Monday, December 31, 2007

I'm not qualified for the Olympia City Council

A post in which the blogger attempts to clean himself of the ickiness of judging eight people who applied for an open city council seat in Olympia.

I spent the last week or so writing eight posts about people that are applying for open council seat, and I've come to a conclusion that about half of them shouldn't be on the council. I also concluded that I'm not worthy to judge and I only hope that the small amount of wisdom I have helped people think about who might be appointed to serve on the Olympia City Council.

And, that if I had applied, I wouldn't have been qualified to serve. I am pretty sure I wouldn't have even gotten through filling out the application packet. While I have some strong feelings about how Olympia can write a better budget, even thinking about the city's compressive plan would have thrown me off.

Maybe I would have written something about trying to open that process up, make it more transparent and obvious, but that would have been a lot like my budget answer too.

Anyway, reading and writing about those applicants made me think long and hard about my own civic life.

One of the standards I used to judge was whether the applicant had served on a city advisory board, which I've never done. Those closet I came as an ad-hoc committee on wi-fi downtown. I think we served the council well, but that hardly gave me a deep understanding of any aspect of city management.

So, maybe next time the city recruits for their many advisory boards, I'll be applying. Not because one day I want to apply or run for city council, but because if I'm so interesting in my city, I should try to be a bigger help.

Friday, December 28, 2007

New Header for a new year

I've been toying with this one for a few days, but yes you'll notice there is a new header at Olympia Time today.

And yes, that is the capitol building in the background, someone added it as a 3d building on Google Earth. And, yes, I added a bridge and took out the 5th Avenue Dam, so that body of water behind the bridge is an estuary.

Just in case you were wondering.

Seattle no longer most literate. I blame Jeff Shaw

Seattle fell to second place behind that city that was in about the middle of Fargo. You know, I think it was the one with the bar where the creepy guy tried to hit on Francis what's her name.

Blame can be spread widely, but I blame this fall from grace, and the rocket accent of that yet unnamed upper Midwest city on Jeff Shaw, who moved from the "Seattle area" (Bellingham) to there earlier this year.

His reading power is so... uhmm... powerful that the Twin of this city moved from 11th to third, when I have good information that Jeff's never stepped out of his car in St. Paul (there I've said it). Crap, we're surrounded!

Not that Jeff would let something like this go to his head:
Verily, I think I speak for all us learned and sagacious denizens of these dual metropolises when I say: Suck it, Seattle. I hereby challenge Seattle Weekly's talented and debonair web editor, Chris Kornelis, to a read-off. Alternative weeklies at 10 paces.
Jeff is either smart in challenging his corporate sister paper, or smart to not challenge the Stranger's Amy Kate Horn, who everyone knows is a much better reader than Chris Kornelis.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

On "The hippest town in the West"

I've been burning annual leave for the last week, so in addition to Christmas, I've been thinking longer about things that I usually spare just a bit of time for.

One if the phrase "hippest town in the West," which has cursed Olympia since it was written by Benjamin Nugent almost eight years ago.

A few facts:

1. Ben wasn't compiling a list of hip western towns, on which list Olympia came first. This wasn't like the most livable cities list or the most reading cities. This was almost a throw-away article about Sleater Kinney and the indi-rock scene in Olympia. This isn't a scene that I know much about, by the way.

2. Also, Olympia took this label seriously. So much so that God sent an earthquake seven months later, destroying many a hip thing in Olympia. That's not actually true, though God does disprove of Olympia taking itself too seriously.

But, that's the point, isn't it? We take this label too damn seriously today. And, as soon as you start taking a label of hip seriously, does it now make you unhip?

Some various links of people taking the label seriously:
I use it here.
Bad Nazis can't come to the hippest town in the West, can they?

The most extreme example I can think of this is The Sitting Duck, the local version of an alternative newspaper, which from my memory came around about the time Ben made his proclamation. They feature a tag line at the top of each paper, which today is "featuring the bubbliest writers in the West." I'm not sure if they're sinning by taking the hippest label to seriously or not seriously enough, therefore taking it seriously.

Basically, what I'm saying is that by the summer of 2010 I'd like to see Olympia forget about being the hippest town in the West. Ten years is enough and over a year and a half is enough time for us to prepare to stop using the phrase.

Also, by now, eight years after the fact, I'm sure some other town has usurped us in hipness.

Archie Binns was framed!

And given to me for Christmas. My favorite Christmas gift:

Story behind the gift. I'm a big Archie Binns fan. One of my oldest (in actual age and in terms of how long I've owned it) Binns books is The Timber Beast. Because we've rearranged our house a few times in the past two years, my book collection has been moved, boxed and rearranged. The dust cover to Beast was one of the saddest casualties.

Last September I took the dust cover (which had begun to rip along the spine) off the book and set it aside. The tattered cover was because I'm an oaf, and because I forget some stuff, I didn't realize that my wife picked it up and created a beautiful Christmas present for me. Better than the Wii.

A party of the caucus, for the caucus and because of the caucus (crap)

Noemie has a very comprehensive post up at Washblog about the upcoming precinct caucuses. She rehashes for a bit the fight last year to try for a primary instead of a caucus, and puts forward some of the arguments for the caucus.

One I find troubling:
Washington State Democratic Party Chair Dwight Pelz has said that the caucus system encourages grassroots democracy and dialogue while the primary favors candidates who spend the most money on TV ads and teaches participants that politics is a solitary process. I agree.
Prior to this, Noemie (full disclosure: I like and admire Noemie) argues that we have to look at the caucuses in the context of our fully screwed up election system. Granted, caucuses are a lot better than much of what goes on.

But, I'd argue that caucuses (while usually a good thing) are being used cynically by the Washington State Democratic Party to:

a) drive down participation, and
b) recruit volunteers for the nine months before the election.

Yes, caucuses are great because they require and encourage active participation. But, the party is using that participation for its own use. And, after the election, the scores of jazzed, encouraged people will be dropped like a wet rag by the party because the job will be done at that point.

If the party was actually all about the participatory democracy, it would hold caucuses for every election. We hold a state primary for every other less sexy election in this state because the party would much rather have the state government pay for its winnowing down election than to have to pay for a caucus no one will show up to.

Here are some old posts from Washblog of mine arguing about caucuses and such:
Republicans were trying to make a point with primary vote
More Caucuses v. Primary
Caucus v. Primary debate keeps attention off the real problem: lack of participation

Here's my favorite line:
But, the problem with caucuses is that very few people actually do turn out for them. On the other hand, the problem with primaries is that still very few people turn out for them. The Olympian editorial points out that while only two percent turn out for caucuses in a given year (certainly not in 2004), but 42 percent turn out for a primary. Two percent may be extremely small, but 42 percent is all that great either.
Wouldn't it be great if instead of having to choose between really horrible turn-out and depressing turn-out, we could find a way to get more people participating?

Monday, December 24, 2007

Conversate on the (KUOW's) Conversation

I was thinking about my post from yesterday, and I was thinking about what a KUOW's Conversation blog would look like.

It would be not at all like this, but this is as close as I could get for free in a couple of days.

The Conversation already kind of blogs because they send out an email with the day's topic and a handful of links on the topic. This takes that email and adds a comment thread.

And, of course its actually a wiki, so if I miss a day to add the email of the day, someone else can come along and add it. I'll try to keep up though.

