Swordfern Press endorsements for the November 2018 election

Map of political districts, courtesy of the state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.  
STATE of Washington

Representative, District 24, Position 1

___ Jodi Wilke

I met Jodi Wilke at a recent Jefferson County Board of County Commissioners hearing on an ordinance regarding commercial shooting facilities. It was in fact about Joe D'Amico's proposed gun range at Lake Tarboo, but because of the way the county had written the law, the 50-year-old, volunteer-run, perfectly fine and nonprofit public shooting range that's called the Jefferson County Sportsmen's Association, happily banging away out off Jacob Miller Road for the last 50 years, would have to spend a lot of money fulfilling requirements of the new permit laws. Jodi Wilke was carrying a large heavy-paper sign that said "Fair Play for Sportsmen." She wore a nice windowpane-patterned short black wool jacket, snug black pants, and nice shoes. She has sort of ratty, mousy hair, in an attractive way, and red-framed glasses. She went up to a couple old folks sitting across the aisle from me -- the man had been saying to his companions he'd never complain about cold again after how cold it had been somewhere else once -- and introduced herself. "You already have my vote!" said the man. "Thank you so much! Now I just need your prayers," Jodi Wilke said in response. Then she said hi to me. I asked about her sign. She explained as above regarding the shooting range. I really like her. She said, "we can still be friends, even if we disagree." She asked me twice to get my name, which I gave. She reminds me of some wonderful lady I went to family camp with as a kid. Sally Field would play her in a movie.The event was boring and I left early.

__ Mike Chapman

I met Mike Chapman at a teen theater event hosted by the Poetic Justice Theater Ensemble, I think it was at Fort Worden also, in spring 2017. A very nice man, very handsome also, quiet-spoken, smart as hell you can tell, a sort of all-American good guy kid; Kevin Costner would play him in a movie. The event was boring and I left early.

Representative, District 6

___ Derek Kilmer

I dunno. This guy looks like a Muppet character. Sure. Probably. He's the Democrat. I guess I'm just another tool for the liberal elite.

___ Douglas Dightman

I dunno. Sorry, don't care bout this one. Should probably just burn my ballot.

Kilmer, yeah.

Representative, District 24, Position 2

___ Steve Tharinger

Never met, no idea, but he's the incumbent and "past small business owner of wood products business." Hmm. Democrat. That doesn't mean he's better, though.

___ Jim McEntire

Never met, but his picture embodies "Republican douche" in the Voters Guide. He used to be a Coast Guard. Into defense, and his statement mentions the "Seattle Agenda," a fascinating term. Sorry; I think I am also a person who identifies with large parts of the "Seattle Agenda," LimeBike et. al notwithstanding.


___ Maria Cantwell


___ Susan Hutchison


Reason:  I read a very compelling couple of articles in the Stranger or the Seattle Weekly, and I trust those sources, because ya gotta trust somebody. Also people at work shudder when you mention Susan Hutchison, and yell at the unregistered 20-year-old, "Vote, Goddamit!" and "Don't Vote for Susan Hutchison!" Which must be unsettling. Of course, he needs to vote. I understand it's both scary and seems absolutely pointless at the same time. However, the point of it is to recognize and remember our shared essential humanity, also. 

Below is the entire text of a letter I recieved from Maria Cantwell in response to a poorly written letter of my own – a basically totally uninformed, clueless e-mail bitching about the cholera epidemic and selfish oil-company/US-backed Saudi war ("interference") in Yemen. I was saying, stop backing the Saudis in this war, and also sort of trying to advocate for infrastructure-based, substantive, ideological changes to US foreign policy, trying to say I am more in support of loans and other business-support measures than food aid, but also obviously we should be 100 percent subsidizing all refugees across the globe.

Here's what she actually wrote:

"Thank you for contacting me regarding the recent vote on Senate Joint Resolution 54 (S.J.Res.54) and U.S. operations in Yemen. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue. 
On March 20, 2018 Senator Sanders offered a motion to discharge S.J.Res.54 from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which would have allowed consideration of the bill in the full Senate. In response, Senator Corker offered a motion to table the bill and to stop consideration of this legislation in the full Senate. I voted in favor of allowing debate of S.J.Res.54 to move forward. Pursuant to the War Powers Act, I believe that the President has limited authority to engage in military action without Congressional authority. 
It is also critical that we continue our efforts to alleviate the suffering of innocent Yemeni civilians. This year the United States will contribute $76 million to Yemen, in addition to $404 million since the conflict began, almost all of which will assist the United Nations World Food Program’s emergency operation to provide food assistance to Yemenis. I will continue to support humanitarian assistance funding necessary to assist the innocent civilians of Yemen caught up in this tragic situation.
Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts on this matter. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance.

