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Archives: July 2010


Campaign mailer or official newsletter? Investigators will decide

Pierce County Councilman Shawn Bunney’s constituents have received a piece of mail touting Bunney’s accomplishments, coming during campaign season but paid for with county money.

The mailer, with a large picture of a woman “stretching your county tax dollar,” looks different from Bunney’s past newsletters, but Bunney said it has the same purpose: keeping the people he represents updated on what he’s doing.

Bunney is running for an open state House seat in the 31st Legislative District that straddles eastern Pierce and King counties. He faces a primary election Aug. 17 against fellow Republican Cathy Dahlquist and Democrat Peggy Levesque. Ballots are going out to voters now.

Two complaints about the mailer have been filed with the Public Disclosure Commission, and Dahlquist is seizing on the piece, asking Bunney to reimburse the county.

The details of how it was produced could be important in whether the PDC pursues the complaints, but county staff said no one was available this week to answer questions about the mailer.

Bunney said he doesn’t know how much the mailer cost, other than it was cheaper than his mailers in previous years. He isn’t saying how it was produced or how those cost savings were achieved, only that it involved bidding and invoices and “went through the appropriate processes.”

It’s illegal to use public facilities to help a campaign, but anything that’s part of the normal and regular conduct of a public agency is fair game. To figure out whether something is normal and regular, the PDC looks at whether it fits with patterns over time, agency spokeswoman Lori Anderson said.

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An ode to Senate candidate Clint Didier

Here’s something that can play on those joint radio spots: A country song has been written for Clint Didier’s Senate campaign.

Listen to “Hell To Pay.”

The song went up on his website Thursday evening. Campaign consultant Doug Simpson wrote it and a band he knows, the Watchmen, performed it, said another of Didier’s consultants, Kathryn Serkes.

“We were talking to them about Clint and they wanted to do a song,” Serkes said.

“I think the subtitle is ‘Didier’s D.C. Ode.’”

Sample lyrics:

“You sold us out, you crossed the line/ when you took our

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Clint Didier and Paul Akers, Rossi’s rivals, gang up

Clint Didier and Paul Akers made a joint announcement Thursday night that was beset by technical difficulties:

Listen to internet radio with squareonemedia on Blog Talk Radio

The gist of it: Didier and Akers are staying in the U.S. Senate race, but they’re joining forces to do joint radio commercials.

“This is unprecedented,”

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Rossi wants banks to lend, but opposes Democrats’ plan

Dino Rossi often says that for small businesses to start hiring again, banks need to lend more. It’s the message he’s heard across the state and just today at a meeting with business leaders in Tacoma, he said.

Yet he opposes a bill aimed at restarting the flow of credit to small businesses. That’s because he doesn’t think government should be pulling the strings on the lending, he said.

He wasn’t the only one to oppose the measure. Republicans prevented it from moving forward in the Senate today. The legislation would have set up a $30 billion fund to invest in small, community banks.

Rossi calls it a “baby TARP.” “It’s another bailout,” he said. The federal government shouldn’t direct the economy, he said.

Small-business groups like the National Small Business Association and National Federation of Independent Businesses, which often side with Republicans, have endorsed the bill (tepidly in the NFIB’s case).

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Columnist: Candidates should focus on Pierce County

The Seattle Times’s Joni Balter has a column today saying the county is key to state elections because of its 400,000 “open minded and fiercely independent” voters. From the column:

If I were Murray, I would run that compelling TV ad recounting her work on behalf of veterans about every 20 minutes in Pierce County. If I were Rossi, I would tout any independence from Republicans and the government in-crowd and run as a skilled outsider.

If I were DelBene, I would just about move into Pierce County. Though she may have picked the wrong year to run, DelBene

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Gregoire to make special session decision soon

Gov. Chris Gregoire says she will decide soon after Aug. 10 whether to call a special legislative session or make across-the-board budget cuts on her own to reduce a budget deficit that is already $312 million and might be growing.

Gregoire plans talks Thursday with Democratic and Republican legislative leaders about the feasibility of having a two- or three-day special session. The Democratic leader spoke with reporters today in her office, explaining that across-the-board cuts are her other option, but she thinks that is a “blunt instrument” she’d rather not use.

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