You can also suggest and discuss show ideas, which is kind of pointless right now because no one actually reads this blog/wiki.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

KUOW's Conversation, get thee a conversation

So, Radio Open Source is back. But, all I'm saying is that it's not really back. Its a podcast with a blog, sort of like Jesse Thorn is Chris Lydon.

But, I've been thinking: what's to stop other hour long recent topic public radio shows from posting their topics and possible guests on a blog five or so hours before the show is supposed to begin?

Why can't say, KUOW's the Conversation have a blog? So, instead of asking us to email in or call to "join the conversation," we could post up and have a conversation on our own, justl like ROS 1.0?

Friday, December 21, 2007

Bergeson watch is over

A media something-or-other finally put finger to internet and saw that OSPI chief Terry B. is running again, so my vigil is over. Olympian Education Blog:
According to the Public Disclosure Commission, Bergeson's committee filed its registration paperwork a few weeks ago, as did Richard Semler, who (according to our sister paper The Tri-City Herald) is the soon-to-be retiring superintendent of the Richland School District. Donald Hansler of Spanaway filed a campaign committee registration form in 2006, but nothing else since then.
Leave it to a blogger though, in this waining days of my watch, to take a close look at a couple of roots of the race (if this race were a tree...). Ryan at I Thought a Think:
The business community loves Terry Bergeson, because the business community gains personally from the higher standards of education that the WASL represents. The WASL is a very bottom line assessment, something that business leaders understand, and I don't know that there's anything that teachers or parents could say that would turn their heads to our way of thinking.


Terry's biggest donations might come from the private sector, but her largest numbers of donors are those who work under her.


There are an awful lot of people around the state who have a personal stake in seeing Bergeson returned to office. They have history, cache, an in; however you want to put it. If a new wind blows their boat goes off course, and that's when personal self interest kicks in and gets them to reach for their wallet.

Everything I've heard and seen speaks to the idea that Richard Semler is a good man. I've heard him talk about the how the testing system in Washington has gotten far away from any educational purpose, and he's right. Living here in Eastern Washington, where we voted Tom Foley out of office when he was Speaker of the House, I should probably be more optimistic.

As things stand, though, Bergeson is racing with a Porsche while Semler hops behind on a pogo stick. And that's why she's going to be, once again, the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
My thoughts on this entire thing is that we should focus less on making employees and focus more on making citizens. But, I'm a liberal arts major, so you'd expect that.

Command and Control sports entertainment

Another reason why the NBA sucks, but not the reason you were thinking:
Last week, a fan was moved to a new seat and issued a written warning for heckling Head Coach Isiah Thomas; the card read "You are being issued a warning that the comments, gestures and/or behaviors that you have directed at players, coaches, game officials and/or other spectators constitute excessive verbal abuse." On Monday, a fan had a "Fire Isiah sign" confiscated, pursuant to a policy that prohibits signs that block the views of other patrons.


But at some point won't teams figure out this is not worth it? In exchange for removing one sign that probably was not blocking anyone's view (see above), the team gets more bad publicity and it sent the fans into the streets, literally: A "Fire Isiah" rally was held on the 7th Avenue side of the Garden today, complete with an 8-foot-tall pink slip. Maybe the Knicks are so desensitized to bad publicity at this point that it does not matter.
Not a sport likely to embrace "hey let's let the fans fire the manager every four years" model.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Terry Bergeson IS RUNNING for reelection watch, day 24

Almost a month now and no one has noticed that she's filing PDC reports, she's running for re-election. Does she need to notice a press release for anyone to really figure this one out?

Read about people getting mad about math.

She has $25K in the campaign kitty.

Guess who knows she's running? City of Olympia Mayor (for now) Mark Foutch and Paul Allen (yes, that Paul Allen) of Vulcan Capital. Because they donated to her campaign.

Sonntag, Inslee and public comments

State Auditor Brian Sonntag is going to hold a televised, teleconference with Washington State citizens. So says the first commenter at the Olympian on this:

How brave of this bureaucRAT . . . "Randomly chosen" participants. How 'bout a few town meetings across the state at your expense, Mr. Sonntag? If you have any balls to do it...

Seemingly pointing to the difference between an event where the participants choose themselves (by choosing to attend) and an event where the participants are chosen at random. Sonntag's version is more interesting to me.

Daryl over at Hominid Views had a similar experience with Jay Inslee and enjoyed it.

Gov. Gregoire recently finished a series of forums that the Olympian commenter would have approved of (which also included a random panel at another level), but when your main group of participants is self-chosen, I'm wondering if your just getting a room full of axe-grinders.

The difference with Sonntag's version is that it will be televised, apparently broadening the reach of the project. It would be interesting if they did this twice a year, just for consistency.

Interesting note is that Elway Research is behind this projects as well as the governor's recent tour.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Drinking Liberally in Olympia

From Bruce Lund:

Join us for the December Meeting of Drinking Liberally this Monday, December 10th, 7 pm at the Bar in the Urban Onion in downtown Olympia.

The address is 116 Legion Way SE, and is located right across the street from Sylvester Park, next door to Happy Teriyaki. Please enter the bar directly on Legion street--that way you won't disturb the restaurant goers.

Our discussion last week a wild round robin on a variety of issues. We didn't spend a lot of time on the topic of the evening, Presidential Leadership, and I think it still has some value, so I propose picking up again on that topic.


Here's an excerpt from the last email I sent you:

The topic, in tune with the upcoming primary season, will be presidential leadership. What are the qualities that you view are critical for a president to possess, and what are the qualities that would be "nice to have," but not a deal breaker. One site you might want to visit related to this topic is Dan Mulbern's "A conversation on Presidential Leadership" website. I'm especially impressed with a post by Robert Fritz on the site. The website is at:


Hope to see you Monday night. I hope you weren't adversely affected by this past weeks weather (as I am writing this, snow is falling).

I wish you the best during this holiday season!

Washington Dems Strawpoll: Edwards, Obama and then Kucinich

Dennis Kucinich is doing pretty well in an email straw poll to Washington State Democrats, coming in third ahead of Hillary Clinton. Edwards is leading the pack, following closely by Obama of Illinois:
John Edwards 780
Barack Obama 713
Dennis Kucinich 511
Hillary Clinton 505
Undecided 280
Bill Richardson 234
Joe Biden 112
Chris Dodd 27
Mike Gravel 6
These are "early" numbers since the voting is ongoing here. Go here before December 14 if you want to express your preference.

If you ask me, I wouldn't vote in this poll since it seems to be a way to collect your data.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Fred Finn making good time in 35th LD race

Fred Finn, who is running to replace Bill Eikmeyer in the 35th LD, has an update:
I just wanted to give you a quick update on our campaign.

After beginning my campaign on September 15th, I have received contributions from over 200 different individuals and organizations totaling over $50,000. I plan to actively begin fundraising in February.

Much of my time has been spent in attending a variety of auctions in North Mason and Kitsap Counties and service organization meetings and events including Rotary, Kiwanis and the Chambers.

Some of the events that I have attended include the openings of the Kitsap Community Resources new “green” building and the Harborside Condominiums in Bremerton. I attended the “Wild Salmon Hall of Fame Awards & Dinner” and the Kitsap League of Women Voters luncheon with Bill Gates Sr. as guest speaker. I attended both days of the first Puget Sound Partnership meetings held in Bremerton.

