1. File this under the gossip half of "caffeinated news & gossip." Fizz hears that Republican Seattle Port Commissioner Bill Bryant is getting ready to announce that he's running for US Senate against Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell.
2. Seattle Human Services Department Director Dannette Smith told council members yesterday that she was setting up a task force, made up of meal service providers, "members of the faith community," and business leaders, including the Downtown Seattle Association, to come up with a way to continue to provide free meals outdoors while also transitioning most of the meal service currently provided at the Outdoor Meal Site at 6th and Cherry to an indoor location.
HSD's decision, which originally called for eliminating all outdoor meals, caused a huge uproar among advocates for the homeless, who noted that the city had proposed a change that would require existing indoor meal providers to increase meal service without providing any funding for them to do so.
Smith also said the department will meet tomorrow with five finalists to replace ousted Aging and Disability Services Pam Piering, who was put on leave and later resigned after allegations of fraud and mismanagement at the office, and will choose a successor for Piering by April. The position has been open since last May.
3. Spotted at the sold-out Wilco show at the Paramount Tuesday night: Mayor Mike McGinn, who declared himself a huge Wilco fan (he's also a major Dylan and 60s R&B fan). McGinn, looking a bit dazed, took a photo with a fan before disappearing into the night in search of his companion.
4. Anyone who's interested in running against an incumbent city council member (or for mayor) next year, here's what you're up against. Among the seven legislative and executive officials (six council members, city attorney Pete Holmes, and Mayor Mike McGinn) who could be on the ballot next year, four have filed public finance disclosure reports with the city's ethics and elections department.
Nick Licata, whose political future is the subject of much speculation (he's currently serving his fourth term), has about $13,000 in the bank. But, with apologies to Licata, his election isn't the interesting one. More intriguing are council members Sally Clark and Tim Burgess---both potential candidates for mayor---and McGinn. At this early stage, Clark and Burgess (who both won reelection last year) are both beating McGinn in the fundraising race---Clark with $58,000 on hand, and Burgess with $77,000 on hand. McGinn is about $3,200 in the red.[pullquote]"And some day by God I want to throw a wedding for that kid. I hope she will not feel like a second class citizen involved in something called a Domestic partnership, which frankly sounds like a Merry Maids franchise to me. "—Republican Rep. Maureen Walsh[/pullquote]
5. Speaking of campaign money, we took a look at the travel expenses for both candidates for governor---Democratic US Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA, 1) and state Attorney General Rob McKenna. Other than discovering that running for governor in a geographically spread-out state is expensive, here's what we found: McKenna spends a lot more on driving (or, more accurately, being driven) from place to place than Inslee, who is much more likely to spend money on airfare, in keeping with the fact that he lives part-time in D.C.
Overall, Inslee spent about $6,600---to McKenna's $11,000---on things like gas, mileage, car rentals, and parking. In contrast, McKenna spent only around $4,400 on air fare, compared to Inslee's $12,200.
McKenna's spokesman, Randy Pepple, says that as a full-time state resident, McKenna has an advantage when campaigning. "He can do work at the AG's office and then go to one of our 18 [satellite] offices," Pepple said. McKenna's vehicle of choice: A Honda Pilot compact SUV.
6. In yesterday's Afternoon Jolt, we gave the state house gay marriage vote a "non-jolt" because the legislature is behind the curve on this issue. (Six other states have already legalized gay marriage.) However, we gave a bona fide jolt to Republican state Rep. Maureen Walsh (R-16, Walla Walla) for her awesome speech. She was one of two Republicans who voted for the legislation in the 55-43 vote. The other Republican who voted for the bill was Rep. Glenn Anderson (R-5, Fall City).
"When I think of my husband ... I don't miss the sex. You know. Well, I certainly miss it, but it is certainly not the aspect of that relationship, that incredible bond that I had with that human being that I really, really, genuinely wish I still had," she began, reminiscing about her dead husband to whom she was married to for 23 years. "How could I deny anyone the right to have that incredible bond with another individual in life?"
Then Walsh segued into a moving speech about marital relationships and her "fabulous, special" daughter who's a lesbian. "And some day by God I want to throw a wedding for that kid. I hope she will not feel like a second class citizen involved in something called a Domestic Partnership, which frankly sounds like a Merry Maids franchise to me. "
Three Democrats also crossed party lines; Rep. Christopher Hurst (D-31, Enumclaw), Rep. Steve Kirby (D-29, Tacoma), and Rep. Mark Miloscia (D-30, Federal Way) voted against the legislation. The Democrats have a 56-42 majority.
Watch Rep. Walsh's speech here: