Washington State Secretary of State Race 2012

Here’s the candidates you have for Washington Secretary of State so far:

Kim Wyman (R) – Thurston County Auditor
Kathleen Drew (D) – Ex-State Sen. & Ex-Gubernatorial Aide
Jim Kastama (D) – State Sen. & Ex-State Rep.
Greg Nickels (D) – Ex-Seattle Mayor, Ex-King County Councilman & Ex-US Conference of Mayors President

Not one of them is looking to fix our broken system, instead they are all looking to further their political careers. And I’ve debated Kim Wyman on TV before, she’s going to wipe the floor with everyone on this list anyway. She’s a Sam Reed clone, better looking, and smarter. She won’t fix the system. And I believe she is a great liar for the status quo. She is not honest. But she knows the system inside and out, and is way better looking than anyone else in the race.

It’s going to be Kathleen Drew versus Kim Wyman, and Kathleen Drew is no better at all. So far I don’t care who wins of these lying career politicians and/or ignorant fools, it doesn’t matter. Kim Wyman takes this easy though. So far. Kastama had a shot, but he fucked the Dems and the Republicans have long ago anointed Kim.

Vote-By Mail, counted in secret, run through private computer systems, no public oversight or control, and elections that are neither accurate, fair, honest or useful. Every single candidate on the list endorses the system as it is. It’s disgusting.

Computers adding wrong, “I got a penny extra in gas!”

Hi everyone, I haven’t been writing much on this blog in a few years since starting my business. However, this caught my eye today as we head into another election cycle in which
private companies count our votes using secret vote counting software.

I had pre-paid for gas at AM/PM for $25.00 of gas. But the pump dispensed $25.01 in gas. I took a picture. And it also printed on my receipt. Now obviously AM/PM has no vested interest in giving me even 1 penny more in gas than I paid for, but according to their “computers” that’s what it tells me happened. And while it might not matter to AM/PM that this happens once in a great while. When we are talking about counting millions of votes with private software, we don’t necessarily want to just blindly trust that “counting software” is accurate.

Anyway, nothing earth shattering but it was interesting… if I find a copy of the receipt I’ll scan it in later…

Want to know about problems with Voting By Mail?

Yep, that’s what this site is all about.

Here’s a good place to start, if you are looking for a list of problems found with 100% absentee voting systems.

I have been writing about the voting by mail for about 5 years now. Most of the press covering Wasington and Oregon’s voting systems either supports these systems outright, or does not take a critical eye to the vast change our law makers have made without much reason. I started this blog to track as much information as was available, and to share that information with the worldwide web at large.

At one point, I counted up and found over
89 Articles About Why Voting By Mail is a Very Bad Idea.

Now, it’s easily over 100.

Recently I ran for Bremerton City Council. There were less than 800 votes cast in my little district. The night of the election, I was behind, but only by around 25 votes. The next day, and the next, the vote counting continued. It wasn’t until the day of the certification that it was decided officially that I had lost, and the incumbent had won.

The voting by mail process has disenfranchised me, as a voter. It has made the vote counting process horribly slow. It has thrown security concerns out the window, and the convenience that it sells itself on has had many unintended consequences from high numbers of signatures that don’t match, to hundreds if not thousands of votes lost in the mail. Routinely.

But now the system has also screwed up the process of campaigning, and made the counting of elections take weeks, rather than a day or two.

Please feel free to contact me with questions, I am always interested in helping anyone interested in working for voting integrity and against schemes like 100% forced vote-by mail.

New to the site?

Looking for the quick highlights?

Check this link for all you need to know about Vote-By Mail Problems.

RIP Caleb Schaber

Caleb Schaber

Caleb Schaber

Caleb Schaber was a man who made you nervous. And like Dick Cheney, you were always worried he might just shoot you in the face. But unlike Dick Cheney, you were more worried that he’d probably shoot himself in the face before he got to you.

And you loved him for it.

I met Caleb first, online, almost 13 or 14 years ago. We went to college together. And his online persona proceeded him. He’d fight with people constantly.

And yet, if you didn’t fall for his shit, he’d like you for it. A few weeks, or months later, I met him in person, and he was nothing like the Caleb I knew online. As one friend put it, he was fragile, way more fragile than you expected.

The last time I saw Caleb he was packing up a grease powered panel van with Esmerelda Strange in my front yard and heading off for new adventures. He had stayed a few days, and we got to play some music, drink some beer, and shoot the shit… and there was a lot to talk about. There always was.

Caleb was a kindred spirit, someone who lived out loud, because it was the only way that he could. It wasn’t a choice he was making, it wasn’t an act. It was just Caleb.

In the time I knew him he wrote more articles for the University of Washington’s Daily than any person before or since, crazy shit, about his own life mostly. He’d be off to chase aliens at Area 51, or writing the most offensive crap the UW Daily ever printed. And the Publisher at the time would be drinking Milk of Magnesia, I’m sure, and wishing it was Milk of Amnesia.

Caleb jumped off the Aurora Avenue bridge once, and got a steel rod through his back to prove it.

He also ran for Mayor of Seattle, after getting a tremendous amount of tattoo work, one that just said “FUCK YOU.” He came in either 3rd or 4th, outta 6 contestants. Which meant he beat people. Which wasn’t suprising, because Caleb was smart, and likeable. Even people that hated Caleb liked him. Mayor Greg Nickels said it himself, “I like Caleb, Caleb’s a nice guy.” I don’t know if Caleb liked Greg Nickels. I would guess not.

After years of gonzo-style journalism, Caleb decided to jump off another bridge, and head to Afghansitan and Iraq, with stops in between. Many of us that knew him figured he’d get himself killed, as if you knew him, you knew the fragile part of Caleb, just as well as you knew the tough as nails part of Caleb.

And in the end, I can’t say what killed Caleb, other than Caleb. He shot himself. He did it in front of someone who loved him. It was a cruel and unforgiveable act. And the reason we all feared Caleb, and loved Caleb, and tried to help Caleb.

I too loved Caleb. He was a good friend, and a good enemy, and a caring and hateful and filled with rage sorta guy. He was as raw nerve, like I will never know again.

I’ll miss him, a lot.

RIP
Caleb Schaber

Our Vote Live, National Database of Absentee Voting Problems

http://www.ourvotelive.org/responses.php?op=list&&filter_subset=epc_absprob

Just came across this link and wanted to keep track of it. It’s a national database of voting problems, and the link above will give you a long list of complaints registered by voters concerning voting by absentee.

Ron Sims Misuses HUD Funds?

In an article from 10 years ago by noted columnist Geov Parrish, we get a glimpse of what HUD is in store for under Ron Sims:

http://eatthestate.org/03-11/RonSimsBaggage.htm

You might have thought, after the protracted investigative fiasco that accompanied the City of Seattle and Nordstrom’s use of HUD money to finance a glitzy new downtown retail palace–or even the firestorm of criticism that met the city’s giveaway of the lucrative PacMed building to a “public-private partnership” this fall–that The Usual Suspects would be lying low for a while.

Then again, you might believe that Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Teletubbies are all hanging out in Baghdad this week, catching some rays.

In what may be the most audacious non-stadium use yet locally of public money for a private project, County Executive Rom Sims last Tuesday announced–to virtually no media attention–a financing scheme for a planned new four-star hotel on Port of Seattle property at Sea-Tac airport, adjacent to Concourse C and connected directly to both the concourse and the parking garage. The Westin hotel would be majority-owned by the Multi-Employer Property Trust, a pension fund manager for building trades unions (home base for Ron Judd, head of the King County Labor Council). MEPT is an investor in the new Pacific Place retail development downtown. It would receive a 53-year ground lease on the airport land.

To swing the deal, King County proposes to offer Community Development Block Grant money: an $8 million HUD loan under Section 108, the same provision used by Nordstrom’s to purchase the “blighted” Frederick & Nelson building downtown. Section 108 loans are generally given to non-profits, low-income housing developers, and social service agencies. King County is proposing the loan under a provision that 51% or more of the jobs created will be low or moderate income–a fair bet for an enormous hotel, heavy on the maids and bellhops. (How many of those jobs, in a union-owned hotel, won’t be unionized or pay a livable wage?)

Sims’ press conference posturing about having extracted public benefit for the deal was, at best, disingenuous; without the jobs promise, the loan would be illegal. According to backers, 216 new full-time jobs and 44 part-time jobs would be created; the $8 million, therefore, represents about $60,000 per low-income job. The county is essentially putting up the first few years of the cost of half of the hotel’s work force.

Once again, the public is picking up the risk for a private investor’s nearly certain profit. Moreover, the plopping of a elegant upscale hotel on highly visible public property is in many ways similar to Seattle’s strategy for its downtown retail core: the creation of public space where the extremely wealthy will feel comfortable, and the poor won’t be welcome. Except, in this case, as part of the servant class.

More pointedly, the county’s desire to use CBDG money for a hotel development (owned by a real estate speculator associated with one of Sims’ biggest political backers) comes sharply on the heels of a proposed King County budget that cuts social services. Sims’ budget also contained a proposal for a property tax increase–six times the increase allowed under Prop 47 limits–to pay for more cops to combat a crime wave that may or may not exist. Sims is also happy to spend money on himself; the budget for the county exec’s office has steadily expanded under his rule.

The whole article is still available online, here.  I can’t find any follow-up to it yet. But with Ron Sims history of botched million dollar computer deals, hiring Jeffrey Dean to program King County’s voter registration database, and his claims that Diebold machines are “hacker proof” it is clear he is not a man to be trusted with public funds.

Hopefully this all comes to light when he is investigated for this position. While King County will be better off without him, I fear giving him even more power in Washington DC.