Morning Fizz

The Audience's Turn to Ask Questions

By Morning Fizz April 28, 2010



1. The Fizz hears that King County Executive Dow Constantine may send a sales tax initiative to fund public safety to the Council today.

County spokesman Frank Abe says no decision has been reached yet. The possible three-tenths of cent sales tax increase (to help address a $60 million budget shortfall which could force a 12 percent cut to the County's criminal justice system) would have to be approved by the voters.

The vote would be in August.

2. Morning Fizz was  at the Burien Highline High School performance center last night for a 34th District candidate forum. There were about 35 people there.

Also on hand: Conservative talk radio host John Carlson, who moderated the debate; candidate Joe Fitzgibbon's parents (we inadvertently sat next to them); candidate Mike Heavey's girlfriend (right across the aisle); and the event hosts from the B-Town blog, who, along with Carlson, questioned the candidates.

With the conservative panel challenging the mostly Democratic candidates—asking them, for example if they would adopt tough standards on "illegal aliens" like the new law in Arizona— it was a cranky affair.

At one point, candidate Marcee Stone—who mostly stuck to her campaign finance reform message all night, leaned across the table, out of turn, and asked the panel if they worked for anti-transit activist and east side conservative Kemper Freeman.

The candidates stuck by their liberal (or Democratic Party) speaking points. Heavey, an aide to King County Council Member Jan Drago, said the first piece of legislation he would take up if elected would be reforming the initiative process (something 34th District Democratic Sen. Joe McDermott tried to do this past session.) Fitzgibbon, a former aide to 34th District Rep. Sharon Nelson—whose seat they're all trying to fill—singled out the hazardous substance tax—a bill that died last session. He said  he would "fight with every ounce" to get it passed next session. Stone was keen on a labor priority, workers' organizing rights.

When asked what they would cut in the budget, both Heavey and Stone said they'd go after corporate subsidies. Fitzgibbon said he wouldn't vote for a budget with substantial cuts. And both Heavey and Fitzgibbon were down on liquor privatization because they worried it would take money away from the state.

Fitzgibbon drew the most fire when it was the audience's turn to ask questions, getting grilled about property rights. Fitzgibbon is a member of  the Burien Planning Commission where he worked on the controversial Burien shoreline master plan.

On the budgeting question,  a fourth candidate, Triangle Pub owner, Independent Geoffery "Mac" McElroy, said simply he would cut "the environment."

3. Erica wishes she covered Olympia City Hall. Check out the story from Olympia yesterday: Pot. Secret informants. Former City Council Members. Wow.



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