Tag Archives: August 18 2009 Primary

King County Election Results – Tuesday Evening

King County Elections posted at 9:52 PM the last results for today of ballots that were received through Tuesday in the mail and in person polling today at its three locations. The next results will be at 4:30 PM on Wednesday.

It is going to be a bad night for Mayor Greg Nickels of Seattle as he currently is in third and is closely trailing two challengers Mike McGinn and Joe Mallahan. Polls leading up to the election today that showed his support was very low coming into Election Day were obviously fairly accurate in saying he was in trouble.

Here are the early numbers:

Mike McGinn 16,891 26.56%

Joe Mallahan 16,376 25.81%

Greg Nickels 15,921 25.05%

This was an all mail in ballot and being an August Primary the turnout is very low so far. This could change if a lot of people waited until today to turn in ballots in the mail. Tomorrow’s numbers will be more decisive. King 5 TV tonight thought that maybe only 50% of the potential ballots were in so far and counted.

The current mailed in ballots only comprise 17.37% of registered Seattle voters. (Ballots Cast/Registered Voters: 65,942 / 379,721 17.37%)

The King County Executives race in November is going to be between Dow Constantine and Susan Hutchinson. Hutchinson was the only “Republican” candidate in the race and got 37.4% of the vote Dow Constantine one of 4 Democrats running got 22.38% of the vote.

Court of Appeals Judge Anne L Ellington is easily winning with 74.16% of the vote.

Port Commission Position 3 saw Rob Holland at 50.93% and David Doud at 33.10%.

Port Commission Position 4 saw Tom Albo at 38.72%. Second was Max Vekich at 26.75% and Robert Wilkes at 24,70%. This race could still see some changes and is too close to call for second.

Seattle School Board members are elected by District. The top 2 candidates in the Primary then run citywide in November. in Position #5 incumbent Mary Bass received 38.51% of the vote with challenger Kay Smith Blum at 38.03%. In Position #7 Betty Patu received 46.31% and Wilson Chin 41.31%.

In Seattle City Council Position 4 Sally Bagshaw received 49.99% to David Bloom’s 18.2%.

In Seattle City Council Position 6 incumbent Nick Licata polled 52.82% to Jessie Israel’s 29.99%.

In Seattle City Council Position 8 Mike O’Brien received 35.58% to Robert Rosencrantz’s 19.38%

Voters voted down Referendum 1 on bag fees by 58.09% to 41.91%

Seattle City Council Races Sorting Out in First Election Results

The three Seattle City Council races are sorting out in the first results from King County Elections being released at 8:03 PM. Because this is an all mail in ballot, final results may take a while to sort out in position 8 but the trends are pretty clear in the other races.

As we noted in our previous post The Seattle Mayor’s race is a three way tie, with Michael McGinn on top, followed closely by Joe Mallahan and incumbent Greg Nickels a close third.

In Position 4 Sally Bagshaw has a commanding lead with 50.06% of the vote. David Bloom is her most likely opponent, coming in second with 18.17%.

In Position 6, incumbent Councilmember Nick Licata has a comfortable 52,54%, with Jessie Israel coming in second at 29.99%.

In position 8, Sierra Club member Mike O’Brien has a comfortable lead in the 6 person race at 35.56% of the vote. Robert Rosencrantz more allied with the business community has come in at second with 19.39%. Jordan Royer is third and David Miller is fourth. This is the tightest race for second position of the three seats in the primary and there could be some changes when mailed in ballots are counted in the next two days.

City of Seattle Council Position No. 4

Sally Bagshaw 28,087 50.06%

Thomas Tobin 5,706 10.17%

Brian Carver 5,021 8.95%

Dorsol Plants 6,853 12.21%

David Bloom 10,194 18.17%

Write-in 244 0.43%

City of Seattle Council Position No. 6

Marty Kaplan 9,592 16.73%

Nick Licata 30,260 52.79%

Jessie Israel 17,192 29.99%

Write-in 278 0.48%

City of Seattle Council Position No. 8

Mike O’Brien 19,913 35.56%

Rusty Williams 3,046 5.44%

Bobby Forch 6,731 12.02%

David Miller 6,842 12.22%

Jordan Royer 8,359 14.93%

Robert Rosencrantz 10,857 19.39%

Write-in 248 0.44%

Seattle Mayor Nickels in Trouble in First Election Returns

The first Election returns from King County Elections shows a three way tie for Seattle Mayor. Greg Nickels the incumbent is actually in third place. Michael McGinn is at the top right now with 26.56%. Joe Mallahan is in second place with 25.81%. Greg Nickels is third with 25.05%.

