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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

What Last Night's Primary Results Say About Seattle Voters, Parks, Jess Spear, and Olympia

Posted by on Wed, Aug 6, 2014 at 6:00 AM

MAYOR ED MURRAY said the apparent victory for Prop 1 means that we will turn back years of Tim Eyman destabilizing our [parks] funding.
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  • MAYOR ED MURRAY told supporters that last night's apparent victory for Prop 1 means that when it comes to parks, "we will turn back years of Tim Eyman destabilizing our funding."

After way more shoving and shouting than anyone would expect from a civic debate about, essentially, grass and trees, the proposal for a new Metropolitan Parks District in Seattle appeared to be passing last night, 52 to 48. Heading into the primary, even the measure's boosters were thinking they might not come out ahead after the first ballot drop, so there was surprise at their party at the Five Point—and then, one beat after the surprise, elation. Because all the seasoned political minds in the place seemed to agree on one thing: the pro-parks-district numbers will only go up as more ballots are counted in the coming days.

The initial doubt about the chances for Prop 1 and its proposed parks district was, at bottom, a doubt about Seattle. Would voters in a city that's long been happy to pay for public goods like parks get spooked by the anti-Prop-1 campaign's loud warnings of an unaccountable, un-dissolvable parks district that was likely to go crazy raising taxes and stealthily funnel public money toward non-park purposes?

The answer, as it turned out, was no. A majority of voters simply did not buy into this doomsday scenario. Even as the recession grinds on, even as public trust in government remains low, even as all kinds of other new taxes ready themselves for the November ballot, Seattleites remain willing to empower a new taxing authority to make them pay more in property taxes to fund trees and grass, perhaps understanding—as Mayor Ed Murray suggested at the Prop 1 victory party—that this is a great way to permanently rid our parks system of the hobbling funding restraints imposed by Tim Eyman and his tax-panic-baiting statewide initiatives. (Or, maybe voters weren't thinking quite that deeply. Maybe it's all as simple as the old line about Seattleites voting "yes" as soon as anyone says the word parks.)

In the race between State House Speaker Frank Chopp and Socialist challenger Jess Spear, a different question about the city. Is outrage at economic inequality and stale political ideas as potent an electoral force as it was two years ago? In 2012, Occupy activist Kshama Sawant won 29 percent of the general election vote running as a Socialist against Chopp, one of the most powerful people in the state. She then went on to win a spot on the Seattle City Council the next year with a campaign that promised to enact a $15 minimum wage. (A promise Sawant can now say she kept.) Yes, last night's vote involved a primary election in the middle of the summer—not a general election—but Spear, running in part on a call for rent control amid spiraling Seattle housing prices, only received 19 percent of the vote (so far).

Perhaps the outrage and openness to radical change that Sawant tapped into two years ago is ebbing. Perhaps Spear is a flawed candidate. Or, perhaps we'll see a startling reversal of fortune for her in November. But that last one seems unlikely. The total number of votes Spear has received so far: 4,192.

Which doesn't mean her frustration at a state legislature that can't get anything done is off point. Chopp himself would probably share that frustration, but the two of them would depart on where the blame lies. He points to the long list of progressive bills he's moved to passage in the state house and says the problem is really in the Republican-controlled state senate, which keeps killing those bills. Since 80 percent of Seattle primary voters seem to have accepted Chopp's analysis of the problem: What of the effort to flip the state senate into Democratic hands?

The crowded race in Seattle's 37th District—the one that, after last night, is set to feature Pramila Jayapal and Louis Watanabe in the general election—will do nothing to change the overall state senate math. This is a senate seat that was held by a Democrat who retired (Adam Kline), and both Jayapal and Watanabe are solid Democrats. In two other races that could change the state senate math, things don't look great for Demorats. In Federal Way's 30th District, the woman running to hold retiring Democrat Tracey Eide's senate seat, Democrat Shari Song, came in almost 15 points behind Republican Mark Miloscia. And in the eastside's 45th District, well-funded Democrat Matt Isenhower came in about seven points behind incumbent Republican Andy Hill.

