Political Buzz

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Archives: 2012

Dec.
28th

Three Tacoma campaign volunteers honored by National Women’s Political Caucus

The state Chapter of the National Women’s Political Caucus has included three volunteers from Tacoma among 15 volunteers statewide who were designated campaign Heroines.

They are Lynda Foster, Julie Myers and Janet Thiessen and they were singled out for their work on two 27th District legislative campaigns – Myers for her fundraising work for Jeannie Darneille‘s state Senate race; Foster and Thiessen for their work on the reelection of state Rep. Laurie Jinkins.

Also honored for her work on the secretary of state campaign of Kathleen Drew was Charlene Hunt of Olympia.

The announcement noted that Washington state once

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Dec.
28th

UPDATE 2 – No deal but Lt. Gov. Brad Owen reports ‘significant progress’ in Senate transition talks

Senate leaders trying to sort out a transition plan that shifts majority power from Democrats to Republicans led to “significant progress” this morning, according to Lt. Gov. Brad Owen. Owen, a Democrat who presides over the Senate, was called in by the divided Senate leadership to help sort it out.

We’re still waiting for details from the Senate Republican and Democratic caucuses. But Owen put out this limited statement that headway was being made:

“There was an incredible spirit of working together and working things out. Significant progress was made. I am pleased with the outcome.”

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Dec.
28th

Washington’s congressional districts don’t produce many compromisers with few swing districts, many safe districts

Nate Silver of the New York Times’ fivethirtyfive.com writes this week about the decline in truly contested Congressional districts and wonders if that has contributed to the polarization in Congress.

Silver shows how the number of swing districts has fallen in just 20 years from 103 to 35 (out of 435). Toss in districts considered lean Democrat and lean Republican – those that might elect members with a motivation to act bipartisan – and the number falls from 188 to 88 since 1992. The rest, he theorizes, are likely to appeal to the political extremes because the threat to

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Dec.
27th

Lt. Gov. Brad Owen starting peace talks with state Senate leaders on Friday morning

The ongoing stalemate over who is in charge of the Washington state Senate may get sorted out on neutral ground Friday morning. Lt. Gov. Brad Owen says he is convening a three-hour session with leaders of both Democratic and Republican blocs that are vying for position in the divided chamber.

“It’s not my job to dictate or tell them what to do but I have some history and I have some ideas. I think they recognize I’ve been pretty independent over the years,’’ Owen, a Democrat, said by phone today. “I think there is a good possibility of working it

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Dec.
26th

Eyman says he is ready to file signatures for I-517, protecting initiative signature gatherers

Initiative promoter Tim Eyman says he will turn in signatures next week for Initiative 517, proposing to add six months to the time that initiative backers in Washington have to collect signatures and get on the ballot. I-517 also creates a harassment-free zone of 25 feet around signature gatherers and makes it a misdemeanor crime to intimidate or interfere with signature gathering.

The deadline for signatures is Jan. 4 and Eyman is filing his signatures a day early. The move comes as state elections watchdogs are investigating the lawfulness of the signature-gathering effort.

Because I-517 is

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Dec.
23rd

Here is more of our interview with Tacoma underground cartoonist RR Anderson

Q: It seems the Tacomics that sell, I’m guessing, might be purchased by your victims, perhaps subjects?
A: Pretty much, yeah. Or somebody;s friends with them and they buy them as gifts so they can tear them up and throw them in the fireplace or throw them on their vanity wall. They’re the perfect gift and it is the holiday season.

Q: I must admit that when I first saw Cogswell Polytechnic I thought you made that up. But it’s an actual place.
A: Yeah. Their mascot is a dragon and it was started by Dr. Henry Cogswell

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Dec.
20th

Rep.-elect Denny Heck wins coveted seat on House Budget Committee

Newly elected U.S. Rep. Denny Heck doesn’t get sworn in to the U.S. House until Jan. 3, but he’s already been named to an influential committee. The Olympia Democrat announced his appointment to the House Budget Committee in a news release – here – and said he’s the only one of 49 incoming freshman lawmakers to be named to that committee.

Heck represents Washington’s brand new 10th Congressional District and campaigned on a jobs platform. He also was in favor of balancing federal budgets with a mixture of revenues raised by letting tax breaks lapse on

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Dec.
20th

Dems’ Sen. Murray says he’ll ask Lt. Gov. Owen to help transition Senate’s power to new Republican-dominated coalition

Senate Democratic Leader Ed Murray says he is going to ask Lt. Gov. Brad Owen for help in sorting out an orderly transition of power in the chamber – as his caucus prepares to hand over reins to a new alliance of 23 Republicans and two Democrats on Jan. 14.

Murray also said late Thursday in a telephone interview that he is willing to give up claims to leadership offices in the state Capitol, leaving his caucus’ space to Sen. Rodney Tom, the dissident Democrat who along with maverick Sen. Tim Sheldon is forming the new majority caucus with the Republican minority.

Murray’s announcements were the latest turns in a strange, evolving situation in the Senate where Democrats have a 26 seats, Republicans led by Sen. Mark Schoesler have 23, and a new coalition led by Tom and Schoesler  is trying to seize power.

Murray’s offer to bring in Owen as peacemaker might offer an end to the unfolding soap opera over who is in charge at the Senate – and how the transfer of power will take place before lawmakers show up mid-January for a 105-day session widely expected to be difficult just because of the school funding issue.

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