Mountlake Terrace council members eat their own

  • Evan Smith<br>Enterprise
  • Monday, March 3, 2008 12:59pm

For the second time in five months, Mountlake Terrace’s City Council has reprimanded one of its own for apparently trying to act independently.

In January, the council reprimanded two of its members for daring to express an independent opinion.

Then, in May, the council reprimanded another of its members for communicating with representatives of other cities without proper notice to a fellow council member.

This shows that the council does not want members who express minority views or members who take independent initiative.

At a time when many residents may want to run for council, the council is doing what it can to make joining the council unattractive.

Let’s have late presidential primaries, caucuses

State Republicans have decided to use the state’s presidential primary to pick most of their delegates to the 2008 presidential nominating convention. The Democrats have decided to choose all their delegates through precinct caucuses leading to district, county and state conventions.

Now the question is when the primary and caucuses will be.

Both the Republicans and the Democrats want to choose delegates early. The conventional wisdom is that with most states choosing their delegates early, the nomination will be decided in February. So, any later primary will be anti-climactic.

Let me offer some unconventional wisdom: Select this state’s delegates as late as possible.

The reason for choosing Washington’s delegates early is that the nominations are likely to have been decided in February, when voters will have chosen 75 percent of the delegates to both nominating conventions. By being one of the decisive states, Washington will get attention.

I say go late; because all of those early contests may give no one a majority, and a late contest could be decisive on one side or both. If that happens, the state will get a lot more attention than it would competing with 25 or 30 other states for attention in February.

My suggested primary date: Aug. 12, two weeks before the Democratic National Convention and three weeks before the Republican National Convention. Elections officials would certify results Aug. 22, three days before the Democrats open their convention and 10 days before the Republicans open theirs.

It could be a last deciding event before the conventions.

It could also save money because it could be part of the primary at which we’ll select candidates for Congress and state offices. The state primary is now scheduled for Aug. 19; so it would only need to be moved a week.

If we’ll still be using the pick-a-party primary then, voters would pick a partisan ballot for both the presidential primary and the state primary. If the U.S. Supreme Court restores the top-two primary, voters would choose a partisan ballot for the presidential vote.

Evan Smith is the Enterprise Forum editor. Send comments to

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