Monday, August 24, 2009

Lacey residents don't go out at night, don't travel beyond city limits

Ken of Lacey has a problem with a political forum being held at night in a neighboring city by a countywide organization.

Much better for residents to take a long lunch to hear another forum in the middle of the day.

So, let me get this right. Lacey residents can't drive three miles out of town to attend a forum in Olympia, but they have time to take off in the middle of the day to attend a forum that is marginally close? O.k.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Precincts that vote low in primaries

One of the most interesting parts of the primary election cycle in Olympia for me is the difference between the folks that vote in the primary and those that vote in the general a few months later.

While I was really wrong about my original assumption about low turnout during this primary, its still interesting to look at what precincts will provide more votes in November.

The primary two years ago had a classic example of this shifting primary/general electorate. Rhenda Strub got through the primary with 3,000 votes (39 percent) but won the general with over 6,000 votes (55 percent). Her opponent barely improved here vote total in the primary, picking up less than 1,000 of the more than 4,000 available new votes.

So, there are a handful of precincts in Olympia that compared to the general in 2007 (the only comparable primary because it was the only one also held in August) voted in low numbers during the 2009 primary. The map below shows the 10 precincts that had less than 65 percent of the votes they had in 2007.

View under vote precincts in a larger map

Just a few thoughts about these precincts:

1. Most are on the edges of town. You could assume that these, then, are people who spend less time downtown and might shop in Lacey as much as they shop in Olympia.

2. 4 of the 10 are in SE Olympia. These are newer, probably more conservative (by Olympia standards) areas.

3. If you care about downtown, you voted in this election. I haven't mapped the anti-Larida Passage candidates by precinct, so I don't know if they did particularly well in one part of town. But from the low turnout in the non-downtown focused areas, I feel safe to say that Larida Passage brought people out for this one.

4. On the other hand, there will be people voting in November that don't care much about Larida Passage. Turnout is going up in November, especially in these precincts. The question is who is going to speak to these folks who stayed out of the primary?

Friday, August 07, 2009

Shocked! Shocked! Lewis County Republicans would never call anyone a Nazi!

Unless it was like last year.

In response to Rep. Brian Baird's unfortunate, yet seemingly accurate, "brown shirt" comment, Lewis County GOPer gets all huffy:
The reference to Nazism and the equating of his constituents to Brown Shirts is very offensive, not only to the brave veterans in our state who have fought in wars from Europe to Iraq and Afghanistan, but to all freedom-loving citizens who value their right to express their personal opinions about the actions being taken by their elected representatives – whether or not they agree with them.
Of course, its certainly not offensive when the Lewis County Republicans call you a Nazi.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


R. Scott (birther and Thurston County Republican chair) can't read. Or, when reading, can't process information.

When he reads this

Mah also urged the audience to consider the timing of his proposal and said that because of the slower economy, "property (for purchase) will never be cheaper."

Thurston County Commissioner Karen Valenzuela disputed that.

Valenzuela, who attended the forum with other elected officials such as Olympia City Council members Joan Machlis, Rhenda Strub and Karen Messmer, said there might be no need to rush because the Port of Tacoma, for example, is having difficulty selling a $22 million parcel in south Thurston County's Maytown.

Conjures up this:

...then why is Karen Valenzuela trying to purchase more parks? And why in the hell does she want to purchase them for the City of Olympia [read about it here]? She thinks they can get it cheaper, but wants to participate in the purchase.

Saying that anyone who is interested in developing an isthmus park should take their time means she wants the county to participate?

Seems more likely that she's attended the forum because she's a local political leader, not because she wants the county to dive into a park purchase.

On the other hand, if R. Scott had bothered to link anywhere else than the Olympian (other blogs?!?), he would have come up with something far more convincing, but still vague enough for him to twist. From Janine Gates's Litle Hollywood:

Audience member Marie Cameron spoke next, saying she has been a resident for over 30 years and served on the Olympia Planning Commission for six years in the 1970's and served in a variety of planning positions until her retirement. She now lives in the county, outside the city limits, and feels disenfranchised from the process, and urged the county to step up and be a partner in the portion of property tax it collects.

Thurston County Commissioner Karen Valenzuela thanked Cameron for her productive suggestion. "The problem with Mah's proposal is that there's only one player at the table."

Now, you'd have to assume that Valenzuela meant the county as another player, but I'd safely assume she meant the state. But, R. Scott can believe anything he wants, especially since he can just make most of it up.

I agree with Karen Veldheer, homosexuality is not a sin

A much better answer to the question Rob and I raised earlier:

WIP: There’s been some discussion on the local blogs regarding your faith, and the possibility that it will affect your position on equal benefits for city employees with same sex domestic partners. Could you put this in perspective for WIP readers? What is your religious affiliation, and what influence will it have on your policy positions? And specifically, what is your position on same sex partner benefits?

KV: I support the city policy for equal benefits for same sex domestic partners. I am a member of the orthodox Presbyterian church and my religious faith will have no bearing on the decisions I will make as a civic leader on the Olympia city council. I believe in a separation of Church and State. Further, the state of Washington provides over 200 civil rights, many of which are very important to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered communities, and I support these laws as well.

Which, of course, she never says that being gay isn't a sin, just that her faith doesn't inform her political beliefs.

Just to be clear, I disagree with my church (up until recent months I was receiving communion at St. Mike's Catholic Church and have been raised Catholic) on their position regarding homosexuality. Karen may very well believe being gay is a sin, but still support gay rights.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Accoustic Olympia WA

This is one of several acoustic versions (mostly guys in front of cameras, not concert footage) of Olympia, WA. There's something about them, something closer to what I think is the real meaning of the song, in these versions. Probably closer to get to that sad-to-be-in-this-shitty-life-I-had-a-good-time-in-Oly feeling without electricity.

The way this guy plays it, it makes me think that Olympia WA could almost be an old-timey blues song.

Will Stakeline, Pat Beehler benefiting from government largess

At least their campaigns are.

It is a sad situation for conservative local candidates. They want to be against big government, but when it comes to finding places for their campaign signs in a town where hardly anyone will put one in their front yard, options are short.

So, instead of depending on their landlord buddies who put campaign signs in front of rundown rental houses, Beehler and Stakelin are putting up plenty of signs on government property. Right-of-ways, that kind of things.

And, the old McKinley Elementary School site near my home at Boulevard and 15th, has four signs between Beehler and Stakelin.