Morning Fizz: Friday Likes & Dislikes
Caffeinated News and Gossip featuring how we really feel about this week's headlines.
1. The GOP may DISLIKE the Washington State Supreme Court's "activist" meddling yesterday—the court issued a bombshell "Show of Cause" late yesterday summoning the state to appear in court to defend Olympia's inaction on K-12 funding as mandated by 2012's McCleary ruling.
But the Republicans shouldn't get their separation-of-powers backs up too fast.
The GOP should LIKE that one of the court's pending punishments mirrors something the Republicans in the legislature have been proposing for two sessions now—funding education first, before dealing with any other budget items.
The court wrote yesterday: "The state should also address why, if it is found in contempt, any of the following forms of relief requested by plaintiffs, Mathew and Stephanie McCleary, et al., should not be granted ... [including] prohibiting expenditures on certain other matters until the Court's constitutional ruling is complied with."
2. Speaker of the House Rep. Frank Chopp (D-43, Wallingford) LIKES that he picked up the endorsement of IBEW, the lefty electrical workers who endorsed socialist Kshama Sawant in 2013.
Judiciary Committee Chair Sen. Patrick Leahy is seconding DelBene's skepticism of the house bill that supposedly deals with NSA surveillance.
Sawant's Socialist Alternative Party is seizing on Sawant's success by running 15Now organizer Jess Spear against Chopp (Sawant's original political move in 2012) and had hoped the union would give Sawant's ally some momentum against Chopp.
3. U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA, 1) LIKES that senate Judiciary Committee Chair Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) is seconding her skepticism of the house bill that supposedly deals with NSA surveillance; a dissident DelBene voted 'No' last month because, as her staff told us at the time, the legislation broadened the definition of allowable search requests from specific people, accounts, or entities to entire "ZIP codes."
Politico reported yesterday:
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy indicated today he's not convinced the House-passed USA Freedom Act bans bulk phone records collection.
"I am committed to moving forward with surveillance reform legislation in the Senate, but we must fix some of the problems that have been identified with the House bill. Most importantly, we must be sure that any legislation we pass effectively bans bulk collection," Leahy said at a Senate Judiciary markup on a separate bill.
Intelligence officials say they believe the version of the USA Freedom Act that passed the House last month outlaws bulk collection of data, a top goal of privacy advocates in the wake of Edward Snowden's NSA leaks. But there's been intense debate over whether the measure's language leaves too much wiggle room for the NSA to continue, or even expand, bulk collection.
4. And Fizz LIKES King County Executive Dow Constantine's prompt veto Monday night of Democratic King County Council Member Rod Dembowski's Republican-backed Metro measure, and the City Council's Public Safety Committee's prompt (5-0) approval of SPD-chief in waiting Kathleen O'Toole yesterday.
We're not alone. Applauding Constantine's veto, here's what the Transportation Choices Coalition had to say about Dembowski's legislation:
"Not only did the council irresponsibly delay service cuts with no financial plan in place, it also circumvented a community adopted strategic plan, to save relatively inefficient DART routes on the Eastside, at a cost of $2.4 million dollars that Metro does not have.
"While there is room for efficiency in any organization, public or private, Metro is not facing an efficiency crisis; the agency has undergone an audit and extensive scrutiny by the legislature and a diverse group of community stakeholders known as the Regional Transit Task Force (RTTF)."
And here's City Council Public Safety Committee chair Council Member Bruce Harrell on O'Toole:
“The committee moved with a sense of urgency while conducting a thorough and transparent confirmation process. I look forward to working with Ms. O’Toole and meeting the challenges head-on to rebuild community trust and confidence, and developing neighborhood public safety plans from the bottom-up.”