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Local Bellevue WA Elections Again (Part I)

It is once again time for a set of local elections here in Bellevue, WA.  As usual I will try to write through my thoughts here, but also once again, I’m doing this at the last minute, so I’m not going to be all that in depth, either in my though process, or in what I write here.  Anyway, here we go:

State of Washington Initiative Measure No. 1033

This is an anti-tax initiative that would basically limit future tax increases to inflation plus population growth.  Honestly, I’m very tempted by this.  I don’t like taxes.  I am often not in favor of the things new taxes are used for, as I generally prefer more limited government.  I am not moved by the arguments that this will severely limit what government can do in the future and what services it can provide.  That is after all kind of the point.  However, I also dislike lots of complicated restrictions on the legislative process.  After the basic structures are put in place, and fundamental things restricting government from violating basic rights are taken care of, the rest should take place through the systems that are in place, not things like this.  I’m going to vote NO.  I admit to not feeling very solid on this though.  I could have gone the other way.

State of Washington Referendum Measure No. 71

This is about extending domestic partnership benefits so they are equivalent to marriage benefits.  In general, I don’t believe the government should be in the marriage or domestic partner business AT ALL.  Government should only recognize individuals.  And perhaps parent-child responsibilities should be codified in some way.  But anything else should be completely between the individuals involved and government’s only  involvement should be the same as with any other type of contract between individuals.  But as long as there *is* government recognized marriage / domestic partnership then having multiple types makes no sense.  I generally don’t like referendums as a method to do anything, and this is still flawed because there are still strict limits on what kinds of people in what kinds of situations can become domestic partners (for instance, Brandy and I are not eligible) but the after state on this one will be better than the before state, so I’ll vote APPROVED.

King County Charter Amendment No. 1

This simply removes language from the charter that defined the process of transitioning between different forms of government for the county.  A transition that finished years ago.  I guess I’m OK with this.  I’ll vote YES.

King County Charter Amendment No. 2

This is also to remove procedures that are mandated by the charter, but which relate to budget processes that ceased to be used many years ago.  So continuing to follow those procedures is just a complete waste.  I guess I’m OK with eliminating them then.  I’ll vote YES.

King County Charter Amendment No. 3

This clarifies a point of confusion between two sections of the charter that describe the appointment of commissioners in different ways.  This just reconciles the differences and makes the procedure clear.  I’m also OK with that.  I’ll vote YES.

King County Charter Amendment No. 4

This adds changes to the charter to make it more difficult for the county to sell off various lands currently used for parks, etc in the future.  By the same reasoning as my vote against State Initiative 1033 I think this is a bad idea.  Things like county charters should not be full of detailed restrictions on specific things.  They should lay out the basic functioning of government, and then those decision making procedures should apply across the board.  IT shouldn’t be structured with a whole menu of types of issues each of which have different procedures for decision making.  On this one I will vote NO.  (This by the way is in no way saying I favor selling off these public lands or any such… this question is on what the right procedure should be, not on the merits of the underlying issue, which is a completely separate issue.)

King County Executive

Two candidates.  Susan Hutchison and Dow Constantine.  Honestly, with the various things I read, I’ve heard pretty much nothing but bad things about Hutchison.  Of course, my Seattle area news is almost all from Slog, so that isn’t exactly unbiased.  Looking directly at her own website of course presents a more positive view and quotes some endorsements that sound somewhat valid.   But frankly Constantine still looks more competent and solid.  I’ll vote for DOW CONSTANTINE.

King County Sheriff

OK, one of my pet peeves.  An unopposed candidate.  Sue Rahr.  I’m not even going to bother looking up anything about her.  I fundamentally object to any and all unopposed candidates.  As usual in these situations, I write in myself.  I vote for SAMUEL MINTER.  (Of course, in this case I also don’t believe Sheriff should be an elected position at all.)

King County Assessor

First of all, why are there more than two candidates?  Didn’t we have a primary?  I guess this office wasn’t included?  Whatever.  Also, this shouldn’t be an elected office either.  Grrr….  Five candidates.  Albertini:  Appraiser, Appraiser Trainer, etc.  Looks good.  Lux: Some government experience a number of years ago.  Hara: Endorsed by a lot of people, also a Port Commissioner.  Rosenberger: Former Deputy Assessor.  Blanchard: CPA, real estate tax manager.  I have no real strong feelings here, but from their statements in the voters guide I guess I’ll vote for GRAHAM ALBERTINI.

