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.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Seattle Times endorses yes on I-900, NO on Initiative 912

As we predicted yesterday, the Times has endorsed Initiative 900. Their rationale:
The public-spirited Sonntag, endorsed by everyone from the Women's Political Caucus to the Gun Owners' Action League, won his last election with 64 percent of the vote, the largest majority of any statewide office. I-900 will tend to make him a figure of greater controversy. Those who seek the office in the future will make an issue of what he audited and what he didn't, and the wisdom of what he said.

He wants it, and the state stands to benefit from it. Let's let him do it.

Vote for I-900.
Their reasoning, in a nutshell? Sonntag would like more power, so let's give him more power.

As we've said all along, we like Brian Sonntag. He's a good auditor. But what happens when Brian Sonntag leaves the auditor's office? Is the next auditor going to be every bit as impressive as he is? The Republican candidate in the last election for auditor was extremely unqualified.

It's unwise to give a partisan elected officer this much power. We know we can trust Sonntag to wield power wisely and reponsibly - but can we trust all of his successors?

Much of sponsor Tim Eyman's arguments seem to revolve around the fact that Sonntag likes the concept of I-900. This argument seems persuasive, because Sonntag is widely respected and happens to be a Democrat.

The editorial boards of the Seattle Times and the Olympian aren't looking ahead to the future - a future where we have a new state auditor.

They might have been wise to listen to the Municipal League, a respected organization which opposes Initiative 900.

The Times did, however, endorse NO on Initiative 912...which we expected and were pleased to see.
Initiative 912, which torpedoes badly needed road, bridge-safety and mobility improvements across the state, requires voters to think carefully and then vote "no."

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, voters ought to consider the long-term interest and turn down a shortsighted proposal, which irresponsibly rolls back a 9.5-cent gas-tax increase approved by the Legislature. I-912 is classic instant gratification for a community given plenty of warning about roads, bridges and earthquake preparedness.

Putting off until tomorrow what should be done today on the Alaskan Way Viaduct and Highway 520 bridge is akin to what New Orleans did by not shoring up levees.


Our state is livable because preceding generations invested in infrastructure. Upgraded roads and bridges are essential to moving goods and people around the region.

Voters ought to consider and reconsider I-912, then vote "no" on an irresponsible, backward measure.
Well said. Initiative 912 is simply bad policy that our state cannot afford. We must learn to invest in the future. We cannot continue to procrastinate and cut revenue from the state's budget. Vote NO on I-912. Put Public Safety First.

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