Envy, batting averages and big dogs

By John Laird, Columbian Editorial Page Editor

Published:

 

Notes, quotes and anecdotes in the aftermath of Tuesday’s election, while trying to remember the third reason Rick Perry ran for president:

More Puget Envy: Again we hear the hackneyed complaint that Seattle “stole the election” or Puget Sound “got its way one more time” or the eastern half of the state “was totally ignored.” (Example: The anti-tolling initiative failed but was opposed in only 12 of 39 counties; nine of those counties abut Puget Sound). This lament is just silly. Folks in Seattle and around Puget Sound will never apologize for their role in the democratic process. Ironically, many people afflicted with Puget Envy are strict Constitutionalists, and that particular document affirms the one man, one vote concept.

All hail the power of the press! Oops, uh, not exactly. The Columbian tracks endorsements of nine major newspapers, and all nine opposed Initiative 1163 (training long-term care workers). Alas, we ink-by-the-barrel experts were ignored by voters. I-1163 not only sailed to victory with 65.4 percent of the votes, it passed in all 39 counties!

Speaking of endorsements: The Columbian expressed endorsement opinions regarding seven candidates and six ballot measures. Voters agreed with 84.6 percent of the recommendations. This follows a pattern of recent years, when the percentage typically ranged from 65 to 80. But I hasten to point out that a high “batting average” is never considered when The Columbian makes endorsements. Each race is considered independently of others. The only reason I bring this up is to contradict any criticism that the newspaper is out of touch with the voters. Not so, the statistics say.

Here’s another box score: Meanwhile, notolls.com, in the days leading up to the election, published a list of 16 supposedly “pro-citizen and pro-business” candidates and ballot measures. Voters agreed with only 37.5 percent of those recommendations. Of course, that meager percentage won’t stop the notolls.com disciples from bellyaching ad nauseam at public meetings and insisting that they and only they are the true “voice of the people” and thus are not to be trifled with. Again, not so, the statistics say.

Speaking of speaking up: Congratulations to the Hounds of Whinerville (I sincerely mean that) for finding their mojo this year and finally taking pride in their role as ankle-biters. The small print on the “NO Tolls/Light Rail, No Prop. 1” signs posted around the county disclosed: “printed by the Ankle Biting Hounds from Whinerville.” Hey, good for them! I’ve said all along: Embrace your inner Hound. Who says this label has to be a pejorative? Stand up! Proclaim, “Damn right, I’m a Hound of Whinerville, and here’s why!” I just wish they’d use the correct preposition. It’s “of,” and not “from” Whinerville. Rolls off the tongue more easily.

I gotcher big dog right here, buddy: Scott Higgins apparently qualifies for Most Ostentatious Swagger. The appointed Camas mayor hauled in 81.7 percent of the votes, which according to my unscientific review of the results was the highest percentage among Clark County’s major races (not counting the unopposed races).

Getting even, eh? Higgins’ foe, Ken Kakuk, had been fired from his job as the city’s Geographic Information System coordinator. I’m guessing Kakuk figured he’d win the mayor’s race and, boy howdy, he’d show those city pooh-bahs a thing or two. Ohhhh-keeee …

More big dogs on the porch: Other candidates in high-profile races who topped 60 percent of the votes were Vancouver school board incumbent Dale Rice, Port of Camas-Washougal Commissioner Bill Ward, Philip L. Johnson for Battle Ground City Council, La Center Mayor Jim Irish, Marshall Allen and Scott Perry for Woodland City Council, Jeff Carothers for Yacolt mayor, Jerry Newell for Yacolt town council, Mavis Nickels for Battle Ground school board, and Scott Gullickson for Ridgefield school board.

Warning to technophobes: Many folks who’ve been grumpy ever since we converted to indoor plumbing and women got the right to vote are also still angry about vote-by-mail. Beware, the assault on your precious status quo is getting worse! Oregon experimented this year with iPad voting for people with disabilities, and the pilot program went well. Lordy, wake up the Hounds!