The Moderate Washingtonian

Outlook on politics and elections in the state of Washington from an overall centrist viewpoint. My views tend to be libertarian in nature, but at the same time are largely nonpartisan.

31 October 2005

Poll: West recall a forgone conclusion

According to a Research 2000 poll commissioned by the Spokesman Review and KREM 2 news, 62% of Spokane registered voters would vote to recall Mayor Jim West versus 29% who would vote not to recall. Research 2000 President Del Ali claims it would take "a real catastrophic set of events" for West to survive the December 6 recall election. Hello, Mayor Hession.

28 October 2005

Freedom on the march

It seems that fair-minded Seattle residents are taking action to repeal their government's idiotic new strip club regulations, essentially running the industry out of business. I've mentioned what is wrong with the aforementioned regulations in prior posts, so I won't repeat them, but if 80+% of residents are backing this referendum, it says a lot for social-libertarian liberal citizens in attempting to overturn their social-authoritarian liberal government's dumb actions.

PI endorsement: Sims blows, but reelect anyway

Yet another endorsement of brilliance emanating from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer! After knocking Ron Sims for screwing up King County government, they endorse him for a third term despite proving more of why not to vote for him than why not to vote for David Irons. Their best? Irons might be a conservative. He won't get trapped in by the Democratic machine's attempts to pigeonhole him on divisive social issues, so he simply isn't fit for office. Much to the PI's and Democratic machine's chagrin, Irons is using the Dino Rossi strategy and it's paying even more dividends because, from what I can tell, Irons is not as socially conservative as Rossi is. Personally, if I were a King County resident, I wouldn't even give a damn if Irons is a social right-winger because Ron Sims is such an obtuse, loquacious jackoff who has done naught to deserve another four years to screw over county residents with his inept leadership and kowtowing to the Seattle machine.

27 October 2005

Content with Corker

For Spokane's third council district, I find former Councilman Steve Corker the preferable choice over right-wing activist Nancy McLaughlin. Part of me is hesitant to seek to return Corker to the council he so notably feuded on during his previous tenure, but i'm even more hesitant to throw somebody as conservative as McLaughlin on the council.

McLaughlin irks me for three main reasons: 1) she talks a far too socially-conservative game; 2) her campaign platform is boring and played, for instance, bitching about crime "problems" in Spokane of all places; 3) she appears so beholden to cutting taxes and business interests that while in moderation these are not a bad thing, I'm skeptical at her ability to avoid going overboard and straining ties with more moderate councilmembers.

Steve Corker has experience in city government and, while he is a Democrat, is far from beholden to his partisan allies following his career in city government (see his mayoral run, for example). Corker is clearly the more pragmatic choice for this office, and is also the more moderate choice.

Strategic Vision v. SurveyUSA

GOP pollster Strategic Vision released a batch of state polls very similar to their last one, showing:

-George W. Bush and Chris Gregoire are unpopular
-Patty Murray and Dino Rossi are popular
-Maria Cantwell holds a modest lead over Mike McGavick and now Susan Hutchinson
-Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani lead the state presidential primaries, at least in name recognition

We're fortunate to have also had SurveyUSA release its national approval ratings of governors and be able to compare the partisan SV to a nonpartisan poll, at least for Gregoire. SUSA has her 41/51 instead of 36/55, which roughly accounts for the presumed partisan bias. It also tells the rest of the country that, yes, we still don't like her and still want her out.

In addition, two days ago SUSA released their national approvals of members of the US Senate. Surprisingly, SV rated Patty Murray slightly better than in the nonpartisan poll, but rated Cantwell slightly lower than SUSA.

McGavick in, fer realz

Presumed Republican candidate for the US Senate Mike McGavick has announced the upgrade of his exploratory committee to an actual campaign.

24 October 2005

Verner for victory

In the first of three installments on who I think should be chosen for each Spokane City Council seat up this November, I make the case for retaining appointed incumbent Mary Verner. In the one council race I'm able to vote in (and already have via absentee), I find Verner to be the preferred choice over challenger Dallas Hawkins.

Hawkins is a good candidate committed to fiscal responsibility and helping local business. That said, I'm always one to hold incumbents accountable for their performance in office, whether it be to vote to reelect or vote to defeat. This is why I have chosen to go with Ms. Verner. Her performance on the council over the past year and a half now has shown her to be a well-informed and well-reasoned councilmember. What I like most of all about the incumbent is her pragmatism, always taking time to think through an issue and looking to help city residents above all else. I love this common sense populism and not being beholden to one party, one ideology, or one cause. In short, Verner wins on her record more than any real or perceived shortcomings of her opponent.

Candidate Verner has broad support from fellow councilmembers, including council President Dennis Hession, Councilman Bob Apple, and outgoing Councilwoman Cherie Rodgers. Quite possibly her biggest supporter is former Congressional candidate Don Barbieri, another pragmatic Democrat.

23 October 2005

Stranger endorsements, must-read column

This week's issue of The Stranger includes their usual hilarious but still hella-left election endorsements, always worth a read, but also a well-written article on the subject of gay marriage as a whole and in relation to the predicted upcoming state Supreme Court ruling on a challenge to the unconstitutional state DOMA. I don't have much time to comment on the latter, but in short, I hope to see the Supreme Court make a rare good court decision and throw out the piece-of-shit DOMA. For starters, denying gays and lesbians not only marriage in name, but also any legally-recognized union, is not only unconstitutional but just plain mean. It's a classic game of "my rights are more important than yours," and the religious think they have the right to have everything their way. It's true, I even received an email from a family friend recently wanting me to sign some lame petition to television networks complaining that "God" is censored from their programming. As if having every branch of government in your Sunday best suit pocket isn't enough! If liberals ran the country and threw a bunch of initiatives on the ballot saying that the government wouldn't recognize Christian marriage because it violates the separation of church and state, would it be fair? Of course not. Now quit being holier-than-thou self-righteous jerks and keep your religion to yourselves.

