Morning Fizz

Their Opening Salvo

By Morning Fizz September 2, 2011

Caffeinated News & Gossip. Your Daily Morning Fizz.

1. As we noted a couple of days ago, state AG Rob McKenna has been joined by 44 other state AGs in signing a letter to Village Voice Media and its classified site, Backpage.com, asking the company (which owns Seattle Weekly) to take measures to ensure that children aren't being trafficked for sex on its escort site.

At the time, five states---Vermont, Wisconsin, New Jersey, New York, and West Virginia---had not signed off on the letter. The office of New Jersey attorney general Paula Dow tells Fizz their office has now signed off on the letter, and that only three states remain that have not signed the letter.[pullquote]For all you conspiracy theorists: CH2M Hill donated $500 to Let's Move Forward, the pro-tunnel campaign in the run up to last month's big tunnel vote.[/pullquote]

McKenna spokesman Dan Sytman said Tuesday that only New York State had explicitly declined to sign the letter, although they didn't give a reason why.

Sytman added yesterday that he wasn't sure how two new states would have signed off on the letter, given that it was finalized and sent out yesterday.

2. Last week, opponents of the city's $60 vehicle license fee—low-income and social justice advocates including Seattle Displacement Coalition leader John Fox who oppose a regressive tax—formed a political action committee called Citizens Against Raising Car Tabs. This week, proponents of the measure—which would put $200 million over ten years into road, transit, bike, and ped projects (plus include planning money to extend the street car)—have formed a committee of their own.

Taking the name of (and taking over the web site of) the Sierra Club off-shoot group that formed in the spring of 2010 to amp bike, ped, and transit funding, Streets for All Seattle, they kicked off their campaign yesterday.

And despite their Sierra Club roots, Streets for All Seattle isn't about to cede the populist card to the opponents. Their opening salvo comes from Sharon Lee, Executive Director of the Low Income Housing Institute, longtime advocates for Seattle's poor and working class.

Lee made the class war argument for the fee:
Gas prices are getting out of control. Working families can’t afford paying at the pump every day. They need an affordable way to get to work, school and around the city. Our local buses deliver this critical service. Prop. 1 will make our buses faster and more reliable for the riders who need it most and who depend on transit everyday.

The only reporter in town who's wonkier than Erica C. Barnett when it comes to transportation issues, Mike Lindblom, outlines the measure in today's Seattle Times.

3. The Center for Digital Government named Seattle's city web site "Best of the Web." We also won the top spot in 2006.

4. A little more on the news that WSDOT's tunnel project manager Ron Paananen is leaving to take a job in DC. The PI.com reports that Paaneanen is going to work for engineering consultant firm, CH2M Hill.

For all you conspiracy theorists: CH2M Hill donated $500 to Let's Move Forward, the pro-tunnel campaign, on July 22, in the run up to last month's big tunnel vote.
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