Category Archives: Public Policy

Dissecting the Washington State Caucuses

by John Stafford

(Disclosure: I am a member of the Democratic Party in South Seattle, and am a supporter of Bernie Sanders.  On March 26, 2016, I ran an area caucus (comprised of six precinct caucuses) on Beacon Hill.)

INTRODUCTION

The 2016 Democratic Caucuses, held in Washington State on Saturday, March 26, from roughly 10:00 a.m. until noon, have generated considerable debate.  The issues raised can be divided into several categories:  attendance and demographics; the merits of a caucus versus a primary election system; timing; and the ethics of superdelegates.  This article explores each of these topics. Continue reading Dissecting the Washington State Caucuses

2016 State Legislature: Short Session Blues

by John Stafford

INTRODUCTION

For those interested in a State Legislature that effectively handles the peoples’ business, the 2016 Legislative Session will be a severe disappointment. For those who have followed the past several Legislative Sessions, this disappointment will be nothing new. The Washington State Legislature has become highly adept at taking a long time (six of the last seven years have gone into special session) to accomplish very little. There are, of course, powerful reasons for this ineffectuality, and these will be explored below. Continue reading 2016 State Legislature: Short Session Blues

The McCleary Debacle and The Upcoming Institutional Crisis

by John Stafford

INTRODUCTION

Once again, it appears that the State Legislature will fail to comply with the demands of the McCleary decision, which requires a significant increase in K-12 funding. I believe it is likely that this is about to lead to the biggest political crisis in the state in decades. I acknowledge that predicting policy outcomes is perilous, but I also believe that it is important to attempt to infer where this critical policy road is leading. Continue reading The McCleary Debacle and The Upcoming Institutional Crisis