Currently viewing the tag: "elections"

Election Day is upon us Tuesday, Nov 8, 2011. 
What if you first realize after 5 PM that you forgot to mail your ballot?
Well there is one last thing you can do. Put it in a dropbox for voting by 8 PM!
You can also put it in a mail pickup box by 5 or 6 PM depending on the location. Ckeck for the last pickup time before you put it in a Post Office Pickup Box. It must have a stamp on it.
King County Elections Dropbox locations (no stamp needed) are listed below:

You can also go to King County Elections for locations and maps of drop boxes.Locations include:
Crossroads Shopping Center
15600 NE 8th Street
Bellevue, WA 98008
Federal Way City Hall
33325 8th Avenue South
Federal Way, WA 98003

Issaquah City Hall
130 East Sunset Way
Issaquah, WA 98027
King County Elections
919 SW Grady Way
Renton, WA 98057
Lake Forest Park City Hall
17425 Ballinger Way NE
Lake Forest Park, WA 98155Regional Justice Center
401 4th Avenue N.
Kent, WA 98032
Redmond City Hall
15670 NE 85th Street
Redmond, WA 98052
Tahoma School District Office
25720 Maple Valley-Black Diamond Rd SE
Maple Valley, WA 98038
King County Administration Building
500 4th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104
Magnuson Park
6344 NE 74th Street
Seattle, WA 98115
Ballard Branch Library
57th Street & 22nd Avenue NW
Seattle, WA 98107
Remember -all ballots must be placed in Balot Drop Boxes by 8 PM today

The following includes the latest endorsements by the 36th District Democrats for the August 16, 2011 Primary and also for the November General Election:

King County Assessor:  Lloyd Hara
King County Director of Elections:  Sherril Huff
King County Council, District 4:  Larry Phillips
King County Proposition 1 (Veterans and Human Services Levy):  Approve
Port of Seattle, Position 2:  Gael Tarleton
Port of Seattle – Position 5:  Dean Willard
Seattle City Council, Position 1:  Bobby Forch & Maurice Classen (dual)
Seattle City Council, Position 3:  Bruce Harrell
Seattle City Council, Position 5:  Tom Rasmussen
Seattle City Council, Position 7:  Tim Burgess
Seattle City Council, Position 9:  Sally Clark
Referendum 1:  “Approve” Position (Pro-Tunnel)
Seattle Schools, District 1:  [No Endorsement]
Seattle Schools, District 2:  [No Endorsement]

Tim Kaine has sent out the following e-mail to Democrats announcing his decision to run in 2012 for US Senator in Virginia.  Jim Webb, the current US Senator, has previously announced he would not be running for re-election.


Dear DNC Members,
I am writing to let you know that I have just announced my decision to run for the U.S. Senate from the Commonwealth of Virginia in 2012. To that end, I am stepping down as DNC Chair, effective immediately.
In the coming days, I will share some thoughts on my decision to run, my appreciation for the opportunity you gave me to serve as your Chair, and what we were able to accomplish together.
In the meantime, I am sure you will be as supportive of the President’s choice to replace me as you have been of me for the past two years. There will be more information about this important transition to follow.
I will treasure the friendships I’ve made during my time at the DNC, and hope that we will maintain those friendships in the years ahead.
It is an exciting time for the DNC. It is also an exciting next chapter for my family and me, as I embark down a new path on which I hope to serve as one of Virginia’s U.S. Senators.
Thank you for your hard work and support along the way and for all that you will do in the months and years ahead.
With gratitude,
Tim Kaine

Kaine also has a video up at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=mBX1TotZYtk announcing his decision.

Tagged with:
 

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, www.washclean.org

Republicans in the US Senate continue to block the nominations of Barack Obama. This tactic of obstructionism needs to be ended. If Congress wonders why Americans have such a low rating of Congress, this is a prime reason. Tactics like the filibuster and secret holds on nominations contribute to a dysfunctional government.

Of course this fits the Republican Agenda of trying to stop Obama’s Agenda for Change. Repubicans hope Americans will blame the Democrats rather than them for the consequences of not getting things done because government posts and judicial seats are still unfilled almost a year and a half after Obama took office.

The New York Times in an editorial today notes that “there are 52 nominees on secret holds – all noncontroversial in committee debates.”  As the New York Times explains:

The United States Senate was supposed to have dropped its insidious tradition that let members put endless secret holds on nominations and other important matters. The abuse continues, more murky than ever.

