DINO IS GUNNA LOSE BUT HE’S STILL SMILING
Dino Rossi somehow maintained his million dollar smile despite the fact that the first ballot drop of the night was terrible, just absolutely terrible, for the perennial loser. With 196,000 votes counted in three of the U.S. District 8 race counties, Democratic Kim Schrier was beating Rossi by 11,000 votes, or about 6 percent.
Pierce County’s results were not being reported to the Secretary of State’s website, but the county auditor released their own results separately showing Rossi beating Schrier out by about 4,000 votes, which puts Schrier still about 7,000 votes ahead of permanent loser Rossi. Pierce County has historically supported Dino so he could possibly get a little bit closer.
Dino, who appears to be on the verge of losing his fourth election in a row (two Governor races followed by a failed Senate run), said he wasn’t giving up yet.
“It’s still too close to call,” Dino told his room full of cheering admirers. “You know how it works in Washington state: you don’t have an election night, you have an election week.”
ACTUALLY, Dino, that’s only the case for people like you who can’t seem to win any elections above the grade of small state legislative races. He couldn’t even win his Senate race in 2010 when the Tea Party was sweeping the nation. So really, it’s a you thing that it takes a week for you to lose an election.
The Republicans in the room seemed to either not care or not realize what was happening. Or maybe they never really wanted Dino to go to D.C.
The SECB asked Caleb Heimlich, the Washington State GOP executive director, why people weren’t giving up yet. He said there were still plenty of votes to count.
“We’ve known all along this was going to be a very close race and it’s living up to the hype. I think he could close [the gap], I think he could win. We’ll see over the coming days what the returns are and what direction it moves. Every vote needs to count and you never know whose vote is still in the mail or in the drop box tonight.”
The SECB thinks it's mostly stoners that have yet to vote and stoners don’t like Rossi so the SECB is going to go find some weed and try to concentrate on Rossi losing and not think about how the carbon fee failed and our environment is going to be destroyed.
BIG SODA WINS THEIR ANTI-TAX DECEPTION CAMPAIGN
The $21 million dollars four big soda companies spent to block any future soda taxes in the state proved to be successful, with a 54 percent majority voting for the soda company’s measure. Their measure makes it illegal for any cities or counties in the state to place taxes on sodas.
The soda companies campaigned on the fear that governments were going to tax meat and basic grocery items in the state, claiming their measure would block that. They failed to mention that there was no threat whatsoever of a tax being raised on meat or vegetables, and that the campaign was almost entirely paid for by a handful of multinational soda companies.
The opposition campaign, which raised only $8,000 to the soda company’s $21 million, released a statement following the disappointing results.
“While Initiative 1634 has won at the polls tonight, the science connecting the consumption of sugary drinks to our nation’s obesity and Type 2 diabetes epidemics remains clear,” said opposition campaign manager Vic Colman. “The soda industry’s $21 million disinformation campaign has proven successful, but the movement to advocate for policies and programs that protect our shared community’s health will continue.”
The SECB is sad that corporations can bastardize the initiative process to stop taxes on their deathly sugary drinks.
CANTWELL DUNKS ON HUTCHISON WITH NEAR 20 POINT LEAD
One of the only races of the night that felt like it was already in the bag was between Maria Cantwell and Susan Hutchison. If you haven’t been following this closely, three-term incumbent Senator Cantwell is defending her seat in the Senate against Trump-pussy-grab-apologist, George Soros-conspiracy truther, person who fundamentally misunderstands the purpose of civil disobedience, former state GOP party leader, and all-around nut job, Susan Hutchison. In the August primary, Cantwell snatched up over 50 percent of the vote with Hutchison elbowing out the 27 other competitors with 24 percent.
Tonight, early on, Cantwell was sitting pretty with a consistent 20-point lead. The SECB stood in the crowd sweating from the TV lights and shredding our fingernails, waiting anxiously for the senator to make an appearance onstage to say her piece so we could go outside and suck vigorously on our vape pen. All these suits were making us nervous. After a bit of asking around, a disinterested aide told us that Cantwell would NOT be making an appearance tonight. What the fuck!? Not even Cantwell cares that she won! Talk about a blue fucking wave. The room slowly began to empty so we decided to throw in the towel and call it a night, hoping no one stole our coat from the free coat check. Fucking Bellevue…
NOT LOOKING GOOD FOR CAROLYN LONG IN WA03
The race between WSU-Vancouver political science professor Carolyn Long and three-term incumbent Jaime Herrera Beutler is tight, but it’s not looking good for Long. The incumbent leads Long by a little over 4 points.
In a press release, Long’s saying it’s “too close to call.” She adds that she’s “incredibly proud” of her supporters and that the campaign is “committed to making sure every vote is counted and the voice of every voter in Southwest Washington is heard.”
ADAM SMITH: "I AM GOING TO BE CHAIRMAN OF THE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE!"
"Fuckin' A!" "Fuck yeah." "That's awesome." The crowd at Adam Smith's party took a break from the crab dip to applaud his commanding lead over Sarah Smith, 70 percent to 30 percent. Adam Smith has represented the 9th District in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1997, but nothing was certain this year. "Now I'm excited to go back to DC," one of his staffers said, after a question about what the House under Trump under Democratic control looks like.
