Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Stranger Endorses Peters, Blanford

The Stranger editorial board has come out with its endorsements for the General Election.  Here's what they had to say about the School Board races (note, this is The Stranger writing so do keep that in mind when reading if you don't normally read their prose):

Director District No. 4
Sue Peters
Dear god, it's school board time. Kill us. The Seattle School Board is the most brain-liquefying thing short of embalming fluid. No matter what interesting outsiders and concerned parents and magic space aliens we send to the school board, the board somehow absorbs them into a giant blob of uselessness and continues operating like the tone-deaf, institutionally racist, mathematically illiterate shit-stain it's been for years. Despite being fed up with that, and despite most of us believing that having children should be illegal anyway, we endorse in these races because children are technically our future, etc.
Here's what you need to know in this race: Sue Peters is a smart school-district activist and blogger who opposes the corporate education reform agenda (an agenda to build private charter schools with public money and standardize everything!) and is deeply skeptical of many status quo policies in the district, especially when it comes to moneyed interests that want to influence public schooling. She's supported by most other board members, the teachers union, and national education activist Diane Ravitch.
Opponent Suzanne Dale Estey claims to support many of the same policies, but she's backed by supporters who suggest a different agenda: Dale Estey raised four times as much money as Peters, from people including Microsoft CEO (and anti-income-tax dickwad) Steve Ballmer and developer Matt Griffin, and she is supported by a PAC that raised $76,000 to elect more corporate reformers to the board. Plus, she's endorsed by the sponsor of last year's charter schools measure. Block that crap. Vote for Peters.

Director District No. 5
Stephan Blanford
Stephan Blanford is just fine. He's deeply familiar with Seattle schools and has been a paid consultant for the district before. But he's supported by some of the same bums as Dale Estey, so why are we endorsing him over his opponent, LaCrese Green? Among other things, because we think Green is a bigoted piece of shit. She sent a letter last October to former school board member Cheryl Chow—who was dying of brain cancer and had recently come out of the closet—saying the fact that Chow was a "lesbian is troubling" and "it won't go well for you in the hereafter." Right, are we done here? Vote Blanford.


mirmac1 said...

OMG! You mean the media noticed the millionaire funders of Estey?

NW mom said...

/snort. I love the Stranger.

Anonymous said...

Except for the fact that children actually are humanities future (not just technically, unless the stranger has figured something else out).

Good to know why I shouldn't consider voting for Green.


Anonymous said...

I can't vote for Blandford, and his opponent is very, very unfit to serve, in my opinion.

So, what I am going to do? Write in Kay Smith-Blum's name on my ballot. I suggest you consider doing the same, if you too cannot vote for Mr. Blandford if his ethos does not square with yours.

I may not always agree with her, and, she may say she is done, but, Ms. Smith-Blum is better than Mr. Blandford, even if she endorses Mr. Blandford. She is hard-working, knows the lay of the land, and has something to offer.


Unhappy said...

I won't vote for Blanford, either. He was able to skate through this election and was unchallenged. I'm not confident he is the guy I want.

Has he been to candidate forums? Looks like the spotlight is on District 4, only.

Protest by writing -in.

Anonymous said...

Here's hoping the Stranger's endorsement (which I was expecting, because it's what they said in the primaries) helps push Peters to victory! Their reasoning for endorsing her over Estey is my thinking exactly.


Anonymous said...

Good idea, WRITE IN. I was just going to leave that vote blank, but now I will write in KSB.
Interesting stuff - including the 2nd article posted on Slog - about Estey. Sounds like she does the bidding of whomever holds her purse strings.


ConcernedSPSParent said...

Looks like the purse string holders are getting a gang of four back. So much for progress.

Melissa Westbrook said...

The problem for the those purse string holders is that they only have ONE vote. Do as others have recommended - send an e-mail to your friends, family and neighbors and let them know what you have learned about the candidates and what you recommend.

You'd be surprised how many people are grateful for this help.

People thought the money would buy Sundquist and Maier last time as well. Look how that turned out.

Anonymous said...

Last time, a lot of folks, split their vote. They voted against Mary and for Betty.

Maybe there is a way to get folks to vote that Blanford is enough votes for corporate reform and that a Blanford / Peters combo is actually a very balanced vote, where a Blanford / Etsey vote is not balanced at all.

- north seattle mom

Melissa Westbrook said...

North Seattle Mom, that is precisely what I have said at The Stranger and I honestly believe that a balanced board - of all types of people and views - is better than more of one than the other.

I note that I also believe that Sherry Carr operates somewhat as the "Justice Kennedy" of the Board. Meaning, you cannot automatically know what her vote is likely to be. She listens and if it doesn't pass her sniff test, she will dig in her heels.

As well, I attended the Olympic View candidate event and heard both District IV candidates speak. Apparently, Dale Estey is going to continue to misspeak - over and over - on the Board evaluation.

This time she said that the Board called itself "utterly dysfunctional" and that is absolutely not true. I have no idea why she continues to exaggerate and misspeak on this point. I also don't know what kind of greeting she thinks she'll get if she is elected from a Board that she has continually maligned during the campaign.

Anonymous said...

Utterly dysfunctional, huh?

So Dale-Estey is joining the Times and corporate reformers chorus. If they don't get the rubber stamps they want, they moan, whine and editorialize about the board, day after day. Meanwhile, their board, along with MGJ were dumb enough to close schools during a child population explosion, adopt Discovery Math, screw over SPED families, and move students around like widgets, only to see them moved again in few short years, like NOVA back to Mann. What board was dysfunctional? Come again?

This board isn't utterly dysfunctional; Dale-Estey is "Utterly Unqualified."


Crownhill said...

I was interested to note that Ms. Carr had donated to Ms. Etsey on the PDC database.
Frankly, after all the stuff that's gone down the last few years, I don't know why anyone would want to be on the Board. I hate it when a race comes down to, well, "the lesser of 2 evils" - not to say Blanford is evil, just not my first choice.