Tag Archives: 2008

Governor Chris Gregoire Deserves to be Re-elected

Democratic Governor Gregoire has been one of Washington State’s best Governors. Her problem is that she is not one to toot her horn but she has been busy making our state better and addressing the problems we face. If she has a weakness it is in communicating just how good a Governor she has been.

She has a good record of accomplishments to run on. For example during her 4 years we have seen action on a number of environmental issues.

Under her watch we have seen Washington State step up to addressing cleaning up Puget Sound – a long overdue action.

The state passed the Clean Car Act to join with California and other states in dealing with increasing fuel efficiency that the Bush Administration refused to address.

The state has enacted a bill to deal with toxic toys that the Bush Administration also refused to act on.

Legislation was passed to support local agriculture and to provide locally grown food to schools.

Green Jobs legislation was enacted to start Washington state on the road to new jobs and cleaner energy and reducing our dependence on foreign oil.

Gregoire has been active in dealing with climate change, including the Western Governor’s Initiative and the Washington Climate Action bill.

These issues cover just a few of the changes Governor Gregoire has helped to implement.

Meanwhile what can you think of that Republican Dino Rossi has done in the last four year’s to address these or other issues?

Besides smiling and saying he’s for change, what has Rossi done in the last four years on these issues? Nothing. He is running a blank slate campaign – he is talking in non-specific sound bites and ignoring the issues so no one really knows what he will do because he won’t tell us.

That blank slate campaign approach almost got him elected last time.It would be a mistake for Washington voters to repeat the mistake made with George Bush.

Maybe you want to go get a drink with Dino after watching his ads because he seems like such a nice guy but do you really want to trust someone with our state’s future who is running a blank slate campaign and refusing to tell the public want he will do as Governor besides cut the budget.

And even then he isn’t telling you what he would cut. The public deserves and needs more honesty from someone running for Governor. Too much is at stake.

Rossi’s smile in fact is only a campaign gimmick – a technique Rossi learned through his years in real estate. As quoted in the Seattle Times, “I’ve found you can do pretty much anything you want if you do it with a smile on your face,” Rossi said. “It’s amazing what you can get away with if you do it with a smile on your face.”

Voters deserve more than a smile. They deserve someone that will be straightforward and tell them what they believe and what they intend to do. Rossi refuses to do that.

Chris Gregoire has a strong public record and is not afraid to speak out about her positions. She has proved herself to be a competent and capable Governor.

I urge you to vote to re-elect Chris Gregoire as Governor of Washington State on November 4th… She has stepped up and done the job to help protect our environment and move our state in the right direction. She has earned our vote of support.

McCain – Palin Drill Team Marching to Beat of Oil Drums

One of the obscenities of the recent Republican Convention was the chanting of “Drill Baby Drill.” Obscured by the novelty of a new dancing Republican puppet in the form of the previously nationally unknown Governor of Alaska, John McCain shamelessly continued to promote more of the antiquarian Bush Era perversion of drilling and ignoring the perilous future of being tied to oil, both national and international.

Continuing the oil economy drains American capital from being reinvested in our own country in alternative renewable energy. It continues to tie our future national economy to a ecologically dangerous fossil fuel industry. It promotes an industry that is profit motivated only and not concerned about American energy security or the impacts on consumer’s pocketbooks.

“Drill Baby Drill” should raise the hair on the back of any independence loving American because of its backward looking vision that obscures the future of the world in a haze of global warming gases. It ignores the need for the nation and the world to change their profligate burning of carbon based fuels. It is like trying to promote the use of manual typewriters in the computer age.

John McCain lacks vision in his support of the oil economy. He is a man so desperate to win the Presidency that he has thrown common sense out the window and is pandering to the least of our nation’s sensibilities and wasting precious time and resources needed to move to a post oil economy.

“Drill Baby Drill ” says John McCain is not really serious about attacking global warming. Just as his pandering proposal to drop the gas tax this summer was a shortsighted attempt to appeal to irrationality for votes, the idea that drilling for oil in America is some type of energy solution for the future is pandering to the lowest common denominator of selfishness and greed of the oil companies.

Our nation needs to come up with practical real solutions to find a mix of environmentally sound energy policies that also reinvest in America and American jobs rather than sending money to the Middle East and other countries so they can come back and buy up America.