These are early results and it is likely this race will not be decided for a week or so if this closeness continues in the next count. This is an all mail in ballot so we aren’t waiting for precincts to report like in the past.

King County Elections results posted 8:10 PM 8/18/2009

City of Seattle Mayor

Mike McGinn 16,810 26.56%

James Donaldson 5,849 9.24%

Greg Nickels 15,859 25.05%

Joe Mallahan 16,334 25.81%

Kwame Wyking Garrett 715 1.13%

Jan Drago 4,926 7.78%

Elizabeth Campbell 1,974 3.12%

Norman Zadok Sigler 592 0.94%

Write-in 238 0.38%

King County Elections Last Minute Voting Help for August 18, 2009 Primary

King County Elections has issued the following press release detailing special Saturday hours, other last minute opportunities to vote, get a duplicate ballot or deal with other problems:

King County Elections News Release

Date: August 14, 2009
Contact: Kim Van Ekstrom, 206-296-1552

Megan Coppersmith, 206-296-2796

Elections Office announces special Saturday hours

With Election Day fast approaching on Tuesday, King County Elections will be open on Saturday to assist voters.

According to Sherril Huff, Director of Elections, “Even voters who have forgotten to update their addresses or lost their ballots still have an opportunity to vote. It is not too late to be part of this election.”

To accommodate voters, King County Elections will have Saturday office hours tomorrow, Aug. 15, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Voters who have not yet received their ballot can come to have a new ballot issued to them.

King County also has options for voters with disabilities. Three accessible voting centers are available for voters who may need assistance casting their ballot. The hours and locations are as follows:

Renton, King County Elections, 919 SW Grady Way, 98057

Friday, August 14: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Saturday, August 15: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Monday, August 17: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, August 18: 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Bellevue City Hall 450 110th Avenue NE, Bellevue, 98009, and

Seattle, Union Station 401 S. Jackson St, Seattle, 98104

Friday, August 14: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Saturday, August 15: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Monday, August 17: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Tuesday, August 18: 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Each center is operated by trained staff and has equipment designed to make voting accessible and private for everyone. The touch screen accessible voting unit features lap paddles and sip-and-puff devices, an audio option, and large and high contrast font to aid voters.

Don’t forget to vote in Tuesday’s primary. Voters can return their ballots in either of two ways: via the US Postal Service, postmarked on or before August 18, or at a designated drop boxes up until 8 p.m. on August 18. Visit www.kingcounty.gov/elections for more information on the upcoming election.

Primary Endorsements by Majority Rules Blog

The August 18th 2009 Primary is fast approaching in King County. Having been to a number of campaign events and having tracked election issues and candidates here are my recommendations on some of the candidates worthy of being given your vote. I am active in Democratic politics and progressive politics and my endorsement reflects that. These endorsements reflect my personal choices as to who I think would do the best job if elected in furthering progressive Democratic principles and goals.

Primary Election Recommendations:

King County Executive – Larry Phillips and Dow Constantine

Court of Appeals, Div 1, Dist 1, Position 3 – Anne L Ellington

Port of Seattle Position 3 – Rob Holland

Port of Seattle – Position 4 – Max Vekich

Seattle Mayor – Greg Nickels and Joe Mallahan

Seattle City Council Position 4 – David Bloom

Seattle City Council Position 6 – Nick Licata

Seattle City Council Position 8 – David Miller

Seattle School Board Position 7 – Charlie Mas

Seattle Referendum 1 (Bag Fee) – Approve

Also endorsed but on the General Election ballot:

Seattle City Council Position 2 – Richard Conlin

Seattle City Attorney – Peter Holmes

Initiative 1033 – Vote No

Approve the Bag Fee says Seattle Times

The Seattle Times recommends that Seattle voters approve Referendum 1. Referendum 1, on the August 18, 2009 Primary ballot would impose a 20 cent fee on both paper and plastic bags sold at large grocery stores, drugstores and convenience stores.

The Seattle Times notes that it is “a wholly avoidable fee on disposable plastic and paper bags” that will “reduce litter, landfill and environmental damage.” You only pay the fee if you don’t use reusable bags. Most stores have been selling reusable bags for one dollar. After 5 uses you don’t pay any additional costs.

The fact is that the throwaway plastic and paper bags people now use are not and never have been free. The website www.reusablebags.com states that the “annual cost to US retailers for plastic bags is estimated at $4 billion. When retailers give away free bags, their costs are passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices.”

