Week in Review: August 4, 2023 - with Robert Cruickshank

Week in Review: August 4, 2023 - with Robert Cruickshank

On this week-in-review, Crystal is joined by Chair of Sierra Club Seattle, long time communications and political strategist, Robert Cruickshank!

They run through results from Tuesday’s primary election for Seattle City Council, Seattle School Board & King County Council, and then take a look at Tacoma City Council, Spokane City elections, and the recall of gubernatorial candidate Semi Bird from the Richland School Board. The show concludes with reflection on the influence of editorial boards and their endorsements, particularly those of The Stranger.

About the Guest

Robert Cruickshank

Robert Cruickshank is Chair of Sierra Club Seattle and a long-time communications & political strategist.

Find Robert Cruickshank on Twitter/X at @cruickshank.


RE-AIR: The Big Waterfront Bamboozle with Mike McGinn and Robert Cruickshank” from Hacks & Wonks

Backlash to City Council incumbents doesn't materialize in primary” by Melissa Santos from Axios

Seattle Public Schools primary election results 2023” by Dahlia Bazzaz and Monica Velez from The Seattle Times

3 things we learned from the Pierce County primary, from council races to tax measures” by Adam Lynn from The News Tribune

Voters favor recall of gubernatorial candidate Semi Bird from school board” by Jerry Cornfield from Washington State Standard

Find stories that Crystal is reading here


[00:00:00] Crystal Fincher: Welcome to Hacks & Wonks. I'm Crystal Fincher, and I'm a political consultant and your host. On this show, we talk with policy wonks and political hacks to gather insight into local politics and policy in Washington state through the lens of those doing the work with behind-the-scenes perspectives on what's happening, why it's happening, and what you can do about it. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast to get the full versions of our Tuesday topical show and our Friday week-in-review delivered to your podcast feed. If you like us, the most helpful thing you can do is leave a review wherever you listen to Hacks & Wonks. Full transcripts and resources referenced in the show are always available at officialhacksandwonks.com and in our episode notes.

If you missed our Tuesday topical show, we re-aired an episode highlighting how the leaders we choose make consequential decisions that affect us all. Check out my conversation with Mike McGinn and Robert Cruickshank about how the SR 99 tunnel and today's Seattle waterfront came about. Today, we're continuing our Friday week-in-review shows where we review the news of the week with a co-host. Welcome back to the program, friend of the show and today's co-host: Chair of Sierra Club Seattle, long time communications and political strategist, Robert Cruickshank. Hey!

[00:01:26] Robert Cruickshank: Thank you for having me on again, Crystal - excited to talk about election results this week.

[00:01:30] Crystal Fincher: Yes, and we have a number to talk about. These have been very eagerly awaited results - lots of candidates and contenders, especially with the Seattle City Council elections - 45 candidates all whittled down now to two in each race going into the general election. We should probably go through the results here - District 1 and going through - what did we see and what did you think?

[00:01:58] Robert Cruickshank: There are some trends you'll see as we look through these races and it's good to start district by district. And in West Seattle, in District 1, one of the trends you see is that some of the establishment candidates, the candidates Bruce Harrell's side, is really putting kind of anemic performances. You look at Rob Saka in West Seattle, who's barely ahead of Phil Tavel who's run for office several times before. And Maren Costa, the much more progressive candidate, labor candidate - is the one of the two women who was fired by Amazon for doing climate organizing before the pandemic - so she's a strong climate champion, Stranger-endorsed candidate. Maren Costa is in the low 30s and will probably go higher as more ballots come in this week. But Rob Saka is one of the two candidates who benefited from a independent expenditure by right-wing billionaires and corporate donors. The reason they targeted him in this race and Maritza Rivera in District 4, which we'll talk about in a moment, is they knew that those two candidates were struggling and needed that huge influx of cash to help convince voters to support them and not - maybe in this case - Phil Tavel over Maren Costa. So Rob Saka at 25% or so right now - it's not really a strong showing. Maren Costa in the low 30s - your progressive candidate, you'd like to be a little bit higher - she's in a great position right now.

And one of the things you're seeing in this race - and you will see in the others - is in addition to the fact that the establishment candidates did worse than expected, in addition to incumbents doing well, you're also starting to see that a number of progressive candidates are surviving this supposed backlash that never actually happened. If you talk to or listen to Brandi Kruse, or watch KOMO, or read some of the more unhinged Seattle Times editorials, you would have assumed that coming into this election, there's going to be a massive backlash favoring genuinely right-wing candidates who really want to just crack down on crime, crack down on homelessness - that just didn't happen. What I see in District 1, and you'll see in all these other races, is a reversion to pre-pandemic politics between corporate centrists and progressive candidates. That's where you're starting to see the things shake out - you're not having right-wing candidates like Ann Davison getting traction. And candidates on the left, there weren't very many of them this year - had a little bit of traction, we'll see, in District 5, but otherwise it wasn't really a factor. So I think you're coming back to pre-pandemic politics where a progressive candidate like Maren Costa can do well in West Seattle. If you remember in 2015, when we first went to districts, the race in West Seattle was very close - Lisa Herbold only won by about 30 votes. Looking at the numbers in District 1 so far, I would not be surprised to see a very close race between Maren Costa and Rob Saka, but Rob Saka is not the strong candidate that his backers expected. And Maren Costa has a lot of momentum and energy behind her - in West Seattle, you're seeing voters responding to the message that she's giving.

[00:05:06] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, I would agree with that. I also found it surprising to see how anemic the performance by some of those establishment moderate candidates - not only did they need that conservative PAC money to get through, but they were leading in fundraising by quite a significant bit - Rob Saka was far ahead of others in terms of fundraising, we saw the same in some other districts. So it was really interesting - it's hard to finish poorly in a primary or to not run away with the lead, really, in a primary when you have a significant fundraising lead - especially when you have additional money coming in. Seattle voters are starting to get a little wiser - still the challenge is there - but starting to get a little wiser at looking at whose donors are there and do those donors indicate how they're going to vote? Looks like in the history of Seattle politics - maybe drawing some conclusions on that.