The New York Times in a recent editorial entitled “John McCain’s Energy Follies” noted that “increasing oil production remains the centerpiece of his strategy” They stress that “a nation that uses one-quarter of the world’s oil while owning only 3 percent of its reserves cannot drill its way to happiness or self- sufficiency.”

Will McCain really make any effort to make a transition to a post carbon energy economy that emphasizes wind, solar, geothermal or energy efficiency?

We’ve all heard many campaign promises from candidates, broken once they are elected. For McCain it is possible to determine what he will do on energy not based on promises but on his past actions or inactions. That unfortunately does not bode well for a reasoned and enlightened change in America’s energy policies if McCain is elected President.

The record shows that John McCain missed critical votes for renewable energy while he was running for President. If you think John McCain is going to support renewable energy in any serious way consider the following written by Thomas Friedman for the New York Times. In a commentary entitled, Eight Strikes and You’re Out“,

” …on July 30, that the Senate was voting for the eighth time in the past year on a broad, vitally important bill — S. 3335 — that would have extended the investment tax credits for installing solar energy and the production tax credits for building wind turbines and other energy-efficiency systems.

Both the wind and solar industries depend on these credits — which expire in December — to scale their businesses and become competitive with coal, oil and natural gas. Unlike offshore drilling, these credits could have an immediate impact on America’s energy profile.

Senator McCain did not show up for the crucial vote on July 30, and the renewable energy bill was defeated for the eighth time. In fact, John McCain has a perfect record on this renewable energy legislation. He has missed all eight votes over the last year — which effectively counts as a no vote each time. Once, he was even in the Senate and wouldn’t leave his office to vote.”

Actions speak louder than any words. It would be a mistake to count on John McCain leading us to a renewable energy future. “Drill Baby Drill” and free market economics seem to be his political philosophy. The free market economy has been great for the giant oil corporations in America but a disaster for energy independence and lessening global warming impacts. Voting for McCain would be a vote for continuing things as they are. Now is the time when we need to change to a post carbon energy future. McCain isn’t going to do that.

King County Charter Amendments on November Ballot Need Scrutiny

Every 10 years King County in Washington State reviews its charter and has a citizens panel recommend changes. The Charter Review Commission came up with a series of amendments earlier this year that they recommended to the King County Council to be placed on the November 4, 2008 ballot.

The King County Council ultimately voted to place 6 Charter Amendments on the November 4, 2008 ballot and will consider additional ones for a vote next year.

In addition two citizen initiatives proposing Charter Amendments are on the November ballot. Initiative 25 for a nonpartisan elected elections official is now Charter Amendment 1 and Initiative 26 requiring that King County elected officials be non partisan is now Charter Amendment 8.

Initiative 25 (now Charter Amendment 1) is opposed by the Municipal League of King County:
“The integrity of the elections process demands independence and professional management in the elections function of government. Consistent with the Municipal League position on record that leadership positions in King County government which require administrative and management expertise should be appointed, we oppose making the position an elected position….

The League of Women Voters of King County also opposes Charter Amendment 1.

As noted in a Seattle Times article last year if Charter Amendment 1 passes there will be a costly special election to elect the new Elections Director in February 2009. There will be no primary vote for this office.

Initiative 26 (now Charter Amendment 8) was a Republican sponsored measure intended to hide party identification. Majority Rules Blog opposes Charter Amendment 8 because it will make it more difficult to determine what political philosophy a candidate actually supports. It is an attempt by Republicans, who paid signature gatherers to place this proposed amendment on the ballot, to shed their party label and hide their political positions behind campaign slogans and rhetoric that obscure their real political goals.

Charter Amendment 8 will make it more difficult to know where candidates stand on issues. The reality is that no Republican now is forced to run as a Republican under our current voting system of the top 2 candidates going on to the general election. No one is required to state a party affiliation now. Charter Amendment 8 is not needed and should be voted down.

It is also important to note that Charter Amendment 8 also sets up a non-partisan redistricting commission. Redistricting now is done by a Committee of 2 Republicans and 2 Democrats who jointly select a 5th member. If Charter Amendment 8 passes and so called non-partisan members are selected, the current political balance may well be lost and the commission dominated by members of 1 party or the other depending on the appointment process.

An 84 page King County staff report on proposed charter amendments 2 – 7 is at http://mkcclegisearch.metrokc.gov/attachments/31053.pdf

There is currently an updated link at the King County Elections site to all the ordinances passed by the King County Council that also provides more detail on what the charter amendments do. Pro and Con statements are present as well as the actual text of the ordinances.

