Wednesday, August 31, 2005

I'm not a Messmer shill and Jim Wiest IS a Republican

Well, I knew I never was, but Mike just stopped by to point out that I wasn't in the first place. He also pointed out that he has an email address for his campaign now, which is encouraging: normoyleforolympia@hotmail.com. So I would encourage anyone insterested to hit him up with questions.

Also, another candidate, Jim Wiest, running against Jeff Kingsbury and Phyllis Booth, is an honest to God Republican! And, I'm not even kidding. He actually won the Republican primary for Lt. Governor last year:
Jim Wiest, an Olympia limousine driver who has been traveling the state in his 1994 Lincoln Town Car in his bid for the job, said he decided to run mainly to help Republican gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi get elected. But once he learned that Owen serves on a House-Senate economic development committee, he staked out reducing the state's high unemployment rate as his campaign's defining issue.
I would assume though that most Republicans thought they were voting for Jim West, Mayor of Spokane.

Wiest also has an email address (Wiest_4_a_safe_olympia@yahoo.com), and from his primary election statement, doesn't like Oly Cops all that much. That won't win him the Police Guild endorsement. Strange for a Republican to not like Cops.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Democratic Party Meetup: Supreme Court

On September 6 the Senate will be back in session and should start their discussions on the nomination of Justice Roberts. So, the importance of the Supreme Court on our lives and how we can make our voices heard during the nomination process will be our topic.

Tuesday, September 6 from 7 to 9 p.m.
Olympia Center
222 Columbia St NW
Olympia, WA
Room 101 (first floor)

And, if you want, you can download these super posters about our local meetup.
Poster 1 (pdf file)
Poster 2 (pdf file)

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Olympia City Council Candidates, get your blog on

I just finished an email to a city council candidate, one that I hope wins, advising in part that she start writing a blog on her website. Blogs are a great way to engage voters, organize supporters and let people know what's going on with your campaign without having to depend on the paper:

In this post about Larry Skutnick, the first regular guy example used in a State of the Union addresss, Kari Chisolm writes that blogs can serve the same purpose Larry did for Reagan:
...a blog can humanize a politician.

I've seen it happen right here in Portland, Oregon. City Commissioner Randy Leonard - a notoriously hard-to-like fella - has made friends and defused his enemies with his direct and approachable style on BlueOregon.com. He's written obituaries for great but unknown citizens, drawn parallels between his patriotic forebears and the Patriot Act, lamented the loss of a favorite NBA coach, acknowledged an obsession with the Jeopardy! quiz show, and even demanded (with grace and wit) a retraction from a columnist who called him "short".

Lenny Skutnick. His name has become shorthand in White House speechwriter lingo for making sure to always include a humanizing and inspirational story about a real person in major speeches. Sure, it can easily become cliche and schlocky, but there's a kernel of brilliance there.

You may never get to give a State of the Union address. But stop cutting and pasting press releases, white papers, and fact sheets into your blog. Instead, find ways to include your own Skutnicks.

Get human. The voters will reward you.

The mayor of Montclair in Jersey gets into it with his fellow Montclairions on local blogs, and it works to his benefit:

What’s amazing is that he doesn’t even see it as extraordinary that he cares about his reputation on Baristanet. “On the street, it’s just like ‘Oh, I saw you on the cable station.’ Now I get ‘Oh, I saw you on the blog.’” Ed points out that an appearance on a blog’s comment threads can humanize an elected offical, and that a note directly from the mayor can temper the conversation, too. “If I go on directly and respond, if I personify the discussion” he says, “people are more careful about what they say.”

To that end, city council candidates, you don't even have to launch your own blog, just get onto existing online communities, such as olyblog.

Friday, August 26, 2005

I should go to meetings more often

Now, what kind of meetings were these again?



Nice catch by KD Chapman.

Why is meetup.com promoting DFA meetups?

Got this email this morning in an old email account:
Dear Meetup Member,

At some point in the past you joined Meetup.com and expressed an interest in meeting other Supporters of Democracy near Olympia.

*There are now 330 other Supporters of Democracy near Olympia* who are ready to get together, however the group needs an Organizer to schedule the Meetups! No Organizer has stepped forward to lead the group and help make this Meetup happen.

Click here to learn more:
http://dfa.meetup.com/228/handover/?op=c

...

You'll notice there's a group fee of $19 for every active group. If you're concerned about this fee but are still interested in giving it a try as Organizer, go ahead. We'll give you 30 days to try it out. If it's not right for you, we'll give you a *FULL REFUND*, no questions asked.

...

Finally, if you're ready to give it a try, please do so before September 8th. On that date, any group that hasn't had an Organizer for at least 30 days will be disbanded and you'll be added to an "Alerts List" to be notified when a new Democracy for America group starts nearby.

We hope your Meetups are successful, and thanks for being a part of Meetup.com!

