Race for the 34th: Candidate conversation – Marcee Stone

(EDITOR’S NOTE: With a week and a half till ballots are mailed for the August 17th primary, we’ve been taking a closer look at the candidates in two contested local races. Today, we conclude a weeklong series of stories about WSB conversations with the four contenders for 34th District State House, Position 2. Previously: Our report on Joe Fitzgibbon ran here); our report on Mike Heavey was here; and our Geoffrey “Mac” McElroy interview here.

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

She has the official Democratic Party nomination and the endorsement of the 34th District Democrats.

Marcee Stone also has something that Democratic legislative candidates in the 34th District (map) don’t usually have: Same-party challengers.

According to King County’s online election records, this is the first time in a decade that any 34th District legislative race has had more than one Democrat (in 2000, 2 Democrats challenged Dow Constantine in his winning State Senate campaign). But then again, it’s been pointed out, this is the first open seat in almost two decades. And until the “Top Two” primary system was implemented two years ago, there was no chance for two members of the same party to make it to general election.

Stone, a 57-year-old West Seattle resident, says it “means a lot” to voters when they hear she’s “the official Democratic candidate” – and when they hear about her “deep roots in the community.”

(5/12/2010 photo by Dina Johnson, from the 34th DDs’ endorsement meeting)
“I was brought up here, I brought up my daughter here – that element of life experience has really developed some trust right away,” she explains – trust that she has to build with voters who don’t already know her as local Democratic activists do. “I’ve had two careers in my lifetime – I’ve raised a family, owned a home, sold a home, paid my taxes, educated myself and my daughter – I think I have the values and the judgment to take
forward into the legislative session … I’m here to benefit the community the best of my ability. The fact I’m not taking PAC or corporate money allows them to have more trust in me – I’m not there to service any other type of agenda.”

The finance point is something on which she is living the philosophy that she espoused during the past few years as board president of Washington Public Campaigns, an organization that advocates public financing of election campaigns. She gave up that role in order to make the run for office, but emceed WPC’s recent awards banquet, held in West Seattle. And the topic naturally comes up several times during our hourlong conversation at a Junction coffee shop:

“Not to try to paint myself as a one-issue candidate, but one of the things that’s important to me and others is the real impartiality of our state Supreme Court. I’d like to see public financing of the state Supreme Court [campaigns] happen — [this past session] we got close to having it happen on the floor of the Senate … (but it) didn’t happen. I hope to work (on this, if elected to the Legislature) with (Snohomish County Rep.) Marko Liias. We have to protect our state Supreme Court(‘s integrity).”

Stone feels that her background working on this issue would give her a jump-start past the typical legislative rookie. “Though I would be a first-time legislator, it’s not my first time around the block – I have a good ability to really stand on my own feet and represent the people of the district, and not be bent to the wind of the interests down in Olympia itself, and I think that has to be the bottom line for me, what’s best for the district, not just is this the correct environmental or labor or educational thing to do – it really boils down to, what’s my connection to the people living here.”

She says she senses a “disconnect” right now between those people and their representatives, and she hopes instead to “foster a connection and collaboration with the people in the district, let them know what legislation is coming down the pike, (find out) what they might be interested in, so they can let me and the leadership know, and then they would need to let their friends (and others) know that this legislation is coming up, and that they need to make phone calls and send e-mails (to let legislators know they want something passed).”

Stone hopes to translate that interest into an improved two-way communication system, though she’s not certain yet what form it might take – she just knows that there’s more information potentially available on more of a real-time basis than is easily accessible to constituents right now. That also could help legislators call attention to issues that aren’t getting the attention that they seem to merit. For example: “I’m not hearing anybody talk about the Family Medical Leave Act that was passed in 2007, passed with a shorter amount of time, a smaller amount of money, limited in terms of scope … now there’s $50 million coming from the Obama Administration to the states to implement this, so this is an opportunity for us to let people know – I can say, ‘are you interested?'”

