by Carl, 04/30/2012, 7:15 PM

I’m not sure where my notes are, so this isn’t going to be a very good piece. I’m sorry.

Over the weekend the Democrats held their Legislative District and County Caucuses. Because I’m a glutton for punishment — and because I believe in the process, also um, for this post — I went to both of mine. It’s not nearly as noteworthy 4 years ago, when there was still a primary going on and the Clinton people were still trying to keep their delegates and the Obama people were trying to finish things off. But we got to make the platform a little more liberal than the proposals, so that’s good. Also, I’m a delegate to the Legislative District and State levels, so yay for that.

Day one was the legislative district. Shock of shocks: we were almost all for Obama. There were people who wanted to nominate Russ Feingold, Elizabeth Warren, Jim McDermott, and Max Cleland. At one person each, they fell well short of the 15% necessary to get a delegate to the next level (we had well over 100 people).

People were given a chance to reconsider their candidates, while we went on to the legislative district platform. We’re for marriage equality and against the war in Afghanistan.

Then picking delegates. The men and the women were picked separately, so there would be an equal number (23, I believe) of each. We gave 30 second speeches on why we should go on and what our issues are. There isn’t too much you can say in that time. I mentioned writing for this and previous blogs and that I grew up as a Democrat. I guess it was good enough, since I made it to the next rounds, although a majority of people did, so it’s not that much of an accomplishment.

Interspersed throughout the process were speeches. All of the candidates for the LD or their spokespeople. Jim McDermott came in fairly late (I think he said it was the 6th district he was at that day). He said he thinks health care is going to be upheld in the Supreme Court 6-3 and that a Democratic Congress and reelecting Obama will make sure the details work for regular people. He also thanked the person who nominated him for president, but said he wouldn’t accept it. He was the only standing ovation of the day. So that was Saturday.

Sunday, I went to the King County convention. No delegates were selected, just the platform. I mostly sat in the back with my father who was a delegate from another district. First off, there were quite a few speeches. Jay Inslee gave a barn burner. Jim McDermott gave basically the same speech (that he also gave at my Dad’s LD) minus thanking the person who nominated him for president. Darcy Burner had Marilyn Chase (whose district I don’t think overlaps the new 1st, but I’m not sure) speak on her behalf because she’d eaten seafood despite being allergic the night before, but I don’t remember anything about it. Ruderman and Suzan DelBene each gave I’m electable speeches. There are too many people running for judge.

The King County platform is pretty good. People had a tough time understanding there were only deletions and not amendments. I left about 5:30 (my ride was leaving), when we were about 2/3 of the way through the platform. I’m not sure it was the most productive weekend I’ve ever had, but I’m glad I went.

by N in Seattle, 04/30/2012, 1:40 PM

Location – North Seattle
   Senate: David Frockt (D), 2012 (special election)
   House 1: Gerry Pollet (D)
   House 2: Phyllis Gutierrez-Kenney (D), retiring

Under the 2001 Legislative District map, the northern border of the 46th was the entire northern city line (Sound to Lake) of Seattle. It was one of three LDs completely contained within the city, joining the 36th and the 43rd. Unlike those other Seattle-only LDs, which were also entirely within the 7th Congressional District, a small portion of the 46th was in the 2001 version of the 1st CD. The 2001 borders of the 46th LD, at a 1:60,000 scale, are shown below:

46old_60k

For reference, the 2001 boundaries of LDs are the pink/purple region. Major bodies of water are blue, major roads (state or federal highways, for the most part) are red lines, counties are named in ALL-CAPS ITALICS and delineated with heavy black lines, precincts are lighter black lines, and cities are displayed as blue “dot in square” symbols and name labels. These color conventions will be used throughout this series, and additional conventions will be described as we display them on maps.

The 2001 version of the 46th LD, then, consisted of northern and northeastern Seattle. In the new 2011 map, the 46th breaks out of Seattle, generally moving to the northeast of its previous location. It loses its former western portion to the 36th and 32nd Districts; the latter LD regains some of the Seattle precincts it had had in 1991. The 46th’s border with the 43rd is slightly changed, and it takes its new non-Seattle section largely from the old 32nd. In the following map of the new 46th, the LD is shaded in green. This map also shows the boundaries of the 2011 Congressional Districts, marked in thick dashed blue lines and labeled as “WA-x“.