I think there are interesting conversations about the, whether this is a change election or stay the course election, whether people want something different or the same. And I think that's a more complicated answer than just change or different. One, we don't have a uniform city council. There's a range of positions and perspectives on the council, so to try and characterize it as "this progressive council" isn't necessarily correct. And now we're going to have a lot of turnover, we're going to see what this new composition is going to be, but it's hard to characterize that. And then you have the mayor on the other side - who is definitely a moderate, not a progressive there - and so the mayor is still dictating a lot of the policy in the city. Even some things that have been funded by the council, direction that has been moved has not been taken action on by the mayor. Saying that you want to stay the course really feels like a more moderate course these days, especially when looking at the approaches to public safety with a lot of criminalization of poverty - when you talk about homelessness and the outsize focus on sweeps, instead of trying to house people and connect them to services consistently. So that whole conversation is always interesting to me and feels a little bit reductive, a little too simplistic for what is actually going on.

But we should probably talk about some of the other races, too. What did you see in District 2 with Tammy Morales and Tanya Woo, along with kind of an also-ran - another candidate who I don't think topped 5% - but that is a closer race than some of the others appear to be on their face, although there were a lot fewer candidates in this race.

[00:07:34] Robert Cruickshank: Again, we can think back to 2015 where Tammy Morales nearly beat the incumbent Bruce Harrell, losing by a little less than 500 votes. She won by a larger margin when the seat was open after Harrell stepped down in 2019. A lot of the sort of conventional wisdom from the establishment class is that Morales was in real trouble, but she's hovering around 50% right now. Tanya Woo's close - it'll be a close election in the fall, but you have to say that Morales has the advantage here. Incumbency does matter. We need to look at the maps, but I know that there's been a lot of frustration in the Chinatown International District with Morales and with City Hall more generally, but the rest of District 2 seems to still have confidence in Tammy Morales' leadership, and still willing to send her back to City Hall for a second term. The exception to that was in noticing that the closer I get to Lake Washington, the Tanya Woo signs pop up a lot more. The closer I get to Rainier and MLK, more Tammy Morales signs. That's a typical split in terms of the electorate in the South End, and I think it favors Morales. She's done a great job on a lot of issues facing the community, she's been there for the community. Tanya Woo is running a strong campaign - Woo is not a right-wing candidate, Woo is much more of a center-left candidate who is really close to the Harrell administration. And again, it'll be a close race. If you're looking for a backlash, if you're looking for a rejection of a progressive city council, you are not seeing it in District 2. Morales, I think, has the advantage here going into November.

[00:09:01] Crystal Fincher: I would agree. Now, District 3, coming on the heels of our announced departure of Councilmember Kshama Sawant from the council, there's going to be a new councilmember here. This is an open-seat race. We see Joy Hollingsworth and Alex Hudson making it through to the general election. What's your take on this?

[00:09:22] Robert Cruickshank: Joy Hollingsworth has probably hit her ceiling - she's pulling around 40% right now. If you look back - ever since we went to districts in 2015, obviously being on the ballot changes the dynamics - you can get some pretty liberal people who are - I don't know if I like the socialism, 'cause they could get close. And so there's at least, you would assume, 40 to 45% for a more centrist candidate even in District 3, but not much beyond that. And what you're seeing is that as more ballots come in, Alex Hudson's numbers are growing, and there are quite a few other really good candidates in that race who also split the progressive vote. Hudson will almost certainly unite that progressive vote. I think very few of those voters are going to go from someone like Andrew Ashiofu or Ry Armstrong or Alex Cooley over to Joy Hollingsworth - a few might. But I think Alex Hudson is going to have the advantage here going in to the November election as well.

[00:10:15] Crystal Fincher: This is an interesting race. There are eight candidates in this race, one - so very, very crowded race - number of progressive candidates in here. So there definitely was some splitting going on. This is a bit different than some of the open seat races that we see where oftentimes there is a candidate who feels like they're carrying on the same direction or philosophy or policy stance as the incumbent, but the incumbent decided not to go anymore. And so there're oftentimes as well, the choice of maintaining the same kind of policy direction or going different. I don't think that's the case here. And also to your point that Kshama Sawant not being in this race - yes, some people see the socialism in question, but Kshama had the ability to motivate a whole entire squad of volunteers that blanketed that district. And so looking at the absolutely impressive ground game - we've talked about it before on the program - lots to learn from for Democrats looking at that and others at how to expand the electorate and really get people to turn out to vote is something that Kshama and her campaign did extremely well. There's a different dynamic here, and it's going to be interesting to see if one of these candidates can motivate and galvanize younger people to a degree that comes close to what Kshama did. It looks like that was not the case in the primary, probably - we're still fairly early in the returns, but turnout looks concerning, especially among younger people here. So the entire dynamic of that race in that district just feels a lot more different than some of the other ones. And so this is going to be an interesting one to follow.

[00:11:50] Robert Cruickshank: I agree - you're right to point to Sawant's just political genius. Sawant is one of the most effective candidates, campaigners, and politicians we see in the City in a long, long time. She has a really strong ability to speak to a broad progressive base in Capitol Hill. And in District 3, she speaks well to renters and people who are lower wage workers - they know she has their back. Her campaign operation is one of the best the City has had. Talking to people who live in District 3 - they would report every time Sawant's on the ballot, they had Sawant organizers at their doors almost every day until they turned in their ballots. They got the work done. They were really good at that. And that is a infrastructure that is unique to Sawant. Sawant always wanted to turn that into a movement, into an organization - was never quite able to. And so none of the other candidates have built that yet. As you point out with turnout, they're going to need to. Alex Hudson, looking like the more progressive candidate in this race, is going to have to figure out how to build something close to what Sawant had without having the sort of once-in-a-generation political charisma and skills that Sawant had. Now, Hudson is a great candidate. Hudson has a lot of experience at City Hall, knows the policy well. But to actually win the election, they're gonna have to figure out how to build some of that momentum and movement going for her to make sure that she wins. My guess is Hudson probably gets around 53% in November, but she's gonna have to work hard for it.

[00:13:19] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, she's gonna have to work hard for it. I will say a couple things. One, just on legacy, I guess, moving forward - absolutely galvanized the public. I have seen several people say - Out of everyone, I know that I can count on Sawant to represent my interests. That's important. If you have a voter saying that, they are a loyal voter - unless you do something completely out of character, they're gonna be there for you like you've been there for them. There are questions about how well Sawant worked with her colleagues. There's ongoing debate about leading on an issue and pushing for progress versus how much to try and work with, potentially compromise with colleagues. And Sawant was not one who led with compromise. And that is something that a lot of people admired. I've said over and over again that a lot of times, especially speaking with more moderate people, they seem to always view Sawant's election as a fluke almost - Oh, some other condition, some other thing helped Sawant get in and that's the only reason why - which I think is why you saw so much energy around the recall elections and her re-elections. But she represents that district - there is no getting around - the people voted for her on purpose. She's a good example of looking at some people in some positions and saying - Hey, just move forward. Obviously $15 an hour minimum wage started in SeaTac, but then Kshama certainly picked up that mantle for Seattle and said - We need to get this done. Probably without her very direct and overt support for that, $15 an hour does not happen in Seattle when it did, how it did.