But, to balance that out, two bright spots: Democrat Cyrus Habib came in 26 points ahead of Republican Michelle Darnell in his quest to take over Republican Rodney Tom's old state senate seat. You may recall that Tom, a Democrat-turned-Republican, is the one who flipped the senate into Republican control. You may also recall that he did it with the help of another Democrat-turned-Republican, Tim Sheldon of the 35th District (parts of the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsulas). Well, things are still too close to call down in the 35th, but it could be that Sheldon doesn't even make it through the primary when all the counting's done. Maybe.

Even so, it's still long odds for the Democrats to retake the state senate. Which is too bad, because a change in state senate leadership this fall—although tricky to pull off, and involving un-sexy places like Kitsap—would actually be the fastest route to lasting progressive change in this state.


Comments (73) RSS

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The 30th LD senate race is NOT one where "there is actually a chance for a Democratic pickup."

That seat is being vacated by a retiring democrat, Tracy Eide. This seat would be a hold for the Democrats and a pick-up for the Republicans.
Posted by SuperSteve on August 6, 2014 at 7:03 AM · Report this
wilbur@work 2
or perhaps Spear is a self-promoting idiot, and Seattle voters are smarter enough to have understand and reject her stupid antics. Sawant's role in this foolishness may push her back to the sidelines as well.
Posted by wilbur@work on August 6, 2014 at 7:19 AM · Report this
wilbur@work 3
Posted by wilbur@work on August 6, 2014 at 7:19 AM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 4
If I were a Mayor's spouse (and I would be an excellent one - lunch at The Rainier Club, charity fashion shows, taking Blanc Mange to children and old people in the afternoon, cocktails and dinner at Canlis every night) I think that I would opt for the front-row-seat-gazing-up-adoringly pose when hubby was addressing a crowd. That picture makes them look like some sort of a hostage situation.

And a sash. I'd demand a sash, and I would wear it all the time, even when charging the cat box or taking stuff out of the dishwasher. You never know when folks might stop by.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on August 6, 2014 at 7:25 AM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 5
Ugh. That should be Blancmange. Stupid, stupid computer.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on August 6, 2014 at 7:27 AM · Report this
@4: Michael's hand up Ed's back is what makes our puppet mayor's mouth move.
Posted by DOUG. on August 6, 2014 at 7:29 AM · Report this
Couple items:

The Parks and Recreation Department oversees much more than "grass and trees". Parks are facilities. They include swimming pools, synthetic turf soccer fields, community centers, tennis courts, dog runs, lots of buildings and lots of employees. It's an enterprise. So that's part of the reason why this was controversial. People love their grass and trees, but that's not all this was about.

Second, part of the reason that Kshama Sawant won is because she was a more experienced candidate with a clear message (with national backing; Obama spoke out for the issue while she was running) who did *not* run against one of the most powerful legislators in the state. The race matters as much as the candidate and the message.
Posted by Post-Game Show on August 6, 2014 at 7:38 AM · Report this

Prop 1 tests whether Seattlites will pay property tax.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on August 6, 2014 at 7:44 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 9
@ 7, while your analysis of Sawant's council win is true, I think the point is more to her loss to Chopp the year before. Should Spear run for City Council next year as people are speculating, she'll do so as a more experienced candidate than she was coming into her challenge to Chopp.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 6, 2014 at 7:51 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 10
@4 What!?! No tiara???
Posted by Pope Peabrain on August 6, 2014 at 7:53 AM · Report this
TomJohnsonJr 11
"We have a treat in store, orphan children. Catalina's going to be here any minute, with her sash and blancmange."

Spear's numbers were lower than Sawant's, sure, but not bad for someone having to rerun the Sawant path to the City Council past the same voters.

