Morning Fizz

How Will Cantwell Vote?

By Morning Fizz December 7, 2010

1. In an attempt to lower the temperature on the tunnel debate and get a useful conversation going, PubliCola has organized a tunnel forum for Thursday night December 16. (Location TBA.)

On the anti-tunnel side we'll have Mayor Mike McGinn, Seattle City Council Member Mike O'Brien, and People's Waterfront Coalition leader Carry Moon.

On the pro-tunnel side we'll have state Sen. Ed Murray (D-43, Capitol Hill) (when we called Murray, he told us, "Of course, I'll be there, it's my legislation!"), Seattle City Council Member Tom Rasmussen, and hopefully either WSDOT tunnel project managers Ron Paananen or Ron Judd.

More details to come asap.

2. Gov. Chris Gregoire said yesterday that she will ask state legislators to convene a special session before the holidays to deal with the $1.1 billion shortfall for the remaining six months of the 2009-11 budget. (The legislature has already dealt with a $12 billion shortfall over the last three sessions and a little over a $10 billion shortfall for the 2009-11 biennium. The additional $1.1 billion shortfall is a combo of projected revenue shortfalls—about $900,000 worth—and increased costs for things such as social service caseloads and prison costs.)

Gregoire has already proposed $733 million in cuts (including cutting the Basic Health Program for low-income residents, putting off teachers salaries, and reducing support for low-income, at risk moms). The Senate Republicans have already proposed $850 million in cuts, preserving the Basic Health Plan with cuts to state workers salaries and ending dedicated funding to things like anti-homelesseness programs and directing it back to the general fund. And the house Democrats have already proposed  $639 million in cuts. They also preserve the Basic Health Plan.

3. At a forum hosted by Republican AG Rob McKenna in Bellevue last night for GOP regulars who, despite this year's national rebuke of President Obama, are chagrined that voters like their ideas (repeal this year's tax increases) but not their candidates (Dino Rossi), Republican consultant Todd Myers told the audience that the GOP has an image problem: "People just aren't comfortable with Republicans," he said. "Most people would rather go out and get a beer with a Democrat. How many times have you been at a party ... and a friend introduces you and says, 'This is my Republican friend. But he's the good kind'?"

Josh was one of the other panelists, along with former Seattle Times reporter David Postman, and hopefully, he'll post more about the roomful of Republicans.

4. Sticking to a populist note from day one of the Obama administration, Sen. Maria Cantwell—no on the bailouts, crushing Obama's Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner at committee hearings, a righteous hold out on financial reform—has emerged as the blue DNA of her increasingly light blue party.

Question of the Day: How will Cantwell vote on the President's compromise with the GOP on the Bush tax cuts? Cantwell has been an equally loud 'Yea' on extending  unemployment insurance  and 'No' on tax cuts for rich people.

Yesterday, her office wouldn't give us much:
Asked if she would back the Obama compromise, Cantwell’s office said there’s no compromise on the table yet, adding: “Where she is on taxes was stated pretty clearly this weekend with the two votes on making the middle class tax cuts permanent.”

Now that Obama has stunned Democrats with his proposal, we've asked again.

5. Politico has an interesting article detailing the rebellion by local chambers of commerce against the national chamber for its hotly partisan attack ads against Democrats in November's election.


The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is under fire from some local chambers over its hard-hitting $75 million ad campaign to elect a Republican House, with dozens of hometown groups distancing themselves from the effort and a handful even quitting the national group in protest.

“We were getting pounded. We felt here, in Central Pennsylvania, that the ads they were running were not professional ads,” said David Wise, president of the Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County, which is considering dropping its national membership. “This was not a unifying event. It was divisive.”

More than 40 local chambers issued statements during the midterms distancing themselves from the U.S. Chamber’s campaign — including nearly every major local Chamber in Iowa and New Hampshire, key states in the presidential campaign.

The article gives the last word to the Seattle chapter:


“Just by the association of the name ‘Chamber,’ people unfortunately tag us with the activities of the U.S. Chamber. In some cases, we don’t like that tag,” said [George] Allen, of the Seattle group.






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