Caffeinated News and Gossip

1. To put the Seattle Times' $75,750 independent expenditure ad supporting GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna (the only time the paper has ever supported a partisan candidate) in context, here's the list of the other groups that have felt compelled to back McKenna at that level:

There you have it: The Koch Brothers, Stand for Children, the Republican Governors Association, the Democratic Governors Association, a lefty union, pro-choice groups, and the Seattle Times.

—Americans for Prosperity, the controversial Koch Bros. backed political committee, is doing a $27,985 IE for McKenna.

—Stand for Children, the hardline education reform group, is doing $128,174 in independent expenditures for McKenna.

Additionally:

—The Associated General Contractors of Washington, the conservative construction PAC, is doing $1,900 worth in IEs for McKenna.

—And Koch Industries themselves are doing a minimal $32 IE (in the form of a Republican slate email they're sending out to all local employees), as we noted last week.

The other sort of partisan groups playing at this level are lefty groups supporting Democrat Jay Inslee with IEs: the Service Employees International Union, the Washington Conservation Voters, the pro-choice groups Planned Parenthood and NARAL, immigration rights group OneAmerica, and Asian Pacific Islanders for Inslee.

Meanwhile, the Republican Governors Association is at $11 million in anti-Inslee IE spending and the Democratic Governors Association (along with the Democratic Party) are spending $7 million in anti-McKenna IEs.

There you have it: The Koch Brothers, Stand for Children, the RGA, the DGA, a lefty union, pro-choice groups, and ... the Seattle Times.

2. Speaking of independent expenditures: The group of lefty donors that are funding an IE against Seattle Port Commissioner and 36th Legislative District Democratic state house candidate Gael Tarleton to help her Democratic opponent Noel Frame, sent out their mailer this week.

The anti-Tarleton mail piece stokes an issue that dogs Tarleton, her battle with the Teamsters over trucker rights at the port. The ad hits Tarleton, saying she "didn't improve working conditions for truck drivers" at the Port—a reference to a heated battle between the Teamsters and Tarleton over giving contract truckers the same rights as full time employees. 

The $100,000 IE is funded by SEIU, the Teamsters, the UFCW, and the state employees union.

If you're thinking news about independent expenditures is boring...think again! Porn has take center stage in the hot 1st Legislative District.

The Tarleton campaign responded to the mailer saying Tarleton abstained from a Teamsters-backed resolution to make port truckers official employees rather than contractors because it would have violated a federal court ruling against banning contract truckers.

The ad also hits Tarleton for failing to support a major environmental upgrade for trucks. The campaign points to compromise legislation that Tarleton passed to reduce diesel emissions.

3. If you're thinking news about IEs is boring...think again! Porn has take center stage in the hot 1st Legislative District race between incumbent state Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe (D-1, Bothell) and her Republican challenger Dawn McCravey.

Stand for Children, the ed reform group that wants to knock out McAuliffe—as education committee chair McAuliffe has sparred with reformers over teacher evaluations and charters—sent out anti-McAuliffe mailer this week, attacking her for stopping a bill that would have automatically revoked teaching licenses for teachers caught with porn on campus. 

The bill, which civil libertarians decried, was pushed by arch-conservative Sen. Don Benton (R-17, Vancouver) in 2005.

 Stand has put in $200,000 against McAuliffe so far.