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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The 36th District Keeps on Giving

posted by on October 14 at 17:46 PM

I’ll be too busy wrapping up this year’s general-election endorsements to make it to tonight’s 36th District Democrats debate, but if you’re in the neighborhood, you might want to stop by for the fireworks. (The meetings starts at 7 p.m. at 3003 NW 66th St.) Reuven Carlyle and John Burbank, the two Democrats who are vying to fill the state House seat being vacated by Helen Sommers, are embroiled in a testy debate over the language on the Democrats’ sample ballots (yes, I’m serious). According to a frantic email sent out by district chair Peter House last night, the ballots were supposed to note only that Burbank was the district’s “endorsed” candidate for the state house seat. (Observant readers will recall that after the district declined to pick an “official” nominee, state Democratic chairman Dwight Pelz stepped in and picked one himself; subsequently, Burbank received an endorsement, which is different from a nomination, from the district’s membership). Instead, the ballots—written by Carlyle supporter (and district vice-chair) Janis Travenóread as follows: “This is our first election under the Top Two Primary system: Two Democrats face off in the General Election. Democrat Reuven Carlyle won the August Primary by over 1200 votes. In September, 134 members of our District organization voted to endorse John Burbank.”

In his email to 36th District members, House wrote:

The entry on the Sample Ballot goes on to list Reuven Carlyle even though he was not endorsed. In no other race where we made an endorsement was a non-endorsed candidate listed. In my judgment the Sample Ballot did not represent the will of the membership. The message at the top of the ballot comes from me implying that I have approved the ballot which I had not. I therefore took measures to correct the sample ballot. I called John Burbank and his campaign manager and asked them to come to the church. I needed help, and I knew that John, as our endorsed candidate, would be very interested in making sure the ballot was correct. I instructed John to remove the incorrect ballots from the church. I further asked John to help me get new ballots printed with the correct information. John called Service Printing and arranged to have new ballots printed. The new ballots were promised for Saturday morning, October 11.

One thing House didn’t mention in his email is that he is a supporter of John Burbank—giving him as much incentive, in theory, to remove the offending information as Traven had for including it. Although Traven says she intended only to make the new primary procedures clear to district members (previously, two Democrats would never oppose each other on a general-election ballot, because only one Democrat ever made it through the primary), Burbank supporters believe the language was intended to make members question which candidate the district actually supported. In any case, the ballot on the 36th District web site still includes information about both Burbank and Carlyle.

UPDATE: A commenter says the ballot has been changed. Here’s a link
to the one that was up last night.

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This reinforces my vindictive prejudice and justifies my campaign of derision against the 36th District's incompetent and self-serving old boy club. I might start to respect them if they all resigned in disgrace and dishonor for their stupid latte tax, and their bumbling failures to endorse, and now their ham-fisted sample ballots.

Guys. Maybe Democratic machine running is not your thing. What about golf? Or boat building? Or that new Brazilian jujitsu school in Ballard? Have you tried that? 'Cause I think you'd be have to be better at any of that than this.

Posted by elenchos | October 14, 2008 7:33 PM

Dear mr. e:


The district offices and membership via elected or appointed pco's and control over the rules everything is open to you and anyone else (as long as you are a Democrat and a registered voter).

If you can do better, why don't you get elected chair, do a bang up job, etc.???



Also your facts are all wrong but it's really your lazy 'n' snooty attitude I want to focus on here.

You want a Democratic party more to your liking?

Go try and get elected. You go try and run a party organization.

I dare you.

In unity, your friend,

Posted by PC | October 14, 2008 7:50 PM

Interesting. Traven and House always had a great working relationship up until this race. This sounds like a personal grudgematch now as much as anything else. I wonder what this means for the future of the 36th Ds during reorg?

Posted by el ganador | October 14, 2008 7:58 PM

Susan Hudgens? You're a disgusting human being. Kill yourself.

Posted by elenchos | October 14, 2008 8:13 PM

Sample ballot language was, unfortunately, not brought up at the meeting. May have made it a bit more interesting. The only things the candidates seemed to disagree on policy-wise was the Viaduct. Got a bit interesting at the end with "latte tax" and "corporate donations" being thrown around with gusto, but the moderator ended it.

