Inside Opinion

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Tag: billie o’brien

Oct.
8th

McCarthy for executive; O’Brien for assessor-treasurer

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.

As Lincoln might have said, you can fool 10.7 percent of the people all of the time. At least in Pierce County.

In the August primary, that’s how much of the electorate wanted to give Assessor-Treasurer Dale Washam another four years in office. Another four years to break the law, abuse the staff and run up seven-figure legal losses for the taxpayers.

The nightmare in the assessor-treasurer’s office is almost at an end, thanks to the other 89.3 percent. They booted Washam and narrowed the remaining field of candidates to Billie O’Brien

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Aug.
8th

Too few primary voters, but they made good choices

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

Sure, the Olympics are a distraction, many of us are on vacation and the weather’s been so sunny that perhaps it’s thrown Northwesterners for a loop. But does that explain the lower-than-expected turnout in Tuesday’s primary?

Going to an all-mail election statewide was supposed to boost turnout. After all, there’s no excuse for failing to vote when the ballot is right there on the dining room table.

Unless a whole lot of voters waited until the very last minute to return their ballots, it’s looking like turnout won’t reach the 46 percent that Secretary of State Sam Reed had predicted. That makes it hard to decipher what the results indicate about voter sentiment and what they portend for the Nov. 6 general election. Because this is a presidential election year, turnout is likely to be more than double what it was in the primary, possibly around 85 percent.
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July
8th

For assessor-treasurer: Tim Farrell or Billie O’Brien


Billie O'Brien

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

It might be hard to explain to an outsider why an office like assessor-treasurer is such a hot race in Pierce County this year.

You sort of have to live here. The incumbent is Dale Washam – a perennially unsuccessful candidate who managed to get elected under a fluky ranked-choice system in 2008. It was a year in which many new voters weren’t aware of Washam’s long and checkered history in Pierce County.


Tim Farrell

That’s not the case today. A voter would have to have been holed up in an isolated cabin in the Cascades not to have heard about all the trouble Washam has caused. His incompetence and abuse of county employees have cost taxpayers millions. If he’s re-elected, he’ll keep ratcheting up the bill.

Fortunately, he has four respectable challengers in the Aug. 7 primary – any of whom would be a huge improvement. The top two vote-getters will advance to the Nov. 6 general election.

Three candidates are political veterans familiar to local voters: Pierce County Councilman Tim Farrell and former Tacoma City Council members Mike Lonergan and Spiro Manthou. Read more »