Note also that all maps in this post cover exactly the same area, at the same scale (1:60,000 for the 46th LD). The only differences are in the “layers” placed on the map.

46newCD_60k

As in the 2001 map, the 46th is mostly in the 7th CD, with a portion in the 1st (though of course it’s a very different CD than the old 1st Congressional District). The 46th now extends up and around the northern end of Lake Washington. The King-Snohomish county boundary now defines the northern border of the LD and the southern border of the 2nd CD. None of the new 46th Legislative District is in the new 2nd Congressional District.

Now that we’ve seen the old and new borders of the 46th, let’s superimpose them on one another. That will more clearly display where and how the boundaries of the LD have changed. In the map below, the colors of the earlier maps are retained where there is no overlap. Territory that is no longer in the 46th Legislative District remains pink/purple, and areas newly encompassed by the 46th remain green. Areas within both the 2001 and 2011 versions of the LD are displayed as a brown region.

46oldnew_60k

So how will these changes affect this year’s elections in the 46th? Let’s make it clear from the start — there’s no chance whatsoever that a Republican will win any of the LD’s seats in the Legislature. Lake Forest Park and Kenmore are just as Democratic as Broadview and the northwest corner of Seattle. Although two of the three seats have incumbents, neither Frockt nor Pollet was elected to his current position. Frockt did stand for election to the House 1 seat before being elevated to the Senate after Scott White’s untimely death, but Pollet is in the House based only on the votes of PCOs (in the old 46th). The principal factor to be considered by the candidates, then, is making themselves known to their new non-Seattle constituents. I would suggest that those candidates whose political bases are rooted primarily in the 46th District Democrats organization might be at something of a disadvantage against those who are better know “publicly”.

In the race for the open House 2 seat, the action will likely unfold in both the primary and the general election. It’s possible, however, that the crowd of Democratic candidates might divide the primary vote so evenly that the Republican (yes, there is one) could sneak into one of the two November slots. That would make it less bloody in the general, as the surviving Dem would be a sure thing if facing a Republican, but I doubt that any of the Democrats are working under that assumption.

What might have been a wildcard thrown into the mix — a candidate living in the new non-Seattle portion of the 46th — appears to have been circumvented. The Lake Forest Park home of Representative Ruth Kagi (D-32) was redistricted into the 46th, but she has already stated that she will move into the reconfigured 32nd LD and run for re-election there.

While the filing deadline is still almost three weeks in the future, Senator Frockt is currently running unopposed. Representative Pollet has drawn one Democratic opponent thus far, though the choice of which seat a candidate might run for is still fluid. Also, there’s nominally still time for a non-Seattle candidate to throw his/her hat in the ring, though it doesn’t seem likely.

Open seats in Legislative Districts almost always draw large packs of aspiring candidates. Significant alterations in district boundaries, as in the 46th (and the 11th, but not 36th), add even more spice to the competition.

by Carl, 04/30/2012, 8:02 AM
by Lee, 04/29/2012, 12:00 PM

The last contest was won by Geoduck. It was Spokane Falls Community College.

This week’s contest is related to something in the news from April, good luck!

by Goldy, 04/29/2012, 7:00 AM

1 Samuel 5:6
But the hand of the LORD was heavy upon those of Ashdod, and He destroyed them and smote them with hemorrhoids.

Discuss.

by Darryl, 04/27/2012, 11:57 PM

Sam Seder: Teleprompter obsessed Marco Rubio FUCKS UP.

Stephen: The bridge between liberals and conservatives.

Roy Zimmerman: Vote Republican—Maine edition.

Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani: a match made in heaven.

Romney versus Reality: Student loan edition.

The Partisans: Obama’s campaign still trying to find a slogan.

Thom: The Good, the Bad, and the Very, Very Ugly.

Sam Seder: Romney’s foreign policy adviser talks Obama and…Czechoslovakia???

Buzz 60: White House Correspondents Dinner and Bin Laden Death.

Young Turks: Tony Perkins (Family Research Council) is a Birther?!?

