1. In response to the Association of Washington Business board's May 13 decision to "unanimously endorse" I-1053 (Tim Eyman's initiative to require a two-thirds vote of the legislature to raise taxes), the Washington State Labor Council has gone on a fact finding mission.
Knowing that AWB board members like Microsoft haven't come out in support of I-1053, the WSLC called top Washington companies and AWB board members to see if the AWB board was really all-in on Eyman's initiative.
Here's a sample of what WSCL found about AWB's "unanimous" May 13 Board vote:
•[Boeing] spokeswoman Susan Bradley says the company has no position on I-1053 and had no representative at AWB's May 13 board meeting in Spokane.
•"I wasn't there" —The Daily Herald Co., Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center
•"We have not taken a position on I-1053" —Weyerhaeuser, Avista Corp.
•"I wasn't there" and "we have no position on it" —US Bank
•"I wasn't there" and "I personally oppose it" —Bastyr University
•"We DON'T support I-1053" —Ben Bridge Jewelers
Indeed, asked point blank about I-1053 last week, Brad Smith, Microsoft’s Senior Vice President for Corporate Affairs, told PubliCola, "We haven't taken a position yet, but we have never supported a Tim Eyman initiative."
2. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA, 5), the fourth ranking Republican in the House GOP caucus, who's in charge of the House GOP's new website and heading up the Republican effort to get on Twitter, had another new assignment this year: recruit women around the country to be GOP candidates.
McMorris Rodgers told the L.A. Times last week that the party wants to recruit more female candidates because they are "seen as good listeners" and as being "trustworthy and honest."
We have a call in to her office to see which GOP candidates are CMR recruits —but you should certainly count 3rd Congressional District candidate Jaime Herrera, a former senior aide to McMorris Rodgers.
3. This is a pretty obvious point, but Morning Fizz had never heard it articulated so well before.
Speaking on a panel at Seattle Center on Tuesday night, Bill Gates, Sr., the main proponent of I-1098—the high-earners income tax which would impose a 5 to 9 percent tax on couples making over $400,000 ($200,000 for singles) and $1 million ($500,000 for singles) respectively—said the main complaint he hears against his initiative is that opponents don't like a tax that targets one group of people.
Gates lauhged, held up a chart he had handy showing that in Washington State's regressive system the poorest fifth of Washingtonians pay six times as much (17 percent of their income) as the richest 1 percent (2.6 percent of their income) in taxes, and then repeated sarcastically: "They don't like a system that targets one group of people."
4. Be sure to check out yesterday's Cola report on Dino Rossi. Famous for fudging answers to questions about his position on abortion, Rossi was candid with PubliCola about how he would vote as a U.S. Senator on the issue.
5. Also yesterday, we took issue with a Suzan DelBene press release—DelBene, a former Microsoft VP, is the Democrat running against incumbent U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA, 8).
The press release linked a D.C. lobbyist who's throwing a fundraiser for Reichert to Reichert's 'No' vote on health care reform. The lobbyist's firm has clients who opposed the health care bill.
But, as we reported, they had more lucarative contracts with clients who supported health care reform.
DelBene's camp responded to our article:
“Our characterization of this lobbyist’s representation of anti-healthcare reform clients was accurate, and the fact that this lobbyists is trying to have it both ways—much like Reichert’s attempts to have it both ways on the environment and the repeal of health care reform—shows exactly how broken Washington DC is.”