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Foley Institute, OSOS host event on ‘Polling & the Pollsters’

by David Ammons | February 27th, 2015 4:44 pm | No Comments


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Secretary Wyman kicks off Friday’s forum about polling and politics. Seated are pollster Stuart Elway and polling expert Kathy Frankovic (right).

Public opinion polling, focus groups and shaping public policy and political campaigns were the focus of a Capitol forum co-sponsored Friday by Secretary of State Kim Wyman and the Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service at WSU.

The fascinating hour, moderated by Melissa Santos of the Tacoma News Tribune and The Olympian, included insiders’ explanation of the strengths and challenges of polling in today’s rapidly changing world of evolving communications, polling technique and politics.

Two senior polling experts brought their perspective of decades in the specialized field: Stuart Elway, Seattle-based independent pollster, and Kathy Frankovic, longtime polling expert for CBS News, the New York Times and other clients around the world. They described impact of many voters shifting from landlines to cellphones and smartphones, soaring media use of campaign polling, and shifting use by the private and public sectors.

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Stuart Elway (left) discusses polling during Friday’s forum at the Capitol. Seated next to Elway are (from left) Kathy Frankovic, Todd Donovan and moderator Melissa Santos.

Todd Donovan, political scientist at Western Washington University and a public-opinion expert, told of polling in Iowa before the presidential caucuses and seeing how media reports of “horserace” polls  there and nationally seem to affect how candidates are perceived.

A lively Q&A session followed.  The session will be televised via TVW cable television and online.

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Library Jewel #3: Dr. Seuss booklet from WWII

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Dr. Seuss created a character even more frightening than the Grinch, and her name was Ann. The name may not seem scary, but “Ann” really stands for “Anopheles,” which is the genus of mosquito that transmits malaria. This week’s third State Library Jewel features Ann in a book called This is Ann: She’s Dying to Meet You.” 

This is Ann: She’s Dying to Meet You” informed GIs about the dangers of contracting malaria. Dr. Seuss – back when the author was still known as Theodor Geisel – was a captain in the U.S. army. For several years during World War II, Geisel made training films and pamphlets like this one for his fellow servicemen.

This booklet provided information about preventing the mosquito bites that spread malaria, and the use of protective nets or clothing. Here’s the introductory passage:

“This is Ann … she drinks blood! Her full name is Anopheles Mosquito and she’s dying to meet you!

“Ann moves around at night (a real party gal) and she’s got a thirst. No whiskey, gin, beer or rum coke for Ann … she drinks G.I. blood. She jabs that beak of hers in like a drill and sucks up the juice … then the poor G.I. is going to feel awful in about eight or fourteen days … because he is going to have malaria!” 

Check out the State Library Digital Collections page to turn up more jewels like this one!

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Library Jewel #2: Washington Territory volunteer papers

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This month’s second State Library Jewel focuses on the library’s collection of Washington Territory Volunteer papers from 1854 to 1861.

The papers include correspondence by the territorial governor, adjutant general, assistant adjutant general Second Regiment general, and Quartermaster and Commissionary Department, as well as other documents. The papers cover the Indian War and Civil War periods.

The Washington territorial volunteers were authorized by a law passed by the Washington Territorial Legislature on Jan. 26, 1855 to organize a militia.

The top image shows some of the contents in a volunteer papers folder in the State Library’s territorial collection. The middle image shows the General Orders of the Adjutant General’s Office on Nov. 13, 1855, including the first order of business which stated the appointment of Edward Lander as Aid to Acting Governor. Commander-in-Chief Charles Mason also gave Lander the rank of Lieut. Col. of the Volunteer forces of Washington Territory. Landers later resigned from his militia position when Territorial Gov. Isaac Stevens invoked martial law on May 12, 1856. Stevens had removed Landers from the Territorial Supreme Court, which Landers himself had established (more information about that here).

The bottom image shows the treasury warrant to the territorial treasurer from Territorial Auditor Urban East Hicks to pay Thurston County Sheriff William Mitchell $229 (the purpose was unstated). The warrant was dated April 1, 1858, and stamped with the auditor’s seal.

Want to know what our third Library Jewel is? Come back to our blog Thursday and find out!

February Library Jewel #1: romantic poems book

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(Photo courtesy of Washington State Library)

Valentine’s Day has passed, but for those of you who like romance all year long, the first State Library Jewel for February is right up your alley. It’s a hand-pressed book of romantic and Valentine’s Day-themed poems from Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Ted Kooser. The book is called “Out of That Moment: Twenty-one Years of Valentines.” It was published by Brooding Heron Press, operated by former State Poet Laureate Samuel Green and his wife, Sally. The book is found in the State Library’s Rare Collection.

