Political Buzz

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Archives: Jan. 2008


Can’t make it to the caucus next weekend?

If you can’t make it to the Democratic caucuses next Saturday and want to participate by affidavit, you better have a good excuse and act fast.

The affidavit isn’t just for those who have to work. You must be disabled, in the military or not attending for religious reasons.

If you pass that test, here’s one more: You need to submit the form by no later than 5 p.m. tomorrow, Feb. 1. Don’t worry, there’s a fax number. Godspeed and good luck.

One more note about the caucuses and primaries: You must sign

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Rep. Larry Seaquist tax waiver bill for Narrows has chance

Maybe not this year, but it’s possible.

Some background: Sales tax on construction of the new Narrows Bridge, about $59 million, was deferred until 2012. That’s when the project (aka tollpayers) have to start making $5.9 million annual payments over the following 10 years. If Seaquist’s bill becomes law, that debt would be forgiven.

The reason it has a chance when similar proposals have been ignored in the past is because of the Highway 520 bridge project. House Transportation Committee chairwoman Judy Clibborn, D-Mercer Island, wants the same deal for her bridge, which some day also will have

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Tacoma group won’t get ex-con housing grant after all

Sen. Mike Carrell, R-Lakewood, just dropped by the office to tell me to expect a letter from the state Department of Community Trade and Economic Development. The letter will say the agency is not going to award the $1.1 million grant to Citizens for Responsible Justice to provide transitional housing to recently released prison and jail inmates.

“This is good news,” Carrell said.

Sure enough, the e-mail just arrived. CTED doesn’t come right out and say C4RJ was lying in its application, but it’s pretty close.

CTED Director Julie Wilkerson, in a letter to the Tacoma City

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John Kerry goes “way back” with Tacoma, thinks Obama will go far with international credibility

Here’s some notes from my conversation with John Kerry, who’s headed to Tacoma tomorrow to stump for Obama:

“I’ve come to Tacoma several times. I had a wonderful rally there. I loved it…
I left from Tacoma to go to Vietnam in 1968. I go way back with Tacoma.”

OK, OK. I’m listening.

I asked him what he learned from the attacks ads in 2004 from the so-called Swiftboat Veterans for Truth – and if he sees a parallel to the attacks on Obama (several internet rumors have claimed Obama is Muslim, wouldn’t be sworn in on the Bible, etc.).
“I believe that, look, we all learn. We thought we had answered the smears and the lies enough. It wasn’t an unwillingness (to comment). We thought the truth was out there.”

The lesson: “You just have to keep track of every dollar they’re spending.” He indicated Obama was doing as much. “Barack Obama has a fire in the belly and the toughness to answer (to attacks).” He also said “all of us around him will make certain” that he takes it in stride.

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Funny bill of the day

Waiting for John Kerry to call me, I ran over to Pritchard to get coffee and grab bill reports. Today, there’s a mere three pages of bills, a real downer compared to the small stack we’d get at the beginning of the session.

My favorite today: HB 3325, “authorizing the establishment of qualified shopping cart recovery programs.”

Make your own joke on that one.


A definite visit from a presidential candidate

I’ll be getting details in a few minutes (from the man himself) of a John Kerry visit to Tacoma tomorrow.

No, you didn’t wake up in 2004. Kerry is stumping for Obama.

I’ll post all the details of our chat here, of course. In the meantime (7.5 minutes or so), got any questions for him? I can’t promise I’ll ask them, but I’m interested in what you’re interested in.

Update: Kerry was pulled into testify in a hearing, so our conversation has been postponed for a few minutes.


Pierce County Democrats plan busy Saturday

Pierce County Democrats have two events scheduled for Saturday.

Sen. Maria Cantwell and Rep. Jay Inslee will join a South Sound for Hillary rally at 1 p.m. at King’s Books, 218 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma.

Also, the party will have a "maucus" – or mock caucus – at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the central committee office, 3049 S. 36th St., Suite 102.

For more information, call (253) 473-6812.


What will Chang Mook Sohn do?

Jerry Cornfield of the Everett Herald has an interesting piece today about Chang Mook Sohn, who’s been delivering the state’s official economic forecast since 1984. He’s also considering a run for state treasurer this fall.

In the meantime, as Jerry reports, the state is preparing to find a replacement. Here’s a link to the post.