Jay Inslee goes on the radio and drinks:

Mark Fiore: Cyber-Snuggly.

Stephen on Obama’s slow-jammed news.

Thom: The best Democracy money can buy.

The candidates test some slogans.

Young Turks: Gov. Phil Bryant (R-MS) says Dems want to kill children.

Liberal Viewer: Analysis of Arizona anti-immigration law.

Sam Seder: The biggest beneficiaries of our corrupt politics.

Alyona: What would Jesus cut?

Ad: Empower, Act, Organize.

WA Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark answers some questions.

Jon on Mitt’s Reboot.

More Skirmishes in the GOP War on Women™:

Young Turks: What will Romney and Republicans run on in 2012 now that bin Laden is dead?

Jon on the Secret Service prostitution scandal.

Alyona: The Walmart bribery scandal.

Attacking Obama as a celebrity.

Buzz 60: Romney wins five and Obama slow jams with Fallon.

ONN: Obama approval down afterphotos surface of him eating big sandwich all alone.

Marco Rubio has the perfect VP moment.

Mitt in the tank for Big Oil.

Newsy: Student loan interest rate cuts causes controversy.

Kimmel with another episode of Unnecessary Censorship.

Bill Clinton on being “The Decider”:

Thom: More Good, Bad, and Very, Very Ugly.

Who is Mitt Romney listening to?

Pap: The Anti-Government crowd is trying to dismantle public schools.

Alyona: The Walmart bribery scandal.

White House: West Wing Week.

Ann Telnaes: The Elephant in the room.

Young Turks: ALEC and for-profit colleges.

Alyona: Welcome to the Drone Age.

Jon on N.C. issues.

Sam Seder: Don’t let Obama take our guns!

Liberal Viewer: FOX News fraud on voter fraud and voter ID.

Romney versus Reality: Global Edition.

Last week’s Friday Night Multimedia Extravaganza can be found here.

by Carl, 04/27/2012, 8:48 PM

What the hell, Cathy McMorris Rodgers?

The bad news is that Republicans in the House, led by Washington State Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA, 5) are pushing an alternative proposal—which McMorris Rodgers, incredibly, said will protect “the true victims of domestic violence and sexual assault”—that does not provide any of the Senate version’s protections for Native American women, gay women, rural women, and some illegal immigrants. (The latter provision is aimed largely at protecting so-called child and mail-order brides brought into the country illegally and under false pretenses.)

McMorris Rodgers’ statement is worth repeating. “House Republicans are committed to protecting the true victims of domestic violence and sexual assault,” she said. “True” victims—those worthy of protection—in other words, do not include Native American women, women who live in remote rural areas, children and women sold into sex slavery, or lesbians.

by N in Seattle, 04/27/2012, 4:46 PM

Over the last few months, I’ve written at length — some might say ad nauseum — about Washington’s redistricting process based on the 2010 Census:

A few days after the last of those, upon further review of the newly-drawn map, I wrote a more reflective piece on the outcome of Congressional redistricting in Washington. My conclusion: Skeletor won the battle with Tim Ceis, and it wasn’t even close. For reasons that escape me, I posted that piece only on Peace Tree Farm, resulting in even fewer readers than my wonkery draws here on HA. That was dumb of me, wasn’t it?

Nearly everything in the above-referenced posts concerned Congressional redistricting. Which makes sense, I suppose. Changing the number of districts is always exciting, though of course it’s even more exciting (and much, much bloodier) in states that lose Congressional Districts. You can check with Dennis Kucinich on that. For the record, Washington has never experienced CD subtraction.

But redistricting affects far more than Congress. Many other jurisdictional boundaries have to be changed to account for changing demographics, from school board districts to County Council and beyond. If Seattle elected City Council by district (as it should, IMHO), those borders would have to be redrawn too. With one exception, those lower-level maps are drawn by lower-level governments.

The exception, of course, is the map of Legislative Districts, also drawn by the Redistricting Commission. While the number of LDs in Washington is constitutionally set at 49, their boundaries must be redrawn to take into account population trends over the 10 years since the last Census. LDs that had nearly identical populations in 2000 are no longer equal, and the Commission is mandated to reconstruct the legislative map to reflect those demographic trends.

