United States President
Americans have short memories, always asking ourselves "What day is it?" "Where are my keys?" "Who's your daddy?" There is no greater testament to this than the fact that the race for U.S. President is so frustratingly close.

Do you remember the steaming pile of dog crap that Barack Obama inherited four years ago? I do. The economy was in total collapse. We were hemorrhaging jobs. Banks were failing. New businesses couldn't get financing. The stock market was plummeting. Each of these trends has been reversed during the Obama presidency (despite constant obstruction from Republicans in Congress, whose sole goal is to make Barack Obama a one-term president).

Are we better off than we were four years ago? You better believe it.

Make no mistake: Mitt Romney IS George W. Bush. A son-of-privelege trying to finish the job that daddy couldn't. A spoiled bully, totally out of touch with the average American. A draft dodging war hawk. Mitt Romney is not a friend to the average American, and we cannot risk voting for the same radical policies that drove this country into a ditch during the Bush years.


P.S. Osama bin Laden is still dead.

United States Senator
When, in 2002, Maria Cantwell voted to give George W. Bush authorization to attack Iraq, I vowed to never vote for her again. Fortunately I haven't had to. Except for that really, really stupid vote she cast, she's been a good Senator (especially on environmental issues), which is why she has no problem defeating whatever cannon fodder the Republican Party chooses to run against her every six years (who I will DEFINITELY not be voting for).

Once again Maria Cantwell doesn't need my vote. And she probably doesn't need yours.


United States Representative, Congressional District 7
Jim McDermott is our Representative For Life. And he deserves to be. He fights for truth, justice and the American Way (which includes affordable health care).

McDermott's patsy, er, opponent this year is Ron Bemis, a Seattle-area lawyer who claims to have "won every jury trial over a 30 year legal career." He sounds like an awesome lawyer. Don't quit your day job, Ron.



Once upon a time I sat at a blackjack table in Vegas, losing hand after hand. Finally I noticed the dealer's nametag: "Victor". Sometimes the name fits the man. Rob McKenna is such a man.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition, a Governor McKenna would ROB you of your access to health care. If you are a woman, a Governor McKenna would ROB you of your right to choose. If you are gay or lesbian, a governor McKenna would ROB you of the ability to legally marry. If you are a Washingtonian who appreciates the beauty of our state, a Governor McKenna would ROB you of clean air and water. And if you are a child in public school, a governor McKenna would ROB you of your education funding (and probably take your lunch money too).

Jay Inslee supports the Affordable Health Care Act, a woman's right to choose, Referendum 74, strong environmental protections and full public school funding. Don't get ROBBED!


Lieutenant Governor
Being Washington state's Lieutenant Governor is a bit like being an NFL referee: Unless you screw up, no one knows you're there. Have you ever heard of Brad Owen? Well he's been your Lieutenant Governor for 15 years!

Owen's challenger is Bill Finkbeiner, a Republican who has been endorsed by the communists at the Stranger and Publicola, as well as several current and former Democratic politicians. Apparently with the retirement of Secretary of State Sam Reed, Finkbeiner has become the "one Republican Democrats will vote for". Not me. I'm voting for the guy no one knows is there.


Secretary of State
Sam Reed is retiring as Washington's Secretary of State after a twelve-year run of overseeing elections and doing a nice job of it. After all, he's the "one Republican Democrats will vote for" (see above).

The two candidates looking to succeed him have solid resumes and would both likely be capable replacements. But I like Kathleen Drew's positions on making the election process more accessible by implementing Election Day voter registration, increasing the number of ballot dropbox locations and providing statewide primary voter pamphlets.

I guess I'll have to find another Republican to vote for.


State Treasurer
Challenger Sharon Hanek impressively made the general election ballot as a write-in candidate, apparently the first time in state history that's happened. Unfortunately her website is terrible and totally bereft of information.

Incumbent Jim McIntire assumed the office of Treasurer in January 2009, when the United States was in the worst recession since the Great Depression, yet somehow Washington state is not totally broke. Apparently he's doing something right.


State Auditor
The Democrat in this race, Troy Kelley, seems just a wee bit sleazy. KPLU recently did a story on him about some fishy wire transfers of several million of dollars to Belize, which came to light when a title company was suing Kelley for misappropriation of funds. The lawsuit was settled out of court, and Kelley wasn't found guilty of anything, but I don't know if I can trust this dude to be my auditor.

