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Smith on Politics: How Locals Voted on Statewide Candidates, Ballot Measures

Local voters strongly supported gay marriage, marijuana, Inslee; state more divided on gay marriage than on marijuana; Eyman says advisory votes were clear messages against taxes; 46th District Dems support three County Council applicants; Shoreline res

Local voters strongly supported gay marriage, marijuana, Inslee

Local voters showed strong support in the November election for same-sex marriage, marijuana legalization and Gov.-elect Jay Inslee.

Results that state elections officials released last week show that voters in the King County part of the 32nd Legislative District supported Inslee and the gay-marriage referendum at a higher rate than the whole state and a higher rate than the King County average.

More than 77 percent of the votes in the King County part of the district came from the City of Shoreline. The rest came from northwest Seattle.

The area gave Democrat Inslee 69 percent of its votes in his victory over Republican Rob McKenna, compared to Inslee’s 51.5 percent statewide and 62.3 percent for all of King County.

The Shoreline/northwest Seattle area also approved the same-sex marriage referendum at a higher rate than the whole state or all of King County. Area voters gave the measure 69.16 percent approval, compared to the statewide approval rate of 53.7 percent and the countywide rate of 67 percent.

Voters in the King County part of the district supported Initiative 502 to legalize marijuana at a rate of 63.18 percent, well above the statewide rate of 55.7 percent and just below the countywide rate of 63.49 percent.

The 46th Legislative District, which includes Lake Forest Park, Kenmore and northeast Seattle, also supported Inslee, the same-sex marriage referendum and the marijuana initiative at a higher rate than the whole state or the county as a whole.

The 46th District gave the same-sex marriage referendum a 77.75 percent approval rate, compared to the statewide rate of 53.7 percent and the King County rate of 67 percent.

The district gave the marijuana initiative a 68.80 percent “yes” vote, compared to the statewide rate of 55.7 percent and the King County rate of 63.49 percent.

The district gave Inslee 71.84 percent of its votes, compared to 51.54 percent statewide and 62.36 for the county.

State more divided on gay marriage than on marijuana

Statewide voting on the same-sex marriage referendum shows more sharp divisions than voting on the marijuana legalization initiative.

Support for the same-sex marriage referendum around the State ranged from 71.16 percent in San Juan County to 28.14 percent in Adams County in southeast Washington.

The measure won approval in nine of the 11 counties that border on Puget Sound and in Whitman County, home of Washington State University. It lost in the other 29 counties.

There also was a split around Washington on the marijuana legalization initiative, but it was smaller than the split on the same-sex marriage referendum.

Initiative 502 passed with rates ranging from 68.29 percent in San Juan County to 38.94 percent in Franklin County, which includes Pasco.

It passed in all of the counties around Puget Sound, along the Pacific Coast and in north central Washington, plus Spokane and Whitman counties in eastern Washington, and Skamania County on the Columbia Gorge. It failed in about half of the counties, including most of eastern, central and southwest Washington.

46th District Dems support Dembowski, Slone, Hall for County Council

The 46th District Democrats have given approval to three candidates for the upcoming vacancy on the King County Council.

District Democrats listed Seattle attorney Rod Dembowski, King County Deputy Ombudsman and Municipal League Chairman Chuck Sloane and Shoreline City Councilman Will Hall as their top three choices for appointment to the vacancy created by Councilman Bob Ferguson’s election as attorney general.

At a meeting last week, District Democrats gave Dembowski 68 votes, Sloane 41 and Hall 40.     

The three are among 13 applicants to fill the nonpartisan position through the November 2013 election.

Party officials emphasized that the endorsement is for the appointment that the eight remaining Council members will make between mid-January and mid-March, not for next year’s election.

Dembowski, Hall and Democratic 32nd District State Rep. Cindy Ryu have registered with the state Public Disclosure Commission as candidates for the position in the 2013 election. Candidates file in May for ballot positions. If three or more candidates file for the position, it will appear on both the August primary ballot and the November general-election ballot. If there are only one or two candidates, the position will appear only on the November ballot.                

Eyman says advisory votes were a clear defeat of tax increases

Initiative sponsor Tim Eyman said recently that the advisory votes on the November ballot were a clear rejection of higher taxes.

The advisory votes came from a requirement in a voter-approved initiative that Eyman sponsored, requiring a two-thirds vote for any tax increases and an advisory vote whenever the legislature passes a tax increase, including, as in this case, the end of tax preferences 

Some opponents have said that voters were easily confused by the advisory votes because they could be interpreted as asking voters to approve or reject a tax preference, rather than approving or rejecting the end of a preference, but Eyman said that voters easily could understand the lines.

This tax increase should be:

[  ]  Repealed

[  ]  Maintained

Eyman also said this:

“The measures were very clear and voters very clearly said no to both of them;

“If the best that opponents can say today is that voters were stupid and didn't know what they were doing when they rejected these two tax increases with these two votes then I'd say they are unlikely to win that argument with voters.

“Voters approved the initiative that required advisory votes, because if the legislature is going to raise taxes and isn't going to let the voters vote on them, then the voters want to know how much these tax increases are going to cost them over the next 10 years ($170 million and $27 million are the 10-year costs for this year's two tax increases) and how legislators voted on them and their contact information.

Advisory Vote No. 1 said this:

The legislature eliminated, without a vote of the people, a business and occupation tax deduction for certain financial institutions’ interest on residential loans, costing $170,000,000 in its first ten years, for government spending.

This tax increase should be:

[  ]  Repealed

[  ]  Maintained

Advisory Vote No. 2 said this:

“The legislature extended, without a vote of the people, expiration of a tax on possession of petroleum products and reduced the tax rate, costing $24,000,000 in its first ten years, for government spending.

This tax increase should be:

[  ]  Repealed

[  ]  Maintained

Shoreline resident presides over Washington electors

Shoreline resident and Cascadia Community College instructor Heather Fralick presided over the meeting of Washington electors who made Washington’s 12 electoral votes for president and vice president official.

Fralick was one of two at-large electors chose at the State Democratic convention, who joined one elector from each of the state's 10 congressional districts.

Fralick, wife of Shoreline City Councilman Christopher Roberts, was recently elected as the state committeewoman from the 32nd Legislative districts to the State Democratic Party Central Committee.

About this column: Journalist and Shoreline resident Evan Smith has covered local issues for more than two decades. His politics column appears on Patch regularly.

Tom Jamieson December 21, 2012 at 12:38 AM
The 46th Dems did NOT endorse candidates for the vacant King County Council District 1 position. They RECOMMENDED them. Moreover they emphasized that point, whereas this article does not. This article states, "Party officials emphasized that the endorsement is for the appointment that the eight remaining Council members will make between mid-January and mid-March, not for next year’s election," whereas on December 8, the Shoreline Area News reported, "The 46th Dems have decided not to make an Endorsement, but rather to indicate a recommendation on one or more of the candidates, with the notation that the recommendation only applies to the interim position and does not carry over into the general election." http://www.shorelineareanews.com/2012/12/46the-democrats-to-consider.html Earlier, on November 14, the 32nd Dems, by conrast did endors 3 applicants: Cindy Ryu, Keith Scully, and Rod Dembowski. I missed Mr. Smith's coverage of that story.

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