Hella Bus Blog
- Voter’s Pamphlet. The pros: It’s sent to my door, both State and County versions are available online, and has everything covered. The cons: It’s lengthy, and allows candidates, initiatives, and ballot measures to describe things in their own words, how can that possibly be objective?
- The Municipal League. The pros: objective grading system of everything from candidates to ballot measures, all available online. Full disclaimer: I have multiple friends on their board, and have volunteered with the candidate evaluation process in the past before I became a citizen, so have some vague familiarity and recollection. Cons: It’s yet another set of information I have to sludge through.
- Blogs and the Media. The pros: Up-to-date coverage with multiple perspectives on multiple platforms that I can read and catch up on my many devices. The cons: As a journalism graduate, I’ve been ingrained with a lot of idealism about objectivity, but we all know that most media outlets have political agendas, and even the most objective ones tend to lean a little to the left or right. Many people pointed me to The Stranger’s Cheat Sheet as a Seattleite and because of my age, though it’s definitely not objective (and, to it's credit, very openly so). Others mentioned The Atlantic, and Publicola which, while certainly not without biases, strive for a more objective and centrist voice.
- Other resources: family, friends, mentors, community members, my Facebook and Twitter feed. Pros: I trust, and have real rapport and relationships with them. Cons: They’re human and come with their own set of biases and beliefs, which may nullify the quest of getting objective informants.
In 2008 the country elected our first black President amidst a horrid recession with the powerful urgency of hope. In Seattle people amassed in the streets, poured champagne into stranger's mouths and danced in a celebration usually reserved for the toppling of third world dictators.
Four years later, it happened again.
President Obama won a second term Tuesday night. In some ways this is just as huge as his first win. After four years of slow, erratic and sometimes painful progress, Obama faced what would have been a referendum on his first term.
As it turns out, we're just not that into referendums.
Obama won with a projected 303 electoral votes Tuesday night. He's currently slightly ahead in Florida which would be another 27 electoral votes. (Rumor has it Floridian's are still in line waiting to vote.) In 2008 Obama won with 365 electoral votes. Obama carried the popular vote once again.
His eponymous accomplishment, Obamacare, has now survived numerous Republican attempts at repeal, a Supreme Court case, and an oppositional Presidential campaign aimed at killing it. Obamacare is the floor all future healthcare legislation will be built upon.
He now has four more years, four years in which we'll likely see two more Supreme Court justice picks, and ideally some kind of grand bargain on our tax policy in order to address the deficit he inherited.
The Democrats not only maintained power in the Senate, but managed to pick up one extra seat. They remain the minority party in the House. While a recipe for gridlock, it's also an indication that most of the signature legislation of the last four years will remain in place.
Elizabeth Warren of Harvard picked up Massachusetts' Senate seat, defeating Scott Brown.
Richard "God's Will" Mourdock of Indiana and Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin of Missouri were both defeated by their Democratic challengers. Both men rose to fame for making incoherently poor statements about rape, and voters of their respective states responded. This is also a win for science, as Akin, a man with zero understanding of women's reproductive anatomy was just voted off of the House Science Committee.
Angus King, the Independent Candidate from Maine pulled in a solid victory against his Democratic and Republican challengers. As a pragmatic Independent, he's expected to regularly caucus with the Senate Democrats, but has fought valiantly to avoid joining the partisanship on each side. He will be the second Independent Senator currently in office, joining Bernie Sanders who was elected as a Socialist.
In other close races, Connecticut's Christopher S. Murphy (D) wrestled his senate seat away from former WWE CEO Linda McMahon. In Wisconsin, Tammy Baldwin (D) beat out Tommy Thompson (R). Nevada's incumbent Dean Heller (R) held onto his senate seat. And in Virginia, Tim Kaine (D) beat out former Gov. George Allen solidly.
In The House:
The Republican party was able to hold onto their majority in the House of Representatives, although the Democrats did pick up 3 new seats (and a few are still undecided). In some ways, this victory is more a victory for gerrymandering than it is for a particular party - in 2010 a lot of congressional districts were redrawn to favor incumbents, at the time the majority of which were Republicans. The Senate is less affected by these fluctuations in part because we don't redraw state borders every 10 years.
