1. Mayor Mike McGinn's battle against the deep bore tunnel made the Sunday New York Times yesterday.

There's nothing new in the article except for a pretty remarkable quote from Gov. Chris Gregoire, who characterized McGinn's preferred surface/transit option as "social engineering" against cars.
Social engineering works in some places, like banning cigarettes in some places,” said Gov. Christine Gregoire, a Democrat. “Telling people you no longer can ride in your car isn’t going to work because this city is going to grow.

Erica has written repeatedly—and definitively—that urban planning promoting alternatives to driving alone is a 21st-century attempt to bring balance to the endless dollars that have been spent subsidizing cars (talk about social engineering) for the last 60 years.

[pullquote]Quite frankly, Fizz was mortified and embarrassed that Gov. Gregoire would say something that reactionary and ignorant (a la Sarah Palin) in the national press.[/pullquote]

Quite frankly, Fizz was mortified and embarrassed that Gov. Gregoire would say something that reactionary and ignorant (a la Sarah Palin) in the national press.

2. Mayor Mike McGinn's underwhelming polling numbers—only 28 percent think he's doing a "good" job while 39 percent say he's doing "only fair" and 27 percent say he's doing a "poor" job—were reportedly on display at Safeco Field at the Mariners' opening game on Friday night where fans could be heard booing McGinn when he was announced during the Dave Niehaus ceremony.

3. In Friday's Fizz, we reported that despite all the talk from the Democrats, it was a Republican, state Rep. Glenn Anderson (R-5, Fall City), who proposed the only revenue amendment to the house budget bill. While Anderson withdrew his amendment later that day because the Democrats' ruled it was outside the scope of the bill, we got a chance to talk to him and ask him what the heck he was thinking: What Republican proposes .24 percent tax increase on business?

Anderson's proposal would have: required the state to bump its financial support to colleges and universities to 55 percent (it has dropped to less than 40 percent now); limited any tuition increase to average personal income growth statewide; and yes, temporarily increased B&O taxes on companies making over $500 million a year in revenues (which is about 180 companies.) "They have to put some skin in the game," Anderson says about big business in his trademark southern accent (he's originally from Alabama.)

Asked how the idea went over in his caucus, he says: "It was like kicking a bucket of rattlesnakes. But there are some Republicans that get the fact that we have to change our relationship with big business, just like the Democrats have to change their relationship with big labor. If you're a politician and you're not challenging the status quo, you're not doing your job."

Complaining that businesses—"the titans of industry," he calls them—were part of Gov. Gregoire's much-hyped education funding task force last summer and "muddled around and came up with the default position, a tuition increase, that's just jamming it to the middle class," Anderson cites the 63 percent pending tuition increase over the next four years and says, "there comes a breaking point, a tipping point, an equity point."

[pullquote]"The titans of industry muddled around and came up with the default position, a tuition increase, that's just jamming it to the middle class," Anderson says, citing the 63 percent pending tuition increase over the next four years, concluding, "there comes a breaking point, a tipping point, an equity point."[/pullquote]

The house passed the budget along partisan lines, 54-43 on Saturday, with one Democrat, Rep. Marko Liias (D-21, Edmonds), joining the Republicans and voting "No." While the Republicans voted "No" because they say the budget hits K-12 too hard, Liias voted against the budget because it didn't include any revenue proposals. (Watch Rep. Liias' floor speech here.)

And footnote: The GOP's alternative budget proposal only put about $11 million more into K-12 education than the Democrats, while eliminating social services such as the Basic Health Plan and the Disability Lifeline, that the Democrats preserved.

4. We also took the opportunity to ask Anderson about his other noteworthy amendment; this one an add-on to the medical marijuana bill, which is queued up for a floor vote this week. Anderson's goof amendment requires the state to reimburse medical marijuana users for money they spend on pizza while stoned; the fiscal note is "indeterminate." Anderson says he supports the medical marijuana bill, but he believes there are people who are currently abusing the system for illegal recreational pot use, and his absurd pizza amendment was intended to highlight that.

If all this news has you interested in this Anderson guy,  he did write an op/ed for PubliCola last week (hyping three GOP ideas that he thinks got short shrift from the majority Democrats this session). You can read Anderson's Cola op/ed here.

5. Speaking of the state GOP and PubliCola: Republican state Rep. Bruce Dammeier (R-25, Puyallup) name-checked PubliCola in his floor speech against the budget on Saturday. Dammeier noted a quote Rep. Ross Hunter's (D-48, Medina), the house ways and means chair, gave us last week—“It’s not that they care about education more, it’s that they care less about poor people.”

We had called the GOP budget leader, Rep. Gary Alexander (R-20, Olympia), for a response to Hunter's attack and did not hear back. But Dammeier used his floor speech against Hunter's budget to respond: "Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth, the greatest injustice I could imagine is if we allow a child to be condemned to a future of poverty because we fail to fix our struggling schools."

Here are the facts  on the Hunter budget vs. the Alexander budget:

Alexander’s budget puts about $11 million more into K-12. Higher education doesn’t fare so well under the Republican proposal, though.  It cuts $547 million versus the $472 million cut under the Democrats’ proposal.

When it comes to social services,  Hunter’s budget spares the Basic Health Program—a subsidized insurance plan for 65,000 poor Washingtonians—and continues funding for the state-only food assistance program. The Republican budget cuts both those programs completely. When it’s all tallied up, the Hunter proposal cuts $296 million less from state health care programs than does Alexander’s proposal. Alexander’s budget also cuts $63 million from the elimination of the state’s food assistance program (Hunter’s budget cuts $30 million from the program).
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