On Other Blogs
On Other Blogs Today: Booze, Transit, and Twinkies
Our daily roundup.
1. The Seattle Times crunches the numbers on this year's state legislative elections and finds some hope for campaign-finance reformers: Out of the 12 top spenders, six lost decisively. The biggest loser was 27th District state senate candidate Jack Connelly, a Democrat, who spent $1.1 million, including $988,383 of his own money, on his losing race against a fellow Democrat, longtime state Rep. Jeanne Darnielle. Connelly lost with 42.7 percent, which, the Times notes, works out to $46.38 a vote.
(Fizz noted Connelly's big spend the morning after Election Day, calling him a "big loser.")
2. Twinkie devotees, take heart: Hostess, which threatened to shut down after union workers went on strike at Hostess plants across the country, has backed down from its temper tantrum and agreed to enter confidential mediation with the union, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, AKA the union for everything that will kill you.
The Puget Sound Business Journal has more.
3. Former Democratic state Rep. Brendan Williams, an opponent of last year's liquor-privatization law (I-1183), has his "I told you so" moment in the Seattle Times, where he writes that liquor prices are so high, they're prompting a mini-version of Prohibition, with buyers flocking across the state's southern and northern borders to buy booze on the cheap.
The lesson here is that Pierce County voters are divided between the haves and have-nots.
The higher prices, and limited shelf space in retail stores, are particularly bad news for craft distilleries, which have been pushed off store shelves in favor of top-selling national brands and high-volume hooch.
4. The Tacoma News Tribune editorial board argues that Pierce Transit must "regroup and rethink" in the wake of its razor-thin election defeat, which will force Draconian cuts at the agency, including the total elimination of weekend service and all service after 7 pm on weekdays.
Among other changes, the paper argues, the transit agency should tighten its belt even further, propose an even smaller tax increase (the 0.3-percent sales tax hike would have merely preserved existing service), and put a sunset date on the tax so that it eventually expires.
But, as the editorial also notes, the transit union—a frequent bogeyman for tax opponents—agreed to unprecedented wage freezes and increased health-care costs. And low-income workers who rely on Pierce Transit buses to get to jobs—often multiple jobs—will now have no transportation options outside conventional work hours.
The lesson here isn't that Pierce Transit needs to figure out a tax package that can pass; it's that Pierce County voters are divided between the haves and have-nots: The people who rely on transit and the people who never use it, and see it as a wasteful use of their tax dollars.