November 09, 2005

Frinklin’s Off-Off-Year Election Recap

You have to take the good with the bad, right? The Washington election went about 50/50 for me. The unnecessary audit initiative, I-900, and the anti-smoking I-901 passed in huge numbers. I-900 I can live with. I don’t think it’s really necessary, but it won’t be too much of a drain on resources. The other bothers me a bit. I haven’t smoked in several years, but the draconian nature of the bill frightens me. The big news locally is the apparent failure of I-912, the repeal of the gas tax. This measure had huge support just weeks ago, and if it’s slight lead holds through the counting of absentee and vote-by-mail votes coming in, it will count as a serious upset. Also, voters were apparently confused by the competing medical malpractice initiatives, and both went down. The more onerous I-330 was crushed, the doctor-sponsored I-336 lost, but it was much closer. Finally, the good people of Seattle finally killed their own monorail plan. Eight years and $300 million dollars after the first ballot measure passed, Seattleites finally tired of the empty promises and detail-free plans to build the damned thing. Of course, the city will be paying the additional car taxes for at least two years to settle the SMP’s debts.

Nationally the Democrats are hailing this as a win of sorts, as they kept both the New Jersey and Virginia governorships. Both John Corzine and Tim Kaine hail from the moderate wing of the party, something for my Blue State friends to remember. Corzine is far less important, as Jersey is a solidly Democratic state to begin with. Virginia is something different. Kaine, with some serious help from the outgoing Democratic Governor Mark Warner, won in a state that George W. carried by 9 points in 2004. Now, while my Potomac-based blog partner may disagree, I think this election had far less to do with GWB then it did with Warner. Other than Kaine, Warner is the big winner here; this improves his standing amongst Democratic insiders and he could be a contender in 2008.

I, personally, am most disappointed by the California results. All four of the Governator’s rather ambitious initiatives failed at the polls. It’s a mixture of several months of pounding attacks by the state’s powerful public-sector unions (they were running awful anti-Arnie commercials featuring a little boy complaining about the Guv slashing his mommy’s pension over a year ago), and some hubris on Schwarzeneggers part. If you believe the polls, California voters were seriously upset about the cost of the special election (some $300 million) and the rather ham-handed way Schwarzenegger campaigned for this. It’s a shame, because the now-defeated measures really would have helped California. A state drowning in red ink and caught in ossified Assembly and Congressional districts will now virtually shut down until the next Governors election.

Finally, my former hometown of San Diego again has a mayor. Former police Chief Jerry Sanders won a special election over the rather flakey surf-shop owner Donna Frye. He has a lot of work ahead of him, with the city’s disastrous $1.4 billion pension plan on verge of collapse and the city possibly looking at bankruptcy. To make matter worse, political gadfly and current city attorney Mike Aguirre has made no secret that he feels he’s the most important person in local government. Still, Sanders is an excellent choice. Good luck with that Jerry.

Posted by Frinklin at November 9, 2005 07:37 PM | TrackBack

blah blah trash talk blah:

blah blah Avalanche invade GM place blah blah "place" a "professional grade" whuppin' blah blah hapless Canuckleheads.

*blah blah transmission*

Posted by: Derek at November 10, 2005 10:02 AM
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