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SeaTac, WA
SeaTac, WA

If you pride yourself on following politics closely, you probably know there's a lot going on in next week's election beyond the usual New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial races, neither of which looks very dramatic at this point. There are important state legislative races in the Virginia House and the Washington Senate, two chambers that the Democrats would like to flip (and races in which Daily Kos has gotten involved). There are big-city mayoral races, ranging from New York City to Tulsa, and, in states that allow them, ballot measures aplenty, among which the highest-profile include casino gambling in New York, genetically modified food labeling in Washington, and reverse mortgages in Texas.

What's that, you say? You know about all those races, and you want to get even further down in the weeds? Well, here are two races you probably haven't heard about but should, in two Washington state jurisdictions so small you probably haven't heard of them either (Whatcom County has 201,000 people, while the city of SeaTac has only 27,000 residents). And yet, these are races with true national implications: One is a push to implement a first-in-the-nation $15 minimum wage, while the other is a flashpoint in the fight against climate change.

SeaTac, Washington, has a funny-sounding name, but that's because it shares a name with its biggest employer: the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. If you factor in the many surrounding hotels, eateries, car rental lots and similar businesses, it's one of the metropolitan area's major employment hubs, and many of those jobs are non-union, service-industry jobs that don't pay very well. Even the well-paying jobs that are inside the airport aren't that secure or lucrative: for instance, in 2005 Alaska Airlines (whose hub is in Seattle) replaced 472 unionized baggage handlers with contract workers.

The proposed ballot measure in SeaTac—a blue-collar suburb that's one of Washington's most diverse communities, where one in six residents lives in poverty—would give a boost to many of those employees. Although it exempts many small employers, airport and hotel employees would be subject to a minimum wage of $15 per hour. The same measure would also give paid sick days to those same employees. You can probably figure out the implications: this kind of change isn't going to happen through gridlocked Congress and probably not even through state legislatures, but it can be done at the local level—and if these changes can be implemented here without, as some fear, significantly raising costs or unemployment, then it can be an object lesson for larger jurisdictions that it works.

There's more over the fold ...

The state of Washington already has the nation's highest minimum wage, at $9.19 per hour, in contrast to the national rate of $7.25. (Lest you think that the Seattle area is ground zero for minimum-wage-based job-killing, bear in mind that the Seattle metropolitan area's unemployment rate fell as low as 4.7 percent in the summer of 2013.) Like most major cities, though, the cost of living in the Seattle area is high (with an average rent of $1,190), so that $9.19 doesn't go terribly far.

Seattle itself may hit the $15 minimum wage mark at some point as well: It's been a particular focus for the fast food strikes that have popped up around the country, and both of the city's mayoral candidates in this year's election have said they're on board with a $15 wage as a goal, with the major question being how slowly to step up to it. But the city of SeaTac, with its relatively small electorate that can be reached primarily through the ground game, is being used as something of a testing ground for further fights in bigger cities.

Service employee unions like the SEIU and UNITE HERE were the main force behind the signature-gathering effort to get the referendum on the ballot, and also providing much of the on-the-ground manpower. Naturally, there's well-funded opposition from business interests, starting with $50,000 from the National Restaurant Association. Salon also reports donations passing from the Koch brothers-linked Donors Trust to other local conservative organizations, like the Freedom Foundation, that are fighting the initiative.

Interestingly, conservative approach to fighting the measure appears to be to play to local residents' fears of other, better-qualified persons from elsewhere in the metropolitan area swooping in and taking the jobs if they pay better:

“SeaTac workers – especially young people – will have a harder time finding local employment as more experienced, qualified outsiders converge on our city to compete for these jobs.”
You'd think that employers might be glad, instead, to get those higher-skilled workers that they're always complaining they can't find, and who stay longer and generate less turnover ... but apparently not.

