What Last Night's Primary Results Say About Seattle Voters, Parks, Jess Spear, and Olympia

Comments

1
The 30th LD senate race is NOT one where "there is actually a chance for a Democratic pickup."

That seat is being vacated by a retiring democrat, Tracy Eide. This seat would be a hold for the Democrats and a pick-up for the Republicans.
2
or perhaps Spear is a self-promoting idiot, and Seattle voters are smarter enough to have understand and reject her stupid antics. Sawant's role in this foolishness may push her back to the sidelines as well.
3
-er
4
If I were a Mayor's spouse (and I would be an excellent one - lunch at The Rainier Club, charity fashion shows, taking Blanc Mange to children and old people in the afternoon, cocktails and dinner at Canlis every night) I think that I would opt for the front-row-seat-gazing-up-adoringly pose when hubby was addressing a crowd. That picture makes them look like some sort of a hostage situation.

And a sash. I'd demand a sash, and I would wear it all the time, even when charging the cat box or taking stuff out of the dishwasher. You never know when folks might stop by.
5
Ugh. That should be Blancmange. Stupid, stupid computer.
6
@4: Michael's hand up Ed's back is what makes our puppet mayor's mouth move.
7
Couple items:

The Parks and Recreation Department oversees much more than "grass and trees". Parks are facilities. They include swimming pools, synthetic turf soccer fields, community centers, tennis courts, dog runs, lots of buildings and lots of employees. It's an enterprise. So that's part of the reason why this was controversial. People love their grass and trees, but that's not all this was about.

Second, part of the reason that Kshama Sawant won is because she was a more experienced candidate with a clear message (with national backing; Obama spoke out for the issue while she was running) who did *not* run against one of the most powerful legislators in the state. The race matters as much as the candidate and the message.
8

Prop 1 tests whether Seattlites will pay property tax.
9
@ 7, while your analysis of Sawant's council win is true, I think the point is more to her loss to Chopp the year before. Should Spear run for City Council next year as people are speculating, she'll do so as a more experienced candidate than she was coming into her challenge to Chopp.
10
@4 What!?! No tiara???
11
"We have a treat in store, orphan children. Catalina's going to be here any minute, with her sash and blancmange."

Spear's numbers were lower than Sawant's, sure, but not bad for someone having to rerun the Sawant path to the City Council past the same voters.

12
Your Holiness, this is the Pacific Northwest, not a European court. A tiara would be tacky. Plus, a good tiara really has to be set into your hair by a hairdresser, and I'd be too busy getting all that Blancmange done before lunch.
13
Chopp practices the progressive politics of convenience. Spear preaches progressive politics of the possible. I support Spear.
14
@12
Wonder Woman has never bothered with a hairdresser for her tiara, and she always looks fabulous.
15
I voted for both - Chopp for position 2 and Spear as a write-in on position 1 against unchallenged Walkinshaw. It alleviated my unease about replacing Chopp with an untested presence (and if she honestly wanted to make a go for Olympia rather than simply make a principled stand against one guy, would have probably been the smarter choice).

16
#4 Catalina, I adore you.
17
#7
Plus Conlin had worn out his welcome, was bored by the job and stupidly did not use Sawant's call to nationalize Starbucks to make her look like the fool she is.
18
@12 I'll donate a Radio Flyer for all that Blancmange. Is that American enough? Seattle's first spouse pulling around a red wagon really would be priceless. And the orphans would be thrilled!
20
Weak analysis of the parks contest-- which was more about taxes than parks, and direct vs representative democracy.

Also weak analysis of the Spear/ Chopp race. No sign that support for Socialist Alternative is ebbing. Only that its support has always been limited, as is the case with most third party politics in the US.
19
Another difference between Sawant and Spear is the Stranger's intense, weekly advocacy of Sawant.
21
I voted for Sawant both times. To me, Sawant comes off as a serious person, who's sophisticated about economic thought. Spear is a flawed candidate. She comes off as a "meeee toooo!" dilettante who woke up one day, and decided that being a politician would be really neat. She has a scattershot approach to the issues she wants to tackle, and has no focus. Getting herself arrested was such transparent publicity move that it turned me off. Try getting arrested in a non-election year first, then we'll talk.
22
#21

Are "Pots and Pans Brigades" part of the sophistication?

