Saturday, May 31, 2008

Andrew on: Freedom of association and Top Two primary

Andrew from Redmond writes:

Listen, Sam, you and your best pals at the Grange created this big mess. You've opened the floodgates to confusion, mischief, and trickery by turning the primary into the first act of a general election where people can use the descriptor to say almost anything they like about themselves.

You have destroyed the integrity of our primary, which is supposed to enable grassroots participation - allowing a greater number of Washingtonians to join in the selection of the party nominees.

(he did the bolding)

So, if we want to allow "a great number of Washingtonians to join in the selection of party nominees," why did we hold a caucus for the presidential nominee?

Friday, May 30, 2008

re: Holy Crap! Don't forget to file for PCO (June 5 deadline)

A little rant related to the informational post below.

How long am I supposed to believe the grass-roots b.s. that we Democrats spew every so often to defend the archaic structure of our party?

Last year when I was arguing to allow for membership in our local party organization, more than one PCO argued that the position of Prescinct Committee Officer was sacrosanct because it was an "elected" position.

Well, bull-shit. PCOs elections may be in fact democratic, but in practice their little advertised and hardly anyone ever contests them.

There is absolutely no mention of the pending PCO deadline on the Washington Dems website. There's a button to become a "neighborhood leader," but nothing to do with actually becoming a legal boardmember in the state Democrats.

Why is this? I would assume because while PCOs and people elected by the PCOs would love to believe that the state party and our local organizations are the expressed will of the Democratic voter.

But because so few people actually participate in these elections, and so people encourage others to run for PCO, that there is very little turnover in PCOs.

It also probably doesn't help that PCO elections are held right in the middle of the partisan election season, when the really active people feel like they have better things to do.

And, yes, I'm plunking down by $1 next week at the county auditor's office to run again. I'm running because PCOs have legal powers not given to common party members. And, if I want to change this thing, I think I can best do it from the inside.

Plus, I hope someone runs against me. I'm in Oly 48, so if you live in that precinct, file and we can doorbell together and argue who would make the best PCO.

Holy Crap! Don't forget to file for PCO (June 5 deadline)

The deadline for Precinct Committee Officer election filing is just around the corner. Don't forget to file! The filing fee is only $1.

Each county has a different form, so here's all the ones I could find (I'll update as I find more):

Clallam County
Island County
King County
Kitsap County
Mason County
Pierce County
Thurston County

Oh, forget it. Here's the statewide declaration, which I hope works.

Here's a form at Washington Dems Chairs that WILL work, no matter where you are in the state.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Chuck Collins takes down his endorsement list

Not enough time to maintain a list, but enough time to take the list down.

After I pointed out that he didn't have tons of 2nd LD people on his endorsement list, Collins' list disappears from the internet. I swear it was there a day ago, but now its gone.

I seriously should have taken a screen shot so you didn't have to take my word for it.

Oh well, he does have a myspace page.

Ok, and just to be clear, I'm not trying to attack this guy because I don't like him or because I support someone else for this race. I just think this is weird.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Only one person from the 2nd LD has endorsed Chuck Collins

Chuck Collins may get away with the "I'm not a carpet-bagger" line long enough to make it through the primary, but I don't think he'll be a very strong candidate in the general.

For example, his endorsement list (pretty short as it is) only includes one person who lives inside the 2nd LD. Mayor Pro-Tem of Mill Creek?

If you look up his endorsement list on the state voter database (I don't like the source either, but the data is accurate), only one ends up actually living in the 2nd LD.

Now, I'm all for recruiting strong candidates. And, I'm not totally against people moving with the eye of running for office some day down the road.

But, come on. Chuck is moving to Yelm simply to run for office.

Its interesting to note that LD 2 already has a couple of Democratic candidates for that same position. One of whom criticized the state party apparatus for not sending resources down south:

District 2 is known as the “abandoned child” of the State, and it is about time someone has the courage to say so, and declare, “We deserve considerably more attention, respect, and funding!”

If the current popular consensus is that District 2, a rural district, is not that important, I would say, “Where do you think the food you are going to eat for your dinner came from? I will tell you, ‘It came from a farm or a ranch!’”

I am committed to success for District 2, and hold a strong focus for the creation of jobs, protecting the environment, pursuing alternative energy resources, encouraging economic vitality for our farmers, supporting our educators and schools, and requiring accountability for our taxpayers’ dollars.

MLS Map at Bigsoccer

I've had some thoughts about t.v., MLS and the nature of the league. So, I thought the best place to share it was Big Soccer.

Let's see what they think. Click through. just to see the map though.

