Politics A Selective Guide to the Endorsements
posted by October 15 at 15:48 PMon
Now that we’ve posted our endorsements and encouraged everyone to fill out their entire ballot (and then head down to the Showbox for the Stranger’s election-night extravaganza!), duty compels me to draw your attention to a few bottom-of-the-ticket races.
No, I’m not talking about light rail (although Sound Transit is, quite literally, at the bottom of the ballot)—I’m talking about a few lesser-known, little-heralded candidates and measures that we really think you should know about.
Right the top of your ballot, (OK, after you’ve voted no on I-985, yes on I-1000, and no on I-1029) you’ll find a barrage of county charter amendments. Don’t be intimidated! Basically, the county charter is King County’s constitution. This year’s ballot includes eight changes to that constitution. Three of the most significant would make the county elections director an elected position; make all county elected officials nonpartisan (currently county officials must declare themselves Republican or Democrat), and raise the signature threshold for amending the county charter by initiative to 20 percent of the votes cast in the last election for county executive—or about 100,000 signatures, based on the last county election. We urged no votes on the first two and a yes vote on the third.
Then—after you’ve voted for Obama, and your US representative, and Christine Gregoire for governor, you’ll come to a long list of mostly obscure state races. You don’t need to know too much about most of them, but one you should pay attention to is Peter Goldmark, who stands a good chance of beating incumbent Republican Doug Sutherland as state lands commissioner—the person who oversees all of Washington’s public lands. Sutherland, you may recall, was most recently in the news for unearthed allegations that he sexually harassed a young female natural resources department employee, reportedly commenting about her “great parts” and making her spin around in front of him. (Sutherland apologized for the incident). He’s also one of the biggest beneficiaries of mining and timber dollars in Washington State.
And their investment may be paying off: As Josh reported today on Horse’s Ass, Sutherland has reportedly agreed to grant a controversial lease to Maury Island mining company Glacier Northwest, which contributed more than $50,000 to Sutherland’s reelection effort, “around the first week of November”—after the election is over, and too late to raise the ire of environmental voters concerned about strip mining on Maury Island.
Finally, don’t skip the two city propositions at the end of your ballot, which would provide $73 million and $145 million, respectively, for Pike Place Market and parks. (The parks levy renews the Pro Parks Levy, which is expiring; the Market levy would be a one-time, six-year levy for major maintenance and seismic upgrades to the crumbling market.) We urged a “yes” vote on both; however, we also noted in a disclaimer that if you’ve decided to vote for just one tax increase this year, you should vote for mass transit.
Which, by the way, is at the bottom of your ballot. Make sure you make it down that far (or start at the bottom and work your way up—remember, absentee voters have until November 4). Finally, don’t forget to vote!