No polls concerning the ballot measure have been shared, so it's hard to gauge how likely it is to pass (and considering how small the pool of likely voters is, polls may not even have been taken). But, as with any election where there aren't a lot of participants and it'll be determined by the most enthused voters, turnout is key:

“I think it’s anybody’s guess at this point.” Rolf said the result will turn on turnout: “We’ll win this election if 7,000 people turn out to vote. If 3,500 people turn out to vote, we’re gonna lose.”
Coal train
Coal train

Whatcom County is the county in the nation's very northwest corner, just below Vancouver, Canada; it has a lot of undeveloped frontage on Puget Sound, and, factoring in the curvature of the earth, it's the closest point in the Lower 48 states to east Asia. With that in mind, it's the site of a proposed $600 million port, the Gateway Pacific Terminal. In the past, in the Northwest's shipping terminals, you'll see piles of raw logs or elevators full of wheat waiting to get loaded on Asia-bound ships, but this new port has a wrinkle: It's oriented toward shipping coal.

The coal isn't mined in the Northwest—it would be shipping over from Wyoming by train—but it's part of a broader trend: the transition of America to a net energy exporter, and the rapid growth in China leading to vast new demands for energy. The coal shipped through the terminal will amount to 48 million tons per year, enough to run 15 to 20 coal-fired plants in China per year. Even as the United States uses less coal and moves more toward renewable energy sources, it doesn't really matter, so long as the coal is still being sent to China and burned there. It's all part of the same atmosphere (and even has direct effects on the Northwest, as windborne particulate matter from Asia increasingly ends up here).

The Gateway Pacific Terminal isn't a done deal, though, and there's where the Whatcom County Council comes in. They'll be voting on the siting permits in upcoming years, and rejecting the permits could halt the project, maybe permanently. There aren't a lot of other ocean-going ports in the Northwest where there's enough buildable space for a terminal this large, so this may be the last best hope for coal exporters. Four of the seven seats on the council are up for election in November, and, as you can imagine, the coal terminal is the main issue in the race.

Complicating matters is that the Council is a "semi-judicial" body, meaning that the candidates themselves can't disclose how they would rule on issues that come before them. That leaves them to try and convey their stances on the terminal through buzzwords and platitudes. Nevertheless, outside groups are playing heavily in the election; it's a top priority for environmental groups, particularly the League of Conservation Voters, and on the other side, the Alliance for Northwest Jobs and Exports, funded by energy companies and groups like the National Association of Manufacturers.

And it's not hard to see which candidates are pro- and anti- the terminal, based on where their campaign money is coming from. The LCV is backing two incumbents (Ken Mann and Carl Weimer) and two challengers (Barry Buchanan and Rud Browne), while the local GOP is backing two incumbents (Kathy Kershner and Bill Knutsen) and two challengers (Ben Elenbaas and Michelle Luke).

There haven't been any polls of the races made available, but one positive indicator is that it looks like the LCV-backed candidates lead significantly in terms of both independent expenditures and their own fundraising. A big boost is coming from environmentalist billionaire Tom Steyer, who has turned himself into a major political player in the last year (with large contributions in the Massachusetts Senate special election primary and the Washington SD-26 special) and whose NextGen PAC has put nearly $275,000 into the races.

Whatcom County as a whole is fairly Dem-leaning, giving Barack Obama 55 percent of the vote in 2012. However, it's also very polarized, kind of a microcosm of the state in general, with half of its population in the crunchy college town of Bellingham and the other half in right-leaning rural areas, especially the predominantly Dutch-American town of Lynden, perhaps the most conservative place in the state. The Council has 2 members in each of 3 districts, and one at-large member, so given the county's polarization the whole shooting match may come down to what happens in the at-large seat (the race between GOP incumbent Knutzen and Browne).

So, we've got livable wages and global warming at stake, and probably fewer than a hundred thousand voters casting the votes that will make big statements on the issues with national, even global, implications. "Think globally act locally" may seem like a bumper-sticker cliché, but these two local elections—especially in view of the increasing governmental paralysis at the national and even state levels—make clear that there's some wisdom to the slogan.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 12:59 PM PDT.

Also republished by Koscadia, PacNW Kossacks, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  A local election with global implications (21+ / 0-)

    US Coal exports must stop to prevent disastrous warming of the global climate.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 01:04:53 PM PDT

  •  If you can't use the outsourcing argument... (13+ / 0-)

    you resort to this:

    “SeaTac workers – especially young people – will have a harder time finding local employment as more experienced, qualified outsiders converge on our city to compete for these jobs.”

