Pre-recount recap

All in all, it’s been a pretty good week for Christine Gregoire. I mean, apart from losing to shady real estate agent Dino Rossi by 261 votes.

Monday morning, all the spreadsheets trended Rossi, projecting a 3400 vote victory… well beyond the 2000-vote spread that would trigger an automatic recount. Gregoire’s ballot-count comeback was impressive, and while it just fell short, it easily puts the race within the margin of error in an election with 2.8 million votes cast.

Four years ago the senate race between Maria Cantwell and then-incumbent Slade Gorton went to a recount, and Cantwell padded her slim margin by an additional 291 votes. While it is true that no statewide election has ever been reversed on a recount, this time it is certainly within the realm of the possible. Not likely, but possible.

That said I am going to make a bold prediction. After carefully analyzing all the election data, extrapolating from historical patterns, and adjusting for several extenuating circumstances, I am ready to project….

A tie.

That’s right, you heard it here first: a tie.

According to a little known clause enacted through I-747, the race will be decided by flipping Tim Eyman. Considering how two-faced Tim is, I suggest Gregoire calls “heads.”


  1. 1

    Josef spews:

    Hey, what do you mean by “According to a little known clause enacted through I-747″?

    Did I miss the joke?

    Also, you going to call us Washingtonians who voted Rossi out of our fucking minds? (I’ll take it in stride and good humor, but I’d prefer you didn’t)

    That said, you might want to check out this week’s Seattle Weekly and look for George Howland Jr’s latest. It’s huge. If it had broke a month and a half earlier, I’d say it could have swung the election.


  2. 2

    Goldy spews:

    Josef, it was a joke.

    And I am well familiar with the BIAW. Just read my column in the TNT from last year to get a feel for my opinion of those bastards.

    In fact, now that number one on my most wanted list is all but politically marginalized, just guess who I plan to go after next?

  3. 3

    Josef spews:

    I now take it as a joke in good fun. I’m cracking jokes, too. Like on the divorce lawyer on who posted that Gregoire was gonna win… what a silly dunce looking for a bigger caseload!

    I have yet to hear one good thing about the BIAW except they helped RMK and Dino. And frankly, with an election this close ANY candidate can draw two conclusions – one being the need to reach out and the other to pour more gas on the base.

    I just hope RMK and Dino are the former. In fact Dino got, according to the CNN exit poll, FIFTEEN percent of Democrats!! FIFTEEN! Now imagine if he didn’t do that? Guess who’d be Governor and when?

    Enuf for 1 night. Thanks for blogging about the gambling – I’ll crosspost that around later in the week if I can.

  4. 5

    Goldy spews:

    Dear “Goldy” ( Miss? Ms?): Is this Web site named after you?

    It’s Mr. “Goldie” would be the feminine spelling. If you click on the “About Me” link in the menu, you might learn a little bit about me. Also, you might want to read the manifesto of sorts in blog entry #1 to learn why I sign this “Goldy.”

  5. 6

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    You guys are kind of hard on BIAW, aren’t you??
    They actually have the courage to fight for what they believe in and successfully killed that stupis ERGONOMICS bill that would have accomplished nothing but create another $750 million bureaucracy with good intentions that accomplished zero (except create more State worker jobs).

  6. 7

    Goldy spews:

    Courage?! The BIAW are a bunch of lying, self-interested cowards. You think I’m hard on them now, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

  7. 9

    Goldy spews:

    Yeah, well… in case you didn’t notice, I just don’t like them. I first became aware of them when I saw the TV ads for I-841, and realized what a total heap of lies the ads were, right down to the name of the PAC: “Workers Against Job Killing Rules.” Yeah right… eat me.

    See, you take somebody like Stefan at Sound Politics, and while I disagree with nearly everything he says, and the manner in which he says it often annoys me, I can respect him as the openly partisan guy he is. But the BIAW are just a bunch a filthy liars who could give a rats ass about the welfare of the citizens of this state. And their “retro rebate” money makes them a dangerous bunch of filthy liars. I oppose the BIAW because of their policies. I despise the BIAW because of the manner in which they attempt to foist these policies on our state.

    It may take a few years, but it will be a thrill to dance on their political graves.

