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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

SECB Polident-arazzi ®

posted by on August 20 at 1:11 PM

The election-night party for Terry Bergeson—running for reelection as the Superintendent of Public Instruction—was scheduled to rollick until 11 p.m. last night in the downtown Red Lion. Early results showed Bergeson with a significant lead over her opponents so we were ready to party. But a moment after Lindy West and I stepped into a fluorescently-lit, music-less San Juan room—which, at 9:30 p.m., was filled with silver-haired revelers—we were promptly shown the door. Was it because I'm a high-school drop out, Terry?

Even though we were expelled from the class, nothing could keep us from keeping tabs on Bergeson's clique. From across the street, Lindy snapped this shot of the celebration wake, which, by 10:15 p.m., had atrophied to only Bergeson (on the left) and her press-bouncing goon, Alex Hays.


Hays told the SECB—in the hallway, because we weren’t allowed to quaff the Ensure smoothies inside—that Bergeson "leads by about 20-points" over opponent Randy Dorn. “This result is a crushing defeat for Randy Dorn and his out-of-state war chest,” said Hays. He added that "Dorn had $200,000 of out of state money." But PDC records show that Dorn actually had a smaller war chest: $122,000 compared to Bergeson's "war chest" of $157,000. In fact, Dorn received fewer out-of-state dollars than Bergeson: $3,181 to her $7,575. But, you know, the Bergeson camp isn't known for its math skills.

Asked why Bergeson was leading despite pushing the controversial WASL tests—a high-stakes graduation requirement—Hays said, “A less vocal population is satisfied with the high standards and accountability.”

Nice spin, Hays, but you haven’t convinced us. Bergeson had only 41 percent of the vote as of this morning. Earning less than 50 percent support in the primary is a bad sign for an incumbent. But it’s a great omen for Dorn. He took 30 percent of the vote and continues on to the general election.

We look forward to Bergeson’s party in November.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Election Results in Contested Races

posted by on August 19 at 11:39 PM

Here's the night's last election-result update. Election results are included for statewide offices, King County ballot measures, and districted offices that contain any part of King County. Incumbents are bolded where applicable; judicial candidates that received more than 50 percent won their races and will not go on to the general election. In all other races, the top two candidates move forward to November regardless of their party preference.

P.S. There is no such thing as a Grand Old Party Party.

P.P.S. I cannot stop laughing at the name "Boleslaw (John) Olinski"

Initiative 26 and Council-Proposed Alternative

Yes 65.09%
No 34.91%

Initiative 26 53.32%
Council-Proposed Alternative 46.68%

United States Representative Congressional District No. 1
Jay Inslee (Prefers Democratic Party) 67.63
Larry Ishmael (Prefers G.O.P. Party) 32.37 %

United States Representative Congressional District No. 2
Rick Bart (Prefers Republican Party) 36.45 %
Rick Larsen (Prefers Democratic Party) 55.59 %
Doug Schaffer (Prefers Democratic Party) 4.88 %
Glen S. Johnson (Prefers Democratic Party) 3.07 %

United States Representative Congressional District No. 7
Goodspaceguy Nelson (Prefers Democratic Party) 2.82 %
Mark A. Goldman (States No Party Preference) 3.02 %
Donovan Rivers (Prefers Democratic Party) 5.58 %
Al Schaefer (States No Party Preference) 1.07 %
Steve Beren (Prefers Republican Party) 15.55 %
Jim McDermott (Prefers Democratic Party) 71.96%

United States Representative Congressional District No. 8
Boleslaw (John) Orlinski (States No Party Preference) 1.08 %
Richard Todd (States No Party Preference) 1.61 %
James E. Vaughn (Prefers Democratic Party) 4.16 %
Dave Reichert (Prefers Republican Party) 47.38 %
Keith Arnold (Prefers Democratic Party) 1.59 %
Darcy Burner (Prefers Democratic Party) 44.18 %

United States Representative Congressional District No. 9
Adam Smith (Prefers Democratic Party) 66.90 %
James Postma (Prefers Republican Party) 33.10 %