    •  Probably true (0+ / 0-)

      SeaTac is a special place - obviously the airport can't move and most of the word done there cannot be moved to other locations.

      But if an employer has to pay $15/hour why should they hire people who would normally get $8/hour even if the job does not really require a higher skilled worker?  Get someone who is smarter and harder working and try to get better value and maybe cut headcount.  Seems an obvious reaction.

    •  And thanks to attorney general Bob Ferguson, (4+ / 0-)

      for requiring the anti-522 (anti-labeling) campaign to disclose their big contributors.

      Basic story:  WA state law requires initiative campaigns (pro or con) to disclose how much money they spend, and where it came from.  The Anti-522 campaign is heavily supported by the Grocery Manufacturers Association, which preferred not to disclose where the money came from.  Ferguson sued them and forced them to disclose their financing. Biggest donors included PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Nestle, and General Mills.  Details here.

      No surprise, I suppose, that Ferguson is a Democrat.

  •  The Washington race highlights another (13+ / 0-)

    national problem: turncoat Democrats.

    Rodney Tom and two other "Democrats" caucused with the rethugs last year to flip the Senate. Tom traded in his integrity to become senate majority leader.

    The 4.7% UE rate here is baffling to me. There doesn't seem to be any more out there than there was last year. Maybe an uptick in temp and part time. God knows I've been looking!

    The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.

    by chuckvw on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 01:26:51 PM PDT

  •  Wow, who'd a thunk it (6+ / 0-)

    My life could be decided in a place I hadn't even heard of before.

    Ain't politics grand?

  •  NJ will vote on raising the minimum wage. (7+ / 0-)

    Vote YES on question 2.

    If a carpenter built a cabin for poets, I think the least the poets owe the carpenter is just three or four one-liners on the wall. Mike Lefevre - steelworker

    by Bob Friend on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 02:06:17 PM PDT

  •  Whatcom County elections (8+ / 0-)

    Now, all of the Whatcom County Council seats are de facto at large seats.  We vote for all four seats, regardless of where we live.  

    Bellingham has about 40 percent of the county population, but that includes Western Washington University students, who don't reliably turn out.  

    Berkshire Hathaway, the largest fossil fuel corporation that refuses to disclose its carbon emissions, is the owner of the railroad that would carry the coal and a part owner of the promoter of the terminal.  Berkshire Hathaway pours millions into consumer advertising through its 80 or so subsidiaries, including the lizard insurance ads that pop up on websites, and provides content to newspapers, broadcast, including NPR and PBS, and websites through promotion involving its plutocrat class icon Warren Buffett.

    •  Does that mean (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fb

      it's one of those weird hybrid systems where you vote in only your particular district in the primary, but then you vote on all the seats in the general? That's how the Seattle school board is decided, but I thought that was just our own uniquely screwed-up way of doing things.

      Editor, Daily Kos Elections.

      by David Jarman on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 03:30:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Whatcom County Council candidate selection (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lefty Coaster

        There is no primary.  The candidates personally file to run for the office.  

        The parties collaborate and endorse candidates.

        To clear up gobbledygook in my last sentence:

        Through its 80 or so subsidiaries, the fossil fuel company Berkshire Hathaway pours millions into consumer advertising, for example, the lizard insurance ads that pop up on websites.  The advertising supports newspapers, broadcast, including NPR and PBS, and websites that serve Whatcom County.  It provides content through promotion of its proud plutocrat class icon Warren Buffett.

    •  Are they the ones behind the ads (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lefty Coaster

      that run in Puget Sound media markets touting creating shipping ports promising "good jobs that would go somewhere else if we don't build the terminals" and, IIRC, never saying a thing about coal?

      Those ads crack me up, because they ran in heavy rotation on MSNBC at one time in the Seattle market, and every time I saw one I just thought, "Yep, I'd vote against that if I had the chance." To anyone who knows the story, it's patently obvious what would be shipping out of those terminals.

