed candidates – 4 (8%)
Legislative Districts listing Feb. 9, 2008 Caucus date – 6 (12%)
Legislative District organizations listing Feb. 19, 2008 Presidential Primary date – 2 (4%)
Legislative District websites with links to Presidential candidates – 4 (8%)

To be fair 5 counties did not hold a primary. Those counties are Asotin, Ferry, Garfield, San Juan, and Wahkiakum. But that still leaves 34 counties that did hold a primary election.

Why is website presence in a campaign important? Googling on “Democratic endorsements Washington August 21, 2007 Primary” yielded the following results on the first 2 pages:

47th Leg District Democrats
Lefty Blogs – Metropolitan Democratic Club
SEAMEC 2007 endorsements
47th District Democrats
the Stranger
King County Democrats
Wash Fed of State Employees

Googling on “Washington State Primary Endorsements” yielded:

Sierra Club (MajorityRulesBlog post)
the Stranger
36th Distrct Democrats
Washington State Women’s Political Caucus
SEAMEC endorsements

Googling on “King County Democrats 2007 endorsements” yielded:

King County Democrats
34th District Democrats
47th District Democrats
Peter Sherman’s website
46th District Democrats
Gael Tartelton’s website
Jean Godden’s website
the Stranger

Having endorsements on the Democratic websites and candidates receiving endorsements and listing them on their website drove traffic to these sites. This gives additional exposure to the Democratic Party and their endorsed candidates.

By way of comparison, googling on “”Washington State Republicans 2007 Primary” produced one relevant Republican hit to a right wing blog at the bottom of the second page. Typing in “Washington State Republicans 2007 Primary Endorsements” yielded little of the Republicans but brought up the following in the first two pages:

Washington State Stonewall Democrats
Washington Federation of State Employees
the Stranger
47th District Democrats
BlogNet News

Despite the lack of a strong internet effort by the Democrats in making and listing endorsements, where it was done it obviously had an impact on visibility of the Democrats.

There is a reason that the Republican presence is so minor in the google searches. Despite the untapped potential of the Democrats in using the web to get exposure and use the internet for organizing , they were far ahead of Republican Party efforts.

The Washington State Republican website has only county organizations. There are no Republican legislative district organizations listed.

The Republicans had only 15 county websites listed for the 39 counties in Washington State. And they seemed to be even less aware that a Primary was occurring. Only 4 listed the August 21, 2007 Primary date on their website and only 2 had endorsements. Regarding the Presidential Campaign only 2 had a link to the 2008 Republican Presidential candidates.

Just in terms of number of sites, the Democrat’s 58 grassroots organization sites outnumbered the Republicans by almost 4 to 1. Now if they can just get some web savy and get links up for the General Election in November with endorsements listed and links to endorsed candidates they can have a much stronger presence on the web.

And they also need to copy the Democratic State Party’s Road to the White House Presidential candidate’s links and add them to their webpages. Island County Democrats have links with pictures of the candidates which is a nice touch. So do the Spokane Democrats. and the Walla Walla County Democrats. Whitman County, Thurston County and Mason County are the only other counties that currently have links to the Democratic Presidential candidates.

And I could only find links available on the websites of the 1st , 6th, 44th and 45th District Democrats.

One additional element that the Democratic organizations should add to their websites is the free fundraising link for Democrats by ActBlue. ActBlue is set up to raise funds for all the Democratic Presidential candidates. John Edwards for President, for example, using the ActBlue website has raised $3,599,983 from 44,058 donors.

MajorityRulesBlog recently set up an ActBlue page for all the Presidential candidates. You can click on the link to see what one could look like for the Democratic organizations. Each organization would get exposure and credit for funds raised for the candidates.

Preserve or Destroy! Not all Primary 2007 Candidates Respond

Historic Seattle has posted their survey responses from candidates on the August 21, 2007 Primary. The survey covered “local historic preservation issues, concerns and opportunities

Not all candidates responded. Campaigns are busy times and candidates get deluged by all sorts of questionnaires. At the same time when people are elected to office it doesn’t get any less busy.

So I think you can read something into whether a candidate responded to a questionnaire or not. Their response or non-response once elected is likely to be similar. At a minimum it shows how important an issue is to them.

As Historic Seattle notes:

Preservation of the community’s heritage is a key quality-of-life issue and is also a primary component of sustainable development, as well as a valuable comprehensive planning tool which helps build strong communities. In Seattle, historic preservation practice and procedures have been crucial to maintain critical pieces of our urban identity such as Pike Place Market, Pioneer Square, Downtown Ballard, the International District, and more.

