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.

27 April 2007

Another open seat in Tacoma

The News Tribune reported recently that Tom Stenger will not be running for another term. Stenger had gotten in some hot water several times over his past term, including an incident where a microphone picked up him cursing at fellow Councilman Rick Talbert. This opens up another seat on the Council for this fall, in addition to Bill Evans' at-large seat which has already attracted quite a bit of candidate interest.

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22 April 2007

RIP John L. O'Brien

I just found out via Ridenbaugh Press that John L. O'Brien, essentially the father of the state legislature, has died today at the age of 95. Honestly, I had no idea he was still alive, being that he first set foot in the House in 1939, but had apparently been enjoying longevity in life much like he did as a state representative. O'Brien served from 1939 until 1992 with only one term in that stretch where he was not elected, and served as speaker for several terms in the 1950s and 1960s. Dan Evans fan though I am, here's to you, Speaker O'Brien. Thank you for your service to our state.


Go out and buy the new Hugh Foskett album

I don't know how I keep getting back to Hugh Foskett on this weblog. For a candidate who drew a respectable 13% of the vote last year in the most left-wing legislative district in the state, even now he's popping up where I wouldn't expect it. According to an anonymous post earlier today, the Toronto Star newspaper recently ran a blurb about the new Bright Eyes album, "Cassadaga," and printed a picture of Foskett instead of the group's frontman, Conor Oberst. I have a thumbnail of the poster's scan of the Star article below.

The thing is, their error apparently stemmed from a brief post I made last spring about the entry of two GOP sacrificial lamb candidates in the 43rd district, of which Foskett was one. I linked to a photo of him from the UW Math Department website and likened him to Oberst, and that post somehow made it on the first page of results if you do a Google picture search for "Conor Oberst." Foskett must have looked enough like Oberst for the Star to not notice the difference, because they now believe him to be responsible for "Cassadaga," which I've listened to a good dozen times the past week even prior to learning of this Star business. Added to his status as the state's preferred Republican groper, Foskett has been able to get much more out of his 13% than anyone could have thought.

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12 April 2007

Spotlight on Tacoma

Tacoma-hater though I am, I figured the time was nigh to say something about how their local races are developing for this fall, given that I've been spending most of my few-and-far-between posts on Seattle, Spokane, and Snohomish County races. I received an email yesterday from David Hyres, who has recently kicked off his campaign to replace Jack Fabulich on the Port of Tacoma Commission. Fabulich has served on the Port for multiple terms and is retiring, and thus far Hyres and David Lovell have filed for his seat. The other Port incumbent up this year, Clare Petrich, will likely get a free ride with all the focus diverted to the open seat.

Thus far in Tacoma's City Council races, all three incumbents are unopposed. The fourth seat, an at-large position being vacated by Bill Evans, has four candidates thus far who have filed. Of these, only Marilyn Strickland appears to have had any success at early fundraising, and I'm not familiar enough with Marty Campbell, David Curry, or Jonathan Phillips in order to gauge who might have some success down the road.

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11 April 2007

Nobles files for Seattle City Council

Monorail board member Jim Nobles has filed for the Seattle City Council, joining a mash of candidates after the seat being vacated by Peter Steinbrueck. Best known as the only Republican currently elected to office in Seattle (albeit for a nonpartisan office), Nobles' entry is significant not only in that he offers the GOP a credible candidate in Seattle, but also in that he makes no attempt to hide his affiliation (he also ran in the GOP primary for lieutenant governor in 2004).

Also running for the open seat are Bruce Harrell, former Councilman John Manning, and Venus Velázquez. Carrie Shriver had filed for the seat but has since reneged. Last week's issue of The Stranger speculated that several others, including very liberal Rep. Phyllis Kenney, may soon enter the race (or any of the other four seats on the ballot). Odd as it may seem, Nobles likely stands as good a shot as any of the others currently in the race. In a divided primary, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see him make the top two spots, though a scenario where he could win the general election matchup just isn't feasible at the current time.

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House passes domestic partnerships

Yesterday the House passed SB5336, instituting a domestic partnership registry in the state for gay and lesbian couples along with elderly heterosexual couples. The vote was very lopsided due to the partisan split, and had little crossovers in contrast with last month's Senate vote where four conservative Democrats opposed the bill. In all, only two Democrats, Reps. Tami Green and Mark Miloscia, voted against the bill while three Republicans, Reps. Shirley Hankins, Fred Jarrett, and Maureen Walsh, crossed in support. I'm quite pleased that this important legislation has now been passed and is sure to be signed towards the end of the session, though am disappointed in a few GOP representatives who had expressed support for such a bill in the past. However, this is not the time for disappointment, as GLBT citizens will soon be allowed an important step on the journey to full marriage equality.

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04 April 2007

House passes medical pot bill

And did so rather easily, by a margin of 64-30. The Senate passed SB6032 39-10 in mid-March and the bill will go to the governor's desk for passage, though I have yet to hear her intents.

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