      Some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.

      by Omir the Storyteller on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 04:05:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  but, David ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    daeros, Powell, yoduuuh do or do not
    "Think globally act locally" may seem like a bumper-sticker cliché, but these two local elections—especially in view of the increasing governmental paralysis at the national and even state levels—make clear that there's some wisdom to the slogan.
    cliches and fables and battle-worn parables ARE wise ...
    if they weren't, they wouldn't get used that much.

    in fact, let's just go on ahead and look at ALL the fables and parables, for good measure ... for us to have marked and ready to go when you cover these fascinatingly important elections.

    Addington's perpwalk? TRAILHEAD of accountability for Bush-2 Crimes. @Hugh: There is no Article II power which says the Executive can violate the Constitution.

    by greenbird on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 02:14:08 PM PDT

    •  quick random example ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      daeros, Powell
      The Boy Hunting Locusts
      A boy was hunting for locusts. He had caught a goodly number, when he saw a Scorpion, and mistaking him for a locust, reached out his hand to take him. The Scorpion, showing his sting, said: 'If you had but touched me, my friend, you would have lost me, and all your locusts too!'
      Carelessness has consequences.

      Addington's perpwalk? TRAILHEAD of accountability for Bush-2 Crimes. @Hugh: There is no Article II power which says the Executive can violate the Constitution.

      by greenbird on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 02:19:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Small Elections with National Implications (5+ / 0-)

    Amazing how precedents can be set through, seemingly, trivial events.

  •  Albuquerque - city abortion ban vote Nov. 19 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Powell, fb, nimh

    Special election that could ban abortions past 20 weeks within the city.  Early voting is going on now.  Get out and vote!

    Economic Left/Right: -7.38
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.00
    Two steps to the right of Trotsky.

    by jvance on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 02:43:12 PM PDT

  •  Spokane also has a couple of city council races (8+ / 0-)

    of interest. Both are progressive, and for the first time ever that I can recall are being attacked from some outside group as being "pro-union"!!! Oh the horror of it all! First time ever I can recall that city council progressives have been attacked like this. The repugs are trying desperately to get into power first at the local level, then the state level and then obviously more if they can set it up. We must match them. And go after these outside groups anyway possible.

  •  A good summary of the coal port saga. (14+ / 0-)

    Thanks, DJ, this sums it up pretty well for a national audience. I'm a Whatcom county native who no longer lives there, but I do have family and friends who are still there. My parents are sadly affected by the fact that the trains will go right below their house on their way to the coal port. The coal trains already running to Canada for export have left their mark over the last few years, and their quality of life has suffered.

    By the way, while that is a picture of "a" coal train, it's not a picture of an American one. It would seem to be European in origin, based on the railroad cars shown that have only 4 wheels, not 8. Our train cars are much bigger, and don't carry the coal in such nice tidy little containers.

    One American hopper car used in coal service can carry up to 120 tons or so of coal. A typical coal train can have 125 cars, and 4-5 locomotives, and is over a mile long. That is not a small object without impact.

    Of course, my rambling does not address the coal as evil narrative, and that it is. I don't believe there is a Chinese market for Wyoming coal anymore, as coal traffic around the world is dropping at an amazing clip. The BBC had a story in September about many mines in Australia shutting down because the Chinese market had stopped buying their coal. There no longer is any 'pressing' need to have this port built, and if it is ever completed, it will just be an albatross around the county's neck, with no traffic and yet more environmental damage inflicted once again.

    The company actually proposing the port has been caught out in more than a few whoppers as to what was promised versus reality. The main one was jobs: they promised 1100 full time jobs, which was a PR gimmick. In actuality, they had admitted internally that they would create less than 100 full-time jobs; the 1100 worker figure was during the construction phase, many of whom would not be local and would have to move to the area temporarily. Yet another bubble.

    And yeah, I know tarantulas don't really act like that at all, so no snarking, this is the internet damnit!

    by itzadryheat on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 02:54:16 PM PDT

    •  Thanks (4+ / 0-)

      for the additional information. Also, I figured a train enthusiast might take exception to the photo, but I just needed royalty-free art of a coal train, so I went to Wikimedia Commons. The picture is apparently from Finland.

