Morning Fizz

The Math Has Not Changed

By Morning Fizz January 9, 2012

Caffeinated News & Gossip. Your Daily Morning Fizz.

1. There's a lot of hype this morning about Republican State Sen. Steve Litzow's (R-41, Mercer Island) decision to support gay marriage legislation. But reality check: Litzow was already one of the votes that gay leaders were counting as they try to get to 25.

(The Democrats have a 27-22 advantage in the senate, but some conservative Democrats don't support gay marriage).

Gay rights leader state Sen. Ed Murray (D-43, Capitol Hill) acknowledged, "we're not there yet," when asked last week if he had the 25 votes to pass the bill. He has said all along that he needs Republican votes to pass the bill.

Litzow, a former member of the NARAL political action committee board, is liberal on social issues (NARAL has endorsed him a couple of times ). He crossed party lines during his freshman session last year on the pregnancy center bill, the medical marijuana bill and on environmental bills.

Fizz is not trying to be blase about Litzow's announcement (we realize it's a feat these days for Republicans to support gay marriage—and his stand will put pressure on his GOP colleagues to vote for the bill), but the math has not changed yet.[pullquote]Speaking of Republicans and gay marriage...[/pullquote]

2. Speaking of Republicans and gay marriage: A few weeks ago, Fizz reported on the standoff at the King County Council over the county's legislative agenda: Republicans postponed the vote because they didn't like an amendment that Democratic council member Joe McDermott added to the list calling to support gay marriage legislation.

The vote was rescheduled for today, and it comes with some political drama: The two candidates for state attorney general, Democrat Bob Ferguson and Republican Reagan Dunn, are on the council. Ferguson supports gay marriage, and in fact, was quick on the draw with a press release last week cheering Gov. Chris Gregoire's announcement to put her name on this year's gay marriage bill.
My position on marriage equality is well known. I supported marriage equality during my first campaign for elected office in 2003 and I look forward to supporting marriage equality with my vote on January 9th.

Ultimately, this is a legal issue as well as a moral one. I believe that equal marriage rights for all will soon be the law of Washington State. I look forward to defending them when I am Washington State Attorney General.

We have a call in to Dunn to see how he plans to vote today at the 1:30 council meeting. Word is Republican Jane Hague is a yes vote—which would make it a 6-3  bipartisan majority in support of gay marriage.

3. The Seattle Times preview of the 2012 legislative session (which kicks off in Olympia today) left out a major bipartisan bill that's in play: A $1.5 billion to $2 billion bill that would tap the capital budget to float work project bonds.

Watch for the bill, which is supported by both labor and business, to get a shout out in Speaker of the House Rep. Frank Chopp's (D-43, Wallingford) opening speech today—and also look for the biz labor alliance to start hyping the bill in the press this week.

 4. The 2012 session hasn't even started yet and Fizz is already hearing rumors about a challenge to brand new state house Rep. Gerry Pollet (D-46, N. Seattle). Pollet was appointed last month to fill the vacancy created after state Sen. Scott White died.

The challenger? White's former aide Sylvester Cann, who went for the appointment, already has his sights on Pollet.
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