Posted by TomJohnsonJr on August 6, 2014 at 8:05 AM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 12
Your Holiness, this is the Pacific Northwest, not a European court. A tiara would be tacky. Plus, a good tiara really has to be set into your hair by a hairdresser, and I'd be too busy getting all that Blancmange done before lunch.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on August 6, 2014 at 8:14 AM · Report this
Call me Scott 13
Chopp practices the progressive politics of convenience. Spear preaches progressive politics of the possible. I support Spear.
Posted by Call me Scott on August 6, 2014 at 8:14 AM · Report this
seatackled 14
Wonder Woman has never bothered with a hairdresser for her tiara, and she always looks fabulous.
Posted by seatackled on August 6, 2014 at 8:30 AM · Report this
I voted for both - Chopp for position 2 and Spear as a write-in on position 1 against unchallenged Walkinshaw. It alleviated my unease about replacing Chopp with an untested presence (and if she honestly wanted to make a go for Olympia rather than simply make a principled stand against one guy, would have probably been the smarter choice).

Posted by j.lee on August 6, 2014 at 8:31 AM · Report this
#4 Catalina, I adore you.
Posted by Lilly Moscovitz on August 6, 2014 at 8:33 AM · Report this
Plus Conlin had worn out his welcome, was bored by the job and stupidly did not use Sawant's call to nationalize Starbucks to make her look like the fool she is.
Posted by caution&daring on August 6, 2014 at 8:36 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 18
@12 I'll donate a Radio Flyer for all that Blancmange. Is that American enough? Seattle's first spouse pulling around a red wagon really would be priceless. And the orphans would be thrilled!
Posted by Pope Peabrain on August 6, 2014 at 8:37 AM · Report this
Another difference between Sawant and Spear is the Stranger's intense, weekly advocacy of Sawant.
Posted by LMcGuff on August 6, 2014 at 8:43 AM · Report this
Weak analysis of the parks contest-- which was more about taxes than parks, and direct vs representative democracy.

Also weak analysis of the Spear/ Chopp race. No sign that support for Socialist Alternative is ebbing. Only that its support has always been limited, as is the case with most third party politics in the US.
Posted by Trevor on August 6, 2014 at 8:43 AM · Report this
I voted for Sawant both times. To me, Sawant comes off as a serious person, who's sophisticated about economic thought. Spear is a flawed candidate. She comes off as a "meeee toooo!" dilettante who woke up one day, and decided that being a politician would be really neat. She has a scattershot approach to the issues she wants to tackle, and has no focus. Getting herself arrested was such transparent publicity move that it turned me off. Try getting arrested in a non-election year first, then we'll talk.
Posted by ohthetrees on August 6, 2014 at 8:58 AM · Report this

Are "Pots and Pans Brigades" part of the sophistication?

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on August 6, 2014 at 9:06 AM · Report this
Eli Sanders 23
@1: Thanks, long night. That's fixed now.
Posted by Eli Sanders on August 6, 2014 at 9:14 AM · Report this
Hernandez 24
Spear's platform is flawed. Running on the big, but obviously impossible while Chopp runs on the modest, but possible. Big empty promises aren't any kind of change from bipartisan politics.
Posted by Hernandez on August 6, 2014 at 9:24 AM · Report this
Fnarf 25
@13, you have it exactly backwards. There is nothing remotely "possible" about Spear's kind of politics. She has renunciated possibility for feel-good but pointless stances.

The problem is, outrage doesn't get you anywhere. Believe me, I share your outrage -- and so does Frank. But the way to overcome the obstacles laid out against us is to fight with persuasion and guile. Frank has both; Spear has neither. Without influence, without negotiation, without mastery of the minutiae of the legislative process, you will accomplish much less than nothing. You will get destroyed.

The voters ultimately recognize this.

