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How We Vote

The people of Seattle should expect to hire the best the City has to offer when it comes to their elected officials. We are, after all, electing candidates to high office and delegating our powers, our lives, and the future of our children and ourselves to them. We want and expect them to serve with honor and integrity. So, why not hire the best?

Since Seattle's media, business, and neighborhood communities have suddenly become critical of the current City administration, it's possible they may truly believe that a change is needed in the way Seattle is being governed. But, after the political campaign is over, will the people get the elected officials they really need, or will they still be left with a feeling of "More of the same"?

For instance, has the mayor-designate already been determined by those intent on maintaining power through their surrogate? That's the way the game has been played, and is being played, by certain self-appointed groups who have decided the viability of candidates among themselves. All they need to do now is to have the voter select the candidate for Mayor from their own "approved" list.

I have never bought into their game. The right to differentiate among all candidates belongs to the people, who are ill served when a "convention" of media and power brokers tell them how to vote. I don't believe an elected official should simply be a skillfully packaged and marketed commodity, to be bought and sold.

I contend that the candidate, once elected, has a fiduciary duty to the people of the City of Seattle, which means that by soliciting endorsements and contributions a candidate is compromised, as well as discrediting and demeaning the elective process. Historically, such short-term advantageous political rewards have acted as advance payments for future favors expected from the candidate-turned-elected official.

If we want “good” government, we should elect -- or better still, hire -- persons who have the qualifications and expertise to do the job. But, DO WE? Since we can't set qualifications or standards for political candidates, should we be surprised with what we get if we aren't personally analytical about the campaign?

The business of governance is not a game. The serious responsibility of representing all the people of Seattle should be the foremost duty in the political lives of our municipally elected officials. That message should come through loud and clear.

Today, it appears the elective process has become just a statutory requirement that, by design of a few manipulators, no longer requires the need of informed voters. Candidates can be, and have been, elected to office on name familiarity or on a perceived “something” they may have said or done. More recently, that has been expanded to include the "contribution" or "how much have we taken in this week?" sweepstake, and a barrage of hired public relations and consultant press releases. So, are we truly electing a "viable" candidate to office? Or, are we simply electing one to office based on the results of a popularity contest? Only too late, do we ask: “What’s wrong with our government?”

The undermining of our political process has been ongoing for years. Self-serving groups, whose purpose is to maintain a political stranglehold on the people of Seattle, have been the cause of and now dictate City policies and procedures through their surrogates.

To Seattle's electorate: BEWARE these manipulators of your lives. For your information, I have presented two categories of such groups on the reverse side of this page.

GATEKEEPERS.Voters of Seattle have been electing their “non-partisan” municipal officials from a pool of candidates established by “Gatekeepers,” who manipulate the elective process and determine the outcome of elections. It explains why voters find difficulty in comparing incumbents and challengers, why they are left after each election feeling as if they’ve elected the “lesser of two evils” -- finally deciding that "it doesn’t make any difference anyway, they’re all the same."

Can Seattle’s electorate deal intelligently with this year’s municipal election while lacking relevant facts? Unfortunately, it can’t. And, it follows that Seattle's voters are still being told they have to depend on “Gatekeepers,” aka “good-government” groups, to analyze and rate candidates for them.

In the name of serving Seattle, they make endorsements and rate candidates without providing any credentials to show they have the ability or knowledge to perform such functions. Instead, they pacify the voters with: "Trust us!" Subsequently and unfortunately, the media publishes their results as the “gospel truth” – regardless of how limited and biased they may be. Voter beware!

GOOD GOVERNMENT GROUPS. Essentially, they use the time between elections to develop their own political agenda, which they translate into action during an election. They screen, support and promote candidates sympathetic to their unpublicized agenda, which generally places their "chosen" into one or more of five categories. They can be classified informally by the following:

MEDIA. The people of this free society will not remain free for long, if they are not factually informed, which is the function of the "press." It becomes a travesty when stories are doctored by deliberate omission of facts, gratuitous information totally irrelevant to the story, or stories that are completely fabricated.

Such acts do not constitute "Freedom of the Press," which from its inception was an interesting aberration among the other rights of the First Amendment. Since it did not empower the people in any way, the First Amendment was apparently used to preserve the “press,” as the only form of mass communication at the time, for the people -- free from the influence and control of government. Nor did the U.S. Constitution grant the owner, editor, reporter or any other member of the "press" the right to speak for or on behalf of the people. But, the Constitution did compel the "press" to be ethical in its profession, by being accountable to the community for the integrity of its product. Free from any threat or intimidation by “government,” today's “press” is now under the influence, control, and ethics of a very corporate America.