1. Fizz sends safe wishes to everyone on the east coast who is dealing with Hurricane Sandy, the gargantuan storm that touched down yesterday, flooding subways and streets, knocking over trees, killing at least 11 people, and leaving millions stranded without power.
2. The Republicans—both their state senate caucus political committee and the party itself—continued to download last-minute money into key races in their effort diminsh the Democrats' 27-22 advantage in the state senate.
Public Disclosure Commission records show that this week the state party contributed $12,600 to incumbent Republican Sen. Randi Becker (R-2, Eatonville) who's facing a tough challenge from Democrat Bruce Lachney (a Republican who was running in the primary, James Vaughn, has endorsed Lachney and is now actively cirticizing Becker for inaccurately implying that disgraced Democratic donor JZ Knight is a close Lachney advisor.). They also kicked in $12,300 to senate hopeful Bard Toft in the 5th District.
Republican incumbent Sen. Steve Litzow is getting last minute help from the Republicans, including $35,000 this week.
Toft, who has some embarrassing police reports on his resume, has gotten a sudden lift in his race for the open seat against Democrat Mark Mullet (who owns a Ben and Jerry's and a Zeek's Pizza) because the Republicans are crying foul over the suspect last-minute resignation and then fancy appointment of the incumbent (and retiring) Republican Sen. Cheryl Pflug. Pflug, a dissident Republican who voted for gay marraige, was appointed by Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire to $92,500-a-year job on the Washington Growth Management Hearings Board, opening a race for the traditionally Republican seat. Pflug has endorsed Mullet.
Public records also show that Republican incumbent Sen. Steve Litzow (R-41, Mercer Island)—who's going down to the wire against Democratic challenger Maureen Judge—is getting some last-minute help in the form of independent expenditures from the Republican caucus committee, including $35,000 this week.
Litzow has run into trouble in the moderate district because Judge and the Democrats have made hay over Litzow's procedural vote to stall the Reproductive Parity Act. Litzow had been seen as a pro-choice Republican, but lost his usual support from women's groups such as NARAL and Planned Parenthood after his vote. The Reproductive Parity Act would have made insurers who cover maternity care also cover abortions.
3. Mayor Mike McGinn is announcing this morning that the city has secured a federal grant of $900,000 to extend the First Hill/Broadway streetcar line to Roy Street "or beyond"—a longtime goal for the streetcar, which was approved as a replacement for a planned First Hill light rail stop. Altogether, design and planning work for the streetcar is expected to cost $3 million, with $1.25 million of that total coming from the city.