NOTE: Due to time constraints caused by playing with my kitten, the editorial staff at Doug's Voter's Guide
did not have time to review, endorse or critique unopposed races. I'm thinking most of the candidates running unopposed
will find a way to win, whether I oppose them or not.

United States Senator
Dino Rossi is the Michael Myers of Washington state politics. He stalks, he attacks and just when you think he's left for dead, he pops back to life to scare the hell out of you. Like Myers to Jamie Lee Curtis, Rossi is no friend to the people of Washington, and I'm not entirely sure he even wants to be a U.S. Senator. I think he keeps running for office to get his name in the press, which helps him sell tickets to real estate investment seminars once the election cycle ends.

Patty Murray stands for everything Dino Rossi opposes. Smart regulation and not allowing big businesses to pollute our environment or big banks to screw us all. Smart government spending and investing in infrastructure and public policies that help ALL of us, not just payouts and contracts to political cronies. Equal rights for all, equal access for all, taking care of veterans, a woman's right to choose, a repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell... Patty Murray is a Senator for all people. "Senator Rossi" sounds spooky.

United States Representative, District 7
Did you know that Jim McDermott's middle name is Adelbert? In 1880 that was the 320th most popular name for boys born in the United States. "Adelbert" means "nobly bright," which I think nicely reflects our thoughtful and intelligent United States Representative.

If by chance the Republicans do take back the House in 2010, we'll need progressive voices like McDermott's in Congress more than ever.




Initiative 1053
November usually means three things: the Seahawks are losing, my house is freezing and there's a Tim Eyman initiative on the ballot.

I-1053 states that every tax and fee imposed by the state Legislature will require a two-thirds legislative approval in order to pass. It seems weird that a two-thirds mandate can become law with only a simple majority of the vote on I-1053. And why stop at two-thirds, Eyman? Maybe tax increases should require unanimous consent in the Legislature.

California currently has this same two-thirds requirement. California is a mess. Majority should rule in this case. VOTE NO on I-1053.

Initiative 1082
I-1082 is the insurance industry's attempt to get their dirty little mittens on Washington state's public workers' compensation program. The insurance industry laments that workers' comp rates increase year after year, and if we privatize the program, rates will go down. Um, I don't know about you, but my privately-held home, auto and medical insurance rates have NEVER gone down. How would workers' comp be any different?

Our current workers' compensation system works just fine. There is accountability and oversight. Legitimate claims are paid promptly, and not stuck in a corporate boardroom, waiting for shareholder approval. VOTE NO on I-1082.

Initiative 1098
Opponents of I-1098 (the high-earner income tax) are screaming "class warfare," but currently Washington state has the most regressive tax system in the United States. When compared to high-income earners, low- and middle-income folks in Washington pay a higher portion of their income in taxes than in all other 49 states. I-1098 levels the playing field by taxing income of $200,000 for individuals (and $400,000 for couples) at 5%.

Opponents of this initiative also argue that in two years the Legislature will drop the level at which income is taxed to a rate that would include everyone. I will bet my signed copy of Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States" that this will never happen. State legislators like their jobs too much and know they'd be booted out of office if they dropped the income level below $200,000.

I-1098 also cuts state property taxes by 20% and eliminates the business and occupation tax on tens of thousands of small businesses. Class warfare has never looked so fair.
VOTE YES on I-1098.

Initiative 1100
Washington state has messed up liquor laws. I don't buy a lot of hard booze, but when I do it's usually for a special occasion, like 4th of July, Thanksgiving or pre-church Jager shots. Unfortunately most of our state run liquor stores are closed on holidays and Sundays. This needs to change, but is I-1100 the answer?

Proponents of this initiative claim that liquor prices will go down if it is passed. This is baloney. California sells liquor privately and their prices are no lower than Washington's. What will happen is the revenue that is currently going to the state from liquor sales (funding schools, health care and firefighters) will now go to places like Kroger and 7-11. It's a bad time to take revenue from our state coffers. Fix our liquor laws, Olympia, but VOTE NO on I-1100.
Initiative 1105
Washington state has messed up liquor laws (see above), and here's another initiative attempting to fix them. Why are there two liquor privatization initiatives on the ballot this year? And why are they so similar?

I've studied them both and can't really tell the difference. They're like identical twins. But are they good twins, like the Olsens (Full House-era, of course) or evil, like those two creepy girls in the The Shining? I can't tell. I'm confused. And when I'm confused I curl up in a ball, look away and just say no.

VOTE NO on I-1105.

Initiative 1107
My last street address was "1107", so I was pretty excited about this initiative. Then I read it. I-1107 would repeal the sales taxes imposed on candy, soda pop and bottled water that the state Legislature passed earlier this year. Supporters of this initiative like to call this a "food" tax on "essential" items. Come on, man. Snickers, Pepsi and Evian are not essential food items.

These taxes are expected to raise $300 million in revenue to help fund schools and childrens' health care. In a world of pure imagination, where no one ate candy or drank soda and bottled water, this tax would bring in no money. But, hey, I'm guilty myself, and when I reach for that delicious bar of gooey chocolate, I really don't care if it costs 99 cents or $1.08. Just give it to me, man! (And, oh, I should mention that I lived at 1107 Republican Avenue. Figures.)

