Born in Michigan, named after the 2nd listed Gospel author, a Son of America, Mark's interest in politics began at an early age, as he sent a speech to the White House while in the 5th grade, and received plaudits from one of Lyndon Johnson's aides. Mark spent his formative years in the Midwest. Mark served in the United States Marines from 1972 - 1974 (active duty), and rose to the rank of Corporal (E-4). As a former candidate for office, Mark won his first political victories in Alaska primaries for the U.S. House of Representatives (2000 & 2002), and has since gained wide political recognition in the Northwest, garnering over 150,000 unique votes over the years throughout the length and breadth of Washington and Alaska.
Mark's academic prowess includes a degree from a Minnesota college, so now a legal assistant, numerous political articles as displayed on his various blogs, written poetry and plays, and a well-versed statesman who has visited the continents of Asia and Europe, including several countries, such as Slovakia (in 1999) and Russia (in 2002), and the ancient cities of Hong Kong (in 1992 & 1993), Athens (in 1997) and Rome (in 2001).
Today, Mark wants to serve as your Director of Elections in King County; a director that realizes that the empowerment of your citizen vote is a primary mission, that checking machines constantly through hand counts is all-important, and that safeguards against hackers & any kind of invalid voting is essential. Unlike some past directors, Mark won't be a puppet of partisan or all-but-partisan county executives.
Unfortunately, there has been no shyness about politicizing King County Elections, recently, despite that mixing elections bureaucracy with activism is a political minefield. I'll return the office to independence and neutrality, as it should be, not a tool in the chest box of the "Constantine Machine." Being neutral means not being cozy with professional politicians or partisan organizations, which is why I don't ask for their endorsements.
I'll have a simple "electoral practices" section in public pamphlets rather than spending a million dollars of taxpayers' money for so-called Voters' Education, which is more or less a partisan program. I'll actually look for possible fraudulent or erroneous registrations (of a number of kind) rather than going by the present honor system.
You would think that the election for Director of Elections would be the sterling example for how elections should be operated. Think again. From the mainstream media stiff arming election coverage if they have settled on an outcome they want, to civic formats becoming suddenly "unavailable," and disdain or appropriation of the process by those most advantaged by these shenanigans.
My site has the full extent of qualifying information about me. There's also a list of the election department's malfunctions, where currently the director gets a yearly salary of a tad shy of $190,000 (I'll donate 10% every year to charities; send me some ideas).
I have a healthy distrust of vote tabulation machines, but they're in place, so I'll have hand counts of precincts & jurisdictions, broadly, randomly ... maybe, solely someday. With redistricting right around the corner, I'll be consulting with the Secretary of State's office, often, to ensure that the required changes are implemented & lawful.
I don't take voting orders from 20 folks at the Seattle Times and "The Stranger," I hope you don't either. Thanks!