U.S. President
Chris Rock said it well: "George Bush [messed] up so bad that he made it hard for a white guy to become president." Indeed. Times are tough. The economy's in the toilet, we're occupying two Middle Eastern countries and we're as popular abroad as a vegan at Sarah Palin's annual moose roast. It's time for a president who is not only smart and serious, but has the charisma and character to inspire the best in others. The cool and confidence that Barack Obama has shown in situations like this will help him build coalitions in Washington D.C. and around the world. VOTE OBAMA.
U.S. Representative, Washington District 7
Last year I sat behind Jim McDermott in a movie theater. We were watching "Borat". Jim McDermott is very comfortable with uncomfortable comedy. He laughed neither too much nor too little and didn't avert his eyes during the nude wrestling scene. Jim McDermott was right on Iraq, right on the PATRIOT Act and right on trade policy. Every two years, like clockwork, I vote for McDermott and buy new underwear. Is nice! VOTE MCDERMOTT.
Long before the Democratic primary was resolved, Christine Gregoire endorsed Barack Obama for President. When Obama came to Seattle in February to speak, I was amused to see Gregoire sitting behind him, for she bears a passing resemblance to Hillary Clinton. This November, thousands of "independent voters" in Washington state will mark their ballot for Barack Obama and Dino Rossi. These people aren't mavericks. They're mindless. The only thing Obama and Rossi have in common are big ears and funny-sounding names. Dino Rossi hates trees, public education and even your cat. Don't let him pave paradise and put up a parking lot. VOTE GREGOIRE.
Lieutenant Governor
"Brad Owen" is an anagram for "Bear Down". It's good advice in troubled times. VOTE OWEN.
Secretary of State
Secretaries of state oversee elections. Sketchy ballots and voter suppression are the hallmark of many Republican secretaries of state. In fact the Bush nightmare has been brought to us in a large part by Florida's former Republican secretary of state, Katherine Harris. Republican Sam Reed must've not gotten the memo, for he neglected to steal the 2004 Governor's election for Dino Rossi. Instead he calmly let the democratic process run its course and made sure every valid vote was counted, much to the chagrin of his party's faithful. He's earned your thanks. VOTE REED.
Retiring state Treasurer Mike Murphy (a Democrat) is endorsing Republican Allan Martin for this office. So I'm given pause: Should I really trust a Republican with my money? The last time I did that I woke up stone cold broke and half-naked, face down in a crusty Enumclaw honky-tonk. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me... can't get fooled again! VOTE MCINTIRE.
The Republican in this race, Dick McEntee, is the President of an organization called "Human Life" who are gaga over Sarah Palin. Nevermore trust a Republican named "Dick". VOTE SONNTAG.
Attorney General
There are worse Republicans than current Attorney General Rob McKenna, but few are funnier looking. As McKenna grows older and his boyish looks fade, he looks more and more each day like a Muppet. This must stop. Democrat John Ladenburg has 15 brothers and sisters. FIFTEEN! This man knows a thing or two about fairness, equality and the importance of personal privacy. VOTE LADENBURG.
Commissioner of Public Lands
All else being equal, if there's a "Doug" in a race he (or she) will get my vote. All else in not equal in this race. Incumbent Doug Sutherland disgraced my name by getting all touchy and pervy with female co-workers, for which he was forced to apologize. Peter Goldmark has a PhD in Molecular Biology from Berkeley and has run a cattle ranch in Eastern Washington for the past 35 years. He's smart, environmental and keeps his hands to himself. VOTE GOLDMARK.
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Is our children learning? Terry Bergeson has been Superintendent for 12 years. It's time for her to graduate. VOTE DORN.
Insurance Commissioner
Mike Kreidler rules! He's no friend of the insurance companies, he's an advocate for real health care reform and he has a Master's in Public Health from UCLA. Other groundbreaking UCLA alumni include Jackie Robinson, Rafer Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and myself. VOTE KREIDLER.
Representative, Legislative District 43, Position 2
Frank Chopp lives a few blocks from me. I know he's home when hot winds gust from the west. This guy has a TON of power in the state legislature and it's gone to his head. He too quickly dismisses those he disagrees with and supports a completely nutty proposal to replace the Alaska Way Viaduct with a 90-foot wide, 55-foot tall shopping mall/freeway. Under "Significant Career Experience" his opponent, Kim Verde, lists "World Champion Ski Racer (age 55-59)". What a couple of knuckleheads. Chopp will win in a landslide, but I encourage you to vote for someone you love and trust. VOTE YOUR GRANDMA.
