Morning Fizz

They've Added a Second Democratic State Senator to Their Hit List

By Morning Fizz July 6, 2010

1. On the stump and in interviews, GOP senate candidate Dino Rossi has repeatedly accused U.S. Sen. Patty Murray of being "number three in earmarks." (It's debatable whether earmarking—scoring money in the federal budget for your home state—is even a bad thing in the first place, and we've written about the Rossi/Murray earmark debate here and here), but Rossi needs to get his facts right. Murray is not "number three in earmarks."

Republican U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R- MS) is number three in earmarks, totaling $368 million, including 42 defense projects. Does Rossi have a problem with Sen. Wicker?

Sen. Murray is number nine in earmarks.

2. Speaking of Sen. Murray, the Seattle Times has a piece this morning documenting  her campaign contributors:
Since 2005, lobbyists — who by definition are donors with an agenda — and their firms have given nearly $605,000 for Murray's re-election and to M-PAC, her leadership political-action committee, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

That's more than any other single source and is a big jump from during Murray's first term, when lobbyists ranked No. 20 among industries and sectors that donated to her campaign. She didn't have her PAC at that time.

Ouch. The piece does note, however, that Murray is a co-sponsor of the DISCLOSE act, which the Times describes as "a legislative counterattack to the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned parts of McCain-Feingold."

They probably should have been clearer about that. The DISCLOSE act is a response to the Citizens United ruling which allowed corporations to directly contribute unlimited dollars to campaign ads. (Previously, corporate bank accounts were prohibited from directly funding ads.)  The bill that Murray is co-sponsoring would require disclosure on corporate-funded ads, forcing CEOs to deliver the same sort of “and I approved this message” that candidates have to do now.

Rossi has not said if he supports the DISCLOSE act.

3. The Washington State Labor Council, traditionally seen as a kneejerk ally of incumbent Democrats, has added a second Democratic state senator to their hit list. Last week, the WSLC  endorsed progressive challenger Nick Harper over Democratic state Sen. Jean Berkey (D-38, Everett, Marysville, Tulalip).

Earlier this year, they endorsed lefty challenger Lillian Kaufer over incumbent state Sen. Steve Hobbs (D-44, Southwest Snohomish County).

4. Sources with the campaign against Initiative 1107, the beverage-industry-backed measure that would repeal soda and candy taxes that pay for health care and education, say that two signature-gathering groups that got in trouble for alleged fraudulent practices in California are largely responsible for the signature-gathering effort here.

Anti-1107 campaigners have repeatedly seen Jenny Breslin and Mark Jacoby—the heads, respectively, of signature-gathering firms JSM, Inc. and YPM (Young Political Majors)—heading up signature-gathering efforts in Seattle.

In 2009, Jacoby pled guilty to voter fraud for registering to vote at various California addresses where they did not live; California law requires signature gatherers to live in California. That same year, both Breslin and Jacoby came fire for allegedly tricking dozens of young voters in Orange County, CA, into registering as Republicans.

Neither Breslin nor Jacoby could be contacted for comment.

Full disclosure: Sandeep Kaushik, the anti-1107 spokesman, co-founded PubliCola in January 2009. Kaushik has no editorial role at PubliCola.
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