Morning Fizz

After Caucus Results, Patty Murray, Jay Inslee Stand by Clinton

U.S. senator wants to "break this glass ceiling" and SDOT chief of staff goes on sabbatical.

By Josh Feit March 29, 2016

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 1. U.S. senator Patty Murray is unfazed by the demand that she change her superdelegate status from Hillary Clinton supporter to Bernie Sanders supporter; after Sanders won in a landslide in Saturday’s Washington state caucus, Sanders supporters called attention to a petition asking Washington’s superdelegates to follow the will of the voters—or at least follow the will of the six percent of voters who were able to spend their Saturday caucusing.

Asked to respond to the petition, Murray spokesman Eli Zupnick told Fizz:

Senator Murray respects Senator Sanders and his passion for making government work for all families, but she has worked with Hillary for years and believes she will be an amazing voice for Washington state workers and families as she breaks this highest and hardest glass ceiling in our country. Senator Murray is confident that Hillary will be the nominee and plans to support her with her vote at the convention as a senator.

Washington has 17 Democratic superdelegates. Ten of them—governor Jay Inslee and all the Democrats in the federal delegation, plus one of the eight Democratic National Committee members who make up the remaining Washington state superdelegates —have committed to Clinton.

Last November several of the DNC superdelegates, including Washington state Democratic party chair Jaxon Ravens told the AP they were waiting for the results of the March 26 caucus.

I have a message in to Ravens and Inslee.

UPDATE: Washington state Democrats' spokesman Jamal Raad tells me Inslee stands by his Clinton endorsement. Raad says Inslee caucused at his precinct on Bainbridge Island where the results were 63-62, Sanders over Clinton by one. Raad says Inslee "believes there are two great candidates, but he supports Hillary Clinton."

As for Ravens, veering away from his statement to the AP in November that "I will make my decision public shortly after the precinct caucus," he now says he's waiting until the nominee is selected before making his choice. "Jaxon Ravens remains uncommitted," Raad told me, adding "as chair of all the Democrats in Washington, he feels he should wait until a nominee is chosen." Raad says Ravens caucused "uncommitted" and  "after seeing support for both candidates [at his caucus on Saturday] Ravens decided to remain uncommitted."

Raad says Ravens doesn't know how his precinct eventually voted because he "left to visit with Democrats at two other caucus sites." Ravens caucused at Eckstein Middle School in Wedgwood, but Raad says he doesn't know Ravens's exact precinct and that "we don't have precinct by precinct numbers yet."

2. Mayor Ed Murray hasn’t responded to several requests for comment to explain why he did not provide the required letter to the city’s ethics department outlining why Seattle Department of Transportation director Scott Kubly was put in charge of city negotiations to take over Pronto, the bike share nonprofit. The ethics department told me that because Kubly had previously worked for Pronto’s contractor less than a year prior to Kubly’s role in the Pronto negotiations with the city, a letter from the mayor was required by city ethics rules. An outside investigator has been brought in to investigate the situation.

Speaking of curious situations at SDOT: Literally two hours before an email went out to SDOT staff last Wednesday announcing that SDOT chief of staff Hannah McIntosh was leaving for a yearlong sabbatical (along with her husband, SDOT street use director Brian de Place), staff had just been reminded about a restructuring (originally announced in January) that put the chief of staff, presumably McIntosh, on top the communications/government relations chain of command.

A few hours after staff had heard that the restructure had been laid out again in the Wednesday meeting, Kubly then told staff McIntosh had announced she was leaving, and he would be filling McIntosh’s spot within weeks. McIntosh has worked at SDOT for ten years; she headed up the city’s waterfront redevelopment plan and helped develop SDOT’s 10-year strategic vision.

De Place has also been at SDOT for ten years; his spot as street use director will also be filled quickly, Kubly’s complimentary email said.

3. I posted a short essay about my light rail revelations late yesterday afternoon.

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