Maria Cantwell
United States Senator"

Anyway, I dunno. There's nothing I can say that'll keep Cantwell from being elected. Hutchison is probably 100 times worse. Just be sure to carry your water bottle with you at all times in case of terrorist attack.

On to the other races!

COUNTY of Jefferson


___ Jeff Chapman 

This guy's the only candidate. Write-in: Tim Halpin


___ Rose Ann Carroll

She seems to be doing a fine job, but if you feel like a write-in:  Walter Harris


___ Ruth Gordon

Probably also doing a wonderful job, and don't get rid of secretaries who've been there for a long time; we should probably all bring her roses. Also, Mrs. Gordon was my first-grade teacher, and she was incredibly awesome. Write-in: Mrs. Gordon

County Commissioner, District 3

___ Jon Cooke

I don't know who this person is.

___ Greg Brotherton

I know who this guy is. He owns a bar with a pot store next door in Disco Bay. He's a businessman. He's gonna win, because he's charming, and he's actually really cool, a great guy, a videographer, an artist, an opener of a great music venue, a musician and a sound engineer. However, he's just another businessman. I seriously doubt he actually has at heart the best interests of everybody, because he reminds me of a suave villain from a Jane Austen novel. He strikes me as phony. Maybe it's the beard. John Turturro should play him in a movie.

Prosecuting Attorney

__ James M. Kennedy

This guy is probably a real hardass. Not in a good way. 

__ Michael Haas

This guy has allegedly alienated everyone he's ever worked with. I really don't know much but have a strong, vague distrust of him, and I am swayed by the letter to the editor from coworker David Alvarez, who I like, I don't remember why, but I trust him on this one. "Vote for Kennedy" seems like a super great thing to be able to say, but I've also talked with folks who think Haas is doing a reasonably good-enough job with Drug Court.


__  Joe Nole

I heard this guy talk at a meeting about the proposed Quilcene Workshop, a community tool library and open workshop that hopefully someday will be located at the old sign shop in Quilcene, near the fire station. Joe Nole said he used to be a Ranger in the Olympic National Park, or something, and used to stop and have coffee in that building, which is cool. I like him; his face seems more open than Stanko's. He's just another cop, but cops aren't universally bad; the elected sheriff is really more of a CEO/figurehead type guy, doing public-relations, than an actual cop. But whatever. He was at that meeting, so Nole might actually be all right. Probably he's exactly the same as Stanko in practice.

__ David Stanko

This guy has had trouble with his image ever since it came out that he likes all those anti-Muslim pages on Facebook. What a goose he is. He's got a pointy face, sort of like a religious guy who smugly believes he's right all of the time. I think he ought to be required to participate in a Poetic Justice Theater Ensemble production.


___ Stacie Prada

No idea. Write-in: Virginia Marston

State Supreme Court Justice, Position 2

___ Susan Owens

Yawn. My back hurts. Who is this person? Write-in: Nat Jacob

State Supreme Court Justice, Position 8

___ Nathan Choi

___ Steve Gonzalez

This is who the JeffCo Dems want.

State Supreme Court Justice, Position 9

___ Sheryl Gordon McCloud

Okay, the names have it. Gordon is a good name. McCloud is like the great comics master explainer, Scott McCloud. Also, there's no opponent. Write-in: Ikky the Cat

District Court Judge, Position 1

___ Noah Harrison

___  Mindy Walker

I'm leaning toward Harrison. Not sure why. Probably something I read in the Leader that his sister-in-law from Kitsap wrote, or something. Sorry, this newspaper thing really sucks.

PUD District 1, Commissioner, District 3

___ Daniel Toepper

___ Tom Brotherton

Is Tom B Greg B's dad or something? Two politicians in one family seems like it could be all right, or awful. Tom B is also a musician, right? No, I always mix him up with Tom Svornich, which is wrong-headed. Tom B once knocked on my door to gladhand while I was crying about some fool thing. I answered. I was so glad when he went away.  I'm concerned about the depletion of clean water resources; I'm aware of the dependence we all have on the precarious network of strings bringing us electrical power. We're totally fucked, all right? We're totally fucked. Go away and leave me to cry in peace.

Port Townsend School District No. 50, proposition 1

To re-make the districts for the school board members, yes or no?

I don't know. I am unduly influenced by Jennifer James-Wilson, because I respect her, but I also wonder about what sort of nefarious things are going on that I also don't want to have to really think about that hard. I should go to more school board meetings, but I'm very conflicted about all of that crap. Fuck it, seems to be the safest and healthiest option. I'll just stay home and remain addicted to my electronic devices and other forms of depletion of natural resources.
Write-in vote: Whatever


Initiative No. 1631
The Carbon Tax

To charge fees for pollution. Yes or No?

