Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Some Post-Election Commentery

      I have to say, I wasn’t too surprised by the outcome of the recent election. In a previous posting, I predicted the outcome of every race correctly except for one. I believed Kathy Haigh would go down in defeat — and she almost did — winning by a very slim margin.
      However, it was the vitriolic nature of comments by some of the right-wing conservatives that I found to be the most disturbing — especially after an observation I made about 26th District Senate challenger Marty McClendon. The bottom line was, the predictions were my observations on the probable outcome, and the forces that would drive those outcomes — NOT endorsements. Even after making this point several times, some of these pinheads simply couldn't figure that out, vilifying me for daring to make predictions that disagreed with their ideology.
That said, the biggest disappointment was the defeat of I-1082. This should have been a no-brainer for any thinking voter with a single shred of common sense. All anyone needed to do was look at the money funding the “No” effort — state employee unions and trail lawyers. Opponents of I-1082 outspent the “Yes” campaign by over $2 million, circulating blatant lies designed to confuse and frighten voters. In fact, KING 5’s Ad Watch series specifically called out the “No” campaign’s ads as false.

And who stood to benefit from its defeat? How coincidental — elitist state employees who’ll get to keep their overpaid jobs, and trial lawyers who make their living suing the state — which for the morons out there who voted against I-1082 and never connected the dots — that’s you and me.

The positive outcome was the unprecedented team effort on the part of the business community, which along with its sponsor, the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW), built a unique coalition of thousands of individual businesses, business and trade associations like the National Federal of Independent Business and the Association of Washington Business, and institutional giants like Boeing, which contributed $100,000 to the campaign. It was heartening to see them join with small businesses to publicly support an initiative.

I-1082 was endorsed by 11 newspapers, including liberal titans like the Seattle Times, and Tacoma News Tribune, along with the Spokesman Review, Wenatchee World, Yakima Herald, and the Everett Herald. The Wall Street Journal editorialized in support of I-1082, lionizing BIAW for getting the measure on the ballot. Even the usually liberal Kitsap Sun, supported it. 

However, its defeat underlines the raw power of blatant lies used in negative advertising paid for by big union money with an agenda.

The same held true of I-1100. While opponents — again the state employee unions — knew they would most likely lose this populist issue, they backed a competing initiative, I-1105. They knew when voters are confused, they generally vote "No" on both. And that was the simple intention here.  

I also find it highly offensive that state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kriedler blatantly used the power of his office to help defeat I-1082, regularly issuing press releases trashing the initiative that coincided with other intentional disinformation being distributed to the media. I also think its patently wrong for him to be issuing official statements from his office to the press, like one recently praising the decision of four governors, including our own Christine Gregoire, to file a brief in federal court supporting Obamacare. 

If Mike Kriedler private citizen wants to do these things, that’s certainly his right. He can do them on his own time, and not use taxpayer resources to advance his personal political agenda. However, Insurance Commissioner Mike Kriedler doing so, is nothing more than a violation of the public trust.

I strongly believe the PDC should fine Kriedler heavily and make him compensate the state treasury for the entire cost of his arrogant political transgressions.

Speaking of blatant political lies… the fact our state Supreme Court ruled about a decade or so ago that prohibiting outright lying in a political campaign would violate the First Amendment, has done a major disservice to the voters of this state. 

Imagine the outcome if Christine Gregoire and/or Patty Murray had to actually tell the truth about Dino Rossi and his business dealings, or if the I-1082 and I-1100 opponents couldn’t lie about what those issues were actually about.

 As it stands now, isn't it only a matter of time before some crackpot candidate publicly accuses a political opponent of infidelity, being a drug user, child molester, or something worse, and such a story grows legs because the morons posting anonymously in the local blogs with impunity, run with it?


  1. Craig Peterson11:59 AM

    good job on handicapping.

    Maybe now with Sanders gone from the Supreme Court, we can try again to outlaw lies.

    I don't know what you are referring to on the truth about Rossi, but Rossi had two clandestine GOP groups sponsoring ads, which I believe is a violation. Nice try Rove and Cheney.

    My favorite local ad was Reichert saying how his opponent supported Pelosi and Reid.. Odd, since she has never held office before!

    all in all, I am glad it's over.

  2. As far as Rossi goes, there were the commercials about how he got rich off the backs of all these poor working people when "his bank" got in trouble. The truth is, he was nothing more than an investor (and a relatively small one at that - $10K) in the bank when it started up — just as I was with First National of P.O. way back when. Rossi never worked at the bank, participated in its management or held any board position. He simply invested in the startup. Yet to listen to the commercials you would think he stole the life savings of old ladies.

    Another was his "business relationship" with Michael Maestro... All Rossi did was buy an apartment building from him some years ago. Yet again, the commercials would lead you to believe the two were serious business partners, and that Rossi was heavily involved in the fraud Maestro was arrested for.

    Rossi never attacked Murray personally — only her record in Congress. And then there was that whole Gregoire farce about how we have no deficit...

    But we do agree on one thing — I too am glad its over.