Early returns from ballots so far show mixed results for the races that we’ve endorsed.  The results will change as ballots continue to be counted, so here’s a rundown of whether our endorsements are ahead or behind. You can view full updated statewide results here.

Patty Murray (United States Senate)*
Marko Liias (21st District, State Rep. Position 2)
Chris Reykdal (22nd District, State Rep. Position 1)
Joe Fitzgibbon (34th District, State Rep. Position 2)
Bellingham Proposition 1

Initiative 1053**
Initiative 1107**
Charlie Wiggins (State Supreme Court Justice, Position 6)*
Jake Fey (27th District, State Rep. Position 1)
Geoff Simpson (47th District, State Rep. Position 1)

*Indicates toss-up.
**We endorsed ‘NO’ votes, so these initiatives are currently passing.

14 Replies to “Election 2010: Early Returns Mixed for Transit”

  1. If you really want “transit” then you all should join me in the fight for fair and equitable property taxes.

    Right now, Washington State has a hodgepodge of restrictions and deals that make property assessment completely non-uniform. And overall, people who should be paying more, aren’t while a great, great many people are paying way too much…on top of the 10 percent sales tax!

    1. Non-uniform property taxes are awful. Y’all have nothing on California’s 30-year disaster there, of course. In NY, property taxes are too high, but at least they’re fairly uniform (apart from variation from municipality to municipality)…. except for the “tax abatements” granted to scummy commercial developers who promise (but usually fail) to “create jobs”, of which there are far too money.

      Sigh. Tax fairness is a good idea. But as long as Republicans claim to be for tax fairness while in fact pushing tax breaks for their buddies, it becomes rather hard to advocate for it successfully.

  2. Great news on Prop. 1 for students in B’ham. I really think WTA blew it by putting their first transit funding proposal on a special election ballot with almost zero time to campaign for support.

  3. It’s good to remember that in 2008 a number of people were calling for light rail to be on the ballot in 2010, if that would have happened it would have failed. In hindsight it was a great idea.

    1. We’re extremely lucky ST2 passed in 2008. It alone will cover most of the highest-ridership areas, and make it possible for one to do most of one’s trips by train if one lives and works in certain areas. So even if no extensions get built beyond it, it’s in the most effective location it can be, and will make a major contribution to the region’s mobility, similar to adding two freeways. Unfortunately it leaves Ballard, West Seattle, Kirkland, Renton, etc, behind, but two lines can’t do everything.

  4. Oh dear. Washington State got royally screwed by Tim Eyman.

    Well, start working on repeal. These sorts of supermajority requirements are uniformly disastrous, just ask California. State legislatures have a bias toward cutting taxes anyway — this sort of crap guarantees red ink in the state budget until it’s repeated.

    1. “legislatures have a bias toward cutting taxes”… Where, when? If that were remotely true then what’s the beef? “this sort of crap guarantees red ink in the state budget”… wrong, the State isn’t allowed to run a deficit. The Governor must propose and the legislature come to agreement on a balanced budget. Guarantee though that the State will spend exactly how much money they are able to take in. When was the last time the news from Olympia was, “Gosh, we’ve funded everything and we’ve still got this big pile of money left over to rebate to the tax payers. About as close as it ever gets is the “rainy day” fund and as we know, there sure are a lot of rainy days in this State.

      1. Well Bernie, according to Tim adding tolls or raising ferry fares will take a 2/3 vote of the legislature or a statewide vote of the people.

        Even better he’s coming for the $20 license fees some jurisdictions have implemented as well as vehicle weight fees, red light cameras, and Sound Transit.

        Tim and his supporters are convinced there is this magic bucket of “waste, fraud, and abuse” that if only the legislature would cut it there would be money to fund everything the people want including expensive infrastructure projects.

      2. The problem is that tax-cutters aren’t being realistic about what services the state needs to provide and how much it costs. Yes, there is waste in union contracts and management salaries, pensions, and health benefits. But starving the state/county/city ends up holding the public hostage: e.g., suboptimal transit. And a combination of tax-cutting and initiative-mandates means a greater percentage of the budget goes to a few specific things, and everything else gets shortchanged. (This is more of an issue in California than Washington. It’s also why I was concerned about the education+health restriction in the income-tax initiative: what about transit?)

        For the logical result of tax-cutting, see Colorado: from what I’ve heard, they’ve been cutting and cutting, and basic school services and the like have gone out the window. Lack of basic services may suit Missisippi (#50 in education, high in obesity and low in health) and Texas (#1 in executions), but this is Washington where a lot of us like more services. (The library furloughs are a minor nuisance, but SPL’s starved book-acquisition budget and the subsequent gaps in the catalog is a bigger concern.) Paradoxically, Colorado responds to tax-cutting and deterioration with calls for more tax-cutting, which just makes things worse. That’s not the kind of Washington I want to live in. I hope Eyman’d initiative gets repealed or set aside in two years.

        In the meantime, I’m glad ST Express has been implemented, Link goes to the airport, and Metro routes have been getting off-and-on better. CT has already eliminated Sunday service. I hope the tax-cutters don’t get so successful that the buses stop running completely.

        Oh, there’s also that future oil-price increase coming, and the need to get more wire-based vehicles (rail and trolleybuses) out there and retire the diesel buses before it happens. That has been slowed down by Eyman’s initiative and the likely federal changes.

      3. I actually voted against 1053. One, as we saw in the last legislative session, it’s meaningless and meaningless laws are a waste of money. Two, it’s an Eyman job. The guy doesn’t care about taxes or government. He’s found a way to make a quick buck by sponsoring Initiatives. He’ll routinely write things into them (like dealing with more than one subject) that assure he can run the same campaign over and over. Most importantly, it’s just a bad idea. If you want to cap a certain tax then do that. But this initiative made it impossible to work to improve the tax system; like pegging the gas tax to inflation. Unfortunately the reason it passed is precisely because the majority have a) enough of a tax burden already and b) zero confidence in the legislature to oversee public funds as if they were spending their own money. And there are loads of places the State can cut waste and improve efficiency. But, like Metro or a spoiled teenager they won’t until their allowance is cut off.

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