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glowing-fish
Feb 18, 2013

Strategy.

Welcome to Cascadia

Some months ago, there was a Pacific Northwest thread in GBS, and there was some interesting discussion in it. It being GBS, and the then-GBS 2.1, the posting was mostly about random regional topics. But it made me realize that perhaps a thread for political discussion of the Pacific Northwest would be useful to some people.

This thread then, is about political and social issues of Washington and Oregon, as well as relevant issues affecting Idaho, Montana, British Columbia and Northern California. It doesn't have to be strictly political, discussion of social issues is also encouraged, as long as it is of more merit than "have you seen the Darth Vader unicycle bagpipe dude? that is exactly like Portlandia!". For one thing, yes, we have all seen the Darth Vader unicycle bagpipe dude, and we all know only tourists go to Voodoo Donuts.

National Politics

In National Politics, Oregon and Washington are considered to be blue chip blue states in Presidential runs. Oregon and Washington have voted for the Democratic candidate since 1988, and will probably vote for the Democratic candidate until the political blocs realign. The last year that the presidential election in either of these states was an issue was 2000, when Ralph Nader's candidacy won 5% of the vote, leaving Al Gore to scrape by George Bush by a narrow plurality. They also have two Democratic Senators in both states: Washington has Patty Murray (serving since 1993) and Maria Cantwell (since 2001), and Oregon has Ron Wyden (since 1996) and Jeff Merkley (since 2009). These senators are centrists who pretty much have their seats as long as they want them. Like with the presidency, the senators in Oregon and Washington are probably staying Democratic until the parties realign.
Oregon and Washington also have strongly Democratic house delegations, although not unanimously. A gigantic part of the Pacific Northwest is the West/East divide: the major population centers, west of the Cascade Range, are strongly Democratic. East of the mountains, where the terrain is drier and the population much more sparse, and the politics are conservative. Of Oregon's 5 congressional districts, the 4 west of the mountains are Democratic, and the 1 east of the mountain is Republican. The situation in Washington is much the same, of the 10 congressional districts, 6 of the 8 west of the mountains are Democratic, and 2 of the 8 east of the mountain are Republican.

Statewide Politics

Both states have been Democratic in the governor's office longer than any other states in the union. Much like with their electoral votes and their senators, this is probably going to persist for a while. The governor of Oregon is John Kitzhaber, serving his third non-consecutive term as governor. The governor of Washington is Jay Inslee, formerly a congressman from the Seattle area. The state houses are also Democratic, and mostly divided along a West/East divide. the Washington house has 55 Democrats and 43 Republicans. The Washington Senate is a little odd: there are 23 Democrats and 24 Republicans, but 2 of the Democrats have joined with the Republicans to form the "Majority Coalition Caucus". This is a bit unusual given the overall politics of Washington, and anyone who wants to explain this should feel welcome to do so! The Oregon State House is 34-26 Democratic, while the Oregon State Senate is balanced 16-14.

Local Politics and Other Issues

This is actually more interesting to me than either the national elections (Democratic sinecures) or what goes on in the state house (mostly bickering over taxes and the like). Oregon and Washington are well known as progressive in the politics, and they have made some big changes. One of the most recent was Washington voting to legalize marijuana in 2012. Although there have been some hitches, Marijuana use has been legalized for a year. Oregon voted down a measure the same year, not because of a difference in the underlying political opinion, but because of the measure being sloppily written. Washington also legalized gay marriage the same year, something Oregon again does not have. Trends being what they are, Oregon will probably catch up with Washington soon.
Oregon and Washington both use systems of direct petition: groups can gather signatures to put measures on the ballot. Many states have this, but Oregon uses it more widely than any other state, with voters often having to decide on 10 ballot measures a year.
Another issue that is of great interest is "sustainability". Oregon and Washington have a reputation for environmental practices, and while it is well-deserved, it can be exaggerated. Not everyone in Portland is a bicyclist with an organic garden! Although most everyone in the Seattle/Portland metro areas is an "environmentalist" on paper, there are big debates about how far to take it. The Portland area has an Urban Growth Boundary that limits sprawl, and has pushed mass transit aggressively, all to build up a high-density city that is not car dependent. But there are a lot of people in the Portland suburbs who still want to be able to drive their SUV to Walmart.

