The following is a long list of my opinions and choices for positions like U.S. Congressional representative, Governor, Lieutenant Governor and a whole slew of other state level positions.
U.S. Congress – 7th Congressional District – Jim McDermott
Jim McDermott: Democrat: I read his statement in the voter's pamphlet and came away with nothing but an understanding that he likes socialized medicine. On the other hand he was one of the few Congressmen who voted against the Patriot Act. That alone makes me happy to vote for him.
Carol Cassady: Republican: The only way I can make sense out of this candidate is that the Republicans know that short of death McDermott will hold the 7th district for the rest of his life so they tried to just find someone to run. Well, they found that person, a George Bush clone. Um. I'll vote for the socialist, thanks.
Governor – Ruth Bennett
Ruth Bennett: Libertarian: I read Ms. Bennett's website and I honestly agree with her views and ideas. I like the flexibility she would provide in running government and the focus on individual responsibility for health care. I think her approach to the Libertarian agenda is productive and I will be happy to vote for her.
Christine Gregoire: Democrat: The core of her plan for Washington is to take tabacco settlement money and use it to build a billion dollar reserach and business incubator fund. Yeah, because government really knows how to grow new business so they are the best ones to be involved. Personally, I'd trust the venture capitalists (for all their infinite flaws) than the government to get this one right. What's especially worrysome is what if life sciences isn't the right way to go? An open market that lets various interests compete would find that out but a government mandated research budget wouldn't. She then wants to "identify regional economic engines and jump-start them…". Yet again, she apparently believes government can figure out such things better then the market. I thought government picked 'winners' was discredited with Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) in Japan? She then throws in the usual attacks on out sourcing as well as throwing more tax breaks at Boeing. Ms. Gregoire is clearly someone who believes that government is the solution. I respectfully disagree.
Dino Rossi: Republican: While I may not particularly like Gregoire's ideas I at least have a pretty good idea of what she intends to do, I can't say the same for Rossi. I read through his website and while I understood the drift of his rhetoric I had trouble translating it into concrete actions. A classic example is "I'll propose legislation to change our state law to protect those rare patients who are injured while also protecting good doctors and nurses from frivolous lawsuits." Is it just me or does that read "I'll fix the bad stuff but not break the good stuff?" He is also anti-choice which doesn't warm me to him either. What's strange is that I like many of Rossi's basic ideas but I'm uncomfortable voting for someone who just seems so slippery when it comes to specifics. Therefore I won't be voting for Mr. Rossi.
Lieutenant Governor – Jocelyn A. Langlois
Jocelyn A. Langlois: Libertarian: Her platform is simple, get rid of the office of the Lieutenant Governor. It's expensive and it's unnecessary. She is an easy choice to vote for.
Brad Owen: Democrat: He seems like a nice enough guy but honestly, the position just isn't all that important.
Jim Wiest: Republican: Reading Mr. Wiest's voter pamphlet statement one would imagine that the position of Lieutenant Governor mattered for something more than as a stand in for the governor. His attacks on Mr. Owen in particular just look, odd. I then went to his website and the oddness just seemed to continue. My guess is that the Republicans didn't feel they had a real shot at this position (and didn't care anyway) so they weren't too picky about who ran.
Bern Haggerty: Green: Besides misguided support for instant run off elections and some empty rhetoric I really don't see much here.
Secretary of State – Laura Ruderman
Laura Ruderman: Democrat: I really like her simple, straight forward, very reasonable answers to the various issues including paper trails and not allowing voting software companies that make partisan contributions to compete for contracts in Washington. I think that is a reasonable position to take. Voting software is becoming the core of our democratic process and the companies involved, unlike Diebold, need to be above reproach.
Sam Reed: Republican: Mr. Reed is the incumbant and I therefore hold him responsible for our current voting system. On one hand he deserves credit for using a basically decent voting system, at least in King County, that relies on scantron type technology. On the other the secretary of state website (one of his main communication mechanisms) is so bad that I actually wrote him a complaint e-mail during the last primary because of the problems I had with it. I never did get a response.
Jacqueline Passey: Libertarian: The primary job of the Secretary of State is to protect the voting process so I tend to want a Libertarian in this position so that the usual tricks used to keep out third parties aren't available. But Ms. Passey's websites and answers to the LWV's questions did not have the same depth of ideas and thought that Ms. Ruderman's website and LWV answers provided. Ms. Passey is also a supporter of instant runoff elections which I think will doom third parties to the same irrelevant position they hold now. If Ms. Ruderman wasn't such a strong candidate I probably would have voted for Ms. Passey even if she did like Star Trek 5 (oy).
State Treasurer – Mike Murphy
Mike Murphy: Democrat: His answers to the LWV questions were straight forward and a bit boring. Which is pretty much what I want from a State Treasurer. This person's job is to run the till, straight forward and boring are GOOD. On the downside I found his website to be content free. Still, amongst the choices available, he seems to be the best.
Oscar S. Lewis: Republican: I found his answers to the LWV's questions to be dursory at best and his website to be content free.
John Sample: Libertarian: I didn't find his answers to the LWV's questions credible and he doesn't seem to have a website.
State Auditor – Brian Sonntag
Brian Sonntag: Democrat: Although his voter pamphlete text doesn't say much his LWV answers and his website seem to paint a picture of general competancy. I did some sniffing around the web and so far found mostly positive things about him. Given his apparently solid record and the lack of credibility of the other candidates Mr. Sonntag will get my vote.
Will Baker: Republican: Between his voter pamphlete comments, his LWV answers and his website I don't think he is a serious candidate.
