Dori: An Election Day to remember — the people fight back
It’s a good day. It’s a really good day. For so many years, I have come in on the day after Election Day despondent because everything I voted for lost. But not today.
Finally, people stood up for themselves.
Washington to get $30 tabs with 976 passage
As I said on Twitter, to all the politicians who are whining about 976 passing — shut up. You created this. The Legislature could have fixed the fact that Sound Transit was illegally taxing the people. But all of you in power believed that money was more important than doing the right thing. You were so intoxicated by the need for our money that you chose to ignore the will of the people.
And so the people said enough. They had enough of your arrogance. They had enough of your robbery through the illegal valuation of our cars. The people spoke loudly and clearly through 976.
Now Sound Transit has to scramble. You know what? Good. Do you know how many families have been scrambling every time they get a $400 car tab bill for a vehicle worth a fraction of what Sound Transit values it at? Do you know how many families have to scramble to pay all of the taxes this state heaps upon them? And now, Sound Transit, you have to be the one scrambling.
Yes, I am enjoying this very much.
It was the people in Snohomish and Pierce Counties who voted out of proportion with the rest of the state to pass 976. That’s because they’re the ones being most being taken advantage of by Sound Transit. The people in Pierce County said no to ST3 because they did not get many benefits from it at all — yet they were dragged into the taxing district and saw their tabs go up. And so the arrogance of this agency has finally been checked by the people. In Snohomish County as of Wednesday, 62 percent voted for 976; in Pierce County, that number is at 68 percent.
There have been efforts in the Legislature over the years to fix the illegal taxation. These plans would have cut only a fraction of what 976 is cutting from Sound Transit. But the Sound Transit supporters in the Legislature said, “We can’t cut a penny. We’ve got to squeeze every possibly cent from the taxpayers.” Well, they chose not to fix it. And we chose to take a sledgehammer to their budget.
It was absolutely thrilling on Election Day to see the results come in. I’ve become so shell-shocked over the years by people’s knee-jerk desire to tax themselves that I was really guarded going into the vote. But the people came through big-time.
The no campaign tried everything. They made the initiative all about controversial figure Tim Eyman, ignoring the 350,000 people who signed to get it on the ballot in the first place. They focused on all of the funding for the much-needed transportation corridor that we’re already spending a fortune on. And despite those billions, despite the second-highest gas tax in the nation, people are still sitting in gridlock, wasting hours of their lives every day in one of the worst commutes in the country. Ultimately, the people saw through all of it. They started to vote with their family budgets in mind. The people spoke so loudly and clearly about their car tabs. And although $4.5 million was dumped into a no campaign by Amazon and Microsoft and unions that wanted to keep milking the cash cow, finally people said that enough is enough.
Also, did anybody else notice that the Aurora Bridge re-opened today, the day after the election? Remember originally when they closed one lane and said the repairs would take 10 days? Then they reduced the bridge to two lanes in each direction a few days later. Then, just as the polls closed on Election Day, they announced they would open the bridge back up. I’m telling you, the Washington State Department of Transportation dropped all pretense that the whole Aurora Bridge thing was anything other than an attempt to manipulate the 976 vote. I would almost admire that level of hubris from WSDOT if it weren’t so disgusting.
Goodbye to Kshama Sawant
With all this talk about Amazon trying to buy an election, very few of the Seattle City Council candidates Amazon was supporting actually won. One of them was the guy running against Kshama Sawant, Egan Orion. Unless there is some miraculous turnaround with the second round of ballot counts, Kshama Sawant is out.
I have mixed feelings about that. As you know, very few people have generated the kinds of soundbites that fuel a talk show host like Kshama Sawant. It was fun listening to her screeching for the past six years. And now her reign could be coming to an end in Seattle. Be sure to check out our Top 5 Kshama Sawant Moments, coming soon on MyNorthwest.
Referendum 88 rejection very possible
The passage of Referendum 88 would have allowed race to play a role in government hiring and public university placement. It is being rejected, but by a very narrow margin. There are still a lot of ballots to come from King County, so it could still flip. But if it stays like this, that’s another bunch of good news. It means that we still have people around here who believe in a meritocracy, that you should be judged by your skills and character rather than your skin color. Rejecting Ref. 88 is another really solid move by the voters.
However, they still could find a lot of ballots — there has been a lot of funkiness in King County over the years. So we won’t declare victory on that one quite yet.
What a great Election Day in Seattle.
Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from 12-3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.