Earlier today I flattered myself by posting my endorsements in the most important and competitive races in Washington state. Now I’m going to tell you how to vote on the various initiatives and referenda.
Really. You have to vote exactly as I tell you. Or else.
I-892: No to Slot Machines!
It should be clear to even the most casual reader that Tim Eyman and I don’t see eye-to-eye on the issues. And that I think he is a lying, thieving, blowhard.
So I want to make it absolutely clear that my opposition to I-892 would be just as strong even if Tim had nothing to with it. I-892 would put 18,225 slot machines into over 2000 neighborhood bars, restaurants and bowling alleys scattered through nearly every community in the state, dramatically expanding access to the most addictive form of gambling ever devised.
This is a greedy, deceptive, money grab, pure and simple. I-892 would turn Washington into a poor-man’s Nevada, and in return, homeowners get maybe $29 a month on a $100,000 home, tops.
Of course, another really good reason to vote No is just to stick it to Tim.
Prediction: Eyman has more relevance with the media than he does with voters… No 62%, Yes 38%.
I-872: No on the Louisiana primary
“Waaahhhh! I want my blanket primary!”
That’s pretty much what voters and editorialists have been crying ever since the Supreme Court threw out Washington’s odd “blanket” or “open” primary.
Well get over it!
Besides, contrary to popular belief, I-872 does NOT restore the blanket primary… instead it replaces it with the equally odd but decidedly more stupid “Louisiana-style” top-two primary. Yes, I-872 gives you more choice in the primary, but it does so by giving you less choice in the general election… and that, after all, is when the majority of people actually vote.
Prediction: baby wants its blankie… Yes 71%, No 29%.
I-884: Yes to the Education Trust Fund
To be honest, I have a lot of trouble with this initiative. Our children desperately need the extra billion dollars a year it raises for education. But a 1 cent increase in the sales tax hurts those families who can afford it least. Washington already has the most regressive tax structure in the nation, and I-884 will make it worse.
I’m following Ron Sims’ lead on this. He supports I-884 as a stopgap measure to deal with our growing education funding crisis now. And like Ron, I promise to work as hard as I can towards real tax reform that will provide real relief to middle- and low-income families, while assuring an adequate tax base for the services the vast majority of citizens demand.
In real dollars, we are now spending over $500 less per student per year compared to 1993. Anybody who has a child in the public schools has seen the impact, and knows that something has to be done now. So please vote Yes on I-884, and then join me in working for a fair and adequate tax system.
Prediction: I’ll let my optimism get the better of me here… Yes 52%, No 48%.
R-55: No to Charter Schools
I agree 100% with message of R-55’s TV ads… we need to make our schools better. That’s why I’m voting Yes on I-884.
But R-55 gets a big fat NO, because what R-55’s TV ads never mention, is that it authorizes charter schools.
It’s not that I have anything against charter schools… in theory. But in practice, the vast right wing conspiracy is just using charter schools (and vouchers) as a tool to defund public education. In WA, charter schools will be used to bust the teachers unions. Yeah… that’s exactly the way to improve education… pay teachers less.
Charter schools are being driven by a belief in the “free market” that has taken on a religious fervor. Thus it’s not surprising that a large number of charter schools in other states include a religious curriculum.
We need to spend our public education dollars in our public schools. Vote No.
Prediction: once again, WA voters will reject charter schools… No 54%, Yes 46%.
I-297: Yes to cleaning up nuclear waste
Truth is, I don’t know all that much about this initiative, but I’ve been assured by people who know what they’re talking about that I want to vote Yes on this. So take my word on their word.
Not enough? Read the Ballot Summary:
This measure would establish additional requirements for regulating mixed waste (radioactive and nonradioactive hazardous substances) sites, such as the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. The measure would set standards for cleanup and granting permits, would prohibit waste disposal in unlined soil trenches, and require cleanup of tank leaks. Permits would not allow adding more wastes to facilities until existing contamination was cleaned up. Additional public participation would be provided and enforcement through citizen lawsuits would be authorized.
Can’t argue with that.
Prediction: voters can’t argue with that… Yes 55%, No 45%.