Legislature of a U.S. state
Anthony Williams comes from humble roots and has earned everything he has achieved. He's worked at the highest levels of just about every pillar of our democratic society, including the judiciary branch for the California Chief Justice, as Chief of Staff to the State Senate, and as Cabinet Secretary to a governor. He's also been managing partner of a successful law firm, Director of Government Relations for Boeing, and now Public Policy Director for Amazon. He's back for a second episode to discuss politics and tolerance in the workplace, how he handles negotiations, and the difference between positive and negative disruption. Anthony opens the show with his thoughts on our current shift into a digital society and economy, particularly on how our sense of connection seems to be eroding while divisions between individuals are growing. This is something he sees a lot of in the workplace, where the differences between the generations are brought into sharp relief. However, he also says he's encouraged by people's increasing willingness to speak up about a lack of tolerance and emphasizes the importance of creating a space where people feel comfortable speaking out. Anthony also speaks about how the power balance between employees and employers is shifting, with remote working becoming normalized and employers finding it more difficult to replace workers, even those with performance issues. Nick then asks some rapid-fire questions of Anthony, including what he looks for in team members and what he avoids, how he handles negotiations, and how young people can catch his attention. And finally, Anthony closes the show by discussing the difference between positive and negative disruptors and why he's in favor of the former. The Finer Details of This Episode: Politics and tolerance in the workplace Location, leverage, and the balance of power What Anthony looks for in team members How Anthony handles negotiations What gets Anthony's attention The role of family Distinguishing between positive and negative disruptors Quotes: “You really have to provide the space for your folks to feel comfortable raising things and speaking up because it improves the overall environment and improves, you know, people are happy at work or are more productive, they're contributing more, they're more bought into the mission. And so you have to create that environment for that to happen.” “Mistakes are not always fatal. We can pretty much always work our way out of a mistake or situation, or some corrective action can be put in place. I'd rather let people feel that they can make mistakes, not because there's some reason to not trust them. Maybe they're taking a risk, right? Maybe, you know, there's a lot that can be happening there. So you don't necessarily lose my trust because you made a mistake.” “I know I hit it right with a person on my team, as an individual and as a member of the team, when they come to me, they say, ‘Here's the situation. I've run into a wall on this, I need your help. Here's how far I've gotten it. Here's what I'm thinking. What do you think? Is that the right way to think about it?' That's one approach. That's the approach I like.” “In any negotiation, you're thinking to yourself, ‘What are they thinking? How are they approaching this?' and it's not easy to do it. But with practice and time and preparation, you can start to chip at it and get some idea of what it is that you're going into and what's happening on the other side of the table. You'll be better prepared, if anything, you'll have some empathy, you'll have some breakthrough on a human level because you understand where they're coming from.” Links: Nick Warner Consulting Together at the Top on YouTube Anthony on Twitter Anthony on LinkedIn
Thank you for joining this week's episode of the Albany Update. In this week's program, we'll look at where the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives and the State Senate stand now that most of the races have been called. Then, we need to talk about that [Dis]Respect for Marriage Act cloture vote in the U.S. Senate last week. Let's get started. --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/albanyupdate/support
Marisa and Guy Marzorati react to Nancy Pelosi's announcement that she will not remain in House leadership, before recapping some of the latest results from around the state. Then, Hayward city councilmember Aisha Wahab discuss her historic victory in a race for state senate, her journey through foster care and the small business perspective she hopes to bring to Sacramento.
More election results are in. It's been a long wait for some races — as expected. And now, we have a bit more clarity on who won and how San Diego feels about key ballot initiatives. We discuss the historic moment as San Diegans finally shirked the People's Ordinance. Other big updates include a local State Senate seat, the closely watched 49th Congressional District and the three-way race for National City. Plus: City towing hurts San Diego's most vulnerable residents. Child care gets more complicated. Get the podcast newsletter (and more!) at vosd.org/newslettersSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Blair Horner of NYPIRG joins Mark Dunlea of Hudson Mohawk Magazine to discuss the 2022 election results, including it potential impact on environmental and climate issues in he 2023 state legislature. He also reviews the state's news election redistricting process which ended up with the courts drawing the lines for the State Senate and House races, paving the way for the GOP to win control of the House.
A deep dive conversation into the candidacy of Mark Robeson lead by his campaign director, Ann Koehler. Ann and Mark discuss not only the focal points of his campaign for North Carolina State Senate but also take a look at the strategy and grass roots approach throughout the past year leading up to the November 8th Midterms. Be sure to support our campaign at https://www.robesonfornc.com/
On today's Breitbart News Daily podcast, we begin with the U.S. Senate remaining in Democratic control. And with 19 House seats yet to be called, there's still more midterm election questions than answers. Jerome Hudson unpacks all of that and much more. Joining the program today is Corey Simon, former Philadelphia Eagles great and now State Senator-elect for Florida's Senate District 3. Corey defeated a longtime incumbent to become the first Republican to represent the Leon County Florida seat since Reconstruction.
Welcome to this special episode of The Georgia Politics Podcast where the panel goes over the results of Tuesday night's Midterm Elections. In Georgia, the big takeaways are that incumbent Governor Brian has defeated Stacey Abrams in their 2018 rematch and that incumbent US Senator Raphael Warnock is headed to a December 6th runoff with challenger Herschel Walker. It also looks like Republicans will net +1 in US Congressional seats. In other statewide races, Republicans swept the board, and successfully held their positions of power for Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General and more. For the state legislature, Democrats net +1 in the State Senate and +3 in the State House. On the show the panel also talk about the influx of money into this year's races, notably for Marcus Flowers, who raised over $20 million in his attempt to unseat Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene, who ultimately won by over 30 points. Is this further proof that money has a diminishing influence in politics, or something else? Election day turnout was also not what many pundits expected in Georgia, and frankly, across the country, given record breaking early vote totals. What gives? And is Stacey Abrams playbook for turning out low propensity voters officially debunked, or is it still too soon to make a verdict on the strategy? Please Go Away!, Play-Along-At-Home and more on today's special episode! Connect with The Georgia Politics Podcast on Twitter @gapoliticspod Megan Gordon @meganlaneg Preston Thompson @pston3 Hans Appen @hansappen Proud member of the Appen Podcast Network. #gapol
The way elections have been done in Arizona is a major problem. The continuous issues must be addressed and the people in charge must go.
Listen up you wage-slaves! The JERKS are talkin' about, what else?, running H for District 12 State Senate on a platform of whiskey boots, caps on soda (literally), and STROKES FOR ALL! Every Jerk a King,Every Jerk a Ding,You can be a booth babe too.But there's something a wizard had to say,The JERKS are dangerous fools. “That guy's tough as nails! He keeps puttin' smokes out on his ankles!” “I heard you need booth babes!”“I heard you need booth boobs!” “That's my kickin' JFK!” #Reminish #BarkNormand #CarpeRectum
Annie speaks with Erica Conway Hariss, the new State Senator for the 56th district in Illinois! Annie congratulates Hariss on her recent victory and flipping a deep blue seat red in southern Illinois. Harris shares what she plans to do with her victory and the large message she has for the people of IL.
Nov. 10, 2022 - Senate Deputy Majority Leader Mike Gianaris, a Queens Democrat, discusses the battle for control of the state Senate this year and considers what Democrats will do with their very large majority in the chamber in 2023.
11/09/22: Joel is joined by the next District 4 State Senator of Minnesota, Rob Kupec. The final tally in the race was 15,959 (52.49 percent) for Democrat Kupec to 14,202 (46.8 percent) for Republican Bohmer.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Highlights: “Wisconsin has been going red, and deep red to boot! Republicans are now on the cusp of a supermajority in the once solidly blue state! Republicans are poised to expand their majorities in both the State Assembly as well as the State Senate, an expansion that will likely result in veto-proof supermajorities in both chambers.” “With Biden's numbers in the tank, the result tomorrow is almost inevitable!” “Basham, of the Democracy Institute, mentioned the perfect storm of all of these other indicators that are all coalescing together, like right track/wrong track polls, the generic ballot, party affiliation, voter enthusiasm, independent leadings, they're ALL breaking Republican!” “Even MSNBC is turning against Katie Hobbs in AZ and the vile governor of New York Kathy Hochul.” Timestamps: [01:13] New York Times panicking over Wisconsin [03:00] What Patrick Basham of the Democracy Institute is saying about the midterms - on the red tsunami that is coming [09:11] How even MSNBC is turning against Katie Hobbs in AZ and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul Resources: SAVE OVER 25% OFF your 1-Month Emergency Food Supply Kit here! SAVE OVER 25% OFF your 1-Month Emergency Food Supply Kit here! Http://GetReadyWithSteve.com Learn how to protect your life savings from inflation and an irresponsible government, with Gold and Silver. Go to http://www.turleytalkslikesgold.com/ 1250 All HELL Breaks Loose LIVE On MSNBC!!! Get 25% off Patriotic Coffee and ALL ITEMS with Code TURLEY at https://mystore.com/turley Download Dr. Steve's FREE Patriot Blueprints at https://www.drsteveblueprints.com See how much your small business can get back from Big Gov (up to $26k per employee!) at https://ercspecialists.com/initial-survey?fpr=turley Get Over 66% OFF All of Mike Lindell's Products using code TURLEY: https://www.mypillow.com/turley Join Dr. Steve's Exclusive Membership in the Insiders Club and watch content he can't discuss on YouTube during his weekly Monday night show!: https://insidersclub.turleytalks.com/welcome Get Your Brand-New PATRIOT T-Shirts and Merch Here: https://store.turleytalks.com/ It's time to CHANGE AMERICA and Here's YOUR OPPORTUNITY To Do Just That! https://change.turleytalks.com/ Fight Back Against Big Tech Censorship! Sign-up here to discover Dr. Steve's different social media options …. but without censorship! https://www.turleytalks.com/en/alternative-media.com Thank you for taking the time to listen to this episode. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and/or leave a review. Do you want to be a part of the podcast and be our sponsor? Click here to partner with us and defy liberal culture! If you would like to get lots of articles on conservative trends make sure to sign-up for the 'New Conservative Age Rising' Email Alerts.
Kyle and Steven sit down with Assemblymember and State Senate candidate - Forrest Dunbar. Forrest talks about his journey into politics, the races that he's won and lost, and what local eateries you're bound to run into him at. Election Day is right around the corner, so get educated and learn more about who's running!Forrest's Website: Click HereNew episodes every Monday.Hosted by Kyle Reading & Steven CornfieldContact us…Email Us:email@example.comInstagram: https://bit.ly/GFYInstagram@kyleareading@stevencornfieldTwitter:https://bit.ly/GFYTwitterFacebook:https://bit.ly/GFYFacebook
State Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris, the Chair of the New York Democratic Senate Committee, joined the show to discuss the State Senate battleground races and Democrats' hopes for keeping their supermajority.
With Election Day looming and ballots due in a few days, this week's show is a Ballot-In-Review! Crystal is joined by perennial favorite Mike McGinn along with the rest of the Hacks & Wonks team - Bryce Cannatelli and Shannon Cheng - to discuss the recent political climate, break down the context of down-ballot races and why your vote matters. Listen in as the crew opens their ballots and thinks their way through the important choices in front of them. As always, a full text transcript of the show is available below and at officialhacksandwonks.com. Follow us on Twitter at @HacksWonks. Find the host, Crystal Fincher, on Twitter at @finchfrii and find today's ballot party attendees: Mike McGinn at @mayormcginn, Bryce Cannatelli at @inascenttweets, and Shannon Cheng at @drbestturtle. More info is available at officialhacksandwonks.com. Time Stamps Washington State Advisory Votes - 05:57 King County Charter Amendment 1 and Proposition 1 - 08:25 Federal Races - 16:54 Washington Congressional Races - 18:00 Secretary of State - 32:00 Washington State Legislature Races - 33:13 LD26 - 33:27 LD47 - 35:30 LD42 - 36:57 LD30 - 38:09 LD44 - 38:22 LD46 - 38:55 LD36 - 39:45 LD37 - 39:56 LD34 - 41:05 King County Prosecuting Attorney - 41:32 City of Seattle Municipal Court - 52:40 City of Seattle Proposition Nos. 1A and 1B - 1:01:48 Reminders Don't forget to vote! Visit votewa.gov for voting resources. Institute for a Democratic Future 2023 applications are live! The initial deadline is November 2nd, and the final deadline is November 13th. Learn more about how to get involved in Seattle's budget season at this link and about King County's budget timeline here. Student debt relief sign-ups are live! Visit this link to enroll. Resources Washington State Advisory Votes: “Tim Eyman's legacy of advisory votes on taxes hits WA ballots again” by David Kroman from The Seattle Times King County Charter Amendment 1 and Proposition 1: “King County considers moving most elections to even years” by Joseph O'Sullivan from Crosscut King County Proposition No. 1 - Conservation Futures Levy Washington Congressional Races: “Congressional candidate Joe Kent wants to rewrite history of Jan. 6 attack” by Jim Brunner from The Seattle Times Straight Talk bonus round: Marie Gluesenkamp Perez and Joe Kent from KGW News “Rep. Schrier, challenger Matt Larkin clash in debate over who's extreme” by Jim Brunner from The Seattle Times Secretary of State: Hacks & Wonks Interview - Julie Anderson, Candidate for Washington Secretary of State Hacks & Wonks Interview - Steve Hobbs, Candidate for Washington Secretary of State Hacks & Wonks - Secretary of State audiograms - Addressing Democratic criticism of Julie Anderson Hacks & Wonks - Secretary of State audiograms - Thoughts on Ranked Choice Voting Hacks & Wonks - Secretary of State audiograms - Experience to manage the broad portfolio of the SoS office Washington State Legislature Races: LD26 - “New ad highlights Washington candidate's past behavior against staffers” by Shauna Sowersby from The News Tribune Sign up to volunteer for Emily Randall's campaign here on her website. LD47 - Hacks & Wonks Interview - Claudia Kauffman, Candidate for 47th LD State Senator “Boyce, Kauffman vie for WA senate in swing district with Kent, Auburn” by Daniel Beekman from The Seattle Times LD42 - “Sefzik-Shewmake forum highlights abortion, health care” by Ralph Schwartz from Cascadia Daily News LD44 - Hacks & Wonks Interview - April Berg, Candidate for 44th LD State Representative LD46 - Hacks & Wonks Interview - Darya Farivar, Candidate for 46th LD State Representative LD36 - Hacks & Wonks Interview - Jeff Manson, Candidate for 36th LD State Representative Hacks & Wonks Interview - Julia Reed, Candidate for 36th LD State Representative LD37 - Hacks & Wonks Interview - Emijah Smith, Candidate for 37th LD State Representative Hacks & Wonks Interview - Chipalo Street, Candidate for 37th LD State Representative South Seattle Emerald 37th LD Candidate Forum LD34 - Hacks & Wonks Interview - Emily Alvarado, Candidate for 34th LD State Representative Hacks & Wonks Interview - Leah Griffin, Candidate for 34th LD State Representative Hacks & Wonks Elections 2022 Resource Page King County Prosecuting Attorney: "PubliCola Questions: King County Prosecuting Attorney Candidate Leesa Manion" by Erica C. Barnett from PubliCola "PubiCola Questions: King County Prosecuting Attorney Candidate Jim Ferrell" by Erica C. Barnett from PubliCola "Leesa Manion, Jim Ferrell tied in the 2022 contest for King County Prosecuting Attorney" by Andrew Villeneuve from The Cascadia Advocate "Leesa Manion Holds Razor-Thin Lead in King County Prosecutor Race, NPI Poll Finds" by Douglas Trumm from The Urbanist Washington Supreme Court: Hacks & Wonks Interview - Washington Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu Hacks & Wonks Interview - Washington Supreme Court Justice G. Helen Whitener City of Seattle Municipal Court: Hacks & Wonks City of Seattle Municipal Court Judge Candidate Forum "Defense Attorneys Say Harsh Sentencing Decision Reveals Judge's Bias" by Will Casey from The Stranger City of Seattle Proposition Nos. 1A and 1B: City of Seattle - Proposition Nos. 1A and 1B Ranked Choice Voting vs. Approval Voting from FairVote The Stranger - City of Seattle Propositions Nos. 1A and 1B Transcript [00:00:00] Crystal Fincher: Welcome to Hacks & Wonks. I am Crystal Fincher, and I'm a political consultant - a busy one - and your host. On this show, we talk with policy wonks and political hacks to gather insight into local politics and policy in Washington state through the lens of those doing the work with behind-the-scenes perspectives on what's happening, why it's happening, and what you can do about it. Full text transcripts and resources referenced in the show are always available at officialhacksandwonks.com and in our episode notes. Today, we are continuing our Friday almost-live shows where we review the news of the week with a co-host - and we're adding a little twist. So first, we want to welcome back to the program, friend of the show and today's co-host: activist, community leader, former mayor of Seattle, and Executive Director of America Walks, the popular Mike McGinn. Welcome back. [00:01:03] Mike McGinn: Not quite popular enough - Crystal - you have to acknowledge that, but I think we need to go to the other guests on the show today. [00:01:12] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, so we're coming with you with a full Hacks & Wonks crew today. We have the incredible Bryce Cannatelli, who coordinates everything with the show and holds it down. Pleased to have her with us today. Hey, Bryce. [00:01:29] Bryce Cannatelli: Hey, Crystal. [00:01:30] Crystal Fincher: And we have Dr. Shannon Cheng, who is here to enlighten us also with her wisdom and insight, along with Bryce. Hey, Shannon. [00:01:39] Shannon Cheng: Hey, Crystal - super excited to be here. [00:01:42] Crystal Fincher: You could probably hear the sarcasm in that - but this is going to be fun. We are having a Hacks & Wonks little ballot party - we thought it may be helpful - because we talk about several things on the ballot, we talk about several races. But a lot of times we open up the ballot and there are things on there that we haven't seen, haven't heard of, and are trying to figure out. So we thought we would all just open up the ballots, go through them together - some of us in this call are later-voting people because we like receiving all of the voter communication until the last minute, so we haven't turned them in - but we encourage everyone to turn in their ballots as soon as possible. As we go through this ballot, we will add timestamps and let you know when we discuss the different areas of the ballot. So if you have a particular question about a particular area, you can just go to that portion in the show and figure out that, because we actually have taken some time to discuss what is in this ballot and on this ballot. So good luck. Make sure you get your ballot in. If you can't find it, if something happens to it, if you have questions, votewa.gov, V-O-T-E-W-A.gov is a resource. Or hey, just @ the show @HacksWonks to reply to us and we will try and chase down any answers to questions that you have. So vote, make sure everyone you know votes. This is really important and a lot is at stake locally and nationally. And what we do locally is going to dictate what happens nationally. And with that, I will give a few reminders today. And yeah, number one is vote. Don't forget to vote. The election - Election Day is Tuesday, November 8th. You can go to votewa.gov, that's V-O-T-E-W-A.gov to get all of the information about voting. If something has gone haywire, if you can't find your ballot, if you're not sure what you need to do, if you need information about accessible voting, or if you need to figure out about how to register to vote - which you still can do in person if you haven't registered to vote or changed your address or anything like that - go to votewa.gov and you can get all that figured out. Also, the Institute for a Democratic Future is accepting applications for this coming year's new class. The deadline is November 13th and so make sure to get those in there. I've talked about this before on the show, the Institute for a Democratic Future is great for people who lean left and who want to learn about making a difference in their community, who want to learn about politics and policy, or potentially even having a career - it's responsible for my career in politics. So if you want to learn more about that, feel free to hit me up or visit the website, which we'll link in the show notes. Also, it is budget season around the state - and including in Seattle - and so we're going to include resources for the Seattle budget process as well