She envisions an easier way to reach out to organizations and others outside the district, too, to build coalitions – even short-term ones centered on certain issues or builds – to get something done. “That’s the way I was able to do it in 2008 on the ‘local-option bill’ with Washington Public Campaigns; we had folks in every district.”

Another issue she views as important: Tax reform. She supports Initiative 1098, but: “I’m disappointed in the scope of that – also disappointed we can’t find leadership in the House to address the hard question of tax reform … When I started running, I was amazed at the number of people who told me the progressive income tax is important.”

What does she say to those who say, there must be something else to cut, before you start talking about new taxes? “I think they’ve cut to the bone, I don’t think they can cut any more. They managed to balance the budget this session by doing a whole variety of things – everybody has had to take some of the brunt of the situations,” including furlough days for some state employees. “I just don’t know where we can get (more) budget cuts.”

Meantime, “we need more money for education … I don’t know how many more little taxes we can take that will let us fund education (even) to the bare minimum that we are at now.” But back to the subject of why she is disappointed in Initiative 1098 – for one, she wishes legislators had implemented an income tax, “rather than waiting for an initiative … that would have been a very brave and courageous thing to do.” Also, she’s disappointed “that there is no offset for the sales tax – people who make less than $50,000 are spending a large percentage (of their income) on sales tax. But I know I spend less now than I did before, so (the state is) not going to be getting the sales-tax (revenue) they need.”

In addition to tax reform, Stone also is interested in finding a way to make paid sick leave available to more workers. “There’s got to be at least a bare minimum. If you’re a young mom and your kid gets sick, you’re going to wind up losing your job.” She also is concerned about helping jobless people, and about health care: “Anything we can do to make the social safety net safer.”

What can government do to help create jobs? Effective training, for one – she mentions the programs at South Seattle Community College, and Referendum 52, which, if approved by voters in November, will retrofit school buildings for energy efficiency. “That’s a wonderful example of (creating) jobs while helping the environment.” She hopes that economic improvement will also lead to “more green industry along the Duwamish,” and points to alternative-energy projects in other parts of the state.

Environmental advocacy is one of the other focuses she’s hoping for if elected: “I want to get involved in the Blue/Green Alliance, to help hold that coalition together” though Rep. Sharon Nelson is leaving the House seat for which Stone is running, moving (running unopposed) to the State Senate. (Coalition-building/maintaining is a specialty, she says, because of her community-activist background; she does not see herself as much of a “compromiser,” though.) Stone also thinks “a carbon tax … makes more sense than ‘cap and trade'” and she thinks the so-called “polluters’ tax” should come up to two percent … we need to get polluters, producers of fossil fuel to be paying for their fair share of cleanup costs … The people who are making all this money on oil, we need to get them to pay for part of (that). It’s mindboggling to me that we have one lobbyist in Olympia for BP alone.”

She expects transportation issues to be another focus: “Transit in this community is very, very important. We’re going to be lucky when the Spokane Street Viaduct is done … but when they decide to start building the tunnel … I think people are still worried about the (Alaskan Way) Viaduct, (not realizing that) it will remain up while they dig the tunnel, so when that’s done, they tear (the old viaduct) down. People are kind of confused about this … I do get some questions, mostly about access to downtown.” Also regarding transportation/transit, she supports “legislation to allow local jurisdictions to have their own motor-vehicle excise tax. People will pay for what they want to use.” And she would like to see pedestrian-safety laws toughened.

From the possibilities if she’s elected, we backtrack to why she’s running. She says she got involved with party politics right about the time she became involved in a fight over neighborhood cell-phone towers. “People … would say, you really should run for office – that kind of got my interest piqued a little bit. Post-cell phone towers, I looked for an issue I really wanted to delve into … tax reform, maybe working with NARAL, insurance reform – but when I saw a presentation on public campaign financing, I really thought, ‘that is something that we really need – it’s at the heart of everything.’ I would think, there’s no way I could (run for office), where would I get the money – I think that stops a lot of good people.”