I have spoken at the Mason County Democrats meeting and attended the Kitsap, Thurston, Grays Harbor, and 35th Legislative District Democrats meetings. I spoke at the Kitsap Democrats meeting and the Mason County Women’s Democratic Club meeting.

Governor Gregoire and I met in Mason County at a fundraiser. I ‘ve also attended the “Maggie” Awards, the HDCC fundraiser, the League of Conservation Voters Breakfast as well as fundraisers for Congressman Norm Dicks, Kitsap County Commissioner Josh Brown and Rep. Sam Hunt.

I’ve had an article published in several of our local Democrat newsletters and attended various briefings on the S.E.E.D. Project, Belfair Bypass and various “Eggs & Issues” debates. I have spoken with a number of union and other organization representatives and will report more on this in coming months.

Thank you for your interest. This is fun.
To put his $50,000 into perspective, Tim Sheldon who ran for state senate in the same district, and who had a very competative primary race, raised $200,000 in the last cycle. His opponent raised $92,000.

Herb Baze, the former Mason County commissioner, has only raised $5,000 according to his latest filing.

Terry Bergeson is running watch, day 15

No official announcement, so I assume no one in the media is writing that Terry Bergeson is running again for head of OSPI in 2008.

On top of her 15k plus, she's raised $4,450 more (pdf file).

Also, looks like Judi Billings has decided not to run again.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Metonymy and Olympia

Jim, this one goes out to you and all the debate nerds in the room.

I was already inspired to follow up this post when I read DonWard's post from this morning:

Who's conservative in Olympia?

But, then Andrew posts this:

Olympia's Democrats have lost their way

When I read Don's headline, I thought the was talking about our discussion over at Olyblog parsing the difference between the really liberal neighborhoods in Olympia and the neighborhoods that only vote Democratic 70 percent of the time (you know, the conservative ones).

But, no Don was talking about conservatives in the state legislature. Conservatives who don't come from Olympia, but rather to it.

And, of course Andrew wasn't talking about certain Thurston County living Democrats going off the beaten path, but rather legislators:
Olympia failed the people of Washington State.
You can't imagine the emotional spasms I experience when I read sentences like that. I know it sounds juvenile when I say it, but Olympia didn't fail anyone!

Olympia was sitting there innocently drinking coffee while a bunch of folks from out of town came by (except three or maybe four) and passed a couple of laws.

They're using Olympia as a metonymy for the broader statewide political landscape, but specifically the state legislature. As I learned a few days ago, from the above mentioned nerd-king, metonymy is "is the use of a word for a concept with which the original concept behind this word is associated."

Like "press," which is literally a way to print something, also means the news media, Olympia has become a lazy-ass crutch for people when they could be saying something else.

No one else cares, but I'll care.

Repeat after me:

The state legislature is not Olympia.

The state government is not Olympia.

Archie Binns, the Roaring Land, on the internet archive

Not really sure how I missed this one, but the Roaring Land, in parts my favorite history of Washington State, is available for free on the internet archive.

Best chapters to read included (of course) Chapter 2, Steamboat Era, and Chapter 7, Center of Gravity.

Center of Gravity, which details the early history of the Kent Valley, includes this illustration of the differences between Kent (at the time) and Yakima:
Eighty or ninety years ago, many of the Oregon Trail pioneers reached the Puget Sound country starving and ragged and destitute. No one thought the less of them for that; those who had arrived earlier welcomed them and shared what they had. .... The same thing will be true again before another eighty years are passed. Meanwhile, here is an example of community attitude toward the new, destitute pioneers. The item is taken from the front page of the weekly Kent News- Journal of October 30, 1941 :


A story of destitution and suffering not paralleled since the worst days of the depression was brought to the attention of a number of people of Kent and vicinity the latter part of last week and the first part of this when a family composed of a husband, wife, and seven children ranging from 15 years down to one year, arrived from California, with no bedding to speak of, no clothes for the members of the family, practically no food, and $1.50 cash capital.

The family had tried to get work in the orchards of the Yakima country and, although capable workers, were evicted from camps because of the seven children. Kent residents fed them Friday and secured living quarters in a vacant house, partially furnished, on East Hill. Monday the place was sold and the family had to move quickly to give possession to the new owner. The father skirmished around and secured another house in the vicinity


The Princes organization yesterday investigated the case and is giving assistance. However, the need of the family is so great that other assistance must be obtained to enable the four children of school age to attend school and supply them with food stuffs to tide them over until the father can secure work. At present he has an opportunity to cut wood as a temporary employment measure.

A resident of the district requests all persons desiring to make contributions to telephone 745-R-3 and a car will call to pick up all articles contributed.

One of the technical requirements of a good news story is the name of the chief actor in the first line. This is surely a good story, yet there are no names in it, only people. There are things to think about in the story. One of them is the fact that the parents were refused work and evicted from camps in the Yakima country because they needed work to feed their seven children. Presumably, there was fear that the family might stay and become a charge on the community, and that the children would go to school on taxpayers' money. As a result of that fear, those very things happened, but in a different community. And the community where it happened accepted the family as it was, without questioning its right to be there. More positively, the Kent community assumed that children must not go hungry and naked and shelterless, and that a father should have the right to work. The News-Journal story gives almost a day-by-day account, as if every day in which people suffer is important to everyone in the community. And something happens almost every day: Friday, the family arrives and is fed by residents of the town, and a house is found ; Monday, the house is sold over their heads, and the same day another is provided; Tuesday, there is an emergency call for food to keep the family from starvation, and for clothing; Wednesday, the "Princes" investigate and go into action; and Thursday, the weekly newspaper makes the welfare of the family the concern of everyone in the community.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Olympia neighborhoods, which ones are community friendly?

Over at Olyblog, we're sort of talking about the recent election and why some neighborhoods voted one way. Former city council member Matthew Green posted up and gave a great comment. He fell apart in my mind when he said that SE Olympia lacks community because of the lack of small community businesses.

This may be a circular argument, but SE Oly lacks small businesses because it lacks the zoning for these sorts of businesses. If the city wanted small community shops down here, they could have designed them in.

Here's what I'm talking about.

Northeast Olympia

The only color to pay attention to here is green. In this map, the green colors represent the Puget Pantry (middle of the map), the San Francisco Bakery and a corner store (both towards the top).

Northwest Olympia
This area includes the Harrison commercial area, but also the west side Food Co-op is located right in the middle of a neighborhood. Also, notice the gray zoning along the water, which is mixed use commercial.

Southeast Olympia
Two maps for this side of town, so its an even more startling example of homogeneous zoning that excludes the kind of small local businesses that Matt was talking about. Up on the north side of the top map is the Pit Stop Market, and aside from the Boulevard Nursery, there isn't another local business on this side of town. Weird that the nursery is actually zoned residential.

So, here's the question, which comes first: the zoning or the business? Does the zoning come along because someone wants to open a business in a particular location? Or, does the zoning allow a business to be opened? I'd say the second one is more likely in my mind.

If the city were to allow a certain number of businesses to open in residential areas, then maybe we'd see more local businesses in SE Olympia.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Welcome to Olympia folks

I want to use this very special session of the legislature to get something off my chest. This one goes out to all your out of towners. We still love you, though, in the 20th LD. Some of you crazy cats even say you're from Olympia.

