1. Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna's campaign posted better percentages on the latest batches of vote counts—including his best showing yet, 43 percent of the 8:30 count in liberal King County. But the vote differential separating him from his Democratic opponent Jay Inslee keeps growing.
So, while McKenna has a bigger percentage of the vote than he did on election night (48.68 percent Tuesday night vs. 48.87 now), that only reflects the fact that there are more votes on the table, not the fact that he's closing the margin.
Think of this way: Pretend after the first night there were 10 votes in and Inslee was winning by two votes, 6-4, or 60 percent to 40 percent. And say, after the next count, with more votes in, 100 votes, Inslee was winning 55-45. That's a greater percentage for McKenna, 45, but Inslee's margin is greater—he's up by 10.
Inslee now has a 54,398 vote lead. On election night he had a 49,822 vote lead.
So, while McKenna's camp says later votes are trending their way—as the 8:30 King County batch showed (McKenna was initially getting just around 37 percent of the King County vote)—he'll need a titanic shift to make up the difference. For example, he now needs to get 55,000 more votes than Inslee in the next count. That's not very likely.
Inslee's team laid it out in a memo late last night:
"Of the ballots remaining to be counted, 51.45% reside in King, Thurston, Snohomish, and Whatcom Counties where Inslee is currently receiving 58.23% of the votes to McKenna’s 41.77%. Conversely, only 12.01% of remaining ballots reside in counties from which the majority of the McKenna statewide vote total is derived -- Benton, Clark, Spokane, and Yakima. In these counties McKenna is currently only receiving 57.08% of votes to Inslee’s 42.92%."
2. The Democrats' hope of winning a working majority in the state senate is on the rocks after yesterday's vote count. Democratic challenger state Rep. Tim Probst (D-17, Vancouver), who had been beating incumbent state Sen. Don Benton (R-17 Vancouver) by 106 votes, dropped behind—by 62 votes.
3. King County Council member Joe McDermott has introduced an amendment to the county budget to direct the anticipated increase in revenues from county marriage licenses due to the marriage equality measure, R-74, to programs serving LGBTQ youth. We have a call out to McDermott's office to find out how much additional revenue the county expects to receive from marriage licenses for same-sex couples.
Licata's no longer convinced the program is doing what the city intended it to do.
4. Mayor Mike McGinn has accused the city council of diverting funds for a program called Communities United for Rainier Beach (CURB) to other programs even though, in his words, those funds "help improve safety, build community, and provide better opportunities for young people and communities of color."
McGinn spokesman Aaron Pickus told PubliCola, "CURB serves a significant group of youth and young adults," including adults targeted in the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative.
However, City Council member Nick Licata—a longtime advocate of funding for CURB, which was also slated for elimination back in 2008—says he's no longer convinced the program is doing what the city intended it to do. Initially, CURB (originally called Clean Dreams) was supposed to prevent kids from getting arrested. Over time, Licata says, CURB has turned into a program to help people, mainly adults, who have already been arrested, and does nothing to deter crime.
"It’s basically a reentry program to try to help people who’ve been arrested," Licata says. "We were interested in a pre-arrest diversion model. It's drifted away from that."
The city spends about $250,000 a year on CURB.
5. Additionally, the mayor's office is attempting to whip up outrage about a supposed attempt to eliminate $200,000 in additional funding for the parks department; the money would pay for parks maintenance. Council sources say that despite McGinn's frantic emails decrying the council's efforts to "scal[e] back or eliminat[e] this funding." the council has no intention of doing so.