Vote-by-Mail!

When I first made this post, I didn't think to mention that Oregon has conducted all elections by mail since 1999, and that Washington had conducted most elections by mail for some time, and now conducts all elections by mail. I didn't think to mention this for the same way I might forget to specify in a recipe that the cooking is to be done with a stove, and not over an open fire. It seems bizarre and a little quaint that other states don't do this. There was some concerns about Oregon's postal voting, and its susceptibility to fraud, but after 15 years, there hasn't been much problem, and no one has seriously suggested going back to the old system.

In Oregon, at least (Washington voters: how do you do it?) we also get one, sometimes two booklets from the secretary of state detailing candidates and ballot measures. Having these voting guides, and the time to go through our ballot, is helpful for all the downballot elections. A person in a voting booth is probably not going to be able to take a guess at who they want to be their Soil and Water District Councilperson or Sheriff, an Oregon voter has time to leisurely peruse their biographies.

Hopefully the Vote-by-Mail system will spread, and other states will join the 20th century.

A note on stereotypes: People from outside of the region often stereotype the Pacific Northwest. People from within the region often stereotype other parts of the Northwest (it is physically pretty big and there are a lot of people in Portland who have never been to say, Spokane). As with many stereotypes, there are a lot of truth to these: Eugene is full of hippies, Portland is full of hipsters, Seattle is free of rich technology workers, and the eastern parts of the state are full of conservative people. But usually these stereotypes don't offer much explanation. They also often mask groups that aren't as visible: for example, there are probably as many Hispanics in the Willamette Valley as there are hipsters in Portland. They just don't have their own TV show.

Other stuff: Oh, there is so much other stuff! Feel free to bring it up in the thread, and if it is an issue of major concern, I will edit this entry to include it. Also, feel free to suggest links to sites that handle Oregon and Washington issues.

glowing-fish fucked around with this message at Mar 14, 2014 around 00:10

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Boris Galerkin
Dec 17, 2011


glowing-fish posted:

But there are a lot of people in the Portland suburbs who still want to be able to drive their SUV to Walmart.

Those people can. There's a Walmart in Hillsboro.

e: For actual content, what really weirds me out is something I read about a month ago: Oregon has the highest non-medical vaccine exemptions in the US. On the one hand, you would think a state as progressive (and in my progression is somewhat tied to education, though maybe I'm completely off base here?) as Oregon would have people smart enough to realize that vaccines are a good thing. On the other hand Whole Foods and New Seasons sells some really weird poo poo.

Boris Galerkin fucked around with this message at Mar 11, 2014 around 01:00

BlueBlazer
Apr 1, 2010

Progress over Protocol




glowing-fish posted:

The Washington Senate is a little odd: there are 23 Democrats and 24 Republicans, but 2 of the Democrats have joined with the Republicans to form the "Majority Coalition Caucus". This is a bit unusual given the overall politics of Washington, and anyone who wants to explain this should feel welcome to do so!



The way the districts are balanced, there is some pretty huge anti-Seattle sentiment in state politics. If some sort of legislation can be seen to benefit Seattle you can be sure everyone else opposes it. Much like the way Republicans treat Obmama by taking a poo poo on everything he does even if they may agree with it in principle, WA state Republicans do the same. Mostly finding ways to gut public transportation and education.

It is much more nuanced than that but it really is the gist.

As progressive as it is, there is an equal amount of asinine backwardness here as well.

WA state has no income tax, but a 10% sales tax, the most regressive tax structure in the country.

*No love for the Walmart in Tacoma, they tricked the Elks chapter into selling their land to a developer on the condition they wouldn't sell to Walmart then used a shell developer to do it anyway. There is a move to Unionize it in hopes they will just close shop and leave....

glowing-fish
Feb 18, 2013

Strategy.

BlueBlazer posted:


The way the districts are balanced, there is some pretty huge anti-Seattle sentiment in state politics. If some sort of legislation can be seen to benefit Seattle you can be sure everyone else opposes it. Much like the way Republicans treat Obmama by taking a poo poo on everything he does even if they may agree with it in principle, WA state Republicans do the same. Mostly finding ways to gut public transportation and education.