King County Metropolitan King County Council District No. 9

Two candidates.  Dunn: Incumbent.  Anti-tax.  Tonda: Talks about her ancestors.  I’ll vote for REAGAN DUNN.

Judicial Court of Appeals, Division No. 1, District No. 1, Judge Position No. 3

Judges shouldn’t be elected.  There should not be unopposed candidates.  The one candidate, Ellington, is unopposed.  I once again write myself in.  I vote for SAMUEL MINTER.

OK, that is page one of the ballot.  I have just over 10 hours until the ballot needs to be turned in, and I need to go to work.  So page two will need to wait a bit.  I’ll probably do a bit during lunch, and the rest in the short time between leaving work and when I have to turn in the ballots.

[Minor text edits 21:45 UTC]

King County Washington Primary Election

So, it is time for another local election.  The ballot came a few weeks ago, but of course I didn’t look at it and didn’t look at it.  So here I am on the day the ballots need to return, having not yet looked at anything at all, and not knowing anything about any of the races at all.  Yum.

So it is lunch time at work, and I’ll be skipping the eating thing in favor of quickly figuring out how I am going to vote.  Unlike previous times, I think I won’t do one post per race, but rather will just summarize everything in this one post.  I probably also do not have time to give a few thoughts on each candidate as I have done in the past.  We shall see, but I need to do this quickly rather than at the length I usually do.

This is a primary, so I believe the top two in each race will be back on another ballot in November.

Anyway…  first race.

King County Executive:  There are eight candidates.  Larry Phillips, Fred Jarrett, Stan Lippmann, Alan Lobdell, Susan Hutchison, Dow Constantine, Ross Hunter and “Goodspaceguy”.  That last one is immediately intriguing.  Anyway, time to spend a few minutes reading about each of them.  I will probably just read each of their statements, I doubt I’ll have time for more….  OK.  There are a couple wackadoodles here.  And honestly just from their blurbs I don’t really like any of them.  I guess if I have to choose…  Fred Jarrett.  I like that he is a previous party switcher (R->D) and that he is from the Eastside.  I think I saw him at some events back in 2008 too and he seemed decent enough.  Looks like he has a few prominent endorsements and has a history as a moderate.  (Yeah, I ended up clicking through to a few additional websites besides his statement.)  Anyway, he will do.

Metropolitan King County Council District No. 9: Three candidates…  Mark Greene, Beverly Harison Tonda, Reagan Dunn.  Ehh…  I guess I’ll go for the incumbent, Reagan Dunn.  I don’t see anything really bad there, and the two others did not impress me much.

Court of Appeals Division No. 1, District No. 1, Judge Position No. 3: First, I continue to not like the idea of elected judges.  Anyway, two candidates.  Robert D. Kelly and Anne L. Ellington.  I’ll go with Ellington.  Better experience, and the other guy said he would pray he would make good decisions.  

Port of Seattle Commissioner Position No. 3:  3 candidates.  Rob Holland, David Doud, Al Yuen.  I like Holland for the previous port experience.  Doud turned me off by mostly talking about how to use properties rather than directly talking about the port.  I just didn’t see anything compelling in Yuen.

Port of Seattle Commissioner Position No. 4:  4 candidates.  Juan Paraiso, Max Vekich, Tom Albro, Robert Walker.  Robert Walker gets my vote.  I clicked through to his website and like his humor and his outside perspective.  He won’t win of course, but I think a fresh outsider perspective like that would be good in almost any position.

Now wait one more thing…  Brandy’s mom told her a week or so ago that a woman from where she works…  in the Philadelphia area…  heard her family was out here, and asked her to tell us that we should vote for Ross Hunter.  It seems that the woman’s girlfriend is Hunter’s sister.  Or something like that.  I intentionally did my decisions above without looking up the email from Brandy mentioning what her mom said, so I wouldn’t know who that was.  As it is I picked someone else.  I did just now give Hunter a second look.  He doesn’t look too bad.  And the Seattle times actually endorsed BOTH the person I picked and Hunter.  (Article is here.)  If I remember properly when I looked through these guys a few minutes back, Hunter was also on my short list, although as I said I didn’t really *like* any of them that much from what I read.  Anyway, I’ll stick to my original vote, although Hunter doesn’t look bad.  Doesn’t sound like either of them will win of course.

OK, I guess that’s it.  Time to fill out the bubbles.  I’ll drop the ballot off in the designated place after work.