We’ll showcase the other two Library Jewels here later this week, so be watching!

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Centennial Time Capsule closes for another 25 years

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Secretary Wyman has fun with some of the new Capsule Keepers in front of the Centennial Time Capsule in the Capitol. (Photos courtesy of Benjamin Helle)

Washington‘s Centennial Time Capsule was sealed for the next 25 years during a ceremony at the State Capitol Sunday afternoon. Letters and artifacts collected over the last year were added to the capsule.

Secretary of State Kim Wyman and members of the Keepers of the Capsule Board spoke to an audience of about 80 people.

“Another 25 years of Washington history is being added to the Time Capsule so that Washingtonians in the future can someday learn what mattered to us and how we lived,” Wyman told the gathering. “The fact that this ceremony takes place on George Washington‘s birthday only adds to this event. On the day when Americans celebrate the birthday of the father of our country, we also mark this day of dedication to the future of our great state.”

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Secretary Wyman stands next to the Centennial Time Capsule with capsule organizer Knute Berger (left) and members of the 1989 Capsule Keepers. 

The mini capsule placed inside the safe Sunday is the second of 16 that will be used to store artifacts of Washington state history. The first capsule was placed inside 25 years ago. The Centennial Time Capsule is a 3,000-pound green safe that holds all of the stainless steel mini time capsules.

All of the filled capsules are slated to be opened in November 2389, in honor of the state’s 500th birthday.

The contents of this time capsule include: continue reading

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Archives Treasure poll: Black Panthers protest photos win

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One of the 1969 photos of the Black Panthers protest on the Capitol steps in Olympia. (Photo courtesy Washington State Archives)

Judging by the results of February’s Archives Treasures online poll, classic photos are more popular than ever.

This month’s poll featuring three items or collections found in the State Archives revealed that the 1969 photos of the Black Panthers protest on the Capitol steps was by far the favorite, as those photos received 63 percent of the votes. The 1976 photos of an orca capture in Budd Bay near Olympia finished second with 22 percent, followed by the Colt handgun owned by Hazard Stevens, son of Isaac Stevens, the first governor of Washington Territory. The gun drew 15 percent.

Next week, we’ll shift our focus to the State Library with our Library Jewels series, so watch for it!

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Talk focuses on women and Washington State Constitution

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Local historian Shanna Stevenson talks about the history of suffrage in Washington.

Suffragists in Washington Territory were told to leave voting rights to the “chivalry of men,” who would eventually allow for them to vote. Thankfully, many activists and suffragists ignored that advice. Washington state became the 5th state in the United States to permanently protect women’s right to vote.

This was just one story from local historian Shanna Stevenson’s presentation. At a brown-bag event hosted by Secretary of State Wyman on Wednesday, Stevenson detailed the history of the suffrage debates at our Constitutional Convention, the activists who came to Olympia, the vote on suffrage in 1889 and the rights won and lost as women approached their victory in 1910 for permanent women’s suffrage in Washington.

In 1883, women in our territory actually had the right to vote. Here in the West, there was no entrenched body of anti-suffrage laws compared to the eastern United States, Stevenson said. Also, women in Washington had already left behind many of the traditional, domestic expectations for their gender due to the demands of frontier living.

By the 1889 Constitutional Convention, however, women’s right to vote had been removed. Suffragists held their own opposing convention to champion their right to vote. Their convention inspired real discussion of women’s rights and roles as citizens of the new state.

To overcome their opposition, women in the Washington Territory became activists. They built coalitions, signed petitions, separated themselves from Prohibition, moderated elections and even published a cookbook. In a particularly persuasive (and familiar) argument, activist Zerelda McCoy said she would not submit to taxation because she had no representation.

In 1888, to challenge the laws that barred her participation, McCoy went to the polls and voted. Fifteen Washington women had made a similar move in 1870. These were bold statements, since it was another 50 years before the 19th Amendment passed in America.

Through their perseverance, women finally convinced Washington’s Legislature that they wanted and deserved the right to vote. The male voters of Washington approved suffrage in 1910.

Secretary Wyman is the second female elected Republican official. Before her was Josephine Corliss Preston, who was the first woman elected to Washington state government after women won the right to vote in 1910. She served as State School Superintendent.

This event was sponsored by the League of Women Voters and the American Association of University Women.

Retired Washington Supreme Court Justice Gerry Alexander will talk more about Washington’s journey to statehood next month. More information about his upcoming presentation can be found here.

