Caffeinated News & Gossip

The national picture is clear. It turns out Obama won the debate that mattered—the larger one between the Republicans’ endless calls for a return to Reaganism and the Democrats’ call for more economic equity. (This was underscored by Occupy hero Elizabeth Warren’s win over Tea Party original Scott Brown in the Massachusetts senate race.)

It turns out Obama won the debate that mattered—the larger one between the Republicans’ endless calls for a return to Reaganism and the Democrats’ call for more economic equity.

Additionally, the GOP’s hard-edged social conservatism was rejected en masse—culminating at the end of the night in our corner of the country where gay marriage seemed likely to win and Democrat Suzan DelBene soundly beat Tea Party candidate John Koster in the newly drawn 1st Congressional District, completing a thematic sweep that started in Missouri where U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill beat Todd Akin.   

Here’s Fizz’s initial morning after take on the local picture.

Green is back. Environmentalism and transit have taken a beating in the last several years in the legislature, but last night’s results may provide the makings of a renaissance for green issues in Olympia. Environmental champions Jessyn Farrell (who won big in north Seattle’s 46th statehouse Legislative District ... here's our Farrell endorsement) and Jake Fey (who won big in Tacoma’s 27th statehouse Legislative District) will join the likes of Seattle’s Joe Fitzgibbon in the house to bring unprecedented alternative energy to the legislature.

Last night’s results may provide the makings of a renaissance for green issues in Olympia.

And if environmental champion Jay Inslee holds on to win the governor’s race (and he has a very good chance to do so) the green lineup will be truly formidable. Call it the Jay, Jake, Jessyn, Joe alliance.

An ironic footnote here: Democratic state Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen was losing last night, which could reduce the Democrats’ advantage. But while Democrats are far better on green issues than the Republicans, Haugen, the transportation chair, has often been bad news on transit issues. She’s now likely to be replaced on the committee by vice chair Democratic Sen. Tracey Eide, who’s more liberal on transit.

Speaking of the Democratic advantage. While Haugen is losing, the Democrats picked up a win in the 5th Legislative District in Issaquah. And the Democrats are threatening to knock out Republican incumbent Sen. Don Benton in Vancouver. When everything is settled, it’s likely the Democrats will retain their 27-22 advantage.

At the Westin last night—where the Democrats were partying—one Democrat had a contrarian take: With such a Democratic sweep, why didn’t they win a more commanding hold on the senate?

Democratic State Party Chair Dwight Pelz was on hand to laugh at that one: We won the 5th, he said (Dino Rossi’s old district, by the way) and then boasted about controlling both chambers and the governor’s mansion. (For the record, the governor’s race isn’t over, but with Inslee’s wide margin in King County, Democrats were partying last night as if it was. The Republicans maintain, despite the numbers in King County, that McKenna still has a path to victory. Last night we did a Cola One Question with the Republicans to explain the math on that.)

A sure winner last night: Seattle Port Commissioner Gael Tarleton, who ran up big numbers in her battle with the progressive community's darling Noel Frame for the open state house seat in Seattle's 36th Legislative District. Tarleton withstood a $100,000 independent expenditure assault from a coalition of labor groups to take her down.

And some losers:

While their ballot measure cause, charter schools, is ahead (though it’s winning by the smallest margins of all last night’s big statewide measures), Stand for Children, the ed reform group which spent big in the governor’s race and state legislative races with independent expenditures, comes out of the season with zero legislative wins: Democratic state senate education chair Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe, who the group tried to take out, won big; state house hopeful Sylvester Cann, who they backed in North Seattle's 46th LD, lost big; and union teacher Steve Bergquist, who they opposed in the 11th state house race, won big.

Their other cash beneficiary was Rob McKenna. They’re crossing their fingers on that one.

A big loser: Social conservative trial lawyer Jack Connelly, who spent nearly $1 million of his own money to beat Democratic state Rep. Jeannie Darneille in the battle for an open state senate seat in Tacoma. Darnielle was on top 57.8 to 42.2 last night.

Another loser: The Seattle Times. Fizz never really understood what their metrics were, but their $75,500 McKenna ad didn't seem to work too well in King County.

Our tally of last night’s results is here.