Also, Spear herself is a vastly inferior candidate for anything than Sawant is. Sawant can be persuasive at times; Spear never. If SA wants to win more elections, they have to find some better candidates.
Posted by Fnarf on August 6, 2014 at 9:30 AM · Report this
sperifera 26
Wasn't Rodney Tom a Republican-turned-Democrat-turned-Republican?
Posted by sperifera on August 6, 2014 at 9:31 AM · Report this
@9 Spear was just a bad candidate who would not have been taken seriously at all if she weren't riding the coattails of Sawant. Unless she comes back with some marked improvement in her strategy, her delivery, and her knowledge about, oh the existing local laws and stuff, this experience won't help her next time around.
Posted by genevieve on August 6, 2014 at 9:32 AM · Report this
RE: the senate and legislature, two points.

One, the statewide turnout was abysmal - from what I saw on the Sec of State's page, looks like less than 25% statewide. A get out the vote effort could make the difference. (I can always hope and dream.)

Two, perhaps the Dem's strategy should change from focusing time and money during elections to instead focusing time and money during legislative session. Make life miserable for incumbents, ala Rodney Tom.
Posted by Fluffy on August 6, 2014 at 9:34 AM · Report this
"...about, essentially, grass and trees,"

If you think this, you are not really paying attention. It is about much more.

As for a "doomsday scenario" I don't think that's apt, either.

I just don't think this is really going to turn out as supporters think it will but time will tell.
Posted by westello on August 6, 2014 at 9:46 AM · Report this
@25 - Which religious order did she depart?
Posted by Massive Attack on August 6, 2014 at 9:48 AM · Report this
The difference is all in the campaign posters. Sawant's Council posters had a Rodchenko-esque could feel the social change vibe in the black-and-white, crusading image. Spear's looked like some warm and fuzzy -- and ultimately ineffectual -- Fairey. Hardly fierce enough to convince me she'd take on the establishment successfully.
Posted by Massive Attack on August 6, 2014 at 9:53 AM · Report this
@26 - yes, sort of. He claimed to still be a Democrat after he threw control of the Senate to the GOP.
Posted by Bax on August 6, 2014 at 10:04 AM · Report this
Fnarf 33
@30, she didn't depart one, she joined one. Socialist Alternative is essentially a religious order, not a political one. People who think I'm wrong don't know what "political" means. Hint: it doesn't have anything to do with positions or opinions or beliefs.
Posted by Fnarf on August 6, 2014 at 10:35 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 34
Lol, u guys are so funny!
Posted by Will in Seattle on August 6, 2014 at 10:37 AM · Report this
Wait, doesn't Murray's second half work for the parks? Conflict of interest?
Posted by Wait! on August 6, 2014 at 10:43 AM · Report this
There is a huge political and ideological difference between a $15 minimum wage (the cornerstone of Sawant's election platform, and rent control (Spears). Lumping those two policies into one political argument is flawed, and shows a lack of understanding of the economics behind them. One can certainly be pro-minimum wage and anti-rent-control. I know I am.
Posted by siwekme on August 6, 2014 at 10:46 AM · Report this
@33 - I was thrown when you said she renunciated as opposed to renounced. At any rate, unless we agree with you we are 100% ignorant. That's all I needed to see.
Posted by Massive Attack on August 6, 2014 at 11:15 AM · Report this
Once you've cleared the air of all the politicking, it's interesting to note that Democrats have controlled our state government for most of the past 30 years and Washington still has the most regressive tax system in the country. Apparently, the Stranger's editorial staff and most of its readership are fine with that.