Believing she should “try to make government more accountable and transparent,” she continued that work, and then, came the domino effect (Dow Constantine being elected County Executive, State Sen. Joe McDermott running for Constantine’s old County Council seat, Rep. Nelson seeking McDermott’s Senate seat) that led to the open position. “When the opportunity presented itself, I’d done some homework … I think I can do a great job.”

What does she see as an underplayed issue in the campaign? “One of the issues that got dropped last year due to special interests busing in supporters, the ‘crisis pregnancy centers’ – That was disappointing, to say the least, that our leaders didn’t have the gumption, really, to stand up and do the right thing … a young woman in dire circumstances with nowhere to turn, doesn’t have your typical clinic available to her, goes to one of these centers instead, is given an over-the-counter test and then shown lots of videos regarding why someone shouldn’t have an abortion. I think that’s wrong. Then they won’t give them any (other) information. I think we need to make sure this passes (next) time … to let people know what they are all about. They promise the moon, and then when it gets down to brass tacks, the girl is usually left to fend for herself.”

During our conversation, she had harsh words for the Legislature’s failings more than once, so we ask what she views as one of the past session’s accomplishments. The campaign-financing issue comes up again: “They limited the campaign contributions that candidates in municipalities can take – if you were under a certain population (size), not Tacoma or Seattle, you could take unlimited amount of corporate contributions.” She cites a Federal Way campaign in which she says a developer “spent $234,000 on a particular candidate.”

Asked toward conversation’s end what she wanted to talk more about, Stone mentioned education reform — she thinks teachers are getting something of a bum rap. “There’s been an awful lot of blame going toward teachers. A lot of people are trying to blame them for the way things are. But if we fix the funding system, we should be able to get what we need. … Teachers need to be at the table when they discuss whether or not, or how, to reform the teacher-evaluation process.”

She mentions some of her alma maters when discussing her ties to various communities in the 34th District – Holy Family School in White Center, Kennedy High School in Burien.

Most memorable moments of the campaign so far? “The nomination and (34th District Democrats’) sole endorsement were absolutely gold, and I was really proud of that, because it was something I have worked very hard for … it meant a lot to me that people heard my message.”

ENDORSEMENTS: Here’s her current online list

FUNDRAISING: $28,743 in contributions as of this morning (7/19/2010), compared to $31,616 for Joe Fitzgibbon, $29,650 for Mike Heavey, $5,112 for Geoffrey “Mac” McElroy, per the state Public Disclosure Commission website. (To see who has given Stone money, go here.)

WHITE CENTER – SEATTLE OR BURIEN? “I’m fine either way … What I hope is that they just don’t hopeto get overlooked. I want them to get annexed, but don’t really have an ax to grind as far as which one. I think that both cities (Seattle and Burien) should be free to go in and lobby, it essentially is up to the citizens of White Center. Right now, it’s just sad to see that it’s being postponed yet again. … It might be one of those opportunities where the Legislature steps in with the GMA (Growth Management Act) and figures out how to get some funding so that they are more appealing.”

Find out more about Marcee Stone at her campaign website here; see her Facebook page here; read recent Web-wide news stories mentioning her, as indexed by Google News, here.

Last Tuesday, we published the story of our conversation with Joe Fitzgibbon; last Wednesday, it was Mike Heavey; and last Thursday, it was Geoffrey “Mac” McElroy.

Registered to vote? If not – today’s the deadline (unless you’ve never registered in this state before)! Details here.

23 Replies to "Race for the 34th: Candidate conversation - Marcee Stone"

  • Ivan Weiss July 19, 2010 (4:22 pm)

    I applaud Marcee for her values, and for her work for public financing of campaigns. I’m glad she wants to work with Marko Liias to get public financing for Supreme Court campaigns. I hope, however, that it’s not too gauche to point out that Marko Liias already has endorsed Joe Fitzgibbon.

