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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

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You are currently viewing all posts written by Betsy Hauenstein. Betsy Hauenstein is a student at the University of Washington Master of Communication in Digital Media (MCDM) program. She is both a contributor and editor for Flip the Media, the MCDM blog, and is currently working as a non-profit fundraiser. When she isn’t studying the social implications of technology, you can find Betsy cooking up a storm and taking far too many photos of food and her animals.

June 6, 2012 at 11:30 AM

I-1183: from ballot to bottle service

Washingtonians began June with a new opportunity to purchase hard liquor in non–state retail outlets. The UW Election Eye team was out that first Friday looking for clues as to what the new drinking landscape looked like from the bar stool perspective.

SEATTLE — Last week marked the end of a 78-year old system and a multi-year battle to get liquor on the shelves of private retailers. During the 2010 election cycle, two initiatives were

"Dark and Stormy" craft cocktail prepared at Hazelwood in Ballard. (Photo by Dan Thornton / UW Election Eye)

put forth to the people — I-1100 and I-1105 — both aiming to get liquor out of the state-run stores and both failed. Last year, only one initiative was on the ballot concerning liquor distribution and it was backed by more than $20 million from Costco. And it passed.

Since last November, the state, retailers and new distributors have been moving quickly to transition from the 78-year old system. Friday, June 1st marked the first day that state liquor stores were out and private distributors and retailers were in.

Costco was not the only store to provide liquor to its customers on June 1. From Safeway to Fred Meyer, from QFC to Bartell Drugs, retailers made room for the new products on their shelves. The impacts of the new distribution system reach beyond the newly stocked shelves of grocers and the empty ones of the now defunct state stores. A privatized distribution system means new prices (for now, higher prices), new products and potentially new menus at local bars.

At Hazlewood, a craft cocktail bar in Ballard, the staff on hand on Friday had mixed feelings about the change. Tending the bar during the first happy hour of the new era, Hazelwood co-owner Keith Bartoloni described the new system as a challenge for bar owners and managers to be more resourceful. After the two main distributors, Southern Spirits and Young’s Market, bar owners are still waiting to see what products get picked up and where they will need to go to stock their bars. “Craft cocktailers will need to do a little more shopping.”


Comments | More in State | Topics: Costco, Hazlewood, I-1183

May 30, 2012 at 12:14 PM

June 1st means new liquor distribution; join UW Election Eye for conversation

SEATTLE — On Friday, the Washington State Liquor Control Board will end its liquor store and liquor distribution operations. Resulting from the passage of I-1183, this means that liquor will be sold in newly licensed privately owned stores that have at least 10,000 square feet of retail space. For Washingtonians of legal drinking age, that means…


Comments | More in Local | Topics: Booze, I-1183, Washington liquor law

May 4, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Hooking the youth vote: does being cool matter?

As presidential campaigns prepare for November, attracting young voters is a priority. Is being a “cool” candidate the key to attracting this stereotypically apathetic crowd?

SEATTLE — Last week, as Lindsey Meeks reported here on UW Election Eye, the Obama campaign made it clear that reaching young voters is playing as significant a role in the 2012 campaign as it was in 2008. During a two-day college campus tour, President Barack Obama appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to “slow jam” the news. The topic was the potential interest rate increase for federal student loans. On the UNC-Chapel Hill campus, along with Fallon and The Roots, President Obama made it clear that he disagreed with the increase when he said, “Now is not the time to make school more expensive.”

The video has made the rounds on social networks; on Late Night’s Facebook page alone, it has been shared 1,961 times with 5,787 “likes.” On the show’s YouTube channel, the slow jam has over 5 million views. The campaign’s own YouTube garners plenty of views as well, with one recent video (“The Road We’ve Traveled”) surpassing the 2 million point.


Comments | More in National | Topics: Barack Obama, Campaign 2012, Jimmy Fallon

April 15, 2012 at 7:55 AM

Why do you vote?

Editors note:  A previous version of this story contained an additional image at the top.  That image has been removed to avoid a potential dispute over photo permissions.

Why do you vote? It’s a simple question, yet not always easy to answer.

TACOMA — Personally, it took me a while to offer anything remotely eloquent or thoughtful (and even that’s debatable) to the question at the top of this post.

I vote because I know it’s an important action to take as an engaged and active citizen. I vote because I hope that as a member of a participatory democratic process my voice can and will be heard. But ultimately, I vote because many people my age do not. By taking action I hope to make my generation become more engaged in our political system.


Comments | More in State | Topics: College Civics Week, Demographics, Election 2012