Political Buzz

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Archives: Sep. 2009


Advocates for the poor rally Thursday to bemoan budget cuts (they have an audience)

If a tree falls in the woods and there’s nobody around to hear it, does it make a sound?

SEIU union members and others don’t take any chances. They make darn sure that lawmakers are in town when they make noise at a rally.

And since Thursday and Friday are Assembly Days for the Legisature, they are guaranteed an audience.

Advocates and Consumers To Speak Out About Impact Of Cuts To Health And Human Services

Wednesday, September 30, 2009 – Health and human services advocates announce a “speak out” about the impact of cuts from the 2009-11 biennial budget on Washington state’s health and human services system. The event will take place on Thursday, October 1, from 12-1:30 p.m., near the Sundial between the John L O’Brien and John A Cherberg buildings on the Capitol Campus in Olympia.

Budget cuts in the 2009-11 budget that have impacted our state’s health and human service system include:

· Reduction of 5 million hours of in-home care, meaning that seniors and people with disabilities are going without needed supports including bathing, meal preparation, and supervision;
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An `endorsement’ by any other name …

Adorning the endorsement rolls on the campaign websites of Tacoma mayoral candidates Marilyn Strickland and Jim Merritt is the same prominent name: Booth Gardner.GovGardner

The former Washington governor and Tacoma resident is heralded as a top supporter by both campaigns.  He’s the first name atop a long list of familiar names on Strickland’s site, and at the top of Merritt’s endorsement page, which prominently proclaimed (as of this morning) in bold letters:

We are honored to have the endorsement of former Governor Booth Gardner.

So which campaign can truly stake claim to Gardner’s endorsement?

Well, both — and by logical extension, neither.
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No raise in minimum wage in 2010 because Consumer Price Index fell past 12 months

My thanks to the Washington Policy Center for bringing my attention to this. The state Department of Labor and Industries sent out a news release yesterday, saying the minimum wage in Washington would remain $8.55 an hour.

TUMWATER – Washington’s minimum wage will not increase in 2010 but will remain the same at $8.55 an hour because the Consumer Price Index for the past 12 months did not increase.

The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) recalculates the state’s minimum wage each year in September as required by Initiative 688, which was approved by Washington voters in 1998. The law requires that the state minimum wage be increased for inflation each year according to the change in the federal Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) during the 12 months ending each Aug. 31.
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Narrows Bridge needs a new paint job only 2 years after it opened to traffic; it’s on warranty

The cables of the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge, which opened to traffic in July 2007, are going to be repainted this week — weather permitting — only 2 years and 2 months after it was built.

After I got the news release from the state Department of Transportation, I asked if I was reading it correctly.

You are correct, crews will be painting cables on the new bridge. The paint did not hold up as we had hoped for. The bridge is still under warranty and the contractor Tacoma Narrows Constructors is applying the new paint.

Emily Pace
WSDOT Communications

The closure of the carpool lane could come as early as tomorrow, if it stays dry.

Here is her original news release:
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Eyman: Poll shows I-1033 passing 61-31

Tim Eyman, prime sponsor of Initiative 1033, which would limit the growth of tax collections for cities, counties and the state, says a Sept. 22 poll shows 61 percent of likely voters favor his ballot measure.

September 29, 2009

To: Our thousands of supporters throughout the state (cc’d to the media, house & senate members, and Governor)

From: Tim Eyman, Jack Fagan, Mike Fagan, co-sponsors of the Lower Property Taxes Initiative I-1033

RE: Poll by Rasmussen Reports on I-1033: 61% yes, 31% no, 8% undecided (remember, those undecided’s gotta go somewhere)

It’s clear that voters are rejecting the multi-million-dollar, Washington-DC-funded “con” campaign by opponents of I-1033 — the initiative leads by 30 points with just a few weeks left to go. The poll by Rasmussen Reports, taken on September 22nd, shows support at 61% yes, 31% no, 8% undecided. Here’s what 500 likely voters were asked:
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Gregoire: Boeing 787 decision will come within a month

When Gov. Chris Gregoire asked Boeing what else it needed from the state before it made it’s decision about a second 787 assembly line, the company said “No.”

“He said, ‘I’ll let you know if there is,’ ” Gregoire said today of her recent meeting with Boeing Commercial Airplane Group president Jim Albaugh.

“There’s nothing more we can do,” Gregoire said, the day after releasing a report that makes the economic and quality of life case for keeping both assembly lines in Everett. Boeing has said it is looking at other states to build some of

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Gregoire won’t propose, but no longer opposes, tax hikes to lessen budget cuts

During a sit-down with statehouse reporters today, Gov. Chris Gregoire said she is willing to listen to proposals from the state’s hospitals and Legislative Democrats about taxes.

Unlike last session when Gregoire said she thought any tax hikes would lengthen and worsen the economic recession, the Democratic governor said that might not be the case now. That’s because state economist Arun Raha said the state – and nation – are pulling out of the recession.

Despite that glimmer of good news from Raha, tax collections are still down and the Legislature faces up to $1 billion in additional cuts when

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Union folks, Gregoire celebrate Thursday in Tacoma after collecting for food banks

Union members collected upwards of 20,000 pounds of food for local food banks as part of their month-long drive. Gov. Chris Gregoire will be the featured speaker Thursday night at the downtown Hotel Murano.

UPDATE: (1:26 p.m.)

Since you’ve gotten the release on the food drive event on Thursday, we’re up to 44079 pounds of food donated to south sound food banks (the majority has been donated to EFN here in Pierce County).
In solidarity,
Nathe Lawver
Pierce County Labor Community Services Agency
AFL-CIO Community Services Labor Liaison

UPDATE No. 2 (4:07 p.m.)
The donations now amount to 75,811 pounds.
“There is a big push right now from Teamsters local 117 to completely win the competition,” says Nathe Lawver. “They are.”

Here’s the original news release:


Tacoma, WA – Governor Christine Gregoire will join hundreds of union members from across the south Puget Sound region at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma on the evening of Thursday, October 1 to spotlight organized labor’s commitment to building stronger communities.

The event marks the culmination of the month-long South Sound Workers’ Food Drive, in which Local Unions in Pierce County have competed to collect the most food for families in need. Helen McGovern, Executive Director of the Emergency Food Network, will announce the total amount of food collected during the food drive, which is expected to surpass 20,000 lbs, and present the Golden Soup Can Award to the winning Union.
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