But Adam waited until Nancy Pelosi's comments (projected on a wall) were over before sauntering in. "There he is!" one of his volunteers shouted. When he got to the podium, he didn't have the radiance of a victor. He had the shell-shocked look of someone who thought tonight was going to be better for his fellow Democrats.
"Could have been better, could have been worse," Smith said to the crowd. "As always, Florida is profoundly disappointing."
He went on to say, "This year has been about so many things. It's been about basically saying Donald Trump does not represent this country and we're going to find another path." Then he turned to thank his volunteers. "I did not expect to have to run against a Democrat in the general, so we had to get organized in a big way." The campaign knocked on 35,000 doors. "What I owe to all of you is more than I can say. I want you to know how seriously I take that. All of you who volunteer your time for me? It still overwhelms me, after 28 years of doing this."
Regarding the caravan and Trump's ability to gin it up into an electoral issue, Smith said, "There hasn't been anything that racist in politics in a very, very long time." On Democratic strategy: "We actually chose not to demonize Donald Trump. He did that on his own."
After his comments, the SECB cornered Adam to ask him our question about what the House under Trump under Democrats looks like. "That's something that we’re going to have to figure out. We're the ones who have to present the opposite case. Trump is going to push his agenda. We have to show what our Democratic values are. Oversight is going to be critical. But we also have to have a clear policy agenda. We have to do something on health care, do something on gun control, do something on climate change. We have to show people that this is what a progressive agenda looks like. And that launches us into 2020."
When asked what it means that he's now the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, he responded, "It means I'm in a very powerful position in terms of setting national security and foreign policy." When asked if his chairmanship would mean he could pull troops away from the border—the troops Trump is sending down there to protect us from that terrifying band of poor refugees fleeing their countries because they literally have no other options—Smith said, soberly, "Congress doesn't work like that."
NO FREE BOOZE AND NO FREE FOOD AND IT'S OVER FOR SARAH SMITH
At Sarah Smith’s party, applause randomly broke out, but it was almost impossible to tell what for, given we were watching The Young Turks on the projector as our election coverage. The tacos we consumed earlier are starting to hit our guts, but we’re pushing through thanks to the low-light, classy atmosphere of the Royal Room. A lady in a fedora just walked in so it looks like things are about to pop off. Perhaps the cocaine is on the way?
The speaker who introduced Sarah to the stage loudly declared, “We are the weak. We will break the fangs of the strong. We will show them what the weak can do!” The audience erupted.
The various speakers for Sarah’s campaign did have one thing in common, which was a genuine belief in Sarah and her potential for what she can do for them, for workers—really for everyone, refreshing and reassuring sentiment in this day and age. One speaker said the theme of her campaign was “real people.” Real people, little people, weak people, are all descriptions we’ve heard tonight. The Young Turks continued to play in the background.
Sarah Smith is taking the stage! We should probably pay attention now. “What a wild ride it has been,” she opens. “We did it with no money from corporations. We did it with no name recognition, and no help from the establishment.” She continued. “No matter what the results tell us…” she continues, as the SECB sees that with 57 percent of votes counted, Sarah is only taking 29.9 percent of the vote. “Tonight, let’s focus on unity… Tonight we deserve to celebrate.” Fuck yeah, we do! “Tomorrow we will wake up and we will persist.”
It was a soft concession, but it was expected. She didn’t verbatim concede. Maybe it wasn’t even a concession. They’re being a bit coy but it’s pretty clear they know it’s over. It’s nice that everyone seems to be on board with continuing the hard work ahead. Everyone’s ready to have fun at this point. The campaign worked their asses off and are ready to let loose. The SECB is getting a bit tipsy and just ordered fries because we need to type. We offered our fries to the good people at Crosscut who looked hungry. Sarah took the stage again and offered people a gift from within a mysterious box; she said we were all locked into the box and that we deserve whatever is in the box, and to make sure to take whatever is in the box before we leave.
We asked what her next move was before we left, whether she already had plans to run again. She told us she promised the people who supported her campaign that she would run again in 2020. And while she wasn’t exactly specific about what position she would run for, she was emphatic that she will run again. And having outperformed the previous three runs by Republicans, at the count so far (8:50 pm), her dedicated base, and her progressive platform, she absolutely has a promising future in politics. For now, WA-9 will have to make do with cluster bomb lovin’ Adam Smith, and for that, we’re sure the weapon manufacturers of the world will celebrate.
KIM SCHRIER IS LEADING IN THE 8TH BY 6 POINTS YOU BEAUTIFUL MOTHERFUCKERS
Kim Schrier currently leads Dino Rossi by a little over 6 points in the race to replace Dave Reichert in Washington’s 8th Congressional District. If she succeeds, she’ll hand anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-science Republican candidate Dino Rossi his 4th loss. SHE MAY JUST DELIVER US FROM THIS FUCKING LOSER.
Pierce County hasn’t fully released their ballot numbers yet. In previous races Rossi has broken even there or did a little bit better than the Democrat. This does not look good for him, but the SECB has been hurt in the past, and doesn’t want to say shit for sure right now.
Schrier took the stage in front of a ballroom full of screaming Dems. “Big wow,” she said, as cameras flashed in front of her. “Votes are still being counted, but things are looking good. Really, really good.”