    It’s encouraging that Marcee wants to be part of the “Blue-Green Alliance,” between environmentalists and union members, and to carry on the work that Sharon Nelson helped to begin. It is a fact, however, that Joe Fitzgibbon has the endorsement of all of the environmental groups and most of the unions that have endorsed, and the endorsement of Sharon Nelson and almost all the members of the Blue-Green Alliance in the House.

    Marcee is correct to emphasize constituent service, which, no matter how good legislators or their staff members are, can always improve. But do I need to point out that Joe Fitzgibbon has been delivering high-quality constituent service for Sharon Nelson’s office for three years now, longer than all his three opponents combined? Can any of them seriously expect voters to think that they wouldn’t be starting from scratch in comparison?

    It reminds me of the famous show tune from “Annie Get your Gun:” “Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better.” That’s Marcee’s problem, and Michael Heavey’s, too. Joe Fitzgibbon, despite his youth and purported lack of “life experience,” is the most experienced, best qualified candidate in this race, and each day that goes by in this campaign, that becomes more and more apparent to 34th District voters.

    Many thanks to West Seattle Blog for this series.

  • progressive34ther July 19, 2010 (5:45 pm)

    While Fitzgibbon and Ivan might look down at “life experience,”it is what keeps Legislators understanding and caring about the needs of their district, it is what guides them as they make the tough choices, and it is what informs them when not all the facts can be known. It’s easy to see why you look down on it – Joe doesn’t have any to speak of.

    Constituent outreach is an issue and has been a problem in recent years. Just showing up to the 34th Dems meetings once in a while isn’t enough. If constituent services were important to Joe, you’d think he would have mentioned it publicly once?

    The fact is that Marcee is the only candidate in this race to actually pass legislation, she’s the only candidate in this race to have testified in front of committee, and she’s the only candidate in this race to have the experience of building coalitions to create positive change. That’s the experience she brings to the table and it’s Joe who will be playing catch-up from day one.

  • Dina July 19, 2010 (6:04 pm)

    Like anyone who has made connections working for a government official in Olympia, Joe Fitzgibbon has his supporters there, but my friend Ivan’s comment is opinion, that’s all. We agree to disagree.

    I prefer Marcee Stone to be my next Representative. She won the 34th District Democrats’ endorsement by diligently earning the trust and admiration of the most members – people who care deeply about good government that benefits the majority of citizens.

    Marcee’s very familiar with the complex workings of Olympia politics from her exceptional work with progressive organizations, labor activists, and enlightened politicians all over the state.

  • Ivan Weiss July 19, 2010 (6:05 pm)

    There’s one more point I’d like to mention. The link to the Public Disclosure Commission’s Web site reveals not only how much money candidates receive, and from whom, but also how much they spend, what they spend it on, and how much they borrow to keep their campaigns afloat.

    As of the time that I post this, the PDC site reveals that Joe Fitzgibbon has raised more, from a broader base of support, and has spent less than either of the other two Democrats in the race. Alone among the Democratic candidates, Joe’s campaign debt is Z-E-R-O.

    I don’t know about you, but that’s who *I* want writing our state’s budget.

  • 4RealCleanCampaigns July 19, 2010 (6:20 pm)

    The Municipal League released their ratings today and Joe Fitzgibbon received the highest rating in that race of “Very Good” , so I wish that had been included in this article.

    Regarding constituent outreach, I believe that Eileen Cody, Joe McDermott and Sharon Nelson have worked hard to ensure that constituent’s obtained information. I hope that Marcee Stone notified them if she was unhappy or was hearing that their contituents were unahappy as, it appears to be the case, in this article.

    I want to point out, Marcee didn’t pass legislation (she was not a legislator). She may have testified before a committee(s) regarding legislation. Joe Fitzgibbon would have been involved in helping to actually ensure that legislation passed.

    Last, but not least — the fight on Maury Island is critical to the 34th District. Marcee Stone is endorsed by Rep. Lynn Kessler who has a condo on Alki but “lives” in Hoquiam.

