8/19/2008 – Primary Election – Redmond, King County, Washington

The denial of service attack continues. By putting such a large number of candidates on the ballot the only conceivable result is less effective representation. Unless one dedicates one's life to reviewing candidates (and how does on review judges anyway?) there is no way to give effective overview to so many candidates. The only practical result I can see from this deluge of candidates is less people voting and for those who do vote, less attention being paid to each candidate.

  • United States Representative – Congressional District No. 1 – Jay Inslee

  • Governor – Christine Gregoire

  • Lieutenant Governor – Marcia McCraw

  • Secretary of State – Jason Osgood

  • State Treasurer – Allan Martin

  • State Auditor – Brian Sonntag

  • Attorney General – Rob McKenna

  • Commissioner of Public Lands – Peter J. Goldmark

  • Superintendent of Public Instruction – Randy Dorn

  • Insurance Commissioner – Mike Kreidler

  • State Representative – Legislative Dist No. 45 – Position 1 – Roger Goodman

  • State Representative – Legislative Dist No. 45 – Position 2 – Larry Springer

  • State Supreme Court – Justices of the Supreme Court – Position 3 – Mary Fairhurst

  • State Supreme Court – Justices of the Supreme Court – Position 4 – Charles W. Johnson

  • State Supreme Court – Justices of the Supreme Court – Position 7 – Debra L. Stephens

  • Court of Appeals, Division No. 1 – District No. 1 – Judge Position 5 – Lau, Linda

  • Court of Appeals, Division No. 1 – District No. 1 – Judge Position 6 – Ann Schindler

  • Superior Court – Judges of the Superior Court – Position 1 – Tim Bradshaw

  • Superior Court – Judges of the Superior Court – Position 10 – Regina S. Cahan

  • Superior Court – Judges of the Superior Court – Position 22 – Julia Garratt

  • Superior Court – Judges of the Superior Court – Position 26 – Laura Gene Middaugh

  • Superior Court – Judges of the Superior Court – Position 37 – Jean Rietschel

  • Superior Court – Judges of the Superior Court – Position 53 – Mariane Spearman

  • King County Initiative 26 and Council Proposed Alternative – Question 1 & 2 – No/Council-Proposed Alternative

United States Representative – Congressional District No. 1 – Jay Inslee

This is a rematch of the 11/7/2006 election. Ishmael's website is essentially content free, no change from last time. Inslee's website however has quite a bit to say. The analysis is really the same as in 2006. Even his voting record is more or less the same. I wish Inslee had a real opponent but it appears he does not so I'll vote for Inslee.

Governor – Christine Gregoire

  • Dino Rossi – His website was reasonably informative. On healthcare he wants to let the 'market' work but I personally don't think markets work at all well for health insurance. Young people, quite reasonably, play the odds and don't generally get insurance depending on the public system to cover them in the case of medical disaster which means we the public are left holding the bill. Personally I think only mandatory insurance will work. So long as the state is the de-facto provider of medical care of last resort we have no choice but to get costs covered. His attacks on Christine Gregoire didn't really get much traction with me other than she spent way too much money and completely dropped the ball on the Alaskan Way Viaduct and 520 bridge replacement. His transportation proposals boil down to 'build more roads'. We know that doesn't work, there is infinite demand for roads. I want to see real leadership in taking us to a transportation solution that doesn't drown us in concrete and cars. On education his plan seems to boil down to 'break the teacher's union' which is totally fine with me. But I'd like to see real leadership – school vouchers. Let's break the monopoly! On crime he wants to throw more people in jail and build more jails to hold them, on that alone I absolutely will not vote for Dino Rossi. America already imprisons more people in total and per capita than any nation on earth, the last thing we need is more prisons and prisoners.

  • Will Baker – Apparently the political system is out to get Will Baker. That's unfortunate, so I'll help him by not voting for him so the political system won't be interested in him anymore.

  • Christine Gregoire – Unfortunately her website is content free. I find it painful to vote for Ms. Gregoire given her less than impressive record in office (see my entry on Dino Rossi) and her disdain for actually sharing what she is going to do with those who are supposed to elect her. But of all the candidates she is the least offensive. It's really too bad that Dino Rossi is so far off to the right.

