Afternoon Fizz!

By Josh Feit April 28, 2011

Hey, we apologize for the slow site today. We were in meetings all afternoon. And also, Erica's computer was stolen.

She was mugged on Rainier Ave. S. last night right by her house (she's okay), and the thief made off with her laptop. Believe me, they'll be a C is for Crank about the whole thing soon enough.

And I will, as promised, have more from U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee's quasi campaign kickoff at last night's UW Young Democrats meeting.

Just checking my email now, and the ACLU has packed my inbox with letters and press releases about the medical marijuana bill the legislature passed this year, but which Gov. Chris Gregoire has threatened to veto. Gregoire says she's taking action on it tomorrow.

ACLU Directer Kathleen Taylor wrote a letter to Gregoire contesting Gregoire's concern that state employees may be breaking federal law by overseeing the program. And Taylor's colleague, ACLU Drug Policy Director Allison Holcomb sent out legal backup, issuing a memo with legal cites and footnotes, explaining why the bill is kosher—arguing that the governor's concern about state employees "strains credulity."

I just got off the phone with Gregoire spokeswoman Karina Shagren, who says the governor's position has not changed.

The ACLU also sent around a letter written by local legal bigwig, UW Law School professor Hugh Spitzer challenging the governor's position as well.

Meanwhile, the has two McGinn stories: 1) McGinn was on the C.R. Douglas show today, where he calibrated his tunnel position: He's not trying to force people out of their cars he says (a response to King County Executive Dow Constantine, most recently anyway, and others who accuse him of being a social engineering elitist).  McGinn  just doesn't think the tunnel pencils out, he says.

Pretty funny quote from McGinn to make his point:
“I don’t care how people get around. If they choose to drive, they choose to drive. I can’t get my wife out of a car, so I’m not going to try to get other people out of their cars either.”

And 2) McGinn was the lone 'No' vote today on the Puget Sound Regional Council against the group's preferred plan for replacing the SR 520 bridge. McGinn opposes the current plan because he doesn't think it can accommodate light rail.

Anyway, to make up for our delinquency on the news beat today, here's some gossipy Afternoon Fizz for you:

1. Longtime state senate Democrats spokesman Jeff Reading is leaving his gig to work for Microsoft. Reading, it must be acknowledged, is a damn good looking fellow, and a senator who shall not be named told Fizz it was a shame to lose Reading because "he's hot and there's not many good-looking people down here."

Jeff Reading

2. Fizz hears from a very good source that polling on a possible referendum to tweak I-1053—so that the legislature wouldn't need a two-thirds vote to repeal tax loopholes—is not looking good for proponents of the measure.  (State Sen. Ed Murray is sponsoring a bill that would send the proposal to the people).

[pullquote]Rich Wood, spokesman for the the Washington Education Association, one the potential go-to funders for a Democratic referendum, says "2012 would be a better year for revenue."[/pullquote]

Rich Wood, spokesman for the Washington Education Association, one of the potential go-to funders for a Democratic revenue referendum like the one Murray is pushing (the WEA were big supporters of I-1098, the high-earners income tax in 2010, and opponents of 1053 and the soda tax repeal) says while they haven't done any polling: "2012 would be a better year for revenue."

3. The agenda for meetings of the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission usually include at least one example of alleged petty financial misconduct at the city, and tomorrow's is no exception: Kimberlee Archie, a top executive who made $120,000 at the city's department of neighborhoods, is accused of making an unauthorized trip to Charlotte, NC at city expense after she was told “her services would no longer be required by the City,” according to Barnett's complaint.

Archie returned just two days before her last day on the job; the complaint doesn't say how long she was gone or how much her trip cost the city.
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