Is state politics, rather than local politics, the reason why Seattle has lagged so far behind Portland on building a good mass transit system? There was a 25 year lag in getting the first light rail line in Seattle, even though it is a bigger city than Portland.

im gay
Jul 20, 2013



There is a pretty big hunger strike going on at Tacoma's Northwest Detention Center, a for-profit immigration detention center. 750+ inmates so far.

It is ran by GEO Corporation (yes, it is as bad is it sounds)

reignonyourparade
Nov 15, 2012


BlueBlazer posted:

As progressive as it is, there is an equal amount of asinine backwardness here as well.

WA state has no income tax, but a 10% sales tax, the most regressive tax structure in the country.

This is part of why I think that Washington isn't really "progressive" it just doesn't approve of GOP racism and sexism and doesn't like DIRECTLY loving the poor TOO badly.

OwlBot 2000
Jun 1, 2009


Fun fact: Seattle is the only major city of which I'm aware to have elected a radical Socialist to city council within recent memory.
Unfun fact: Idaho is full of Nazis and Libertarians.

illrepute
Dec 30, 2009

Can you even remember why you're posting?

reignonyourparade posted:

This is part of why I think that Washington isn't really "progressive" it just doesn't approve of GOP racism and sexism and doesn't like DIRECTLY loving the poor TOO badly.

Washington's got a lot of problems, but I take solace (I go to school in Portland, but I was born in Marysville, WA) that the city of Sea-Tac voted for a $15 dollar minimum wage (which was then of course denied to people who work directly in the airport ). There's popular will for change, and I think that's evident in the recent election of an unabashed socialist in the Seattle government. It's just that WA has to grapple with the same entrenched awful institutions and structures as everyone else.

OwlBot 2000 posted:

Fun fact: Seattle is the only major city of which I'm aware to have elected a radical Socialist to city council within recent memory.
Unfun fact: Idaho is full of Nazis and Libertarians.

I grew up in north-central Washington and I can say that the remote areas (Whidby Island and the cascades) have their fair share of survivalist crazies as well. Fun fact, there was a shootout on Whidby island I think a few years before I was born where the FBI fired tear gas into the cabin and then accidentally ("accidentally") set it on fire and killed the suspect, years before the same fuckin' thing happened at Waco.

illrepute fucked around with this message at Mar 11, 2014 around 02:08

OwlBot 2000
Jun 1, 2009


We also have a large share of libertarian computer millionaires, and they certainly don't want a progressive tax code.

Bip Roberts
Mar 29, 2005



Californian here, I'm just going to move into this thread.

OwlBot 2000
Jun 1, 2009


Oh great, another hipster moving up north.

illrepute
Dec 30, 2009

Can you even remember why you're posting?

Remember to offer thanks to the Salish pantheon for casting this aegis of foul weather that keeps the majority of the Californians at bay.

OwlBot 2000 posted:

We also have a large share of libertarian computer millionaires, and they certainly don't want a progressive tax code.

Them, and Boeing. Boeing's the source of a huge number of jobs in Washington, and everyone is afraid to take them on. Legislation to ban the use of drones in the state was stifled basically because Boeing rumbled slightly about it and people lost their nerve right quick. The airport authority probably had their complete blessing on pulling the rug out from under the Sea-Tac minimum wage movement.

Don't even get me started on the politics of southern Washington, A.K.A "the Vancouver that time forgot." You know how around large cities there are almost always exurbs full of reactionaries? It's like that with regard to Portland. The main bridge I use to visit my family in Vancouver was built almost a hundred years ago (1917), and Washington's entirely to blame for shooting down the CRC that would replace it before it sends me to the bottom of the Columbia river.

illrepute fucked around with this message at Mar 11, 2014 around 02:18

computer parts
Nov 18, 2010

A homeless person was out on the street, looked up at me and said, "Draft Manziel." Just like that.

And that convinced me, that the Cleveland Browns' fans wanted Manziel.

OwlBot 2000 posted:

Fun fact: Seattle is the only major city of which I'm aware to have elected a radical Socialist to city council within recent memory.
Unfun fact: Idaho is full of Nazis and Libertarians.

Moreso Libertarians and Mormons. There are a few people who are currently living in the state but I was born in Idaho and lived there for many years, and while people here may not consider it part of the PNW it is considered in some cases part of the region and it definitely does share cultural values with the Eastern two thirds of Washington & Oregon.

