1. Irked by the argument that corporate donations are free speech? Then wrap your head around this. The 'No' on I-522 campaign, the corporate-financed campaign to prevent GMO labeling, has filed a countersuit in Thurston County Superior Court, arguing that the 'Yes' on I-522 campaign is trying to squelch the 'No' side's free speech by suing to make them reveal their donors or else stop airing their ads.
In other words, they want to have their cake and eat it too: They want the free speech that supposedly comes hand-in-hand with contributing to a political campaign, but they don't want to say who's contributing.
In response to the 'No' on I-522 countersuit on Friday, the pro-side deftly pointed out that the 'No' camp is using free speech doctrine to avoid saying anything—and, worse, to "deceive" voters.
The pro-GMO labeling side wrote:
"It is beyond debate that campaign disclosures are not made in furtherance of free speech, but are compelled by the government ... 'campaigns do not choose to actively advertise their large contributors, and never did that before it was legally required by statute ...
"Indeed, it is because of government compelled disclosure is at issue here that makes it so critical that it not be used to mislead voters. While voters understand that the substance of campaign advertisements are full of political speech, and therefore suspect, this is not so with the disclosures that the government requires after the advertisement...Thus, the No on 522 Campaign cannot be allowed to use the mandatory disclosures—the one part of the ad that voters believe—to actively deceive millions of voters."
They conclude more succinctly: "Campaign money laundering ... is 'not a valid activity undertaken by defendants in furtherance of their constitutional right to free speech.'"
Policy-making through brinksmanship is the absolute wrong way to legislate.
2. As frustrated with this year's legislative session in Olympia as Democrats may have been (the Republicans staged a successful coup in the state senate and controlled the budget debate), Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee took control right back when he cleverly started referring to the Republicans' "reform" bills as "policy" bills, successfully, reframing the budget debate to make the GOP look like ideological zealots who had hijacked the budgeting process.
It looks like U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA, 1) is using the same tactic in Washington D.C. as the feds veer toward a budget shutdown.
Here's DelBene over the weekend after the house GOP refused to relent on their mission to defund Obamacare:
I’m incredibly disappointed by the refusal of House leadership to back away from their extreme, uncompromising demands under the threat of a government shutdown – demands that are completely unrelated to our budget. Policy-making through brinksmanship is the absolute wrong way to legislate.
3. KEXP station director Tom Mara is hosting a Mike McGinn breakfast fundraiser this week; Mara will interview McGinn in front of the breakfast crowd at the South Lake Union event in front of 33 tables where tables cost as much as $700.
You have to wonder if Mara will ask McGinn about the his failed attempt to extend bar hours or McGinn's opponent, state Sen. Ed Murray's, successful effort to repeal the "dance tax."