      Editor, Daily Kos Elections.

      by David Jarman on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 03:28:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Heck, I've got coal train photos! (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rmx2630, roadbear, wa ma, nimh

        I could have sent you one, from the very town and track involved in fact. But then, you didn't know, and I didn't know, so there we are. Does DKos have a need? I'd be willing to make them available as a public service.

        The election will be interesting. I think it will right to the wire, but I think the anti-coal port people will win. This particular fight (to develop or not develop) is but the latest and largest of numerous ones over the years, and by all appearances, has brought a lot of tensions to the surface.

        This is true of the entire state though, as the urban majority has had environmental and land-use regulations put in place that the rural population doesn't like at all (but are near legislatively powerless to oppose). As a result, there is a large TP presence in the county for as long as there has been a TP. They are not of a size to turn the election their way alone however, so they have to persuade other, less involved voting strata to go their way.

        The local tribe, the Lummi Nation, has already put their kibosh on the port. The port would be built in ancestral fishing waters, and they have the treaty power to kill it and have asked for that to be done. The state is gradually shifting, in true bureaucratic inertia, towards an anti-port position, mostly on environmental grounds. No Environmental Impact Statement (state req't) has yet been done, and that could take years to draft and finalize.

        Not many Bellinghamsters actually want it, at least of those who are most likely to vote. Activating the base in town to vote will have a huge impact on the election. The in-town population, coupled with the county folk who don't want it are the ones likely to prevail, but there is outside money coming in to pay for ads, so it will be a tough fight.

        Somehow I was tilting towards the Scandinavian countries as to the source of the photo. All those logs, I guess.

        And yeah, I know tarantulas don't really act like that at all, so no snarking, this is the internet damnit!

        by itzadryheat on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 04:31:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The coal trains themselves are a separate (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RosyFinch

          political issue, as there are some of them scheduled to run through communities where there is no shelter against the dust that blows off them, and where it goes right next to the shopping center, in Kent, and somehow has to pass through Seattle to get to the alleged port in planning, a problem no one has explained how to do yet, since Seattle is one of those places geographically were 'flat' is a word applied to other areas of the country, and which is pinned between a large lake with a luxury community on the other side of it, and Puget Sound.

          •  Part and parcel of the whole. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RosyFinch, nimh

            Coal trains have been running for at least 6 years to the Roberts Bank Superport in British Columbia, just across from Point Roberts. There are perhaps 6-8 trains total moving to and from the port per week.

            I'd not heard one peep from anyone to the south of Whatcom County when they began to run all the way from Wyoming back then. The route goes from Spokane to Vancouver (WA), then swings north through Puget Sound. They are here, and they have been here, and the terrain of Western Washington and Puget Sound is not a barrier. To be honest, I don't recall many of the locals saying anything either, unless you live along or near the tracks like my parents, and even then no one really wanted to listen.

            The greater numbers proposed for the Gateway Pacific port are, of course, of more concern to everyone. The coal dust coming off the trains is very limited by the time they reach western Washington - none of it blows off when they go past my parent's house. Yet another question no one has answered yet, for any part of the journey.

            The air pollution caused by increased rail traffic is another issue. More Diesel fuel particulates adding to the Puget Sound smog every day of the year; that issue has certainly given a region-wide cast to the project. Of course, the ships coming to get the coal will also add quite a bit, as ships use the dirtiest fuel there is.

            I sincerely hope the sum of the environmental negatives and the displeasure of all the various political entities kills this project dead, and quickly at that. I think back to the number of various, giant projects proposed for this very site over the last few decades, and not a one has proven to be viable once examined closely. It has always been rosy economics right up to the end, and then POOF! Nothing.

            The Cherry Point area already has enough heavy industry (two petroleum refineries, one aluminum smelter) to satisfy anyone. The coastline there is fragile enough, and already stressed - just ask the herring.

            This can be a local blow for a world concern, and let's hope it works out for the best.

