The night's ballot drop showing Jess Spear with 19 percent of the vote as compared to Chopp's 81 percent sucked the air out of Vermillion, turning the sweltering-hot bar from a political rally to a fairly raucous party, with some loud drunk men explaining how the world should work to any woman who'd listen. There was a long pause between the results and any sort of a speech from the Spear campaign. Some people wandered outside, smoked a cigarette or two, and then meandered away. Others started gossiping about the Spear doorman's Google Glass (scroll down for a photo) and his prominent toe shoes, which looked like this:
- The agony of de-feet.
- Toeing the line.
Turns out, this guy was featured on the front page of the Seattle Times this morning, too (PDF). All the milling and wincing and Google Glass-gossiping was, frankly, starting to get on the SECB's nerves.
But Kshama Sawant finally took the stage and gave a barn-burner of a speech in support of Jess Spear, capturing the SECB's attentions and affections. Unfortunately, Sawant's speech seemed to be three short speeches stuffed together into one way-too-long speech. The first speech, about Chopp's "wine and cheese" namby-pambyness and the need for the working class to stand up for their rights, was tremendous. The second speech, about the same subject but ranging a little farther afield, felt unnecessary and repetitive. The third speech, about donating to Spear's campaign, was a bummer of a PBS telethon spiel gussied up with one dramatic moment, when Swant produced a $1,900 dollar check she was donating to the Spear campaign out of her "Solidarity Fund." As Sawant waved the check around, Spear volunteers trawled through the crowd of people who had already paid $10 to attend, asking for more donations. Sawant had the audience in her hand, then she fumbled in front of the audience, and then she got caught with her hand in the audience's pocket. Awkward.
But Spear recovered nicely, radiating real gratitude for the people in the room. She praised them for getting her to 19% in the polls, even though "we don't have the support of The Stranger and their Cheat Sheet," or other progressive endorsements. The Stranger and unions are "a little confused," Spear said, and the "wishy-washy" Chopp "doesn't get it or he doesn't feel a sense of urgency. We understand there's a process" to legislating. "But there's a process that moves at lightning speed for Boeing" and a process that moves at glacial speed for the needs of working people. "I don't respect that process," she said. From there, she was on a roll, whipping the room—or what was left of the room; maybe half the audience had disappeared since the vote dropped—into a feel-good chant of "We are unstoppable/a socialist world is possible." Still, the SECB notes that you can't create a socialist world with a bloc consisting of one-fifth the vote; it doesn't take Google Glass to see that the Socialist Alternative isn't going to win two in a row.
The SECB arrived way too early to Gael Tarleton's party at 74th Street Alehouse in Greenwood. That was a big mistake considering we had to be subjected to baseball on TV, which is not unlike being euthanized while watching ants crawl across the sidewalk. An elderly man also showed early up to meet Gael and he awkwardly bonded with the SECB over sports, a subject the SECB has no interest in.
Then, Gael shows up and gregariously works the whole table. When the numbers drop in her race for state representative in the 36th District, she checks the results on her Blackberry (who still has a Blackberry?). She remarks that she never has polled above 60%, but tonight she's at 85%. She calls her husband who's at band practice to tell him the good news as we all high five.
The SECB asks Gael if she remembers the picture we made of her where she has devil horns and she responds, "I will never forget that." We ask if she wants to recreate that picture with devil horns made out of our fingers. She declines because "it will live on the internet forever." That's understandable, even though it has never stopped the SECB from doing what we do. We ask if she'll oblige us by at least taking a selfie with a random young man in the bar, and she agrees. Afterwards everyone at the table says we should doctor the photo so she has angel wings and a halo. We're decide to leave the picture as-is.
- Gael and some strange young man, best friends forever, 2014.
- Yes, that is a picture of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Isenhower's opponent, turdbag Republican incumbent Andy Hill, is ahead by about 8 points right now, but there's still the general to get through. And you know who's really winning—THIS T-SHIRT, DUH.
- A mayor and his subjects.
When the news came in that Prop 1 was passing 52 to 48, people at the Five Point—many of whom hadn't been expecting to be in the lead tonight—started cheering, hugging, and getting up on tables to speechify. First among them, Mayor Ed Murray, who warned everyone that results could still change as more ballots are counted. But, the mayor said, if this lead holds up and a Metropolitan Parks District is created, "We will turn back years of Tim Eyman destabilizing our funding."