The reform, adopted three years ago, required senators to identify themselves within six days of blocking a nominee, and to state their objection. That stricture has been routinely violated with cheesy gamesmanship. Members — mostly in the Republican minority — pass secret holds among themselves to foil the time limit.

At the end of March, Obama made his first Recess appointments to end the Republican Senatorial roadblock 15 of his appointments. But the roadblock still continues for many other nominees. The New York Times editorial noted that the Senate has confirmed only 45% of Obama’s judicial nominees to date.

Americans need to contact their Senators and urge an end to this juvenile practice. Elections have consequences and the losers needs to acknowledge this and let the winner put their choices in place to do the people’s business.

Five King County Council races are up for election this year. Officially filing for these seats is June 1 through June 5, 2009. That is only a month away. And so far according to the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission, the only candidates who have filed with the PDC and who are raising money are the 5 incumbents.

The incumbents are:

Position #1 Bob Ferguson
Position #3 Kathy Lambert
Position #5 Julia Patterson
Position #7 Pete von Reichbauer
Position #9 Reagan Dunn

The current composition of the King County County is 5 Democrats and 4 Republicans. Sure, voters last year passed the Republican sponsored measure to make the seats nonpartisan but that doesn’t change the political stripes of the candidates. All that did was make it harder for voters to know what candidates really stood for. Republicans pushed for the change to make it easier for them to fool voters as to their political allegiances.

Of the incumbents running this year, Bob Ferguson and Julia Patterson are Democrats. Kathy Lambert, Pete von Reichbauer and Reagan Dunn are Republican.

Of the remaining King County Councilmembers not up for election this year, Dow Constantine, Larry Phillips and Larry Gossett are Democrats. Jane Hague is a Republican.

Both Phillips and Constantine are running for King County Executive to fill the seat being vacated by Ron Sims who is going to serve in the Obama Administration as the Deputy Secretary of the US Department of Housing and Human Services. Also running for County Executive are Democrats Ross Hunter and Fred Jarrett. Susan Hutchison is representing the hopes of the Republicans and was a supporter of Mike Huckabee for President last year.

Anyone wanting to run for King County Council this year and challenge the incumbents will have some catching up to do in fundraising. The incumbents are not sitting by doing nothing. Here are the figures for their contributions received followed by their expenditures to date.

Bob Ferguson $76,766 …$51,895
Kathy Lambert $49,458 …$15,875
Julia Patterson $86,825 …$16,803
Pete von Reichbauer $146,210 …$21,135
Reagan Dunn $229,810 …$126,970

Democrats are missing an opportunity to challenge the incumbent Republican candidates by not fielding opposition candidates. You can’t increase the number of Democrats on the King County Council if you don’t challenge the Republicans. Based on the past votes for Democratic Presidential candidates in King County, certainly one of these Republican occupied seats could flip Democratic if a real challenger emerged .

Two years ago Democrats missed an opportunity to pick off a Republican when they didn’t file a candidate to challenge Republican Jane Hague who was arrested on a DUI. It looks like once again 3 Republican King County Councilmembers will go unchallenged.

The Primary this year is August 18, 2009. The General Election is November 3, 2009.

Some candidates are getting an early start on raising money for the 2008 statewide races. Financial reports filed for the 2008 statewide races show the Governor’s race getting the most attention.

As of the latest reports filed with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission for the period though Nov 30, 2007, Democratic Governor Chris Gregoire, has raised over $4,156,386, spent $1,368,739 and has $2,678,454 in cash on hand.

Republican Dino Rossi, who lost to Gregoire in 2004, is re-running and has raised $1,435,355, spent $525,748 and has $909,607 on hand.

Lt Governor Brad Owen, a Democrat reported raising $16,635, spending $6917 and having $9717 on hand. No Republican has filed yet with the PDC.

Attorney General Rob McKenna, a Republican has raised $635,617, spent $267,364 and has $368,252 in cash on hand. Although Pierce Count Executive John Ladenburg has been rumored to be considering a run for this seat, he has not filed with the Public Disclosure Commission.

Secretary of State Sam Reed, a Republican, has raised $230,899, spent $62,023 and has $168,875 on hand. He has no announced opponents at this time.

The current State Treasurer Mike Murphy, a Democrat, is retiring. Democratic State Legislator Jim McIntire is running for this seat. He has raised $33,945, spent $13,899 and has $20,046 on hand. Allan Martin is the Republican candidate. He has raised $21,530, spent $1786 and has $19,744 in cash on hand.

