by Will, 08/31/2007, 5:37 PM

The Sierra Club is suing for the chance to attack the Roads and Transit in this fall’s Voters’ Guide. They’re unhappy that anti-transit guys Kemper Freeman Jr. and others are behind the wheel on the “No” campaign.

My question: “Did you even ask to be on the voter statement during the public process?”

I don’t think it was on their radar. Other groups have been bird dogging RTID since the Sen. Jim Horn era. The Sierra Club is just late to the dance.

I don’t like the Voters’ Guide idea in the first place. Who’s the official “Yes” side, and who’s the “No” side, and who decides? The Sierra Club doesn’t want the “No” campaign to be dominated by road guys. Does that mean that John Stanton, Reagan Dunn, and Shawn Bunney are going to split from the “pro” campaign so that they can tell their side of the story? After all, these guys could give a rip about light rail. Do they sue to give their reasons why Roads and Transit is awesome? It’s ridiculous. These sort of measures probably shouldn’t be included in the Voters’ Guide in the first place.

by Lee, 08/31/2007, 1:42 PM

And to kick off the weekend in style, I give you the Inaugural Marvin Stamn Highlight Reel.

by Goldy, 08/31/2007, 10:53 AM

The Seattle Times calls for Idaho Sen. Larry Craig to resign, and I couldn’t disagree more:

Craig could stand for election next year, and be slaughtered at the polls. That would be grossly unfair to his Republican Party.

Actually, a doomed Craig campaign is exactly what his Republican Party deserves. Craig’s sexuality has long been Idaho’s worst kept political secret, and yet he and his party continued to present him as a “family values” candidate, a champion of the divisive, anti-gay, uniquely Republican jihad that actually perpetuates the restroom cruising culture that ultimately brought him down. As Dan Savage points out over on Slog, “The overwhelming majority of men cruising toilets .. are desperate, pathetic closet cases.” You know, desperate, pathetic closet cases like Sen. Craig.

Think about it. I find it a little gross to even pee in the typical mens room, let alone have sex in one. Regardless of sexual preference, how much shame and self-loathing must a man have to sit down in the filthy, stinking stall of a public restroom, and get turned on by the thought of the stranger taking a dump in the stall next to you?

So hang in there Sen. Craig. By firmly standing your ground and refusing to resign, you will finally give Idaho the kind of US Senator it deserves. A Democrat.

UPDATE:
Just listen to Craig get all hot for that “naughty, naughty” Bill Clinton:

by Goldy, 08/30/2007, 10:46 PM

See, this is why we need to repeal the estate tax.

by Goldy, 08/30/2007, 12:12 PM

A couple years ago I first snagged an invite to one of those parties where the political and media hoity-toity hang out together over booze and barbecue. I knew of most of the folks there, but knew few of them personally; I was just some blogger and well, I just kinda felt out of place. So I grabbed myself a plate, a beer and a chair, and fell into a long and ranging conversation with a nice, somewhat grandmotherly woman camped out at the kitchen table. I found her easy to talk to and endlessly interesting, but there seemed to be an awful lot of VIPs milling about, waiting to make their hellos, so I moved on.

“I see you met Karen,” one of the hosts said to me later, pointing back at the table where she appeared to be holding court. “Karen who?” I replied. My host looked at me like I was some country bumpkin. “Karen Marchioro,” he said, “… the most powerful woman in the state.”

I have no idea if Karen knew who I was, but I was certainly clueless about her. The name didn’t even ring a bell. I guess I was a country bumpkin.

As Washington State Democratic Party chair from 1981 to 1992, and until her death this morning from cancer, Karen Marchioro helped reshape the party into the powerhouse it has become today. She was 73.

by Goldy, 08/30/2007, 10:41 AM

Secretary of State Sam Reed has issued a press release comparing voter turnout rates throughout the state in WA’s first ever August primary, and well, it really doesn’t contain any surprises.

The 2007 State Primary demonstrates that the people of Washington prefer to vote at home.

Among the poll-site counties of King, Kittitas, and Pierce, the projected overall turnout is 25%. Turnout in the state’s two largest counties, King and Pierce, was driven down by poll voters. Combined turnout for poll voters in King and Pierce is expected to reach only 8%, while combined turnout for those voting by mail is likely to reach 33%.

“When voters receive their ballots at their homes, they are more likely to vote,” said Handy. “The 25% turnout difference between poll voters and vote-by-mail voters in King and Pierce really underscores why counties in Washington are moving to vote-by-mail.”

