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Eric forgot to list the three (count 'em, three!) marijuana victories in Hailey, Idaho

Posted by JMR | November 8, 2007 12:08 PM

What do Sacramento, St. Louis, San Jose and LOS freaking ANGELES have in common? They all have better mass transit than Seattle. Something to be proud of, huh?

And Seattle is a better place to live than all of those places, with its "inferior" mass transit. Maybe that's not a coincidence.

Posted by JMR | November 8, 2007 12:10 PM

Dude, Eyman's initiative is unconstitutional, as are all of his initiatives.

Why should we do the work that the courts are too lazy to do?

That said, Seattle killed RTID/ST2 because increasing global warming and underfunding the 520 bridge replacement with a REGRESSIVE SALES TAX instead of MVET or Gas Tax was just a really really stupid idea.

Posted by Will in Seattle | November 8, 2007 12:13 PM

Yeah, East St. Louis is a wonderful, wonderful place!

Posted by @2 | November 8, 2007 12:15 PM

Hit the nail on the head, Dan. If these propositions had been on the Nov. 2008, with twice the voter turnout of the Nov. 2007 ballot, the shift would have been 10 percentage points, or more, in the right direction. (The cynic in me says that sometimes the Powers That Be know all this and put these measures on the off-off-year ballot purposefully, intending this result)

Posted by Perfect Voter | November 8, 2007 12:16 PM

Uh, maybe he hasn't noticed, but Sound Transit went up for a vote, including a statewide vote, and passed every time. That's all transit, so if an all light rail initiative went up, I think it would pass.

Posted by Gitai | November 8, 2007 12:17 PM

For the love of God, please DO move back to Portland. If every whiner who "considered" moving if Prop 1 failed actually followed through, maybe we could reduce congestion for free...

Also, as has been discussed to death here and on other NW blogs, Portland does have a great mass transit system -- great for everyone living in or very close to the urban core. Everyone else? Not so much. And don't get me started on actual ridership numbers.

Posted by joykiller | November 8, 2007 12:18 PM


Wrong - ST lost in 1995 in three counties, and won in 1996 in those same three counties. It's never been voted on statewide.

Prop 1 lost big in King County - so I'd quit blaming right-wingers for the fact that Capitol Hill-centric thinking simply doesn't move Democrats who exist outside of the Stranger's bubble.

Posted by Mr. X | November 8, 2007 12:21 PM

Eric is sadly mistaken.

Anybody who disagrees with me on any one of my various political positions or candidates I support is evil. If you filled out your ballot exactly the same way I filed out my ballot, all is well. Deviate from that -- that being my ballot -- and you are disgusting. Clear enough?

The critical words above are me and my; that is elenchos. Does it say Eric Koszyk anywhere? No. It makes no difference if you disagree with Eric. What matters is that my set of preconceptions are perfection itself, and all other views are beneath contempt. Eric is behaving as if his politics are comparable with my politics, but that is absurd. Only one of us can be right, and I know who that is much better than anyone.

Please make a note of it.

PS: Eric, you're going to hate Portland. Those people each thing they are right! It's chaos.

Posted by elenchos | November 8, 2007 12:22 PM

Have fun in Portland, Eric, where they'd rather have cheap cigarettes than health insurance for their kids.

Posted by DOUG. | November 8, 2007 12:22 PM

CALM DOWN!! Yeah Eric is an idiot but he is a LIBERAL idiot and at the end of the day we need even the idiot liberals to turn out on election day. He should stay in Seattle. We still need his vote on progressive issues. Even if he is an idiot, as long as he votes the right way.

Posted by Just Me | November 8, 2007 12:28 PM

Eric is entirely correct. And elenchos is completely, utterly wrong, as is obvious by his disagreement with me.

As for this, Dan ...

[if] voter turnout is important to liberal, progressive measures like Simple Majority or transit initiatives, the Powers Dat Be might not wanna put those sorts of things on the ballot during off-year elections.

... well, why didn't the hicks out east have a problem showing up on an off-year?

Posted by tsm | November 8, 2007 12:29 PM

Another "Seattle sucks, I love (Portland, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, etc)" Slog post.

Posted by lorax | November 8, 2007 12:31 PM

Also, by the way, to the genius Portlander who wrote this post--have you ever BEEN to St. Louis and ridden the mass transit there? Trust me. It's not better than Seattle's. Ditto on Los Angeles.

Posted by lorax | November 8, 2007 12:34 PM

ST did not push to be tied to roads, dividing the progressive vote.
The STATE legislature tied the two things together.
Folks from WALLA WALLA got to tell us here in our region how to use our local tax base for our local transportation projects.