Ardennes
May 12, 2002

It is always about people.


The issue with the CRC was basically Vancouver and Portland have just to different of a philosophy to get anything done. Many Vancouverites were pissed that light rail was on the bridge, and many Portlandites didn't even want the a new road bridge. In addition, the bridge didn't even make sense for Oregon as a whole, Oregon would have to pay half of the state share when in reality it was mostly a commuter bridge to benefit Vancouver area commuters (as would the light rail).

To be honest, I am rather glad the bridge died because it would have likely ballooned in expense and its design didn't even make sense, it would have been 10 lanes in total while 5 bottlenecks down to 6 lanes south of the bridge. In addition, the light rail line only exists to pretty much serve Vancouver commuters as well. If anything Clark County missed out on a pretty good deal for them especially since the Oregon govenor was planning on building the bridge with just Oregon money and tolls at one point.

Ultimately, I think the only reason the bridge deal got that far was because there were a lot of money floating around to hopefully pay for it.

Also, yeah I certainly prefer Oregon's income tax/no sales tax system to Washington's sales tax/no income tax way of doing things and probably have helped to make the states quite different in a lot of ways.

illrepute
Dec 30, 2009

Can you even remember why you're posting?

Ardennes posted:

The issue with the CRC was basically Vancouver and Portland have just to different of a philosophy to get anything done. Many Vancouverites were pissed that light rail was on the bridge, and many Portlandites didn't even want the a new road bridge. In addition, the bridge didn't even make sense for Oregon as a whole, Oregon would have to pay half of the state share when in reality it was mostly a commuter bridge to benefit Vancouver area commuters (as would the light rail).

Right, I don't care much about the particulars of the bridge, I just want one that isn't going to be hitting one-hundred years old, especially after all these bridge collapses around the country. Rail would've been nice, but I would take anything to improve safety.

Alereon
Feb 6, 2004

For me but LEFTHANDED

BlueBlazer posted:

WA state has no income tax, but a 10% sales tax, the most regressive tax structure in the country.
This is only true if you count Washington's gross receipts tax as a sales tax rather than a corporate income tax. Our tax system is certainly suboptimal* but that's basically lying, since B&O taxes don't come out of consumers' pockets.

*hosed to death

Alereon fucked around with this message at Mar 11, 2014 around 04:35

Kaal
May 22, 2002

Even trying to narrow it down to specific events is problematic.
Was Danzig or War right or wrong?
Was the Holocaust right or wrong?
It clearly has elements of both. Trying to cast super broad concepts in yes/ no terms is argumentative reductionism.


illrepute posted:

Right, I don't care much about the particulars of the bridge, I just want one that isn't going to be hitting one-hundred years old, especially after all these bridge collapses around the country. Rail would've been nice, but I would take anything to improve safety.

I'm hoping that Oregon will just keep tasking inspectors on the bridge until they can threaten to shut it down unless WA ponies up funding.

Ardennes
May 12, 2002

It is always about people.


illrepute posted:

Right, I don't care much about the particulars of the bridge, I just want one that isn't going to be hitting one-hundred years old, especially after all these bridge collapses around the country. Rail would've been nice, but I would take anything to improve safety.

The current bridge actually passed inspection not too long ago, and seismic refits are certainly possible. If anything safety isn't as much as a concern as everything else. The current bridge could last a while longer with some improvements and wouldn't readily require a new bridge. As far as rail, without rail traffic probably wouldn't improve since the new bridge doesn't fix Portland's rather minimal freeway system and most of the traffic is to downtown Portland. Rail would at least give another option to the freeway, which may actually alleviate some traffic.

That said, I don't know if the bridge itself is that important to Oregonians, especially since it won't impact traffic much either way so trucking doesn't have much to do with it and there is a busy freight rail line and another bridge. I don't think anyone in Oregon is interested in sacrifice for Vancouver area commuters either.

Washington's tax system is certainly pretty regressive and it has shown up in the levels of taxes owed by income group, Oregon is very mildly progressive while Washington system is entirely a regressive system based on percentage of income paid in taxes.

Oh btw, Costco and the grocery stores are going to almost certainly privatize liquor in Oregon one way or another. We will see if the state budget has to take a big hit if the OLCC gets locked out of wholesaling.

sullat
Jan 8, 2012


Did selection & price get better or worse in Washington after the removal of state controls on liquor sales?