Why is it that folks from the center, down to the right and across the libertarian left always blame the woes of state government on "Olympia?" This is the curse of being the state capital, I guess. Though, last time I was checking, I hadn't done anything to anyone in Snohomish County, but they can go ahead and blame Olympia for failures of state employees who might not even work in Olympia, or failures of elected officials who live near them and just visit here a few times a year.

Anyway, that may not make sense to anyone not living in my head, but it just rubs me the wrong way when people use "Olympia" when they mean to say "my representatives in the legislature and state government."

Anyway, what got me thinking about this was Don Ward this morning in Sound Politics. He typed out that he'd rather be down at the Tumwater Brewery than at the state capitol covering the special session. I assume he could have written "at a bar" and just used the brewery as convenient local color. I took the opportunity to poke the out of towner, pointing out that a corrupt businessman had shuttered the old site.

Don's response:
The Capitol building right now is an empty building. Looking at old wornout brewing equipment is always preferable to looking at old wornout politicians...
In addition to the lack of hope towards Democracy, his comment is just weak.

State party straw poll data collector

I've been getting emails from the state party off and on for the past year or so asking my preference for President. I can't recall if I'd ever responded to one of these emails, and I assume most folks who have given their email address to the party gets these.

The email tonight from state chair Dwight Pelz (they had been coming from the executive director) was different. It asked you to express your preference at the state party website and to share the email with your friends.

Problem is that you have to fill out your street address and email address before you can submit your preference. I understand that it would be hard for the party to do anything at all with my preference of candidate or the issues I care about without giving the candidates a way to contact me, but it just seems shady.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

From Arcadia to Seattle (well, Tukwila and some walking involved)

Of course, since the inspirational post for this series was written by Archie Binns more than seventy years ago in The Roaring Land, I should document the same journey from just around Shelton, nearest to Archadia, to Seattle.

It was a big shopping trip for the Binns', but for us, it's just a lets-look-and-see.

First, you need to set out for a walk. There is no bus that's take your from where Archie grew up on a stump farm, so walk to the Red Apple Market. To catch the 8:20 a.m. Route 6 bus and cover your 5.8 mile route, you'll need to leave the house by 6:00. Leave a bit sooner, you can buy some coffee and an apple at the Red Apple for breakfast. Either way, you're already behind Binns, who had the boat pick him up right on his beach.

The bus to Olympia gets in pretty early, you're there by 11:25 a.m. You have some time in Olympia to get over to Bayview and pick up lunch.

The trusty 603 picks you up at noon and gets you into Tacoma by 1:10 p.m.

So, instead of actually going into Seattle, I'm going to take it easy and drop down into the South Center mall, since this is a memorial of a shopping trip. And, where else would you go shopping in King County, if not the mall?

The Sound Transit 594 picks you up at 1:28 p.m. at the Tacoma Dome Station, dropping you off at the Spokane Street Transit Center at 2:04 p.m. Of course, that's way to far north, so you have to turn around and take the King County Metro 150 back down into Tukwila at 2:41 p.m.

So, just cross the highway over-pass on foot, and you're shopping like the Binns family.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Chang Mook Sohn is so running for state treasurer

No PDC report this time, but Sohn did show up up to the Thurston County Democrats meeting last night. After introducing himself as a Democrat for 35 years, he sat through most of the meeting where we discussed caucuses, which I have to tell you, if you were a new Democrat, that discussion would bore you to tears.

It's not news that he's considering a run, but showing up to a local Democratic meeting, making your dues payment, pretty much means your making the leap.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Terry Bergeson is running watch, day 7

Does it really take a press release for anyone to notice that Terry Bergeson is running again for OSPI? Apparently. I wrote this a week ago, and not a mumble since. Well, it was Thanksgiving week, but if all you have to do is look at the PDC site.

Washington State Politics blog (which also seemed to notice that Bergeson is running) has a good rundown on the OSPI elections since the Billings era.

Note to Gregoire, don't put yourself between Cougs, Huskies

Gov. Christine Gregoire was booed by the fans of the so-called West side school as she presented the Apple Cup trophy to the Cougars on Saturday night. Mostly the booing had to do with the Cougars, but Gregoire became a convenient target for the Husky fans trying to exit around me:


"Just trying to build up government..."

"Rossi's my man..."

Although Gregoire is known, or would be like to be known, for inserting herself between two warring factions (doctors, lawyers), I'm wondering how wise it is for a politician to insert themselves into the Apple Cup.

A much friend who is much wiser in these sorts of things said that its only been recently since Governors started presenting the Apple Cup. Gary Locke was the first one, and I could assume people reacted to him with more of a shrug. Through circumstance, Gregoire is a more polarizing figure. If you're paying attention, you either hate her or like her and roll your eyes at the folks who hate her.

So, what's the point of either pissing off the folks who should like you (Huskies) by handing over a trophy to the Cougars, or further pissing off the people who already don't like you (Cougars)? Does she have to do it?

No, I don't think so. If Locke was the only one doing it, there's not much of a tradition there. And, if she wants to hand out trophies at a football game, she could go to the Gridiron Classic, the state football tournament. While the game mean something, the losers are usually less focussed on hating their opponents.

Or, she could hand out the trophies to the Academic All State Team. See, it has to do with education, which is good.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Last minute thoughts about Hornets game (its a rivalry now)

1. Happy Hornets Day:

2. This woman, come on:
Shante Hastings, president of the University of Delaware Alumni Association, asked The News Journal for a written list of questions before commenting.

In an e-mailed reply, Hastings, a 2000 graduate who lives in Millsboro, said she is "really not sure" why it has taken so long for a UD-DSU football game to take place. However, she said, she doesn't believe race was a factor.

"It seems to be unfounded considering that UD and DSU play each other in other varsity sports," Hastings said.

The two schools did not compete against each other until 1991.
The only time I've ever experienced someone who wanted questions before hand (in my time as a reporter) was when they thought they might be quoted out of context, or they thought they'd say something stupid. I've only ever offered something like that when I thought that was the only way to get the interview, or I was trying to be nice.

3. Last thought. UD has never had to play DSU before, they've always gotten out of it. That itself is understood.

If they had played Delaware State before, it would have been in a rivalry game. They don't play in the same leagues, so any game they would have played would have been of the Apple Cup, Big Game variety.

But, without a historic rivalry game, the Blue Hens never had a rival. After today, that won't be true. Win or lose today, the Hornets will be the Blue Hens rivals. Hornet fans and alumni will openly root against the Blue Hens.

The demands for a rematch won't be hollow, the Hornets will know what its like to play on the same field as the Blue Hens. The only difference winning makes now is whether the Hens will want the rematch.

For years, the Hens could consider themselves the only game in town. Blue Hens Country will share space with the Hornets for now on.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

"...I don't think it's too much to ask them to claim it in a picturesque manner"

Few good things come out of the SW lately. This is one of the few:
Since Native Americans claim a right that makes sensitive people squeamish, I don't think it's too much to ask them to claim it in a picturesque manner. For example, it seems to me that a hollowed-out canoe should be involved any time an Indian kills a whale. Based on designs that go back through the generations and all that. Drums booming slowly in the background would also help, as would a chanting medicine person of some type to get the whole myth-invoking, pipe-toking deal on the road.