So it is no wonder that the plastic industry that makes the throwaway plastic bags is freely spending over $1.3 million to try to get Seattle voters to reject the bag fee.

Sure there is some inconvenience in remembering to bring your reusable bags to the grocery store. But we’ve changed our habits before and helped to lead change on the national level.

When Seattle started curbside collection of recyclable, there were people who objected and said it was too much work. A battle at the time also involved plans to build an incinerator to burn garbage and recyclables. A cost benefit analysis showed recycling made more sense and would be less expensive. Recycling and curbside collection won out and over time Seattle residents have made the behavioral changes necessary to comply with separating out recyclables. We have become one of the leaders in recycling nationwide.

The issue with reusable bags also requires social and behavioral changes. Changing our society to a more sustainable one requires action and commitment. Using reusable bags is a small step but there is no away with plastics.

Plastics not degrade but break down into small particles that become contaminants in the ecosystem, particularly the ocean where they disrupt sea life and act as material that toxic chemicals attach to. Small plastic particles with toxic chemicals adhering to them are ingested by zoo plankton and work their way up the food chain. The toxics wind up in seafood we eat. There is no away.

In a post entitled “Plastic in the Plankton” there is this comment:

Dr. Curtis Ebbesmeyer, an oceanographer and marine debris expert in Seattle, says one pound of plastic turns into 100,000 small pieces of plastic if left in the ocean. While oil spills get more attention as an environmental threat, he says plastic is a far more serious danger to the ocean’s health. Oil is harmful but eventually biodegrades, while plastic remains forever, he says. Half of beach debris worldwide is plastic and its impact on the food chain is undetermined, Ebbesmeyer says. Not much is known about the effect of plastic consumption on marine life like jellyfish and fish. Plastic doesn’t biodegrade, it just gets broken into smaller pieces resembling zooplankton. The plastic is eaten by jellyfish, which are then eaten by fish. In addition to substituting for actual nutrients, plastic also chemically attracts hydrocarbon pollutants found in the ocean like PCBs and DDT. Moore says pollutants accumulate in plastic up to one million times more than in ocean water.

We have a choice of what kind of future we want. Is it continuing a throwaway society with its myriad of problems or making social and cultural changes necessary for the long term health of our planet? Vote to approve Referendum 1 on August 18, 2009.

Seattle School Board Candidates Mostly Low Profile and Low Fundraising.

Three Seattle School Board seats are up for election this year and two seats have Primary Elections. The School District has an odd hybrid electoral system where candidates run in a district in the Primary and city wide in the General Election.

Seattle School Board President Michael DeBell is running unopposed and will not be on the Primary ballot. In the second seat up, incumbent Mary Bass is opposed by 3 other candidates, Joanna Cullen, Andre Helmsletter and Kay Blum-Smith. The third seat is that being vacated by Cheryl Chow and has three candidates running. Wilson Chin, Charlie Mas and Betty Patu.

Despite the fact that the Seattle School District is in Seattle and of obvious interest to Seattle residents, campaign finance information for the candidates is not posted on the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission website. This is something that the city should include, especially considering how often candidates running for Seattle City Council or Mayor seem to mention the issues of our schools.

Also conspicuously absent is the fact that there are no campaign contribution limits for those running for Seattle School Board. While candidates for city office are limited to accepting a maximum of $700 per person per election cycle, no such limits exist for Seattle School Board. Two years ago this allowed some large contributions by a few individuals to influence the outcome of the races to a significant degree.

The following information is taken from the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission’s website.

One candidate this year for School Board, Wilson Chin, has received 4 contributions over the limit for other city offices. Two were for $2500 and two were for $1500. All told Chin has raised only $9,938 but it is the most in his race for Position #7 in South Seattle. Betty Patu has raised $1,035 and Charlie Mas has reported no contributions to date.

In Position 5, Mary Bass the incumbent, has raised some $6,142 , including a loan of $3,000. One contribution from Nadean Bass was for $1,000. Kay Smith-Blum has raised $26,165 and spent $19,710 to date. Her fundraising includes some $10,720 from 86 contributors; a $7,200 loan and $7,000 of her personal funds. Her largest individual contribution was for $400. The other two candidates, Joanna Cullen and Andre Helmsletter reported no campaign contributions.

