1. King County council member and U.S. congressional candidate Joe McDermott, who's running for retiring longtime incumbent U.S. representative Jim McDermott’s (D-WA, 7) seat (no relation), is up in arms about his campaign rival, state senator Pramila Jayapal’s (D-37, Southeast Seattle) recent fundraising trip to the east coast. McDermott’s team points out that Jayapal skipped the Tuesday state senate final budget vote, along with the final votes to overturn governor Jay Inlee’s punitive vetoes (Inslee’s retribution over stalled budget negotiations) to reaffirm some of her own policy bills.
Going negative already, Joe McDermott’s campaign manager Grant Lahmann said in a press release: “It is very disappointing that Senator Jayapal would skip dozens of votes in the legislature to raise money from big money donors in New York and Washington.”
Jayapal had no comment. But she did tell me earlier in the week that she had been in D.C. for a Monday speech at the Indian embassy at the request of the Indian ambassador to the U.S. about the rise of South Asian Americans in U.S. politics. She also explained that she’d scheduled the speech for nearly a month after the legislative session was supposed to be over. And she noted that several Democratic senators, including the budget negotiators themselves—senators Jim Hargrove (D-24, Hoquiam) and Kevin Ranker (D-40, Orcas Island)—also missed the last-minute budget vote. She also told me she would have voted no on the budget.
Rather than catching an evening flight back for the Tuesday vote, Jayapal also did some fundraising: She held a fundraising event in D.C.’s yuppie Dupont Circle neighborhood and another hosted by a socialite in New York.
McDermott’s camp also points out that the speech at the Indian embassy was hosted by a self-identified Super PAC. (Depends on your definition of a Super PAC; the Asian American and Pacific Islanders Victory Fund is a PAC that’s trying to elect AAPI candidates like Jayapal.)
McDermott’s camp says Jayapal’s connection to the AAPI PAC demonstrate her ties to Citizen United era secret money and outside PAC dollars—or, in an unfortunate turn of phrase, “dark” money, as the McDermott press release stated. McDermott has taken a pledge to reject outside PAC money spending during the campaign.
Fundraising reports for March are due out this month.
2. Speaking of fundraising—and progressive versus progressive electioneering—homelessness advocate Nicole Macri, a staffer at the Downtown Emergency Services Center who's running against a batch of lefties for the open state house seat in the 43rd Legislative District—is getting big backing from the emergent progressive populist star on the city council, Lisa Herbold.
Herbold sent out a last-minute fundraising pitch for Macri—who is running, for example, against Kshama Sawant ally and transgender activist leader Danni Askini—yesterday, noting a new Macri endorsement from another city council member, Debora Juarez. (Macri has already been endorsed by council lefty Mike O'Brien along with establishment council bloc members Tim Burgess and Sally Bagshaw.)
Herbold's letter said:
I understand more than ever the importance of having strong voices in our state legislature who are committed to improving the quality of life for everyone in our city. I know Nicole will not only bring a wealth of policy knowledge and experience to Olympia, she will continue her fight to better the lives of every single person in Seattle, not only those with the ear of government officials.
3. And Speaking of Jayapal, she's been getting some good press about her effort to change racist names of places around Washington state.
Jayapal, who worked with U.S. senator Patty Murray to change the name of "Coon Lake" in Chelan County (they got it changed to Howard Lake), has identified 48 more offensive monikers around the state. She told Fizz: "People across the state were telling me about other names like Jim Crow and Squaw and Chinaman. I thought we should do something proactive instead of waiting for someone to be offended."
4. In case you missed it late yesterday afternoon, I posted some more thoughts on the new light rail plan, which, after crunching the numbers, I realized isn't as heavy with parking dollars as I thought.