People lost their shit at that line. (That's the kind of crowd this is.) And then, in the perfect August evening light, trees above him, husband behind him, adoring parks supporters all around him, the mayor noticed something amiss. "The Stranger's taking pictures of me with my glasses on," he said with a resigned smile. (He had earlier announced that he'd do something unusual and wear his glasses tonight, since no TV cameras were around and he needed to get through a long list of thank-yous.)
The crowd went silent. We were apparently in mayoral-level trouble.
"What's wrong with glasses?" the SECB asked back. (Because, um, glasses is how we roll.)
The crowd laughed. Maybe at us? There was no response to our question from the mayor, who concluded: "We have been able to prove that government is part of the solution.... Thank you so much."
- Nonstop suburban khakis.
The SECB talked to Steve, the owner of Dirty Bucket Brewing Company, after ballots dropped, showing Suzan DelBene with 58% of the votes. Her two closest challengers, both Republicans, are hovering at around 15% apiece. Steve is a big DelBene fan. "She really came through for us," he says of her move to help him get his local microbrews approved for market during the government shutdown. "I sent letters to all of 'em, both sides, and she's the only one who got back to me." Let's hear it for Suzan "Beer Me!" DelBene, huh?!
Darrington mayor Dan Rankin, from the makeshift stage, thanks DelBene for coming out and helping him through the awful Oso landslide, and says his newly 18-year-old son should cherish the opportunity to vote for "one of the great legislators in our country, Suzan DelBene."
DelBene, for her part, touts her bipartisan farm bill, says we need to raise the federal minimum wage, and calls this "the better Washington." (Burn!)
Meanwhile, the other Dems at this khaki party are mostly celebrating. Someone hugs Kirkland mayor Joan McBride, whose glasses are amazing, when it's revealed that she's crushing her Libertarian challenger with 69%. McBride calls her district the "Fighting 48th" and says, "Can't we just round it up to 70%?" Then she calls out "education, transportation, and the Reproductive Parity Act" and the CROWD GOES WILD.
Incumbent 45th District Rep. Roger Goodman is beating his challenger 54-46, even though, he says, his campaign has gotten really messy and personal ever since his opponent "found out that I chop up children and make them into ready-to-eat meals." Do you think we're making that quote up? We are not. (He's referring to a PAC that's been publicizing details of his divorce, FYI.)
This party is getting weird. But hey, FREE BEER!!!!
- The Stranger
- Meet your new senate overlord, Pramila Jayapal.
The packed loft in Columbia City exploded in screams, hoots, and howls the moment a projection screen showed that Pramila Jayapal, who is running for an open 37th District state senate seat, snatched up an astonishing 51 percent of the vote despite running against five challengers. The closest was Louis Watanabe at 17 percent, which all but makes Jayapal the senator-elect for the general election in November.
Nobody put the situation more bluntly that Adam Kline, the retiring 37th District senator, who grabbed the mic and announced, "At 51 percent, it's fair to say that this race is decisively won and over." Jayapal bound up the stairs at Tutta Bella—to more cheering and howls, of course—as Kline introduced her as "Senator Jayapal."
"I am a little overwhelmed right now," said Jayapal, which is the sort of thing everyone says in front of a crowd cheering for them, but even the jaded SECB couldn't deny—51 percent in a primary is pretty overwhelming (maybe it's the fruit punch talking). She thanked her parents in India who couldn't attend. She thanked her family in town, her supporters around her, the staff that served the fruit punch. "This is not the general election so this is not a victory speech," she said, tempering the mood, but concluded, "To know that a majority of voters who cast ballots tonight voted for us is a pretty amazing feeling."
The rest of tonight's results for the racially diverse South Seattle district played out as follows: Rowland Martin at 12 percent, Sheley Secrest at 10 percent, Claude Burfect at 2 percent, and John Stafford with 8 percent.
- We asked Sheley Secrest (center) if we could take her photo, and this happened! Check out those red heels!
Sheley Secrest stood below the results in her race against Pramila Jayapal, projected up on to the wall, and told the crowd, "Don’t look at this as a negative thing...this reflects the fact that we’re in the game."
- Here's our drink—"Jus de Gingembre."
