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As this blog goes back and forth over who won and lost in the recent expensive, all-mail survey, it bears mentioning that 54 percent of Seattle voters didn't care to participate in the "election."

Posted by Laurence Ballard | March 23, 2007 7:52 AM

"Some folks in West Seattle really, really, really want a new viaduct, says Seattle Times. That’s nice. But they lost."

Remember folks, one election decides everything forever. If you ever lose one, even one that's vague and where you probably have the most popular opinion, you should stop trying to influence the electorate ever again.

Future comments from Dan Savage:

It's nice that people think that the Iraq War was a mistake but they lost.

It's nice that people favor marriage equality, but they lost.

Posted by zzyzx | March 23, 2007 8:05 AM


Posted by Mike in MO | March 23, 2007 8:14 AM

Yep Dan, lost a vote that didn't mean anything except cause more confusion.

I wouldn't count my chickens before they're hatched.

Seems like in Dan's world, you're only from "Seattle" if you live between Yesler and the Montlake Cut. The rest of us can fuck off.

Posted by Dave Coffman | March 23, 2007 8:18 AM

@Mike in MO...Totally agree. I saw him once on CNN or something and thought "who the fuck gave this idiot a tv show?!?!?!"

Definately one of the WORST tv personalities since O'Reilly.

Confidential to Glen Beck: Suck it.

Posted by Monique | March 23, 2007 8:22 AM

Stranger breaking news 1992

Clinton loses (57% vote against)

Bush loses (62% vote against)

therefore Perot wins!

Posted by Kush | March 23, 2007 8:36 AM

kush: interesting point, maybe we should conduct all of our elections like that:

option a or do nothing
option b or do nothing

then the plan that is really best but no one wanted us peons to even consider wins, yay!!!

Posted by war pigs | March 23, 2007 8:42 AM

God, Glen Beck is nasty.

BECK: Do you know how many oil lamps we could keep burning just on Rosie O'Donnell's fat?
BECK: Think about how much perfume we could make out of Rosie O'Donnell. Again, too easy.

What a dickhead.

Posted by Gabriel | March 23, 2007 8:51 AM

Combine Iran's seizure of the British servicemen with Turkey's threat to invade Kurdistan, and it's looking like more of a tinderbox in the region than it has in an long time.

Posted by Gabriel | March 23, 2007 8:54 AM

I should add, though, that I find the prospect of Turkey invading northern Iraq against the US's will to be extremely unlikely. Actually, this is another example of the incentive of the EU playing a very helpful role in moderating extreme behaviour.

Posted by Gabriel | March 23, 2007 8:56 AM

@10: Wouldn't necessarily count on it. With the cooling between the EU and Turkey as of late with regards to ascession, and Turkey's very well known feelings about the Kurds I would not discount them stepping in. I would argue more that the relationship with the US and Turkey is probably holding them back more than the EU.

Posted by Dave Coffman | March 23, 2007 9:03 AM

Monique> Beck was a regular guest on a rdio show I used to listen to (back before I went into outter space to listen to Sirius). He was a TOTAL DOUCHEBAG then, so imagine my horror when CNN gave him his own show.

Is this CNN trying to appear fair? It only serves to make them appear stupid.

Posted by Mike in MO | March 23, 2007 9:03 AM

Should I point out the obvious, Kush? The viaduct vote consisted of two yes/no votes and the Nos prevailed both ways. Your comparison to the 92 election is cute but it wasn't Bush for President, yes or no, and Clinton for President, yes or no. Your point holds no water.

I don't live in Seattle anymore but I would have voted no and no for economic reasons. And I'd find statements about how the results somehow mean that Seattle residents really do want a viaduct to be bullshit. I think it's what you're going to get anyway, but that's the absurdity of Washington politics for you.

Posted by Matt from Denver | March 23, 2007 9:04 AM

Go here to register your distaste with Glenn Beck. It really does matter. You can get more contact info for his ABC and other shows here:

And while you're at it, tell CNN to get that screeching harpy Nancy Grace off the air. Her voice makes my ears bleed, even when I happen across channel 45 when channel surfing.

Posted by RS | March 23, 2007 9:07 AM

@11: Turkey still wants incredibly badly to be a member of the EU. I personally don't think it will happen, at least not in the next decade. But that aspiration dominates a lot of what they do.

Turkey and the US have fairly cool relations right now, what with their refusal to let us bring forces through their country during the invasion of Iraq, and with Congress preparing to recognize the Armenian genocide. But I still don't think Turkey would risk the wrath of the US by making incursions into the North. If they begin to destabilize the one relatively peaceful region, we would act quickly to end their interference. But even their threats of doing so are putting the region on edge.

Posted by Gabriel | March 23, 2007 9:09 AM

By the way, the Times has this interesting factoid: King County's population grew last year by 27,613 people. That's the equivalent of the City of SeaTac or Des Moines.

And we're wondering whether we should get rid of capacity on our roadways through the city while dinking around on getting transit done?

Posted by Dave Coffman | March 23, 2007 9:10 AM

Dave Coffman,

Why is it exactly that you think building more roads and freeways will solve congestion? Los Angeles, Phoenix, Dallas or Atlanta, anyone? Any examples where it's worked?