If you follow me online, I often ask for mail or feedback from people in different districts. And I will say I had a couple people in District 3 who consistently showed me the mail that they receive - a couple of them in some harder to find places, harder to canvass places who don't get many canvassers - even with Sawant, they definitely did, but not as much as some of the other ones. Alex Hudson's campaign team made it there to drop off lit, made it there to knock on some doors. So that was encouraging. I'm always a big fan of candidates getting on those doors, talking to their constituents, their neighbors directly. Alex Hudson did a better job of that in the primary. And so hopefully that is something that can be built on and expanded upon.

Want to talk about District 4, which is another interesting result. We had, in this race, a different dynamic where there was one clear progressive candidate and then a number of different shades of moderate to conservative candidates. This race even featured a self-described climate skeptic - just a number of different perspectives on the center to the right. And here we had Ron Davis with a pretty strong finish, considering the split in this race - we're sitting right about 42% right now - and as we record this on Thursday morning. And then Ken Wilson not making it through the primary, Maritza Rivera making it through - both of those fundraised pretty significantly. Maritza, another recipient of some PAC support. So looking at this race, how do you see the primary? And then how do you see the general shaping up between Ron Davis and Maritza Rivera?

[00:16:31] Robert Cruickshank: The corporate PAC for Rivera was key because I think there's recognition that without it, Ken Wilson probably would have come in second. Wilson had a strong base of support - he raised, I think, the most Democracy Vouchers in the city, Ron Davis quickly caught up. Wilson had a genuine popular base of support among the NIMBYs and right wingers in District 4, which there are many. That's why you needed the right wing billionaires and corporate CEOs to come in and help drag Rivera up into second place. Going into the fall, I wanna acknowledge that there are people out there who take a more skeptical view of what this means for progressives - like Erica Barnett, for example - arguing that this isn't actually that great for progressives, they're getting into the upper 30s, low 40s, but things could unite against them in the fall. And we can look back at 2021 and say - Yeah, that's what happened in the mayor's race. I was looking at the numbers earlier this morning. After all is said and done in the August 2021 primary, Bruce Harrell had 34%, Lorena González had 32%. It looked like it was a real horse race. It turned out that was almost González's ceiling - she got, obviously, a little bit more than that, closer to 40%, but not quite. And Harrell scooped up almost everything else.

I don't think that's gonna happen in District 4 and I don't think it's gonna happen elsewhere. For a few reasons - one, I think the mayor's race is a unique animal - citywide. I also think 2021 was a difficult moment for progressives in Seattle - they hadn't quite figured out how to handle this backlash to defund, concerns about crime and homelessness. Candidates are starting to figure that out a lot better. So Ron Davis is a very smart campaigner. He has really sensible answers on the issues that resonate even with more older conservative voters. He's got a real upside. I also think there are a non-zero number of Ken Wilson voters who might go over to Ron. Ken sent out a really interesting mailer in the last week of the election with a bunch of check marks about different positions - designed to contrast Ken with Rivera, but a lot of the check marks are for Ron as well. And what Ken's campaign was saying is that Rivera is the insider - she's been inside City Hall for several years, corporate backing, establishment backing. Ron doesn't have that. And I think a lot of Wilson voters will see in Ron someone who's also not of the establishment. I wouldn't want to overstate that, but a wider electorate in the fall, Davis getting a few votes here and there from Wilson - he's got a shot at winning.

[00:18:58] Crystal Fincher: That's a really important point. And the way these votes consolidate is probably going to matter in this race - looking at how they stack up, this is going to be a competitive race. This is not one where the primary winner is automatically going to be the general election winner. Overall, looking at just how this district has trended over the past decade - the district is unquestionably moving left, which is really interesting. This is one of the districts that had been reliably moderate to conservative for a long time. That's not the case - we would not have seen even over about 42% right now - this result would not have happened half a decade back. This is just a different place. I think that is what's informed some of the odd policy choices of people like Gerry Pollet, who has received a lot of backlash, but I think he was counting on the composition of the district as it used to be and not as it is today. There were rumors of him potentially getting in the city council race - there weren't rumors, they were confirmed, I think, by someone close to him. Looking at it, he no longer really fits the district or provided a contrast that people felt comfortable moving to to support a candidacy. So it's going to be also interesting to see how things progress with him after considering and not deciding to do local stuff and going there. But this will be an interesting race. This is going to be one where we might see more of a focus and highlighting on the role of these donors, the role of the corporate support, how close Maritza is to the current administration. If people want a change, that really doesn't seem to include Maritza at all. She would be the last person you'd vote for if you wanted a change. So this is going to be a really interesting race to follow.

[00:20:45] Robert Cruickshank: Yeah, and it's an interesting race also because it is a chance for progressives to pick up a seat on the City Council. The assumption, as we talked about going into this election from the conventional wisdom centrist pundit classes, that progressives are going to get dealt a pretty harsh blow here - these results suggest that's not necessarily going to happen. And in fact - Ron running a really strong campaign - he could flip that seat for progressives. He's a really sensible candidate for that district as well. He's a dad in his early forties. He's run a small business. He's been active in his neighborhood association. He knows the district well. He's a really good fit there. A lot of those voters, as you've said, are not much more overtly conservative, Pollet, Alex Pedersen types. They're there, clearly. But a lot of younger families are going to be there - ready to vote in November. And of course, in November, which you don't have in August, is a UW student body that is on campus - that's something that is in Ron's back pocket that can really give him a significant boost in the November election.

[00:21:48] Crystal Fincher: Absolutely agree. We could change when we have this primary. We could change how we have this primary, frankly, and change our style of voting. We can move to even-year elections as the county has done and has voted to do. Why are we voting in August when people are away for the summer, when younger people are gone?