It also underscores why many Republicans, like our good friend Stefan, adamantly oppose King County’s proposed move to all vote-by-mail, as the status quo clearly gives Republicans a demonstrable advantage in statewide elections by depressing the turnout in the state’s most populous and Democratic county. And they seem totally unconcerned by the hypocrisy of bemoaning King’s status as the only county without an elected elections director, at the same time they fight tooth and nail to make it the only county without all vote-by-mail.

I’m guessing there might be a Republican-championed election reform whose goal or effect hasn’t been to depress or even suppress the vote, but none immediately comes to mind.

by Goldy, 08/30/2007, 7:04 AM

“My original goal was to … to spare my wife and son the embarrassment of having this ridiculous story get wider dissemination.”
Stefan Sharkansky, 8/28/07

Yeah, sure. And what better way to prevent wider dissemination of an obscure post on an obscure website than to splash it all over the front page of the most widely read political blog in the state? How’s that working out for you Stefan?

Apparently, not so well.

by Will, 08/30/2007, 12:33 AM

Downtown Seattle is getting a grocery store:

As downtown Seattle’s residential population swells, plans are in place to build one of the few full-size grocery stores ever to serve that area.

The Kress IGA Supermarket, at 1423 Third Ave., will occupy the 18,000-square-foot basement of the building that for more than 50 years housed department store S.H. Kress & Co.

The building’s owners, brothers Don and Paul Etsekson, have signed a 35-year lease with Whidbey Island-based Myers Group to run the store, which is set to open by February. Construction permits for the $2 million renovation are expected within a month.

Tearing out a maze of mesh walls now dividing the floor into rented document-storage areas will begin before that, said Tyler Myers, vice president of Myers Group.

The store is intended to serve not only the increasing number of nearby condo and apartment residents, but also workers in the area and passers-by.

About time. About effin’ time. For downtown area residents, grocery choices are slim. There’s Whole Foods (too expensive), Pike Place Market (closes by 6pm every day), Dan’s Belltown Grocery (ok if you’re a AIS student, but I rarely shop there), Ralph’s (too fancy, expensive). A good grocery store can really tie a neighborhood together. The big boys, like Safeway and QFC, are too chicken to go downtown. They have stores in Uptown (Lower Queen Anne) and Broadway, but that’s a hike, especially if you’re in need of just a few items.

by Lee, 08/29/2007, 9:04 PM

Daniel K suggested that I do the EffU thing on the President’s Bellevue speech. Here it is.

by Lee, 08/29/2007, 1:08 PM

Ezra Klein:

One other bit of McMegan’s post that bugged me was her elevation of single-payer as goal in and of itself, as if what interests reformers isn’t the health of the populace or the sustainability of the system but the aesthetics of the financing structure. “Look at that funding mechanism,” we’ll one day whisper in awe. “It’s just so redistributive.”

You get this occasionally from libertarians, and it’s always struck me as an availability bias error: Because the shrinkage of government is an end unto itself for them, they assume the expansion of government is an en unto itself for liberals. Liberals are just libertarians, but backwards, and without the “rtarian.”

That, however, isn’t true. Liberals want greater public involvement in health care because they’ve concluded the profit incentive doesn’t create optimal outcomes in this particular case. You can’t comparison shop during a myocardial infraction. You can’t walk away from the table while on a gurney. You don’t want to be in the position of second-guessing your doctors. You don’t want your neighbors going bankrupt because they failed to adequately save in their HSAs, not suspecting they’d get cancer at 32.

Health care isn’t like flat screen televisions — if I don’t have the former, I can die. If I lack the latter, I’ll be watching Entourage in slightly lower definition. On the other hand, I really wouldn’t want the government taking over the provision of flat screen televisions, as there the market works pretty damn well. The relevant variable isn’t the economic theory, but the good in question.

by Goldy, 08/29/2007, 12:10 AM

What she said.

by Goldy, 08/28/2007, 3:31 PM

The Seattle chapter of Drinking Liberally meets tonight (and every Tuesday), 8PM at the Montlake Ale House, 2307 24th Avenue E. If Jane Hague shows up, the drinks are on me.

Not in Seattle? Liberals will also be drinking tonight in the Tri-Cities. A full listing of Washington’s eleven Drinking Liberally chapters is available here.

by Goldy, 08/28/2007, 10:56 AM

Oops.

King County Councilwoman Jane Hague has been hit with a new problem that, like her recently revealed drunken-driving charge, could be damaging politically as well as financially.

