Morning Fizz

"It's Not Going to be Fine for a Little Bit of Time to Come."

By Morning Fizz September 1, 2010

1. U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), the House Majority Leader, was in Seattle yesterday stumping for Democratic congressional candidates Suzan DelBene (who's challenging incumbent GOP Rep. Dave Reichert in Seattle's Eastside suburbs) and Denny Heck (who's running against GOP state Rep. Jaime Herrera for the open seat in Southwest Washington being vacated by retiring Democratic Rep. Brian Baird.)

Hoyer spoke to a labor crowd at the Labor Temple in Belltown and summed up what's at issue for Democrats in the upcoming election: "Apathy is the biggest adversary in this election," he told the crowd, noting that "right wingers are really on fire" and that he was "worried about our people ... I'm worried about our people not being fired up. Not seeing the consequences of their apathy."

Mimicking the root of Democratic apathy, he said: "'Geez, we haven't done enough.'"

His rejoinder?

"We elected a new president and expected that new president to flip a switch and everything would be fine. And it's not, and it's not going to be fine for a little bit of time to come," he said, "but we are making progress. We have not yet had success, but we're making progress."

Almost two years into the "Yes, We Can" presidency, it's a candid message, but not exactly one that reverses apathy.

DelBene and Heck also addressed the crowd. DelBene is not the cure for the apathy gap. She called out Reichert's no votes on financial reform and health care reform, and against benefits for police and fire fighters (which she called "egregious"), but didn't stir the crowd until she said she was for the "Employee Free Choice Act"—a labor bill that allows workers to unionize without a bruising election if they can get 50 percent sign off.

Heck, a former state legislator and the founder of TVW, was a different story. Morning Fizz had never seen Heck speak before and pow!

Coming from a district, Clark County, where unemployment is 13.3 percent ("if Clark County was a state it would have the second highest unemployment rate in the nation," he boomed) he said creating jobs "is the civil rights issue of our times."

He cited all sorts of dour economic stats—no net increase in jobs for the first decade in 70 years—going on to say, "this is not an abstraction or a bar graph or a pie chart, it's real men and women and families losing jobs and homes and health care."

2. On the GOP side, U.S. Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) was in town fundraising for Dino Rossi. Brown is a bit of an odd cheerleader for Rossi given that he gave the Democrats the key 60th vote they needed to pass Wall Street reform: "It includes safeguards to help prevent another financial meltdown, ensures that consumers are protected, and it is paid for without new taxes," Brown said in signing off on the bill.

Rossi wants to repeal the bill.

3. At yesterday's Seattle Police Department press conference on the August 30 fatal police shooting at Boren and Howell, in which an officer fired four rounds at a man who refused to drop a knife (the patrol officer had stopped and gotten out of his car when he witnessed the 50-year-old man whittling a board with the blade), Morning Fizz asked Chief Diaz if the Seattle Police Department has heeded a memo earlier this year calling for Diaz to emphasize de-escalation techniques.

Diaz said that SPD already uses de-escalation training, and that it didn’t necessarily apply in this case. “It becomes much more dicey when you have a situation with a potentially lethal weapon.”

4. Are corporate logos coming to the Seattle skyline? The PI reports. (Whoops, just realized we wrote about this, a bit less sensationally, in July.)
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