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Saturday, August 14, 2004

State Workers Negotiation

I don't know all the issues, but 19 state unions are negotiating contracts with the governor's office. They literally have a wheelbarrow full of signatures supporting their position.




Governor's Ads

I haven't seen either of them on the air, but here's Sims' and here's Gregoire's. I think they are both pretty good. I can't figure out where Gregoire is in the last scene where she's talking, but it looks aweful familiar.



Citicens' Advisory Board Says Tent City is Necessary

link

Thirteen members of the Citizens' Advisory Commission on Homeless Encampments (CACHE) voted that the encampments are needed but made clear that is only because King County has not done a good job of addressing and ending its homeless problem. Four voted that the camps are unnecessary.

The commission was created in June to conduct a needs assessment for tent cities and to suggest guidelines for county decision making. The 22 voting and nonvoting panel members represent each of the County Council's 13 districts, as well as church groups, social-service agencies, government, business, suburban cities and law enforcement.



Democratic Underground Campaign Page

I'm sure you know most of it, but still they have some good info.



Is NWCN Slanted?

This morning Northwest Cable News (NWCN) is reporting that John Kerry drew "more than 10,000" yesterday in Portland, contradicting virtually every other (see here and here). Here's my email to them:

Sirs,

You are reporting that John Kerry drew a crowd of 10,000 in Portland. Every other news source estimates that the crowd was between 40,000 and 60,000. Why do you think that you can mislead your viewers like this?

Yours Very Truly,

Brenda L. Helverson

I will post any reply

UPDATE I: "Dear Brenda Helverson- We have received your comment and will get back with you shortly." [I wonder if I should hold my breath?]

Update Ia from The Oregonian: The Portland fire marshal's office estimated that about 50,000 people greeted Kerry beneath a 90-degree midday sun.

Update II: Abeent a reply, your humble servant here sent another email to NWCN that included the original message. Now I now have three "get back to you soon" messages. Breath-holding continues.



Friday, August 13, 2004

Bush Visit Open Thread

Who went to protests? Was it fun? Did you get to wave your sign at the motorcade for a fleeting second as an indifferent (and lets face it probably illiterate) president passed by? Is the text of the speech somewhere? What did you think?



Seattle Center Monorail Will Move Again

By December the Seattle Center Monorail will start running again. So it won't miss a tourist season.



Strategic Vision Pres. Poll for WA

This is what I like to see.

Bush/Cheney: 42
Kerry/Edwards: 51

...Bush/Cheney: 42
Kerry/Edwards: 49
Nader:1

MOE +- 3 in both



Monorail Recall Illegal

It won't make it on the ballot. The reasons weren't the ones I was hoping it would be turned down on, but good news nonetheless.

...Fixed the link



Thursday, August 12, 2004

Featured Dem: Debi Srail

There seems to be some interest in the Democrats running for the legislature where our time and money can make a difference. I'm featuring a few Democrats and hopefully it will funnel some cash, and more importantly boots on the ground to their campaigns. From Southern Washington to the South Sound, our next Featured Dem is Debi Srail.

There are two reasons why I like Debi Srali. First Srali is a true lefty. She is pushing for single payer for the state. She wants to implement the Gates Commission.

Second, I adore her campaign manager. IsraelHand is a poster here, and on Kos. He’s engaging, and fun to read. And she’s quite upbeat about Srail.



Srail is probably the longest shot of the featured Dems. The 28th District is in the Tacoma suburbs. Position 1 has an entrenched incumbant in Gigi Talcott. But Talcott hasn’t done much in the legislature in 12 years. But when she does act up it’s for charter schools, and putting restrictions on abortions.

So far Srail is running on a shoestring budget. She’s making use of blogspot for a webpage (I understand that obviously, but it isn’t the most professional). Still it isn’t hopeless, and a little money or some voulenteer time (email them and ask to be put to work) could really make a difference.



Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Open Thread

And light posting tomorrow. But there should be a new featured Dem. So that's something.



I was Just Polled

On the AG race of all things. It seemed like they were trying out things for both candidates, so I couldn't get a read on that if it was for someone. The firm was Venture Data. Random highlight, and really it says rather more than I care to admit that there's a highlight of me being polled:

"If you knew that Mark Sidran was endorsed by Governor Locke, all the Democratic county attorneys general, and talk show host Al Franken, would you vote for him?"

"No, I still like Senn better, but you should read that Franken letter, it's quite funny"



Ladies

Reading Mr. Liberal's most recent post on Kos, I realized that in the next session we're probably not going to have a woman in the House from Washington. Sandy Matheson of course could still win a primary and a general, but Doc Hastings is an uphill battle for sure. And we'll have two women in the Senate, and maybe one in the governor's mansion. But really, for the state with the highest percentage of women in the legislature, this is pretty pathetic.



