The statewide KCTS-Washington poll interviewed 602 voters between Oct 17-24. The poll revealed the most important issues to voters are; education reforms and funding, gun laws, fixing the economy, taxes and health care reform.
It showed Initiative 594, which would expand background checks on private and online gun sales, passing with about 64 percent approval.
It also showed Initiative 591, which would prohibit the expansion of background checks, passing with a smaller margin. About 45 percent of voters said they will cast a vote in favor of I-591, with 43 percent voting against the measure and the rest categorized as undecided.
If both measures were to pass, it would likely be up to the state’s top courts to decide the next step.
Pollsters also reported that Gov. Jay Inslee had a 54 percent approval rating; with the Washington State Legislature
Tuesday is Election Day.
The Middle Class Alliance, a relatively new group of about 300 people from both sides of the aisle, had an editorial panel of two Republicans and one Democrat endorse legislative candidates. The alliance was created by former Democratic lawmaker Tim Probst.
The panel endorsed people from both parties. In the 49th Legislative District, Position 1, the panel endorsed both Rep. Sharon Wylie, D-Vancouver and her opponent political newcomer Republican Anson Service.
But back to the 17th Legislative District, Position 1.
Here’s what they wrote about Wilson:
“Lynda Wilson is passionate about the conservative causes she champions, and we respect her passion. But in the closest race in Clark County, Lynda Wilson is avoiding questions from moderates, independents, and middle class voters. Members of the the Middle Class Alliance reached out to Lynda repeatedly: calling, emailing, and even stopping by personally to ask for her. Lynda did not reply, not even just a courteous, ‘I can’t meet with you right now.’ Standing up openly for what you believe in is one thing, but avoiding tough questions and ignoring the voters is just rude.”
Something about this sounds familiar.
Oh right, here’s an email I received from Bill Sterr of the Faith Action Network in early October. Sterr was trying to organize a candidate forum with legislative candidates.
“Well, after after 11 emails (the first on Aug 22nd), seven phone messages (I don’t have a date on those), a visit and written message left at the Republican headquarters, and a visit and verbal message left at her DeWils office on Fourth Plain, I finally got an answer this morning: her schedule is filled,” Sterr wrote.
The Middle Class Alliance issued a challenge to reporters to “get a straight answer from Lynda on what specific cuts she would make to shrink government or ‘fund education first,’ and whether her proposed cuts add up to match the McCleary requirements.”
I sent Wilson an email yesterday at 3:30 p.m. asking, “Do you know where you will be on election night?”
I have yet to hear back.]]>
Bob Dingethal released his first TV spot this week.
His campaign declined to mention where it’s being played. But here’s a look:
His opponent, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, has released some radio spots but no TV ads.
Here’s some background on the two candidates: http://www.columbian.com/news/2014/oct/22/3rd-congress-district-herrera-beutler-dingethal/
Voters get a choice between someone backed by “big union bosses” or another candidate trying to hide their “radical past.”
On Oct. 15, Wilson told her Facebook friends, the “big special interest union money from up north” has arrived!
Wilson was referring to an infusion of cash from the Washington Education Association to buy a campaign television spot promoting Stonier.
The narrative starts out, “Big union bosses and special interests are dumping in thousands of dollars to attack Lynda Wilson. Why? Because they cannot control independent leaders like Wilson who will represent Clark County first, not special interests in Seattle.”
When the ad says “not special interests in Seattle,” a picture of Stonier’s head flashes across the screen.
Here’s Wilson’s attack ad blasting Stonier for attack ads.
Wilson’s Facebook post was a little early. The WEA did release an advertisement but after a complaint from the Freedom Foundation, a conservative think tank, the union tweaked the advertisement and distributed it again this week. There were rumors the Freedom Foundation complained because the WEA’s advertisement in favor of Stonier had false information about Wilson. The truth is, the Freedom Foundation officials said they don’t care who wins, but they didn’t want their name used in the advertisement.
WEA’s tweaked advertisement, released this week, starts out with “What is Republican Lynda Wilson trying to hide? Her radical past as a leader of the Tea Party, so extreme she even opposes early childhood education.”
See the spot here:
In an effort to promote the I-594 campaign, which would expand background checks to online gun sales and private transactions, the Brady campaign is highlighting the shooting of a Vancouver Police Department officer that took place earlier this year.
A Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence’s report shows that more than 460 law enforcement officials in the state have been attacked by an armed individual from 1997 to 2012. That’s an average of about 31 officers a year.
One of them was Vancouver Police Officer Dustin Goudschaal. Officer Goudschaal, who was 32 at the time, was shot seven times on June 30 during what he expected to be a routine traffic stop.
James Sapp, considered a white supremacist, fired at Goudschaal until his gun was empty, hitting him seven times; twice in the head, once in his ballistic vest and in his arm, shoulder and leg.
While fleeing the scene, Sapp stole a vehicle from an elderly man and punched an elderly woman twice in the head. He had a long criminal history dating back to 1988 and a warrant out for his arrest stemming from a drug case.
Thanks to his ballistic vest, Goudschaal survived the shots. After trying to commit suicide in jail, Sapp died in July.
The campaign is using it as an example of why expanding background checks is crucial; Sapp would never have passed a background check.
Opponents of the measure and those backing I-591, which would prevent the state from creating any new background requirements beyond what the federal government allows, have argued criminals like Sapp would not be stopped by a background check. Instead, they maintain, it will be law-abiding citizens who suffer from the measure.
The race between the so-called dueling measures has attracted nationwide attention from the start. Those supporting I-594 include noteworthy individuals from New York Mary Michael Bloomberg to Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Millions have poured into both campaigns. Alan Gottlieb who is behind I-591 said he’s still hoping the National Rifle Association gets more involved in the race.
Some have speculated there’s a chance both measures could pass. If that were to happen, it would likely be up to the Washington State Supreme Court to decide the next step.]]>
A recent poll shows Washington voters look ready to approve Initiative 1351, which would reduce class sizes.
The Elway Poll shows the class size reduction measure leading by nearly 3:1.
But the pollsters wrote “One thing that did appear to make a difference is the amount of attention voters were paying to this year’s election. The more attention voters have paid, the less likely they are to support the I-1351.”
The poll showed that 66 percent of people would definitely or probably vote to approve the measure, while 24 percent said they would definitely or probably say no, with 11 percent of voters remaining undecided.
The measure would reduce class sizes for all grades, kindergarten through 12th grade. The reductions would be phased in over a four-year period, prioritizing those schools with a higher rate of poor students. Class sizes for grades K-3 would shrink to 17 students; classroom sizes in higher grades would be limited to 25 students.
To pay for the class reduction, the Legislature would have to cut programs or raise taxes. The measure leaves it up to the Legislature to make those choices. If approved by voters, it would increase state expenditures by an estimated $4.7 billion through 2019, according to the Office of Fiscal Management.
The defaced signs are on both the west and east sides of the county, including Mill Plain Boulevard between Fort Vancouver Way and East Evergreen Boulevard, Padden Parkway and Southeast 192nd Avenue and Brady Road, Vukanovich said.
“I have racked my brain to try and determine who may have done this (clients, adversaries, etcetera), and I can think of no one at this time,” Vukanovich said.
The choice of words on the stickers is at odds with the opinions of Vukanovich’s colleagues. About 81 percent of Clark County Bar Association members who responded earlier this month to an opinion poll on the candidates gave Vukanovich high marks for integrity.
Vukanovich’s opponent, Judge Bernard Veljacic, said his campaign isn’t responsible for the vandalism.
“We have practiced together for over a decade,” Veljacic said of Vukanovich. “I know when my signs are down that he had nothing to do with it, and likewise, he knows that about me.”
Veljacic’s and Vukanovich’s names are confusingly similar. (Beware of that when you fill out your ballot.) It’s even possible that the vandal hit the wrong target. Short of a confession or catching the crime on videotape, we’ll probably never know who is responsible.
“It takes a lot of courage to put your name out there and subject yourself to scrutiny,” Veljacic said. “I think a bad faith act like defacing someone’s signs is uncalled for.”
He said he learned from other politicians that about 40 to 50 percent of campaign signs are typically lost either through unauthorized removal, defacement or destruction. It’s unclear whether that estimate includes signs that are knocked over.
“It’s kind of a constant effort to keep your name out in the public eye,” he said.
Vukanovich said he still hasn’t decided whether to try to remove the stickers from his signs or to replace the signs, which cost between $6 and $80 apiece.
“Of course, it is not about the money, but the fact that someone would stoop this low and commit this, what I classify as, cowardly act,” he said.
