Caffeinated News & Gossip

1. Yesterday, as, per ritual decorum, city council members Tom Rasmussen and Richard Conlin left the council chambers to go get Mayor Mike McGinn and bring him downstairs to present his annual State of the City speech, McGinn's main council ally, Mike O'Brien, leaned over and whispered to his colleague Tim Burgess: "I thought it should be you and Bruce, but—whatever."

Burgess, responded, laughing, "It was last year!" (True.)

Burgess and his council colleague Bruce Harrell, of course, are both challenging McGinn for reelection. 

2. Speaking of the state of the city: According to McGinn (spoiler alert), it's strong. (McGinn is up for reelection this year.)

State of the city speeches aren't known for big announcements, and yesterday's was no exception: McGinn (reading, as usual, from his iPad) bragged that the city's economy has rebounded, that we're recycling more and wasting less, and that more people are using transit than ever before. New office towers and housing are going up, employment is booming, and the city is investing in early learning and schools. And "We are so good at energy efficiency that we have to turn off our windmills sometimes, because we have no place for the electrons to go." 

Read McGinn's entire speech—which also included a brief shout-out to the "highway-free waterfront" made possible by the tunnel he fought so intently—here.

Just a day after thrilling environmentalists by appointing a green all-star to head WSDOT,  watch for Gov. Jay Inslee to testify in favor of his green house gas emissions reduction bill in the senate this morning.

3. ACLU attorney and I-502 campaign leader Alison Holcomb, subject of a recent poll that had political observers wondering if she planned to run for mayor, now has her own "Draft Alison" Facebook page—though not for a campaign against Mayor Mike McGinn or city council member Mike O'Brien, the two elected officials explicitly mentioned in the poll according to someone who was surveyed. 

Instead, the Facebook page encourages Holcomb to run against council member Richard Conlin (a much more logical opponent), who's up for reelection this year. (Fizz surmises that the pollster was actually working for O'Brien, McGinn, and Holcomb.)

As of last night, Holcomb page had 31 "likes."

4. Just a day after thrilling environmentalists and allaying fears that he was going to reappoint status quo Washington Department of Transportation Director Paula Hammond by appointing a green all-star to head the agency (former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber's top adviser on transportation and sustainability, Lynn Peterson—Seattle Transit Blog swoons here), watch for Gov. Jay Inslee to testify in favor of his green house gas emissions reduction bill in the senate environment committee this morning.

The bill, backed by real deal environmentalists in the legislature (such as Democratic Sens. Andy Billig, Kevin Ranker, David Frockt, Jeanne Kohl Welles, and Republican Steve Litzow along with Reps. David Upthegrove, Joe Fitzgibbon, Marko Liaas, Jake Fey, and Chris Reykdal) mandates an immediate study to evaluate the best practices to reduce GHG emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2035, and 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, which a 70 percent reduction from right now.

5. Speaking of transportation and the environment: House transportation committee chair Rep. Judy Clibborn (D-41, Mercer Island) is rolling out her $6 billion transportation package today. Watch for our report on the roads and transit breakdown later today.

Clibborn says the package will be funded by a gas tax increase which the legislature would have to approve by a two-thirds vote, according to I-1185, the Tim Eyman rule that passed last November. 

Though for what it's worth, a legal challenge to the previous two-thirds rule, Eyman's 1053, was ruled unconstitutional by the King County Superior Court—a ruling that stands until the state Supreme Court says otherwise, which they have yet to do.