Maybe ST should have said "no way" from the start, but they had little choice as it was STATE LAW that made this thing go to the ballot this year.

Note these are the same stupid reactionary legislators who FAIL TO VOTE FOR A GAS TAX to fund all these roads and wanted to shove the funding off on us here locally.

Basic rule of politics: don't divide your base.

Meanwhile, the governorship in KY makes that not an off off year there.

The failure to focus on Eyman's thing was a failure, yes, and note that absolutely none of our local leaders really did a damn thing about it. I didn't exactly see Gregoire campapigning against it or trying to raise the profile of that issue.

Posted by unPC | November 8, 2007 12:37 PM

WiS: Why should we even let Eyman's harebrained ideas reach the point of wasting more taxpayer money and court time? Every time one of his initiatives passes and the courts strike it down, it just gives him more ammunition for his "government ignores the will of the people" argument. And everyone lines up to vote for the next shitty initiative. Ingenious in its asininity.

As to the voter turnout, well, I can't disagree with the ranter's premise there. Some pretty sizable counties (Spokane, Yakima, Benton, Clark) had turnouts of 35% or more, much better than the 24-25% of King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. Sad.

Posted by laterite | November 8, 2007 12:40 PM

I disagree with the assertion that politicians in this state should be astute enough to only put "important" measures on ballots only during even-numbered years, when we're also holding federal elections. Our state legislature meets EVERY YEAR, starting in January. They pass laws, budgets, and other things to... well... govern! Get things done. Or at least try to. And the people of Washington previously demanded a huge say in how things are done - so, that means initiatives, advisory votes, approval of laws and measures, and all sorts of things in which we have to choose to give our say.

Do you really want public consent on laws, public say via the initiative process, public say on constitutional amendments, and the public voice in general on issues like transit and taxes to wait until we're also electing a new federal Congress every TWO YEARS? Two years? In that span of time, in which a child is born and learns to walk and talk, you want these important issues to sit and WAIT?? If so, then tell government to stop during that intervening year. Here are some options:

1. Tell the state legislature to pack it up every other year. Have them meet for a few months every other year, so there are no important measures or laws waiting in the off year. Then, our state legislature will be just as much of a joke as the Texas legislature, which (you guessed it!) only meets for a handful of months every other year. Oh, and do the same to city and county councils, so those pesky local-level initatives and votes aren't left alone on those off years as well.

2. Amend the state constitution to severely restrict the initiative, public vote, advisory vote, and public consent requirements for so many laws in this state. Do the same on the county and city level. Just toss those direct democracy and "citizen check on government" rights back to the state legislature, county council, city council, etc..

3. Demand less of your government. Then, the government will have less responsibilities, less money to raise, no infrastructure to maintain, no schools to fund, etc. You take care of your life, I'll take car eof mine, and there won't be any bothersome voting to ignore.

Don't like those options? Perhaps there are others. Those are the only ones I can come up with off the top of my head. Here's my best idea: grow up and vote. The world is run by those who show up... ON VOTING DAY. And not just that: talk to people around you about your votes - your family, friends, co-workers... even people you meet on the streets. If we still don't show up when it's time to be counted, we've no one to blame but ourselves. Not the state legislature or local government for putting issues on the ballot in an "off year", not Tim Eyman for surfacing again. Just us.

Unless, of course, you voted. :-)

Posted by James | November 8, 2007 12:43 PM

This election was like a potluck: There was something to piss everybody off.

And Eric (may I call you Eric?), moving to Portland isn't going to save you when Empress Giuliani is coronated in January, 2009.

Think Canada.

Posted by Original Andrew | November 8, 2007 12:49 PM

joykiller @7:

For the love of God, please DO move back to Portland. If every whiner who "considered" moving if Prop 1 failed actually followed through, maybe we could reduce congestion for free...

Dude, how about putting your money where your mouth is? I've got a $350,000 home I'd be happy to sell you. I can't ship outta here until I unload my place.

Posted by cressona | November 8, 2007 1:15 PM

I pulled a couple tubers right before I went over.
I was cooked and the women helping me out know it. I was so scared I thought she was gonna call the cops so I ran out of there so fast ran home and hid under my bed. I only came out to save the brownies I had in the oven. I ate whole pan all by myself. I just remembered I never voted. alway's next year.

