Monday, November 5, 2007

The final countdown

Just after 8 p.m. Tuesday night, the first results for the Renton City Council election will begin streaming in. The initial results will only reflect votes cast by mail-in (absentee) ballots, rather than votes cast in polling places, which will be released a bit later. Given the developments of the past week related to Cheryl Haskins' campaign, there could be major differences between the two types of votes.

My unscientific, completely opinionated prediction: Cheryl Haskins will garner less than 40% of the vote, perhaps far less. The majority of the votes she does get will be based on people's lack of knowledge about her past, not their support of her conservative activism. Try as I might, I still haven't been able to reach people who don't read the newspaper, don't talk to their neighbors, or haven't seen one of my rapidly-disappearing signs around town. Those are the people that Cheryl's $45,000 spending spree has influenced the most.

Of course, there are those who will vote for Cheryl Haskins because they think she reflects their personal values. This is not Spokane, though, and based on past election and demographic data, I'm pretty certain those folks don't make up a significant number of voters here in Renton. Plus, her opponent, King Parker, isn't exactly a flaming liberal. He's known for fiscal conservatism and community involvement, and has a long and distinguished track record to stand on. He has also managed to stay out of Cheryl Haskins' controversies, which makes him an easy choice for those that may have even the slightest concerns about her candidacy.

As I've said before, one of the secondary goals in my opposition to Cheryl Haskins is to discourage her from ever running for non-partisan office in our community again, and to send a message that outside money and influence will not go unnoticed in future elections here in Renton. This whole ordeal should also serve to remind voters that we cannot rely on campaign lawn signs, mailers, and pamphlets to tell us what candidates really stand for, especially when they don't have local records to stand on. I was almost duped by Cheryl Haskins "new face" advertising blitz, as were many of you.

If you haven't mailed in your absentee ballot, you must do so by tomorrow (Tuesday). You can also drop off your absentee ballot at any polling place. If you'll be voting in-person at a polling place, the polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. To confirm your eligibility to vote and find your polling place, visit the King County Elections Voter Guide Lookup page.

Unless any further developments occur with regard to Cheryl Haskins' candidacy, you probably won't hear from me again until late Tuesday night. Of course, that could change if she suddenly calls the newspapers and accuses me of eating small children.

Best of luck to all the non-polarizing, locally-funded, and community-oriented candidates!


Rationale Person said...

Eat small children? That would not be good.

My take in all this is just the opposite. Mailed in ballots will probably be dominated by Cheryl, in part, due to the backlash your efforts will have created. letters to the editor, her effective campaign, and meeting voters face to face. Voter turnout tomorrow will be very small. There just is not enough compelling state wide races to bring folks in. My informal questing, if it were not for the yard signs, few would even be aware of the election.

I think it is a damn shame you would deny anyone from serving in public office due to affliations, etc. I think your brand of mudslinging will discourage qualified, fresh faces, etc from running, and risking being on the wrong end of attacks from special interests.

Ben said...

Just because I've devoted years to denying certain "special interests" their rights doesn't mean I'm unqualified to hold public office!

Renton Citizen said...

Glad to have you back, Rationale. I thought maybe all of Cheryl's supporters had packed up and gone home to Kirkland and Medina.

I may have created a backlash in, say, Enumclaw, but everything I've heard indicates that Cheryl's previously shiny bubble of shallow support has been popped. I think the senior citizens challenging her views at the event last week pretty much illustrates my point. The three Seattle Times articles, coupled with the hideously inflammatory Reporter letters from Beatrice Clark and others didn't exactly help Cheryl's image, either. And let's not forget the ill-fated PDC complaint and SignGate 2007. I certainly couldn't have counted on those little gifts.

As far as turnout being small, please tell me you aren't serious! Do you actually live in Renton? If so, has your mailbox not been stuffed full with campaign flyers for the last month?

Every indication is that the very contentious mayor's race will bring out a potentially record number of voters for an off-year election. That will help King Parker more than anything, since it will serve to negate the targeted votes of religious conservatives who have been "encouraged" by Christian Coalition voting guides and such to vote for Cheryl.

You just don't understand my opposition to Cheryl, and I really don't feel like trying to explain it to you once again, especially when you continue to use terms like "mudslinging" and "attacks." So, let's just agree to disagree, shall we? Just remember, for me, this is not simply a matter of opposing the politics of a candidate, it's a human rights issue.

Rationale Person said...

I think my earlier comments basically confirm you and I will not change each other’s position. My intent is let those who read this blog be aware that there is opposition to, what I call mudslinging. I know of no other way to describe this blog.

I do live in Renton (Highlands) and in the neighborhoods up here, just not that big a deal! I wish it were not so. In terms of Religious Right encouragement, (as as a sympathizer & Republican)I can assure you there is no extraordinary efforts for this race. I think the examples you point out are insignificant, and will have little impact on the outcome. If fact, the news papers articles and letters seem to go out of the way to paint the dispute as simple politics, with minimal comment on gay issue. Partisans on both sides always exaggerate their own influence.

We will see on Tuesday. Either way, I would be happy with King or Cheryl (for your stated reasons). I throw my support to her to counterbalance what I see as mean spirited attacks on personal faith, affiliation, etc (I know, I know, you say you are just pointing out observations, ect, I do not buy it)

The difference is, if you as a gay activist (I think this blog puts you in that category) were running for city council, and you believed in fiscal conservatives, creative ways to use develop the Highlands, and addressing crime, you would get my vote, even if you advocated on a state level, issues on gay marriage, which I very much oppose. That is the difference, single issue candidates, and advocates have very little use for

Renton Citizen said...

It's too bad you can't grasp the true nature of my opposition to Cheryl -- that it's about her professional work in preventing specific people from gaining rights and protections, and not about her personal views or religious affiliations. I suppose that's because you aren't personally affected by the issues that she has worked against. But I really expect more of my fellow citizens, just as I can understand that someone who's worked in opposition to other groups -- be they immigrants, Mormons, Jews, Catholics, or people of color -- doesn't deserve the privilege of representing an entire city's citizens on such an intimate level of government.

I've given you and a couple of other people wide latitude to respond to my criticisms of Cheryl, and at times, the discussions have been quite interesting and reasonable. However, at this point you are just using your comments to simply restate your opposition to me, rather than continue intelligent debate. That's understandable (I'd probably do the same), but I'm under no obligation to allow you to manipulate the message here, especially given the misleading and incorrect information on Cheryl's campaign website, which I'm going to let stand, despite its defamation of my character. Therefore, after I post this message, I'll give everyone a little while to read it, then I'm going to hide all comments for this posting and prevent new ones from being added.

If you want to create your own blog in support of Cheryl, no one's stopping you from doing so. You probably should've done it a couple weeks ago, though.

For those of you visiting this blog for the first time, I encourage you to read through all the other comments that Rationale and others have left, and hopefully you're understand what's going on here.