The Commission had to account for more than just the statewide 14.1% increase. Had every LD added 16,948 residents (average LD population was 120,288 after the 2000 Census and would be 137,236 under this redistricting), we could have kept the old boundaries. But of course, that isn’t what happened. The population of the old 2nd LD increased by 43,337 (36.0%), while the 28th actually lost 754 residents (-0.6%).

I won’t go into the extended process by which the Commission eventually settled on the new map, except to note that it took them until 10:35pm (85 minutes before their deadline) on January 1, 2012 to convey their agreed-upon map to the Legislature. Instead, I thought it might be interesting to examine the changes in LD boundaries. Data geek, and map geek, that I am, I’ve done exactly that — creating maps showing each LD’s old boundaries, its new boundaries, and the two superimposed on each other.

The results of (some of?) my handiwork will appear here on HA soon. The questions I pose to myself — and to my colleagues here, and to the readers of HA — are:

  1. Do I report on the LDs one-by-one or in groups?
  2. Can I report on every single one of the 49 LDs without boring y’all to death?
  3. How ever we decide to do the reports, in what order should they be revealed?

I’ll answer a couple of those questions, at least to start, by writing individually on the Seattle-area LDs with open seats. I plan to begin with the 46th, followed by the 36th and the 11th. Why the 46th? Simple — it has cooler maps than the others. It’s the wow!! factor…

So, if you haven’t nodded off in boredom are drooling in breathless anticipation, stay tuned.

by Carl, 04/27/2012, 8:00 AM

I realize this is a few days old now, but Rob McKenna, backed into a corner with his not an answer answer, on the Reproductive Parity Act, finally decided he has an opinion on it after all. Fortunately pro-choice groups see right through it.

McKenna falsely claimed today that the Reproductive Parity Act will “put federal funding of women’s health care at risk” by addressing the Weldon Amendment. However, if he read the current legislation he would see that the Weldon Amendment was raised during the legislative session and is fully addressed in the bill as it stands. Under the Weldon Amendment, states may not “discriminate” against providers who do not offer abortion services.

The Reproductive Parity Act has been drafted specifically to protect insurance carriers in the state of Washington against discrimination and will keep our state compliant with the federal requirements of the Weldon Amendment. Every carrier currently selling in Washington covers abortion, and they have no objection to the RPA. Washington has an existing conscience clause for new providers wishing to be admitted into the state that do not want to include abortion in any of their health plans.

In fact, pro-choice leaders Jay Inslee, then a Congressman in the 1st, and Congressmen Jim McDermott (D-7) and Adam Smith (D-9) already sent this letter that you can download here to President Obama addressing the Weldon Amendment and supporting access to women’s health care coverage and the Reproductive Parity Act (HB 2330).

While so much of the nation is going backwards (h/t to Geov) on these issues, it’s good that Washington has the chance to go in the right direction.

by Carl, 04/26/2012, 10:34 PM

It seems recently the comments in non-open threads have been pretty derailed pretty quickly. And so I’d just like to remind people that there is a comment policy that bans, among other things, “deliberately off-topic comments (except in “open threads”), as well as pointless comments on these comments.” And since that time there has been a greater effort to put up open threads. We have at least 3 open threads a week (Monday, Tuesday and Thursday) and the Drinking Liberally and Friday Night Multimedia threads. There’s usually one near the top, so please use them.

by Carl, 04/26/2012, 5:19 PM

Another small bit of good news, Tacoma only has to fill an $11 million dollar gap.

In essence, the city has spent a bit less and collected a bit more than expected through the first three months of this year. Much of the extra money comes from a surge in revenue from licensing and permits – but it’s a mistake to pick any single trend and call it a cause, according to Bob Biles, the city’s finance director, who relayed the pleasant news to council members.

Obviously, there’s a lot of work still to do, and more cuts after several years of economic shit won’t help the city. I wouldn’t say it’s a sign that things are good, but at least things are moving in the right direction.

by Carl, 04/26/2012, 7:58 AM
by Carl, 04/25/2012, 8:37 PM

Darryl already linked to Rob McKenna’s non-answer of the Reproductive Parity Act/ telling someone to get a job because they asked him a question. The news is the get a job part, but the Reproductive Parity Act is reveling too:

First off, he doesn’t seem to know the history of the Reproductive Parity Act. I mean his answer, “I’m a lawyer for the State” doesn’t make sense. He seems to think the question referred to a law his office might have to defend. Does he not know it didn’t pass the legislature? Was he confusing it with the pharmacy regulations? It was one of Washington’s pro-choice community’s biggest concerns in the last session and the fact that he isn’t aware of what happened with it doesn’t signal much of a commitment to women’s health.

