Caffeinated News & Gossip

1. The People for Jobs Enterprise PAC, an independent expenditure committee backed by the Enterprise Washington Jobs PAC, a conservative business lobby group, did about $50,000 in last-minute mailers and door hangers this weekend. The group spent cash on six Republicans—and, it turns out, one Democrat. 

Enterprise WA Jobs PAC, whose biggest contributors include the Building Industry Association of Washington (the BIAW), spent $5,000 on Sylvester Cann, the dissident Democrat who's challenging lefty Democratic incumbent Rep. Gerry Pollet (D-46) in North Seattle.

The conservative PAC spent cash on six Republicans, and, it turns out, one Democrat.

Other top donors to the conservative group include: the pharmaceutical lobby, the Washington Restaurant Association, the state farmers political committee, and ed reformer and charter schools backer John Stanton.

Speaking of charter schools, Cann—who's been haunted by the issue even though he says he's against them—also got last-minute help from an independent committee called Revising the Status Quo PAC, whose biggest contributor is the pro-charters ed reform group Stand for Children.

That last bit of ed reform money is hardly surprising.

As we noted in a footnote in our Cann endorsement: "If charter schools are your litmus-test issue, it’s worth noting that Cann has received more than $40,000 in independent expenditures from education-reform groups that support charter schools, including Stand for Children, the League of Education Voters’ PAC, and Democrats for Education Reform."

PubliCola came out against I-1240, the charter schools initiative, last week.

2. Last night, GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna responded to the news that the King County Republicans were providing a suspect service—going door-to-door collecting people's ballots.

McKenna told KIRO:

"We call people actually, we don't knock on random doors. We're calling people who haven't sent their ballots in. If they want us to come over to pick up their ballots, they ask us to do that. We don't show up unannounced the way some of the Democratic activists do."

However, that doesn't jibe with media reports about the Republican effort, which described voters who were perplexed by the visits

Democratic Party spokesman Benton Strong called McKenna's claim about Democratic activists baseless.

PubliCola broke the news Friday evening that McKenna's camp had also sent an email to its supporters asking them to join the GOP effort—on the state party's dime. We have a message out to the McKenna campaign.

Alarmed by the tactic, lawyers for the Democrats sent a letter to Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed asking him to put a notice on the state elections website discouraging voters from handing their ballots off to "partisan operatives" and asking Reed to promote the King County Ballot Tracker, which allows voters to make sure their ballots arrived at King County Elections.

3. Speaking of the King County vote—Fizz missed this important data point from the KCTS 9/Washington Poll: UW political science prof Matt Baretto said McKenna's support in King County was at 35 percent.  McKenna needs to be a little above 40 percent in King County to break Democrat Jay Inslee's firewall.

4. In addition to the independent expenditures noted in today's first item, Fizz's daily check on last-minute contributions turned up some donations from the Washington State Republican Party.

The WSRP gave $11,000 to state senate hopeful Brad Toft in the 5th Legislative District; Toft is running against Democrat Mark Mullet for the open seat left by retiring Republican state Sen. Cheryl Pflug. The Republicans also kicked in $14,000 to Dawn McCravey, who's trying to oust incumbent Democratic state Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe in the 1st Legislative District in Bothell.

The two races are among six in play for the battle to control the state senate. The Democrats currently have a 27-22 advantage.