1. Hundreds of people packed into Town Hall in Seattle yesterday to pay their respects to legendary local political consultant Blair Butterworth, who died late last month of cancer.
U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott emceed the event (Butterworth ran McDermott's failed campaign for governor in 1980) which featured funny and heartfelt testimonials from a parade of speakers, including a video testimonial from Bill Moyers (who wrote a book with Butterworth) and who reminisced about Butterworth's incorrigible pushiness as a Princeton kid about joining (and subsequently rocking) the Peace Corps, which Moyers helped start in the early 60s.
Former Gov. Gary Locke (Butterworth ran Locke's successful campaigns) spoke and reminisced about their tradition of going out for a martini on election day and Butterworth, a big drinker, would down Locke's round for him. Former rambunctious Seattle City Council member Judy Nicastro also spoke—and told the funniest story of the morning. Young Nicastro, running for a council seat in 1999, told Butterworth she was nervous about her time as a LUG (Lesbian Until Graduation) at the UW. Long pause from Butterworth. And then: "I think that helps us."
2. Some rumors from Olympia:
• File this one under wishful thinking from transit advocates.
After passing a scaled-back, $8.7 billion transportation budget late last week, the Democratic transportation co-chair, Sen. Tracey Eide (D-30, Federal Way), who's been counting on the more liberal house to send over a robust transportation revenue package that increases transportation spending, may tweak the debate by putting a revenue proposal of her own in play.
• File this one under wishful thinking from his rivals.
If the session, which is scheduled to end this Sunday (ha!), goes into overtime, Democratic minority leader, Sen. Ed Murray (D-43, Capitol Hill), will step down so he can focus full time on running for mayor. Murray is barred from raising money while the legislature is in session.
Murray raised a startling $117,000 in the brief period before the freeze, and is actually still within striking distance of fundraising frontrunner Tim Burgess ($194,000), but another month could be a real setback.
Murray tells Fizz: "No. I hadn't even thought of that [stepping down.]"
Our sense is A) Even with the freeze, Murray doesn't have much of a fundraising problem; his national status as a gay rights champion and his connections in Olympia make him a formidable fundraiser. And B) If there is a special session, only the budget negotiatiors (which doesn't include Murray—the senate Democrats at the table are Sens. Jim Hargrove and Sharon Nelson), will be stuck in Olympia. Like most other legislators, Murray will mostly be back home with plenty of time for campaigning.
• File this one under wishful thinking.
Last night's deadly shooting in Federal Way (five people were killed) will put gun control legislation back on the table in Olympia; several bills, including universal background checks and a bill to take guns away from perpetrators of domestic violence, failed this session.
After gun control legislation failed to make last week's policy bill deadline, Gov. Jay Inslee issued a harsh statement condemning the legislature for failing to act, adding: "I will keep pushing lawmakers in both houses and in both parties to bring this legislation up for a vote and take a step toward reducing gun violence in our state."
3. After stumbling on South Lake Union heights legislation last Monday, the City Council is set to vote this afternoon.
See Erica's report from last Monday's meeting where she described all the options—all equations for getting low-income housing dollars from developers in exchange for allowing taller buildings.