Veljacic said none of his signs have been defaced, but some have been knocked over. He lost count of how many.
“Some of it certainly is the weather; others may be on purpose,” he said. “Maybe they don’t like the candidate or they don’t like political signs because they can be a bit of a visual blight, but it’s part of campaign season. It goes with the territory – the sign gardens.”
Fred Armisen will be voting in the midterm election on Nov. 4 because he wants to impress his friends.
“It’s the only reason to do anything,” Armisen said.
The nonpartisan nonprofit Rock the Vote recently released this year’s star-packed video.
Lena Dunham will be voting for reproductive rights and Lil’ John will cast his vote in an effort to support the legalization of marijuana.
Rock the Vote, which encourages young people to vote, kicked off it’s first campaign in the 1990s with Madonna advocating voting while wrapped in an American flag.
This year’s video is based on Lil’ John’s song “Turn Down for What,” remade into “Turn Out for What.”
According to Rock the Vote’s website, 12,000 Americans turn 18 every day.
Millennials have the potential to be the largest voting bloc in the country, according to Rock the Vote, but 30 million young people chose not to vote in the 2012 election.]]>
Those behind the dueling gun measures continue to fire shots at each other.
With ballots set to go out next week, proponents of expanding background checks have launched a digital campaign they are calling “creep week.”
The Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility is highlighting stories of people who have reportedly obtained firearms without a background check. If voters approve the measure this November, background checks would be required for online transactions and at gun shows.
Criminals are exploiting the “loophole” in the law, proponents argue.
Backers of Initiative 594 are highlighting stories of people who were able to obtain guns without a background check. There’s “creep” Aaron Newport who purchased a gun in a parking lot and used it to kill his ex-girlfriend. And Michael Joanen who reportedly ran a businesses of buying, selling and trading firearms through Facebook.
Proponents of expanding background checks have outpaced those opposed and raised close to $8 million.
Everytown for Gun Safety, a group affiliated with former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has helped supporters of I-594 by donating $1 million and announced this week it would boost the campaign with another $1 million.
Opponents of I-594, who are pushing Initiative 591, are also working to get their message out. Expanding background checks would only hurt law-abiding citizens; the “creeps” would still find ways to possess firearms, they said.
Opponents to the measure are hoping the National Rifle Association becomes more of a presence in efforts to quash the background-check initiative.
“I think we’re hoping for a lot more involvement,” said Alan Gottlieb with the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. “We’re glad they are doing something and finally engaged but I think we would all like to see a lot more.”
The NRA recently launched this digital campaign.
Backers of Initiative 591, which would prevent the expansion of background checks beyond what federal law currently allows, has struggled to keep pace on fundraising. Protect Our Gun Rights has raised about $1.13 million, the NRA has pitched in about $191,997 to defeat I-594 and Washington Citizens Against Regulatory Excess has contributed $103, 927.
Ballots go out Oct. 15 and are due Nov. 4.]]>
In December of 2012, after Tim Probst lost his bid for the state Senate to Don Benton by 76 votes, he told the press he would continue to live by the motto, “Do the right thing, and let the chips fall where they may.”
More recently, doing the right thing for Probst has meant creating the Middle Class Alliance, which is a self-described “grassroots nonpartisan organization that is giving a voice to regular people who feel disenfranchised by today’s politics, by empowering and organizing them.”
Really, Probst said, it’s a crew of people – there are officially 200 members – who grab a beer the second Tuesday every month and toss around ideas to grow the middle class.
“I think moderates and independents tend to be a bit less passionate … It’s not a natural group to organize, but if we don’t organize our voice gets lost and public dialogues become more and more divided and extreme,” Probst said.
Probst said the group is not registered as a political action committee, since it hasn’t collected or spent any money. The group will endorse political candidates. The group, officially formed in 2013, has held movie nights, a legislative day in Olympia and raised money for the Oso landslide recovery. Its main priorities are reducing the influence of money in politics, ensuring the most vulnerable are taken care of and examining certain corporate tax exemptions.
This sounds like a solid platform to launch another run for office?
Probst won’t say if he plans to throw his hat in the ring again.
“I haven’t decided and I don’t have any odds on that,” he said. “And the middle class alliance has nothing to do with that.”
For more information, visit www.MiddleClassAlliance.info.]]>