News Jul 13, 2016 at 4:00 am

Shut Up, Donald. Shut Up, Hillary. Shut Up, Bernie, Jill, and Gary. We Gotta Focus on Washington State Right Now.

VOTE! You have until August 2 to mail in your ballot. Instructions below. James Yamasaki


Pretty surprised the Stranger endorsed Erin Jones. She told a right-wing blogger that she opposes the new curriculum in schools designed to teach kids awareness about LGBT people, using some very right-wing language:…

"With that being said, as I looked at the curriculum map, I became very concerned by the ages at which serious issues related to sexuality are going to be addressed. I do not think it is developmentally appropriate to talk about gender or sexual orientation with 5 year olds. I do not think it is appropriate to talk with 4th graders about sexual orientation. I do not want 4th grade students to feel addi onal pressure to "choose an orientation." I am in favor of conversations with middle school students about gender and sexual orientation, as long as the focus is on providing students with information and promoting acceptance.

I am concerned about the prioritization of this curriculum over all else. There is already so little time. Should we mandate the teaching of gender and sexual orientation before the teaching of "From Time Immemorial," our Native American curriculum? In my opinion, NO. Teachers are already pressed for time to efficiently teach the current curriculum. This information could be incorporated into the regular health curriculum."

Also, she totally snowed you on funding and on charters. Her website makes it clear she's not going to fight hard for new money, and she says she'll enforce the new charter law - and though she says she voted against it, she didn't speak out when the legislature put the law back in place.
Totally "forgot" about Mark Mullet running for re election in the 5th.
Spot on on almost everything (I even understand your reasoning for Kagi, although I don't have to like it) except the 8th Congressional District.


Did you even LOOK at Santiago Ramos?! Both he and Tony came to speak at all of the caucuses that occurred at the WA State Dem Convention in Tacoma a few weekends ago. SANTIAGO IS INCREDIBLE. For christ's sake, will you at least interview the guy?!! And for the love of god, re-write that section if he convinces you half as well as he did the Progressive and Asian Caucuses at the convention. I don't even live in the 8th District and shame too...he's got the heart and ability to do the job right. Jesus..."Tony Ventrella, dropped out of the race earlier this month for personal reasons...Vote for him anyway. " ---whoever was assigned to cover that that guy (well I mean, at least yell at him, maybe not take away his job I'm not a complete savage). And if you don't get a chance to speak with him at least check out his campaign page:
Are you sure you've included a photo of the right Karl Mecklenburg?
I am also surprised that The Stranger went with Erin Jones for OSPI. First, as it pertains to the tribal curriculum, Chris Reykdal has actually already been working on this - he sponsored the $41,000 budget proviso this year to upgrade the curriculum and provide professional development. Second, Reykdal's testing bill would have actually ELIMINATED some tests, delinked tests from graduation requirement, and gave parents an affirmative opt-out right. Lastly, Erin Jones hasn't worked for OSPI for four years. She left to work in Federal Way briefly and then in Tacoma, where she resigned two weeks ago. I guess the Stranger is okay looking past Jones' pro-charter roots but please at least get the facts straight!
Totally in agreement with the comment about the 8th CD endorsement. Tony is great, but he literally ISN'T running. He dropped out, you acknowledge this, and then endorse him anyway? Here's the deal; I've hear all three Dem candidates for this seat speak back to back, and the only one with any substantive policy goals is Santiago Ramos. Tony, who's a great news guy or whatever, never came close. I also happen to live among those "conservative fuckwits" in Eastern WA, right on the Eastern edge of the district. The Democratic party here is disproportionately Latino- those same folks you rightly observed were being disenfranchised in your excellent SoS endorsement. This isn't directed only at The Stranger - because they're far from the only outlet guilty of this in the CD8 race- but you cannot boil a race down to "oh those Eastern Washington dummies will vote for the sports man huh-huh-huh" and then be shocked when Reichert wins again. The fastest growing demographic in this region is the Latino community, and failing to engage them this cycle, especially with a serious candidate, only guarantees that Democrats will lose this cycle, the next one, and so on. I'd encourage y'all to revise this one.
@4: No, the SECB stoner dumbasses did an image search and pasted a photo of Karl Mecklenburg, former Broncos linebacker from the 80s and early 1990s. Because they're dumbasses. And they're stoned.
@7: I reached the same conclusion as soon as I recognized the "Snow Goose."