New book: Rogues Buffoons and Statesmen (best history of Olympia)

Rogues, Buffoons and Statesmen:

Truly, the best book about Olympia and maybe Washington politics through the 1970s. Its a shame that no one has taken up the task of updating this book (or writing a sequel).

Generally speaking, the books tells the story of Olympia from main street and the Capitol. Gordon was an old time newspaper guy in Olympia, so he had great background for both Olympia scenes. He also lived early enough in Olympia's history that the really old stuff really wasn't that old to him. It is oft-referred to, but seldom seen. There are only six copies in the Timberland system, a few of which don't circulate.

So, the best thing I can say about getting this book now is that I bought it so cheaply. I have seen this book for sale for $150 before, and I got it online (from Tacoma Goodwill) for $9!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Cheryl Crist on the nominating convention

Via email:

Here's a report on the nominating convention for the 3rd CD Democrats:

It was handled fairly professionally. Some of the speakers who were asked to say a few words of welcome were wearing Baird stickers on their chests and one of them was Paul Barendt, who later did the speech for Brian. So, that appeared to have been an advantage to Brian. Brian wasn't there...he's in the Middle East again.

Dwight led the meeting and it went smoothly. We were allowed to have two observers watch the ballot counting. One was Robert Martindale and he said sometimes things went too fast for him to really see what was happening. But in general, it looked like a fair process.

Many PCO's that I thought would be there for me stayed away or didn't find their way to the right room. The nominating convention was not held in the gymnasium as was indicated on the postcard that some PCO's received. I did not receive one (I have been a PCO since January) and neither did Chris Sterns and other progressives. I know nothing about how it was determined who would be invited by postcard.

Here is the result we were given: PCO's who voted: 83. Votes for Baird: 59 Votes for Crist: 24 The weighted total was 422 to 115.

I feel pretty good about it. It means that 29% of voting PCO's chose me after just four months of campaigning.

The process is flawed in that no mail vote was allowed or e-mail vote. To have to travel there from Skamania County or Pacific and Wahkiakum Counties was a hardship for some PCO's especially those who are older or frail. I would suggest a notarized ballot by mail be used in the future, if we do this again.

I feel like we are learning a lot. That was good practice for me at speaking in front of a crowd, even though it wasn't the big 3rd CD was just the PCO's who knew to go to the library. During that half hour I don't know what was going on in the gymnasium where the 3rd CD delegates were meeting.

It's okay with me for you to share this report with anyone who is interested. Thank you for all you do!

Peace and friendship,


Saturday, May 17, 2008

Baird is the nominee, Crist not (from what I hear)

59 votes for Baird, 24 for Crist. Not a blowout, but not an uprising either.

Now, just saying that out of a district with a population of almost 700,000, less than 100 people get to "decide" who the congressional nominee will be for a major party? Hardly the voice of the people here. Just saying.

Well, that's over.

Here's some background reading:
Cosmo's Condo: Throwing Baird Out

Dkos: Brian Baird could lose the Democratic endorsement in Napavine tomorrow

Olyblog: 3rd District (WA) Democratic Nominating Convention - Napavine
OT: Cheryl Crist making a run at Rep. Brian Baird at 3rd CD nominating convention
OT: Letter from Cheryl Crist to PCOs (nominate me, please)
OT: They kicked the PCOs out of the nominating convention/caucus?

James Yee, former Gitmo chaplain, is a national delegate for Sen. Obama

Yup, so far the biggest new I've heard today, James Yee is heading to Denver:

In the 9th CD, Zach Smith was elected as a Clinton delegate, and James Yee as an Obama delegate.

And, from Yee:

Next, I am extremely humbled by the support everyone in the 9th Congressional District showed me today. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! - to all those who voted for me, and for sending me to Denver. It is an honor to be reprenting our 9th Congressional District and all of you at the national convention. You all have inspired me beyond words.

They kicked the PCOs out of the nominating convention/caucus?


I don't know the results, as they kicked us out, and although people said that they were told they were going to take them back to count them, they did in fact get two supporters from each side to help tally the vote. After the tally started, Dwight told the PCOs to leave (I've got more video I'm processing) so the tally committee could count the votes. I wish I could have stayed, but now I'm also frantically searching for some indication of the results. . .

I assumed Cosmo or someone else who attended the nominating convention in Napavine would have reported the result by now, but who the hell knows.

If they're going to kick PCOs out of the caucus before they announce the "nominee" what is the point of having these votes in the first place?