@21 (ohthetrees): It's my understanding that Jess Spear was a key player in the $15 minimum wage campaign. If she has to pull a stunt and get arrested in order to get coverage, that probably says more about local media than about her. And I must say, as a Seattleite whose rent has gone up 50% in the past two years, I'm sympathetic to rent control as one facet of the solution. Living in a unit with no soundproofing or electrical grounding (let alone GFCI), I could envisage slapping rent controls on housing that isn't fully compliant with current codes, for example. (Of course, it doesn't help that a cartel of Wall Street investors is buying up all the Seattle homes it can, unchecked by the state AG Office's Antitrust Division, to turn them into oligopolistically controlled rentals.) Remember a few years back, when a Seattle writer pocketed a decent paycheck and decided to buy a nice house somewhere in -- Tennessee, was it? -- for less than it would cost to buy a tiny, crappy condo in Seattle? She was onto something. And Seattle traffic has gotten noticeably worse since she pulled up stakes...
Posted by PCM on August 6, 2014 at 11:29 AM · Report this
It's important to note that Sawant only won 11% in the primary, Spear won 19%+, this gives a good indication that she will at least win more then Sawant's 29% at the general election. And who knows, if she loses she could be on the road to become Seattle's second Socialist on City Council.
Posted by Fallbreaker on August 6, 2014 at 11:34 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 40
@37 Duh. Everybody knows that Fnarf is 100% wrong 100% of the time. If anybody listens to him, they might as well be listening to Bailo or Seattleblues or Will in Seattle. Because, Fnarf spreads as much disinformation as any of them.

The real problem is that the Republican held senate has been held for all of 2 years. TWO. Before that, we had a democratic house, senate and governor. Yet, we still passed regressive, corporate friendly, bills that lowered taxes for businesses while pondering why we had a shortage of funding.

Chopp has been Speaker of the House while we gave billions in tax credits to Boeing as they shuttle engineering jobs out of state. He was speaker while Microsoft fought for tax credits. He's been speaker as rents in his 43rd district blew up, and he hasn't done jack shit to protect us (he claims he's for rent control, but has he presented a bill to make it legal? Or is he talking out his ass again?). He was speaker when he made it tough for workers to collect unemployment while simultaneously lowering taxes for businesses.

Chopp is a corporate friendly asshole who is the exact reason I voted against him.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on August 6, 2014 at 11:49 AM · Report this
Fnarf 41
@37, I wouldn't know about "100% wrong", but you've got a bad track record. You also don't know what either "renounced" OR "renunciated" mean, along with the obvious.

@38, it's not that we're "fine with that", it's a question of how you go about changing it. Here's a tip: "presenting a bill" that has no possibility of passing is not good politics. Smart pols know who's going to vote which way before they even get to the floor. Dumb pols like Spear don't care if their votes mean anything or not, and as a result they never, ever do.

@40, you're part of the problem. Perhaps you'd be happier if you moved to Oregon or something, so the people there could ignore you for a change.
Posted by Fnarf on August 6, 2014 at 11:59 AM · Report this
Eli Sanders 42

@39: In the 2012 primary, votes for Sawant were split between two races.

She had initially declared a run for Jamie Pedersen's seat. But then, before the primary was over, there was a movement to get her to run a "write-in" campaign against Frank Chopp instead.

When the primary ballot counting was over, Sawant had received nine percent of the vote against Pedersen and "write-in" had received 12.7 percent of the vote against Chopp.

If you add those two tallies together (and even if you subtract a little for other possible write-in candidates against Chopp) you get a 2012 primary total for Sawant that's higher than Jess Spear's primary total this year.

Posted by Eli Sanders on August 6, 2014 at 12:05 PM · Report this
@41 - I'm comfortable enough with myself and my understanding of those two words that some troll typing away in a bathtub won't throw me. But you keep on believing what you need to, Fnarf. You're obviously tailor made for the comment cesspools.
Posted by Massive Attack on August 6, 2014 at 12:20 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 44
@41 No, you're part of the problem. Perhaps you'd be happier in Texas with the rest of your business-loving, regressive-tax-humping, Republican friends.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on August 6, 2014 at 12:49 PM · Report this
@42: Barely higher, essentially the same (roughly 20%). That isn't much evidence for the supposed decline in support you speculate about.
Posted by Trevor on August 6, 2014 at 1:00 PM · Report this
It must be nice to live in this fairy tale world where everything bad is the fault of "corporations", anyone who disagrees with you is a right-wing corporate shill, and everything bad can be magically fixed, if only those damn Repugnikkkans and shills would just listen.

