If you're not already planning to vote on Tuesday, November 2, well, fuck you. Sorry if that seems harsh but, really, fuck you. FUCK YOU. Phuq Ew. www.fuckyou.com.

If you are planning to vote, gee, you seem nice. Really. That color is awesome on you. Wanna go grab a beer sometime? Unless, of course, you're planning to vote for Nader. If that's the case, re-read the above paragraph. Ten fucking times, you dumb fucking hippie. Fuck you, hippie, fuck you. www.fuckyouhippie.com.


It's time to vote, motherfuckers, in the most important election of your life. The Stranger Dept. of Homeland Security is issuing a Code Red. George "Constitutional amendment discriminating against gays, 44 million uninsured Americans, no connection to al Qaeda, $139 billion drug-industry windfall, 1.8 million lost jobs, falling wages, over 50 percent of the tax cut to the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans, Got WMD Yet?" Bush MUST be defeated on November 2. Get your ass to the polls, you motherfucking motherfuckers, and vote for John Kerry.

And the liberal senator from Massachusetts isn't the only one who needs your vote. Locally, a slew of Democrats--gubernatorial hopeful Christine Gregoire, Eastside U.S. Rep. contender Dave Ross, and AG candidate Deborah Senn--are all locked in tight races.

The Stranger Dept. of Homeland Security also wants to alert you to the slew of initiatives, particularly one that's lurking on the very bottom of the ballot. If this initiative, Initiative 83, passes, it will ruin all hopes of rapid mass public transit in this city by killing the monorail. Vote NO on Initiative 83.

After you vote for Kerry and vote NO on I-83, please join the Stranger Dept. of Homeland Security at Chop Suey for an Election Night party (big-screen TVs, drink specials, Bush piñata) as we bunker down and drink and pray. Please God, deliver Ohio. --Editors.

The Stranger Department of Homeland Security does not make endorsements in uncontested races. The Dept. is Erica C. Barnett, Josh Feit, Amy Jenniges, Sandeep Kaushik, Tim Keck, Dan Savage, Annie Wagner, and Mason Bryant.

Federal Races
U.S. President
John Kerry

George Bush is pure scum. His far-right pandering to his rural Christian rube supporters on gay marriage, his use of the tax code to reward the "I call you my base" rich at the expense of the middle class, his utter bullshit justifications for a needless war that now appears to be sliding, inexorably, into a foreign-policy catastrophe not seen since America's humiliating Saigon '75 exit, all make Bush unworthy to serve as president.

Given Bush's track record, egregious mistakes, and ultra-conservative instincts, the Democrats could have nominated anyone--Tucker "Dick" Carlson, Jenna Jamison, a bloody scab--and we would have endorsed him, her or it. Instead the Ds, somewhat miraculously, did something smart: They nominated Massachusetts Senator John Kerry.

We like Kerry almost as much as we hate Bush. No, really. We mean it. Really. He's tough--his heroic service in Vietnam proves that, especially when compared to Bush, who had daddy pull strings for him so he didn't have to fight in a war he supposedly supported. Kerry is a man of integrity, as his willingness to step forward and speak out eloquently, after his return stateside, against the Vietnam War, shows. He is smart (he tore Bush apart in the debates), informed, and experienced. Only in a debased campaign process would thoughtful deliberation be treated as inferior to chuckle headed simple-mindedness.

Since World War II, the United States has operated as the center of strong international alliances. We need those alliances more than ever as we face the long-term threat of Islamic extremism. But Bush and the Neocon ideologues who run his foreign policy have thumbed their noses at the world, embracing a doctrine of de facto unilateralism and proclaiming America to be unbound by any limitation--legal, moral, (truthful!) or otherwise. That they are shortsighted fools and amoral liars has been proven beyond any doubt by the disgusting photos from Abu Ghraib and by the fact that nearly 90 percent of the cost in lives and money of Bush's misbegotten Iraq adventure falls on the U.S.

