Election Results, Nov. 9: Yes spread widens daily; and thoughts on “misleading” information

The spread in favor of Yes keeps getting wider:

Election Night: 292

Nov. 7: 359

Nov. 8: 664

Nov. 9: 828, 52.3%-47.7%, 82.31% of votes counted.

Nov. 10: 1,246 margin, 53%-47%, 83.55% of votes counted.

Nov. 13: 1,365 margin, 53.14% to 46.86%, 83.62% voter turnout.

Nov. 14: 1,402 margin, 53.18% to 46.82%, 84.66% voter turnout.

With 79.5% of the vote recorded through yesterday, there is (as I concluded on Election Night) no chance for the No votes to catch up. So I’m not going to post daily results going forward. I’ll post the final result as a matter of record.

In the meantime, a public spat broke out between 2011 election rivals Jim Wasnick and Ramiro Valderrama. There are two articles, here and here.

I had heard even prior to the publishing of the Voters Guide that some in favor of the deal were lamenting that the City wasn’t going to “fact check” the Con statement. The continuing City Council complaints that the Con side was putting out “misleading” information simply shows how naive the Council was when it approved an Advisory vote.

As readers know, I didn’t buy into the assertion that this deal is a “gift” to the Y. The City owns the building and it is awarding a management contract to the Y (if terms are reached). The Y is putting in $5m into a building it does not own, another $1m equipping it and concurrently leasing seven acres to the City for $1 a year for 50 years. I’m hard pressed to see how a private enterprise would match this for a management contract. I opposed the deal on the grounds that a Request for Proposals wasn’t issued to give everyone a fair chance to submit a bid.

But I also recognize that there are those who sincerely believe this is a gift and a misuse of $25m on the part of the City. Is this “misleading?” Maybe to the City Council, but I don’t think so and in any event, I agree with the opponents that the City was misleading when it claimed in marketing materials and public relations that no new taxes would be “required” yet the legal language in the Voters Guide said no new taxes are “expected.” This is a huge difference.

It’s not up to the City to edit or review the Con statement and truth, or perception of the truth, is often in the eye of the beholder. Besides, as we’ve just seen in the Presidential election and those here in the State, the word “truth” disappeared from vocabulary. Finally, in a freedom of speech case, the Washington State Supreme Court years ago ruled that lying in a political campaign is OK.

The City Council made its bed when it decided to have an advisory vote. If it didn’t like the campaign tactics of the Con group, too bad. If some objected that one man’s local version of a Super PAC, too bad. At least this guy is a local corporate citizen, not some remote Karl Rove.

That’s what elections are about. The Council was naive to think otherwise.

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