Tag Archives: August 21 2007 Primary

Governor Gregoire Not Listening to Public on Initiative 747

When you send a message to the Governor you would hope that someone actually reads it. I’m sure the Governor doesn’t read all of her e-mail but someone should at least be keeping track of what the public is saying.

So you figure – I sent a message to the Governor questioning the rush to pass I-747. We need property tax relief that addresses the unfairness of laws like I-747 with its across the board cuts that benefit wealthy property owners more than middle and low income property owners. Re-enacting I-747 doesn’t address the real property tax problem.

So the Governor responds back with the following e-mail.

Thank you for contacting me regarding the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Initiative 747. I know that voters are disappointed by this, and I am committed to acting quickly to resolve the situation.

I-747 was approved in 2001 by a large margin, and the will of the voters should be respected. I have called the legislature into a special session on November 29 to address this issue, and will be asking that the one percent property tax limitation be reinstated.

Again, thank you for sharing your concerns. During this year’s election I heard loud and clear that voters are concerned about their tax burden. It is our responsibility to move quickly, recognizing these concerns and reinstating the will of the voters.


Christine O. Gregoire

Whoever reads the Governor’s e-mail and whose job it is to respond should at least write up 2 different responses – one for those supporting her position and one for those opposing it. I was not disappointed by the Supreme Court overturning I-747. Many voters are not disappointed because it is an unfair tax that doesn’t provide the type of help low and middle income property owners could use.

I am disappointed in Governor Gregoire – that she is caving into Tim Eyman and Dino Rossi and seems to have no clue about real property tax reform. She should be looking at ways to relieve the tax burden on low and middle income taxpayers and proposing legislation for a homestead exemption or circuit breaker legislation.

People forget that there is no magic in a 1% limit that doesn’t allow government revenue to even keep pace with inflation. People forget that Eyman first wrote an initiative with a 2% limit that voters passed but which the courts threw out.

As the Tacoma News Tribune wrote in an editorial recently, ” I-747 wasn’t thoughtful; it was a spiteful attack on all local governments because a handful of them had challenged I-722’s 2 percent limit in court.” To now just re-enact I-747 without considering the long term consequences that are building up because it prevents revenue from even keeping up with inflation, would be irresponsible on the part of the Legislature.

The Washington State Legislature should show leadership on this issue and only approve I-747 as a holding pattern on property taxes by adding a sunset provision. Then they should do a study of the impacts of I-747 on needed revenue for local and state government. They should hold hearings and pass legislation for a homestead exemption or pass circuit breaker legislation.

But just reinstating I-747 without evaluating its impacts on local and state governments and without exploring alternatives that are more helpful and fairer to low and middle income taxpayers would show a Governor and a Legislature out of touch with the real world.

Progressive Majority Washington Wins 11 of 12 Contested Primary Races

Progressive Majority Washington won big in the August 21, 2007 Primary. Of 12 contested primary campaigns, they only lost 1. Now on to November.

As Dean Nielson, Progressive Majority’s Washington State Director, reported on the Progressive Majority website, they had a “great day“.

One of their biggest victories was that of Brian Sullivan, running for the Snohomish County Council. He beat the conservative Democratic incumbent and is now the favorite to win in the November General Election because the District leans strongly Democratic.

Sullivan’s victory was important because it swings the majority of the Snohomish County Council away from a conservative majority to a progressive majority.

Another Progressive Majority candidate for the Snohomish County Council, Mike Cooper, is also on the November ballot. He is a former Washington State Legislator who previously ran for Washington State Lands Commissioner.

Another big winner was Bill Sherman who won the democratic nomination for King County Prosecuting Attorney.

Progressive Majority’s endorsed candidates who won August 21, 2007 Primary are:

John Lovick – Snohomish County Sheriff
Brian Sullivan – Snohomish County Council #1
Bob Kelly – Whatcom County Council
Dan McShane – Bellingham Mayor
Maureen Judge – Mercer Island City Council #3
Terry Scott – Shoreline City Council #6
Marilyn Strickland – Tacoma City Council #8
Ron Bonlender – Yakima City Council #3
Gael Tarleton – Seattle Port Commission #2
Alec Fisken – Seattle Port Commissioner #5
Bill Sherman – King County Prosecuting Attorney

Other Progressive Majority endorsed candidates on the November 6, 2007 ballot:

Keri Andrews – Bellevue City Council #7
Mike Cooper – Snohomish County Council #3
Ken Mann – Whatcom County Council #2B
Barry Peters – Bainbridge Island City Council #1
Adrienne Fraley-Monillas – Edmonds City Council #5
Strom Peterson – Edmonds City Council #7
David Stemp – Fircrest City Council #3
Russ Olsen – Lacey City Council #1
Suzanne Quigley – Lake Stevens City Council #5
Bruce Bassett – Mercer Island City Council #5
Mia Gregerson – Sea Tac City Council #7
Terry Scott – Shoreline City Council #6
Rose Ehart – University Place City Council #6
Chase Gallagher – Shelton Finance Commissioner
Sili Gallagher – Highline School Board #1
Maren Norton – Shoreline School Board #4

To learn more about the candidates that didn’t yet have a website as well as those that do you can go to Progressive Majority’s national page of 2007 endorsed candidates.

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

Seven Seattle City Council Candidates Join the $100,000 Club

Here are the latest fundraising figures from the Washington Public Disclosure Commission as of August 13, 2007 for the Seattle City Council races on the August 21, 2007 ballot. Seven candidates have raised over $100,000.

Three incumbents are far ahead in cash. Incumbent Jean Godden, with $179,191 has out raised her closest opponent by 4 to 1. Thomas M Rasmussen is unopposed, but still has raised the most of any candidate, with $193,993. Because he is unopposed his name will not appear on the August 21, 2007 primary ballot. Sally Clark has raised $137,398 without serious challengers.

The most hotly contested races are for Positions 3 and 7.

Position 3 is the seat being vacated by Peter Steinbrueck. The two strongest contenders are Bruce Harrell who has raised $156,073 and Venus Velazquez who has raised $124,595.

David Della currently holds Position No. 7. He has raised $170,143. He is facing a strong challenge from Timothy L Burgess who has raised $154,528. Because there are only two candidates in this race it does not appear on the August 21, 2007 ballot but will be decided in the November general election..

You can read more about all the candidates running for Seattle City Council by clicking on the official Seattle Voters Guide for the August 21, 2007 primary election. In addition MajorityRulesBlog has collected as many endorsement sites as we could find and have posted them at “Washington State- August 21, 2007 Primary Endorsements.”

Seattle City Council Position No 1
JEAN H GODDEN raised $179,190.72 spent $136,905.14
SONDHEIM ROBERT C raised $2,867 spent $1,548.03
SZWAJA JOSEPH B raised $43,497.03 spent $42,390.49

Seattle City Council Position No 3
FELDMAN SCOTT M raised $1,524.68 spent $1,074.68
HARRELL BRUCE A raised $156,072.76 spent $90,084.97
MANNING JOHN E raised $3,573.18 spent $3,034.08 (as of 5/07)
NOBLES JAMES L raised $1,635.00 spent $69.00 (as of 5/07)
RUNTE ALFRED raised $6,069.73 spent $5,684.73
VELAZQUEZ VENUS raised $124,595.32 spent $86,227.83

Seattle City Council Position No 5 (on Nov 6 ballot only)
RASMUSSEN THOMAS M raised $193,993.40 spent $72,283.53

Seattle City Council Position No 7 (on Nov 6 ballot only)
BURGESS TIMOTHY L raised $154,528.57 spent $77,765.59
DELLA DAVID J raised $170,140.13 spent $89,871.71

Seattle City Council Position No 9
CLARK SALLY J raised $137,397.82 spent $48,875.35
FENTON JUDITH L raised $355.00 spent $0.00

Fisken and Bryant Seattle Port Race Getting Expensive

Alec M Fisken Jr is an incumbent Seattle Port Commissioner running for re-election in Position 5. His Primary opponent, Bill Bryant, has raised more than twice as much money as he has but has spent almost four times as much as Fisken as of August 13, 2007.

As of August 13, 2007 , Public Disclosure Commission records show Bryant has raised $181,904 and spent $117,707. Fisken has raised $90,865 and spent only $32,037. They are almost equal when comparing cash on hand. Fisken has $58,828 cash on hand and Bryant has $64,197.

Two other candidates will appear on the August 21, 2007 ballot , Catherine Perkins and Stephen Symms. Neither report that they have raised or spent any money on their campaigns.

