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: Oct. 2009

Oct.
29th

McCarthy vetoes Pierce County land-use plan amendments

Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy has vetoed a County Council ordinance approving various zoning and other changes to the county’s comprehensive land-use plan.

In a letter dated Wednesday, McCarthy cites concerns with two of the “comp plan” changes approved by the council recently after months of public hearings. One amendment, known as T-6, addresses criteria used when evaluating the expansion of urban growth areas. The second amendment, U-8a, would rezone 5.2 acres of land from “rural separator” zoning to “moderate-density single-family residential.”

As I read McCarthy’s veto letter, her concerns are somewhat technical in nature. I don’t have time

Read more »

Oct.
28th

Letter-to-the-editor misquotes TNT story, prompted by Strickland campaign

In a letter to the editor published in Tuesday’s News Tribune, the lawyer for a neighborhood group opposing a housing development that’s planned to rise upon the North Shore golf course in Northeast Tacoma took issue with my recently published profile of Tacoma’s mayoral candidates.letters to the editor

Seattle attorney Gary Huff, who represents “Save NE Tacoma,” wrote that the story inaccurately stated that the neighborhood group had endorsed candidate Jim Merritt.  Huff even quoted from the story emphasizing the sentence he specifically took issue with:

The reporter states that Jim Merritt “won the endorsement from a neighborhood opposition group now fighting the building project – a group whose mission Merritt believes melds well with his own.”

…  While Save NE Tacoma appreciates the support of any candidate willing to enforce the original approval conditions and honor the city’s historic commitment to the surrounding property owners, the group has not formally endorsed any candidate in the upcoming general election. Both mayoral candidates have significant support within our organization.

The only trouble is, Huff inaccurately quoted the sentence in question. No where does the story say Merritt “won the endorsement” from the group, as Huff’s letter says.
Read more »

Oct.
28th

Mainstream Republicans don’t like Tim Eyman’s latest ballot measure, I-1033

Here’s the letter from the Mainstream Republicans. (Note that it’s dated tomorrow, which means we bring you news BEFORE it even happens.) Scroll lower to find the news release from the No on I-1033 campaign.

October 29, 2009
Dear Washington State Voter:
As Republicans from communities all over Washington State, we believe there should be reasonable limits on government spending. However, Initiative 1033 proposes an unreasonable and unworkable limit that punishes local governments, locks in funding cuts for law enforcement, schools and other important services, and weakens the ability of our communities to invest in projects that would help attract or retain jobs in our state.
We ask you vote No on Initiative 1033 and reject Tim Eyman’s ill conceived and unreasonable proposal that will make already tough times worse in our state and our communities.
Very Truly Yours,
Gov. Daniel J. Evans
Hon. Sid Morrison
Mainstream Republicans
Sen. Slade Gorton
Mike Vaska
Hon. Doug Sutherland
John Stanton
Todd Mielke, Spokane County
Marc Boldt, Clark County
Shawn Bunney, Pierce County
Read more »

Oct.
28th

Boeing, Going, Gone: It’s all in the eye of the beholder for Gregoire, Hewitt, Brown

The likelihood that Boeing is moving more of its operations to South Carolina hit a nerve with our elected officials. Here are the comments from the governor, Senate minority leader and Senate majority leader.

(Posted in the order in which they arrived in my e-mail box.)

UPDATE: I Dream of Jeanne has a comment, too.

Here is Gov. Chris Gregoire‘s take:

Gov. Gregoire’s statement on Boeing 787 second line

OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire today issued the following statement on Boeing’s 787 second production line:

“My philosophy is ‘it ain’t over ‘til it’s over.’ I am continuing to work with both sides to urge them to keep talking and reach an agreement that would result in the second line being located in Washington. Senator Murray, Representative Dicks and Representative Larsen are also working hard on this and I appreciate their tireless efforts. If there is a deal to be struck, we will leave no stone unturned in trying to strike it.
Read more »

Oct.
28th

Auditor: Pierce County ballots with insufficient postage will be counted

News that this November’s Pierce County absentee ballot will cost an estimated 61 cents to mail has prompted some to wonder whether ballots with insufficient postage will be delivered and counted.

But a little-known county policy should ensure ballots are returned even if they lack the needed postage, according to

Jan Shabro
Jan Shabro

Auditor Jan Shabro.

Shabro confirmed a county policy of paying the postage for ballots mailed without sufficient postage. She said the office’s contract with the U.S. Postal Service specifies that the ballots will be delivered even without the correct postage, and the county will make up the difference.

“To our knowledge, short a post office error, all ballots are forwarded to us and are counted,” Shabro said.

She said the office does not publicize the policy because it wants people to pay the correct postage.

But in light of recent criticism of her office, Shabro said she thinks “the public should know the facts and not be worried about their ballots being returned for insufficient postage.”

Read more »

Oct.
28th

Statute, constitution conflict over when a judge can be removed from office

David Ammons at the Secretary of State’s office sends us this advisory in the wake of Judge Hecht’s conviction.

Among the reasons for an elective office to become vacant is upon, (5) His or her conviction of a felony, or of any offense involving a violation of his or her official oath;

FYI from our Elections Division:

Judge Hecht of Pierce County has been convicted of felony harassment and prostitution. The harassment conviction is a felony but the prostitution conviction is a misdemeanor.

It is not clear when this will result in a vacancy in office. While it might seem automatic given RCW 42.12.010(5), it might be that the Supreme Court or the Judicial Conduct Commission have ultimate authority over when a judge is permanently removed from the bench.

RCW 42.12.010
Causes of vacancy.
Every elective office shall become vacant on the happening of any of the following events:
(1) The death of the incumbent;
(2) His or her resignation. A vacancy caused by resignation shall be deemed to occur upon the effective date of the resignation;
(3) His or her removal;
(4) Except as provided in RCW *3.46.067 and 3.50.057 , his or her ceasing to be a legally registered voter of the district, county, city, town, or other municipal or quasi municipal corporation from which he or she shall have been elected or appointed, including where applicable the council district, commissioner district, or ward from which he or she shall have been elected or appointed;

(5) His or her conviction of a felony, or of any offense involving a violation of his or her official oath;
Read more »

Oct.
28th

Murray summons Boeing, union for more talks

This from Washington, D.C. correspondent Les Blumenthal:

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray has invited the machinists union and Boeing to her office to talk about the second assembly line for the company’s new 787 aircraft.

Boeing is expected to decide in the next week or so whether to put the final assembly line for the Dreamliner in Charleston, S.C., or at its facility in Everett. South Carolina is a right to work state, which means workers are under no obligation to join a union even if other workers in the same company are unionized. Everett workers are unionized.

Boeing has been

Read more »

Oct.
27th

Washington Poll has R-71 leading, I-1033 close but failing

The Washington Poll conducted by political scientists at the University of Washington has taken a look at the two big statewide ballot measures.

Referendum 71, which asks voters to approve or reject a bill that further expanded the legal rights of same-gender couples, is leading 51 percent to 34 percent. If leaners are added – those who say they expect to vote one way or the other but are not yet certain – it goes to 56 percent to 39 percent.

Initiative 1033 seeks to restrict the growth in state and local revenues and devote any savings to reductions

Read more »