Two years ago the races for Seattle School District saw huge amounts of money spent, much of it coming after the primary and in contributions much larger than the $700 limit for Seattle City Council and Mayoral races. The money was a coordinated effort to put more “congenial” people on the Board who didn’t ask as many questions. It worked if that was what you wanted.

Sherry Carr raised $149,130 with 31 contributions over $700 totaling some $105,700.

Peter Maier raised some $167,000 with 30 contributions over $700 totaling some $101,500.

Stephen Sundquist raised some $116,775 with 35 contributions over $700 totaling some $61,000.

The goal of this extraordinary amount of money was to defeat candidates like Darlene Flynn and Sally Soriano who disturbed the powers to be by asking too many questions and not taking the word of school administrators all the time.

Those who replaced them brought different results. You got people, for example, who did not question an administrative decision still ongoing to build in a rare plant habitat at Ingraham High School. They also were the votes that picked the fuzzy math approach for new textbooks. As the Seattle Times wrote about the math textbook vote:

“The other side, however, did not make a case for the reform text.

They argued instead that the “Discovering” books had been recommended by a committee, and that the board should respect the committee. Board member Steve Sundquist said, “I should probably not be telling educators how to teach.”

They argued that textbooks aren’t that important anyway. Board member Peter Maier said the books “allow a variety of teaching methods.”

They argued that textbook adoption was too important to waste any more time. “How many classes are we willing to graduate while we disagree over textbooks?” said board member Sherry Carr.

So the dominant paradigm — and reform math is that — continues. Dominance has its privileges. The supporters of reform math did not have to define their terms or label themselves. They did not have to make a logical argument or show any data.

They engaged in what you might call a cooperative group activity, and led themselves to discover the books that were wanted.”

So far contributions this year seem much more subdued but we could see a repeat. It would be unfortunate if once again large contributions influenced the races and produced more yes votes toeing the line of the Seattle School Administration without asking the tough questions.

Are Thowaway Bags Something to Get Worked up About?

On August 18, 2009 Seattle voters will have a chance to make a change in the way our society deals with throwaway bags. Will we be in the forefront of change or do we not have time to be bothered by the seemingly trivial issue? Will a $1 million advertising campaign by the American Chemical Society have an impact on the outcome?

Referendum 1, in an attempt to get Seattle consumers to use reusable bags, would impose a 20 cent fee on both plastic and paper bags.

So what the big deal?

Salon.com in a recent article entitled “Plastic Bags are killing us” gives a few insights into both plastic and paper bags and their problems.

-Every year, Americans throw away some 100 billion plastic bags after they’ve been used to transport a prescription home from the drugstore or a quart of milk from the grocery store. It’s equivalent to dumping nearly 12 million barrels of oil.

-Only 1 percent of plastic bags are recycled worldwide — about 2 percent in the U.S. — and the rest, when discarded, can persist for centuries.

-The problem with plastic bags isn’t just where they end up, it’s that they never seem to end. “All the plastic that has been made is still around in smaller and smaller pieces,” says Stephanie Barger, executive director of the Earth Resource Foundation,

-Bits of plastic bags have been found in the nests of albatrosses in the remote Midway Islands. Floating bags can look all too much like tasty jellyfish to hungry marine critters. According to the Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation, more than a million birds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die every year from eating or getting entangled in plastic. The conservation group estimates that 50 percent of all marine litter is some form of plastic. There are 46,000 pieces of plastic litter floating in every square mile of ocean, according to the United Nations Environment Programme.

-In the Northern Pacific Gyre, a great vortex of ocean currents, there’s now a swirling mass of plastic trash about 1,000 miles off the coast of California, which spans an area that’s twice the size of Texas, including fragments of plastic bags. There’s six times as much plastic as biomass, including plankton and jellyfish, in the gyre. “It’s an endless stream of incessant plastic particles everywhere you look,” says Dr. Marcus Eriksen, director of education and research for the Algalita Marine Research Foundation, which studies plastics in the marine environment.

-It takes 14 million trees to produce the 10 billion paper grocery bags used every year by Americans, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.


Change has to start somewhere. Let’s start here. Vote yes on Referendum 1.

Click here for the link to the Campaign website for GreenBagCampaign.org supporting Referendum 1.

The Susan Hutchison Nonpartisan Myth

So if you made contributions to Dino Rossi, Dave Reichert, Mike Huckabee, Cathy McMorris, Mainstream Republicans, King County Republicans’ Central Committee, George Nethercutt and George W Bush but not to any Democrats and Democratic organizations is it honest to call yourself nonpartisan? Susan Hutchison, running for King County Executive seems to think it is.

