All the business of October and November
Between taking my garden down and getting my ballot in the mail, fall has hit me. I'm hastily decorating — even though half my Halloween decorations are still in storage — as Halloween's my favorite holiday. Blink, and it goes by.
I always forget, after I've run an event, how much closing work there is to do. Feedback to put together. Pictures to sort through and painstakingly post to Facebook, thanks to artificial limits imposed to, I guess, make us feel better about election tampering. Inventory to take. Marketing of conference videos. Hell, just answering my email.
I just have to hold my nose and dive into it. I've never been a swimmer, but I have spent many, many hours cleaning out animal pens, barns, and cages. I will take cleaning rabbit cages over cleaning up the rotted and liquified sack of potatoes I disposed of early this week. Kudos for face masks to block the stench.
The hard work task for everyone this November is less painful than either rabbit cages or rotten potatoes — it's voting. Next week, I'll be publishing my "who I'm voting for" guide, which many of you said was extra helpful last election. (Feedback is a gift!)
This week, I wanted to specifically address a few Washington State initiatives and a couple races not in my district (which is what my voting guide covers).
Before I get to that — I want to discuss The Seattle Times Editorial Board. I'm all about gathering information, both non-partisan and partisan, but the STEB is incredibly conservative, while claiming to be moderates, even moderate liberals. They are not. They consistently claim to be the voice of Seattle (and the surrounding area), while opposing many of the things voters are passing. Own who you are, STEB.
This fall, the STEB endorsed anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-immigration Dino Rossi for Rep in the WA 8th, and their own news staff tweeted to remind everyone about the separation between editorial and news as they were embarrassed. While this separation is true, the members of the editorial team also sit on executive leadership and often oversee the heads of the newsroom. So even if they aren't explicitly Murdoch-ing news, they still influence bias in what and who gets coverage.
Okay, enough preamble…
Yes on WA Initiative 1631 — Carbon Emissions Fee Measure
Our planet is dying, and one party, the GOP, doesn't believe in science. Climate change is not a debate. It is real, and we have 10 years to clean up before, when I'm 57, we are truly done. The people most responsible to climate change are corporations.
Anytime an Initiative comes up, I look at two things: 1) where is the money coming from for the no and yes groups? and 2) is Tim Eyman behind it? In this case, the No group — which is pushing out fear mongering, anti-tax ads incredibly fast — is funded by big oil. More importantly, 1631 is a tax on corporations, not people. Yes, those taxes can always be "passed" onto the consumer, but the idea is that if we use less fossil fuels, we won't be paying those fees anyway.
1631 requires major polluting corporations to pay $15 for every ton of carbon dioxide they release into the atmosphere. The state estimates it would generate roughly $2.2 billion in its first five years, and estimates that any costs to consumers would be below $10 a month.
The exciting thing about 1631 passing would be — not only good for the environment — but setting legislative precedent for other states and maybe other nations to pass similar laws. Vote Yes on I-1631.
No on WA Initiative 1634 — Prohibit Local Taxes on Groceries
Why No? There is already a law preventing taxation on groceries, and it's been working for many years. Give me a law to prohibit taxes on menstrual products!
So why is this a thing? What happened is the City of Seattle passed a law a couple years ago taxing sugar drinks. Sugary drinks, like tampons, are not considered "essential items," and thus, sales tax is applied to them. This special tax went really well for the City of Seattle and really badly for the soda/bottling companies. It made $10 million in the first six months for Seattle. The corporations are attempting to pass this law to prevent future taxation in other places, including other big cities or on a statewide level.
My mom (AZ resident): "Why were you so rude to those people lobbying outside Target?" This law is sponsored by bottling companies — Coca-Cola, Pepsi, etc. — and they are pouring more than $20 million into ads and people standing outside your local grocery store to fear-monger you. Don't buy in.
Call me when someone cares about menstrual product taxation after I bleed all over the bottling lobby when I can't afford an actual essential item. Vote No on I-1634.
Dr. Kim Schrier (D) for WA Rep in the 8th Congressional District
Friends, incumbent David Reichert (R) hid from voters after voting a zillion times to repeal the ACA and Schrier's opponent Dino Rossi is a monster, who tried to kick 46,000 kids off Medicare. Schrier's been hit with attack ads by the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC associated with Paul Ryan. I personally am not in the 8th, but I'm right next door in the 9th, and this affects us all.
Schrier is a doctor, and one of the many candidates ready to replace and beat the Reicherts and Rossis of politics. Here's a quote from Schrier in a debate against Rossi, when he accused her of being a radical: "I don’t think there’s anything radical about wanting people in this country to have health care, and to want to have a government that really works on behalf of the people and not just on behalf of special interests.”
And like 60% of Washingtonians, Schrier believes in access to abortions for any reason, while Rossi dodges this question like a preverbal hot potato. If elected, Schrier would be the only woman medical doctor in Congress, and would help push radical ideas forward like "women's healthcare isn't a special issue when 52% of the population needs it."
Vote Schrier, friends.
Lisa Brown (D) for WA Rep in the 5th Congressional District
What happens in this state — even all the way in Eastern Washington — and this House of Representatives matters. Lisa Brown is one of the many Democrats running who've completely rejected all PAC and special interest money, and has out-raised her opponent Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R, incumbent) by inspiring voters.
Rodgers has voted with the GOP administration 97.8% of the time, including trying again and again to repeal the ACA and drop preexisting conditions protections. She's also super powerful in the GOP and in charge of spin. Doctors declared her attack ads against Brown harmful for WA 5th's mental health. (Not joking.)
Brown's previous experience includes serving in the WA State Senate as majority leader, and she started the medical school at WSU when she was chancellor there. She's also been endorse by Joe Biden, an article with more headline on her site, than her endorsement by Barack Obama, which is Leslie Knope adorable.