With respect to domestic policy, Bush is passionate about only one thing: tax cuts for the wealthy. Those tax cuts have failed to deliver the promised benefits of jobs and a vibrant economy, so what does Bush offer? More tax cuts for the wealthy, and ever larger deficits.

Kerry is genuinely concerned for the well- being of working Americans. In the final debate, he highlighted his fundamental differences with Bush by supporting a boost to the minimum wage, which is at its lowest level since 1990 (adjusted for inflation), saying he was "tired of politicians who talk about family values but don't value families." Bush, who doesn't give two shits in a cat's ass about the working poor, had no response. Four more years of Bush is a recipe for (further) disaster. We urge you to vote for the badass from Massachusetts.

And if Bush wins? Let's riot, you motherfuckers.

U.S. Senator
Patty Murray

Patty Murray is derided as a dim bulb. But here's one very, very smart thing she did during her last term, which alone qualifies her to be reelected: She voted against Bush's Iraq War resolution.

At the time, in 2002, most Democrats in D.C. were so cowed by Bush's post-9/11 surge of popularity they were stampeding to the right, giving the president everything he wanted. (Including, uh, John Kerry, the "badass" endorsed above.) Hindsight vindicated Murray's bravery. If more Democrats had the courage to stand up for their convictions, we would not be trying to salvage this mess now. Plus, she has been outstanding on homeland security, taking a leadership role in winning greater funding for protecting our vulnerable ports.

Murray's opponent, Spokane congressman George Nethercutt, is a genial man with right-wing views typical of Tom Delay Republicans. He is anti-choice, pro-tax cuts and a rubber stamp for the Bush agenda. And have you seen his manboobs flopping around in those commercials where he's jogging past the Space Needle? Thanks for the sleepless nights, George.

There are two minor candidates in this race: Libertarian J. Mills, who wants an immediate withdrawal from Iraq and supports gay marriage; and Green Mark Wilson, a well-spoken peace activist. This race could be close. Don't waste your vote. Help reelect Murray.

Congressional District No. 1
U.S. Representative

Jay Inslee

U.S. Rep Jay Inslee has one of the most liberal voting records in Congress, getting 100 percent ratings from lefty interest groups across the board: NARAL, Consumers Union, and the League of Conservation Voters. (We're also fond of that zero rating he got from the Christian Coalition.) Given that Inslee represents our suburban neighbors to the north (and looks like a frat boy) his lefty voting record is astonishing: nay on Bush's tax cuts, nay on the war, nay on a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, nay on "protecting" the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, yay on amending the PATRIOT Act so the feds can't snoop around your library account or do unconstitutional "sneak and peek" searches.

And unlike Seattle's own pinko commie Jim McDermott, Inslee is a rising star in the party with the clout to get shit done, like instituting tax cuts for companies that use renewable energy.

The Republicans aren't even fielding a real challenger: Kirkland real estate agent and Bible study instructor Randy Eastwood has raised just $22,000--of which $10,000 is his own. We haven't seen Eastwood's boobs but we're betting they flap around when he jogs. Inslee, on the other hand, has nice, firm manboobs. He showed them to us at out endorsements interview. Nice rack, Jay.

Congressional District No. 7
U.S. Representative
Jim McDermott

La la la. We're endorsing Jim McD. Does it really matter? We've been hard on Michael Moore's favorite congressman. In 2000 when McDermott had a primary challenger (for once!)--a smart Green name Joe Szwaja--we endorsed Szwaja. Our gripe with McDermott is that he doesn't take full advantage of this safe Democratic seat to be a D leader.

However, his does have an impressive progressive voting record (he voted against last week's $136 billion corporate-tax-giveaway package, for example), and he was a driving force behind this summer's African Growth and Opportunity Act. The fact that Bush snubbed McDermott by not inviting Fahrenheit Jim to the White House signing makes the Dept. that much prouder.

McDermott's Republican challenger, Carol Cassaday, supports the PATRIOT Act, wants to expand the Bush tax cuts, supports voucher schools, calls abortion the "American Holocaust," supports a Constitutional amendment outlawing gay marriage, and is against public transit projects in Seattle. She's scum too.