23
@1: Thanks, long night. That's fixed now.
24
Spear's platform is flawed. Running on the big, but obviously impossible while Chopp runs on the modest, but possible. Big empty promises aren't any kind of change from bipartisan politics.
25
@13, you have it exactly backwards. There is nothing remotely "possible" about Spear's kind of politics. She has renunciated possibility for feel-good but pointless stances.

The problem is, outrage doesn't get you anywhere. Believe me, I share your outrage -- and so does Frank. But the way to overcome the obstacles laid out against us is to fight with persuasion and guile. Frank has both; Spear has neither. Without influence, without negotiation, without mastery of the minutiae of the legislative process, you will accomplish much less than nothing. You will get destroyed.

The voters ultimately recognize this.

Also, Spear herself is a vastly inferior candidate for anything than Sawant is. Sawant can be persuasive at times; Spear never. If SA wants to win more elections, they have to find some better candidates.
26
Wasn't Rodney Tom a Republican-turned-Democrat-turned-Republican?
27
@9 Spear was just a bad candidate who would not have been taken seriously at all if she weren't riding the coattails of Sawant. Unless she comes back with some marked improvement in her strategy, her delivery, and her knowledge about, oh the existing local laws and stuff, this experience won't help her next time around.
28
RE: the senate and legislature, two points.

One, the statewide turnout was abysmal - from what I saw on the Sec of State's page, looks like less than 25% statewide. A get out the vote effort could make the difference. (I can always hope and dream.)

Two, perhaps the Dem's strategy should change from focusing time and money during elections to instead focusing time and money during legislative session. Make life miserable for incumbents, ala Rodney Tom.
29
"...about, essentially, grass and trees,"

If you think this, you are not really paying attention. It is about much more.

As for a "doomsday scenario" I don't think that's apt, either.

I just don't think this is really going to turn out as supporters think it will but time will tell.
30
@25 - Which religious order did she depart?
31
The difference is all in the campaign posters. Sawant's Council posters had a Rodchenko-esque gravitas...you could feel the social change vibe in the black-and-white, crusading image. Spear's looked like some warm and fuzzy -- and ultimately ineffectual -- Fairey. Hardly fierce enough to convince me she'd take on the establishment successfully.
32
@26 - yes, sort of. He claimed to still be a Democrat after he threw control of the Senate to the GOP.
33
@30, she didn't depart one, she joined one. Socialist Alternative is essentially a religious order, not a political one. People who think I'm wrong don't know what "political" means. Hint: it doesn't have anything to do with positions or opinions or beliefs.
34
Lol, u guys are so funny!
35
Wait, doesn't Murray's second half work for the parks? Conflict of interest?
36
There is a huge political and ideological difference between a $15 minimum wage (the cornerstone of Sawant's election platform, and rent control (Spears). Lumping those two policies into one political argument is flawed, and shows a lack of understanding of the economics behind them. One can certainly be pro-minimum wage and anti-rent-control. I know I am.
37
@33 - I was thrown when you said she renunciated as opposed to renounced. At any rate, unless we agree with you we are 100% ignorant. That's all I needed to see.
38
Once you've cleared the air of all the politicking, it's interesting to note that Democrats have controlled our state government for most of the past 30 years and Washington still has the most regressive tax system in the country. Apparently, the Stranger's editorial staff and most of its readership are fine with that.

@21 (ohthetrees): It's my understanding that Jess Spear was a key player in the $15 minimum wage campaign. If she has to pull a stunt and get arrested in order to get coverage, that probably says more about local media than about her. And I must say, as a Seattleite whose rent has gone up 50% in the past two years, I'm sympathetic to rent control as one facet of the solution. Living in a unit with no soundproofing or electrical grounding (let alone GFCI), I could envisage slapping rent controls on housing that isn't fully compliant with current codes, for example. (Of course, it doesn't help that a cartel of Wall Street investors is buying up all the Seattle homes it can, unchecked by the state AG Office's Antitrust Division, to turn them into oligopolistically controlled rentals.) Remember a few years back, when a Seattle writer pocketed a decent paycheck and decided to buy a nice house somewhere in -- Tennessee, was it? -- for less than it would cost to buy a tiny, crappy condo in Seattle? She was onto something. And Seattle traffic has gotten noticeably worse since she pulled up stakes...
39
It's important to note that Sawant only won 11% in the primary, Spear won 19%+, this gives a good indication that she will at least win more then Sawant's 29% at the general election. And who knows, if she loses she could be on the road to become Seattle's second Socialist on City Council.
40
@37 Duh. Everybody knows that Fnarf is 100% wrong 100% of the time. If anybody listens to him, they might as well be listening to Bailo or Seattleblues or Will in Seattle. Because, Fnarf spreads as much disinformation as any of them.