VOTE NO on I-1107.

Referendum 52
I went to an elementary school built in the 1960s. Every year a bunch of us guys would have a contest to see who could eat the most asbestos. I never won, but was always in the hunt. Fortunately those days are long gone, and smarter folks than I have figured out an even better way to remove asbestos (it's possible that I might've been one of those smarter folks had I not grown up eating asbestos).

Referendum 52 seeks funding to remove asbestos, mold and other toxins from school buildings via bond authorization and a continuance of the sales tax on bottled water which would've otherwise expired in 2013. It is intended to ultimately be revenue neutral because these repairs will make older buildings more energy efficient, saving money in the long run.

Don't allow future generations to make the same mistakes I did.
VOTE YES on R-52.

Senate Resolution 8225
This seems almost too good to be true. The Legislature wants to amend the state Constitution, and by shuffling some words around apparently we will save $100 million on bond interest payments. Maybe they can amend my mortgage contract as well.

VOTE YES on SJR 8225.
House Resolution 4220
Hasty proposals made in the shadow of tragedy always make me nervous. The Patriot Act and Iraq War Resolution are recent examples. HR 4220 is another one. If passed, this resolution would amend the state Constitution and allow bail to be denied by judges for defendants who face charges where the maximum sentence is life in prison.

This resolution was written in response to the slaying of four Lakewood Police officers by Maurice Clemons, and as much as it would've been nice to have that dude behind bars, I can't get myself to vote to amend the state Constitution based upon a single, tragic incident.

VOTE NO on HR 4220.

State Representative, Position 2
Frank Chopp lives in my neighborhood. I occasionally see him at Tully's. He's shorter than I would've thought, and his mustache is something to marvel at. Put him in a tie and short sleeve button down shirt and he's Andy Sipowitz.



Charter Amendment No. 1
This amendment to the King County Charter will add some language in the Charter's preamble. It seems innocuous. Like this puppy.


Charter Amendment No. 2
This amendment to the King County Charter eliminates duplication in government.
This amendment to the King County Charter eliminates duplication in government.

This amendment to the King County Charter eliminates duplication in government.
This amendment to the King County Charter eliminates duplication in government.
This amendment to the King County Charter eliminates duplication in government.
This amendment to the King County Charter eliminates duplication in government.

Charter Amendment No. 3
This amendment to the county's Charter would give the Sheriff bargaining authority over her department's working conditions, while keeping the bargaining authority over the same department's compensation and benefits under the King County Executive. Sounds more complicated than a James Joyce novel.

Proposition No. 1
This proposal would raise the King County sales tax .2% to pay for more cops and prosecutors. Interestingly both the supporters of this proposition (Dan Satterberg) and the opponents of this proposition (John Carlson) are high-profile local Republicans. One group is taking the "tough on crime" stance, the other the "no new taxes" stance. I love watching Republicans fight amongst themselves.

For me, it seems hypocritical to argue that we have the most regressive tax system in the country (as I did in support of I-1098) and then vote for an increase in the sales tax. Read my lips: Not gonna do it.


State Supreme Court Judge, Position 6
Richard Sanders would probably be a lot of fun to hang out and drink with. He seems to be a bit of a loose cannon with a big mouth. And I'm sure he's very smart. He is Washington state's version of Antonin Scalia. We don't need our own Antonin Scalia.

Charlie Wiggins is a former Court of Appeals judge who believes "that courts must be sensitive when the balance of power between litigants is inherently unequal and must insure both sides are heard and treated fairly." Hallelujah.



Seattle Municipal Court, Position 1
There's something about Ed McKenna that I don't trust. Maybe it's the endorsements from heavy-handed former Seattle City Attorneys Mark Sidran and Tom Carr. Or maybe it's the goatee. Should grandfathers of two still be sporting the goatee?

McKenna has been endorsed by several Democratic groups, but he really seems to be hanging his judicial hat on being a tough prosecutor and a big proponent of "civility" laws. As a judge I wonder how open-minded he would be.

Sitting Municipal Court Judge Edsonya Charles does not have the greatest rating as a judge, but she does have experience as both a federal prosecutor and human services advocate. And she does not have a goatee. I'm basically flipping a coin.

Seattle Municipal Court, Position 6
Both Karen Donohue and Michael Salvador Hurtado seem like good candidates, but I do like Hurtado's experience with, and dedication to, working with Seattle's youth. And I find it interesting that he's endorsed by both the Seattle Police Officers Guild and the founder of Mothers for Police Accountability, an odd coupling. The dude must be a fair and well-reasoned judge to have advocates on such disparate sides.

Seattle School District No. 1, Proposition No. 1
Aaaauggggghhhh!!! Another school levy. Don't they ever stop? Yes, fine, I'll vote for your stupid levy. $45 a year? Whatever. Here's my money... take it. Now leave me alone and tell your kid to get off my lawn!!!