Posted by Richard Rogering | November 8, 2007 1:17 PM

Oh stop whining, cressona. Go smoke a cigarette in Portland - you can always realize the housing prices were inflated (source: WSJ) by 26 percent here.

Posted by Will in Seattle | November 8, 2007 1:22 PM

@8 Eyman got an initiative on the ballot that would have repealed Sound Transit. It was defeated.

Posted by Gitai | November 8, 2007 1:23 PM

Well, regardless of your feelings on Prop 1, you have to admit that, with regard to 960 and Simple Majority, we pretty much did shit the bed.

Posted by Hernandez | November 8, 2007 1:24 PM

See I can't even spell knew

Posted by richard rogering | November 8, 2007 1:25 PM

While anything less than 100% turnout should be considered less-than-wonderful, King County's 2007 turnout was not abnormally low. According to the Secretary of State's Voter Turnout page, there are still 199,000 ballots that haven't yet been added to the count.

If that's correct -- and it doesn't count the ballots that arrived at KC Elections today, or tomorrow, or the next day, or ... -- then I'd guesstimate King Count turnout at around 47%. Which is waaaaay higher than in 2003, the most comparable year (off-year, no County Executive election). Back then, King County turnout was 35.7%.

Posted by N in Seattle | November 8, 2007 1:28 PM

Will (Build Elevated Freeways) in Seattle @21:

Oh stop whining, cressona. Go smoke a cigarette in Portland - you can always realize the housing prices were inflated (source: WSJ) by 26 percent here.

Will, all I did was express a willingness to sell my home and ultimately ship out of Seattle. How is that whining? I would think that's the antithesis of whining.

BTW, I'm not necessarily so enamored of Portland. I'd be happy to take suggestions where to move.

Posted by cressona | November 8, 2007 1:30 PM

Actually from what I remember the exit polling they were talking about on NPR showed that 960 had a good amount of democratic support, maybe it was just the bad democrats went out to vote...

Posted by Seanford | November 8, 2007 1:32 PM

Having lived in LA for the past six years, and having visited Seattle ... three times in the past six years, I would be willing to say that I have used PT in Seattle more times that I've used PT in LA. So, no, LA doesn't have better public transit.

Posted by arduous | November 8, 2007 1:49 PM

See, you get stomped in an election, cressona, and you just can't stop using Karl Marx Rove tactics.

Get over it.

Posted by Will in Seattle | November 8, 2007 1:50 PM

Cressona, try New England, the ONLY thing to do there is vote.

Posted by Suggestion | November 8, 2007 1:50 PM

St. Louis's Metro is ok, but nothing compared to The El in Chicago or New York's subway system. It has two lines that run every 10 -15 minutes and shut down after midnight (later on the weekends).

That said, it is better than nothing. It is refreshing to know St. Louis is better at something than Seattle. Ok, that make the score 587 to 1, but it is a moral victory.

Also, Portland has that many strip clubs? Nice!

Posted by Mike in MO | November 8, 2007 1:53 PM

I'm more worried about the election of a lot of pro-police guild officials who will definitely blunt any push for real accountability for the SPD.

It seemed like the guild took a direct hand in some of those races, sorta frightens me how much power they wield over the government here.

Posted by Packratt | November 8, 2007 2:04 PM

to joykiller:

As someone who is from the burbs west of Portland and saw them struggle to fund a very small lightrail system more than 15 years ago you need to pull your head out of your arse! Portland started with one lightrail line but the system has extended steadily and now serves a huge expanse of the metro area.

When is Seattle going to wake up and realize that we are never going to have the PERFECT package but we need to move forward instead of constantly complaining. Ron Sims and sadly, the Sierra Club did this city a huge dis-service that's likely to mean that Seattle won't have lightrail until I have grandkids. Very sad day for our so called liberal city!

Posted by Wishing that we could get it done | November 8, 2007 2:13 PM

I love Seattle more than anywhere, but seriously.... light rail. NOW.

I'm not going anywhere but there is this simple fact that Seattle and it's surrounding areas would be even better with light rail.

Just need to figure out how to pay for it.

Posted by Cale | November 8, 2007 2:21 PM

Go to Portland.
They are choking on traffic just as badly as Seattle is, in spite of their 'Max' and superior bus services.
They also have a state income tax which bites a lot harder than a sales tax.

The outcome of this election was entirely predictable. It's all about money kids, and in case you hadn't noticed, the grownups have run out of it.

Looking forward to years of lean incomes, falling home prices, and increasing inflation, the voters shut their wallets.

So, go. Go to Portland, Baltimore, East Bumfuck, who gives a shit, just get outta here.

