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.

Tag: Christopher Hurst


Yet another bail proposal, but is it the last one?

Sen. Mike Carrell and Rep. Christopher Hurst were seen shaking hands today, after they and Sen. Adam Kline huddled on the Senate floor.

Considering the verbal shots being fired by Hurst at Carrell and Kline last week, are these portentous signs for the success of negotiations over the constitutional amendment on bail?

“I think we’re getting really close,” Carrell said.

A new draft has emerged from the talks between the House, Senate and Gov. Chris Gregoire. Hurst left the huddle with a document to take back to his fellow House members to see if they

Read more »


Can’t get no respect

Rep. Christopher Hurst has been taking shots at the folks across the capitol rotunda for a while now over the issue of bail. Hurst let loose with another volley today to reporters. Here are his comments about Sen. Adam Kline and Sen. Mike Carrell:

“I think there is a modicum of respect that’s necessary in the process, and one of those issues is the committee chair sitting down with the other committee chair. This is the first time in the last couple of years where Adam has said, ‘Well, when we’re done with it we’ll tell you.’

Read more »


House members pan new bail try

House members aren’t satisfied with the overtures from senators to meet them halfway on bail.

Sen. Mike Carrell and Sen. Adam Kline announced their latest proposal today for a constitutional amendment to put before voters. It would allow judges to deny bail not just for frequent offenders, as the bill that passed the Senate would do, but also for people charged with crimes “involving the intentional death of another, the intentional infliction of great bodily harm on another” and certain sex offenses.

They listed the offenses for which suspects could be detained – from murder down to first-degree child molestation – and said they would have allowed judges to lock up at least 617 more people last year.

But they wouldn’t include all Class A felonies, like the version that passed the House. Crimes like vehicular homicide, arson, robbery and burglary would not be included in the version that will now be considered by Kline’s committee.

“We need to distinguish between those things that are harmful to individuals, and those things that are bad, very bad things, but not harmful to individuals,” Carrell said.

Read more »


Cracks in unity appearing on bail

The major proposals coming out of the House and Senate that limit the constitutional right to bail are pretty similar.

Both chambers of the Legislature have voted overwhelmingly to allow judges to deny bail in certain cases. Both of the proposals they want to send to voters would apply only to criminal suspects staring down life in prison.

Neither of them gave police groups everything they asked for. Neither of them satisfied civil libertarians.

And both changes, if they had been in effect last year, would have allowed a judge to detain Maurice Clemmons before he killed four Lakewood police

Read more »


Who voted against shelving I-960

A number of South Sound Democrats diverged from their party by voting to keep Initiative 960 in effect.

The initiative requires a two-thirds majority vote in the Legislature to raise taxes. Suspending it required only a majority in the House and Senate, and there was little suspense that Democrats would get that. Leaders had counted their votes and were confident. But the votes were close, reflecting the tough politics of being seen as opposing the will of voters.

Reps. Christopher Hurst, D-Enumclaw, Troy Kelley, D-Tacoma, Dawn Morrell, D-Puyallup, Mark Miloscia, D-Federal Way, and Larry Seaquist, D-Gig Harbor, voted “no” Wednesday night, joining all South Sound Republicans. A version that passed the Senate was opposed by Sens. Claudia Kauffman, D-Kent, and Sen. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor.

Read more »


Morning update: Day 33

Good morning on Day 33 of the legislative session. Here’s a roundup of what’s happening in Olympia:

  • State leaders will get a good idea of the scope of the budget problem facing the state when the latest revenue forecast comes in.  The projection of money coming into the state through June 30, 2011, will help bean counters resize a budget shortfall that now stands at $2.7 billion.
  • The Olympian’s Brad Shannon has the details on a sales tax increase proposed by Rep. Dennis Flannigan of Tacoma to help deal with that shortfall.  The 1-penny tax would be

Read more »


Patrick Reed of Sumner will challenge Chris Hurst in 31st Legislative District

Patrick Reed will challenge 31st District incumbent Christopher Hurst in this fall’s election for the state House of Representatives.

Reed lives in Sumner and is currently a program manager for the Secretary of State’s office in Olympia. He will run as a Republican.

“I’m running for the Legislature because unemployment is impacting so many families in my district,” Reed said in a press release. “I know the state can do better because I’ve seen first-hand how agencies can improve their practices and help new and existing businesses succeed.”

Hurst, a Democrat, served two terms from 1999 to 2003 and then returned to the House in 2007.

Here’s the press release… Read more »


UPDATE: Kastama Hurst bills would limit city/county profits from traffic cameras

Puyallup Sen. Jim Kastama has introduced a bill to force local governments to reduce the fines associated with red light and speed cameras.

“The traffic cameras were originally passed in the interest of public safety,
but now they’re viewed as revenue generators,” Kastama said. “Local governments are levying fines far higher than anyone in the Legislature intended.”

Kastama said he was reacting to reports that some cities view the tickets as a means of collecting revenue for the general fund.

“It’s clear that the focus has shifted from public safety to revenue. This is not what the Legislature intended and it’s not what the public wants.”

The bill is Senate Bill 6410

Rep. Christopher Hurst of Greenwater has a similar bill in the House. The first words of his bill are “The purposed of law enforcement is to protect and serve, not collect and serve.”

Here is Kastama’s press release … Read more »