Caffeinated News & Gossip.

Editor's Note: We had a great Morning Fizz all queued up to go yesterday. Unfortunately, the site was down due to technical issues; it was for a great reason, though. Check out the super fine redesign (thank yous to Seattle Met and Urban Influence.)

Anyway, we'll post today's Fizz in about twenty minutes, but here's yesterday's installment:

1. The Democrat vs. Democrat state house contest in the 36th Legislative District (Ballard, Queen Anne, Magnolia) is about to get nasty

This is the race where Progressive Majority leader Noel Frame and Seattle Port Comissioner Gael Tarleton are running to replace retiring state Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson (D-36, Ballard). In the past two weeks, the state employees' union (which has endorsed Frame) and the Teamsters (who can't stand Tarleton because she didn't support labor reforms for truckers at the Port) have contributed $10,000 and $14,000 respectively to an independent political committee called the Progressive Leadership PAC.

Fizz expects the Progressive Leadership PAC to transfer its recent $14,000 cash infusion from the unions over to People for Progressive Leadership any time now.

At the exact same time, a brand new political committee called People for Progressive Leadership registered with the state. In its paperwork, People for Progressive Leadership says it plans to get invovled the 36th race.

Fizz expects the Progressive Leadership PAC to transfer its recent $14,000 cash infusion from the unions over to People for Progressive Leadership any day now.

2. As for direct contributions to Frame: Former Seattle City Council member Tina Podlodowski is hosting a Frame fundraiser at her Queen Anne house tonight with some notable hosts: Equal Rights Washington leader Josh Friedes, environmental lawyer Ken Lederman,  Progress Alliance director Sarah Jaynes, nightlife advocate Dave Meinert, former Seattle School Board member Steve Sundquist, and political consultant and Teamsters advocate Heather Weiner.

3. State Sen. Michael Baumgartner (R-6, Spokane), who's running for US Congress against incumbent Maria Cantwell (D-WA), was on KIT FoxNews talk radio in Yakima yesterday talking about climate change after a woman called in to ask him about global warming.

Baumgartner boasted abou his vote to phase out the TransAlta coal-powered energy plant in Centralia, saying, "because we can have cleaner air here without producing coal-based energy." 

However, not to be mistaken for a Democrat (the TransAlta bill was pushed by Democrats and passed 36-13 with a batch of Republicans, including  Baumgartner, going along), Baumgartner gave a shoutout to the debunked "sun spot," theory questioning the notion that global warming is caused by humans.

Caller: Hello? Hi, thank you. I would just like to ask Mr. Baumgartner what he thinks really causes global warming.

Baumgartner: I’m not sure. You know, there’s evidence that it’s CO2 and there’s also evidence that it’s sun spots, and other things. You know, I think either way it’d be better if you’re concerned about the environment to sort of depoliticize the global warming conversation and just talk about if there’s good reasons to remove carbon from the atmosphere just for having clean air. ... So, you know, that’s the answer on global warming but I think it would be, you know, the global warming discussion bogs down so quickly I think you should just talk about policy for the sake of the policy you want to get accomplished.

Caller: Thank you. And can you just clarify, what are sun spots?

Baumgartner: Well the sun radiates, you know, as the primary source that heats the Earth, and it has different levels of solar intensity and some folks that there’s a-- you know, there’s a difference between what’s the causal effect and what’s the correlated effect for what happens with carbon production and with ice caps and those things.

Host: Can I ask you [caller] a question?

Caller: Sure.

Host: What made you ask that question?

Caller: I'm a just a fan of Baumgartner, that's all.

Host: Okay.

Caller: And I just want to say thank you, and go Cougs.

Host: I have to say this. The issue of global warming—I couldn't agree with you more. I think there's something there. But man-caused? We don't know.

We asked Baumgartner about global warming when he first announced his candidacy last year, and he gave us a similar answer, calling the evidence "mixed," but siding with lowering carbon emissions.

He left out the part about sun spots. 

Stand for Children blasts Inslee for bad-mouthing this progressive idea.

4. The education reform group Stand For Children, which has endorsed Republican Rob McKenna for governor, criticized Democratic gubernatiorial candidate Jay Inslee this morning over an Inslee ad that criticizes a McKenna proposal known as the property tax levy swap.

The levy swap proposal, also being pushed by Democratic state house ways and means chair Rep. Ross Hunter (D-48, Medina), would replace local school district property taxes with state taxes. Currently, local districts put about $2 billion toward K-12 funding a year while the state puts in about $6.5 billion. A recent Washington State Supreme Court ruling, the McCleary decision, busted the state for not meeting its constitutionally required mandate to fully fund schools and said the state had to increase its K-12 funding (wonks at the state estiamte the new bill would be aboaut  $8.2 billion a year for Olympia).

By taking over the local contribution with a property tax swap—which would redistribute the tax burden from poorer to richer districts—the state could come closer to meeting this mandate without technically having to find new revenue.

Noting that 47 percent of taxpayers would actually pay more in property taxes, though, Inslee has accused McKenna of proposing a state tax increase (53 percent of poorer tax payers, would, obviolusly, pay less than they do now.)

In a press release issued Tuesday, Stand for Children leader Shannon Campion blasts Inslee for bad-mouthing this progressive idea. She writes:

"In one of the strangest twists of political posturing, Jay Inslee the Democrat is accusing Rob McKenna the Republican of using taxes for education.

"Wait, what?

"Yes. Congressman Inslee is attacking Rob McKenna for addressing the problem of adequate and uniform school funding, and for supporting a fair and progressive solution  - a bipartisan solution which actually came from local Democrat Rep. Ross Hunter, chief budget writer and Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee.   

"The truth is that the levy and property tax swap simply changes where the money comes from. It is not an increase or a decrease, it's an even exchange  - hence the word "swap"  - that makes school funding fair, uniform and predictable.

"Congressman Inslee is either uninformed or intentionally misleading. The ad proves that Congressman Inslee is not committed to education and doesn't understand how to fully fund our schools."