Caffeinated News & Gossip

 1. Gay marriage isn't just for Western Washington anymore: After yesterday's vote count (yes, they're still counting votes), the tally for R-74 (the gay marriage referendum) in Eastern Washington's Whitman County just south of Spokane County tipped over into the "Approved" column, 50.24 to 49.76 or 7,795 to 7,719—a 76 vote lead.

 

Whitman County supports gay marriage

Skagit County, in Nortwest Washington, also went from "Rejected" to "Approved" yesterday. Pulling ahead by 75 votes—50.07 percent to 49.93 percent. 

2. And speaking of vote counts—Democratic challenger state Rep. Tim Probst (D-17, Vancouver) picked up a few votes in the Democrats' pivotal attempt to knock out incumbent Republican state Sen. Don Benton (D-17, Vancouver); if Probsts can win the seat, the Democrats will have an actual working majority.

Otherwise, their 26-23 nominal majority will be transformed into a 25-24 GOP lead thanks to the two blacksheep in the caucus, Sens. Tim Sheldon (D-35, Potlatch) and Rodney Tom (D-48, Bellevue).

Probst, who was winning by 17 votes three days ago, losing by 65 votes two days ago, and losing by 110 votes  yesterday—is now down by 105 votes. 

3. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has a new study showing the growth of the income gap between the wealthiest and poorest Americans, state by state. In Washington, as of 2010 (the most recent year for which information is available), the richest fifth of households made 7.1 times more than the poorest fifth of households, and the richest five percent were 11.7 times higher than those of the poorest fifth.

Those numbers make Washington's income gap "wide," though far from the widest in the nation; that distinction goes to New Mexico, where the richest fifth made 9.9 times the poorest fifth, and the richest five percent made 16.8 times more than the poorest fifth.

4. Erica will be on KUOW's "Weekday" this morning, talking about Gov.-elect Jay Inslee, the leadership of the state senate, South Lake Union redevelopment, and more.

 Tune in 94.9 FM at 10 O'clock today.

5. And a shout out to former PubliCola police reporter Jonah Spangenthal Lee. His goof ball, but totally helpful primer on the fallout from I-502, the pot legalization measure, won "Best New thing in the World Today" on the Rachel Maddow show.