1. While the national Republican establishment goes limping into the November election in Western Washington's 1st Congressional District where their man Pedro Celis, a Mexican immigrant and former Microsoft exec, barely edged past the Tea Party candidate to now face U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA, 1), the D.C. Republicans may have to write that one off and face a more important matter in the Eastern Washington's 4th Congressional District.
Tea Party firebrand Clint Didier came out on top in the 12-person primary there while the establishment choice, former state agriculture director under Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire, Dan Newhouse, got 25.73 for second.
With the Democratic primary vote totaling 18.36 percent (does that all go to Newhouse?) and the independent vote totalling 4.44 percent (does that mostly go to Didier?) and the outstanding Republican vote totalling 19.73 percent (hard to say how that breaks down), the numbers defy the conventional wisdom that Newhouse has an easy win in the general by simply scooping up the the Democratic vote.
As the national war over the future direction of the GOP continues to tease out in the runup to 2016, the Didier/Newhouse race may be a notable test case. Newhouse, who was the spokesman for the agri-biz and chemical company-backed anti-GMO labelling campaign last year, raised $391,094 in his second-place primary showing to Didier's $247,974.
2. Speaking of the hopes of establishment Republicans: Former Washington state attorney general and failed moderate Republican gubernatorial hopeful Rob McKenna continues to chime in on the political scene. Using last week's election results—good for Republicans as they fended off a (mediocre) effort by the Democrats to win back the state senate—McKenna sent out an email to his list today saying:
What does it all mean for state government? Mainly that the same philosophical differences that have existed in Olympia in the last few sessions are likely to still be there come January, and that those counting on a very different State Senate – one that’s much more friendly to new taxes and the bigger government favored by the special interests supporting House Democrats – are likely to be disappointed.
Legislators managed to pass a truly bi-partisan supplemental budget this year, when the stakes were lower. Next January, they’ll write a new two-year budget with the McCleary case on education funding hanging over them. Can they cooperate productively again? I would suggest yes, if they pay attention to those who voted for balanced government in this primary.
3. File this one under PubliCalender's Advance Notice listings: Park(ing) Day, a chance for green activists to reverse Joni Mitchell's famous hippie lament—"They paved paradise and put up a parking lot"—and turn parking spots into parks is set for September 19th.
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is currently accepting applications—it's free!—from people who want to set up shop in curbside parking spots all over the city and replace them with painting studios, volleyball courts, micro pinball arcades, or whatever ped friendly idea you have in mind.
As readers know, PubliCola is a big fan of microparks. Send in your applications now. And may we suggest that someone defiantly set up right outside Chuck's Hop Shop at 20th and Union.
Our app is already in.