    Below are the links regarding Rep Kessler’s support for this massive mine which environmental organizations oppose:


    (Retiring State Rep. Pat) Lantz’s next disappointment this year was the Legislature’s unwillingness – for the second year in a row – to stop a controversial gravel mine on Maury Island in Puget Sound . “We are nothing if we aren’t Mount Rainier, Puget Sound, and the Columbia River – that’s who we are,” says Lantz, referring to Washington state.

    “And to not recognize the travesty and betrayal of trust with allowing someone to bulldoze one of the islands, just demolish a feature of this thing we hold in trust, completely shatters my faith in my fellow legislators to identify the right thing to do.” Lantz believes politics trumped stewardship in the case of Maury Island .

    Again, Majority Leader Kessler disagrees.”Not only [did] we not have the votes on Maury Island and that gun bill that she wanted, we had a lot of no votes, so it wasn’t a close call.” Kessler says the Maury Island issue boils down to whether it’s fair to “change the rules midstream” for companies trying to do business in Washington .”

    Austin Jenkins
    Crosscut, March 13, 2008


    Last year House Majority Leader Lynn Kessler, D-Hoquiam, blocked efforts to stop the proposed gravel mine expansion and refused to budge when Senate leaders pushed for the bill in the closing days of the session.

    Robert McClure
    Dateline Earth, Seattle P-I.com environmental blog
    January 28, 2008


    $8 billion Sound bill passes
    Lawmakers end deadlock without halting island gravel pit expansion

    OLYMPIA — Gov. Chris Gregoire’s Puget Sound restoration initiative passed out of the Senate on a 43-4 vote Friday after a related bill that would have protected the Maury Island aquatic reserve died, ending a last-hour standoff between the House and the Senate.

    The Senate had been holding up Senate Bill 5372, which will launch the $8 billion Puget Sound restoration, insisting that it made no sense to embark on the effort at the same time mining expansion is allowed in the Sound’s only aquatic reserve.

    But after negotiating late into Thursday night, House Majority Leader Lynn Kessler, D- Hoquiam, refused to budge. She said the bill would not have enough support in the House if the Maury Island bill were added, and she refused to include it as a budget proviso. The Senate finally relented to avoid a deadlock that threatened derail the broader restoration investment.

    Sen. Erik Poulsen, D-West Seattle, fought to include provisions that would have protected the Maury Island reserve.

    He was disappointed Friday afternoon.

    “It became clear that Rep. Kessler wouldn’t vote for any budget that contained protections for Maury Island , and she wields a lot of power in that caucus,” he said.

    Chris McGann
    Seattle Post-Intelligencer, April 20, 2007


    Last week, Fizz reported that the Roadkill Caucus—a group of conservative Democratic state legislators starring Sens. Brian Hatfield and Steve Hobbs and Reps. Judy Clibborn and Lynn Kessler—were forming a PAC and holding a June 8 fundraiser at the Indian Summer Golf Club in Olympia.

    Here are some more details: The event is being hosted by a crew of corporate lobbyists—Melanie Stewart (Eli Lilly); Charlie Brown (Fred Meyer); Lisa Thatcher (Glaxo Smith Kline); Kristina Hermach (Pfizer); Jean Leonard (AIG, State Farm, Nationwide); Kathleen Collins (Pacificorp); Carrie Tellefsen (CVS, Regence); Cody Benson (real estate).

    To be fair, there are also some food banks and hospitals and social services being represented at the barbecue fundraiser.

    Casual attire requested.

    Morning Fizz column, June 3, 2010

    I guess all of this should be reviewed.

  • Values Voter July 19, 2010 (6:35 pm)

    Marcee is the only candidate with proven leadership and coalition building experience. Seems to me she is also the only candidate that knows all parts of the district rather than just one. She has personal experience with public education having raised a daughter through our schools. She understands the importance if higher education being the first in her family to graduate from college. Marcee personally understands labor issues as a former union employee. The list goes on and on and on…
    This is life experience that matters when I look for someone to represent our community in Olympia. I would personally never support a candidate just because they got the endorsement from some buddies in Olympia.