Meanwhile in the real world, adults are doing the boring, sometimes distasteful work of building consensus, marshaling influence and turning the gears of the political machine.
Posted by tdc on August 6, 2014 at 1:09 PM · Report this
kk in seattle 47
If you think the principal purpose of the parks district was to provide grass and trees, then all the propaganda funded by the Downtown Seattle Association worked. Sometimes you do a fair job of figuring out who is paying for all these seemingly innocuous propositions, but you've fallen down on the job lately. Remember city council district elections, brought to you courtesy of a right-wing crank? Now we have a parks district, brought to you courtesy of downtown developers.
Posted by kk in seattle on August 6, 2014 at 1:28 PM · Report this
@45: Keep rearranging those deck chairs and the Jess Spear Titanic may limp into port...

But to anyone paying attention, Jess Spear and SA laid a big egg last night. Not a good sign for Kshama heading into 2015 either.
Posted by J.R. on August 6, 2014 at 2:08 PM · Report this
Ballard Pimp 49
Given the amount of money the apartment owners dumped into the campaign against Prop 1 (Those "yard" signs that are mostly on public right-of-way cost $7.50 a pop) and the whispering campaign run by an as-yet-unfiled PAC, I am surprised and grateful that the voters gave the proposition a win.
Posted by Ballard Pimp on August 6, 2014 at 3:13 PM · Report this
@4, THANK YOU! This is the first Mayoral spouse I have ever seen who is spooning the Mayor on stage at every opportunity. His people should do something about it, it looks ridiculous. Mayoral spouses are simply not necessary at the majority of public events, and they are certainly inappropriate as part of things like the Mayor's press announce of a new Police Chief.

Also, husband works for the City, show some decorum as a staffer and at least pretend you don't have undue influence.
Posted by Yeah You on August 6, 2014 at 3:30 PM · Report this
@50 it reminds me of the South Park episode where Mr. Garrison tries to get fired by performing deviant gay sex in front of his students, but when the students complain they get sent to a tolerance camp and Mr. Garrison gets an award. This city is so irritatingly self-congratulatory about its progressive values.
Posted by tdc on August 6, 2014 at 3:56 PM · Report this
An intelligent, activist, socialist young scientist with dedication and vision and anger at injustice- I am thrilled by Jess Spear's campaign. This was a terrific showing for her, hope for a continued revolution in politics in Seattle,and is, I hope, just the beginning for Jess Spear's political career.
We need her.
Posted by K. Barker on August 6, 2014 at 3:58 PM · Report this
@42 Eli

I think you're taking a lot of liberty assuming that you can add Sawant's 2012 Petersen and Chopp votes together... Lets remember what the ballot looked like in 2012: Chopp and Petersen/Sawant were on the SAME ballots. I think the safer assumption is that the majority of people who voted Sawant against Petersen also wrote in Sawant against Chopp.

Not to mention the result being greatly swayed by this newspaper (i figure the stranger endorsement has been worth about 10 percentage points - which is a shit-ton).

Thus the 19% that Spear received, without the stranger endorsement, considering that Chopp sent 3 mailers, purchased a full page add in the stranger, and has been promising the earth and moon to all progressive groups to sew up all endorsements... I'd say this is still a significant result.
Posted by j-so fresh on August 6, 2014 at 4:59 PM · Report this
@42 - Spear wasn't running in 2 races, so who knows what she would have gotten if she had filed against Walkinshaw and The Stranger called for a write-in against Chopp. Adding Sawant's totals from 2 races and saying she did better than Spear is just disingenuous - likely many of the same people voted for her twice.
Posted by Laura_1985 on August 6, 2014 at 5:00 PM · Report this
Pridge Wessea 55
@44 - so you're saying that Fnarf and the democrats of our state government that he supports are the equivalent of (or at least extremely similar to) Texas republicans.