Only rapid mass transit can solve this problem. Hello Boston, Chicago, NYC, San Francisco.

I'm a West Seattleite and I voted no/no because I want transit, not freeways.

Posted by Original Andrew | March 23, 2007 9:18 AM

You can have my iPod when you pry it from my cold, dead hands, you little fuckers.

Posted by tsm | March 23, 2007 9:28 AM

I despair of ever returning to live in Seattle when I think about transportation there and especially the lack of mass transit.

Posted by Gabriel | March 23, 2007 9:29 AM

Dan is just being Dan and I reckon he got the response he wanted.

Personally, I can see why peeps in West Seattle would view things the way they do. They get stuck on that raggedy ass WSF all the time. I never go to West Seattle and when I do I go the back way through South Park. But, theyre just looking out for themselves and their commute. I feel them. Is easy to simplify the argument. To some.. no viaduct= big traffic problems.

I dont usually read wonkish pieces, but I think ECB's viaduct piece this week was very good. It explains the changes that need to be made in order for the transit option to work. Goes into detail about streets and crap like that. Dan should direct folks to that piece instead of the " you lost" " you lost" thing. Just saying..

Posted by SeMe | March 23, 2007 9:31 AM

I am actually wary of filling out a comment email about Glen Beck. Cause as they say in media "There is no such thing as bad press".

They can easily use the negative comments to say "See? Even people that don't like Glen Beck are watching". The best way to rid yourself of an annoying TV show or TV personality is to pay them no attention. Negative attention is still attention and ad revenue.

Posted by Monique | March 23, 2007 9:32 AM

RS @ 14,

Gawd, I miss Lynne Russell!

Thanks for the link. Here's the text of the message that I sent to CNN:


I’ve stopped watching CNN and I’ve asked my friends and family to stop watching CNN because of Glenn Beck and Nancy Grace - both are boorish, juvenile and obnoxious.

I don’t know how to describe their repulsive “shows” other than a total insult to your now former audience’s intelligence.

This isn’t even journalism; it’s sensationalism and pandering at its worst, and a total discredit to your network’s formerly professional reputation.

Posted by Original Andrew | March 23, 2007 9:33 AM

ECB's piece was good. I'm very interested in the surface idea. However, one big "if" is the 28% of traffic that is predicted to disappear because of better trip-planning and use of mass transit. I'm not sure that can be counted on.

Posted by Gabriel | March 23, 2007 9:42 AM

#13 it holds as much water as the surface girls and boys claiming that the vote indicates the voters favored their plan - if you care what the voters or the citizens said in the vote go study the surveyusa results and encourage the city/state to run a really good poll and not by some local hack pollster.

I think that surface supporters should say that they don't care what anybody thinks, that they are right and tell us what road work and buses they plan to put in place and just ram it through.

Posted by Kush | March 23, 2007 9:45 AM

Yep, that's the election we "lost". Additional future election losers: every city council seat (except Della), the Mayor, and I'm sure every writer on the Stranger staff will have lots of material to work with when Dino Rossi or his equivalent takes Gregoire to the cleaners on her leadership record. Political triangulation and gutlessness will have it's reward.

Posted by Westside forever | March 23, 2007 10:05 AM

I call do-over - we Viaduct lovers get five votes, just like the anti-monorail folks got five votes.

Don't like it?


Posted by Will in Seattle | March 23, 2007 10:15 AM

I have a question stemming from the ECB piece. It says that most rush-hour traffic is coming to and from downtown, contradicting the WSDOT's claim that most of it is long-distance travel through the city. Where are these two sets of numbers coming from? This seems like the clincher. If ECB's claim is true, then the surface transit sounds great. If the WSDOT's numbers are right, then the surface transit wouldn't absorb 40% of the traffic , because people would be trying to get past downtown.

Posted by Gabriel | March 23, 2007 10:21 AM

Shit. Does this mean I have to take all the embarrassing stuff off my iPod? I really don't need some dumb punk laughing at my music taste.

Posted by keshmeshi | March 23, 2007 10:24 AM

The day Turkey gets the message that EU membership is never going to happen -- and EU membership is never going to happen -- all hell is going to break loose. Their semi-liberal government is propped up on that promise, and will fall to Islamicists if it is taken away. Which is not to say Turkey will become an Islamicist country; it's to say it will become an internal battleground. And yes, at that point, the chances of them attacking Kurdistan are very high.

The viaduct vote was designed to create exactly this confusion. Because there was no surface vote, surface supporters are able to make the probably specious claim that "surface won". But we don't know how many noes on elevated voted yes on tunnel, or vice versa. If it was more than about two-thirds (gimme a minute and I'll do the math), then surface very definitely LOST. But we'll never know, because they asked the question in the stupidest possible way.

Posted by Fnarf | March 23, 2007 10:40 AM

@21, I understand your point, but 22 has it exactly right. I told CNN/Headline I've stopped watching ALL their news programming because of Beck.

@22, yes, Lynne Russell! Dang I miss those days. Too bad the news channels are lowering their standards to those of Faux News to grab ratings.