Congressional District No. 8
U.S. Representative
Dave Ross

When KIRO talker Dave Ross jumped into this race, he seemed unprepared. Aside from expressing vague concerns about Iraq, he had little to say about the issues affecting his Eastside district, where Republican icon Jennifer Dunn is retiring.

Encouragingly, Ross has grown on the campaign trail. And he is an independent-minded moderate who fits the 8th--a once reactionary Republican bastion, but now a swing district. He is generally pro-choice, advocates stem-cell research, and has sharpened his criticisms of the Bush regime's march to war.

His opponent, King County Sheriff Dave Reichert, has gotten glowing coverage in the wake of the arrest (a little late, but whatever) of the Green River killer. But that doesn't mean he'd make a good congressman. Reichert is too conservative for the 8th; he is a down the line far-right fuck-wit on social issues. And he's often at a loss on issues with major local resonance: In a recent debate, Reichert admitted he didn't know enough to comment on the Europeans' massive Airbus subsidies, which are directly responsible for the loss of thousands of local jobs. D'oh!

State Races
Christine Gregoire

Christine Gregoire is a tough, no-nonsense broad. She has made a detailed plan to create 250,000 new jobs the centerpiece of her campaign, and she says smart things about promoting life sciences as an incubator for the growth of high-paying jobs. And, although she's been disappointing on gay marriage, she says she intends to honor the state supreme court when it makes its decision.

Gregoire has an admirable biography. She rose from humble beginnings to become the first female attorney general in state history. In that office, she's best known for taking a leading role in negotiating the national tobacco settlement, which has brought billions into state coffers.

And here's the clincher: Gregoire is light years more progressive than her opponent, Dino Rossi, a former state senator. Rossi is dangerous. He ran circles around Olympia Dems when he pushed through a no-new-taxes budget in 2003 that closed a $2.6 billion shortfall by cutting services. He's a talented politician, bright and charming, and is seen as the Republican's best hope of capturing the governorship in two decades. Though he has been effective in cultivating a moderate image, he has a long track record as an ultra-conservative. He is anti-choice, against affirmative action, earlier in his career he called for creationism to be taught in public schools (he homeschooled his children), and is a near-total captive of the state's business lobby--which explains why he netted the Seattle Times endorsement. Rossi, for instance, received a total of $5,200 in contributions from Coca-Cola and its PAC just before and after calling for a repeal on the tax for soda syrup; and his resistance to increasing the minimum wage strikes a chord with the temp agencies that have poured thousands into his campaign. His personal Horatio Alger tale is tainted by his long association with a real estate wheeler-dealer who went to prison for fraudulent business practices.

Libertarian Ruth Bennett is thoughtful and principled and is making support for gay marriage her central plank. (Bennett is gay). But she has no hope of victory, and polls show this race could be close. Rossi must be defeated. Give your vote to Gregoire.

Lieutenant Governor
Bern Haggerty

The current lieutenant governor, Democrat Brad Owen, fills his time traveling with his crappy-ass rock band, assailing bored (and no doubt stoned) schoolkids with his don't-smoke-dope message. This moron opposed the state's sensible medical marijuana initiative. In other words, he's an annoying, uptight douche bag. His Green Party opponent, Bern Haggerty, is a Bellingham lawyer and an articulate lefty. Throw the hippies a bone (or a rice cake, or whatever). Vote for Haggerty.

Secretary of State
Sam Reed

Sam Reed is a moderate Republican who takes his job seriously. He's accessible, and--more important--Republican party chair Chris Vance can't stand him. Oh, and unlike his Dem opponent, Reed's never "gotten tipsy and flirted with me," says our touchy (GAY!) editor. Vote Reed.

State Treasurer
Mike Murphy

Mike Murphy, the incumbent Democrat, has done a fine job in his last two terms as Washington State Treasurer--a job that involves hugely boring/hugely important things like bond sales, managing the state's tax collecting and spending, and providing financial services to local governments. Murphy is endorsed by most of the state's county treasurers. We're for him too.

