John Carlson Voting Guide

John Carlson Voting Guide
A King County election worker processes absentee ballots.
Initiative 985, which would open HOV lanes to all traffic during off-peak hours, synchronize traffic lights, and prevent tolls from being imposed on one highway to collect money for a different one. Vote YES to send the state a message on congestion relief.

Initiative 1000, which changes state law from allowing someone to refuse medical aid so they may die naturally to letting them get a doctor’s prescription to hasten their death artificially. Vote No.

Initiative 1029, which requires more training for long term home health care workers. A union (SEIU) is backing this measure which the legislature strongly opposed because the extra training requirements would make it more difficult for family members to care for their parents (they would likely hire SEIU members instead). The initiative also promises criminal background checks, but they are already required for most care providers. Vote No.

Proposition One, which raises the sales tax half a penny to expand light rail. It’s biggest drawback? When it’s built, its own supporters admit that it won’t make traffic congestion any better than it is now. Vote No.

King County Charter Amendment # 1, which calls for the county elections officer to be elected by the people instead of appointed by County Executive Ron Sims. Here, I’ll make it easy. If you’re happy with how elections have been run in King County, vote no; if you’re not, vote YES.

Charter Amendment #2, would add disability, sexual orientation and gender “identity and expression” to categories prohibiting discrimination in county employment. OK, I buy disability, sexual orientation is a closer call, but why did they add the words “identity and expression” to “gender”? Talk about confusion in the restroom. This sounds like civil rights taken a step too far. Vote No.

Charter Amendment #3 would reduce the number of council members on regional bodies, like water quality and transportation from six to three. Since we’ve cut the number of council members from 13 to 9, that seems reasonable. Vote Yes.

Charter Amendment #4 would create additional qualifications (hence restrictions) for county offices like tax assessor and sheriff. Have you noticed that the county council didn’t include their own offices? Vote No.

Charter Amendment #5 would allow the county to hire someone to make revenue forecasts and have them used in tabulating the county budget. Good idea, and long overdue. Vote Yes.

Charter Amendment #6 would give the council another 20 days to review the fine print of the County Executive’s proposed budget. Makes it tougher to sneak things through. Vote Yes.

Charter Amendment # 7 is war on the initiative process, pure and simple. It currently takes 10% of the signatures in the previous election to qualify a ballot measure that would amend the County Charter (only 8% is required for a statewide initiative). The county Council decided to “reform” the process by doubling the 10% requirement to 20% -- and tried to keep it off the ballot title. Send ‘em a message. Vote NO.

Charter Amendment #8 would make county offices non-partisan. I’ve previously endorsed the idea. Vote Yes.


Governor: Dino Rossi

Lt. Gov. : Brad Owen

Atty General: Rob McKenna

Auditor: Brian Sonntag

Sec. of State: Sam Reed

Treasurer: Allan Martin

Sup. Of Public Instruction: Terry Bergeson

Ins. Commissioner: John Adams

Lands Commissioner: Doug Sutherland

Congress, 8th District. Dave Reichert by a mile.


All State Supreme Court races and Appeals Court contests were effectively decided in the August primary. But there are three Superior Court judicial races people should pay close attention to.

Position One. Sue Parisien has made just one mistake in her bid to become a Superior Court judge: she filed against the best candidate for the job in any of the Superior Court contests this year. Tim Bradshaw is one of the finest prosecutors in King County, with two decades of courtroom experience that includes some of the county’s most notorious murder trials. Nearly every group – left, right and center – has given Bradshaw their highest rating and/or endorsement. In my view, Tim Bradshaw is more equipped to sit on the State Supreme Court than several justices now on it. He richly deserves to be elected to the Superior Court. And Sue Parisien, who is both capable and articulate, should run again, against a less deserving opponent.

Position 22: The clear favorite here is Julia Garratt, whose experience includes the State Parole Board and the Superior Court as a Judge Pro Tem, as well as stints as both a prosecutor and a public defender. Her opponent, Holly Hill made the same mistake as Parisien. She simply ran against the wrong opponent.

Position 37: A closer call here. Jean Rietschel and Barbara Mack have both run strong campaigns. Both care about victims of domestic violence. The more liberal Rietschel, is a municipal judge and former public defender. Barbara Mack is a senior deputy prosecutor with more than two decades experience nailing bad guys for everything ranging from murder and sex crimes to fraud. I’m with the cops on this one: Barbara Mack for Superior Court Judge.