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Archives: March 2008


On the list of bills for tomorrow: Toxic toys

So guess what’s on tomorrow’s list of bills to be addressed by the governor: The toxic toys bill, which is formally known as the “Children’s Safe Products Act.” It bans lead, phthalates and cadmium from toys and other products designed for kids. Critics of the bill say it goes too far and would ruin Washington’s Christmas.

Rumor has it that the governor will veto parts of the bill, leaving it for next year’s Legislature to jimmy with. Of course, no one will confirm that for me.

But if you read through the bill you

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Pam Roach to meet with TNT editorial board tomorrow.

Sen. Pam Roach is back. For those just tuning in, last episode: Roach had been chastised by Senate GOP leadership for making staffers spend too much time with her, complaining too much about other members and asking caucus staff to pledge allegiance to her … She responded by accusing leadership of acting like monkeys, then left for Latin America…

Tomorrow, she’ll meet with The News Tribune’s editorial board. She requested the meeting and the board is obliging, but Dave Seago told her he considers the matter too insider a matter to editorialize.

I haven’t decided yet if I’ll go. If I do, I’ll let you know what comes of it. In the meantime, here’s her response to Dave about the newsworthiness of the meeting:

The issue here is more than a caucus internal mess. It is more than that because of the groundless attack and purposely trying to control my speech. I would like my local paper to know what is happening…

The topic will be the system that in this day and age allows for what they are doing to me. I am sure Justice Sanders has had some complaints when the Judicial Conduct Commission has gone after him and he has a group that moves forward without hearing his side of things. At least he has an appeal process. I have done nothing wrong.

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Gregoire is wrapping up tomorrow, and that’s no April Fools Joke

Our colleagues at the Associated Press tell me that Gov. Chris Gregoire is going to finish signing and vetoing the rest of the bills from the legislative session tomorrow, even though she has until Saturday to do so.

I’ve got a call into Marty Brown, the governor’s legislative liaison and man-in-charge of souvenir bill-signing pens, to verify that.

The list of bills suggests she will, in fact, be signing (or vetoing) 44 bills on Tuesday, so she’ll definitely have writer’s cramp, if nothing else. That’s 44 our of 335 passed by the Legislature this past 60-day session. And the operating and capital budgets are on the list.

Also on the list are the toxic toys and beer and wine tasting (in grocery stores) bills .
Here, read the list:

To: Ladies and Gentlemen
From: Marty Brown, Legislative Director
Subject: Bill Action — April 1, 2008
Governor’s Conference Room
Governor Gregoire will take action on the following House and Senate Bills:
Commencing at 2:00 PM

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Tsk, tsk! Audit says Dept. of Early Learning and Historical Society need to run a tighter ship

Two audits from the State Auditor’s Office came today. Here’s the findings:

1. The Historical Society apparently doesn’t have a catalog of its artifacts, nor does it keep track of ticket sales.

2. The Department of Early Learning, doesn’t keep track of whether criminal background checks were completed for their employees.

Click the links for the full info. I’ll be writing about campaign donors.


Some ferry riders say ‘No’ to Steilacoom clone on Vashon route

Last week, I wrote a story about how the Steilacoom II-class ferry that the state wants to have built might evenutally end up on the Point Defiance-Talequah run. That would be a case of the 50-car vessel replacing the 48-car Rhododendron.

Then I got this e-mail I figured I should share with everyone. I’m not a regular ferry rider to Vashon, so I don’t know the ins and outs of the ferries. Read on:


I want to comment on the long term political choice to build this Clone. This vessel is not acceptable to Vashon as a replacement for the Rhododendron on the Tahlequah- Point Defiance route. It provides no more capacity and is in fact more limited than the Rhody in carrying the commercial traffic that already clogs the route. It also has less freeboard which will entail greater restrictions during our low tides. More and more people will not be able to get their horse trailers, utility trailers, camping trailers, motor homes, etc thru the route.

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Mark Mays will try to reclaim Foley’s seat for Democrats

In about a half hour, Mark Mays is going to announce his candidacy for the congressional seat now held by U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers.

(No, it’s not the football-player-turned-TV-commentator.)

Mays, 59, (he’ll be 60 in April) was just on his way to make the announcement when I reached him on his cell phone.

Mays is a Democrat. So was former U.S. Rep. Tom Foley, who represented the 5th Congressional District for 30 years or so until he was unceremoniously dumped in the Republican Revolution of 1994. Made no nevermind that he was Speaker of the House for all of America.

Here’s the news advisory that was sent out over the weekend.


Mark Mays to Announce Candidacy for Congress

Longtime medical professional, community leader, former Air Force psychologist and former EWU Trustee pledges to bring real change to Congress

SPOKANE—Dr. Mark Mays, a psychologist who started his career at Fairchild Air Force Base more than 30 years ago, will formally announce his candidacy for Congress in the 5th Congressional District against incumbent Cathy McMorris Rogers at a Monday lunch meeting of the Spokane Democrat Business and Professional Group

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Bosses of huge state worker union endorse 12 Republicans!

OK. I wrote that headline just to grab your attention. But it worked, didn’t it? It’s the rank-and-file who make the endorsements, but then they are the bosses in the union, right?

Those 12 are in the state House of Representatives. That’s 12 out of 98.

Every campaign season we get the endorsement list from the Washington Federation of State Employees, which represents about 40,000 state employees, maybe more. I don’t know. They’re always looking for more people on the fringe of state government.

Anyway, it’s hard to find news value in that release. It’s a labor union. Labor unions mostly endorse Democrats. But everyone once in awhile, they do endorse a Republican, usually because they are stuck with them. That means there’s no way a Democrat is ever going to defeat a Republican in, say, Gary Alexander‘s 20th District in Lewis County.

So when the Federation endorses someone like Rep. Skip Priest, R-Federal Way, that means something. I don’t know exactly what it means, but it does mean something because Priest wasn’t elected for life. The 30th District is still a swing district.

Read on. Look for the occasional Republican. Maybe Dennis Eagle of the Federation will explain why they won the endorsement. The Federation endorsed 3 Republicans in state Senate races.


CONTACT: Tim Welch, Director of Public Affairs, (360) 481-5092; Monday (360) 352-7603.

Delegates to the Washington Federation of State Employees/AFSCME 2008 Endorsements Conference on Saturday endorsed Gov. Chris Gregoire for re-election and Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg in his race to unseat state Attorney General Rob McKenna.

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