Washington State Friends,
Now that ballots are in our hands until that moment we attach a stamp and commit them to the US Postal Service, or drop them in a ballot collection drop box on election day, I want to share my own observations.
Once again Washington State is just "blue enough" that I think we can be pretty confident that Obama will carry our state, (and I hope the nation), but several other races are far too close for me to relax, and I hope you will join me in trying to influence these.
You see in my Title the three races I see as the important biggies:
Gregoire 4 Governor -- Peter Goldmark 4 Lands -- NO on Eyman's i-985 Gregoire is excellent enough to support enthusiastically!
Early on my own support for our incumbent Governor was rather luke warm, though I never doubted she would be my clear choice over Dino Rossi. As the race remained surprisingly close, however, I did some research and discovered Rossi's attach ads to be viciously scurrilous, misleading, and downright false. Further, there is ample evidence that Governor Gregoire has been an outstanding administrator of our ship of state, receiving high marks from several sources.
Having heard a number of Obama supporters expressing doubt about Gregoire, and even a friend who asked "What has she really done?", I want to provide links squelch those doubts, answer Rossi's charges, and encourage you all to be full-throated in your enthusiasm for supporting Christine Gregoire in her very tight re-election campaign. She doesn't agree with me on every issue, and hasn't initiated as progressive an agenda as I might prefer, but she is clearly a highly competent administrator, who ought to be ahead in our state by landslide margins but is not. But she lacks charisma, Rossi is clever, and Gregoire's campaign has not be effective in answering his charges.
I have collected these talking points in answer to Rossi's charges:
Tribal Gaming Compact
Keeping Kids Safe
In addition to what you can read about the deficit there, let me add that these projected deficits of such size for following biennia are hardly anything new, and Gregoire has solved them before. We certainly don't want Rossi's values to be those guiding our policy when cuts have to be made.
Gregoire accomplishments listed at her website
Finally, however you may want to explain it, our state by many measures by Forbes magazine, the Pew Foundation, and other groups is rated one of the best in the nation.
Pass this map along to anyone you know who believes otherwise. It can't be said to be partisan, as Utah, one of the other two states with the best rating has a Republican Governor and Legislature.
Peter Goldmark for Lands Commissioner
The media does not bring nearly enough attention to this vital statewide elective office which oversees our Department of Natural Resources, manages state owned public lands, provides direction for the protection of our shorelines, and is responsible for a significant source of income for the state by sale and lease of Washington school land.
Peter Goldmark is an exciting candidate for this office, who brings a diverse background, clear intellect, and a positive mission to this race in challenging a Republican opponent, Doug Sutherland, who has supported the desires of extractive industries in allowing them insider knowledge of public lands going up for auction in advance of the public. Sutherland allowed Weyerhauser to clear cut on many state lands pretty much wherever they chose to, often on sensitive slopes, such as those in Lewis County which washed away causing increased devastation in those awful floods a year ago.
Because Goldmark is a rancher from Eastern Washington, he doesn't carry the "Puget Sound liberal environmentalist" stigma so prevalent for many Democrats in those more conservative areas of the state. In fact he has been endorsed by the Yakima Herald, and certainly ran better than Gregoire in conservative areas during the primary. He is in fact sound environmentally with strong endorsements from conservation groups, and is a microbiologist who has attended and contributed to global climate change meetings in Asia. Sutherland, in contrast, has been on record as a climate change skeptic.
Goldmark narrowly was running behind the incumbent in the primary, but if we can spread the word about his qualifications (he is also a former Director of Agriculture for the State) in the Puget Sound region where he has less name recognition, there is every reason to believe that he should win this election.
NO on I-985 -- Tim Eyman's latest attempt to hamstring us
My ballot arrived with this near the top, and it is not nearly obvious enough that this is a Tim Eyman initiative, and an especially bad one at that.
You can find out all about it here.
Mostly, PLEASE, just make sure everyone knows I-985 is an Eyman initiative!
I am an enthusiastic backer of I-1000.
I will definitely vote NO on I-1029, which is a well-intended measure that just doesn't come close to meeting my very high bar for supporting initiatives. It's costly and complicated, with a high potential for undesirable unintended consequences.
There are good things in it which would be worth urging our legislators to enact, but as a package it is not the sort of thing that makes sense to legislate by public initiative.
I encourage you to learn about Randy Dorn's candidacy and qualifications to be Superintendent of Public Schools.
Kitsap residents, I encourage you to vote for Jeanette Dalton over her unqualified opponent for Kitsap County Superior Court.
Finally, mailing your ballot early will eliminate all of those pesky Get Out the Vote reminder calls in the final weeks. And just to be safe - do not mail your ballot on the final day. Mail dropped off on Bainbridge sometimes does not get postmarked until it arrives to be sorted in Tacoma. If it is already late in the day on Monday, November 3rd, I think you are better off dropping your ballot at one of the ballot drop-off locations.