A Few Final Observations on This Awful Fucking “No on Parks” Campaign

With the “ballot deadline” just 12 hours away, I thought I’d just string together a few final observations about the dishearteningly dishonest campaign against Proposition 1, which would create a Metropolitan Park District to provide an adequate and stable level of funding to Seattle Parks & Recreation.

  • “No on Parks” is a Republican campaign largely funded by Republican donors, being run by a Republican political consultant, and endorsed by the Republican editorial board of the Seattle Times. So if you are a Republican, vote no on Prop 1. But if you are a Democrat, don’t kid yourself that voting “no” would do anything other than advance the Republican agenda of drowning government in a bathtub.
  • There is an unspoken class warfare aspect to the No on Parks campaign. In their guest post on Slog, campaign co-chairs Don Harper and Carol Fisher pin their credibility on the fact that they have “volunteered thousands of hours and raised over $2 million for neighborhood parks.” Good for them. And good for their neighborhood parks. But that sort of volunteerism just can’t be relied on in neighborhoods where most folks are working two or three jobs just to scrape by. The same way Southend school children can’t benefit from PTA fundraisers the way more affluent North Seattle school children can. This No campaign just reeks of geographic factionalism—not sure what the particulars are, but opponents sure do seem determined to maintain a status quo that does okay by them.
  • Playing dirty works. This has been an incredibly “dirty campaign.” Even Joel Connelly says so, and he’s been covering political campaigns for the PI since the Garfield administration. And if folks are willing to play this dirty in a campaign over how we fund our parks, just imagine how dirty these people are going to play in two years, when all nine city council seats are up for reelection. I warned you about Faye Garneau during last year’s districts campaign, but did you listen, Seattle? No. Speaking of which…
  • Our Democratic establishment has totally failed to explain to voters how taxes work, and that has created an uninformed electorate that is an invitingly ripe target for those deliberately attempting to misinform (I’m looking at you, Seattle Times editorial board). If there is a lesson to learn from this campaign it’s that if we ever want to fix our tax structure into something that is both fair and sustainable, educating the public about the way taxes work is a project that our political leaders must pursue at every opportunity—24/7, 365 days a year—and not just during those campaign seasons when we have a tax measure on the ballot. If at that.
  • Unforgivable. If you vote No on Prop 1 you are either a Republican or an idiot or regrettably misinformed (not all Republicans are idiots, some are just mean-spirited, selfish, or wrong). That happens. But as for No on Parks’ principals, you have earned my permanent enmity by running such a dishonest and disrespectful campaign. This isn’t about a policy disagreement—I’ve had plenty of those, and have still been able to work with the folks on the other side. This is about tactics and context. You simply cannot be trusted ever again. And any campaign you touch in the future will be tainted by association.

As for what will happen when the ballots drop tonight, I’ve no idea, but I’m bracing myself for disappointment. That said, unless it’s a decisive margin one way or another, who the fuck knows which way the late ballots might break, so it’s likely we won’t be able to confidently call this election for at least a few more days.

Comments

  1. 1

    Blue John spews:

    I convinced my husband, who was going to vote no, to vote for Prop 1 by telling him about all the dirty tricks the republicans pulled.

  2. 2

    Sloppy Travis Bickle spews:

    As long as you’re going to infer class warfare without being sure of the particulars, why not just go all the way and infer racism at the same time? With that North vs. South comment, you’re nearly all the way there.

    Affluent white Seattle Republicans don’t want it to be any more comfortable for minority homeless people to sleep in a Seattle park. Something like that.

  3. 3

    you gotta be kidding spews:

    Ahh, the old if you are against “insert Goldy’s position here” you must be a Republican who hates the poor characterization. Next time shorter Goldy, just say anyone who disagrees with you is a conservative monster.

  4. 4

    Better spews:

    @3, then, IMHO, as conservatives, you all need to do a better job of using facts and logic to support your arguments.
    Subversive sarcasm, whining, and what ever the foul mouth unreadable crap is that puddy blathers is not not winning over hearts and minds.

  5. 6

    Theophrastus spews:

    I know you hate effusive accolades, Goldy, yet it must be said that there has been simply no more accurate reporting on this issue to be had in the city than yours. Most of the local ‘reporting’ being AWOL or overt lies on Prop 1.

    I’ve lost count of how many seattle-times deluded voters (many quite progressive in nature) i’ve directed to your website. Let’s hope (against hope) that the truth trumps the mendacious money megaphone.

  6. 7

    spews:

    I think the economic divide in Seattle is changing, and isn’t just “North end rich/South end poor” any more. Look at the voting patterns you talked about for the last election — it was the water-bordering precincts that voted more conservatively, and the interior precincts that voted more liberally.

    I hope you have the time/inclination to do another precinct level analysis of Prop 1 returns (or someone does it and you analyze it).

  7. 8

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @2 “Affluent white Seattle Republicans don’t want it to be any more comfortable for minority homeless people to sleep in a Seattle park. Something like that.”

    Actually, they don’t want them to sleep anywhere. They want them to die. Even though these are the people who clean their homes, serve them in restaurants, and babysit their kids for $9.23 an hour, which doesn’t even pay for rent in this town, which is why they’re homeless.

  8. 9

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Travis, here’s a solution to the homeless problem: Pay workers a living wage, so they can afford a home.