Here in Washington's redrawn 1st District, Microsoft Exec Susan DelBene (D) beat out John Koster. Delbene won two elections, both the race to finish the rest of Jay Inslee's term as congressman, and the race to replace him come the new session.
Turns out Paul Ryan was smart to hedge his bets: while he won't be the Vice President, he did win his re-election bid for the Wisconsin House. He'll maintain his role as the chair of the House Budget Committee, where he'll continue to convince people that he's "kinda a numbers guy". Ryan's supporters and GOP officials are already talking about Ryan being a potential presidential candidate in 2016.
To The Future, And Beyond!
The next big confrontation between House Republicans and the Senate Democrats will be over how to deal with the "fiscal cliff", a horrible shorthand for a slew of reasonable cuts and tax increases set to land January 1st, 2013. If the Republicans are unwilling to compromise, the Democrats can just let the Bush era tax cuts expire and return to the rates we had under Clinton. More of a fiscal "watch your step."
Last night Washington State did something that has never been done before. By popular vote, Washington citizens voted to approve Marriage Equality and to legalize the recreational use of Marijuana.
Referendum 74 is currently winning by a 3% margin statewide, and Land-of-Dorothy King County is still counting ballots. We'll likely see an even higher win percentage over the coming days and weeks.
Washington is joined by Maryland and Maine, both of which also extended marriage rights to same-sex couples by popular vote. Together these three states marked an historic change, one in which voters approved Marriage Equality with majority votes. Prior to last night, whenever a popular vote was taken, gay marriage lost.
War On Nugs:
Marriage Equality wasn't the only victory for social justice advocates last night. Washington State fully legalized the recreational use of Marijuana. The ACLU's successful initiative put a stop to the state's prohibitionist arrests and prosecutions of an inordinate amount of people of color for a non-violent crime.
Initiative 502 is currently passing with more than a 10 point lead statewide, and across a majority of counties. This isn't an issue passing in metropolitan areas alone - across the state voters have said it's time for a change.
Colorado also passed an amendment legalizing recreational marijuana, while in Oregon a measure attempting to do the same thing failed.
Marijuana is still illegal federally. Whether the Federal government will attempt to impede state law is unknown, although they've so far allowed for the medical use of marijuana (also illegal) as long as dispensaries followed state law.
Think of the Children:
Charter school legislation is currently passing by 3%, a much smaller margin than polls predicted. Populous King County is coming out against the Initiative, while Pierce and Snohomish Counties, also very large, are both coming in for the Initiative. With ballots still being counted, it's hard to predict how this initiative will fair.
"It's very possible the Initiative could be defeated," reports Ben Lawver, an organizer for the No on 1240 campaign. "I'm optimistic."
Initiative 1185, requiring a 2/3rds super-majority to raise any revenue, passed in every single county last night. One need look slightly further down ballot to see the results - both attempts at raising revenue were voted down by voters.
Advisory Vote 1 would have removed a tax deductions for banks. Advisory Vote 2 would have extended a tax on petroleum products. Because neither one could get past a 2/3rds majority hurdle, they were put up to a public vote and subsequently repealed. This is why Washington is failing to fulfill our most paramount duty. Whether or not we find a way to fund our state is up to the Supreme Court now.
Sheryl Gordon McCloud solidly defeated Richard Sanders. Sanders was voted off the court back in 2010 after claiming blacks had a "crime problem" and gays "had more sexual partners". Rather than recognize defeat, he stayed on the court in the equivalent of a volunteer role and attempted to earn his place back by running for another seat. Perhaps this time he'll get the message.
Jay Inslee beat out Rob McKenna with a safe 3 percent margin. As is usually the case, the Democratic Inslee safely pulled in most of the coastal areas, including a whopping 63% in King County, while McKenna performed strongly in Eastern Washington. Inslee likely was boosted by a strong turnout for Obama and Marriage Equality. Of note, so far Obama has received 87,221 more votes than Inslee, meaning some Washington voters split their ticket between Obama and McKenna.
Bill Finkbeiner's (R) progressive endorsements weren't enough to unseat the reigning Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen (D), who has been in the seat for 15 years.