[00:22:09] Robert Cruickshank: Yeah, to move up to where I live in District 5 - talking about what happened here - those changes would have made a huge difference. Ranked choice voting here would have gone a long way because we had quite an interesting field that didn't necessarily match what you see elsewhere. There isn't an obvious centrist-Harrell candidate. Cathy Moore seems closest to that, but she's also not the City Hall insider. Cathy is a much more traditionally liberal candidate, someone who sits between progressive and center - got around 30-something percent of the vote, not a huge showing. There were a number of progressive to genuinely left-wing candidates up here in the far northern reaches of Seattle, which 10 years ago is considered one of the most conservative parts of the city. We're seeing that's not necessarily the case - you have Tye Reed, who jumped in almost at the end of filing, presenting a very left-wing perspective. Christiana ObeySumner jumping in - they present a also-left perspective and appear to be the second place candidate - backed by, of course, a Stranger endorsement - narrowly edging out Nilu Jenks, who is a much more traditional progressive candidate running strong on climate issues. Nilu's campaign fell just short. I know that a lot of Nilu supporters are really frustrated at the way the Stranger handled this race. It is an example of where a ranked choice system, or having this in an even-numbered year, or having the primary at another time rather than at the dead of summer, could have produced a really interesting and fruitful conversation between these different candidates and campaigns about what it means to be progressive, especially up here in a part of the city that is often overlooked or neglected. I know the South End really has a pretty significant, legitimate beef on that front - but so does Lake City, so does Broadview, so does the far northern reaches of Aurora Avenue once you get past Green Lake. So it's gonna be interesting to see how this plays out here. I don't think that the race between Moore and ObeySumner is going to resemble races in other parts of the city. They're much more interesting and unpredictable candidates.

[00:24:05] Crystal Fincher: It's too close to officially call right now, as of pre-drop on Thursday - we have Christiana ObeySumner at 22.1% and Nilu Jenks at 19%. It's hard to see this shift change. It's hard - as I'm looking at it, what I bet - that Christiana's the one that makes it through, I'd say that's likely. Would I say it's absolutely conclusive, we don't need to consider any more drops? No. But odds are, with the way that votes typically shake out, that this isn't going to change radically. There are a few different left candidates. It's not like there's consolidation to just one candidate. And because Christiana also got The Stranger endorsement, which a lot of late voters are relying more heavily on - they already don't have a formed opinion - so it's hard to see the vote shifting away from Christiana.

As we look at this race in District 6, which does have an incumbent, Dan Strauss, who is over 50% - 50.7% right now, followed by Pete Hanning at 30%. This is another one where the moderates didn't seem to get a great bang for their buck.

[00:25:17] Robert Cruickshank: And this is a race where it's clear that - one, the power of incumbency still matters. And two, the supposed backlash to the progressive city council is overstated. Dan Strauss getting above 50% is a big deal. He voted, I think, once for defunding the police in the summer of 2020, and then fairly quickly walked that back. But that didn't stop his opponents from sending a bunch of mailers to houses in District 6, explaining that Dan Strauss had voted to defund the police. That doesn't appear to have hurt him at all. The fact you have Pete Hanning, who is head of the Fremont Chamber of Commerce, small business guy - you would think that he would be a ideal candidate for that part of the city. It turns out he's not. He's languishing there at 30%. Strauss is above 50% before even more progressive ballot drops happen on Thursday afternoon and Friday afternoon in the dead of August summer. We're learning a couple things here - not just the power of incumbency, not just the fact the right wing backlash doesn't exist - we're also learning that Ballard and Fremont are more progressive than people assumed. It'll be interesting to see the map of where these votes come in. The Magnolia portions of the district, anything on the water, on the Sound, probably voted for Hanning or other candidates like that. Where the population base is - in Ballard, up to Greenwood, Fremont - I bet they're probably voting for Dan Strauss.

And I think it is a endorsement of Strauss's attempt to straddle the fence. He gets a lot of criticism, I think justifiably so, for the way he flip-flops often. But appears to be working for Dan Strauss. Progressives have a bit of work cut out for us. I posted about this on Twitter - got a lot of people responding to me that Strauss is not a progressive. I would agree with that, but he's willing to listen to and vote for progressives if we organize him correctly. So I see it as an opportunity here. And also just the fact that the right-wing backlash didn't show up in this district at all is, I think, a big win. And I think it's a significant sign going forward that progressives have more of an opportunity than we thought. This race in particular reminds me of 2022. At the state level and especially the federal level - going into the November election, there was a lot of concern, worry, even predictions of doom that the Democrats were just gonna get wiped out. That didn't happen at the state level. In fact, Democrats picked up seats. At the federal level, barring a meltdown of the Democratic Party in New York State, Democrats could have held onto the House. They did hold onto the Senate. And I think you're seeing something similar here - that this assumption, I think, especially from the establishment media and that pundit class that - Oh, this is a center-right country, maybe a centrist city - it's not true. There is more support for a progressive agenda in the city, and in this country than is assumed. I think progressives need to internalize that and realize we have real opportunities here to move forward. And if we're making sure that we're listening to what voters are saying and bringing them along with us.

[00:28:09] Crystal Fincher: That's a really important point. A lot of times people talk about - People are dissatisfied with the council, people think things are on the wrong track. Sometimes we use things like progressive and moderate - these broad labels - as a shorthand for policy. If you look at policy in practice in Seattle, it's hard to call a lot of it progressive on the issues that have been plaguing Seattle the most - on public safety, on homelessness, on issues of inequality. Policy has not been what progressives would call progressive. Moderates love to call things progressive. Moderates are extremely emotionally invested in being called progressive. And what we've seen is policy passed by those moderates with messaging calling it progressive - we've seen sweep after sweep after sweep, hot spot-focused policing, which doesn't seem to accomplish much in the longterm. And so when we just ask - Are you satisfied? And someone says - No. Somehow it's always characterized as - Well, people don't like progressive policy and they want something different. Or we're characterizing the council as progressive, which is not a clean label for that council - it's a lot more varied than that. And saying - Clearly, they want more moderate policy. And that's not true, especially in the City of Seattle - some people want to go to actual progressive policy and are thinking that - Okay, I hear this rhetoric, but I'm not seeing it in practice. I want what they talked about. I want what they're selling.

That's also why you see so many candidates - who people who aren't moderate would call moderate, who progressives would call moderate - mirroring progressive messaging. Even though they're getting support from some really right-wing people, some people who traditionally support Republicans, are very opposed to taxation. Still, if you look at their mailers, if you look at different things - I'm a progressive champion. I believe in progressive policy. Sara Nelson ran on police reform. And you can see she was more aligned with her donors and different things - that's a lesson that Seattle is starting to learn. But just because there are some progressives on the council, a couple of progressives on the council, just because there's a label calling it that by people who most do not consider to be progressives - that's just a messaging trick. You have to follow up on that question - Why are you dissatisfied? Those answers are a lot more interesting and a lot more informative about why people are voting the way they are and why the reception to different councilmembers is the way that it is.

