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Saturday, July 31, 2004

Letters

Mike Cooper has a nice forum for writing letters to the editor in your region. Since he's running a statewide race, this is also a good way to track down more local papers if the sidebar on this blog fails you.



Snohomish County Police Arrest 18 Johns

On highway 99 South of Everett.

The men were cited for patronizing a prostitute, which carries a $500 fine for the first offense. Police also cited some for drugs and traffic violations, and one man was found with a weapon.

Others had criminal histories, including one who had been arrested for unlawful imprisonment of a juvenile. Another had been shot a decade ago after pointing a gun at police. Others were repeat offenders.



Weak Candidates

The 7 house members who are running for re-election all face weak opponents. That's not to say that a shift couldn't take place. I was expecting an epic battle here in the 1st until Hague dropped out. And this new person (whose name I forget) could surprise us. The 4th is still winnable, but it's a long shot.



Cheney Back in Washington

Here. He apparently thinks that one of the "important differences" between his ticket and the Kerry/Edwards ticket is that Kerry and Edwards would pay for body armor for the troops, where he and Bush would just put it on credit. So really that's the best he can come up with. I for one am shaking in my boots.

I have a few other important differences.

*Kerry/Edwards won't lie us into a war.
*Kerry and Edwards have been good on the environment, Bush/Cheney have been a disaster.
*Edwards won't convene a secret energy taskforce.
*Edwards won't be receiving money from the largest Iraq war contractor.



Friday, July 30, 2004

Featured Dem: Laurie Dolan

There seems to be some interest in the Democrats running for the legislature where our time and money can make a difference. So over the next few weeks I'm going to feature a few Democrats and hopefully funnel some cash, and more importantly boots on the ground for their campaigns. I'm thrilled to start off with Laurie Dolan.

A 4th generation Spokane resident, Laurie Dolan has roots in the community that go back to 1897. She taught in Spokane schools for three decades, and she knows the value of education. She knows that an investment in education is an investment in keeping Spokane and Washington vital.



Laurie faces an uphill battle in a district that hasn't voted Democrat since the New Deal. But she came within 2000 votes of a victory 2 years ago against incumbent, and then senate majority leader Jim West. Well Jim has retired from the senate, and he's been replaced with the less well known Brian Murray. Laurie Dolan will face either Murray or his primary opponent rep Brad Benson in November.

You can contribute to Laurie Dolan here.
Or you can write her campaign here. I couldn't find a volunteer page, so you might want to write her "Dear Laurie, put me to work!" or something to that effect.



Robocalling

I just got called for the Patty Murray kick off. I'm happy to report that she called it "Seahawks Stadium." Also she's added Vancouver to the Seattle and Spokane events on the 5th. Yakima and the Tri Cities events will be on the 6th.



Emergency Hanford Shutdown

An alert issued for a nuclear power plant on the Hanford nuclear reservation was canceled about two hours after the Columbia Generating Station underwent an emergency shutdown Friday.

State emergency officials said there was no release of radiation and no danger to the public.

Rob Harper, spokesman for the Washington state Emergency Operations Center, said the plant was shut down manually because of a failure in the automated shutdown system.



County Council Size

It isn't a big issue for me one way or the other. I mean yeah it's probably better if the council is smaller. But we're not talking about huge savings. And I'm concerned about changing the charter by initiative. But I'm always suspicious when Tim Eyman gets involved.



Nearly 550,000 Uninsured Washingtonians

It's a disgrace. The insurance commissioner office just released a report. In 2002 we had 550,000 of our friends and neighbors without insurance. And just in case you think that the alternative is some sort of socialized medicine, guess who's picking up the tab now?
In all, Washington hospitals provided almost $90 million worth of charity care, which is defined as services rendered to patients who are unable to pay. An additional $228 million in uncompensated care was written off as bad debt from patients unwilling to pay or provided as charity care by doctors and other health-care providers.

And then there's those of us whose benefits are crappy, but at least we have something.

Also check out this graphic breakdown of where this is the biggest crisis.



Thursday, July 29, 2004

Open Thread

Possible topics:
Who needs our $ and our volunteer hours most?
How'd you like John Kerry's speech (although this one I think you can get on any blog in the blogosphere)?
Funny bumper stickers.
Anything you want!



