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Archives: May 2012

May
31st

Citizens United making film critical of Obama

Citizens United, the conservative group whose film criticizing Hillary Clinton led to the Supreme Court decision known by the same name, is finishing up a new election-year movie about President Barack Obama.

The movie was supposed to have one of its first-ever screenings Friday in front of Washington Republicans at their convention in Tacoma.

But production of the movie has yet to finish, said state GOP Chairman Kirby Wilbur, who sits on the board of Citizens United.

Citizens United didn’t return a phone call today, but Wilbur said the Obama film would be similar to “Hillary: The Movie.” The group

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May
31st

New liquor store owners get discount for hiring former state workers

At a Tacoma liquor store this week, I overheard a clerk telling a customer that he is staying on when the store transfers to private ownership, in part because the state is offering a discount to new owners who retain the employees.

I asked the state liquor control board spokesman Brian Smith whether there is such an incentive, and he answered that there is. The agency’s director of business enterprise, Pat McLaughlin, said the discount is one way the state is seeking to lower unemployment payments to workers left without a job once privatization takes effect.

The state has budgeted

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May
31st

Washington Supreme Court upholds validity of private liquor initiative I-1183

In a split decision released the day before Initiative 1183 was to take full effect, the Washington Supreme Court ruled that opponents of the measure failed to overcome the presumption that laws and initiatives are constitutional.

“We hold that appellants have not overcome the presumption that the initiative is constitutional, and therefore we affirm summary judgment in favor of the State and intervenors,” wrote the court’s newest Justice Steven Gonzalez for the majority (see decision below).

“… given the State’s continued recognition of the connection between liquor regulation, public safety, and revenue generation, we find that appellants have not established

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May
30th

Washington State Supreme Court Thursday will release ruling on challenge to liquor privatization initiative

That’s a pretty quick turnaround but the entire case has been expedited to get a ruling on the constitutional challenge before private liquor sale begin Friday.

The court usually posts on its websites the cases that will be released the following morning. Thursday is the normal day for rulings to be released and in this case also is the last day before the initiative kicks in.

Initiative 1183 passed with nearly 58 percent of the vote last November. It would end the state’s control of all liquor distribution and end its monopoly on sales of liquor by the bottle. Opponents

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May
30th

“First Mike” Mike Gregoire has surgery for colon cancer

Gov. Chris Gregoire issued a statement this afternoon on her husband Mike Gregoire who underwent surgery after a routine colonoscopy detected cancer of the colon. The governor said that while her husband remains in the hospital “thanks to early detection, he is expected to make a full recovery.”


Mike Gregoire watches his wife deliver her second inaugural address address in 2009. AP-Ted Warren

Here is her statement:

“Yesterday, my family received a scary but important reminder about the importance of screening for early detection of cancer. During my husband Mike’s colonoscopy, doctors discovered colon cancer. Prior to the screening, Mike showed no symptoms and was never in pain. He was immediately scheduled for surgery, and doctors say they were able to remove the cancerous portion of the colon. While Mike remains in the hospital, thanks to early detection, he is expected to make a full recovery.

“This has been a difficult time for our family. It is all too reminiscent of a time eight years ago when I learned I suffered from breast cancer. I, too, made a full recovery thanks to early detection. There are a number of cancer screenings which are effective in detecting certain cancers early – when they are most preventable. Mike, I, and our two daughters can’t stress enough the importance of learning about, and undergoing cancer screening tests.”

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May
30th

Same-sex marriage opponents say they’ve hit needed level of signatures

The group trying to put Referendum 74 on the state ballot said today it has collected the 150,000 signatures recommended by the state elections office — with 151,338 and counting.

With the June 6 deadline still days away, that builds in a substantial cushion beyond the 120,577 valid signatures that Preserve Marriage Washington needs to earn a spot on the ballot.

If Washingtonians vote to “approve” Referendum 74, they would uphold the law passed by the Legislature this year recognizing same-sex marriage. If they vote to “reject” R-74, they would overturn the law.

(Another measure, Initiative 1192, is also circulating petitions and

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May
30th

Report: Health reform to help 74% of state’s uninsured

State insurance commissioner Mike Kreidler has already warned of slow-moving disaster if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down federal health reform. And on Tuesday his agency put out a report showing the benefits of the federal healthcare act on a county-by-county basis.

In a nutshell , the report says 1 million Washington residents lack health care coverage and will grow to 1.1 million by the end of 2013. But reform would extend Medicaid coverage to 328,000 of the uninsured and give premium subsidies to another 477,400. Under reform, single adults earning up to $14,850 become eligible for Medicaid.

Kreidler’s report breaks the numbers down by county. In Pierce County, 121,200 of the expected population of 819,200 are predicted to be without insurance. But 78 percent become eligible for help – including 58,600 getting subsidies and 35,800 qualifying for Medicaid.

Read full post.

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May
30th

AWB endorses ex-justice Sanders, new Justice Gonzalez

The Association of Washington Business announced its endorsements in two Supreme Court races Tuesday. The business group is backing former justice Richard Sanders, a libertarian who lost re-election two years ago, and newcomer Justice Steven Gonzalez, who was appointed by Gov. Chris Gregoire to the vacancy created by Gerry Alexander’s retirement last year.

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