Morning Fizz

An Obstructionist and Naysayer

By Morning Fizz August 13, 2012

Caffeinated News & Gossip. Your daily Morning Fizz.

1. 36th District state representative candidate Noel Frame, the young progressive who made it through the crowded primary-election field along with Port of Seattle Commissioner Gael Tarleton, a fellow Democrat, last week, has come out in favor of the $500 million SoDo arena proposal. "I have concluded the arena proposal offers compelling economic benefits for our community," Frame said, siding with the cautious Seattle City Council, which sent a letter to arena developer Chris Hansen two weeks ago signaling support, but demanding more guarantees.

Frame's statement was clearly a tactical campaign move: Frame's rival Tarleton has stood firm with the Port in opposition to the arena because of concerns about traffic and threats to the maritime economy.

Frame goaded: "My general election opponent has been an obstructionist and naysayer on the arena proposal. She has acted as a mouthpiece for the Port and powerful maritime interests (many of whom are funding her campaign) who seek to undermine the proposal to protect their own narrow interests."

Back in May, when PubliCola hosted a 36th District Candidate forum, Frame (third from the right) held up a waffle when we asked for a "Yes or No" answer on the arena. Tarleton (second from the left) was, in fact, the only one who didn't waffle, holding up a "No."[pullquote]The pro gay marriage campaign received another newsworthy donation early this month.[/pullquote]

2. In the wake of the $2.5 million contribution from Jeff and Mackenzie Bezos, the pro-gay marriage campaign received another newsworthy donation early this month. While not as big—$2,500—it's the biggest contribution Washington United for Marriage has gotten since, and it comes from a union that was slower to get on board the marriage equality fight than other unions such as those representing grocery workers and health care workers, which backed the effort from the start when it was up for a vote in the legislature at the beginning of the year.

On August 1, the Aerospace Machinists Industrial Union 751, which just endorsed the measure this summer, kicked in $2,500. The macho union represents 45,000 Boeing workers and its loud support for R-74 represents, Fizz believes, an important cultural shift.

The traditionally socially conservative union, for example, did not show up as an endorser or contributor to the domestic partnership rights campaign, R-71, in 2009.

By the way, Fizz hears the pro-gay marriage camp will report some more big donations today. The pro camp is currently at $5.4 million raised with about $4 million cash on hand. The anti-gay marriage camp has raised a curiously low $289,000 with about $100,000 cash on hand.

Conventional wisdom has it that the National Organization for Marriage, a D.C.-based anti-gay marriage group, will eventually come to the 'No' side's rescue.

3. Obviously, this weekend's big political news was GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney's decision to tap US Rep. Paul Ryan as his VP running mate.

We've got messages in to Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee for reactions. (As the Seattle Times has reported, both candidates are skipping their party's respective conventions this summer.)

Washington State Republican Party Chair Kirby Wilbur had this to say (bold ours ... exclamation marks his):
This is a bold and exciting choice for Mitt Romney! Choosing Paul Ryan to be his running mate shows how serious Romney is about fixing the economic crisis and it shows that he’s willing and able to make the decisions that get the job done. We now have a very clear choice in November – the team that has brought us nothing but debt, doubt, and despair or the Comeback Team that is laser focused on fixing the economy, putting people back to work, and putting us back on the path to prosperity.

As House Budget Committee Chairman, Ryan mapped out a plan for a budget that cuts spending and reduces the debt. It may not be unanimously favored, but it opens the discussion and is a strong starting point for a country that hasn’t had a budget in over THREE years! He has already gone head-to-head with President Obama and proven that he can easily hold his own. He is young, dynamic, smart, and capable, and is the right man for the job. This pick has me re-energized about Romney’s campaign, and looking forward to electing him to be the 45th President of the United States. It’s time to make America great again!

It certainly wasn't favored in upstate NY in the Spring of 2011 when a special election gave the Democrats an unexpected win in large part due to Ryan's proposal to replace Medicare with vouchers.

Washington State Democratic Party Chair Dwight Pelz had this to say:
If the decision in this presidential contest was not clear enough, today it was made clearer ... Americans already knew that Mitt Romney did not stand with the middle class, with his plans to increase taxes on hard-working families, only to cut taxes on the richest Americans.

But now, with the selection of Paul Ryan, Romney has taken away any doubt that his main goal is to leave all but the richest Americans out in the cold. The Romney-Ryan budget plan would end Medicare as we know it, cut vital investments in education and innovation, while doing nothing to create jobs, rebuild our economy, or strengthen the middle class.

We now know the clear choice in this race for president, between Barack Obama, who is fighting for middle class families every day, working to cut taxes for 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small business, and the Romney-Ryan plan, which would take money from our vital services and create tax breaks for the wealthy and special interests. We cannot ask our seniors and our middle class to fund Mitt Romney's offshore bank accounts, and we can't afford to let Paul Ryan throw them under the bus either.

McKenna and Inslee did offer brief assessments of the Ryan pick on Q13.

4. Learn to trust the Fizz. On Friday morning we reported that longtime Gov. Chris Gregoire staffer (and before that Gov. Gary Locke staffer), Marty Brown (he's currently Gregoire's budget director) would be named the Executive Director of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.

Late Friday afternoon, the board, indeed, announced Brown had been named to head SBCTC, which oversees the state's 34 community and technical colleges, such as Seattle Central Community College.
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