Saturday, July 24, 2004

Downwinders Can Sue

And that's nice since it's only been 14 years since they filed their suit.

Impressions of the Inslee Kick Off

I forgot to bring a pen, so this is all from memory. And I'm sure I forgot some good stuff already.

Someone said there were 400 RSVPs and a good deal of walk ins. I'm not a good judge of a crowd but I think it was smaller than that. But sadly nobody said hey to me, preserving my semi-anonymity.

There were 3 speakers. Hans Dunshee spoke first. He had nice things to say about Inslee. The place was air conditioned, but he had his shirt half unbuttoned. I don't know if that's appropriate.

I've seen Inslee many times over the years, and this was a bit sub-standard for him. It was good but it didn't blow me away as he sometimes has. He talked about the Marriage Protection Act that says the courts can't review it. He dialed his language down a bit from here, I'd say it hit the right note. He told us to get out and work for the 8th and 5th districts, and local races. He didn't mention Alben by name, even though he's endorsed him. I don't know what that means. Then he introduced Joe Wilson.

Wilson brought down the house! The best line was something to the effect that the Bush administration wants to replace the Constitution with the book of revelations. He had praise for Inslee for supporting him early. He presented a convincing case for why the Senate was full of crap for saying his wife recommended him, and then said that it didn't matter anyway because there still wasn't any reason to out her and it was still illegal.

A couple other interesting things: Before the specifying Wilson worked the crowd well. I stood behind him and listened to him talk one on one, and he was a natural.

A couple of LaRoushe crazies commandeered a bit of a table in the back where legit people were handing out literature. I don't know how it happened, but someone probably should have kicked them out.

I talked to the guy who's running for Ruderman's old seat, and I'm moving the seat from a probable loss to a 50-50. So go volunteer for or send money to Larry Springer if you can.

...The King County Democrats have some more.

Prison Problems in the South Sound

The people won't pay for building a regional prison. And they were pretty adamant about it. But of course that doesn't mean that there are less prisoners. And fun ensues!

Friday, July 23, 2004

Inslee Kickoff

It's tomorrow. If you're attending say "hey" to the guy who looks like Jay Buhner, but not really.

Verizon Wants to Raise Rates More than 75%

As part of the rate hike proposed to the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, residential rates would jump by $9.80 per month from $13 to $22.80. Business customer rates would rise 33 percent; from $29.70 per month to $39.50. If the WUTC approves the rate hike, Verizon officials said it would generate only $110 million of the total shortfall.

Hunting of the President

Orcinus was at the premiere, and has some good insights.

As you'd expect, the film takes a great number of short-cuts -- but then, if you wanted a movie that included all the detail in the book, you'd have a 15-hour opus on your hands. McDougal, in a way, represents one of these short-cuts -- because, as the book details, the campaign to bring down Bill Clinton destroyed many people's lives, most of them innocent pawns in a Machiavellian power grab orchestrated by Kenneth Starr and Co.

Even those familiar with the book, though, will be appalled by the extremes to which Starr & Co. went in their efforts to twist a "confession" out of McDougal. Torquemada would have been impressed: Placing her on death row, subjecting her to inmate abuse, even defying a judge's order to change the conditions of her confinement. The wreckage of McDougal's life is both convincing and gut-wrenching, as well as frightening to anyone who contemplates the ramifications of her ordeal for the rest of us.

Thanks to skippy for the heads up.

Slade Defends Sandy Berger

From today's Talking Points Memo:
DOBBS [CNN]: Sandy Berger [Clinton National Security Advisor], accused of, and admitting taking classified documents from the National Archives, those notes, whether copies or originals still unclear. Did the commission review that material . . . ?

GORTON: What we can say unequivocally is we had all of that information. We have every one of those documents. All of them have -- are infused in and are a part of our report.

DOBBS [CNN]: So the commission was denied no information as a result of whatever Sandy Berger did or did not do at the National Archives?

GORTON: That's precisely correct.

It appears that the 911 Commission's credibility is more important to Slade than partisan politics. I am astounded.

State Republican's Abortion Problem

Sandeep Kaushik has a wonderful article about how the moderate face of the Republican party is going to have some trouble when it comes to abortion. I also think especially with Nethercutt and Rossi the fact that they aren't moderates at all will add to that.

Cajun on the Ballot

I still hope it fails but we'll all have a chance to decide in November.

Dear George Nethercutt;

What the hell kind of incompetent moron are you? Your campaign attacked Senator Murray for a vote she cast a decade ago to cut intelligence funding. It was a cheapo attempt to get some traction from the release of the 9/11 commission report.

But since the commission was bipartisan some people didn't like you politicizing it. When the Seattle Times asked you about this you said, "Well, that wasn't my doing, (it) was my campaign's doing."

Don't you have a responsibility to know what your staff is doing? Or at the very least to discipline people who get out of line? Have you done that? I'll assume you haven't.

