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1. Gay marriage is quickly becoming the first big story line of 2012. Yesterday afternoon, we reported that Gov. Chris Gregoire is going to come out in support of gay marriage legislation this morning. Today, King County Council member Bob Ferguson, the Democratic candidate for attorney general, is releasing the following statement.[pullquote]Ferguson's statement is obviously a dare to Ferguson's county council colleague and rival, Republican Reagan Dunn, the GOP candidate for AG.[/pullquote]
My position on marriage equality is well known.  I supported marriage equality during my first campaign for elected office in 2003 and I look forward to supporting marriage equality with my vote on January 9th.

Ultimately, this is a legal issue as well as a moral one. I believe that equal marriage rights for all will soon be the law of Washington State. I look forward to defending them when I am Washington State Attorney General.

His statement is obviously a dare to Ferguson's county council colleague and rival, Republican Reagan Dunn, the GOP candidate for AG. As we reported in mid-December: A routine vote to approve the council's legislative agenda in Olympia was postponed by the Republicans after council member Joe McDermott, who's gay, proposed an amendment to add gay marriage to the county's 2012 legislative agenda.

The council vote is set for next Monday.

2. Speaking of legislative agendas, current AG and Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna is announcing his legislative priorities list for the coming session in Olympia—which starts on Monday.

His top priority is a bill to protect stalking victims. His To Do list also includes a push to have government bodies record their executive sessions and bill to contain hospital costs.

A new version of his 2011 top priority, a controversial gang bill that civil rights groups and the ACLU successfully derailed last session—is being reintroduced by a group of six Republican state senators. But unlike last year—when the bill was introduced as request legislation by McKenna—his name is not on it.

3. Six Republican state senators are proposing a constitutional amendment that would limit state spending to the previous year's budget, adjusting for inflation and population growth. [pullquote]In another blow to the PI.com, Michelle Nicolosi, Executive Producer, is leaving.[/pullquote]

In 2009, voters rejected I-1033, a Tim Eyman initiative that did the same thing. The vote was 57.9 to 42.1.

4. In another blow to the PI.com (they lost news editor Chris Grygiel last fall), Michelle Nicolosi, the online publication's first executive producer, is leaving to start an ebook publishing company.

The PI.com has not yet replaced Grygiel.

5. At a forum late last year, Josh predicted that Michele Bachmann would have an impressive showing in the Iowa caucus. He was wrong. She finished last, and she's dropping out of the race.

The influential Iowa evangelical vote went to Rick Santorum who placed second to GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney by just eight votes.