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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Want Better Leadership? We Need to give our Leaders Executive Power

The splitting up of functions and blurring of responsibility stems from the days of Progressivism and Populism, where the only way to counter the railroads' conquest of the Legislature was to fracture power. Once there is this proliferation of offices and semi-responsibility, it becomes very difficult to remove the crabgrass.

Three WA Congressional Races that Explain Current Washington Politics

The “Berniecrat” wing of the Democratic Party misfired this year with scattershot challengers to Reps. Kilmer and Rick Larsen, candidates who cheered on the Capitol Hill occupied zone in Seattle. Rep. Adam Smith, in the 9th District, blew away left opponents in 2016 and 2018. Running in the 10th, Beth Doglio is the most credible hope of the “blue-green” left of labor and environmental activists.

Your Grandmother May Decide the Election

As one of those who can remember the good old days of political comity, I am not surprised to see polls showing older women voters trending toward Vice President Biden. Nor am I surprised to hear which issues are propelling the ballot choices of women over 50.

Blueprint for the Death of a Democracy: Where Are We?

A big new poll just out from the Knight Foundation shows that over 60 percent of people in both parties think that the other party is a threat to the United States and its people.

Republicans Smell Blood in Oregon’s Fractured 4th Congressional District

Put at its most basic, the university communities of Eugene (Oregon Ducks) and Corvallis (Oregon State Beavers) keep Democrats in power. The rest of the district votes Republican, even in areas where blue-collar workers voted Democrat at mid-century.

Apres les Protests: Portland Incumbents Facing Voters With Brooms

In Portland, at least, there are early warnings to incumbents. Embattled, "embaffled" Mayor Ted Wheeler had seemed a shoo-in, but months of nightly demonstrations and violence that he seems powerless to end have now put Wheeler in a tie with his challenger,

From Dan Evans to Loren Culp: How the GOP got Shut Out in Washington...

Why can’t the Republican Party do better than Loren Culp?. The Mainstream Republicans put on a wonderful shindig for Dan Evans. But the party’s base is, in an Inslee-coined word, “Trumpian.”

Experts: Why “Defunding the Police” Misses the Mark

Nationally, there's reason to believe that, historically, Black and Brown communities have been over-policed when it comes to minor offenses and under policed when it comes to serious offenses.

Democrats Face A Hard Call: Stripping Away at Police Unions

The police unions would fight back furiously, counting on rural legislators in state houses, alarmed homeowners, and Congressional tough-on-crime lawmakers to protect their sweet deals.

Seattle City Politics: Locked between the Left and Left-Left

The Mayor is now tempted by a political strategy of letting the council go around the bend, drawing a firm line of difference (particularly over the Navigation teams), and then watching the council get blamed as backlash sets in.

The Supreme Court: Republican Majorities Since 1970

In fact, in every year since 1970, the majority of Supreme Court justices have been Republican appointees. Since the beginning of Chief Justice Warren Burger’s court until the death of Justice Ruth B. Ginsberg, there have been 31 Republican appointed-justices and 8 Democratic appointed-justices sitting on the Supreme Court.The Supreme

Tarra Simmons: A First for Washington State?

Will Tarra Simmons become the first former felon elected to office in Washington? Her time behind bars is not the sole focus of Simmons’ quest for office, but it makes her stand out for advocating issues too often not on campaign agendas.

What Will Gov. Jay Inslee 3.0 Be Like?

As for what Inslee has in mind for the third term, he's not saying. That's in part because there's no need to in such a lopsided race, and in part because Inslee is not really a policy guy.

A Symbol of Failure

I wish him recovery and good health, but cannot forgive the ugly way he has divided us, nor his failure to vigorously counter that virus, still sweeping across our country.

What’s Wrong With Amy Coney Barrett?

What’s wrong with Amy Coney Barrett is the man who has nominated her to the Supreme Court and the circumstances under which he chose to forward this nomination.

Big Political Shifts in the Fight for Police Accountability

Seattle reformers have lost patience with city hall and now are shifting their energies to Olympia. The reason is the long sidelining of true accountability reforms by Seattle politicians.

The Tough Get Going: Will Mayor Durkan Stand for Re-election?

The background to Jenny Durkan’s choices offers a distant mirror dating back a half-century, and might indicate how the Mayor will make her decision whether to seek a second term.

Don’t Pack the Supreme Court. There’s A Better Way to Fix It

“We add three justices—next time around we lose control, they add three justices,” Biden said at a primary debate last October. “We begin to lose any credibility…the court has at all.”

City Council Showdown: Mayor’s Budget Veto Overturned

The good news is that there is now a balanced 2020 budget again. The bad news is that problems still remain.

Now it can be Told: Trump’s America-First is a Big Bust

The end of the cold war, and the painful Mideast wars which followed 9/11, caused many to question America’s defense and foreign policy, but now we have enough information to indicate that America First isolationism makes the world a more dangerous place.

Coming Wednesday: Will Court Certify Sawant Recall?

For her part, Sawant argues that the petition does not meet factual and legal sufficiency and should be dismissed in its entirety.

If Trump Wins…

Trump probably cannot spell “authoritarianism,” much less define it. But he has the instincts of a wannabe Duce, and he has been running the authoritarian playbook since he took office.

Trump’s Chumps: The Voters Who Could Be Left in the Lurch If Biden Wins

What went wrong? Trump went wrong. He built his constituency but then he couldn't build on it.

The Power of “San Francisco Democrats” and the West

The “Left Coast” has been a center of resistance to the Trump administration, on matters ranging from immigrant rights to vehicle fuel efficiency standards. California and Washington have filed or joined in more than 170 lawsuits.

Trump Is Abusing His Office. It’s Less Clear How Many Laws He Is Breaking

Don’t bet a lot of money on the feds. "They do not have a legal leg to stand on," says Tom Wolfe, a senior attorney at NYU law school's Brennan Center for Justice. "It's going to be very difficult for any court to rule in favor of the Trump administration."

Time To Revisit The Way We Elect Seattle City Councilmembers?

The reform was supposed to reduce the cost of campaigns. Fat chance. In the 2015 elections, total spending on the seven seats was $785,000. By 2019, expenditures ballooned to $4.2 million. The big difference was partly due to public funds, but mostly due to independent expenditures that were not capped in any way. Political action committees could spend heavily -- and spend they did.

Remembering the Days When Elections Were Marked By Collegial, Bipartisan Cooperation

Regardless of whether the offices on the ballot were partisan or non-partisan, I would meet with the the Republican and Democratic county chairpersons, always collegial and cooperative, to insure we had sufficient bi-partisan volunteers to be on duty election day.

Power Ranking: What Will Washington’s Delegation Look Like in a Democratic Congress?

The old delegation cohesion is history. The rivalry between Berniecrats and “corporate Democrats” (as they're known on the left) is likely to go on.. But there is power in the delegation from this Washington, sure to be unlocked if Democrats control Congress.

Worried: Are Protests Driving Voters toTrump?

In recent months many have quoted Martin Luther King Jr. to the effect that, “A riot is the language of the unheard.” Yes, there’s truth in that. But the language of the unheard, if that’s what this is, is being heard loud and clear by many Americans and applauded by Donald Trump as their best hope.

How Ranked Choice Voting can Disrupt Clown-Car Elections

How to turn a clown race into a process where each vote matters — even with so many candidates? More importantly, in such a crowded field, how do we avoid electing a clown whom a majority of voters really don't want? The state's current election system can't prevent it.