Community voters, and especially Historic Seattle members, are seeking to understand the positions of political leaders who will be responsible for protecting the historic components of our built environment and thoughtfully balance the preservation of Seattle’s unique identity with other public purposes including urban growth.”

Historic Seattle’s election survey pages are divided into 4 areas. Responses noted and posted are those received by a July 23, 2007 posting date on the website.

Seattle City Council Candidates

Responding: Jean Godden , Lauren V Biel, Robert Sondheim, Venus Velazquez, Al Runte, Tim Burgess, Sally Clark

Not Responding: Joe Szwaja, Bruce Harrell, Scott Feldman, John Manning, Tom Rasmussen, David Della, Robert J Brown III, Judy Fenton, Stan Lippman

King County Assessor– on Nov election ballot

Not Responding: Scott Noble(D), Jim Nobles(R)

King County Council

Responding: Jane Hague (R), Dow Constantine (D), Goodspaceguy Nelson (D)

Not Responding: Larry Gossett (D),Larry Phillips (D), Richard Pope (D), John Potter(R)

Seattle School Board

Responding: Patrick Kelley, Darlene Flynn, Lisa Stuebling, Sherry Carr, Harrium Martin-Morris, Maria G Ramirez, Edwin B Fruit, Danaker M Dempsey, Jr.

Not responding: Sally Soriano, Peter Maier, Courtney Hill, David Blomstrom, Steve Sundquist

Majority Rules Blog Wins a Neiwert Award

Last fall we wrote a number of posts about the attempt of the Building Industry Association of Washington’s attempt to buy their self anointed candidates seats on the Washington State Supreme Court. They were unsuccessful.

Today we were honored to receive a David Neiwert Award given by the Northwest Progressive Institute to progressive bloggers. Click on the link to see awards given to other bloggers. Our award was for “Most Valuable Explanatory Reporting “for our series of articles on the Washington State Supreme Court races in September and November 2006.

“The regional blogosphere continues to grow at a rapid pace, and in 2006, the Northwest netroots community was fortunate to be joined by an experienced activist who is a veteran of many past campaigns for progressive policy solutions. Steve Zemke, who in 2003 founded, launched a new blog early in 2006 and found a key niche covering issues not receiving prominent exposure in other blogs. Most significantly, in the summer of 2006, Steve maintained a consistent and unyielding focus on judicial races targeted by the right wing Building Industry Association of Washington. He profiled the incumbent justices and judges under attack, urged readers to donate to help their campaigns, dissected campaign expenditure reports from the Public Disclosure Commission, and explained how judicial races work (if there are only two candidates running in the primary, the election is decided in the primary and only one candidate goes on to the general). The right wing effort to pack the courts was ultimately a failure and we commend Steve for his efforts to mobilize the community and inform the public.”

A Question of Character – Groen Kicks Justice Alexander and Washington Voters in Groin 7/12/2006

Two of Three Washington State Supreme Court Races to be Decided in Primary 8/1/2006

Time to Change Washington’s Law on Judicial Races 8/17/2006

Walking for the Building Industry Association of Washington 8/18/2006

Record $1.3 Million Spent so far to Elect Groen to Washington State Supreme Court 9/11/2006

Groen Supporters Violate Public Disclosure in their intent to Deceive and Hide who They Are 9/12/2006

Majority Rules Blog Files Public Disclosure Commission Complaint Against Groen Supporters 9/14/2006

Text of Complaint Filed Against Groen Supporters by Majority Rules Blog 9/14/2006

BIAW and Cronies Out to Slaughter Alexander, Anoint Groen to Supreme Court 9/14/2006

Early Primary Results Give Justice Alexander Slight Lead 9/19/2006

Contributions to Washington’s PAC’s Need to be Limited 9/20/2006

Vote for Susan Owens for Washington State Supreme Court 11/04/2006

Post Script to Washington State Supreme Court Races – April 2007

Washington State dodged the heavy artillery attack by the BIAW in Sept and Nov. 2006 but because of that the lessons seem to be forgotten already.

The Washington State Public Disclosure Commission choose to ignore the complaints filed by MajorityRulesBlog and others. The Washington State Legislature heard bills sponsored by Washington Public Campaigns to provide public financing for Judicial races as well as all statewide races but choose to let the bills die. Tightening up spending by PAC’s that allow avoidance of campaign spending limits placed on candidate committees also saw no action by the Washington State Legislature.

Unfortunately we can expect a repeat of unlimited spending by special interest PAC’s, like those put together by the Building Industry Association of Washington, in the next judicial election cycle.

Washington Public Campaigns would be wise to run their legislation as an initiative to the people considering that Washington State Legislators seem more intent on preserving special interest PAC campaign spending than on controlling it because they are frequently the beneficiaries of the current system of such spending.