This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Comments here or emails to me at abulsme@abulsme.com are encouraged... or follow me on Twitter as @abulsme.

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August 2008
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Washington State Secretary of State

Why are things like this even elected offices? They should be appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state legislature or something. Anyway, four candidates:

  • Sam Reed (Prefers Republican Party): This is the incumbent. He has been Secretary of State since 2001. “Throughout his eight years in office, Sam led major election reforms: Consolidating 39 separate county registration systems into one statewide database to remove duplicate voters, felons, and deceased voters; moving the primary to August so those overseas can receive their ballots in a timely manner; ending ballot enhancements; and auditing county election departments. Sam kept fighting for your right to vote without being restricted to a party, and was ultimately supported by the U.S. Supreme Court. Thanks to Sam, you can now go online to register to vote, start a business, or research your family genealogy. He saved and enhanced Washington’s oldest institution, the State Library, and he started the nation’s first state digital archive.” He was a major proponent of the top two primary. I may have to vote for him just for that.
  • Mark Greene (Prefers Party of Commons Party): He likes the top 2 primary. He is a representative of a party that is “economically progressive, culturally traditional” which is just about the opposite of me (economically conservative, socially liberal). So no.
  • Jason Osgood (Prefers Democratic Party): He is against flawed electronic voting machines and some voter privacy violations and some other things that he says Reed is for. This might be good. I am wary of those things too. There are some places I found that says he is against the top two thing too. I can’t verify that in my quick searching. He is also against all-mail voting. I like the idea of all mail voting. I’ll pass on him due to these two items.
  • Marilyn Montgomery (Prefers Constitution Party): She is an advocate of equal ballot access laws (to stop the extra roadblocks to third parties). I am generally in favor of this. There doesn’t seem to be a lot more here though, and it isn’t quite enough to convince me.

So my vote is:

Sam Reed

And now lunch is over and I need to run to a meeting. More when I leave work in a few more hours.

Washington State Lieutenant Governor

Only five candidates this time:

  • Brad Owen (Prefers Democratic Party): No website. You suck. And you are the incumbent. Therefore you suck more. How can you be the incumbent Lieutenant Governor and not have a campaign website? Have I mentioned that you suck? “As president of Strategies of Youth, he travels throughout the state with his musical, multi media program to deliver positive messages about substance abuse and bullying awareness to youth.” Really? You’re actually in office, and the kind of thing you can come up with? WTF? And he has been Lieutenant Governor for 11 years? Wow.
  • Marcia McCraw (Prefers Republican Party): She wants to increase volunteerism and transparency in government. OK stuff I guess.
  • Arlene Peck (Prefers Constitution Party): “All decisions made while in office will be based on these documents and Biblically prescribed moral values designed to protect the fabric of our society. Though some may bristle at the thought of bringing together Christian belief and affairs of civil government, I firmly believe, as did the Rev. Charles G. Finney, that ‘God will bless or curse this nation (and our state) according to the course Christians take in politics.'” Next…
  • Jim Wiest (Prefers G.O.P. Party): His website is broken. “Warning! The specified site was not found”. And this is apparently the guy who was the Republican candidate in 2004. He says this election he is the only candidate with a plan to end homelessness. But there is no additional information. (Maybe there would be if his website wasn’t broken, but…) He says he got 1.1 million votes in 2004, so it seems he actually isn’t one of the stupid fringe candidates, but that seems hard to believe.
  • Randel Bell (Supports Democratic Party): He submitted no information at all for the ballot. No picture. No statement. No URL for a website. Nothing. Absolute total fail.

All five of these people seem to suck beyond belief. I can’t bring myself to pick any of them. Therefore, I’m going to do a write-in vote.

My vote:

Samuel Minter

Washington State Governor (Part II)

This is a continuation of Part I.

OK. It is lunchtime now. Time to crank through a bit more of this. I’ve got about an hour. Then if needed, there will be more time later. Things are not all mail-in yet, I can drop my ballot off at the polling station until 03 UTC. (Another 8 hours from when I am writing this.)

Anyway, the next five Governor candidates:

  • Christian Joubert (Prefers Democratic Party): Starts his statement by saying “Because I feel Washington State should be leading the Nation in promoting a Spiritual Civilization based on holistic medicine…” And the website? OH MY GOD! MY EYES ARE BURNING! OK. Next.
  • Christopher Tudor (States No Party Preference): Hmm, some stuff about being independent of party, some stuff about cleaning up government. Nothing to detailed though. Nothing much concrete enough to make a decision on.
  • Javier Lopez (Prefers Republican Party): “As an artist and inventor I have come up with an invention that will solve all of the world’s problems. I have invented an air engine that has the power to operate an automobile while relying on air as its fuel source. Adoption of this technology would mean an end to reliance on fossil fuels, stopping carbon-monoxide emissions, pollution and global warming.” Umm…. OK.
  • Mohammad Said (States No Part Preference): Platform Elements… Washington National Guard unilaterally withdraw from Iraq… Amend the constitution so that the state legislatures declare war instead of the US Congress. Oh, and “Finally I would like to sound the alarm, that AIPAC and other Jewish Zionist Lobbies who represent less than 2% of American People are using the United States through their mighty power in the News Media, Financial Institutions, Hollywood and Entertainment Industry, Both Political Parties, Congress and the White House as Proxy to wage war against any country perceived to be threat to Israel, like in Iraq.”. Yum Huh. OK. And the website: “The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to the site owner reaching his/her bandwidth limit. Please try again later. ” Good job there.
  • James White (Prefers Independent Party): Some seemingly random platform items with no real information. He also has a rambling thing talking about defending the Constitution, but without really explaining what he is talking about.

