2. Democratic U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell sat down for a 20-minute interview with Josh yesterday to talk about her emergence as a populist all-star whose yearlong challenge to Democratic President Barack Obama's economic policies has put the national spotlight on her banking reform message—a message that may be the Democrats only hope of warding off a major backlash from angry voters and Tea Partiers in November.
We will publish the full Cantwell Q&A later today. But here's a quick peek for the Fizz: Josh asked Sen. Cantwell about her foe, Obama's Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, whom Sen. Cantwell has destroyed in hearing after hearing, not to mention the time she told MSNBC she didn't know why Geithner still had his job.
Josh: Do you and your staff have a nickname for Tim Geithner?
Sen. Cantwell: No. No.
Josh: Do you have anything nice to say about Tim Geithner?
Sen. Cantwell: Well, I think, [pause] um [long pause] ... I think the Treasury Secretary is, um [very long pause] .... um ... earnest, in saying at hearings that he wants to work on getting capital to small business, but I don't know that he understands the urgency of it.
3. City Council budget chair Jean Godden took public issue with McGinn's move to eliminate 200 city jobs in a letter to WorkingSeattle.org, the web site that formed in response to his executive order announcing the job cuts earlier this year. (McGinn, who initially proposed targeting employees classified as strategic advisors and managerial staff, subsequently put the layoffs on "pause" in response to protests from city workers. However, he hasn't backed off on his pledge to make significant cuts later this year).
In the letter, Godden praised McGinn for meeting an expected $50 million 2011 budget shortfall head on, but added that she is "hopeful that, as the mayor moves forward with his budget proposals, he does so in a way that is respectful of city employees and the difficult situation that many will find themselves facing.
"As the workforce is reduced, Council will need to better understand what direct services will be sacrificed and will want clear assurances that the City’s civil service process is being followed.
"I also hope that the Mayor’s office does everything possible to maintain employee morale during this difficult and stressful time including providing a fair system of review and alternative opportunities for cuts rather than a jobs-only approach."
Translation: McGinn had better come up with a mid-year budget that doesn't slam employee morale, doesn't target only strategic advisors, and doesn't cut as many jobs as the mayor originally proposed.
4. Morning Fizz was in Bellevue last night. At the North Bellevue Community Center, actually.
Marking the first night of the National Tea Party Convention, we joined Liberty Belle (aka Seattle math teacher/national Tea Party leader Keli Carender) at the monthly meeting of the King County Young Republicans.
James Watkins and Matthew Burke, the two GOP candidates for the 1st Congressional District seat currently occupied by Rep. Jay Inslee, D-1, spoke to the group. We missed Watkins, but Burke was on fire with the tea partiers, a major faction of the 22 people in attendance. He said, "I don't want the GOP to be the 'Party of No.' I want it to be the party of 'Hell, No.'" He called the IRS "blood-sucking leeches."
Burke told us afterward that he was inspired to run for office by the tea partiers. His political awakening, he said, came at Carender's original "Porkulus" protest last February, now considered the first tea party in the nation.
Burke added that the national Republican party had called after he announced his candidacy, asking him not to run.
Today's Morning Fizz brought to you by Vote Yes! on Seattle School Levies