Now, Rob McKenna is an ostensibly pro-choice politician, and that would be great if that was a simple binary. But this brings up that state government does a lot of things that — even if the governor isn’t trying to outlaw abortion — can have an impact on women’s access to health care including abortion. We’re seeing trap laws in Mississippi and other states that are making it tougher for doctors to perform abortions. While I doubt we’d go that far in Washington, the governor can enact many regulations that might make it tougher for abortion providers. States are pulling or considering pulling funding for Planned Parenthood. In tight budget times, we don’t know if he’ll look to pull that sort of funding even if ostensibly he supports their mission.

Closer to home, the Reproductive Parity Act that he seems not to know anything about passed the state house and looked destined to pass the state senate until the budget shenanigans. It seems reasonable to ask if he’d veto or sign it if it made it to his desk. In the previous session, the legislature passed a bill expanding family planning services to women from 200% of poverty to 250%. While this doesn’t turn on abortion since it’s taking federal money, it’s easy enough to see McKenna using his line item veto on it in a bid to save money (it’s penny wise and pound foolish, but that hasn’t stopped other GOP ideas).

Finally, Republican politicians go from pro-choice to anti when going from a liberal state to trying to get the GOP nomination. Ronald Reagan signed the law that legalized abortion in California before opposing abortion when he ran for president. George Herbert Walker Bush was pro choice until he needed to be anti-choice to be selected as the Vice President. Mitt Romney used to be pro-choice in Massachusetts but he’s anti-choice now. This wouldn’t be too much of an issue if McKenna were adamantly pro-choice and willing to answer all choice questions. But since he isn’t, you have to wonder if this position is here to stay.

by Darryl, 04/25/2012, 3:35 PM

Today at Slog Goldy published this stunning audio exchange between gubernatorial candidate and state AG Rob Mckenna (R) and a youth worker:

Woman: “Mr. Mckenna.”

McKenna: “Yes.”

Woman: “What’s your stance on the Reproductive Parity Act?”

McKenna: “My stance is I’m a lawyer for the State. You can turn that recorder off if you’d like, instead of trying to bushwhack me. It’s not really very polite is it? Do you think you’re honest?”

Woman: “I’m just wondering…”

McKenna: “Do you think you’re being honest?”

Woman: “Huh?”

McKenna: “Are you being honest? Or are you just not going to answer my question?”

Woman: “I’m a youth worker who’s wondering…”

McKenna: “You’re not being honest. Forget it.”

Woman: “Okay…”

McKenna: “You’re just trying to gain a political advantage, sorry. Why don’t you go get a job?”

What. The. Fuck.

As it happens, the youth worker is gainfully employed but what, on earth, would cause such a vile response from someone who want’s to be our next Governor?

Somebody feeling a little persecuted?

This isn’t the first time McKenna has decloaked and revealed this bizarre psychological mindset. Remember The Great Cupcake Escape? Think about the petty black-listing of The Stranger.

How can we understand McKenna propensity to feel persecuted? I think it’s best explained this way.

McKenna may well hold some truly moderate convictions–it’s hard to tell, because he has gotten quite good at weaseling his “answer” into something that is universally non-offensive. Whether moderate or not, what Rob Mckenna most certainly isn’t is non-partisan.

The worst kept secret among Olympia Republicans is that McKenna is a deeply partisan Republican. And, thanks to the weaselly answers, this fact is one of the best kept secrets from most Washingtonians.

For this reason, McKenna perpetually feel like the victim, always in danger of being trapped by the evil majority. And he isn’t going to go down easily.

What we are left with is a skeleton of a man who is caught in a perpetual cycle of self-spin. That Governor’s mansion is within his grasp, but he feels danger, and has a sense that his enemies are plotting against him….

