The Seattle Times has endorsed Republican Edward Barton over two-term Democratic state Representative Luis Moscoso in the 1st Legislative District, and omigod, I don’t even know where to start with this one.
First of all, this is now the second race (that I am aware of) in which the editors have endorsed making the state legislature even whiter. As if that’s possible. By my count there are currently only ten nonwhite members of the 147-member legislature (none in the Republican caucuses, unless we want to go back to counting the Irish).
Moscoso is one of only two Hispanics currently serving in Olympia, while Representative Sharon Tomiko Santos is one of only four Asian Pacific Islanders. The Seattle Times would prefer to replace both of them with middle-aged white guys.
Second, the editors’ pre-House biographical description of Moscoso as simply “a former Community Transit bus driver,” is an absolutely stunning lie omission, even for an editorial board that has raised lies of omission to the highest form of art.
Yes, Moscoso drove a bus. But more significantly he was a union organizer and four-term president of ATU Local 1576. He was the Government Relations Director for the Washington Public Employees Association, and served three terms as Secretary of the Washington State Democratic Party. Moscoso has also served on numerous other boards and committees including the Puget Sound Regional Council and NAACP of Snohomish County, but it is his union organizing and Democratic Party activism that makes up the bulk of his professional resume. And it is also the biographical detail to which the anti-labor editors truly object.
And last, but certainly not least, I have to admit I had trouble falling asleep last night after reading this favorable description of Barton’s education policy:
On the critical issue of education, Barton is rightly skeptical of the state Supreme Court’s heavy-handed education-funding mandate, but advocates for additional funding through the so-called levy swap proposal, which has been advanced by some key House Democrats.
Oh. My. Fucking. God.
How many times do I have to explain that the “levy swap” provides no additional funding for education?! It just doesn’t! I’ve laid out in detail how a levy swap would would work. I’ve shown my math. It is an accounting trick, pure and simple, to preposterously claim that a levy swap provides “additional funding” to K-12 education.
To repeat, a levy swap is by design revenue neutral. It merely replaces local levy dollars with state levy dollars—any increase in state school spending is offset by decreasing aggregate local school spending by an equivalent amount. Furthermore, in “property rich” urban and suburban districts like Seattle, Bellevue, and Redmond (communities whose interests the Seattle Times allegedly serves), a levy swap would substantially raise our property taxes while providing zero additional funds for our local schools. In fact, a levy swap would actually erode our local K-12 funding over time!
I know folks at the Seattle Times read me—I can see the traffic coming in from nwsource.com. So there is absolutely no excuse for continuing to perpetuate this lie.
Reading between the lines of the paper’s endorsements this year, the editors have clearly made education reform their overriding priority… if by “reform” you mean busting the teachers union, promoting the Gates/Walmart-backed corporate education agenda, and defying the Supreme Court’s mandate to spend more tax dollars on public schools. I suppose that’s their right. I just wish they had the integrity to be honest about it.