1. US Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA, 1), the Democratic candidate for governor, seized on yesterday's Thurston County Superior Court ruling on same-sex marriage.
The court ruled on the ballot language for R-74, the anti-gay rights referendum, taking out the well-calibrated conservative sound bite that casts marriage equality as "redefining marriage."
Ballot language is drawn up by the Attorney General's office, and the AG's office had added the anti-gay rights "redefine" spin—which the National Organization for Marriage, the group that's planning to bankroll R-74, calls "the most effective message."
Inslee, whose big strategy so far has been to challenge his Republican opponent, Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna, on social issues, said:
I applaud the Judge's decision to remove Rob McKenna's politically charged language from the ballot title. It's unfortunate that it took a Judge to stop Rob McKenna from playing politics with marriage. Washington is a forward-thinking, fair-minded state. Granting equality to all will bring fairness to the state of Washington. I believe this is a value worth fighting for.
While McKenna has not been personally tied to the language, it's certainly fair to hold him accountable for anything that comes out of the AG's office, which has Fizz wondering: Is Inslee also going to credit McKenna for the AG's role in defending state pharmacy board rules that guarantee a woman's right to emergency contraception at pharmacies?
Last month, a federal court in Tacoma overturned the rule.[pullquote]Is Inslee also going to credit McKenna for the AG's role in defending state pharmacy board rules that guarantee a woman's right to emergency contraception at pharmacies?[/pullquote]
2. Speaking of liberals squinting to see what they want: While the rallying cry all legislative session from lefties has been to get rid of tax loopholes, liberal Seattle Democrats, state Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-36, Ballard) and Rep. Phyllis Gutierrez-Kenney (D-46, N. Seattle), ushered through a bill on the last day of the session that gives film production companies a 30 percent rebate on the money they spend in the state.
Sure, the Joint Legislative Audit Review Committee, which evaluates tax breaks, recommended keeping the break in place, noting that each dollar spent by the film industry here yields $2 in economic activity in the state. But the JLARC also recommended keeping 14 other "tax preferences" in place for similar reasons, such as: the break for out-of-state shoppers (which Democrats tried to cancel); a break for business displays at trade shows; a tax deduction to financial businesses for gross income received as interest from state and municipal government obligations; and a break on dividends paid by subsidiaries to parent companies.
3. In the budget standoff in Olympia, the Republicans have pointed out that based on current revenue forecasts, supporting the Democratic budget would shoulder the next legislature with a $2 billion shortfall.
Fizz asked Democratic leader Sen. Lisa Brown (D-3, Spokane) about this. She shaved $1.5 billion off, citing the the suspension of I-728 (the smaller class-size initiative that the Democrats have agreed to take off the books) and the potential for the U.S. Congress to institute taxes on internet sales.
"I've never gotten the philosophy that says 'cut today so you don't have to cut tomorrow'," Brown said. "There are kids in schools right now."