John Carlson and Kirby Wilbur
John Carlson and Kirby Wilbur

Last week, pri­or to Elec­tion Day, right wing talk show hosts Kir­by Wilbur and John Carl­son (both long­time fix­tures on KVI who also have served the Wash­ing­ton State Repub­li­can Par­ty in dif­fer­ent capac­i­ties) released a pod­cast in which they dis­cussed their key picks for the 2017 local elec­tions.

The pair chose to focus on three con­tests in par­tic­u­lar, describ­ing them as “three con­tests that make a dif­fer­ence.” They pushed for a NO vote on King Coun­ty Propo­si­tion #1 (and had the temer­i­ty to call the pro­posed increase in our Vet­er­ans, Seniors, and Human Ser­vices Levy “greed”), called for the elec­tion of Repub­li­can can­di­date Jiny­oung Lee Englund in the 45th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict, and urged Seat­tleites to fire Pete Holmes and replace him with oppo­nent Scott Lindsay.

The ini­tial results are now in, and it looks John and Kir­by’s picks will all lose.

  • Vot­ers in King Coun­ty are enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly say­ing yes to Propo­si­tion #1, which renews and expands a levy that passed hand­i­ly four years ago. Even the levy-averse Seat­tle Times edi­to­r­i­al board called for the pas­sage of the Vet­er­ans, Seniors, and Human Ser­vices Levy, say­ing it was need­ed and effec­tive. The Approved vote cur­rent­ly stands at a whop­ping 66.06%.
  • Vot­ers in the 45th are deci­sive­ly back­ing Demo­c­ra­t­ic stan­dard bear­er Man­ka Dhin­gra in the spe­cial elec­tion to pick a suc­ces­sor to care­tak­er Dino Rossi. Dhin­gra has 55.42% of the vote so far and is on track to win. As a result, the Sen­ate will be in Demo­c­ra­t­ic hands as of the end of this month.
  • Vot­ers in Seat­tle have resound­ing­ly decid­ed that incum­bent City Attor­ney Pete Holmes should be returned to office for a third term. Holmes is hav­ing no trou­ble dis­patch­ing oppo­nent Scott Lind­say. He has 72.35% of the vote, while Lind­say could­n’t crack 30%. He will con­tin­ue to be the city’s chief legal offi­cer even as the city gets its fourth new may­or in twelve years.

This is not the first time vot­ers have dis­re­gard­ed the pair’s elec­toral advice.

In 2005, Wilbur and Carl­son used their radio pro­grams to spear­head a cam­paign to repeal the major fund­ing com­po­nent of the 2005 Trans­porta­tion Pack­age. That effort became Ini­tia­tive 912. NPI vig­or­ous­ly opposed I‑912 and worked with Keep Wash­ing­ton Rolling coali­tion part­ners across the state to defeat the measure.

Vot­ers ulti­mate­ly said no to I‑912, hand­ing then Gov­er­nor Chris Gre­goire a major vic­to­ry and empow­er­ing WSDOT to embark on nec­es­sary projects large and small. High­way cor­ri­dors in every cor­ner of the state received safe­ty improve­ments like cable medi­ans, while megapro­jects in Puget Sound moved forward.

The Ever­green Point Float­ing Bridge across Lake Wash­ing­ton has now been replaced with a mod­ern, seis­mi­cal­ly safe struc­ture and con­trac­tors have fin­ished dig­ging a new tun­nel under­neath down­town Seat­tle to sep­a­rate State Route 99 from the city’s water­front. It is due to open to motorists in 2019.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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