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Tag: Brad Owen


UPDATE – Maverick Democratic Sen. Tim Sheldon elected president pro tem of Senate

The Senate has sworn in maverick Democratic Sen. Tim Sheldon to serve as president pro tempore, presiding over the politically divided chamber when Lt. Gov. Brad Owen is away. No one else was nominated but the vote was 38 to 10 Monday – far from unanimous.

Among the dissenters was Democratic Sen. Karen Fraser of Thurston County.

“A big portion of my constituency is very unhappy with his shifting” allegiance to join the GOP caucus in a coalition,  Fraser explained.

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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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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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It’s not Nirvana but WA Lieutenant Governor candidate Bill Finkbeiner posts a music video/campaign ad (with Krist Novoselic’s help)

Welcome to 2012 Lieutenant Governor Campaign — The Musical.

Incumbent Brad Owen has long been known for taking his band on the road to schools and other venues to promote an anti drug message.

Now Republican challenger Bill Finkbeiner has come up with his own musical number, his version of the country classic “I’ve Been Everywhere.”

Finkbeiner sings his version over a slide show with pictures of him, well, everywhere. He even manages to slip in a reference to his suggestion that the state Senate (the lieutenant governor presides) might be less partisan if the center aisle was removed and

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GOP’s Bill Finkbeiner to run against Lt. Gov. Brad Owen

Former state Senate Republican leader Bill Finkbeiner of Kirkland announced today he is running for lieutenant governor in 2012 in a bid to bring more bipartisanship to the state Capitol. Finkbeiner served as GOP leader in 2004-05, deciding one year later not to seek re-election.

In an email today, Finkbeiner spoke of trying to build more bipartisanship at the Legislature – even more than what four-term Democratic Lt. Gov. Brad Owen of Shelton has mustered as presiding officer. Among his ideas is use of a mediator to help settle disputes and less of the global travel Owen does to boost trade and good will.

“There’s things the lieutenant governor can do to make the Senate work better … It’s not that he’s doing something bad. … He’s kind of mailing it in. There’s more than following Robert’s Rules of Order and banging the gavel,’’ Finkbeiner said.

Feinbeiner’s suggestion there is insufficient bipartisanship might be news to those in the Senate who crossed party lines in May to produce the most bipartisan budget agreement in decades. But in a telephone interview Finkbeiner said he thinks lawmakers could bring that kind of spirit to a lot more issues.
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UPDATE: Kagan confirmed, time to ratchet up speculation about Chris Gregoire as solicitor general

Yes, the history making confirmation has occurred and we should take a moment to absorb the significance of the fourth-ever female Supreme Court justice.

Ok, that’s enough.

But what if the springtime reports are true, that Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire is a possible replacement for Elena Kagan as U.S. solicitor general? That would trigger a sequence of events that would make for some interesting political news over the next few months.

UPDATE ONE: Gregoire told the Seattle Times Friday she will take the weekend to decide whether to ask the White House to drop her name from consideration, presuming she is still being considered.

First of all, the magic date is October 3. If Gregoire were to resign as governor before that day, the state would be plunged into a winner-take-all general election. That means no primary to whittle down the list of candidates to two.

Such a happening would be an expensive, dirty, perilous and tremendously entertaining free-for-all with the control of state government going to whichever candidate gets a plurality.

After October 3, Lt Gov. Brad Owen would take over and keep the job all the way until the 2012 election. Owen is a Democrat but one with more-conservative beliefs and voting patterns than Gregoire. Since it would likely take more than two months for President Obama to make an appointment and for the U.S. Senate to confirm that appointment, it is unlikely a vacancy would occur before Oct. 3.

A quirk in state law puts off the governor’s race until 2012 but requires a special election to replace Owen in 2011. That could set up a practice election with candidates hoping to run in 2012 getting a leg up with a year as lieutenant governor. Ok, probably not.

UPDATE TWO: Secretary of State’s office isn’t completely sure when the race to replace Owen as lieutenant governor would take place. Should he succeed Gregoire as governor, a 1902 Supreme Court case says he wouldn’t be replaced and would serve as both governor and lieutenant governor. The only limitation on his dual duties would be he would no longer preside over the Senate. The case is State v. McBride.

State v. McBride 29 Wash. 335, 339-340, 70 P. 25, 26 (1902)

“When the lieutenant governor, by virtue of his office and of the command of the constitution, assumed the duties of governor on the death of Gov. Rogers, the office of lieutenant governor did not thereby become vacant, but the officer remained lieutenant governor, intrusted with the powers and duties of governor. People v. Budd, 114 Cal. 168, 45 Pac. 1060, 34 L. R. A. 46; State v. Sadler, 23 Nev. 356, 47 Pac. 450; People v. Hopkins, 55 N. Y. 74; Robertson v. State, 109 Ind. 79, 10 N. E. 582, 643. It is argued, however, that since it is made the duty of the lieutenant governor, under the constitution, to be presiding officer of the state senate (section 16, art. 3), and as such to approve all bills passed by that body, he must, as governor, review and approve or reject bills which as lieutenant governor he has already approved. These duties are, no doubt, inconsistent; but this argument, we think, is fully met by another provision of the constitution, which provides, at section 10, art. 2, in substance, that when the lieutenant governor shall act as governor the senate shall choose a temporary president. The lieutenant governor, therefore, when the duties of governor devolve upon him, is relieved of the duties of presiding officer of the senate.”

Now, back to the speculation at hand …

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Gov. Chris Gregoire says she’s not job hunting. But what if the president calls her to serve?

Gov. Chris Gregoire repeated her statements about a potential federal appointment Tuesday – essentially that she has work to do in Washington state and isn’t looking for another job.

But she hesitated when asked if she could tell the president no if he called on her to serve as U.S. Solicitor General.

“It’s one thing to say I have a job. But you don’t look the president in the eye when he asks you to serve and say no,” she said. “I don’t know what I’d do.”

“The state needs consistent, stable leadership,” Gregoire said during a conversation in her

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Hotline On Call: Gregoire is on White House shortlist for solicitor general

The National Journal’s Hotline On Call reports here that the White House has told the state’s congressional delegation that Gov. Chris Gregoire is, in fact, on their short list for solicitor general.

So my wild speculation Monday about Gregoire’s candidacy wasn’t wrong, just premature. The job would come open if Elena Kagan is confirmed for the U.S. Supreme Court, something that could happen by summer’s end.

Here’s what the report says: “Gregoire, a 2-term incumbent and a former WA AG, has been a rumored contender for other admin positions. But the WH has informed top aides to WA members

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