[00:30:36] Robert Cruickshank: That's right. And I think it is going to be interesting to see who actually makes it onto the council because the fence sitters - we talked about one, Dan Strauss, we'll talk about the other, Andrew Lewis, in a moment. If there are other genuine progressives on the City Council - if we get people like Ron Davis and Maren Costa and Tammy Morales reelected, Alex Hudson elected - it becomes easier to pull those fence sitters in the direction of more progressive policy. We got to get them reelected.

And this is where - you look at our last district here, District 7 - Andrew Lewis is ahead. He's in the low to mid 40% range. We'll see what happens over the next two ballot drops where he lands in the primary. It's good, it's not as strong as Dan Strauss. But Lewis, I think, understands what he needs to do to win and will do things that lead him down policy paths that progressives don't like. We saw this on Monday where - he signaled he would do this at the vote in June and he did - stood with Bruce Harrell to agree on a plan to pass the ordinance criminalizing drug possession in Seattle, incorporating the recently passed state law. And I'm not a fan of that ordinance, not a fan of that state law. I'm also not shocked at all that it played out here exactly the way it played out in the Legislature. Progressives and progressive-ish candidates and electeds said No, voted it down the first time. It came back. They won a few concessions, more money - but I think as Erica Barnett has pointed out, it's not new money. They won promises of diversion first, but they're promises - it's all going to be overseen by Ann Davison - we'll see what happens here. This is an example of Andrew Lewis trying to straddle the fence. And there's a political logic to that. Lewis won a very close race over former SPD chief Jim Pugel in 2019. It looks like he'll be up against Bob Kettle this year, who I think is running - clearly the strongest candidate of the people chasing Andrew Lewis, not surprised that Olga Sagan didn't really pan out - she got 14%, which is nothing to sneeze at. But again, the right-wing backlash is not real.

We'll see what Andrew Lewis winds up doing. Lewis is someone who is clearly susceptible to being pressured by progressives - that's a good thing. I think those of us who are genuine progressives would love to see someone who's more progressive in that seat. We're not going to get that this year. It's not going to happen, nor in the District 6 seat. Most progressives I've talked to understand that and recognize that our interests are better served by the reelection of Dan Strauss and Andrew Lewis than by just abandoning them. Because sometimes you have to work with the electeds you've got - I think that's where it stands in those two districts. Lewis has a higher hill to climb than Strauss, but it's doable. We'll see how that plays out in the fall.

[00:33:16] Crystal Fincher: Yep, I agree with that. I also want to talk about the school board races, which you have talked about, written about. How did you see this playing out?

[00:33:24] Robert Cruickshank: It's interesting. The power of incumbency matters. There were two races on the ballot where there were genuine contests. District 1, which covers far northern Seattle - almost overlaps District 5 in the City Council - it'd be nice if these numbers matched. This is where Liza Rankin, the incumbent, is hovering around 60% of the vote - that's partly because she got the backing of The Stranger, it's also partly because she's the incumbent. It's also partly because - while there's a lot of discontent among parents in Seattle about the way the district is being run, that hasn't crystallized into any real organizing momentum yet. Rankin's main challenger, Debbie Carlsen, who is LGBTQ, has a LGBTQ family, has done a lot of work as an educator and nonprofit leader - Debbie's one of these candidates who files for school board during filing week - that is pretty common thing to happen and it takes you a little bit of time to get your feet underneath you as a candidate. Debbie's done that over the course of July, but a lot of the endorsement meetings were held in early June when she was still figuring it out - probably didn't give the greatest Stranger interview and is unusually closely allied with the current majority of the school board. Even if The Stranger had endorsed Debbie, Liza probably comes out well ahead. It's partly, again, the power of incumbency and the fact that a lot of voters just don't really know much about what's happening with the schools. That could change in a matter of weeks if the district does, as is expected, announce a list of schools they intend to close. That's the sort of thing that gets people's attention real quick.

Similarly, you look over at District 3 where there's an opening - District 3 School Board overlaps District 4 City Council, so we're talking now about northeastern Seattle, Laurelhurst, Bryant, Ravenna, part of Wedgwood. That's a place where three really interesting candidates - Evan Briggs, who seems to have the most support so far at 38%, backing of The Stranger, backed by the incumbent majority in the school board. Ben Gitenstein, who's an interesting guy - running as a protest candidate, but has smart background in finance and understanding how districts work, backing of The Stranger - he's at 33%. Christie Robertson, I think, really ran a strong campaign - having the backing of Seattle Student Union, Seattle Education Association, MLK Labor, didn't get either of the newspaper endorsements, and I think that's why she's in a very close third place. That's a disappointment there, because I think she ran the best campaign she could, but coming in a close third. I thought she was the best candidate of the bunch. But August, where a lot of parents aren't paying attention - their kids are in camps or a lot of them are traveling. August also being a time of not great turnout. And people just don't know much about the schools - school board gets less coverage these days than it used to even seven, eight years ago. We'll see what happens in the fall if school closures are put on the table, with schools being named - that changes everything immediately. Now, it's also possible the school district recognizes this and wanting to protect their allies on the school board may punt that until after the election, which will merely infuriate everybody further. We'll see what happens in the fall. This is one of those where you see a 20% approval rating of the school district, but incumbency is a powerful thing.

[00:36:31] Crystal Fincher: Incumbency is an extremely powerful thing. And one thing that we did not see in the King County Council races on the ballot was any incumbent in the race. There were two open seat races on the primary ballot. What was your take on those?

[00:36:46] Robert Cruickshank: Unsurprisingly, Teresa Mosqueda doing very well in the District 8 seat - that's West Seattle, Vashon Island area. She's a great campaigner and is well-liked and well-respected. She won the city council race by 20 points in 2021, while Lorena González went down to defeat and Davison and Sara Nelson won. It's a clear fact that Mosqueda knows what she's doing - she connects well with the voters and she has a really strong record. Mosqueda has got a real clear advantage going into the fall.

