November 3, 2010

About election results...

There’s a lot we don’t know yet about yesterday’s election results. That’s because counting continues this morning in the 38 counties that vote totally by mail.

On the big races like U.S. Senate, you can follow media reports for updates. There will be many as counting continues in King County, where Sen. Patty Murray is winning 62 percent of the vote over Dino Rossi. Prognosticators say Rossi had to come close to winning in Snohomish and Pierce counties to overtake the Murray lead from King County; as of now he trails statewide, but is carrying Pierce County and narrowly trailing in Snohomish County.

It’s a little harder to get news about what the new state Legislature will look like. And that’s important to you because lawmakers are the ones writing the next budget that must fill a possible $5 billion deficit, with little if any appetite to raise new revenue after what voters said about taxes last night. Voters turned down the income tax on high earners (I-1098) and approved both Tim Eyman’s I-1053 to make it harder to raise taxes and I-1107 to repeal the temporary tax on pop, bottled water and some candy.

Luckily, they defeated I-1082 to privatize workers’ comp and throw 2,000 of our L&I members out of a job. They also appear to be defeating both measures to privatize liquor sales, I-1100 and I-1105.

And in the Legislature, there are just too many close races. It appears Democrats will hold onto smaller majorities in both the House and Senate, but that’s not a sure thing. At the end of the preliminary vote count last night, Democrats were trailing in seven races in the House and five races in the Senate. If that holds (and it probably won’t once all the final mail ballots are counted), the House Democrats would have a majority of 54-44 and Senate Democrats would have a majority of 26-23.

But we may not know the final make up of the Legislature or the results of many other races for several days or weeks.

Whoever gets sworn in Jan. 10 will face a bigger deficit with fewer options and huge pressure to cut. That’s why it’s so important you go to our website at and click on the Action Center to join the Health Care Action Team. Tuesday’s results dealt us a very tough hand, but they are now the cards we’ve been dealt. It’s not a time to give in. It’s a time to step up and Save Our State.

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