Morning Fizz

Alerting Co-Workers

By Morning Fizz December 27, 2010

1. In response to a couple of local campaign finance scandals this year, lefty state Sen. Craig Pridemore (D-49, Vancouver), is proposing legislation to tighten Washington State's election rules.

The campaign chicanery happened on both sides of the aisle. On the Democratic side—in a case that's now the subject of a lawsuit by state Attorney General Rob McKenna—Democratic consulting firm Moxie Media appears to have set up Potemkin campaign committees to conceal donors. On the Republican side, the group Americans for Prosperity Washington sent out attack mailers against Democratic incumbents without disclosing who was paying for the hit pieces.

Establishing harsh criminal penalties for violations—including $10,000 fines per violation—the bill would: require a committee's name to contain the name of the person or group creating it; require committees to name the candidate and party they're going after; prohibit two committees from using the same name; establish the presumption that any group or person creating more than two committees is setting out to conceal donors; and prohibit committee-to-committee contributions, exempting established party and caucus committees.

2. The good news: The feds awarded Washington State $17.6 million for children's health care yesterday. Earlier this month, Gov. Chris Gregoire recommended cutting the Children's Health Program, a nearly $30-million-a-year-program that insures 27,000 low-income kids whose citizenship is not documented.

Children's advocates hope the federal award—which Washington State won in recognition for streamlining children's health care and reducing the number of uninsured children from 4.6 percent to 3.4 percent over the last two years—will go to restore the program.

The bad news: It's federal bonus money that obscures Washington State's long-term budgeting problem.

3. Prescient public employee of the year: King County executive Dow Constantine's communications director Frank Abe has reportedly been warning colleagues about the Metro bus ad flap for weeks—even displaying the anti-Israel ad on his door (presumably with the hope of alerting co-workers at the county that the shit was about to hit the fan.)

4. Seattle has an 18-member delegation in Olympia. What are they planning to get done in the upcoming session?

PubliCola is hosting an informal meet-and-greet with several members of the Seattle crew—including Sens. Adam Kline (D-37, S. Seattle), Jean Kohl-Welles (D-36, Magnolia, Ballard, Queen Anne) and Scott White (D-46, N. Seattle) along with Reps. Reuven Carlyle (D-36, Magnolia, Queen Anne, Ballard) and Joe Fitzgibbon (D-34, W. Seattle, Burien, Vashon)—where you can ask them.

The confab, moderated by Josh, is this Thursday, Dec. 30, 7 pm,  at Liberty Bar on Capitol Hill (517, 15th Ave. E.) Back room.
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