Seattle’s “democracy voucher” program a confusing waste of money

Seattle is rolling out its new “democracy voucher” program, and apparently it’s leaving residents a little confused. Does it surprise anyone that this bad idea is proving confounding? Seattle voters passed the tax-dollars-for-campaign-donations program by initiative, so they gave it an affirmative yes. That doesn’t mean they have any idea what the vouchers are when […]

Our state election was important too – what will it mean for 2017?

All eyes were on the national election last week, understandably, but our state tallied some important results too. What will they mean for smarter government in 2017? Legislature: When legislators return to the capitol in January to tackle the remaining work on McCleary (realistically this will occupy almost the entirety of the Legislature’s attention), the […]

McKenna on KIRO: Income tax vote in Olympia

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about the city income tax on the ballot in Olympia. Supporters admit that it’s simply a way to try to get an income tax case before the state Supreme Court, with the eventual goal of a statewide progressive income tax. Dave Ross: “Whether you endorse this or not, […]

Little Lincoln County seen as big threat to union secrecy

Who’s afraid of open contract negotiations? Clearly government employee unions are. They see open negotiations as a big threat, so they’re responding with threats. Spokesman-Review columnist Sue Lani Madsen, proving that columnists can do pretty good original reporting too, captured the not-so-subtle intimidation leveled at Lincoln County Commissioners last week. The commissioners want to allow […]

Sawant’s attacks on minimum wage study are purely political

In the 2015 book Superforecasting, Dr. Philip Tetlock explored humans’ ability to predict future events (e.g., the price of oil, Russian military excursions, which cities ISIS would seize) and why some people are better forecasters than others. His research makes clear that people who are more ideological aren’t as good at crafting accurate forecasts. In […]

I-1501 sounds innocent, but it’s really about keeping workers in the dark

You have to give SEIU, one of the state’s largest public sector unions, one thing: it’s clever. SEIU has a talent for pushing self-interested ballot initiatives that sound like they’re noble and high-minded. Its latest, I-1501, is being pitched as an initiative about privacy and security. Supposedly the purpose of I-1501 is to “increase penalties […]

Kim Wyman’s challenger completely bungled attack

Tina Podlodowski, a former Seattle City Councilmember, is challenging Washington’s lone statewide Republican officeholder, Secretary of State Kim Wyman. Last week Podlodowski generated her first headlines of the campaign since her January announcement and acquitted herself so poorly that it will disqualify her in some minds. As is often the case when a media opportunity […]

Initiative would force you to pay for political speech you disagree with

Americans have a hang-up about being compelled to do things. It’s in our DNA. For instance, we have freedom of religion written into our constitution, but also freedom not to participate in any religion. The right not to be compelled to house soldiers was important enough that the Framers spelled it out in the Bill […]

Not joking: “Use a reverse mortgage to pay your property taxes”

Sometimes we highlight something here on SGW just because it’s so revealing of a mindset. That’s the case with this opinion article that ran on the environment-focused blog Sightline. In an argument in favor of Seattle’s latest affordable housing levy, the author dismissed concerns about rising property taxes pricing people on fixed incomes out of […]

Nasty anti-Catholic bigotry in Federal Way the ugly side of politics

With the election just around the corner, the hit pieces and attack ads are flying. As distasteful as many find them, they are just a reality of the process. Most pass by without the need for comment. Some are so over-the-top or vile, though, that they must be called out. The disgusting anti-Catholic attack last […]