Morning Fizz

He Doesn't Intend to Sign the Legislation They Passed

By Morning Fizz October 27, 2010

1. On yesterday's Ben and Jean Show (a call-in show about the city's budget hosted by city council budget chair Jean Godden and council central staff director Ben Noble), callers expressed concerns about  City Light rate increases, environmental center closures, cuts to domestic-violence services, and spending on bike lanes ("bikers can wait out the recession").

One thoughtful caller raised a concern we hadn't heard before, asking the council to exempt homeless people living in their cars from a proposed parking ticket "scofflaw" program that would allow the city to place a boot on cars owned by people who haven't paid their parking tickets.

2. Given the  estimated $67 million shortfall, the city council is unlikely to restore most of the cuts proposed as part of next year's budget. One item they are likely to put back in the budget, council sources say, is up to $306,000 in human-services funding. That money, which the Seattle Human Services Coalition has asked the council to restore, pays for things like domestic-violence services, food assistance, community-based health care, and racial-equity programs.

3. Here's a campaign finance update from the state house contest in West Seattle's 34th District where rival Democrats, Joe Fitzgibbon and Mike Heavey, are vying to fill state Rep. Sharon Nelson's open seat. (She's off to the state senate).

The Republican-friendly People for Jobs PAC (they've done a run of independent expenditures against vulnerable Democrats including state Sens. Chris Marr, Rodney Tom, Claudia Kauffman, and Eric Oemig while supporting GOPers such as Joe Fain and Andy Hill) reported an $11,858 independent expenditure supporting Heavey this past week.

People for Jobs is funded by Enterprise Washington, a political committee that itself is funded  by big contributions from standby GOP and corporate contributors including the farm bureau, the Washington Restaurant Association, Liberty Mutual, Kemper Freeman, Weyerhaeuser, Bank of America, and Boeing.

A maybe noteworthy contributor to Enterprise Washington is CalPortland—the parent company of Glacier Northwest, the gravel company that has controversial mines on Maury Island in the 34th. We say "Maybe" because CalPortland isn't a major donor to Enterprise Washington and Heavey has stated that he's opposed to Glacier's strip mining on Maury.

4. Earlier this month, Mayor Mike McGinn wrote a letter informing the city council that he doesn't intend to sign legislation they passed unanimously approving a deal with the Museum of History and Industry that will give the city a cash infusion next year. (McGinn argued that MOHAI, which has to move to make way for the new 520 bridge, is getting too much money for its land from the state and should have given some of that cash to the city.)

The letter, which is symbolic as opposed to a veto, includes some odd oversights. First, instead of the usual "Office of the Mayor" letterhead, the letter says "City of Seattle/Name of Department." Second, it misspells MOHAI as "HOHAI." And third, the information identifying the recipient is absent, with zeroes representing phone numbers, ZIP codes, and addresses (e.g., "0oo oth Avenue").

5. It isn't surprising that Republican Dino Rossi is sending out large (8-inch-by-11-inch) mailers trashing U.S. Sen. Patty Murray in the final week of the campaign. What is surprising is that he's mailing them to voters in Seattle's 43rd District---one of the most liberal districts in the state.
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