Ready to vote? Here are our major endorsements

October 31, 2013 

Initiative 517 petitions

COURTESY OFFICE OF SECRETARY OF STATE

The Olympian editorial board has endorsed candidates and ballot measures for the Nov. 5 general election. Here is a summary of the two races facing all voters in Thurston County and the two statewide initiatives.

All of our endorsements can be read in their entirety at theolympian.com/2013/10/23/2789513/the-olympians-2013-election-endorsements.html.

THURSTON COUNTY AUDITOR

Gary Alexander

This race comes down to financial experience — and the lack of it. Gary Alexander has served 12 years as deputy auditor to Kim Wyman and Sam Reed, the current and former secretaries of state, gaining invaluable experience in all aspects of this particular auditor’s office.

Alexander has the superior knowledge of the auditor’s whole role, especially as the county’s chief financial officer. His challenger, Mary Hall, has only mid-level experience in elections supervision. That’s only one aspect of this complex position, and the one least in need of a critical eye.

Don’t believe the partisan rhetoric or negative campaigning. Alexander is the best-qualified candidate for this position and deserves a one-year term. Whoever wins this race must run again next fall.

PORT COMMISSIONER,

DISTRICT NO. 3

Jeff Davis

The mission of any port, including the Port of Olympia, is to help drive economic growth through jobs, create spin-off revenue for other businesses and generate tax revenue for state and local governments.

During his first term, Davis has proved he understands that mission and has helped the marine terminal — formerly the weak link of the port’s four revenue streams — achieve greater financial success. His challenger, Sue Gunn, represents a faction skeptical of the port, and she might prefer closing down the marine terminal. Her suggested ideas for replacing the port’s import/export revenues are unrealistic.

A 2012 state auditor’s report shows the port’s operating revenues exceeded operating expenses. Don’t listen to the negative hype that suggests otherwise.

INITIATIVE 517

NO

Our state’s 100-year-old citizen initiative process works well. But Initiative 517 conjures up imaginary problems and then offers an unnecessary solution that benefits no one, except maybe Tim Eyman.

Instead of improving the initiative process, I-517 would create problems for property owners and the general public. It would prohibit owners of businesses and private property from setting any regulations for signature gatherers. They could block a store’s entry without recourse.

The initiative would allow signature gatherers unrestricted access to all public venues. Imagine having a clipboard shoved at you in a library, at a high school football game or inside The Washington Center.

INITIATIVE 522

NO

Don’t be fooled. This initiative does not provide consumers with accurate information about what’s in the food package. It fails miserably on that score by attaching unreliable warning labels. Some foods with no genetically modified organisms would require labels, while foods with GMOs would not. It’s a poorly written initiative.

This initiative is really an attack on using genetic engineering in agriculture. That’s a debate worth having, but it should be an honest and open conversation. Slapping a scary label on the front of food packages is a deceptive means to an end that requires more scientific study.

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