Today's First Potential Loser: GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna.
Thanks to state senate Republicans' decision to hijack the budget last Friday, a move that will likely send the legislature into special session, Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna will probably be unable to raise funds for his gubernatorial campaign for another month or more.
Under state law, current state officials can't raise money while the legislature is in session; the move by the Republicans---McKenna's own party---could give his opponent, US Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA,1), an advantage.
However, McKenna beat Inslee in fundraising at the end of the year, even though he wasn't allowed to raise money during the December special session.
In fact, with two months accounted for so far to raise money during which McKenna has been barred from raising funds, Inslee has raised $3.79 million and has $2.22 million on hand; McKenna has raised $3.74 million and has $2.13 million on hand.
Perhaps, today's potential winner is Inslee for potentially getting another shot at taking advantage of McKenna's down time—something he seems to have fumbled so far.
We have a call in to McKenna's campaign.
Today's Second Potential Loser: State Sen. Steve Litzow (R-41).
Litzow, a onetime NARAL board member who received the pro-choice group's endorsement in 2010, isn't likely to win the organization's key support in the future, something that has helped him solidify his important image as a moderate Republican: On Friday, Litzow voted against NARAL-backed legislation that would have required health-care plans that pay for maternity care to also cover abortions (with an exemption for religious institutions).
The bill died in the senate on a mostly party-line vote of 26-23.
Litzow is expected to release a statement explaining his vote later today.
UPDATE: Litzow, saying he "remain[s] a strong pro-choice advocate" and that he had been "advising NARAL and Planned Parenthood representatives to urge the majority party to bring the bill up for a vote ... which they had the votes to pass," issued a press release at 5:45 PM:
Friday evening a bipartisan majority of senators invoked an extraordinary procedural step to break a major budget logjam. This highly-structured move allowed only budget-related bills to be a part of pending floor action.
The Reproductive Parity Act, which would require insurance providers that cover maternity care to also cover abortion services, had not yet been brought to the Senate floor despite a 5 p.m. deadline for such bills to pass. It was presented by majority leadership at the last minute as a political ploy to stop movement on the budget.
“Similar to my work on the Marriage Equality bill, I pressed majority leadership to bring this issue to the floor early in the session to avoid getting caught in the budget debate. Unfortunately they did not heed my advice and decided to use the bill as a political pawn. I hope going forward that they will stop playing games with these important rights.
“My position on this bill and my longtime support for reproductive rights has not changed. If the Senate majority leadership decides to bring this bill to the floor for a vote in the upcoming special session, I will vote for it.”