Posts tagged: 2012 Election
Spokane County has record voter registration this year, but it may not be on track to have a record turnout.
Or “turn-in” if you prefer the more accurate description of how Washington states.
A comparison of the rate of ballot returns up to today shows Spokane is significantly behind the rate in 2008. It is, however, ahead of the rates in the last two non-presidential years with other partisan races, 2006 and 2010.
State elections officials, who are expecting this year to fall behind the 2008 record for ballots cast, now say they may have to revise their forecast upwards. Turn-in statistics in some of the state's other large counties have Washington elections officials are in line with four years ago.
Today is significant in Spokane County for two reasons. One, it's a week before the deadline for mailing or depositing ballots in drop boxes. The second is that this is the day when Spokane County turn-in figures show the ballots placed in drop boxes over last weekend, so there's usually a significant bump from Monday.
Right now, ballot turn-in stands at 31.1 percent, or 88,326 of the county's 282,139 registered voters ballots. Four years ago it was 36.3 percent, or 95,369 of the county's 258,162 registered voters. In other words, it's off by about 7,000 ballots.
County Elections Manager Mike McLaughlin doesn't think this is necessarily a sign that voters are less interested in this year's presidential election.
“They're voting later,” McLaughlin said. “I think the initiatives are slowing some people down.”
First, let me use this opportunity to promote the first of six election videos in the race for state House to replace state Rep. John Ahern. Look for the other videos featuring candidates Democrat Dennis Dellwo and Republican Jeff Holy throughout the week.
Now on to some news ….
The last day to register to vote in time to participate in the November election was substantially slower than expected in Spokane County.
About 400 people came to the Spokane County elections office to register on Monday. That’s down from about 1,700 people who registered on the last day in 2008 – the year of the previous presidential election.
But County Auditor Vicky Dalton doesn’t believe the decline is a sign of weakening participation. There are just fewer procrastinators this year, she said.
Today is the absolute, no fooling, last day to register to vote in Washington. Any Washington citizen not registered by today will have to sit out this year's general election, which is kind of a shame, considering all the political ads you'll have to endure, for naught.
To register, you have to show up in person at your county elections office with a state-issued ID or supply the last four digits of your Social Security number.. Don't know where your county elections office is? Click here to find out.
Spokane County Auditor Vicky Dalton also suggests showing up early. In 2008, there was a big rush at the end of the last day. The office at 1033 W. Gardner closes at 4 p.m., and anyone not in line by then won’t be allowed to register.
If you live in Idaho, you can relax. It allows registration on Election Day.
Although television is full of 30-second campaign commercials, the Internet is awash in longer videos from diferent groups that have so much to say and show that it won't fit in that restricted time frame.
With a little extra time, they can go above and beyond… sometimes way beyond … what the campaigns are .doing. Here are a couple.
The first is from an independent SuperPAC, Winning our Future, which predicts the first sign of the Apocalypse will be an Obama re-election.
The second is from an anti-Romney group that collects the comments of the Republican presidential candidates from primary season.
Both are entertaining from a purely political standpoint. Which one you like better will probably be based on how you plan to vote for president.
Wednesday is Halloween. While it is mostly a holiday devoted to raising the blood sugar levels of small children, it is also a time when older youths wander around looking for trouble to get into.
Among the easiest targets for such mischief are campaign yard signs. Mustaches and devils horns get spray-painted onto candidate faces, obscenities get scrawled on issue signs and some just flat disappear, never to be seen again.
While it may infringe slightly on your First Amendment rights of political speech, it might be wise to uproot your signs Tuesday, store them in a garage, basement or backyard until Thursday.
If you don’t, and something happens to them, don’t call the newspaper to report some deep plot by the opposing candidate or issue campaign to steal your sign.
Monday is the last day to register to vote in
To do so, you must show up with a state-issued ID or supply the last four digits of your Social Security number.
Several court decisions make clear that political contributions are protected political speech, so in most cases donors are free to make them. Missing from all the discussions about the kinds and limits of the donations, however, is the responsibility of the people on the other end of the campaign money train.
Along with the right to take gobs of money, don’t recipients have a duty to check out who is giving?
Vetting everyone who gives $10 obviously isn’t practical, and it might take the great minds of politics to determine what the trigger for a background check should be. But certainly when one accepts a five-figure check, someone on staff should be ordered to find out the bare bones 411. That may have saved the state Democratic Party some headaches, and a case of the flip-flops, last week over some $60,000 it received in recent months from J Z Knight…
To read the rest of this post, see videos of Knight or comment, go inside the blog
… even he has to show ID.