Even when it is just a young woman, concerned about losing her reproductive rights, asking a simple question.

by Carl, 04/25/2012, 7:58 AM

A few weeks ago The Nordstrom Rack downtown moved from Second Avenue to Westlake Center. I popped into the store yesterday for the first time looking for shoes and maybe a summery shirt that’s still acceptable to wear to work or a nice hat. There’s nothing in the entire goddamn store that was made in America.

Made in America isn’t necessarily a deal breaker for me, but I look for it and I happily pay a premium for it. And I don’t think just because The Rack is a discounter, that’s enough of a reason to assume all of the clothing I looked at the tags should have been made overseas. The shoes I’m wearing right now were made in America and purchased at The Nordstrom Rack on Second a few years ago. I don’t know if it’s worse in recent years/ at the new location or just a coincidence, but I could usually find Made in America at the old location.

Also, the location of men’s shoes was hard to find.

by Carl, 04/24/2012, 7:36 PM

Look, the Ron Paul dead-enders are super annoying. I have a cousin whose goal seems to make Facebook unreadable by linking to every bit of Ron Paul nonsense ever written on the entire Internet. So I understand the urge to try to push them out of your Legislative District Caucus. But seriously this is the second most pathetic thing Lori Sotelo has done as KC GOP Chair.*

Over the weekend, Republicans in the 37th Legislative District gathered to choose delegates to the state convention.

The caucus started out Saturday morning inside Dimmitt Middle School. But it didn’t end inside the building.

After supporters of Texas Congressman Ron Paul elected one of their own to chair of the meeting, the gathering was booted to an outside basketball court by King County Republican Party Chairwoman Lori Sotelo.

The move came after attendees irritated Sotelo by rejecting her choice to run the caucus – former King County Councilman David Irons.

Instead, the group voted for Tamara Smilanich, a Paul supporter.

That prompted Sotelo to declare the meeting was no longer a Republican Party event – but a Ron Paul campaign event.

Seriously, if you can’t control your caucus even after you basically have a nominee, it isn’t the Paul people who are the problem. The GOP are poised to nominate someone nobody is excited about. And they have seemingly no core values except whatever Obama does, do the opposite. And so someone who has values (often terrible ones, but that’s not the point here) came in and got more delegates in this district. And rather than say fine, whatever they said go outside? Pathetic.

And look, I’ve been to precinct caucuses where LaRouchies showed up. I can’t imagine what would happen if they’d won enough votes to have a serious impact on the next level.** But the best way to prevent that is bringing out enough people to vote for someone else.

Read the rest of this entry »

by Darryl, 04/24/2012, 4:47 PM

DLBottleIt’s Tuesday and there are five G.O.P. primary contests a happenin’ tonight–Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. We are going to treat them with all the dignity and respect they command.

Yawwwwwn!

Okay…now that that’s finished, please join us for an evening of conversation over a pint at the Seattle Chapter of Drinking liberally.

Seattle DL meets every Tuesday at the Montlake Ale House, 2307 24th Avenue E. We begin at 8:00pm, but some folks show up earlier for dinner.

Can’t make it to Seattle tonight? There are also meetings of the Tri-Cities and Bellingham chapters this evening. The Burien chapter meets on Wednesday, and the Woodinville chapter meets on Thursday.

With 233 chapters of Living Liberally, including twelve in Washington state and six more in Oregon, chances are excellent there’s a chapter near you.

by Carl, 04/24/2012, 7:58 AM
by Carl, 04/23/2012, 6:24 PM

Reading and watching much of the 2 year anniversary coverage of the BP spill in the Gulf, I’m left with the grating feeling that we don’t know what we’re doing as a society when it comes to big problems that we make. I don’t mean to suggest that these problems are inherently unsolvable, only that we don’t have the solutions going in. We have plans* for what to do when the deep water spills leak, but we don’t have a good job of figuring out what to do when those plans fail.

It isn’t just the oil spills. We’re more than a year into a slow motion disaster in Fukushima. And while these are, of course, a failure of regulation, they’re also a failure of corporate power. I don’t know what the solution is short of shutting down corporations that behave as badly as BP.

Read the rest of this entry »

by Carl, 04/23/2012, 8:00 AM