The real problem is that the Republican held senate has been held for all of 2 years. TWO. Before that, we had a democratic house, senate and governor. Yet, we still passed regressive, corporate friendly, bills that lowered taxes for businesses while pondering why we had a shortage of funding.

Chopp has been Speaker of the House while we gave billions in tax credits to Boeing as they shuttle engineering jobs out of state. He was speaker while Microsoft fought for tax credits. He's been speaker as rents in his 43rd district blew up, and he hasn't done jack shit to protect us (he claims he's for rent control, but has he presented a bill to make it legal? Or is he talking out his ass again?). He was speaker when he made it tough for workers to collect unemployment while simultaneously lowering taxes for businesses.

Chopp is a corporate friendly asshole who is the exact reason I voted against him.
41
@37, I wouldn't know about "100% wrong", but you've got a bad track record. You also don't know what either "renounced" OR "renunciated" mean, along with the obvious.

@38, it's not that we're "fine with that", it's a question of how you go about changing it. Here's a tip: "presenting a bill" that has no possibility of passing is not good politics. Smart pols know who's going to vote which way before they even get to the floor. Dumb pols like Spear don't care if their votes mean anything or not, and as a result they never, ever do.

@40, you're part of the problem. Perhaps you'd be happier if you moved to Oregon or something, so the people there could ignore you for a change.
42

@39: In the 2012 primary, votes for Sawant were split between two races.


She had initially declared a run for Jamie Pedersen's seat. But then, before the primary was over, there was a movement to get her to run a "write-in" campaign against Frank Chopp instead.


When the primary ballot counting was over, Sawant had received nine percent of the vote against Pedersen and "write-in" had received 12.7 percent of the vote against Chopp.


If you add those two tallies together (and even if you subtract a little for other possible write-in candidates against Chopp) you get a 2012 primary total for Sawant that's higher than Jess Spear's primary total this year.

43
@41 - I'm comfortable enough with myself and my understanding of those two words that some troll typing away in a bathtub won't throw me. But you keep on believing what you need to, Fnarf. You're obviously tailor made for the comment cesspools.
44
@41 No, you're part of the problem. Perhaps you'd be happier in Texas with the rest of your business-loving, regressive-tax-humping, Republican friends.
45
@42: Barely higher, essentially the same (roughly 20%). That isn't much evidence for the supposed decline in support you speculate about.
46
It must be nice to live in this fairy tale world where everything bad is the fault of "corporations", anyone who disagrees with you is a right-wing corporate shill, and everything bad can be magically fixed, if only those damn Repugnikkkans and shills would just listen.

Meanwhile in the real world, adults are doing the boring, sometimes distasteful work of building consensus, marshaling influence and turning the gears of the political machine.
47
If you think the principal purpose of the parks district was to provide grass and trees, then all the propaganda funded by the Downtown Seattle Association worked. Sometimes you do a fair job of figuring out who is paying for all these seemingly innocuous propositions, but you've fallen down on the job lately. Remember city council district elections, brought to you courtesy of a right-wing crank? Now we have a parks district, brought to you courtesy of downtown developers.
48
@45: Keep rearranging those deck chairs and the Jess Spear Titanic may limp into port...

But to anyone paying attention, Jess Spear and SA laid a big egg last night. Not a good sign for Kshama heading into 2015 either.
49
Given the amount of money the apartment owners dumped into the campaign against Prop 1 (Those "yard" signs that are mostly on public right-of-way cost $7.50 a pop) and the whispering campaign run by an as-yet-unfiled PAC, I am surprised and grateful that the voters gave the proposition a win.
50
@4, THANK YOU! This is the first Mayoral spouse I have ever seen who is spooning the Mayor on stage at every opportunity. His people should do something about it, it looks ridiculous. Mayoral spouses are simply not necessary at the majority of public events, and they are certainly inappropriate as part of things like the Mayor's press announce of a new Police Chief.

