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 1, 2009

Welcome to the 45th District Democrats, where everybody gets an endorsement!

Less than a month after failing to reach agreement on endorsing anybody for King County Executive, the membership of the 45th District Democrats has decided that everybody who wanted our support for the job can have it.

That's right, I said everybody.

By a vote of twenty two to ten, the membership of the formerly indecisive 45th District Democrats quad-endorsed (is that how you say that?) half of the eight person field for King County Executive: Dow Constantine, Larry Phillips, Ross Hunter, and Fred Jarrett. The motion to quad-endorse was the only motion made and debated for the executive's race at our July meeting this evening.

Last month, the LD considered motions to endorse each candidate individually and five motions to endorse some combination of candidates, but all were rejected.

Vote for Four So for this meeting, several members of the district - who, for all I know, are apparently fans of that episode of Oprah where everybody got a car - decided to throw their weight behind the idea of endorsing all four.

One member even printed up micro-flyers urging fellow members to back a quad-endorsement, which were circulated around the room in addition to all of the candidates' literature. (I've reproduced a copy of this to the left).

Conveniently left off the micro-flyer was the LD's own endorsement committee's recommendation from last month that a single candidate, Dow Constantine, be endorsed by the LD organization. I chaired the committee that produced the recommendation, and while I was neither surprised nor dismayed that it was not adopted last month, I was puzzled this month to see so many embrace this motion to cheerily extend our endorsement to every candidate who requested it.

I was one of the ten who voted no - because I think endorsements should mean something - and they don't when they're handed out like party favors.

Approving a quad-endorsement may be a feel-good way to take action in this race, but it basically amounts to a declaration of no preference.

It doesn't help a voter decide who to vote for when they're sitting at the kitchen table looking at the eight names on the ballot. (Most of the voters who would consider our endorsement credible will have already ruled out voting for one of the other four candidates). Nor does it indicate to the public or the press who the district's grassroots base likes the best.

But a supermajority of members present and voting decided that's what they wanted to do, so the debate is over. I find it amusing, because three weeks ago we couldn't agree on endorsing anybody, but tonight we couldn't disagree on endorsing everybody. Admittedly, it's true that if we combined the best traits of Dow, Larry, Ross, and Fred, we'd have an incredible county executive, but we simply won't have that choice on our mail in ballots next month.


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