            And yeah, I know tarantulas don't really act like that at all, so no snarking, this is the internet damnit!

            by itzadryheat on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 08:20:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Ground game in SeaTac is impressive (6+ / 0-)

    Some people might be bothered, but the ground game in favor of raising the minimum wage has been very aggressive. Lots of people going door to door. This is in contrast to the bullshit commercials being purchased by big money interests.

    Hard to guess how it will go, but I'm thinking it is going to pass. I for one just dropped my ballot in the mail, voting both for the raise in Seatac minimum wage and for GMO food labeling.

    And voting against a typical Tim Eyman asshole initiative.

    Everything I write is within a margin of error of precisely 100%.

    by Bailey Savings and Loan on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 02:54:43 PM PDT

  •  Vote Pinky for Bellingham City Council (5+ / 0-)

    And while you are at it please vote for the more environmentally friendly Pinky Vargas for Bellingham City Council. One of her main goals is for building an environmentally sustainable economy and for cleaning up Lake Whatcom.

    http://www.votepinkyvargas.com/

  •  Great summary. (4+ / 0-)

    I can't vote on the two issues you summarized, but -- as a King Co resident -- I'm watching them with great interest and concern.

    And the GMO-labeling initiative, of course.

    I have to say that the Consumer's Union ads (pro-labeling) strike me as extremely effective. Hope so, anyway.

    •  I noticed those ads. Good on them. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Powell, Chas 981

      People trust Consumer Reports.

      Looks like a week from Tuesday I'll have to switch between the MSNBC coverage of the larger elections (e.g. Virginia governor) and one of the local stations to see how the Washington issues play out (Whatcom county, SeaTac, GMO labeling and one of Tim Eyman's projects).

      Oh yeah, and who gets elected mayof of Seattle, although I live in Shoreline, so that one's more just the point of view of a bemused spectator. If Murray wins, he'll be Seattle's first openly gay moyor, although we have to concede that this is one of those situations where, once again, Portland has beaten us to the punch.

      Some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.

      by Omir the Storyteller on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 04:17:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You may not have to. Because of the time diff, (0+ / 0-)

        results on the E. Coast races will be in while WA still has voters racing to the post office and drop off points because we have all mail in voting here. and it has to be either in the drop box or in the hand of the P.O. by 11.:59 PM on that Tuesday. You can still enjoy the popcorn twice without having to flip back and forth and miss something good.

        •  I thought 8:00 was the deadline? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wa ma

          Anyway with some races they can still call the election pretty early, depending on how exit polls show the turnout and trends are going. But yeah, at least some of the East Coast races should be decided by the time the polls close here.

          Guess I need to go buy some extra popcorn. :-)

          Some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.

          by Omir the Storyteller on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 05:44:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  8 o'clock is the official deadline, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Zack from the SFV, RosyFinch

            and that's the time the ballot must be deposited if you leave it at an official ballot drop box.  8 p.m. is also the time when they start announcing results (based on ballots counted to that point).

            If you mail in your ballot, it must be postmarked by election day, so the effective deadline is the last collection time for your particular post office or mailbox.  Details are in the voter guide, mailed to all Washington residents.  (A great innovation, by the way -- do other states do that?)

            Ballot counting goes on for quite a few more days, both because of ballots received by mail later in the week, and because (during the recession) most counties cut way back on overtime and extra help for their election departments, so it takes time for them to do all the counting and verification using the regular year-round staff. That's particularly true of King County (1/3 of the state's population).

            •  the Voterguide is very useful (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mokurai, Chas 981

                   California also does a voterguide, which is quite helpful to understanding the ballot measures. It has the title and summary of each proposition (what appears on the ballot) and an analysis of the impacts of the measures by the legistive analyst. The full texts of the measures are included as well. The most interesting reading is the arguments and rebuttals for and against the measures. You often can tell a lot about about a prop based on who is for and against it.

                   On ballots with a lot of propositions the voterguide  can be the size of a small phone book. At least it is printed on recyclable newsprint...

              Diehard Swingnut, disgruntled Democrat, age 55, CA-30

              by Zack from the SFV on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 09:21:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  message (0+ / 0-)

    Its nice to start the battle somewhere, The homeless I saw
    In Seattle are hungry now. Go and fight in Olympia! we need you.!