Dino Rossi (Prefers G.O.P. Party) 45.64%
Will Baker (Prefers Reform Party) 0.39 %
Christine Gregoire (Prefers Democratic Party) 48.43 %
Duff Badgley (Prefers Green Party) 0.63 %
John W. Aiken, Jr. (Prefers Republican Party) 1.85 %
Christian Pierre Joubert (Prefers Democratic Party) 1.26 %
Christopher A. Tudor (States No Party Preference) 0.38 %
Javier O. Lopez (Prefers Republican Party) 0.38 %
Mohammad Hasan Said (States No Party Preference) 0.21 %
James White (Prefers Independent Party) 0.82 %

Continue reading "Election Results in Contested Races" »

Breaking: Scott White Says You're All Invited To His Secret Party!

posted by on August 19 at 11:01 PM

The SECB just got back from Scott White's party at a secret, undisclosed location (White's North Seattle home).


When the SECB arrived, White—who's in a hot race for a state house seat in the 46th district—immediately told us he wanted to set the record straight, and made it clear that the location of his party "wasn't a secret"—as we'd said earlier—and that you're all invited over. They're almost out of beer, but they've got tiny little sandwiches!

White's party was astonishingly low-key, and only about 15 or 20 volunteers and friends milled around White's spacious home, while a herd of children—one of them apparently named "Bubba"—stomped through the house. No one seemed to be paying much attention to the election results, perhaps because it's White's wife's 36th birthday, or something. White, however, did not offer the SECB any cake.

When asked about the numbers so far, White seemed pleased and said something about how much he loved grassroots campaigning. Then he told the SECB he had to get up early to sign-wave in the rain, and asked us to come by at some ungodly hour.

The SECB politely declined.

BREAKING: SECB Kicked Out of Bergeson Victory Wake!

posted by on August 19 at 10:16 PM

Terry Bergeson is the Superintendent of Public Instruction and she's running for reelection and we didn't endorse her but we showed up at her primary night party at the Red Lion at 5th & Pike in downtown Seattle anyway because we're good sports. The first thing the SECB noticed when we walked into the San Juan Room were all the old, old, old people. It's total Gray Dawn up there. Not that we mind the elderly but... you know... we doubted that anyone at Bergeson's party actually has a kid in school. Great-grandkids maybe, but no kids.

Before the SECB could secure a Metamucil-tini, the SECB was approached by Alex Hays, Terry Bergeson's campaign consultant. Mr. Hays was hostile and visibly upset and asked the SECB to please step into the hall.

"This is a place for a party and not for anything else," Hays warned the SECB. We're not sure what Mr. Hays was so worried about—another pop quiz, perhaps?—but we assured him that we came in peace.

Mr. Hays proceeded to inform the SECB that Terry Bergeson was very upset about the "serial killer handwriting post" on Slog (which you can read here), and that he didn't think that it was the least bit funny either. Which just goes to show you how subjective humor can be. Because, like, we thought it was hilarious that our Superintendent of Public Instruction—the woman behind the hated WASL—can't pass the same damn test she's shoved down the throats of Washington state schoolchildren.

But we're in the minority, as Mr. Hays makes clear. Bergerson enjoys a 20 point lead over her opponent Randy Dorn.

"This result is a crushing defeat for Randy Dorn and his out-of-state war chest," says Mr. Hays.

The SECB then asked if Terry Bergeson was in the room, and that's when we were told that we wouldn't be able to speak to the candidate—or reenter the room, despite offers to turn our pockets inside out.

"You should be pleased that I'm talking to you," Mr. Hays told the SECB.

Which just goes to show you that pleasure, like humor, is also subjective.

Yes We Can Hitch Ourselves to the Bandwagon

posted by on August 19 at 9:51 PM

Gregoire's supporters aren't the only ones who've figured out that "Yes we can!" has a nice ring to it. Here's a little something the SECB picked up at the Burner party tonight:


Gregoire Speaks

posted by on August 19 at 9:47 PM

Governor Gregoire just finished speaking. State Rep. Eric Pettigrew introduced her; other political bigwigs here include House Speaker Frank Chopp; State Rep. Joe McDermott; the aforementioned Jim McDermott; state party chair Dwight Pelz; State Rep. Ross Hunter; and State Sen. Karen Keiser.

Gregoire's brief speech here, unlike the one earlier tonight at Spitfire, has been mostly about her record as governor: Making the state the third-best in the country for business, prioritizing climate change, and taking care of men and women in Iraq. "We've got momentum, it's on to November, the president of the United States is going to be Barack Obama!"