as King County in our show notes, so stay tuned with that and make sure that you get involved in making your priorities and needs known to your elected officials who are allocating money for the next year or two there. Student debt relief - signing up is happening now. Don't forget to do that. Don't wait to do that. We'll put a link to that in the show notes. And Daylight Savings Time ends this Sunday at 2 a.m. We're falling an hour back. We're moving into darkness in dismay and it's a very sad time for some of us here at Hacks & Wonks who like the extra sunshine in the evening. So here we go into the dark months of winter. [00:05:31] Mike McGinn: But Hacks & Wonks will be on every week to bring some sunshine into your life. [00:05:37] Crystal Fincher: We will try. We will try. [00:05:40] Mike McGinn: Stay tuned in on a regular basis. Yeah. [00:05:43] Crystal Fincher: So let's open up our ballots, crew. Let's see what we have here and start to talk through - for those of you who still have to vote - some things that may be useful, helpful. So the first things we see on this ballot that we've opened up are Advisory Votes. Man, these Advisory Votes on every freaking ballot. We have two Advisory Votes here. How did we get into this Advisory Vote situation, Mike? What is this going on? [00:06:15] Mike McGinn: This was part of the Tim Eyman Full Employment Act where he was trying to find yet another ballot measure to put in front of the people. So what this one does - it is passed by the people - and basically they have the opportunity to have a second opinion on every tax that's passed by the Legislature. So that's why you always have all these Advisory Votes at the top. But everybody approves to-date, the public approves the votes that are passed by the Legislature. It's why we elect people, send them to the Legislature. It's really just turned into extra space on the ballot, which costs money and makes the ballot a little longer. And so we could all save a little space on the ballot if the Legislature changed this. In the meantime, don't upset that budget that your Legislature worked to craft - just vote to approve. [00:07:08] Crystal Fincher: I completely agree with that. I cannot wait until we get to the time where we get the opportunity to repeal this. It makes our ballot longer. It confuses people. This is just anytime there is basically revenue passed, it has to appear as an Advisory Vote, which does not have any force of law. It doesn't actually do anything. It is basically a poll about something that has already happened. So yes, vote to approve. But also I would really like a movement to vote to eliminate these Advisory Votes. One thing it does is it makes the ballot longer, which is not pleasant for a lot of people. What do you think, Bryce? [00:07:49] Bryce Cannatelli: Yeah, I wanted to hop in just to say that the choices are Repealed and Maintained. And so the suggestions to vote to approve them are to Maintain them as the maintain option. But yeah, no, I definitely agree. We've talked about it in past shows. We talk about it off the air. Getting people to vote down-ballot is always a challenge. And these Advisory Votes just get in the way of that. I think we'll have more to talk about when we get to the Proposition Nos. 1A and 1B question on the back of the ballot about what length might do to people answering those questions. [00:08:25] Crystal Fincher: All right. So we are here in King County. We all have King County ballots. The next thing I see on my ballot - I think you probably see the next thing on yours - as we travel down from the Advisory Votes, is actually King County, a County Charter Amendment. Charter Amendment No. 1 - even-numbered election years for certain county offices. Question: Shall the King County Charter be amended to move elections for the county offices of Executive, Assessor, Director of Elections, and Councilmembers from odd-numbered years to even-numbered years? Why is it important to move from odd-numbered to even-numbered years according to the advocates for this charter amendment, Mike? [00:09:10] Mike McGinn: The single most important thing you can do to improve voter turnout. When you look at election results in the state of Washington, Oregon, anywhere else around the country, so many more people turn out in an even year because you also have congressional elections or presidential elections. It's just a more momentous ballot than the odd year elections. And so if you think people should vote more, if you think democracy is a good thing, moving it to an even year is great. The county has the option to do that. Cities can't just do it on their own - they need a change in state law. Representative Mia Gregerson has been pushing for that and others have pushed for it. In addition to getting more people to vote, it also really improves the demographics of the ballot. We're getting more young people, more people of color, more immigrant refugees - who are here and can legally vote. We're just getting so many more people voting that we're getting a more representative ballot. So I've been a big proponent of this. You just get a different electorate. You get a better, more representative electorate. And if what you care about, and I do, is more affordable housing - if you get an older, more conservative electorate, they're going to oppose new housing and they're going to oppose new taxes for affordable housing. They're going to be more likely to say, keep the car lane and don't make it easier to walk or bike or use transit. So we need to get an electorate and get elections in even years where we have an electorate that more reflects where we need to go. And hearing from more people, if you believe in democracy, it's great. So big kudos to King County Council for - and Girmay Zahilay, in particular - for championing this. And hopefully we can move all the elections to even years. By the way, we'll save some money too. We'll have fewer elections that the elections offices have to step up for. [00:11:15] Crystal Fincher: I'd love to see it. What do you think about it, Dr. Cheng? [00:11:18] Shannon Cheng: I'm really excited. We talk a lot about - on this show - about how local elections really matter and that local government is really where you feel the actual changes and impacts in people's day-to-day lives. And so having some of more of our local elections in a year where more people are going to be paying attention to it, I think it will be super helpful. I know I talked to somebody recently who felt like they were in Washington state and so their vote didn't matter. And, we're going to get to these other races. And I was trying to tell them, no, we have things on our ballot that really do matter, like the King County Prosecutor and judges and all that. And I think just combining it in a way where people are going to be paying more attention to these things that really matter in their lives will be super helpful. [00:12:03] Crystal Fincher: Absolutely. Well said - I agree. Next up on the ballot for King County is Proposition No. 1, the Conservation Futures Levy. So the King County Council passed Ordinance 19-458 concerning funding to protect open space lands in King County. The proposition would provide funding to pay, finance, or refinance acquisition and preservation of urban green spaces, natural areas, wildlife, and some salmon habitat, trails, river corridors, farmlands, and forests. And would reauthorize restoration of the county's Conservation Futures property tax to levy a rate that will be assessed for collection in 2023 and use the dollar amount from 2023 for the purpose of computing subsequent levy collections. So should this be approved or rejected? There are some really compelling statements about this, but this is really important for protecting open space lands in King County. There have been lots of conversations just about the preservation of land, the preservation of open and undeveloped land, and how important that is. These are conversations related to sprawl, related to just air quality, related to just people having the opportunity to recreate near where they live and not selling or developing all available land and the consequences that potentially come from that. So it is important, I think, widely acknowledged as important from people all across the aisle. It's important to maintain all of this. I see a statement submitted by Sally Jewell, who I believe is a former CEO of REI and served in a presidential administration, and De'Sean Quinn, who is a Tukwila City Council member, as well as Dow Constantine. And really, we have to take this action to protect climate change, to protect these last best places throughout King County. So far, this program has safeguarded over 100,000 acres of land, including Cougar Mountain, the Duwamish Waterway Park, and Sammamish River Trail. And they can accelerate that with this proposition. Statement in opposition to it really basically says that, hey, parks are having challenges being maintained, and we've already done enough. I don't know that there's a lot of people here in King County feeling that we've done enough to address climate change or that we've done enough to protect local land. Protecting farms and fresh water, and open space seems like a priority to so many people in this area - and what makes this area so desirable to the people living here and those who visit and eventually come here. What do you think about this, Mike? [00:15:08] Mike McGinn: It's a parks levy. I'm for parks levies, generally. I actually got to run one once, and it was just great. And there's so much more in it than you might think. And if we talk about community - that to me is ultimately what this is about. There's clearly the environmental protection, but that's the quality of life and the community gathering places as well. So yeah, and it's a renewal. It's an expansion and a renewal of an existing levy. And I think every time you get to go to a great county facility, you just have to remember that the money came from somewhere, and this is where it comes from. They really have to pass these levies to make it work, given the way finances work for county and municipal governments. [00:15:54] Crystal Fincher: Yeah. And so this will cost the average homeowner about $2 more per month. There is relief available to qualified low-income seniors and other households. And the funding recommendations are made by an independent advisory committee and subject to external audit. So it's not just, hey, willy-nilly stuff happening here. There is accountability and oversight - looks like it is endorsed by the Nature Conservancy, Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust for Public Land, the Wilderness Society, Seattle Parks Foundation, REI, Dow Constantine and council members - just a lot of support there. I find those arguments to be particularly convincing. But this is an important one that's flown under the radar for a number of people, I think. I've gotten a lot of questions from people saying, whoa, what should I do with these county amendments and this proposition? And so just wanted to make sure that we went through that. Next on my ballot are the federal races, which have gotten a ton of coverage. I think if you listen to the show, odds are you probably know if you're going to be voting for Senator Patty Murray or her challenger, Tiffany Smiley, but that is at the top of the ballot right now. Do any of you have anything to chime in with about this race? [00:17:22] Mike McGinn: It's really fascinating to watch how this race is starting to become part of a national narrative about whether or not there's a red wave - going to hit the federal elections. And then there's some counterarguments. And we could pundit all afternoon on this one. And I'm sure a lot of you, if you're politically oriented, have really been watching the national news about what will happen in Congress. Will the Senate remain Democratic or will it turn Republican? Is the House going to flip? Most pundits say it will flip to Republican control, but there are still some folks out there holding hope that it might not. So I think the real message just is - if you cared about the national scene, you have an opportunity to play locally too. There's a Senate election in the state of Washington as well. [00:18:15] Crystal Fincher: All right. And next up on people's ballots - is going to vary based on where we live. It's going to be the congressional races. So I actually live in the Ninth Congressional District. We have a very competitive Eighth Congressional District race between Kim Schrier and Matt Larkin. Kim Schrier, the Democrat, Matt Larkin, the Republican. We have other races. Who's on your ballots? What congressional districts are you in? [00:18:43] Mike McGinn: I've got Seven, which is Pramila Jayapal and Cliff Moon. [00:18:46] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, I think all three of you are in Seven there. Those races are a bit less competitive. I think two of the most competitive races here are going to be Kim Schrier versus Matt Larkin. And then down in southwest Washington, actually - in the Third Congressional District - between Marie Gluesenkamp Perez and extremist Republican, MAGA Republican Joe Kent, who is just... It's hard to do justice to him by describing him because I've tried to do it and then I've been like, okay, I can't do this. Here, watch this clip of him and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez in this sit-down with a reporter, just answering questions. And it is wild. He does not think January 6th happened in the way we all saw it happened with our eyes. He thinks that it was a CIA false flag operation. He doesn't think that police officers were killed as a result of that. He's deep into conspiracy theories, deep into the election denial of the 2020 election. Just deep into so many things - eager to cut social security, eager to cut so many things, eager to defund Ukraine between Ukraine and Russia, eager to do all sorts of things at the border. This is someone who eagerly and has multiple times appeared on Tucker Carlson. This is not Jaime Herrera Beutler. This is not the type of Republican that people are used to seeing in this district, or even as people think about Republicans in this country now - even the more extreme version that people are getting familiar with. This is the tip of the spear of the most extreme. He models himself after Marjorie Taylor Greene, says he looks up to her and wants to do that, does not want to work across the aisle, doesn't see a point to it. Rarely does media outside of the conservative bubble, does not want to debate Marie Gluesenkamp Perez. This is a race where a lot is at stake. Jim Brunner just wrote an article about it this morning in The Seattle Times. Actually, he shared it - I'm not sure if he wrote it. But this is an important one for people to get engaged in. We've talked about the importance of - even if you don't live in a district, hey, why don't you adopt a district, make some phone calls, do some phone banking, get down there and canvass - do what you can. Don't let this slip away without doing everything possible. The Third Congressional District is traditionally a Republican district, but it's traditionally a Republican district that has elected Republicans like Jaime Herrera Beutler, who were nowhere near as extreme as Joe Kent. This is a closer race than we've seen there in quite some time. If enough people get involved and if enough people get engaged, who knows what could happen? Democrats seem energized down there. This is one where - don't let it go by without everyone pitching in and doing what they can to engage in that race. Any thoughts that you have on that one? [00:22:10] Mike McGinn: This race, yeah, it does highlight just where the Republican Party has been going. I think you see some of this in the Murray-Smiley race as well. I've been really impressed by the campaigning of the Democrat in the race and the way in which she's approaching the race. This is a district that is - it's a swing district, but it's a lean-R swing district, if that makes sense. It has the Portland suburbs, but it also has more rural areas as well. Yeah, maybe this - if this were on the East Coast, people would be looking at this as a bellwether of which way the trend is going in national politics. Who knows? Maybe we'll be able to tell a little bit from the East Coast about how this race might work out by the time they start announcing results from this coast. But really, I think the D in this race - she's run a really solid race, speaking directly to people's economic concerns as a small business owner as well. And there's this thing where reporters want to talk about partisanship or polarized politics or divisiveness. And yeah, I would say the electorate is polarized - there are a hell of a lot of folks nationwide who are going to pull the lever for candidates because they want to see Republicans have charge of the chamber, regardless of the shortcomings of the local candidate. It's a really fascinating phenomenon that's going on. But I'm going to make an argument that it's - the Democrats look a lot like candidates I've seen in the past running. And the Republicans don't, in my mind, in terms of the extremism that we start to see on whether or not the election was stolen. The number of election deniers that are out there for the last election - there's just no credible evidence that there was any voter fraud. It went in front of numerous, numerous courts. It went in front of judges appointed by Republicans and Democrats. There's just no evidence for this. And I don't know that the media knows how to handle this - that when you have one side that just denies reality and the other side is still operating mostly within the frame of U.S. politics, as I've seen it in the years I've been involved in U.S. politics, but they both-sides it so much. And I think this raises a great illustration of that. The Democrat is really a right down the middle-of-the-road type of politician, and the Republican here is espousing things that just aren't so, and it's one hell of a tight race down there, according to all the polls. And portraying this as Americans are divided or the politicians are polarizing doesn't capture what's going on. [00:25:19] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, I think that is a good point. What do you think, Bryce? [00:25:23] Bryce Cannatelli: Yeah, I just wanted to weave back in something that Shannon mentioned earlier, which is that there are still people who live here and who vote here, who think that they live in Washington - they live in Western Washington - they're pretty safe from things. And I think this race is an important reminder that there are people running with these extreme views. There are these people running here in the state with really far-right priorities and goals. And this is a federal race, so it's gotten a lot of media attention, but it just highlights how important it is to pay attention to local races as well - races that for the State House and for State Senate and other positions - and just pay attention to what people are running on and making sure when we see people coming with extreme and dangerous views, that that's called out, that we let people know. Election Day is still in a few days. There's still opportunities to inform voters in this district about the candidates. There are still opportunities for voters who are really worried about rhetoric like this and candidates like this to get out there and talk to voters and inform them about this race. [00:26:32] Crystal Fincher: This conversation reminds me of one other thing, and actually was having a conversation about this as we were punditing on Kiro the other day. And there are some Republicans who are going - well, they're calling everybody extreme. Yeah, they're calling Joe Kent extreme, but they're also calling Tiffany Smiley extreme. And they're not the same extreme, but they're painting them with the same brush - you're hearing that for everybody, all the Republicans. If you say it about everybody, it's meaningless. And the challenge is, and the thing that the Republican Party has set up, is that they do have these extremists who are out further than a lot of the other Republicans that are elected, at least outwardly, right? And saying things that have been openly covered as white nationalism, Christian nationalism, that have been anti-Semitic, that have been racist, that have been homophobic, anti-trans, anti-gay - just very openly blatant right? And that is absolutely extreme. And no, not every Republican is outwardly openly saying that. They leave that to the Joe Kents and the Marjorie Taylor Greenes. But what is striking to me is how they have not been reined in by the people who have previously been considered as moderate and have previously been considered as the adults in the room. Those adults in the room are doing nothing to contain that extremist element in the party, and in fact, have given them more power, more visibility. The Republican Party, all of their caucuses have pumped money into these campaigns. Their allied PACs and supporters have pumped money into these campaigns and have been apologists for them. So if you will not rebuke when you hear those things said, if you will not stand up and say, you know what, I'm standing for these principles, and that person is not doing that, and we're both carrying the same label - I don't want to carry the same label as a person who is saying that - that is not what I stand for. We're not standing shoulder to shoulder. We're hearing none of that. We're hearing silence. And there are some people who want to interpret that silence as, well, clearly they don't agree. And when I talk to them, they sound perfectly reasonable, and they've been moderate in the past. We're hearing some of the most troubling things that we have in a while. Just the open anti-Semitism, the open racism, the open homophobia and transphobia that we're seeing is alarming. They're passing laws against it. This is not theoretical language. And we're seeing political violence as a direct result. That, of course, was predicted, right? When we hear speech like that, it incites violence. We have talked about it inciting violence, and it incited violence in multiple places, in multiple ways. And we've seen that just in the past couple of weeks - from January 6th to Nancy Pelosi to the Michigan governor - we're seeing this all over the place, right? And so silence is enabling violence. Silence is not moderation. It's enabling this extremism and violence. So yes, when you hear them all being painted with the same broad brush, it's because they're doing nothing to stop this rapid descent into this cesspool that we're on the precipice of, and that some states have already fallen to, right? It's important to vocally stand up against this, against hate, whenever we see it. And that's not a partisan statement. And if a party is trying to say that when