State Auditor
Brian Sonntag

Incumbent Brian Sonntag may be a conservative Democrat, but we don't want to hand the job of auditing state agencies to someone who's been arrested over 19 times for haranguing the Tacoma City Council--i.e., the Republican challenger, Will "the more he campaigns, the less people will vote for him" Baker.

Attorney General
Deborah Senn

Deborah Senn served two terms as state insurance commissioner. She is on the left of the political spectrum, a populist who built a strong reputation as a crusading consumer advocate, which won her the enduring enmity of the state's business establishment.

Unfortunately, Senn gave conservatives ammunition by crusading a bit too hard as insurance commissioner. But it is time for Democrats to unite behind her. A main role of the AG's office is consumer protection, and we expect Senn will excel at that task. Senn talks (with credibility) about the AG as "the people's lawyer," and advocates investigating rising gas prices, going after identity theft, and policing predatory lending--music to our ears.

Compare that to her Republican opponent, King County Council member Rob McKenna, who adheres to the Republican mantra that government is part of the problem rather than part of the solution. McKenna, a female-to-male transsexual, is the FTM community's own Mary Cheney. When will McKenna address the needs of the FTM community? We expect more from one of our own, "Robin." There's also a Green and a Libertarian in this race, but forget about them. Polls show Senn leading by only a narrow margin over McKenna. Vote Senn.

Commissioner of Public Lands
Mike Cooper

As lands commissioner for the past four years, Republican Doug Sutherland has... zzzzzzz. Oh, sorry. Nodded off. We try to stay engaged in these down-ticket, state-wide races, we really do, but, Christ, it's hard. I mean, can't the lands commish be appointed? Do we really have to vote on all these shitty state jobs? Anyway, we snorted some meth and read all about this Sutherland asswipe. He's been abysmal--who knew? He's increased logging by 30 percent, opposed rules protecting scenic forests, and failed to adequately protect old-growth trees. Democratic state Rep. Mike Cooper has the backing of every major environmental group in the state blah blah blah. Just vote for Cooper, okay?

Superintendent of Public Instruction
Judith Billings

Whoa. Catfight. This super-hostile race between incumbent Superintendent Terry Bergeson and former superintendent Judith Billings boils down to the WASL--the high-stakes test that forces teachers' hands, rattles parents, and determines a kid's fate in the 10th grade. The WASL is Bergeson's baby, and she refuses to acknowledge that it shouldn't be the sole measure to judge students, teachers, and schools. Billings, who was superintendent during the '90s (when the accountability and standards movement first created the WASL) thinks the test should only be one element in a broader assessment system. And she comes armed with scary statistics that show minority students will be left behind in this rigid system. Vote Billings.

Insurance Commissioner
Mike Kreidler

Hey, everybody! It's the Insurance Commissioner endorsement! Can you stand it?! Mike Kreidler is a strong advocate for the public interest! Whether the issue is discriminatory credit checks or price-gouging pharmaceutical companies! And he promptly achieved national reaccredidation early in his term! How cool is THAT? Word up! Kreidler deserves a second term!

The Stranger Department of Homeland Security is shamelessly recommending a straight Democratic slate in this year's state house contests. But before you charge the Dept. with mindless partisanship, please note that in the recent past we've endorsed Libertarians, Greens, Republicans, and even Mark Sidran! And this year, we are endorsing a Green for lieutenant governor and a Republican for secretary of state.

However, despite the fact that the local Rs made a conscious effort to field legislative candidates this year (young and foxy ones to boot), and despite one earnest Green, we didn't find anyone worthy enough to risk displacing Ds from their slim house majority.

On the contrary, we found a lot of right-wing ideologues who talked about "returning to a moral public culture," user-fee-based taxation for social services, and "civil liberties for the unborn." Additional investigation by the Dept. also uncovered laughably inadequate qualifications and a Libertarian candidate who peddled felt-art and stream-of-consciousness poetry: "Even when I am sleepiest, I know if you plan to devalue your currency, no one may want to trade it for the future."

