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On Other Blogs Today: Gun Buyback Dustup, Transfer Envy, Immigration Reform, and More

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By Erica C. Barnett June 27, 2013



1. The PI.com has an interesting scoop: According to public records obtained by PI reporter Levi Pulikkinen, the head of Washington state's leading gun control group, Washington CeaseFire, was not consulted before Mayor Mike McGinn hosted a gun buyback that yielded some 700 guns and cost the city more than $313,000.

Had he been consulted, the CeaseFire leader, Ralph Fascitelli, said, he would have advised against it; gun buybacks "generally don’t work well and are a waste of resources and are mocked by the NRA." 

 Fascitelli added that the city should engage in coordinated efforts with gun-control advocacy groups, instead of standalone publicity stunts. 

In response to Fascitelli's letter, Pulikkinen reports, McGinn chief of staff Julie McCoy shot off an email calling the CeaseFire leader's complaints "ridiculous."

This isn't the first time McCoy has dashed off an email that landed in media hands; in 2011, PubliCola got hold of an email McCoy sent to staff expressing exasperation that media wanted to know where McGinn was on election night when voters overwhelmingly backed the tunnel he hated. "Go fucking cover the tunnel" was McCoy's advice for reporters who wanted to get a response from the mayor when the tunnel vote didnt' go his way.

In response to Fascitelli's letter, Pulikkinen reports, McGinn chief of staff Julie McCoy shot off an email calling the CeaseFire leader's complaints "ridiculous."

2, Sightline throws the spotlight on a proposal being considered by Portland's transit agency that would create one of the most generous transfer systems in the country: Pay the fare, and ride buses and trains anywhere in the system for three hours without having to pay another fare.

Image via Oran Viriyincy on Flickr.

Sightline compares the Portland proposal to similar policies that are already in place in Minneapolis/St. Paul (which has 2.5-hour transfers) and Dallas, which offers both a discounted midday fare that allows riders to travel on buses or trains for five hours in the middle of the day, and a two-hour transfer that allows riders to use any part of the system. 

Contrast that to King County Metro, whose transfer program is designed to encourage people to use ORCA cards instead of cash. While fares paid with ORCA are valid on Metro, Sound Transit buses, and light rail, riders who pay cash get a two-hour transfer that can only be used on Metro buses; riders who want to transfer to light rail, for example, must pay a separate fare. 

(Fun fact I wasn't aware of: According to Metro's web site, large dogs that aren't service animals are supposed to "pay the same fare as their owner." Good to know.)

3. The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed an immigration reform bill that creates a 13-year path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants who entered the country illegally and imposes tough new border security provisions, the New York Times reports.

However, House speaker John Boehner has made clear that he won't support any immigration reform bill that doesn't have the support of a majority of House Republicans. And conservative House Republicans are now apparently threatening to relieve Boehner of his gavel if he moves forward with a bill that doesn't have the support of most House Republicans, TPM reports.

4. Meanwhile, Think Progress reports that Texas Gov. Rick Perry—who oversaw the state's 500th execution since 1976 on the same day that he called the state senate back in session to pass a "pro-life" bill that would shut down 37 of the state's 42 abortion clinics—had stern words for Wendy Davis, the Fort Worth Democratic senator who filibustered against the bill despite Republican efforts to bend senate rules to shut her down. 

Perry said Davis, who was a teenage single mouther, should have "learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters."

Of course a guy who wants to control women's autonomy over their own bodies would presume to lecture a woman on what she should have learned from her own experience. 

And, bonus: Perry also dismissed hundreds of supporters' cheers after Davis' filibuster—cheers that (temporarily) shut down the legislature's attempt to force a (likely illegal) vote on the legislation—saying of choice advocates, ""the louder they scream, the more we know that we are getting something done."

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