Photos by Steve Shay
King County Exec. Dow Constantine's 3rd Annual Filing Week Luncheon took place today, May 18, at the Convention Center. While he doesn't file until 2013, he holds the event to "celebrate the Democratic election process" he said, & to promote candidates running this year. Actor & musician Hal Sparks offered political commentary. FOR SLIDESHOW, CLICK ON PHOTO.

SLIDESHOW: Dow Constantine's Filing Week Luncheon draws 700, including Hal Sparks

SLIDESHOW: Click on photo for more

Nearly 700 filled the Convention Center ballroom Friday for King County Executive Dow Constantine's 3rd Annual Filing Week Luncheon. While he is in mid-term and doesn't file until 2013, he holds the event to "celebrate the Democratic election process" he said, & to promote candidates running this year.

Actor & musician Hal Sparks entertained with political commentary and biting humor, tagging Mitt Romney as a "mindless puppet" with a key lodged in his back. Sparks then pushed for marriage equality, and Referendum 74 expected to come, in Washington State.

Showing their support at the event were Representatives Dave Upthegrove and Joe Fitzgibbon, King County Council member Joe McDermott, Seattle City Council member Tom Rasmussen, King County Assessor Lloyd Hara, State Sen. Ed Murray, and Mimi and Bill Gates, Sr.

In his speech, Constantine quipped, "The GOP did a nationwide search for a compelling presidential standard bearer—and came up with… Mitt Romney.
Seeing as he’s been clinging to the roof rack of their station wagon since 2008, it probably wasn’t that hard to find him."

He added, "This past year we worked together to create the King County Aerospace Alliance and this region secured production of the next generation 737 MAX. We set a course for green jobs and clean energy. We started construction on the deep bore tunnel and the 520 bridge replacement and we are moving forward on bus rapid transit, and yes, new light rail (...) And, yes, for those of you who are into such things, we're working for the return of your Seattle SuperSonics.

"We need a governor and a legislature committed to working with us, committed to advancing our progressive values, committed to creating opportunity and prosperity, not just for the few, but for all the people of this region and the state," Constantine said. "We need a governor and a legislature committed to pushing forward our pro-transit, pro-choice, pro-equal rights, pro-green jobs, pro-big ideas for this region and state. That's why these races matter."

Said Sparks, in support of same-sex marriage, "You guys are about to vote on whether other people get to be themselves (...) That's both awesome and completely messed up (...) In our culture we think that fat is genetic but gay is a choice. I don't care what kind of shape you're in. You can go to the gym and become less fat. You cannot go to the gym and become less gay. In fact, the opposite seems to be true, anecdotally.

"It's not about him," Sparks said, speaking of Mitt Romney. "That's a distraction. He's the puppet show. What the right is coming for is your local officials (...) your school boards, your judges, your lieutenant governors, comptrollers and regulators."

He said that's why it is important to stay active locally and vote.

"That's what the mission of the Democratic Party, the progressives, is, for the next 30 years," he said.

"The trick will be paying more attention, not less," he said. "You've got two major organizations, one is Liberty University, one is the Mormon Church, who are seeding money in this country against marriage equality measures. They did it in California, and in every other state (...) I certainly hope (Referundum 74) allows full marriage rights to help LGBT couples."

Sparks plans to participate in "Stephanie Miller's Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour"
Sept. 29 at the Paramount Theatre. The tour sold out at the Moore Theatre last Oct. 1. Ticket sales from the tour go toward progressive political and local causes.

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