Don's picks: Nov. 6 election

Once again, my picks. My ground rules and biases:


1) Electing judges is insane because it eliminates appropriate vetting. They should be nominated by the executive branch and confirmed by the legislative. This website is pretty good for statewide races:


2) Managing budgets by referenda—voting on levies—is about as idiotic as requiring Congress to approve an increase to the debt ceiling limit to pay for what it already spent.


3) When I am dumbfounded by a race, I turn to my respected friend, Janice Van Cleve. See her website: We sometimes disagree on candidates, but not on principle.




The Republican Senator from Maine, Susan Collins, is considered a moderate. Yet Susan Collins voted for Brett Kavanaugh because, she said, a person is innocent until proven guilty. Agreed. But the issue with Kavanaugh goes beyond due process. The Republicans restricted a full and thorough investigation by the FBI of credible charges against him by four women. Why? Because they’re afraid the Democrats will take the Senate this Nov. 6. These are the same Republicans who refused to giving a hearing to President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court because an election was a year away, and they gambled (correctly, unfortunately) that a Republican would win. But there’s more. In the tirade of fake outrage that Kavanaugh unleashed in the Senate hearing, he blamed—wait for it—the Clintons! Now, we have a delusional Supreme Court justice. Let’s just blame the has-been Clintons for everything (although unlike Trump, Bill Clinton balanced the budget).


The hypocrisy is profound. The Supreme Court will pound the nails into the coffin of Obamacare and repeal the prohibition against insuring people with pre-existing conditions. The right to privacy—the difficult decisions that a woman makes about abortion—will be jeopardized as the Republican Supreme Court justices will now impose their personal religious beliefs on other people. Campaign financing reform? Forget it.


There’s only one solution for this nonsense:


Vote Democratic. Vote Democratic for every position on the ballot, from dog catcher to senator. Vote Democratic because the Republicans support Donald Trump, a lying, tax-dodging traitor whose actions give comfort to our enemies and anguish to our friends.



Don’s choice


YES. This would impose fees on businesses that contribute to greenhouse gases, but it exempts major polluters such as coal-fired power plants, aircraft fuels, some fuels used in agriculture, and “certain facilities designated by the Department of Commerce as within energy-intensive and trade exposed industries.” Janice Van Cleve notes that it’s typical “sausage” legislation mashed together by a coalition that caters to many narrow interests and, in the process, loses the big goal. Instead of relying on existing state agencies to spend the money received to improve the environment, it creates a special board. Listen, I’m for regulating and taxing polluters, but let’s do it right. Have I mentioned how much I despise initiatives? All that being said, Sally Jewell, our former Secretary of the Interior, endorsed it, so I will, too. Perfection is the enemy of progress.



NO. This is an anti-tax bill designed to prevent localities from taxing soda and other unhealthy drinks. A contortionist from the beverage lobby wrote it. It’s opposed by folks like the American Heart Association and various health groups across the state.



YES. Common-sense regulation of assault weapons. Of course, the NRA and its extremists Republican flunkies like Alan Gottlieb oppose it. They want us to provide assault weapons to teachers as their solution to mass shootings. Or, to paraphrase Sasha Baron Cohen, this initiative uses school shootings to justify the liberal anti-tragedy agenda. I’ll vote for that, because the anti-tragedy agenda is a good one to support.



YES. Changes the standard for whether police are prosecuted for unjustified use of firearms, and provides de-escalation training. Many of the police are against the change in standard, although the King County Sheriff has no problem with it. I’ll vote with the sheriff.


Advisory Vote 19

MAINTAIN.Improves our response to oil spills. It was approved overwhelmingly by the legislature in a bipartisan vote. Only 7 senators—all Republicans—our of 49 voted against it.


Seattle Prop 1

NO. This is in addition to Seattle School District levies coming up next year. It would increase the taxes from this particular levy by 1% each year. It’s not written well, and the use of the money is fuzzy. I don’t know about you, but my assessment just rose 49% and my property taxes will rise by 20%. Where’s the accountability? There is none. Zilch. Nada.


US Senator

Vote Democratic. Maria Cantwell has crappy constituent services, but Susan Hutchinson is an extremist, even by Republican standards. Maria supports net neutrality and doesn’t want to privatize Medicare and Social Security.



Vote Democratic.This is especially important this year because Washington has three swing districts, including Spokane, the Eastside, and Vancouver. 


• 9th District. Because of the state’s politically correct top-two primary system, two Democrats are fighting it out. I’ll support Adam Smithbecause we need realists, not ideologues.


State House

State Senate

Vote Democratic.


• 32nd District Senate. Two Democrats are facing off. Jesse Salomon, the deputy mayor of Shoreline, is the better candidate than the incumbent. Plus, my dear friend Lissa Mitchell, who knows a lot about a lot of things, knows and endorses him. 

• 34th District Senate. Two Democrats are facing off. Shannon Braddock is Dow Constantine’s deputy chief of staff—a great recommendation.


State Supreme Court Pos. 8

Steven Gonzalez. He’s done well on the court. His opponent’s candidate statement is semi-literate.


Appeals Court

Superior Court

Judges should never be elected. They should be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. That way, there’s some quality control, as opposed to picking a so-called nonpartisan name out of the hat. But I lost that war long ago. Among the contested positions:


• Appeals Court, Div. 1, Dist. 3: Cecily Hazelrigg-Hernandez

• Superior Court, Skagit County: Laura Riquelme