Everyone got a bit emotional for a moment, before Secrest shouted to DJ Topspin to turn the music back on, and up. And with that, we are chowing down on catered chicken, rice, and fruit, as the we look down Jackson Street towards orange hues creeping across the sky from the Sound.
John Orlinski (Prefers Republican Party) 10.24%
Suzan DelBene (Prefers Democratic Party) 51.71%
Mike The Mover (Prefers National Union Party) 1.03%
Edwin F. Moats (Prefers G.O.P. Party) 4.26%
Pedro Celis (Prefers Republican Party) 15.08%
Robert J. Sutherland (Prefers Republican Party) 15.93%
Richard J. Todd (States No Party Preference) 1.75%
Scott Sutherland (Prefers Republican Party) 6.93%
GoodSpaceGuy (Prefers Work and Wealth Party) 1.1%
Jim McDermott (Prefers Democratic Party) 76.01%
Craig Keller (Prefers Republican Party) 9.49%
Doug McQuaid (Prefers Independent Party) 6.45%
Jason Ritchie (Prefers Democratic Party) 28.7%
Dave Reichert (Prefers Republican Party) 62.45%
Keith Arnold (Prefers Democratic Party) 8.85%
Adam Smith (Prefers Democratic Party) 63.14%
Don Rivers(Prefers Democratic Party) 5.72%
Mark Greene(Prefers Citizens Party) 2.92%
Doug Basler (Prefers Republican Party) 28.22%
Legislative District 30
Mark Miloscia (Prefers Republican Party) 57.25%
Shari Song (Prefers Democratic Party) 42.75%
Legislative District 37
Pramila Jayapal (Prefers Democratic Party) 51.25%
Rowland Martin (Prefers Republican Party) 11.59%
Sheley Secrest(Prefers Democratic Party) 9.85%
Claude Burfect (Prefers Democratic Party) 1.96%
John Stafford (Prefers Democratic Party) 8.15%
Louis Watanabe (Prefers Democratic Party) 17.2%
Legislative District 45
Matt Isenhower (Prefers Democratic Party) 46.07%
Andy Hill (Prefers Republican Party) 53.93%
Legislative District 48
Michelle Darnell (Prefers Republican Party) 36.95%
Cyrus Habib (Prefers Democratic Party) 63.05%
Brendan B. Kolding (Prefers Democratic Party) 20.16%
Joe Fitzgibbon (Prefers Democratic Party) 79.84%
Jessica Spear (Prefers Socialist Altern Party) 19.22%
Frank Chopp (Prefers Democratic Party) 80.78%
Prop 1: Seattle Parks District
For formation 52.39%
Against formation 47.61%
The SECB drove all the way to godforsaken Bothell for Suzan DelBene's party. Bothell is scandalously wholesome and suburban. The roads-to-people ratio everywhere is all fucked up. There are too many lawns. The SECB is so put out by the horror of the suburbs that our phone now autocorrects "Bothell" to "BOTHELL" because we keep yell-typing it.
This fluorescent-lit suburban office is where regular sandal-wearing suburban Democrats come to party below red-white-and-blue plastic bunting. We are happy to report that Congresswoman DelBene's shoes have gems on them. When we're introduced to the congresswoman, someone warns her: "This is where The Stranger comes to judge your food."
TRUTH. The spread:
- DelBene's spread.
But she gets an extra point for the rad open bar from a local microbrewery called Dirty Bucket, which a campaign staffer says they learned about during the big government shutdown—which, along with closing national parks, also prevented new microbrews from getting necessary approval for new beers to go to market.
Suzan DelBene: She's here to save your beer.™
- The guy taking $10 donations at the door at Jess Spears is wearing Google glass. The pink thing is a Post-It note. To protect people's privacy.
- The Stranger
- Jayapal signs. But no sign of Jayapal.
Maybe Jayapal thinks she's running for the US Senate, where candidates put some distance between themselves and the little people who support them? Jayapal is actually running for the dinky state senate in the legislature. The SECB endorsed Jayapal, but we said we were worried that she was "too cozy with political insiders" and "comfortable with the political circle-jerk." So this is strike one. But if there's one thing that will humble Jayapal, who is expected to come in first place tonight, it will be toiling endlessly in the partisan logjam of Olympia without passing any legislation of substance.
