Caffeinated News and Gossip

Editor's note, item #2 has been updated with comments from the Washington State Republican Party.

1. Another prominent local politico has canceled his subscription to the Seattle Times over its decision to fund an ad for Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna: Political consultant Christian Sinderman, who works for Democratic Party candidates. 

Sinderman tells Fizz: 

“It was a sad day for me since I always enjoy the morning paper—even if I did read the contents online hours earlier. Also, I have enormous respect for the reporters, editors and staff who try and report the news under less than ideal economic—and now internal—circumstances.  But I simply could not subscribe to a paper out of loyalty to the profession, just to see them spend it on a partisan candidate (one I obviously do not support.)”

2. Earlier this week, we reported first on the homophobic rhetoric that Rob McKenna's campaign had posted on its official blog, and then that McKenna's campaign had quietly deleted the post (without any acknowledgement of the spurious language nor recognition of the fix).

McKenna's penchant for erasing the record is getting creepy.

Now, it appears McKenna has deleted something else from his website: the phrase "enact the levy swap."

One of the key components of McKenna's education funding plan, as noted by every paper that covered it in late July when he released it, was his proposal to make the state pick up $800 million that local districts currently spend on education funding. McKenna's Democratic rival Jay Inslee pounced on the proposal and started calling it a tax increase. 

Frankly, Fizz thinks Inslee is being disingenuous, but his ploy must be working.

This "Five ways to fund education" white paper, which includes the bullet point "Enact school levy swap for public schools" is MIA on his campaign website. 

The plan that's on his website notes the burden on local districts, but does not propose, as McKenna once did, enacting the local levy swap.

The Republicans say the whole site has gotten an overhaul since the plan was first released and claim the white paper was never available on the site.

Two observations about all this: A) Internal campaign polling must show that Inslee's attack against the levy swap is working and  B) Coupled with McKenna's hushed redaction of the anti-gay rhetoric, McKenna's penchant for erasing the record is creepy.

UPDATE:

3. We reported on a rumor that the women who wrote the homophobic tripe on McKenna's blog may have spoken at McKenna women-for-McKenna rally yesterday. The Washington State Republican Party tells us that's not correct, and in fact, the women was not there.

4. Some new fundraising numbers have been posted in the 1st Congressional District race between Democratic candidate Suzan DelBene and Republican John Koster, tallying how much money the candidates raised between their third quarter report (tracking July-September 30) and mid October.

DelBene took in $732,000 to Koster's $100,000. Big asterisk: $500,000 of DelBene's money is her own. Big footnote: Without the half-million of her own money, she still beat Koster handily, $232,000 raised to $100,000 raised.

In total, including her own money, DelBene has raised $3.8 million with $150,000 cash on hand. Koster has raised $995,000 with $157,000 cash on hand. 

In the week since the mid October report, Koster netted a $5,000 contribution from Sarah Palin's PAC.

5. A group of housing and human services advocates have written a letter to city, state, and county officials protesting a campaign by Seattle's Convention and Visitors Bureauencouraging visitors to send letters and photos to local officials when they witness illegal behavior downtown. 

As we've reported, the city council has questioned how much Mayor Mike McGinn is doing to combat nuisance crimes and aggressive panhandling downtown; McGinn has responded by detailing the steps the city is taking, as part of its Center City Initiative, to combat street disorder in the area. 

After noting all the cuts that have been made to low-income housing, services for the mentally ill, and basic human services for poor individuals and families, the letter continues: 

While we agree that police have the responsibility to stop unlawful behavior, we also know that police actions that drive away drug dealers from one area, all too often merely shift the dealing to another area of the city.  Relying solely on police enforcement of drug laws has inundated our jails and prisons, but ultimately has done little to stem the use of illegal substances or improve public safety.  An extremely important variable in removing illegal substances from our streets is to reduce or eliminate the demand for drugs through availability of treatment services for those who are addicted.

It is also critical to distinguish between illegal and lawful behavior.  It is not a criminal offense to be homeless or mentally ill, or to behave in a way that makes some tourists or residents uncomfortable or upset.  Nor is it illegal to beg for money, so long as it is not done in a physically threatening manner.