What Sticker Did Your Teacher Give You Today?

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Remember when you'd work hard on a homework assignment and your teacher would hand it back to you, and alongside her evaluation, she'd put on one of those stickers that said something like "terrific!"? That was a nice touch.

But what if the sticker was all she gave you? And what if, rather than homework, you were filling out a questionnaire on why you should be elected to public office? And what if the feedback wasn't for you, but was really for voters, so they could know who to vote for? What would the sticker tell them?

It sounds totally insane, of course, but it's the annual ritual of the Municipal League, whose many well-meaning volunteers work hard each year to read through reams of responses, do additional research, confer, and produce an inscrutable rating of two words or fewer. Today, the group released its ratings for all the candidates running for office. (They explain the general process behind their ratings here and here.)

Some big winners: political newcomer Joe Mallahan (for Mayor, Outstanding!), perennial candidate Robert Rosencrantz (for City Council Position 8, Outstanding!), and incumbent Tom Carr (for City Attorney, Outstanding!). All exclamation points ours.

Indistinguishable, on the other hand, are aspiring King County Execs Ross Hunter, Fred Jarrett, Dow Constantine, and Larry Phillips. They're all "very good." (This eclectic menage-a-quatre is the preferred arrangement of the 45th District Dems as well.) The big loser in that race? Frontrunner Susan Hutchison, who's only "good."

If you want to get a better feel for the candidates and their qualifications, go ahead and read through the questionnaires. (That the Muni League provides these is their real service to voters.) You yourself can separate the wheat from the chaff, the truly outstanding from the merely very good. You'll be like an honorary Muni League volunteer. Or just an informed voter.

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