Political Buzz

Talking WA politics.

NOTICE: Political Buzz has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Political Buzz.
Visit the new section.

Archives: April 2008


Is McCain coming to visit?

We reported earlier this week that “Inside the EPA” claims Republican presidential candidate John McCain will visit Washington (and Oregon) either May 12 or May 13 to talk about the environment.

The tip came from a Democrat(ic operative), who skewered McCain for not supporting the Boeing tanker deal and then dished it out to gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi for not believing in global warming.

So, is McCain coming? Well, I’ve got his local campaign contact on speed dial, but he hasn’t found time to return my calls over the past two or three days.

Read more »


House Democrats recruit a candidate to run against GOP’s McCune

This isn’t exactly a vote of confidence in Jean Marie Christenson, who jumped into the race to run against incumbent Rep. Jim McCune, R-Graham, in 2006. The Democrats couldn’t find a candidate back then, so they let her run and she gave him a scare by getting more total votes in the closed Democratic primary than McCune got in the closed Republican primary.

But now, the House Democrats have found their guy.

Chuck Collins, owner of Allied Electric in Bellevue (moving to Yelm), was recruited by Rep. Jeff Morris, D-Mount Vernon, who is part of House leadership. Obviously, House Speaker Frank Chopp and the rest of the Democratic leadership team figure Collins will have a better shot at unseating McCune in the 2nd Legislative District.

They’ve promised him money and good campaign staffers. He’s the annointed one. Not her.

Maybe the House Democrats were afraid Christenson’s being a “Ram-ster” would be a liability in a campaign. She is a student of the Ramtha School of Enlightment, which follows the teachings of a 35,000-year-old warrior, channeled by J.Z. Knight.

Notwithstanding that, her platform sounded awfully Democratic last time around. And Christenson is not bowing out. She got a late start in 2006, but she’s been campaigning for nearly 2 years.

Here is Collins’ announcement:

For Immediate Release
April 24, 2008

Collins Announces Bid for State Representative

(Yelm) Chuck Collins announced today that he will seek election to the Washington State House of Representatives Position Number 1 in the 2nd Legislative District. Collins, a Democrat hopes to oust Republican incumbent James McCune.

Read more »


‘Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them’ author Al Franken, now a U.S. Senate candidate, in trouble with IRS

You just know the National Reublican Senatorial Committee is loving every minute of comedian-author Al Franken‘s tribulations with the Internal Revenue Service.

He’s been a thorn in Republican sides almost since is days on Saturday Night Live. Book like his 1996 “Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot” tend to get you there.

I’ve been on the NRSC e-mail list for several years now, and this might be the first news release I’ve bothered to post.

Here’s an excerpt:

Franken, according to the Associated Press, “said Tuesday he will pay about $70,000 in back income taxes in 17 states dating to 2003.” Franken was talking about “the years in question” — referring, presumably, to the news that Franken failed to pay income taxes in California from 2003 to 2007. (Associated Press, 4/29/08)

Does Al Franken really expect voters to believe that if he failed to pay income taxes from 2003 on, he was paying income taxes correctly up to 2003?

If not for the NSRC, I wouldn’t have known Franken is running for U.S. Senate in his home state of Minnesota. We don’t usually cover Minnesota politics. Oh wait. I mean, not since Jesse Ventura.

Read more »


Follow the money with a mouse-over map

I’ve spent a lot of time today trying to figure out the best (and most feasible) way to get some of the information and resources I learned last weekend out to everyone. (Background: When my third grade teacher returned from a conference, she was a little nicer and had some new paper craft ideas for the next few weeks, but that was about it. I’m trying not to replicate that.)

That said, here’s the political equivalent to a woven paper heart: This web site from the Sunlight Foundation allows you to find out what earmarks are coming

Read more »


Well-travelled Will Roehl gets appointed to Growth Management Hearings Board

I know Will Roehl from the Fish and Wildlife Commission, and also because he is husband of state Rep. Kelli Linville, D-Bellingham.

If you’re going to get appointed to a board or commission in state government, growth management hearings board is the one to get. Not many pay a real salary, and the hearings board jobs pay the most, or close to it. It’s more than $95,000 a year.

Governor Gregoire appoints Will Roehl to Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board

OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire today announced the appointment of Will Roehl to the Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board, effective June 1, 2008. The appointment expires June 30, 2014.

Growth Management Hearings Boards determine if local policy choices or actions comply with the goals and requirements of the Growth Management Act.

Roehl, 60, is an attorney in Whatcom County. He will replace Margery Hite of Bow who resigned to take another position.

Read more »


Youth Legislature starts today at state capital

I write stories about this every couple years. Last time, we asked our readers to sort out a list of bills that were introduced by the Youth Legislature and their Adult counterparts.

It’s not as easy as you might think.

Check out the list of alumni, further down in the news release.

Media Contact
Janelle Nesbit, Executive Director,
YMCA Youth & Government
T: (360) 357-3475
C: (253)370-1757
Email: youthandgovexec@qwest.net

Teens Planning Take Over of Capitol

YMCA Youth & Government Presents the 61st session of the Youth Legislature

OLYMPIA, Wa. – After the gavel smashes in Olympia next week, it will be the state’s teenagers, not elected officials, cutting deals in the halls of the state legislature. The regular session has adjourned and a new generation of leaders is moving in; the YMCA’s 61st Youth Legislature.

More than 425 teenagers from 30 school and youth delegations across Washington will descend upon the state capitol from April 30th-May 3rd proposing bills in House and Senate Chambers, debating current issues, and passing legislation that will become permanent record. Youth Legislature is part of the YMCA’s Youth & Government Program.

Read more »


Washington state Rep. Geoff Simpson of Covington arrested for domestic violence incident

Simpson’s campaign issued this news release:

Statement by State Representative Geoff Simpson (LD 47)

This is an unfortunate situation for everyone involved. The end of a

marriage is an emotional and trying time for any family, and mine is

no exception.

As a firefighter and first responder, I have witnessed the reality of

domestic violence and provided care for many victims.

As a state legislator, I remain strongly in support of erring on the side

of protecting potential victims with our laws and their enforcement –

even when, in situations like

Read more »


Washington state Sen. Linda Parlette will introduce bill to require photo I.D. to vote, now that U.S. Supreme Court says it’s OK

Keep in mind that Sen. Linda Evans Parlette is a Republican from Wenatchee in a Legislature dominated by Democrats. And that isn’t likely to change this fall.

And Democrats don’t like the photo I.D. requirement, even if the Supremes say it’s legal to do.

Here’s the good senator’s news release:

Sen. Linda Evans Parlette (360) 786-7622

Parlette will again sponsor bill to require photo ID to vote at polls
Supreme Court ruling gives Washington the green light to protect integrity of voting process, she says

OLYMPIA… Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling earlier this week upholding an Indiana state law requiring photo identification for in-person voting, Sen. Linda Evans Parlette has announced that she will again sponsor a bill to require Washington voters to provide photo ID when voting at the polls.

Read more »