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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 19, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 42
Ballots are in the mail
Section One
ALL STORIES
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Ballots are in the mail

ERW and SEAMEC make endorsements for LGBT and allied voters

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

As this issue of SGN goes to press, general election ballots have been mailed to King County voters, ballot drop-boxes are open, and ERW (Equal Rights Washington) and SEAMEC (Seattle Metropolitan Elections Committee) have issued their endorsements. Both groups rate candidates on issues of particular interest to the LGBT community.

New voters have until October 29 to register in person at one of several locations. If you still need to register, visit www.kingcounty.gov/elections/registration.aspx to find the location nearest you.

ERW spokesperson Josh Friedes urged voters to mail in their ballots as soon as possible.

ABOVE ALL, APPROVE R-74!
'Approve Referendum 74 is our top priority, and all available resources are going to that,' Friedes told SGN. 'Who and what you vote for is secret, but the fact that you did vote is not. Once we see that you did, in fact, vote, then we don't have to call you or mail you to remind you to vote Approve on 74. That saves us a tremendous amount of resources we can use where we really need it.'

ERW's endorsements can be found at the Progressive Voters Guide, www.progressivevotersguide.com. SEAMEC's are on page 9 and at www.seamec.org.

While SEAMEC does not usually endorse presidential candidates, ERW has endorsed Barack Obama for re-election.

'We should be enthusiastic about voting for Obama,' Friedes said, 'because of what he's done for the LGBT community. Romney would be a disaster - for so many segments of the LGBT community, notably women.'

Both ERW and SEAMEC have endorsed U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell's re-election bid. SEAMEC gave Cantwell a '4' rating, indicating that she 'exceeds expectations.'

'She is an outspoken supporter of LGBT rights,' Friedes added.

STOP KOSTER
ERW also endorsed congressional candidates Suzan DelBene in the First District, Rich Cowan in the Fifth District, Derek Kilmer in the Sixth, and Denny Heck in the Tenth, along with incumbents Rick Larsen (2), Jim McDermott (7), and Adam Smith (9).

About the neck-and-neck First District race, Friedes said categorically, 'We do not want [John] Koster in Congress!'

SEAMEC has also endorsed incumbents McDermott and Smith.

For statewide offices, both ERW and SEAMEC have endorsed Jay Inslee for governor.

'Inslee really is an all-star on LGBT civil rights,' Friedes told SGN. 'Inslee has an impressive understanding of the needs of the LGBT community, especially the Trans community. He has an understanding of the kinds of services people need.

'McKenna has been hostile to the LGBT community, on marriage in particular. I don't understand how any LGBT person could vote for McKenna given his position on marriage.'

SEAMEC has rated Inslee a '4' - 'exceeds expectations.' McKenna was rated '2' - 'needs improvement.'

NO CLEAR CHOICE FOR #2
Friedes says that for the first time in ERW's history, the group issued a dual endorsement in the race for lieutenant governor.

'Brad Owen has had a less-than-stellar record on LGBT issues, but he was instrumental in moving the Equal Marriage Act out of the Rules Committee for a floor vote,' Friedes explained. 'And [Bill] Finkbeiner's 2006 Senate vote was what passed the Anderson-Murray civil rights bill.'

SEAMEC gave Finkbeiner a solo endorsement, with a '4' rating.

For attorney general, neither group made an endorsement. SEAMEC rated Democrat Bob Ferguson '4' and Republican Reagan Dunn '3' - 'meets expectations.'

'Ferguson has been a longtime champion of LGBT rights,' Friedes noted. 'Reagan Dunn has nowhere near his record, but we were delighted with his [King County Council] vote for marriage equality.'

In what Friedes called a 'tough race,' ERW is endorsing Secretary of State candidate Kathleen Drew.

'She is passionate about LGBT civil rights,' he said. SEAMEC rated Drew a '4' while her opponent, Kim Wyman, received a '3' rating.

UNSUNG HEROES
Among other statewide candidates, Friedes singled out incumbent Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler for special praise.

'He really deserves our support. He's been an all-star,' Friedes told SGN. 'He's worked hard to interpret the laws to make sure that insurance providers recognize LGBT relationships as much as possible.' SEAMEC also endorsed Kreidler.

In addition, Friedes noted that Public Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark 'made sure the rules governing public restrooms meet the needs of Transgender people.'

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Approve R-74 up by six points
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Getting out the vote
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Ballots are in the mail
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Marriage equality: A Jewish perspective
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HRC stepping up support for marriage equality
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Marriage equality: good for families, good for business
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BLAG goes broke
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Chris Kluwe 'shows' his support in OUT Magazine
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Bone(r) of contention
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BREAKING NEWS
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