Also, husband works for the City, show some decorum as a staffer and at least pretend you don't have undue influence.
51
@50 it reminds me of the South Park episode where Mr. Garrison tries to get fired by performing deviant gay sex in front of his students, but when the students complain they get sent to a tolerance camp and Mr. Garrison gets an award. This city is so irritatingly self-congratulatory about its progressive values.
52
An intelligent, activist, socialist young scientist with dedication and vision and anger at injustice- I am thrilled by Jess Spear's campaign. This was a terrific showing for her, hope for a continued revolution in politics in Seattle,and is, I hope, just the beginning for Jess Spear's political career.
We need her.
53
@42 Eli

I think you're taking a lot of liberty assuming that you can add Sawant's 2012 Petersen and Chopp votes together... Lets remember what the ballot looked like in 2012: Chopp and Petersen/Sawant were on the SAME ballots. I think the safer assumption is that the majority of people who voted Sawant against Petersen also wrote in Sawant against Chopp.

Not to mention the result being greatly swayed by this newspaper (i figure the stranger endorsement has been worth about 10 percentage points - which is a shit-ton).

Thus the 19% that Spear received, without the stranger endorsement, considering that Chopp sent 3 mailers, purchased a full page add in the stranger, and has been promising the earth and moon to all progressive groups to sew up all endorsements... I'd say this is still a significant result.
54
@42 - Spear wasn't running in 2 races, so who knows what she would have gotten if she had filed against Walkinshaw and The Stranger called for a write-in against Chopp. Adding Sawant's totals from 2 races and saying she did better than Spear is just disingenuous - likely many of the same people voted for her twice.
55
@44 - so you're saying that Fnarf and the democrats of our state government that he supports are the equivalent of (or at least extremely similar to) Texas republicans.

Well huh. Maybe Oregon would be a good place for you.
56
There is a LOT of work to be done to get a majority of the public in this state to agree that a state income tax is both necessary and a public good. If you get a majority of the public to support it, you're more likely to get a majority of the state legislature to support it.

An example...at a public event earlier this year in the Eastside, which I'll remind you has eight of twelve seats in the state Legislature and Senate controlled by Democrats, the crowd literally gasped - gasped - when a Democratic legislator stated that even a state income tax, if necessary, should be considered to deal with transportation and education spending issues.
57
Spear's blatant lack of understanding of anything pertinent to the business of running the affairs of the state was frankly an insult to the voters she sought to represent. Jess, please DO something with your life- own a business, have a career, face the harsh realities of real *adult* life- and then come back in ten years and participate in the conversation.

I'm surprised nobody is talking about how Spear's stunning loss might also be a commentary on voter's remorse in rewarding Sawant a seat at the table. Sawant's performance on the Council has been lackluster at best and downright silly at worst.
58
@53 & 54: Good points. I was not thinking earlier about the possibility of double-votes for Sawant in 2012.

I guess that leaves us fundamentally unable to know what Sawant's real, non-duplicative 2012 primary vote total was?
59
@57: Your grounding in reality is refreshing, but certainly out of place on this string,

People! Frank Chopp beat Spear by 60 points! The hope that the residents of the 43rd will vote in Socialists to replace incumbent Democrats has been crushed. The threat that Spear could contend for a City Council seat next year is gone.

What's more, with the fading of SA's electoral power, Sawant now appears vulnerable to a strong Democratic challenger. And she'll have more than one.
60
@57
Respectfully disagree. I had never seen a councilmember immediately control the direction of city politics upon entering office before Sawant. I have reservations about some of her ideas, but I'm very happy to see how she fights for them. I hope the Democrats take a page from her book and learn the difference between "negotiating" and "conceding".
I'm really glad to see some fight finally enter Seattle politics.
61
@4, @50 Could it be that both the Mayor & his spouse recognize the importance of positive images of the first elected MARRIED Mayor of a major US City and want to use their highly visible platform to further promote positive images and affect tolerance?
62
@55 The majority of the bills passed by the Washington Democrats are selling out the state to the lowest bidder, very similar to the efforts that Rick Perry puts forward in Texas.