The District 4 seat for King County Council - we're talking about northwestern Seattle from roughly Queen Anne, Magnolia, up towards Ballard, Fremont, Greenwood - that's an open seat with a set of three very progressive candidates. Jorge Barón who's hovering around 50%, will be the clear front runner going into the fall. Sarah Reyneveld, who's at 30%. And then Becka Johnson Poppe, who had 20%. And that's gonna be interesting. Jorge, again, the clear front runner, but it's not a done deal by any stretch of the imagination. You had the other two candidates splitting the vote. I think Sarah has a really good shot of scooping up a lot of people who voted for Becka and that could be a very close race too. And I think this is one where - when you have two good progressives in a race, you want to see a good contest. You want to see them push each other to be better. You want to see them fight hard on key issues like who's gonna save Metro? The school district is talking about closing schools - Metro's talking about deleting routes. In a city this wealthy, that is this supportive of transit, that is this interested in doing climate action - for King County to be deleting routes is a huge problem. We need to be expanding the number of routes we have, the frequency on those routes. And so whoever of those candidates can really speak to the issues of transit in particular could have a real advantage going into November.

[00:38:22] Crystal Fincher: I completely agree with that. The existing routes that are left is falling through the floor. I know people are calling them "ghost buses" just because of not showing up. People have bought cars that they can barely afford. But what they can afford even less is to not get to work on time, to lose the only source of income. They have to do better with Metro. I'm looking forward to that being discussed often and robustly in the general election.

[00:38:49] Robert Cruickshank: We need to name it. Dow Constantine, King County Executive, is falling down at his job on transit. For most of the 2010s, he was seen as a leader on transit - he did good work to get ST3 on the ballot and approved for Sound Transit, he did good work getting more funding for Metro. But here in the 2020s, it's a different story. He has not provided the leadership or presence that we need to save these bus routes, to address their reliability concerns. This is unacceptable, right? For people to be going out and buying cars - we can't trust the bus system. In a city where we had more of our commuters riding buses than any other big city in America before the pandemic. Obviously the pandemic shakes things up - there are challenges recruiting and retaining operators, but it has to be a top priority for the King County Executive and right now it doesn't look like it is. And this city, this region, can't survive without strong transit. Our climate goals are never going to be met - transportation is the number one source of carbon emissions in our city and in our state. And that's why these King County Council races matter because we are not seeing the leadership we need to be seeing from the top. It's going to have to come from the County Council instead.

[00:39:53] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, I agree with that. Both the executive and the council - because they had done the work to set it up, were just - Great, it's on autopilot and it runs. But there were signs of these shortages before the pandemic and the pandemic made it worse. And on the police side - Oh my goodness, there are shortages for police, we need to give bonuses, we need to give retention bonuses and recruitment bonuses and are doing everything we can - just a laser focus on these. I think a lot of people have noticed the lack of focus on so many shortages in so many other areas. From the school board perspective, the transportation situation, the bus drivers, a shortage there - just in so many areas, not having that kind of focus. This race in particular - speaking with a number of the candidates, they did say that they believe that we should be treating some of these other labor shortages with urgency and that we should consider the same kinds of bonuses - for example, transit drivers - that they have for sheriff's deputies, which I think would help. There needs to be active and involved management there - that's something that the council overall as a body needs to do a better job with. I hope this new injection of members with this election brings that about, helps to influence the other members. And I'm looking forward to a robust debate.

The other thing about the Teresa Mosqueda and Sofia Aragon race that I thought was interesting was Teresa Mosqueda knew that helping renters, that helping small business owners, that helping people get affordable housing was an absolute critical need for Seattle. Even though at the time the conservative business interests were very opposed - they'll remain opposed, and that's an issue in this general election, that's motivating a lot of the conservative money in the race - she did it. It took a lot of know-how, it took a lot of budget smarts. And then ran on it. It's one of the most popular pieces of policy that has passed in Seattle in the past decade - it bailed the City out of this last budget cycle through the shortfall. Thank goodness that passed. Her ability to run on that and her expertise absolutely benefited her. On the flip side, Sofia Aragon, who's currently the mayor of Burien, who we've talked about before on this, is going through really a crisis in government. Recently there's another kind of letter of chastisement correcting errors in the record from the mayor and the deputy mayor in Burien, yet again, from the King County Regional Homelessness Authority. This is another candidate where their voter guide statement and their communication - defund has clearly failed. That's where people are at - people are tired of hearing people complain and just that reactionary backlash, and are looking for people who are engaged, and what's really going to help. What is really going to solve this issue? And what they really have not seen recently, especially with the mayor of Burien, is engagement and policy and solutions that will help. That hurt Sofia - for someone who is a mayor in a city that has a significant population in the district to perform so poorly. And someone who arguably is - certainly in Burien - better known than Teresa Mosqueda. That gamble just failed. Hopefully that's a reminder to stop the infighting, stop the one-upmanship focus thing there, the clique-iness that has happened there with the majority on that council, and to get to work just to focus on solving the problems that the people have. In Burien, there's money on the table that they can take to help that they're refusing - and we're going to pass another camping ban. And people want actual solutions, not just rhetoric and - We're going to drive them out of town. That's not where people are at, even in the suburbs.

[00:43:21] Robert Cruickshank: I agree. It reminds me a lot of the LA mayor's race last year between Karen Bass and Rick Caruso, where Caruso's wealthy developer was betting that there'd be a huge backlash to visible homelessness and that he could ride that to defeat Karen Bass. And Karen Bass, being much smarter and a much better politician, understood no. Voters want to see solutions. They want to see candidates step forward and offer reasonable answers that are going to treat people who are in crisis humanely - 'cause that's what we should be doing anyway - and that will actually going to solve the problem. And I think that's what you're seeing in King County Council District 8 - Teresa Mosqueda comes along. Everyone knows she's reasonable, sensible, committed to the solutions, and wanting to get this done. Sofia Aragon is just grandstanding. There's not a path to victory, even in King County Council District 8, for right-wing grandstanding. Those results show that really clearly.

[00:44:12] Crystal Fincher: I agree. Other results from around the region that I thought were interesting were the Tacoma City Council races. Looking at the Olgy Diaz race - Olgy making it through, I think that was expected - she is going through the general election, didn't have a primary, but in a strong position. Particularly looking at the results of the race with Jamika Scott making it through to the general election against a more conservative challenger. And an incumbent in that race getting 70% of the vote. This is a situation where, again, lots of people were prepared in Tacoma - it's not Seattle, there's absolutely going to be a backlash. They have had lots of conversations and consternation, like so many other cities, about how to address homelessness, how to address poverty, how to address public safety - a lot of controversies within that police department and reform that has been needed. How did you see these races in Tacoma?

