The Biggest Winners and Losers
Who Really Kicked Ass and Who Really Got Their Ass Kicked
This was supposed to be a really shitty year for Senate Democrats. Of the 33 contested races this cycle, 21 were held by Dems. But Dems miraculously held their majority. That means Washington State’s own Senator Patty Murray (who was reelected to a fourth term—maybe it was a fifth term, but we’re drunk!—in 2010) is positioned as a future contender for Senate majority leader.
No, Socialist Alternative challenger Kshama Sawant didn’t manage to beat House Speaker Frank Chopp, but she made the most of her opportunity and she got 27 percent of the motherfucking vote, according to the first day of ballot returns. It seems her socialist ideology isn’t all that toxic after all.
Charter schools, marijuana legalization, and same-sex marriage would never be possible without billionaires bankrolling these ballot measures. Finally, America’s most oppressed minority has found a political voice of its own.
The Westin Hotel
In a weirdly beautiful migration pattern, each year on election night, Democrats swarm to drink, sob, celebrate, SPEND A ZILLION DOLLARS RENTING BALLROOMS, and pity-fuck each other in the Westin’s dueling dildo-shaped towers.
For 17 goddamn years, Ed Murray pushed for marriage equality in the state legislature. God bless him. With Referendum 74 seemingly approved, he’s positioned to declare victory, get the hell out of the petty shithole that is Olympia, and run for mayor of Seattle.
Local Control of Initiatives
For years, people thought that if you wanted to legalize marijuana and gay marriage, East Coast PACs had to run the show. But those groups—such as the Human Rights Campaign and the Marijuana Policy Project—were pushed to the background in Washington State this year. Locals are the ones who ran clever campaigns to legalize both, it appears on election night, and eked out narrow victories at the polls for the first time in history.
Washington’s junior United States senator knew she was golden when she polled higher here than Barack Obama. But now that she’s crushed her opponent, Republican anti-abortion freak Michael Baumgartner, by a 60 to 40 margin, she’s practically invincible.
Local Television Stations
In 2010, local television stations raked in $47 million from political ads. Whatever this year’s total ends up being, it was more than enough to send Seattle Times publisher Frank Blethen flailing to get a small percentage of that ad spend for his own newspaper by… spending $150,000 of his own money on political ads in his paper as part of a crazy demonstration project. Congratulations, TV stations! You’re rich and you made Frank Blethen lose his mind!
The Seattle Times
As if the daily-newspaper publishing model wasn’t screwed enough, Seattle’s last daily paper decided to run free ads for Republican Rob McKenna and the same-sex-marriage measure (they were trying to prove that political advertising worked in their newspaper). But the marriage law is passing—as of press time—because the campaign raised more than $10 million on its own, and regardless of who takes the governor’s mansion, the next four years of Seattle Times gubernatorial coverage looks colored through the lens of a paper bought and paid for by the publisher’s right-wing agenda.
Poor Matt Shea. He’s the idiot state legislator from the Spokane Valley who this year argued that legalizing gay marriage would somehow oppress florists who don’t want to arrange bouquets for gay weddings. Think of the anti-gay florists! Now he finds himself on the wrong side of history. Stupid loser. Maybe send flowers?
King County Bar Association
The local bar association was considered the gold standard for rating the qualifications of candidates running for judge—this year it lost all credibility after giving “not qualified” ratings to obviously qualified women and minority candidates, and releasing a survey that showed some solid King County judges with unjustifiably low ratings. King County prosecuting attorney Dan Satterberg wrote a scathing letter to the bar association last month, saying the group must “acknowledge the mistakes made” and “fix them.”
Washington residents can now, apparently, gay-marry their partners, buy liquor in grocery stores, and legally smoke marijuana all over the damn place. Well, fuck, we’ve officially run out of shit to bitch about. Throw another pit bull on the fire and rouse us the next time the Seattle Police Department does something stupid.