Wow. What a horrible set of choices. All ten of them. For the moment I think I am going to go for Dino Rossi. I however reserve the right to not vote for him in November. I will look at the winning two candidates much more closely than I’ve looked at them today.

My vote:

Dino Rossi

Washington State Governor (Part I)

Once again a top two primary. Oh my. There are TEN candidates here. This will take awhile.

The candidates are:

  • Dino Rossi (Prefers G.O.P. Party): First of all, just say Republican. What are you trying to pull? Second, G.O.P. stands for Grand Old Party, so he apparently prefers the Grand Old Party Party. I should exclude him just for that. In general, I see a lot of fiscal responsibility stuff, which I like. I like some of his positions on education too. Possible.
  • Will Baker (Prefers Reform Party): Number One, His website is “TheTruthRocks.com”. Really? Come on. And it plays music. And the website sucks. Number Two, his entire theme seems to be about going after the current Governor for some possible misfeasance. Even if all those charges are 100% true, it is not enough of a platform. His website mentions some other things, but all crusading type things rather than addressing central issues.
  • Christine Gregoire (Prefers Democratic Party): She is the incumbent. Her website has various things about her record, but not a specific issues section that I could find. Also, when I saw her in person earlier this year, I was not impressed and she annoyed me. And while I don’t follow local news closely, I just don’t remember hearing anything that really left me with a positive impression. In her time in office she has moved the state budget from deficit to surplus. That is good. But I think I don’t like her.
  • Duff Badgley (Prefers Green Party): Website is for the “Climate Change Action Group” not for him personally. Fail. His platform includes outlawing single occupancy vehicles among other radical authoritarian things to “save the environment”. Double Fail.
  • John Aiken (Prefers Republican Party): His main issue seems to be Energy Self Reliance, although he comments on some other things too. All of his comments are way too long to read though. Needs to learn the art of the quick summary at the top, then details for those who want them. But you need a broader view to be governor anyway, not just look at a few issues.

Crap, I’m out of time. I need to hop in the car and get to work. And I’m only half way through the Governor candidates. I’ll post this as a “Part I” and continue at lunch.

US Representative, Congressional District #8

OK, here I find myself on election day and almost out of time. I of course intended to space out all these ballot items and have plenty of time left. But in fact, I have about 45 minutes right now before I need to get on the road for work, and then maybe I have some time at lunch. But basically, I am going to crunch through as many of these as I can, and will probably spend less time researching, and less time talking about my choices. Oh well.

In any case, the next item on the agenda is the primary for my Representative for Congress. Now, this is a good time to mention that as of this election, Washington State has a “Top Two Primary” where all candidates (regardless of party) appear on the same ballot, then the top two end up on the ballot in November. This was very controversial, but I like it.

For this spot there are five candidates:

  • Boleshaw Orlini (States No Party Preference): He says in his little summary paragraph that he was inspired by Ron Paul, but provides no details, and has no website. Fail.
  • Richard Todd (States No Party Preference): Seems to basically be running promoting the need to be independent of parties. I like that idea, but the website is painful and the little of it I read did not impress me.
  • James Vaughn (Prefers Democratic Party): I was actually tempted by this guy. I really want to vote for someone other than the two front runners here. And some of the policy statements this guy makes on his site I completely agreed on. But then there were others I just did not like one tiny bit. In the end, I won’t make that jump.
  • Dave Reichert (Prefers Republican Party): This is the incumbent. It was interesting noting what major issues were completely absent from his website (Iraq). In general, I would not be automatically opposed to voting for a Republican. And if Obama ends up winning in November, I actually would prefer a Republican congress for balance. However, I can not in good conscience vote for any incumbent congress person who has not been a extremely vocal critic of this administrations overreaches. And I have heard no such thing about Reichert.
  • Keith Arnold (Prefers Democratic Party): His main emphasis seems to be on the need to eliminate the US Supreme Court. Nuff Said.
  • Darcy Burner (Prefers Democratic Party): I saw her in person a couple of times when I was doing the local Obama Delegate thing. She seemed nice, but I was really turned off by how partisan she was at those events. Meaning how much she talked about how bad the Republicans were and how we needed Democrats in office. Now, she did talk about issues too. But the emphasis on partisanship turned me off a lot. Having said that, she did actually seem to be somewhat reasonable on many of the issues. And although I am not super excited by her, she seems like the best of this bunch.

So, my vote:

Darcy Burner

Electoral College: Obama loses strength in Minnesota

The good news for McCain continues. Today it is in the form of Obama’s lead in Minnesota dropping below 10%, moving the state from “Strong Obama” to “Weak Obama”. There is still quite a way for it to go before it becomes a swing state though. So the overall summary stays the same:

McCain Best Case – McCain 298, Obama 240
Obama Best Case – Obama 384, McCain 154

If everybody gets their leans (and Obama gets DC) – Obama 293, McCain 245

Given how close together the two conventions are, and how state polling takes awhile to show any effects, I’m not sure if any “bounce” from the Democratic convention will even be visible. We’ll see I guess. In reality, I think we’ll have to wait until mid-September to try to get a picture of what things really look like after both candidates have picked their Veeps and had their conventions.

But right about now I could see Obama really wanting a big convention bounce. His really strong position in mid-July has just been steadily eroding ever since then. He’s still ahead at the moment, but McCain definitely has the momentum at the moment.

Note to future candidates: Wait until mid-November for the vacation. Take a day here or there to recharge perhaps. But a full week? Bad idea.