Well huh. Maybe Oregon would be a good place for you.
Posted by Pridge Wessea on August 6, 2014 at 6:05 PM · Report this
There is a LOT of work to be done to get a majority of the public in this state to agree that a state income tax is both necessary and a public good. If you get a majority of the public to support it, you're more likely to get a majority of the state legislature to support it.

An a public event earlier this year in the Eastside, which I'll remind you has eight of twelve seats in the state Legislature and Senate controlled by Democrats, the crowd literally gasped - gasped - when a Democratic legislator stated that even a state income tax, if necessary, should be considered to deal with transportation and education spending issues.
Posted by palamedes on August 6, 2014 at 6:17 PM · Report this
Spear's blatant lack of understanding of anything pertinent to the business of running the affairs of the state was frankly an insult to the voters she sought to represent. Jess, please DO something with your life- own a business, have a career, face the harsh realities of real *adult* life- and then come back in ten years and participate in the conversation.

I'm surprised nobody is talking about how Spear's stunning loss might also be a commentary on voter's remorse in rewarding Sawant a seat at the table. Sawant's performance on the Council has been lackluster at best and downright silly at worst.
Posted by egracious on August 6, 2014 at 6:41 PM · Report this
Eli Sanders 58
@53 & 54: Good points. I was not thinking earlier about the possibility of double-votes for Sawant in 2012.

I guess that leaves us fundamentally unable to know what Sawant's real, non-duplicative 2012 primary vote total was?
Posted by Eli Sanders on August 6, 2014 at 9:05 PM · Report this
@57: Your grounding in reality is refreshing, but certainly out of place on this string,

People! Frank Chopp beat Spear by 60 points! The hope that the residents of the 43rd will vote in Socialists to replace incumbent Democrats has been crushed. The threat that Spear could contend for a City Council seat next year is gone.

What's more, with the fading of SA's electoral power, Sawant now appears vulnerable to a strong Democratic challenger. And she'll have more than one.
Posted by J.R. on August 6, 2014 at 9:36 PM · Report this
Respectfully disagree. I had never seen a councilmember immediately control the direction of city politics upon entering office before Sawant. I have reservations about some of her ideas, but I'm very happy to see how she fights for them. I hope the Democrats take a page from her book and learn the difference between "negotiating" and "conceding".
I'm really glad to see some fight finally enter Seattle politics.
Posted by JonCracolici on August 6, 2014 at 9:42 PM · Report this
@4, @50 Could it be that both the Mayor & his spouse recognize the importance of positive images of the first elected MARRIED Mayor of a major US City and want to use their highly visible platform to further promote positive images and affect tolerance?
Posted by M. Wells on August 6, 2014 at 11:20 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 62
@55 The majority of the bills passed by the Washington Democrats are selling out the state to the lowest bidder, very similar to the efforts that Rick Perry puts forward in Texas.

If you don't see how regressive the Democrats in this state actually are when it comes to financial and labor laws, then maybe you shouldn't be voting.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on August 7, 2014 at 12:00 AM · Report this
@61, I'm pretty sure there have been other elected MARRIED Mayors of major US Cities before Ed Murray. Maybe you a word there. I don't give a fuck what gender or sexual preferences you are, I don't want to see you spooning your SO in public, especially not when you're an elected official. Use some goddamn decorum.
Posted by tdc on August 7, 2014 at 12:01 AM · Report this
Pridge Wessea 64
@62 - hahaha, oh wow, you took the opportunity to dig yourself even deeper. I'm surprised you didn't call me a "sheeple" in the middle of all that.

You should let collectivism_sucks know about this immediately, he still thinks we're an overtaxed, over regulated socialist hellhole. He'll be so reassured.
Posted by Pridge Wessea on August 7, 2014 at 1:13 AM · Report this
Yes, I missed including "same sex" in my previous post. Oops.
Posted by M. Wells on August 7, 2014 at 10:18 AM · Report this
@61, what @63 said. If your point was correct, then why don't Sally Clark or Tom Rasmussen carry on that way? Because it's not becoming of an elected official regardless of sexual orientation. Show me another Mayor level politician or higher who is behaving that way.

