Morning Fizz: Not Perfectly Clear
Caffeinated News and Gossip featuring new hires, secret endorsements, leading surveys, and amended reports.
1. The Cascade Bicycle Club, which has had some major shakeups in the past year (they hired a new executive director, Elizabeth Kiker, and lost several high-profile staff members, including policy and government affairs manager Evan Manvel, who lasted just a year), has hired Washington Bus cofounder Thomas Goldstein as its new advocacy director. He replaces Manvel. (Goldstein left the Bus in April 2012.)
Choosing a charismatic, politically savvy force like Goldstein—who previously worked to encourage young people to get out and vote for progressive candidates—seems like a clear signal that Kiker plans to keep Cascade in the political spotlight. The question of whether Cascade is a political lobbying group or a recreational organization (they sponsor STP and the Chilly Hilly)—has been an issue at Cascade since at least 2010, when the group's board abruptly fired, then re-hired, its longtime director Chuck Ayers.
And an "Isn't It Weird That" footnote: Goldstien is a big Ed Murray supporter (he helped start the pro-Murray People for Ed Murray independent expenditure group and appeared in their ad), but CBC has endorsed McGinn. One of Goldstein's predecessors as CBC advocacy director is David Hiller, who now works on external affairs in the mayor's office.
Goldstein sent out his own "TG General Election Guide" this morning picking Murray.
2. Speaking of mayoral endorsements:
Has his first term really been so bad??
Josh's scheme to publish a "cross-platform super endorsement" (he was giddy about the term and the idea this week to get local political beat reporters from a batch of different media outlets to transcend their brands and editors and make a collective endorsement in the mayor's race) flopped because most of the 10-plus reporters he polled didn't go for it.
But one politics beat reporter was emphatic. They like McGinn.
The objective-by-day reporter told us: "McGinn has shown more passion in the campaign, been better informed, and had a clearer (though surely not perfectly clear) sense of where he wants to go in the next four years. That's worth rewarding. Has his first term really been so bad??"
3. Washington state house Republicans are running a somewhat leading survey on transportation in the runup to the next legislative session, when lawmakers could (finally) adopt a transportation revenue package. (Last session ended without a transportation funding package when the Republican-dominated senate Majority Coalition Caucus refused to move forward with the house proposal, and instead have embarked on a "listening tour" of the state to find out what Washington residents wanted to see in a transportation package.)
The house Republican survey, which asks respondents to rank things like "new lanes for congested roadways," "transit agencies," and "maintenance, including bridge and road preservation" in order of priority, includes an entire, question-free page trashing "the high-profile failures of the Washington State Department of Transportation" that "have cost taxpayers millions of extra dollars."
At the end, the survey bounces you to the house Republicans' transportation page, which lists the Republicans' goals, including "Reduc[ing] and/or eliminat[ing] unnecessary costs that make transportation projects more expensive, including ... mass transit improvement requirements."
Without a new local source of funding, King County Metro faces service cuts of as much as 17 percent starting this year.
4. The state Public Disclosure Commission has decided to dismiss the Washington State Republican Party complaint against the liberal NextGen Climate Action Committee, an independent expenditure group, funded by San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer, that has put $450,000 into an effort to re-elect state Sen. Nathan Schlicher (D-26, Gig Harbor) over challenger state Rep. Jan Angel (R-26, Port Orchard).
The Republicans complained that a last-minute $3 million contribution from Steyer to NextGen Climate Action Committee violated the statr rule against donations above $5,000 in the final weeks of campaigns.
PDC spokeswoman says NextGen did indeed screw up by not notifying the state in their latest report that they were done spending money in Washington state, but says the group has since sent them a letter amending the report, clarifying that the group is no longer active here and the $3 million is not intended for Washington state.
NextGen is also registered with the FEC and plays in races all over the country.