1. The Republican Governors Association, which has put $4 million into an independent expenditure committee supporting GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna, is running a TV ad that trashes Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee for supporting the Affordable Care Act.
McKenna himself has been tied up in knots about the ACA; while he signed on to the failed lawsuit against it, he also says he supports many of its provisions.
Fizz asked McKenna's campaign if they stood by the ad.
"You'd have to talk to the RGA about the RGA's ad," McKenna campaign manager Randy Pepple said. "They're independent expenditures. Comments by us on those [ads] start to get into dictating what they should do. I'm not going to answer the question."
2. Seattle School Board Member Kay Smith-Blum is accusing the Seattle Times of getting "every 'fact' ... wrong" in an editorial the Times ran yesterday which questioned the board for getting in the way of approving Teach for America teachers.
In an email that lapses into caps on words such as "LAW" and "ANY" and "NO," Smith-Blum defends the board's decision to verify the TFA teachers' credentials. And disputing the Times' accusation that she and her colleagues are "hostile" to TFA, she says the board was not questioning the right of schools to hire TFA teachers, they were only trying to comply with state and federal rules.
Here's her email, sent out at 1:05 this morning:
The Seattle Times editorial published on September 9th is wholly inaccurate and without merit. I would, as a responsible citizen, ask for the reason it was even written. Who incentivized this editorial?
Every "fact" is wrong. The Board did not "bungle" teaching credentials for TFA teachers ..far from it.
Members of the Executive Committee, upon reviewing the agenda for the September 5 meeting, asked staff to verify the credentials of the candidate applying for a Special Education position at Aki Kurose Middle School. The Directors indicated during the Executive committee meeting that it was imperative that the District was compliant with both State and Federal law. As a district, compliance issues with Special Education guidelines take the majority of the work schedule of a full time SPS lawyer. It is the single most common cause of litigation against the District.
The Board asked that the staff verify credentials, not to see personnel files to be certain the District would be in compliance with the LAW upon hiring a candidate with a conditional certification.
As it turned out, the HR department was not able to verify the credentials because the candidate did not respond to either emails or phone calls placed by the department.
Not one of my colleagues questioned the right or the reasoning for any principal or Building Leadership Team's decision to offer a job to ANY candidate, TFA or otherwise. The two candidates at Emerson Elementary were not in question, but the enrollment at that school proved not to be high enough to warrant the two positions for which those candidates had been potentially hired. There was NO discussion of any of the candidates nor were any of their personnel files requested.
The Times should print a retraction of this bogus editorial and issue an apology to each School Board Director named therein.
3. An independent auditor—L.A.'s Police Assessment Resource Center (PARC)—will present the King County Council with a second harsh audit of the King County Sheriff's Office tomorrow. Among the findings:
• KCSO was “seriously deficient” in its record keeping of officer-involved shootings. Some files were missing important documents that had been lost, destroyed, or could not be found.
• PARC looked at 15 recent shooting reviews. None of the deputies who used their firearm were interviewed in person. Rather the deputy provided a written statement, and in no case was that sooner than 72 hours after the shooting.
• In 10 Shooting Review Board reports, the Board released nearly identical explanatory memos as to how they came to their conclusions. Basically, PARC could find no specific explanation of how the Board arrived at their conclusions.
This is the second harsh audit to hit this summer—fueling the campaign hopes of former KCSO spokesman John Urquhart, who's running against interim KC Sheriff Stave Strachan.
4. Republican VP candidate Paul Ryan is in town doing fundraising events on the Eastside including a $25,000-a-head dinner.