Caffeinated News & Gossip

1. File this one under contribution of the day: With seven candidates officially in the race for mayor, only one, city council member Bruce Harrell, has received a contribution from the Seattle Medical Marijuana Association—and a maxed-out $700 donation, at that.

We have a message out to the SMMA, a medical-pot dispensary in Fremont that has no record of giving to local candidates before, to find out why they're supporting Harrell, the chair of the council's public safety commitee who's big on body cameras on cops. (Harrell announced his candidacy last week.)

2. Freudian slip of the day: At yesterday's city council briefings meeting, a lobbying staffer for the city, discussing state education funding, told council members, "We have heard that [Sen.] Rodney Tom (D-48, Medina) is going to be having regular meetings with House Education Committee chair Sharon Tomiko Santos."

Correction: "We heard that [Sen] Steve Litzow (R-41, Mercer Island) will be having regular meetings with the education chair." 

The slip-up wasn't too surprising. Tom, of course, is one of two conservative Democrats who broke ranks with their party and joined Republicans like Litzow to create the "Majority Coalition Caucus," putting the senate in Republican hands.

Going deeper into the numbers: voters in Tom's 48th voted "yea" on two pro-tax advisory measures—giving the thumbs up to repealing the big banks loophole and to a petroleum tax—and, by default, giving the thumbs down to Tom's fiscally conservative orthodoxy.

3. Speaking of Tom's GOP junket, yesterday afternoon we reported that new voting data—results by legislative district—show that Tom may not be as wayward as angry Democrats think because the numbers show his district overwhelmingly backed Tim Eyeman's latest tax-phobic measure, I-1185 (which requires a two-thirds vote of the legislature to raise taxes), by 60 percent.

Going deeper into the numbers on the question of to tax or not to tax, though, voters in Tom's 48th voted "yea" on two pro-tax advisory measures—giving the thumbs up to repealing the big banks loophole and to a petroleum tax—and, by default, giving the thumbs down to Tom's fiscally conservative orthodoxy.

(The only other voters in the state to sign off on the pro-tax measures were in Seattle, the rest of the Eastside Microsoft 'burbs, Olympia, and the liberal Edmonds area.) Tom himself voted for the taxes too, which calls in to question his whole Republican schtick to begin with.

Additionally, taking even more legitimacy away from Tom, his district went for Barack "tax the rich" Obama over Mitt "the 47 percent are leeches" Romney 63 to 36 percent.

4. And in more Rodney Tom news: the King County Democrats voted unanimously to censure Tom at their central committee meeting last night. They voted that the county organization won't give Tom any money or help—and they also agreed to recruit a primary challenger. Tom is up for reelection in 2014.

5. After 97 percent of people responding to a survey about what the Seattle side of the new 520 bridge should look like said they wanted to see a shared-use bike and pedestrian path running across the bridge and up to Capitol Hill, the city council (sitting as the 520 committee, which is made up of the entire council) adopted a resolution endorsing the path and urging the state Department of Transportation to incorporate it into the bridge design, while still keeping the bridge's footprint as narrow as possible. 

Another upcoming 520 debate will have bridge nerds salivating: Should the state build a box-girder bridge (cheaper, but not as attractive, and with more environmental impacts), or a cable-stay bridge (more expensive, but a potential architectural landmark, with less of an environmental toll)? Stay tuned.

State Sen. Pam Roach

6. Undead Olympia, the mischievous, mysterious blog that seemed to be mostly out of commission lately, is back with a video mash-up of state Sen. Pam Roach's more bizarre moments from the senate floor to the shooting range.

Roach starred last week in what Seattle Times reporter Brian Rosenthal called a "rambling, hour-long" press conference in which she "enumerated her life accomplishments, lectured reporters and announced that she is writing a book."