Initiative 985
Tim Eyman wants to open HOV ("carpool") lanes to all traffic during most of the day. Tim's argument is, "Hey, I paid for that lane, I should be able to use it." Guess what, Tim? You could use it right now. If you had any friends or anyone who could actually stand sharing a car with you, then the HOV lanes are open to you too! I-985 also takes money away from bike paths, park & rides, ferries and buses, funneling funds into more and more roads instead. It's regressive transportation policy from Tim Eyman. What a surprise. VOTE NO.
Initiative 1000
This is the "right to die" initiative. Morally I have no opposition to this. If you're in pain and want to die, who am I to stop you? But Martin Sheen (a political liberal and outspoken activist against right to die initiatives) makes a great point: Policies like this would make more sense if Americans had equal access to quality health care. Will poor people with less access to pain meds and other options choose to end their lives in disproportionate numbers? Perhaps. It saddens me how messed up our priorities are when it comes to health care in this country. Profits before people. But in the end (so to speak), who am I to tell you how or when you can or cannot face the great beyond? VOTE YES.
Initiative 1029
This initiative would mandate that long-term care workers who care for the elderly, sick and disabled undergo 75 hours of training. It seems to me that this would improve the quality of care, right? And 75 hours is hardly a heavy burden. VOTE YES.
Superior Court Judge, Positions 1, 22 & 37
There may be no more important positions we vote for than judges. Their rulings on issues relating to things like civil rights and the environment oftentimes directly affect the things we do and see every day. Unfortunately I'm too lazy to research all the candidates and their positions, so I let The Stranger do my heavy lifting. According to them:
Charter Amendment No. 1
This amendment to the King County Charter would change the director of elections from an appointed position to an elected position. If the director of elections oversees elections, then when the director of elections is up for election who would oversee that election? And if God created the universe, who created God? It makes my head hurt. Take an Advil and... VOTE NO.
Charter Amendment No. 2
This amendment to the King County Charter would protect disabled and gay people from discrimination in county employment and contrac... WAIT! You STILL can refuse to hire someone in King County just because they're gay?! Time to move into the 21st century, young man. VOTE YES.
Charter Amendment Nos. 3, 5 & 6
These amendments are dull. So dull that no one even bothered to write a "Statement Against" to any of them in the Voter's Pamphlet. If they don't care, why should I? VOTE YES. OR NO.
Charter Amendment No. 4
This amendment would allow the county council to "establish additional qualifications" for offices like sheriff, county assessor and a potential director of elections, yet it doesn't spell out just what those "additional qualifications" could be. That the sheriff grow a mustache? Or the county assessor be left-handed? I don't get it. VOTE NO.
Charter Amendment No. 7
Tim Eyman hates this amendment because it would make it harder for him to get his self-serving initiatives on the ballot. Make Tim mad. VOTE YES.
Charter Amendment No. 8
This amendment would make the offices of county executive, county assessor and county councilmember nonpartisan. Republicans would really like this to pass because their party "brand" has been horribly damaged in the past 8 years and they'd like to strip the "R" from behind their name. They're so cute when they're mad. VOTE NO.
Proposition No. 1, Sound Transit
A Chinese proverbs states, "One generation plants the tree; another gets the shade." This proposal will raise the sales tax by one-half percentage point, costing the average King County resident/shopper $70 a year. It will provide immediately for 100,000 hours of additional bus service, 36 miles of light rail and expanded commuter rail, all for the low, low price of 19 cents a day. Sound Transit's projects don't have the best track record for being "on time and under budget", but have you ever ridden one of their buses? They're pretty sweet. Plant the tree, grasshopper. VOTE YES.
Proposition No. 1, Pike Place Market Levy
The Pike Place Market is great. I especially love hanging out by its skanky restrooms and watching the looks on tourists' faces, aghast that a major Seattle attraction would have such outdated facilities. It's part of the Market's charm and free entertainment for me. Unfortunately with this property tax of 10 cents per $1000 assessment those restrooms would be replaced with upgraded ones. It would also, however, make the market more energy efficient, seismically safe and accessible to the disabled. Those are good things. VOTE YES.
Proposition No. 2, Parks Levy
This levy of 19 cents per $1000 property assessment replaces the current expiring parks levy, and SUPPOSEDLY property taxes will go down even if it passes. We'll see about that. Regardless, it does provide a Christmas list worth of goodies to the taxpayer. There's skateparks, reservoir lids, playfields, dog parks and much more. Families, kids, dogs... whatever. All I really care about is the $3.75 million that will go toward FINALLY completing the Burke Gilman Trail through Ballard. Perhaps even in my lifetime. VOTE YES.