1. The Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SEAMAC), whose anti-Israel bus ads were rejected by King County Metro earlier this year, will be running similar ads in both of Seattle's alt-weeklies, The Stranger and Seattle Weekly. According to a press release from the group, the half-page ads are meant to commemorate "Israel’s assault on Gaza in December 2008, as well as the censoring of SeaMAC’s 'Israeli War Crimes' bus ad last year by King County Metro."
Metro rejected the ads on the grounds that Metro buses were a "limited public forum" and that the ads could potentially disrupt the transit system; in October, a federal judge upheld the agency's decision.
2. There were two noteworthy Facebook status updates re: yesterday's redistricting news.
First, Suzan DelBene, the Microsoft Democrat who took on Republican US Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA, 8 ) in 2010, posted: "Looks like I will now be in the new 1st Congressional District." Not an outright declaration, but certainly, given her strong interest in running, a virtual nod and wink.[pullquote]"Wonder what chances are for a candidate who doesn't just mouth platitudes about middle-class values but is actually PART of the middle-class"—former Democratic State Rep. Brendan Williams on Democrat Denny Heck.[/pullquote]
A pack of Democrats has already shown up to run for US Rep. Jay Inslee's open seat in the 1rst (Inslee's running for governor) and yesterday's proposal keeps most of the declared candidates inside the district. (Notable exception: State Rep. Marko Liias, who's been running as an Occupy lefty, was districted out into US Rep. Jim McDermott's 7th District in Seattle.) Others such as fundraising king Laura Ruderman, and moderate state Sen. Steve Hobbs quickly announced that they're all still in and fundraising.
DelBene was apparently encouraged by the new district map which turned the 1rst into more of a swing district than a Democratic stronghold—giving her centrist profile more viability to make it through a contested primary of liberals and then take on a Republican like John Koster who she could easily paint as too right wing for the moderate district. The other moderate Democrat in the field, state Sen. Steve Hobbs, was certainly a winner yesterday too, but DelBene, a successful Eastside dot com entrepreneur, will have a fundraising and cash advantage on Hobbs. Hobbs is currently at the bottom of the fundraising pack (he's raised about $53,000) while DelBene was able to put $2.3 million of her own money into her 2010 campaign.
DelBene only got 13 likes on her status update. However, one thumbs up came from Kelly Evans, a big deal Seattle Democratic consultant and key member of Gov. Chris Gregoire's kitchen cabinet.
The other notable FB reaction? Progressive former state Rep. Brendan Williams—who resigned from the legislature in anger in 2010 because the Democratic caucus wasn't liberal enough for him—posted this blatant shot at Democrat Denny Heck, who was essentially coronated as the Democratic candidate from the newly created 10th Congressional District yesterday: "Wonder what chances are for a candidate who doesn't just mouth platitudes about middle-class values but is actually PART of the middle-class, with published POSITIONS on all issues. Hmm . . . "
Williams, who lives in the newly created district, which includes his former house district, Olympia, then linked his policy-heavy website.
Fizz asked Williams if he was thinking of running. He said: "I had long ago reserved brendanwilliams2012 .com and .org variants. Getting a lot of very encouraging phone calls today. Having been back in D.C. in November, however -- including giving a speech on health care at the Willard Hotel -- I am underwhelmed by the idea of being one of 435."
Williams' FB status got 63 comments, including this one that kicked off the thread: "Brendan, the people NEED a voice! Like never before. Please, please run!!!!!"
3. Speaking of redistricting: US Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who considered moving to Washington and running for the newly created 10th Congressional District seat in response to a redistricting plan that eliminated his district in Ohio, has announced that he plans to run for reelection in his home state's newly created 9th District---a move that puts him at odds with a longtime Democratic colleague, Rep. Marcy Kaptur.
Ohio lost two House seats in the latest round of congressional reapportionment.
4. The Seattle Times reports on West Seattle Republican activist Craig Keller's campaign to repeal the Seattle City Council's new plastic bag ban. The council passed the ban unanimously on December 19.
Keller, who helped the chemical industry's $1.4 million effort to repeal the council's previous bag fee in 2009, needs 16,503 signatures by Jan. 17 to make it on the August primary ballot.