  • Duff Badgley – I don't like one issue candidates. If he wants to be governor he needs to explain how he'll do the job.

  • John W. Aiken, Jr. – Hum… socialism for energy control? Um… no.

  • Christian Pierre Joubert – If you want to be taken seriously as a candidate how about having a website that isn't scary? Oh and apparently alternative medicine will solve all of our problems. Next.

  • Christopher A. Tudo – Other than the current system is broken, based on his website, I can't figure out what Mr. Tudo actually wants to do as governor. This really bums me out because Mr. Tudo has actual executive experience and so could have potentially have been a viable alternative to the usual suspects.

  • Javier O. Lopez – "Air Engine", enough said.

Lieutenant Governor – Marcia McCraw

Other than the ability to break tie votes in the Senate the Lieutenant Governor's only job is to hope the Governor becomes incapacitated. Given the relative irrelevance of the position I'm not going to work too hard picking a candidate.

  • Brad Owen – Wow, he can't even bother to put up a website to communicate his views to his constituency. Yes, I know he has a state website but I'm talking about a campaign site. If he can't bother to communicate then I can't bother to vote for him.

  • Marcia McCraw – Her website might be content free but at least it's pretty. I guess she wins by default.

  • Arlene A. Peck – G-d will apparently show her the way. Um… no.

  • Jim Wiest – I'm guessing he is running to advertise his position on homelessness but in that case shouldn't his website at least be up?

  • Randel Bell – No picture, no candidate statement, yum. Next.

Secretary of State – Jason Osgood

The key thing I think about in regards to the secretary of state is voting. King County will soon go to an all mail voting system which opens wide vistas for voter fraud and intimidation. With mail in votes all sorts of fraud become much more tractable since the person trying to influence the vote (through money or intimidation) can confirm if their target voted as desired. The centralized nature of mail voting also makes government malfeasance much easier.

  • Sam Reed – One of his touted benefits in office is making people show ID when voting. Note, there is absolutely no evidence that any significant number of people bothered to vote with fake ID and of could mail based voting makes voting by the wrong people trivial.

  • Mark Greene – I read his website but I still can't figure out what he would actually do that Sam Reed isn't already doing.

  • Jason Osgood – He really doesn't like bar codes on ballots (damn straight), is against mail voting (yee ha!) and the stranger hates him (o.k. I don't know if that matters but I was on a roll). He gets my vote.

  • Marilyn Montgomery – Her website talks about things that her party wants to do that have nothing to do with being the Secretary of State. She does point out serious issues with the last Gubernatorial election but not what she would do about them.

State Treasurer – Allan Martin

  • Allan Martin – Is there a law somewhere that says candidate websites must be content free? I don't see a big difference between the three candidates and Mr. Martin already has experience as the Deputy Treasurer. I don't normally view incumbency as a benefit but this elected position seems more technical than most. Without the other candidates giving me reasons to vote otherwise, and so far they have not, I'll go with the person with the experience.

  • Jim McIntire – I voted against McIntire in 2004, mostly because he likes to spend money (appropriate I suppose for a state treasurer), raise taxes and supported a state income tax. Oh and his website is content free.

  • ChangMook Sohn – He doesn't say much about what he will do but there is a lot of data about him and what he has done. The past is interesting but I would like some insight into the future.

State Auditor – Brian Sonntag

  • Brian Sonntag – I voted for him last time but this time he doesn't seem to even have a website?!? Sigh… I hate having to vote for people by default.

  • Glenn Freeman – His argument for electing him seems to come down to the fact that he is not an incumbent and that he is not from the party in power. I have to admit that Mr. Freeman's argument that someone shouldn't be state auditor for 15 years does resonate with me. He also has professional experience as an auditor working for a large commercial organization. That all having been said this guy used to head the constitution party in Washington state. This is a party whose core principles include "The U.S. Constitution established a Republic rooted in Biblical law under the authority of Jesus Christ, to be administered by representatives who are constitutionally elected by the citizens." This is also somehow who says the state auditor position should be non partisan but didn't take advantage of the option to declare a party affiliation. Next.

