Morning Fizz

Hedging Their Bets

By Morning Fizz August 7, 2012

Caffeinated News & Gossip. Your daily Morning Fizz.

1. Yesterday's Fizz item about Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee's momentum—he's come out on top in the two most recent polls heading into the primary—brought a quick response from the Inslee camp. Obviously trying to downplay expectations for tonight's primary vote count, they pointed out that the poll was of likely general election voters, not of primary voters.

So, there you have it from Team Inslee—they've got momentum heading into November, but not tonight.[pullquote]Hedging its bets, biotech company Amgen rushed off checks to both Inslee and McKenna at the last-minute, maxing out to both for $3,600.[/pullquote].

2. Although judging by the last-minute contributions that have come in since Friday to both Inslee and his gubernatorial rival, Republican Rob McKenna, Inslee has the momentum right now. Inslee got nearly 20 big-dollar contributions (over $1,000) for $36,000 while McKenna got just three in the run-up to Tuesday for $6,000. (The candidates are neck and neck for total money raised—$7.5 million for McKenna and $7.3 million for Inslee, while McKenna has more cash on hand, $3.5 million to Inslee's $2.8 million.)

Most of Inslee's last-minute contributions came from individuals, though he did get some labor dollars, including $3,600 from the UFCW Local 21 (grocery workers in Seattle) and $1,800 from the UAW, the United Auto Workers Western chapter. A notable individual who kicked in to Inslee over the weekend: Real Networks founder Rob Glaser, who contributed $1,800.

Hedging their bets, biotech company Amgen rushed off checks to both Inslee and McKenna at the last minute, maxing out to both for $3,600.

McKenna's other two last-minute contributions were $1,000 from the Benton County Republicans and $1,300 from Taphandles, a Seattle-based beer marketing company.

3. At our arena forum last week, Seattle Port Commissioner Tom Albro hinted that the Port was going to issue its own traffic study about the SoDo arena proposal. It's coming out today. And big surprise: the Port finds that traffic will be a problem. (Hansen's own study found that it wouldn't.)

4. Fizz missed this embarrassing back and forth a few weeks back, but a reader brought it to our attention: City Council member Jean Godden, speaking about the arena to KJR sports DJ Dave "Softy" Mahler in mid-July, said she had not been on the council when the Sonics trial ended and when the city, in a settlement with the team's owner Clay Bennett, let the team out of their lease at KeyArena, allowing them to move to Oklahoma.

Problem is, that happened in 2008---five years after Godden was elected to the council in 2003.

Here's part of the transcript:

Softy - Do you have the same attitude toward the NBA and Sonics like you do for the Storm?

Godden - The NBA after having taken the Sonics away from us is not going to be my favorite hero.

Softy - When you say the NBA took the Sonics away, isn't it more accurate to say that the city council let them go when they agreed to let them out of their lease a year early?

Godden -  Well I think your characterization is a little wrong. After all we did go to court as a city to try and keep them in town.

Softy - But you never waited for the result of that trial, correct?

Godden - Uh, certainly, uh, the NBA didn't wait for it.

Softy - What do you mean the NBA didn't wait for it? Everyone was waiting for the end of that trial and the city council decided to let the lease expire a year early and let the Sonics walk

Godden - Well, that was something, uh, happened before I even joined the council. In fact, you may have noticed that they signed them up with a year to go and uh, that's something that did not have to do with me that was before I was even on the council.

Softy - Maybe I'm missing something, but the press conference that was called to announce that the agreement had been reached to allow the sonics to leave, weren't you at that press conference?

Godden - I don't believe so.

Later, Godden says Softy has misunderstood what she was saying, but added again that she was not a council member when the Sonics left a year short of the end of their lease.

5. In November, Washington State voters will get the chance to have their completely nonbinding say on two bills passed by the state legislature: ESB 6635, which limited business and occupation tax deductions on large banks, and SHB 2590, which lowered taxes and extended tax exemptions on some petroleum products.

According to Secretary of State Sam Reed, both votes---the first of their kind in the state---were mandated by Tim Eyman's I-960, passed in 2007, which required a nonbinding advisory vote for any tax increases. (More importantly, it also required a two-thirds vote of the legislature to raise taxes.) I-960 was overturned by the legislature but later succeeded by a similar Eyman measure, I-1053.
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