Bob Ferguson (D) defeated Reagan Dunn (R) despite a slew of outside expenditures. The Attorney's General seat receives a lot of attention because in recent years it's been a stepping stone before running for Governor, which worked for Gregoire and not so much for McKenna.
Secretary of State:
Kim Wyman (R) is currently ahead in the race to be Washington's Secretary of State, but with a less than 1% lead in the ballots. Her Democratic challenger, Kathleen Drew earned 61.77% of the ballots in King County, which is still being counted. It would be very easy to see this race change up as late ballots are counted.
Tacoma's Jeannie Darneille beat out her self-funded challenger Jack Connelly by 15 percentage points. Darneille likely benefited heavily from her 12 years in the House representing Tacoma. And maybe a bit from a huge core of volunteers who love her.
Noel Frame looks to have lost her election against Gael Tarleton, despite an impressive ground game. Tarleton currently has a 15 point lead in the race.
Firefighter Bud Sizemore trails traditional burger enthusiast Mark Hargrove by less than 100 votes in the 47th. King County elections has only verified 61% of the ballots they've received within that district. We'll know in the coming days and weeks who comes out ahead in this race.
Cyrus Habib has a strong and commanding lead against his opponent Hank Myers. Beyond being an amazing campaigner, Habib will be the first blind man to serve in the state house. Habib has been an advocate for people with disabilities throughout his life, and will take this stewardship to the legislature.
Marriage Equality advocate Mary Margaret Haugen looks to have lost her race against her Republican opponent Barbara Bailey. Haugen was targeted by conservative groups for her support of Marriage Equality after being the deciding vote back in January.
North Seattle had a few really close races, and former Transportation Choices Coalition director Jessyn Farrell appears to have beat out Sarajane Seigfriedt for the 46th's Position 2 Representative. In Position 1, UW professor and education activist Gerry Pollet beat out Sylvester Cann.
Spokane's urban 3rd district stayed Democratic, re-electing Andy Billig, Marcus Riccelli and Timm Ormsby. It's less urban 4th and 6th districts continue to be held by Republicans. In the 4th Matt Shea beat out Democratic challenger Amy C. Biviano by 13 points. Biviano performed well in what's normally a very conservative area.
The same held true in the 6th, where Dennis Dellwo (D) came close but was unable to beat Jeff Holly (R).
On Mercer Island, Steve Litzow (R) beat out Maureen Judge (D) in the Senator's Race. Litzow was an early supporter of Marriage Equality, and was one of only a few Republicans who voted for the bill.
In the same district, Marcie Maxwell (D) beat Tim Eaves (R) for the contested Representative position.
Election Day is here!
Voting is an individual act of pure power; that’s one of the things I’m learning as a first time voter. It’s like we’re a group of millions of ants, all collectively working together, pulling a giant leaf of citizenship to make it to the top of a political anthill. That anthill is not a candidate being voted into office or a law being passed; the top of that anthill is our collective voter registry, our unified willingness to show up for our country and make the best of this democracy. I feel a greater responsibility now to hold my fellow citizens accountable to step up and utilize their personal power. After completing my last phone call tonight, I feel a deep sense of empowerment that I’d participated in the process. In a small way, I was able to contribute to tangible democracy and make a difference.
So what did I learn in this journey of first-time voting in the past few weeks that I will apply the next time around when I’m going a second-time voter?
The no on I-1185 campaign has a video up explaining their view of a 2/3rds majority requirement to raise revenue.
I'm fond of these sped-up animation talks, probably because I have absolutely no artistic skill myself.
My one critique of their message is that they only use the word taxes, not revenue. Tim Eyman's 2/3rds initiatives don't just prevent legislators from raising taxes, they also prevents us from closing tax loopholes to raise revenue. Which is why oil and alcohol companies overwhelmingly fund them.
The initiative is going to pass regardless. Which instead means all eyes should be on the Supreme Court and the Lieutenant Governor's races.
This is installment #2 of a new series by My Tam Nguyen, friend of the Bus and all around awesome person. Check our part 1 here.
Read & Research
This next step is perhaps the most crucial in the journey of voting and good citizenship: reading and researching about the issues and the candidates.