I know that this latest whale incident had nothing to do with any legitimate hunting, and the Makah tribal leaders have condemned it and so forth. But the last time there was a legitimate hunt, didn't they use a shotgun? Guy in the back of the canoe, holding it across his legs? And now a machine gun, so what next? If it's efficiency over tradition they want, why not a huge conveyor belt that carts the whale carcasses from the ocean into factories on the shore? Then they could carve them up and package the whales for mass consumption. Indian whaling should not be allowed to resemble a soulless and highly profitable enterprise like America's meat industry.

What about the local option? (re: special session, I-747)

Originally Initiative 747 had a local option for raising property taxes beyond the 1 percent limit. If a local government wanted to give it a try, they could put it on the ballot and see what their constituents thought.

What makes me wonder about the local option from the original 747 is that from the news coverage (and the governor's letter), there is no mention of it at all.

I can't tell whether the governor will introduce a bill that includes the local vote option to go above the 1 percent cap. Olympia is one of the few cities in the state thinking about moving beyond 1 percent in the next few days, and I'm not totally sure that would be "against the will of the voters."

I-747 passed in Thurston County by 53 percent, five percent lower than the statewide margin. One could assume that Olympia was the anchor that drug down Thurston County's percentage. One could also assume that 747 lost in Olympia, which makes our council's inclination towards raising property taxes above the 1 percent limit politically feasible.

I emailed the auditors office for the precinct level data from the 2001 election this morning.

Monday, November 19, 2007

A little Del State brain dump (go Hornets, beat the Hens)

Just more than ten years ago, I was wrapping up my sophomore year at Delaware State University. I had spent two years in their print journalism department and had worked my way from a regular reporter to sports editor and then finally news editor at the school paper, The Hornet.

That last semester I spent wondering about the most significant phenomena of my time at DSU, I was a white student at a historically black college, one of only two white journalism majors in my department at the time.

Both my fellow students at my teachers encouraged me to write about the "white student experience" at Del State, and in doing so, I often drew into the conversation the other big school in the state: The University of Delaware.

This reflection brought to you by the historic meeting of my Del State Hornets with the (some say mighty) Fighting Blue Hens.

Some fact memories from that time:
  • Despite Del State being known as "the black school," the student body at Del State was 75 percent black, and 25 percent everything else. The student body at UD was 96 percent white. No one called it the "white school."
  • When I was high school there were more than a few urban myths about Del State, as you might imagine there are for Evergreen in Olympia. One was a mysterious female student that spread AIDS throughout the school. I was warned not to get AIDS before I started attending.
  • Did I mention that Del State and UD have never played each other before. I think this has as much to do with the relatively tight football schedule (as compared to baseball or basketball, which the two schools have played against each other) and that UD has been a historic football power, and DSU not, as it has to do with race. But, in part, race had some part to play.
By the way, see that Hornet up there? Designed by my classmate Chris Brown.

DSU v UD section of the Delaware News Journal
With matchup finally set, football talk heats up
Game forum

Terry Bergeson is running again for OSPI, raised $15k already

Not sure how anyone else has missed this one, but from what I can tell from the PDC, Terry Bergeson is running for the fourth time to head up OSPI.

Hunter George writes here (in pointing out a new dry side opponent) last month that she "has not announced her plans for 2008." Well, 12 days before he wrote that, Bergeson filed her C1 with the PDC bureaucratically announcing her campaign, and then just today, she put up a C3 announcing that she's raised $15, 495.

Also looks like Judy Billings is in the running too.

Richard Semler, the guy from Richland? He's raised $100. Yippee.

Recall Jane Hague push to save the KC Dems skin?

Last summer the King County fell down the stairs when they failed to file an opponent to incredibly weak KC councilmember Jane Hague.

Hague of the DUI charge.

Here's my question, if Hague is found guilty of driving drunk later this month, wouldn't it be smart for the KC Dems to try to remove her from office?

Recall in the state of Washington is allowed even for simply breaking the law, as it is assumed Hague did when she was sloshed while driving on June 2 on Hwy 520.

From the MRSC:
has been found guilty of two or more of the acts specified in the State Constitution as grounds for recall.[ii] The terms are defined as follows:
  • "Misfeasance" or malfeasance" in office means any wrongful conduct that affects, interrupts, or interferes with the performance of official duty;
    • Additionally, "misfeasance" in office means the performance of a duty in an improper manner; and
    • Additionally, "malfeasance" in office means the commission or an unlawful act
  • "Violation of the oath of office" means the willful neglect or failure by an elective public officer to perform faithfully a duty imposed by law.
One could assume they could come up easily with one ground of recall (driving drunk), I guess its only a matter of finding another one.

Why hasn't Almost Live (or something like it) become a Youtube thing?

Reading this:
Even so, Keister isn't so sure that the issues today -- as good as they remain -- could prop up the show once famous for its parodies of local politics, neighborhood stereotypes, Seattle quirkiness and anything regarding Renton or Kent.

The city has lost its oddball manner and its regional distinction, he said, in ways that have muted much of "Live's" local flavor. Former "Live" cast member Nancy Guppy agreed.

"I don't know if it could exist now," she said.

Everything is becoming more homogeneous, with condos stacked on Subways, luxury markets, Pottery Barns. Said Guppy: "I'm not sure who cares about the local thing -- the Seattle thing."
Makes me think of this, this and this.

Ok, taking into their reflections that "Seattle has changed, but we're totally cool about that," is more about "We didn't change dude, you changed," there is no reason there isn't an "Almost Live on the internet."

Dave Zirin doesn't know what the hell he's talking about Re: Sonics

Zirin in the PI:
Municipalization means turning the Sonics into a public utility; call it a kind word for expropriation. Basketball fans should press the state of Washington to sue for the right to buy the team back from Clay and his cronies. They should claim that the Sonics and Storm are the intellectual property -- the eminent domain -- of the people of Seattle, and therefore the city has far more of a claim on the team than the Bennetts of Oklahoma.

The Sonics should get their new arena, but instead of the proceeds going to build another wing on Bennett Manor, the funds would go to rebuilding the city's health care and educational infrastructure.

Imagine seeing someone wearing a Kevin Durant jersey on the street and knowing that instead of draining the tax base of a city, it was paying for new textbooks in a public school classroom.

Does this seem far-fetched? Ask the city of Green Bay, where the beloved Packers are actually publicly owned. They are the only publicly owned team in the United States. It's time to add to that list.

This is bigger than the Sonics. This is about drawing a line against the subsidizing of stadiums by which public monies are delivered to private hands. No more Mr. Flannel-Shirted Nice Guy. The Sonics stay in Seattle. They belonged to the Emerald City long before they belonged to Clay Bennett.

1. The Green Bay Packers aren't the panacea that people always point to in these situations. They are a private company in a league with revenue sharing. They aren't, as Mr. Zirin writes, owned by the city of Green Bay. They are public in about the same sense that Microsoft is public, they both sell shares to anyone who wants to buy. They are a for profit company owned by 40,000 share holders (who can own as many as 200 shares).

Yes, they're a great example of fans having a hand in the team, but they are a far far cry from actual city owned teams like (until recently) the Harrisburg Senators.

2. Who is to say that the NBA would put up with that level of insolence? The NBA, and other leagues like it, aren't straight up businesses. The courts don't consider what they do "commerce" so they're able to take part in anti-competitive tactics, like simply taking Seattle's team away.

"Fine, don't like how we manage our league? We're leaving."

All of the above isn't to say that I hope the Sonics stay and that the NBA sucks. But, I'm thinking its more likely that the NBA is ripe for competition if they leave Seattle.