  • Richard J. McEntee – Again no website?!?!?! He brings up some interesting points in his candidate statement but then doesn't bother to have a website so I can follow up on them.

Attorney General – Rob McKenna

  • John Ladenburg – His top issue is apparently identify theft over which his website provides no concrete proposals. Not a good start. Next is the environment and here he talks about his past record but says nothing about what he wants to do in the future. He mumbles all the right words on civil rights but again, no plans. Although his point that Mr. McKenna shouldn't have his name/photo showing up in public service announcements during an election year sound right on. Except it turns out that the ads are not paid for by the state, Comcast paid for them and they involved McGruff the crime dog talking about identity theft, an issue McKenna has been working on for years. Hum…

  • Rob McKenna – Mr. McKenna's first issue is apparently Meth, he touts the various works he has done that he attributes to causing the price of Meth to double and the number of labs to fall by 90% since 2001. But he doesn't talk about any future action. His next issue is identity theft but his proposed solutions, like shredding trash, seem to be keyed to advertising not effectiveness. From all the data I have seen a tiny proportion of identity thefts occur through dumpster diving (although I admit to being a regular shredder). His next issue is Sex Predators, a problem that it isn't clear is pervasive enough compared to crimes like domestic abuse to deserve the attention it gets. Again Mr. McKenna seems more interested in publicity than results. At the bottom of his list is domestic violence. But I have to give him credit, this critical issue didn't even show up on Mr. Ladenburg's list of issues. Mr. McKenna seems like a publicity seeking phony but his record is actually quite real and Mr. Ladenburg has thrown mud (over both identity theft and the public service ads) but doesn't seem to have anything concrete to say. So I am going with Mr. McKenna.

Commissioner of Public Lands – Peter J. Goldmark

  • Peter J. Goldmark – Mr. Goldmark waves his hands around a number of issues such as lands sales and accuses Mr. Sutherland of not believing in global warming and wanting to cut 30% of our forests without providing any references. In the end it comes down to money. From what I can tell a column of university folks, an entire division of environmentalists and an army of retired people financially back Goldmark while the timber companies financially back Sutherland. Given the nature of the position that pretty much locks it for Goldmark.

  • Doug Sutherland – Wow, his website is 100% content free. Seriously. It literally says, nothing. Amazing.

Superintendent of Public Instruction – Randy Dorn

  • John Patterson Blair – Near as I can tell the last time this guy taught anyone was in the 70s and is now in the HVAC business. His basic idea is to create an open education system where anyone (with proper accreditation and oversight) can form schools and receive student money but in return they can only take money from the public school system (e.g. no additional money beyond what the state provides) and must fill at least 80% of their openings on an open enrollment basis. The last criterion has me worried but isn't a show stopper. I am unconvinced that Mr. Blair is a serious candidate in the sense that he has gone beyond a bit of content on his website and showing up for the odd meeting. Ideas are good but candidates need to also show they are prepared for the position. My suspicion is that if Mr. Blair did somehow get elected the result would be a mess.

  • Don Hansler – No website? His candidate statement has some interesting issues but to learn more you're supposed to e-mail him for his 3 page candidate statement. Um… no. Sorry, in the age of the Internet I expect you to spend 10 minutes, set up a free website and put up interesting information. Next.

  • Randy Dorn – Formerly the head of a union for school support personnel he is now supported by Seattle's teacher's union. So right off he isn't heading in a direction that I like. I believe that teacher's unions and their protection of tenure based teaching at all costs and fight against school vouchers is part of the problem, not the solution. Nevertheless I believe the WASL has been a complete disaster and Mr. Dorn is unlikely to do worse than Ms. Bergeson and with his focus on cleaning up some of the looniness with Math in Washington I end up, regretfully, voting for Mr. Dorn. It's too bad Mr. Blair wasn't a more serious candidate.

  • David Blomstrom – Hugo Chavez, evil privatized schools and terrorists and that's just his candidate statement. Next.