Obama came up so much, in fact, you'd think Gregoire was Obama's running mate; people are wearing buttons showing Gregoire's image juxtaposed against the Democratic presidential nominee; and the room keeps breaking into chants of "Yes We Can!" Then, inexplicably, they played "Louie Louie" and everybody started milling around again.

Gregoire's in a good mood tonight. And she should be. She's sweeping in counties, like Pierce, that she lost last time, returns from King County (where she'll clean up) haven't come in yet, and Dino Rossi just made a lackluster statement about this election not mattering because Republicans didn't turn out. (And they're going to turn out in November?) She entered the room to thunderous chants of "Four more years!," hugging dozens of supporters on her way from the back of the room to the stage.

Burner Claims a Mandate for Change in the 8th District

posted by on August 19 at 9:35 PM


Speaking to a mass of cheering (and noticeably young) supporters here at the Mustard Seed in Newport Hills, eastside Democrat Darcy Burner said that the primary vote count shows a demand for change in the 8th District. "More than 50-percent of the voters are voting for change," Burner told the SECB after addressing the crowd.

As the SECB stood scratching its head trying to figure out how Burner's current 44-percent of the vote equals "more than 50-percent," a supporter filled us in on the new math: Burner and four no-chance challengers collectively have just under 53-percent of the vote, while Reichert has 47-percent. If you're talking about individual totals, Reichert is in the lead. No one else has more than his 47-percent. But if you group all the other candidates together under a "change" mantle, then yes, a majority of the 8th District appears to be voting for change.

But, to be clear, in the head-to-head Burner is trailing Reichert, 44-percent to 47-percent. Still, Burner told us, the result "puts us in a tremendously strong position going into November."

And, new math aside, it's generally not a good sign for a two-term incumbent like Reichert to be getting less than 50-percent in his district.


Carlyle Promises to Burn Down Private Schools

posted by on August 19 at 9:30 PM

The SECB checks in on another hotly contested state house race...


Reuven Carlyle—seen in the photo above—is running against John "Please Shut Up About the Latte Tax" Burbank for a state house seat from the 36th. Carlyle swears to God that his kids are in public schools, godfuckingdamnit. In fact, Carlyle hates private schools so much that he promises, if elected, to set fire to one private school a month until they're all DESTROYED!

Carlyle's primary night party is at a house—his house—in a part of Queen Anne that overlooks Puget Sound. It's so beautiful up here that the SECB just might weep. All of the houses on the block are beautiful, and there's a Reuven Carlyle lawn sign in front of each and every one of them. Inside the house about 40-50 Carlyle supporters are eating and drinking and quietly counting their money in their heads. Carlyle mailers sit on a table. "Once in a generation a politician comes along who inspires hope and change," reads one. Carlyle is shown in a photo standing to the left of Barack Obama. "And one on the right is pretty good too."

Har har.

"The Obama movement is not just a cliche, it is not just a fad," Carlyle tells the SECB in a moment of completely uncalled for candor.

Seattle City councilmember Tim Burgess is here. He says he encouraged Carlyle to run and that he endorsed him because, "He's the perfect candidate." By now we're wondering if Obama will pick Carlyle to be his VP. Or maybe Carlyle is "the one," a.k.a. the "anti-Christ," and not Obama.

Speaking of perfection: The SECB strongly feels that Carlyle's campaign manager, Matthew Gasparich, is a total fucking fox. When Gasparich asked the SECB if whether we have, "a refined taquito palate," the SECB swooned. The SECB will sample Carlyle's campaign manager's taquito anytime, anyplace.

Right now Burbank is ahead by a few points, but Carlyle will be going through to the general election.

Election Results in Key Statewide Races

posted by on August 19 at 9:22 PM

Gregoire's speaking at 9:30. Meanwhile, here are some more election results.