Who's to say another ABA won't show up?

Friday, November 16, 2007

MLS Cup back in Seattle on EPSN 2

Thank you MLS Seattle! Word on the street is that folks from MLS Seattle got on the phone when they found out that the MLS Cup wouldn't be airing in the Seattle market.

Sounds pretty realistic to me, co-owner Joe Roth is known to call up EPSN when he gets a bur under his saddle about soccer. The only part of the press conference last Tuesday that I was able to catch on streaming video was him telling a story about calling up the president of ESPN to complain about a couple of EPSN Radio guys that were trashing soccer.

Good on you guys!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

No MLS Cup on KOMO

We buy 3,000 season tickets since Tuesday, but no MLS Cup on KOMO this Sunday:

Kaylor, Doreen
to Emmett O'Connell
date Nov 15, 2007 4:54 PM
subject RE: MLS Cup this Sunday?

KOMO will not be airing the MLS Cup on Sunday. The FCC regulations on Children's programming are extremely strict. Part of the requirements for retaining a broadcast license is that stations must air a specific amount of children's programming each week during a specific window of time. ABC booked so many hours of sports programming this weekend that it was necessary for us to pre-empt some of the sports programming and air FCC children's programming.

Unfortunately ESPN was not able to find another home in the Seattle market to air the soccer match - either on cable or broadcast television.

"Barcelona model" not actually Barca and socis

Just a short note, even though I'm excited about the selling of memberships of the new Seattle MLS team and the prospect of that actually giving fans a voice in the team, it doesn't seem likely to me that anyone outside of Drew Carey, Joe Roth, Andrian Hauner and Paul Allen will actually own a stake in the team.

It won't actually be a fan-owned team like FC United of Manchester, Yokohama F.C., or the Green Bay Packers.

In the Barcelona example, over 150,000 individuals, through the payment of yearly dues, own the Football Club Barcelona. Even though we'll pay dues to the Seattle club, we won't be owners. Any powers we have can be revoked by the owners.

Evergreen students arrested in Olympia port protests

Just curious, so from this list in the Olympian, I came up with this list from google:

Shyam Khanna

Evan A. Rohar
Gabrielle K. Sloane
James Steele
Luke E. Noble
Amanda N. Askea
Amory Ballantine
Holly A. Carter
Kimberly Chaplin
Jaime M. Crawford
Michelle Fleming
Daisy J. Montague
Emily A. Pieper
Katherine M. Waldeck
Shizuno M. Wynkoop

So, of the 57 people arrested (one person was nabbed twice), just over a quarter are Evergreen students. In terms of what this tells you, it depends on how you see Evergreen. Some folks are already assuming that the protests are a phenomena brought on by Evergreen, that if that school weren't here, there would have been no protests.

That's hard to say, given the protests in Tacoma and Aberdeen to similar shipments. While both of those communities have satellite Evergreen campuses, I doubt that's what really got people riled up.

For me, this dispells the myth that this was a bunch of Evergreen students making trouble. The protests would have happened on their own, without Evergreen (like in Tacoma and Aberdeen). But, you can hardly expect college students attending what everyone knows is a very liberal school from standing on the sidelines for this one.

So, while even one person from the peace community saying (via email):
And, although for many of us tomorrow is a holiday from work, that is not the case for Evergreen students, who have to go to school. Evergreen students have been the primary presence at the port.
...we can know that it's not exactly true. Sure, a lot of students came down, but a lot more non-students were there.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

"All the power to the fans"

Apparently, it was conditional on Drew Carey's involvement in the Seattle MLS organization that it become a fan based team.

Here's a movie of Drew's intro to the fans. Listen to their reaction when he mentions the new way of doing business:

Monday, November 12, 2007

Fan owned Seattle MLS?

Goal Seattle:
Details were not made clear, but Carey was sold on the idea when Roth told him Seattle MLS would like to use 'the Barcelona model' of letting fans own part of the club and have voting shares. I am sure we'll hear more about that soon.
Seattle PI:
And here's another radical idea: Fans will be able to buy membership in the team, which will give them the power to vote out the general manager. That, too, came from Carey
Greg Roth on BigSoccer:
One of his stipuations is that the fans will own a small piece of the team very much like the current FC Barcelona model. The fans will have the opportunity to become members of the club. Fans can pay in (an mount to be detrmined). In return, fans would get T Shirts, discounts on tickets, special events etc. Every 4 years the fans or club members will have a vote on who should be the team chairman.
The Sounders would be the only major league team, outside of the famed Green Bay Packers, that have turned over any portion of the team to the fans.

List of Fan Owned Teams

In some ways, the way this entire thing is turning out, with the MLS coming to Seattle, with the announcement that the team will, in part, be fan owned, seems strange to me. While on one hand we have this caustic drama with the Sonics that is sapping the souls of any basketball fan in Seattle.

On the other hand, we have this hope-filled world opening up. Feels good.

Friday, November 09, 2007

And, to you PDX, re:MLS

There we go again, feeding our Demons of Ambition.

Happy MLS in Seattle Day!

Well, officially it will be on Monday, but we can start celebrating now.

As everyone in the freaking world is noting (here, here and here), Seattle is getting a new MLS team. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

I'm just happy.

While I'm being happy, think about coming out to O'Blarney's next Sunday morning to watch the MLS Cup with a group of us. Please

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

IRV wins again in Pierce County

Pierce County voted for Instant Run-off voting last year, but the county council put it back on the ballot against this year. The folks weren't fooled up there, and they're voting against delaying IRV until 2010 by a two to one margin.

Funny thing: Piece County has eight charter amendments on the ballot this year and almost every single one of them is winning. Most are in the 60 percent area, but several are in the 70s and at least all of the winning ones are above 54 percent.

The two charter amendments that would have messed around with IRV are the only ones that are losing. Looks like the voters paid attention to this one.

So says Kelly in Pierce County.

Olympian the official vote reporter in Thurston County?

I know it only matters to weirdos who would sit at their computer and hit refresh on election night, but it bugs the ever-living-crap out of me that the Olympian is posting live results, while the county Auditor's office is MIA.

9:29 p.m. and no results.

UPDATE: 10:07 p.m. and we're the only county in the state not reporting any results (at least officially). Theoretically, since we are the state capital, you would assume we could bike our results over to the state auditor and still beat some other counties.

Update again: Last Tabulated: 11/6/2007 10:21:34 PM. Freakin' finally, two hours?

What about other options regarding basketball in Seattle?

From the PI:

We're Seattle -- we have options. We could pursue the Golden Baseball League model and form an independent basketball league, or, better yet, a league of smaller basketball teams. There are other sports to consider, like, say, hockey. It doesn't have to be a National Hockey League team -- how about supporting the existing Western Hockey League? If this is about keeping arena seats filled and giving people who love sports something to enjoy, then we could do worse.

The problem with the hockey thing, especially the WHL Thunderbirds, is that they're already leaving Seattle. Not to say we couldn't draw another minor league hockey team to Key Arena and have a great local derby between Everett/Seattle/Kent, but that's going off in another direction.

I love this idea of a competing winter basketball league. Unlike baseball, and to some extent hockey, there is no organization top-to-bottom in basketball. All of the independent basketball leagues in the United States operate independently from the NBA.