  • Enid Duncan – Although not listed in the voter's guide Ms. Duncan does have a website. Having read it the only message seemed to be "WASL Bad, Parents Good." It's not that I disagree, but a bit more detail seems called for.

  • Teresa Bergeson – With a war chest of $144,838.36 (her nearest competitor, Mr. Dorn, has $91,162), maybe she doesn't feel like she has to explain herself because her website is content free. Note, btw, that she was formerly the head of Washington state's teacher's union although now the union supports Randy Dorn. In any case this is the woman who gave us the disaster that has been the WASL.

Insurance Commissioner – Mike Kreidler

  • Mike Kreidler – His plan for providing universal catastrophic coverage is a good idea at its heart. The reality is that when someone has a major health episode if they don't have insurance then the state picks up the tab. By providing catastrophic coverage and charging everyone for it via payroll taxes we make sure everyone, including the future sick, pay in. Yes, richer folks will pay more of the tax than poorer folks for the same coverage but that is happening already so it doesn't make the situation any worse. I also really like the insurance commissioner's website and have even sent in fan mail (seriously), because it made my life so much easier in buying insurance. Over all I'm happy to vote for Mr. Kreidler.

  • John R. Adams – His website, much like his candidate statement, is content free.

  • Curtis Fackler – Mr. Fackler has been an insurance agent, e.g. he sells insurance. Although, to be fair, he was an independent. Still, that is more than a little close to the insurance industry. Still, I went to his website with a reasonably open mind and he does say one or two interesting things but his website simply can't compete with Mr. Kreidler's in terms of detail. While Mr. Kreidler draws out in detail what he will do, Mr. Fackler throws out one or two brush strokes. Also, Mr. Fackler's plan to provide universal catastrophic coverage for healthcare problems over $100,000 seems a bit useless compared to Mr. Kreidler's plan to cover everything $10,000 and above. I can see many people falling into the $90,000 hole between the two plans to the detriment of state finances.

State Representative – Legislative Dist No. 45 – Position 1 – Roger Goodman

  • Roger Goodman – Based on his statement to the muni league his focus is on drug abuse (where he wants to get people out of the courts), drunk driving (where he drove a bill to require breathalizers on cars for certain folks) and better access to the legal system. His website paints Mr. Goodman as a standard off the shelf liberal. Hug a tree, reform our transport programs, figure out (in some completely undefined way) how to insure people and stop throwing everyone in jail. Works for me. He gets my vote.

  • Toby Nixon – His muni league statement wasn't very informative but his website was chock a block with his view. Which is how it should be. But then again I think Toby has to ask himself "How long should someone have to spend on my website to get an idea of what I believe?" I think Toby should have designed a summary section on his website that would take about 20 minutes to read end-to-end and then provided links to more in-depth data on specific issues. I did however make it through his issues page (oy, was it long) and basically he is a no tax and spend Republican. He doesn't want to raise taxes but he wants to spend on schools and on roads. In neither case does he explain where the cash is coming from. I strongly disagree with Toby on the issue of roads in particular. Building more roads will just result in more cars and put us right back where we started. We need a different solution. Toby also has a fixation on the non-existent crime of voter fraud. Apparently hordes of people are voting with illegal identification even though exactly no evidence exists to prove or even imply that people are illegal voting as someone other than themselves on any significant scale. Where evidence does exist of fraudulent elections it is in government agencies illegally striking voters off the voting roles and the Republican party illegally using voter challenges to harass and remove legal voters. I have had a number of e-mail exchanges with Toby (both for personal and political reasons) and if he ran against Larry Springer I'd probably vote for him. But in the end I elect my representatives based on how close their views are to mine and while I share much in common with Toby I believe on balance my views are closer to Mr. Goodman's.

State Representative – Legislative Dist No. 45 – Position 2 – Larry Springer

  • Larry Springer – Mr. Springer continues his tradition of having a nearly content free website but his opponent is literally absent from the Web.

  • Kevin Haistings – I can't even find his website! He is obviously not a serious candidate. In fact, unlike Mr. Springer who got an 'outstanding' from the Muni league, Mr. Hastings didn't even fill in the questionnaire.