We're a Target

Slade Gorton says that King County and the Port of Seattle are high on the list of terrorist targets. Yikes.



Kerry Watching Parties

I wish I'd thought of this earlier, but here's what the: Debi Srali people are doing:

Join Debi's friends and neighbors as we celebrate the nomination of John Kerry and John Edwards as the Democratic candidates that will send Bush back to Crawford. We will be having a Kerry party on Thursday, July 29, at 4:00 PM, at the Roundtable Pizza on 27th Avenue in University Place. We will be watching the acceptance speech, and participating in a live call with John Edwards from the convention at 4:00, with replays at 5:00 and 6:00!

In Eastern Washington? Here's how the Spokane County Young Dems are handling the event:

Thurs, July 29
4:00pm: Conference Call with John Edwards.
Coordinated Campaign HQ
5:00pm: Watch John Kerry accept his nomination.
David's Pizza

Somebody better tell me what they think of the Edwards conference call.

I'm pretty sure I saw something on the Democracy For Vancouver webpage, but it's down for me at the moment.

... OK, here's the DFV stuff:

Join us to watch the next President of the United States accept his nomination from the Democratic Party!! Come enjoy the moment with food, snacks, and fellow Democrats!!

When: Thursday, July 29th - 5:00 PM
Where: Clark County Democrat Headquarters - 7610 NE 5th Avenue (off 78th Street in Hazel Dell)
Who: Democrats and Friends, Family, and Guests with the People for Patty Murray!
Contact: People for Patty Murray Campaign - 360.693.9242 - Judi May, Volunteer Coodinator - Judith@pattymurray.com - Please RSVP!



Street Car

I love the current street car. Whenever I'm downtown with nothing to do and a bus pass or a transfer, I always hop on and ride. It feels silly, I know. And a bit too touristy. But it lets you off right by my favorite book store, and it's quite a fun ride. Now the city council wants Sound Transit to expand it to the International District.

Seven council members sent a letter to Sound Transit, asking the public-transit agency to consider financing an extension of Seattle's only current streetcar line, which runs along the waterfront and up to South Jackson Street and Fifth Avenue. Council members want that line to go into the Chinatown International District and up South Jackson Street to 12th Avenue South at the least, and possibly to 23rd Avenue South.



Spill Over

A federal judge in Oregon ruled that the government can't cut its spill over in dams in the Snake and Columbia. This means that water will be safer for salmon than if it went through turbines.



Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Problem Gambling

Because the tribes are the biggest casino operators. As such they are a large seed of problem gambling. But because of the fact that they are sovereign nations, they can't be taxed to fund relief of problem gambling. This has led to the legislature proposing putting the burden on card rooms, and other non-tribal casinos. And since these proposals are unfair, it's been tough to get them to go anywhere.

But now the tribes are pitching in more and things may advance.

Several tribes recently have committed large contributions to the Washington State Council on Problem Gambling, and the Muckleshoot tribe last month announced that it also would send a $350,000 check directly to the state to pay for problem gambling treatment.

And in a significant diplomatic step, Tulalip Tribes Chairman Stanley Jones Sr. last week sent a letter to Locke, promising to be "the first tribe to commit to a process of negotiation with the State to arrive at a more permanent solution to address the needs of problem gamblers."

"As the governments responsible for operating or licensing gaming activities in Washington State," Jones wrote in the July 22 letter, "together we share a responsibility to concern ourselves with the negative impacts of these activities regardless of how relatively few of our respective patrons may be affected."



Inslee Convention Blogging

The Congressman is at the convention, and is posting about it on the campaign blog. And I like that he found a reasonable way to combine the Franklin Stove and energy policy in one post. Kudos!



Gay Marriage in Court

The first of many legal arguments was held yesterday in King County Superior Court.



Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Patty Murray Blogad

I just noticed her ad on atrios, although it isn't really catchy, so maybe it's been there for a while. There is a picture of Nethercutt with the caption "Don't send another clone to Washington!" then there is the appeal:

Patty Murray is an independent, progressive Democrat, and the Bush Administration will stop at nothing to beat her in 2004. George Nethercutt is just another right-wing Republican clone. We need your help to keep out the clones – contribute now to keep an independent voice in the Senate!