At least they got a picture of the right Patty Murray, even if she didn't come see them.
To echo earlier comments, you've got a photo of the wrong Karl Mecklenburg. The Karl Mecklenburg pictured in your photo is a retired NFL player who now resides in Littleton, Colorado, although he was born in Seattle, coincidentally. The Karl Mecklenburg you are endorsing is pictured in his website here. Silly Stranger.
A vote for Tony Ventrella is a vote to give Dave Reichert a free pass in the top-two final ... in a year when Trump may lead the US House GOP off a cliff, and otherwise invulnerable incumbents may go down to shocking defeats.

SECB played this one purely for yuks, and shame on them.
SECB please, PLEASE, PLEASE! Get your head out of your ass. I can smell it from the suburbs. You are part of the reason why Republicans win in working class legislative districts. You are obviously out of your element when writing about swing districts. Go back to writing about the 43rd LD.
Has or will Jayapal move into the district?
It's a deal breaker for me.
The Jayapal endorsement reads as heavily caveated. As a Brady Walkinshaw supporter I guess I find some solace in that. Disappointed (if not surprised...) The Stranger made the wrong call in that race. And why is Jayapal's not living in the district referred to as a "fun fact"? I'd add it to the pre-existing "annoying fact" category (if not "deal-breaking"). Vote for the "hot, gay urbanist"! At least they got that right. Walkinshaw for US congress!
"If—wretch—Trump manages to win"

I think you mean "retch." Although it's a close one.
"Hot Gay Urbanists" would be another great band name.
Jayapal was an impressive activist, but she has been a remarkably ineffective legislator. With two years under her belt, she has passed three bills, all of them minor to inconsequential ( With her bold progressive leadership, Washington State dental hygienists can now remove tooth stains (Senate Bill 5606). Yes, a national magazine called her a 'Next Elizabeth Warren' - is that more important than her paper thin record as a lawmaker? The SECB used to dive into policy, but in this race they've just bought into slogans.
@12: She is a proud member of the 9th Congressional District! Don't think she is going to be moving to the 7th CD anytime soon.
@12 She says she will if elected.…
It's extremely disappointing that Hilary Franz was chosen for commissioner of public lands, seemingly because she's high energy.

Mary Verner has not only the education, but the experience as both an elected official AND over 30 years directing natural resources organizations.

Perhaps this candidate forum will help educate:…
I notice that Jayapal's website says she lives in Seattle. Is that a lie Stranger? Does she just rent an apartment here to establish residence? I'm really curious about this now.
Strange that Jayapal was endorsed for that district, I could have sworn she lived in Adam Smith's district.
I am really shocked that you folks endorsed Jayapal, especially after Dan was so heavily critical of her so recently. I mean, she could have run in the district she actually lives in and was basically gerrymandered for her, against Adam Smith (a moderate Dem)... But she didn't. Instead, she chose to run against the "hot gay urbanist" who had already taken the initiative to go up against the ineffectual but long-serving incumbent!

What the heck are those *REASONS* that Jayapal says she didn't challenge Adam Smith for!? Why didn't you delve into them? And why would you endorse her in their absence?

And why the association with Elizabeth Warren? She actually accomplishes things! Jayapal, in contrast, seems pretty ineffectual, and in your endorsement blurb you contrast all the things that Jayapal says she *wants* to do with... Stuff that Walkinshaw has already done.

Isn't that telling? Why privilege the former over the latter?
So you bitch about establishment shill Adam Smith in the section for Pramila (7th), and then in the section for the 9th, you endorse him? Sounds about right for The Stranger.

Adam Smith voted to sell cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia (so they can bomb women and children in Yemen) after receiving a fat check from the manufacturer, Textron.

Adam Smith toured the world selling TPP after receiving contributions from Chinese firms, and only became "against TPP as it stands" when it was obvious he'd lose an election.

He also pushed to have 3rd-rate aerospace firm Northrop-Grumman build the new bomber, after receiving a sizeable contribution from them as well.