Schrier thanked her husband, her kid, and then launched into a prepared speech about the importance of health care, “protecting our one and only planet,” and putting checks on this administration. She concluded by saying she’s “full of hope.”
“We want a better future for our children, and we want civility back,” Schrier said.
“We’re not going to call them tonight, we’re not going to call them tomorrow night, we’re probably going to call them Friday night,” party chair Tina Podlodowski said a little earlier in the evening. “I’m losing my voice and losing my mind over these Kim Schrier numbers,” she added.
But that didn’t stop Schrier from expressing her earnest hope. “I believe we’ll have a woman doctor in the House,” Schrier said to cheers.
HEITKAMP AND MCCASKILL LOSE, TESTER LEADING FOR NOW
Democratic Senators Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Claire McCaskill of Missouri, both of whom voted against Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the US Supreme Court, have lost their races.
But over in Montana it's looking like a different story. President Trump made four visits to Montana in an attempt to get revenge on Democratic Senator Jon Tester for not letting Trump appoint his troubled White House doctor to run the Veterans Administration. Tester also voted against Kavanaugh. Yet Tester is ahead. For now.
THE MOOD, AND THE NUMBERS, HAVE CHANGED FOR YES ON 1631. BUT THERE’S STILL HOPE.
Okay. So. It’s not looking great for 1631. Nicole (from Puget Sound Sage) came up to us again, tapping us on the shoulder.
“This night is a rollercoaster,” she said. “I’m going to feel really embarrassed about those celebration hug pictures.”
We, admittedly, included one of Nicole’s celebration hug pictures in our prior update. But! Nicole still has hope!
“These aren’t the numbers we wanted,” she said. “We were hoping to end the night with at least 46 percent of the vote.
As it stands, Yes on 1631 has 44.26 percent of the vote. The No campaign (BIG OIL IN CASE YOU FORGOT) has 55.74 percent.
That was pretty much the consensus of everyone in the room. There was still high energy and lots of chatter. Most of it centered on the votes that hadn’t come in and whether it was too soon to call it.
“I was really happy,” one woman in the crowd said. “And then I wasn’t.”
Mike Stevens from Yes on 1631 told the crowd that they weren’t calling it tonight.
“No matter what happens,” Stevens said, “We are on the right side of history.”
The crowd is still cheering, votes are still being counted, and the bar is still open.
SEN. PATTY KUDERER’S SPANKING JOKE DID NOT GO OVER
Kuderer successfully defended her state Senate seat against fake ass Dem Rodney Tom, beating him by more than 30 points. If you’re only half a Democrat, you only get half the votes, Tom! Sorry! That’s just how it works!
But in her acceptance speech, she told a, uhhh, joke. “This is the only time a spanking seems appropriate,” she said, to a room full of Democrats who had absolutely no idea how to react.
SEN. SENATOR PATTY MURRAY THANKS WOMEN AS DEMS TAKE THE HOUSE
“The Democrats have taken back the House of Representatives,” said Murray in a speech at the Bellevue Hilton. “There is going to be a check on this President. Our new House majority is going to be powered by newly elected women from New York to Virginia to Oklahoma. Women took the House back, and I look forward to adding to that list right here in Washington State.”
VICTORY DECLARED AT THE YES ON 1639 PARTY. FINALLY, SOME MOTHERFUCKING GUN CONTROL.
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has just taken the mic to cheer on the volunteers. "All of you should be proud," he declared to smiles and applause from the crowd.
He went on to talk about how easy it is for a teenager to obtain an automatic rifle. "Ridiculous," stage-whispered a woman in a polka dot scarf.
"Are you ready to take on the NRA?" he asked, and everyone cheered, "Yeahhhhhhh!”
Various speakers talked about their experiences with gun violence, occasionally using a variation on the phrase, "and then the unthinkable happened.”
The SECB understands why this turn of phrase might feel apt, but we think "the unspeakable" is probably more accurate. If anything, in this country, a mass shooting is the most thinkable thing that could happen. There's a part of us that fears there might be a shooting at this party—is this the night some furious man, inspired by the fear-mongering gun industry, decides to go on a rampage here, his rage directed at his perceived enemies?
Off to the side, some folks whispered hopefully about the chances of 1631 passing, and we wish we were at that party, since there's less chance of violent retaliation. Oh, to have an adversary as comparatively gentle as the oil industry, whose murder weapon of choice is to slowly choke us all to death.
In another overheard conversation, a man confided in some friends that he bet against 1631 and he hoped to lose all his money. There was a small cheer when someone announced that Kate Brown is ahead in Oregon, followed by someone muttering, "And Gavin... ehhh.”
We just glanced at the "No on 1639" site to see what they're tweeting about tonight. Turns out they're not tweeting anything, since their Twitter account doesn't exist—their site just redirects to the NRA's feed. At least they're not astroturfing, trying to make it look like there's anyone opposed to the measure other than the gun industry that the NRA represents.
Meanwhile, at this party: Paul Kramer, the citizen sponsor of the initiative, stood up and declared that the measure will become law, drawing wild applause, hugs, cheers, kids hoisted up on shoulders.
