The Democrats' letter urging District neutrality.

Yesterday, we covered the letter sent out by several SEIU presidents urging city, county, and state officials to either endorse the union-backed pre-k measure Prop 1A or “take the high road by remaining neutral.”

Their opponents at the city-backed Prop 1B campaign have responded to the SEIU presidents' letter in kind, saying that while they "cannot disagree with our friends at SEIU regarding the importance of early learning," they urge officials to side with the city's plan:

We need a program that is focused first and foremost on the well-being of our kids, which includes high quality standards based on best practices, and is fully funded. Proposition 1B,is the only plan that meets that test.

Seven members of the state legislature also released their own letter, urging Seattle's Legislative Districts' Democrats to stay above the propositional fray:

Both 1A and 1B are good for Seattle's children. Both 1A and 1B are in line with Democratic values. For these reasons, Legislative Districts should take no position on 1A and 1B, but encourage Democrats to vote YES on the first question [of whether to pass either measure].

 Let's send a clear message on Election Day: Democrats support early learning, not needless division.

This letter was apparently signed by seven state legislature Democrats: Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon (D-34, Burien), Sen. Bob Hasegawa (D-11th, South Seattle), Rep. Zack Hudgins (D-11, Tukwila), Sen. Adam Kline (D-37, Mt. Baker) Sen. Sharon Nelson (D-34, West Seattle), Rep. Gerry Pollet (D-46, Northeast Seattle), and Rep. Cindy Ryu (D-32, Shoreline).

Regular readers will recall that Hasagawa is one of two state senators listed as endorsing the Prop 1A campaign. So, you might be wondering, how can he also endorse neutrality?

The answer turns on a distinction between individual endorsements vs. group endorsements. The Democrats' letter only urges the Democratic district organizations---the 43rd District Democrats in Capitol Hill and the U. District, the 11th District Democrats in Southeast Seattle, and the 34 District Democrats in West Seattle---to refrain from endorsing either measure. It doesn't urge individual Democrats (like Hasagawa himself) to butt out.

Both letters appear to have had some success last night: Prop 1A spokesperson Heather Weiner tells us that at the meeting of the 11th District Democrats, her campaign asked for and received a vote to endorse neither measure (in order to minimize inter-Democratic discord, she says).

But over at the 43rd District Democrats' meeting, Prop 1B won the day with a hardy 68 percent. Mayor Murray (the former state senator from the the 43rd) spoke in favor of Prop 1B, as did current state Sen. Jamie Pedersen (D-43, Capitol Hill) and Alison Holcomb (who, speaking of internecine strife on the left, might well challenge Kshama Sawant for her city council seat).

Telling footnote: We got a report on the 43rd results from a diehard 43rd District member who first told us inaccurately that Prop 1 A had gotten the endorsement. He quickly emailed back with a correction, saying: "It's so damn confusing."


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