I have also provided links below to each of the charter amendments if you want to check more detail, pro and con statements and read the actual ordinances on a specific charter amendment

King County Charter Amendment No. 1

Elected Elections Director

Shall the King County Charter be amended to provide that the position of county director of elections be created as a nonpartisan elected office?


King County Charter Amendment No. 2

Prohibiting Discrimination

Shall Section 840 of the King County Charter be amended to add disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression to the prohibited grounds for discrimination in county employment and county contracting, and to limit the prohibition against discrimination in county contracting to contracts with nongovernmental entities, as provided in Ordinance No. 16204?


King County Charter Amendment No. 3

Regional Committees

Shall Sections 230.10, 270.20 and 270.30 of the King County Charter be amended to reduce the number of county council members on regional committees, establish a vice chair position on regional committees, authorize the regional policy committee to adopt its own work program, add authority for regional committees to initiate legislation, modify regional committee procedures, and authorize the addition of nonvoting members to the water quality committee, as provided in Ordinance No. 16205?


King County Charter Amendment No. 4

Additional Qualifications for Elected Officials

Shall Section 630 of the King County Charter be amended to authorize the county council to establish additional qualifications for separately elected officials who head executive departments, as provided in Ordinance No. 16206?


King County Charter Amendment No. 5

Establishing Forecast Council and Office of Economic and Financial Analysis

Shall the King County Charter be amended to require the establishment of a forecast council and an office of economic and financial analysis, as provided in Ordinance No. 16207?


Budget Deadlines

Shall Sections 410 and 420 of the King County Charter be amended to impose deadlines that are twenty days earlier than existing deadlines for county agencies to submit budget information to the county executive and for the county executive to present a proposed budget to the county council, as provided in Ordinance No. 16208?


King County Charter Amendment No. 7

Charter Amendment by Citizen Initiative

Shall King County Charter Section 800 be amended to establish a new process for citizens to directly propose amendments to the King County Charter and to increase the signature threshold for citizen-initiated charter amendments from 10% to 20% of the votes cast in the last election for county executive, as provided in Ordinance No. 16221?


King County Charter Amendment No. 8

Nonpartisan Elections

Shall the King County Charter be amended to make the offices of King county executive, King county assessor and King county council nonpartisan, and to establish the nonpartisan selection of districting committee members?


Fuse Washington recommends support for Charter Amendments 2-7 and No votes on Charter Amendments 1 and 8.

This post was revised and updated on Oct 27, 2008 to add more information.

John Kerry will not Run for President in 2008

The 2004 Democratic Presidential nominee who probably really won but didn’t become President has decided not to enter the 2008 race. According to the Washington Post Kerry

“announced today that he has decided not to run for president again in 2008, saying that he will devote his energy instead to ending the war in Iraq.

Kerry made the announcement at the end of a lengthy speech on the Senate floor about the war. He said he felt a personal responsibility to work toward ending the involvement of U.S. combat troops in Iraq because he had “made the mistake” of voting for the 2002 congressional resolution that authorized Bush to take military action in Iraq.

Kerry said he came close enough to winning the presidency in 2004 to be tempted to try again. “But I’ve concluded this isn’t the time for me to mount a presidential campaign,” he said. Rather, it is time “to do all I can to end this war” and focus on fighting “the real war on terror,” he said.”

Senator John Kerry is an honorable man and would have served our country well as President. His campaign in 2004 was assaulted by right wing fear mongers inspired by Karl Rove who falsely attacked Kerry’s war record in a Swift Boat ad campaign that falsely distorted Kerry’s record. Rovian tactics were also behind labeling Kerry a flip flopper – another deceitful ad campaign that relieved on repetitious ads amplified by the right wing noise machine of talk radio and Internet postings and right wing media outlets like Fox news. Also numerous instances of attempts to disenfranchise voters like those documented in Florida and efforts to mislead voters and malfunctioning voting machines in places like Ohio as documented by Robert Kennedy Jr and others helped to keep Bush in office.

Kerry was again attacked in 2006 by the right wing propaganda campaign in the telling of a joke about Bush that the media turned into a diatribe about making fun of Kerry. Meanwhile the ineptitude of Bush was ignored by the media for most of Bush’s time in office until finally the 2006 national elections brought home the fact that it was not Kerry but Bush who was the real joke. Its one of those joke where you only laugh at because it’s so painful otherwise.

