As promised, Matt Barreto of the Washington Poll is making projections in the "too close to call" state races based on the returns from all Washington State counties so far. Using the methodology discussed on Slog the other day, Barreto now projects that R-74 will be approved, 52.2 to 47.8, and Inslee will prevail over McKenna by a four percent margin.
Here at the R-74 campaign party, they're acting like they're winning. It's hard to tell from room to room what's officially called and what's not, but this room is sure packed and hot and full of tearful people hugging. Onstage are Ed Murray, Jamie Pederson, their respective partners, and Governor Chris Gregoire. Jamie Pederson, during his speech moments ago, invited a special guest to the podium for a second: his partner, Eric, who promptly game him a big ol' SMOOCH! Awwwwwwwwww!
A person in an upstairs window screaming, "OBAMA! OBAMA! MITT ROMNEY IS MY BITCH!"
As much as one loves the socialist cause here at the Kshama Sawant event, and the fact that the cause has received all of its funding from the people only, the whole pizza situation is lousy. You can’t eat a slice unless you chipped in.
SECB is now leaving the anti-legalization party, a mirror universe where stoners and pot professionals smoking joints in parking lots argue against liberalizing our drug laws. We will soon return to reality, and we will celebrate it.
But, as we walk out the door, we can't help noticing that we never, ever expected to exit an anti-legalization party where most of the attendees were stoned and the band was playing reggae.
What does the Kshama Sawant campaign represent? From the words of one of the speakers Stephan Kammerle, one feels that it is a politics that is global and not just about Seattle. What you have to appreciate is that Seattle’s hard left sounds actually practical. Why? Because Seattle is now connected to the global network not just of commodities circulation but of political feelings. Come to Vermillion. Obama is elected. We now have room to look deeper into American politics.
Even though Obama had just kicked Mitt Romney’s ass (all the way to oblivion, we hope), the mood at Bombay Bistro for Sheriff Steve Strachan was muted and concerned. The Stranger-endorsed incumbent was trailing John Urquhart 57 to 43, with half the votes tallied. “We’ve taken the high road in this race,” Strachan announced to his supporters, who were tucking into some delicious Indian food. Everyone was cautiously optimistic that their candidate could make up the margin. Most importantly, Strachan told the SECB that “The Stranger is a top-notch paper.” Come on, King County: THIS MAN MUST WIN.
The SECB hasn't had much time to post from the no on 502 party, which started as a won't-take-a-position-on-medical-marijuana party but shifted gears when the pot-dispensary owners, in ties and nice cars, showed up. Because man, these people like to TALK.
There aren't many of them, but now that they know we're from The Stranger, they all want to deliver lengthy monologues about how the legalization of marijuana will fuck up the lives of medical-marijuana patients and the livelihoods of people who grow and sell marijuana in its currently profitable gray area.
We have spent the past half hour (or more) in a parking lot with a bunch of young men in suits, some with very shiny earrings and other accessories, who are heavily invested in the medical-marijuana trade. Some run dispensaries. Some, uh, do other stuff. They were mostly reluctant to use their names.
They were in the middle of arguing with us about 502, throwing the book at us: that the law was selfishly written for the state to grab money, that long-time growers would lose their livelihoods, that DUIs were going to increase by hundreds of percentage points (how and why cops would be pulling over everyone to blood-test them for cannabis, they could not explain), and how union workers were going to screw their trade.
"Do we want union workers to provide our meds?" one man in a tie asked. "They're overpaid, they're lazy..." "He's got a point," another man interjected.
A radio reporter from KPLU showed up with a microphone to say that 502 had been defeated and marijuana was still illegal. The pot dispensary men high-fived and hugged on the pavement. One said: "This night just got a lot better!" Another of them said something about a "tittie bar."
SECB was surprised to hear that 502 had already been defeated—it was so early in the evening. We came inside to check the returns on our laptop and found 502 was actually winning, by 56% to 44%.
We walked outside to tell the dispensary men that they were misinformed, but the dispensary men were already gone.
They weren't going to let something as silly as a fact ruin their fun.
Jim McDermott on his 81 percent margin.
They just announced Urquhart at 58 percent and the FIRE ALARMS went off (fake, party-style fire alarms). Here's a snap of the sheriff cake:
- I Shot the Sheriff (Cake).
AND the pirates. Pirates showed up shouting "FOUR MORE BEERS!!!" But in between the faux bravado and laughs, they have a lot of sincere things to say about the elections. They told me that even though some people might not like the job Obama did [in the last four years], anyone should be able to see that four years is NOT enough time to dig out of the hole the US was left in. "I feel bad that your generation has such bad college loan debt," a pirate confides to me.
"No one is STRANGER than the pirates," a man in pirate garb snarls at me with a wink.
- Four More Beers!
The bartender announced that when John Uquhart wins, he's buying a round for everyone in the bar.
Everyone is getting drunk and talking hopes and dreams for the future. It's kind of sweet. We also discovered that McCoy's sells Mike's Hard Lemonade BLACK CHERRY.
