Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

How I Voted

If you're curious what my ballot looks like, read on:

Initiative 960 - YES

Anything the League of Women Voters, the Washington Education Association, and a variety of "progressive" Washington organizations are so against MUST be a good thing. Elizabeth Hovde, an editorialist for The Columbian, wrote:
The biggest reason to like and vote for Initiative 960 is that it sticks it to politicians who have made a habit out of ignoring Initiative 601. Well, that and the fact that I-960 is a useful financial tool.


It would require legislative approval on fee increases. It would require the state to provide voters with a detailed cost analysis of proposed tax and fee increases. (This should not be seen as a burden, even though it carries a cost. Lawmakers should know the fiscal impact of their bills. Letting citizens in on that impact makes sense.) Finally, I-960 would require nonbinding public advisory votes if lawmakers fail to submit tax increases to the voters or pass them as allowed. As these votes are nonbinding, I think they are more costly than they are useful.

The initiative, on the whole, is more than likable, however. It should put an end to the out-of-control use of emergency clauses on bills that do not address state emergencies. And politicians should view the two-thirds vote provision as a useful budgetary tool rather than a pair of handcuffs, as some describe it.
Referendum 67 - REJECTED

Referendum 67 is a costly and unnecessary burden on Washington families and small businesses that could raise your insurance premiums by as much as $205 a year. The measure has been backed almost exclusively by trial attorneys who’ve funded the campaign in the hopes of collecting even higher fees (including triple damages!).

Senate Joint Resolution 8206 - REJECTED

Paul said it best

Senate Joint Resolution 8212 - REJECTED

The blogger "Against the Leviathan" wrote:
Are the inmates paid for their labor, or is the state paid for it? The text of the section stipulates that the working of inmates be for the benefit of the state, including any inmate labor programs operated for profit or otherwise, which implies to me that the programs would give a cut to the state at the very least. I also have to wonder why the term was expanded to allow not just for convicts but inmates. Would these labor programs be voluntary or mandatory for the inmates who are doing the work?

The Resolution, as it stands, is too ambiguous and leaves too much room for abuse, for, as Benjamin R. Tucker pointed out, “The main question to-night is not what motive inspired the law, but what it will be possible for men of bad motive to do with the law when once it has been placed in their hands as an instrument.”
House Joint Resolution 8204 - REJECTED

Again, when people start dragging out school children on TV ads and crying "it's for the kids," I'm going to vote against it. I totally agree with what Steve McClure had to say in his January 23, 2007 editorial in the Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
The 60 percent requirement was put into place during the Depression as a means to protect property owners and taxpayers. The Depression is a distant memory for most, but the protection offered by the requirement still is necessary and, in our mind, promotes local accountability.

The requirement that school levies be approved by more than a simple majority requires extra legwork and more explanation by supporters. We don’t think that’s a bad thing.

Undoubtedly, supporters of the simple majority language will pull out the “majority-rules-we-live-in-a-democracy” card. They’ll conveniently forget that our republic includes a number of safeguards to prevent the minority political opinion from being railroaded, including the two-thirds approval requirement that’s needed to put this amendment to the state constitution on the ballot.

There will be others who espouse that when 56 percent of less than 50 percent of the registered voters give something the nod it’s a “textbook landslide.”

The truth of the matter is a school superintendent worth his or her salt knows a levy that’s passed with 50 percent plus one vote doesn’t speak to a ringing endorsement of the district’s direction. In fact, it means supporters did a better job of getting people to the polls for an election outside the normal primary/general election cycle — and still almost half the district didn’t like the plan.

The 60 percent mark means school officials must build consensus among patrons and clearly articulate how tax dollars will be spent. It’s an achievable number that well-run districts with the support of their residents routinely attain.
House Joint Resolution 4215 - APPROVED

Again from The Columbian:
This one strikes us as even more of a slam-dunk. The Senate approved it for the ballot 45-0 and the House 96-0. It would change the constitution to allow colleges and universities to invest in stocks and bonds their money from the sale and lease of land, for example. Other segments of state government, such as pension funds, have been doing this for years. But institutions of higher learning are required to limit investments to safer, lower-yielding vehicles, which might not even keep pace with inflation.
School Director, District #1, Pullman School District #267 - SUSAN WEED

Susan and her husband Bill, the owners of radio stations KQQQ and Border 104, are very involved in the community. They recently received an award from the Pullman Chamber of Commerce for their activities. Susan deserves to remain on the school board.

I am not going to provide info on any of the unopposed candidates, except as follows:

City of Pullman Mayor - GLENN JOHNSON

City of Pullman Council Ward #1, Position #1 - FRANCIS BENJAMIN

City of Pullman Council Position #6 - KEITH BLOOM

Glenn, Francis and Keith are the core of the best city government Pullman has had in a long time. I'm glad we are having them around for four more years.


Adam J. Niehenke said...

I voted the same as you except on the inmate labor I approved. Probably should have researched a lit bit better, but I liked it on the surface.

8204 should be in place now and for all times. There will always be people who use children to pass bills. i remember doing it as a kid. My teachers got me to support school issue eventhough i did not know any better. Using children in a commericial should be crime and labled an abuse. School districts are completely inefficient and need to figure out how to fund thier items with the money they have instead of taxing property owners more and more.

Paul E. Zimmerman, M.A. said...

I also voted for 8212 because, as I read it, it is a step toward making inmates pay for their own incarceration, not to mention paying restitution to victims. If there are problems with inmate labor crowding out private enterprise, then it should be possible to shoot this one down in the courts, if need be.

Otherwise, our ballots are mirror images of each other.

Leonard said...

8212 is total nonsense. Our company lost money and more than half our customer base to the prison water jet shop (now shut down). One man made a fortune on that deal. The prison and officials said that prisoners need job training and such to ready for the real world. We obtained a list of prison employees, with hourly wages, sentance, and conviction. Many were in for LIFE! They were child molesters and murders. ALL were violent criminals. none were ever paid more than $5.00 an hour.
Now after they shut it down, we are doing good business and I get paid 20% more. AND I didn't kill anyone.

my 2 cents