US Congress, District 8

Boleslaw (John) Orlinski (States No Party Preference) 1.08 %
Richard Todd (States No Party Preference) 1.61 %
James E. Vaughn (Prefers Democratic Party) 4.17 %
Dave Reichert (Prefers Republican Party) 47.27 %
Keith Arnold (Prefers Democratic Party) 1.59 %
Darcy Burner (Prefers Democratic Party) 44.27 %


Dino Rossi (Prefers G.O.P. Party) 45.76 %
Will Baker (Prefers Reform Party) 0.40 %
Christine Gregoire (Prefers Democratic Party) 48.31 %
Duff Badgley (Prefers Green Party) 0.62 %
John W. Aiken, Jr. (Prefers Republican Party) 1.86 %
Christian Pierre Joubert (Prefers Democratic Party) 1.27 %
Christopher A. Tudor (States No Party Preference) 0.38 %
Javier O. Lopez (Prefers Republican Party) 0.38 %
Mohammad Hasan Said (States No Party Preference) 0.21 %
James White (Prefers Independent Party) 0.83 %

Commissioner of Public Lands

Peter J. Goldmark (Prefers Democratic Party) 48.89 %
Doug Sutherland (Prefers Republican Party) 51.11 %

Superintendent of Public Instruction

John Patterson Blair 8.27 %
Don Hansler 9.47 %
Randy Dorn 29.99 %
David Blomstrom 4.01 %
Enid Duncan 6.59 %
Teresa (Terry) Bergeson 41.66 %

Supreme Court
Justice Position 3 (Statewide)

Mary Fairhurst 61.30 % (Note: This means Fairhurst wins another term).
Michael J. Bond 38.7%

Justice Position 4
Charles W. Johnson 58.16 % (Note: This means Johnson wins another term.)
C. F. (Frank) Vulliet 10.75 %
James M. Beecher 31.10 %

For complete election results in statewide races, visit the Secretary of State's web site.

Why Can't We Be Friends?

posted by on August 19 at 9:10 PM

The SECB ran into Jason Osgood, the barcode-obsessed Democratic candidate for WA Secretary of State, at Gerry Pollet's party at Mr. Villa’s in Lake City.

Right now Sam Reed, the Stranger-endorsed Republican candidate for Secretary of State (the only Stranger-endorsed Republican candidate), is thumping Osgood. Reed's got 54% of the vote so far, Osgood's got 39%.

Asked about the numbers, Osgood replied: "I'll get back to you."

Then Osgood informed the SECB that he wasn't pleased about the Stranger endorsement interview process. He felt it was set up in such a way to ensure the interviews turned into a "cockfights." Then Osgood informed the SECB that he was on the debate team. He didn't specify if he was on a college debate team or a high school debate team. Then he told the SECB that we could be friends and proceeded to share his recipe for couscous salad with the SECB.

We are not making this up.

Live at the Gregoire Event

posted by on August 19 at 9:06 PM

The SECB is at the Northwest African American History Museum at the former Colman School in South Seattle, and we’re waiting for Gov. Christine Gregoire to show up for her third event of the night. She’s running late from her last event—a hoity-toity “high-donor” private fundraiser at an undisclosed location—and the crowd is milling around in an increasingly hot room, drinking (mostly wine) and talking (mostly about Darcy Burner). “We Are Family” is blasting from the speakers.

The SECB spent some of the dead time since this event supposedly started (at 7:30) talking with US Congressman Jim McDermott and a couple of political consultants. McDermott was eager to see how his five opponents were stacking up against him, but results—due at eight—didn’t come in until just now. McDermott blamed King County’s invariably molasses-slow vote count. “Ron Sims isn’t going to get reelected based on the swiftness with which he counts the vote,” he cracked. McDermott also remarked on the sometimes monotonous work lives of campaign consultants, noting that on some days, their job consists primarily of things like what hors d'œuvre to order. “I mean, will it be the square crackers or the oblong crackers?”

Apparently, Gregoire’s event planner has a sweet tooth, because the food at this event consists entirely of candy, pastries, paper bowls of what looks like ice cream, and fruit. (We took pictures, but they keep crashing the SECB's computer, so you’ll have to imagine it for yourself.)

McDermott, it will surprise no one to learn, is winning, with 71 percent of the vote. Goodspaceguy Nelson, despite his quirky name, is flailing at second to last, with less than three percent.

More results to come in a separate post.

Bags for Burner

posted by on August 19 at 9:05 PM

Eagle-eyed Stephanie Pure, accompanied to the Burner victory party by the equally eagle-eyed Josh Feit, is remarking on the notable number of young people at this event. (Um, is anyone carding in this bar?)

