I spent some time — several hours, actually — today filling out my ballot and I thought I’d share how I voted on some of the races with quick sentence or three on why you should vote that way too.
“Since 1993, Washington’s had the two-thirds requirement. In those 17 years, during legislative sessions when it’s been in effect, tax hikes were a last resort resulting in more reform and fewer taxes.” Making it hard to raise taxes is good.
I believe there are enough safe guards in place to protect the public good and make this a good choice for opening up this market to competition.
The is one of the hot ones. Here’s what it boils down to: In general, I don’t believe in legislating morals. I also don’t believe in taxing just the rich (why tax someone because they were, you know, successful?). The fact that these taxes could be very easily extended to the rest of us also concerns me. Washington hasn’t had an income tax and I don’t see why we should start now.
Two words: free market. Two more words: cheaper alcohol. It also keeps the necessary taxes to regulate and enforce the industry.
This initiate is very similar to the first, expect it transfers the monopoly from the state to private distributors (instead of anyone willing to cough up the money for a license). It also gets rid of the tax used to help regulate the industry, which actually is important.
This is my soft spot for taxes: using them as a method for encouraging better behavior (not to be confused with legislating morality).
To quote the Seattle Times, “The schools and colleges spend the state’s money and do not have to pay it back. They will have to say their projects will save energy, but no one will hold them to it.” Bad all around.
Senate Joint Resolution 82258: Approved
This one was a bit confusing at first, but I looked into it a bit:
Here is the story. Under a new program, Build America Bonds, the federal government pays 35 percent of the interest on taxable state bonds. It is an alternative to making the bonds federally tax-free, and for the state it is a better alternative for short- and medium-term bonds. The direct subsidy allows states to borrow more money to build roads, ferries, buildings, etc., with no extra cost to state taxpayers – not now, and not ever. From a state’s point of view, it is free money.
Washington state, however, has a limit on how much interest, as a total dollar sum, it can agree to pay on its total debt. That is the constitutional debt limit, and it is a necessary thing. The formula for setting the limit, however, was written assuming that all the interest on Washington bonds would be paid by Washington state. No one imagined the federal government would volunteer to pay some of the states’ interest bills.
The Stranger put it pretty succinctly, “This constitutional amendment would change the way the state calculates its total debt interest (moving to “net” interest rather than “full” interest as the basis for the calculation). This does not change the total debt limit, but allows us to borrow more federal money for important infrastructure projects.”
Okay, so maybe that one was more than three sentences.
Engrossed Substitute House Joint Resolution 42209: Rejected
I feel like this was hastily put together and doesn’t have the foresight to anticipate abuse by the government. In short, the idea that someone could essentially be held indefinitely without trial is of severe concern to me.
King County Charter Amendment No. 110: Yes
Just clarifying language, which I like.
King County Charter Amendment No. 211: Yes
Essentially eliminates a reporting redundancy and reduces the burden on campaigns by allowing them to register with just the Washington State PDC.
King County Charter Amendment No. 312: Yes
I actually had to take a look at the language of this and it was a bit of a toss up, but in the end, I agreed with The Stranger assessment that it “transfers some public-safety employees’ bargaining responsibility from the King County executive to the King County sheriff. That would deliver a more independent and accountable sheriff’s office.”
King County Proposition No. 113: Rejected
Why do we need additional funding? I’m not confident that we’re getting the most value for our money and I don’t believe raises taxes should be the first (or even second or third) thing done to close the budget gap.
United States Senator: Rossi
This is an important one and it’s going to be a close race, so listen carefully. I’m not a huge fan of Rossi, but I’m even less a fan of Murray (the incumbent). I’m in favor of cutting federal spending to reduce our debt, fixing the tax code, passing a balanced budged (although I have doubts if that will be possible…we’ll see), and repealing the heath care reform; as it turns out, Rossi is in favor of these things too.
State Representative, 46th District, Position No. 2: Gunderson
He’s young and I like voting against incumbents.
State Supreme Court Position No. 6: Wiggins
Rated “Exceptionally Well Qualified” by King County Bar Association. I also like voting against incumbents.
Seattle Municipal Court No. 1: McKenna
KcKenna was ranked as “exceptionally well qualified” by the King County Bar Association; the inncumbent was rated “qualified.” That’s enough for me.
Seattle Municipal Court No. 6: Donohue
Three words: electronic record keeping. The incumbent has done some good stuff, but it’s time he takes a break.
Seattle School District No. 1 Proposition No. 114: No
We spend some of the most money on schooling and get some of the worst results. I do not support funding school systems without comprehensive reform of the system.
As a note, I did not cast a vote for United States Representative congressional District No. 7 because I do not agree with either candidate. I also did not cast a vote for any position running unopposed.
Anyway, I’m going to go drop my ballot in the mail now.