The Republicans have their echo chamber which allows them to influence the media, so it is my turn to help the other side.


King County Election Recap

I finally got a chance to check the election results. I almost forgot to vote today, and then I had trouble finding my ballot, but all worked out in the end. My neighbor was working at the polling place where I dropped off the absentee ballot. Now for some commentary.

Initiative 901 (smoking ban): Approved
I didn't have strong feelings on this either way, but I did vote against it on principal. Restaurants, clubs, and bars have the right (well, had the right) to decide whether they allow smoking or not. Their right to have a smoking section in their business has just been removed. I am happy that waiters/waitresses will be healthier and I won't have to put up with cigarette smoke at Neumos anymore, but I don't believe we need a nanny state looking out for us.

Initiative 912 (gas tax repeal): Rejected
Yay! Despite my libertarian slant, I'm not anti-tax. Users should pay for what they use, and a gas tax is one of the most fair taxes for roads at the moment (having a GPS in every car would ideal, but then you have privacy implications). I would support this tax even more if it wasn't going to pay for an unnecessary highway tunnel.

Monorail: Rejected
This was the fifth vote for the Seattle monorail. I wasn't able to vote on this because I forgot to change my voter registration in time (although in this case it wouldn't have done any good). I support the idea of a monorail because it would be the first true mass transit in Seattle's inner city. Alas, the monorail plan was also flawed and they seemed to be doing everything they could to alienate me (just like the anti-war protest I attended, but I digress). Strike 1: The payment for the monorail rested completely on car registration fees in Seattle. Car users are much less likely to use the monorail, so this was an example of one group subsidizing another. Strike 2: Trying to take certain proprieties using eminent domain; specifically the sinking ship parking garage. I'd like to see that building gone and replaced with something nicer, but they have no right to try and steal it from the rightful owners (they wouldn't even need the whole lot). What finally killed the monorail was the bad financing. Car registration wasn't paying as much as expected, so the payback period exploded and the projected interest on borrowed money skyrocketed. Mayor Greg Nickels then dropped support at the last minute and gave them only a month or two to figure out a plan to makeup for the shortfall (SoundTransit was given over a year to figure out finances for the light rail).

I am outraged by the city council's recent banning of lap dances. In a liberal city, this is a surprising intrusion into our personal lives. Unfortunately, I am not yet a Seattle voter, else I would have signed a petition to bring back lap dances. Also, I was in a hurry every time I saw people petitioning.


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