Political Buzz

Talking WA politics.

NOTICE: Political Buzz has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Political Buzz.
Visit the new section.

Archives: Oct. 2007

Oct.
29th

Voters pamphlet blame game

Pierce County voters looking for "pro" and "con" statements in the voters pamphlet to help them sort out the eight charter amendments on the Nov. 6 ballot will mostly be disappointed.


Four of the amendments have neither a pro nor con statement. Three others are lacking one or the other. That leaves just one amendment with both a pro and con statement.


So who’s to blame? County officials are pointing fingers at each other.


County Auditor Pat McCarthy cites a state law requiring "the legislative authority" of a local jurisdiction – in this case,

Read more »

Oct.
26th

Insurance measure setting spending records

Opponents of Refendum 67 have smashed the previous record for the amount spent to defeat a statewide ballot measure.


Consumers Against Higher Insurance Rates – which based on the donor list should be called Insurance Companies Against Higher Insurance Rates – has spent $9,136,005 first to put the measure on the ballot and then to defeat it. That easily breaks the record held by those opposed to Initiative 892 which tried to expand non-tribal gambling in 2004. They spent $6,465,664 mostly from tribes that run casinos.


The insurance-backed group has raised $10,752,137 this year.


On the other

Read more »

Oct.
26th

Tacoma gets Progressive

My election story this week on the David Curry/Marilyn Strickland race elicited a response from Dean Nielsen, Washington State Director of the Progressive Majority. The story noted that Strickland had received campaign contributions from several sources outside of Washington, including the Progressive Majority. Nielsen wanted me to know his group has a local connection, even though the reporting to the Public Disclosure Commission shows the money came from the other Washington. He wrote:

We’re here, the bank account’s in DC though. Hope all is well.

I replied, asking Nielsen if we can expect to see his group contribute to more Tacoma races. The short answer was “yes.”

Here’s more of what he said:

Read more »

Oct.
25th

Multiple-choice question on the Pierce County ballot

There’s a multiple-choice question on the Nov. 6 ballot in Pierce County.


It’s part of a package of eight proposed amendments to the county charter. Three amendments seek to tweak or delay the implementation of instant runoff voting (the county now calls it ranked choice voting). That’s the system voters approved last year that lets them rank candidates for county offices in order of preference, instead of choosing just one.


But county leaders got hung up over what they perceive as a glitch: the software the county uses allows voters to rank only three candidates. The measure

Read more »

Oct.
25th

Eastern Wash. school supt. running for state post

From one of our education reporters, Debby Abe:


Richard Semler, superintendent of the Richland School District and a WASL critic, wants to be the state’s next schools chief.


He announced his candidacy for state Superintendent of Public Instruction on Tuesday at the Richland School Board meeting. The seat is currently held by three-term incumbent Terry Bergeson, who has not announced her plans for 2008.


Semler is a 37-year educator who plans to retire from Richland in June 2008. He has led the district since 1997.


"My professional life has been focused on doing what’s best

Read more »

Oct.
25th

Democratic women meet

The Pierce County Democratic Women’s club will meet at 11:30 a.m. Nov. 1 at the Tacoma Elks Club, 1965 S. Union Ave. Linda and Kent Sternhill-Davis will talk about how health care reform and other issues are affected by current campaign finance laws. For more information about the meeting, contact Elizabeth Ogden at elizogden@rainierconnect.com.

Oct.
24th

Undecideds lead in Roads and Transit poll

A poll of 817 registered voters in the Sound Transit/Regional Transportation Improvement Distict areas of Puget Sound show both sides have a lot of work to do.


The SurveyUSA poll, conducted for KING TV, shows that 37 percent of voters remain undecided. Of those surveyed, 30 percent said they intended to support Proposition 1, 32 percent they would vote no and the rest said they aren’t certain how they will vote.


The poll also showed that Sound Transit has a slightly more favorable rating among voters than the state Department of Transportation. Neither, however, are especially

Read more »