Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

unSoundPolitics lies about I-912

unSoundPolitics top writer and contributor, Stefan Sharkansky, is developing a reputation for making false predictions.

Take the headline at the top of unSoundPolitics right now: "NO NEW GAS TAX TO MAKE THE BALLOT".

Stefan wrote this headline because the anti-roads campaign turned in an estimated 232,000 signatures today for Initiative 912.

Just because you turn in signatures doesn't mean you're automatically on the ballot. The news media too often overlooks this fact, and Stefan's not helping.

The current signature requirement stands at 224,880. To make the ballot, initiatives generally need a fairly large "cushion" of signatures in order to qualify. The "cushion" is basically thousands upon thousands of "extra" signatures.

The cushion is needed because not everyone who signs an initiative petition is a legal, registered voter (sound familar, Stefan?). Many voters also sign the petition more than once. Initiative 912 will need at least 224,880 VALID signatures. Not just signatures - VALID signatures.

It's wildly misleading, if not an outright lie, to claim that today's signature turn in means that I-912 is on the ballot.

The Secretary of State has a process for examining petitions and determining if there are enough valid signatures for an initiative to make the ballot. Until then, we won't know whether the initiative will make it or not.

If the I-912 campaign does not turn in a large enough cushion of signatures to ensure that there are least 224,880 VALID signatures, the Secretary of State will have to open up a very lengthy signature verification process.

And we, as the opponents, will be allowed to send observers to watch this process as it occurs, and raise concerns about invalid signatures.

We'll know this Friday morning how large the I-912 campaign's cushion will be. Then this lengthy process of determining whether I-912 qualifies will begin. It may be weeks before this process is completed.

Until the process is completed and an announcement made, it is ridiculous to make statements like "NO NEW GAS TAX TO MAKE THE BALLOT" which have an excellent chance of turning out to be false statements.

Stefan Sharkansky would do well to get out of the business of making political predictions.

His current track record, as evidenced by his prediction on the outcome of the trial, "I rarely make predictions, but I feel comfortable predicting today that Judge Bridges will set aside the election" (May 29th 2005) doesn't look very promising.

More Information on fighting I-912: Washington Defense

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