Campaign Fizz: Booze, Taxes, and Tacoma

By Erica C. Barnett August 24, 2011

Your one-stop shop for today's local campaign news, gossip, and analysis.

• Another point about that Elway poll, which Fizz linked this morning: With 50 percent support ten weeks in advance of the November election (and 38 percent opposed, with the rest undecided), Initiative 1183, the liquor-privatization initiative, is in a weaker place than last year's (also Costco-backed) proposal was around this same time last year.

A SurveyUSA poll released in August 2010 showed 59 percent support for Initiative 1100, which also would have privatized liquor sales but would have allowed more small liquor stores and would not have included 1125's requirement that stores give the state 17 percent of their revenues, with just 27 percent opposed.

Two things about those 2010 numbers: 1) Conventional wisdom holds that an inititiave needs to start out with around 60 percent of the vote to ultimately win, which 1100 had and 1183 does not. And 2) The point spread in 2010 was 32 percent; this year, it's much narrower, at 12 percent. Neither stat bodes well for Costco's latest foray into privatization.

• Meanwhile, here in Seattle, politicians have not been shy about asking voters to raise revenues, putting several new fees and taxes---including a $231 million Families and Education Levy and a $60 car-tab fee---on the November ballot. Over at the, former state Republican Party chair Chris Vance thinks he knows why.

“Seattle is full of rich liberals,” Vance said. “Human beings, when it comes to tax measures, generally vote their own self interest. And rich people are far more willing to tax themselves than poor people or even middle class or lower middle class people. Seattle is a rich city. Look at the housing prices. Most of the voters – maybe not all the people – but the voters live in houses or condos worth well over a half-million dollars. They’re college-educated professionals. They can afford higher taxes."

No mention from Vance of who, exactly, is riding all those buses Seattle's "rich liberals" have historically been so willing to step up and pay for.

• Tacoma City Council member Jake Fey, who ran unsuccessfully for an open state house seat that was won by Laurie Jinkins (D-27), is trying again, this time for the state house seat being vacated this year by Jeannie Darnielle (D-27), who's leaving the house to run for senate. The Tacoma News Tribune has more.
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