  8. 10

    Alex spews:

    I don’t think that the result will be reversed after a recount. Grays Harbor has alredy “manufactured” its result many times, pointedly pro-Gregoire. Those stupid D-rats are even unable to make an effective fraud…

  9. 11

    Jim King spews:

    I wonder- if the state wasn’t running such an incompetent workers'; comp program, and charging excessive premiums, there’d be no rebate to be had, thus breaking BIAW. Consider reforming workers’comp in this state as your best method of attack…

  10. 12

    jim p spews:

    the recount will go to the damn GOP whether the decent party wins or not. The Blue states will continue to lift the lifestyle of the red states, even though the red states are the most backwards type of hypocrites on the earth. They want, and seem to continually get the best of both worlds. Their day will come. Long Live the Democrats

  11. 14

    Goldy spews:

    I wonder- if the state wasn’t running such an incompetent workers'; comp program, and charging excessive premiums, there’d be no rebate to be had, thus breaking BIAW. Consider reforming workers’comp in this state as your best method of attack…

    Absolutely. Reforming the “retro rebate” program would have to come in a broader package reforming worker’s comp. And the BIAW has opened the door to this by filing their own workers comp initiative.

  12. 15

    Josef spews:

    Comment by Goldy— 11/18/04 @ 8:04 am

    No argument here. I AM worried that RMK & Dino may be tempted to disregard the McKennarats & Dinocrats who came to their rescue. I know I didn’t elect Gregoire Lite and I didn’t elect Val Stevens Lite either. I elected Rob McKenna & Dino Rossi as whom they campaigned as.

    I also read your pithy editorial on the ergonomics rules. If it’s good enough for the military, then it’s good enough for everybody else I say.

  13. 16

    Bennington spews:

    Goldy–just where can I read Washington’s ergonomics rules? I’m fighting L&I on this issue.

    Oh, Yes, Goldy–would you consider an open thread once-in-a-while? I for one would like to discuss DSHS.

  14. 17

    Goldy spews:

    Bennington, unfortunately, there are no ergonomic rules anymore. The BIAW’s I-841 passed, and not only eliminated the existing rules, but banned the state from enacting any new ones.

    What is the nature fo the DSHS open thread you want? Give me a subject header.

  15. 18

    Joe spews:

    The 2000 recount didn’t increase Cantwell’s margin by 290 or 291 votes (the home page says both), it raised it by 276 votes. At least get the facts straight.

  16. 19

    Jim King spews:

    As someone who spent THREE YEARS trying to develop the implementing standards for the drywall industry on ergonomics, only to see Lunatics and Idiots completely botch the effort, don’t start into ergonomics rules until you know what you are talking about. For one thing, the military does NOT have the same rule as was proposed here; for another, L&I is currently working on backdooring ergonomics, but that stops January 12th. Of course, what does one expect from an agency that had a draft fall protection rule requiring 12 foot ropes to protect against six foot falls…

    Them’s that can do, do; yjem’s that can’t do, teach; and them’s that can’t even teach, write rules for L&I…

  17. 20

    Josef spews:

    FYI: As I e-mailed Goldy yesterday, LIE-man (f.k.a. Eyman) will be on TVW tonight at 7 and 11 PM. Again on Saturday evening at 10PM and Sunday at 10AM and 7PM.

    Along with him will be David Ammons of the AP, Todd Donovan the WWU political scientist “and an initiatives expert from the National Conference of State Legislatures”

    FYI. Please also remember that the WWW(DOT)TVW(DOT)ORG website has live streaming and archived audio.

  18. 21

    Goldy spews:

    Jim, we communicated on this issue at length last year, and while we certainly disagree on many things, I hope you would agree that if the state ergonomic rules were overreaching, so was I-841.

    The BIAW is a meanspirited and vindictive organization, and needs to be opposed similarly. There is simply no justification for allowing them to use retro rebate money to fund partisan political campaigns. We need to reform workers comp to take that money out of the hands of the middle man, and back into the pockets of businesses, where it belongs.

  19. 24

    Goldy spews:

    Get educated about the great things BIAW does

    Trust me, I’m getting myself very educated on what the BIAW does.

