Morning Fizz: Where is the Context?
Caffeinated News & Gossip featuring surges, push polls, and secret money.
1. Mayor Mike McGinn looks to be having a last-minute burst of impressive fundraising this week.
During the last week in the runup to the election, candidates are required to disclose their donations on the day they deposit them. And yesterday, McGinn reported raising $20,628, which would be one of his biggest fundraising reports to date—including the weekly and even monthly reports we've been tracking all campaign.
By comparison, for example, for all of last week, McGinn reported raising just $11,438 to rival Ed Murray's $34,634.
Meanwhile, yesterday, Murray's daily fundraising total came to just $5,877.
2. Here's a follow-up to yesterday's Fizz aside about this year's advisory votes.Democratic party apparatchik and relentless anti-Tim Eyman activist Andrew Villeneuve published a persuasive report characterizing the advisory votes on this year's ballot (votes that don't have any effect, but allow voters to register their opinion about the series of tax loopholes the legislature closed last year including a tax break for telephone companies and an estate tax loophole) as Tim Eyman "push polls."
Breaking down the cost and the biased anti-tax language of Eyman's advisory votes (which were required by Eyman's two-thirds-to-raise-taxes rule which has since been declared unconstitutional), Villeneuve makes a strong case that Eyman's advisory votes are taxpayer-funded (as in $130,000) Eyman "propaganda." (For example, every advisory vote refers to tax break repeals as "tax increases.")
"Like all push polls, Eyman's advisory votes consist of loaded questions that suggest their own responses. Regardless of what the outcome of these five votes are, Eyman has already won, because he has succeeded in cluttering up the front side of every Washingtonian's ballot with his false 'government is oppressing you and overtaxing you' message. Where is the counterpoint? Where is the context? It's not there. It's not even in the voter's pamphlet; I-960 forbids it. The taxpayers of this state are unknowingly paying for Tim Eyman's propaganda to be marketed to them. It's ridiculous."
Indeed, did you know that last year, through Eyman's advisory votes, voters gave the thumbs down to repealing $170 million in big bank tax loopholes, something even the GOP house caucus in Olympia supported?
Eyman has already won, because he has succeeded in cluttering up the front side of every Washingtonian's ballot with his false 'government is oppressing you and overtaxing you' message. Where is the counterpoint?
At the time, we advised: "Tim Eyman's original two-thirds requirement measure petulantly mandated that even when the two-thirds threshold is met, voters still get to issue a round of boos for raising taxes. Ha. We advise hearty applause. Voters should cheer reining in big bank loopholes."
We're making the same recommendation this year on closing tax breaks such as the $400 million one (over ten years) for phone companies and the $500 million one (over ten years) on estate taxes.
3. Another Fizz footnote: Yesterday, we reported a strange thing we'd noticed about some anti-I-522 (the GMO labeling measure) fundraising: The Grocery Manufacturers Association Against 522, the GMA group that's raising money from its members like ConAgra, Coke, and DelMonte, and funneling it to the official No on 522 campaign, had nearly $4 million more in its account than it had reported earlier this month without reporting any major new donations.
We weren't crazy. Yesterday afternoon, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson—who, by the way, had sued the GMA to make them report their donations in the first place—confirmed Fizz's reporting.
In a press statement, Ferguson said:
The roughly $3.8 million in contributions from GMA against I-522 to No on 522 appear have been collected by the GMA from its members prior to registering the political committee. These subsequent contributions were not reported by the GMA when it submitted its disclosure of contributor members and the value of their contributions on Oct. 18.
These contributions increase the total amount the GMA received and expended on electoral activity in Washington without timely registering as political committee and reporting the full amount of contributions collected. The AGO is preparing to amend its complaint to increase the total amount concealed from $7.2 million to $11 million.
This case will proceed on a regular trial schedule.