History, politics, people of Oly WA

Month: October 2007 (Page 2 of 7)

Yeah, I don’t know, telldino.com just doesn’t sound all that exciting

I mean, an email form isn’t all that revolutionary. From Dino’s speech yesterday:

Starting today, if you and your neighbors see things that need to change… “tellDino.com”

And I plan to keep this website in place when I’m governor.

If you’re frustrated by poor customer service in state government – tellDino.com

Imagine how much better you would be treated by state agencies when everyone knows that you will have a direct line to the governor… and also share your ideas on how to make things better.

And you won’t have to register your e-mail address with me. So if state workers want to share their ideas, it can be anonymous.

Today, I know many hard-working state workers feel like they can’t be candid and open with their thoughts.

Now you can… tellDino.com
Imagine what a change just that little reform will bring.

The actual governor already has an email form that anyone can fill out.

Email forms for politicians or other powerful people types aren’t exactly new, and Dino’s framing of his as something special is troubling. He seems to want to have us think that he really is listening to us, but he isn’t doing anything new to actually do that.

Highclimbers v. Cougars

I’m not sure how successful the peace delegations from Shelton and Capital high schools were this week.

From the Shelton Journal:

“Just like being ‘hicks’ and somewhat lower-class than them,” says the cheerleader. “And we think that they are rich, snobby people who are stuck up.”

“Some kids I know from Capital are snotty. They TOTALLY are.”

Read the entire piece here.

If I was to make one suggestion for Shelton. If you are to invade West Olympia, take the water route. I sort of expect that they’d be waiting for you at Mud Bay if you were to go overland.

Land somewhere abouts the Olympia Golf Course and head south. Maybe ask your friends in Tumwater for some help if you get stuck around Evergreen, I hear they never liked Capital anyway.

But, please consider the Deschutes River as a stopping point. We never meant you any harm. I mean, once you’ve taken the mall, what else is there?

Rossi thinks state workers would face retribution for talking to him

Rich Roesler over at Eye on Olympia notices the same weird language over at Tell Your Uncle Dino. From what he’s saying on his new campaign website, it really does seem like Dino Rossi is thinking that the state government would come after any state employee that was associated (even in a small way) with his campaign.

Here’s more information on the actual Whistleblower Program, which is run by the State Auditor’s Office:

The law requires that whistleblower identities be kept confidential. It makes retaliation unlawful and provides remedies for retaliation. Reports of asserted retaliation are filed with the Washington State Human Rights Commission. The Commission will investigate the claim and take appropriate action. Civil penalties for retaliation may include a fine of up to $3,000 and suspension for 30 days without pay. At a minimum, a letter of reprimand is placed in the retaliator’s personnel file.

Does Dino think the auditor is doing a bad job?

TellDino.com not working (also some possible technical issues)

For me, the most interesting part of Rossi’s one hour old campaign is his try at transferring the fun loving nature of his Idea Bank to his new campaign.

Guess what everyone, you can email Dino Rossi. About anything! Anything that’s on your mind, even if you’re a state employee, just type in your concern, hit submit and Dino might even read what you wrote.

Before I get on to the technical fun of this post, I have to point out that the Rossi campaign is implying that by asking Dino something in public, a state employee can face retribution. Are they serious?

I know there are many state employees and others out there who prefer this approach – and I respect their feelings.

This attempt at passing off an email form as some direct connection to the candidate is already lame, but it also looks like the form itself isn’t working. I’ve posted the entire code I pulled at 11:05 this morning below, but this is the interesting part:

<form id="form1" name="form1" method="post" action="">

From what I know about html code, if the “action” part is blank, the form doesn’t do anything. You’re literally sending your concerns to Dino into thin air. But, I could be wrong, so check out the code below and tell me if I’m wrong.

I hate probably not being right. My buddy with all the smarts just said the form “probably” works, as the form will just submit to itself (the homepage technically is telldino.com/index.asp).

Anyone else want to chime in on this one?

Rhenda dives into the Olympian comments, does a pretty good job

I’m always impressed by elected officials who not only participate in comment threads, but stick with it, approach it maturely and get something good out of it.

The entire thread
is worth reading (start at the bottom), but here are some highlights.

Here is her eventual response to a line of questioning:

Yes, I have answers for Scott.

“Does this mean you are one of the ones who support the 50-100% tax increases on homes?”


“Does this mean that you support keeping people from dividing their land as they see fit?”

Yes. I support community planning. Cities like Olympia don’t just happen. They are built by people who put a lot of effort into deciding what sort of development belongs where. The alternative to planning is not just the sort of sprawl you see in LA–which many people here cite as their nightmare planning scenario–the alternative is chaos that endangers not just our quality of life but our health and safety.