  20. 25

    rudy spews:

    FYI – just talked to a very informed friend imbedded in a county courthouse who said that many precincts are showing up over voted, meaning more votes cast than registered voters. None in King County. This is in the officail counts, I presume. Over tallies will be caught in a full recount. Some poster erlier insinuated tht Gray Harbor was a demo screw up- au contraire. Grays H. worked for Rossi before they recounted. Perhaps there really will be more drama as more over counts, large and small, are discovered in counties that went for Rossi.

    Wondering if anyone remembers a more substantial loss in a ballot lawsuit then we just witnessed. Narrow focus and quick, but King Count and Dean Logan and the King County prosecuters adving him really lost completely. Norm Maleing folks blew this one completely.

    Predict Gregoire in the end. Remember if there were over counts in those Rossi counties, it will lower his vote tally. Christine might not have to find many votes.

    Would also predict hand recounts in many counties if it stays close. Would be good investment for either side.

  21. 29

    Johnny Wow spews:

    Hey, no reason for name calling. I believe that Rudy made it clear what he meant by precincts being over voted. He did not refer to overvotes (a term made famous by the Florida 2000 mess).

  22. 31

    rudy spews:

    Rudolph to Greatly Rude Cynical Asshole – your comments speak loudly about who is a moron. I was posting about an election, what agnst are you raging about, dickhead. Get some therapy.

  23. 33

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Rudy–get educated about the overvotes before you start spouting off.
    I’m sure you are well intended…just desperate to find a way to steal this election. Just wait until an autopsy is done on some of these King Co. ballots that were counted. Come on Rudy…a Dem Party hack brings in a signed affadavit and new voter card that doesn’t match the existing voter card and it is counted with no contact between the voter and an offical election observor??? If only 1 of those provisional affadavits turns out to be a forgery…the Dems will be sunk for years.

  24. 34

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    If the Republicans brought in stacks of these “new” voter registration cards and affadavits that didn’t match the original signature, you would be screaming like a wet hen!!! Now these provisional voters names and addresses are a public record. Every single one of them will be contacted. The Dems better hope every single one they brought in can be validated.

  25. 35

    Johnny Wow spews:

    Cool it, guys. I think it safe to assume that we will be hearing a lot of rumors floated by both sides about improprieties and mistakes that benefited the opponent. I think that it is quite likely that many of these rumors will surface on blogs such as this one. Some may even turn out to be true. I say let’s hear them all and see what happens once the recount starts. This whole process is fun. I know that there is a lot at stake, but rumors are what we political junkies are going to feed on in this brief lull and beyond.

  26. 36

    Jim King spews:

    Goldy- if someone would go after BIAW and WSLC for their abuses of political money, something good might happen. But people only oppose the other guy’s bully…

    Or the state employee unions- get a raise, have to give half of it to a union that only twenty percent voted for, but 100 percent have to support financially…

    Anyway, watch for the internal battle over appointments- business is NOT a single monolith, and some of us are more realistic than others… And know that twenty years isn’t undone in two… And that we don’t have to screw employees to succeed in business…

  27. 37

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    I would hope you have done some serious research into the BIAW Workers Comp. program. It is not as simple as the Seattle Weekly article. They provide Safety and Claim Management services, generate huge refunds for business members and take a huge risk if they are unsuccessful (there can be penalties in a bad year).
    I think they have done taxpayers and all business a huge favor in fighting the $750 million ergonomics bill. It was a bureaucratic boondoggle. Most businesses do most of this stuff already. Why?? Because they have the financial incentive!!! The Retro refunds are based on keeping claims and claim cost down.
    As far as screwing employees…what do you mean? Yes, they encourage light duty and return to work programs for injured workers. Is that bad?? I have seen the tragic impact when a worker looks at Workers Comp as an entitlement and that happens when they are allowed to linger on time-loss.
    Employers don’t need to participate in these Retro programs…they chooose to. Retro is one of the few programs where business and State work well together.
    NOTE: The Retro refund pool is created by comparing Retro with non-Retro results. Retro participants do better because they have the financial incentive. Labor is trying to bust this one success story.
    Please reconsdier. Questions??

