Morning Fizz

The Effort is Gaining Steam

By Morning Fizz September 15, 2011

Caffeinated News & Gossip. Your Daily Morning Fizz.

1. We've been tracking endorsements in the scrum between the state legislators running for US Rep. Jay Inslee's (D-WA, 1) open seat from their colleagues in Olympia.

State Sen. Steve Hobbs (D-44, Lake Stevens) and state Rep. Roger Goodman (D-45, Kirkland) have been lapping the third member of the state legislature who's going for the spot, Rep. Marko Liias (D-21, Edmonds).

However, Liias unveiled a handful of legislative endorsements yesterday (including a shared endorsement with Hobbs from Sen. Paull Shin, D-21).

Liaas, one of the six out gays in the legislature—and one of the youngest members of the legislature (he's 30), picked up the endorsements of three freshman legislators—Reps. Andy Billig (D-3), Joe Fitzgibbon (D-34), and Derek Stanford (D-1)—along with gay Rep. Jim Moeller (D-49) and Kevin Van De Wege (D-24).

Liias also nabbed the endorsements of two former legislators,  disaffected and outspoken liberals Brendan Williams and Geoff Simpson.

Former state legislator Laura Ruderman, who's also running for Inslee's spot, recently announced that she's been endorsed by state Sen. Sharon Nelson (D-34) and Rep. Zach Hudgins (D-11).

Hobbs, a moderate-to-conservative Democrat, is still leading the way with legislative endorsements.

2. Speaking of endorsements and Liias: Liias endorsed city council challenger Brad Meacham yesterday, citing his "strong commitment to progressive issues and civil rights" and calling Meacham, who's running against incumbent Bruce Harrell, a "passionate environmental champion and will turn talk into action." Liias' press release, oddly, includes just two short paragraphs about Meacham---and five paragraphs about Liias.[pullquote]Liias' press release, oddly, includes just two short paragraphs about Meacham---and five paragraphs about Liias.[/pullquote]

3. While all the attention has been on US Congressional Districts, Fizz hears that Democratic Redistricting Commission Member Tim Ceis' phone was ringing of the hook yesterday from Republican state senators. Ceis' proposed map would force 15 Republican state legislators out of their current districts.

4. On Monday, we reported that students at the University of Washington were pushing for a ballot drop box on campus to help increase voter turnout among young voters.

The effort is gaining steam. Yesterday, all nine Seattle City Council members signed a letter to King County Elections Director Sherril Huff, the King County Council, and County Executive Dow Constantine asking the county to put a ballot drop box on campus and to "investigate installing drop boxes on other campuses around the county."

The letter also notes that there's no place to buy stamps on the UW campus.

"With higher education funding rapidly dwindling at the state level," the letter sates, "student participation is becoming more and more important."

5. A neat new infographic shows state-by-state restrictions on abortion, including mandatory waiting periods, mandatory ultrasounds, bans on late-term abortions, and parental-involvement laws. While Washington State doesn't rank in the top few states in terms of liberal abortion policies (the top three are Vermont, New Hampshire, and Oregon, which have no major restrictions on abortion), we do clock in at an impressive No. 7, with only one major restriction---a ban on late-term abortions---on abortion rights.

The worst state for women seeking an abortion? Indiana, which includes every single restriction on the list except one---scarcity of abortion providers. So women in Indiana can get abortions---but only after enduring insurance limitations, parental consent (if they're under 18), regulations that target abortion providers, mandatory ultrasounds, a ban on later-term abortions, requirements that restrict abortions to physicians or hospitals, and a mandatory waiting period complete with counseling.

6. The 46th District Democrats (North Seattle) rejected the $60 car tab fee at their meeting last night.
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