Today's Loser: Rob McKenna.

The AP is not generally considered part of the liberal media, so this one's gotta hurt Republican gubernatorial hopeful Rob McKenna. AP reporter Mike Baker swatted McKenna's (and the GOP's) sassy speaking point about the budget: Despite all the whining from liberals about cuts, they say, state revenues have actually grown by seven percent since the last biennium.

Except that the economy, and state government, are actually shrinking, not growing, when you look at the numbers in context—as Baker did.

Here's the AP's Baker:

The projected growth also follows a 10 percent decline in state revenues in 2009 and a 4 percent decline in 2010. Even if the influx of cash comes in as high as projected, the state will have about the same amount of revenue in 2013 as it did in 2007 - while the government will be servicing 3.3 percent more K-12 students and even higher caseloads in social services programs.

Moreover, when accounting for the state's population and economic growth in recent years, state revenue has been on a steady decline.

In 1995, the first year comparable information is available, the state brought in almost 7 cents for every dollar of personal income in Washington. That has dropped to less than 5 cents, according to state data.

State figures accounting for population also indicate weak revenue in recent years compared with past ones. Real per-capita data, which removes inflation from calculations, shows the state's revenue per person to be about the same as it was in 1995.

PubliCola has actually gone after this political canard several times, pointing out that population growth, inflation, and bigger caseloads, make the direct biennium to biennium comparison apples and oranges.

Today's Winners: See Erica's Latest Election Results Post.

Short version: Sharon Peaslee, one of the four school board challengers, pulled ahead—49.87 to 49.80—against incumbent Peter Maier in School Board District 1, North Seattle. Peaslee, one of four challengers this year, may join Marty McLaren (who beat School Board President Steve Sundquist from West Seattle's District 6).
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