Thursday, November 5, 2009

Campaigns Have Consequences

So, the election has come and gone and the results were . . . interesting. I was going to do a write-up, but I see Jeff Grubb, whose pre-election recommendations I always find extremely helpful, esp. for less-publicized races and measures, has already done so, so mine'll be a good deal shorter than might otherwise be the case. Here's his post-mortim follow-up:

So far as the local races went, things went pretty well.

Here in Kent we get to keep our mayor. Like most folks, I usually don't pay much attention to city government, but Mayor Cook has done an unusually good job, despite some personal setbacks*, both in championing some things I was dubious about that turned out well (Kent Station, the Showare Arena) and in being on top of the current flood preparations; she deserves another term. Plus of course her opponent had been a member of the school board that provoked the recent Kent teachers' strike in which teachers, parents, and community all united to denounce the superintendent and school board.

Some things that affect us we didn't get to vote on --for example, the proposed annexation of the Panther Lake area up on East Hill into Kent. The residents there got to vote on whether or not they wanted to join us (they did!) but we didn't get to vote on whether we wanted them (we do).

We also didn't get to vote for the Seattle Mayor, though that certainly has a major impact on everyone who lives in the area. The two candidates weren't even included in our Voter's guide, and nary a flyer or robocall came our way, meaning even now I'm pretty uninformed about them both (apparently the main issue was what to do about the viaduct, a topic Seattle leaders have dithered about for eight years now). In any case, I'm glad to see Nickels go because of the Occidental Park incident a few years ago.**

By contrast, the County Executive race (to replace Ron Sims, whom Obama appointed a deputy Cabinet secretary) ended with the inexperienced stealth candidate's defeat: good news there, though the Creationists would disagree. And the tax deadbeats lost for once with Eyman's latest initiative going down to defeat, while the civil rights (domestic partnerships) initiative won, which sorta gives us bragging rights over Maine. Sorta.

As for the national elections, the clear message seemed to be an anti-incumbant one, of which the most interesting was the New York congressional race, where the end result of all the sound and fury was to give Obama an extra vote in the House. My favorite quip was by someone who pointed out that the last time a Democrat represented that region, the best way to get from Albany to Buffalo was by canal.*** Even more interesting is that the defeated party vows to repeat the process that lost them the seat in as many other races as possible. Like I said, interesting.

--John R.

*[like her husband committing suicide in July, and her then finding out he hadn't listed her as co-owner of their business after all]
**[faced by the problem of homeless people hanging around the park, Nickels had a lot of the hundred-year-old trees there cut down, reasoning if he made the park unpleasant enough then people would avoid it. As if street people choose their refuges based on aesthetics. As if ruining the park for everybody wasn't a problem. As if the damage he did could be undone within our lifetimes. What a maroon.]
***[anybody else remember 'I got a mule/Her name is Sal/ . . .'?]

1 comment:

David Bratman said...

"As if street people choose their refuges based on aesthetics."

Down here in San Francisco, street people tend, for whatever reason, to hang out in the least aesthetically attractive parts of town.