Morning Fizz: Not Really Respecting Any Sort of Boundaries
Caffeinated News & Gossip featuring security issues at the legislature, Inslee's love-hate relationship with house Democrats, and Einsteinian theories.
1. A group of Tea Party activists made the rounds of legislative offices in Olympia yesterday, dropping off a copy of a book—"Behind the Green Mask"— that purports to expose the UN's "Agenda 21" plot to force an environmentalist program on local governments.
"Agenda 21" came up previously this session when hardline conservative Sen. Don Benton (R-Vancouver, 17) proposed legislation to stop the UN—which has "enlisted numerous nongovernmental and intergovernmental organizations to assist in the implementation of its policies relative to Agenda 21 around the world"—from "infring[ing] or restrict[ing] private property rights without due process as may be required by policy recommendation originating in or traceable to Agenda 21."
The bill got a public hearing in the senate's law and justice committee, but was subsequently tabled.
The activists spooked a crew of Democratic legislative assistants who report they had to call security when some of the activists began yelling at them, going into legislators' offices, and refusing to leave.
Capitol Security had to remove one activist from Rep. Marcie Maxwell's (D-41, Bellevue) office.
Here's an email from the Clerk of the House to all the house legislative assistants that captures the action:
From: Clerk, Chief
Sent: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 12:37 PM
To: @HDC LA's; @HRC LA's
Cc: ———— ; @House Security
Subject: Office Security Issue
We understand from a number of LAs that a group of constituents (Coalition of Washington Constituents) are visiting member offices and not really respecting any sort of boundaries. Apparently, they have occupied vacant member offices and LA work spaces while staff were away from their desk. In some cases, they have left notes or messages in member offices. Please notify Security if you believe that this group rummaged through your work space or member’s office. If they left any materials or notes behind, you may turn these in to Security as well.
Security has been notified about this group and are increasing their patrols through House office space. In addition, we will be communicating directly to this group concerning their behavior.
2. Gov. Jay Inslee stopped by the house chamber yesterday to congratulate the Democrats after they passed a $900 million revenue package that includes $400 million in revenue from closing a long list of tax exemptions (something the Democrats have been talking about doing for years, but have never actually done).
"Hey, I'm not wearing a striped ref jersey, I'm on the field."—Gov. Jay InsleeInslee's visit confirmed a Republican complaint they'd issued at a GOP press conference earlier in the day that, unlike GOP fave (?), former Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire, Inslee was taking sides in the upcoming budget negotiations rather than playing the role of objective dealmaker.
According to an account of Inslee's visit that Fizz heard from the house Democrats, Inslee, noting the Republican's gripe, owned up to his preference for the Democrats' budget approach, quipping: "Hey, I'm not wearing a striped ref jersey, I'm on the field."
3. Inslee, perhaps unwittingly, sent some mixed messages about his admiration of the Democratic house, though.
In a press conference of his own yesterday morning, Inslee passionately denounced the legislature for not passing gun control legislation, including a bill that would have required universal background checks. "To leave this session without dealing with gun control would be a sad commentary to me," Inslee said, adding that "the legislature has not dealt successfully with this issue yet ... I'm going to continue to urge the legislature to exercise common sense ... To me, stopping the sales of weapons to felons is common sense [and] common sense ought to prevail in Washington state."
The problem is: It was the house Democrats who failed to bring the gun control bill to the floor; not enough Democrats supported it.
4. Finally, in today's Inslee-focused Fizz: Add another word to Inslee's goofy idiolect, which reminds Fizz of former President George W. Bush's comic-book speaking style.
Asked about his plan to solve the budget standoff, Inslee told reporters yesterday: "I can’t tell you that I’ve provided some Einsteinian way to solve some disagreements here."