There is great energy here at Vermillion. It’s great to feel socialists so alive and so present. Preliminary tally has Kshama Sawant at 27 percent of the vote, and they are cheering. People are chanting: “We are the 99 percent.” Here at Vermillion, at this moment, it feels like Occupy is a maturing into a solid political motion.
...making us wish she were the outright winner.
With the numbers at 57-42 percent for Gael Tarleton, Noel Frame didn't waste any time climbing up on a bench and just talking openly to her assembled crowd. "The numbers are not the best, but we have to wait," she said.
She thanked people, from people she's known since she was 12 to a lady named Kathy that she met when she rang Kathy's doorbell; Kathy has since given hundreds of dollars to the campaign. Kathy raised a glass high.
"We can still turn this around," Frame said, referring to the fact that many votes were yet to be counted. "There's still a chance. But at the end of the day, I would never regret doing this, I would never regret it."
"Next time, Noel!" her dad shouted.
"No, it's not over, Dad!"
Boos from the crowd.
"Oh, don't boo my dad!"
Laughter all around.
Is it over, Noel?
"Meh," she said privately. "We'll just wait and see."
Okay, Washington, early results look good for gay marriage, legalized pot, and Jay Inslee—but! The leads are narrow (about 4 to 8 percent). We don't have results yet from a few big counties: Snohomish, Thurston, and Yakima Counties have not yet reported. Stay tuned.
Upon CNN's calling the election for Obama, at the state Dems' ballroom party, among the deafening cheers: an IMMEDIATE (and passionate!) girl-on-girl make-out. The SECB investigated, and met these two lovely ladies, Iris and Shanna.
- Iris and Shanna
Was that a planned moment? "No! I was jumping up and down and then she grabbed me and went [instant make-out replay]," says Shanna. They showed the SECB their domestic partnership cards, which they hope to "exchange for a marriage license" when they get married in May. The SECB loves you, adorable people!
Steve Sarich and some no-on-502 supporters just showed up. Sarich sat down the the SECB to talk about how he and his supporters weren't "marijuana entrepreneurs."
"We only raised 7,000 bucks," he said, "and our PDC filings are very public."
Then, as SECB stepped outside for a break, it passed a group of young men in suits passing a joint. "I hate to say it," one man said, "but we are the good old boys of this industry. That's what I love about it!"
There's a conflicting narrative here.
We’re breathlessly waiting for King County numbers to come in here at Yes on I-502, but on the tails of Colorado, everyone’s assuming victory. With that in mind, the conversations are kicking: People are drinking wine and talking about next steps—how to create the framework to end prohibition, which politicians we can expect to step up and lead, what the feds will do (“they can invade us, they can sue us, they can ignore us,” one gentleman, whose tattoos discreetly peek out from under his cuffs).
A delightful man from the ACLU grabs my arm and says, “Drones are my new favorite obsession!” and encourages me to obsess with him.
At another table, a man wearing an American flag ascot is discussing with a man with glorious gray braids is discussing the UN’s Convention on Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, and how the US needs to quit this convention before we truly have a shot at prohibition. These are the type of people who politely correct me with “cannabis” whenever I say the word “pot.” They are a sweet, forgiving bunch.
Then Alison Holcomb, the fearless woman spearheading New Approach Washington, steps up to the mic: “With approx 250,000 King County ballots in, we’re trailing slightly—49.23 percent say yes, over 50 percent say no,” she says as the crowd goes silent. “But they also have Mitt Romney winning at this point.” The whole crowd laughts. “We’re also doing better than Obama, so hopefully we’re going to see these numbers improve—oh wait, that’s for the state! Nevermind!” She hasn’t been reading King County numbers after all. “You know what?” Holcomb says, “This is the point in the evening when I need a giant shot of tequila.” Someone get that woman a shot!
UPDATE: We've got 62 percent in King County! Everyone's cheering! Fists are in the air! Eyes are shiny with tears! "I've been working for this moment every day for 40 years," says a man next to me.
"I am so proud, so humbled to stand among the voters of the great state of Washington who have on this day, taken a historic vote," says Holcomb in her victory speech. "Ultimately, I'm most proud that despite controversy and uncertainty, Washington state exhibited tremendous leadership in reexamining a failed policy. Today, the state of Washington looked at 75 years of prohibition and said, 'It is time for a new approach.'"
Congrats, Alison. You totally rocked this motherfucker with class, from beginning to end.
"You fucking did it!" someone shouts. Tarleton chooses to quote Margaret Chase Smith upon the occasion of her victory ("Don't get it wrong, Gael—The Stranger's here," a member of the small crowd in the Hotel Andra conference room says)—"When someone tells you you can't do a thing, you sort of want to try it." She and everyone here have been incredibly gracious, despite stuff. Everyone is also cheering for the hoped-for reelection of President Obama and Elizabeth Warren.
The SECB checks Slog and finds out Obama won Ohio and the whole fucking thing, so the SECB breaks into Tarleton's speech to shout the announcement—no big deal, it's all very casual here, really—and the whole room erupts in cheers and applause. Gael speaks a bit more, ending with, appropriately, "Let's party!"