Posted by RS | March 23, 2007 10:43 AM

The viaduct vote was designed to create exactly this confusion.

The viaduct vote was intended to turn Turkey into an Islamist battleground?

Posted by Gabriel | March 23, 2007 10:46 AM

The day Turkey gets the message that EU membership is never going to happen -- and EU membership is never going to happen -- all hell is going to break loose. Their semi-liberal government is propped up on that promise, and will fall to Islamicists if it is taken away.

I've thought about that too. And I think that's partly why the EU has dragged talks on, postponing and postponing, never saying 'no.' And whenever an EU rep does make an offhand remark about Turkey not gaining entry, that alone has sparked fury.

Posted by Gabriel | March 23, 2007 10:48 AM

See there is no reason that Britian needs to jump the gun. They use great tack and assess the situation and angles before they make assuptions. The Iranians didn't kidnap them. They did not harm them. They just pissed them off a little but no harm done right.
On the other hand if this was American Sailors most likely our reaction would be "thats an act of war" "those damned terroists" and "those sailors are hostages lets go git those mofos"
Its amazing that we seemed to have flip flopped roles and we are the Brits of old. Divide and conquer.
Its sad how we lost that hero vibe after the fall of Germany and are now seen as overreactionaries and every thing we do is a fucking mistake. In a sense we have the right intentions , but the way we go about it is just to trigger happy. Not cool.
You don't see Britian sending in James Bond 007 too stear up trouble in iran now do you. I think that they can handle this with honor and respect for the other guy to get those sailors home in no time.
Hopefully in our future we can do the same without Declaring War over something like this.

The sailors were from the H.M.S. Cornwall, a British Type 22 frigate. Commodore Nick Lambert, the Cornwall’s commanding officer, told the B.B.C. that he hoped the incident was the result of a “simple misunderstanding at the tactical level.” The waters separating Iran and Iraq have long been the subject of bitter territorial disputes between the two countries.

“There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that they were in Iraqi territorial waters,” Commodore Lambert said of the British sailors. “Equally, the Iranians may claim they were in Iranian waters.”

He added that the two British boats had apparently been moved to Iranian bases, but that there was no evidence that there had been any fighting. He also said that the sailors appeared to be safe, and that they had behaved in an ”extremely professional way, in line with the rules of engagement,” the B.B.C. reported.

Posted by DreadLion | March 23, 2007 10:59 AM

On the I-Pod article I was drawn to this quote:

Detective Jim Frese of Seattle's North Precinct. "It's so common it doesn't faze us anymore."

Unfortunately, that seems to be the attitude of the SPD about almost any property crime.

Posted by elswinger | March 23, 2007 11:17 AM

Gabriel, it is the opposite of latent demand. If capacity is reduced, the number of trips will be reduced as well.

I think we should build an elevated freeway through West Seattle to allow the folks who live in Arbor Heights to get to work easier. Isn't that the city's goal, to put a freeway to every doorstep and a chicken in every pot?

Posted by Andrew Hitchcock | March 23, 2007 12:20 PM

@17: I'm not for building "more" roadways, but I am for keeping capacity until we get the infrastructure we desperately need for transit. Taking away the viaduct or roadway that accomodates those cars is a separate issue from getting transit going here. We need transit. My point is that it will take 20-40 years to get us to the point where we can say "yep, tear that schitt down" as CDV loves to say.

Given the number of years to produce transit that will replace the numbers talked about (be it 70,000 or 110,000 trips) my thought is when you already have a bad traffic situation, you don't make it worse by removing capacity until you have a good start on what's going to replace it. Name one group or person who has given any kind of detail other than some ethereal "it will get dispersed on surface streets or go away completely".

There's the ST2 plan, which provides nothing for anyone west of Highway 99. And the BRT to West Seattle is a joke because as soon as it hits the West Seattle freeway, there is no through connection into the 5th Avenue Busway, paricularly Westbound. Add on top of that the fact that if the viaduct does come down, you'll walk the Spokane Street viaduct quicker than be able to drive it to I-5, and under current plans that's exactly where this BRT is supposed to be dumping into. Doesn't make much sense to me at all. And that's just the effect in West Seattle.

People in Ballard might as just well have a neighborhood chopper if they want to get anywhere, especially since I-5 will be gridlocked an additional 4-6 hours a day according to different estimates.

Good luck going anywhere except the corner store.

Posted by Dave Coffman | March 23, 2007 12:40 PM

"Good luck going anywhere except the corner store."

Based on your scenerio, Dave, one wonders if there will be much to purchase at those corner stores.


Posted by Jensen Interceptor | March 23, 2007 1:50 PM

Dave Coffman @ 36,

The viaduct is going to be shut down for possibly years (I know they said less than that, but let's get real) and we're going to have to live without it no matter what option is chosen.

Surface and transit is the only option we can actually afford.

Posted by Original Andrew | March 23, 2007 2:27 PM

The Times' article's bias slipped out when they described West Seattle as "a neighborhood dependent on the viaduct."

Posted by Thorn Lamont Jr | March 26, 2007 7:21 AM

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