So, who knows if Brian Baird is the nominee of the party? Cheryl might have actually pulled it off.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Works in Progress not cluetrain

Explaining why they late a lame story hit the press:
WIP doesn't publish material to its website throughout the month -- although sometimes we do correct mistakes that went out in the print issue. Typically, the website reflects what we run in print that month. Other people may have an interest in making WIP more of an online publication, but personally, I think it would probably turn into a situation where the staff spent all their free time fending off attacks from the SondraK's of the world. Not my cup of tea.
That people disagree with other people is... well obvious.

Also obvious is that just putting up stories more than once a month to reflect what is in the print edition, doesn't mean you have to accept comments. You just have to post every time you have something new.

But, even if you did accept comments, you could have a standard of behavior to keep away the trolls. In the end, the people that disagreed with you would just be the ones that did it nicely.

Would that be ok?

I'm just thinking that its good to break down walls and have conversations. Maybe the folks that read WIP need to talk to the folks over at SonkraK. Both are just about as close as you can get to the chorus singing to the chorus in Olympia, and that doesn't exactly encourage critical thinking.

Letter from Cheryl Crist to PCOs (nominate me, please)

As referenced here, Cheryl Crist is asking PCOs in Washington's 3rd CD to nominate her.

Read this doc on Scribd: Cheryl Crist letter to 3rd CD PCOs

Yeah! Ken Balsley's on the internet!


Ken is awesome, and not because I agree with him. Actually, he's about as opposite as I get. But, in addition to his KGY commentaries (which I never hear anymore because I'm never in the car when they're on), he's doing a blog.

Great stuff like this:

To really understand the answer to that question we have to go back to World War II and the Olympia Airport. During WW2 army military pilots used to train at the Olympia Airport and flew scouting missions out over the Pacific looking for Japanese sumarines and planes.

Across the street from the Olympia Airport sat the Airport Inn, a typical Northwest tavern. It was here that pilots, when off duty, would hang out and it was at the Airport Inn where local boys also found time to lift a beer or two.

One evening the two groups met, exchanged words (no one is certain over what but is was suggested a girl was involved) and a fight broke out. Nearly two dozen people were involved.

After investigating the incident, the military commander at Ft. Lewis put Thurston County off-limits. And it remained off limits for decades.

Soliders arriving at Ft. Lewis were told to look in Pierce County for housing and to stay away from Thurston County. And they did. For all of the 1950’s and most of the 1960’s it was rare, extremely rare, to see military uniforms anywhere in Thurston County.

And stupid stuff like this:

Why do we need to allow “Tent Cities” in Lacey anyway? There seem to be plenty of churches and organizations in Tumwater and Olympia which want to provide this service. I don’t think it’s necessary that Lacey join the fray. It also seems to me that the recent Lacey City Council’s 4-3 vote on requiring churches to keep homeless populations inside was just an excuse for banning homeless encampments. A good one, if you ask me.
(Answer: because freedom of religion is for everyone, everywhere).

But, he's blogging, so: Freakin' Yeah!

Did Jon Halvorson scrub Judy Wilson from his website?

Before Judy Wilson decided she was going to run for Thurston County Commission again Jon Halvorson had her endorsement listed proudly on his website. Makes sense, right? Former Republican county commissioner, she brings both experience and cross-party cred to his endorsment list.

One of Halvorson's selling points is that he's endorsed by a lot of county level pols, including at one point (more later) Judy Wilson, a former county commissioner. The question was, now that Judy is running, would he endorse her back, pitting himself against sitting Democratic commissioner Cathy Wolfe?

Looks like that problem has cleaned itself up as Halvorson has scrubbed Wilson from his website.

Check out his new endorsement list here and check out the old list, archived here and screen shot below:

Monday, May 12, 2008

Cheryl Crist making a run at Rep. Brian Baird at 3rd CD nominating convention

Can you imagine a world where a sitting six term Congressman doesn't get the nomination of his party without shooting someone? Rep. Brian Baird could lose his party's official nod if he doesn't turn out the troops to Napavine High School on Saturday, May 17.

His opponent, peace candidate Cheryl Crist wrote letters to the Precinct Committee Officers (I'll scan the letter I got tomorrow) in the 3rd CD asking for their support during the upcoming nominating convention. The letters came a day before the state party's official notification

These nominating conventions are a new addition to the state's political scene and are part of the state party's reaction to a legal battle over the state primary election system. They don't like being told who is going to end up on the general election ballot, so are holding conventions to express the will of the party.

The problem (or from Crist's point of view, the benefit) of the nominating conventions is that they express the will of a handful of PCOs, not the Democratic voting public in general. I expect Crist to get a good portion of the vote next Saturday, if not win the nomination all-together.