If you don't see how regressive the Democrats in this state actually are when it comes to financial and labor laws, then maybe you shouldn't be voting.
63
@61, I'm pretty sure there have been other elected MARRIED Mayors of major US Cities before Ed Murray. Maybe you a word there. I don't give a fuck what gender or sexual preferences you are, I don't want to see you spooning your SO in public, especially not when you're an elected official. Use some goddamn decorum.
64
@62 - hahaha, oh wow, you took the opportunity to dig yourself even deeper. I'm surprised you didn't call me a "sheeple" in the middle of all that.

You should let collectivism_sucks know about this immediately, he still thinks we're an overtaxed, over regulated socialist hellhole. He'll be so reassured.
65
Yes, I missed including "same sex" in my previous post. Oops.
66
@61, what @63 said. If your point was correct, then why don't Sally Clark or Tom Rasmussen carry on that way? Because it's not becoming of an elected official regardless of sexual orientation. Show me another Mayor level politician or higher who is behaving that way.

I think we all saw in this Mayoral election that no one cares about the gay mayor bit, we are a very queer city. Murray's rep was more about being the conservative establishment candidate than it was about being gay. And anyway, PDX already beat us to it with Sam Adams, who was a way cooler gay mayor than Ed Murray.
67
And btw @61, I am queer as the day is long, but I find it distasteful for the Mayor and his spouse to behave like they are on a Pride float.
68
@67: Behaving like they're on a Pride Float? What are they doing? And, do you have pictures?!?
69
Fnarfman on MLK: hey dude, ""presenting a bill" that has no possibility of passing is not good politics. you should stop trying this desegregation stuff. instead work the minutiae of legislation, once you master it."
Fnarfman to Kennedy and Obama: " dudes, too early to run for president, you have not passed anything you can't be a good leader till you master the minutiae of legislation!"
Fnarf to Saul Alinsky: "boy oh boy you got it wrong dude. go master the minutiae of legislation THEN you will have an impact."
Fnarf to Walter Reuther, ghandi, the women's movement, the gay rights movement and the environmental movements: "boy do you folks got it wrong, legislators aren't spuposed to lead the public, they make progess thru mastering the minutiae of legislation!"

Fnarf to Winston Churchill: "what's up with all the speeches to the public in the UK and the flowery language. You need to go master the minutiae of legislation, that's how you beat the Nazis!"
70
Cyrus Habib is hardly a bright spot over Michelle Darnell but you will almost never support a Republican -- or at least you failed to answer my specific question about the last three Republicans you have supported. Meanwhile Cyrus Habib has failed to answer my specific questions regarding his platform. You claimed Michelle Darnell is out to raise taxes and had no answer to these questions but you never explicated Habib's position on these questions, fancy that. http://mortgagemovies.blogspot.com/2014/…

1. Right now you have what is basically a Court-ordered unfunded mandate for education. What are your specific plans to address the funding mandate set forth by McCleary?

2. What is your position on income and sales taxes. Are you in favor of regressive or progressive taxes and what would changes would you advocate for during your term?

3. There have been legal decisions throughout the country -- including the Nancy Becker vs. MERSCORP case in Pennsylvania decided this summer -- that indicate that the MERS recording system has robbed counties of millions of dollars in recording fees. Do you believe that area recording offices should be conducting audits in order to go after some of this money?

4. What role do you believe that the mortgage and housing crisis has had on Seattle area economy?

*********

Darnell garnered 37% of the vote with 4% of Habib's money ($161K vs. $7K) and she has none of his connections, power or money. Darnell and I discuss the Primary in yesterday's video:

http://mortgagemovies.blogspot.com/2014/…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1kLOAKf…

Now I have praised you guys often and always but I will bear no compunction to call you out when I feel you are full of it, and right about now I feel you are indeed, full of it.
Ciao.
71
@ Hernandez,

You have to aim for the impossible to achieve the possible. If you compromise before you've even begun, you'll get nowhere.
72
@ Hernandez,

You have to aim for the impossible to achieve the possible. If you compromise before you've even begun, you'll get nowhere.
73
So glad Seattle voters did not go with Jess Spears!! Thank the Good Lord above for that one!! One blabber mouth Socialist is more than we can stand in Seattle! I think the voters realized their mistake in voting Sawant onto our City Council. That was a huge mistake!!