Paul's son was injured and three friends were killed at a shooting in Mukilteo in 2016. We wondered how many other people at this party have endured the unspeakable, how many of us have a mass shooting in our future, and if this party marks the beginning of gun violence becoming truly unthinkable.
“56 PERCENT!!!” A MEMBER OF THE SIERRA CLUB SCREAMS AT HIS FRIEND IN ABJECT ECSTASY. BUT THE 1631 VOTE KEEPS CHANGING.
Those were the initial counts for the votes for Yes on 1631. The SECB was taking a load off and putting our feet up on one of the Arctic Club Hotel’s bountiful window sills—we love a good sill—when cheers erupted in the NORTHERN LIGHTS DOME ROOM. We rushed into the action, swimming through a crowd of climate lovers like a polar bear in quickly warming arctic waters.
The numbers are still changing. The votes are early. There’s a long road ahead. As we write this the numbers have changed again to 52.71 percent yes. But now, we’re seeing that it’s at 52.96 percent no. This is hectic. This is POLITICS.
But people were jumping and hugging each other after those initial numbers came in.
“THAT’S FANTASTIC!” Someone yelled. “IS THIS REAL?” Another echoed.
Nicole from Puget Sound Sage found us in the crowd and gave us the hug we didn’t know we needed.
“We just showed the nation that people power works,” she said. “I’ve already been crying but I’m crying more now. We’ve worked so hard.”
The verdict as the votes roll in is still positive—currently there’s a 54.54 no vote—but the numbers being reported are from low population, most in Eastern Washington.
This is going to be a long night. But the people are excited. We just heard one guy say King County is early, but the ratio of Yes to No is looking good. Some guy in the crowd did mutter, "On the bright side, if it doesn't pass we'll be that much closer to dying from climate change."
JOE NGUYEN IS GOING TO OLYMPIA
Returns are in and it's looking like a good fucking night for Joe Nguyen, SECB-endorsed candidate for Washington's 34th Legislative District, who reportedly took the race by 57 percent. And good fucking thing because we could all use some posi news around here now that the so-called "blue wave" is looking more like a limp-dicked trickle. SIGH. You'd think we'd of learned something about the dangers of optimism by now, and yet here we are, once again wondering what the fuck happened. Beto is so fucking hot! And Andrew Gillum! Of course, it could be much worse. It looks like Dems will take the House, and now Joe fucking Nguyen will soon be joining the Democrats in Olympia. The crowd in Drunky Two Shoes is fucking PUMPED. It's hugs and high fives all around.
SPEECH! SPEECH! SPEECH! Nguyen takes the stage, daughter in his arms.
"This isn't my race," says the future Senator Nguyen. "This is for the people of the 45th district... What I'm most proud of is that we've met with so many people who can now see themselves in politics. I'm going to make sure White Center gets the representation it needs... Tip your bartenders!" Spoken like a true statesman.
BALLOTS HAVE DROPPED
The King County votes are in and the SECB is running around trying to chat with as many drunk people as possible. The SECB is on it. Stay tuned.
JOE NGUYEN IS CAUTIOUSLY FUCKING OPTIMISTIC AT DRUNKY TWO SHOES IN WHITE CENTER
Joe Nguyen is drinking Macallan single malt and trying not to puke, which is more than we can say for SECB, which vomited up half a beer and a giant brownie in the cab on the way to Drunky Two Shoes, White Center's taxidermy-loving, country-music playing meat house and the site of Nguyen’s campaign party. We’re down one tote bag, but luckily the driver was too busy listening to chamber music to notice.
Anyway! Nguyen says ‘fuck’ a lot, which is only part of the reason SECB endorsed him in the race to serve as senator from Washington's 34th Legislative District. We also endorsed him because he's a young, passionate, and progressive upstart who grew up in Burien and has been active in pushing for police reform and representation for the South King County Vietnamese community.
Nguyen is in fucking good shape tonight, and cautiously fucking optimistic, although there's no food out yet and for some reason Drunky Two Shoes is airing basketball on every TV in the room. Duke is up by 14. That doesn't bode well for anyone.
“DO YOU THINK IT WOULD BE WELL RECEIVED IF SOMEONE TRIED TO BE A BOOKIE AT ONE OF THESE THINGS?” AND THE SECB GETS OFFERED HELLA DRINKS
That was something we overheard in the crowd. It got us thinking. Could be lucrative. But probably not well received. Let us know what you think. Jury’s out.
The outcome tonight is definitely uncertain, though. Jesse Simons, the Sierra Club’s chief of staff, is cautiously optimistic of the outcome. Most people we talked to agreed.
“No matter what happens tonight, this group is going to stick together,” Simons said. “If we win that means that people can beat big money and that Washington understands that we have to act on climate change.”
Simons also said that the Sierra Club didn’t do any work today—they just meditated and planned their holiday party instead of working. They also left early to get some drinks at a local bar. The SECB is decidedly jealous, however, we were offered several drinks and took sips of multiple others. The headache is brewing and it’s not just because the AP called Texas for Cruz.
Jill Mangaliman from GOT Green has been with 1631 from the start, for five years. She’s energized by the work and all the diverse groups she gets to work with. It’s a crossover that rivals Avengers Infinity War except instead of superheroes, the players are local communities like faith groups, tribal groups, communities of color, and labor and conservancy groups.
