Morning Fizz

Hopefuls Line Up for 36th District Seat

State representative Carlyle officially states he’ll seek appointment to the state senate as hopefuls queue up for his seat.

By Josh Feit August 17, 2015

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1. State representative Reuven Carlyle (D-36, Queen Anne, Ballard) announced yesterday at the 36th District Democrats’ annual barbecue (at his Queen Anne house) that he’ll seek the appointment to the state senate if his district colleague state senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles wins her election campaign to replace retiring King County Council member Larry Phillips.

Carlyle would be giving up his powerful position as chair of finance committee in the house, where his Democrats are in the majority, to stroll over to the senate to be a rookie, where his party is in the minority.

Carlyle is the premier advocate in the legislature for tax reform, demanding tougher standards on tax breaks; he constantly asks why loopholes get a free pass while budget expenditures are reviewed and voted on every budget biennium; tax breaks are also expenditures if you think about it for a millisec. Carlyle is also fond of calling Republicans “rural socialists”—his sharp critique of the idea that Eastern Washington counties get more back in state spending than they put in.

Six people have said they will seek the appointment to fill Carlyle’s seat: John Burbank, the executive director of the lefty think tank the Economic Opportunity Institute (Burbank lost a bitter race against Carlyle when Carlyle first ran in 2008); Noel Frame, former head of Progressive Majority, a nonprofit that promoted lefty candidates (Frame ran for the other 36th District seat, losing to Gael Tarleton in 2012, and she also went for Sally Clark’s open city council seat earlier this year losing out to John Okamoto); Jeff Manson, the head of the 36th District Democrats; Rene Murry, the volunteer chair of the Children’s Campaign Fund who runs a small businesses helping people, such as seniors, downsize during life transitions; Sarah Reyneveld, a lawyer at the state AG; and Randy Gordon, an attorney and former Democratic state senator from Bellevue, who was ousted in 2010 by Republican state senator Steve Litzow (R-41, Mercer Island.)

2. Confused how I-122, the city measure to institute public financing of elections with $100 vouchers for all 415,000 Seattle voters, can only cost $3 million, according to the proponents.

Wouldn't it be more like $41 million?

Nope, says the Sightline Institute, which is doing research to back the campaign.

They say, based on turnout rates, not everyone would use the vouchers. Additionally, vouchers can only go to a limited pool of candidates—those who agree to spending limits. Not only does that winnow down the use of vouchers even more, but it also puts a cap on the fundraising itself.

"The sum of all the candidates’ spending limits is as much as the city will ever have to pay. That sum is a small share of the face value of all the vouchers," a post at Sightline argues.

And Sightlight adds:

For example, in the 2021 election for mayor, two at-large city councilors, and city attorney, the sum of all candidates’ spending limits—assuming huge numbers of candidates (six for mayor and four for every other seat), that all of them fundraise exclusively through vouchers, and that they all hit their spending limits—is about $6 million. More likely, city outlays will not exceed $4 million even in a heavily contested election year. Those amounts are still more than one year’s tax collection of $3 million, but elections take place only in alternate years. Annual tax collections will yield $6 million per election cycle, and low-cost cycles will yield surpluses that accumulate to cover the higher price of mayoral races.

3. The article everyone's been waiting for?

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The New York Times ran an account of the apparent toxic workplace environment at Seattle's Amazon, making CEO Jeff Bezos's macho work ethic philosophy sound like cross between Aldous Huxley's Brave New World and CrossFit.


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