1. As the city council amends the mayor’s budget, one line item that city council member and council budget committee chair Tim Burgess wants to change is the city licensing fee for pot businesses.
The mayor himself has already proposed modestly increasing the licensing fee (which applies to shops, producers, and processors) from $1,000 to $1,500.
Burgess, however, reportedly wants to increase the fee by 300 percent to $4,000.
Burgess is releasing the council’s version of the budget tomorrow and says any change in pot licensing fees will be based on the policy principle of covering the full regulatory costs.
But he adds: “I understand why the industry is freaking out.”
2. Learn to trust the Fizz.
Back in April, just as the election year was getting underway, I noted that incumbent Governor Jay Inslee wasn’t matching his fundraising pace from four years earlier; it’s a noteworthy factoid because historically, incumbents do better at fundraising than their former selves as mere candidates.
It turns out, Inslee’s early numbers were a good indicator of things to come.
His latest fundraising numbers show he remains off the mark from his 2012 fundraising. At this point in 2012, candidate Inslee had raised $10.5 million. This year, he’s a million dollars behind that number at $9.5 million.
Of course, Inslee is still lapping his nominal GOP opponent, former Seattle Port Commissioner Bill Bryant, who’s only raised about $3.5 million.
3. Speaking of lagging Democratic dollars: In one of the key races to re-take the state senate, Democratic spending is far behind GOP spending.
Republican independent expenditures on incumbent state senator Steve Litzow (R-41, Mercer Island) have reached nearly $1 million at $983,230; that’s the combination of IEs spent backing him and spent against his opponent, Democratic challenger Lisa Wellman.
Wellman came out ahead of Litzow in August’s top-two primary. And given that Eastside Republicans (moderate and educated) don’t fit the Trump demographic this year, Democrats may have their best shot to help tip the senate, currently 26-23 in favor of the GOP, in this Microsoft suburbs race.
However, Democratic interest groups have ponied up only about half as much as the GOP has spent on Litzow in total IEs in the reace, spending $513,146.
Litzow’s biggest supporters on the IE front are education reformers like Stand for Children and pro-business PACs like Citizens for Progress Enterprise Washington, who are powered by realtors, the oil industry, the restaurant industry, the Ballmers, and, well, Stand for Children.
Wellman’s biggest help on the IE front comes from the teachers’ union, Planned Parenthood, unions like SEIU and state employees, and the state Democratic Party.
Independent Expenditure groups can raise an spend an unlimited amount; the formal campaigns are not allowed to coordinate spending with IEs.
As for the candidates' official campaigns themselves: Litzow has outraised Wellman $754,000 to about $431,000.