you say that you need to call out violence, that you need to call out political violence, that you need to stand up and talk against anti-Semitism and call it what it is, and somehow they're putting a partisan label on that, be very wary of a party that says that speaking against those things is speaking against their party. They're telling you what the party is about if those things they're labeling as a partisan attack. I think that's very important to be said. This is so far beyond a Democratic and Republican issue, and we have to be aware that these Republicans are caucusing together, right? They're voting together for a national agenda, and we've heard this national agenda articulated. We've heard the things that they're queuing up. We've seen the types of policies that they're passing in places like Florida and Texas. We have the preview of what's coming there, and it is ugly, right? And ugly to people who used to consider themselves Republican. So to me, this is beyond the conversation of just Democrat and Republican. This is a conversation that we have to have before we even get to issues, because if we're leading with that hateful rhetoric and we're leading with that extremism, it really doesn't matter what someone is saying about issues, because the things that they are saying about people in their community is already excluding people and already doing that. I think that's extremely important to say, that we can't say that enough, and that trying to dismiss this extremism, and dismiss criticisms of it, and dismiss the refusal to call it out for what it is - is extremism itself. All right. So next on our ballot, we have the state races, starting with Secretary of State, which is a lively race. Now, we have talked a bunch about the Secretary of State race, and have also been posting a lot about it on the Hacks & Wonks Twitter account this week. So for that, between Democrat Steve Hobbs and Non-partisan Julie Anderson, we're going to refer you to those other shows. We'll put links in the show notes. We'll put links to the little audiograms and snippets that we have of the candidates' takes on different things. Steve Hobbs was a longtime Democratic senator known as a moderate for quite some time - and Julie Anderson actually just released a new ad that talks about that and him as a moderate. And then Julie Anderson has been the Pierce County auditor in Pierce County for 12 years, I believe now, and has built relationships around that area. So that's an interesting race to follow. We'll put those links in there, but that's the next one on the ballot. And then we get into the legislative races, which are going to be different depending on which legislative district that you're in. I just wanted to mention a few of the battleground districts here in the state. So one of them is in the 26th Legislative District Senate race - very important - between Emily Randall, Senator Emily Randall, and current Representative Jesse Young, who's running for that Senate seat. Emily's a Democrat with a strong record and has been representing that community and been in the community for quite some time. Jesse Young is one of the more extreme Republicans in our legislature, has - in the mold of the Matt Sheas, who made a lot of news for his activity in domestic terrorism. And if you think that sounds like a euphemism or like a stretch of the truth, I mean literal domestic terrorism like running a camp training people for war and putting tracking devices on law enforcement vehicles, and making threats to political opponents - extremism - and advancing bills to outlaw abortion in Washington state under threat of putting doctors in prison - that kind of extremism. And Jesse Young, as we talked about last week with Pierce County Council Chair Derek Young, has actually been suspended from working with legislative staff because of his past behavior and harassment or abuse. He is no longer permitted to have legislative staff, which is certainly hobbling in one's ability to get their job done. They lean very heavily on those staff. And so not being allowed to have one and having to do or not get done all of the administrative work, preparation work, ability to meet with constituents, ability to review and prepare legislation and represent the community is absolutely hobbled by that. But that is actually a really close race. Another one where it makes sense if you can adopt a race, that 26th Legislative District is a really important one where people can get involved with and make their voices heard. Also, the 47th Legislative District is a hotbed of activity - a competitive Senate race there - open seat left by the exiting Senator Mona Das and is being competed for by former State Senator, Democrat Claudia Kauffman and Republican Bill Boyce. This has been a purple district, a swing district, has elected both Democrats and Republicans. This district has a history of extremely close races. And so we have a race here where we're seeing some of the dynamics that we see in Democrat versus Republican races. Choice is a huge issue here. Bill Boyce - being bankrolled by far-right Republicans - has been giving really mushy responses about what he thinks about a woman's right to choose. And so that is certainly on the ballot, as well as just the history of corporate giveaways, tax - as was quoted in the paper - tax breaks and sweetheart deals given to rich developers and donors. And so certainly looking at the donor rolls there, you get a different story of who those legislators would be based on the activity there. So another very important partisan race. 42nd Legislative District, a very competitive race between Sharon Shewmake and Simon Sefzik - another Democrat versus Republican race - very important here for the Senate and just a variety of things. And again, we're seeing just greater space between the two parties. Here in the state, we, I think, have seen Republicans who have considered themselves moderate and who have been less eager to engage in some of the social wedge issue rhetoric that sometimes we see on a national basis. There have been Republicans who wore it as a badge of honor previously to say, no, that's not me. I'm focused on these other issues, but stand up. And whether it's being pro-choice, whether it is standing up for marriage equality. There have been some before here who have done that, some who haven't, but some who have. We are not seeing that now. Things are following the direction of some of the national races. And so we have that there. 30th Legislative District with Claire Wilson and Linda Kochmar, as well as the race between Jamila Taylor and Casey Jones are close - and so engaging in those is important. And then the 44th Legislative District with John Lovick, the Democrat who was previously a representative, currently a representative, now running to be a Senator, against Republican Jeb Brewer. Republican Mark Hamsworth for the House seat versus Brandy Donaghy, who was appointed to that seat and is running to fill the term, this new term. And then April Berg versus her Republican opponent. So pay attention to those races. Please make sure that you're engaging in these battlegrounds. And then we also have just Seattle races and - that we've covered. So in the 46th Legislative District, we have a classic Seattle moderate versus progressive race. Even though those, when you get into it, the labels might be a little bit simplistic, but certainly someone who seems more resistant to taxation, more resistant to change in Lelach Rave versus Darya Faravar, who wants to take more of an active approach in addressing issues like homelessness, housing affordability, and public safety - and move more in the direction of things that we've seen with the history of working versus those that have not. So that's a choice that we have there. We also have previously interviewed Darya, and so we'll link that in the show notes for your information. The 36th Legislative District features a race between Democrats Julia Reed and Jeff Manson. We've also interviewed both in that race. And we'll link that in the show notes. The 37th Legislative District is one where we did a primary candidate forum, have interviewed both of those candidates there - Democrat Chipalo Street and Democrat Emijah Smith. And we also did a debate in partnership with the South Seattle Emerald and others - hosted by the South Seattle Emerald - an in-person debate, actually. And we will link those there. I think that there are some interesting issues in that race, notable differences. We will also share kind of the lightning round stuff. But also, hey let's make sure that we're recognizing the full humanity of people and that we are not treating people who are in the LGBTQ community any differently than others. And that is an issue of difference in that race. So I encourage you all to do your homework about that and make sure that any candidate that you're voting for fully stands up for the rights of all people in our community. And that you communicate with the candidates about that and make sure all of your candidates know how important that is to you. And then we have the 34th Legislative District with Democrats Leah Griffin and Emily Alvarado. We've interviewed both of them. We'll link both of those shows in the show notes. So there are contested races throughout Seattle. Encourage you to vote in those races and make your choice. If you need help, refer to our show notes or to officialhacksandwonks.com. We have an Election 2022 page there and we'll put all of the resources on there. Next, we go to the County Prosecuting Attorney's race here in King County, that is between Jim Ferrell, who is the mayor of Federal Way, and Leesa Manion, who's the current Chief of Staff in the Prosecuting Attorney's Office. Jim Ferrell has been endorsed by folks like the King County Republican Party, some mayors, King County Council member Pete von Reichbauer, like the Covington and Algona mayor. Leesa Manion has been endorsed by the King County Democratic party, former governor Gary Locke, local labor unions. So there's a little bit of a difference in the profile of their supporters that kind of indicates the approach that they're looking to take. One, being more in line with some of the data that we're seeing in the most effective approaches to addressing crime and accountability - that has yielded some results in what we've seen, especially with youth crime and youth intervention, which seems to be particularly effective with Leesa Manion and her managing this office and hundreds of staff and attorney, which is certainly in line with what the County Prosecuting Attorney needs to do. Jim Ferrell, coming from the mayor of Federal Way, has talked about more of a punitive approach to this and is talking about cracking down on some of the things that we have been seeing as successful. It's interesting in how this race is shaping up and what the candidates are talking about and what they aren't talking about with them. Certainly Leesa has been leaning into her experience, the type of coalition that she's building, whether it's people who are in support of more common sense gun reform and making sure guns don't proliferate on the streets, to those who are looking to maintain accountability but make sure that we're doing the things that give folks the best chance of reducing recidivism, or people returning, or revictimizing people who are committing further crimes. Jim Ferrell seems very focused on trying to apply longer sentences, lengthier sentences, talking about a more, again, punitive approach, prosecuting more, longer sentences - that type of stuff. So with that, what do you think? What is your take on this race, Shannon? [00:44:01] Shannon Cheng: So this race is between Leesa Manion, who's the current Chief of Staff for the outgoing King County Prosecutor, Dan Satterberg - she's been in that position for quite a time. And her opponent is Jim Ferrell, who is the current mayor of Federal Way. So when I look at this race, I see - with Leesa Manion who - it's a continuation of what King County has been doing, which I would characterize as incremental reform of the criminal legal system to be more fair and equitable. I think this can be embodied in initiatives they aspire to, such as declaring racism as a public health crisis or the goal of Zero Youth Detention. So I think with Manion, you will get a continuation of the slow work that the county is doing to try to make our criminal legal system more equitable and fair. Whereas with Ferrell, I see this as a candidate who's trying to throw us back to punitive tactics that have been proven to be ineffective. He wants to be more tough-on-crime and is riding this wave of Republicans pointing to crime as being the reason not to support the Democratic candidate. I think that Ferrell has specifically spoken about being against and wanting to roll back some of the diversion programs that King County has started to try to use, especially for youth. And I also - even if you don't - if you agree on this punitive approach, I think it's also worth considering that right now the legal system is kind of at capacity. So what Ferrell is suggesting is going to put even more strain on it. The courts are already - have backlogs coming from the pandemic and the jails are full and not functioning well and not providing people humane conditions to be in there. So I just fear that that will lead to a lot more suffering for many people across our county. And I think this is a really important race to look at and think about. [00:46:12] Crystal Fincher: So Mike, what's your take on this? [00:46:14] Mike McGinn: It's interesting to see the contrast here. It's a local version of this national debate that we have now seen - that the proper response to crime is to crack down harder. And we're seeing this here as well. I worked with Dan Satterberg and he was a really interesting elected official. And honestly, to me, I may not have agreed with him on every decision - I know I didn't agree with him on every decision he made. But he was a civil servant first and foremost. He was trying to figure out what was the right path forward. He was engaged in the discussion. He led on things like Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, people returning to the community from jail - getting their records cleared and restoration of rights. So he was really, and it's interesting, he was elected as a Republican, moved the race to a nonpartisan race and then was elected as a Democrat. So he clearly was somebody who was willing to go where the evidence led and not go based on ideology. So that's the experience we've had from that office, which is, I think, what you want in a prosecutor's office. It's a pretty important position. The effect it has on people's lives is immense. I think that really says something that we see someone looking to continue that tradition. And then we see someone coming in with - if only we punished people more. How's that been working? Really? We have some information on that, which is it doesn't really work. It takes a combination of the judicial system and community systems to really try to deal with root causes of crime, to deal with recidivism, to deal with the issues here. And I think that this is a little bit of a bellwether here. Are we going to try to be a progressive place, a progressive county that adopts and looks at new approaches? Or are we going to go to a more regressive approach to this? Because, yeah, that's worked so well in solving crime over the decades. [00:48:34] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, I think so. What's your take, Bryce? [00:48:37] Bryce Cannatelli: Yeah, I don't know how much more I have to add to this other than just the importance of this race and the importance of making sure we have somebody who's really thinking about the - not just people's emotional concerns about crime, but the actions and the strategies and the programs that have been proven to address the things that actually lower crime. We've talked on a number of different episodes throughout this year about programs that have successfully reduced recidivism. And those are programs that often get criticized by people who claim to be tough on crime. And I just think that's something to interrogate our candidates about for this position, because the county prosecutor has a lot of influence in terms of how the county addresses crime in a way that's going to impact real people in big ways. [00:49:29] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, I agree. I will chime in and say that we just got a new public poll here that was just reported on, I think yesterday, showing that this race is basically statistically tied. So turnout is going to be really important. Lots of people talk about - they look at the federal races - they wonder if their vote matters. They're going, okay millions of people are voting. Why does mine make a difference? Really what makes a difference are these down-ballot races, are these local races. If you care about the issues of homelessness, justice, equity, affordability, what our community looks like, who it serves - our criminal legal system is an essential part of that equation. And we're talking about, in so many of these conversations, how we intervene and address victims. And most people who have perpetrated crimes have been victims of them. And how we intervene when people are victims, especially early, and especially when they're young, dictates how their future goes and whether they end up on the path to criminalization and poverty or a better path. So the way we intervene in that makes a difference. The way we treat and handle these cases that come through and how we address accountability depends on whether our streets are made safer, whether our tax dollars are used in a way that makes it less likely that people are going to commit crime and less likely that people are victimized or more, right? And we're seeing the impacts of the status quo of a more punitive approach. And either we choose to keep doing the same thing, and polls keep showing that no one is satisfied with the condition of things today. And so we do need to consider that when we are making these choices. And I hope you take a long, hard look at that. And most of all, get engaged and vote, make sure other people vote. And talk about these races, talk about the county attorney races, talk about the judicial races that we're going to talk about in just a moment, right? These are very important. Turnout is not where we would love it to be. It's lagging behind some previous years here locally, especially among younger people. And I know that is concerning to some. So the more that people can do to make sure that everyone can - and the most impactful thing you can do is just text those close to you, call those close to you, talk to them. Hey, coworker - hey, did you get that ballot in? What are you doing for this race? Remember, this is important. Hey, cousin, hey, brother, sister, mom - it's those connections close to you and those personal contacts that actually make it more likely for those people to vote. External organizations can try and do all the voter mobilization that they can and that work is valuable and good and should happen. But hearing from someone who you care about and who cares about you saying, hey, make sure you do this, you have any questions, you need help - is one of the best things you can do to make sure that people actually turn out to vote. So with that, we can talk about a couple of these judicial races, which are next on the ballot. Now we see the state Supreme Court races and we see Justice Mary Yu, who - you probably hear affection and admiration in my voice because I have affection and admiration for Justice Mary Yu. We also have a great interview with her from a few months back that we will post in the episode notes. Justice Barbara Madsen, also wonderful. Justice Helen Whitener, who is just - look, I'm going to just go ahead and get personal. Justice Helen Whitener is everything. I just need everyone to know that Justice Whitener is everything from - just everything. Her experience - vast, broad experience - in so many elements and areas of the law. The thoughtfulness, the lived experience, the outreach into the community - just a beautiful human being and an effective and intelligent justice. I am a fan of Justice Helen Whitener and we've done a couple interviews with Justice Whitener. And fortunately this time she isn't being challenged by anyone mediocre like she was last time, so this is an uncontested race. And when I say mediocre - I mean just got his license to practice law in order to run against someone with a resume as vast and deep as Justice Whitener's. And so now we'll talk about the contested municipal judge races in the City of Seattle between Damon Shadid, who is the incumbent in that one seat - has been endorsed by a number of Democratic organizations, received Exceptionally Well Qualified by a number of organizations, and is standing on his record. And a new challenger from the City Attorney's Office, Nyjat Rose-Akins, who is endorsed by the King County Republican Party and Jenny Durkan, and is wanting to make changes to some things and talking about the record of Community Court and changes that she wants to make there. In the other race, we have judge Adam Eisenberg, who has been rated Exceptionally Well Qualified by a number of the local and ethnic bar associations, but also has received a high number of negative feedback and surveys from the King County Bar Association and concerns about management and whether women are treated fairly under his management. And then Pooja Vaddadi, who is a newcomer and a new challenger, who has been - received a number of Democratic endorsements, but also has not received any ratings from local judicial bar associations because she has chosen not to stand in front of them for ratings. Bryce, how would you characterize those races? [00:55:42] Bryce Cannatelli: Like Crystal said, we got to hear from all of these candidates in a forum. I'll start with the Damon Shadid and Nyjat Rose-Akins portion of it - they're running for Position 7. Damon Shadid has been a judge in this position for quite a while. And the main point of difference between the two is Nyjat Rose-Akins often talked about during the forum criticisms of Community Court and her interest in making a lot of changes to the Community Court system, whereas Judge Shadid has defended what that court has been able to do and hopes to see it continue in its current direction. As far as Pooja Vaddadi and Judge Eisenberg, that's another kind of longtime incumbent in the position - I can't remember how long he's been in that role - and a newcomer. And Pooja Vaddadi brought up concerns about the way that Judge Eisenberg has handled himself in the courtroom. You can hear her talk about that in our forum specifically at the end - is something that her campaign has been highlighting as of late, but also just the need that she claims there is in the municipal court for some changes. [00:56:52] Crystal Fincher: What's your take on those races, Shannon? [00:56:55] Shannon Cheng: So I think - so for the Judge Eisenberg and Pooja Vaddadi race - Pooja Vaddadi is a practicing public defender. And I think her experience in being in the court with somebody such as Judge Eisenberg presiding - it was a maybe not great experience for her. And so she saw a lot of injustice there and felt called to try to step up and bear witness and call out what was happening and how she has a different vision for how that court could be run. I personally appreciate that because I think judicial races are just very low information. It's really hard - as Crystal just went through, there was a long list of uncontested judges on the ballot - and I often look at those names and I have no idea who those people are. And so it has been interesting in this race to get a window into how courts work. And I know for me, it's been very educational. And I continue to aspire to learn more about how courts are run and what matters. And yeah, so for the Damon Shadid and Nyjat Rose-Akins - as Bryce said, I think it comes down to the vision of how Community Court will be run in the future in Seattle. Whether you want somebody from the City Attorney's Office driving the vision of how to handle low-level offenses in the city versus the path that we had been on to to try to support people in need and not further entangle them in a system that kind of - a system that can snowball on people's lives. [00:58:41] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, I think that's right on. And I think in these races, we are seeing a little bit of a difference. There has been a lot called out by Pooja Vaddadi's campaign. But in fairness, I think you referred to Pooja talking about how she was partly moved to run for this position based on some of the injustices she saw. But one of the issues in this race that has been brought up is that Judge Eisenberg was the recipient of the highest number of - basically highest amount of negative feedback. King County Bar Association does an anonymous poll of its member attorneys for judges and the highest percentage of attorneys returned negative responses for Judge Eisenberg - higher than all of the other judges and gave that feedback. Judge Eisenberg didn't seem to feel that that had any validity. And he talked about how he had been rated Exceptionally Well Qualified, which is the highest rating given by a number of different bar associations. And it being pretty standard that judges go before different bar associations and get interviewed and they evaluate their fitness for judicial office and provide a rating from Exceptionally Well Qualified, I think Very Well Qualified, just on there. And so he had a number of highest ratings. And Pooja Vaddadi decided not to sit in front of those. And she said it was because she felt that it was biased or tilted or they would automatically give high ratings to incumbents, but not give high ratings to people who weren't incumbents. So she didn't feel the need to sit before them, which is a bit different. A lot of first-time candidates do go before those bodies and are evaluated and come out with decent ratings. I'm trying to think if I recall first-time candidates getting Exceptionally Well Qualified - I think I recall a couple, but also some who haven't. So I don't know, there very well may be a role that incumbency plays in that, but that was an element in that race that came through. As well as prior coverage about whether Judge Eisenberg potentially gave someone a harsher sentence for exercising their right to a jury trial instead of accepting a plea deal. And that being a wrong thing - that is a right that people have to exercise. And whether someone pleads guilty to a charge on a deal or is found guilty on that charge, penalizing someone simply for choosing to go to trial is not something that should happen and is certainly frowned upon. And so there was some coverage in question about that. We can also link that in the show notes. So those are certainly interesting races. And I think Shannon summed up really well just what's at stake moving forward in the Damon Shadid and Nyjat Rose-Akins race. So now let's get into the meat of a Seattle big-time initiative - Propositions 1A and 1B, which are on the City of Seattle ballot. They are not on my ballot, but we've got ballots waving with Shannon and Bryce and Mike over here talking about this question. [01:02:10] Mike McGinn: Do you want me to take a shot at it? [01:02:11] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, go ahead. Take a shot at it, Mike McGinn. [01:02:16] Mike McGinn: Okay. We all know how ballots work - you get a choice between - in the primary, you normally get a whole lot of candidates to vote for and you pick one. And what this is proposing is that in the City of Seattle, whether you want a different way to vote that will give you more choices. So the first question is, and let me tell you what the two choices are. One is called approval voting. So you'd look at your ballot and you'd have multiple people on the ballot and anyone that you approved of, you'd vote for. So you could vote for one, two, three, four, to approve as many as you want. And the idea there is that you don't want to have to restrict your vote to one candidate. And I have to say there have been times when I've had multiple friends on the ballot - I just want to be able to say I voted for all of them. But there are other good reasons to want to maybe approve multiple candidates. The other style is something called ranked choice voting. So in that case, you'd rank the candidates - one, two, three, four, five. And they'd add up the votes, and whoever the lowest vote getter was would get dropped off. And so let's say - I'm standing here with Bryce and Shannon and Crystal - let's say I had ranked them Crystal first, and then Bryce, and then Shannon. If Crystal was the lowest vote getter, she'd be off the list. And my vote would now go to Bryce - my second vote would be counted. And you do this by a process of eliminating the lowest-ranked candidate until you get to a winner. And we'll probably get more into why - what are the differences between the two systems and why they're better. And there's a whole world of election nerddom, which is substantial - what is the best way to represent what the voters really want, but you're going to get to choose here. So the real question is, do you want to keep the existing system - and that's the first question on the ballot - or do you want a new system? And if you vote Yes, I want a new system, you'll also be asked - well, actually, no matter how you vote on whether you want a new system - you're then asked, which one do you like more, approval voting or ranked choice voting? So yeah, it is pretty dense and complicated. You probably want to sit down and look at this. But if I could break it down for you - if you think you want more ways to have your vote count and have more discretion in how to award it to people, you'll want to vote Yes on the initial question. And then you'll get to weigh in and decide which one of those two - approval or ranked choice voting - you like more. And that'll tee it up for people to offer their opinions on what they like more on the rest of the podcast. How was that? Did I do okay, guys, in getting the description out? [01:05:13] Crystal Fincher: You did! You did, in fact, do okay of getting the description out. And I think also just the - functionally on the ballot - what you said was really important and I just want to reiterate. So this - we're talking about - okay, there are two choices there, approval voting and ranked choice voting. But when you get your ballot, you're going to see that it is constructed in a way that's not just that simple choice. There really is an initial question and then a secondary question. The initial question - why don't you just read what's on the ballot? [01:05:47] Bryce Cannatelli: Yeah, I could do that. I can also hold it up to you, so you can see the wall of text that happens beforehand. Shannon is shaking her head on the video feed, because - Seattle voters will know it if they've opened their ballots - there's a lot of text that goes before you can actually answer the question. So please read your ballot from top to bottom to make sure that you vote for everything. But the way that it's formatted is we get an explanation of both of the individual propositions. So it says Proposition 1A, submitted by initiative petition number 134, and Proposition 1B, alternative proposed by the city council and mayor, concern allowing voters to select multiple candidates in city primary elections. Proposition 1A would allow voters in primary elections for mayor, city attorney and city council to select on the ballot as many candidates as they approve of for each office. The two candidates receiving the most votes for each office would advance to the general election consistent with state law. The city would consult with King County to include instructions on the primary ballot, such as vote for as many as you approve of for each office. As an alternative, the city council and mayor have proposed Proposition 1B, which would allow primary election voters for mayor, city attorney and
Meet Joe Swisher. He is the Democrat running for Indiana State Senate District 17 in 2022. (District 17 is Huntington Wabash and Grant counties.) Joe has a great history of community and public service and you can learn more by listening to this special election episode. It was recorded on September 5th at Headwaters Park in Fort Wayne IN. Visit Joe Swisher's website for more on Po Po Joe Find Joe on Twitter @Joe4INSen17
Texas, once a solidly red state, is now venturing into purple territory. With Roe v. Wade now overturned, the composition of state legislatures has become critically important to combatting draconian laws and saving women's lives. Yet the Texas State Senate is majority male with an average age of 62 and 18 Republicans versus 13 democrats. Women running for office are looking to change that makeup - and one of those is Gwenn Burud, a public school teacher running to replace Kelly Hancock, an anti-choice, anti immigration stalwart of the conservative party. Burud joins us in this episode of Samanthropolitics to talk about the issues she cares about, the sad state of the education system in Texas, and why she decided to run for office for a second time to take down Hancock. To support Burud's campaign, visit www.burudfortexas.com. This episode was sponsored by the Women's Leadership Challenge, www.womensleadershipchallenge.com.
It's time to put up or shut up in big races all over Alameda County. Steve Tavares and Shawn break down how these races for district attorney, county supervisor, Oakland mayor, and two legislative races, and more, will shake down. Predictions included! Also, included, special guest, former Fremont Mayor Bill Harrison.
Our Democrat of the Day is Kari Rehrauer, who is running for State Senate seat 35, which includes Anoka, Coon Rapids and surrounding areas in the north metro.
HOUR 1Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, a Texas furniture mogul known for placing huge bets on sports, has wagered about $10 million on the Astros to win the World Series. If they do win, he'll earn almost $75 million—the largest payout on a legal sports bet ever in the US / (Finoexpert) https://finnoexpert.com/2022/11/02/if-astros-win-world-series-gambler-will-earn-record-payout/Washington Commanders may be sold to Jeff Bezos / https://www.morningbrew.com/daily/stories/2022/11/02/dan-snyder-may-sell-the-washington-commanders?Schools closed in Anchorage because of snow / (ADN) https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/weather/2022/11/02/storm-brings-little-snow-to-anchorage-but-up-to-2-feet-in-western-kenai-peninsula-and-susitna-valley/State Senate candidate John Cunningham discusses his East Anchorage senate race against Sen Bill WielechowskiGary from East Anchorage on the electionHOUR 2Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Les Gara U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski
Hour 1 -- Everett Herald abruptly rescinds endorsement of a Democratic candidate for WA House amid stolen valor accusation by the candidate's own father, the candidate--Clyde Shavers--refused a KVI morning show interview request amid growing scandal that he has lied about his life to voters (and the Everett Herald), so what does this scandal mean for the Republican challenger in this open 10th Legislative District race?, a Republican US Senate candidate in New Hampshire is surging late and might be able to knock out a Democratic incumbent, new polling shows that suburban female voters are trending back toward Republican candidates after fleeing during the Donald Trump years, KVI's Lars Larson asks ethical/moral question: would you expose your adult child for lying for political gain? Hour 2 -- guess where it snowed at sea level in WA state this morning, snow level now approaching 2000 feet in Western WA, how Daylight Saving Time could impact Senator Patty Murray's re-election campaign, the political career of former WA Republican Chris Vance takes a new turn, the crime vs. climate change political priority for WA voters, GUEST: St. Sen. Phil Fortunato, seeking relection, 31st District/Enumclaw area, how the State Senate election could include an "independent" Senator that would likely be a rubber-stamp for Democrats. Hour 3 -- Carlson's Legendary Lyrics winner, Clyde Shavers campaign implosion after letter from his dad emerges, AZ Gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake catches an anti-Trump Democrat with his hand in the social media cookie jar, GUEST: KC Prosecutor's spokesman, Casey McNerthney, explains what was going on with the misdemeanor assault in September that allowed a now accused double-murderer to be set free from jail two days before the killings this week, late night host, Greg Gutfeld, unleashes a perfect response to the various Democrats trying to blame the hammer attack that hospitalized Paul Pelosi on Republicans or political conservatives.
In this episode, Hugh Hewitt is joined by retired Gen. Don Bolduc, Republican candidate for New Hampshire's Senate, to talk about the surge in the polls against Democrat incumbent Maggie Hassan.
Establishment Republicans are attacking Conservative Republicans on a public forum in order to cast them off as non-viable candidates for their viewpoints.
The Morning Show Let's Argue w/ Prince Carlton sits down with Marla Helseth, an exciting candidate for MN State Senate. With a win, she would become the first Black Women on MN State Senate. We discuss Public Safety, Education, Parental Rights and more. www.marlaforminnesota.com https://anchor.fm/letsarguenow/subscribe Buy Black Masculinity Now!!! : https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/black-masculinity-prince-carlton/1140476076?ean=9781668561843 Videos : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7HXYmpHYAFZhxXiapZ3VIQ Videos: https://www.fanbase.app/letsargueshow apple podcast: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/lets-argue-w-prince-carlton/id1376058503 spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/5n5OoTLO2yE68Mfy21PLkL anchor: https://anchor.fm/letsarguenow IHeart radio: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/256-lets-argue-w-prince-carlto-31102310/ Instagram @themorningshowletsargue Twitter @letsargueshow Fanbase @letsargueshow
CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — On this week's episode, we talk with the nominees of some of the most hotly contested West Virginia State Senate races for the 2022 Nov. 8 General Election. Segments One and Two are about State Senate District 7. These include Democratic nominee State Sen. Ron Stollings and Republican nominee Mike Stuart. Segments Three and Four are about State Senate District 8. These include Republican nominee Mark Hunt and Democratic nominee State Sen. Rich Lindsay.
This week, Crystal is joined by Pierce County Council Chair, Derek Young! Looking at Washington's Secretary of State race between Democratic incumbent Steve Hobbs and nonpartisan challenger Julie Anderson, Derek talks about his views on Anderson, who's tenure as Pierce County's County Auditor has given him insight into her values and priorities. Anderson's been taking criticisms from some Democrats while others Dems have stood up to defend her and her record. Hobbs has been running on his experience in the role since assuming the position last year, and has stayed out of the mud-slinging in this race. He has his own previous reputation as a moderate Dem that is coloring some voters' opinions of him. 26th LD Representative Jesse Young's behavior and extreme political views have become the subject of news again as his race against State Senator Emily Randall for the State Senate seat continues. Young has a history of aggression against staffers, to the point that he has been banned from having legislative staff, has co-sponored legislation to limit abortion rights, and has supported local Republicans who have been involved in domestic terrorism. In other troubling news out of this race, a PAC, Concerned Taxpayers of Washington State, sent a mailer that made a derogatory reference to Emily Randall's sexual identity. It's another disturbing example of anti-LGBTQIA rhetoric and sentiment in mainstream political circles. Derek recommends Pierce County listeners pay attention to the race between Robyn Denson and Paula Lonergan, who are running for Derek's seat on the City Council now that he's hit his term limit. He also points to the race between Councilmember Marty Campbell and challenger Nancy Slotnick. Finally, a Pierce County project to build a homeless housing project has hit a major road bump in the form of zoning conflicts. Derek provides insight into the specifics of the project, its goals, and what its future looks like after this setback. As always, a full text transcript of the show is available below and at officialhacksandwonks.com. Follow us on Twitter at @HacksWonks. Find the host, Crystal Fincher, on Twitter at @finchfrii and find today's co-host, Derek Young, on Twitter at @DerekMYoung. More info is available at officialhacksandwonks.com. Resources Don't forget to vote! Visit votewa.gov for voting resources. Institute for a Democratic Future 2023 applications are live! The initial deadline is November 2nd, and the final deadline is November 13th. Learn more about how to get involved in Seattle's budget season at this link. Student debt relief sign-ups are live! Visit this link to enroll. “Democrats split over nonpartisan secretary of state candidate” by Melissa Santos from Axios Hacks & Wonks' Interview with Secretary of State candidate Julie Anderson Hacks & Wonks' Interview with Secretary of State candidate Steve Hobbs “New ad highlights Washington candidate's past behavior against staffers” by Shauna Sowersby from The News Tribune Emily Randall's response to the homophobic mailer against her - watch on TikTok here Sign up to volunteer for Emily Randall's campaign here on her website. Hacks & Wonks' Interview with Robyn Denson. “Pierce County prefers this site for a big homeless housing project. Why it might not work” by Shea Johnson from The News Tribune Transcript [00:00:00] Crystal Fincher: Welcome to Hacks & Wonks. I'm Crystal Fincher, and I'm a political consultant and your host. On this show, we talk with policy wonks and political hacks to gather insight into local politics and policy in Washington State through the lens of those doing the work with behind-the-scenes perspectives on what's happening, why it's happening, and what you can do about it. Full transcripts and resources referenced in the show are always available at officialhacksandwonks.com and in our episode notes. Today, we're continuing our Friday almost-live shows where we review the news of the week with a co-host. Welcome back to the program, friend of the show, today's co-host: Pierce County Council Chair, Derek Young. Welcome. [00:00:52] Councilmember Derek Young: Thank you for having me. [00:00:53] Crystal Fincher: Excited to have you here again, especially - to get to focus on Pierce County and talk about Pierce County. There's a lot going on. I guess starting off - we're in election season, ballots are in people's hands - remember to get those ballots turned in. Vote by November 8th, but even better, just vote as soon as possible - get that in and done. There are some close and exciting races in Pierce County and with some Pierce County angles. I think we'll start off talking about the Secretary of State's race, which is a statewide race, but with current Secretary of State Steve Hobbs, who was a former State Senator and then after Kim Wyman moved to Washington [D.C.] and left the job, Steve Hobbs was appointed by Governor Inslee, and a challenger, Julie Anderson, who is a county auditor and now running for the statewide Secretary of State race. What have you seen in this race lately? [00:01:56] Councilmember Derek Young: I will say this. The race has not gone as I assumed it would, which would be more a debate between Anderson and Hobbs that was about the office and the ideas. And has now evolved into something where we have this strange situation where we have a lot of Pierce County Democrats, like myself, who are defending Julie from attacks from our State Party Chair. And that's been strange - I think it's particularly difficult for those of us that have been around and know Julie well to see the attacks turn into "she's some sort of secret MAGA Trump Republican that" - she's been around a long time and so with those of us that know her, that's a very strange experience to have. So rather than focusing on the office, we found ourselves in a defense mode trying to say - Hey, that's not the Julie that we know, support Steve all you want - that's all fine, I get it. He's running as a Democrat and she's running as a Nonpartisan, which makes things way more difficult. The race has turned into something - the election itself is almost a sideshow of the controversy that has developed around it. [00:03:30] Crystal Fincher: Some controversy, definitely. I wonder how visible it is to the general public. Certainly people - politicos, the hacks and wonks who are around - are very caught up in this just because it's a different dynamic than we normally have. This has been a partisan office. It's been the only statewide office that Republicans held recently. It was previously held by Republican Kim Wyman - has been a partisan office -when she left and this race came up, people generally assumed - okay, there's going to be a Democrat and a Republican. A Democrat, a Republican, and a Nonpartisan ended up running and Julie Anderson ended up edging out the Republican candidate in the primary, so this is a general election that a lot of people did not anticipate. And the dynamic between a Democrat and a Nonpartisan - and Julie has said that she prefers the term Nonpartisan instead of Independent - is certainly different than - a lot of people - hey, you're familiar with who a Democrat is, you're familiar with who a Republican is. And that has a lot to do with how you view those - that's a significant lens to view a candidate through, and most people see that as a significant driver of a decision and are more aligned with one party and/or tend to vote for the candidate of that party. In this situation with Julie Anderson being Nonpartisan, there has been a lot of questions. And from the Democratic Party and some opponents - have basically said, Hey, she's aligned with Republicans, she looks like she may be an undercover Republican. I should mention that Hacks & Wonks did interviews with both Steve Hobbs and with Julie Anderson. We actually talked very directly about this issue. Julie and Steve both offered their opinions and explanations on all of this, and so you can find those shows and we'll link those in the show notes. But it's that attack on Julie Anderson that has been controversial - that we saw an Axios article from Melissa Santos about this week, lots of online posting and opinions and takes about this, but hey, is it actually accurate that Julie Anderson is basically a closet Republican or has she worked well with all people, sincerely views herself as a Nonpartisan? Are her views consistent now after getting some Republican support than they were before? It appears that they are, and she has stood up afterwards and say - Hey, I still believe our elections are secure, and believe in how they've been, and for voter amendments and those kinds of things. But then other people are saying - hey, especially at a time when we have these battles between Republicans and Democrats, we can't risk having a Nonpartisan in there. We need to have a Democrat in this office. How do you weigh that decision and how do you think voters can view their decision in this race? [00:06:42] Councilmember Derek Young: Yeah, it's a fair question and I'll be honest - it would have been so much easier if she was running as a Democrat because you have the backing of the Party and all the resources that brings with it. Obviously, in this case, that wouldn't have been the way it went down because we have an incumbent who was appointed last year. But - what's the saying about Ginger Rogers and having to do all the things that Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in heels? That's the kind of obstacles that Julie, by choosing this, put in her way. I don't know how voters are going to react as a result. The one thing I do note is that she believes this in her bones. This is a genuine conviction that the position of auditor at the local level and Secretary of State at the state level should be Nonpartisan because you can't assume that everyone will look at election and have faith in it if they view the person administering it as aligned with one of the teams. I actually think I agree with that sentiment, particularly in these times, and I kind of understand where people are coming from when - at a time when so many Republicans are calling into question the veracity of our elections, can we have someone that's on the sidelines, so to speak, that isn't actively pushing back on that from the Democratic point of view? I tend to agree with Julie more in that the way you build trust and faith in the system is by having someone who is fulfilling a more ministerial role and calling balls and strikes not aligned with one of the parties. And I've seen how that works firsthand in Pierce County. One of my jobs as Chair of the Council is I sit on the Canvassing Board and so each election, there's a group of folks who are election observers from each party and independents that come in - and every time, these very partisan folks have nothing but praise for Julie and her team and the transparent and accountable system that she's built. This is also a woman who literally tried to get rid of her office. She proposed to me, and I agreed, that the role of auditor should be an appointed position because it is administrative and ministerial. Electing the position is actually not a great idea - similar for the offices of sheriff and assessor. So I had charter amendments to propose for each of those. But being Julie, she wrote an editorial saying - you should get rid of the job I just completed. And I just have nothing but admiration for someone who's not only learned the role, but determined that - if she designed the ideal world, this position would not even be elected. But if you're going to have an elected person in it, you should have someone that is not beholden to one of the parties. The last thing I'll just say is that prior to her time as auditor in the county, she was on the Tacoma City Council. While city council races are also nonpartisan, you get a sense for people's values. Julie Anderson is a very progressive person. And I think there's - so for those of us that are from Pierce County, this has been this just very strange experience to watch. And how that plays out in the rest of state, I just don't know. But I have to imagine that the tension drawn to it by the Party has probably actually been good for her to get that message out there. I don't know that the rest of the non-very-online, very-hooked-in crowd is paying that much attention to the race, so we'll see how it goes. [00:11:14] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, we'll see how it goes - this seems to be a race, I think I commented earlier, I know other people have - where this is not a race that seems to be attracting much attention. People are kind of looking at those party cues. Hey, if I'm a Democrat, I see a Democrat, I'm voting for the Democrat. And that seems to be how things are going with people who don't really pay attention to local party politics, all of the stories, the ins and outs of the campaigns to the degree that people who work in politics or policy or heavily involved in advocacy do. But for those who are, this has been one of the toughest decisions and have been some of the toughest conversations that people have had in a bit - because there is this tension. And I think another dimension of this is that we're talking about Senator Steve Hobbs, who has been known as a moderate and has certainly provoked a lot of emotion over the years. He has taken different stances than a lot of other people in the Party on transportation policy and different things. And so I think for people who have been involved in politics for a long time, they have this view of him in their head as a moderate. And that's a positive thing for some people - some people may feel that that's pragmatic. For others, they feel that that's obstruction. But for people who do have an impression of Steve Hobbs, whether positive or negative, I think that colors how they're coming into the opinions of this race and that conversation. And also just the recognition that that's a very small slice of people who are paying attention to that degree. So I don't know how much this makes it out into the world of people who take the time to vote and who care about it, but who don't really follow politics closely. It'll be interesting to see how this continues to play out and how the information continues to flow over the next two weeks. [00:13:19] Councilmember Derek Young: Steve has also - to his credit - is not behind a lot of the nastiness that has come up in this race. In fact, I have not heard anything bad about the way he's conducted himself in the office. And so my feelings - and they're personal feelings in the race, I think for a lot of others - it's actually less about Steve Hobbs and more about our feelings for Julie. I will also say, for those of us from South Sound, there's a little bit of folks from other parts of the state telling us what we should think about this. And so you have a little bit of good old-fashioned Tacoma getting its back up about one of our own. And I think there's some of that going on as well. So I just wanted to be clear that I think the candidates themselves are conducting an admirable race. [00:14:15] Crystal Fincher: I think that's fair. There's another race where I don't think one of the candidates is conducting an admirable race, and that's an extremely partisan race in your neck of the woods - in the 26th Legislative District - between Democrat Emily Randall and very extreme Republican Jesse Young. Now you have been down there and observing the ins and outs of Jesse Young, who's now running for State Senate, but was a State Representative, is a State Representative before this. Man, this man has issues - and this week there was a news story that that talked about his very problematic treatment and harassment of staff. What did he do? [00:15:02] Councilmember Derek Young: There's a pattern of abusive behavior to not only staff, but other legislators. For example, his Republican seatmate, Michelle Caldier - they're not supposed to be in the same room together without at least one other person because they got in an argument that was so loud that security had to show up. So this is someone from his own party and his seatmate in his district. And I will just say that it fits a pattern for him. And he would not be the first politician that has had difficulties with staff, but when he was found to have done these things and was instructed to go to some anger management counseling, he refused to do so. And so as a result, to this day, he's not allowed to have legislative staff. And some of the reports were pretty awful - calling a woman by a particularly vulgar name and screaming fits - and to the point where at one point the staffer referred to their weekly meetings as "the weekly beatings." So his behavior is obviously a problem and makes him particularly ineffective because how someone does the job of legislator without staff is kind of beyond me. All that said, it's not just his behavior that's problematic. He has rather extreme political positions. This was a man who was close allies with and stuck by Matt Shea - many of your listeners will remember as the radical Eastern Washington Republican who literally organized the militia takeover of the Malheur. [00:17:02] Crystal Fincher: Yeah - he was involved in domestic terrorism. [00:17:04] Councilmember Derek Young: Yeah, he put tracking devices on sheriff vehicles to monitor people, he planned insurrection, runs a training camp for militia activities. And this is someone who - when he was under fire for these behaviors and Republicans were trying to figure out what to do - leadership in their caucus removed him immediately from the caucus. Well, maybe not immediately, but got to it pretty quickly. He stood by him the entire time and organized opposition to Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox's actions that removed him from the caucus and expedited his eventual departure from the Legislature. So, his positions on abortion are for criminalization. Just really strange out of the mainstream type of behavior, and I'll leave you with this one other more recent anecdote that I am more personally knowledgeable of. During the aftermath of George Floyd's death, some teenagers in Gig Harbor decided that they were going to organize protests and showed up at this one corner that's particularly - I don't know, for whatever reason, it's become our protest area - I think it's because it's got a lot of traffic. And so hundreds of kids and some adults showed up there to protest and demand reforms for law enforcement. And Jesse showed up with a group of men carrying long guns because they claimed that these were Antifa and they were going to burn the shopping mall next to it to the ground. He stuck by this ridiculous story for so long, he even claimed that the local police chief, who happens to be a friend, had covered up the story and that he witnessed the chief grabbing gas cans that were planted ahead of time to burn the strip mall down. When in reality, what the police chief had seen was a gas can that had fallen on the roadway from someone with a landscaping truck and he was just picking it up to get it out of the road. He continued to lie about this on conservative talk radio for weeks. And this is our police chief - he's a known, trusted person that's been on our force and lived in our community for decades. And Jesse's out there lying about him because he wanted to justify his appearance there with a group of men and long guns to a protest organized by teens. [00:19:54] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, and that was a scary time. This was in 2020 - we were working with organizers on the ground, canvassers on the ground in the district at the time in another effort. And it was a really scary thing even detached from it - hearing, hey, there are reports with men driving around with guns, men arriving at this place with guns, some of these assault rifles, right? And just not knowing what's going to happen, hearing the extremist rhetoric, knowing the history of some of those - especially in the context of his palling around with domestic terrorists, Matt Shea - did not know what direction this was going to go in, but he clearly felt really entitled to do that and to intimidate everyone in that area, everyone in those neighborhoods. And that's just really fundamentally not okay. The treatment of staff is just really fundamentally not okay. And there are some people who sometimes view these things as partisan attacks. And Republicans certainly have their own record on what they've permitted within the ranks of their party. But I think in this state, especially among Democrats - we had a conversation, had many conversations about Insurance Commissioner, Mike Kreidler - that treatment - so many people have called on him to resign and continue to, finding that's not acceptable. He's not going to find support when he - it would be really unwise to choose to run for re-election - but if he would, he's not going to find support there. There have been other people whose resignations have been called for in the wake of treatment like this. This is something that is not partisan. This is something that Democrats have been not hesitant to call out people in their own ranks. And this also applies to Republicans. He has not had a legislative assistant since, what was it, 2016? [00:21:59] Councilmember Derek Young: Something like that, yeah. [00:22:00] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, for quite some time. And as you said, how do you get any work done? The people in the 26th have had hobbled representation. And if people found any fault with what's happening, you kind of have to ask - how is Jesse Young able to show up and do his job? Other legislators have beyond full schedules - needing a legislative assistant to juggle all of that, juggle all their communications, schedule meetings, coordinate with their constituents. And so that's just not possible to do and to fully do your job. And to have the reason for that being that you can't be trusted to be around subordinates is really just an indictment on the fitness for office. And there's a clear choice in terms of the issue of abortion rights in this race. You have Emily Randall, who is a staunch supporter of personal freedom and privacy and reproductive choice. You have Jesse Young, who has taken really extreme stands on abortion - and hey, it shouldn't just be a ban, there should be criminal penalties involved in this - just really troubling. And the election conspiracy denial - he went to Arizona, with the denialists in Arizona, to a Cyber Ninja audit that they called it. And it was just really a gathering of these conspiracy theorists. Why are we entertaining a conversation of electing a guy who is doing this kind of stuff? This is just beyond me and really beyond the conversations of how do we even get to policy? How do we even get to what you're going to do in the job when you're doing things that prevent your ability to even do the job? How are we debating about issues when he can't adequately legislate? He can't adequately hear from, meet with, represent constituents. He can't adequately conduct himself in public and not intimidate people with guns - teenagers - with guns in public. We can't even get to the conversation of legislating. This guy is just fundamentally unfit. It's a challenge. And I imagine you're sitting there looking at this race and going - oh my goodness, I wish more people really knew who this guy was and what's at stake. [00:24:34] Councilmember Derek Young: It is hard because it is my community. We are the - 26th district for those that aren't familiar - it's basically the Kitsap Peninsula, so half of it's in Pierce County in the Key Peninsula and Gig Harbor area and then Kitsap going up to Bremerton. And it's a swing district. Even calling it a swing district might be generous to the Democratic side. They've been pretty successful here for the last decade or so. And things didn't change that much with redistricting. But yeah, even setting that aside, I get that at least half of our district prefers the Republican side and that's fine. But in this case, you have someone who is so clearly a great representative for us, or a senator for us, and is very effective - almost shockingly so. As a first-term Senator, Emily Randall really was a standout amongst that group in terms of being effective, being thoughtful, doing the hard work. I know within my association, because I've been for a number of years leading our legislative efforts, very often bringing her up as someone to champion things that we're working on because we know her as a worker and fair-minded and well-respected. And then you have the opposite of that challenging her and really just having some basic integrity challenges in addition to his volatility, so I don't get it. This shouldn't be close. I understand why some of the other races are the way they are - we actually had a surprise with Adison Richards doing exceptionally well in the primary of one of the House seats, against a fine candidate on the Republican side who I know pretty well - Spencer Hutchins, who was formerly on the Gig Harbor Council. So those are the races where I understand everyone's got a choice and it's harder to understand why the Senate race is this close. [00:27:00] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, it's worrisome, but this is definitely a race. We've talked before about - there's a lot of people in the Seattle area who listen to this race and a lot of the races that they're going to be considering are Democrat versus Democrat legislative races, some of them are uncontested at all. And so it presents an opportunity to say, okay, we know your seat is going to be in Democratic hands and certainly stay active and involved where you're at, but make a point to adopt a race somewhere externally, whether it's a district like the 26th Legislative District down in South Sound, whether it's the 47th Legislative District down in the Kent, Auburn, Covington area. Or up north in the 10th or 47th or 42nd districts. Pick one of these districts where we know that races there are consistently close and competitive, that it's always within a hair of which candidate wins, and help put the Democratic candidate in this situation, but help put the candidates that align with your values over the top. [00:28:19] Councilmember Derek Young: And do it - if for no other reason - to help out me personally. We're two guys from Gig Harbor named Young and working in politics, so lots of people confuse it. And I think in particular, my dad takes exception because people think his son is Jesse. [00:28:36] Crystal Fincher: Oh, yikes. Yikes and yikes. Yeah, I do not envy you as being another Young in politics there, but hopefully this is something that won't be an issue for you that much longer. So as if all of the other stuff wasn't enough, there was a mailer that arrived this week that was really troubling and obviously intentional. The background here is that Emily Randall is a queer woman - has been open about that, wonderful about that. And a mailer arrived and you talked about this, so I'll let you describe it. [00:29:22] Councilmember Derek Young: Basically - and I hadn't noticed the mailer, I don't know that I was the target audience - but Emily posted a video where she shared it because she received it. And the message says, Let's set the record straight. Now, that term is one we're all familiar with in political context and journalism and such. The problem was that they put a special emphasis - underlined and red-bolded the "straight" part. That is a winking notation of her sexual identity and a pretty ugly one, I think. It's a - we are in a divided district, so we know that there is some people who will be uncomfortable with LGBTQ rights and Emily's never hidden from it. But the IE that ran this - I think there's no question they knew exactly what they were doing, and it's really worthy of calling out. And I'm glad that Emily did herself, because she's her own best advocate and I think that's important. But I think it's also important for all of us to say - We know what you were doing. And this isn't some PAC that just popped up for a single purpose to hide identities. This is a - what is it - Concerned Taxpayers? I forget their exact name, but it's a mainstream PAC that's very active in a lot of races. Their major donors are Master Builders and Realtors. And so this is a group that should know better and did something - [00:31:17] Crystal Fincher: That does know better and decided not to do it. That is - this isn't a fringe group - this is a major mainstream regular supporter of the party, closely aligned interests of the party. They're allies of the party and they're consistently there for those interests. And it clearly was intentional. I mean, as - you have worked on political communications certainly, as have I. And I think sometimes political operatives do the thing where we know exactly what we do. And I'm saying, I do not do this and try very hard not to do this - but I've seen Republicans and I've sometimes seen Democrats do this - but rely on the public not realizing what our work actually is and how we actually do it, to just excuse it. And what you see in political communications, what you see on mail is very intentional. The words are poured over. There are several levels of approval, certainly on - if you're working with a good team, as you are anywhere, you want to make sure that you're conveying the message that you want to and that you are not conveying any message that you don't want to. So anything that can be borderline - I don't really want to say that - then you don't say, then you change something to make sure that it doesn't give that impression, that it doesn't say something - especially something that is harmful or offensive. And at a time when we have a very conservative Supreme Court who is tearing down