Matt Meeker
Co-Founder, Meetup.com
Now, if I remember, DFA has been working to migrate away from meetup.com, following the example of Townhall.com. So, why would meetup.com make a point of promoting DFA meetups that aren't active or at least aren't using their website to organize.

I would assume because they know DFA is leaving. Or, has already left. DFA has launched a beta of DFA-Link. Not quite meetup, but still a local organizing tool.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

God and Private Property

In addition to the booing, what riled me up about last night's CAO public hearing was that "God-given" quote:
"When I bought my property, there was a 50-foot wetland buffer. Now the whole street is a wetland buffer. Thurston County has made my land useless," said Rainier resident Alana Love. "I am fighting to restore my God-given right to do what I want with my property."
Ms. Love and I probably don't go to the same church, but here is what mine has to say on that particular topic: You have a God-given right to hold property, but not to do whatever you want with it.
Christian tradition has never upheld [property rights] as absolute and untouchable. On the contrary, it has always understood this right within the broader context of the right common to all to use the goods of the whole of creation: the right to private property is subordinated to the right to common use, to the fact that goods are meant for everyone.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

I'm a Karen Messmer shill and other fun stuff

Michael Normyle, from what I now know, is not a Republican or a Democrat and even did not vote in last September's partisan primary because he is "adamantly opposed to the new system." Partisan? Not he.

That whole thing with Michael and the comments (trust me, it is good reading) got me thinking this morning, I should link to all the candidate websites that I know about. Simple thing, I should have done it awhile ago:

Position 4:
Michael Normoyle I know it says that there ins't anything there, but do you have a better link?
Karen Messmer

Position 5
Todd E. Adams
Ira Knight
Jeff Kingsbury
Robin L "Buck" Torske

Position 6
Phyllis Booth
Doug Mah
Jim Wiest

Position 7
Joe Hyer
John Griogair Bell

Not a complete list, but I'm hoping that folks that do know of other websites will chime in (hint hint).

Also, to directly address Mike's last post about me being a Karen Messmer shill, I do probably know some people working on her campaign, but I have never knowlingly met Karen and I don't plan on giving to her campaign. As for whether I'm going to vote for her, I don't know yet. But I'm not voting for Mike.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Its my first Olyblog post: Stupid Tommy Lee, stupid Evergreen

I'm not going to be so lame that I cross post everything here at Olyblog and vice versa, but here's my first (real) post over there:

I'm not assuming that anyone watched "Tommy Lee Goes To College" last night. If you did, I think you know what I'm talking about when I say that 5 minutes watching that was five minutes you wish you had back.

Its a not a credit to the average student at the University of Nebraska that they spent more time mugging for pictures with Mr. Lee than kicking him in the shins. It surprises the hell of me that our Evergreen State College was in the running for hosting this show:
The college answered an invitation from TV producers wanting to secure a college or university willing to welcome the rocker and creatively tape his experiences as a college student.

"Lee likely would have benefited greatly from Evergreen's unique method of collaborative, interdisciplinary teaching as well as the highly creative environment, and the college's independent study programs probably would have fit his personal approach," Hanna said.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Its OlyBlog!

And, it ain't CNN.

In addition to the use of the word "ain't" and the reference to a Southern-based news network, I hate the catch phrase that Olyblog uses. And, that is the only thing I hate about Olyblog, because in general, in the 6 minutes and 1 second I've been User #3 down there, I love it.

They just have to get a new catch phrase.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Normoyle and the GOP in picture

Just in case that link doesn't work for you now or in the future, here's a nice picture for you:

MikeGOP

Michael Normoyle non-partisan, and why the heck it would matter

Got a comment back from Michael Normoyle on my list of who's the no-names are running for city council, and he calls my bluff on my claim that he was a partisan staffer for that R of all Rs, Sen. Mike Carrell. So, here are my cards:

Dear Shawn,

My name is Michael and I work for Senator Carrell. I showed him your letter regarding gun control legislation. He asked me to assure you that he is sympathetic to your cause and that he will fight to uphold your Constitutional rights. Also, he informed me that you are not in his district and he urges you to share your thoughts with the legislators from your district. If you need assistance finding out who to contact please visit http://www.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/Default.aspx and type in your address. Thank you for sharing your views and expressing an interest in state government.

Thank you,

Michael Normoyle
(Sen. Carrell's Office)

It is from a post from the Olympic Arms Owners Association online discussion forum. I can't actually voutch for the email authenticity, but the post is from last January, so it would be hard to think of some logic of lying about Michael Normoyle's partisan leanings eight months ago. Anyway, Normoyle's status as a Republican isn't even the topic of the email, it just points out that he works for Sen. Carrell.

"I was a non-partisan staffer for the Senate last session, and not the legislative assistant to Sen. Mike Carrell" and "My name is Michael and I work for Senator Carrell" are two way different things. I realized that being a "legislative assistant" is a very specific job, and that one could work in a Senator's office and not be a so called L.A., but I wouldn't say that working in a Republicans office makes you a non-partisan staffer for the Senate either.

Mike didn't add his email, so I'm hoping he comments on this post or emails me back.