    I hope Marcee the best and I hope she is our next representative.

  • Ivan Weiss July 19, 2010 (6:59 pm)

    I hope I can disagree without being disagreeable, but it is fact, and not opinion, that Marko Liias has endorsed Joe. It is fact, and not opinion, that Sharon Nelson and nine other State Representatives, most of the Blue-Green Alliance, have endorsed Joe.

    It is fact, and not opinion, that Joe has performed constituent service for our District for the past three years. His Municipal League questionnaire contains his deep commitment to, and understanding of, constituent service. It is fact, and not opinion, that he has “mentioned it.”

    It is also fact, and not opinion, that constituent service takes place in Olympia, and at constituents’ doorsteps, mostly out of public view, and not at meetings of the 34th District Democrats.

    It is fact, and not opinion, that I have neither disparaged, nor “looked down on” any other candidate’s “life experience.”

    It is NOT fact that Marcee, or anyone else who is not elected to the Legislature, has “passed legislation.” Her work as a citizen lobbyist has been admirable, but so has mine, and so has the work of hundreds of other citizen lobbyists in the 34th District who trek back and forth to Olympia during session. We all testify before committee — it’s laudable, it deserves praise, but it’s hardly unique, and it hardly confers any special qualification.

    Not only is it NOT a fact, but it’s downright laughable, to say that Marcee is “the only candidate in this race to have the experience of building coalitions to create positive change.” The ONLY candidate? Legislators and their staff members do that every day, for heaven’s sake. If Joe hasn’t been doing that, as you imply, then how in heaven’s name do you account for all those endorsements? Aren’t they the result of coalition-building? Do you think they picked names of candidates to endorse out of a hat or something? If Marcee was “the ONLY candidate” who had built coalitions, don’t you think at least a few of those endorsements would have gone to her?

    Joe’s “buddies in Olympia” are among the most liberal — “progressive,” if you will — leaders in this state for a more equitable tax structure, for clean air and water, for employee and consumer protections, for financial, bankruptcy, and lending reform, for full civil rights for ALL citizens, and — yes — for campaign financing reform (Joe has taken the Clean elections Pledge). It’s not like he’s backed by Wal-Mart, or payday lenders, or people like that.

    Like Marcee, I was the first in my family to graduate from college. Like Marcee, I raised a daughter through the Seattle Public Schools. Like Marcee, I was a former union member and in addition, a former paid union representative. I am older than Marcee and thereby have more “life experience” than she does. Those are all facts. But — and this is opinion — I am not as qualified to serve in the House as Joe Fitzgibbon is.

    I admire Marcee and I admire her work. But her supporters are not doing her any favors by claiming that she is “uniquely qualified” for this position. Many, many others have done whjat she has done, and have been just as effective as she has been. That’s a GOOD thing. It doesn’t make her the best candidate in this field, though.

  • CurlyQ July 19, 2010 (7:18 pm)

    Just my two-cents, but it seems to me we win either way, with Marcee Stone or Jim Fitzgibbon. As it comes down to the wire for the primary, things heat up and harsh words can be exchanged, but I trust that whomever wins will acknowledge the worthiness of their opponents, and whomever loses will graciously endorse the winner. That’s what West Seattle is all about to me. That, and ethical, smart, experienced, good, progressive representation.

  • Les Treall July 19, 2010 (9:02 pm)

    I’m supporting Marcee for two primary reasons. First, is that she is an activist and understands coalition building and bulding public support for an issue. Using that knowledge, she can help us build comminity and statewide support for our issues. The second is how she has chosen to raise money for the race.
    Marcee is not the legislator in training, nor is she running because it’s the family bussiness. She’s running because it’s the best way to continue to support the community she lives in. She has been giving tirelessly to the community in the 5+ years I’ve known her, and as representative, she will be able to give even more.
    By choosing to raise money only from individuals, she will be able to vote her consciense and not just how the lobbyists tell her. This decision may hurt her chances, but I think the integrety it demostrates will more than make up for it. Judging by comments I heard while working our info booths at the community festivals, it will.

