Caffeinated News & Gossip. Your daily Morning Fizz.

1. US Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA, 5) got her moment in the spotlight as "host" of the Republican National Convention last night, where she charged up the crowd with chants of: "We built it!"

That's the GOP's slogan this year, which takes on (and out of context) President Obama's statement last month about the fact that no one becomes successful on hard work alone---every business benefits from infrastructure (roads, the Internet, public education) supported by government.[pullquote]"Unlike President Obama, I know that that small businesses are the true engine of our economy, not the government."—Cathy McMorris Rodgers[/pullquote]

"Before I ran for Congress, I worked in my family's business, the Peachcrest Fruit Basket, for 13 years. I worked hard every day and I can assure you that my family built that business from the ground up," McMorris Rodgers said. "Unlike President Obama, I know that that small businesses are the true engine of our economy, not the government, and that what businesses need to grow and create jobs is less taxes and less regulation, not more."

McMorris Rodgers did not take on the Democratic charge that Republicans are waging a "War on Women"—a "war" that was reignited last week by the strange comments from Republican US Rep. Todd Akin.

McMorris Rodgers had been playing defensive tackle for the GOP team on the issue earlier this year.

2. Steve Bergquist, the Renton high school teacher who beat three other Democratic candidates in the 11th Legislative District state rep primary earlier this month, has been endorsed by just two of his former opponents so far in his general election race against Republican Sarah Sanoy-Wright—Seattle Port Commissioner Rob Holland and dentist Bobby Virk.

Notably missing from the list is the Democrat who came closest to beating Bergquist: Stephanie Bowman, who got 22 percent of the vote to Virk's 14 and Holland's 10; Berquist got 28.

Business Democrat Bowman, a former Port of Tacoma and Seattle Chamber staffer, was a favorite of education reformers (business and ed reformers did $80,000 worth of independent expenditures on her behalf during the primary).

Bergquist is a union teacher.

3. In other Democratic intramural news, watch for the Washington Bus, the progressive get-out-the-vote campaign group, to put together a serious field effort on behalf of founding Bus board member Noel Frame, who's running against Seattle Port Commissioner Gael Tarleton, also a Democrat, for the open house seat in the 36th Legislative District.

Additionally, Fizz hears labor groups such as the Washington State Labor Council and the Washington Education Association are coordinating a hefty independent expenditure on Frame's behalf.

It's not surprising that Frame, who was endorsed by the Washington State Labor Council in the primary (along with now-former candidate Brett Phillips), has union support. Frame has been reluctant to challenge WEA orthodoxy on teacher evaluations and the Teamsters don't like Tarleton's record at the Port, where she hasn't taken up their cause to make truckers employees rather than contractors. Tarleton says doing so would violate federal rules.

Some Democrats are annoyed that labor would spend money on a Democrat vs. Democrat race while the gubernatorial race, the 1st Congressional District race, and control of the state senate in the balance.[pullquote]New signs at 10 schools will tell drivers to slow the hell down.[/pullquote]

4. Following up a story we reported in April, the Puget Sound Business Journal had the news yesterday that potential arena investor Chris Hansen has now officially purchased the half-acre of land that currently houses the Showbox SoDo. (At the time of our original report, Hansen only had a contract to buy the land).

Because the arena hasn't been designed yet, it's unclear whether the Showbox would have to be demolished for arena construction.

5. This afternoon, Mayor Mike McGinn plans to roll out a new road-safety campaign, including: New signs at 10 schools to tell drivers to slow the hell down; supporting the proposed "safe streets" bill, which would give cities the right to lower speed limits on some streets to 20 mph; beefing up enforcement of laws against speeding and aggressive driving; and expanding camera enforcement of speed limits to new areas (currently, only school zones and construction areas have photo enforcement).

6. There's a  gubernatorial debate tonight at WSU's Vancouver campus. It's being moderated by KATU anchor Brian Wood.

Tune in at 8:00.

7. We're still waiting for a response from state Rep. Zack Hudgins (D-11, Tukwila). Late yesterday, Seattle Port Commissioner Tom Albro sent an icy response to Hudgins; last week Hudgins' had raised conflict of interest questions about Port CEO Tay Yoshitani's new board position at shipping logistics company Expeditors International.
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