Mangaliman was drinking a Moscow Mule. She told us its history. Apparently, Russian immigrant miners in Montana used to push carts called mules and that somehow birthed the drink. It got popular in New York. We really don’t know why, but we’d like a sip.
If Mangaliman could tell BIG OIL one thing, it’d be that their days are numbered.
“I’m excited, but I’m hearing that we won’t know the results right away,” Mangaliman said. She’s right. The race is tight between the Yes and No groups of 1631. With voting ending at 8 PM, it could take days for the final count to be tallied.
What is certain is what we heard from Nicole of Puget Sound SAGE. She’s confident that 1631 has already won because of the movement they’ve created.
“I’m also pretty sure that the Seattle Times editorial board are just schills for corporate America,” Nicole said. If either of us had had a drink at this point we’d have cheers’d and then drank to that.
Polls close soon. It’s getting hot in here. Is that tension or just the effects of climate change?
IT'S GETTING UNCOMFORTABLE AT THE DINO ROSSI "PARTY"
Dino Rossi’s party at Issaquah’s Hilton erupted into cheers when Fox News announced that Ted Cruz won his Texas Senate Race, beating out Beto “liberal heartthrob” O’Rourke and essentially ensuring that Republicans will continue to control the U.S. Senate. The SECB is getting increasingly uncomfortable with the number of Republicans in this room as we get closer to the Washington ballot drop. The tension came to a head when the SECB literally ran away from anti-tax man Tim Eyman when he ran across the room towards us.
The SECB tried to hang out with a group of young Republicans from Western Washington University and University of Washington, but as soon as we said we were from The Stranger , the college students refused to make eye contact with us, and everything got very uncomfortable. It felt like being at a church mixer for a religion you have no faith in.
Dino’s buffet spread didn’t make anything better. It looks like the most unimaginative person ever spent 15 minutes and $100 in a Costco. Just bad sliced baguettes, some cubed cheeses of various colors and a uniform plastic taste, and mediocre chocolate cookies.
To make matters worse, not only is there no free alcohol at this party, but there’s the worst beer selection in the world. Michelob Light, Corona, Stella, Coors Light, and Elysian (Budweiser) is the kind of beer menu the SECB has nightmares about. We are being forced to not drink anything and we are not happy about that.
REPUBLICANS KEEP CONTROL OF THE SENATE
Get ready for at least two more years of Mitch McConnell stuffing our federal courts full of Brett Kavanaughs and worse.
DEMOCRATS TAKE CONTROL OF THE US HOUSE
Democrats will win control of the US House tonight, CNN projects. That means Democrats with subpoena power, impeachment power, censure power, and the power to release Trump's tax returns.
It's the House Judiciary Committee that has the power to run impeachment proceedings, and guess who's on the House Judiciary Committee? Seattle Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal! Maybe that's why Savage is over at her party tonight? To make sure she impeaches the right motherfucker already?
THE SECB HAD TO WAIT IN LINE
The SECB had to wait in line—WAIT IN LINE—to get into Pramila Jayapal’s party at Fred Wildlife Refuge on Capitol Hill. A large crowd was enjoying a nice spread inside the venue. But outside the venue SECB was made to produce a photo ID. The SECB was annoyed—ANNOYED—at having to produce photo ID. (Don’t you know who we’ve endorsed?). Also annoying to the SECB: Ted Cruz was declared the winner of the US Senate race in Texas just as we entered Jayapal’s party and before—BEFORE—the SECB could secure a drink. The bad news kept coming: NBC declared that the Republicans would maintain control of the Senate. So, yeah, pray for Ruth and Stephen—and Sonja and Elena while you’re on your knees.
The SECB spoke to Pramila Jayapal just as the best news of the night broke—DEMOCRATS WILL TAKE CONTROL OF THE HOUSE—and Jayapal was already looking forward to getting back to D.C. and kicking some ass.
“I’m going to run for co-chair of the House Progressive caucus, which is going to be bigger, as progressives are picking up seats,” said Jayapal, “which means good things for us on policy, immigration, Medicare for All.”
Asked about impeachment all Jayapal would say was, “We have to build the case.”
Then we asked Jayapal the biggest question of the night: Why the fuck were other Washington state Democrats—LESSER DEMOCRATS —partying in suburban and not-so-progressive Bellevue and not urban and hyper-progressive Seattle?
“They figured they’d be over there because we’re fighting so hard to win suburban districts this year,” said Jayapal. “We sent lots of volunteers out from my district to help in the 8th but I wanted to have a party in my district to thank my supporters… I wanted to thank Seattle, a place that allows me to go to the detention center, a place that allows me to be out there on a whole bunch of issues because Seattle is a progressive place, and I wanted to party right here.”
*Please note: Savage is eating crow (chicken substituted for crow) in the photo above because Savage broke with the SECB and endorsed Jayapal’s opponent, Brady Walkinshaw, in the 2016 general election. While a counterfactual case could be made for Walkinshaw—Brady would've been as good a member of Congress—Savage concedes that Jayapal has been a great member of Congress.
