1. Bellevue city council member Kevin Wallace, a Kemper Freeman-backed conservative who became known for heated spats at council meetings with light-rail supporters like his council colleague Claudia Balducci, has declared victory in his tight race for reelection, the Seattle Times reports, with a 201-vote lead over challenger Steve Kasner. (That lead has since shrunk slightly, to 197 votes).
In the open seat to replace Don Davidson—a conservative who lost in the primary—Bellevue parks board member and community activist Lynne Robinson easily beat Amgen medical liaison and pharmacist Vandana Slatter.
(Meanwhile, SeaTac Proposition 1, the $15-an-hour minimum wage proposal, which ended last night leading by 46 votes, had gained six votes in the latest count.)
2. Supporters of the Boeing Machinists Union—which voted last week to reject a contract that would require concessions union members found unacceptable—rallied at Westlake Park yesterday; the PI.com reports on the rally. The machinists objected to provisions that would have ended the company's traditional pension plan and increase their health care costs. Among those at the rally was city council member Nick Licata, who hightailed it out of yesterday's afternoon budget committee meeting to make it to the rally.
3. While Democrats in the 43rd legislative District started meeting to discuss who will replace state Rep. Jamie Pedersen, the presumptive nominee to replace state Sen. and mayor-elect Ed Murray, today, over on the other side of the aisle Republican candidates were lining up to replace Jan Angel (R-26), the state representative who was just narrowly elected to the state senate seat briefly held by Democrat Nathan Schlicher.
On the list of possibilities, according to the News Tribune:
Gig Harbor business consultant and ex-Congressional candidate Jesse Young, real estate broker and Angel supporter Spencer Hutchins; Port Orchard City Councilwoman Cindy Lucarelli; Jerry Gibbs of Gig Harbor, "who helped lead the campaign that defeated Peninsula School District's $50 million capital levy this month"; and former Pierce County council member Terry Lee
The Republicans' process for picking a new representative is much like the Democrats': Precinct committee officers pick a slate of three candidates, in ranked order, and submit the names to the Pierce County Council and the Kitsap County commission, which jointly have the final call.
4. Bruce Barcott, the Seattle-area freelance writer, has a "seething" piece in the New York Observer about his anger at Obamacare, which forced him (and lots of other people with individual plans that don't meet the Affordable Care Act's minimum standards, which is to say that you can no longer buy crappy health care) to upgrade, an upgrade he says will cost him an additional $3,600 in premiums a year.
But that isn't what makes him mad—in fact, Barcott argues vehemently that it makes no sense that Obama "panicked" and told people they could switch back to their old plans: "It skews the market and undermines the entire premise of the Affordable Care Act – which is that by balancing the halt (allowing pre-existing conditions) and the hale (forcing robust young adults to get in the pool), the exchanges will over time produce a system that offers quality health care at a price my family can afford."
What makes him mad is that he says the new system is wildly confusing for people, like Barcott and his wife, whose income varies year by year and month by month (pretty much every freelancer, in other words). "We’re not demanding a last-minute reprieve that threatens the stability of the entire system. What we’re asking for is clarity and competence."