Morning Fizz

Morning Fizz: The Sleeper Candidate

Caffeinated News & Gossip featuring no endorsement for mayor, less funding for schools, and surprising answers.

By Morning Fizz May 23, 2013

1. At its meeting last night in Belltown, the full membership of the 36th District Democrats (Ballard, Magnolia, Queen Anne, Belltown) shot down the recommendation of its executive board for a sole endorsement of state Sen. Ed Murray (D-43, Capitol Hill) in the mayor's race. The 36th decided not to endorse any of the nine candidates in the race.

The executive board had originally recommended Murray and Seattle City Council member Tim Burgess.

On Monday, after Burgess dropped out of the race last week, the board reconsidered its recommendation (it takes a two-thirds vote of the board to make a recommendation) and went with a sole endorsement of Murray.

However, the full body has to sign off on the recommendation (which requires a simple majority) and the sole Murray endorsement only got 43 percent.

To pass an alternative recommendation, the proposal requires a two-thirds vote. Several proposals for dual and triple endorsements (and a sole for Seattle City Council member Bruce Harrell) were considered, but none came close to the two-thirds threshold.

2. Speaking of the mayor's race: The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce's political action committee, CASE (Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy) held a breakfast mayoral forum for its members earlier this week.

Tuesday morning mayoral forum in front of the Chamber

Word is the group (which had gone in leaning toward Murray ... they had reportedly soured on presumed biz favorite Burgess early on, which may help explain why he dropped out of the race) wasn't wowed by any of the candidates.

Peter Steinbrueck was the sleeper candidate, surprising the business group with his well-informed answers.

However, we hear former City Council member Peter Steinbrueck was the sleeper candidate, surprising the group with his well-informed answers.

3. Think the special legislative session in Olympia is all about finding more money for public schools? Guess again.

Rep. Liz Pike (R-18, Camas), along with six GOP co-sponsors, is proposing a tax break for businesses that fund private school scholarships. (The break would be equivalent to the scholarships. The scholarships would be for low-income kids.)

The fiscal note isn't available yet, but in an email to her colleagues asking for support, Rep. Pike says the legislation will save $20 million.

How does giving tax breaks save money? Referring to a scholarship tax break program in Florida, Rep. Pike writes: "In fact, tax credit programs save money. In Florida, for every dollar state revenues are reduced, it saves the state $1.44—a stunning return on investment."

We'll wait to see the fiscal note, but at a time when the state supreme court is asking the legislature to add about $1.4 billion extra to K-12 funding this biennium (and about $7 billion over the following two biennia), shifting money to private schools doesn't seem like it will get much support nor impress the court. 

4. Next Tuesday May 28 at 6:00 at the Jewel Box Theater in Belltown (the back room at the Rendezvous), PubliCola is hosting a discussion—moderated by Q13 TV's C.R. Douglas—on development and density, focusing on microhousing.

On our ThinkTank panel: Seattle City Council member Tom Rasmussen, who considered proposing a moratorium aPodments; Diane Sugimura, Seattle's Department of Development Director who oversees the city's zoning and planning policies; Bill Bradburd, an outspoken Central District resident and activist who opposes aPodments; and Roger Valdez, a microhousing proponent and density evangelist with Smart Growth Seattle.

 

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