The staff of the state Public Disclosure Commission, in an administrative complaint Friday, accused her of multiple violations of campaign-finance laws.

It said the Bellevue Republican was late, sometimes by more than 13 months, in filing numerous reports of campaign contributions, expenditures and bank deposits; failed to disclose occupations and other required information about contributors; and accepted contributions in excess of the allowable limit of $700 from eight donors.

The complaint said Hague also violated laws governing surplus funds accounts, which are strictly regulated accounts for leftover campaign funds. It said she illegally filed several expenditure and fund-transfer reports late, some by as much as 15 months, and reimbursed herself for expenses — including campaign contributions to other politicians — for which surplus funds can’t be used.

The charges arose from and largely affirmed a voluminous complaint filed against the veteran politician by her election opponent, Richard Pope, a lawyer and perennial candidate who is running as a Democrat but without Democratic Party support.

He has brought successful public-disclosure complaints against previous election opponents but has never won an election.

And when our friend Richard Pope loses this election, I suggest the PDC hire him as an independent investigator to look for all the disclosure scofflaws the PDC doesn’t currently look for. He could probably make a good living just off commissions from the fines. That is, if he loses this election. At some point voters may just grow so fed up with this shit, they’ll throw Hague out of office regardless of her opponent.

And when she was arrested on the drunken-driving charge in Bellevue on June 2 — in an incident that wasn’t publicly known until Aug. 21, — an obscenity-spewing Hague reportedly blamed the arrest on her husband, Ed Springman. He was a passenger in her Mercedes convertible.

A state trooper said in a written report that Hague, 61, “became irate and (used) expletives” and “said it was her husband’s fault that she was in the back of a patrol car and being treated like a criminal, and her husband would have to find the best attorney” for her.

When the officer suggested she could speak to a public defender if her husband — a wealthy Eastside developer — couldn’t find her one, Hague reportedly “stated she would not talk to any second-rate attorney.”

A separate report written by a county sheriff’s deputy who arrested her said she declared in a slurred voice that he was wasting his time. He said she exclaimed, “This is fucking ridiculous, don’t you have rapists to take off the street?”

After she failed several roadside sobriety tests and the deputy transferred custody of the handcuffed councilwoman to the state trooper, the deputy’s report said she complained, “This is fucking ridiculous, I don’t need handcuffs.”

Too bad no quality Dem had the balls to file for this race. It would be a gimme.

On a curious side note, my good friend Stefan (fondly known by his pals at the local diner as “Mr. Pink“) has apparently been too busy defending his honor to read the papers, for I haven’t seen (u)SP mention Hague’s DUI even once. Odd for a blog that describes itself as a “sound commentary on current events in Seattle, Puget Sound and Washington State,” especially considering his hard stance on drunk driving, repeatedly mentioning state Supreme Court Justice Bobbe Bridge’s DUI, calling her a “drunken embarrassment,” and tenuously using the incident to attack Chief Justice Gerry Alexander.

Hmm.

by Goldy, 08/27/2007, 11:40 PM

reichertbush2.jpg

by Lee, 08/27/2007, 7:39 PM

Now that Idaho Senator Larry Craig has finally been discovered hiding in his closet, it’s becoming more and more obvious that there’s a segment of the Republican Party whose main motivation in politics appears to be making laws that are an attempt to keep themselves from their particular dysfunctional behaviors. We saw it with Mark Foley, who actually introduced legislation to punish the kind of behavior he engaged in. And strongly anti-gay Republicans like Ed Schrock and Jim West have supported and even pushed anti-gay legislation as they sat quietly in their closets.

As David Kurtz points out here, a website for the Idaho Values Alliance contains a remarkably familiar warning about what homosexuals do underneath a picture of family values champion Senator Craig (emphasis mine):

One of the tragic characteristics of the homosexual lifestyle is its emphasis on anonymous sex and multiple sexual partners. It is a little-acknowledged secret that many active homosexuals will have more than 1,000 sex partners over the course of a lifetime (the average among heterosexuals is seven – still six more than we were designed for). This sordid fact of homosexual life surfaced yesterday in an AP article yesterday that reports on the number of arrests police have made for indecent exposure and public sex acts in the restrooms at Atlanta’s airport, the busiest in the world. The increased restroom patrols, begun to apprehend luggage thieves, instead uncovered a rash of sex crimes. Airport restrooms have become so popular that men looking for anonymous sexual trysts with other men have advertised their airport availability on Craigslist. One such ad was from a man saying he was stuck at the airport for three hours and was looking for “discreet, quick action.”