Posted by snark | November 8, 2007 2:33 PM

Portland has *terrible* strip clubs. Every bit as bad as Seattle.

Cressona, don't move. In the real world pragmatic Democrats like you and I are the ones who actually get things accomplished. Seattle needs you.

Posted by Big Sven | November 8, 2007 2:43 PM

@35 "They also have a state income tax which bites a lot harder than a sales tax."

For who, white man? Whatever you're smoking, put it down. For most folks, a sales tax is far more onerous than an income tax. That's why it's called "regressive." Duh.

Posted by gnossos | November 8, 2007 2:44 PM

I live on Capitol Hill and never received my ballot! The same happened to a friend in a building about a block away. What the hell???

Posted by A. Nalingus | November 8, 2007 2:45 PM

Don't worry about your missing ballot. As long as you wait until the day after the election and report it on the blog of your choice, your vote still counts.

Posted by elenchos | November 8, 2007 2:56 PM

Eyman's initiative just got ruled unconstitutional. Unfortunately not i-960, but i-747 from 2001.

And 6-7% of the No votes from Prop 1 acc. to exit polls show that global warming was the reason they voted no.

So, yeah, the roads thing being in there guaranteed that Prop 1 sank. Otherwise, it would have been a close tie.

Posted by matthew fisher wilder | November 8, 2007 2:57 PM

I think those of you pushing for a state income tax should seriously re-think your position. A tax on income is going to benefit the wealthy and hurt those of us who aren't -- we'll end up paying a much larger share of our income than they will, just like we do now with the national income tax.

The greatest aspect of consumption-based taxes like we have here in Washington is that if you don't like paying taxes you don't have to buy anything, except food which isn't taxed. Taxing income is taxing productivity and I don't think that's good policy as people will always find ways to avoid paying those kind of taxes. I've never seen a more creative person than a millionaire who figures out how to pay no federal income tax every year.

Another option for revenue that isn't explored nearly enough is to introduce a series of luxury taxes. Tax yachts, sports cars, and homes over 3000square feet. Introduce a sur-tax on property assesed at over $1 million. Tax all inheritence over $50,000 at a rate of 50%. Inherited wealth is the first step to aristocracy anyway, so why not nip it in the bud?

There are financing options that don't have to put an unfair burden on the poor and middle class. The wealthy got that way because of the society that was built on the backs of the poor and the middle class. We've got more millionaires now than we've ever had and we're having problems getting enough money to run the schools and fund the cops.

It's time to stop taxing productivity and start taxing wealth.

Posted by TacomaRoma | November 8, 2007 2:57 PM

@41 - A flat income tax would be regressive and hurt the poor/middle class, as you say, but state income tax advocates aren't pushing for that. They (generally) advocate a progressive income tax with higher rates for higher tax brackets - which would, in fact, tax wealth more than work.

Posted by tsm | November 8, 2007 3:14 PM

They have bad traffic in Portland because they never build any more lanes and its continually growing (I'm not saying that's the answer to congestion but it does help incrementally). The Fwy system down there also suffers from poor design. All you have to do is drive from Vancouver where the fwy was basically rebuilt across to Portland and you will notice the difference immediatley. I've heard from more than one person that they flat out refuse to consider widening any freeway in the Portland Metro Area. I could be wrong though.

Also, they've never built any HOV Lane network of any kind on any of their freeways. The only HOV Lane that I know of the Portland area is on I-5 Northbound from rougly north of the northbound junction of 405 and I-5 which goes to the Columbia River Crossing. They basically just chose to build light rail and invest in that instead. If we ever get around to building light rail here, I think we'll have the much better integrated system beacuse of all the different modes we will have invested in at that time.

Posted by Brian in Seattle | November 8, 2007 3:24 PM

Why do you think it is that wealthy people set up foundations for a lot of their wealth? Some of its philathropical,sure,but a good portion of it is basically to avoid taxes. No OTHER reason. An income tax especially a high one just makes the wealthy move their money around with accounting schemes and such to avoid paying the income taxes.

Posted by Brian in Seattle | November 8, 2007 3:28 PM

hmmm, suddenly any other city but seattle (if you can call it that) is starting to look good. the bad clothes, the stink, the complainers, the whiners...etc, etc.

Posted by just lame | November 8, 2007 3:52 PM

Valid point, Brian @44. The only reason a wealthy person pays more than about 8 percent in income tax is because they're not hiring the right accountants and lawyers.

Trusts and foundations work wonders.