Commissioner of Public Lands Doug Sutherland, a Republican has raised $157,459, spent $15,370 and has $142,088 in cash on hand. Former Democratic Congressional candidate Peter Goldmark from eastern Washington is challenging Sutherland for this seat. Goldmark has raised $59,969, spent $29,197 and has $30,371 in cash on hand.

State Auditor Brian Sonntag, a Demcrat, has no opponent at this time. He has raised $27,432, spent $4054 and has $23,398 on hand.

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, a Democrat, has raised some $38,686, spent $12,046 and has $26,640 on hand.

Superintendent of Public Instruction, Terry Bergeson has raised $27,051, spent $1980, and has $25,071 on hand.

If only one name is mentioned in a race, it means no one else has filed with the PDC at this time.

None of these figures include money raised for independent expenditures in these races. In 2004, eg, the Building Industry Association of Washington, through its affiliated PAC called It’s Time for A Change, made $1,053,251 in independent expenditures -most of it to support Republican Rob McKenna in his race for Attorney General. In addition $1.5 million came from out of state from the US Chamber of Commerce opposing Debra Senn in the primary.

Senn received $1,080,028 in contributions for her whole campaign. This approximately matched the $1,211,814 McKenna received directly to his campaign. The $ 2.5 million in independent expenditures supporting McKenna was more than both candidates raised together.

McKenna personally thanked the BIAW for their support on election night saying if it wasn’t for the BIAW he wouldn’t have been elected.

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:

MajorityRulesBlog
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:

MajorityRulesBlog
Sierra Club (MajorityRulesBlog post)
the Stranger
36th Distrct Democrats
LeftyBlogs
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
MajorityRulesBlog
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
MajorityRulesBlog
LeftyBlogs
Washington Federation of State Employees
the Stranger
47th District Democrats
BlogNet News
WashBlog

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.

Darcy Burner is a Democratic candidate for Congress in the 8th Congressional District in Washington State. She narrowly lost in 2006 to Republican incumbent Dave Reichert. She is already running hard to beat him in 2008.

She is continuing her challenge not by being timid but by speaking up for her principles. Witness this just released web ad posted on U-Tube where she talks about the recent vote by many Democrats in Congress to support Bush’s expanded warrantless wiretapping in the name of fighting terrorism. She asks at what price do we give up the principles embedded in our country’s Constitution.

Watch it and ask yourself – isn’t this someone we need in Congress? Too many, including Democrats, are willing to cave in to fear at the expense of weakening protections in our Constitution. We need more elected officials willing to defend the Constitution.

To support Darcy Burner, you can go to her campaign website and make a contribution today.

Bill Sherman has picked up the endorsement of the Seattle Times in the August 21, 2007 Democratic Primary. Sherman is running for King County Prosecutor and has one opponent.

The primary this year is a month earlier than in the past because the Washington State Legislature this year passed legislation to move the date to August. While this helps candidates who win the primary have more time to transition to a general election ballot, particularly if there is a close primary vote, the voting date in August falls on the lazy summer days of August when many folks take vacations before school starts.

Sherman ran last year in a crowded field as a Democrat for a vacant seat in the 43rd Legislative seat. He did not win then but he gained valuable experience and connections and support that is giving him a leg up on his current primary challenger, Keith Scully. Scully appears to be a good candidate but this is his first run for public office.

Both Sherman and Scully were campaigning Saturday at the King County Democratic Picnic at Woodland Park in Seattle. Sherman is a Deputy Prosecutor with the King County Prosecutor’s office and is currently on leave. Scully worked in the Prosecutor’s Office previously.

The Republican candidate is Interim Prosecutor Dan Satterberg who was appointed temporarily to fill the seat when long time Republican Prosecutor Norm Maleng unexpectedly died.

Bill Sherman has also picked up endorsements from all the Democratic Legislative District Organizations in the county as well as the King County Democrats. The King County Labor Council and Machinists Local 751 are also supporting him.

The Times, in their endorsement of Bill Sherman notes that

“Sherman has worked in the prosecutor’s office since 2003. He was a deputy prosecuting attorney in its Domestic Violence Unit before going on leave to conduct his campaign. He has prosecuted sexual-assault cases, gun crimes and juvenile crimes, and says he will focus attention on repeat offenders involved in drugs or domestic violence, will overhaul the fraud division and expand the offerings under victims’ services. … Sherman is smart and well-spoken, …”

Bill Sherman is a personable candidate that seems at ease campaigning. It is refreshing to see new Democratic candidates emerge on the political scene that are well versed on the issues. Sherman would bring new life and energy to a Prosecutor’s Office that already has a strong reputation. He is working hard to win the vote both in August and November.

Tagged with:
 
Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.