You just can’t make this stuff up.

by Goldy, 08/27/2007, 1:27 PM

I’m heading off to Darcy Burner’s “Send a Message” Virtual Town Hall on Iraq, and this is the kind of performance I don’t expect to see:

Go to www.darcyburner.com at 3PM PST today and tune in to a real leader conducting a real forum on dealing with the mess in Iraq. And while you’re there, please put your money where your heart is. We’re only about $7,000 short of our ambitious $100,000 goal, but we’re trying to reach 3000 Act Blue donations by the end of the day.

So please do your part by joining 114 other HA readers in sending the message to Republican incumbents nationwide that they will not profit by toeing the Bush line on Iraq. Just five or ten bucks speaks volumes.

Help Darcy Burn Bush: $
by Goldy, 08/27/2007, 7:45 AM

I was wrong. The big story today will be the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. The question is, will Bush attempt to make a recess appointment? Can’t imagine he’d want to appoint anybody the Senate would want to confirm.

by Goldy, 08/27/2007, 6:13 AM

The big story today will be President Bush’s $10,000/person Bellevue fundraiser for Rep. Dave Reichert, but the real story behind the big story probably won’t make it onto the evening news or into the next morning’s headlines. Oh, you’ll see the usual pictures of rich folk lining up for a few seconds with the president, while protesters wave banners outside in a carefully quarantined “free speech zone.” And of course, there will be the traffic. Lots of traffic. But the real news will be taking place a few blocks down the street in a small conference room at the Westin, where Darcy Burner will be breaking new ground in the realm of electronic campaigning.

You’d think maybe, in one of the most tech-savvy regions of the nation, our media might recognize history in the making when they see it. But no, our newspapers, TV and radio have all but ignored the extraordinary new standards Burner is setting with her virtual town hall and the netroots fundraising drive that has organized around it.

Displaying the vision, leadership, boldness and technical expertise that have made her a netroots favorite, Darcy and her staff have used Bush’s visit as an opportunity to send a message on Iraq by creating an innovative “virtual town hall,” and attracting participants of national stature like Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton and Ambassador Joe Wilson.

Meanwhile, the netroots have seized on Darcy’s efforts, organizing around them an unprecedented $100,000 online fundraising drive intended to send a message of our own, that Republican incumbents won’t prosper by toeing the Bush line on Iraq. You will not find a single member of the political establishment who thought we had a snowball’s chance of coming anywhere near our goal, but in the first three days of the drive we have raised over $75,000 from over 2000 donors. Over a weekend. In August. Fourteen months out from the election.

If that’s not breaking new ground, I don’t know what is. And still, our local media refuses to take notice, even as history is being made in their own backyard. Go figure.

Well, somebody will notice… some national journalist will read the headlines at Daily Kos or Atrios today and scoop the Times and the P-I by recognizing that something special is unfolding in Seattle… that the dynamics of political campaigning are changing right before our eyes. Darcy isn’t just another Democrat, she’s a Democrat v2.0. Welcome to the future of politics.

So let the old guard media willfully ignore Darcy’s virtual town hall — you are invited to help us make history with or without them. Go to www.darcyburner.com, submit your question, and sign up to view the live stream. And if you haven’t already contributed via our Burn Bush Act Blue page, please join the 102 HA readers who already have. Let’s blow through our $100,000 target and give the political and media establishment the fright of their lives.

Help Darcy Burn Bush: $

UPDATE:
Howie Klein has a great post on Darcy over at DownWithTyranny!

by Will, 08/27/2007, 12:42 AM

128326381910081250iminyrrestaur.jpg

UPDATE (– Goldy):
In all fairness to Stefan and his reputation as a cheapskate, he paid for the pitcher. (Though I’ve got no idea what, if any he tipped.)

by Darryl, 08/26/2007, 10:53 PM

Here are a few videos to ease you into the new week…

  • Bill Moyers takes a look at some of the smaller stories coming out of Iraq:

  • The political situation in Iraq takes on a strange new twist as an American right-wing lobbying firms is being paid big bucks to undermine the government of Nuri Al-Malaki and promote Ayad Allawi:
  • A Ted Nugent video clip was mentioned on The David Goldstein Show this evening. Here is the clip, showing Nugent saying that Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton should suck on his machine guns. Ted…still motherfucking insane after all these years. But hey…he just may be the next governor of Michigan.

Discuss.