King County Homeless News

Earlier (and I missed it) Mayor Nickels has decided not to be a hard ass on the feeding programs. They had been moved around a bit, and Nickels had originally planned to shut them down. But now they can stay at City Hall Park for a while.

Meanwhile Tent City won't be at Northshore United Church of Christ. They will move to a more industrial area of Woodenville. It's a decent compromise for now.



Bush in Medina II, some more thoughts

I think it's fair to say that Bush wouldn't be spending as much time here if he weren't trying to raise money. So in that sense I think it's to Kerry's advantage to be able to actually focus on swing states, rather than have to come here and beg. I don't know how much money he has, but it is strange that he needs to do fundraising still. I don't know what happens to that money after he accepts the Republican nomination, I think he can give it to the party.



Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Hey to all the Sideshow Readers

I don't know why Avedon linked to me instead of Patriotboy, but how are you guys doing?



Doorbell for Patty Murray and Brian Beecher

Democracy for Vancouver says that they are going to doorbell two precincts in Camas. It starts at 11:00 this coming Saturday.

We'd love you to join us!! Let me know if you are interested.

Rachel Brehm
18th LD Organizer

People for Patty Murray
360-693-1268
206-795-0600
rachel@pattymurray.com



Spokane Budget Cuts

I'll admit ignorance about the ins and outs of Spokane budgeting, but the city council still has to vote on the matter. Mayor Jim West is proposing some serious cuts. The fire department and some of the other departments are going to be pretty hard hit.

In all, 28 positions are being cut from the budget, of which 10 were already vacant. That leaves a potential 18 layoffs, but city officials said they are seeking to transfer some of those workers to vacant positions elsewhere in city government. Some of the openings are in city utility departments, which are financed through utility rates and not affected by Monday's announced cuts in tax-funded general services.

"This is just the beginning. The pain is not over," West told City Council members.



Blogging on KUOW

This week's The Works is mostly dealing with bubble tea. It's a subject I care about, but that isn't really within the scope of this blog. But also there will be a section on political blogging. They didn't contact me, and as you can imagine I'm heartbroken. But I'm still going to listen for the bubble tea.

...eh. But they did pronounce "Kos" right, so that's something.



Bush Coming to Medina

Bush will be in town this Friday. I didn't see a time. I'm pretty busy, so I probably won't be able to attend any protests, but as always if someone has any info, I'd love to share it with the group.



More Good News for Kerry

A Princeton Professor has used the last three national polls to predict that John Kerry will win. It is a bit of a read, but the Good Professor says that the current probability of a Kerry win is 98.6 percent, with a median (50th percentile) Electoral Vote of Kerry 307, Bush 231. He further sets the probability that Kerry will win Washington and Oregon at 100%.



School Districts to Sue for Special Ed. Money

Issiquah and Lake Washington school districts have voted to join the suit. Northshore, Federal Way, Spokane, Everett, Bellingham and Burlington-Edison are considering joining.



Monday, August 09, 2004

Arsenic Removal from Everett

It's been 100 years since Asarco first set up shop in North Everett. The soil is quite contaminated, but finally it's getting cleaned up. I didn't see it in the article, so I'm going from memory (always dangerous) but I heard on the radio that the worst soil was 40% arsenic.

The first barge-loads of soil to leave Everett will have medium to high levels of arsenic contamination and will end up in the toxic-waste container in Ruston, near Tacoma. Trucks will carry it from shore to the container.

The soil in subsequent barges will have lower, but still toxic, levels of arsenic. That dirt will be used as fill for a redevelopment project in Tacoma and Ruston. A high-tech cap will be built above the soil in Pierce County to prevent contamination, Stanovsky said.



Cedar River Trail

More pavement, less cobblestones.



New Narrows Bridge Glare Shield

Quarter of a million for a shield that probably isn't necessary.

The state Department of Transportation will spend $247,000 to put up a huge screen to reduce glare from lights on a golf driving range for drivers on the new Tacoma Narrows bridge, even though officials say they aren't sure there's actually a safety problem.



Featured Dem: Brian Beecher

There seems to be some interest in the Democrats running for the legislature where our time and money can make a difference. I'm featuring a few Democrats and hopefully it will funnel some cash, and more importantly boots on the ground to their campaigns. From the Eastside, down South, the next featured Dem is Brian Beecher.

Beecher is a solid Democrat. He’s proud of his union support. He’s proud of his environmental record. On the Washougal City Council he helped create park space. Beecher also believes "basic health care is essential to fulfilling our social contract."