Also, if you need to be told why being a Republican of any sort is like a death knell to anyone's hope of being an Olympia City Councilmember, you don't follow politics in Olympia very closely. Even Doug Mah, arguably one of the most conservative of city council guys, is an active Democrat PCO.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

One Ballot in Oregon

Its kind of strange sometimes how these ideas bounce around, but some folks in Oregon are trying to adopt our old Top Two primary:
Imagine choosing candidates that best represent you and the issues and values that you hold closest, regardless of political party affiliation.

Imagine receiving your ballot and having real choices among candidates that actually represent your values and beliefs.

Imagine, if every time Oregon held a primary election, every voter – regardless of political party registration, or lack thereof – receives an identical ballot, one ballot.

Change the face of Oregon politics for the better and shift the balance of power back to voters. Choose a primary election system that gives candidates access to all voters and gives voters the choice of all candidates.
On face, calling it "One Ballot" instead of Top Two is a good idea, but this also reminds me of California stealing our original open primary, which of course blew the entire party.

In Washington we argued for the Top Two and the original open primary because it had always been that way, at least since the 1930s, that we could vote for whoever we wanted to. Tradition, though, isn't always the best argument, so I'm eager to see how the debate in Oregon goes.

While I'm at it, Oregon was also discussing whether to simply make some statewide elected positions non-partisan, something we might be coming into in Washington because the parties pushed to hard on rolling the Top Two primary:
...Grange officials have said they might file yet a new initiative, one that could pass constitutional muster by having candidates file for all elective offices on a non-partisan basis.

Picture proof, DFA is bolting... uhmm... migrating from Meetup.com

At Demfest 2005, Chris Warshaw, field director for DFA, talking about "migrating" off of meetup.com.

So there.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Is DFA bolting from Meetup.com?

There are a lot of advantages of the DFA meetups to the Dem ones. DFA has been using meetups as its single most powerful grassroots recruiting and organizing tool. Except in a few spots, like here in Thurston County, the DNC has completely dropped meetups.

A webpage on democrats.org was left un-updated for months, replaced for a short time with a survey, and now it gone. In places like here, we've been marching on with our own meetups, but without any direction or suggestion from higher up.

It looks like now Democracyforamerica.com is about ready to leave meetup.com, just like conservative townhall.com did months ago.

In its most recent agenda, they talk about: "Discuss the transition to new organizing tools on DFA’s website." I'm assuming they're referring to a transition from meetup.com to a DFA hosted system. Similarly, on the DFA Meetup Hosts yahoo group, there is another reference:

The new tools will also make it easier for DFA to promote your events because it will be centralized through the DFA website. We are planning to send Meetup organizers a "beta version" of the new tools on July 25th. The beta period will last approximately one week. DFA then plans to publicly announce the new tools in the first week of August so you can introduce them to your group at the August Meetup.

If DFA separates itself from meetup.com, it could be the death of meetup being used as a political organizing tool. It shouldn't be the death of social networking tools, and since townhall.com and DFA are actually replacing meetup.com with their own tools, I assume they see some need for them.

My point isn't that the DNC should break ties with meetup.com. They've basically already done that. They need to step up and replace meetup.com with something else, or risk losing momentum to other groups that are doing a better job organizing from online to offline, like DFA and moveon.org.

Good news for YDWA.org

After all the mumbling I've done about building communities online and offline for Democrats and progressives of all kinds, its important to note that the YDs of Washington have a new tech director, Jacob of Democracy for Puget Sound.

With the YDs having their first contested election in a decade, maybe and important step for us. Maybe something along the lines of growohio.org maybe?

Monday, August 01, 2005

Who is running for city council?

Last time around we had the classic "I'm not going to say I'm a Republican because I know that will get me killed here" duo of Sandra Miller and Dave Kent entering the fray. This year, we had the typical folks. Either they are on the council now or you really had to not be paying attention to not know that they wanted to run for council.

Outspending your opponent 3 to 1 and still getting beat hard can be pretty deflating for some.

No one, like Miller of Kent, who represented the so-called Conservative wing of Olympia politics entered the fray. Off year I guess. Anyway, up until Friday it seemed like there weren't going to be any interesting races. Still doesn't look that way, but at least there are going to be some primaries.

Here is a rundown on the mystery candidates that the Olympian couldn't google:
  • Michael Normoyle is (as of Jan 2005 at least) the Leg assistant to Senator Mike Carrell (R) of the 28th district (Dupont, etc...)
  • Ira Knight is the VP of the Springwood Homeowners Association, which is off of Lilly Road.
  • Robin Torske endorsed Sam Reed.
  • There are two John Bells in Olympia, one who lives up on Division and possibly presented a paper called "Compassionate Listening" at "De-polarizing the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: An Experiment in Town-Gown Dialogue in Olympia, Washington" at the 2004 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation.
  • or

  • He could be John Bell, who works for the state Administrative Office of the Courts. No, its the first guy.