Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Eminent Domain op-ed

Charity Osborn wrote in the News Tribune last weekend about the recent Supreme Court eminent domain case. She voices the concern that the Revised Code of Washington allows local governments to designate property as blighted, then condemn and sell it to the highest bidder.

A significant part of the problem is that local governments around the country have used a broad definition of blighted in order to condemn private property and sell it to private entities who are preferred by the local government.

We should consider putting stronger protections of private property into the county charter. The least politically connected people are most at risk.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Electoral Reform

Mark Trahant in the Seattle P-I advocates a variety of electoral reforms for the state of Washington. He is concerned about the possibility of fraud being greater in absentee voting. This leads him to wanting to back off on permanent absentee voting. He is also advocating requiring voters to show ID to be able to vote. His general concern is about increasing voter faith that the system is not subject to fraud. I share his concern, but think we need to examine throughly the implications of any reform.

Trahant goes on to advocate doing away with the primary and using Instant Runoff Voting for the general election. This would solve the issue faced by election officials about the short amount of time between the primary and general election since there would be no primary.