This district is South, but not Vancouver. It was the heart of Linda Smith’s base when she won her House seat, so Brian has an uphill battle. But he’s doing a fine job. He knows how to win elections in a place like Washougal that aren’t the most liberal, and he’s got a good shot at winning the 18th district. He also has pretty good netroots for a state legislature campaign (aside to the link to Drudge). His campaign just started blogging, and hopefully it’ll get better soon.

Beecher’s opponent is Rep. Ed Orcutt. Orcutt got a 0% from the Labor Council for 2003, the most recent year I could find on their web page, with a very cursory search. That alone should tell you something about the man. I’m glad we’ve got a wonderful candidate who has a real shot at taking him out.

If you want to contribute, you can do it here.
He even has a handy list of where your money might go
· $25 covers the cost of door-belling 250 homes.
· $250 lets us doorbell 2500 homes.
· $370 would allow us a four-week ad in the Columbian.
· $80 puts us in the Reflector for 4 weeks, and $89 puts us in the Camas-Washougal Post Record for 4 weeks
· $630 would allow us to put up almost 200 lawn signs
· $300 would cover the costs for our website for the whole campaign

If you want to volunteer, here’s the place.



Sunday, August 08, 2004

Letters

Chairman Vance gets a letter from the General. IsraelHand wanted a story on this, but it's just so pathetic, I wasn't going to bother. But really how can you resist lines like "As the founder of the Washington State Citizens' Morality Patrol, I spend a lot of time in clubs watching exotic dancers. I know the hold they can put over a man's mind."?

Edited, forgot to run the spell check.



Tentative Agreement in Grocery Contract

This is a good step. Pierce and Thurston Counties aren't covered. The details are still under wraps. It hasn't been voted on by the membership of the unions that are covered. But so far it looks good, and could be a model for the remaining contracts and for future ones.

"The tentative agreement preserves affordable health care, protects livable wages, healthy pension plans and prevented the introduction of a two-tier system," said Dan Kully, in a statement released by the United Food and Commercial Workers yesterday.



Nethercutt on Cuba Trade

The thesis of this Seattle Times article is that Nethercutt isn't a rubber stamp for George W. Bush because in 2000 he voted for more trade with Cuba. I'm pretty sure that's insane. It's like the Republicans who blame Clinton for Ruby Ridge.



6 Right Turns

While this blog is usually dedicated to Washington State, it's a blogger's prerogative to go national from time to time.

George Bush has been on the campaign trail saying that we're turning the corner. But the truth is that he's just taking another right turn. He's appealing to the right wing of his own party rather than the good of the country. Well after 6 right turns after the path Clinton laid out, and we're heading in the wrong direction.

(1)The 2001 tax bill. George W. Bush inherited the greatest surplus in American history. Rather than invest it wisely in the future he did 2 things with it. He gave money to the wealthy, and he loaned money to the rest of us. This didn't help the economy, but it was the first step on the road turning our massive surplus into our massive debt.

(2)Not dealing with the energy crisis. While many in the West including Jay Inslee and Maria Cantwell were trying to get price caps, and investigations, Bush was blaming environmentalists. His FERC did eventually intervene, but the price caps were woefully high. And the investigations are still incredibly slow. And if not for the collapse of Enron, he'd still be blaming environmentalists.

(3)A failed Environmental Program. From elimination of the roadless rule, to easing restrictions on coal plants, George Bush has pushed right past the overwhelming majority of people who want to keep our air and forests in top condition. His two major initiatives have allowed more pollution and more cutting of trees. He has done very little to wean us off oil. He has put us on an unsustainable path.

(4)The aftermath of 9/11. The Bush administration had the support of 90% of the American people and 80% of the world. At first he showed some restraint. He put together a coalition against Afghanistan.

Pretty soon he was saying that anyone who disagreed with him about if the Department of Homeland Security should be unionized or not was a terrorist sympathizer. He eventually had a great victory against the Taliban, and rather than weed out terrorists, he quickly abandoned the country to warlords. Rather than finish the job with our friends he went to Iraq nearly alone.

(5)The War in Iraq. The way he went there was the polar opposite of how he went to Afghanistan. He alienated most of our allies. He gave Halliburton money to drive empty trucks around the desert, but he still hasn't got around to getting Kevlar vests for guardsmen (although he was eventually forced to provide a tax break for those who get their own). He wasted billions of dollars, and thousands of lives for dubious reasons at best.

(6)The 2003 tax cuts. Well since the first round of tax breaks didn't work too well, he tried another. Initially they looked like they were doing some good. The economy started picking up some steam. But even that didn't last very long. We've had weak job growth for the past few months, and it will likely continue.



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