McMorris Rodgers, one of the select "Mama Grizzlies"—a Sarah Palin-endorsed female candidate—became fast friends with Palin after they met at the GOP convention in Minneapolis in 2008. (Both are strong, younger women in a male-dominated party; both are moms with a Downs Syndrome child; both are Evangelical social conservatives; and both are hardline conservatives.)
Morning Fizz hears that McMorris Rodgers may call Palin and ask her to talk to Didier about endorsing Rossi. Didier, a Tea Party candidate, won about 13 percent of the Primary vote while Rossi got 33.
We have a call in to McMorris Rodgers.
2. At its meeting this afternoon, the Seattle Port Commission will vote on a proposal to raise Port CEO Tay Yoshitani's pay by four percent next year. Yoshitani's current salary of $334,000 already makes him the highest-paid public employee in the state (third highest if you count the presidents of UW and WSU).
Over the past year, the Port has eliminated 110 positions and imposed involuntary furloughs on its non-unionized employees. The meeting is at 1:00 pm at SeaTac Airport's Airport Office Building, International Auditorium, Mezzanine Level South, Main Terminal.
3. As 34th District legislative candidate Joe Fitzgibbon continued to pull ahead of the second-place Democratic Party finisher, Mike Heavey (as of yesterday Fitzgibbon was ahead 34.47 percent to 32.65 percent), several races in the hotly contested Eastisde Seattle suburbs where the GOP is trying to win back the swing turf it lost in the 2000s, remained too close to call.
In the 41st District (Bellevue, Mercer Island, Issaquah, Renton) moderate Republican Steve Litzow was just 30 votes (!) ahead of Democratic incumbent state Sen. Randy Gordon (49.96 percent to 49.87 percent), with 56 voters casting write-in ballots. And in the 45th district (Woodinville, Duvall, Carnation, Kirkland) Democratic incumbent Rep. Roger Goodman led his Republican challenger, Kevin Hastings, by fewer than 200 votes (50.26 to 49.62 percent). In the same district, state Sen. Eric Oemig was falling more than 900 votes behind his Republican challenger, Andy Hill.
4. PubliCola got two exciting mentions yesterday. First, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray cited PubliCola in an ad chiding her GOP opponent, Dino Rossi, for taking money from "corporate lobbyists" and supporting tax loopholes for companies that move work overseas. (Sweet shoutout from Goldy about it here.)
Then, we were cited (along with titans like Foursquare, Amazon.com, Facebook, and twitter) in a nationally syndicated Scripps News Service story about "what's working" in the new online media landscape. They write:
In the shadow of a closed metro newspaper and a crumbled Washington state house press corps, veteran journalist Josh Feit left a paying gig to launch PubliCola, his shot at filling the news hole craved by Seattle political junkies ... Feit bummed rides and worked in coffee shops for months to keep PubliCola afloat as it found a voice and audience.
Eighteen months [after it was founded] the site has found its ultra-specific niche, garnered popularity in influential city political circles, scooped the dailies, was issued credentials in Olympia, hired another full-time reporting staffer and rented a downtown office. Perhaps most importantly in the evolution of the news business: PubliCola is bringing in consistent revenue to fund quality journalism, and offers hope that the hunger for civic news and dialogue still exists.
5. Mayor Mike McGinn's organic vegetable garden—on the prime 7th floor spot—is looking a little more impressive than the city council's rival garden.
Mayoral spokesman Aaron Pickus sent us pics of the garden, which produces a grocery bag full of produce for the Northwest Harvest food bank every week.
6. More craziness up in Snohomish County (where Lynnwood Mayor Don Gough was recently asked to resign by the city council over charges that he had harassed an employee and interfered with an investigation into the allegations): An anonymous political opponent hired an attorney to dig up dirt about Snohomish County Council candidate Stephanie Wright, the frontrunner to fill a seat being vacated by Edmonds Mayor Mike Cooper. The documents the attorney dug up "include information from a lawsuit over credit card debt, details about tax reports for a nonprofit where Wright is a board member and a 10-year-old marijuana case involving her husband," the Everett Herald reports.