The scorched-earth partisan politics of this election cycle have been good for democracy: Turnout on Tuesday was expected to be higher than it has been for years. It's also been good for the free flow of information. From exposing Trent Lott's nostalgia for the good old days when non-whites knew their place to fueling the rise of Howard Dean last year to nailing Dan Rather for using bogus documents in a story about Bush's National Guard service--credit the amateurs of the blogosphere who sounded the alarm while the establishment-friendly pro journalists missed the story entirely.

The biggest and best of the political bloggers--Wonkette, Markos of dailyKos, Atrios--have emerged as media stars in their own right, drawing a nationwide readership to rival that of large daily newspapers. Most bloggers, however, toil in obscurity, hunched late at night over keyboards, spewing out reams of commentary for a readership that barely exceeds a couple dozen. But in the wired world, as elsewhere, size does not always matter. With that in mind, we've decided to call your attention to three of our favorite, undeservedly obscure, local political blogs that have emerged during this political season: Reload, a refreshing, often laugh-out-loud funny slap in the face of the hypocrites and liars who run the country; Pacific Views, a smart, substantive liberal blog that dredges up lots of troubling information ignored by the mainstream media; and Sound Politics, a well-written--and sometimes well-deserved--scorching of Seattle liberal pieties.

Reload Blog

Seattle techie Lee Rosenberg, 29, launched his Reload blog in June (, and it has already developed into one of the more entertaining local sites on the web. Whether Rosenberg and his dozen or so fellow posters are handing out "Concrete Dildo Awards" (last winner: pickled neocon Christopher Hitchens), writing entries with titles like "Giant Douche vs. Turd Sandwich," or calling Bush, with admirable succinctness, an "asshole," Reload comes at politics from a nothing-is-sacred Libertarian liberal perspective.

What's your inspiration?

The Daily Show. It does what most bloggers do, but it is much more effective. While bloggers do it by writing, The Daily Show does it visually. It has opened a lot of people's eyes, and done it in a brilliant way.

Are you pro-Kerry or just rabidly anti-Bush?

Though there are things about Kerry I have admiration for, I'm kind of skeptical about him. We'll have to see.

Pacific Views

Bellevue resident Natasha Chart, 29, who makes her living at Internet marketing, has been blogging for more than a year at Pacific Views (, a substantive liberal site that so impressed the Dean campaign, they invited her to fly along on a leg of his Sleepless Summer Tour in August 2003. Chart was also one of about 35 official bloggers at the Democratic National Convention.

What's the point of blogging?

I wanted to have someplace I could talk about what's on my mind. When you're interested in politics, and want to talk about it all the time, your friends and family reach their limit, so you write a blog so you don't have to bug them.

How did you end up on Howard Dean's Sleepless Summer Tour?

They e-mailed Mary [one of Chart's blogging partners], and asked if anyone wanted to join the tour. She couldn't do it, and sent them to me. I still have no idea why they picked us.

How much traffic do you get?

Around 450 people a day. They are people who are fairly politically liberal, mostly people who read other blogs, or other bloggers.

Sound Politics

Green Lake software developer and "center-right" (read: Bush-loving wacko) Republican Stefan Sharkansky knows he's swimming upstream in liberal Seattle. His local politics blog, Sound Politics (, takes daily jabs at Seattle's political establishment with headlines like "Baghdad Jerk," "Go Dino!" and "Christine Gregoire's Character Problem."

Isn't it lonely being a right-leaning blogger in Seattle?

I think I fill a bit of a void. There's a lot of commentary on local issues from more of a left-wing perspective. The Republican voters are a minority in Seattle, but we're out there. We're finding each other.

What other blogs do you like?

Nationally, I read Lileks (, Instapundit (, and Little Green Footballs ( Locally, I read Rosenblog [by Seattle writer Matt Rosenberg:].,