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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Live Tweeting the Snohomish County Republican Convention #wacaucus #snocorc #ld44

As I did with the Precinct Caucuses on March 3rd, I’ll be attempting to Live Tweet the Snohomish County Republican Convention today.

Follow me @Abulsme.

For those who remember my tweets on March 3rd only three people showed up for my precinct and given there were three delegate slots available to the county convention, all three of us became delegates to the next level.  Although it is non-binding, I had expressed my preference for Ron Paul.  (The other two supported Santorum.) Last weekend I attended an orientation meeting for the Ron Paul delegates.  For those interested, I talked a little about that meeting on the last episode of Curmudgeon’s Corner.

I should have left home already to get all settled at the convention before the crowds arrive.  But a few notes before I go…

According to the orientation I had last week, in my legislative district, the 44th, almost half of the delegates are Romney supporters, about 25% are Ron Paul Supporters, 15% or so did not have a stated preference, and Santorum and Paul split the rest.  There are a little over 260 delegates expected for our LD (I forget the exact number).  For anybody to get elected as a delegate to the next level they need more than 50% of the vote of all of the delegates in the LD.  This means that if every body shows up and all the Romney folks just vote for each other (and are disciplined and vote for the SAME Romney people), and just a small number of the uncommitted delegates also vote for Romney’s folks, then Romney will end up with 100% of the delegates to the next level, even though he got just under 50% of the delegates from the first round.

Meanwhile, if all the Ron Paul folks (for instance) just vote for each other, then none of them gets over 50% of the total vote, and they get no delegates to the next level despite the 25% showing in the first round.

Interesting how these things work.

For the non-Romney campaigns, the hope is that basically:

  1. A bunch of the Romney delegates don’t bother showing up (and disproportionately so compared to their own delegates)
  2. Discipline among the Romney delegates to vote for a consistent slate is low, allowing others to sneak in
  3. The three non-Romney’s delegates will vote for each other to stop Romney, even though they don’t necessarily like each other.

It will be fun.  Oh, and we’ll get to hear speeches from a ton of local Republican politicians.  Woo!

Oh, and for the record once again, I am supporting Ron Paul in the Republican caucus process because I think he is the best of the four Republicans currently running.  I completely reserve judgement on who I will support in the fall.  I’ll think about that once it is completely clear who all the people are on the ballot (not just the Republican and Democrat, which is pretty clear at this point absent some sort of seismic event).

OK.  Off I go…

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]