HEY DEMS, WE’RE NOT GONNA TAKE BACK THE HOUSE WITH THREE BOWLS FULL OF THE SAME CHIPS
The Washington State Democratic Party’s coordinated campaign might have made 2.1 million voter contacts during the course of this fucking race, but they don’t know how to coordinate a spread of snacks! What you’re looking at here is three bowls full of the exact same potato chip: ruffled, salty, greasy, good, but EXACTLY THE SAME. Get some pretzels in there! Some spiced nuts!
In other snack news, Kim Schrier, who’s hoping to hand Dino Rossi his fourth loss to a Democrat tonight, told the SECB that the party brought a vegetable tray specifically for us. Apparently, at the primary, the SECB complained about the Schrier campaign only offering sub-par grocery store crudités. We would have liked to see a little bit more of that kind of trolling creativity welded against Rossi on the campaign trail, but we’ll just nibble our celery and think about all that could be. Schrier added that she is “too nervous” to try any of the snacks on offer, which has since grown over the course of the evening to include servers walking around with plates of spring rolls and EXTREMELY dry fig/goat cheese crackers. As for the race, Schrier told a scrum of reporters that she doesn’t expect to know if she’s going to beat Rossi tonight.
Dem party chair Tina Podlodowski told the SECB she thought about bringing “a big bag of candy corn courtesy of the Seattle Times Editorial Board,” but thought better of it. She later confessed to despising the candy. “I’m with you, candy corn is awful.”
When asked about the less-than-stellar showing of national Democrats so far, Podlodowski said “the west is where the energy is,” suggesting that the blue wave was going to come in Nevada, Arizona, Washington, and California.
Projection: today is the first day in history Americans have elected more than 100 women to the U.S. House of representatives.
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) November 7, 2018
JUST CHILLING WITH THE COOL KIDS
After the SECB fought with the toilet paper dispenser in the bathroom for 10 minutes (we thought we were in the fucking Hilton, what’s with this two-ply?), we wandered back into the belly of the Democratic beast to continue watching the results roll in. The heady smell of hope was almost tastable. The SECB expected a mostly 35-plus crowd, but we were pleasantly surprised by the amount of young faces in the room. We spoke with two really fucking cool young political activists, Maya, age 14, and Emma, 16, of Puyallup. Both girls were involved with The Alliance for Gun Responsibility and March for Our Lives, the student-led organization centered around support of tighter gun control after the Parkland, Fla., school shooting in February. “Being students, [activism] is really important for us,” Maya said.
Emma told us that a lot of youth were getting involved this year. “Gen Z is really stepping up the base.”
Maya chimed in, “Now that Gen Z is taking more action in March for Our Lives, Medicare for all… we are involved in things that affect us directly.”
They also pointed to their social studies teacher, Jamie Smith—who is running for state representative in the 25th district—as inspiration for their activism. When we asked if they had any final thoughts they wanted to share with the SECB, Emma simply stated: “Vote!” and Maya: “Although you may not be interested in politics, educated yourself and don’t vote blindly.” Fuck yeah—we think we found the two coolest people at this party.
SOME WINE AND GOOD FEELS WITH MANKA DHINGRA
Manka Dhingra, running to protect her state Senate seat in the 45th District, is all smiles and laughs—she’s got a glass of red wine in her hand and she’s feeling good. When asked about taxing the rich, we overheard her saying that the income tax is simply not possible in the state of Washington. Yeah, we know, we rolled our eyes, too. “I’m very optimistic about my race, definitely more relaxed than last year.” When asked how she’ll celebrate, she swills her glass of red in the air. “I’m gonna have my glass of wine!” Jesus, us too if we can ever get through the miserable fucking line!
NOOOOOO! CRUZ DEFEATS BETO IN TEXAS
Ugh. Texas, Beto told you Ted Cruz is "working for the clampdown." A whole lot of you listened, but not enough of you. Beto, Spin wasn't wrong when it wrote that you "might just be the coolest candidate in U.S. Senate history." Play it loud:
NO COCAINE YET AT SARAH SMITH'S PARTY
We’re here at Sarah Smith’s party at Columbia City’s lovely Royal Room in Washington’s fightin’ 9th. It may be more appropriately referred to as Washington’s cluster-bombin’ 9th, in honor of Sarah Smith’s opponent, the incumbent and cluster-bomb lovin’ Adam Smith.
We weren’t exactly sure how we’d be received since our endorsement of Sarah, while honest and accurate, was kind of
dickish hilarious. The endorsement can be pretty well summed up by the last line; “We're urging you to vote for Sarah Smith anyway, because we're hoping a less-than-robust showing for Adam Smith will encourage a better challenger to get in the race in 2020.” Hey, we like Sarah! She still got our endorsement! That’s what matters right? We don’t know exactly what to expect, other than that more than likely she will lose the election.
It’s only 7:37 pm but the people are already rolling in. The mood is set. There are no piles of cocaine that we see, so we’re a bit disappointed on that front. (Last time the SECB was offered coke!) But there is a full bar! So yay! Beers for Sarah! They weren’t free, to be clear, but they are still beers. There is no sense of anxiety in the air, meaning it looks like people are here to have a good time, regardless of the outcome. The word going into tonight was pathos, but honestly everything here feels quite happy. People look happy. Drinks are flowing. Sarah seems to be sipping water from a straw.