Since you heard from me last, I survived Hurricane Sandy and the many trains, planes, and automobiles as a part of a LA-NYC-Boston-Detroit-Seattle extravaganza. I’m also in between deadlines for community and professional commitments, and of course, am completely behind on finding that perfect poem to read during the ceremony at my friend’s destination-wedding next week. I get it, we’re busy.
Young people are caught between our balancing ambition, reality, budgetary and time constraints, being there for our family and friends, answering a deep desire to make a difference in shaping our local and global communities, and seeking strategic ways to get into that not-so-secret Macklemore & Ryan Lewis show. How do we fit voting into this equation?
It’s less than a week until Election Day (Nov. 6), and a second Voters’ Pamphlet greeted me when I opened my neglected mailbox after my week away. They call this one, the King County Local Voters’ Pamphlet, apparently it’s different than the State of Washington Voters’ Pamphlet I’d received the week prior. Most of my more experienced-voter friends have already posted humble-brag Facebook photos of their completed ballot, with snapshots of their choice political candidates and ballot measures. With my trip, and the limited time on my hands with all the things I’m balancing, I’m a bit behind. I also don’t want others’ biases to affect my own voting opinion. Voting is a new freedom of mine, as I’d mentioned extensively in my first post, I don’t want to mess it up by being easily influenced. So where do I find unbiased information?
It's a much more nuanced and difficult question than I’d imagined. In order to choose my candidates and be informed about these ballot measures, I have very finite options to get objective information, most people merely scoffed and laughed at me when I’d asked for unbiased voters’ resources:
So what do I do and whom do I trust for my research and information? My approach is going to be a combination of the aforementioned, browsing through the voters’ pamphlets, checking out what the Muni League has to say, paying attention to what’s trending on major local and national media outlets and blogs, and of course, keeping a close ear on the ground and eye on my feed of what my friends and family are saying.
Next post...Show Up & Question.
The University of Washington and KCTS 9 have released results from their statewide poll for NEXT WEEKS election. The poll is the second wave of a two part poll, and is the first poll I've seen that samples voters who have already received their ballot and potentially already voted.
Referendum 74 currently has strong support among all registered voters (57.3%-36.2%) and Baretto's estimate of likely voters (57.9% to 36.9%).
Baretto also tried something new to try to weed out any noise from voters who would be embarrassed to tell pollsters they were voting against the rights of same-sex couples. In 2009, with domestic partnership rights on the ballot, Baretto's poll of Referendum 71 estimated a win by 17 percent, when in effect Ref 71 only won by 6.3%.
After respondents finished with the poll, they were asked if at any point questions made them feel uncomfortable or if they lied about any of their answers. People who reported lying or feeling uncomfortable were counted as no votes on Referendum 74. With this conservative estimate, Baretto found that 52.3% of likely voters would approve Ref 74, and 45.8% would vote against.
More Poll Geekery after the jump:
Unless you have been living in a cave for the past several months (which I wouldn’t judge), you probably know that on November 6th Washingtonians will have the opportunity to be one of the first states in the U.S. to uphold gay marriage at the ballot box.
My relationship with Marriage Equality, like a lot of queer folks, is complicated. I’ve had, heard, and landed on both sides of the debates surrounding how Marriage Equality campaigns have drawn much-needed resources out of social justice issues such as the school to prison pipeline, access to health care, and youth homelessness to name a few.
I have to admit, I have landed on the side of the debate that Marriage Equality is, in fact, important. I agree, it is not the only issue queers should be fighting for. However, I can also see that Marriage Equality has the potential to affect many people’s lives on a very fundamental and positive level.
For example, I was going to school in Maine during election season in 2009 when Mainers had the chance to uphold Marriage Equality (they didn’t—they voted to repeal it by about a 6% margin). Leading up to the election, I attended a few community meetings for academia and out of personal interest.
The most notable was a discussion on Marriage Equality and religion led by Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Anglican bishop*. During the discussion, multiple gay men stepped up to ask the bishop how they should reconcile their feelings of anger towards people that had physically and/or verbally assaulted them based on their sexuality. In other words, in that room for the folks present, there was a strong connection between basic physical and emotional safety and Marriage Equality.
It began to sink in for me that for some people Marriage Equality is not just about a certificate, or even all the legal rights that go with marriage; it’s also about basic respect and dignity. It is about the sense that the right to marry might lead to greater public acceptance, and, therefore greater safety physically, emotionally, legally and psychically.
