Well, last night, U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA, 1), the likely Democratic candidate for governor, spoke to about 40 Democrats on campus at the UW's Young Democrats meeting.
We'll have a full report on Inslee's remarks later, but quickly—in a hotly partisan stump speech (he blamed the deficit on Bush's tax cuts, "most of which went to upper income folks"), Inslee attacked the new Republican majority in congress for cutting higher ed Pell Grants, for passing legislation to prevent the EPA from enforcing the Clean Air Act, and for voting to repeal the health care reform legislation which, he reminded the group: prevents insurance companies from denying coverage due to pre-existing conditions; gives small businesses a subsidy for providing health insurance; insures the 30 million Americans who currently don't have health care coverage; and, a point he kept hitting for the students, allows young people to stay on their parents' coverage until they are 26.
"Republicans want to take these rights away," he said. "Those are values I don't understand. That is inconsistent with Husky values." (Inslee graduated from the UW in the early 70s and organized his speech around anecdotes from his college days, including a touching story about his then-girlfriend, now-wife Trudi's breast cancer scare as a young college student.)
[pullquote]"We have lawsuits filed by attorneys general wanting to take these rights away. I’m gonna fight. I'm not going to let them take your rights away."—U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee[/pullquote]
Inslee also used the health care issue to take a shot at McKenna. "We have lawsuits filed by attorneys general wanting to take these rights away. I’m gonna fight. I'm not going to let them take your rights away. This is something that Democrats passed, and you should be proud to be a Democrat for that," to which he added: "You can applaud," to a burst of clapping and foot stomping.
This was in marked contrast to McKenna's drier, academic talk last week, in which McKenna had been more attentive to the fact that the Young Democrats had been invited to sit in. (In turn, about 10 College Republicans were in attendance for Inslee's talk last night.)
Before Inslee arrived last night, the Young Democrats in fact discussed their reactions to McKenna's speech. While the students said they disagreed with him on the issues—"given that he said he wouldn't raise taxes, I don't see it [his pledge to fund higher ed] happening"—the students were impressed with McKenna's style, calling him "charming," "compelling," and "willing to consider alternatives." The UW's student lobbyist went as far as to say: "He knows more about higher ed funding than most people in Olympia."
One young woman fretted about McKenna's appeal, "I was concerned that what he said doesn't match his actions."
Out in hall after Inslee's talk, I asked a couple of College Republicans how they thought Inslee's speech had compared to McKenna's. They were politic and polite, stressing that the two speeches had been "different ... Inslee did more of a rally."
2. City council member Jean Godden's campaign kickoff---held last night at FareStart Cafe downtown---featured a guest list of current and former elected officials, campaign consultants and city staffers making their obligatory $100 contributions, and a who's who of old Seattle political royalty and labor representatives.
Spotted: SEIU 775 director David Rolf; firefighters union head Kenny Stuart, who did Godden's money pitch, along with a group of union-shirt-wearing firefighters ("why won't they take them off?" one female operative whispered); city council members Sally Bagshaw and Tim Burgess (council member Tom Rasmussen showed up fashionably late); city union coalition leader Adrienne Thompson; real estate investor Mark Barbieri; HistoryLink director Marie McCaffrey; and chefs from several swank local restaurants, who toasted Godden after she made her brief campaign stump speech.
Best line of the night, delivered by Godden after the firefighters' funding pitch: "As my hairdresser always says, if you want to see a good-looking man, start a fire."
[pullquote]Godden noted that the dating pool for older women isn't huge; "I don't want to be a cougar," she joked.[/pullquote]
Both Godden and her consultant, Cathy Allen, referred to the fact that Godden, 79, is dating, but neither woman was naming names. When PubliCola asked Godden who she was dating, she said only that there are "one or two," including a retired dentist from Sun Valley "who comes out to see me from time to time." Godden noted that the dating pool for older women isn't huge; "I don't want to be a cougar," she joked.
3. Former city council member Richard McIver, who retired in 2009, had two strokes over the weekend and is still in the hospital. A friend who had talked to McIver said he seemed lucid but was still recovering; they didn't know when he'd be heading back home.
4. Contribution of the day: Earlier this week, Urban Renaissance Property---a downtown property manager and real-estate developer whose properties include Columbia Center, the Wells Fargo Building, and the Joshua Green building---contributed $2,000 to Let's Move Forward, the pro-tunnel campaign that's fighting a referendum to repeal three agreements between the city and state on the tunnel. Patrick Callahan, Urban Renaissance's CEO, did not return a call for comment yesterday about why his company contributed to the pro-tunnel cause.
5. In response to yesterday's news that a city council committee unanimously approved a resolution to study alternatives to Mayor Mike McGinn's preferred homeless encampment site in SODO, McGinn spokesman Aaron Pickus said the mayor was now "open to different ideas on how to better serve people living without shelter."
6. Pickus also filled us in on why Mayor McGinn did not sign a recent letter from Seattle leaders to the state legislature and the governor demanding the state fund the Disability Lifeline, the $327 million per biennium program that provides cash and medical assistance to about 21,000 people, including HIV victims, veterans, victims of domestic violence, and people with severe disabilities, who cannot work.
"We have been fortunate to have our police department recognize the importance of Disability Lifeline and other human services," Pickus said. "They provide a unique voice in these discussions and have testified multiple times on these issues."
Seattle Police Department Assistant Chief Dick Reed was among the eight people who signed the letter, including King County Executive Dow Constantine, Downtown Seattle Association President Kate Joncas, Harborview Medical Center Executive Director Eileen Whalen, and Committee to End Homelessness Project Director Bill Block.