I don't know much about his opponent, James Watkins, except that he has a lot of boilerplate claims about fighting fraud, advocating for open government and reducing costs. But I do know that he rides a mountain bike. I guess I've found the Republican to vote for.


Attorney General
Who would've guessed that a man named for Ronald Reagan would be a lazy and ineffectual public servant? Well, in the seven years that Reagan Dunn sat on the King County Council, he missed 491 votes, more than any other councilmember during that time.

Because of his terrible record on the county council, Dunn and his cronies have spent millions of dollars painting his opponent, Bob Ferguson, as some sort of friend to the criminal element. The fact is, Ferguson believes that everyone deserves a fair trial, no matter the crime.

Dunn has experience as a prosecutor, but the office of Attorney General is largely a management one (not prosecutorial), which means that Ferguson (who was Chair of the county council) is far more qualified to manage a large office than is Reagan Dunn, who can't even manage to show up to work.


Commissioner of Public Lands
Have you ever noticed how freakin' awesome the landscape of Washington state is? We have beaches, rainforests, volcanoes, lakes, rivers...so much cool stuff! It is the job of the Commissioner of Public Lands to manage 3 million acres of this land, that being the part that is owned by the public.

Incumbent Peter Goldmark has been a good advocate for the restoration of Puget Sound, managing forests, protecting wildlife and developing renewable energy resources. His opponent, Clint Didier, is our state's Tea Party poster boy, who would probably let Wal-Mart put a superstore at Camp Muir if they wanted to. That would not be good.


Insurance Commissioner
Mike Kreidler rules! He's no friend of big 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.


Legislative District No. 43, Representative Position No. 2
Frank Chopp lives in my neighborhood, and I frequently see him at my neighborhood Tully's. That Tully's permanently shut its doors just last week. It is gone. Will Frank Chopp meet a similar fate? Doubtful. But I say it every two years: Frank Chopp's tremendous ego and consistently easy road to re-election has made him less in touch with, and less accountable to, the voters in his district. It's time for Chopp to feel some heat.

Kshama Sawant made it through the top-two primary and is on the ballot as a Socialist, which I think is kind of rad. She's running on a platform of cutting tax exemptions for our state's largest corporations, returning that money to the taxpayers and funding education, healthcare and public transit. Power to the people!


Initiative 1185, "Two-thirds Majority"
HE'S BAAAAACK. Ah, yes, it's the biennial Tim-Eyman-two-thirds-majority initiative. And like I say every two years:

"This initiative 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 this initiative. And why stop at two-thirds, Eyman? Maybe tax increases should require unanimous consent in the Legislature.

California currently has the same two-thirds requirement. California is a mess. Majority should rule in this case."

Well said.

VOTE NO on I-1185

Initiative 1240, "Charter Schools"
I-1240 would allow for public charter schools in Washington state, using public money to fund privately-operated schools. These charter schools would drain money from existing public schools and give it to schools with little accountability to the taxpayers who fund them (that's YOU!). Charter schools would not have to cater toward children with special needs, and would in fact be disincentivized to do so, lest their doors be shuttered for lack of accomplishment. Some things should not be modeled on the private-sector, and public schools are one of them.

Our public education system is not perfect, but charter schools do nothing to improve it. Work to improve the system we already have, and...

VOTE NO on I-1240

Referendum 74, "Gay Marriage"
Do you know who Branch Rickey is? He's the guy who signed Jackie Robinson to a major league baseball contract in 1947. Branch Rickey died in 1965. Imagine how rad the last 18 years of Branch Rickey's life must've been, being the guy who took a stand, and righted a wrong that today seems almost unbelievable: that only white people were allowed to play in the major leagues.

Well guess what? YOU can be Branch Rickey. If Washington state approves Referendum 74, we will become the first state in the union to legalize gay marriage by the will of the people. Not the legislature, not the judiciary, the people.

And like a black man in baseball, gay marriage is inevitable. In fact, 65 years from now, next generations will be wondering what took so long. Be on the right side of history. Play ball!