My hope for the fight for Marriage Equality in Washington, Maine and Maryland (the three states that have it on the ballot this election season,) is that it will be approved at the ballot box to promote safety for LGBTIQ folks on all levels.
However, I genuinely hope it doesn’t end there. I hope folks can start using the conversation about Marriage Equality in broader terms—that connections will be made between the legal, physical and emotional vulnerability that queer folks have with the legal, physical and emotional vulnerability that, for example, communities of color have in relation to the war on drugs and racial profiling. (Not to say they are comparable, the same experience or don’t intersect either, just to say they are all pieces of the same puzzle...and it'd be worthwhile to think about Initiative 502 as part of that puzzle.)
In essence, I hope that we can all start to see and talk about the campaign for Marriage Equality more broadly—that we all should really be thinking about, debating and campaigning for ways we can create spaces and environments where everyone feels safe and is capable of thriving.
*Gene Robinson will be leaving his post in 2013 due to continual threats to his life and personal safety since he became bishop in 2004.
To see a recent cinematic effort that speaks to Marriage Equality and deeply humanizes a same sex interracial relationship in the South, check out Patrick Wang’s In the Family:
Some Washingtonians have been reacting strongly to the Stranger's "Fear Mongering on R-74", in which a poll of likely voters found only 49% supported Marriage Equality. And by all means, if fear gets you motivated, then put on a terrifying costume and come get your Trick of Vote on.
While Dominic's right: Referendum 74 won't get approved without your help, remember that this poll is just of likely voters.
The October 24th Elway Poll considers "likely voters" people who have cast ballots in at least 1 out of the last 4 elections in 2010 and 2008. (No love for off-year city council elections?)
While this may help filter out the noise of 40-year-old voters who have been registered for years and don't tend to vote, it also takes away an incredibly progressive voting block: young and newly registered voters.
People likely to vote.
This most recent poll immediately tunes out all registered Washington voters age 18-20. Young voters overwhelmingly support Marriage Equality. An Oct 18th KCTS9 poll conducted by the University of Washington found voters age 18-29 approved R-74 68%-26%, more than a 2 to 1 margin.
That same poll also found R74 being approved 56% to 35% by all registered voters, and 54%-38% by their estimation of likely voters.
Likely voters are absolutely the most unreliable group because every pollster uses a completely different metric," said Matt Barreto, the UW pollster behind the KCTS9 study.
Barreto uses a more complicated likely voter metric that measures if voters historically vote during presidential elections.
"I personally don't think that someone who voted in one of the last four elections is a likely voter, if you only voted in one out of four elections you are an unlikely voter."
Barreto says historically his polls of all registered voters trend closer to actual election outcomes. He includes likely voters simply because journalists and poll-watchers like them.
"There are some people who don't look likely, but they'll still turn out and vote. I think R74 is going to pass."
We're not out of the woods. This is a close race that will only be won with involvement. But save the spooky stuff for Saturday.
Election day is SUPER close, and the deadlines to register to vote for most of us have come and gone.
But first time Washington Voters (meaning young people, new residents and brand new citizens) can still register in person up until Monday the 29th.
Check out these great PSA's the City of Seattle has put out.
This post was written by My Tam Nguyen, friend of the Bus and all around awesome person:
Are you a good citizen?
This is a question I’ve been asking myself for the past three months. I was born in Vietnam, a country not known for its democratic process. The first eight years of my life were spent in a fishing village. I did not grow up with running water, running toilets, or electricity, much less a culture of democracy, voting, or civic engagement. I immigrated to the United States in 1992, and 20 years later, I’m finally a citizen.
I currently volunteer in the community and work in community engagement, you’d think that I would know how this political stuff works by now. Somehow my involvement always felt distanced from the foray of power and political play and process. Secretly, I had feared that although I was a green card holder, it could be taken away if I was too politically opinionated or involved. The moment I was sworn in three months ago on July 31, something changed--I gained a sense of duty along with the great privilege of being an American citizen. I am now a voter, can fully participate in the democratic process, and no longer have to operate with the fear of living at the fray.
It is of great relief to gain the freedoms of being an American, and it is also a great obligation to our community and country that I do my due diligence to be an informed voter. I am not taking this responsibility lightly.