Faithfully yours,

Carl Ballard

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Patty Murray Kick Off

2 glorious times on Thursday, August 5. In Seattle:
800 Occidental Avenue South
Seattle, Washington

7:00 am Doors Open * 7:30 am Breakfast

And in Spokane:
515 W Sprague Avenue
Spokane, Washington

5:00 pm Doors Open * 5:30 pm Dinner

... This is a few days later, but Democracy for Vancouver says she'll be down there too. But I didn't see a link on Senator Murray's page.

WHEN: Thursday, August 5th, 10:45 am - 12:00 pm

WHERE: ILWU Local 4, 1205 Ingalls Street, Vancouver

RSVP TO BART CATCHING at bart@pattymurray.com or 360-693-6729.

Franken's Endorsement Letter

Shaun has the whole letter. While I'm not thrilled with it because I'm leaning pretty hard toward Senn, it is quite funny.

As you may know, he has spent the last 28 years as a prosecutor, Seattle City Attorney, and as a practicing lawyer. Mark’s experience is what I like to call one of his three E’s. The other two E’s are integrity and energy. Wait. Scrap integrity. Although Mark has it in spades, it does not start with an “E.” I remember learning that at Harvard. But I digress. Let’s get back to his experience.

Car Tab Refunds

They should be coming in the next 90 days.

...And in case you want to know who authored the ruling, but don't like clicking through, it was King County Superior Court Judge Mary Yu.

Monorail Recall Initiative Qualifies

There were enough valid signatures. The lawsuits are still pending though.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

The Bishop Goes to Rome

The Progress has an article on Archbishop Brunett's recent trip to Rome. He met with the Pope on behalf of the Northwest bishops. They discussed how to help the poor, and how to deal with priests who abuse children.

In response to Archbishop Brunett's remarks, Pope John Paul II addressed the Northwest bishops on some sensitive points of debate in the United States, including academic freedom at Catholic universities and the potential strings attached to state funding of church-run hospitals. The pope called on the bishops to place a new and creative emphasis on Catholic identity.

Is the bit about Catholic hospitals a reference to reproductive choice? What other strings would be attached? If anyone knows, let me know.

Labor Links

An anonymous tipster sent me a couple things that local labor is doing.

SEIU local 925 who represent the UW classified staff are at the bargaining table. According to the email, some things they are fighting against are the UWs proposal to:

Let management lay off current UW employees and subcontract work to private companies.

Eliminate step increases and cost-of-living raises, and link future increases to supervisory performance evaluations.

Let departments lay off senior employees before junior employees, based on supervisory performance evaluations.

Eliminate overtime after full-time daily shifts and only pay overtime after 40 hours in a week.

Allow for temporary layoffs with little notice when workload is down, and call workers back when they need us.

Also the Washington State Labor Council is having a "Labor Neighbor program" where union members are encouraged to get out and do doorbelling about the upcoming election. It will start this weekend. You can see their schedule here

Susan McDougal and Hunting of the President

A $50.00 Fundraiser. I got this in an email ostensibly from Governor Locke:

I am asking you to join Mona and me for the Washington State premiere screening of The Hunting of the President, July 21 at the Cinerama Theatre in Seattle. This is a great companion film to Fahrenheit 9/11; a documentary based upon the New York Times best selling book, about the ten year campaign to destroy President Clinton.

To purchase tickets please go to www.wahuntpres.com

All of the proceeds from the film benefit the Washington State Democratic Coordinated Campaign.

That's What I'm Talking About!

I don't know if it's bluster, or if it'll ever come to pass. But it's a good sign that the Monorail board is trying to open 6 months early.

I didn't Realize there was a Surcharge

But the surcharge for cab ride is down.

New Park in Mill Creek

There will be a groundbreaking today for the Willis D. Tucker Community Park in Mill Creek.

The park, named for Snohomish County's first executive, covers 84 acres and is at 134th Place Southeast and Snohomish Cascade Drive.

RIP Ken Saucier


Ken Saucier, the blunt, often controversial head of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, died early this morning in a car crash near the Idaho border. He was 40.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Nethercutt and Wild Sky

I wonder about the guy. He sent his own letter a few days ago, but now he can't be bothered to join with most of the rest of the delegation?

A majority of Washington's Congressional delegation united Monday behind a proposed Wild Sky Wilderness, but missing from their ranks was the Republican congressman who boasts he's the lawmaker who will make it happen.

The state's two U.S. senators and seven of its nine representatives urged the leader of the House Resources Committee to take action on a bill protecting more than 100,000 acres in the Skykomish River and Beckler River areas north of Index. A hearing is set for 8 a.m. Thursday.

"Over three years of bipartisan effort have gone into this popular and important proposal," lawmakers wrote in a letter delivered to U.S. Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Calif., the committee chairman. All the signers are co-sponsors of the wilderness bill authored by U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash.

Republican U.S. Reps. George Nethercutt, who says he supports protecting Wild Sky, and Doc Hastings, who says he's neutral, did not sign.

