Caffeinated news & gossip. Your daily Morning Fizz.

1. Kemper Freeman's anti-light rail money ($1.2 million to Tim Eyman's I-1125 and $16,000 directly—plus more through independent expenditures—to the anti-Sound Transit slate in Bellevue) was all for naught. Eyman's measure is losing (with King County carrying the vote against it) and two-thirds of Freeman's Bellevue council slate is losing, including in the headline race between light rail poster girl and Sound Transit board member Claudia Balducci (66 percent) and Freeman-backed challenger Patti Mann  (34 percent). [pullquote]While Freeman's anti-light rail, pro-car sentiment was taking a drubbing on the Eastside, hippie Seattle voters rejected the $60 tab measure (60-40), in large part because of anti-bike sentiment.[/pullquote]

Irony: While Freeman's anti-light rail, pro-car sentiment was taking a drubbing on the Eastside, hippie Seattle voters rejected the $60 tab measure (60-40), in large part because of anti-bike sentiment.

2. Given voters' crabby mood about polled topics such as the economy and the future and "direction,"  it's ironic how well incumbents in Seattle did last night.  They sent a "send the bums back" message: Seattle City Council member Tim Burgess, for example, was at 81 percent. The other council incumbents—Sally Clark, Jean Godden, Bruce Harrell, and Tom Rasmussen were at 65, 54, 62, and 73 respectively.

Seattle's School Board incumbents—rocked by the Silas Potter contracting scandal as well—were also doing surprisingly well, with three of the four incumbents ahead.

3. An even bigger irony in the School Board races: the loudest challengers of the supposed anti-incumbent (and to some extent, anti-"ed reform") backlash, Michelle Buetow and Kate Martin, had the poorest showing of all four challengers—at 39 and 45 respectively.

4. Mayor Mike McGinn finally gets a victory. The $232 million Families and Education Levy—doubled in size over the previous one—was winning convincingly, 59-41. McGinn has been hyping the levy for months—and the first press release in our crowded inbox last night came from McGinn re: the levy win.

Irony: His statement manages not to name check the other person who's associated with the levy, council education committee chair Tim Burgess. McGinn has to share his one potential success story for his 2013 resume with Burgess—who got the quote in the Seattle Times, by the way. Burgess is widely seen as a likely McGinn challenger in two years.

5. We're not sure anyone could have beaten Eastside King County Council Republican incumbent Jane Hague, but the Democrats may have done better in the moderate district with the center-right candidate, Port Commissioner John Creighton (who they promptly deposed in the primary), instead of center-left Democrat Richard Mitchell, who was losing 54-46 last night. [pullquote]Irony: Voters may have exchanged one monopoly for another.[/pullquote]

It's also ironic that a targeted anti-Hague mailer sent to Republican voters slammed her 'Yes' vote on the emergency $20 car tab for buses.  Again, it's a moderate district, and getting the word out on that vote—even to Republicans—hyped the issue that most likely helped her thread the needle in the swing turf.

6. Voters resoundingly ended the state's monopoly on liquor stores. With the 60-40 win for liquor privatization, liquor sales will officially move from state stores to private stores next June.

Irony: Voters may have exchanged one monopoly for another. The measure was tailor made for Costco, which set aside $22 million for the campaign. With the measure's A) regulation that only stores with 10,000 square feet can get into the business, B) dismantling of the three-tiered distillery/distribution/retail system, and C) phased down fees for distributors, Costco is poised to dominate the industry.

To wit: Because the measure limits licenses to stores that are 10,000 square feet or bigger, many smaller, independent neighborhood groceries such as Ken’s Market, IGA, Ralph’s, and PCC, which are typically between 7,000 and 9,900 square feet, won’t be able to sell booze, while the nearby Costco or Safeway will.

And even though they’ll be able to bypass the distributor, Costco would be both exempt from contributing to an initial $150 million fund that distributors are required to cover, and be exempt from the distributor fee in general. This twist gives them an unfair advantage over any indie grocers that are able to sell booze (who have to go to distributors and pay the 10 percent fee)—and over distributors themselves, which Costco could ultimately be competing with.[pullquote]It was Milton Friedman over Paul Krugman on the state budget[/pullquote].

7. As the Democratic governor in Olympia proposes an all-cuts solution to the budget crisis—largely based on her sense that voters want smaller government—voters last night said (overwhelmingly, 67-33) that they want government to spend an extra $18 million over the next biennium to fund long term health care workers.

8. On the flip side, as lefties claim a lock on the 99 percent, who are supposedly Occupying Wall Street to demand that government go into Paul Krugman mode and invest invest invest, voters went big—67 to 33—for state senate Republican budget leader Sen. Joseph Zarelli's constitutional amendment setting aside money for the state rainy day fund last night.

Milton Friedman-style Senate Joint Resolution 8206 mandates that a whopping three-quarters of above average revenue growth go into the rainy day fund, rather than getting spent.
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