Morning Fizz

There's Only One Possible DNC Response

By Morning Fizz August 31, 2012

Caffeinated News & Gossip. Your daily Morning Fizz.

1. Is Washington State next?

A gambling expansion initiative is on the ballot in Oregon. It's being backed by Canadian gambling companies who are up and running with ads like these promoting their proposed "family resort."

2. Yesterday, we questioned the Democrats for making too much out of Republican Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's comment that GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna would be just like controversial Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker—we called it "guilt by third-degree association."

The Democrats had been conspiratorially asking what McKenna had promised  to McDonnell, the head of the Republican Governors Association, to earn the comparison.

But we do have to question what McKenna told the Seattle Times he'd do re: public employees to earn this mention in the Times' attorney general endorsement for Republican Reagan Dunn:
Those are résumé reasons to vote for Dunn. There is also a political reason. A struggle has been underway in Olympia for several years over reforms to public-sector pay, pensions and state programs with the aim of slowing the relentless increase in state spending. It is crucial that this financial reset succeed, so that the state can have the money it needs for its central work, education.

Some reforms have passed, and several of them have been taken to court by state-employee unions. More reforms are coming, and they will bring more lawsuits. Based simply on who their political supporters are, an Attorney General Dunn is a better bet to defend these reforms than is an Attorney General Ferguson.

This page has endorsed Attorney General Rob McKenna, Republican, for governor. The political reason to elect Reagan Dunn as attorney general is that Dunn will back McKenna in his effort to finish the reform of state government.

Last legislative session the Republicans whittled away at state employee retirement benefits, but didn't get everything on their wish list, such as suspending a $138 million payment into the employee retirement system, enforcing a lower state payment into the system, and requiring early state retirees to take the private industry standard nine percent hit.

Gov. Chris Gregoire did increase the share that state employees pay into health care from 12 percent to 15 percent. She had wanted to increase it to 25 percent, and McKenna has supported that higher number.

3. The Puget Sound Business Journal has the news that Vulcan is selling its properties in South Lake Union.
“We have been deeply involved in the redevelopment and revitalization of South Lake Union for over a decade, and the sale of the Amazon campus will allow us to continue to invest in the neighborhood and the community,” Ada Healey, Vulcan Real Estate vice president, said in a statement.

4. And Twitter has Clint Eastwood, including tweets such as: "Only possible Democratic response to Eastwood's performance is to have William Shatner sing 'Rocket Man' as their keynote."
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