Ranchero Music Coming to Seattle

Mexican-style prrogramming and music has been hard to find around Seattle except for a few small stations. That's about to change as KNWX-1210 in Auburn-Federal Way, has been sold and is changing from all-business to a Regional Mexican format. KNWX is a fairly high power station and has good coverage in the South Sound.

For you history buffs, KNWX started operation as KASY, licensed to Auburn before it was swept up by Viacom as KBSG-AM and later sold to present owner Entercom. Over the last few years it has been KTTH ("The Truth") and then flipped call letters and formats with Entercom's 770 station after they took Big Pharma Rush away from KVI. The new KNWX owner is Bustos Media Holdings LLC, headed by Amador S. Bustos of Granite Bay, CA, who owns nine other stations in Portland, California, and Texas.

DOE May Stop Nuclear Waste Shipments

If they follow through on this, it would be a big victory for the state. It would only be voluntary until the case is decided. But still, it's a start.

Al Franken Endorses Sidran

They apparently went to Harvard together.

The Archbishop and Communion

Well it isn't wonderful. Obviously he still takes the Church's position on abortion. He says that the Church should still give communion to pro-choice politicians who present themselves. But he seemed to say that they shouldn't ask for it in the first place.

Still I most must applaud him for saying that the Church shouldn't get too involved in the political process. In his time as Archbishop, he has helped maintain a clear line between church and state, and for that he should be applauded.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Joel Staloch

Democracy for Vancouver is trying to raise some scratch for Joel Staloch.

If you can, chip in some turkee for a great candidate:


Website: www.citizensforjoel.com
Email: joel@citizensforjoel.com

Now obviously I'm not as much of a hardcore Deaniac (having been a Clarkie at the caucus) as someone who would start a "Democracy For ..." website. So I'm not enamored with him simply because he's a Dean delegate. Still I love the people who are taking on the Republicans on their turf. He and Debi Srali, and others like them have a good chance of moving the legislature to a much more solid Democratic place.

Non Profits and city Budgets

There will probably be a hit next year to nonprofits that have government funding. At least according to a letter by the Oly city council. But with budget shortfalls all over, it will probably be repeated a lot next year. At least Olympia is being honest about it.

Locke and Boeing Tax Credits

Governor Locke is crowing about the 3000 jobs that Boeing is going to create. He says the $3.2 billion tax package he shepherded is responsible for them. Assuming that all 3000 jobs will be in Washington (they won't) that's over a million dollars per job.

So according to various people it took a crooked tanker deal, and/or a tax break of $3.2 billion. If Boeing hired you because of this, it's beyond a shadow of a doubt a good thing for you. But for the state, and for the nation it's penny wise and pound foolish.

A couple days ago, I talked about some things that the Federal government could do that would be better for jobs and I also think about what the state could have done with 3.2 billion dollars. Fair tax cuts across the state would have probably produced more than 3000 jobs throughout various sectors. We could have given 100% tax credits for employee salaries up to 50,000 to small businesses that hire new people. Imagine how many more mechanics, plumbers, farmers, waitresses, and others the state would hire then.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Senate Finance Numbers

Numbers from the Spokesman-Review.

Last Quarter Raised:
Murray-$1.8 million
Nethercutt-$2.2 million

Cash On Hand:
Murray-$5.9 million
Nethercutt-$2.7 million

Last Quarter Spent:
Nethercutt-more than $1 million

Raised from Individuals:
Murray-$1.5 million
Nethercutt-$1.9 million

Raised from PACs:
Nethercutt- $228,000

Mental Health Care, and Medicaid

Through a combination of bad policies at the state and federal levels, funding for Medicaid for Washington State's mentally ill is drying up. This means more mentally ill on the street. It means more of them will go to jail.

The jail has three full-time counselors and a part-time nurse to help mentally ill inmates. Their job is not to treat the prisoners, he [Steve Thompson, Snohomish County corrections director] said.

"This is a detention center, not a rehabilitation center," Thompson said. "But we're becoming more and more a default service provider for the mentally ill."

People who had treatment in group homes will be more likely to use our hospitals for treatment that they are getting now. The burdens of that will push up hospital rates. It will make beds less available.

So hospitalization and prison will cost us money.

The funding changes will cost taxpayers more in the long run, he predicted. Taxpayers will not only have to pay the average $62 a day to house the prisoners. They'll also have to pay for police time to deal with mentally ill people committing minor crimes, Carden said.

There are a few people who are trying to make it better. Eileen Cody is leading a task force. But anything that does get decided won't happen until the next legislature. And that may be too late.

The state has until Jan. 1 to get in step with Medicaid rules.

Health care organizations are already moving patients out of treatment and have stopped accepting new ones

Revoke it

I don't mind if you use your pulpit time to push a particular candidate. Or if you try to register 60,000 people to vote for that candidate. But you shouldn't do it tax free.

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