rights, who has basically put the right of marriage equality on notice. And the Dobbs decision - it didn't just strike down Roe vs Wade - it also laid the path that a number of them want to take moving forward, which is striking down protections for contraception, privacy, marriage equality - type thing. So we know this is on deck. We've heard several Republicans in the state and across the country say that they believe that - just marriage between only a man and a woman should be legally valid, others should be illegal again - who want to roll back the rights that were won. And this was an ad targeted at a conservative audience. It is not a secret that when you have "straight" in big, bold, red letters that are then underlined - and that's the only word on the page that it's treated like that - you're sending a message. And it's unacceptable. And I am glad she called it out. And to your point, I'm very glad that everyone has the opportunity to say - No, this is unacceptable, and this is a preview of the type of harmful hate that is coming if we allow more of this. I mean, it just is another one of those - before we get into conversations about policy, we're dealing with some really fundamental human decency - really ability to adequately and peacefully participate in society and allow other people to participate in that same society to the same degree. It is just egregious, received news coverage for being egregious. And it's just what we're contending with. It is not at all rare to see these dirty hits come out during this time where ballots are out and mailers are flying. And I don't know what else they have planned, but if this is what they're doing early, I shudder to think what they think they can say when they feel that there isn't the type of penalty or time for scrutiny attached to it. So it's just - get involved in this race, get involved in this race. [00:35:27] Councilmember Derek Young: And I think it's worth saying that - it's not just gross from a political standpoint. Given the trajectory of rhetoric around LGBTQ rights and life in this country, it's dangerous in the literal sense. That's why, I think it's important to - often there's this, especially amongst Democrats, this tendency to worry about should we call attention to an attack or is that making something more visible to the public. And I think there are these cases where - whether it's around election validity, people's basic rights, and just decency - we have to have some ground truth, some shared reality that we all exist on that's beneath where the politics of the situation is going. Let's get back to the point where we can have these fierce debates over policy. But right now we have to have some common cause for just existing in the same society, I think. And saying that these things are out of bounds and there will be a price that you pay for doing it, I think is important. [00:37:02] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, I completely agree. And that hesitance to - should we bring it up, should we talk about it? Yeah, we have to, because the other side is. How many times in the past week have we heard hateful comments about the trans community, hateful anti-Semitic comments, hateful white supremacist comments. And I'm just thinking about this week, right? This is unfortunately creeping into mainstream society. These are not limited to rarely visited corners of the internet that hardly anyone visits. These are some of the biggest celebrities, some of the richest people, and some of the most powerful party members. These are - we're hearing this from elected officials now and party leadership. We have to take a stand and say this is unacceptable because the silence is enabling this. It is going to take an effort of everyone confronting this when they're seeing it and rejecting it - rejecting it in their communities and their conversations with friends - and yes, family - and on the ballot. I mean, rejecting it on the ballot is the easy part - that should be an automatic. We have more work to do to confront this in our everyday lives, in our societies, and the people who we interact with. So I again, just urge people to get involved and to call this stuff out whenever and wherever you see it. That is the most powerful thing that we can do, especially when it's with people you know - it makes a difference. Certainly encourage everyone listening - we'll put information in the show notes - do a phone bank, do a canvass session. If you absolutely can't do those things, donate, but sometimes we talk about money in these races and money certainly helps buy resources and the things to make those happen. But really the time that you can spend - to put in to talk to other voters in that district and to help educate those voters and tell them why you're supportive and why you're taking your time to do this - is really impactful to a lot of people and encourage people to get involved that way. So thank you for that. Are there any other races in Pierce County that you think people should be tuned into, thinking about, looking at? [00:39:34] Councilmember Derek Young: Yeah, we have a couple of council races that are - I think headed in the right direction - but important to keeping the council majority that we managed to get in Democratic hands. One being replacement for me, as I'm term limited and leaving office at the end of the year. And her name is Robyn Denson. Her opponent is a Republican named Paula Lonergan - for folks in Pierce County that name may sound familiar because her husband is the Assessor-Treasurer and used to be a Tacoma City Council member. But that race - things are going fairly well - she's running a pretty traditional Republican campaign. And Robyn is - in fact, you may - I believe you actually did have her on. [00:40:21] Crystal Fincher: Yep, we interviewed her. We'll also link that in the show notes. [00:40:24] Councilmember Derek Young: And she certainly fits the model of wonk. She's a former nonpartisan policy staff down in Olympia, specializing in housing in particular, which is obviously something that's super critical throughout our region, but especially right here in Pierce County. And is just a really thoughtful person. She's currently on the Gig Harbor City Council, and I think the world of her and really recruited her hard to run for my seat, to make sure we kept this in Democratic hands. Because until I ran, we hadn't won this seat really before, so it was important to me to find a suitable replacement. The other is Marty Campbell, who's an incumbent council member. His opponent, Nancy Slotnick, is a Republican. And while that race hasn't been as hot - I think it's flying a little bit under the radar - and Marty's district changed the most out of the council districts during redistricting. And so he's had to introduce himself to a large group of voters who may not be as familiar with him, and so that's presented some challenges, I think. And unfortunately, his partner also has some health issues at the moment that they've been public about - I'm not sharing any inside information - so he's juggling a lot right now trying to be my Vice Chair, which is a challenge even in itself. So we're hoping to push Marty over the line as well. [00:42:00] Crystal Fincher: All right. Sounds good. We will be paying attention to those and seeing how those turn out. In non-political news this week, there was some news in Pierce County about zoning restrictions getting in the way of a planned homeless housing project. This is something that is definitely needed, but it looks like it may have run into a snag. What's happening? [00:42:25] Councilmember Derek Young: Yeah. So this was - I will say, even though it wasn't my fault - as someone in Pierce County government, it's embarrassing. So we have this concept that we are essentially stealing from Austin that - they have a wildly successful program called Community First! Village that's for folks that are unhoused and chronically unhoused. This is the population of homeless folks that have the most barriers - typically will have some disabilities or been homeless for a very long time, may have some behavioral health challenges, you name it - there's something in their way that's keeping them from becoming housed and so they're living on the streets. This model starts with the physical infrastructure - it's essentially micro homes or tiny houses, however you want to refer to it. Their units tend to be very nice by comparison to - sometimes when we talk about tiny houses, we think of some of the garden sheds basically that you see popping up in some communities. These - it looks more like a trailer park - is the way I would describe it. But the secret sauce in this is not just getting people housed - that's the big barrier. The second is that they deliver really intentional services to these folks that are all onsite. They even have volunteers that live onsite. And there's a strong effort to build community, which is something that I think is missed from a lot of permanent supportive housing models you see elsewhere. And I was skeptical at first, but when it clicked - I was talking with someone who has worked in homelessness for a long time. And he said, we typically buy an apartment complex or maybe a hotel and turn that into permanent supportive housing. But think about - because he knew I lived in an apartment - how many of your neighbors do you know? And embarrassingly, I know probably half my neighbors - I know their names and their families. But otherwise, once you get home, you're closing the door and you're not really interacting with them that much. This is the opposite - it's intended to help rebuild those social connections. There's onsite work that can be done. They actually do pay rent - it's heavily subsidized. But the idea is to rebuild those social skills. For some people, they will always live there, and that's fine. But for others, they can then take those steps to getting back to a life that maybe doesn't require as much support. So we're all very excited about this model, and we think it's going to be a hit. One of the first questions I had last year was - okay, we'll appropriate this money, but why don't you tell us if you can find any properties that are available that will have suitable zoning? Somehow that didn't happen. And so the site that they got under contract before approaching the council, it turned out that the zoning, because it's surrounded by wetlands, is Residential Resource, which doesn't allow for this much density. So we were set to approve and they wanted to close on the property by the end of the year - that's just not going to happen. What this looks like going forward, I don't know. But the trick here is that this is a new idea - not only for us, but really for the region. And as a result, we cannot fail. This has to work. Because if we're going to replicate it elsewhere in Pierce County and around the region, we have to get it right. If we fail, people will look at it and go - well, that didn't work - and that's not something we want to have happen. So like I said, it's embarrassing, but it is what it is and we have to figure out a solution. [00:46:46] Crystal Fincher: What's on deck for solutions? [00:46:48] Councilmember Derek Young: I don't know yet, because we just found out. And so the executive still believes that we can go through with this property and just do a rezone. I will say that just doing a rezone is never a simple thing, particularly when what you have planned for the site is now very public. The other possibility is start looking for other locations. The problem is that - this was always my concern - is that the sites that are affordable for a project like this are also going to be challenged. In this development environment, if it's zoned for density, it's going to be pretty valuable. The other challenge that we had with this site was that it doesn't have sewer adjacent to it. This is kind of on the outskirts of our urban growth area, so while there's urban development around it - and it's right off what was going to be the Cross-Base Highway - it still lacks some basic infrastructure. So all that's why we were getting it for a song and why other developers had looked at it for housing projects and couldn't make it work. But I think we're back to square one in terms of site selection, and we need to start looking around. But it's possible we'll have a proposal here that's fairly straightforward. The most annoying part about this is that we literally had - because this concept is so new - we didn't really have a use allowed for this in our zoning code. So we actually passed a bill two months ago to change zoning code in order to allow for this. We still somehow came up with a site that it doesn't work for. [00:48:37] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, it's a challenge. And this is new, so I'm asking you questions - I understand you may not have the answer yet. This was reported in The News Tribune day before yesterday, I think, on October 26th. And there did seem to be a little bit of - I don't know if I'd call it tension - but difference in opinion on moving forward about the ease or feasibility of that zoning change option. The Pierce County Executive did make it seem like it's something that is definitely doable, even if it's not - hey, we'll take care of it next meeting - in the near future, certainly had the impression that it could be resolved with that. What challenges would prevent that from - from being able to pass a zoning change soon? [00:49:28] Councilmember Derek Young: Yeah, I'm unclear what he's referring to because there was a quote in the newspaper and I called him about this after seeing it that said that we think this may be a 15 or 30-day delay. I don't know what he's talking about. This would require not only a zoning map change, but we believe a comprehensive plan change. So for those that aren't aware of local land use policy, it's - a comp plan change - you're only allowed to touch your comp plan once per year. We've already started our process and so we couldn't add it to this. The next time you could do something is literally over a year from now because you can only make adjustments once per year. If it's just a zoning change, that's what's referred to as an Official Control under our planning rules. And so we have to notify the Department of Commerce with a 60-day comment period. That's just the minimum - maybe nothing comes up and they don't care - but it's still a 60-day period. And then after that, you need to be going to the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission has their own process. And then it finally comes to the council. Our charter requires at least three weeks just to run a bill and that's under ideal conditions. So yeah, I'm not sure what he's talking about there, but this is not a simple change by any means. All that said, I don't think there would necessarily be opposition coming from the council. We were certainly comfortable with the idea before finding the problem, so it's just a matter of the rules that we all have to follow. And what was kind of frustrating about it is hearing him trying to figure out ways around them when he vetoed an emergency ordinance that we passed for Safe Parking a few months ago. And one of the reasons he vetoed it, even though the emergency ordinance is temporary and involves no construction - if you decide you're not going to do it there, you can move the cars - so there's no permanent problem. And yet he used that as one of the objections to the emergency bill. And in this case, we're literally going to spend millions and millions of dollars building a permanent housing development. And we're going to skip the process? I don't see that working. So the council's of one mind on this - the sponsors all pulled their signatures so that we didn't have to - we didn't want to vote to turn it down, that just is a bad look. So everyone's on the same page on the council that this has to be done right. [00:52:27] Crystal Fincher: Yeah. Well, that little nugget sounds encouraging - that you decided to move forward with it, and so it is rules that have to be followed. So could it be potentially - no, this is not a three-week endeavor, but it may be a few months of diligent work and following through the steps and the ability to accommodate the necessary changes then. If it does take a few months or however long that that takes, does that impact the project? Does that impact the cost or anything with that? [00:53:01] Councilmember Derek Young: It will have some impact. It's hard to quantify because everything in the economy is so weird these days, so we will see. But so one thing we had to do, for example, is at the end of the year, our proviso expires, allowing the appropriation that we budgeted for - it's supposed to go back to other homeless services - because at the time we were pretty skeptical that this could work. I see no objection from my colleagues to changing that proviso so that we will stay committed to this. And again, we know we have a problem, like everyone. So we've got this innovative solution. It seems to work really well. The performance in Austin is exceptional compared to other programs. So, the more I've learned about it, the more eager I become. I just think in this instance, it's possible the executive and his staff were a little too eager and didn't do some kind of basic homework. [00:54:09] Crystal Fincher: Well, hopefully you will be there to help him finish that assignment. [00:54:15] Councilmember Derek Young: Unfortunately, I think my successor may need to finish this up for me, but - [00:54:22] Crystal Fincher: Yeah. So it doesn't look like there's a chance by the end of the year, I guess. I guess that looks unlikely. But hopefully the newly composed council is as dedicated to this as the other one was. And with bipartisan support - this was not something that was necessarily squeaked through. [00:54:39] Councilmember Derek Young: No, in fact - it's noteworthy that this was really coming from the Republicans. This was their conception. And so I think that's really good - because to have bipartisan comity on an issue like homelessness is not - it's not common. So I think it's important for us to try to stick together on an issue like this. [00:55:07] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, and to your point - to get going with a model that could be an example for other cities to follow - I think that's a very important thing. And especially for local government - one of the things that I really like about local government and policy - is that everyone has to live in these conditions, everyone has to see. There's more pressure to get away from rhetoric and to actually do something that's addressing the issues that people are seeing with their own eyes and that you're seeing with your own eyes. So there is more of, I think, a motivation to act, especially outside of - sometimes big city politics can get super politicized, but other entities don't always get bogged down by the spectacle of it all. And you're working towards some solution and there's - Hey, there's evidence that this model is working elsewhere, let's give it a go. We certainly need to figure out something that works, other things haven't like they've needed to. So sometimes challenges happen, and sounds like there's cause for optimism that this can be worked through, even if it's with the newly composed council and hopefully we get this up and running. If you work through all this - who knows if it alters the timeline - what was the original timeline for this being built and operational? [00:56:43] Councilmember Derek Young: Yeah, I think the schedule was construction next year and have the first units available at the beginning of 2024, if I'm not mistaken. I may have that a little bit wrong, but by the time you do site development - depending on the season, it can get tough. But that was the hope - is that it would be - the first phase of the project would be fairly soon. And that it is a phased project. So eventually would house 257 units, give or take. Obviously, there may be some site development challenges. And the hope is that everyone sees that this works and then we'll want to throw money at this as an - because that's what's happened in Harris County, Texas, where Austin is. They essentially have the private sector throwing money at them to do more. And they've got a couple thousand of these units that are housing people, and their success rate in terms of rehousing folks in traditional housing is in the 60% - I mean, that's just unheard of in this space. [00:57:59] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, absolutely. Well, I hope - I hope that we still see this coming online in 2024. Seems like that could be doable, but we'll stay tuned and keep people updated on what's happening. And with that, we thank you for listening to Hacks & Wonks on this friday, October 28th, 2022. The producer of Hacks & Wonks is Lisl Stadler. Our assistant producer is Shannon Cheng, and our Production Coordinator is Bryce Cannatelli. Our insightful co-host today is Pierce County Council Chair Derek Young. You can find Derek on Twitter - and he's a good Twitter follow - @DerekMYoung. That's D-E-R-E-K-M Young. You can follow Hacks & Wonks on Twitter @HacksWonks and you can find me on Twitter @finchfrii - it's two I's at the end. You can catch Hacks & Wonks wherever you get your podcasts - just type "Hacks and Wonks" into the search bar. Be sure to subscribe to get the full versions of all of our shows and our Friday almost-live show to your feed. If you like us, please leave a review wherever you can. And you can also get a full transcript of this episode and links to the resources referenced in the show at OfficialHacksandWonks.com and in our episode notes. Thanks for tuning in and we will talk to you next time.
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The Bois have another special treat for the WN2T Family this week! They have not one, but TWO interviews with two amazing local candidates who are running for seats in the State Senate. The first interview is with Victoria Gu, who is running for the Rhode Island State Senate in District 38 (10:28). Ms. Gu is also Chair of Charlestown's Climate Resiliency Commission. The second interview is with Farouk Rajab, who is running for Connecticut State Senate in the 18th District (59:35). Mr. Rajab is also Chair of the Stonington Board of Education.https://wn2tpod.buzzsprout.comhttps://eclectivepodcastnetwork.comhttps://victoria4ri.comhttps://www.faroukrajab.comFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/wn2tpodInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/wn2tpodTwitter: https://twitter.com/wn2tpod
(Oct 26, 2022) The two candidates for governor sparred over crime, abortion, and Donald Trump in their only debate of the campaign last night. Also: A preview of the State Senate race between incumbent Dan Stec and his Democratic challenger, Jean Lapper.
On this midweek show, Crystal chats with current Secretary of State Steve Hobbs about his campaign for Washington Secretary of State - why he decided to run for re-election, the threat of misinformation campaigns and cyber attacks on Washington's elections, how partisanship affects the office, and whether partisan attacks on his opponent are warranted. On the topic of elections, they discuss how he builds trust in the system in an environment of disinformation, addressing issues with disproportionate rates of signature rejection across the electorate, his plans to increase voter turnout, and his stance and approach to local jurisdictions potentially adopting alternative systems such as ranked choice voting. The conversation continues with the experience Secretary Hobbs brings to manage other components that fall under the Secretary of State's large umbrella and his vision to create greater accessibility for experiencing the state archives' historical records, resources for corporate and charity filings, and requesting governmental documents via public disclosure requests. As always, a full text transcript of the show is available below and at officialhacksandwonks.com. Follow us on Twitter at @HacksWonks. Find the host, Crystal Fincher, on Twitter at @finchfrii and find Secretary Steve Hobbs at @electhobbs. Resources Campaign Website - Steve Hobbs Transcript [00:00:00] Crystal Fincher: Welcome to Hacks & Wonks. I'm Crystal Fincher, and I'm a political consultant and your host. On this show, we talk with policy wonks and political hacks to gather insight into local politics and policy in Washington State through the lens of those doing the work with behind-the-scenes perspectives on what's happening, why it's happening, and what you can do about it. Full transcripts and resources referenced in the show are always available at officialhacksandwonks.com and in our episode notes. Today, I'm thrilled to be welcoming a candidate and the current officeholder for one of the most important roles that we have in our state - Secretary of State. Welcome, Secretary of State Steve Hobbs. [00:00:51] Secretary Hobbs: Thank you. And thank you for saying it's very important. Thank you - I appreciate that. [00:00:56] Crystal Fincher: It is extremely important. And I think a lot of people are recognizing just how important it is now perhaps. Many more people are recognizing that than they have before because of how much talk we've had over the past couple of years about how important elections and election integrity are. But also, in addition to elections, all of the other things that the Secretary of State is responsible for like archives and records management and all those different things. And we're seeing an increasing amount of news stories and coverage in issues and challenges in those areas. So with all of that, what made you decide that - one, you wanted to take this on in the first place, and two, that you want to run for a new term? [00:01:41] Secretary Hobbs: Well, first of all, I've always dedicated myself to public service - starting at the age of 17 when I enlisted in the Army Reserves - then, and then going on to active duty shortly after that. So this was a nice transition from serving in the State Senate, which I did for 15 years, into this role because it's a nice little Venn diagram - you know how you have the two circles there? So one is defending democracy in my role in the military and the other is serving in the State Senate. And this is a great overlap because right now, as and your listeners would know, our elections have been under attack. Our democracy has been under attack. [00:02:30] Crystal Fincher: Sure has. [00:02:31] Secretary Hobbs: And so having that background that I have in the military - serving in the National Security Agency, being a Public Affairs Officer - having been in that role and defending elections in both Kosovo and Iraq, this is a great fit for me. And I enjoy it, I love it - but it of course has its challenges, which we have had several this year with three misinformation campaigns and a cyber threat that has occurred already just this year alone. [00:03:04] Crystal Fincher: So how do you defend against those? And what is the plan to combat all of this misinformation and the targeted attacks? [00:03:12] Secretary Hobbs: Well, it first started when I got into the office and there was an outbriefing by former Secretary Kim Wyman, who is now working for the Biden administration. And in that outbrief, she had told me there were several thousand - thousands - of attacks, cyber attacks, on elections and 180 instances of misinformation and disinformation. We all know about what happened in January 6 in our nation's capital, but some of you may not know or remember - there was an attack on our own State capital. We had to deploy the National Guard there. In fact, several of my soldiers had to go on that mission to defend our capital. And so I started by looking at the budget that was submitted by Kim Wyman and pulled it back and resubmitted it. And what I did was expanded the cyber security team. So we had a cyber team of four, now we've gone to eight. We're strengthening our relationships with the Air National Guard that we call upon for cyber security when we are overwhelmed. We are looking into doing exercises - one step up from a tabletop exercise, but actually a full-blown exercise in 2023, where we'll be having folks who are trying to penetrate our system through cyber and through misinformation, disinformation - a closed system there where we can react to it. We have created a team that would combat misinformation and do voter outreach and education, because some of the vulnerabilities that we have of people not having trust in our elections is because they simply don't know how we do elections here in Washington State. So we've got to do a little more education of that. And then creating a team of outreach to our disenfranchised and underserved and underrepresented communities that we're doing. Sorry, I went on, but there's a lot to do. And there's a lot that we have done so far in trying to push back on some of the misinformation campaigns that happen and the cyber threat that happened this year. [00:05:23] Crystal Fincher: Well, and it's really important - there is a lot going on. And I guess one of the more fundamental questions that people are asking themselves is - with the nature of the office and because this is a little bit different this year in that you're running against someone who identifies as an Independent, not as a Democrat or a Republican, what is the role of partisanship in this office? Is this an office that should be a partisan office? Is there any advantage or disadvantage to being a partisan in this office? How do you view that? [00:05:53] Secretary Hobbs: Well, in my personal view, I can operate in this office if the Legislature deems that it should be a nonpartisan office. Now, in order for that to happen, you have to pass a bill to do that. I doubt that will make it out of the Legislature since the Legislature is controlled by Republicans and Democrats and I don't see that happening any time soon. I think what you have to do is look at the individual who's occupying this office. How do I say this? Well, I go back to a motto - when I'm serving an infantry battalion, all infantry battalions have mottos and mine was, or ours was - "Deeds, not words." So look at what I've done, not what I say. And you'll see that I'm a person that works across the aisle. You'll see that I'm a person that can get things done. And you look at the list of endorsements that I have - I have Republican endorsements, Democratic endorsements. I have the endorsement of the Association of Washington Business and the Washington State Labor Council. And having a label on there - it doesn't do anything if you're going to be a bad person. So the last three Secretaries of State were partisan - Sam Reed, Kim Wyman, and Ralph Munro - and they were trusted with the public and they got the job done. I will say - in this day and age, though, people tend to trust Democrats running the elections, because they know where they're coming from. And I'm not going to back away from the fact that I am a Democrat. I'm proud that I'm pro-choice. I'm proud that I'm pro-labor. I'm proud that I support the environment. I don't think those are bad things at all. Whatever the Legislature decides - if they want to make this a partisan office - or nonpartisan office - that's fine. But I can operate in any environment. And I don't think it really matters anyway, at this particular time, but I'm not going to back away who I am. I'm a Democrat. [00:08:05] Crystal Fincher: That makes sense. No secret here. I think the values that you listed are very good. And that the people, in this day and age - given the harboring of anti, disproven, disinformation about elections and campaigns that they see coming from the Republican Party are comfortable - more comfortable - with the Democratic Party in this position. But with that said, there have been - I don't know that any of this has come directly from your campaign. But the State Party and the leader of the State Party has attacked the other candidate, your opponent Julie Anderson, for her associations with some Republicans, or the Republican Party. Given that - you just talked about, hey, it's about who you are, it's about what you do - do you think those attacks are warranted or fair? [00:08:57] Secretary Hobbs: Crystal, you did bring up a couple of points that have been brought up recently in this campaign. And all I can say is - to the listeners out there, look into it, right? So she did show up at the fundraiser of the minority party in the House who wants to take control of the House - that's JT Wilcox, Representative Wilcox. If you're calling yourself nonpartisan, I'm not sure why you would go to that fundraiser, representing a party and some folks out there that want to put these elections back to poll voting and eliminate vote by mail. And the same group of folks that fan the flames of misinformation and disinformation. She does have a political consultant that's Republican, and a communications team that's Republican, and a treasurer that's Republican. But I'm not here to bash on her. I'm just saying to the listeners out there - do your own research on it. But yeah, that's true that there are, she's - has some ties there. [00:10:07] Crystal Fincher: You mentioned your willingness to work across the aisle. Could that just be her attempting to do the same types of things that you were talking about in reaching out? To that, it does look like she has also, in the past - I don't know if she has in this general election - but met with Democrats and Democratic organizations. Do you put that under the same umbrella? Or is that different than just trying to work in a bipartisan manner? [00:10:33] Secretary Hobbs: I think it's an attempt to look at this race and go - okay, well, Steve's got the Democrats, so maybe I'll go get the Republicans. Because there are Republicans out there that simply just don't want a Democrat in office - and doesn't matter if that person's a good Democrat or not - they just can't stand the fact that there's a Democrat occupying that office. And so - she's going to reach out to those folks, it's just a campaign strategy. But again, I stress to the listeners - look at the backgrounds and see the deeds of the person and see what they can bring to the office. Again, I've been in the office so far for almost a year. And you got to ask yourself - is anything wrong with what's going on? And if not, why change horses at this particular moment in time? Crystal, I mentioned the three misinformation campaigns and the cyber threat - these are real things. These are real threats to democracy - I would say that you'd want someone who understands how to counter those threats. There was a story in NPR All Things Considered about a recent misinformation campaign that we pushed back on. And that happened in February - and it had to deal with one of the cybersecurity devices known as an Albert sensor that Homeland Security asks every government agency to have on their system network so that they can be warned when there's a suspicious IP address that data is coming from and to - because that's what an Albert sensor does - it tells you where the data is coming from and to. And you're not going to believe this, but the misinformation campaign directed at the Albert sensors was trying to tie the Albert sensor to George Soros. I'm not making this up. [00:12:30] Crystal Fincher: Well, unfortunately, I do believe it, but it is wild. That is - the attempt to tie everything - my goodness. [00:12:39] Secretary Hobbs: Yeah, yeah. [00:12:40] Crystal Fincher: I'm sure lots of people are shocked to hear that what they've been working on is somehow masterminded by that person. But yeah, there have been wild and malicious attacks and just an outright denial of what has happened in elections. And I actually think you raise an excellent point that we don't talk about a lot - in that you brought up even - we see this stuff happening on the national level and even January 6th on a national level. But that we did experience that in our own state at that time - both in-person and the attacks on our voting system. And so I guess one of the questions I have is given that we're in this environment of not just misinformation, but malicious disinformation, and people with an agenda to erode and degrade trust - how do you build trust in our electoral system? Because although there are absolutely people who are intentionally misleading people, there's a lot of people who sincerely believe we have issues within our system - and for a variety of different reasons and from different perspectives - this is not just Republicans, it can be a variety of people. In an environment where there is so much disinformation, how do you build trust and credibility with voters in this state? [00:13:58] Secretary Hobbs: Oh, it's a long-term campaign that you have to start right away and not only be aggressive on, but consistent on. So for example, the misinformation campaign on the Albert sensor, you have to - we brought together all the county auditors and we brought, we invited county commissioners, and we brought in Kim Wyman, Homeland Security and FBI to inform the county auditors - hey, don't believe this misinformation. It's not true. The Albert sensor is simply a device that protects you, not a George Soros machine. Unfortunately, one county removed that system and now we're still working with that. But we are right now launching a major voter information campaign called "Vote with Confidence" - we launched it yesterday. It'll be out on TV and probably when you're pumping gas - sometimes you see those video screens that are up that's showing commercials - and on social media platforms. And basically we're going to do more than just remind people to vote because we've done a great job of reminding people to vote. Myself and the county auditors have have all done that, but what we haven't done a good job of is letting you all know what happens to your vote and how it is secure, transparent, and accessible. You may know this here, Crystal, because you're familiar with politics - that you can go to your county auditor and witness the process. You can see these ballots come in, you can see them get counted, you can see every signature being checked. But the average person doesn't know that and that's what we need to start doing. We need to start telling people - even things that are somewhat technical - that this state is part of the ERIC system, the Elections Registration Information Center, where our state is connected to other states and different databases so that if you were to move to another state and register there and fail to cancel your registration here - guess what? We're going to know about it. Don't try to vote multiple times in the same election by trying to register in different counties because guess what? We're going to catch you and we have caught people doing that. This whole myth about dead people voting - that's just not true and when it does happen on very rare occasions, it's because a spouse votes for a recently deceased loved one and maybe that spouse, before they died, said who they were going to vote for and they voted for them and they signed their ballot and guess what? We catch that. We find that out, but we have to do more though - we have to let people know what happens with their ballot and we haven't been doing that. [00:16:49] Crystal Fincher: Well, and one question I have - we have seen, and there have been reported on, inconsistencies in how rigorous people are in either checking signatures or even potentially malfeasance in checking signatures. And we saw in a report on a county in our state where people with Latino surnames had signatures that were rejected at a much higher rate than those with other names, even though it appears they were valid voters, that everything else was in order - but they seemed to be disqualified visually with the commonality that they did have a Latino surname. And questions about whether racism was at play and bias within our electoral system - what role can you as the Secretary of State play to make sure that we're implementing process and executing processes across the state, throughout all of the counties, in a consistent way? And how do you hold counties accountable to that? [00:17:48] Secretary Hobbs: Yeah, thank you for that. That was a study that came out of the State Auditor. And she had - it's very shocking - Blacks were four times as much rejected, Hispanics three times as much, Asians twice as much. Young men were actually rejected at a slightly higher rate. And our role on that one is we're taking action on it. So already we're working with the Legislature. Now we know about this data, now we got to find out why that is - and so we're doing another study with the Evans School at the University of Washington. But we're not going to stand idly by and wait for the study. There's some actions that we can take already to try to mitigate that. And one of the things that we are doing, though it won't come online for probably another - probably not 'til next year - and that is text messaging the voter the moment their ballot is rejected. Because the main reason why ballots are rejected - it actually has to do with not signing the ballot. A lot of folks just fail to sign it because they - maybe they didn't see the signature block. Or, especially those where English is not their first language, they just didn't read it because it was in English. And so you have ballot rejections happening because people fail to sign. And right now the current system is we send you mail, which - not very efficient. Counties might call you. But what we're thinking about doing and what we'd like to do is - hey, send a text message out to them right away so that they know their ballot is rejected and so they can do something about it before, and sometimes even before the Election Day. Because right now most people get their ballots cured - and the term cured is used when your signatures don't match, or you failed to sign your signature - is there's a close election and a bunch of people go into a particular Legislative District or jurisdiction and they're curing ballots because there's a campaign - the campaign is trying to get their candidate across the finish line. [00:20:12] Crystal Fincher: So now - with that, and you're trying to get voters there, you're trying to make sure every vote counts. Do you also see one of your core roles as getting more people to vote - increasing turnout and participation? And if that is, how do you plan to do that? [00:20:30] Secretary Hobbs: Oh, absolutely. I think it's very important. I think we have to constantly try to do that. It's a struggle because sometimes voters just - oh, this election is not important, so I'm not going to vote. Well, we have to constantly remind folks that, hey, elections are important, it's part of the democratic process. That's why I'm happy that the Legislature gave me the funding to not only do this voter information campaign letting people know how their ballots process, but also reminding them again - hey, don't forget you got to vote, there's an election coming up. One thing that we are trying to do to increase voter turnout and increasing the amount of people getting registered - because there's a lot of people out there who are eligible to be voters but haven't done it yet - is getting at young people before they even turn a voting age. And so we're looking at, and this is theoretical this moment, but we're going to try to really push it in the next - if given the opportunity to serve out the rest of the term - a mobile gaming app targeted at young people. Maybe it is where they vote in a fantasy setting, they vote for imaginary folks - we throw on some civics questions, and maybe they get points, and they level up - to get them jazzed up, if you will, about voting and participating in our democracy. And looking at our curriculum, because we do provide curriculum to the elementary, middle school, and high school about elections - and so maybe there's a way we can make that more exciting, maybe we team up with our local tabletop game companies here in the State of Washington and send out - in a form of a game. The other thing we need to do is reach out to our underserved communities out there. And so taking a great idea from King County, the trusted messenger program - hiring folks that come from a particular community - knowing the language, knowing the community, knowing the culture. They go out there and do the outreach necessary to get people registered to vote, and teaching them and informing them about the process of voting. I can't hire enough people to do that, so we're already looking at - well, maybe we also contract out to different organizations that do that already. I was talking to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce a couple weeks ago - maybe that's an opportunity there out in the Tri-Cities - I'm going to go visit them again on the 18th of October. But we just have to do more. I was very excited - we started because COVID is slowly getting manageable - we were able to go to the July 4th naturalization ceremony in Seattle and we registered about 300 new citizens. And that is exciting - we're going to be at those events as well. [00:23:41] Crystal Fincher: So in a debate early in this race, you shared your view that we shouldn't change our electoral process to ranked choice voting, which is on the ballot in a handful of jurisdictions in our state, or approval voting - because you had concerns that some people already have issues with trust in our system and making changes might make that problem even worse. Is not making changes because of a fear of misinformation a valid reason not to explore changes? Or should we be investing in things that help make the process more clear to people, especially if it's going to update them on a voting system that should increase turnout? How did you come to that decision? [00:24:19] Secretary Hobbs: Well, Crystal, it basically - it comes to the fact that I've been in this job for a while, I've seen the amount of disinformation that's going out there. There's a King 5 poll that showed 35% of Washingtonians didn't trust the 2020 election - that's Washingtonians. And looking at the voter turnout - right now our system is pretty easy - you vote for the person that you like and it's one vote. Under ranked choice voting, you have an algorithm, you rank people. And at this particular moment in time, when you have this amount of disinformation going on and you have the situation in our own - US capital and or state capital - really now is not the time to do something like that. But one thing that I get very concerned about, and this is my own personal connection to this, is that you're asking people to vote in a foreign way, something completely different. And that we have a huge population of people where English is not their first language. And so now you are going to disenfranchise a group of people. And that's something we certainly do not want to happen. I think about my own mother who naturalized to this country - English is not her first language - and I can't imagine if you go back in time and all of a sudden you said - hey, vote ranked choice voting, and you didn't have a voter's guide or any explanation to her in her language, it'd be very difficult. I also think about my son. I have a - my middle son, Truman, who's got a cognitive disability. It's very easy for him to vote because I show him the ballot and I show him the voter's guide and I go - hey, Truman, all you do is you color in the bubble to the person that you like. And for Truman, a lot of it's visual - he's going to look at the picture, he's not going to do a lot of reading. And by the way, he has every right to vote. If you have a disability, that shouldn't prevent you from voting. [00:26:29] Crystal Fincher: Absolutely. [00:26:30] Secretary Hobbs: He is going to have a hard time doing ranked choice voting. It's just not possible for him. And so I know the advocates out there pushing the ranked choice voting, but let's not disenfranchise a whole group of people out there. They may not be the majority, but they're out there and we shouldn't disenfranchise them. Also, I don't know what this is solving. I really don't. We have the most diverse legislative body right now under the current system of voting, a very diverse city council if you live in the City of Seattle. I'm not quite sure what this is trying to solve. But I will say this because I know that there has been - people say, oh, well, he's not going to help us out when we do ranked choice voting. That's not true. My job as Secretary of State is to support the elections in the state and local municipalities. And that is exactly what I'll do if a municipality or county chooses to do ranked choice voting. But I am telling you and I am asking the citizens, please pause and think about it before you choose ranked choice voting, because there are other people out there that may not get it. It may be difficult to understand. Let's not leave them out in the cold and let's think about our democracy right now with the amount of misinformation that's out there. [00:27:59] Crystal Fincher: Well, and I guess I should ask a clarifying question because ranked choice voting is certainly one reform or change that is on the ballot. There's also another change currently on the ballot in a jurisdiction this year - approval voting. We see different methods of voting - one, just in our neighbor to the south in Portland - there they have a different type of voting on the ballot for their city this year. We're seeing a number of different types. So is your opposition strictly to ranked choice voting or to any of the kinds of changes, whether it's ranked choice or approval voting or any kind of change that would be made? [00:28:36] Secretary Hobbs: It's right now - this particular moment in time - is any kind of change, unless you can find a way where you're going to get the word out to those individuals where English is not their first language, where they've got cognitive disabilities, and the fact - hey, is this vulnerable to a misinformation? Because right now, if there's a close election, you just count out the votes and whoever has the most votes wins. That's how it's done, right - in close races. But let's say it's ranked choice voting or preferred voting - it gets slightly complicated. In ranked choice voting, you're basing it upon an algorithm. And so now, what's going to happen? Well, what's going to happen is you're going to have a group of individuals who didn't get their way, and they're going to say, oh, this algorithm got hacked, which is not true. This algorithm, written by George Soros, and again, not true. But that's what's going to happen. [00:29:36] Crystal Fincher: Well, I don't know that I would call it an algorithm, but a different method of tabulation and rounds of tabulation. [00:29:42] Secretary Hobbs: Well, that's what we call it - it doesn't make it a bad thing. It just - that's what