1. Democrats have groused that while the Public Disclosure Commission—and in turn, Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna—moved quickly to investigate and punish Moxie Media, the Democratic consultant that tried to conceal contributors during the 2010 campaign, they seem blase about the campaign finance chicanery on the right: Late and questionable finance filings from the Tea Party group Americans for Prosperity Washington. Indeed, there's still no verdict from the PDC on the AFPW mess, which we first reported last year.
We called the PDC yesterday to find out where the investigation was at and PDC spokeswoman Lori Anderson told us "the respondent [AFPW] is not being very cooperative." Anderson would not elaborate.
AFPW head Nansen Malin tells PubliCola: "Say what? That's news to me." (Washington State Republican Party Chair Kirby Wilbur, a former conservative radio talk jock, was head of AFPW when the questionable contributions occured.)
We have a call in to AFPW's attorney in Virginia at the Tea Party group's national headquarters.
2. Yesterday, Mayor Mike McGinn unveiled a new initiative aimed at opening up the subcontracted portion of large (above $300,000) city contracts to minority- and women-owned businesses. The new plan, which replaces a 2002 plan instigated by then-mayor Greg Nickels, would require all large city contractors to fill out a form documenting their "good faith efforts" to hire minority-and women-owned subcontractors as part of the bidding process.
According to city Department of Executive Administration spokeswoman Katherine Schubert-Knapp, under the old program, "the inclusion plans bidders submitted for public works projects did not need to meet a basic responsiveness standard as part of the bid. Now they need to. If these plans do not pass the responsiveness standard the City has established, the bids will not be considered further."
3. Add another name to the pack of Democrats that are competing to take US Rep. Jay Inslee's open seat (Inslee is running for governor). It's not a new candidate, it's a consultant. All-star Christian Sinderman (his latest trophy being the successful tunnel campaign, though he lost on Maurice Classen in the Jean Godden race) is working for state Rep. Marko Liias (D-21, Edmonds).[pullquote]Having Sinderman in the equation could help Liias stand out from the pack of Democrats.[/pullquote]
Having Sinderman in the equation could help Liias stand out from the pack of Democrats—which currently includes state Sen. Steve Hobbs (D-44, Lake Stevens), state Rep. Roger Goodman (D-45, Kirkland), former state legislator Laura Ruderman, and perhaps US Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH).
(Sinderman helped then-King County Council Member Dow Constantine emerge from the crowded Democratic field to take on Susan Hutchison in the 2009 County Exec's race and win.)
4. Seattle Times editorial board member Joni Balter was out of town last week, so she didn't get to do a victory lap over the defeat of Mayor Mike McGinn's anti-tunnel crusaders in last week's election. Balter finally took that victory lap on the paper's web site yesterday, writing (somewhat gleefully) that "politically wounded" McGinn needs to "get back to basics" if he wants to save his administration.
I think voters are only forgiving when a politician makes himself somewhat lovable in the first place. McGinn endearing? Um, no.
Yet I sincerely hope the mayor resurrects himself and finds his mojo. He needs to be mayor for a constituency that reaches beyond the Sierra Club and the cyclists.
By the by, the Sierra Club should get back to activities it is better known for: preserving public lands and fighting for clean air and clean water. This particular partisan foray into urban design was an unqualified bust.
5. Here's a follow-up to our piece yesterday on state Rep. Chris Reykdal's (D-22, Tumwater) blog post about the newspaper industry's sales tax break, which Reykdal claimed the Olympian refused to run.
Olympian editorial page editor Mike Oakland tells PubliCola:
Chris sent us an op-ed without checking in advance for our word limit and other requirements (jpg file photo of the author, etc.). Besides, the too-long column had factual errors, so we opted not to run it.
Our piece noted Reykdal's errors.