OOBT


1.  The Stranger published its endorsements today.

Noteworthy: They go with Prop 1B, the funded city measure to create preschool slots over the competing unfunded union measure Prop 1A to raise wages for childcare workers and create an early learning taskforce; conversely, they go for another unfunded union mandate statewide, I-1351 for smaller class sizes; and they've got endorsements in all the judicial races.

2. PubliCola-favorites, the Muni League, an even-keeled good government group which simply rates candidates ("Outstanding" "Qualified" "Unqualified" etc. without pushing political agendas), but does tell you how to vote on ballot measures—came out against Prop. 1, the Seattle-only bus funding measure. 

Here's what they say: 

Proposition 1 was conceived as an emergency measure to address imminent and sweeping service reductions. The facts on the ground have changed with the recent rescission of planned future cuts. Accordingly, Proposition 1’s focus on rolling back service cuts is now misplaced, as manifested by Proposition 1 advocates changing focus to plans to expand service instead. But given the sparse text of Proposition 1 and the lack of clarity on what specific service Proposition 1 would be used to fund, voters do not have a clear understanding of what they are voting to approve. Given these circumstances, unforeseeable at the time the measure was proposed, Proposition 1 now operates as something close to a blank check—and one that creates a substantial risk of facilitating a localized “pay to play” approach to funding important public services. The Municipal League is also concerned that an influx of additional funds will reduce incentive for Metro to continue its efforts to address its structural financial problems, which contributed to the need for service reductions and which are more fully discussed in the Municipal League’s 2013 Follow-up Review of King County Metro Transit.

The Municipal League believes there is a real need for sustainable, stable, and less regressive funding of bus service in Seattle. Overcrowding and unreliability are serious problems on many routes. Service reductions create substantial hardship for citizens with limited mobility or who have no other transportation options.

These issues must be addressed, and the Municipal League believes that Metro has made significant strides in recent years to improve its efficiency and take a data-driven approach to service decisions. But the Municipal League believes that changed conditions create an opportunity for development of a more sustainable, comprehensive, and regional approach to funding of Metro that does not carry with it the risks attendant in Proposition 1. The Municipal League therefore recommends voting NO on Proposition 1. 

3. And it's not an endorsement, but the Seattle Weekly did put Socialist state house candidate Jess Spear on its cover this week; longshot Spear is running against state Speaker of the House Rep. Frank Chopp (D-43, Wallingford). 

The accompanying article focuses on rent control, one of Spear's big campaign issues. 

... the political calculus doesn’t seem to trouble Spear. In fact, she looks puzzled when asked if she’s taken the temperature of legislators, then shakes her head. “That’s not our starting point,” she says. “It’s not ‘Where are the legislators?’ It’s ‘What do the people need?’ ” Taking the temperature of legislators, she continues, is not how the battle for a $15 minimum wage was won. Rather, says Spear, the organizing director of 15 Now, it was won through a “broad-based movement”—the kind she’s now trying to build around rent control. And her vision is even more radical than what’s been implemented elsewhere.