Morning Fizz

This Does Not Meet the Requirements

By Morning Fizz August 26, 2010

1. Blog star Nate Silver debuted his New York Times column this week.

Yesterday, the "Nate Silver Political Calculus" predicted how this year's U.S. Senate races will go. House predictions are coming soon, and given the bouts in Washington 2 and 3, Fizz is dying to see what Silver says—because Silver can be trusted. (His model correctly predicted the outcome of all 35 U.S. Senate races in 2008.)

And what does he say about Washington's US Senate race? Silver has Sen. Patty Murray beating Dino Rossi 49.2 to 48.4. And out of 100,000 simulations, he gives Murray a 55.8 percent chance of winning and Rossi a 44.2 percent chance of winning.

2. The Washington State Democrats have filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission alleging that an independent political committee, Americans for Prosperity, illegally coordinated its anti-Denny Heck TV ad  with Heck's Republican rival Jaime Herrera.

Heck and Herrera are facing off in the Southwest Washington's 3rd Congressional District for the open U.S. House seat being vacated by Rep. Brian Baird.

The Herrera campaign says they will dispute the complaint.

3. On Tuesday we reported Washington state's final losing score on its application for federal education money, 290 points out of a possible 500.

Today, we've got the breakdown, how the judges scored us on things like "Standards and Assessments," "Data Systems," and "Demonstrating significant progress in raising achievement and closing gaps."

Unsurprisingly—given that the legislature balked earlier this year at tying teacher evaluations to student performance—our application got poor marks on that front, an average of 19.6 out of 58 possible points.

Here's the whole report card. And as one evaluator wrote in the notes:
The plan articulates a process for defining multiple rating categories but seems to remain silent on ensuring student growth will be used as a significant factor in both teacher and principal evaluations. Statements are made ... without ever making the direct commitment to utilize student growth as a significant factor. This does not meet the requirements of the criterion.

4. Speaking of the legislature's lacking commitment, 34th District state rep candidate Joe Fitzgibbon was boasting about his endorsement from the Washington Education Association yesterday.

PubliCola endorsed Fitzgibbon, but note of caution on this one: the WEA is the reason the legislature failed to make a more credible commitment on education reform this year.

5. For those that think Mayor Mike McGinn is a little too hippie-dippie, particularly when it comes to kitchen-table issues like fighting crime. Here's a recent tweet from his twitter page that you'll just love.


6. Early in the initiative season, we reported that Tim Eyman's regular financial backer, Woodinville financial adviser Michael Dunmire, was not ponying up this year and that Eyman had been forced to lend his own money to the I-1053 campaign. (I-1053 is the initiative that would reinstate the two-thirds vote rule on the legislature when it wants to raise taxes.)

We also reported that oil companies like BP, Conoco Phillips, and Tesoro, were filling the void (which makes sense given that raising the hazardous substance tax is on the legislative agenda).

Now, Northwest Progressive Institute has the report on Act Three: Eyman's email to his supporters asking for $250,000 to retire his personal debt.

Here's NPI's full report which includes Eyman's email and the current tally of I-1053's top donors:
As Eyman related in his email (referring to himself in the third person):

[F]rom May through June, Tim accessed his bank’s line of credit, secured by a 2nd mortgage on his home, and loaned the signature drive for I-1053 a total of $250,000 ($50,000 in April, $40,000 in May, $70,000 in early June and $90,000 in late June). This was, by no means, our first choice. But given the difficulty of our supporters to donate to our initiative during these tough economic times, it was the only way we could ensure the success of I-1053.

When Eyman says “our supporters”, he’s obviously referring to the dwindling number of loyal donors who have stuck with him year after year, contributing to each new initiative effort.

The only reason I-1053 “made it” is because several dozen corporations collectively put up close to $600,000 to help Eyman. Not counting Eyman’s loan, their contributions constitute about 76% of the funding for I-1053. That’s more than three fourths!

The top corporate and trade group contributors to I-1053 are:

  • BP (yes, that BP) – $65,000

  • Tesoro – $65,000

  • ConocoPhillips – $50,000

  • Shell – $50,000

  • Washington Farm Bureau – $50,000

  • Washington Restaurant Association- $45,000

  • Washington Realtors – $25,000

  • Washington Beverage Association (Coke, Pepsi, Dr Pepper) – $20,000

  • Kemper Holdings – $20,000

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