it is. There's nothing wrong with it. I'm just saying to you that you just leave yourself vulnerable to misinformation that could attack it. [00:29:59] Crystal Fincher: I got you - but I think the underlying, as you pointed out, related concern is they are on the ballot and those changes may be made in places. And so the role of - again, in the implementation of these things - certainly there can be a lot of challenges that are introduced with implementation - how well just the system itself is implemented, and how well residents are trained and informed and educated before it happens. Do you plan on playing a role in that and being an advocate for voting and participating in the system should one of those be implemented? [00:30:41] Secretary Hobbs: Well, we have to - that's the role. I can't not do that as Secretary of State. I have to make sure that these - if a local jurisdiction chooses this form of election, then of course, we're going to be there to support it. [00:30:59] Crystal Fincher: And so I do want to talk about - we've talked about elections - and that's, to most people, the most visible thing that you're involved with as Secretary of State. But my goodness, you have a lot more responsibilities than that - just going down the list, aside from dealing with elections and initiatives and referendums - producing and distributing the Voters' Pamphlet and any legal advertising; registering private corporations, limited partnerships and trademarks; registering individuals, organizations and commercial fundraisers involved in charitable solicitations; administering the State's address confidentiality program, which is really important for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking; collecting and preserving the historical records of the state and making those records available for research; coordinating implementation of the State's records management laws; affixing the State seal and attesting to commissions, pardons and other documents to which the signature of the governor is required; regulating use of the State seal, which came in handy in another state - there was a whole thing about - that is an important and relevant thing. Filing and attesting to official acts of the Legislature or governor and certifying to the Legislature all matters legally required to be certified. You're also frequently called upon to represent the State of Washington in international trade and cultural missions, and greet and confer with dignitaries and delegations visiting the State of Washington from other countries. This is a big, big job and my goodness, you have your hands full with just elections, but there are so many other things underneath the umbrella of your responsibility. How do you both focus on elections and all of the other stuff? And how has this gone so far? [00:32:47] Secretary Hobbs: Well, I've got a great staff and I got great people who manage these different divisions. Thank you for mentioning those other things because sometimes my employees that are in libraries and corporations and nonprofits and legacy - which is history of Washington State - not to mention our CFD, our Combined Fund Drive - sometimes they feel neglected. My Secretary of State's office is about nearly 300 people and 22 people occupy Elections. There's a lot more that we do than just elections and I love it. I actually love the other side. It's very therapeutic to me because there's not the controversy that's involved in those other aspects. Libraries are near and dear to my heart. In fact, we have libraries in every state institution - our state prisons and our state hospital. I'm proud to announce that we're actually going into our state juvenile detention facilities, which we haven't done, and I'm glad we're doing that. It's about time - they should be in there. What I'm going to do and what I'm starting to do is use our state libraries as a place for rehabilitation - getting folks who are incarcerated, giving them the skills necessary when they leave the prison. We really haven't done that in the past and I'm looking forward to doing that. I get it's not going to be a lot of people, but you know what? Let's not let that space go to waste. I'm also excited using libraries as a place where we can provide therapy for the incarcerated. I'm working with, or talking with, some of the tabletop gaming companies - the use of RPGs and gaming as a form of therapy is an opportunity for us - to have that in our state libraries, so I'm looking at that. We team up with rural libraries and community libraries out there in Washington State - we're looking at doing more of that - creating game libraries out in the rural communities. They do it in Vancouver and in Spokane - they actually have game libraries where you can go and play games and it's an opportunity to create a safe space for young people out there in rural communities where a library is the only place where they can go to. And of course, corporations, charities - you had mentioned that. We are on the verge of creating satellite offices so that you don't have to drive all the way to Olympia if you have a problem with your corporate filings and your nonprofit filings, so I'm looking forward to that. People shouldn't have to drive to Olympia if they're having major problems. And there's a lot of people out there just - it's hard for them to navigate the internet, especially those who are older. So we're doing a lot out there with the other agencies of my office, so thank you for bringing it up. [00:35:53] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, absolutely. And so there are a few things - so many things we could talk about - these are all things that have areas, they're crucially important, they require deep expertise. You are there, and as in many departments and in many areas, there are very professional, dedicated, experienced staff who keep this running between and across administrations who are crucial to the work. But there are conversations about how important having a leader with experience in these types of work is. And that's been one of the areas that your opponent, Julie Anderson, has talked about as an advantage that she has in this race - as an auditor who, in addition to dealing with elections, also deals with a broad portfolio of responsibilities - that she has experience with many of these things, in addition to elections. And decades of experience she talks about, and that it's important to have that kind of experience in elections and in these other areas in the office, and saying you don't have it. How do you respond to that? [00:37:06] Secretary Hobbs: Well, I would say that clearly she doesn't know my background. And again, I offer anyone to look at my background, but I've been in the military for 33 years. And I've had varying levels of experience in the military leadership - commanded recently a 750 joint task force dealing with COVID support operations in Western Washington. That is far more employees than I even have now as Secretary of State, far more than what Julie Anderson has in her office doing multiple tasks. And that's just not just one thing - commanding companies and commanding battalion-level units - multiple people in a unit. Also, the the fact that I'm doing it right now. I've been running the Secretary of State's office for almost a year, and no complaints - I really haven't heard any major complaints from anybody. And it's been a blast doing it, using my skills - not just in the military - but having a Master's in Public Administration, my service in the State Senate. It's not easy being Chair of Transportation and managing that very large budget and navigating legislation. So I have more than enough skill, right now, in this office. Again, I just invite you to look at the backgrounds of each of us. [00:38:41] Crystal Fincher: Which makes sense. And so within those, what are you doing to preserve historical records, which is one of the things within the state - especially as we see in some areas, there are people who are much less interested in the preservation of historical records. And sometimes challenging that and attacking that at the federal level, bleeding down to other levels. And how do you make those records more readily available to the public than they are today? [00:39:09] Secretary Hobbs: Ah, yes. Well, so one of the things that we're doing - and it's challenging, because we just have so much paper records right now - digitizing all those records. So we're trying to provide more, hiring more people to do that, hiring better equipment. Just as I got into office, I traveled all - most, pretty much all the state archives buildings, except for one - talking to rank and file there. When I went to Bellingham, I talked to the archives folks there. And they were telling me, Hey, we need a large scanner to be more efficient, because right now we got to take - so you got to scan sometimes larger maps and stuff, you got to send it all the way to Olympia. It's well, let's see if we can purchase and get you a scanner so that you can do it there to make things more efficient. So those are the things I've been looking at. And of course, being able to have access to that online is very important to me. And digitizing our records is just one small part in keeping our records, but also telling the story about our state. As the state archives, I have the - we have the State Constitution, we have these old documents, and they shouldn't be behind a vault, a dark vault. People should see this, so I'm again, this is theoretical, and hopefully I have to get the Legislature's funding approval on this. But I'd like to bring these artifacts out, this history out, and travel the state and show people, show young people - visit, maybe, the high schools and elementary schools - hey, this is the history of our state. We're building a new library, and we're going to put a lot of info - not just our archives in there and books, but the state's history and the state's culture - let's tell the story about, especially in my community - I'm an Asian American, there's the Japanese that were put into camps. Let's talk about that story. Let's talk about Native, our Native peoples in this state - how we took their land and how they were struggling, and now they've become a political power in this state and how great that is, and how they have educated us on the environment - saving salmon. We need to tell these stories, and I've been looking at using our archives and our libraries to develop - not competition with you, of course - but doing a podcast. [00:41:35] Crystal Fincher: I'm all for it. I'm all for it. [00:41:38] Secretary Hobbs: Yeah, and talk and do it in the style of YouTube and Twitch, so there's interaction there at the same time. And I'm going to go on a bit of a tangent here, because I forgot to mention this, but - the listeners out there, if you're really into podcasts, there's one called Ear Hustle, which is a podcast ran by those incarcerated in the California penal system. And I want to do that here in the State of Washington. I want the prisoners to do their own podcasts to talk about how they got there, and how is life behind bars, and how they're changing themselves for the better. No, I really want to bring to life, light, what is going on in Washington State. [00:42:26] Crystal Fincher: So is it fair to say that you would want to - we have our physical libraries, we have our archives across and around the state - that you want to also create a digital library that is accessible to researchers, to the public - to see these artifacts. I was on a different site reading treaties, actually, that are incredibly interesting - to see what was promised and agreed to, and what actually wound up being delivered - which are in most cases, two very different things. But is that what you're looking to do - to be able to have people access, have access to these things - to view, to see - virtually as well as in-person? [00:43:08] Secretary Hobbs: Oh, yes, absolutely. You can do some of that already. But man, we have so much - so much archives. I was up in, again, the Bellingham one, and I pulled out this old, dusty, large leatherbound book. And I opened it up - a lot of the pages were empty. I just kept on turning the page, turning the page, and finally a page came up, and there was this story. It was very funny - it was nice handwriting - it basically said something like, Laura Smith marries David Hamilton, and two chickens, a cow, and some land was exchanged, or something like that. That, I don't know, I geek out over that. I think that's totally cool. It was a story of, obviously, a wedding, because we counties always record marriages, and that was recorded before the days of statehood in our territorial days. So all that needs to be preserved, that needs to be digitized, and we all need to see it. I think that's fantastic. [00:44:09] Crystal Fincher: All right - so we have heard from several municipalities, several reporters in municipalities about challenges with record management. And this is another part of your portfolio - records management across the state, which is also really related to the ability to deliver on public records requests, public disclosure requests - the ability to do that. And how many challenges there are within the system - hearing from municipalities and from reporters across the state that wait times for documents, for discovering whether something exists or doesn't exist, for records that should have been retained that have been deleted - creating lots of challenges for - really the goal of retaining a record is so you can be able to access the information. And so people who are entitled to that information, including the public, can access their information. We are seeing so many challenges with that right now - in the length of time it takes to fulfill requests, in the consistency of how records are retained and managed. What can you do to improve that? [00:45:15] Secretary Hobbs: Well, just like I said last time, I just got to get more people to do the digitization of our records and better equipment - especially the older documents - to have that scanned in. But the other thing that we've been noticing, Crystal, and maybe your listeners out there might know this - is the weaponization of the public records requests, where you have somebody making an outrageous request of a government agency to simply overwhelm them. And we have seen the rise of that as well, which is unfortunate, because that is not what the public records laws were meant to do. It was meant for transparency, not to overwhelm a local government with a frivolous request. Which is unfortunate - local governments and our own state government are struggling to try to keep up, but we have to be transparent, and that's what we constantly are trying to do. [00:46:19] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, and even that area is a big challenge. For the person making the request, it's always interesting, but I think there have been some instances - certainly that I can recall - where someone who disagrees with the nature of the request, or maybe it's from some political - people who disagree with decisions that they've made before, or reporters who are simply investigating what is going on - being characterized as malicious, but seemingly making some standard requests. Now, there are certainly bad actors out there, but that is not the entirety of the issue. And so for - looking at implementing records management processes across the state, assisting municipalities with that - is there anything that can be done? Is it a situation where truly - sure, we have these retention policies, we have to save this, but if we don't have the staff, then that's just it. And ultimately, then the public does not get access to information that they're entitled to. Are we really relying on allocations of funding from the Legislature and from other levels of government to be able to deliver upon this really basic entitlement that the public has? [00:47:32] Secretary Hobbs: Well, there's certainly attempts and technology changes to make this easier, but it does come down sometimes to people. And so that is a struggle. But we've done a really good job of meeting the public records requests ourselves in our own - we're a separately elected agency - but some of these small towns and cities are, they're having some challenges out there. [00:48:02] Crystal Fincher: Well, as we get close to wrapping up our time here, as voters are considering who they're going to choose in this election and trying to weigh - okay, I'm hearing arguments on one side, I'm hearing arguments from the opponent. Why should I choose you, and what am I going to see that's different, or what will I not see that's different - if they vote for you? What do you say to voters who are undecided as they consider this decision? [00:48:33] Secretary Hobbs: What I would say to them is the Office of Secretary of State has changed. It has changed across the United States and those offices as well. It's not one that it just simply works with the counties to manage, oversee, and support elections. It is now one where you have to protect democracy, you have to protect elections from threats of misinformation and cyber threats. And I am the only candidate that has the background to do that - with my background in the military, having served in the NSA, with my background of being a Public Affairs Officer, being a graduate of Department of Defense Information School, knowing how to combat misinformation and combat cyber threats. Also, the fact that I can work across the aisle and have done so in my 15 years in the State Senate - it's the one of the reasons why I have Republican endorsements and why I've been endorsed by organizations that typically oppose each other, like the Association of Washington Business and the Washington State Labor Council. Also, we need to have somebody that understands and can speak for those communities that are underserved and underrepresented. I'm a son of an Asian immigrant. I am the first API member that's ever been Secretary of State, and I'm the only statewide official who's a person of color. We need to have somebody that represents them as well. And lastly, I ask you this - because in all these elections, when you're trying to get rid of someone, is that person just not working for you? Are they not doing a good job? I've been in this office for almost a year. Are there any complaints? If the horse is getting you to the place where you need to go to, and the horse is a good horse and strong and improving, why change horses? We've done, like I said, we've handled three fairly large misinformation campaigns that - reported in NPR and NBC News. We've had two special elections in a statewide primary, and those have gone smoothly. And then you've heard in this episode here about what I want to do with other aspects of the office, such as libraries and corporations and legacy. So if you're happy with those things, there's really no need to change. And so I'm hoping that you will give me a chance to do the full term. And just to think of the improvements that I can do in the next two years. And of course, I'm always going to be there to defend democracy, defend elections, because I did it for real in Kosovo and Iraq, and I'm doing it now as your Secretary of State. [00:51:34] Crystal Fincher: Well, thank you so much for joining us today, for having this conversation, and for letting the voters get to know you a little bit more. Much appreciated. Thank you so much. [00:51:42] Secretary Hobbs: Thank you. [00:51:43] Crystal Fincher: Thank you all for listening to Hacks & Wonks. The producer of Hacks & Wonks is Lisl Stadler. Our assistant producer is Shannon Cheng, and our post-production assistant is Bryce Cannatelli. You can find Hacks & Wonks on Twitter @HacksWonks, and you can follow me @finchfrii, spelled F-I-N-C-H-F-R-I-I. You can catch Hacks & Wonks on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever else you get your podcasts - just type "Hacks and Wonks" into the search bar. Be sure to subscribe to get our Friday almost-live shows and our midweek show delivered right to your podcast feed. If you like us, leave us a review wherever you listen. You can also get a full transcript of this episode and links to the resources referenced in the show at officialhacksandwonks.com and in the episode notes. Thanks for tuning in - talk to you next time.
Mark and Frank talked about Albany politics needing to be fixed. Frank said too many leaders have been infected by money and influence to do an honest job for the people. Frank told Mark he never thought of running for office until he saw the direction the state was heading, and felt he had to get involved.
Kirk, Pat, and Kristin talk to candidates Kelly Westlund and Laura Gapske from the Superior/Ashland area of Northwest Wisconsin about how they must win their traditionally blue State Senate and Assembly races in order to protect Governor Evers' veto from a badly gerrymandered Republican state legislature. Later, they discuss how Gapske's opponent has been extremely vicious and reminiscent of another mean politician, Marjorie Taylor Greene. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Dom Giordano, WPHT host and former teacher, has dedicated much of his daily show toward parents who are taking it into their own hands to push back against school boards that have a negative impact on their children. This has culminated in a weekly podcast on education, Readin', Writin', and Reason, which has allowed wonderful relationships to develop between Giordano, educators, and parents throughout the country who are speaking out against overbearing school boards. First, Dom welcomes Clarice Schillinger of BackToSchoolUSA back onto the Dom Giordano Program to discuss what she's been up to since running for Pennsylvania's Attorney General. Dom and Clarice discuss the importance of lower level political races such as school board, with Clarice telling that she plans to put her money where her mouth is and run for her local school board. Then, Dom welcomes back Megan Brock, a mom from out in Bucks County, who along with other parents continues their crusade to understand what's being done inside schools, particularly centered on Coronavirus lockdowns. Today, Brock presented in Harrisburg to State Senate a new bill for parental rights along with State Senator and Gubernatorial Candidate Doug Mastriano. Brock tells about the new bill presented by the State Senator, stressing the necessity for transparency from both the State government and local school boards when determining decisions on curriculum and lockdowns.
In today's third hour, Dom welcomes back Megan Brock, a mom from out in Bucks County, who along with other parents continues their crusade to understand what's being done inside schools, particularly centered on Coronavirus lockdowns. Today, Brock presented in Harrisburg to State Senate a new bill for parental rights along with State Senator and Gubernatorial Candidate Doug Mastriano. Brock tells about the new bill presented by the State Senator, stressing the necessity for transparency from both the State government and local school boards when determining decisions on curriculum and lockdowns. (Photo by Getty Images)
Emma hosts State Senator Chloe Maxmin of Maine's 13th District and political activist Canyon Woodward to discuss their recent book Dirt Road Revival: How to Rebuild Rural Politics and Why Our Future Depends On It. Then, Emma is joined by Ruth Ben-Ghiat, professor of history and Italian studies at New York University, to discuss the recent Italian election results and what they mean for Europe and the rest of the world. First, Emma runs through updates on Hurricane Ian's path of devastation, Schumer's Continuing Resolution, the White House finally waiving the Jones Act, the DoD joining the DHS and Secret Service in covering up 1/6 texts, and more, before diving into Ron DeSantis' comments on ANOTHER “once in a century” disaster hitting Florida. Then, she's joined by Senator Chloe Maxim and Canyon Woodward as they dive into their roots in rural organizing, with Maxim growing up in Maine and Woodward in North Carolina, and meeting during the inception of the Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement at Harvard, moving from there to running Maxim's progressive campaigns (first for Maine Statehouse then State Senate) with a focus on grassroots rural organizing. Maxim and Woodward then dive into the tactics that grounded their victories in Maine, with a focus on tailoring their discussions and policy focuses to the interest of the community they were representing, including having strong disagreements with her constituents and working to understand where it comes from, and grounding her programs (such as establishing a Green New Deal for Maine) in the tackling the anxieties and pressures that most concern them (farming, fishing infrastructure, etc). Wrapping up, they tackle how the Democrats lost their foothold on rural voters over the last three decades, with complete disinvestment from the communities, and Democratic leadership (particularly in the wake of the 2010 midterms) shifting any electoral focus to exclusively urban and suburban areas, and exploring what we can learn about Maine (and Maine's rural voters) from Sarah Giddeon's loss to Susan Collins. Ruth Ben-Ghiat and Emma then tackle the rise of Giorgia Meloni through Italy's fascist remnants in the 20th Century and to the top of the new Alt-Right neofascist party Fratelli d'Italia. They tackle the difference between her politics and that of other Italian far-right parties such as La Lega and Forza Italia, Meloni's history of anti-Semitic neonazi conspiracy theory, and the greater hyper-nationalist yet transnational movement of the far right today, where Meloni sees the GOP as central to the project. They also explore where Meloni's reign is likely to go next, and what institutional elements of Italian politics can do to fight back. And in the Fun Half: Emma is joined by Matt and Binder as they tackle the Right Wing reaction to Meloni's victory, with Jimmy Dore aligning himself with Hillary Clinton and Dave Rubin attempting to put the rise of fascism at the feet of queer people, exploring the uniting features of fascism and the GOP that are preoccupation with (white) community “decline” and an obsession with victimhood. In keeping with right-wing-reactionary insanity, they also touch on reactions from Ben Shaprio and Pedro Gonzalez to Lizzo's humiliation of the founding fathers by… playing the flute. Sandy from Ontario calls in to discuss the rise of Pierre Poilievre on the Canadian right, plus, your calls and IMs! Check out Sen. Maxmin and Canyon's book here: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/691154/dirt-road-revival-by-chloe-maxmin-and-canyon-woodward/ Check out the upcoming movie "Rural Runners" that features Sen. Maxmin and Canyon's campaign here: https://vimeo.com/663434221/cc2be85c42 Check out Ruth on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/ruthbenghiat?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor Become a member at JoinTheMajorityReport.com: https://fans.fm/majority/join Subscribe to the AMQuickie newsletter here: https://am-quickie.ghost.io/ Join the Majority Report Discord! http://majoritydiscord.com/ Get all your MR merch at our store: https://shop.majorityreportradio.com/ Get the free Majority Report App!: http://majority.fm/app Follow the Majority Report crew on Twitter: @SamSeder @EmmaVigeland @MattBinder @MattLech @BF1nn @BradKAlsop Check out Matt's show, Left Reckoning, on Youtube, and subscribe on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/leftreckoning Subscribe to Discourse Blog, a newsletter and website for progressive essays and related fun partly run by AM Quickie writer Jack Crosbie. https://discourseblog.com/ Check out Matt Binder's YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/mattbinder Subscribe to Brandon's show The Discourse on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/ExpandTheDiscourse Check out Ava Raiza's music here! https://avaraiza.bandcamp.com/ The Majority Report with Sam Seder - https://majorityreportradio.com/