Fuck, this is a hard one.
I have got to say NO, because this pansy law would then become a template for other states looking to pass carbon tax laws. We are totally fucked, and we need harder laws. We are in trouble if we let this one slide in because everyone will forget all about it and then pretend it's all taken care of. This law is bullshit. Saying it will make "big polluters" pay for carbon emissions is just a mean way of saying we the people will pay for them. I am unduly influenced by the Seattle Times on this one.

Initiative No. 1634
Making the Soda Pop Tax Illegal
To make it impossible to tax specific stuff at the grocery store.

Let's vote NO on this one. 

There's no way we are going to rein in the CokePepsi companies, because they've got more stranglehold -- along with Nestle and ArcherDanielsMidland and all the other High-Fructose Corn Syrup peddlers -- on our entire system of mass-produced and -advertised and -distributed nutrition-deliverance products. AND, yeah, the soda-pop tax is like a tax on poor people. However, this one is sketchy. When in doubt, do without.

Initiative No. 1639

More background checks on Firearms

In Harry Potter #5, one of the Ministry of Magic officials mistakenly calls firearms "firelegs." This is endlessly amusing to me. Firelegs. Har! Har!

Only because I already have enough guns plus a helicopter which is only actually regulated by noise pollution in our county, and if I decided to open a new bomb-testing factory in Lake Tarboo all I'd have to do would be sue the county a couple times, I say vote YES on this one.

Initiative No. 940

Making cops get trained in how to talk to people, yes or no?

I miss Cliff Bryan. He taught cop courses at Idaho State University. He taught Sociology, I mean. He liked to go to all of the events all over the place in southeast Idaho; he was friends with everybody, plus cops who'd had to take his classes. There should be more human beings like Cliff; and cops should take more classes like Cliff's, yes. I consider myself willing to listen to people who disagree with me, on most issues, but this is one I'm unwilling to be man-splained at, about, by some earnest disagree-er with me on this one; you're probably just a Confederate-flag-waver type if you're going to vote against this one. YES on this one.

Swordfern Press's editorial staff isn't currently following local opinions on social media, so one of the many reasons we sound like morons is that we're not following what everyone's saying on Facebook. Our opinions are influenced by our communities, i.e. what we overhear at the Uptown Pub, and otherwise absorb from people nearby. 
As a news source, Swordfern Press aims to present the truth, from its own perspective. We respect readers' desire for "just the facts" and therefore acknowledge the fact of our own shifting, inconsistent, unclear biases. 
We are worried about voluntary disenfranchisement. Seems like a lot of young people do not vote because they appear to believe they'll "get the wrong answer" or otherwise "fail." The Voter's Guide seems like a huge boring textbook; those with opinions seem to be strongly pro or con, and we fear even bringing something up because we might look stupid or uninformed. The whole system is overwhelming. I can hardly remember what any position does. I can't seem to hold basic structures of government in my head long enough. Everything seems the purview of experts.
I'm deeply opposed to a lot of aspects of the US education system, but I'm more worried about stupid overseas wars and US-backed military bullshit like the Saudis trying to control Yemen; it also seems like we ought to quit supporting other countries' shitty governments just because we want their natural resources; we seem to be strangling the culture and environment and human life and health because of our greed and US power, militarily/financially. Voting for some person I don't even know for some position I don't even know what it does, seems pretty pointless. But going to government meetings also feels like sitting in the basement watching the oil furnace and wishing I could influence it to be more efficient. The environment is completely fucked. It's sort of interesting to watch. I love listening to Noam Chomsky, because he seems to know what he's talking about, but when he dies, who'll take his place?  
It seems like being a globalist is more humane than being a nationalist.
We're in deep shit, all of us Earthlings, if the climate goes haywire. And we're going ro tun out of fresh water, eventually; deforestation is a problem; sea-level rise is a problem; the current model of capitalist consumer culture is a problem. I wish they'd quit cutting down trees to make room for cows; but are un-talked-about veganist tendencies helping solve the climate crisis? I guess consumer choices are probably more powerful than anything else; but I also like the same old cheap clothes and burgers; I don't feel wealthy or young or influential enough to really make a difference. Mostly, I am too comfortable; I can't feel that strongly about anything except my own fragile egotistical self. 
Point: I am stupid and uninformed; sorta terrified to speak publicly about my political opinions; I'm going to look like an idiot, by writing here about how I'll vote, and why. But I'm gonna do it anyway. Being out-talked and out-knowledged is demoralizing, but this runt has some words for her web.

If you think I need some enlightening, say so to me: comment here, or email chimacumpress@gmail.com.