[00:45:08] Robert Cruickshank: They are really interesting examples of the same phenomenon we're seeing in Seattle. I know that Tacoma is different from Seattle - don't want anyone listening in Tacoma to think that we're implying they're the same. There are some similar trends. We are seeing in Jamika Scott's strong showing here in the primaries that there is a appetite in Tacoma for genuine, real, deeply progressive change. You're also seeing that some of the backlash politics aren't necessarily succeeding in Tacoma either.

Another place that we're seeing interesting things play out is Spokane - we're just having a mayoral race this year. The incumbent Nadine Woodward is very much one of these - crack down on crime, crack down on homelessness, really picking fights with the state over visible homelessness. But Lisa Brown, former state senator, former head of the State Senate in the 2000s, is pretty much neck and in a really good position to knock off the incumbent mayor. Lisa Brown running - again, is a much more reasonable, not necessarily progressive candidate. I wouldn't say Lisa Brown's progressive, but much more traditional liberal candidate who wants to come in with sensible solutions. You're seeing all over the place - the right wing backlash is not necessarily either showing up, or performing very well, to polls.

[00:46:15] Crystal Fincher: This is a situation where sometimes, especially in Seattle, we get very focused on progressive and moderate, progressive and conservative. I think because of where journalism has ended up and because The Times and Stranger are such consequential endorsements - and they typically are in a moderate, in a progressive lane - that influences how we look at and categorize things in policy. We're looking across the board in the state at every level of government - especially public safety, issues of poverty, issues of homelessness, being something that every jurisdiction has to manage. There are evidence-based solutions, and there are ones that aren't. It happens to be that the evidence-based solutions are usually those ones espoused by progressives. And the ones that are not, like doubling down on the War on Drugs, doubling down on so many things that have already failed - sweep after sweep, that just moves the problem and makes it worse and doesn't do anything to solve homelessness - that those are just failed solutions, that the data just isn't there. And so I think what we're seeing work in a lot of different cities - and usually what I focus on - is talk about the issue, talk about the solution. The label doesn't really matter to the average person on the ground. We're in politics, we talk about it a lot. The average voter is just sick and tired of hearing a lot of rhetoric and not seeing things change. They just want someone who will do something that has a shot at fixing the problem after doing the same thing over and over again and not getting great results. Even if a progressive is talking about - Hey, we need a Housing First model. That doesn't mean housing only model, but housing is necessary for those other things that may also be necessary - whether it's behavioral health assistance, whether it's assistance with substance use disorder, whether there are a variety of things - that housing is necessary for those other things to reliably work and to get this person stably housed again. That is what is working. And so it's evidence-based versus things that aren't. And we're putting these labels on them, but really it's about what is going to solve this problem.

So many people in the establishment are so invested in the status quo, even though it's not working - hopefully they'll become more open to evidence-based solutions. If not, they're going to have progressive challengers and progressive candidates like Jamika Scott, who is winning the race in the primary right now at 38% over Chris Van Vechten, who is a more conservative challenger in Tacoma. We see Kristina Walker, the incumbent, who is proposing evidence-based solutions for a lot of these things at 70% - not looking at a backlash there. But also in Spokane - dealing with a lot of other issues - and I will say in a lot of areas, especially, Spokane has been a leader in the state on housing, has been a leader on the state in many issues. If you're looking at the progressive versus moderate conservative in policy and action, Spokane is looking more progressive than Seattle in a number of ways. A lot of Seattle suburbs looking more progressive if you're looking at how policy is traditionally talked about. So I really think that it's about who has a shot at actually fixing this problem. Voters have heard the other stuff for a long time and have seen it fail. That doesn't mean that every progressive candidate is automatically gonna be successful, but it does provide an opening. And I think that explains a lot of the backlash that people are expecting that did not turn up and translate.

[00:49:36] Robert Cruickshank: I think that's right. And I think Erica Barnett doing a good job explaining that - yes, sweeps are popular in Seattle. That is true. And that's been true for a while. They're not true because people genuinely like sweeps. It's true because you ask voters to choose between doing nothing and a sweep - they'll pick the sweep because they want a solution. If you ask them to choose between a sweep and an actual solution - Housing First policies, permanent supportive housing, actually building housing that is affordable at all income levels - 9 times out of 10, they'll pick that. What the right-wing backlash folks were counting on is enthusiastic support for sweeps as the best solution. And that's not where the voters are at in this city at all, and I think you're seeing around the state, they're not there either.

[00:50:19] Crystal Fincher: You mentioned before, which I think was very smart - two years back, four years back, candidates on the left and progressives were struggling to articulate that they were opposing sweeps or opposing criminalization of poverty and had a hard time breaking through because other people were maliciously mischaracterizing what they stood for. In order to get beyond that with people who have a lot of money to maliciously mischaracterize what you're doing was getting beyond the - No, we don't want to do nothing. We want to solve this thing. When we're advocating against sweeps, it's not like people are happy with encampments. It's not like people are happy with people living outside. We believe everybody should be housed. There are different solutions there. The answer is not nothing. We certainly heard a lot from Jenny Durkan, we heard from others - Oh, the alternative is nothing. They want to do nothing. When you have people attend your press conference every time you stand at a pulpit, that message is going to carry. What progressives are doing a better job of is articulating - No, we absolutely don't want to do nothing. We find crime unacceptable, and we actually want to do something to fix it. We find homelessness unacceptable, and we're tired of spinning our wheels and spending so much money and taking so much time to not improve the problem. We want to do different things that actually have a shot. That message is carrying through more, there are going to be a lot of competitive races - I don't know that that's going to carry the day, but certainly a more effective message this go around.

[00:51:43] Robert Cruickshank: I think that's right. What these results overall show is that progressives have a real opportunity, but it's not a certainty. They got to use it effectively.

[00:51:50] Crystal Fincher: Anything else that you think is interesting to look at on the electoral spectrum around the state?

[00:51:55] Robert Cruickshank: One thing that is gleeful and a positive outcome is Semi Bird getting recalled along with two of his allies in Richland. Semi Bird is the right-wing, soon-to-be former school board director in the Richland Public Schools who tried to overturn the state's mask mandate - that led to a recall effort that has been successful. Bird is also a Republican candidate for governor in 2024 - it's pretty much him and Dave Reichert at this point. We'll see what happens. But seeing Bird get recalled in Richland, which is not a progressive hotbed by any stretch of the imagination, is another sign that this right-wing backlash is not as strong as folks thought it was. So we'll see what happens from there.