The race is dividing progressive/ Democrat/ labor versus business/Republican interests.

Alec Fisken has secured the endorsements of King County Labor Council, King County Democrats, Washington Conservation Voters, Sierra Club-Cascade Chapter as well as the Seattle Times. Seattle PI and Stranger. He is rated outstanding by the Municipal League. Former Governor Gary Locke,and Mike Lowry as well as King County Executive Ron Sims and House Speaker Frank Chopp support Fisken.

Meanwhile Bill Bryant sports few organizational endorsements. There are four organizational endorsements on his web page including 2 builders groups – the Affordable Housing Council and BUILD. His personal endorsements include a number of Republicans, including Slade Gorton , AG Rob McKenna and former Governor Dan Evans.

Alec Fisken is an independent voice on the Seattle Port Commission and deserves re-election. If you can help with a contribution to help his voice be heard above special interest money go to Fisken’s website now.

Cascade Bicycle Club Releases August 21, 2007 Primary Endorsements

The Cascade Bicycle Club has just come out with their endorsements for the August 21, 2007 Washington State Primary. They are a nonprofit, nonpartisan group that defines their mission to be “creating more livable communities by promoting health & recreation through bicycle activities, advocacy, & education.”

On their primary endorsement page they note that their involvement in election politics is for “one vitally important reason – policies that effect bicycling begin and end with our elected representatives.”

Besides evaluating the candidates on specific issues they also evaluate a candidate’s past votes, talk to local activists and, when necessary, interview them face to face.
Critical votes for incumbents spanned a range of issues impacting bicycling, including: child safety, bicycle lanes and trails, transportation funding, land-use and sprawl.”

The endorsements cover both King and Snohomish Counties in Washington State.

Cascade Bicycle Club August 21, 2007 Primary Endorsements

King County Prosecutor – Bill Sherman
King County County Council Position No. 8 – Dow Constantine
Snohomish Co County Council – Brian Sullivan
Port of Seattle Commissioner 2 – Jack Block Jr. & Gael Tarleton
Port of SeattleCommissioner 4 – Alec Fisken
AuburnCity Council 7 – Lynn Norman
Burien City Council 4 – Stephen Lamphear
Duvall City Council 6 – Anne Laughlin
Edmonds Mayor – Gary Haakenson
Everett City Council 4 – Charlene Rawson
Federal Way City Council 7 – Hope Elder
Issaquah City Council 4 – Joshua Schaer
Mercer Island City Council 3 – Maureen Judge
Mukilteo City Council 6 – Pat Kessler
Newcastle City Council 4 – Sonny Putter
Sammamish City Council 4 – Nancy Whitten
Seattle City Council 1 – Jean Godden
Seattle City Council 3 – Bruce Harrell
Seattle City Council 9 – Sally Clark
Shoreline City Council 2 – Paul Grace
Shoreline City Council 4 – Doris McConnell
Shoreline City Council 6 – Terry Scott
Tukwila City Council 2 – De’Sean Quinn
Woodinville City Council 2 – Randy Ransom
Woodinville City Council 6 – Liz Aspen

46th District Democrats Give Primary Endorsements

Last night the 46th District Democrats in North Seattle met at Olympic View Elementary School. Over a 2 hour period over 100 Democrats debated and voted on candidates to give support to in the Primary on August 21, 2007.

Here is a list of candidates endorsed.

King County Prosecutor – Bill Sherman

King County Assessor – Scott Noble

King County Council, Dist 2 – Larry Gosset

King County Council, Dist 4 – Larry Phillips

Port of Seattle, Pos 2 – Gael Tarleton and Jack Block, Jr.

Port of Seattle, Pos 5 – Alex Fisken

Seattle School Board, Dist 1 – no endorsement

Seattle School Board, Position 2 – Sherry Carr

Seattle School Board, Positon 3 – Harium Martin-Morris

Seattle City Council, Position 1 – Jean Godden

Seattle City Council, Position 3 – Venus Velazquez and Bruce Harrell

Seattle City Council, Position 5 – Tom Rasmussen

Seattle City Council, Position 7 – Tim Burgess and David Della

Seattle City Council, Position 9 – Sally J Clark

The 46th District Democrats also voted to endorse the King County Parks issues, Proposition 1 and Proposition 2 which are on the November ballot.