Kerry leaving now opens up the Democratic race for President by leaving behind the baggage of Kerry’s loss. It also opens up the race to new visions and hopes for a different future.

Is Hillary Power Hungry? Is that Bad?

Women who run for President shouldn’t be power hungry. And they should never forgive their husband if he has an extramarital affair, particularly if they want to run for President. Right wing talk radio? Michael Savage? Rush Limbaugh? No, a post by a “progressive” blogger.

I can’t vote for someone who I perceive as so cravenly hungry for power that she’ll do absolutely anything to obtain it.” so says Carla over at Preemptive Karma.

While Carla says ” I can’t pretend to understand the goings on in people’s marriages” she savagely trashes Hillary for sticking with Bill anyway after the Monica Lewinsky affair. Carla ” can fathom no reason for staying in such a dysfunctional situation except to stay next to power.”

The vast right wing conspiracy loves you Carla. The right wing long ago launched a “Stop Hillary Movement” See efforts like Stop Hillary clothes at Cafe Press, Stop Hillary PAC, the Hillary Project -educate yourself on the most corrupt politician in recent history, Blogs Against Hillary, and on and on. The right wing is afraid of Hillary. Such right wing noise and fear mongering makes me suspicious of any anti -Clinton spin and so here’s my response to Carla which I posted on her site:

I truly don’t see that your argument makes sense. Maybe a different perspective is that Hillary leaving Bill would have added fuel and support to the mean spirited partisan right wing Republican power play to impeach Bill Clinton and push him out of office. Maybe it was more an act of courage to stay and deny the right wing satisfaction in their meddling in a family personal matter and trying to use it for their right wing political ends. In fact your link to wikipedia speaks to this – the vast right wing conspiracy.

As some who took after Clinton found out, they had things to hide also. Hillary Clinton was hardly the first person to be married to a straying husband who had sex with someone else.

If you ask me, your comments fall into the Republican game plan to have us buy into this idea that there is something wrong with Hillary both because she stayed with her husband and because now she wants to be President. Why is she being singled out as someone wanting power that we should judge as bad? Could it be that this is parroting back one of the Republican talking points to stop Hillary? Tell me the name of one candidate for President that doesn’t want power?

You have to want power to be able to reach your goals and implement your visions. Remember the event that did in Ted Kennedy’s 1980 attempt at running for President – the CBS Roger Mudd interview where he couldn’t explain why he wanted to be President?

If a candidate doesn’t have the drive and ambition to be President, do you think they’re going to run a strong campaign or be a strong President? Would you vote for a Democrat that didn’t have the passion to want to be President and that couldn’t persevere through adversity – including an extra marital affair of a spouse?

How about judging Hillary and the other candidates on what they say they want to do as President and whether they have what it takes to get elected and take this nation forward after the dismal Bush years? Let’s not buy into Republican spin mongering. That’s what this Hillary “power” trip thing is. It’s also a sexism thing because it supports the image that women wanting power are not O.K while men wanting power are OK.

Let’s not buy into Republican spin mongering. That’s what this Hillary “power” trip thing is. It’s also a sexism thing because it supports the image that women wanting power are not O.K while men wanting power are OK. Why is this discussion only about Hillary wanting power? Seems to me that this is what the Republican spin machine wants us to talk about. Its part of their stop Hillary campaign.

I looked up John McCain on nndb.com. It said “McCain had an extramarital affair with Cindy Lou Hensley, whose father owned Hensley & Co., a Phoenix-based liquor company that is the nation’s second largest Anheuser-Busch distributor. McCain and Shepp were divorced in 1980, and he married his millionaire mistress the following month” So is John McCain a better candidate for President?

Remember the Kerry criticism by the right wing of marrying into the Heinz family money. It’s all a matter of where you’re coming from politically as to whether it matters or not about the details of ones personal marital life it seems.

Or lets look at Gingrich who pushed for Clinton’s impeachment. “Gingrich has been married three times. In 1962, Gingrich married his first wife, Jackie Battley, resulting in the birth of two daughters. He began to discuss divorce with Jackie in 1981, while she was in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery. Gingrich married his second wife, Marianne Ginther, in the fall of 1981. [4] They divorced in 1999 because of her dislike for Washington D.C. and other difficulties. A year later, he married a House aide, Callista Bisek [5] amid rumors the two had an affair during his previous marriage, even while presiding over Clinton’s impeachment”