  28. 39

    Goldy spews:

    The fact that the BIAW can rake in millions of dollars from the retro rebate program (to spend on highly partisan campaigns) tells you that there’s a lot of fat in the system that could possibly be returned directly to the business. I’m only now educating myself on workers comp, so I’m not comfortable yet suggesting any specific reforms, but I’m confident there are reforms to be made.

    And Jim, I know that business is not a monolith, and I know from our previous correspondence that you are a reasonable person. Hey… I’m a businessman myself.

    But the BIAW has been riding roughshod over WA politics for too long, and that’s the bully I intend to target. I’m not defending the WSLC, but let’s be realistic, this ain’t the 1950’s… organized labor has only a fraction the money and power as the business lobby… hell, the SEIU couldn’t even knock off one little old lady!

    We all know what the BIAW wants… they want to make this a “right to work” state, which would effectively defund Labor, undermining the finances of the Democratic Party, and effectively turn WA into Texas. You may be Republican, but do you really think we’d be better off with a one party state?

    On the other hand, if we manage to defund the BIAW, business will still have a huge financial advantage over labor.

  29. 40

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    I understand what you are saying…but I disagree. The Retro rebates are the result of incentives given to business to control claim costs. Retro participants must outperform non-Retro or their is no refund. You are mistaken to believe simply that rates are too high although I can understand it may appear that way using hindsight. The Retro rebates are strictly the result of giving business incentive to control claims thru safety and claim costs with light-duty and Return to Work Programs.
    Your idea that 1 Party will control Washington State and that is the Republicans and somehow they will gut Labor is ludicrous. Remember the famous Gary Locke tape when he promised Labor anything they wanted after he was elected the first time?? That’s what he did. Rick Bender and his cronies have had a field day with one rip after another. Then out of sheer desperation, Locke gives this huge, out-of-bounds subsidy to Boeing and tries to hide the terms as long as he can. Are you happy about that???
    Jim seems like a wise person and willing to seriously consider all angles. Yeah, lots of Lefties hate BIAW. But without them, Washington would now be THE PEOPLES SCOIALIST REPUBLIC OF MARX (KARL THAT IS).
    I truly believe that “Washington would not be in such a snarl…if Marx had been Groucho instead of Karl”!!!

  30. 41

    rudy spews:

    Ref: THE COUNT- King 5 just aired a face to face interview with the auditor fellow from Snohomish county who said – that they had a lot of problems with the counting machines jamming…….and that he really doesn’t know if more votes got counted or less in the confusion of the machines jaming so much. (paraphrase) I guess we will see all the nicks and cuts- many machine errors and many human errors.

    But the big show will be the hand count of King County, post mechanical count if it remains close. Might be an observer and report ballot by ballot. There is a theory if you use the wrong pencil or pen on the paper ballots, they don’t read right in the optic scanners. No body really cared in most elections…I think we will see the acid test and foibles of the whole system state wide before this is over.

  31. 42

    Jim King spews:

    I am VERY familiar with the retro programs- I have worked extensively over the years with the two men who wrote the original legislation- and I know they would NOT exist without the coercive power of the state combined with the state’s incompetent safety and claims management.

    Why should ANY business have to pay, on average, one-third more in premium than is justified, based on comparisons with actual premium-minus rebate of retro participants, or actual costs of self-insureds?

    If you want to really reform workers comp, contract out the state’s safety and claims management. Let Safeco, or someone else who is competent, run it. Eliminate the inflated up-front premiums, and see if there then is even a need for retro programs.

    But don’t hold your breath waiting for real workers comp reform while so many vested interests would lose- bureaucrats, organized labor, and those who profit from retro programs- and that is much more than BIAW. Just watch the back-door manueverings that always take place…

  32. 43

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Jim–Do you know Bill White? He was the State Actuary who put this Retro thing together in record time because of the fear by the State of 3-way (private insurance). But Bill will tell you that the refunds are generated by Retro participants performing better than the Fund as a whole. The refunds are because businesses have financial incentive to control cost. If they didn’t and everyone paid the same rate no matter what, costs would be even worse. If you know some of those who founded Retro, then check with them. I am a CPA and I have worked with a number of actuaries assessing rate-making and other issues connected with this. Did you know that L&I case reserves were overstated for 9 straight years???? This means they are holding on to nearly $2 billion of business and Labors money. These Retro refunds are a drop in the bucket.
    Jim, you may disagree with BIAW politics and methods. Fine. But don’t confuse this with the Retro program. If the State does away with Retro, everyone will lose. If they go 3-way, private companies like Safeco will form Retro Groups. Why? Because you MUST give businesses incentive to control these costs.