Rumors have it that she's nearby with her inner circle (AKA, refreshing her browser till the "R" key breaks) and will make a grand entrance later to deliver a speech. Till then, the SECB is gonna cozy up to the vat of fruit punch—which, come to think of it, sounds like slang for a gay bashing.
- Spinning classic, laid-back hip hop tunes.
Oh wait, now he's playing a chopped and screwed remix of Sade. Mr. Topspin says he voted for Secrest because she's a principled, decisive voice in the community and he's known her a long time.
Secrest, we must salute your taste. Not only did you bring the jam, you opted to hold your party at the restaurant with what surely must be the coolest name around: Plaza Dome El Obrero, which owner Felix Ngoussou, originally from Chad, explains, means: "Place where working class people to come to solve their problems"—drawing on three different languages. We're popular here too, by the way: Ngoussou complains he's been trying to get The Stranger to distribute copies here since April. Think we can help with that... wait, Secrest is here! She gets applause from the dozen or so folks here as she walks in. More to come!
"The whole story is this," says Five Point owner Dave Meinert, recounting what led to things getting physical in the run-up to the vote on a Metropolitan Parks District. "I didn't know much about Prop 1 at the time. These guys wanted me to come and support the mayor... I bring my daughter, it's cute. And these protesters show up, and they're angry." He's talking about the anti-parks-district crowd. "These people are super angry," Meinert continues. "Keep in mind, I have nothing to do with this at all. I was there just to support the mayor, and I'm pro-parks. It's that deep. Or that shallow. I like parks. These people are fucking angry."
- Parks scuffle survivor Dave Meinert.
"And the one guy, Don, decides that they're coming inside," Meinert continues, "And he runs right through me. And he's a big guy. And shoves me on the way. And my daughter is standing next to me... So I got pissed, and grabbed him, and we had words. It wasn't a big deal." (Don's version of events is here.)
The SECB asks Meinert if this was the most physical his political doings have ever gotten. "Of all the $15 stuff, there was nothing as oppositional as this," Meinert says. "Ever. I mean, ever... Look, I've done crazy ass political shit... I've never been hassled except at this thing." He adds: "Not to be ageist, cause I'm not young. But it wasn't young socialists [doing the shoving]. It was really, like, bizarro land. Seriously, the most vociferous Occupy people were not like this."
- Jess Spear in front of a packed Vermillion Art Gallery and Bar.
- Wait, is that Chopp? Hold on a second! That's not Chopp! That's a man wearing a small white mustache and pretending to be Frank Chopp!
SECB rolled into Vermillion a few minutes ago to find the place packed wall-to-wall with socialists and socialist sympathizers, all here in support of Jess Spear. The last time Spear made the headlines on Slog was when she got arrested during an oil train protest last week. We pulled Spear aside to ask the important questions, like: How long were you in jail for? "Roughly six hours," Spear says. "Getting out of that prison garb felt pretty good." Spear doesn't have any regrets about the protest, saying that the action raised the visibility of opposition to oil trains. Taking a dig at her opponent Frank Chopp, Spear says the protest was proof that "on-target political action" can be more valuable than "months of negotiation" in the back rooms of Olympia.
How does Spear feel about her chances tonight? "I feel terrific," she says, to be surrounded by so many passionate people. She says she's planning to double down on rent control in the coming months of the campaign, focusing on "stronger tenant's rights" and helping people in foreclosure and creating more affordable housing. It's a working-class crowd. Lots of people here are with unions; many of those union workers, in fact, belong to unions that endorsed Frank Chopp. They're here to show their personal support for the candidate.
As SECB types this, speeches are happening in the back room at Vermillion, puncuated by great sweaty whoops. Someone is performing in Frank Chopp drag, wearing a big fake white mustache and bloviating about process.
McDermott said he spent his day talking to veterans, the group Global Washington, and Seattle mayor Ed Murray. Did he and Ed talk about Macklemore? No, they talked about... transportation and health issues. As for the rest of his night? McDermott said he planned to walk back to his office, listen to election results, and eat a pizza.
- The pro-Prop-1 power table at the Five Point Cafe.
“I think we might be a little behind tonight," said consultant Christian Sinderman (center, left). He's been helping run the pro-Prop-1 effort and confirms the SECB's suspicion that this is, indeed, the Parks-Related Ballot Measure with the Most People Threatening to Call the Police on Each Other. "If we’re a little behind, we'll catch up,” Sinderman said. The campaign made 40,000 phone calls recently, and Sinderman said the response to those calls got better as they went along.