This post, will be the beginning of a series on how I navigate this process. I hope that my civic adventures can help shed light on your own experience of voting a complex ballot this year!
...awesome, and everyone's got one!
Super excited about voting but still on the fence for a few down-ticket races? Need some advice?
The following publications have put out some great endorsements. Read up. Need more motivation? Come to a ballot party (or throw your own) and fill one out with friends.
Perhaps the most profane and hilarious endorsements out of the NW.
Repping T-Town since 1883.
Fuse pushes for Progressive Policies throughout Washington, and doesn't always endorse each race (instead providing info on both candidates).
Got a bike? Wish it was slightly safer to use it? The CBC has your back, and seeks out legislators with similar goals in mind.
Providing birth control and medical care for women (and men) throughout Washington State.
A non-partisan group that doesn't endorse but provides in depth info on the candidates.
Representing 38,000 retail workers throughout Washington State, with an eye on which elected officials would do the most for working class citizens.
Another Washington State Union representing Teachers and Service employees.
Like clean air? Seals? Washington's environmental community endorses green candidates.
Policy wonks Josh Feit and Erica Barnett moved their blog to the Seattle Met Magazine. As of now, I only see endorsements in the 36th, 46th, and gubernatorial races, which is a shame since I loved their in-depth candidate analysis in the past. Hopefully more will come.
Seattle's only daily paper since the Post Intelligencer went online-only in 2009. The Times has been in some hot water as of late because of the business department's decision to take out whole page ads on behalf of Rob Mckenna and R-74. So you may want to take it with a grain o' salt.
If you're not following the Jewish Council for Education and Research's actually.org, you need to start. They were responsible for Sarah Silverman's Great Schlep video back in 2008 (asking young people to visit their Nanas in Florida to talk to them about the election). And they're putting out some quality videos again this year.
President Obama and Mitt Romney held their second of three debates Tuesday night. Readers may recall, as a fact-based true-believer, I called the first debate in Obama's favor - polls said differently. Apparently we decide debates based solely on gumption and eye contact.
Well, as Biden preluded, this debate played out quite differently. Obama was pugnacious, truculent and militant, or to put another way: Red Bull gave him wings.*
Where before Obama performed with a smug docility, this time around he contested every Romney statement. And while uncivil - about damn time.
Romney (and more recently Ryan) have been playing fast and loose with facts, figures and promises this entire election cycle, banking on the current state of journalism to let their claims go untested.
Well, this time Obama held Romney accountable, and the polls are rewarding him. Probably the best knock-out exchange was Romney's aggressive assertion that Obama failed to call the attack on the Libyan embassy an act of terror.
Obama did in fact call the deaths of four Americans an "act of terror" immediately, but waited for two weeks to definitively establish it was a planned attack, and not a response to an offensive YouTube video.
Ladies Love Cool Mitt:
The debate was a Town Hall format, and many of the questions from undecided voters revolved around domestic policy. One woman asked the candidates:
"In what new ways do you intend to rectify the inequalities in the workplace? Specifically regarding females making only 72% of what their male counterparts earned?"
Obama mentioned the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which he signed into law the day he took office.
Romney went another direction, telling an anecdote about hiring women when he was the Governor of Massachusetts, and how he sought out "binders full of women".
The Internet exploded with "Binders Full of Women" memes, but I failed to find this as notable as his total inability to answer the question. In response to an answer about fair pay for women, Romney told a factually incorrect anecdote about hiring women when he was the Governor of Massachusetts. No mention of whether his female binders were paid as much as his male binders. In addition he added that female employees needed more flexible schedules so they could make it home in time to cook dinner.**
Romney claimed to have sought out more women on his own, but the true story was a non-partisan group of women hoping to see more equal representation pushed candidate Romney and his opponent to agree in advance to hire more women. He did.
Romney also claimed that 580,000 women lost jobs under Obama. This number is made up.
Guns Don't Kill People, Single Mothers Kill People:
One of the benefits of a Town Hall forum is voters get the chance to ask questions that the campaigns have otherwise managed to avoid. As was the case when one voter asked the candidates how they'd limit access to assault rifles.
