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General Election 2008

I-985: I’m voting Yes, with reservations. This initiative is very far from perfect, but it does have some good ideas. The legislature has shown itself very willing to modify and even overwrite laws passed by initiative, so the doom-and-gloom scenarios of the opponents don’t make any sense to me. Anything terribly wrong with the law will get fixed, and hopefully the things that are right will stick around.

Some of my favorite things about the law:

  • Requires toll funds to be used in the vicinity where the tolls are collected
  • Opens HOV lanes during non-peak hours

Some of my least favorite things:

  • Poorly defined non-peak hours
  • Forces some local jurisdictions to spend money

I-1000: I’m voting Yes. Helping competent adults makes decisions they want to make should not be illegal.

I-1029: I’m voting No. It just adds bureacracy and rules; we already have too much and too many of each.

King County Charter Amendment No. 1: Both sides of this issue have merit. Certainly an elections director needs specific, technical knowledge about running an election, but it also seems ripe for corruption to have an elections director appointed by a partisan elected official, especially in the one-party county we live in. I feel that there is a higher risk that an unqualified person will be elected than appointed, and until corruption becomes more nakedly rampant than it already is, I think that this is a risk not worth taking at this time. Perhaps, as the proponents of the amendment point out, the auditor-less King County should gain an elected auditor rather than an elected director of elections. I am voting No.

King County Charter Amendment No. 2: I think that people should be allowed to discriminate based on whatever they wish; furthermore, I think that you and I should be able to discriminate right back against them. I disagree with legislating this kind of thing, so I am voting No.

King County Charter Amendment No. 3: I’m voting No. Most people will vote yes. Baaah.

King County Charter Amendment No. 4: I’m vehemently voting No. Politicians setting up rules for who can and can not run for elected office is a perfect recipe for government that is not under the control of its people.

King County Charter Amendment No. 5: I’m voting Yes, as will most others. It seems to me that having  economic input to elected officials should help them make their poor decisions in a more informed manner, if nothing else.

King County Charter Amendment No. 6: I’m voting No. Forty-five days is a plenty long time to review the budget for how large King County should be. Instead, the county has up and exploded in scope and size, and now they are crying about not having enough time to review their mamoth budget. Here’s a novell idea: cut the budget down, return money to your constituents, and kill two birds with one stone.

King County Charter Amendment No. 7: I’m voting No. Decreasing initiative access to the ballot doesn’t help anything except entrenched politicians.

King County Charter Amendment No. 8: Again, I see both sides of this issue. More information about candidates is good, but we have become so entrenched in one-party politics in this county that party affiliation doesn’t really give us additional information. I would like to try nonpartisanship on for size, and see where it goes, so I am going to vote Yes.

President and Vice President of the United States: Not that it matter who I vote for in this state, but I have chosen to vote for Libertarians Bob Barr and Wayne Root. If my one vote would have sent McCain to the White House, then I guess maybe he shouldn’t have been so flaming liberal throughout this campaign.

United States Representitives Congressional District No. 8: I’m voting for Dave Reichert. Fiscally conservative, socially laissez-faire, and just green enough to stay elected. His opponent Darcy Burner has impressive credentials but misguided political ideas.

Governor: I’m voting for Dino Rossi. In addition to aligning more closely with my political beliefs than Gregoire, his special interest seems to be the construction lobby, which is a heck of a lot better than the SEIU or WEA, which have the current governor in their pocket. Also, I think it is worthwhile to shake up government once in a while to see what happens. Perhaps Dino is a real leader who really will fix problems like transportation and draconian health care mandates. Certainly Gregoire hasn’t accomplished anything in either regard in her four years.

Lieutenant Governor: Marcia McCraw. A mostly meaningless position, it would still be good to get some fresh ideas and perspective into the office. Think about it: what has Brad Owen done recently?

Secretary of State: I’m a little skeptical of electing a Democrat to replace moderate-as-all-get-out Republican Sam Reed, who has done a mostly competent if forgettable job if we are to ignore the gubernatorial election debacle of four years ago. His opponent, democrat Jason Osgood is untested, but has technincal skills, innovative ideas, and an independent streak, all of which I are worth exploring, so I am voting for him.

State Tresurer: I think it is worth mentioning that the outgoing state tresurer, democrat Mike Murphy, endorsed his assistant, republican Allan Martin. That should raise some eyebrows, as should the fact that his opponent, Jim McIntire, is endorsed only by party-line democrats. Allan Martin already knows what the job requires, is able to do it, and will provide some semblance of counterbalance to the state’s heavy democrat majorities elsewhere.

Attorney General: This is an easy vote for Rob McKenna, who has proven himself extraordinarily competent and fair, avoiding any of the fiascos that plagued Gregoire especially towards the end of her tenure in the office. Rob McKenna is also a leading hope for the Washington Republican Party into the future.

Commissioner of Public Lands: Republican Doug Sutherland has done a good job making the office more efficient while acting as a good steward of Washington’s public lands. He deserves re-election.

Superintendent of Public Instruction: I had the chance to meet incumbant Terry Bergeson at the FIRST Robotics Regional in March this year, where I in my role as a FIRST ambassador escorted her around the competition. While she enthusiastically cheered on the robots, it’s her policies that have failed to significantly improve Washington’s public education system. While her opponent doesn’t really get the full picture either*, Randy Dorn will bring a fresh face to bear on the issues and I think that will help get the ball moving again, for better or for worse.

Insurance Commissioner: Ever wonder why there are so many more options for car insurance than health insurance in Washington State? The insurance commissioner is a big part of the answer. There are a relatively few restrictions on what kind of car insurance plans can be offered in Washington State. The result is a large array of choices, which keeps competition for your dollars high, which keeps costs low. On the other hand, any company wishing to offer health insurance in this state has a long list of criteria they must meet. The result is fewer choices, all of which are more expensive than a more limited plan that covers less could be. The incumbant, Democrat Mike Kreidler has done nothing to improve this situation. His opponent, John Adams, has an independent insurance background and has listed opening up the health insurance market as a top priority. John Adams gets my vote.

Legislative District No. 41 —

State Senator: A traditional limited-government republican, Bob Baker is an easy choice over democrat Fred Jarrett who helped Gregoire get hundreds of millions of new taxes.

Representitive Position No. 1: Centrist republican Steve Lizow is a moderately better choice than Marcie Maxwell.

City of Bellevue Proposition No. 1 Levy for City Parks and Natural Areas: I’m voting Yes.

Sound Transit Proposition No. 1 Mass Transit Expansion: Every time I hear of Sound Transit’s newest initiative, I always think “You’re doing it wrong!” No exception here*. I’m voting No.

* The correct answers are 1) voucher schools and 2) congestion tolls on all roadways.

2 Responses to “General Election 2008”

  1. Erik Says:

    I tend to disagree with you on many issues. However, if you don’t mind, I would like to call you up before next election to hear what you have to say, because I thought a lot of your votes were quite insightful.

  2. Spencer Bliven Says:

    I don’t understand the argument for opening HOV lanes. As I see it, its a very expensive change that won’t do anything to improve congestion. During off-peak hours, traffic is either 1) not congested, in which case opening a new lane is not necessary or 2) congested, in which case the standard arguments for having HOV lanes at all are in effect: they provide motivation for carpooling/busing and also leave room for emergency vehicles. It seems like you should either do away with HOV lanes all together or accept them all the time.

    I guess it’s moot now, since voting’s over.

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