Mossback assesses Election 2010, calling winners and losers as he sees them. And he's got a pointed question about at least one write-in vote that appears to have gone uncounted.
Tax haters: It might not have been quite the perfect storm, but an imperfect one can be bad enough. Control of the state Senate in Olympia is in the balance. If it swings Republican, it will add legislative clout to the anti-tax, anti-spending trend seen in the passage of Tim Eyman's tax limitation measure (I-1053), the rollback of the Snack Tax, the defeat of the income tax measure (I-1098), the defeat of King County's Prop. 1 sales-tax measure for public safety, and possibly the end of the state liquor sales monopoly and the revenues it generates for the state, counties and cities. The message to government: Live within your means, and oh, by the way, we're slashing your allowance. The cumulative effect will be to move state and local governments toward being able to dunk, if not drown, government in the bathtub.
Bill Gates, Sr: I-1098, the progressive income-tax measure, went down to a big defeat. Where's the glory in that? Not much, but what there is is significant. Gates, immune to the third rail of state politics, went forth and became the articulate, responsible, civil, and sometimes funny pitchman for resolving Washington's regressive tax system by asking those who can afford it to help more, and to ease burdens on the rest of us. The problem, which even Bill Gates Sr. and Jr. can't solve with their wealth, is the "trust in government" issue. The slippery slope argument won the day. But Gates did what the legislature cannot and will not do, what most politicos are afraid of doing: put together the beginnings of a tax reform proposal that is more just than the current system. Kudos for that.
The Color Purple: Major recent gains for Democrats in the suburbs, and especially the Eastside, have been watched with glee by Seattle Democrats. This has been seen by some as an inevitable consequence of urban growth: "Density = Democrats" is the formulation that Democratic political consultant Christian Sinderman puts forth. The Ds were aided by House Speaker Frank Chopp's ability to recruit suburban-friendly candidates (non-ideological business people) and the party was able to snag a few party flippers, like former state Rep. Fred Jarrett and Sen. Rodney Tom. The election wasn't a wipe-out for suburban Ds; some, like Rep. Judy Clibborn in the 41st, Reps. Deb Eddy and Ross Hunter in the 48th and Larry Springer in the 45th, were ahead for re-election. Tom also had a narrow lead. What do they have in common? They're pro-business pragmatists, not your typical urban Ds. But others are having a tougher time, like incumbent Sens. Eric Oemig of Kirkland and Randy Gordon of Bellevue. Also significant: an easy victory by 8th Congressional District Rep. Dave Reichert, who essentially coasted. In short, the Eastside's blue tide turned a bit more purple.
Californians: It's back to the future with Jerry Brown, a great move if the old Jerry of the '70s is back in the saddle. Minimalist Zen liberalism, your time has come! Also, the very satisfying defeats of Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina, two self-funded corporate creeps who went down to defeat, bucking the national GOP trend.
The Washington initiative and TV industries: Scores of millions of dollars poured into the state to pass or defeat various initiatives, most of it flowing to TV advertising and proving that the one booming business during hard times is running a controversial ballot measure with deep-pocketed opponents and proponents. Get a food fight going, then sit back and let the money flow. Who says there's no cure for the economy? Tim Eyman is also sure to be a happy man, having found a more reliable job than being a watch salesman.
Costco boozers: You know who you are. You voted for I-1100 because you couldn't wait to back the SUV up to Costco and fill it with cheap booze. Sorry, those bargains look like they'll have to wait and your hangover will come at a higher price with the defeat of the two liquor initiatives.
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