City of Seattle
After a Seattle Times report on Sunday uncovered an Oregon Child Protective Services investigation—which in 1984 concluded Mayor Ed Murray sexually abused one of his original accusers Jeff Simpson—council member Lorena Gonzalez called on the mayor to consider resigning and said the council should make a contingency plan in case he does. Murray in response sent a press release again asserting he had no plans to step down; other council members on Monday said the charter restricts the council from removing a mayor for reasons beyond a "willful violation of duty" or "an offense involving moral turpitude."
Murray meanwhile signed an executive order on Monday requiring the Seattle Police Department wear body cameras, despite ongoing negotiations with police unions, the day before U.S. District Court Judge James Robart was slated to review the city's police accountability legislation. Robart didn't give the oversight bill a thumb's up like city officials were hoping. He said he'd halt the bill until he knows which parts of the ordinance would be negotiated during the collective bargaining agreement.
Murray also signed legislation to sell Civic Square to Bosa Development for a residential tower. Notably, the contract requires Bosa Development pay at least $5.7 million toward affordable housing under the Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) program and invest $16 million to the Equitable Development Initiative (EDI). "As Seattle grows, we are working to ensure that happens in a way that is equitable, benefiting everyone who lives and works here," Murray said in a released statement Tuesday.
Mayoral candidate Alex Tsimerman, known for "heil Hitler" salutes during public meetings, has been banned from City Hall until July 13,2018 for violating rules of conduct, the city said. (It's unclear what would happen if a mayoral candidate excluded from city buildings won.)
In the next week, be prepared for a major press blitz. PubliCola will be publishing candidate profiles for the mayoral and city council position 8 races, starting with: Jenny Durkan, Jessyn Farrell, Bob Hasegawa, Mike McGinn, Cary Moon, and Nikkita Oliver. They’ll continue to be updated with more developments as the races progress, all the way up to the primary.
The legislature officially adjourned without a capital budget on Thursday evening. This marks the end of legislators' third overtime session, making it a record-long legislative session. The partisan conflict came down to a water-rights bill that prevented a vote on the capital budget, The News Tribune reported. The 2016 Hirst ruling has affected how some rural families can develop their land due to water rights regulations.
The state Supreme Court ruled against the University of Washington and ruled in favor of the city of Seattle. UW claimed it had authority and full control of its property to the point of ignoring development regulations. Seattle argued the university is subject to local development regulations. "This is a victory for the rule of law and local communities across Washington," city attorney Pete Holmes said in a statement released Thursday.
Prepare to hold the phone. Governor Jay Inslee vetoed legislation that would have delayed the roll-out of the distracted-driving law until 2019, The Seattle Times reported. What does that mean for you? The law will go into affect July 23 and applies to all handheld gadgets while driving or at a stop sign/light. The legislation allows for minimal use of navigation apps.
Seattle Versus Trump
After losing support from three GOP female senators—Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia—Mitch McConnell's attempt at Trumpcare failed. Again. This led Trump to declare on Tuesday it would be best to "let Obamacare fail."
As I have always said, let ObamaCare fail and then come together and do a great healthcare plan. Stay tuned!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 18, 2017
Responses from Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray:
In the process of trying to jam #Trumpcare through, Republicans have destabilized our health care system & created Trumpcare by sabotage.— Senator Patty Murray (@PattyMurray) July 18, 2017
The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday to temporarily uphold the strict regulations on Trump's restrictions allowing refugees into the U.S. on Wednesday, The New York Times reported. The exception? Grandparents and other relatives of American residents. The Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments on the travel ban in October. And the acting Immigrant and Customs Enforcement director said the agency plans to deploy more staff to so-called sanctuary cities, The Stranger reported.
The White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer resigned on Friday morning. According to The New York Times, sources said Spicer was opposed to Trump's appointment of Anthony Scaramucci as White House communications director. Scaramucci has been a long-time donor and supporter of Trump and reportedly lacks communications experience.
Republicans and Democrats alike are uniting behind Senator John McCain after he announced he had brain cancer on Wednesday. Currently recuperating from surgery to remove a blood clot on his left eye, McCain promised to return soon.
I greatly appreciate the outpouring of support - unfortunately for my sparring partners in Congress, I'll be back soon, so stand-by!— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) July 20, 2017