See a pattern here??? He's a crony establishment shill, taking money for votes, making excuses when caught doing it.


Vote for DAN SMITH. Berniecrat with military experience and working-class backing. He wants to transform our military industries into space and technology industries of the future. We shouldn't be building bombers and weapons when we could be building rockets and green technologies. We need to invest in our infrastructure, like the rail around the ports, and keep union jobs here. He wants a living wage. He wants universal education and healthcare.

DAN SMITH is the progressive in the race for the 9th CD. The Stranger totally dropped the ball here (or should I say the cluster bomb?)
Lots of pro-TPP and an author of the NDAA! Nice work guys! You are officially Republicans!
@23: YES!!
"Jayapal refused to endorse Clinton after she clinched the nom...annoying some SEBC members."

Some SEBC members ought to stop rolling around in their piles of TV/book money and look at what the rest of us are dealing with.
@20,21- Did either of you read past the headline?
Wow, some of the candidate photos. The Devil Summoner. The Vorpal Bunny.
Is Patty not facing a progressive candidate in the primary? Who's the next most liberal then? This Free Trade-loving "liberal" who supported the TPP needs to be ousted somehow.
How can the Stranger and Seattle Times endorse the same person for superintendant of public instruction? It doesn't matter if your thought process is OK if it leads you to the person the Times has chosen, and YOU KNOW WHY THAT IS.
@28 Phil Cornell is running against Patty "TPP" Murray
(Sorry I mean @29)
Where is the listing for Supreme Court Pos. 1? Retain!
Thank you, Stranger Staff. Duly noted. Let us indeed focus on Washington State right now, and ousting Doug "How Low Can One Go For a Free Steak?" Ericksen, R--Ferndale, District #42 (anyone notice how he's keeping out of the public eye lately?) and Bill Bryant. And let's finally give Old Mr. Initiative huckster, Tim Eyman, and State Senate loudmouth obstructionist Pam Roach the boot, as well.
Let's re-elect State Senator Kevin Ranker, District #40, for all his diligent, hard work to keep Washington State a beautifully sustainable place to live.
Okay. I'm shutting up about politics now, and am opting to return to Wiley Miller's Flo and her Offshore Diner in Miller's comic strip, "Non Sequitur".
I just want to point out and I hope people read this in time. Pramila has lived in the 7th district for over 20 years...then the district zones CHANGED. She literally hasn't moved in 25 years, the DISTRICTS moved on HER. Please please consider that fact since she has worked very hard for this district for a very long time.
It's weird that you're supporting Liias despite his support of the payday loan companies, and don't mention the other options except to say that they're weak. Most of the democratic orgs seem to be supporting John Paul Comerford. What don't you like about him?
Why no love for Alec Fiskin? He seems like a totally legit and insanely qualified candidate with many serious endorsements. You seem really lukewarm on Liias and completely ignore the other Democratic candidate. I'd never heard of him before but unless he has some secret scandals or secretly wants to defund transit & affordable housing then he seems the smart choice.
Surprised by the Treasurer endorsement. Progressive Democrats of Washington are going with John Paul Comerford -

I know it's one of those positions a lot of people yawn at, but it's actually pretty important - maybe one of the most. I actually spent some time researching the candidates because it's not my strongest subject, to begin with. I especially compared two questionnaires filled out by my final choice (which turned out later to be the same choice as the progressive caucus) and another candidate endorsed by the incumbent.
(I'd narrowed to those two - none of the others got that far - including the one the paper picked.)

Anyway, they both had "strengths" - with their main dividing point - a rather major issue that wasn't addressed by any of the others ... creation of a state bank as in North Dakota. Comerford supports it and the incumbent's choice is opposed as the incumbent is.