Sims going down, hard

A SurveyUSA poll released three days ago has Republican candidate for King County executive, David Irons, leading the race in the solid Democratic county. The previous poll had Sims leading by a small percentage, but did not include Green Party candidate Gentry Lange, who took 7% in the most recent poll. Irons drew 46% to Sims' 43%, which is within the margin of error (but still something to celebrate, of course). Irons did best amongst males, younger voters, self-described Independents, and Hispanics, while Sims did best amongst the elderly, African Americans, and liberals. Dissatisfaction with Sims by liberal Democrats amounted to a 10% showing for Lange, and 15% from self-described liberals. With Irons easily winning Independents and tying Sims for moderates and in-denial liberals (see previous posts on SurveyUSA polls), and Sims admitting his campaign is going into full mudslinging mode, I smell an upset in the making. Roll over, Tim Hill.

22 October 2005

Rich Reichert

The Seattle Times reported today that first-term Republican Rep. Dave Reichert has raised close to $1M in anticipation for a tough reelection fight, dwarfing all other regional incumbents and his two major Democratic challengers. This is good news for the Eastside freshman, who has been targeted early by the DCCC and unfairly labeled as "too conservative for his district" over and over again. Nevermind that in his short Congressional career he's firmly placed himself in the moderate-conservative John McCain "maverick" camp, breaking with his party on several notable issues, including Tom DeLay's ethical problems and federal non-discrimination rights for gays and lesbians. Jennifer Dunn did a good job for a long time of appearing more moderate to her district than her voting record showed, and with Reichert beginning to compile a more liberal record than Dunn, a safe six-term incumbent, I tend to think Reichert's "vulnerable" label will expire following the 2006 elections. National anti-Republican sentiment can only go so far, and accomplishes nothing by voting out one of the increasingly rare fair-minded Republicans in Congress.

19 October 2005

The Better Half

...of two Seattle PI columns covering authoritarian Initiative 901.

18 October 2005

Rispoli endorses Irons over Sims

In most circumstances, who Karen Rispoli endorses for an office is not newsworthy. Who is this woman and why does it matter? What matters is that she drew 20% of the Democratic vote in last month's primary against incumbent King County Executive Ron Sims, and having thrown that support to Irons, it could help solidify a small anti-Sims crossover vote amongst fair-minded King County Democrats. The latest SurveyUSA poll showed Irons receiving more crossover from Democrats than Sims did from Republicans, and if this doesn't expand that difference slightly, it ought to at least strengthen the resolve of those Democrats who were already considering crossing over in November. Thumbs up to Ms. Rispoli for putting common sense over partisanship.

15 October 2005

Tebelius out, behind McGavick

RNC member and last year's 8th district GOP primary runner-up Diane Tebelius, widely regarded as Senate candidate Mike McGavick's strongest potential challenger, has dropped out of the race to take on Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell. Tebelius had been a leader among Republicans opposing the state party's apparent coronation of McGavick as their 2006 nominee. State Sen. Linda Evans Parlette has, according to state chair Chris Vance, also dropped out. This leaves former Seattle local news anchor Susan Hutchinson as the only prominent potential Republican candidate aside from McGavick left to make up her mind. McGavick's reported $700,000 in early contributions likely provided some sway towards Tebelius' decision, and perhaps soon to be Hutchinson's.

07 October 2005

SurveyUSA round-up

SurveyUSA, one of the nation's most accurate and respectable polls, just completed several releases in conjunction with KING-5 news. First, and possibly most surprising, is that David Irons is trailing Ron Sims 50-45 in the race for King County executive. This is notable because the poll was just a head-to-head between the two, and did not factor in Green challenger Gentry Lange, who provides an attractive anti-Sims protest vote and could draw as much as 5% of the November vote. The demographic breakdown is a wash, as usual, but let's just say if Irons does indeed pull more Democrats to his side than vice versa and wins self-described Independents, an upset could be in the future. I had been growing increasingly skeptical about Irons' chances, so this is certainly some good news.

In another batch, SUSA covered the three "contested" Seattle City Council races. All three show incumbents winning, but most notably is Richard Conlin's slim 44-39 lead over Paige Miller for position two. However, if both split Democrats and Conlin wins Republicans and Independents, it's difficult to see a loss. Add to that a split of so-called moderates (more often than not liberals in hiding) with Conlin carrying both conservatives and liberals, I tend to think his lead is a little more than the slightly-outside-the-MOE shown here. In other news, Jan Drago and Richard McIver have strong leads over their challengers, but both are hovering around the 50% mark.

04 October 2005

Another step backwards for personal freedom in Seattle

The Seattle City Council voted, albeit by a smaller margin than expected, to ban lap dances in city strip clubs, among other restrictions on adult entertainment. Patrons will no longer be able to be within four feet of performers, and the performers will potentially be forced to wear more clothes than previously. As stated in previous posts, such limits on an adult's freedom to view such attractions is appalling in a city as supposedly liberal as Seattle. One would expect to hear a story like this about small towns and conservative cities in so-called "red states," not the bluest area in the "blue state" in which we reside. This law restricts both the business and the patron in favour of controlling the lifestyle of the citizenry through "big brother" tactics. The libertarian votes cast by councilmembers Peter Steinbrueck, Nick Licata, Tom Rasmussen, and Jean Godden are appreciated.