Kaal
May 22, 2002

Even trying to narrow it down to specific events is problematic.
Was Danzig or War right or wrong?
Was the Holocaust right or wrong?
It clearly has elements of both. Trying to cast super broad concepts in yes/ no terms is argumentative reductionism.


Ardennes posted:

The current bridge actually passed inspection not too long ago, and seismic refits are certainly possible. If anything safety isn't as much as a concern as everything else. The current bridge could last a while longer with some improvements and wouldn't readily require a new bridge. As far as rail, without rail traffic probably wouldn't improve since the new bridge doesn't fix Portland's rather minimal freeway system and most of the traffic is to downtown Portland. Rail would at least give another option to the freeway, which may actually alleviate some traffic.

It passed inspection sure, but with abysmally low scores. It's considered functionally obsolete, and the two spans received sufficiency ratings of a mere 18% and 49% - an average of 33%. The I-35W Mississippi Bridge in Minneapolis that collapsed in 2007, killing 13 people and injuring 145, had a rating of 50%. Only 4% of heavily used bridges have sufficiency ratings under 50%. Federal funding for bridge repair kicks in at sufficiency rating of 80%, and full on replacement at anything under 50%. It's just a matter of time until that bridge is closed, one way or the other.

Bob Socko
Feb 20, 2001

Forum Oilman


I hate Rodney Tom so much that I'm going to volunteer with the campaign of former Kirkland mayor Joan McBride, who's running against him. He's like Mitt Romney in that you're not really sure exactly what he stands for (except rich people).

I am a goon daywalker and will gladly, and convincingly, go door knocking in Medina to help take him down.

Bob Socko fucked around with this message at Mar 11, 2014 around 17:35

Wanamingo
Feb 22, 2008

I'm sorry Doctor Kisses, I'm so so sorry

sullat posted:

Did selection & price get better or worse in Washington after the removal of state controls on liquor sales?

It's worse all around. All the liquor stores closed down, so now the only place to get it, at least around me, is from the crappy selection they have at grocery stores. Might be different if you're in Seattle, but I'm not. The sticker price stayed mostly the same, but before, the taxes were rolled into the price whereas now it's the sticker prices plus the taxes. Here's an article talking about it.

glowing-fish
Feb 18, 2013

Strategy.

Wanamingo posted:

It's worse all around. All the liquor stores closed down, so now the only place to get it, at least around me, is from the crappy selection they have at grocery stores. Might be different if you're in Seattle, but I'm not. The sticker price stayed mostly the same, but before, the taxes were rolled into the price whereas now it's the sticker prices plus the taxes. Here's an article talking about it.

The one thing that has improved is that there are a number of liquor super-stores. I know there is one in Vancouver. They have like 20 aisles where you can get whatever obscure liquor you desire.

Ardennes
May 12, 2002

It is always about people.


Kaal posted:

It passed inspection sure, but with abysmally low scores. It's considered functionally obsolete, and the two spans received sufficiency ratings of a mere 18% and 49% - an average of 33%. The I-35W Mississippi Bridge in Minneapolis that collapsed in 2007, killing 13 people and injuring 145, had a rating of 50%. Only 4% of heavily used bridges have sufficiency ratings under 50%. Federal funding for bridge repair kicks in at sufficiency rating of 80%, and full on replacement at anything under 50%. It's just a matter of time until that bridge is closed, one way or the other.

I think in the end project scaled way back and Washington state pays for most of it. There is still possibility of refit and repair even if federal funding isn't going to it and to be honest even if it has a low ranking, it is still one of the better bridges in the region.

The Sellwood bridge is still absolutely hilarious and it is a modern miracle it hasn't snapped in half years ago.

There really isn't a way to get around liquor privatization without either the state taking a hit to revenue or taxes going up and usually that means the general public is going to lose on either end. A big issue in Oregon is there is a burgeoning micro-distillation industry that is showcased in state stores that very well may be pushed off the edge in most grocery stores post-privatization.

They might be to sell to Bev-mo like superstores but they usually aren't everywhere.

Ardennes fucked around with this message at Mar 11, 2014 around 05:22

Kaal
May 22, 2002

Even trying to narrow it down to specific events is problematic.
Was Danzig or War right or wrong?
Was the Holocaust right or wrong?
It clearly has elements of both. Trying to cast super broad concepts in yes/ no terms is argumentative reductionism.


