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: Aug. 2009


Judge dismisses lawsuit over Pierce County charter amendments

A judge has dismissed a challenge to the ballot language describing three proposed amendments to the Pierce County charter.

Sherry Bockwinkel, a term-limit supporter, and Kelly Haughton, a supporter of ranked choice voting, claimed the language of the amendments was inappropriate. But Pierce County Superior Court Judge Ronald Culpepper did not rule on their claims.

Instead, Culpepper found the pair had failed to meet a deadline for challenging the ballot language. And while he suggested county policies for alerting people to the deadline might be lacking, he found the county had followed the letter of state law.

County voters will consider three amendments to the county charter in November:

&bull Proposition 1 would move the election of the county executive and council to odd-numbered years by 2015 and increase term limits for those offices from two consecutive four-year terms to three consecutive four-year terms.

&bull Proposition 2 would move the election of auditor, assessor-treasurer and sheriff to odd-numbered years by 2015.

&bull Proposition would eliminate ranked choice voting and restore the primary and general election system for all county elected offices.

Bockwinkel will help write the voters pamphlet statement against Proposition 1. Haughton will help write the statement against Proposition 3.

They claimed the language describing those measures that will appear on the ballot is faulty on two counts.

First, they noted that each amendment asks voters to "approve" or "reject" the amendments. They said that’s a departure from the language used on other recent charter amendments, which used "yes" or "no" language. They said the change in language may confuse voters.

Second, they argued the language of Proposition 1 is prejudicial. It states the proposal would make term limits for executive and council "consistent with term limits in effect for auditor, assessor-treasurer and sheriff." The plaintiffs argued the phrase constitutes an argument in favor of the proposal.

Read more »


AP reports that Ref. 71 has been certified for November ballot

That’s about all so far. They moved a bulletin saying the measure to repeal the latest expansion of gay partnership has collected enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.

The secretary of state has been going through each signature to make sure they are from registered voters and not duplicates.


It’s a rough campaign day when you misspell your own name

I don’t want to sound holier than thou when it comes to spelling. I can never remember if “I” comes before “E” or “E” comes before “I.”

But I have usually been pretty good about spelling my own name correctly (there’s a “g” in there someplace.)

Not so Tacoma City Council candidate Beckie Summers Kirby (note the spelling of her first name and last name.) Beckie is a candidate for the council seat from District 5 and sent a mailing into homes in the district recently called “Teamwork.”

“We made progress because true community leaders were willing

Read more »


Mixed reports of Town Hall scuffle

It’s been brought to my attention by two faithful News Tribune readers that I may have incorrectly reported the details of a brouhaha at Adam Smith’s town hall meeting last week in Lakewood.

I reported that a man holding a sign depicting President Obama with a Hitler mustache was taken to the ground by bystanders, who crumpled up the sign and threw it away.

That’s what I saw and a few witnesses said they saw. But two people now have called me to say it was actually the man with the Obama-Hitler sign that pushed another man

Read more »


Congressional hold-outs hold town halls tonight

Never say never. Two Washington congressmen who initially resisted holding health care town halls are appearing events tonight in the area.

6th District Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Belfair, will host a town hall at the Kitsap Conference Center in Bremerton from 7:30 to 9 p.m. tonight.

Meanwhile, 3rd District Rep. Brian Baird has moved tonight’s town hall to a new location: Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington St. SE in Olympia. It will run from 7 to 9 p.m.

Both men took heat from constituents for initially declining to hold such events. Baird criticized what he saw as a counter-productive tone of some of the discussion. “It’s a lynch mob mentality out there,” Baird said. “There is an ugliness to it.”

Read more »


Rep. Tom Campbell will run for state House seat, not Congress

I should check my answering machine more often. I guess I was too busy making dilly beans over the weekend.

State Rep. Tom Campbell, R-Roy, left a message to say he is withdrawing from his previously announced run for Congress against U.S. Rep. Adam Smith, D-Tacoma, and instead will run for re-election to his state House seat in the 2nd Legislative District.

Wonder what that does to JT Wilcox, who announced last week he would be running for what appeared to be Campbell’s vacant seat in the state House.

Campbell sent out an e-mail news release late last night. Thanks for the heads up, Tom. Can I interest you in a quart of pickled green beans?

Rep. Tom Campbell declares intent to return to Legislature in 2010.

Roy, Washington. August 31, 2009.

Rep. Tom Campbell announced today he will run for re-election to the Washington State House of Representatives.

"I have been asked by a number of my constituents to reconsider my candidacy for Congress so that I can continue my work in the State Legislature on behalf of the 2nd Legislative District. I have listened to these voices and have decided to once again ask the voters of the Second District to elect me to represent them in the Washington State Legislature."

Read more »


Mega Millions jackpot is now $333 million for tonight’s drawing


Jackpot now the fourth largest in North American history
OLYMPIA – Sales are so brisk that the Mega Millions jackpot has been raised from $325 million to $333 million for tonight’s drawing. The rise now makes this Mega Millions jackpot the fourth largest in North American history. Mega Millions holds the record for the largest North American jackpot; a record jackpot was set in March of 2007 at $390 million.

A jackpot this high means sales are heating up at Lottery retailers around Washington. Customers are buying tickets all across the state, and ticket sales are becoming more rapid during peak times like noon lunch hours and drive time.

Read more »


Cong. Smith not thrilled with how some handled town hall issue

U.S. Rep. Adam Smith spoke to Tacoma Rotary 8 this noontime and deflected praise for how he handled two recent town hall meetings.

Unlike some of his congressional colleagues, Smith kept to his August recess town hall schedule even after some meetings elsewhere were disrupted by citizens angry about the health care reform issue.

Tuesday he spoke to and listened to 2,500 at Harry Lang Stadium in Lakewood.

Smith said it is a member of Congress’s job to listen to constituents. And he said it was wrong for some members of Congress to ridicule and condemn those

Read more »