Caffeinated News & Gossip. Your daily Morning Fizz.

1. Reacting to 1st Congressional District Democrat Suzan DelBene's primary victory over a troop of other Democrats (she will now face Snohomish County Council member John Koster, a Republican, in the general election), DC political wonk news site Roll Call has changed the rating of the race from "tossup" to "leans Democratic."

Here's their explanation:
DelBene’s victory brings the best news for House Democrats. Even in the state’s most competitive House district, it will be difficult for Snohomish County Councilman John Koster (R) to paint DelBene as too liberal for the district. DelBene’s ability to self-fund — she donated $1.9 million to her campaign for the primary — in a presidential election cycle makes this an uphill climb for Koster.

Accordingly, Roll Call is changing its race rating for Washington’s 1st district from Tossup to Leans Democratic.

2. We'll have more later this morning, but there was certainly some Fizz at  yesterday's Metropolitan Democratic Club meeting, where environmental attorney and arena opponent Peter Goldman accused state Democratic Party chair Dwight Pelz of "intimidating" Democrats into supporting the proposed arena.[pullquote]Roll Call is changing its race rating for Washington’s 1st district from Tossup to Leans Democratic.[/pullquote]

Goldman told the (mostly sympathetic) crowd:"[State Democratic Party chair] Dwight Pelz has been going around quietly intimidating Democrats on this issue. These folks are fanatical. Dwight can’t even see straight he loves the Sonics so much. He and some others have gone around intimidating good Democrats, saying you’ve got to go with this. It’s us [arena opponents] against American pie. 'How could we? How could we?'"

Harsh words. Pelz, however, was not at the (reportedly raucous) 34th District Democrats meeting last night, where members took up the arena issue and passed a resolution coming out against it.

3. Speaking of acerbic commentary: Longtime Seattle Housing Authority Board member Yusuf Cabdi, a social justice advocate who was a leader in opposing the failed city measure that would have imposed a $60 car tab fee to increase transit service because he saw it as a regressive tax on the working poor, resigned his position at SHA this week.

Citing SHA's Yesler Terrace project as his number one example, Cabdi says SHA isn't being attentive enough to the needs of low-income residents who will be displaced.

From his defiant letter:
After five years on the board, I get disillusioned with the service it provides to the tenants and its lack of public accountability and transparency.

Yesler Terrace is very risky project; it has many unknown factors that could drain valuable housing authority resources. I would like the city council to address the following concerns as it continue its review of the Yesler Terrace project:

Have a very thorough resident relocation plan: Tenants need to get the whole truth of the relocation process including “housing counseling” to make sure that they know their options and their tenant rights. For example, whether they will choose section 8 housing or be placed in other low-income housing, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each option.

I will strongly recommend that the city council to bring a paid third party – like the Tenants Union, Northwest Justice Project, or Columbia Legal Services to serve as tenant advocates, and to oversee the tenant re-location process. I am not saying that SHA will throw the tenants under the bus, but as a matter of transparency and accountability, it is important to bring a third party that will ensure tenant’s rights are being upheld.
As of this moment, no such measure of accountability exists except the word of the Seattle Housing Authority that they will offer counseling and help to the tenants.

4. Also at yesterday's MDC meeting, Transit Riders' Union organizer Katie Wilson acknowledged pretty bluntly that one of the group's main stated goals---convincing King County Metro to keep the Ride Free Area, which will no longer exist as of September 29---is probably hopeless. "I doubt that we'll succeed," Wilson said, adding that her hope is that Metro will add a full-size free circulator bus to get low-income and working people around downtown, as opposed to the 15-seat vans they have proposed, and adopt reduced fares for low-income people.

5. National Republican celebrity, charming loud-mouth New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, will be in Bellevue this afternoon stumping for Washington State AG Rob McKenna's gubernatorial campaign.

The Democrats are holding a counter-rally outside of the Bellevue Westin starring King County Executive Dow Constantine.  Also on the bill: The Democrats' rising star, state Rep. Marko Liias (D-21, Mukilteo).
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