I’ve been known to say a few unkind words about The Seattle Times, particularly their Op/Ed pages. I’m not apologizing; after all, they are the largest and most influential paper in the state, so they are more than a fair target.
And let’s be honest, who could resist poking a little fun at Collin Levey and her slavish devotion to her masters at Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, Inc.? (In fact, if Collin wrote every day, I could happily devote this blog just to her.)
But fair is fair. Today they printed an excellent editorial on the need to provide funding to treat our state’s growing epidemic of problem gambling: “Tribes should ante up for addicted gamblers.”
Of course, by “excellent,” I mean that I generally agree with it, not that it necessarily excelled in any particular way. Truth is, I have some issues with its main premise, a few of the details, and some phrasing. Oh, and the headline sucks.
Great conclusion though.
Most of all, I just plain appreciate that they are so willing to use their paper as a forum for promoting this very important issue. Not to mention their continued opposition to I-892, Eyman’s “Slots for Tots” initiative.
Which brings me to a little nitpicking:
A truly shameful statewide initiative seeks to expand state-licensed gambling, allowing slot machines in bars, restaurants, taverns, cardrooms and bowling alleys.
As accurate a characterization of I-892 as I’ve ever heard. Unfortunately, they don’t actually mention I-892 by name (or number,) which will leave more than a few of its signers nodding their heads in agreement, not realizing they’ve already penned their support.
Listen to the sales pitch of a typical paid signature gatherer and you’d think I-892 was entirely about property taxes (with the side benefit of finally giving the oppressed white man equal rights with Native Americans.) Many signers have absolutely no idea what they’ve signed.
Petitioning should be a wonderfully democratic opportunity for supporters to meet their fellow citizens face-to-face and educate them on the issues, but the only education today’s for-profit initiative process offers voters is the harsh lesson that believing the promises of these paid professionals is an invitation to be screwed.
I expect The Times to be more subtle than me in criticizing I-892 (after all, they are a “family newspaper,”) but failing to mention it by name is a bit too subtle. I appreciate that The Times has been out in front, opposing this initiative from day one. I just wish they would oppose it a little louder.