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Saturday, July 03, 2004

8th District Fundraising Numbers

link

*Alben raised about $272,000, $100,000 of his own money. His cash on hand is about $571,000.

*Ross raised $74,000 and has about $50,000 on hand.

*Heidi won't release her info until the deadline.



Neither Smoking Initiative Qualifies

And that's OK by me, because I didn't like either of them. So now how's about we have the legislature say it's OK for cities and counties to do whatever they want.



Friday, July 02, 2004

Gregoire Settles Suit, Covers Ass (Again)

Loyal reader Ms. American Pie points us to today's announcement that Governor-apparent Christine Gorton Eikenberry Gregoire has settled Janet Capps' wrongful termination suit for nearly $500,000. In typical fashion, Chris calls this a victory for us taxpayers.

Chris fired Capps after the state failed to appeal a jury verdict. To review, a jury of our peers awarded $17.8 million dollars "to three developmentally-disabled men who were sexually and physically abused at a state-licensed adult facility."

It seems to me that the verdict was justified and that the state should not have appealed. Although the AG is required to defend state agencies, this same AG has one or more employees stationed inside each and every state agency and had plenty of opportinuities to settle this case. Consequently, it seems to me that the AG has bungled this case from the start. These sorts of shenanigans are among the reasons for my belief that Christine G.E. Gregoire is a very bad choice for Governor.



Baird Townhall Meeting

Link. He's done many, I'm sure. I'm only mentioning this one because the article gives a nice run down of lots of his positions.

Baird, a three-term Democrat from Vancouver, explained his opposition to the new Medicare prescription drug program for seniors. He described it as full of coverage gaps, much costlier than advertised and in need of repair by a future -- Democrat- controlled -- Congress.

Baird also talked about his efforts to let Washington residents who itemize take a sales-tax deduction on their federal tax returns, to get better protective gear for military personnel going to Iraq and to give mental-health care to returning soldiers. He also defended a vote on a symbolic House resolution that recognized the right of a Palestinian state but also legitimized the taking of lands by a country's military, such as Israel's in Gaza Strip.



Open Thread

Possible topics:

What are you doing on the 4th?
Is it just me or do Metro busses smell worse recently?



Moore Information Poll

It's a Republican polling firm, but still, it's a poll of the state. 2 weeks ago in parenthesis.

Kerry: 43 (45)
Bush: 43 (44)
Nader: 4 (4)
Undecided: 10 (7)
(MoE: ±4%)

(via Swing State Project)



Will they be able to smoke?

We're planning to ship off 300 prisoners to a private prison in Colorado.

It's the first deal the state has reached with Corrections Corp. of America of Nashville, Tenn., which manages 66,000 prisoners in 38 private facilities across the country.

Corrections Corp. is the No. 5 manager of inmate populations and is the largest private corrections management company, ranking behind just the Federal Bureau of Prisons and three states, according to a CCA spokeswoman.



Cost of war

The PI has a list of the dead in Iraq and Afghanistan who are associated with Washington State. For many it just means being based out of Ft. Lewis. But lots of them lived here.



Surplus at KCTS

It's quite a turn around. And of course it came at the expense of several fine employees.



King County May Outlaw Discrimination

Against gender identification. This is the sort of law you'd have thought we'd have passed years ago.



Thursday, July 01, 2004

Mentally Ill to hit the Streets

From the Bellingham Herald but I'm sure it's being repeated elsewhere:

Police, the jail and services for the homeless will be busier in the months ahead as hundreds of people lose mental health services in Whatcom County.

That was the unanimous opinion Wednesday from law enforcement and social service professionals after news that about 300 county residents will lose services as a result of a new federal rule.

The government has mandated an end to a 10-year practice of using Medicaid money to pay for mental health services for needy non-Medicaid patients. The money will still be used in the mental health system, but can only be used to support those eligible for Medicaid.



Thurston County Domestic Partnerships

Although the three biggest cities in Thurston County have domestic partnership registry, the county on the whole doesn't. They County commission is considering expanding the domestic partnership registry to the whole county. This would mean rural South Thurston and Evergreen (I think) would get in. The first step is July 12. Public hearings to follow.



Charisma




Smoke 'em if you got 'em

And you're a prisoner.



Don't Drink the Water

At Seattle Public Schools. And maybe read the damn memos. Don't wait two years.



Hey Eastsiders, Adopt a cat if you can

Eastside animal shelters are trying to cope with a feline baby boom — one of the busiest kitten seasons in years.

A mild winter may have brought on an early breeding season, and the Mercer Island Eastside Orphans and Waifs (MEOW) shelter in Kirkland is overflowing with about 100 more kittens than normal.

Volunteers are having trouble figuring out what to do with 411 cats and kittens at the shelter or in foster homes.



Atty General Going After Spam?

This Times article about the Attorney General's office going after "Nature's Advantage" sounds like someone at the office didn't like their spam. Although the article (and presumably) the lawsuit focus on consumer protection, it has all the hallmarks of a spammer. Dubious advertisements about enhancing a sexual organ. Outright lies on a crazy website.



Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Spokane County YD Social

link

Friday, July 9th
7208 E. Bigelow Gulch Road (Just west of Bruce)


YD Appreciation BBQ, 6:30pm
Joining us...
YDs from all over the state
Sen. Lisa Brown, Rep. Timm Ormsby
Candidates: Don Barbieri, Laurie Dolan, Tim Hattenburg, Jim Peck, Tom Hargreaves


YD Social with State YDs, 8:00pm



Local Offices

I don't know when the filing deadline is, but it'll be coming up soon. I'd like to make a challenge to anyone out there. Run for something small and local, especially if there isn't another Democrat running. I'm talking about fire, or sewer commissioner. I'm talking about dog catcher if its an elected position where you are.

Anyone who has aspirations to go up the ladder, this is a great way to start. It gets your name on a ballot, gives you a chance to campaign, and if you lose it isn't the end of the world. So here's the deal: I'll give name recognition, and some begging for money to any local people who are running unopposed as a Democrat (or to Non Partisans, if that's the position) for a minor office. And I challenge any of you reading this who's ever thought about running for office to run for something unopposed now.

...OK, "name recognition" is probably a little outside of my grasp. But the rest of it holds.



Dear Bothell,

You're proposing forcing the homeless in tent city to pay for their own security now. Some people will say this is insane, but I say it doesn't go far enough. Why not deny fire coverage to the poor? And I have a brilliant idea for the elderly: have you ever seen Soylant Green?



Sims' Tax Page

It's a little cumbersome, but here it is.



Hillary and Patty

They look good together. The PI had a better picture in its dead tree version, but I didn't see it on line.


...And of course Big Dog will be in Issiquah and Elliott Bay Books today.



Tuesday, June 29, 2004

End of the Quarter

I know you've been bugged by loads of blogs that the quarter ends June 30. That means that a benchmark that campaigns can compare one another against is coming up. So if you want to give money, an important deadline is coming up. You can look at the side bar, or give to the state, or national, or your local Dems.

Ok, enough pitch from me. I feel uncomfortable asking for money, even for other people. I know it's important, but really, it seems strange for some guy on a blogspot account to beg for cash.



Fire Season

There's lots of burning already. I hope the cuts to the Department of Natural Resources didn't run too deep.



Police Labor Unions Endorse Esser

It could be a hit to Reichert.



Jay Inslee Makes Washington Post

Washington Post Columnist E.J Dionne quotes Congressman Jay Inslee:
"There's a passion out there." And the passion, Inslee says, is running against George W. Bush

(Note: free registration required)

UPDATE: Atrios also quotes Inslee (and also cites Congressman Brian Baird, whose contribution I missed somehow).



Monday, June 28, 2004

Snohomish County Expanding Parks

In this phase of Willis Tucker Park, the county expects to spend about $4 million, out of an estimated $8 million needed to complete the park.

"We do these parks in phases as we're able to raise the dollars instead of waiting until we raise all the money," Krandall said. "Most of the new community parks to be done over the next five years are all $5 to $8 million at full build-out."

The 84-acre Willis Tucker Park will have two full-sized baseball fields, a playground, picnic facilities, a community activity center and a small amphitheater, he said. The county is developing about a fourth of he park now. Construction should begin by Aug. 1.



Eyman to Submit Signatures

Tim Eyman has 235,000 signatures for I-892. That's above the number necessary, but below the padding that initiative sponsors generally like.



Pride

It looks like the parade went well.



Dear Ralph Nader,

The Republicans are locking up people for months essentially for being young male Muslims. They invade other countries without justification. They used state power (and an assist from you) to steal the last election. But Democrats have "authoritarian tendencies" because we point out that many signatures you gathered were illegal, and many of the rest were with Republican help?

Kiss, kiss,

Carl Ballard



Sunday, June 27, 2004

F911

It looks like it'll be doing well. I saw it yesterday pretty far out in the suburbs, and the line was quite long. It was a lot harder to watch than BFC or Moore's other movies. Not that it was devoid of humor, only that there were long stretches without a laugh, and some of them were quite jarring.

... What he said.



Gift Certificates

Well the legislature has trouble with water reform. Their transit package didn't do anything about the Viaduct. Tax reform didn't happen. But at least they made gift certificates better, so that's important. Now they don't expire.



I like the Beard

I don't trust any man who doesn't grow facial hair from time to time. Even if it's just the occasional mutton chops or a firefighter mustache. Don Barbieri wears his nicely.



Alben on the War

Alex Alben has an awesome blog post about the war in Iraq. It isn't super revealing, but it is good to have politicos talking about it. Also as someone who didn't have to vote on the war in 2002, he has a bit of a different perspective than most members of Congress, so he kind of skirts that. Still overall quite good.

Let's get real here. We have all heard the post-war justifications for the war. Many of the thoughts expressed appeal to our idealism and patriotism. Yet the war was sold to the American public and Congress on the basis of "imminent threat" to the safety of American citizens and an active collaboration between Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda that definitively did not exist.

As someone who cares deeply about the course of our foreign policy, I urge every citizen to seriously and soberly reflect on what has transpired and question whether we can entrust our most sacred duty--the decision to go to war--to an administration that has betrayed our trust.



Tax Reform

The Olympian is absolutely right. You can't have tax reform without talking about tax reform. After the questioners, a lot of you had similar things to say about Sims.

Sims calls the tax reform issue "the elephant in the living room," which everyone recognizes but few people are willing to talk about. Sims is right. Tax reform needs to be an integral part of the gubernatorial debate this summer and fall.

...

At a speech at Panorama City earlier this month, Sims said, "If I'm elected governor, and I think that I will, I can say people want tax reform," Sims said. "She can't say that."



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