“I missed the scuffle," Sinderman said of the recent parks meeting meleee that drew in Five Point owner Dave Meinert. Sinderman expressed hope for a rematch tonight. Meinert, when he stopped by the table, said he wasn't worried. ("I got security," he said.)
Sinderman's prediction for who will make it through the primary in the crowded state senate race in Seattle's 37th District? Pramila Jayapal and Louis Watanabe. (Sorry, Sheley Secrest.)
His prediction in Chopp vs. Spear? “I think Frank gets in the 60s," Sinderman said. "I think Frank has made the case, and I think she’s failed to make the case.” People at the table did admire Spear's recent arrest, though—as a media strategy. "That got her in the news," one person said.
"So, what if you have a 3-way with a write-in candidate?" #electionnight #overheard #waelex
— Seattlish (@seattlish) August 6, 2014
And then a correction:
POLLS. 90 mins until POLLS close. Thank you #AutoCorrect #WaElex
— Elliott Smith (@soundslikepuget) August 6, 2014
- Jim McDermott is the least worried person in America. With the best ties. Stripes on stripes. That's solidly punk, Mr. Congressman.
And why shouldn't he be relaxed? His most serious contender is running on a platform of abolishing the minimum wage altogether and colonizing space.
Before we could interview the Congressman, his political director Dayna Lurie gushed about her love for The Stranger, saying she waves at the office whenever she drives by (um, hi!). "We usually team up with other campaigns but we decided to do something different, something fun," she said about the Brave Horse Tavern happy hour, explaining that all the big races—and, hence, parties—are happening across the lake and down south.
Longtime friend and McDermott supporter Dean Nielsen said he came to the party because it ends early and he wanted to attend Shari Song's party in Federal Way. Nielsen, who was drinking a Manhattan and had just finished a game of Big Buck, revealed that he was responsible for introducing McDermott to Sir Mix-a-Lot after the Congressman showed an embarrassing lack of knowledge on the Colbert Report recently.
We'll talk with the Congressman as soon as we can get his attention.
Speaker Chopp's spokesperson says, "We won't be having a primary event but we will obviously be following the results closely [on Slog, the only blog the speaker ever reads, because it is the greatest blog that ever was]."
Since this is a fucking primary, tonight's election isn't the final say on most of these races (that'll come in November). But it does determine who's running against whom and who's more popular than whom. (Yeah, we're drunk, but we still know when to drop a "whom.")
That said, there is one big race that'll actually be decided tonight: The brawl over City of Seattle Proposition 1 (aka the Parks District Measure), which we believe now holds the world record for Parks-Related Ballot Measure with the Most People Threatening to Call the Police on Each Other. There was that scuffle a while back at a Prop 1 press conference, and then the Seattle Police Department was investigating park-related robocalls... We just hope we make it out of the party without cuffs on. No wait, we hope we make it out with cuffs on. Spending the night in jail might be fun. More fun than this tedious primary-night shit.
- Four count 'em FOUR drink tickets at McDermott's party at Brave Horse Tavern.
We were greeted with smiles at Jim McDermott's party, even when we said we were from The Stranger! (Sorry we said you were more than four centuries old, Jim.) Then four drink tickets were handed to us—good for anything at all in the whole bar! The food spread includes fresh broccoli, celery and carrot sticks (with dip), French fries, and giant pretzels. No Jim yet. There's about 10-15 peeps here. No one's eating the carrots yet.
- McDermott supporters are enjoying FREE games of Big Buck Hunter.
- We couldn't do this without you, Olympia.
The omnipotent, omnipresent, omni-inebriated Stranger Election Control Board has fueled up, self-divided, and scattered into the city. Our fuel tonight: Hot Mama's Pizza and tallboys of Olympia. Because the SECB is really fucking picky, Hot Mama's Pizza had to make four different recipes across two pizzas: sausage, onion, and mushroom; cheese; pepperoni; and mushroom and tomato. One of the faggots in the group wasn't going to eat any because of "carbs," but he caved. One of the non-faggots wasn't going to eat any because of "gluten," and she did not cave. She has self-control. Must be nice.