[00:52:33] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, we will see what happens from there. And I wanted to mention that there are a lot of school board races that did not have more than two candidates across the state. Some races in the primary had Moms for Liberty candidates, aka people who are bringing in the desire to ban books, who are trying to overrule teachers and dictate what they can teach, and really attacking LGBTQ+ students - especially trans students - and really trying to bring hateful rhetoric and Christian nationalism into our education system. There's a Highline School District candidate that made it through to the general. There are others, like in University Place, several places across the state, that are going to have these general election match-ups with some candidates who are solutions-focused and others who are strictly running to basically sow chaos, is what it turns out to be in effect - to defund the schools, to strip standards-based education, fact-based education, to stop teaching history. They love what's going on in Florida, and they want to replicate what's going on there that is really hurting that state and community. I just want people to be aware that is a thing that is happening, and we can't afford to not be engaged in these school board races unless we want to provide a foothold for that kind of thing. Candidates that start on school boards wind up in city councils, in the Legislature, running for Congress. It is making sure that we're engaged in these very local races to make sure that we don't let someone in the door who's going to turn out to advocate for really fascist policies.

[00:54:10] Robert Cruickshank: I think that's right. And we've seen Moms for Liberty candidates fail in Washington state before. We've seen some of them make it through. We saw a strong effort to try to repeal the state's new law that protects trans kids - they narrowly failed to make it to the ballot. So far so good - knock on all the wood that there is - that they're not getting more traction here in Washington state. They're working as hard as they can, and we have to work as hard as we can to push back against that.

[00:54:33] Crystal Fincher: Absolutely agree. Wanted to wrap up with talking about the influence of endorsements in these elections. We've talked a lot about how consequential The Times and The Stranger endorsements have been over the past several years. I think there are a number of reasons why - I think that the thinning out of reporters covering government, covering politics on that regular beat is considerably less than it used to be, and that is impacting just how informed the public is in general on a regular basis - making these endorsements much more consequential. We also have fewer newspapers. And so those are just a couple of things making those much more important. The Stranger - looking last year - it had been at least a decade since a Stranger-endorsed candidate had not made it through a primary. The Times-endorsed candidate almost always makes it through also. So these have been and continue to be very consequential endorsements. How do you see this?

[00:55:28] Robert Cruickshank: It's still the case that Stranger endorsement is essential if you're a progressive trying to get through to the general election. It confers more votes than The Times endorsement does. For those of us who are progressive, that's a good thing. It's also a double-edged sword. And you can see in Districts 3 and Districts 5 this year, some of the downsides of The Stranger endorsement. What it did is it winds up cutting off conversation, debate, and contests between the progressive candidates in the field. I like Alex Hudson - she'll make a great member of the city council. I also like the idea of seeing Alex and the other candidates in District 3, or Christiana, Tye, Nilu - the candidates in District 5 - really pushing each other hard to have to do a good job persuading progressive voters that they're the right one to carry the agenda forward. Instead, what seems to happen is Stranger makes their picks and that's the end of the discussion. You get a lot of - you alluded to this earlier - a lot of low-information progressive voters who wait until the very end, open their ballots, realizing - Oh my gosh, they're due, I've got to vote. What does The Stranger recommend? I'll vote that way. I get that. They're not stupid voters. They pay very close attention to federal politics, but they just don't know a whole lot about what's happening locally. And The Stranger is a trusted source. The Stranger is independent. They're not making endorsements usually based on relationship building. You have a clear agenda that you can trust, and they built that trusted brand over 20 years.

But we have to start asking ourselves - I'm hearing more and more people asking the same question - Is it too influential? Is it too strong? Is it distorting the way campaigns are operating? Some of this is on The Stranger to ask themselves - do they want to be kingmakers or do they want to be the ones holding everybody's feet equally to the fire? I don't think you can always do both. It's also up to candidates and campaigns to figure out how do you overcome this? You can look around the country - there are lots of places in the country with strong endorsements, whether it's from an organization or an editorial board or whatever, but campaigns figure out how to get around that. I don't think progressive campaigns in Seattle have figured out how to win if The Stranger isn't backing them. I think it's time to try to get that answered - not as a slap at The Stranger, but it's unhealthy for one outlet to have that much influence.

[00:57:36] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, I would definitely agree with that. I think that it is important just to have that conversation and cutting that off is problematic. The Stranger does a better job of actually trying to pin down candidates on answers and making it visible when someone is hedging. I think that's a very useful thing, especially in Seattle politics where lots of times people love giving a progressive impression - paint a rosy picture - Of course, I love trees and I love kids and all of that. And some people are satisfied with that, but we have to get to real specific policy answers - Would you vote yes or no on this? - to get an idea of who we're really voting for. I think The Times has really fallen down on that front. One important thing in races overall is just understanding where candidates do stand and where they're not taking a stand. And that is very predictive about how someone is going to vote and whether they're going to lean on issues, whether they can be pressured to taking a No vote on something that they may have indicated or given a nod to that they're broadly supportive of. So I hope we have robust conversations just about where candidates stand on issues - how they would have voted if they were in their councilmember's place. If they weren't an incumbent, let's nail people down, understand who they are, not just let them get away with saying - I believe the children are the future - all the time, then being disappointed by how they govern on the council. But this is going to be a robust conversation that continues throughout the general. We will continue to cover it.

With that, I thank you for listening to Hacks & Wonks on this Friday, August 4th, 2023. The producer of Hacks & Wonks is Shannon Cheng. Our insightful cohost today is Chair of Sierra Club Seattle, longtime communications and political strategist, Robert Cruickshank - really great analysis and insight, really appreciate it. You can find Robert on Twitter @cruickshank on lots of platforms now. You can find me on several platforms at @finchfrii. You can find Hacks & Wonks on Twitter @HacksWonks. You can catch Hacks & Wonks wherever you get your podcasts - just type "Hacks and Wonks" into the search bar. Be sure to subscribe to get the podcast delivered to your podcast feed for our Friday week-in-review shows and our Tuesday topical show. If you like us, leave a review wherever you listen. You can also get the full transcript of this episode and links to the resources referenced in the show at officialhacksandwonks.com and in the episode notes.

Thanks for tuning in - talk to you next time.