Jason G. Bush: Libertarian: He doesn't really say anything either in the voter pamphlete or the LWV answers and he doesn't appear to have a website.
Attorney General – Deborah Senn
Deborah Senn: Democrat: None of the candidates really does much for me but my job is to pick from the choices available. Rob McKenna didn't really show me anything as far as what he intends to do as AG, just a lot of endorsements. Ms. Senn might be a bit, um… interesting but she does seem to have strong ideas that make some sense so she will get my vote.
Rob McKenna: Republican: His website and voter pamphlet entries are mostly content free and his LWV answers seemed more focused on saying what's wrong with the current AG office rather than what he wants to do.
J. Bradley Gibson: Libertarian: Given his various non-answers to the LWV questions, his lack of a website and his content free voters pamphlete material I can only assume he is not a serious candidate.
Paul Richmond: Green: He has withdrawn from the race and encouraged people to support Deborah Senn.
Commissioner of Public Lands – Doug Sutherland
Doug Sutherland: Republican: His various answers through LWV questions and his website seem reasonable and rational. I don't believe that Mike Cooper has done a good enough job explaining why Doug Sutherland should be replaced and Steve Layman's plans may be brilliant or wacky but he doesn't provide enough data to tell the difference. So Mr. Sutherland will get my vote.
Mike Cooper: Democrat: His constant focus on wind farms without providing any follow up support for what the numbers would look like leaves me dubious. In truth he doesn't seem to have much to say that is fundamentally different than the incumbant Doug Sutherland.
Steve Layman: Libertarian: He wants to sell off public land and then regulate it. I don't necessarily reject the idea out of hand as I've seen some very interesting work by private groups like the Nature Conservancy which purchase lands in order to maintain them. But I would need to see a lot more details before I bought into such a plan and Mr. Layman has not provided any.
Superintendent of Public Instruction – Judith Billings
I did all the leg work to decide who I wanted for this position during the primaries but unlike now I didn't write down my reasoning.
Insurance Commissioner – Stephen D. Steele
Stephen D. Steele: Libertarian: I don't believe Mr. Steele goes far enough to explain in his own words why his radical ideas around reorganizing insurance such that patients pay flat fees out of pocket and get reimbursed by the health insurer of their choice will work well. But I think the idea of cutting the connection between employers and health insurance is a good one. I think giving people the tax breaks that employers get to offer health insurance is also a good one. I think making people pay directly for their health care and then get re-imbursed for some portion is also a good one. The current system isn't working. Insurance costs are rising relentlessly, much faster than the economy as a whole and being a doctor is becoming more and more of a nightmare. Something has to give. I'm willing to take a chance on an unknown rather than just vote for more of the same. So I'll be voting for Stephen D. Steele.
Mike Kreidler: Democrat: His answers to various LWV questions seem reasonable but not terribly imaginative. No where does he say anything substantive about how exactly we will reduce insurance costs or why they are so high in the first place.
John Adams: Republican: His LWV answers and pamphlet text don't really seem to say anything beyond his desire for more laissez faire policies. That doesn't actually sound like a horrible idea to me but I would want to hear a lot more about how he thinks the specifics would work. Unfortunately he doesn't seem to have a website.
State Representative – 46th Legislative District – Position 1 – Mack J.T. Barnette
Mack J.T. Barnette: Libertarian: He apparently couldn't be bothered to respond to the LVW questions or to get a website. But at least he's a Libertarian which given my other choices means he wins. And no, this is not my idea of a good way to pick a candidate.
Jim McIntire: Democrat: He appears to like to spend money, has no trouble raising taxes and would support an income tax. No thanks.
Brien L. Downie: Republican: His main focus seems to be on preventing choice, no thanks.
Chris LaRoche: Green: He doesn't like charter schools, wants to raise teacher salaries, mandate smaller tax sizes, introduce an income tax and he likes instant runoff voting, no thanks.
State Representative – 46th Legislative District – Position 2 – Gary Stute
Gary Stute: Libertarian: His focus is on medical liability reform but he doesn't say what he actually wants to do. But he generally supports reducing expenses before increasing taxes and is against an income tax so he gets my vote.
Phyllis G. Kenney: Democrat: The simplest summary is that she wants to spend money and is willing to cut various tax breaks to bring in more money.
Justice of the Supreme Court – Position 1 – Mary Kay Becker
Mary Kay Becker: With a long career on the Court of Appeals she has the experience to be a supreme court judge. She gets my vote.
Jim Johnson: He knows the state supreme court well but from the advocate, not judical side. I believe that before someone sits on the state's highest court they really should spend some time being a judge, ideally an appelate judge, first. If he had that experience he would probably get my vote.
Justice of the Supreme Court – Position 5 – Barbara Madsen
Barbara Madsen: By all accounts she appears to be fully qualified to keep her position, besides, she is running unopposed.
Justice of the Supreme Court – Position 6 – Richard B. Sanders
Richard B. Sanders: He is apparently strongly libertarian but also anti-choice. The later disturbs me given his position on the state supreme court. There is a misconduct complaint against him but the complaint, that he met with prisoners and discussed their cases with them even though they could possibly end up in his court, looks pretty bogus to me. I am nervous about his views but I suspect that the State Supreme Court needs at least one iconoclast. So he gets my vote.
Terry Sebring: He looks well qualified to sit on the bench but I don't see anything that makes me think he would do a better job than Mr. Sanders.
Court of Appeals Judge – Division 1, District 1 – C. Kenneth Grosse
Superior Court Judge – Position 23 – Andrea Darvas
Superior Court Judge – Position 42 – Chris Washington
Like Ms. Billings I did the research on these candidates during the primaries but didn't keep my notes on why I choose these folks.