Caffeinated News & Gossip. Your daily Morning Fizz



1. The Seattle Times "Truth Needle" column today calls a Republican independent expenditure ad against Jay Inslee "mostly false" for attacking Inslee over a proposal to put some state worker pension money into startup businesses. The problem with the ad? Inslee floated and dropped the proposal last year.

Fair criticism.

Fizz would like to make two more.  First: It's McKenna's own GOP that pushed cuts to public employee pensions last year, scaling back the state's investment from three or two percent to one percent and suspending a $138 million payment into the pension. Both efforts were blocked in the end by the Democrats.

Second, as we pointed out when the ad was released last week: The spokeswoman in the ad, a first responder who juxtaposes her perilous job with the pension cuts she would have seen under Inslee's (discarded) proposal, made a fool of herself last year by disrespecting 911 services herself, calling in a complaint to have a Democratic cameraman removed from a McKenna event after the event had broken up and the police had already been called twice and said they were on their way.

2. One of four openly gay members of the U.S. Congress, Jared Polis (D-CO), is in town today stumping for R-74, the gay marriage ballot measure. The liberal U.S. rep was elected in 2008 on an anti-war, anti-Bush platform.

Highlighting a split in the Democratic Party, he's also in town stumping for I-1240, the charter schools initiative.

Indeed, Polis—one of the richest members of Congress (he's worth $65 million), has founded two charter schools. (Polis made his millions by starting and selling and online greeting card company.)

In August, Polis donated $1,000 to both the pro-gay marriage campaign and $1,000 to the pro-charter schools campaign.

Polis, who represents Boulder, Colorado, also sponsored a marijuana legalization bill in Congress in 2011. He has not contributed to I-502, the marijuana legalization measure on the ballot this year, according to the latest campaign finance reports.

3. And finally, here's a mini-Fizz editorial (well, a guest editorial) that a longtime reader sent in yesterday after seeing the big New York Times piece about how the GOP is—to its peril—ignoring cities:

The New York Times article fits neatly in our own Governor's race. You have to wonder why Republican Rob McKenna does not do something to make Seattle like him a little more. He does not have to win the city, but he could win the election if he simply doesn't let Jay Inslee sleepwalk to 9o percent here; traditionally, if a Republican gets above 40 percent in King County, they've got a shot statewide.

Look to 2004 when Governor Chris Gregoire was 30 percent behind Presidential candidate Kerry in precincts across the city and Dino Rossi nearly won the razor close race with those same Seattle votes. [Gregoire won King County overall 57.75 to 40.09—Eds.] Ironically, Rossi did not play to Seattle as much as Gregoire herself ignored the city—with the occasional  exception of tossing pro-choice and green soundbites our way. (Headquarters in the city does not count, it is where the staff are that matters.)

She barnstormed Eastern Washington plenty, only to get drubbed there. Conversely, Rossi stumbled into the Seattle vote by being a strong candidate that filled the usual vacuum created by neglectful Democratic candidates that run statewide.

So, what you think Rob McKenna could do to woo Seattle votes? He seems to be opposed to light rail expansion (a new Seattle cause) more than he wants to be Governor. Maybe—give a speech saying he likes the city? Sounds crazy, but it would be a first for his party. McKenna knows Seattle well having worked here for decades as a lawyer and King County  Council member. Maybe champion UW, his alma matter? Ed reform looks like a good bet too, he has already caused fissures in the Dem donor base with his pro-reform stance and with Seattle schools bursting at the seams with new students, you might find an audience ready for this message.

Maybe it would make Inslee speak to the city as well.