1. Today, the Seattle Times published an editorial putting U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert on the spot for cynically dismissing his pro-environmental votes as just a ploy to take environmentalists "out of the game." (Reichert made the comments to a group of Republican precinct committee officers not realizing he was being recorded.)
The Times writes this morning:
Treacherous gobs of oil threatening beaches and wildlife along the Gulf Coast put in stark relief the need for every politician running this fall to state a clear position on pollution, drilling and broader environmental sentiments. In our state, no politician has more explaining to do than Reichert.
... to tell a group of sympathizers he votes for environmental issues to stay in office harms his green credentials ... Politicians in this predicament have a range of tools, from a direct apology to the obligatory "What I meant to say."
Reichert should do a better job of explaining himself. Certain damage has been done.
Good on the Seattle Times, who had originally been slow to report the story. We had suspected the Times of being soft on Reichert because of their past Reichert endorsements (they had, hilariously enough, cheered his "conscience-driven independent streak") and their animosity toward high-pitched partisan blogger David Goldstein, who broke the story.
In our report about the whole thing (we got green leaders to comment, but couldn't get Reichert to return our calls), we focused as much on the Times' leisurely response as we had on Reichert.
We’re not rubes, we get how politicians work. However, Reichert’s candor belies the credit he’s been given by Seattle Times for being “principled,” a reason they’ve given their hundreds of thousands of readers to vote for him.
More important, if Reichert isn’t an environmentalist at heart, voters should know that because when push comes to shove on future bills (when he’s more confident with his long term incumbency), he may feel comfy voting his real conscience.
2. On his blog Seattlecrime.com, old-school crime reporter Jonah Spangenthal-Lee (he's only in his twenties, but he's got 1940s-scandal-sheet chops that lead him to scoop after scoop), published a smart editorial this morning criticizing the Stranger for their (surprise!) knee-jerk take on the Seattle Police Department.
3. U.W. political science prof and pollster Matt Barreto has released some follow up analysis to his Murray v. Rossi polling—highlighting the responses of people who also voted in 2006, voters he says give us a better sense of who will go to the polls in 2010.
Nerds dig in.
4. Whoa. Erica's post from Friday about Metro salaries has nearly 200 comments.