1. Washington state GOP chair Susan Hutchison angered Democrats and Republicans alike late Friday when she wrote off Donald Trump’s rape-culture comments; Hutchison, a former KIRO-TV anchor, said Trump was a Democrat at the time he made the now-infamous statements caught on a hot mic in 2005 about groping women. And the highest ranking woman in the house GOP, Washington state’s own U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA, 5), unequivocally condemned Trump’s misogynistic comments, but didn’t rescind her May, 2016 Trump endorsement.
However, the Columbian reported that the other prominent female Republican in Washington state, U.S. Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA, 3), announced on Saturday after this latest, and perhaps ugliest Trump sound clip, that “the door had now slammed shut” on the possibility she would vote for him. Herrera Beutler, a Mexican-American, had not endorsed Trump to begin with, saying previously that she had found his comments “unsettling.”
Herrera Beutler, first elected in 2010, is not in a tight race for reelection, though she does have a more legitimate opponent than usual, Vancouver area state representative Jim Moeller (D-49, Vancouver). They are debating today. The New York Times has counted more than 160 prominent and/or elected Republicans who have come out against Trump.
Herrera Beutler said she will write in GOP house speaker Paul Ryan.
2. Time to stop the speculation that he's retiring?
Veteran city council member Tim Burgess, considered the conservative on the council (or at least, socialist Kshama Sawant’s opposite number), has filed the forms to run for office next year.
Burgess says, however, the form "was a technical filing because I've started my decision process." He added: "My family and I will decide over the holiday break at the end of the year."
Burgess, currently a lonely council critic of pending council legislation to limit the city’s ability to sweep homeless people from unsanctioned encampments, was first elected in 2007. He was reelected in 2015 in one of the council’s at-large seats, Position Eight, in the brand new district/at-large hybrid system.
The seven districted council members were all elected to four-year terms last year, but the two at-large spots—Lorena Gonzalez in District Nine is the other citywide council member—are up again next year.
If he runs, Burgess is likely to face a challenge from the left; in 2016, he beat former Tenants’ Union leader Jon Grant 54.55 to 44. 88.
3. I was on KUOW’s Week in Review on Friday. Listen in to our discussion about the inaccurate (according the facts and me) Seattle Times column about lefty lobbyists supposedly dictating legislation at city hall. And more important I think, were our discussions about I-732, the carbon tax initiative, and the push for a safe consumption site in Seattle.
Mayor Ed Murray recommended the safe consumption site idea, but he didn’t put money for it in his recent budget proposal earlier this month. After a council briefing on the idea last week, though, council president Bruce Harrell said the presentation—from U.W. researcher and harm reduction advocate Caleb Banta Green—would help inform the upcoming budget discussions.
Human services chair, Downtown’s District Seven council member Sally Bagshaw, told me she doesn’t know yet if the council will earmark money for a safe consumption site in the next budget. But she strongly supports the idea of a site, telling Fizz she met with King County leaders last week and “wants to have a safe injection/bupe public health clinic site soon.” (Bupe is a reference to buprenorphine, a partial opiate that helps people fight heroin addiction.) She also told me she’s working with North Seattle’s District Five council member Debora Juarez on “a great plan in D5 that is ready to go…but I don’t have the money yet.”
Bagshaw says it’s possible there will be money in the budget for a safe consumption site, but she’s still studying it.
She concluded: “I support the safe injection sites with a public health focus on the opioid addiction task force recommendations. This means offering bupe as an option like San Francisco's IBIS clinic, which I visited last May. This is a breakthrough approach and is important for our region.”