- John Urquhart
The Sheriff party was bumpin’ over at McCoy’s Firehouse Bar & Grill in Pioneer Square. McCoy’s Firehouse Bar & Grill in Pioneer Square looks exactly like a firehouse themed bar and grill in Seattle’s pissed soaked Pioneer Square (no hobo).
But inside… McCoy’s has a deep-fried Cheers vibe! Fireman suits hang on the wall with other firehouse memorabilia—badges, ladders, helmets, oxygen tanks—AND SO MUCH NEON SIGNAGE! What’s not neon is brick, and what’s not brick is people. The people here are all friends. It’s packed. The dress code is bald with white mustache for men, hairspray with black slacks for ladies. A few firemen in uniform are here! It’s the kind of place where a giant plate of chicken wings could get dropped on the floor and shatter and everyone would cheer WHOOOOAAAAA.
SOMEONE JUST SHOWED UP WITH A CAKE. It’s shaped like a Sheriff star badge.
John is a very tall guy and took a picture with me. His campaign manager told me he wished the Stranger would have endorsed them—I told him I usually write about music and could only talk about the song “I Shot the Sheriff.” Just kidding, I blushed and said, “Well I think you guys are nice!”
The very great Elizabeth Berns is here with her partner and a 16-year-old kid named Jesse (I think? It’s loud in here!). I asked the teen if election night was “the funnest night of his life” and he responded with… “uh, yeah?”
“AGH. I hate these pants I’m wearing.” – A woman at the bar, wearing black wide-leg slacks.
“I’m not trying to put you down! I like the cake!” – A man, to the woman who brought the cake in (I have no idea what the problem could have been, the cake was nice!)
“There’s too much damned RED on that map.” – A man at the bar, watching the televised election results.
“HA HA, that’s a great story.” – A woman, in response to the SECB telling her we were here covering the party for the Stranger.
"Four more beers." - Men dressed as pirates just showed up.
"YOUR WHISTLE IS HURTING ME." - OBAMA 2012 OBAMA 2012!!! YAY!!! AHHHHHHH!!! YAY!!! (the guy next to me is not as excited about the noise).
King County Elections has made its drop for the night, showing Gael Tarleton leading heftily in the 36th District bid for state representative. Tarleton has a 57-43 percent lead over Noel Frame, who the SECB endorsed. Meanwhile, the SECB's candidate in the 46th District is getting creamed. Sarajane Sigfriedt is losing by a devastating 36 percent to Jessyn Farrell, who earned 66 percent of the vote. The Seattle seawall got 77 percent of the vote. So that's that. We'll get more results through the next two weeks, but we can't see those making much of a difference with these leads. More local results are here.
Look, there's a reason we endorsed Noel Frame for the 36th Legislative District (parts of Belltown, Queen Anne, Ballard, Interbay, Magnolia). She's a grassroots organizer whose grandmother has a mug in her cabinet about her granddaughter that says, "Happy 21st birthday, Miss President." Frame, since she was a kid in Battleground, Washington, has always wanted to get involved in order to solve obvious problems—SUCH AS THE FACT THAT WASHINGTON HAS A HORRIBLE REGRESSIVE TAX STRUCTURE YET A SO-CALLED PROGRESSIVE POPULACE.
Frame is relaxed here at Nabob, the bar owned by Maurice Classen on lower Queen Anne. The crowd is full of regular humans. They are mostly young, they are mostly but by no means entirely white, and they seem excited by the totality of the election, not like people holding desperately to one issue or candidate. They whoop it up when Todd Akin goes down, and when Virginian senators come in Democratic.
Frame herself, surrounded by a big family (including the foster kids she's taken in, her parents, cousins, friends), says she feels "awesome." She spent the day cleaning her house in Ballard. "You just have to go into election days feeling like you put everything on the table." She's more concerned with R-74 than her own race, she says. She left her day job back in the day to jump in as deputy campaign manager for R-71 once, and now her campaign consultant is the same as the one on R-74.
"Frankly, I'm much more nervous about things like R-74," she said. "I just want to know what the landscape looks like."
She's drinking Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. "It's delicious."
But she is also intense about tax reform, which YES.
"If ever we've had the opportunity to have a real substantive discussion about taxes in this state, it's now and over the next five years," she says. This woman cares about funding education. "We have every reason to do better. It's a moral failing."
NOEL FRAME MAKES A PERSON WANT TO VOTE.
Now that we know we'll have a Democrat in the fucking white house for four more years—Eeeeeeeeee!—it's time for the local stuff. Starting any minute now, the results for Washington State—gay marriage, marijuana legalization, the governor, the attorney general, legislative district, whole trout, new cars—will begin to trickle in RIGHT OVER HERE. Want just state executive races, look here. Looking for just ballot measures, look here. King County results are over here.
Seems legit. Not even George Will or Dick Morris would've predicted a Cantwell loss.
- Kelly O.
- Jay Inslee shaking hands with the world's youngest voter.
- Kelly O.
- Jim McDermott and a supporter.
- Kelly O.
- He voted Obama.
- Kelly O.
- She voted Kennedy, Mondale, Gore, and Dean.
- Kelly O.
- She voted love.