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Time to vote for favorite “Archives Treasure”

Over the past week, we’ve blogged about our three Archives Treasures for February: 1) Photos from the 1969 Black Panther protests at the Capitol; 2) 1976 photos of orcas being captured in Budd Bay near Olympia; and 3) A Colt handgun owned by Hazard Stevens, son of territorial Gov. Isaac Stevens.

Now it’s time to pick your favorite. Please vote for your Archives treasure below. We’ll leave our poll open until this Friday at 4 p.m. Happy voting!

#1 1969 Black Panthers protest photos

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#2 1976 photos of orca capture

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#3  Hazard Stevens’ Colt handgun

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What is your favorite February Archives Treasure?

  • 1969 Black Panthers protest photos (63%)
  • 1976 photos of orca capture (22%)
  • Hazard Stevens' Colt handgun (15%)

Total Voters: 68

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Secretary Wyman unveils 2016 Presidential Primary plan

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Secretary of State Kim Wyman is urging lawmakers to authorize a 2016 Presidential Primary and ensure that voters have a strong voice in the nominating process for the highest office in the land.

Wyman, the state’s chief elections officer, said there will be huge public interest in the wide-open White House race next year, and that voters here deserve to be involved. Unveiling her proposal on Tuesday, she said:

“My goal is to secure a voice for our Washington voters with a plan that assures a meaningful election where the results are used to allocate at least part of the national convention delegates from our state. A primary engages voters and would attract the candidates to our communities to learn about our issues and concerns.”

The Presidential Primary was created by lawmakers in 1989 as an Initiative to the Legislature, and is used in tandem with the caucus/convention process that chooses actual delegates.

The primary draws more than 10 times as many participants than the caucuses. Current state law says the caucus system is “unnecessarily restrictive of voter participation” and disenfranchises members of the armed service, people with work conflicts, those with disabilities and others who might not be able to attend a caucus.

UPDATE: You can watch TVW’s coverage of Wyman’s news conference on her Presidential Primary plan here.

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Archives Treasure #3: Stevens’ 1860 Colt Army model

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The third Archives Treasure for February is the Colt Army Model handgun owned by Hazard Stevens, the son of Isaac Stevens, the first governor of Washington Territory.

The younger Stevens enrolled in Harvard College in 1860, but left at age 19 to join the Union Army during the Civil War. He fought in the Battle of Fredericksburg and served in the Battle of Fort Hunger, for which he received the Medal of Honor.

After the war, Hazard Stevens moved to Washington Territory, where he worked for the Oregon Steam Navigation Company and the federal government. In Olympia, he studied law and became an attorney. Stevens practiced law in Washington and, later, in Massachusetts. Among his noteworthy personal accomplishments was the first documented ascent of Mount Rainier, with P. B. Van Trump, in 1870.

Among Union forces, the Colt .44-caliber “Army” Model was the most widely used revolver of the Civil War.

The first two Archives Treasures this month are photos of the 1969 Black Panthers protest in Olympia and photos of an 1976 orca capture in Budd Bay near Olympia.

We’ll start our online poll Tuesday on these three Archives Treasures so you can choose your favorite.

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Archives Treasures #2: 1976 photos of orca capture

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(Photos courtesy of Washington State Archives)

The State Archives has hundreds of classic photos of all things Washington, including historic events and incidents. One such incident is the topic of our second Archives Treasure for February.

In March 1976, several orcas in Budd Bay were herded and captured by Sea World in an incident that outraged many, including Gov. Dan Evans and one of his assistants, Ralph Munro, who later became Washington’s Secretary of State. The killer whale capture was captured in several photos taken by the state Game Department’s public relations office. Those photos are now part of the Archives.

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The PBS show Frontline has this historical chronology of whale or dolphin captures, which includes the 1976 orca capture in Budd Bay:

“Washington state waters are closed to killer whale captures, in the aftermath of the notorious Budd Inlet killer whale capture of the same year. The whale roundup and capture was witnessed by Ralph Munro, an assistant to Washington State Governor Dan Evans. Munro happened to be sailing in Puget Sound at the time. He reports that Sea World’s captors were using aircraft and explosives to herd and net the whales a clear violation of the terms of their collection permit. When Washington State Governor Dan Evans learned of this, he sued Sea World. All of the whales were eventually released, and a Seattle district court ordered Sea World to give up its permit-granted right to collect killer whales off Washington. Washington state waters became an unofficial sanctuary for killer whales, and so far, no organization has ever again applied to capture killer whales from these waters.”

The third Archives Treasure is coming soon.

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