"Weapons that were designed for soldiers don't belong on our streets," said Obama, and went on to say he'd like to see an Assault Weapons ban introduced. (Which realistically is unlikely to pass through the Tea Party controlled House of Representatives.)
In contrast, Romney stated that he wasn't in favor of any new legislation, and instead, the answer was good schools and two parent households:
"Gosh, to tell our kids that before they have babies they ought to think about getting married to someone, that's a great idea," said the candidate who's vowed to defund Planned Parenthood.
Parents to Mexico, Children to Iraq:
The one last moment that really stood out was the candidate's response to immigration policy. Romney declared he wouldn't allow amnesty for anyone who was here
"illegally" without documentation, and doubled down on the "Self Deportation" statements he made during the Republican Primary. He did concede that children of undocumented immigrants who grew up here could stay, but added that "military service for instance is one way they would have that pathway."
This of course is the same character who dodged the Vietnam draft to be a Mormon missionary in France and lamented how much easier this election would be if he was Latino.
On the other hand, Obama has been no champion of immigrant rights. He has deported undocumented immigrants at approximately 1.5 times the rate as George W. Bush. But he did admit "we need to fix a broken immigration system" and told the audience "I've done everything I can on my own." He also used the term undocumented workers, in contrast to Romney's use of the term "illegals", which is overwhelmingly considered offensive.
One more debate to go. Also, check your mail - ballots are arriving here in Washington State. Once again full video after the jump:
Last Thursday Vice President Biden took on Congressman Ryan in their one and only debate of the campaign season.
It was different than the Obama Romney debate:
Biden successfully proxied the resentment and frustration accumulated over the last two years of made up campaign claims and phantom policy promises. For the first time in this campaign Ryan was held accountable for the words that came out of his mouth. It's likely we'll see a similar tactic from Obama in the Presidential Debate tomorrow night.
Conservative commentators are upset because Biden laughed openly throughout Ryan's talking points. I'd laugh as well. Ryan's statements don't pass the sniff test. If I wasn't laughing, I'd be crying at the fact a Presidential campaign made it this far without being truthful with the American voters. Oh yeah.
Take for instance Ryan and Romney's attacks on the stimulus. Both men have been saying the stimulus was a huge, ineffective waste of tax-payer money. Ryan again attacked it during the debate, but Biden was ready.
"I love my friend here," replied a laughing Biden. "He sent me two letters saying by the way, can you send me some stimulus money for companies here in the state of Wisconsin?"
"I love that," continued Biden. "This is such a bad program he writes me a letter saying the reason we need the stimulus is it will create growth and jobs."
I'm Kinda A Numbers Guy:
While Biden earned his keep as an adept debater*, moderator Martha Raddatz was an excellent demonstration of how you moderate a debate. When Ryan was asked about his unaccounted for 20% across the board tax cut, Raddatz didn't let him squirrel out of an answer.
"No specifics," said Raddatz.
"And you guarantee this math will add up."
Ryan and Romney have been prancing around with this 20% tax cut for a while now, and they can't explain how it works. Because it can't work. You can't drop everyone's personal taxes 20% and then close a few unnamed loopholes to make up the difference.
Claims like these are less credible than Moon Colonies. I'm willing to believe technology could get us to Mars. I'm less willing to have faith that 2 minus 2 still equals 2 with a bit of magic.
Also Jay Inslee and Rob McKenna faced off in another debate the same night. I didn't listen. From the last two debates, it's clear both of them are kinda numbers guys as well.
Full debate after the jump.
An ad war is brewing. Election day is exactly 4 weeks away, and I'm really happy I don't own a TV.
Preserve Marriage Washington, the group fighting against Marriage Equality, has already reserved $1.5 million dollars in commercial air time.
One such ad is up on the Internet:
The ad is heavy handed and factually incorrect, and really fails to show why marriage really matters. Marriage is about love and commitment, and it's hard to get that across with a bunch of faceless silhouettes.
Contrast that with this message from Republican Cheryl Pflug, who rose to fame for her vote extending the freedom to marry to all individuals in Washington.
Braveheart also into Marriage Equality.
We'll be seeing countless more ads like these in the coming month. But even if you're incapable of banking an ad campaign, coming in to phonebank for marriage equality makes a huge difference. Join us!