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Topic: 2013 elections

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December 4, 2013 at 5:38 AM

Bruce Ramsey’s favorite columns, 2000-2012

pulitzerramsey20

On the eve of my retirement, Times Editorial Page Editor Kate Riley suggested I pick my favorites from the 342 columns I’ve written for The Times since 2000. Here are 10, with my own headlines:

1. “Games With Words,” April 12, 2000. This was my takedown of the World Trade Organization protesters, who used loopy logic to justify their disruption of an international conference.

2. “A Republican War,” April 9, 2003. I hated the Iraq war and wrote three columns against it before President Bush started it. This one was written while U.S. soldiers were on the way to Baghdad. In it, I predict that the conquest of Iraq would result in an electoral disaster for the Republicans in 2004. I was wrong; the disasters came in 2006 and 2008.

3. “Eight Parking Places at a Strip Club,” August 27, 2003

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0 Comments | Topics: 2013 elections, democrats, iraq war

November 1, 2013 at 11:38 AM

Who a $15 minimum wage would devastate: James Shin of Quality Inn SeaTac

Quality Inn SeaTac (Photo courtesy of James Shin)

Quality Inn SeaTac (Photo courtesy of James Shin)

A war is being waged in SeaTac over the minimum wage. Voters will decide Tuesday whether to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for some airport and hospitality workers with Proposition 1. Organizers then plan to bring the campaign to Seattle, where both mayoral candidates have already expressed support.

Supporters say it would help low-income people and families achieve a better life. That’s a bit simplistic. Poor people are not a monolithic group. I argued in a Wednesday blog post that it would devastate immigrant-owned businesses. (Our editorial board has also recommended a no vote in an editorial.)

James Shin is one of those immigrants. Shin, 64, owns the Quality Inn SeaTac. In 2011, he used his life savings to buy the 104-room hotel, and he would be required to pay his workers $15 an hour if Proposition 1 passes. It would, in fact, be a crippling financial blow to Shin.

He’s not the chief executive of a hotel chain. He owns one hotel. And he used to be poor.

Shin, a U.S. citizen, immigrated here from South Korea in 1975. He had a bachelor’s degree from a Korean university, but he spoke little English. His first job in the U.S.? Dishwasher. He made $2.25 an hour. In his next job he was a janitor. “When I moved to the U.S. I worked hard. Some people didn’t want to work weekends. I worked on weekends for overtime,” he said.

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0 Comments | Topics: 2013 elections, economy, minimum wage

October 10, 2013 at 10:42 AM

Seattle Times editorial board’s recommendations for Nov. 5 election

Gabriel Campanario / The Seattle Times

Gabriel Campanario / The Seattle Times

Voters have a chance with the  Nov. 5 ballot, containing many races for local government,  to send a message that things are going well or need some adjustment.

Since the summer, Seattle Times editorial board members have been interviewing candidates and campaigns for statewide and local initiatives. We have started to publish our recommendations to voters and will continue in the coming days. Ballots are expected to be mailed around Oct. 17.

If you have questions about King County Elections, call 206-296-VOTE or go to kingcounty.gov/elections.

If you have questions about Snohomish County Elections, call 425-388-3444 or go to the Snohomish County Election division website.

For questions about Washington state elections, go to the Secretary of State election website.

Here are our recommendations for selected races in King and Snohomish counties and for ballot measures.

City of Seattle:

Seattle Mayor

State Sen. Ed Murray The two candidates for Seattle mayor are both die-hard progressives. They identify many of the same challenges ahead as the city reaches back to economic vitality. They even share some policy platforms. But the choice becomes clear on their widely different approaches to governing. State Sen. Ed Murray offers a return of pragmatic, effective leadership to City Hall.

Read editorial endorsement –>

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0 Comments | More in List | Topics: 2013 elections, ballot, ed murray

October 10, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Civil Disagreement: Obamacare and the government shutdown

Civil Disagreement is an occasional feature of the Seattle Times editorial board. Here Bruce Ramsey and Lynne K. Varner offer dramatically different takes on the federal budget battle and the government shutdown. This interactive includes a poll about American sentiment toward the political standoff.

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0 Comments | More in Civil Disagreement, Pro/con | Topics: 2013 elections, Affordable Care Act, barack obama

October 8, 2013 at 9:06 AM

Increase the minimum wage or increase educational levels?

Thoughtful responses have piled up in my email inbox since my column about Proposition 1 which, if approved by City of SeaTac voters, would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for about 6,300 workers at Sea-Tac airport and nearby hotels, car-rental agencies and parking lots.

I disagree with the Nov. 5 ballot measure. There’s not much point in raising the minimum wage for thousands when the issues are wage depression for millions of workers and a yawning gap between the skills workers possess and the ones they need to have a shot at a good paying job. Going city by city – SeaTac today, Puyallup tomorrow - will result in a nationwide shift in the minimum wage by, oh, 2070.

Dean Shoemaker from Kent said: “Of course, not many have the talent and determination of a Subelbia. All I would ask is that the minimum wage stay up with inflation. Choose any decade in the last half century, any you want and track inflation and the minimum wage down to the present. Minimum wage has fallen behind which suggests that working folks have  suffered a decline in their standard of living.”

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0 Comments | Topics: 2013 elections, economy, Education

August 7, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Primary election offers a turning point for the Seattle School Board

(Illustration by Gabriel Campanario / Seattle Times)

(Illustration by Gabriel Campanario / Seattle Times)

Primary election results for the Seattle School Board offer hope. Suzanne Dale Estey, Sue Peters and Stephan Blanford emerged as the top vote getters in their respective districts. Now voters citywide should put them through their paces as we head into the fall general election.

Suzanne Dale Estey

Suzanne Dale Estey

An especially spirited race is promised between Dale Estey and Sue Peters. Less than a thousand votes separated the two candidates from District 4, which includes Queen Anne, Magnolia and part of Ballard and includes many of the district’s professional and upper-income families.  The Times endorsed Dale Estey, because she has real experience working on education — not talking or blogging about it — but actually working on efforts like the Road Map Project, the highly regarded South Seattle and South King County school-improvement effort. She knows how to take an idea and develop it into a working plan, having done so as economic-development director for the city of Renton.

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0 Comments | Topics: 2013 elections, Education, seattle schools

August 6, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Election Day: Which races to watch tonight and why

(Illustration by William Brown / Op art)

(Illustration by William Brown / Op art)

Tuesday is the deadline to mail in your election ballot for the primary election.

Trying to figure out how to vote? Here is all the information from King County Elections. If you can’t find a stamp, the division provides drop-off ballot boxes around the county.

Here are our editorial board’s recommendations to voters. We interview and research them so you don’t have to.

And here are the races worth watching closely tonight when the first batch of results are posted at 8:15 p.m. Here is the King County election results website.

Seattle mayor:

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August 6, 2013 at 6:05 AM

Election day: You decide today who will not be Seattle’s next mayor

You get to decide Tuesday who will not be Seattle’s next mayor — if you postmark your primary election ballot by Tuesday. Only the top two candidates, out of nine total, will advance to the general election. Other can’t-miss races on the ballot: Seattle City Council, Seattle School Board, Port of Seattle Commission, and Bellevue City…

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