For more poetry, go to Libertarian candidate Don Zeek's website (www.magnoliagizmo.com). For a state house anchored by solid Seattle Democrats, vote for the Dem in your district. Our Dems have fought for a state income tax, gay civil rights, health insurance for small businesses' employees, a statewide anti-smoking ban, the right to Canadian drugs, universal child healthcare, and investment in South Seattle. Of course, the Zeitgeist issue in 2005 will be gay marriage and with veteran Seattle Dems like Helen Sommers in place, the legislature will make the right decision.

Here's the highly recommended D slate:

Legislative District No. 11
State Senator

Vote for Margarita Prentice

Representative Position No. 1

Vote for Zack Hudgins

Representative Position No. 2

Vote for Bob Hasegawa

Legislative District No. 34
Representative Position No. 1

Vote for Eileen L. Cody

Representative Position No. 2

Vote for Joe McDermott

Legislative District No. 36
Representative Position No. 1

Vote for Helen Sommers

Representative Position No. 2

Vote for Mary Lou Dickerson

Legislative District No. 37
Representative Position No. 1

Vote for Sharon Tomiko Santos

Representative Position No. 2

Vote for Eric Pettigrew

Legislative District No. 43
Representative Position No. 1

Vote for Ed Murray

Representative Position No. 2

Vote for Democrat Frank Chopp

Legislative District No. 46
Representative Position No. 1

Vote for Jim McIntire

Representative Position No. 2

Vote for Phyllis Kenney

State Supreme Court Justice Positions Nos. 1 and 6 Mary Kay Becker and Terry Sebring
Two monumental issues--marriage equality and the so-called monorail recall--will undoubtedly land in the supreme court next year. With two seats up (a third incumbent, moderate Barbara Madsen, is unchallenged in the general), we believe Mary Kay Becker (vying for an open seat) and Terry Sebring (trying to oust an incumbent Richard Sanders) will decide the right way on these important issues.

A 10-year veteran of the state court of appeals, Becker, who's garnered endorsements from groups like Washington Conservation Voters, Washington State Labor Council, and NARAL Pro-Choice Washington simply outweighs her opponent, private attorney Jim Johnson, who has no judicial experience.

The second race is critical. While Sanders' Libertarian bent means he stands up for unfettered civil liberties--and famously so for sex offenders who are detained after their criminal sentence is completed--he has a blind spot when it comes to rights for gays. Sanders told us if gay marriage is our issue, he's not our guy. With Anderson v. Sims (the marriage equality suit) headed to the supreme court, this is our issue. Conversely, Sanders' Libertarianism doesn't have a blind spot for property rights, and his zealousness on the issue is likely to shade his decision (in favor of rich property owners like Martin Selig) against the monorail.

His challenger, Terry Sebring, is the dullest, dimmest candidate the Stranger Department of Homeland Security has met since Gary Locke. But we want him on the court instead of Sanders. Vote Sebring.

State of Washington Initiatives

I-872 Top-Two Primary

Vote No
The old Washington State open primary, which permitted voters to mark the ballot for the candidate they like best regardless of party, was preferable to the closed primary we have now, in which voters must vote within party lines. Well, life sucks: In 2004, after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals tossed our open primary, the U.S. Supreme Court de facto killed it by refusing to hear the case. But don't be fooled into thinking, as proponents of this initiative would like, that I-872 is a return to the beloved open primary. It's not.

The top-two primary, in which the two candidates who earn the most votes advance to the general election, is a naive, pseudo solution that transforms the higher-turnout general election into a run-off. Worse, it will exacerbate Washington's penchant for drab, leadership-challenged politicians (hello, Gary Locke). Candidates would no longer have to face an initial battle of ideas within their own party (e.g.: is a personal-income tax more or less equitable than a sales tax?). Instead, they'd be thrown into a free-for-all where they would have to immediately appeal to those famous and mushy "undecideds"--dragging all the candidates toward the lazy middle.

