Morning Fizz

They've Felt Intimidated

By Morning Fizz July 21, 2010

1. Dex, the phone-book company, picked up more than 600 phone books from city council member Mike O'Brien's office last week, but the pile of unwanted books has started to grow again. (O'Brien has asked constituents to drop off their unwanted phone books at his office to help dramatize the case for legislation making it tougher for phone-book companies to deliver books people don't want).

Dex doesnt seem to be getting the message: Earlier this week, the company dropped off a stack off nine new Yellow Pages at the city council—one for each council member.

When Fizz, trying to be helpful, asked O'Brien's office if they wanted us to help them drag the nine books onto O'Brien's pile of protest, an exasperated O'Brien  staffer responded, "We don't want them!"

2. SHARE/WHEEL, the homeless advocacy group, plans to resume camping outside city officials' houses in three weeks, an anonymous SHARE member tells PubliCola. The group has asked the city to give it $50,000 to pay for bus tickets; the city has said it will give SHARE the money, but only on the condition that the group keep it's shelters open throughout the year. SHARE doesn't want to do that because they say they may run out if money.

As we've reported, some SHARE members say they've felt intimidated into participating in the campouts in the past by threats that they'll be kicked out of SHARE's shelters if they don't.

"Participants are so filled with fear from threats of being kicked out onto the streets if anyone speaks their mind," the anonymous SHARE member who contacted PubliCola about the latest round of protests says.

3. Did you know that BP is one of the main backers of I-1053, Tim Eyman's initiative to re-institute the two-thirds legislative majority rule for raising taxes? The (now-infamous) oil company has contributed $65,000 to the cause ($50,000 on June 1 and $15,000 on July 9).

It makes sense. The legislature is considering raising the hazardous substance tax—which would fall largely on oil companies. Conoco Phillips ($50,000) and Tesoro ($65,000) are also big contributors to the initiative.

Environmentalists pushed the idea of raising the voter-approved hazardous substance tax (for the first time in 20 years) last session, but it failed.

4. Yesterday, we reported that the R-71 case would be back in the courts this Friday. However, later in the day,  U.S. District Court Judge Benjamin Settle dismissed the motion from Protect Marriage Washington (the anti-gay rights group that is trying to prevent the state from releasing the names of the people who signed their initiative to repeal domestic partner rights) to take up their case.

Settle is waiting to see the official paperwork from the U.S. Supreme Court which decided against Protect Marriage Washington 8-1 earlier this year, ruling that initiative signatures in general were public record, but also saying groups could challenge release on a case by case basis.

PMW will be able to re-file after Settle reviews the paperwork and jurisdiction over the case is officially back in his hands.
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