I think it’s hypocrisy and deceptive politics. This morning on Upfront, Hutchison when asked if she was a Republican and conservative, evaded a direct response by stating that she was “running in a nonpartisan race and that’s intentional.” She claimed, “I’m a non-partisan, never affiliated with a party, you know we don’t register in this state.”

I looked up the word affiliate in the dictionary. While one definition of affiliate is “to take in as a member” a second definition is “to connect or associate (oneself with)” Since Hutchison is correct that no one registers by party to vote in this state, the next best way to identify party affiliation is by looking at who you connect or associate with by your actions.

So let’s judge her by her political actions. One key way you determine party connection or association is by who you contribute money to. Back in April Erica C. Barnett of Slog searched for and found a very identifying list of candidates that Hutchison gave money to. She entitled her post “Susan Hutchison, Partisan Republican” Here is the list of donations Hutchison made, based on Erica’s search of political donations made.

$500 to Republican Congressman Dave Reichert
$375 to Republican gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi
$250 to Republican Congresswoman Cathy McMorris (now McMorris Rodgers)

$1000 to Citizens for Accountable Elections, the group that made the King County Elections Director a nonpartisan elected position
$700 to Republican gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi
$500 to Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee
$100 to Republican King County prosecutor Dan Satterberg

$2,000 to Republican Congressman Dave Reichert
$1,000 to Republican Congresswoman Cathy McMorris (now McMorris Rodgers)
$1,000 to Republican Douglas Robert Roulstone, who ran against Democratic Congressman Rick Larsen
$250 to Republican Supreme Court candidate Stephen Johnson, a darling of the religious right
$100 to the Mainstream Republicans of Washington

$1000 to ChangePAC, a BIAW-funded group that supported Republican Dino Rossi
$500 to Republican Congreeman Dave Reichert
$250 to the King County Republicans’ Central Committee
$100 to Conrad Lee, a Republican who sits on the Bellevue City Council
$50 to Jeff Sax, a Republican member of the Snohomish County Council
$50 to Jane Fellner, who ran against Seattle School Board incumbent Mary Bass

$3,000 to Republican George Nethercutt, who ran against Sen. Patty Murray

$500 to George W. Bush

In addition a check of 2009 campaign contributions at the PDC website found that in April she gave $800 to”nonpartisan” Reagan Dunn running for re-election on the King County Council.

Since 2003 Susan Hutchison has contributed some $13,525 to Republican candidates, Republican Party organizations and conservative causes according to public campaign fiance records. Of this no money was donated to Democrats or Democratic organizations. An additional $50 was donated to a Seattle School Board candidate that couldn’t be identified as to party.

You know someone by the friends they associate with and support. Hutchison has supported the campaigns of George W Bush, George Nethercutt, Dave Reichert, Cathy McMorris, BIAW’s ChangePAC, Mike Huckabee, Dino Rossi, the King County Republican Central Committee and Mainstream Republicans of Washington.

It’s pretty obvious that her history is a strong affiliation with the Republican Party and conservative issues. Her “nonpartisan” gambit is just that, a campaign ploy to try to hide her political philosophy from the voter’s of King County.

Nickels and Mallahan Lead in Fundraising in Seattle Mayor’s Race

While incumbent Mayor Greg Nickels has raised the most money in Seattle’s Mayoral race, both he and Mallahan have about the same amount of money in the bank at this point. Greg Nickels has raised $481,279 through June 30, 2009 and spent $161,554. This leaves him with $319,395 cash on hand.

Contributors listed as working for the City of Seattle made up about one quarter of Nickels’ contributions – $126,816.

Meanwhile Joe Mallahan has raised some $296,985 and only spent $17,110. This leaves him with $279,875 cash on hand. The bulk of Mallahan’s money has come from his own pocket at this point. In May he made a $200,000 contribution to his campaign.

About one quarter of the rest of Mallahan’s contributions also came from where he worked. Contributors working for T-Mobile gave Mallahan some $28,890.

Below are listed contributions and expenditures for the other candidates also running for Mayor. The figures are from those filed with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission for filings through June 30, 2009.

name …..contributions…….expenditures

Jan Drago…..$59,964…..$1.436

Michael McGinn…..$48,918 …..$5,339

James Donaldson…..$$22,777 …..$10,672

Norm Sigler …..$11,006…..$$6,471

The Primary date is August 18, 2009. The top two vote getters go on to the November General Election Ballot.