Inside Opinion

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Tag: Julie Anderson


The voters guide statement you’ll only read here

UPDATE: This posting now also includes the “against” statement drafted by Ken Miller.

Robert Hill, currently residing at the Pierce County Jail, was 12 minutes late submitting this statement opposing the Tacoma School District’s proposed $500 million bond measure on the Feb. 12 ballot. So the voters pamphlet will only have a statement in support of the measure. See the news article here.

Don’t get me wrong: I fully support Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson’s decision not to accept the statement. Rules are rules, and if the rules are stretched 12 minutes for one statement, why not 12 hours? Couldn’t the other side sue the county if it were to break its rules?

In a Friday editorial, we criticize the way statement writers are selected in Pierce County: by the governing body that is putting a funding measure on the ballot. How aggressive will a school district or transit agency really be to seek out people to write a cogent “against” statement? We think the process needs to be refined to either have a less biased party make the selection or require the governing body to do more to solicit statement writers.

Anyway, here’s Hill’s unedited statement, which he emailed to our office on New Year’s Eve. It’s not all that great, but I’ve certainly seen worse statements in voters pamphlets. And credit Hill for at least being willing to take on the task that others were unwilling to do. Read more »


Voters guide statement fiascos show change is needed

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

Pierce County now has had back-to-back debacles over who writes the “against” statement that appears in the voters pamphlet.

Both involve a notorious local felon and publicity hound, Robert “The Traveler” Hill, and they reflect obvious flaws in how statement writers are selected.

In the first case, Hill applied to write the statement opposing last fall’s Pierce Transit tax measure. Only one other person applied, and he said he wouldn’t participate if he had to collaborate on the statement with Hill – a jail inmate who’s had widely publicized, bizarre run-ins with the law. The Pierce Transit board’s lawyer reportedly said that no candidate could be rejected unless there were at least four applicants.
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Julie Anderson for Pierce County auditor – again

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

Pierce County voters can be forgiven for spotting Julie Anderson’s name on the November ballot and possibly wondering, “Didn’t we just elect her?”

Anderson is running for county auditor again a year after she first won the office by beating the incumbent-by-appointment, Jan Shabro.

The Pierce County Council appointed Shabro in early 2009 after predecessor Pat McCarthy’s election to county executive created a vacancy in the auditor’s office.

Anderson, a former Tacoma city councilwoman, won the 2009 special election and is now vying for her first full term. The News Tribune editorial board endorsed her in 2009 and does so again this year.

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Some ballot choices more crucial than others

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

Voters should always take care when making their election picks, but some parts of the ballot deserve more attention than others this year.

In many South Sound races, voters have two good options, and the public will be well-served no matter the outcome of the election.
Other decisions are more pivotal. Take the election for Federal Way Municipal Court. Judge Michael Morgan has hurt the court’s standing and its internal workings. He has to go.

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Would Julie Anderson and Jan Shabro endorse each other as No. 2?

Kelly Haughton of ranked-choice voting fame wants to Will Baker-proof the upcoming election for Pierce County auditor. He’s asking rivals Jan Shabro and Julie Anderson to endorse each other as No. 2 choices for their supporters.

Shabro and Anderson are sharing the county’s ranked-choice ballot with Will Baker, a self-aggrandizing clown with a history of arrests and disorderly conduct convictions.

The nightmare scenario (alluded to in today’s editorial) is that Baker will wind up a hair ahead of one of the other two in a three-way race, then win in the next round when second-ranked candidates are counted. It’s conceivable that some of Anderson’s supporters will make Baker their second preference and that some of Shabro’s supporters will do the same rather than cast their second-choice vote for their candidate’s major opponent.

Here’s Haughton’s proposal, which I think is a good one:

Julie and Jan – I believe we can all agree that Will Baker would be a disaster as Auditor. To emphasize this point, I suggest that the two of you recommend each other as your second choice.
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Julie Anderson for Pierce County auditor

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

A funny thing happened to the Pierce County auditor’s office in the two years since citizens voted to make it nonpartisan: It seems to have become more partisan than ever.

Its current occupant, Jan Shabro, was appointed by the Republican majority on the County Council early this year after former Auditor Pat McCarthy was elected county executive.

In appointing Shabro, the council rebuffed the Democratic Party’s nominees – which included Shabro’s chief challenger, staunch Democrat Julie Anderson. The contest this year looks as partisan as any in the past.

Perhaps it’s understandable that the Republicans and Democrats want to keep their stamp on the office. The auditor gets to print her name on every ballot sent out, which is a nice way to pick up name familiarity. That makes the position a good springboard to higher office, as McCarthy’s election demonstrated.

Still, the county’s chief elections officer ought to be more than nominally nonpartisan, if only to avoid the perception (inaccurate so far) that a particular party has its thumb on the scale when the ballots are counted. Running elections is pure administrative work, as are licensing, animal-control and the other responsibilities of the office. There’s no liberal or conservative way to chase pit bulls.
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