In August, state Rep. Matt Shea appeared to be mending bridges in the local Republican Party.
He attended a meeting of the Republicans of Spokane County and won the group's endorsement. The Republicans of Spokane County is an organization that formed a few years ago among some Republicans concerned that the official Spokane County Republican Party had been taken over by Libertarians and Constitutionalists not dedicated to party unity after the primaries.
Shea, who was an effective leader in the Ron Paul for president campaign, has been outspoken in his criticism of “mainstream Republicans.” In the primary, he declined to offer a recommendation for incumbent Republican and nationally recognized GOP leader, U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers in the race for Congress. For governor, he supported Shahram Hadian over Attorney General Rob McKenna.
Register to vote today, or wait in a really long line on Monday.
That’s the message from Spokane County Auditor Vicky Dalton for those who want to vote in the November election but still aren’t registered.
Monday is the deadline to register, but Dalton warns that in 2008 — the last presidential election year, the county elections office was slammed on the deadline date.
About 150 gathered for U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell’s campaign rally this evening in Spokane at the Lincoln Center.
There wasn’t much we haven’t heard on the trail before, so here are a few miscellaneous thoughts:
— The Democrats appear enthused about the race for Congress. Sure, it’s still somewhat of long-shot for them and Democrat Rich Cowan did not come near to raising the $1 million he said was his goal when he began his campaign for the seat in Washington’s 5th Congressional District.
But he’s not Daryl Romeyn, who was the party’s nominee two years ago and who was not embraced by the party. Cowan has raised enough to advertise on TV and he even got a mention recently in the Capital Hill newspaper, Roll Call.
OLYMPIA — President Obama gave a thumbs up to Referendum 74, the ballot measure in Washington that would legalize same-sex marriage, supporters said today.
Not a huge surprise, considering Obama came out in support of same-sex marriage earlier this year, a few months after the Legislature passed the law behind Ref. 74 and Gov. Chris Gregoire signed it. So it was generally known he favors the concept.
Thursday he went a step further. Obama campaign spokesman Paul Bell said the president doesn't weigh in on every state ballot measure, but will on this one: “Washington’s same-sex marriage law would treat all Washington couples equally, and that is why the President supports a vote to approve Referendum 74.”
OLYMPIA — Gov. Chris Gregoire served warning today to her two would-be successors that the budget plans they push on the campaign trail won't work, and they'll need to find some sort of new revenue — usually translated as a tax increase — to balance the budget and meet the demand for better public schools.
At a press conference to announce a new federal waiver that will help the state save money by developing a new program for residents eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, Gregoire said she was looking at a revenue increase for the 2013-15 budget she will propose next month.
Former U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, a fellow Democrat, and Attorney General Rob McKenna, a Republican, both have said they will not raise taxes if they are elected. Gregoire essentially dismissed that talk as standard campaign rhetoric.
“I'm not running for office,” she said. They're candidates and “I'm a realist.”
“I'm telling both candidates I don't know how you can meet your obligations for McLeary without new revenue,” she said, referring to a state Supreme Court ruling that says the state needs to spend more to meet its constitutional requirements to fund basic education.
Inslee has said he can avoid a tax increase, in part, by finding savings in the state budget through the use of better management, known as “Lean” management. But Gregoire has already institute Lean management, and attended a conference earlier this week to discuss the progress made so far. It won't provide enough savings to free up the $1.1 billion needed to meet the needed improvements to public schools in 2013-15, she said, adding that she still supports Inslee, even though she disagrees with him on this.
McKenna is also wrong when he says he can find the money for better schools by capping the growth of other state programs, she said. Many programs aren't scheduled to grow as much as his proposed cap, and when costs go up in some programs, driven by a growing number of children in schools, families on social services or felons in prisons, the state doesn't have the flexibility not to pay.
“When your case load goes up, you have to match it,” she said.
Both candidates have mentioned closing tax loopholes — credits or exemptions offered to certain businesses or industries to stimulate the economy and increase jobs. Gregoire said she said the same thing in 2004, when she was a first-time candidate for governor. But each exemption has a constituency that lobbied the Legislature to approve it, and will fight to keep it.
“You better be ready with a two-thirds vote” in both houses, which is what is currently required for removing any exemptions, she said.
