1) A new KCTS-9/KPLU/Washington Poll shows U.S. Sen. Patty Murray beating her Republican challenger Dino Rossi by four points, 49 to 45 among registered voters. (The previous KCTC-9/KPLU/Washington poll had Muray up by eight points among registered voters.) Among likely voters, Murray is currently up 51 to 45.
The poll also shows: the high-earners' income tax, I-1098, failing (because lower and middle-income voters believe the tax will eventually be extended to them); the soda, candy, and bottled water tax repeal, I-1107, passing; voters evenly split on I-1100, one of the liquor privatization measures, and I-1053, Tim Eyman's measure to reinstate the two-thirds legislative majority rule for tax increases, passing.
The full poll results will be released at noon. Here's KPLU's teaser report. And here's a KPLU interview with the pollster, U.W. political science prof Matt Barreto. Barreto notes an oddity about Washington State compared to the rest of the country: People who dislike the Tea Party are more likely to vote than those who support the Tea Party.
2) Speaking of likely voters: Turnout is on track for record off-year numbers in King County. The watermark off-year election was 2006 when King County turnout was 635,753. (Turnout hit a record 930,000 in 2008.)
King County has already received over 300,000 ballots, compared to 196,000 at the same point in the runup to election day in 2009 when 574,000 people cast ballots. If these numbers continue, turnout could hit 750,000 out of the 1.1 million registered voters.
3) Fizz hears Deputy Mayor Darryl Smith plans to appoint Stranger arts editor Brendan Kiley as a member of the committee to choose a successor to former Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs director Michael Killoren, who is leaving Seattle to take a position at the National Endowment for the Arts.
As an arts editor, Kiley has written extensively about Killoren and the arts office. The paper just published an unsigned arts editorial pushing three specific candidates to succeed Killoren.
Serving on a group to appoint the head of an arts agency you cover is like a city hall reporter serving on a committee to fill a vacant city council seat, and it raised some eyebrows at city hall.
City council member Nick Licata, who heads up the council committee that deals with arts and cultural affairs, says he told Mayor Mike McGinn that "I didn't think it was a good idea. It raised ethical issues ... I suggested that they might want to think twice" about appointing a journalist to choose a public official he would subsequently write about.
It's unclear whether the mayor's office has made Kiley's appointment official; McGinn spokesman Aaron Pickus did not return emails and calls for comment.
We have a call out to Kiley to get his take on the ethics question raised by Licata.
4) Speaking of Killoren's old gig, PubliCola hears from multiple sources that current Film and Music Office director James Keblas is in the running for the position. Keblas wouldn't say whether he'd thrown his hat into the ring for the job---"the mayor has his process," he said. And Pickus said only that the mayor's office was "not going to comment on personnel rumors," and that he'd "make sure you get any announcement that comes out."
5) NARAL Pro-Choice Washington Executive Director Lauren Simonds said she contacted the Mike Heavey campaign to complain about Heavey's latest campaign ad. In the ad, Heavey says he's been endorsed by NARAL. Heavey is running the 34th District against Joe Fitzgibbon for an open state house seat.
NARAL usually endorses in legislative races, but didn't endorse in the 34th, presumably because both candidates, Heavey and Fitzgibbon, earned "100 percent pro-choice" ratings from the political advocacy group.
Heavey also lists NARAL under his endorsements on his web page, noting the 100 percent rating. Fitzgibbon lists NARAL on his endorsement page under the "ratings" heading.
Simonds says Heavey's campaign explained the mistake as "something they missed in editing" and that they will recut the commercial. Heavey hasn't responded to a call.
6) By all accounts, city council budget chair Jean Godden plans to run for a third term next year, at the age of 80---meaning that she'll be 84 at the end of her term.
Although some have speculated that Godden will withdraw her candidacy and support Jessie Israel, a King County Parks employee Godden endorsed who opposed Licata last year, her campaign finance reports belie that theory---as of last month, Godden had more than $25,000 in the bank (out of some $57,000 raised).
That's a respectable showing, though not as much as her colleagues who are also up for reelection next year: Bruce Harrell ($58,000 on hand), Tim Burgess ($84,000 on hand), Sally Clark ($105,000 on hand), and Tom Rasmussen ($119,000 on hand).
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