THE SECB IS CURRENTLY EATING OUR OWN BODY WEIGHT IN DUNGENESS CRAB DIP AT ADAM SMITH'S PARTY
If you're not into Dungeness crab dip, there’s also spinach and artichoke dip, and sun-dried tomato and brie dip. If that’s not your style, there's an antipasto platter, a cheese platter, and a crudite platter.
Adam Smith is upstairs in a hotel room somewhere, the SECB has learned, and he’s nervous. But he’s always nervous on election night. And frankly, who wouldn't be?
LET'S NOT SHOOT EACH OTHER NOW
This SECB member walked into the 1639 reception with dread in his heart because he initially thought he was attending the "No on 1639" party and ohhhh boy did he not want to talk to gun industry lobbyists all night long.
But fear not: This is the "Yes on 1639" election night reception, as evidenced by the plentiful use of orange (the color for gun control) in the decor.
Unlike most election night parties, the median age of attendees at this event is not 832 years old—There are quite a few youngsters here, which is sensible since they're the ones who have to endure school lockdown drills, bulletproof backpacks, and occasionally the mass slaughter of their friends.
The mood is gently optimistic with a frisson of tension—and, to the SECB's surprise, the conversation generally avoids the topic of 1639 and gun control in general. Most of the overheard murmuring is national in scope: who's going to take the House, gee whiz we hope Beto wins, and my goodness there sure are a lot of LGBTQ candidates running for Congress this year.
We get the impression that everyone here has done just about everything they can for this measure over the last few months and are just flat-out exhausted. And since their cause is ending mass murders at schools and synagogues and grocery stores, who can blame them for running a bit low on steam right now?
"It's been a rough two weeks," one woman just sighed near us, as the band struck up "Girl From Ipanema." Oh, and about that band—four teenage boys from Garfield High School are playing very soft jazz with surprising skill! The soundtrack of this party would be conducive to getting stoned and watching Bob Ross videos, but instead, we're gossiping about who's taking New York's 19th District and crossing our fingers that the country will someday manage to go 24 hours without a mass shooting.
The refreshments consist of vegetables and cheese, with some hors d'oevres that look about ten dollars better than what you'd get from Trader Joes. Cocktails are $10, and SOME people have drink tickets.
In one room, a table has been set up with coloring books for the kids in attendance. With a rather generous supply of crayons, a few small children are hard at work filling in the lines of images of prehistoric fauna of the Pacific Northwest.
There's a step and repeat in the lobby, which seems a little weird—would you like to put on goofy big glasses and a sequined orange hat to take a photo against a background reading "Gun Violence Is Preventable"?
We tease about the party planning, but it's an impossible balance that this reception has to strike. How does one celebrate the important work of saving vulnerable lives when the cause is so dire?
We'll find out in the next few hours whether Initiative 1639 will succeed at the ballot box, and we'll find out in the next few months if it will succeed at saving lives. For now, tonight, let's collapse in a chair, glance at MSNBC, and maybe color a picture of a mastodon.
BYE, KRIS KOBACH
Ah, this is lovely news from the Washington Post:
Democratic state Sen. Laura Kelly beat Republican Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state who helped lead the president’s now-disbanded committee on voter fraud, in the Kansas governor’s race.
Kobach's Trump-backed campaign featured "a Jeep with a replica machine gun," the Post reports. It wasn't enough.
YOU GUYS, THE BELLEVUE HOTEL IS WEIRDLY BEAUTIFUL
Walking into the Bellevue Hilton, one member of the SECB said, "This building looks like an enemy spaceship. In a good way." Someone else said, "It looks like a giant steampunk dentist's office."
Even though many important parties are taking place at the Bellevue Hilton—including parties for Adam Smith, Kim Schrier, and Maria Cantwell—an SECB member got briefly distracted by a fantasy of following this sign and going for a swim instead. Or maybe a dip in the whirlpool.
Alas, the authority of this next checkpoint got in our way.
OK, fine, back to that other whirlpool: the future of America.
FOX NEWS THROWS IN THE TOWEL
Fox News just declared that Democrats will control the House of Representatives this year, calling it at barely past 9:30 P.M. East Coast time. This is probably just the Republican Party trying to deflate any of the left’s celebratory balloons for claiming what should be the easiest victory of the night for liberals.
FiveThirtyEight doesn’t think the door is closed on Republican’s maintaining control of the House, with their live forecast still giving the Republicans a 40 percent, or two in five chance of keeping control of the house.
Why, you ask, is it that the SECB is paying such close attention to Fox News? It’s because we are stuck in a windowless Hilton conference room in Issaquah at the state GOP party. We are not here because we want to be here but only because we want to document what it looks like when Dino Rossi (hopefully) loses his fourth election in a row.