  33. 44

    Goldy spews:

    Jim, I’m holding my breath.

    I’m coming at this fresh, with no constituency to protect and no special interests to serve. If you have specific suggestions on how to reform workers comp to make it more market-driven and efficient, educate me. My only concern is that workers comp still serves the needs of the workers who legitimately make claims… and that it takes the retro rebate money out of partisan campaigns.

    Other than that, consider me a blank slate.

  34. 45

    Jim King spews:

    Let’s see- Bob Dilger is retired, I see him once a year. I talk with Gary Smith every day. They cut the political deal on retro, because small business does not support 3-way- they get stuck in the inefficient state system. There was a 5-way proposal a while back, but that time has passed, too.

    Every business has an incentive to control costs, just for experience rating, but some of the costs for the program are beyond employer control- that’s the waste in the system that drives premium up. And I’m very familiar with all the fiscal issues and retention issues.

    My point is that a competently ran state system would have costs down close to the level that is achieved by retro programs and the self-insured.

    As for major worker comp reform- contract out L&I claims management!

  35. 46

    Jim King spews:

    And let me clarify here- I am not opposed to BIAW- I ally with them on most things- but retro was a substitute for real reform that has not been possible for these past many decades. I fear that the vested interest in retro that has developed may hinder better reform.

  36. 47

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Jim–I am also concerned about the waste in the system. Do you know how hard it is to fire a State employee??? That is at the core of this problem. L&I has some great employees but eventually the system brings even the best intended down to the lowest level. The main cost component is labor. Rather than fire people, the losers get shuffled off into the corner to pretend work and new people are added. Several years ago, business cut a deal with L&I to add a number of upper level claim management staff. L&I promised it would reduce average time-loss claims. You know what happened?? The average time-loss claim increased…substantially.
    Like a lot of public institutions (schools included), the Public Employees Union is the main stumbling block to real reform. What these Retro Groups have done is to basically do L&I’s job for them. They really do. The best solution??? You got it…outsource claim management. I would still keep the Retro component although if Retro refunds drop to close to 0, no one will participate. However, Retro has been and is pulling its weight and substantially outperforms non-Retro. This is solely because of financial incentive for results. Goldy is dead wrong. Workers are not getting screwed. Most honest claims are fully and promptly paid although you can always find anecdotal exceptions. It is truly the claimants that view WC as an entitlement that must be weeded out. 10% of the claims are 80% of the cost. In Oregon years ago they sent Guido out to visit long-term claimants and pressed charges when there was fraud. Not here.

  37. 48

    Jim King spews:

    Mr Cynical- I have been a small business lobbyist for over twenty years- I know these issues. I now look forward to resolving some of them. As for workers getting screwed- I wasn’t referring to worker comp (hey, most EMPLOYEES get frustrated with the system)- I was referring to a belief among too many that it is “either/or” when it comes to employers and employees succeeding. And I agree retro does a great job, but that it would whither away if the state ever did the job right- or the job was being done right by someone contracted with by the state. I am very pro-retro, in the soon-to-not-be-current environment. But there is a better way…

  38. 49

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    I respect your viewpoint Jim. We are all looking for a better way. Hopefully Rossi will appoint a solid L&I leader not some political hack. I mean Gary Moore???? Would would appoint the head of the State Employees Union to the head of L&I??? And then after he screwed that up, he was promoted & given a huge raise to do what??? NEGOTIATE FOR THE STATE WITH HIS EX-EMPLOYER!!!! UNBELIEVABLE!!! DIDN’T THAT HELP YOU SLEEP WELL AT NIGHT KNOWING MR. MOORE WAS NEGOTIATING WITH TAXPAYER DOLLARS WITH HIS EX-EMPLOYER???