Morning Fizz

Based on Anecdotal Evidence

By Morning Fizz August 17, 2010

1. Tea Party U.S. Senate candidate Clint Didier and his team, consultant Doug Simpson and spokeswoman Kathryn Serkes, popped into the Cola offices unannounced yesterday. (They were in downtown Seattle for a conservative protest rally picking up "Pork Patty" signs at Serkes office—which is right by ours.)

Didier didn't say a whole lot. He showed off his Super Bowl rings and a high school championship ring (worth "$10,000, $11,000, and priceless," respectively). After we told him he'd given Rossi a good run for his money, he said he was "going to do more than that."

His consultant, Simpson, standing behind a pair of dark sunglasses, was more chatty. He told us "everyone was in for a big surprise." He said independents "like me aren't with the Republican Party anymore and anti-war Democrats agree with Didier's message."

Simpson predicted a win. Meanwhile, Serkes loaned us a portable air conditioner!

2. Speaking of the primary: Tonight is PubliCola's Primary Election party at the 5 Point Cafe at 5th and Denny.

You should get there before results start coming in to enter our prediction contest. The winner gets a pair of passes to Bumbershoot. Tonight's nerd fest is sponsored by: Strategies 360, Northwest Passage, the Washington Bus, and Sound View Strategies.

3. Seattle lobbyist Joe Quintana—founder of the Chamber of Commerce-backed group of businesses that formed earlier this year to oppose any city tax increases—objected to PubliCola's characterization of Seattle's commercial parking tax as a 10-percent tax on parking. (The city council and mayor have proposed various increases to the tax, which could bring it as high as 10 percent).

Quintana didn't argue that the tax itself isn't 10 percent; however, he said that once all other taxes (in Seattle, that means sales taxes and business and occupation taxes) on commercial parking operators are added to that number, the "real" parking tax is 20.186 percent, the fifth highest in the nation. The highest: The city of Pittsburgh, at 37.5 percent.

4. On his blog yesterday, bus driver Jeff Welch wrote that King County Metro's latest proposed service change eliminates more bus trips on holiday service days (e.g., New Year's day, days when UW is not in session, etc.), giving drivers a more limited choice of available work. That in turn, Welch writes, will disproportionately impact part-time drivers, because full-time drivers have a guaranteed number of hours each week. "[It looks like major cutbacks in work hours for the part time workforce," Welch writes.

In a follow-up email, Welch explained that, based on anecdotal evidence, "the number of runs impacted/cut on [holiday] service days is immense."

However, Metro operations manager Jim O'Rourke said, "I'm not aware of any substantive change" to the number of assignments available on holidays.

5. President Obama is in town today for a pair of private fundraisers for Patty Murray and for a private meeting with business owners at Grand Central Bakery in Pioneer Square.

6. Washington Bus executive director Thomas Goldstein and Rock the Vote vice president for civic engagement Thomas Bates have an editorial in the Seattle Times saying the pundits shouldn't write off young voters.
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