It's definitely the young-in-Bellevue set:


So How's Gregoire Doing?

posted by on August 19 at 9:00 PM

In 2004, in King County, Christine Gregoire beat Dino Rossi in the general election by only about 100,000 votes.

Gregoire needs to do much better than that this year to avoid another mess of a tight statewide race—or even a loss. And with just 12 percent of the votes counted in King County, it looks like Gregoire will indeed get a much bigger margin of victory in this year's primary than she did in last cycle's general. Which bodes well for her.

Right now, Gregoire is leading Rossi in King County by about 30,000 votes. Extrapolating from that, and assuming the trend holds, Gregoire should beat Rossi in King County by well over 300,000 votes. Or to put it another way: by more than three times her margin of victory in 2004.

Pity Party

posted by on August 19 at 8:46 PM


Mr. Villa's in Lake City is the site of Gerry Pollet's primary night party. Pollet is running for a state house seat in the 46th district against Scott White. This race has been the source of much drama over the last few weeks. There are 40 or 50 people inside the tiny restaurant, and Pollet was not optimistic about his chances when he spoke to the SECB.

"I know we've been outspent three-to-one," says Pollet, "but if we're competitive, that's a huge victory."

Pollet points out that he's doing better than Republican Keith Ljunghammer, who has a silly name and an even more ridiculous party affiliation. Saying you're going to do better than a Republican in the 46th district race isn't saying much. As of 8:30, Pollet hadn't announced the numbers—because online results show that Pollet is getting his ass kicked. White right now has 47% of the total votes cast, and Pollet is somewhere in the low 30s.

Thanks to the top-two primary, of course, White will have another chance to kick Pollet's ass in November when the two Dems face each other again.

Talking to his supporters tonight Pollet somehow worked this into his speech: "The fight against global warming starts with each of us."

"This is my district," says one member of the SECB, "and that no one in the room laughed illustrates why I hate my district."

UPDATE: No one was talking about the returns that have come in so far—which show Pollet down by 12 points—so the SECB showed Pollet the numbers on our iPhone. Pollet was delighted with the numbers. "That's good news to us," he told the SECB, and then he predicted that he would win the general election.

At the Mustard Seed Waiting for Burner

posted by on August 19 at 8:25 PM

We are someplace called Newport Hills, which is about a 20-minute drive east from Seattle, sitting in what the SECB guesses you would call a blue-collar strip-mall bar. It's called the Mustard Seed and the back looks like this:


While the front looks like this:


We're still waiting for Burner to arrive, so the SECB checked out the spread, which is not promising:


Memo to the Burner campaign: American flags are great and all, but they're even better with food on them.

The SECB spotted Blaire Butterworth, doing his second tour as a top Burner campaign consultant:


That's him on the left. Butterworth told us that tonight the campaign is hoping for Burner to, in the worst case, come in close to her opponent, Republican Congressman Dave Reichert. He has an advantage in terms of name recognition, and an additional advantage because turnout is likely to include a lot of older voters. Butterworth also told me the campaign will be looking closely at the numbers to see how Burner does in her district relative to Gregoire—which may tell them something about Burner's relative strengths and weakness, and may also suggest what kind of impact (if any) the governer's race will have on Burner's fortunes.

UPDATE: Cheers as the television reports that with 13 percent of the vote counted, Burner is tied with Reichert, 46 percent to 46 percent.

The Top-Two Primaries Ruined EVERYTHING!

posted by on August 19 at 8:10 PM

"People were calling me today asking where the big parties were at," says James Bush, legislative aide to King County Councilmember Dow Constantine. "The big parties are 'at' November."

Bush was enjoying a beer as the Kids for Gregoire Party at Spitfire slowly dissolved.

The top-two primary has ruined primary night parties, Bush asserts (and the SECB strongly suspected as it prepared to head out tonight), since very little is actually be decided on primary night anymore. Maybe a judicial race or two, but otherwise... pffft.