Recently, Baird has had a good track record of turning large anti-war crowds that are against his decision to support the Surge:

If the PCOs that can turnout to a rural high school on short notice are still anti-Baird, its likely that he won't get the official party nod this time around.

Friday, May 09, 2008

What's with the quote marks comrade?

I was going to post this on Olyblog, but Sarah beat me to it.

Skelly over at the local public defender blog points to the apparent disrespect in the anarchist-activist-rock-thrower community to public defenders:

danny might be able to get a 'public defender', but there will still be major costs associated with the trial...

If he qualifies for the p.d., what major costs would those be? And what's with the quotation marks, 'comrades'?

Well, as ramblini points out over at OB, Anarchists and Socialists (statists) don't really like each other. I guess as public defenders are an extension of the state, an anarchist wouldn't really like them.

Dave Reichert doesn't like your mom

Dave Reichert, along with the rest of the Washington Republican congressional delegation, voted against Mothers Day.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Orting News in the Seattle Times

Jerry Large:

The Orting News had attracted more than 14,000 subscribers by its third week. Subscribers get an e-mail of its headlines, which reminds them to look at the site and the ads it carries. Subscribers don't pay, but advertisers do.

The biggest story so far was an attempted abduction. Two strangers offered a fourth-grader candy to get into their car, but she didn't do it.

Without the News, Carr says, the local school would have had no way to get word to the community quickly.

The problem with Large's analysis of the Orting News is that it "isn't journalism" and that a similar model, built on trust between neighbors, wouldn't work in a big city setting.

Isn't journalism? Apparently, only a group of poorly paid professionals can do journalism. If citizens try to ask the same questions that journalists would ask, they aren't journalists, but journalers. Large should worry less about professionalism and more about being earnest. Unpros can do journalism, its just harder to conceive that they would.

Also, a set-up like the Orting News would very much work in a big city setting, it would need to be boiled down to a neighborhood level. And, the email back type accountability at the Orting News would actually help build the small town type connections that the Orting News is thriving on.

Living and writing on the east coast? Don't bother with salmon

Gene Mueller in the Washington Times:

All this began when the National Marine Fishery Service (NMFS) agreed chinook salmon off the California and Oregon coast were available only in small fractions of their former number. A population crash was occurring, and the NMFS closed the commercial and recreational fishing for chinooks. Then the Pacific Fishery Management Council, realizing something similar had happened to king salmon, recommended the same for the famous pink fish.

(emphasis mine)

If you're wondering what I'm trying to point out, chinook and king are the same fish.

"You would think moonies would know their salmon," said a co-worker.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

LDs rebel and another party thought

Amen brothers:

The 36th District Executive board met last Thursday and decided that the use of a handful of PCOs, some of whom were appointed, was too undemocratic a way to choose a party nominee when there were so many thousands of people interested in the political process this cycle.

Interesting note on the role of parties:

And state law does not allow nominations or endorsements by interest groups, political action committees, political parties, labor unions, editorial boards or other private organizations to be printed on the ballot.
Up until now, political parties have served a quasi-public role in elections. While they were private organizations with free association rights, the nominees that they chose appeared on the general election ballot. But, now the secretary of state has put them with other private organizations that are involved in elections.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Washington State DOT does not use forced labor

I wonder whyyyyyyy Washington State can't get such a good deal on construction projects as the People's Republic of China?? It is simply baffling.

At least to
Can someone explain why China can build a 6-lane, 22 mile bridge for $1.7 billion, but Washington leaders can't build a 6-lane 520 span between 405 and I-5 for less than $4 billion?
I'm just going to assume that a Chinese concrete guy doesn't make nearly as much, or enjoy the same labor protections, as a union concrete guy from Burien.

From “One Year of My Blood” Exploitation of Migrant Construction Workers in Beijing:

Once hired, the lives of migrant construction workers, like those of most migrant workers in Beijing, become closely tied to their employer. Employers generally house construction workers in dormitory-style dwellings on the construction site or nearby and provide meals for the workers at food canteens in exchange for a daily wage deduction of seven to 10 Yuan (US$0.93 to US$1.33). The majority of the workers we interviewed complained that the quantity and quality of the food provided by their employers was inadequate to sustain them for their daily long hours of hard physical labor.
And a press release on the report:

“[We] workers ended up with less than 20 Yuan (US$2.67) per day, and on top of that we’d be deducted eight Yuan (US$1.07) per day for living costs; how are workers supposed to survive [on such low wages]?”
That's the ticket to our state's transportation problem!