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: Sep. 2010


Reichert wins endorsement from League of Conservation Voters

(UPDATED 5:03 pm w/ comments from Reichert camp)

Congressman Dave Reichert, the three-term Republican incumbent representing Washington’s 8th District, won the endorsement from the League of Conservation Voters today — a coup for his re-election campaign.

In its endorsement, the league praised Reichert for “a solid LCV lifetime environmental score of 62%,” and called Reichert’s support in 2009 of the House’s American Clean Energy and Security Act “crucial.”

This from a press release issued by the LCV today:

“We are proud to endorse Congressman Reichert for re-election because he supports policies that will not only build a

Read more »


Political Smell Test: Dino Rossi and Boeing

In a TV ad, Sen. Patty Murray has seized on Dino Rossi’s answer to The News Tribune editorial board about the role of subsidies in awarding the Air Force tanker contract.

WHAT THE AD SAYS: Next to video of Rossi, the screen reads: “Should Boeing workers have a level playing field?”A voiceover says, “When Dino Rossi was asked if Boeing workers should have a level playing field, he said,” — cut to video of Rossi — “No, not as far as I’m concerned.”


Read more »


Tacoma city manager delivers budget calling for wage freezes, position cuts

Tacoma City Manager Eric Anderson delivered a budget proposal to the city council Tuesday that would eliminate 79 vacant city positions and freeze wages across the board for some 1,300 city employees.


Sworn public safety personnel would be off-limits to positions marked for elimination — mostly made up of now-unfilled public works jobs.

“They include no police officers and no firefighters,” Anderson said.

Overall, Anderson’s $401 million budget for the 2011-12 cycle is smaller than the past two city budgets, including a $441 million spending plan approved two years ago.

But while he called his plan “downsized and smaller,” Anderson said the general fund proposal accomplishes what the council directed him to do: Avoid lay-offs and cuts to city services.

“I’m really proud to deliver you a budget that doesn’t do either of those things,” he said, noting recent proposals for Seattle, King County and Bellevue all included such cuts.

Anderson also said his proposal makes good on another goal: It includes no new taxes, he said.

But the proposal does include some new utility tax revenues anticipated from significant water and power rate hikes proposed in Tacoma Public Utilities’ coming budget. Along with the city’s budget, the TPU budget requires council approval by year’s end.

“That’s not a new tax,” Anderson said, when asked why the proposed rate increases don’t constitute a new tax.
Read more »


Pierce Council clamps down on election season newsletters

A flap over a county-funded newsletter turned into new legislation Tuesday as the Pierce County Council moved to tighten the rules on newsletters, brochures and other mass mailings during election season.

It’s now against the Ethics Code for an elected county official who’s running for office to use public money for such mailings between May 31 and Nov. 30 in an election year. The new rules also apply to e-mail.

But there are some exceptions.

The county auditor, for example, can mail out voter’s pamphlets and ballots. Ditto for the assessor-treasurer and tax statements.

The County Council unanimously approved the rules in an amendment to the Ethics Code on Tuesday afternoon, acting in part because of a controversy generated by a June newsletter mailed by Councilman Shawn Bunney, who is running for the Legislature. Here’s an image of the newsletter in question.

Read more »


Reichert: Still open to debates despite what DelBene claims

Based on my earlier post today, the campaign for 8th Congressional district Democratic challenger Suzan DelBene issued a press release contending it’s clear incumbent Republican Congressman Dave Reichert is not going to debate her.

In part, here’s what the press release says:

After stalling for nearly three weeks, Congressman Reichert’s campaign confirms: No debates.

The DelBene campaign sent its debate request on September 9 – a full 52 days before the election. Of those 52 days, Reichert must be in DC to vote for just 6 full days in September and 5 full days in October.

Read more »


Political Smell Test: Patty Murray and the national debt

Republican attacks on Sen. Patty Murray are focusing on the national debt, which has increased on her watch.

WHAT THE ADS SAY: Republican challenger Dino Rossi has an ad on TV that says “Murray voted to double the national debt.”

A new ad from Crossroads GPS, a tax-exempt group that doesn’t have to disclose its donors, says of Murray, “She’s increased our national debt by trillions, and now she wants to raise taxes to help pay for it.”

WHAT MURRAY SAYS: Rossi and Karl Rove, who helped create Crossroads GPS, are conveniently forgetting the Bush administration’s role in creating that debt, the campaign said today. In an earlier news release, the campaign said: “Dino Rossi supported the Bush economic policies that destroyed our economy and cost working families’ homes, jobs and savings. And he continues to support budget busting tax cuts for the wealthy that will add nearly $1 trillion to the national debt.”

THE FACTS: There’s blame to go around for our soaring national debt, which now stands at $13.5 trillion and is projected to pass $20 trillion by 2019, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. (Here’s the full report.)

Read more »


Gates, Gorton to debate income tax in Tacoma

In this cor-ner retired Seattle lawyer and dunk-tank victim, Bill “Tax-Me” Gates Sr. In the other cor-ner, former United States Sen. Slade Gorton. The two political heavyweights will square off in what is already being billed as “The Great State Income Tax Debate” Oct. 11 at the University of Washington Tacoma.

The subject of course is Initiative 1098, the November ballot initiative that would impose an income tax on higher earners while reducing some other taxes. The event is free, but seating is limited: For tickets, click here.

UPDATE: Mike Bay at TVW says they will tape the debate and broadcast it initially on Thursday Oct. 14 at 8 p.m.  

Here’s the press release from UWT:

Slade Gorton and Bill Gates Sr., to debate income tax initiative

EVENT: The Great State Income Tax Debate

LOCATION: UW Tacoma, Philip Hall

DATE: Oct. 11

TIME: Doors open: 5:30 p.m.; Debate: 6:00-7:30 p.m.; Reception: 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Read more »