Afternoon Jolt

Today's Losers: (As hard as it may be to believe) the state senate Republicans

It's been an impressive week for the state senate Republicans.

As you know, they pulled the rug out from under the senate Democrats—and have thumbed their noses at the fact that Democrats Barack Obama, Maria Cantwell, Suzan DelBene, Jay Inslee, Bob Ferguson (and gay marriage) all won here—by picking up two dissident Democrats and winning a squeaker state senate election in the 17th Legislative District in Vancouver to stage a GOP coup.

However, their plan to draft a few more conservative Democrats into their ranks (with the hope of lending the slightest bit of veracity to their  claim that they've got a bipartisan coalition) was setback today when Sen. Jim Hargrove (D-24, Hoquiam), a fiscal and social conservative,  stated emphatically at a press conference that he would not join the Republican cause.

"I'm a firm member of our caucus."—Sen. Jim HargroveAsked by Public Radio's Austin Jenkins if he would join coup leader Sen. Rodney Tom's (D-48, Bellevue) "bandwagon" "formally or informally," Hargrove, an evangelical with a stalwart commitment to social services, said:

"No. I'm a firm member of our caucus. I've been here 28 years. And I've been in positions where I've been the 25th vote, and never switched to go and vote with the Republicans. I'm firmly a member of our caucus."



Today's winner: Internet users in (parts of) Seattle. 

Mayor Mike McGinn announced today that the city plans to partner with the UW and a company called Gigabit Squared to build an ultra-high-speed broadband network (up to 1,000 times faster than existing high-speed connections) serving 12 Seattle neighborhoods.

D.C.-based Gigabit Squared, which is creating broadband networks in six college towns including Chicago and Kansas City, will create a "wireless umbrella" by using transmitters on top of 38 Seattle buildings that beam signals to Seattle's existing fiber cable.

The system will use Seattle's "dark" fiber-optic cable lines to connect up to 50,000 homes, and will also include broadband wireless connections to multifamily homes and offices across Seattle and mobile broadband service. 

Seattle has about 500 miles of "dark fiber"—fiber-optic cables that were laid underground but have never been used. 

As its doing in all its "Gig.U" programs, Gigabit has pledged to invest $200 million for the project. The city, which laid the fiber over decades, is not spending any money on the new plan.


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