It would also sound the death knell for third parties. In contested districts, one D and one R will advance, squeezing out anyone else, and in heavily liberal or conservative districts, the dominant party will run two candidates and achieve the same result. If you want real choices in the general election, reject I-872.

I-884 Penny Sales Tax for Schools

Vote Yes
This initiative boosts the state sales tax by 1 percent, which raises a billion dollars for education. While we agree that a sales tax is regressive, hitting the poor the hardest, this initiative pours money into important things like early education, teacher pay, and additional higher education seats--in other words, things that help the poor. Vote yes.

I-892 The state will authorize non-tribal gambling establishments to operate slot machines and then earmark the new tax revenue to offset property taxes

Vote No
The state's Office of Financial Management did the math on this one and determined the average homeowner will see between $26 and $49 property tax savings: Hardly the silver bullet that will "substantially lower property taxes," as the initiative promises.

This Eyman initiative will allow non-tribal gambling operators to operate slot machines. Not only will this screw over historically screwed-over Native Americans one more time, but by allowing slots in neighborhoods, the state will be encouraging increased gambling (18,000 new machines), taxing poor people to aid property owners. Vote no.

Referendum Measure 55 Charter Public Schools

Vote No
Referendum 55 would allow nonprofit groups to set up charters within the public school system, peeling off funding (and students) from traditional public schools at a rate of $5,000 a child. Supporters of this "pilot" proposal, which the state legislature passed narrowly in 2004, argue that school "choice" is the only way to help disadvantaged, historically underserved children.

However, contrary to what charter proponents claim, nothing in the referendum requires the schools to serve disadvantaged students. (Nor does the legislation require charter schools to provide busing or reduced-price lunches.) In fact, as constituted by R-55, charter schools would be virtually unaccountable to the public school system.

And what about the students who are left behind? Not everyone, after all, will be able to attend a charter school; some must inevitably remain in the failing public schools. For those kids, the system will be doubly unfair: Poor public schools will be made poorer, and the students and teachers left behind will have to do more with less. Charter proponents say reduced resources will force teachers to work harder. But because operating expenses do not decrease when some students leave to attend a charter school, the choice for traditional public schools may come down to buying new books for the library or keeping a school nurse on staff. That's not a choice schools should ever have to make.

Studies show that successful charter schools have the same characteristics as successful public schools: Involved parents, smaller class sizes, and higher teacher pay. Ironically, Washington voters already voted to reduce class sizes and boost teachers' salaries, but the legislature refused to fully fund either program. Instead, the legislature is offering charters--an option voters have already rejected twice. Reject them again.

I-297 Hanford Clean Up

Vote Yes

Hey, Greens: Feeling guilty about not voting for Nader, you treehuggers? Assuage your guilt by voting for I-297, which would compel the feds--under existing Superfund law--to clean up the current mess at Hanford (two-thirds of America's high-level waste from nuke-u-lor weapons is stored there and more than a million gallons of waste has already leaked out) before shipping any more glowing gunk our way. The initiative would also dictate the terms of the cleanup, forbidding the DOE, for example, from reclassifying some of the waste so they don't have to clean up all of it.

King County Ballot Measures King County Alternative Proposed Charter Amendments 1A and 1B Reducing King County Council Members from 13 to 9

Vote No
and then vote for Charter Amendment 1B The first part of this question asks voters whether they want to reduce the King County Council from 13 members to 9; the second part asks, regardless of how you vote on the first question, when that should happen, in 2005 (1A) or 2007 (1B).

Cutting the size of the council wouldn't save enough money to justify drastically cutting King County residents' representation--from one council member for every 133,000 people to one for every 200,000. Also, the measure would likely eliminate one Seattle representative, potentially increasing Republican strength on the council. Vote against reducing the council: No on Part 1. However, just in case it passes, vote for option 1B, which would at least give the redistricting commission enough time to make better choices.

