The Moderate Washingtonian

Outlook on politics and elections in the state of Washington from an overall centrist viewpoint. My views tend to be libertarian in nature, but at the same time are largely nonpartisan.

30 January 2007

Update: The race to replace Ladenburg

A little over a month ago I posted about the entry of Pierce County Councilman Calvin Goings into the race for county executive in 2008, as incumbent Democrat John Ladenburg is term-limited and will probably be coaxed into a statewide run by Dwight Pelz instead. The race is likely to be the premiere local race of the year, and it just inched closer to realizing its potential as Councilman Shawn Bunney has also entered the race (though without as much as a peep from the MSM), who served as chairman of the Council up until earlier this month when fellow Republican Terry Lee took over for him. Another potentially-competitive Republican, Tacoma City Councilman Mike Lonergan, has yet to rule out seeking the office, while one of the stronger potential Democratic candidates, state Auditor Brian Sonntag, has stated he won't run and will instead seek a fifth term to his current office.

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25 January 2007

Senator Jacobsen on Olbermann

I was just watching tonight's showing of MSNBC's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" on the Tivo and he listed Senator Ken Jacobsen [D-Seattle] as his #2 newsmaker of the day. It had to do with something about dogs in bars, nothing I had heard of, but I figured it was worth pointing out nonetheless.


Early peek: 2007 Seattle City Council elections

Even at this early date, three presumably credible challengers have filed for this fall's Seattle City Council seats. The first to announce was Timothy Burgess, formerly Chair of the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission and the Queen Anne Community Council. Burgess has a reputation as a moderate, and is currently running against incumbent David Della for the 7th position. Of course, as Dwight Pelz showed us in 2005, this is not set in stone. The next to file was Bruce Harrell, an attorney who once worked for then-Councilman Paul Kraabel. Harrell has not singled out which incumbent to oppose. The third candidate is Venus Velazquez, who has apparently filed just in the last few days. She was a finalist for the appointment to replace Jim Compton last year, an appointment that would eventually go to Sally Clark. However, Velazquez has set her sights on first-term incumbent Jean Godden rather than Clark, who made quick work of frequent candidate Stan Lippman in last fall's special election.

The other incumbents whose seats are up this year are Peter Steinbrueck and Tom Rasmussen.

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23 January 2007

Hession-French rematch on the horizon?

Days ago, Dennis Hession announced his intent to seek a full term as mayor of Spokane, a seat he was appointed to following the recall of the late Jim West in December of 2005. Almost immediately, Councilman Al French jumped on the mayor for use of a PR firm with close ties to the mayor's campaign, and has publicly mulled a run for the office himself, with an expected announcement by the end of the month. This would not only give Hession detractors a promising candidate for the fall election, but it would be a rematch of the 2003 council president race, which Hession narrowly won in spite of near-unanimous support of French by the city and county governments.

Now, I admit I'm a bit behind on keeping up on Spokane politics now that I've been living elsewhere for the past ten months. However, most of what I've read of Hession's leadership has been negative, often a result of overt timidity similar to criticisms of Seattle Councilman Richard Conlin. I never had a problem with Hession when living in Spokane, but being that I've long been a supporter of French on the Council, if he enters the race I will support his candidacy. He represents an ideal blend of business ties, social tolerance, and fiscal responsibility.

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20 January 2007

Viaduct vote is on

Even with Chris Gregoire coming to her senses and giving Mayor Nickels and the rest of Seattle's government a tunnel ultimatum, the Council voted yesterday to still go forward with an advisory vote for residents to choose between the underground tunnel of the city government or the rebuild of the state government. Given that Gregoire and Frank Chopp have said they would put the kibosh on state funding of the Viaduct if the city does not allow a rebuild and rather divert funding to SR-520, the question before Seattle voters will apparently be to accept another eyesore and have help paying for it or finance a more expensive tunnel by themselves. In addition, Port Commissioners Bob Edwards and Lloyd Hara have sided with the state and promised removal of $200M earmarked for the Viaduct. I'm predicting a landslide result March 13.

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17 January 2007

Rep. Baird on Colbert tonight

According to the News Tribune, US Rep. Brian Baird [D-Vancouver] will be on tonight's episode of the Colbert Report in the "Better Know a District" series. Several months ago Democrat Rick Larsen was the first of our state's delegation on the Comedy Central television show, and had a memorable interview. While I'm not a big fan of Baird, he's well known as having a good sense of humour and ought to be a good interview. Don't miss it.


11 January 2007

Sonntag passes on Pierce

State Auditor Brian Sonntag has declared he will not run for the open Pierce County executive position in 2008, and is planning on running for a fifth term to his statewide position. This decision dually means a competitive race for Auditor is now out of the question and the Pierce race is probably now more wide-open as Sonntag likely would have been the presumptive favourite.

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09 January 2007

Legislative Gays back to fight

According to Postman, the legislature's five openly-gay members (including rookie Jamie Pedersen) have announced they will be taking the Supreme Court's advice this session in proposing both a marriage equality bill and a legal unions bill, the latter of which I think stands a good chance of passage. Even with Democratic supermajorities, true marriage equality could still fall short, as some Democrats who signed off on last session's non-discrimination bill (i.e. Senator Rasmussen) are otherwise opposed to marriage equality. The only Republican legislator I suspect would vote in favour of marriage equality is Representative Jarrett, but there are a handful of other Republicans who have indicated support for legal unions in the past, likely enough to withstand any crossovers from Dixiecrats like Rasmussen, Tim Sheldon, and Jim Hargrove.

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08 January 2007

Welcome to the machine

Today marks the first day of the legislative session, complete with insurmountable Democratic majorities. The legislative website currently has links for new members, but at the moment are dead links. I always look forward to the revamping of the website with new photos of the members, new and old, but for the moment I'll have to wait and see if any members dramatically changed their appearance since last session. Regardless, I doubt we will see anything better than when Rep. Dickerson became a cabbage patch doll without warning.


06 January 2007

On break

On this rare occasion where I actually have Internet access at the moment, I wanted to take the opportunity to say that I'm in the process of moving to Pullman and that is the reason for having not been able to post the last several days. Once I get cable hooked up at the new place things should return to normal, and hopefully that will be later this weekend or Monday.