State Supreme Court – Justices of the Supreme Court – Position 3 – Mary Fairhurst

I don't have enough energy left to do a full in-depth investigation of judges. In fact I think electing judges is frightening. So instead my approach is going to be to read their candidate statements and check out votingforjudges.org. Only if something looks weird will I investigate further.

State Supreme Court – Justices of the Supreme Court – Position 4 – Charles W. Johnson

State Supreme Court – Justices of the Supreme Court – Position 7 – Debra L. Stephens

Court of Appeals, Division No. 1 – District No. 1 – Judge Position 5 – Lau, Linda

Court of Appeals, Division No. 1 – District No. 1 – Judge Position 6 – Ann Schindler

Superior Court – Judges of the Superior Court – Position 1 – Tim Bradshaw

Superior Court – Judges of the Superior Court – Position 10 – Regina Cahan

Superior Court – Judges of the Superior Court – Position 22 – Julia Garratt

This is a great example of why voting for Judges is a bad idea. How the heck am I supposed to choose between these three qualified and much lauded candidates? It's not like their websites are useful or the newspaper articles about them are useful either. And although I think judges can say a lot about what they believe tradition is that they are supposed to keep quiet so as to not prejudice their decisions on future cases. Arg! Looking at the ratings it comes down to Julia Garratt and Holly Hill and I'm not at all happy with how much money Ms. Hill has dumped into her campaign. So I'll go with Julia Garratt but I don't pretend that is a good way to choose.

Superior Court – Judges of the Superior Court – Position 26 – Laura Gene Middaugh

Superior Court – Judges of the Superior Court – Position 37 – Jean Rietschel

Superior Court – Judges of the Superior Court – Position 53 – Mariane Spearman

King County Initiative 26 and Council Proposed Alternative – Question 1 & 2 – No/Council-Proposed Alternative

This initiative would make most council races non-partisan. This is a completely meaningless term since party affiliation is a matter of belief not declaration. By declaring a race to be non-partisan all we do is let people hide who they affiliate with (if anyone). The Stranger called this one cold but in its own way so does The Seattle Times who slips into the end of its article supporting the initiative basically the same contention that the Stranger makes – that initiative 26 is all about allowing Republicans to hide their affiliation in a largely Democratic state. Anyone who has paid attention to my political blog entries (and who are you anyway?) knows that I don't really care all that much about Democrat versus Republican (the differences tend to be largely meaningless anyway) but I don't like games and this initiative is just that, a game. I'm voting no.

4 thoughts on “8/19/2008 – Primary Election – Redmond, King County, Washington”

  1. Randy Dorn for Supt. of Public Instruction??? Dorn’s on the same team as Terry Bergeson. He helped saddle us with the WASL he now claims to be unhappy with. Dorn tried to persuade lawmakers to pass legislation that would have enormously fattened pensions – for just stwo people, Randy Dorn and a fellow union lobbyist.

    Randy Dorn is just as corrupt and sleazy as Terry Bergeson. SPI is a very important race, so please check out all the candidates’ websites.

    Since I’m the only candidate whose website features links to all the other candidate’s sites, you can start at http://www.seattle-mafia.org.

    I also discuss more issues than all the other candidates combined, including the biggest issue facing education. (Hint: It isn’t the WASL.)

    David Blomstrom

  2. Hi.

    Thank you for at least mentioning my governor candidacy. However, the only “argument” that you invoked was that my website message can be reduced to alternative medicine as the panacea to Washington State’s ills. My fundamental freedoms’ Action Plan involves 114 measures. From these, only 12 are devoted to health. Maybe by the word “scary” you merely meant that you were afraid to take a good 20 or 30 minutes to actually read what my well thought out Action Plan was all about. Regrets. But thank you anyway for your efforts. I understand that reviewing so many candidates can be tiresome. I would suggest you get a few assistants to help you review all of the candidates honestly. This would do Representative Democracy much good, a good public service it seems to me.

    Christian Pierre Joubert

  3. I believe in researching all of the candidates, even those I have never heard of. I like a lot of your insights. I wish you had an update for the November 4th election. I agree with your opinions about judges. Thanks for what you have contributed.

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