October 27th, 2007
|11:59 am - Elections: My Washington Votes|
First, here are two more sites that are good for endorsements in Washington State. If you live outside the area, there will be a nearby LWV organization and possibly something equivalent to the Municipal League. Also, the local lawyers usually get together to rate people trying to be judge, if you have one of those positions on your ballot. (I don't this time.)
1. Seattle League of Women Voters, which is about the most educated least partisan group you can find that does great endorsements. I belonged to a LWV branch when I lived in Milwaukee, so I can personally vouch for them.
2. Municipal League I don't always agree with these guys, but they sometimes help with a different viewpoint.
Help from Mr. Grubb Street
Usually, I write out my rationale for how I voted, but fortunately, Mr. Grubb Street wrote out his reasoning already for most of the local elections and initiatives, so my procrastination DID save me time! I found myself only disagreeing on one of his votes. A very minor one at that. So go to his site if you want more in-depth coverage. Amusingly, the local races in his area are too tame this year, so he's reported on a wacky race in our district instead: Richard Pope vs. Jane Hague.
Voting Crib Sheet: Initiatives and their Kinfolk
Initiative Measure 960 No A no brainer.
Referendum Measure 67 Approved A no brainer.
Engrossed Substitute Senate Joint Resolution 8206 Rejected
This one was one was a tough decision, and I pretty much decided it based on endorsements alone.
Senate Joint Resolution 8212 Approved
Again, tough. I decided that having prisoners able to labor will help them transition back into society AND lower recidivism by providing them with skills, confidence, etc. My understanding of this resolution is that those wishing to have it rejected are equating justive with only punishment, not with rehabilitation for one of their talking points. Mr. Grubb Street disagrees with me here based on other points.
Substitute House Joint Resolution 4215 Rejected
Tough. Ultimately decided to reject this, because investing in the stock market highly depends on who is doing the investing as well as events out of their control. For education funds, my thinking is that it's too high-risk.
Initiative 25 No Another toughie!
Propositon No. 1 Medic One Approved A no brainer.
South Transit Prop 1. Yes Relucantly.
Voting Crib Sheet: Elected Officials for KIR 45-2913
King Count Attorney: Bill Sherman
King County Assessor Scott Noble
King County Countil District 6 No one
Richard Pope is loony. Jane Hauge is a liar who mouths off to police when caught DUI. But it IS the most entertaining local election contest.
Port of Seattle Gael Tarleton
Port of Seattle Alec Fisken
City of Kirkland Position 4Jessica Greenway
Lake WA school district No. 414 Matt Gregory
The rest of the positions on my ballot are uncontested. If it were the primaries, I'd put in a vote anyway, since this helps them raise money.
I had to ponder 67 and in the end went no after reading the currently applicable laws. It really seems like its a case of having a special law to specificaly target one industry, and while insurance companies are not my friends (I think half the time buying insurance is as good as throwing away money) It seems to me there doesn't need to be a special case just for them. Guaranteeing outcomes and judgements in suits ties the hands of justice in many ways, taking power from the people judging the case (judge and jury) who are there in the courtroom listening to the evidence, and instead making an arbitrary law that is supposed to know better without ever having heard the case. It's like a liberal version of the three strikes law; well intentioned but it ignores part of the foundation of our legal system.
First, I-67 essentially is law, with something very similar passing through the Washington legislature. So I don't see that it's making an arbitrary law at all nor does it ignore the legal system, having gone through it in the course of having been made law.
Second, here's a prime example of why it's needed: http://blog.seattletimes.nwsource.com/davidpostman/archives/2007/10/ethel_adams_and_her_insurance_company.html
My own experience at working in the insurance industry for a few years made it abundantly clear that many, many companies make their money by denying claims, expecting that some people won't have the resources (time, health, etc) to contest them.
Insurance isn't like a regular consumer product; it's something to designed to protect you financially under catastrophic circumstances, like getting cancer, when a loved one dies, etc. As such, when someone needs it is when they will most likely least be able to fight for it. Having the threat of punitive damages for a product designed to protect people is therefore necessary.
I saw a "bottom-feeder" insurance company in action when I was rear-ended. The company who insured the person responsible for the accident had several shell corporations set up so it was difficult to find who was really the policy holder. After Wolf contacted them (because I was in too much pain to do so), they ignored him until they realized the policy holder had allowed his policy to lapse, at which point they finally responded quite gleefully to let us know they weren't responsible for the charges.