Apart from that, I found Comerford very impressive altogether. Initially I was a bit taken back because he does have some long time establishment ties and I"m often suspicious of in this political climate. On the other hand, he worked with people like Jimmy Carter - so he passed the "smell" test for me there, and particularly given his other characteristics. Now, in that case, I was really impressed. He was so clear and articulate in his understanding of the position - and he had a truly greater vision as to what his role in this job was - and what this job could be. (Now I also read another questionnaire he completed for the progressives and I visited his website) - He describes his early involvement with income inequality having grown up in a single parent household where he saw first-hand how his mother worked and didn't make as much as men, and he developed, at an early age, an interest and concern for these issues in our society and people struggling at the bottom. I mean, he was the only one bringing a real social consciousness and concern for people's economic problems - income inequality - and a broader vision for how this position could impact upon and help people in our state. He also strikes me as incredibly intelligent and just all-around high character - having integrity.

Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised that my impressions - after spending time going over all this material were matched by a group that I respect. I did think he was way beyond all the others, and we'd be getting a unusually high calibur state treasurer with this man. Not only that, he really wants this job - understands what it is and what it could be.

Now, again, I'm not an expert in all this - but i"d go with him, and I think people are missing the importance of this position. I'd vote Comerford.

A couple of others - I would not support Patty Murphy because of her conflicts of interest on tthe trade deals and her superdelegate position with Bernie Sanders when Washington went by a landslide. There, too, I'm going with the Progressive Caucus endorsement - Philip Cornell. There arer two other good candidates - all 3 Berniecrats, but again, I narrowed it down to Philip after reviewing material and weighing out factors - and was again pleasantly surprised that we matched up on this one too. He's a fighter who takes on Patty for these conflicts of interests straight on, he's commited to the right issues, and he's not going to take money like Bernie. He's a solid no-nonsense Berniecrat - and the one with the most momentum out of the three on the ballot.

I'm also refusing to vote for Jay Inslee this time. I can't put up with what the superdelegates are doing. He's too tied in with the party politics and I think it's time we moved better down-to-earth people - without the money - into these positions. (I won't share an endorsement on this one, here. I am pleased with my own pick, though.)

Lastly, I'd go with Karen Fraser too - like the progressive caucus - for the Lieutenant Governor. Contrary to the paper's endorsements.
Almost forgot - among other things, Comerford was talking about the prison system - and helpiing to reduce mass incarceration. And from a human - humane - perspective. This makes more sense if you were reading these questionnaires and comparing the responses to others - which were good responses - but just didn't really have the kind of scope and depth that he brought in with his thinking. In a very legitimate way - not violating the powers - but enlarging the vision. Others were more narrow in their approach - and just kind of moved right away from these issues. He brought a lot of other understanding along - and he was impressively straightforward and honest in his answers.

@19 I picked Verner, though in all honesty, I'm not knowledgeable on this slot so I'm glad someone else recommend her. I liked this other woman they endorsed, but Verner has fire fighting background and the firefighters want her - they say it's actually the most important part of the position. I'm also getting skeptical of the liberalism choices, especially in growth-rent-rising Seattle. Their choice looks very politically correct - and they talked about how she likes to blend growth and natural surroundings well - but the Seattle Times described her as "pro-growth" (or something like that). I think we could use some slowing down there ... I see a nice add for her on this page and your video link is broken but she has a short, but very nice write-up on wiki. (Also, I don't breathe heavy for job interviews either. I don't think people should have to go that far .. though I know it's just a joke.)
Just so you know I rely on you to know what you are doing - I vote a straight Stranger ticket (should I mention you forgot the Attorney General? I had to decide between Democrat and Libertarian myself. Whoa, man!). Thank you for all the hours of mind-killing drivel you had to get through to make these recommendations.
Re-elect Senator Patty Murray---!! Big, corrupt money is lobbying hard to get her ousted.
She has busted her ass to get a lot done, and diligently represent those of us in Washington State.
"Things are so unbelievably #@*ked right now—Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights, Dallas, racism, guns, Trump—that the race for superintendent of public instruction may not seem important." Glad to hear you confirm that "I TOLD YA SO!" a little less than 8 years ago. The buck stops at the top. Our president is not doing a very good job at leading this country. Not to worry though, America will be great again. And it will all start in 184 days! TRUMP 2016!
Re my posts @40, @41, @42 - on the State Treasurer position. Delighted to find out that esteemed Congressman John Lewis is calling voters from Washington to urge them to vote for John Paul Comerford. So there is yet another reason to take this candidate seriously. I already voted for him (turned in my ballot), but I dropped by to let people know that John Lewis is backing him, too!
Adam Smith was a complete douchebag at the district caucuses. His stood up and made a statement that he didn't care who we voted for he was using his Super Delegate vote for Hilary. Way to represent you tool. Just like Roach he has reached a point where all he wants is the money.
Any Attorney General endorsements?
I'm down with Tina Podlowdowski, as long as she doesn't do what she did to Lifelong AIDS Alliance when she was ExecDir there in the mid-2000s... which was to spend away the Operating Reserve on loads of new! exciting! programs (with the complicity of a sadly toxic & weak Director of Admin), leaving the agency totally exposed and vulnerable to the 2008 Recession.