I think we all saw in this Mayoral election that no one cares about the gay mayor bit, we are a very queer city. Murray's rep was more about being the conservative establishment candidate than it was about being gay. And anyway, PDX already beat us to it with Sam Adams, who was a way cooler gay mayor than Ed Murray.
Posted by Yeah You on August 7, 2014 at 10:37 AM · Report this
And btw @61, I am queer as the day is long, but I find it distasteful for the Mayor and his spouse to behave like they are on a Pride float.
Posted by Yeah You on August 7, 2014 at 10:41 AM · Report this
@67: Behaving like they're on a Pride Float? What are they doing? And, do you have pictures?!?
Posted by J.R. on August 7, 2014 at 11:26 AM · Report this
Fnarfman on MLK: hey dude, ""presenting a bill" that has no possibility of passing is not good politics. you should stop trying this desegregation stuff. instead work the minutiae of legislation, once you master it."
Fnarfman to Kennedy and Obama: " dudes, too early to run for president, you have not passed anything you can't be a good leader till you master the minutiae of legislation!"
Fnarf to Saul Alinsky: "boy oh boy you got it wrong dude. go master the minutiae of legislation THEN you will have an impact."
Fnarf to Walter Reuther, ghandi, the women's movement, the gay rights movement and the environmental movements: "boy do you folks got it wrong, legislators aren't spuposed to lead the public, they make progess thru mastering the minutiae of legislation!"

Fnarf to Winston Churchill: "what's up with all the speeches to the public in the UK and the flowery language. You need to go master the minutiae of legislation, that's how you beat the Nazis!"
Posted by Small mindedness illustrated on August 8, 2014 at 7:44 AM · Report this
Cyrus Habib is hardly a bright spot over Michelle Darnell but you will almost never support a Republican -- or at least you failed to answer my specific question about the last three Republicans you have supported. Meanwhile Cyrus Habib has failed to answer my specific questions regarding his platform. You claimed Michelle Darnell is out to raise taxes and had no answer to these questions but you never explicated Habib's position on these questions, fancy that.…

1. Right now you have what is basically a Court-ordered unfunded mandate for education. What are your specific plans to address the funding mandate set forth by McCleary?

2. What is your position on income and sales taxes. Are you in favor of regressive or progressive taxes and what would changes would you advocate for during your term?

3. There have been legal decisions throughout the country -- including the Nancy Becker vs. MERSCORP case in Pennsylvania decided this summer -- that indicate that the MERS recording system has robbed counties of millions of dollars in recording fees. Do you believe that area recording offices should be conducting audits in order to go after some of this money?

4. What role do you believe that the mortgage and housing crisis has had on Seattle area economy?


Darnell garnered 37% of the vote with 4% of Habib's money ($161K vs. $7K) and she has none of his connections, power or money. Darnell and I discuss the Primary in yesterday's video:……

Now I have praised you guys often and always but I will bear no compunction to call you out when I feel you are full of it, and right about now I feel you are indeed, full of it.
Posted by KingCast on August 8, 2014 at 8:12 AM · Report this
@ Hernandez,

You have to aim for the impossible to achieve the possible. If you compromise before you've even begun, you'll get nowhere.
Posted by John G on August 8, 2014 at 8:23 AM · Report this
@ Hernandez,

You have to aim for the impossible to achieve the possible. If you compromise before you've even begun, you'll get nowhere.
Posted by John G on August 8, 2014 at 8:24 AM · Report this
So glad Seattle voters did not go with Jess Spears!! Thank the Good Lord above for that one!! One blabber mouth Socialist is more than we can stand in Seattle! I think the voters realized their mistake in voting Sawant onto our City Council. That was a huge mistake!!
Posted by Ol' Ugly Bastard on August 11, 2014 at 8:22 PM · Report this

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