King County Advisory Measure No. 1 & Measure No. 2 Locally Funded Transportation Plan and Taxing Source
Don't Vote
In 2003, after a poll showed little voter support, officials quietly shelved a plan for a Regional Transportation Investment District, a multi-billion-dollar roads and transit package. These nonbinding advisory measures, which seek to gauge support for yet another transportation package and a list of possible taxing sources, amount to a taxpayer-funded poll. We urge you not to participate. Don't vote on either Advisory Measure No. 1 or No. 2.

King County Superior Court Judge Positions No. 23 and No. 42 Andrea Darvas and Chris Washington
Andrea Darvas--a private attorney who has handled cases ranging from personal injury to commercial litigation--and Chris Washington, who has even more experience as a civil and criminal attorney, in both public and private practice, will make great judges.

City of Seattle Initiative No. 83 - Monorail Recall

Vote No
The "monorail recall" initiative is, at its heart, a revote on the very concept of a mass transit system in Seattle. The monorail--an elevated mass transit system--is a concept Seattle has embraced not once, not twice, but three times. Most recently in 2002, when voters approved funding for the Seattle Monorail Project and charged the agency with building a 14-mile monorail line from Ballard to downtown to West Seattle.

It is true, as recall supporters say, that the monorail won by fewer than 870 votes. But in a democracy, any victory is a mandate. If voters could just undo any decision--from electing a mayor to funding transportation projects like the viaduct--no vote would ever be meaningful or binding.

"Recall" proponents point out that if the project has fundamentally changed, voters should have the right to reject it. That's true: The state legislation that authorized the monorail lays out a specific process for dismantling the agency. But that process--which requires 56,000 signatures and a finding of "significant financial difficulty" by the city attorney--was too arduous for monorail opponents, who opted for the back-door route of revoking the agency's land-use permits and permanently banning all monorail facilities in Seattle. This required a much lower signature threshold and may violate state law by allowing citizens to rewrite land-use law, setting a precedent that could come back to haunt Seattle and environmentalists. (A lawsuit challenging the initiative is pending in the Washington Court of Appeals.) By going around the process set out in state law, the initiative fails every legal and ethical test. "Monorail Recall" isn't a recall at all--it's an attempt to force a revote on a concept that voters have already approved.

Don't just believe us. Look at the arguments I-83 supporters are making. From the most banal (columns will be "ugly") to the most asinine ("Save the pristine serenity of Seattle Center"), the arguments are the exact same ones monorail opponents used back in 2002, when, let's not forget, they lost. Now they're back for an illegitimate, and probably illegal, re-vote. Voters shouldn't let them get away with it.

Nor should voters forget how this initiative got onto the ballot: through a paid signature-gathering effort in which hired guns used misleading statements and downright lies to convince voters to sign their anti-monorail petitions. There's also something deeply offensive about an initiative paid for by a group of wealthy property owners who have opposed the monorail since the beginning. Martin Selig, Washington Mutual, and Equity Office Properties shouldn't have the right to buy our monorail out from under us.

For those who see I-83 as an opportunity, however legally questionable, to revote on a project that has gone astray, consider: Of the "recall" campaign's "23 reasons for recall," not one is a fundamental change from the plan voters approved in 2002. The decision to go through or around Seattle Center, for example, was explicitly delayed until after the vote. Other claims ("elevators instead of escalators!" and "they're tearing down the 1962 monorail!") are so disingenuous they border on hysteria. Maybe that's why the anti-monorail campaign switched tactics late in the game, transforming itself overnight into a "pro-Sound Transit" campaign. But if Monorail Recall was really pro-light rail (talk about a plan that's actually changed significantly!), they would have been making their "pro-transit" arguments all along--not doing a 180 the instant they realized that their anti-transit hysteria wasn't tracking.

Seattle desperately needs inner-city, mass public transit that gets people out of their cars and lifts them above traffic. The monorail will be the first link in a citywide system that will connect neighborhoods and replace slow, clunky bus lines. It's time, once again, to say "yes" to the monorail--by voting "no" on this wrong-headed and destructive anti-mass transit initiative.