I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but as a responsible American voter, you may not take a summer vacation from politics.
Instead, you will be busy trying to sort out up to 10 ballot propositions dealing with everything from privatizing liquor sales to imposing a state income tax on high wage-earners.
We appear headed for a record number of initiatives, beating the recent high of six in 2000. The previous record, according to the Office of Secretary of State, is seven, back in 1914 — the first year the voter-approved process became available.
Thurston County voters will also try to find the winners and losers among the dozens of candidates in multiple races for county offices, the state Legislature and U.S. Congress.
And, you must get most of this advance election education work done by the dog days of August, because the primary election will be held Aug. 17.
The Olympian partnered with the League of Women Voters of Thurston County and TCTV Thursday night to kick off the 2010 election season by staging the first South Sound debate among the six candidates for Rep. Brian Baird’s 3rd District seat in Congress.
The Olympian and the League are planning forums for some of the other races after the primary and during the heart of the campaign. Voters should receive general election ballots around Oct. 13.
On the county level, no elected incumbents are seeking re-election for the positions of treasurer, assessor or sheriff. Likewise, all new faces will vie for the state and federal representative positions being vacated by Brendan Williams and Baird.
So, don’t be trying to take the summer off. You’ve got work to do.
Luckily, the news staff and editorial board of The Olympian are here to help. We’ll do in-depth interviews in the major races and provide continuing coverage of all the ballot initiatives right up until Election Day.
Besides, given the rare appearance of the sun lately, you probably won’t be heading to the beach.
Big news on my new book “Shakes,” which traces my lineage through the people with whom I have shaken hands: Washington Center Executive Director Tom Iovanne reports that he has shaken hands with Tony Bennett, which links me to Frank Sinatra and a whole bunch of wise guys. Through Tom, I also have a primary, twice-removed shaking relationship with Albert Einstein, though that obviously hasn’t helped me much, and also with Frank Zappa, which gets me back to a whole era of musicians none of us can really remember.
Lots of things going on in downtown Olympia — new pay parking meters, for one – and The Blue Ringer alt-country-rock band opens up the summer concert series at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Sylvester Park. ... Mark your calendar for Capital Lakefair, this year from July 14-18. ... Tim Madeley, owner and CEO of BigToys, which makes playground equipment out of recycled material made primarily from plastic milk jugs, told the Economic Development Council last week that it takes 450 years for a milk jug to decompose. That means, if the Pilgrims had served milk from a jug when they first hit Plymouth Rock, they would be decomposing just about now. ... The Olympia Rotary Club is planning a super garage sale for July 31. People from all over Thurston County are invited to drop off unwanted, yet sellable items at Madison Elementary School July 27 through July 29. ... The Olympia-Kato Sister City Association began hosting a delegation of 13 visitors from Japan on Friday. They are here through Tuesday. It’s the 29th year of this sister city relationship.
George Le Masurier, publisher of The Olympian, can be reached at 360-357 0206 or firstname.lastname@example.org.