Back before the top-two primaries ruined everything, lots of local Dem races wrapped on primary night. The winner of the Dem primary in King County would face some sacrificial Republican in November—the indignity of it all—but the election was essentially over. Now, with the top-two primary, two Dems will move on to face each other in November. Theoretically it should make for a more exciting night in November... because, hey, we'll find out who won in all these local Dem vs. Dem races in addition to state-wide and national races. But is anyone really going to care about the outcome of the White/Pollet race in the 46th when were waiting for results of the Obama/McCain and Burner/Reichert races? Anyone besides White and Pollet?


We're Not the Only Dopes

posted by on August 19 at 7:43 PM

A writer for another publication just asked the SECB why everyone left Spitfire already—and when is the governor going to get here anyway? We had to break it to him that the governor was here and gone.

Gregoire's Speech

posted by on August 19 at 7:08 PM

As noted below, we missed the governor's speech; fortunately, a source in the audience was taking good notes. This super-secret mystery source told us that he found Gregoire's speech "overly defensive"; it focused almost entirely on her Republican opponent Dino Rossi (whom she referred to consistently as "my opponent"), accusing Rossi of handing her a massive budget deficit; passing a bed tax on senior citizens in nursing homes (which he later called a "fee"); and voting against funding for education.

The fundraiser was aimed at young professionals, who paid $50 a pop. We're heading down to the Northwest African American Museum to see her reprise her Spitfire speech there in a few minutes.

I-26: The Republican Cloaking Measure

posted by on August 19 at 6:58 PM

King County Council Member Larry Gossett—an opponent of Initiative 26, which would make all county elected positions nonpartisan—says he thinks "it will probably pass."

“People think it supports good government, and voters don’t want people to be partisan,” Gossett says. The measure would make countywide races, including the council and executive, nonpartisan. But I-26 is an elephant in sheep’s clothing. The only chance Republicans have of winning countywide races is if voters don’t know that the schmuck they’re voting for is a Republican.

An alternative measure introduced by the council would allow candidates to state their party preference. The primary election will decide, which, if either version, will go on the general election ballot.

Gossett likens the campaign to statewide Initiative 200, which passed in 1998 using language that promised to remove preference based on race in student admissions, employment, or contract awards. Lots of progressives thought that sounded swell, until they found out they’d passed a law that prohibit benefits for minorities students. Removing the party preference from ballots, Gossett says, "does not necessarily mean you get better candidates or better government.” But "better candidates" and "more choices" is the campaign's mantra.

"Instead of having a candidate's party affiliation, which tells you the candidate's policy positions, voters have to rely instead on slick advertising, pretty pictures, and name familiarity," says King County Council Member Dow Constantine, a democrat. Passing the measure he says, would mean elected officials would have "positions not shared by the majority of the people in their district."

How does the campaign respond? Emails and calls went unanswered. “You thought it was a real campaign?” Gossett asks, chuckling. “Three rich guys gave 97 percent of the money to underwrite it. They just think that … they are going to win.”

We'll see if he's right, and I-26 gets a pass to the general election. King County Elections says it will post the results here at 8:15 p.m. And we'll call Gossett to get his reaction.

If You Want to Rub Shoulders With the Governor...

posted by on August 19 at 6:18 PM

...don't head down to Spitfire. The governor just left, a bright blue blur, trailing campaign aides and beefy security guards and one equally blurry husband.


It seems she spoke at 5:30ish—before any results came in—and is "off to another event," she tells the SECB. It's a private event, we hear, and then the governor will be putting in an appearance at an event at the Northwest African American Museum at nine. Or 7:30. Nobody knows for sure. But we'll catch up with her there.

UPDATE: Well, the governor's election-night party here at Spitfire—which is so totally off the hook, as the young people were recently saying—started at five, not seven, as you may have read on Slog. And it ended at six. Our bad. But the SECB weren't the only ones that missed the show. The SECB was talking with one local elected official who, like us, showed up at six and was shocked to discover that Gregoire had already spoken and was on her way out the door.

"Who ever heard of an election night party that starts at five and ends at six?" he said.

Another politico—who, like our first politico, did not wish to be identified lest he destroy his future political prospects—said that the Spitfire party was Gregoire's hip Belltown party for young folks. The party later tonight at the Northwest African American Museum "is Gregoire's party for old folks."

The SECB just ordered it's first drink of the evening: a shot of Maker's Mark, neat. We're buying, since there's not an open bar at Gregoire's party.