But there is one problem - our state constitution permits a one percent flat tax with a standard exemption only (e.g. we could tax 1 percent with a $40,000 income allowance), but it could include earnings from dividends and capital gains and still be permissable.

Posted by Will in Seattle | November 8, 2007 4:43 PM

hmmm, suddenly any other city but seattle (if you can call it that) is starting to look good. the bad clothes, the stink, the complainers, the whiners...etc, etc.

What are you talking about? Our clothes are just fine.

Posted by JMR | November 8, 2007 4:45 PM

I moved her from Sacramento 6 years ago. Here is a better place to live here, but it does make me embarrassed that Sacto has light rail but Seattle doesn't. It should embarrass everyone in Seattle, too.

Like Cresonna, I'm planning to I'm move somewhere else from here in a few years, after I finish my Master in Teaching. I could stand the provincialism for awhile, but I'm so tired of each city in this region refusing to admit they're part of a larger region and actually act like it. It's bizarre and counterproductive and it's unpleasant to live around. I'm looking to the Bay Area (expensive, but near family) or Chicago to settle. I'm looking to upgrade to a bigger city/region, so Portland's out for me.

Posted by exelizabeth | November 8, 2007 4:49 PM

It's time to stop taxing productivity and start taxing wealth.

I hate to go Econ 101, P leads to W, which gets reinvested and leads to more P, which results in more W, and so on.

Or, as you suggest, you can just take it all, and see how long you have much of either.

Posted by JMR | November 8, 2007 4:50 PM


very funny - just funny

I bet the ballot office gets more than one who wanders in to get a ballot the day after - and those are all R. voters

Posted by BINESAH | November 8, 2007 6:00 PM

Speaking of Utah Salt Lake CIty had a running light rail a decade before Seattle. I would have preferred More rail and less road in the RTID. While your on your way to work, stuck in traffic, look around. The vast majority of people in this area drive to work. People will not vote to support rail alone until they start riding it. We need a compromise to get started and then as we build ridership we can make a real mass transit system. We have been fucking around with failed proposals for over thirty years. A good all rail proposal will never pass.

Posted by wl | November 8, 2007 6:06 PM


Sure, Max goes lots of places. But who fucking rides it? The Portland equivalent of Cap Hill hipsters, and not much else.

Outside of the brewpubs, it's not really clear what people are so envious of.

@51: yeah, Salt Lake has rail. And it still gets stuck and runs late occasionally. Imagine that!

Posted by joykiller | November 8, 2007 8:20 PM

Hey, if he needs to leave to be happier, more power to him. I'm happier here than I was in Portland, but I still love Portland, I just happen to have more love for Seattle. That's life, that's all.

Posted by Deacon Seattle | November 8, 2007 10:30 PM

Let me tell you, Eric, how I feel about transit. I voted 4 times to build the monorail. Then when they said it was going to cost ELEVEN BILLION DOLLARS, I voted against it.

This city does not know how to spend tax dollars wisely. No, wait - I take that back. I meant to say that this city is INCAPABLE of doing anything correct or efficient with transit. Only the Bush Administration is more incompetent (and I suspect they fuck things up on purpose).

Therefore, I vote against all taxes. I may not like that turd Eyman, but at least I know he isn't going to piss away my money on nothing.

Posted by montex | November 8, 2007 10:37 PM

I don't think this was so much a right wing vote as it was a vote for fiscal conservation. Right wing carries a ton of connotation that's not really relevant.

Also, using the MVET is a bad idea, period. It killed the monorail and was a huge strike against Prop 1 among most voters. Some people have beaters and would've paid $40 a year, but anyone with newer vehicles, even hybrids, would've been on the hook for hundreds of dollars. People don't want to pay hundreds of dollars for car tabs.

Prop 1 falling wasn't about polar bears or hating roads or hating transit so much as it was about not wanting to spend 50 years paying $400-600+ a year just to register a car.

You need a better funding source for rail than the MVET, or you're not getting rail. Period.

Posted by Gomez | November 8, 2007 11:16 PM

Gomez said:

"I don't think this was so much a right wing vote as it was a vote for fiscal conservation"

That's what I've taken away from this election, too. Voters here are basically somewhat Democratic but cautious with their money- seems like a western thing. Global warming doesn't trump personal economics. Will and all the guys planning the 2008 transit effort- factor this in or you (and by extension, all of us) will get burned. Figure out a way to make transit happen without appearing like a bunch of global-warming fanatic, nanny killjoy spendthrifts.

Posted by Big Sven | November 9, 2007 7:43 AM

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