Ardennes posted:

The Sellwood bridge is still absolutely hilarious and it is a modern miracle it hasn't snapped in half years ago.

Hah yeah pretty much. The sufficiency rating of the Sellwood bridge is 2. Just 2%. It's a loving deathtrap. I figure one day it'll drop to 0% and it'll burst like a pinata. Fortunately it should be replaced by the end of next year.

Wanamingo posted:

It's worse all around. All the liquor stores closed down, so now the only place to get it, at least around me, is from the crappy selection they have at grocery stores. Might be different if you're in Seattle, but I'm not. The sticker price stayed mostly the same, but before, the taxes were rolled into the price whereas now it's the sticker prices plus the taxes. Here's an article talking about it.

I'm very curious how the national corporate chains are going to try to spin their privatization scheme in Oregon after it crashed and burned in Washington. Raise prices on booze while draining money out of the state funds and killing jobs? No thanks.

Kaal fucked around with this message at Mar 11, 2014 around 05:44

Ardennes
May 12, 2002

It is always about people.


Kaal posted:

I'm very curious how the national corporate chains are going to try to spin their privatization scheme in Oregon after it crashed and burned in Washington. Raise prices on booze while draining money out of the state funds and killing jobs? No thanks.

Basically they are going to have the legislature do it for them by threat, but the issue is that Salem wants to retain wholesales (it brings in the state a big chunk of the cash) while the groceries/big boxes want total control and no new taxes. Granted, the state would have to bite a big bullet since education is already mediocre at best in Oregon.

Then there is the entire O & C issue and the fact there a bunch of counties in Oregon that basically lived off a federal stipend and barely had any property taxes themselves.

Kaal
May 22, 2002

Even trying to narrow it down to specific events is problematic.
Was Danzig or War right or wrong?
Was the Holocaust right or wrong?
It clearly has elements of both. Trying to cast super broad concepts in yes/ no terms is argumentative reductionism.


Ardennes posted:

Basically they are going to have the legislature do it for them by threat, but the issue is that Salem wants to retain wholesales (it brings in the state a big chunk of the cash) while the groceries/big boxes want total control and no new taxes. Granted, the state would have to bite a big bullet since education is already mediocre at best in Oregon.

If they do a last minute end-run around the initiative process I could definitely see that biting the legislature in the rear end come mid-terms. Certainly I wouldn't want to do an incumbency run while getting slammed with attack ads reading, "This representative voted against the people's will to increase alcohol prices and de-fund schools." People take threats to their booze personally.

Ardennes
May 12, 2002

It is always about people.


Kaal posted:

If they do a last minute end-run around the initiative process I could definitely see that biting the legislature in the rear end come mid-terms. Certainly I wouldn't want to do an incumbency run while getting slammed with attack ads reading, "This representative voted against the people's will to increase alcohol prices and de-fund schools." People take threats to their booze personally.

That said, liquor prices would probably be roughly the same (maybe a bit cheaper at Costco) with private sales. Conservatives in Oregon like to bitch that California has cheaper liquor prices when in fact the entire difference in the price of liquor is pretty pure purely tax. California taxes liquor barely at all.

Even if grocery stores get it passed, the actual tax on the ethanol itself won't go down so basically everything stays the same except the grocery store makes a profit off the retail sales rather than a state enfranchised store and a private wholesaler makes a profit instead of the OLCC.

It could very well the state bites it and then either has to cut the budget (making education measurably worse than it already is) or the dreaded sales tax comes up for another vote. Remember, the Democrats control all branches of power in Oregon and yet it doesn't seem to be that different than the past, possibly even worse.

glowing-fish
Feb 18, 2013

Strategy.

Ardennes posted:

Then there is the entire O & C issue and the fact there a bunch of counties in Oregon that basically lived off a federal stipend and barely had any property taxes themselves.

I lived in Curry County when it twice voted against a property tax to replace the federal stipend. The state then had to take over the county to ensure public safety.

Then I moved out.

Like I said in the introduction to this thread, little of what goes on in the Presidential/Gubernatorial/Senatorial races is interesting at all. But then you get down to things like "Oregon counties can't or won't fund basic services", and the entire culture and politics of the region get a lot more interesting and important.

