Caffeinated News & Gossip

1. The Washington State Democrats recently made a $35,000 contribution to R-74, the pro-gay marriage campaign. The move was intended as a make up call for the $60,000 they'd received from controversial Ramtha guru JZ Knight, who was recently caught on video delivering a homophobic rant. (She also made anti-semitic and anti-Catholic comments—and the Democrats have pledged to to give $35,000 to the Anti-Defamation League, though that donation hasn't shown up on their financial reports yet.)

There's a catch with the $35,000 to the R-74 campaign, though: It was sent from a different bank account then the one that took in the Knight donation. This may sound like a nitpicking distinction; after all, ultimately it's all one big pot of Democratic Party money, right?

Wrong. Knight originally contributed to a committee that is authorized to give money to candidates. The Democrats "returned" the money from a separate committee that is prohibited from funding candidates. In other words, Knight's money still helped Democratic candidates such as Jay Inslee, and those candidate funds were never docked.

2. Speaking of the Democratic spending: In September, the Democrats contributed three employees to the Inslee campaign, an $8,000-plus contribution. Not so this month, according to the most recent report.

Caffeinated news and gossip questions from Fizz: 1) Do they no longer have the money to float staffers in the run-up to the election? 2) Or if they do—who's paying them?

3. As part of its annual budget deliberations, the city council will likely move the operations of the troubled Langston Hughes Center for the Performing Arts from the Parks Department to the city's Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, and to give it some funding from the city's admissions tax.

The sculpture park is one of just four US projects on the list.

Currently, Langston Hughes, whose mission includes serving the city's African American community, is unsustainable—it receives more than $700,000 in city funds every year (of which about 70 percent pays directly for support staff, higher than the industry average), but brings in only about $70,000 in revenue. 

The city's move comes on the heels of the hasty departure of former arts office director Vincent Kitch, who left the arts office earlier this year after just 16 months in the position. Kitch reportedly opposed moving Langston Hughes, a longtime political football at the city, to the arts office.

4. A little early Jolt winner for Seattle: The Olympic Sculpture Park has been chosen as one of ten finalists for the Architizer+ Award, which, according to GOOD magazine, rewards "the best architectural project that spurs new occupation and lively places."

The sculpture park is one of just four US projects on the list; the others are in New York City and McAllen, Texas.