Posted by Meeting Goer | October 14, 2008 8:38 PM

.... for using the term " kill yourself" ....this guy needs to be locked out of Slog.

over the top to the max.

by the way, hard fought Dem primaries will be HEALTHY in the long run ... better discussions, pushing candidates to do some work on issues and go to the voting public in a big way for support.
love this political sport ... good for all.

the 43rd had a dog fight last term, didn't destroy them at all .... and Jamie did not have an opponent after all the fuss and muss in the previous primary... your memory is as long as your _____ it seems.

Jack in the 37th

Posted by Jack | October 14, 2008 8:47 PM


Your opinions on the 37th: blah blah whatever.

Your opinions on elenchos vs PC/Susan/smogmonster: you obviously have no idea what you've walked into. Back out slowly, taking care to make no sudden moves. Don't make eye contact with anyone. You're messing with forces you don't understand.

Posted by Big Sven | October 14, 2008 9:44 PM

Is it normal for a candidate for public office to remove one set of "offending" ballots and replace them with another by printing them himself?

I'll bet he's "very interested."


Posted by Ernie P | October 14, 2008 11:15 PM

The 36th Dems have always had an overinflated sense of importance. The executive committee candidate interviews are just chock full of people trying to act more intelligent and progressive than they really are.

I am a loyal local Dem party activist, but they are really over the top.

Posted by tiptoe tommy | October 15, 2008 12:21 AM


my opinion are general - I vote in the 37th, used to be actively engaged in the 43rd....

IMHO the word kill is never a joke and thus my feelings on the matter

and virulent conflicts in the Districts are common as dog shit, boy, do we have some ego on this posting system

I have no expertise on the 36th except it seems they are puffed up, agree with above, and I much prefer the very working class and mixed communities of the 37th

so, back to Horses Ass for some real politics...

Jack from the 37th

Posted by Jack | October 15, 2008 12:51 AM

Any PCO can just refuse to carry the literature of a candidate they don't support and carry the literature of someone they think is a better Democratic candidate.

Happens all the time.

Meanwhile, the main thing that matters is you vote early and vote often.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 15, 2008 1:12 AM

"Iíll be too busy wrapping up this yearís general-election endorsements to make it to tonightís 36th District Democrats debate"

And I'll be too busy cleaning the lint out of my navel to take anything you ever say seriously. Not that there was much immediate danger of that happening, anyway.

Just to be clear - this means you'll be too busy sitting at some table "putting heads together" to issue an opinion that, really, doesn't mean squat, rather than attend something local that you DO seem concerned enough about to have the time to waffle on about here anyway?

Pathetic. As usual.

Posted by Way to go, lard ass | October 15, 2008 6:12 AM
In any case, the ballot on the 36th District web site still includes information about both Burbank and Carlyle.

It does? Where? It has Burbank's name, period.

Posted by ivan | October 15, 2008 7:37 AM

All about SusanUnPC, for those who are wondering. She's part of the Republican smear machine, and she really should kill herself.

Posted by elenchos | October 15, 2008 8:30 AM

@6 - "hard fought Dem primaries will be HEALTHY" - Correct! But this isn't a primary. It's the general election. And so now the Grange and Sam Reed get what they want - two Democrats dumbing things down and trying to be the least offensive to the Republicans, rather than two candidates from contrasting philosophical schools advocating their perspectives.

Posted by Seattlifer | October 15, 2008 8:33 AM

elenchos @ 14 proves SusanUnPC is a Republican by providing the first link in a chain that leads to a photo gallery of Susan in her familiar role as a prominent figure in the Dean for America movement, taking our country back.

Fanaticism is unhealthy at any point on the compass, and the Obama movement has little else to offer.

Posted by RonK, Seattle | October 15, 2008 5:05 PM

We used to think Larry Johnson was a Democrat too, Ron. People change.

Posted by elenchos | October 15, 2008 5:55 PM

@ 17 -- Who is "we" in the context of your comment???

Larry Johnson never made any secret of his lifelong Republican orientation, even as he championed his friends Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson.

What you think - like whatever you "used to think" - apparently does not signify.

Posted by RonK, Seattle | October 15, 2008 6:39 PM

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