Campaign Fizz: Republicans Hold Fundraiser for Balducci Opponent

By Erica C. Barnett October 18, 2011

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

1) Republican US Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA, 5) is hosting a fundraiser for Bellevue City Council challenger Patti Mann---the Kemper Freeman-backed former school board candidate who's challenging light rail proponent and Sound Transit board member Claudia Balducci. The McMorris Rodgers shin dig is happening just prior to the Washington State Republican Party dinner, featuring Karl Rove, tonight. A contribution gets you in the door, but, the invitation notes, a $250 contribution gets you in to an exclusive reception and "photo op" with Rove himself.

Mann, who supports a South Bellevue light rail alignment that would bypass most homes and businesses, cross a protected wetland, and cost hundreds of millions more than the alignment supported by Sound Transit (and Balducci) has also been endorsed by Republican AG Rob McKenna, US Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA, 8), Bellevue council members Kevin Wallace and Conrad Lee, Cascade Conservative Chicks, and the Mainstream Republicans of Washington.

2) Balducci and Mann received identical donations last week from the Rental Housing Association, the landlords' lobby group, which is apparently trying to hedge its bets in advance of the hotly contested November 8 election. [pullquote]The landlords' lobby group, which is apparently trying to hedge its bets in advance of the hotly contested November 8 election.[/pullquote]

3) The Service Employees International Union Local 775, the home health care workers' union, came out today in support of Prop. 1, the $60 car-tab tax for transportation---another crack in the anti-Prop. 1 campaign's claim that traditional progressives (i.e. labor and advocates for low-income workers) oppose the measure because it represents a regressive tax on the poor.

“Prop. 1 will help thousands of home care and nursing home workers in Seattle get to their jobs by investing nearly $100 million into our transit system to make our buses faster and more reliable," SEIU 775 vice president Adam Glickman said in a statement.

4) Former vice president and Nobel Prize winner Al Gore will appear at a lunchtime fundraiser on behalf of US Rep. Jay Inslee (D-1, WA), who's giving up his seat in Congress to run for governor, with ticket prices ranging from $100 to $1,000. The has more.

5) The Tacoma News Tribune has a comprehensive story explaining what Tim Eyman's confusing, multifaceted Initiative 1125, which would place new restrictions on how, where, and for how long tolls can be levied, including this great sound bite from former state transportation secretary Doug MacDonald:
"I want to know if he has a rotary dial on his cellphone,” said former Transportation Secretary Doug MacDonald. “We’re in a time when we can do things smarter.”
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