List of minor league basketball leagues

Since the ABA merged with the NBA in the 70s, there has been little competition with top flight basketball in the United States. Taking the opportunity now to compete, I could see putting into play a handful of things that would strike at the heart of sports over here.

A new basketball league (or rather system) could involved promotion/relegation where good teams go up and bad teams down. In this way, you could invite teams from existing leagues to compete.

Community ownership could also play a role. The NHL supposedly played with this idea a few years ago, but outside of the Green Bay Packers and some other minor league teams, it is untried. Ask any fan if they'd buy stock in their team though.

Also, is it totally necessary to have a t.v. contract? This doomed the ABA... so, for now, despite internet and all that, I guess it does.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

First of a series: money and the parties

I've been poking around the PDC website for a couple of days, and now I'm going to post how much money is given to the both major state parties and the two parties in Thurston County.

All future posts in this topic will be categorized here.

For September:

State Republican Party (exempt): $41,471
State Republican Party (non-exempt) $0
Total: $41,471

Top giver, George Rowley of Rowely Enterprises in Sammamish who gave $25,000.

State Democratic Party (exempt): $4,543
State Democratic Party (non-exempt): $67,103
Total: $71,646

Top giver, Greg Amadon, a venture capitalist.

Thurston County Republicans: nada

Thurston County Democrats: $5,238.41

Top giver, lots of people, because over $4,000 came from a low cost fundraiser. I'm going to guess the burger booth.

Pelz v. Esser on Inside Olympia (sigh... battle of the state party chairs)

I listened to this by podcast, so I couldn't see either state party chairs' faces, but I was hoping that given some dead air, each had a list they'd refer to.

Pelz: "I'm not sure this state wants to elect George W. Bush as governor."

Esser: "You know, the governor held the door open as 30,000 inmates were released."

Pelz: "Rossi can't make up his mind on transportation."

Esser: "Gregoire has been in government for 30 years."

Pelz: "You can't trust Republicans to balance the budget, look what they're doing in the other Washington."

I know I wasn't looking for actual debate, but this was silly.

How do you embed video from TVW? Go here.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Gregoire's people get back first (another reason sucks)

In response to this:

So, who is actually reading these emails?
The governor's office sends me this:
All emails to the Governor sent through her website are first viewed by employees of the Constituent Services Department within the Office of the Governor. These emails are coded with subject information and then routed within the office or to individual agencies for follow-up. All communications to the Governor are made available to her executive policy staff who use this information when helping the Governor as she moves forward with issues important to the residents of Washington State.

I hope this answers your question.

What I was looking for wasn't a direct email from, but rather some sort of indication that my email wasn't going into some black hole. I'm not totally sure that if you do send anything to Dino at his email address collecting website that you'll get anything back at all.

Either way, the governor's office seems to be taking this more seriously.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Is King County going to fund a rebuild on the Sonics Arena (and build a stadium for a new MLS team?)

I came across this last night:
There have definitely been closed-door meetings involving Seattle city officials about a new basket ball arena in Seattle Center. The idea of also having Memorial Stadium (the ugly thing in the above picture), remodeled, renovated or rebuilt, is a possibility. A Seattle MLS team playing there is one option, and there's been a rumor that Bob Whitsitt would be interested in putting a lacrosse team there as well.
But, no matter how many closed door sessions the city has, it can't actually do what by law it is prevented to do: Seattle can't spend money on Key Arena if it helps the Sonics.

But, King County can. And who recently presented a "vision for Seattle Center?" Ron Sims, the county executive. Yeah, it got the official cold shoulder from the city, but if there are closed door meetings, there might also be closed door reactions.

Sims even put the funding portion of his idea onto paper:
Sims floated legislation in Olympia that would have allowed the county to use hotel-motel and other taxes for a new Sonics arena, plus a redevelopment of Seattle Center and any other "civic amenities" deemed worthy by the county. The legislation would have raised $1 billion for those purposes over 25 years.
In terms of the popularity of sports team subsidies in King County vs. Seattle, remember that the Qwest Field initiative never would have passed without King County. It also might be easier to squeeze through a rebuild of Key Arena to a county-wide electorate if its wrapped around a broader revamping of Seattle Center.

How the Huskies are different from the Sonics (or how professional sports should be) Part 2

Dan Evans on Husky Stadium:
"There's one thing that we are all certain of — we won't build anything more than what we can pay for," Evans said.
David Stern on the Sonics arena:
"there was no heart whatsoever for assisting a Sonics team."

This relates to part one.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

T.J. Johnson's old plan for a City of Olympia blog

I knew I remembered this from back in the day:

TJ Johnson, who will be sworn in tonight, said he compiled the list after hearing residents say they wanted a more receptive council.

"It's the sense that we need to do a much better job of communicating and engaging the public," Johnson said Monday. "That's the spirit in which this is offered, to rebuild trust, to rebuild the partnership with citizens and the city."

Johnson plans to discuss the proposal tonight and ask the council to set the wheels in motion.


- All e-mail communication between council members should take place in a "chat room" accessible to the public via the Internet.

- All written and electronic mail sent or received by council members in their capacity as council members (i.e., not personal e-mail) should be copied to a central repository operated by the office of the city manager.

That sounds a lot like a blog. I don't really remember the details of what happened to T.J.'s plan, but you can assume he never got the blog going.

Council vows to consider efforts to draw in public
Olympia City Council told what to change

City council blogs in Monroe?

Chad Minnick is pushing for a city council blog to replace somewhat private city council email communication:
Establish a City Council blog as an alternative to emails. There really is no need for Council members to email privately. The only reason any Council member would use email at all is because we get together just one night a week and email is one of the quickest and easiest forms of communication the rest of the time. But only a small portion of what is discussed is confidential, and that is just matters having to do with personnel, litigation, and the purchase and sale property. There is no reason Council members can’t communicate during the week on a blog. Ideas can be discussed in the broad light of day where every citizen can read it. I have purchased the domain and will give ownership of it to the City for this use.
He has a few other suggestions that Olympia has already implemented (such as putting the meetings online), but the blog suggestion is interesting. Olympia will of course let you see each and every email council sends and recieves, you just have to drop down to the city hall each month to pick up a copy of a cd.

PDC issues new hands off rules regarding bloggers and campaign finance

For some reason, TVW didn't cover the last Public Disclosure Commission meeting. So, I emailed over the PDC, wondering about last week's meeting where they were supposed to cover their rules interpretation regarding bloggers and the internet.

Lori Anderson wrote back:
from Lori Anderson
to Emmett O'Connell
date Oct 30, 2007 11:13 AM
subject RE: draft Interpretation 07-04

They made one change and approved it. They removed the reference to Interpretation 07-03 in the header section. The interpretation will be on-line later today at (here).

We appreciate your interest.

Lori Anderson
Staff - WA State Public Disclosure Commission
PH (360) 664...
I was going to wait until they had posted their new interpretation, but the afternoon went without anything going up. I think its important to note not actually a rule or WAC, but rather how they see the rules).

Here is a pdf of the draft interpretation that Lori referred to in her email. Here is a great rundown of what that draft document is all about.

And some other links:
The PDC and bloggers
Panel Discussion of Issues Related to Internet Campaign Activity in Washington State
Blogs about politics on radar of state elections officials
State Regulation of Palousitics?
PDC talks about regulating internet activity
PDC contemplating Internet regulations

I'll post up the new interpretation when it goes online.