  • Chris Porter July 19, 2010 (9:06 pm)

    Joe Fitzgibbon does not and has not offered constituent services, Sharon Nelson does. This experience by association does not cut the mustard. For all the endorsements and ratings given, the district that offers the votes and will select the legislator, has made its intentions known to the voters in the 34th district-the endorsement of Marcee Stone send the signal that she is the best candidate for office. If voters believe in the process and the candidate selected, no union,association rating will offer the seat – only the voters of the 34th. Marcee has been serving this district long before the other candidates decided to get into the race. I find it interesting that Marcee Stones’ campaign funds have come from single donors and that that amount is close to the other candidates that have taken money from a wide range of donors. If we expect our elected officials to act with our best interests in mind, then do what Marcee is doing and use the money of the individual donor and put is to the best constituent services available: Getting elected using the grassroots funds, support and energy of the individual voter. Walk the walk that a clean campaign should give the voters of the 34th a greater elected official. Something I am sure her life experience has taught her.

  • Another34thPCO July 19, 2010 (9:37 pm)

    I’m proud to be one of the PCO’s who overwhelmingly endorsed Marcee during the 34th district dems endorsement meeting this year. The 34th is lucky to have have great democrats in this race however, Marcee’s life and world experience do mean something to voters in the 34th.

    I want someone in Olympia who will make decisions for the 34th and represent the people who live here, not a career politician. I someone who has worked for and fought for something she believes in. I want someone who got involved in politics because she wants to make a difference.

    I appreciate the skills of two candidates in this race, but I especially appreciate the breadth of experience Marcee brings to the table. Go Marcee!

  • Randy July 20, 2010 (6:33 am)

    It’s interesting that Marcee goes on and on about constituent services and yet in her Muni questionnaire when asked about constituent services she put the Wikipedia definition!?! Look at Joe and Marcee’s answers side by side and tell me she has a better understanding of constituent services. Ask Sharon Nelson if Joe has an understanding of constituent services. I know Sharon’s answer and it’s yes.

    Marcee’s endorsement by Lynn Kessler is of grave concern. Just because Marcee isn’t taking money from big bad special interest groups like the grocery store workers union and the nurses union doesn’t mean she will get it right all the time in Olympia. In fact I’m concerned that Marcee sees campaign finance reform as the silver bullet that will solve all of the state’s ills. In her comments from pro choice issues to transportation and everything in between she always brings campaign finance reform into her answer. I’m surprised that all of her life experience hasn’t taught her that things are never that simplistic.

    Why isn’t Marcee talking about how she would fund these public campaigns? With our state’s budget crisis and the most basic services being cut, like health care for children, she wants your tax dollars to fund campaigns. I would say that’s pretty far down on my list of priorities for my tax dollars.

  • 34th Election Watcher July 20, 2010 (8:10 am)

    Chris, So let me get this straight. The fact that the Municipal League, an organization that objectively rates candidates based on their own words, gave Joe a higher rating than Marcee means nothing. The fact that Joe got the endorsement of many more unions and progressive and environmental organizations than Marcee means nothing. That most of the members of the blue green alliance endorsed Joe means nothing either. The only thing that truly matters is that the 34th District Democrats, an organization of which Marcee is a board member, endorsed her. I’m glad you explained that to me.

    If you want to know what Joe did in the state legislature, you should ask his boss, Sharon Nelson. I think she would set you straight on how important his work was to her. She didn’t endorse him just because she likes him.

  • Ivan Weiss July 20, 2010 (8:20 am)

    Replying to “Another34thPCO”:

    I’d like to know who you consider a “career politician?” Dow Constantine? Joe McDermott? Erik Poulsen? Eileen Cody? Sharon Nelson? Have they somehow not made “decisions for the 34th?” Have they somehow “not “represented the people who live here?” Have they not gotten “involved in politics because they wanted to make a difference?”