Which in turn caused several agonizing rounds of layoffs, two years of furloughs, and terrible working conditions. Lifelong nearly went over the cliff and was on the very brink of closure.
If it hadn't been for a newly activated Board that finally took responsibility, cleaned house (Tina was long gone by that point, of course), and managed to get things turned around, basically at the last minute.

I'd hate for a repeat of that scenario at a State level. Although I doubt the State bean counters would let her spend away such critical things as Operating Reserves.
I've "just" moved to Eastern Washington 3 years ago, and this is the first election I've been aware enough to realize that Washington doesn't do voting booth elections (and believe it or not, I'm not a stoner -- just a busy-ass normal human being). It's also the first election in which I've paid attention to local elections, because y'know -- grown-ups are supposed to do that sort of thing. Also, I'm really craving trees, public transportation, and great healthcare.

Anyways, I opened this month's Primaries envelope hoping for some quick box checking of a bunch of two-candidate races between Democrats and Republicans. Man was I blindsided by the 16 races, each with an average of 4 people running. Dear LORD. Ain' nobody got time fo' that research! How is one ever supposed to research the 17 candidates for US Senate, of which 10 probably can't afford to put up a website? Y'can't. At least not without it being your job already.

Enter The Stranger. You're sassy, you're blunt, and you lean in my general political direction. So here's to you, Sydney, Heidi, Ansel, Tim, Ana Sofia, Tricia, Eli, and Dan. You saved me an ass-load of work. Thanks for telling me what to do, it was 42 times easier than what I was gunna do. I owe y'all a round of beers! I'mo go buss some bed springs now...

Voting a "straight Stranger ticket?" They endorsed someone who voted to sell cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia, so they can bomb Yemeni women and children. Real progressive.
Have you registered to vote?
Thank you for pulling your heads out of each others asses about endorsing Tony Ventrella. Now if you'll just pull your heads out about endorsing Patty TPP supporter Murray. (and I've voted for her since the 90's but she's been on the wrong side of too many important issues lately.) Phil Cornell is a Bernie supporter, against TPP, pro single payer and on and on. The progressive vote is the Cornell Vote. Also you're wrong about Erin Jones for SPI. She's either wrong for the job because she supports charter schools, and is hiding it (which is dishonest), or she's wrong for the job because she only supported one charter school that happened to be owned by her friend (which is unethical). Vote Chris Reykdal.
"The SECB was treated to a freewheeling conversation about the glories of the free market until we were all curled up in the fetal position on the floor."

If a "conversation" puts you (the SECB) in a "fetal position," you are far too weak for political reporting. Lucky for Seattle, you couldn't flip an election if you wanted. The only tool in your belt is confirmation bias.
Where's all the Greens and Libertarian candidates? People keep screaming for Life, No Taxes and Bernie. I don't see how things are going to be any different in WA state if those two parties are left out of advancement...right?
Will be voting the exact opposite of The Stranger's endorsements, as per usual.
Well I guess when one has no brain of there own, one must depend on a stranger to vote for them. Thankfully I have educated myself enough to know the status quo no longer is working, so buh-bye Democrats, time to see if someone can do better for those besides just Amazon, Boeing, Microsoft and JBLM. Consider it my last little gift before I vacate the state for more "realistic", less expensive waters.
Great. Another levy. My property taxes already went up $800yr on my 1000sqft south Seattle home this year. Isn't the city making plenty of extra money by over valuing shitty little houses like mine?

I know, I know. Fuck you privileged home owner.

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