  •  what are the mayorals going on? (0+ / 0-)

    Politico had a great piece last week on how Democrats are winning more and more mayoral races across the country, which is translating into a situation where we can actually implement our policy agenda and show off the results. As opposed to groups like Heritage and Club for Growth that may write extensive papers but don't have mayors to implement their agenda and then show that off to try and win national office.

    Managed small races in VA and DC. Worked political for DGA. Follow me @bharatkrishnan if you want to be my friend.

    by Bharat on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 04:18:01 PM PDT

  •  Nice try (0+ / 0-)

    But that isn't a photograph of Seatac.  There is no lake to what would be west of the Airport (the terminals are on the airport's east.  Puget Sound is to the west of the Airport, but it isn't anywhere near that close.  It may be Boeing Field, which is in Renton, not Seatac, or it may be some entirely different airport somewhere.

  •  Detroit (0+ / 0-)

    I'm really looking to see how the new Detroit mayor (likely Mike Duggan barring something unforseen) will interact with the EM.  His critics are convinced he's in bed with the EM and governor, but I think they will be surprised how wrong they are.  Mike is a no-bullsh%t kind of guy, and while Bing has made some noise on the way out, I do not imagine that Mike is going to be quiet when Orr oversteps his boundaries as he's done a whole host of occassions.

    I'm also interested to see how Mike and labor will come together.  Labor hasn't been unanimous in their endorsements, though, I think it's safe to say they've on net sided with Napolean, as Napolean is more "the devil we know."  If they can come together, and quickly, to put up a united front as an alternative to an EM, this will have positive implications for the Democrats in next year's gubernatorial race.  

    The problem so far has been that Bing tried to play both sides (for and then against the EM) against a fairly united council agains the EM making the whole local government appear in confusion.  It looks like the new mayor and council will be on the same page from the get-go as far as emergency management is concerned and will seek to do whatever it takes to get Orr out of there as soon as possible.

  •  Question. If this terminal isn't built (0+ / 0-)

    will they try and build it in Vancouver? With NAFTA what's to stop them?

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)! Follow on Twitter @dopper0189

    by dopper0189 on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 07:46:26 PM PDT

    •  I doubt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nimh

      they'd do it in Vancouver proper, which is very built out and where real estate is very expensive. I saw somewhere that a potential fallback option would be to build it in eastern Oregon at the Port of Morrow (the actual port, not the Shins album). That would probably add a couple days to the ship journey and require a crossing of the hazardous Columbia river bar, but on the other hand it would shorten the train part of the journey considerably.

      Editor, Daily Kos Elections.

      by David Jarman on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 08:04:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks David for the excellent post (0+ / 0-)

    We're Whatcom county/Bellingham city residents voting from abroad (yep, vote by mail and already sent in).  My wife and I are keenly watching this election--and we greatly appreciate your updates.  The Bellingham Herald has made it tougher and tougher to keep up with local news from overseas (by imposing a paywall on many means of access).

    America needs a UNION NEWS channel. We (unions) have the money, we have the talent. Don't buy 30 second time slots on corporate media, union leaders; fund your own cable news channel and tell the real story 24/7/365

    by monkeybrainpolitics on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 07:48:44 PM PDT

  •  Another important local election in Washington (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RosyFinch, myboo
    Coal issue dominates Whatcom County election, but nobody’s talking about it

    By Brian M. Rosenthal

    BELLINGHAM —

    Brendon Cechovic thinks the two most important elections in the nation this November are the race for governor of Virginia and the battle for control of the Whatcom County Council.

    “I know it sounds crazy, but that’s our assessment,” he said.

    "If Wall Street paid a tax on every “game” they run, we would get enough revenue to run the government on." ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 08:12:40 PM PDT

  •  Washington's I-522 (0+ / 0-)

    This concerns GMO food labeling.  Over $32 million spent to oppose and about $7 million spent to pass.  For WA state, those are huge numbers.  I can't think of another WA initiative that provoked that level of spending.  

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