Initiative 502, "Legalizing Marijuana"
Peter Tosh once sang: "Legalize it, don't criticize it, yeah, yeah..."

Today I sing: "Legalize it, license it, regulate it, tax it and then fund a bunch of stuff with it, yeah, yeah..." It's not as catchy a tune, but it's what I-502 will do.

Just like with booze, pot prohibition does not work. Legalizing marijuana will save our justice system millions of dollars in cops, courts and jail costs. It will provide hundreds of millions of dollars in additional state revenue each year, which will fund health care, research and school programs.
It will put gangsters out of business.

Yeah, yeah, yeah!

VOTE YES on I-502

Senate Joint Resolution 8221
I'm no economist, but as far as I can figure, the purpose of SJR 8221 is to lower the state's debt limit from 9% to 8% of general state revenues, resulting in less money that could be borrowed to fund public infrastructure (schools, sewers, etc). So it seems to me that when revenues are down (i.e. during a recession) the amount of money that the state can borrow also goes down. This to me is a bad thing, since I believe that when times are tough in the private sector, government spending should increase, not decrease.

So the way I'm reading it, SJR 8221 simply exacerbates what is already a backwards system. But then I'm no economist...


Joint Resolution 8223
I'm no economist (see above), but it sounds like SJR 8223 would allow the University of Washington and Washington State University to take the money that we, the taxpaying public, send to their schools and gamble it on the stock market. Have you seen the UW and WSU football teams lately? They're not exactly winners, and I don't want them gambling with my tax dollars.


Advisory Vote 1, Senate Bill 6635
This is an advisory vote, which means your vote won't actually change law, you are merely giving the Legislature advice...FREE advice, which they may or may not follow.

What isn't free is the big fat tax deduction that financial institutions have been taking on residential loan interest. This bill eliminates that deduction, and also modifies or revises some other B&O tax exemptions, providing more revenue for the state.


Advisory Vote 2, House Bill 2590
This is also an advisory vote. This bill extends a tax on underground petroleum tanks, which funds liability insurance on said tanks. At least that's what I think it does.

What I know for sure is that 97 members of the State House voted to approve this bill and only 1 member voted in opposition: Jason Overstreet. So the only person who really needs our advice is Mr. Overstreet, who represents the town of Lynden.

Well here's some advice: Next time you're driving to Vancouver BC, stop in the border town of Lyden, WA for a piece of pie at the Dutch Bakery on Front Street. Freakin' delicious!



John Urquhart sure has a fancy website, and it tells me that he is endorsed by a lot of people I respect, but also by a few I don't, mainly Dave Reichert and Suzie Burke. Steve Strachan is the incumbent King County Sheriff, and I can't think of any times I've seen his name in headlines relating to corruption or malfeasance in his office. He is also rated "outstanding" by the Municipal League. I see no reason not to vote for him.


Proposition 1
The county wants to tax me about six cents on every $1,000 valuation of my house to pay for their fancy fingerprint and palmprint identification machine. That's gonna cost me about $25 a year, and even though the cops never found my bicycle when it was stolen a few years ago, I guess I still want them to catch the other bad guys.



Justice Position No. 9
Richard Sanders ran for State Supreme Court Position 6 in 2010. This is what I wrote then:

"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."

Sanders lost that election, and I thought we were rid of the guy. Well, he's back and we still don't need him.

Sheryl McCloud is an experienced appellate lawyer with a progressive mindset. And despite the fact that she's a USC Trojan, she'll be a great judge.



Judge Position No. 42
Sue Parisien's experience as a lawyer includes defending large corporations (namely Zurich and Nordstrom) against discrimination suits. She also gains high praise from Rob McKenna.

Sitting Superior Court judge Chris Washington is endorsed by almost everyone, is deemed "Well-Qualified" by the King County Bar (Parisien is "Qualified") and seems to have no Nordstrom baggage.



City of Seattle, Proposition No. 1
Chinese Proverb: "One generation plants the tree, another gets the shade"

Well this is one freakin' expensive tree! $290,000,000 in bonding is needed to fix the Alaskan Way Seawall. Apparently it's deteriorated and if we don't fix it soon, WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!! I can't live with that, so I'll pony up the $60+ a year in property taxes to save humanity. Your kids can thank me for the shade.