Monday, October 19, 2009

FWIW, My General Election 2009 Endorsements

Dedicated to all three of my readers...

Off and running, in an off-off year we're not bothered with electing legislators (aside from rare exceptions), Governors, Lt. Governors, or a wide variety of other critters - we get ballot measures, some muni-critters, the occasional mayor, and oddball hospital board and port director slots.

Initiative 1033, to borrow an oft-used descriptor, is a "starve the beast" small government initiative, with mandatory donations to a constitutionally protected rainy day fund and a "refund the overages to the citizenry" provision - with the proviso that the citizenry can make exceptions by a vote. Problem with this is that it a *statutory* critter...and thus amendable by the Legislature in the first two years by a 2/3 majority of that august body..and by a simple majority thereafter. Odds are good it will suffer the same fate as the the similarly concieved Initiative 695 and be gutted at the first moment it becomes inconvenient to the dominant majority du jour. Nevertheless, I endorse it, albeit less than enthusiastically, as a *gag* "message" measure...a relatively subtle hint to our elected sorts that voter patience is wearing thin....

Referendum 71 is an attempt to repeal the "Everything But Marriage" '09 Domestic Partnership bill. While I'd much rather simply see the state get entirely out of the business of "marriage" and leave it to the religious sorts, limiting itself to *domestic partnership for all* with all the current legal encumbrances, responsibilities, and dysfunctions of the legal side of the institution - I don't see that happening, realistically, any time soon. The act was and is a "good first step".

The funky way Washington phrases such things, a vote "for" or "to affirm" keeps the law in force, "no" or "reject" repeals it. The arguments I've heard for it "but it will force churches to marry same sex couples against their tenets" (specious - have you heard of the Catholic Church being forced to marry divorcee's? It's a first amendment thing.).

To gently fisk the folks over at SoundPolitics a tad...

Unfortunately, laws affecting children, property ownership, health and retirement benefits, inheritance and a host of case law are based on the traditional one man, one woman definition of marriage.

And the same could be said some years ago of various Jim Crow laws. Simply because something is, or is traditional, is a null argument that things should continue thusly. The same can be said of equating "good" and "new" - meaningless mouth noises emerging from shallow minds, OR, more sophisticated sorts trying to manipulate shallow-minded sorts with inadequate analytical skills.

What harm is derived by allowing same sex couples to protect their children, their wealth, share their health and retirement benefits, and bequeath their worldly goods as they see fit? What good, beyond satisfying Bertha Betterthanyou, is served by denying simple equality before the law?

A few states have expanded marriage to include same sex couples while others have revised the laws regarding adoption, benefits etc. by passing so called "domestic partner" legislation. Senate Bill 5688 falls in the latter category just short of the Gay community goal of full marriage but it opens the door to all manner of law suits and legally forced acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle.

Lifestyle implies choice. In most cultures, honesty is considered a virtue - and the average LGBT person is presented with the same choice they have regarding gravity ...they can either admit to themselves and others who they are and live honestly...or bury themselves in self-deception, the deception of others, or both - and all the dysfunction that attends upon such a dishonest choice. Such a choice is no choice.

Acceptance? That cannot be forced. "No Touchies"? That is a worthwhile goal. It's called *tolerance*. As in keep your paws to yourself, tend to your own relationship(s), and should you feel a need to *comment* have at it - though you may not enjoy the response. The only legally enforced acceptance is recognition of equality before the law - the ability to enjoy all the privileges and responsibilities of a consenting adult with a mutually consenting sort in a long term relationship.

Much of what is in Senate Bill 5688 is currently available to domestic partners. It comes too close to redefining marriage and threatens my right to hold a biblical view. What's next, polygamy? However, I fully recognize there are strong differences of opinion. Many leading citizens of good will, including some in the religious community, approve of Ref. 71.

Again, deceit. First a little side step about "much" - equality before the law dictates *all*. Redefining marriage? Take it up with your pastor - other folks relationships are none of your business, so long as they are adult and consenting. And the "threatens your right to hold a biblical view" is simply a scaremongering farce - nothing in the Act restricts your viewpoint (merely your ability to inflict it on others via force of law), or to express your views publically or privately. One can only conclude a conscious or subconscious agenda of bigotry hiding behind rationalization of greater or lesser effectiveness.

Vote YES to affirm on R-71. And may the signers of the petition and the donors to the campaign be well-publicized throughout the land - let the sun shine in!

City of Seattle Proposition 1 - A massive housing levy. In better times, I might say differently - but with the city 60+ million in the hole, and the state waltzing into a 9 billion dollar fiscal black hole, voting to spend money we don't have is sheerest idiocy. Now is the time to be *cutting* programs, not expanding them. Leave this to charity and family, and get back to your core mission - keep stuff from burning down, blowing up, getting shot up, fill the potholes, and keep the streets clear when it snows. All else, for a city, is optional...and right now, we're running out of options. VOTE NO.

King County Executive - Dow Constantine is, by all accounts, a really nice guy. And I like his campaign staff - not only smart, but stunningly cute. However, he's more of the King County Liberal Democrat establishment - and King County needs someone to pull the flush handle, not more of the same. Vote for Susan Hutchison - she's been working in the non-profit sector since leaving the TV news biz, and doing a good job. That she appears libertarian/conservative is only a bonus - she won't likely be able to overcome the Establishment Inertia, but just perhaps she'll be able to shake things up and put a stop to some of the sillier antics at County level...say, maybe, starting by letting the Sheriff negotiate contracts with the Sheriff's department employee's.

Sheriff - Sue Rahr is running unopposed (NEVER a good thing), but thus far she's done a good job and advocated for public safety even-handedly, and stood up for her department against some fairly underhanded attempts to undermine her at the expense of public safety. Vote for Sue, but still...unopposed, never a good thing.

Port Commissioners 1, 3, 4 - it's VOTE AGAINST THE INCUMBENT real winners here, unless you have a special interest the port can serve, then who looks easiest to boggle/manipulate might come into play. Rob Holland, who I've met, seems nice enough...but too young, and too easily influenced from my impression.

City of Seattle
Mayor - we're presented with competent evil vs incompetent evil. The kindest thing I can say about Mike McGinn is that in his arrogance and certainty of his own moral virtue, he may do less damage simply because it will be easier to see his particular variety of really vivid idiocy early on, before it can do much damage.

Joe Mallahan, on the other hand, comes from a management environment and may actually be able to worm some of HIS variety of especially festive ninnyhood past the spectators and get it done before anyone notices or is able to do much about it.

Neither, if elected, will serve more than one term as the Nickels legacy will eat alive whoever is elected, and then crap them out on a hill of fire ants for emphasis. I'm torn on this one...the coin came down for Mallahan, mainly on the theory that the city can't put up with another 4 years of government of "because I wanna" and "because it FEEELS SOOOO GOOOD".

City Attorney Pete Holmes is a regrettable "please, Gawd, let it only be one term" choice, but given Tom Carr's performance as City Attorney, he's the least bad choice. Vote Holmes on this one.

I've run outta steam...but...DUMP CONLIN, KEEP LICATA...and Sally Bagshaw seems like a nice, if well-meaning, sort...

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