Got me ballot. Got me Google. This is the brilliant thing about mail-in ballots: I can sit here and really scrutinize the bastard, make sure I'm not voting for something that's all sizzle and no substance. Consider this Dana Hunter's Official List of Endorsements for the 2008 Washington State Election.
Righty-o. In order of appearance:
Not no but fuck NO. On the surface, it looked decent enough: open the carpool lanes to all traffic during off-peak daytime hours (which Arizona does, and it makes it soooo much easier to get around), along with increased roadside assistance funding and other goodies. But two strikes: the Seattle P-I editors hate hate hate it, and it's the darling of Tim Eyman. I hadn't heard of Tim Eyman before tonight. I've now heard quite enough. NO.
I wrote you two novels on this one a little while ago, so you all know where I stand on allowing terminally ill folks the right to end things with dignity and grace. Hell YES.
Well, this one's proving a bugger. Lot's of noise against. However, after reviewing said noise, it appears that it's the screaming of people who don't want to have to undergo background checks and pay for training before they can care for the elderly. The people against are almost all home care businesses whose arguments sound like Republicon Talking Points 101. And they're afraid of the scary union!!11!!1! SEIU was a driving force behind this, so of course it's all about the evil unions trying to impose standards on the free market. Blah. Seriously, even if it costs a little extra, I'd rather the person caring for Grandma is certified and checked. YES.
How many fucking Charter Amendments can you stuff onto one ballot? Jeez. Eight of the thrice-bedamned things. This is when being a responsible citizen sucketh mightily.
Except... So far, ProgressiveVotersGuide.org has been with me 100%, so why not trust their judgement here? After cursory review, o' course. So, the quick-and-dirty:
#1: Experience over popularity contest for Elections Director - sounds good to me. NO
#2: Prohibiting discrimination - duh. YES
#3: Less city council members on assorted committees. No fucking clue. I'm not a local policy wonk, so shall entrust my opinion to those who are. YES
#4: Establishing minimal qualifications - "We think our Sheriff , Assessor and Elections Director should know what they're doing." Me too. YES
#5: Improved economic forecasting. Hell, improved anything economic sounds good. YES
#6: More time to review a budget that has - ye gods - gone from the millions to the billions. YES
#7: Make laborious and confusing charter amendment stuff more simple. After what I've just been through with it? And I didn't even have to propose one of these damned things! YES
#8: Removing party identification from some county offices - sponsored by three Republicons. Say no more. These fucktards can run, but they cannot hide. NO
Brilliant. I love that website. Too bad it's only for Washington State, but I'm sure there's one like it for yours. Use the power of teh Google and get informed.
Now that we've got that nonsense out of the way, it's on to the super-important stuff: the first President I will ever vote for.
That's going to be such a hard choice.
President and Vice President of the United States: I'm gonna have to plump for genius. Filling in this bubble feels so amazingly good. Barack Obama and Joe Biden. YES, WE CAN!
(BTW, you know this is a blue state when there's not one but two Socialist parties on the Presidential portion of the ballot. Wow.)
Now on to the second most exciting part of my evening: I FINALLY GET TO VOTE FOR JAY INSLEE OMG!!11!11!1! Ahem.
United States Representative Congressional District No. 1: Jay Inslee.
Damn, that feels good. Two of my favorite politicians in the entire fucking universe, there.
Governor: No question, no doubt in my mind. Christine Gregoire. Suck it, Dino!
Lieutenant Governor: Well, Marcia McCraw gets brownie points for not being a gutless wonder and actually owning the name Republicon, but still. Brad Owen.
Secretary of State: Shit, this one's really hard. I swore to myself I'd never vote for a single Republicon, but Sam Reed's endorsement list is a mile bloody long, and even the ProgressiveVotersGuide.org loves him. Wingnuts hate him. And it is not my policy to punish a man for his party. Crapola. Sam Reed.
State Treasurer: Not really a contest here. When you have two solid candidates, and one of them's a good solid Dem, and you're a lefty, you plump for the Dem. Jim McIntire.
State Auditor: Now, I'm tempted to vote for the Dem for two reasons. 1 - he's a Dem; 2 - I like his last name. But this is not responsible voting. We now consult the oracles. The Stranger and ProgressiveVotersGuide.org both agree: Brian Sonntag.
Attorney General: Strong record of supporting civil liberties, reproductive rights, consumer rights, AND environmental protection vs. anti-abortion Republicon climber who let Dino weasel out of calling himself a Con. No fucking contest. John Ladenburg.
Commissioner of Public Lands: (I know, when we get down into the ballot's nether regions, it's about as exciting as watching sheep graze. But this shit's still important. Stick with me - we'll get there.) Hey, a biologist! And a Dem!!1! Easy: Peter J. Goldmark.
Superintendent of Public Instruction: Hmm. Non-partisan office. Challenger does not appear to be a closet creationist and has assloads of political (former Democratic State Rep) and educational experience. Current incumbant couldn't answer the questions on the noxious standardized test she forces all students to pass. FAIL. Randy Dorn.
Insurance Commissioner: The Stranger says we should stick it to one of the Founding Fathers. I have a harder time with this - John Adams is also one of my characters. But my John Adams is no fucking Republicon, and the Democratic challenger is an advocate of health care reform and other progressive goodness. Mike Kreidler.
Legislative District No. 45, Position No 1: This is where endorsements matter, because I've paid fuck-all attention to local races. I shall plump for the candidate supported by the people I believe in, and when you have one guy supported by a huge swath of organizations out to do good, and one endorsed by nothing but business interests, the choice is simple: Roger Goodman.
Position No 2: Ditto, Larry Springer.
(And yes, I peeked at the issues, too. And yes, the Republicons running are Republicons. 'Nuff said.)
State Supreme Court Justice Position No. 3: Spoiled for choices here. We have a name and a blank line, and not even my trusty voter guides seem to have this one on the radar. However, Judgepedia gives me enough info to know I don't need to write in Screaming Rubber Chicken as a protest vote. Mary Fairhurst.
Position No. 4: Judgepedia likes him. Charles W. Johnson.
Position No. 7: Heh. She looked like such an easy shoo-in that her challenger dropped out. Debra L. Stephens.
Court of Appeals etc. etc. No. 5: Judgepedia fails me, but Google shows the only contender was appointed by Gov. Gregoire, and there seem to have been no embarrassing incidents. Good 'nuff. Linda Lau.
No. 6: Holy shit, she's got an assload of experience. No scandals Google could find. Ann Schindler.
Superior Court Judge Position No. 1: Finally, some competition again! I'll take the candidate endorsed by NARAL, thanks. Sue Parisien.
No. 22: The lady described as "This badass former federal civil-rights attorney" by the Stranger so has my vote. Holly Hill.
No. 37: I'll take the candidate who's rated "outstanding" and "exceptionally well qualified" AND is endorsed by NARAL and Equal Rights Washington. Jean Rietschel.
And, at long last... the final vote to be cast. Prop. No. 1: Mass Transit Expansion. Hell to the YES. Or, in this case, APPROVED.
Fini. A few hours with Google, and I've been a responsible voter, choosing people that I think are best qualified for the positions they're running for (don't you fucking make me regret that one Republican vote, Sam!) and choosing the right stand on the ballot measures. In the Age o' the Intertoobz, there is no reason on earth why you can't do the same.
Kitteh sez: GET OUT THE VOTE! Even if you punk off the rest of the ballot, she'd like you to vote for this man:
They not only share political views, but exquisite taste in columns.