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: Tracey Eide


Sen. Tracey Eide blocks her own budget over Columbia River Crossing spat with Sen. Don Benton

State Sen. Tracey Eide said she is keeping her own budget bottled up in her committee because of proposed amendments she opposes that would restrict funding for the Columbia River Crossing bridge.

Eide, a Democrat, and fellow Transportation Committee co-chairman Curtis King, a Republican, unveiled their transportation budget more than a week ago but it hasn’t received a committee vote. At issue is $81.8 million in planning money for the I-5 bridge between Portland and Vancouver.

Sen. Don Benton, an opponent of light rail on the bridge, has offered amendments targeting that money and said he has support in his majority, mostly Republican caucus. “I

Read more »


Sen. Hatfield says Democrats accepting committee chairmanships under GOP control are gaining power for districts

State Sen. Brian Hatfield says Democrats like him, Sen. Steve Hobbs and Sen. Tracey Eide have more power for their districts by accepting committee chair or co-chair roles under the Republican coalition’s power structure. Hatfield, a conservative from Raymond, said members of the Senate Democratic Caucus are now in the minority and by accepting the Republicans’ offer they can call any bluff from the new majority – if they fail to be bipartisan.

As outlined this morning, Hatfield will chair the restructured Senate Agriculture, Water and Rural Economic Development Committee, which he had led under a different configuration the past four years. Hobbs continues as chair of the Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee. Eide, who is Senate Democrats’ floor leader, will co-chair the Senate Transportation with Republican Sen. Curtis King of Yakima.

“I think there is still a little bitterness over how it was done (by the new Senate Majority Coalition Caucus) but it’s not aimed at us,” Hatfield said of the 24 Democrats remaining in the Democratic Caucus. He spoke in the Senate wings a few minutes before Lt. Gov. Brad Owen gaveled the Senate into session.

Read more »


Senate Republicans poised to take over Environment, Higher Ed, Parks, Trade, Human Services; remaining question marks include Sens. Hobbs, Hatfield, Eide

Washington will get a new Democratic governor this week with a green-energy agenda, but Republicans are preparing to take the helm of the Senate committee that would consider such proposals — along with other panels dealing with colleges, trade, parks and prisons.

The Legislature officially returns to session today at noon with the specifics of how the Senate will work still up in the air. After several Democrats turned down its offers to lead committees, the Republicans-plus-two-Democrats majority in the Senate has issued a new proposal to the minority.

As described in an e-mail that was circulated among Democratic senators

Read more »


Senate committees get new leaders, including Pam Roach, Randi Becker, Mike Carrell

The political earthquake today that gives control of the state Senate to Republicans and two Democrats will reshuffle the leadership roster.

The coalition announced they would put Republicans in charge of some of the most important committees, including budget-writing Ways and Means (Andy Hill of Redmond instead of the Democrats’ pick, Jim Hargrove of Hoquiam), Education (Steve Litzow of Mercer Island replacing Rosemary McAuliffe of Bothell), Commerce and Labor (Janea Holmquist Newbry of Moses Lake taking over from Jeanne Kohl-Welles of Seattle) and the judiciary or justice committee (Mike Padden of Spokane Valley replacing Adam Kline of Seattle).

Randi Becker of Eatonville,

Read more »


Democrats nominate Jim Hargrove as budget chair, Tracey Eide for transportation, Steve Conway for gov-ops

UPDATED 9 a.m. Wednesday: Here’s our print story, including comments from Democrats Sheldon and Fraser and Republican Mark Schoesler. Notably, conservative Democrat Sheldon is calling for an equal split on the transportation committee, with leaders from both parties and both sides of the mountains — rather than having Eide as sole chairwoman.

Senate Democrats have picked their nominees to lead two powerful budget-writing committees, selecting Sen. Jim Hargrove of Hoquiam to be chairman of the Ways and Means Committee and Des Moines Sen. Tracey Eide as chairwoman of the Transportation Committee.

They picked Sen. Tim Sheldon of Mason County as President Pro Tempore.

And Sen. Steve Conway of Tacoma is the Democrats’ choice to serve as chairman of the wide-ranging Government Operations, Tribal Relations and Elections Committee.

Tracey Eide

The decisions are subject to approval by the full Senate, which could be tricky with the new leverage minority Republicans are expected to gain if GOP Sen. Don Benton survives a recount in Clark County.

But if Democrats’ picks stand, here’s who would fill some of the key leadership and committee posts (will update with more): Read more »


Environmental study sought for Federal Way light rail

There’s still no money available to bring light rail to Federal Way, but Democratic state Sen. Tracey Eide and Republican King County Councilman Pete von Reichbauer say Sound Transit should spend what it does have on a planning process that will position it for the day when there is money.

The goal is federal approval of a route to Federal Way. Sound Transit says having a plan will help it compete for federal and state grants and other money that could bring that day closer.

A proposal von Reichbauer unveiled today and will make to the rest of the Sound Transit board

Read more »


Federal Way looks for way to secede from Sound Transit

Federal Way is firing a shot across the bow of Sound Transit.

The city is upset that Sound Transit expects to scrap plans to bring light rail to Federal Way by 2023 as part of the $17.9 billion mass transit measure voters approved in 2008. The agency’s tax revenues from South King County have dropped by nearly a third, so the agency plans to delay the extension to South 272nd Street until 2034 or later.

Now six proposals tied to Sound Transit have surfaced in the Legislature with backing from Federal Way.

None of them would bring more trains

Read more »


PDC staff recommends Americans for Prosperity case be dismissed

Conservative group Americans for Prosperity-Washington didn’t run afoul of Washington election law, the staff of the state’s campaign watchdog agency has determined.

The group led by Kirby Wilbur, now chairman of the state Republican Party, attacked incumbent Democratic state lawmakers in ads and mailers and didn’t report the spending to the Public Disclosure Commission until after the November 2010 election.

Democrats complained, especially because they saw it as similar to campaign attacks on Republicans by liberal and labor groups using a Democratic consultant, Moxie Media, which has come under scrutiny for misleading voters.

But the PDC staff determined the

Read more »