Morning Fizz

In David Letterman Order

By Morning Fizz January 6, 2012

Caffeinated news & gossip. Your daily Morning Fizz.



This post has been updated to reflect the fact that state Rep. Ruth Kagi (D-32) plans to move back into the redrawn 32nd in time to file for reelection.

1. Margarita Prentice (D-11) isn't the only state legislator who's been bumped out of her existing district by the state redistricting commission. (Prentice, a 25-year veteran of the legislature, announced today that she would retire rather than move out of her Skyway home or run against Adam Kline, the incumbent senator in Prentice's new district, the 37th.)

Four other legislators are being pushed out of their districts---one Democrat and three Republicans.

Republican Rep. Ed Orcutt of Kalama has been moved from the 18th District into the 20th;

Republican Rep. Gary Alexander, who lives on the outskirts of Lacey, has been moved from the 20th into the 2nd;

Republican Rep. Jim McCune of Graham has been moved from the 2nd District into the 28th, which has two Democratic House members, meaning McCune will have to go up against either Tami Green or Troy Kelley if he wants to stay in the house; and

Democratic Rep. Ruth Kagi of Lake Forest Park has been moved from the 32nd District into North Seattle's 46th. However, Kagi plans to move back into the 32nd in time for the May filing deadline.

2. Given Gov. Chris Gregoire's big announcement Wednesday on gay marriage (she's for it and she's sponsoring legislation to legalize it this session), UW political science prof and pollster Matt Barreto has released more details on the gay marriage question he asked from a poll he did in October. That poll showed 55-38 percent in favor of gay marriage legislation.

The close-up details show: 54 percent of independents support same-sex marriage; 57 percent who describe themselves as moderates support same-sex marriage. Among voters age 18-40, 65 percent support same-sex marriage, while among voters age 66 or older, 48 percent support same-sex marriage.

3. When it comes to looking at no data at all—meaning no crime stats, no cost-of-living stats, no commute-time stats, no data on the weather, no survey of the nightlife scene—Seattle is number one.

The Atlantic published the findings from Harvard Scholar Samuel Arbesman yesterday.
There's no shortage of information about cities. From population and unemployment to crime and traffic statistics, urban and regional data is swirling all around us. We're exposed to ranking after ranking, from the best places to raise families, to the metro areas with the best public transportation or local restaurant scene, all the way down to less tangible measures like say, the worst-dressed cities.

But do we really internalize all this information in a meaningful way? Are our opinions of cities actually affected by statistics and rankings? Or is popular sentiment toward a city based more on nebulous, harder-to-quantify properties? Furthermore, how consistent are our opinions of cities? Do they vary from region to region?

Along with Andrew Mauboussin, a research assistant at the Kauffman Foundation and a rising freshman at Harvard University, I set out to add a bit of rigor to these questions by creating a simple city sentiment survey. I asked 310 individuals from the United States for their mental reactions when they hear the names of the 50 largest metropolitan regions in the U.S. ....

In David Letterman order, here are his results:

Austin, Tex.

Charlotte, N.C.

Orlando, Fla.

Boston, Mass.

New York, N.Y.

Portland, Ore.

San Diego, Calif.

San Francisco, Calif.

Denver, Colo.

Seattle, Wash.

4. Fuse Washington, a group that promotes progressive candidates and causes, took issue with the examples Republican state AG Rob McKenna, who's running for governor, cited at a recent health-care conference as evidence that Massachusetts' mandatory health care system doesn't work. McKenna, of course, is suing the federal government to overturn the provision of Obama's Affordable Care Act that requires all Americans to get health insurance.[pullquote]"He's clearly not ready to talk about the issues. I'm not sure why he challenged Rob McKenna to debates."[/pullquote]

(Despite his opposition to Obama's health care law—which is very similar to Mitt Romney's reforms in Massachusetts—We were still a bit surprised that McKenna, a party goody goody, would bring up Massachusetts, given that Romney is the presumptive GOP nominee for president.)

McKenna said it was clear that Massachusetts' health care mandate didn't work, because people are waiting longer now to see a doctor than they did before the mandate went into effect.

While Fuse acknowledges that wait times have gone up, they note that, according to a 2011 study by the Massachusetts Medical Society, the main reason for longer wait times is a shortage of new primary care doctors---something Obama's health care plan would spend $250 million to address.

5. The Seattle Times reports that Seattle city council member Bruce Harrell is considering a run for Congress in the newly revamped 9th District, which is now represented by Adam Smith. Harrell lives in Mount Baker, which was formerly in Jim McDermott's 8th District.

6. The AP has some back-and-forth sniping between the Rob McKenna and Jay Inslee campaigns about scheduling. The state business lobby, the Association of Washington Business, has announced a June debate between the two gubernatorial candidates, but Inslee's campaign said they hadn't agreed to the debate yet and Inslee's spokeswoman Jaime Smith told the AP: "If they want to schedule an event for McKenna, that is their choice, but at this point there is no debate scheduled."

McKenna's spokesman Randy Pepple shot back: "He's clearly not ready to talk about the issues," Pepple said. "I'm not sure why he challenged Rob McKenna to debates."

As for the GOP-friendly AWB, they get the last word:
AWB spokeswoman Jocelyn McCabe noted that the organization has hosted gubernatorial debates since 1992.

McCabe said her group had been working with both campaigns since November, and had told the Inslee campaign that they needed to make an announcement.

"So we made an announcement," she said. "We're having a debate."
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