1. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee has been pushing his GOP opponent Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna on social issues such as gay marriage (Inslee's for and McKenna's against).
With the Monday appeal deadline approaching on the recent Tacoma federal district court decision against state rules that require pharmacies to fill emergency contraception prescriptions, Inslee's at it again.
Inlsee said yesterday:
With Friday’s [sic] deadline coming fast, it’s important the state quickly pursue an appeal to the recent court ruling that would allow pharmacists the right to deny Plan B to women in crisis. We’ve recently seen an alarming movement – both around the nation and here at home—to undermine a wide range of women’s family planning and reproductive care services. Whether it’s protecting funding for family planning or fighting to maintain access to emergency contraception, women need to know our state leaders won’t let Washington slide backwards when it comes to their health and their rights.
Along with women's rights groups such as Legal Voice, McKenna's office defended the state pharmacy board rules in Tacoma federal district court.
We have a message in to the AG's office.
2. Learn to trust the Fizz: We've been including Progressive Majority's state director Noel Frame (also a Washington Bus board member) on our list of candidates thinking about jumping into the 36th District race to replace retiring state Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson (D-36, Ballard). This morning, Frame announced she's running for Dickerson's seat.
Frame, who was a PTA member when she was just 25 after graduating from George Washington University in D.C. on a PTA scholarship, said she wants to focus on education funding. "I believe we can and must change course and re-prioritize public education as our state's paramount duty. ... My high school [in rural Battle Ground, Washington] experienced devastating funding cuts following three failed school levies ... I took from that experience a message many of our kids still do today, that my community didn't care enough to invest in my future. I am entering this race because I am compelled to do more."
Frame, who turns 32 next week, also announced some early endorsements, including State Sen. Sharon Nelson (D-34, W. Seattle, Vashon), state Rep. Laurie Jinkins (D-27, Tacoma), gay rights leader and former Seattle Deputy Mayor Anne Levinson, former NARAL Pro-Choice Washington Executive Director Karen Cooper, and recent city council candidate Maurice Classen.
Port of Seattle Commissioner Gael Tarleton has also announced she's running for Dickerson's seat.[pullquote]Women need to know our state leaders won’t let Washington slide backwards when it comes to their health and their rights.—Jay Inslee's latest slap at McKenna on social issues.[/pullquote]
3. Laura Ruderman, the former state rep who's running in the crowded field of Democrats to succeed Inslee as the US rep from the 1st Congressional District issued a statement to the Bellingham Herald late last week about the controversial SSA Marine Gateway Pacific Terminal coal shipping pier proposed for Cherry Point.
Environmentalists oppose the idea because of concerns about the impacts of hauling coal through Whatcom County and Bellingham. (They're also not keen on strip mining Montana to produce coal in the first place.)
Ruderman says "I do not support a coal port," and adds: "Should I be elected, I will work hard to make sure that the environmental process is fair and that we find something other than coal to be the major export.” This is basically the official Democratic Party position, and certainly what you'd expect Ruderman to say—and it's also what she told the Herald back in January.
So why the recent reiteration? Because on March 14, in between her comments to the Herald, she told the Whatcom County's Political Junkie blog something different (and the Herald noticed): "I support the development of a deep-water port, and right now the way to pay for it is with the coal export contract. Over the next several years, as we go through the scoping process, I hope we can find a different way to get it built. But I think we get into trouble when we treat things like emergencies that aren’t."
4. Here's an interesting follow-up to Fizz's snarky note yesterday about the Seattle GLBT Commission's decision to cancel a meeting with a gay delegation from Israel: Jewish State Rep. Reuven Carlyle (D-36, Queen Anne, Ballard), who calls "the silence" to the snub from Seattle progressives "deafening," goes public with his own frustration in trying to foster a more balanced dialogue about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the Evergreen campus, which Carlyle criticizes for exclusively giving voice to the pro-Palestinian position.
How is it even possible that despite the campus’ firm positioning on the internationally charged issue, it seems literally no one from Israel or from what might be even casually be called a ‘pro Israel’ position has been even so much as invited to campus to attempt to help elevate the profoundly complex dialogue? The reason, according to administrators, is that Evergreen faculty have not expressed a desire to do so. The college administration has taken steps, in their view, to promote diversity of expression, academic freedom, rigorous intellectualism. A Jewish Studies instructor was hired on a 6-month basis to co-teach one course.
While I admire the administration’s personal candor and clear conviction–and their heartfelt desire not to be defined on the world stage as among the most virulent anti-Israeli campuses–on both a substantive and policy level I am unable to translate their protestations of progress into a language I can understand.
Naturally, one could argue that it is inappropriate for a legislator to directly question the critical-thinking pedagogy and methods of student learning employed by our colleges and universities. I would argue that, in fact, it does matter that we ensure a rich, diverse culture of learning that is safe for the minority viewpoint. Whether a far right conservative Republican or a pro-Israeli Jewish student, it’s difficult to sense that on this campus true academic freedom genuinely, meaningfully and safely includes students who speak alone.
As we well know, Evergreen is highly regarded as one of the most innovative educational experiences in the nation. There is dignity in that recognition and I honor that acknowledgment as a citizen, taxpayer and legislator. Nonetheless, my instinct tells me that when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, tyranny of the majority reins uncontested.
And for those, after yesterday, that think PubliCola might be getting one-sided on the issue in the pro-Israeli direction (by the way, definitely not ... we editorialized for Metro to run the anti-Israeli occupation bus ads), here's a must-read piece in a recent issue of the New Yorker on the dangerous Israeli settlement movement.