Gregoire does have her budget staff reviewing ways to increase state revenues to include in the 2013-15 budget that she will propose later this year. “I have to, as part of my budget, put forth a solution.”
They're looking for something that has the capacity to grow, would be considered fair, and survive a vote of the public, she said.
“I don't know what that is,” she said. “Nothing is off the table.”
Dozens if not hundreds of fliers left on cars and doorsteps against Spokane City Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin’s campaign for state Senate could violate state disclosure law.
The black-and-white fliers that appear to be printed with a copy machine or computer printer criticize McLaughlin, a Republican, for her vote in support of revoking the alcohol impact area in the West Central neighborhood. One version of the flier said, “Nancy McLaughlin voted for fortified malt liquor sales over safe neighborhoods. We don’t need that kind of representation in Olympia.”
The Spokane Ethics Commission ruled quickly on Wednesday against a complaint filed against Spokane City Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin.
Rev. James CastroLang, who leads the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Colville, filed a complaint alleging that McLaughlin violated city ethics rules when her campaign took an image from the city’s Webpage or Facebook page and used it in a campaign mailer.
McLaughlin, a Republican, is running against state Rep. Andy Billig, a Democrat, for the state Senate seat now held by retiring state Sen. Lisa Brown. CastroLang, a Spokane resident who supports Billig’s campaign, said he acted independently of the Billig campaign. He argued in his complaint that McLaughlin used city resources for her personal gain.
Both candidates for Congress in Spokane's 5th Congressional District oppose the initiative that would legalize marijuana under many circumstances. But they differ on an issue over which they may have some say.
That's the proposed reclassification of the drug to allow it to be prescribed by doctors. That stance is increasingly supported by many in Washington, including the Republican-leaning Spokane City Council which voted unanimously in January in support of a nonbinding resolution requesting classification.
Click on the video above to hear Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Democrat Rich Cowan state their positions.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee is attempting to make points with Spokane voters with a new television commercial that touts his ties to Eastern Washington, and features several local scenes.
Standing on the Cliff Drive overlook to downtown Spokane, Inslee tells viewers “my wife Trudi and I raised our three boys here in Eastern Washington, and as governor, I won't forget about this side of the state.”
Viewers shouldn't assume from thatcombination of comment and background, however, that the Inslees lived in Spokane.
In releasing the commercial, the campaign explained the Inslees raised their sons in Selah, Wash., which is just north of Yakima.
“He represented the region in both the state Legislature and Congress, where he helped open up the Japanese market to Washington apples and worked on the Yakima River Basin Enhancement Act,” the campaign said.
Inslee's legislative district for two terms was the 14th, in and around Yakima. He also served one term in the U.S. House of Representatives for Central Washington's 4th District, not Eastern Washington's 5th District.
He promises to support Spokane's growing aerospace industry and the Riverpointe Campus, where the state is building a new biomedical and health science facility, which also appears in the commercial. But campaign spokeswoman Jaime Smith said the shot of Inslee with factory workers is probably from a Seattle factory.
Candidates for Spokane County Commission will face off Wednesday evening in student-led debates hosted by the Central Valley High School’s Government Club.
The club also has invited the candidates in the hotly-contest Spokane Valley race for state House between incumbent Republican Matt Shea and Democrat Amy Biviano. Biviano is scheduled to attend. Shea has not responded to phone calls and emails inviting him to participate, said Central Valley teacher Bill Gilchrist.
Every four years at this time, businesses of almost every stripe try to piggy back on the presidential race to get a little publicity.
Thus do we have the quadrennial report from the Halloween costume industry announcing which candidate is selling more masks. Right now, it'sBarack Obama over Mitt Romney, almost 2-to-1. Argue among yourselves whether that means the president is more popular than the former governor…or scarier.
A hamburger chain called Smashburger released the results of a survey on which candidate people would rather have a burger with. That survey came back about 60-40 in favor of Obama, but it's not clear whether some survey subjectsthought the burger came with a trip to the White House, or whether those who don''t eat meat were given the option of a veggie burger.
More on silly surveys, as they develop.
President Obama and former Gov. Romney kept the fact-checkers busy last night in their final debate. Here's some of the analysis:
Politifact found quite a few partial truths, but called the Romney claim that Obama went on an apology tour a “pants on fire” lie.
Factcheck.org found some false claims on both sides.
Fox News had Chris Wallace doing instant analysis.
The Washington Post deployed its Pinocchio logos