Spatula City
Oct 21, 2010


Bob Socko posted:

I hate Rodney Tom so much that I'm going to volunteer with the campaign of former Kirkland mayor Joan McBride, who's running against him. He's like Mitt Romney in that you're not really sure exactly what he stands for (except rich people). On a personal level, he and his staff have been rude to my wife in professional settings, and without cause. Because he can, and they can.

I am a goon daywalker and will gladly, and convincingly, go door knocking in Medina to help take him down.

Godspeed, goon sir. That bastard needs to be punished for handing control of the Washington Senate over to the morons. You'd think, well, they're Washington Republicans, maybe they'd be reasonable. NOPE. They're trying to gut transportation funding and restrict abortions. no Republicans anywhere are good, no exceptions.

Kaal
May 22, 2002

Even trying to narrow it down to specific events is problematic.
Was Danzig or War right or wrong?
Was the Holocaust right or wrong?
It clearly has elements of both. Trying to cast super broad concepts in yes/ no terms is argumentative reductionism.


Ardennes posted:

That said, liquor prices would probably be roughly the same (maybe a bit cheaper at Costco) with private sales. Conservatives in Oregon like to bitch that California has cheaper liquor prices when in fact the entire difference in the price of liquor is pretty pure purely tax. California taxes liquor barely at all.

When Washington tried it, they simply got higher prices across the board (except for Costco since they're deliberately eating the margin in the short-term), which drove down overall sales and caused liquor stores to cut jobs in order to meet the increased competition. After some initial market wars, two out-of-state companies converted the state distribution monopoly into a corporate duopoly - just like the rest of the nation. In short it hurt consumers, it hurt state funding, and it hurt small businesses. I don't know why Oregon would have a particularly different experience.

http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2014/...rices-stay.html

Kaal fucked around with this message at Mar 11, 2014 around 07:11

Gygaxian
May 29, 2013


I don't have much to say about this thread except that I'm looking forward to learning more about Washington state politics, as I was born in Kent Washington and lived there until I was five. I feel like I still have a connection with the state (and have cousins from there), and even though I've lived in Utah for 15 years, my politics are more like Sawant's politics (with a Mormon tinge) than anything I've encountered in Utah.

Who represents Kent in the legislature (and the national Congress), anyway?

Kjep64
Oct 3, 2013

Coffee. Cigarettes. Beer. Kimchi. Ingest.


Speaking of Washington, is the state seeing any tax revenue on marijuana? Is the state doing anything positive with it?

Ardennes
May 12, 2002

It is always about people.


Kaal posted:

When Washington tried it, they simply got higher prices across the board (except for Costco since they're deliberately eating the margin in the short-term), which drove down overall sales and caused liquor stores to cut jobs in order to meet the increased competition. After some initial market wars, two out-of-state companies converted the state distribution monopoly into a corporate duopoly - just like the rest of the nation. In short it hurt consumers, it hurt state funding, and it hurt small businesses. I don't know why Oregon would have a particularly different experience.

http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2014/...rices-stay.html

A big part of that is that Washington increase distribution fees to make up for the loss in revenue, a certain amount of it is suppose to decline around now. It probably wouldn't be that different than Oregon, but it is possibly that Oregon wouldn't increase any fees while Washington is still re-cooping some of its lost revenue through a new fee regime. It is also the reason why prices are higher, because the state needed to increase revenue from the profits distributors/retailers are taking for themselves.

It was honestly pretty lovely for actual Washingtonians and pretty much rule by corporate fiat in a rather literal sense. That said, I think Seattle kind of feels like a mix of Chicago and San Francisco at this point (I know I know).

quote:

Speaking of Washington, is the state seeing any tax revenue on marijuana? Is the state doing anything positive with it?

Stores open in June, so there hasn't been any sales yet. I am sure you will hear it in the papers when the first ones open. I expect there will be a place right on the other side of the i-5 bridge with a line of Portlanders waiting.

Ardennes fucked around with this message at Mar 11, 2014 around 07:26

statim
Sep 5, 2003


Kaal posted:

Hah yeah pretty much. The sufficiency rating of the Sellwood bridge is 2. Just 2%. It's a loving deathtrap. I figure one day it'll drop to 0% and it'll burst like a pinata. Fortunately it should be replaced by the end of next year.