    According to our WA Constitution, State Representative and State Senator are part-time positions. Nobody gets rich off them. They are not designed to provide a year-round living wage. All of our legislators hold down other jobs. They have to.

    Do our state legislators somehow not “fight for something they believe in?” Is that what you’re saying here? Would you say that to their faces?

    Support your candidate, by all means. It’s why we have elections, after all. Just don’t go implying that the motivations of the other candidates in this race are any less pure than those of your candidate. It’s an insult to our intelligence. Our “career politicians” have served us well and honorably. They have gone the extra mile for us, and you most likely have voted for all of them.

  • WSB July 20, 2010 (12:30 pm)

    A friendly reminder to commenters and would-be commenters, we do our best to keep things clean around here, meaning no allegations that somebody spread rumors, somebody did something illegal/unethical (for which they haven’t been charged/cited/etc.), etc. Thanks! – TR

  • chris Porter July 20, 2010 (5:02 pm)

    34th election watcher,
    I cannot stress enough that those rating systems hold value, but this race is one of the better examples of local politics. The office is given to those who seek it from the voters of the 34th and only the 34th. While each candidate can list a list of endorsements, we cannot escape the reality of the statement the all politics are local. Locally speaking, unless all the people of the unions, and ratings associations live in the 34th, this race will test local politics and who has the attention of the voters of the the 34th, and only the voters of the 34th, who can elect. I am not going to say that some of these endorsements do not matter, but when I knock on the doors of the people, local precinct voters, who elected me, they are going to ask me why should they vote for Marcee or one of the other candidates. My opinion has more weight than some of the rating systems because I will be speaking to some of the very people who elected me their Democratic PCO. You cannot get any more local than that. And while unions and rating associations have name recognition, PCOs have the advantage of having built a local relationship with members in their Precinct – I intend to use that relationship when asked about who should hold this seat – that is what I am getting at.

    Chris Porter

  • Danno July 21, 2010 (8:23 am)

    Really, take all this ‘he said she said’ to the forums where it belongs. Nothing about the 34th Dist Demos is interesting news….Yawn

    These people will do nothing to fix this bankrupt state, just make it worse.

    • WSB July 21, 2010 (8:33 am)

      Re: your first line, relevant discussion IS welcome and appropriate in the comment sections following news stories.

  • Danno July 21, 2010 (8:52 am)

    But my point is it is not news to begin with.

  • Dina July 21, 2010 (11:04 am)

    I didn’t realize that uninterested people were forced to read through all these comments, when they’d much prefer to be doing something else. That must be tough.

  • M. July 21, 2010 (5:15 pm)

    To the supporters of Marcee and other candidates; Please do not place campaign signs on Public property, or anywhere prohibited. Please do not place on private property without permission. Please note; it IS legal to remove signs illegally placed. Or call 684-5267 for complaints and removal. Please don’t make someone else remove your campaign litter. This link should provide all necessary information.
    Thank you!


  • VoiceOfTheJunction July 27, 2010 (9:49 am)

    I think it’s fairly obvious that the 34th dist dems have a stranglehold on all of the blogs in the West Seattle area. They really aren’t anything more than propoganda machines.

    It’s obvious by the lack of coverage of the other candidates in our local races.

    Political Machine keep doing your thing…

    • WSB July 27, 2010 (10:20 am)

      VOTJ, we covered all four candidates in this race – profiles of Fitzgibbon, Heavey, McElroy, and Stone (this was the final one). That’s every candidate in this race. We also have reported about all four who filed in the County Council race (Fahey, McDermott, McEvoy, Toledo). Those are the only two West Seattle races with primary contests. We reported on a “reluctant Republican,” Ray Carter, filing in the 34th District House 1 race vs. Eileen Cody, but both advance automatically to November so we will be doing closer-up stories then. Is there a West Seattle-specific race we’ve missed? – TR

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