THE 1631 CAMPAIGN IS GLITZ AND GLAMOR
The SECB didn’t know what to think coming into the Yes on 1631—the highly talked about, highly anticipated, and honestly pretty sexy carbon fee—campaign’s election night party. We were NOT expecting it to be up a flight of marble stairs, inside a doorway guarded by ornate ionic columns, and up another flight of stairs into the gasp-worthy NORTHERN LIGHTS DOME ROOM. There is a DOME, a CRYSTAL CHANDELIER, and CHICKEN POT PIE TARTLETS. We are LIVING. Those tacos and the satisfaction of maybe-sort-of-recognizing Ben Gibbard on the street weren’t enough. We’re ready to fuel up with these decadent hors d’oeuvres (we googled the spelling) and CLEAN ALTERNATIVE ENERGY. We would also be absolutely remiss if we didn’t mention the fully-stocked bar and the groups of Seattle’s most granola people in slacks and suits. (There certainly are a healthy amount of blue jeans and khakis, too, don’t worry! The SECB is happy we chose to put on our nice pants even if our boss scoffed when we told him we packed them.)
Ken Lans, the president of Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, is feeling hopeful.
“I’m a doctor. I know how important this… and I’m trying be optimistic, but $32 million is quite a bit of money to work against,” Lans said, citing the absurd amount of funds the No on 1631 campaign (COUGH BIG OIL COUGH) raised, “even when you have common sense.” At this point, The SECB was handed a vodka cranberry and had to type the rest of this quote with our left hand. Lans continued [any typos our fault and not his]: “We have all sorts of doctor’s groups in support of this—these are organizations that don’t usually get involved but they know climate change is the biggest threat to public health.”
AMY MCGRATH DIDN'T MAKE IT AND PAUL KRUGMAN IS WORRIED
Caution, cautious optimists: Democrat Amy McGrath, the former Marine fighter pilot who was trying to flip a red House seat in Kentucky, has lost to Republican incumbent Andy Barr, according to the AP. And Paul Krugman, from somewhere in the sky, is telling Twitter: "I'm in midair but online. And not happy. The House could go either way, but clearly Republicans are doing better than expected after a closing argument based entirely on fear and lies. This is going to be very grim."
But, also, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin is going to keep his seat in West Virginia—a state Trump won by more than 40 points. (Manchin voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh.)
AND, this is the Democrat who just won Kansas's 3rd Congressional District:
Sharice Davids will be in Congress. This is far too fabulous for words. She is a star. The first Native woman to serve in Congress. pic.twitter.com/15ohlVw1AJ
— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) November 7, 2018
FINALLY, FLORIDA BRINGS US SOME GOOD NEWS
BREAKING: Amendment 4 in Florida has just PASSED!
YES! YES! YES!
1.4 million former felons who had been banned from voting for life will all now be granted back their voting rights.
A HUGE and hard fought victory.
One of the most important of our lifetime.
— Shaun King (@shaunking) November 7, 2018
THE BIG TURNOUT IS HIGHLIGHTING THE BIG SHORTCOMINGS IN THIS COUNTRY'S VOTING SYSTEM
In Missouri, a poll worker asked a voter if they were a member of a caravan. In Texas, a poll worker got canned for saying racist shit and bumping a voter. (The former poll worker now faces a criminal assault charge.) All over the country, lawyers are running to courts to get orders to keep polling stations open so that people standing in long line—often for many hours—will be able to vote. And in Georgia, where shit is real fucked up, the shady Republican Secretary of State who's running for governor against Democrat Stacey Abrams while also overseeing the state's unfair election system—this shady dude who claims nothing's wrong with Georgia's voting system had his own troubles voting. Karma's a blank ballot, dude.
Everyone, everywhere, listen to Beto:
FLASHBACKS AND FEELINGS AS THE POLLS START TO CLOSE ON THE EAST COAST
The SECB is like the rest of you with the Post-2016 Traumatic Stress feelings. So we A) don't believe any of it until the Russians stuff the final batch of votes in all the boxes and B) desperately want these early signs of unusually high voter turnout and general Trump-rejection to be real. So lets take some deep, centering breaths, go to the New York Times's "calm place" and stare at water flowing over a hand-model's hands when necessary, and focus, for now, on the positive:
It’s official: Ayanna Pressley will become the first black woman to represent Massachusetts in Congress. #Election2018 https://t.co/Ze7DN3W6zR pic.twitter.com/4XyPvOIOg7
— Vox (@voxdotcom) November 7, 2018
You ask: What about badass fighter pilot Democrat Amy McGrath in blood-red Kentucky? It's close. Send her the best vibrations you pick up at the calm place.
THE SECB RUNS INTO BEN GIBBARD AND JOHN RODERICK ON OUR WAY TO FUEL UP ON TACOS
On our way to fuel up on tacos before a night of crashing election parties, the SECB ran into Ben Gibbard (lead singer for Death Cab for Cutie and the Postal Service) and John Roderick (lead singer of The Long Winters and a former Seattle City Council candidate). We ran into them a block away from Carmelo's Tacos, our favorite new taco joint tucked inside Hillcrest Market.
Asked for predictions, Roderick said, "We take the House and lose the Senate. And who knows what happens after that." Gibbard concurred with Roderick's prediction.
"I think the governors' races are going to be a wash," Gibbard added. "Remember that beautiful, innocent time when we thought we could believe in polls?"
Roderick said, "All I want is to see Dino Rossi lose. I want to see him go straight into a hole. Put him up for dogcatcher."
After we parted with the famous musicians, a 22-year-old member of the SECB said, "I'm pretty cool in the face of fame."
This post will be updated as more information trickles in. Or floods. We honestly don't know.