Local issues, national candidates in Nov. 4 general election

October 30, 2014

By Staff

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NEW — 11:45 a.m. Oct. 30, 2014

The Nov. 4 general election has several incumbent legislators, both national and local, up for re-election.

The ballot also features initiatives seeking voter input on the future of K-12 classroom size and the enforcement of background checks for gun purchasers.

Here’s a quick look at the candidates and initiatives. Learn more by reading the complete voters’ guide online.


Congressional District 9

Adam Smith (D)

Elected experience: United States Representative, 1997-current; Washington State Senator, 1991-1997

Statement: Working-class families, like the one I grew up in, do not have the same opportunities as previous generations. This must change. We need a fairer tax code, strong education system and job-training opportunities, improved transportation infrastructure, a secure social safety net for our seniors. We need to focus on the fundamentals: more Americans back to work, better use of our tax dollars and equal opportunity for all.

Doug Basler (R)

Elected experience: twice elected PCO for his precinct, worked with numerous candidates and political organizations creating marketing and advertising materials, and placing media purchases

Other professional experience: founder and president of the Broadcast Professionals Group Inc. and EZTVSpots.com

Statement: As your representative in Washington, D.C., I am committed to work hard to protect the jobs and prosperity of all our citizens by protecting the strong local and regional economy that we enjoy. I am looking forward to working with both public and private sector interests so that our economy remains vibrant and continues to be a national leader in job creation, education and advancement.

State Legislative District 41

Position 1

Tana Senn (D)

Elected experience: State Representative 41st Legislative District, appointed by unanimous vote of the King County Council in 2013, Mercer Island City Council member

Statement: There aren’t enough legislators in Olympia who understand the challenges facing families. With two kids in public schools, I know firsthand the importance of a high quality education. At the same time, we need to get people out of traffic and home with their families. Let’s end the gridlock in Olympia to end the gridlock on our roads.

Bill Stinson (R)

Elected experience: 2012 41st Legislative District GOP Caucus Delegate; ASUW Senate — ASUW Senate Liaison to Special Appropriations Committee

Statement: I have lived and worked in the 41st District for more than 20 years and hold a vested interest in the future and quality of life for my community. As a Millennial Republican, I have a duty to ensure my generation’s economic future with the principles of fiscal responsibility and increased personal liberty.

Position 2

Judy Clibborn (D)

Elected experience: State Representative for 41st District, 2002-present; member/chair, Suburban Cities Association 1995-01; mayor, city of Mercer Island, 1994-2000; councilmember, city of Mercer Island, 1990-2001

Statement: Judy Clibborn brings a needed focus on results to her legislative leadership. Judy rejects Olympia gridlock — she led House passage of a balanced, bipartisan transportation package. We need Judy to continue forcing action to invest in our highways and surface streets, improve safety, fund transit and create jobs.

Alex O’Neil (states no party preference)

No information submitted

State Measures

Initiative No. 1351

This measure would direct the Legislature to allocate funds to reduce class sizes and increase staffing support for students in all K-12 grades, with additional class-size reductions and staffing increases in high-poverty schools.

Argument for: Washington is ranked 47th out of 50 states in classroom size. I-1351 gives the state four years to phase in statewide class size reduction for all our kids. Recognizing that class sizes are often highest — and most detrimental to student achievement — in high-poverty communities, I-1351 prioritizes these schools first.

Argument against: I-1351 is a $4 billion unfunded mandate with only 1/3 of that funding going toward reducing class size, with the remainder toward hiring more than 17,000 people who are not classroom teachers — including social workers, psychologists and administrative staff.

Initiative No. 591

This measure would prohibit government agencies from confiscating guns or other firearms from citizens without due process, or from requiring background checks on firearm recipients unless a uniform national standard is required.

Argument for: I-591 protects against illegal search and seizure, preventing politicians and bureaucrats driven by an anti-rights agenda from depriving citizens of their property without due process. I-591 protects background check uniformity and prevents unwarranted intrusion by the state into temporary firearm loans to friends or in-laws. It stops the state from creating a universal gun registry that could enable future confiscation.

Argument against: Initiative 591 will make it easier for guns to fall into the wrong hands by weakening our criminal background check system on gun sales. I-591 would roll back Washington’s existing — and already inadequate — background check laws to conform to weak federal standards. I-591 is a dangerous step backward. It locks in loopholes that allow criminals, domestic abusers and other dangerous individuals to buy guns without a criminal background check.

Initiative No. 594

This measure would apply currently used criminal and public safety background checks by licensed dealers to all firearm sales and transfers, including gun show and online sales, with specific exceptions.

Argument for: I-594 prevents dangerous people from having easy access to guns. It strengthens existing law by ensuring private gun sales go through the same process people use when buying from a licensed gun dealer. Gifts between family members, antique sales and loans for self-defense, hunting or sporting are exempt from background checks.

Argument against: I-594 is an unfunded mandate that diverts scarce law enforcement resources away from keeping violent criminals off our streets. Criminals will still acquire firearms where they do now — the black market, straw purchasers, theft and illicit sources like drug dealers. I-594 creates a “universal” government database of all lawful handgun owners.

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