Great conversation about SJR 1812

The prison labor ballot initiative is debated well over at Olyblog in this comment thread.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The vs. governor's email

So, who is actually reading these emails?

Sent to both Dino Rossi's email form and that of the governor. See what happens now.

UPDATE: Rossi's thanks me for sending my emails as says he looks forward to reading them. Lame.

re: Highclimbers v. Cougars

In one sport, Capital showed those hicks from Mason Co. who actually is the boss.

In the sport that matters to most people, Shelton won.

I doubt this settles their little tiff, but it probably makes everyone in Shelton feel better.

Wished I've voted againt Bill McGregor for Olympia Port Commission

I voted for him because I couldn't think of one thing he'd done wrong in his short time on the commission and because I didn't want to vote for serial candidate Bill Pilkey without a good reason. After seeing this video, I would have voted against him.

I don't necessarily agree with the activists that wanted to show the video during a port commission meeting, but the over the top hand wringing by Van Schoorl and McGregor was too much.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Why we should always have Demoburgers

This year we're going to talk about doing away with the burger booth. Its a money thing, some are convinced that we put out way too much effort for what we get back.

But, we should keep it. For hundreds of reasons, but this summarizes them all. From You know you're in Oly when............ over at Olylog:
* There is not a force in the world that can keep you from that yearly Demoburger

Friday, October 26, 2007

Yeah, I don't know, just doesn't sound all that exciting

I mean, an email form isn't all that revolutionary. From Dino's speech yesterday:
Starting today, if you and your neighbors see things that need to change... ""

And I plan to keep this website in place when I'm governor.

If you're frustrated by poor customer service in state government -

Imagine how much better you would be treated by state agencies when everyone knows that you will have a direct line to the governor... and also share your ideas on how to make things better.

And you won't have to register your e-mail address with me. So if state workers want to share their ideas, it can be anonymous.

Today, I know many hard-working state workers feel like they can't be candid and open with their thoughts.

Now you can...
Imagine what a change just that little reform will bring.
The actual governor already has an email form that anyone can fill out.

Email forms for politicians or other powerful people types aren't exactly new, and Dino's framing of his as something special is troubling. He seems to want to have us think that he really is listening to us, but he isn't doing anything new to actually do that.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Highclimbers v. Cougars

I'm not sure how successful the peace delegations from Shelton and Capital high schools were this week.

From the Shelton Journal:

"Just like being 'hicks' and somewhat lower-class than them," says the cheerleader. "And we think that they are rich, snobby people who are stuck up."


"Some kids I know from Capital are snotty. They TOTALLY are."
Read the entire piece here.

If I was to make one suggestion for Shelton. If you are to invade West Olympia, take the water route. I sort of expect that they'd be waiting for you at Mud Bay if you were to go overland.

Land somewhere abouts the Olympia Golf Course and head south. Maybe ask your friends in Tumwater for some help if you get stuck around Evergreen, I hear they never liked Capital anyway.

But, please consider the Deschutes River as a stopping point. We never meant you any harm. I mean, once you've taken the mall, what else is there?

Rossi thinks state workers would face retribution for talking to him

Rich Roesler over at Eye on Olympia notices the same weird language over at Tell Your Uncle Dino. From what he's saying on his new campaign website, it really does seem like Dino Rossi is thinking that the state government would come after any state employee that was associated (even in a small way) with his campaign.

Here's more information on the actual Whistleblower Program, which is run by the State Auditor's Office:
The law requires that whistleblower identities be kept confidential. It makes retaliation unlawful and provides remedies for retaliation. Reports of asserted retaliation are filed with the Washington State Human Rights Commission. The Commission will investigate the claim and take appropriate action. Civil penalties for retaliation may include a fine of up to $3,000 and suspension for 30 days without pay. At a minimum, a letter of reprimand is placed in the retaliator’s personnel file.
Does Dino think the auditor is doing a bad job? not working (also some possible technical issues)

For me, the most interesting part of Rossi's one hour old campaign is his try at transferring the fun loving nature of his Idea Bank to his new campaign.

Guess what everyone, you can email Dino Rossi. About anything! Anything that's on your mind, even if you're a state employee, just type in your concern, hit submit and Dino might even read what you wrote.

Before I get on to the technical fun of this post, I have to point out that the Rossi campaign is implying that by asking Dino something in public, a state employee can face retribution. Are they serious?
I know there are many state employees and others out there who prefer this approach – and I respect their feelings.
This attempt at passing off an email form as some direct connection to the candidate is already lame, but it also looks like the form itself isn't working. I've posted the entire code I pulled at 11:05 this morning below, but this is the interesting part:
<form id="form1" name="form1" method="post" action="">
From what I know about html code, if the "action" part is blank, the form doesn't do anything. You're literally sending your concerns to Dino into thin air. But, I could be wrong, so check out the code below and tell me if I'm wrong.

I hate probably not being right. My buddy with all the smarts just said the form "probably" works, as the form will just submit to itself (the homepage technically is

Anyone else want to chime in on this one?

our man from Mexico sent down to Tacoma

Larry LaRue writes about the technical aspects of Jorge Campillo being sent back to Tacoma. Only on paper, I assume Jorge is back home in Mexico right now.

Rhenda dives into the Olympian comments, does a pretty good job

I'm always impressed by elected officials who not only participate in comment threads, but stick with it, approach it maturely and get something good out of it.

The entire thread
is worth reading (start at the bottom), but here are some highlights.

Here is her eventual response to a line of questioning:
Yes, I have answers for Scott.

"Does this mean you are one of the ones who support the 50-100% tax increases on homes?"


"Does this mean that you support keeping people from dividing their land as they see fit?"

Yes. I support community planning. Cities like Olympia don't just happen. They are built by people who put a lot of effort into deciding what sort of development belongs where. The alternative to planning is not just the sort of sprawl you see in LA--which many people here cite as their nightmare planning scenario--the alternative is chaos that endangers not just our quality of life but our health and safety.

"Does this mean that you support halting most construction on private lands if there is a stream nearby that theoretically could contain a salmon?"

And, what her questioner had to say:

Thank you.
Rhenda took advantage of the comment thread not to engage in a pointless back and forth, but to answer the questions that were posed to her quickly and clearly. Its a good thing to participate in comment threads, its a bad thing to get wrapped around the axle. By jumping in she was able to knock down an untruth (that she's a member of Futurewise) and get another commenter to thank her (bonus points)..

I set up Rhenda's website for her, and she's been writing on her blog semi-regularly since then. No one has come by to comment (as far as I know). This gives me hope that after she's elected, Rhenda might use her blog as a platform for conversation with Olympia citizens.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Rhenda Iris Strub is a genius (vote for her)

This is not your average glossy political mailing. It was not expensive -- I printed it at home on top of my dining room table. It may not be fancy or colorful, but it is honest and thrifty, and those are the same values that I will take with me to the Olympia City Council.
For the past week or so I've been getting glossy fliers in the mail from local candidates. Nothing too out of the box, but I can imagine these candidate's campaign committees going through the motions a few months ago, figuring out how much money they have to spend on one last mailer before ballots go out.

Sweating out one trite sentence or another, while over here Rhenda sends out a localized (to Southeast Olympia) and informative piece. Not only is it super relevant to anyone around my neighborhood, but it shows that she knows what she's talking about and actually tells us what she thinks about traffic in SE Oly.

DISCLAMER: Oh yeah, I designed her website.