Here's where it directs you to. So if you were thinking of contributing to her campaign, this link will show blog advertising is effective.

... There's also one on Kos. Different picture. As far as I can tell it takes you to the same place.



Smith

Did anybody see Adam Smith's speech? I only saw Heinz-Kerry, so I don't know if his was any good. But I'd like a report since it wasn't on his web page as of this posting.



Race Still Not a Tiebreaker in Seattle Schools

From the PI

Tuesday's decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals could send the convoluted legal fight to the U.S. Supreme Court. The district suspended the practice in 2002 in the midst of a convoluted legal fight.


Convoluted? Honestly, if you're having trouble following the case, maybe the PI should find another reporter. I realize that this was somewhat rushed for the web, and believe me, I know that can lead to mistakes, and odd phrasing. But I don't have an editor.



I Watched the Convention on C-SPAN

So I missed the new Sidran Ads.

You can view it here, but be forewarned, it kind of sucks.



Cheney in Kennewick

First of all, let me say I'm glad he got out. If he'd stayed much longer scientists would have put him on display in the Burke. And really that's just not a very dignified thing for a VP.

But while he was here, he told a crowd of Republicans about some people he doesn't like. He doesn't much like Senate Democrats. And he thinks we need "some new judges" on the 9th circuit.



Monday, July 26, 2004

Jay Walking

A few years ago I was talking to a friend of mine from New York and he said that when Rudy Giuliani tried to crack down on jay walking to a man the police ignored his directives. If only our cities (and I use the term sparingly to describe Olympia) acted like that.



We're Number 2!

Washington has the second-most digitally advanced state government in the nation, following only Michigan, according to a new study released by the Center for Digital Government.



Night Vandals

According to this from Democracy For Vancouver, signs for Democratic candidates are turning up missing or damaged while Republican signs are fine. This sort of activity is (a) illegal and (b) silly. I don't really like signs on public property, and I've removed Republican signs from my property. But really this is pretty petty.



Pants on Fire

Ben Cohen's Pants on Fire tour is now in Spokane and is coming to Seattle next week.



Pipeline Safety

Although the feds say things are improving with inspections, there are still problems.

Among those concerns: Natural-gas distribution lines are not yet regularly inspected and tested; the environmental permitting process should be expedited so pipelines can be more quickly repaired or relocated if problems are found; and the government needs to clarify which federal departments are responsible for pipeline security.



Sunday, July 25, 2004

Dem Candidates

The state Dems have a web page with every candidate for office from Kerry to the state house.



Gregoire Hides Public Records

Governor-apparent Christine Gregoire has joined her buddies on the Supreme Court to further emasculate the Public Disclosure Act.



Filing Week

Last chance to run for something is this Friday. Although it's my understanding that the parties can still file for people in some instances.



22nd District

It's presumably a safe Dem seat. There are 4 people running as Dems, and whoever wins will probably be good. That said, based on this article and this short summary from the Central web page, I hope Nadine Romero wins the primary.

The latest to jump into the 22nd legislative race is Nadine Romero, a hydrologist for the Squaxin Island Tribe and a Democrat. Romero, who worked six years for the Department of Ecology, believes her background in science and recent training in public administration make her a unique candidate to take the place of Rep. Romero.

The newcomer Romero, who is not related to the incumbent, said she also would bring diversity to the Legislature as an environmentalist and as a Mexican-American woman who grew up in a rural area and used higher education as a route out of poverty.

"In our statehouse, we have teachers, farmers, lots of attorneys, but zero scientists," Romero said in her campaign announcement last week. In an interview, she added that she hopes to push for better funding and an expansion of higher education so B students can still get into the state's institutions.



The Times List of Friends (and Enemies)

The Sunday Seattle Times has a big list of Washington's top 50 political donors. With the exception of Bill Gates, Jr., who gives to both parties, 16 of the top 20 donors give to Democrats. And thanks to #6 and #8, I always feel better about my semi-weekly trips to Costco.

And I would like to remind everyone that the ownership of both Walmart and Sam's Club are heavily Republican. Please Shop Wisely.

It was fun to see Harriett Bullitt at #45. The legacy continues!



Local Flavor in the National Event

I've already blogged about natasha from Pacific Views going to the National Convention. Some of the Democracy For Vancouver contributors are heading down.



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