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On Other Blogs Today: Pot, Public Financing, and More

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By Erica C. Barnett June 14, 2013



1. The PI.com has a (somewhat glitchy) interactive guide to the city's worst intersections for cyclists, based on which have seen the greatest number of car-vs.-bike collisions. 

2. Capitol Hill Seattle reports that Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes is attempting to fix a major oversight in the state initiative legalizing recreational pot use that voters approved last year: It only allows pot smoking in privately owned residences, meaning that people who rent can't legally smoke in their apartments. Holmes is asking the state to allow pot clubs where people can smoke legally.

In the meantime, CHS quotes the head of the Washington Landlord Association saying pot smokers are more likely to default on their rent and arguing that a ban on smoking pot is no different than a ban on smoking cigarettes in a building—except, of course, that pot smoking isn't allowed in the public right-of-way. 

3. At Crosscut, onetime city council candidate Jordan Royer says a proposal to put a measure on a citywide ballot to provide public financing for local campaigns is "at best, painfully cynical; at worst, absurd." Cynical because its requirement that a candidate get a minimum of 600 contributors to qualify (a high number) would benefit incumbents who have more access to contributors; And absurd because the city council has failed, Royer argues, to deal with so many issues more important to their constituents, like potholes and missing sidewalks. 

While I have my own reservations (shared by the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission) about public campaign financing, the argument that there are other issues in the city can be applied to literally anything.

And I find it hard to believe that public-finance champion Mike O'Brien—the same guy who raised his first $1,000 in $10 contributions and has been a major champion of campaign-finance reform—is really just trying to preserve his own seat by proposing public financing.

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