“Does this mean that you support halting most construction on private lands if there is a stream nearby that theoretically could contain a salmon?”


And, what her questioner had to say:


Thank you.

Rhenda took advantage of the comment thread not to engage in a pointless back and forth, but to answer the questions that were posed to her quickly and clearly. Its a good thing to participate in comment threads, its a bad thing to get wrapped around the axle. By jumping in she was able to knock down an untruth (that she’s a member of Futurewise) and get another commenter to thank her (bonus points)..

I set up Rhenda’s website for her, and she’s been writing on her blog semi-regularly since then. No one has come by to comment (as far as I know). This gives me hope that after she’s elected, Rhenda might use her blog as a platform for conversation with Olympia citizens.

Rhenda Iris Strub is a genius (vote for her)

This is not your average glossy political mailing. It was not expensive — I printed it at home on top of my dining room table. It may not be fancy or colorful, but it is honest and thrifty, and those are the same values that I will take with me to the Olympia City Council.

For the past week or so I’ve been getting glossy fliers in the mail from local candidates. Nothing too out of the box, but I can imagine these candidate’s campaign committees going through the motions a few months ago, figuring out how much money they have to spend on one last mailer before ballots go out.

Sweating out one trite sentence or another, while over here Rhenda sends out a localized (to Southeast Olympia) and informative piece. Not only is it super relevant to anyone around my neighborhood, but it shows that she knows what she’s talking about and actually tells us what she thinks about traffic in SE Oly.

DISCLAMER: Oh yeah, I designed her website.

Thurston County can afford to pay for our ballots to be mailed

A follow up to earlier today, I was poking around trying to find out what the savings were when Thurston County went to vote by mail back in 2005. This is as close to a definitive answer that I could find:

There are obvious advantages to make the switch.

– Cost savings. Wyman estimates the county could save $400,000 in poll-site costs by going to an all-mail election.

So, if 100,000 people voted in Thurston County during each election, it would only cost $41,000 to pay for postage. This is of course assuming the county couldn’t get some kind of bulk mail rate, which is sort of obvious that they would.

Why are we even talking about this, why don’t they just do it?

Why do we need to pay for stamps to vote anyway?

When Keri and I voted on Sunday night, she wondered why we have to pay for stamps to vote. I repeated my fantasy “If I was running”: I’d mail stamps to likely voters before their ballots arrived.

What if we all just dropped our ballots in the mail without stamps. If we all lived in Thurston County (like I do), seems like they’d get delivered anyway and the county would eventually pay for our postage.

While I’m not totally sure that paying for postage is a “poll tax” (actually going somewhere to vote probably costs something too), the political wisdom of asking people to put a stamp on a ballot is distasteful at least. So says Rep. Williams:

Democratic state Rep. Brendan Williams of Olympia agrees with DeMucha, saying the postage requirement is a poll tax. Williams, who has suggested using state money for postage, also said he thinks county auditors might cover postage using the savings from going to vote-by-mail in 36 of the state’s 39 counties.

A story in the Puyallup Herald from back in May points to the cost, especially since we’re not talking about just once a year in November:

The auditor’s office and school districts are looking at ways to make it a non-issue for voters.

“We’d like to pay return postage,” Cook said, explaining the postage would be part of the election costs.

However the expense may be too great to make it a reality, said Pat McCarthy, Pierce County auditor.

The Puyallup and Sumner School Districts paid $156,000 combined for election costs for the February bond measures.

District officials think the cost of providing postage would be out-weighed by the voter response.

People don’t want to go to the grocery store to buy a book of stamps or go to the post office for a single stamp just to send in a ballot, Cook said.

So what would the postage cost? Assuming we’re talking about full postage, if the 2006 election were held in Thurston County this year, we’re talking about around 85,000 voters. Let’s just say 100,000 for the sake of arguing that free postage would boost turn out. That’s $41,000, which doesn’t sound like very much.

Statewide, the cost would have been just about $864,000 (not assuming a boost in turnout).

Wew: PDC probably won’t regulate bloggers

Here’s an important note from WINtegrated Solutions’s blog (hat tip to Fuse):

  • The PDC wants to “not interfere with the free flow of political information via the internet, particularly when the information is provided at no or little cost.”
  • The PDC recognizes the “internet is unique and evolving and warrants a restrained regulatory approach at this time.”
  • Where possible, “state regulation of Internet activity will follow the Federal Election Commission approach” (which does not regulate or require disclosure for uncompensated bloggers, and only requires disclosure on expenditures by people buying ads or paying consultants).

Read the entire post, its a good read.

A lot of the conversation the PDC had earlier this fall about internet regulation seemed to fall around work already done by the Federal Election Commission (movie here).

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