Went hiking past there with friend a few months ago and it looked like someone had taken a bunch of bricks and random steel bits to reinforce that thing. On plus side that new max line should be opening soon and rather wishing was still living over in Sellwood but as I hear now that NoPo's filling up there really isn't much housing stock left thats not depressing 70s+ despair and especially not west of 205 going for less then professional money.

Kjep64
Oct 3, 2013

Coffee. Cigarettes. Beer. Kimchi. Ingest.


Ardennes posted:

Stores open in June, so there hasn't been any sales yet. I am sure you will hear it in the papers when the first ones open. I expect there will be a place right on the other side of the i-5 bridge with a line of Portlanders waiting.

Oh, drat. I thought the stores were open. It has taken the state government this long? Ah, red tape.

wheez the roux
Aug 2, 2004

the agony
and the ecstasy


sullat posted:

Did selection & price get better or worse in Washington after the removal of state controls on liquor sales?

I lived right in Queen Anne when that came into effect. Everything became far more expensive; as far as selection, it was a wash some stuff disappeared from shelves entirely, but there was also stuff I'd never seen before.

It sucked poo poo and isn't worth the easier availability.

sullat
Jan 8, 2012


statim posted:

Went hiking past there with friend a few months ago and it looked like someone had taken a bunch of bricks and random steel bits to reinforce that thing. On plus side that new max line should be opening soon and rather wishing was still living over in Sellwood but as I hear now that NoPo's filling up there really isn't much housing stock left thats not depressing 70s+ despair and especially not west of 205 going for less then professional money.

Didn't they move the Sellwood bridge like 50 feet to make room for the new bridge? If there's one thing that improves a decrepit structure, it's uprooting it from its foundations and dragging it (ever so slowly, granted) off to one side.

Solkanar512
Dec 28, 2006


Boris Galerkin posted:

Those people can. There's a Walmart in Hillsboro.

e: For actual content, what really weirds me out is something I read about a month ago: Oregon has the highest non-medical vaccine exemptions in the US. On the one hand, you would think a state as progressive (and in my progression is somewhat tied to education, though maybe I'm completely off base here?) as Oregon would have people smart enough to realize that vaccines are a good thing. On the other hand Whole Foods and New Seasons sells some really weird poo poo.

Didn't voters in Oregon also defeat a measure to fluoridate their water?

Just because a state is socially progressive doesn't mean that they aren't anti-science on some issues. I mean hell, look at the GMO measure that ran last year in Washington. The discussion from the anti-GMO side was batshit crazy.

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DemeaninDemon
Jul 27, 2007


Solkanar512 posted:

Didn't voters in Oregon also defeat a measure to fluoridate their water?

Just because a state is socially progressive doesn't mean that they aren't anti-science on some issues. I mean hell, look at the GMO measure that ran last year in Washington. The discussion from the anti-GMO side was batshit crazy.

The 'OMG SCARY CHEMICALS' movement transcends party line.

Because there's a governor in the area named Butch Otter:

Idaho may force universities to allow carry on campus

quote:

Student leaders expected to meet with Gov. Butch Otter Monday morning to urge him to veto Senate Bill 1254, which would allow students 21 and older who complete enhanced training to carry firearms on Idaho's eight publicly funded college campuses. The bill is opposed by all eight college president and the State Board of Education. The police chiefs in Moscow, home to the University of Idaho, and Boise, home to Boise State University, also oppose the bill.

Instead, they met with Otter's staff. Among the students on hand were Boise State student President Bryan Vlok, BSU student Vice President Cassie Sullivan, College of Western Idaho student Vice President Megan Greco and Ashley Morehouse, a lobbyist for University of Idaho students. They also carried statements opposing the bill from Lewis Clark State College Sam Carlson and NIC student President Benaiah Cheevers.

The student leaders have gathered about 4,000 signatures and letters of opposition to the bill, which passed the House 50-19 on Thursday. Earlier, the Senate approved the bill 25-10. Only a veto from Otter will keep the measure from becoming law on July 1.

The bill's supporters argue that it honors a citizen's right to bear arms while increasing safety on college campuses.

Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2014/...l#storylink=cpy

Countdown to over-worked, over-debted graduate student going crazy...

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