Murray, McGinn lead new Seattle mayor poll
Incumbent Mike McGinn and state Senator Ed Murray lead the race for Seattle mayor over Mayor Mike McGinn by one percentage point in a new, exclusive KING 5 News poll, less than three weeks before the primary election. Twenty-five percent of likely voters remain undecided. The SurveyUSA poll of 501 likely Seattle voters finds:
- Ed Murray: 22 percent
- Mike McGinn: 21 percent
- Peter Steinbrueck: 14 percent
- Bruce Harrell: 11 percent
- Charlie Staadecker: 3 percent
- Mary Martin: 2 percent
- Joey Gray: 1 percent
- Kate Martin 1 percent
- Doug McQuaid: 1 percent
The margin of error is ± 4.5 percent. KING, 7-18-13.
The top six feuds of Seattle’s 2013 election cycle
Amid compilations of noble, Theodore Sorensen-sculpted prose from our 35th president, there rarely appears an off-the-cuff John F. Kennedy remark beloved by political junkies: “Don’t get mad. Get even.” It can serve as one defining mark of Seattle’s 2013 election. The best political feuds currently going during Seattle’s 2013 election cycle include:
- Ex-Gov. Chris Gregoire vs. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn
- McGinn vs. the Seattle Times
- The Stranger vs. Seattle City Councilman Richard Conlin
- Washington Conservation Voters vs. the Sierra Club
- Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes vs. McGinn
- John Wyble vs. Sandeep Kaushik
Juicy red meat from Joel Connelly, Seattle P-I, 7-18-13.
State denies Seattle schools request to cut days from calendar
The Washington State Board of Education has denied a request by Seattle Public Schools to shorten its 2013-14 school calendar by three days. Seattle schools had applied for three additional waiver days, which would have allowed the district to bypass the state requirement that it provide 180 days of education to students. The district had hoped to use the waiver days for teacher professional development—days when the teachers come to school, but students don’t. Teachers and administrators say the time is vital for developing curriculum, and for discussing teaching plans for individual students. Seattle’s school calendar had been in flux while the district awaited the board’s ruling. KING, 7-18-13.
Kent won’t allow recreational marijuana businesses
The city of Kent won’t allow any recreational marijuana businesses to open in town next year even though a new state law makes them legal. The Washington State Liquor Control Board is finalizing rules and plans to start issuing licenses in December or January for recreational marijuana producers, processors, and retailers. Kent could be seen as a prime location for marijuana manufacturing, with its large warehouse district, and for retailing with its numerous strip malls. But the City Council told city staff at a Tuesday workshop that it wants to treat recreational marijuana businesses the same way the city treats medical marijuana outlets, which are banned under city law. Kent Reporter, 7-18-13.
Inslee signs law to toughen state’s DUI penalties
Joined by family members of victims, Governor Jay Inslee signed SB 5912 into law Thursday, which toughens impaired driving laws in Washington after a spate of fatal crashes. Inslee, who was joined by lawmakers and law enforcement officials, said the state was taking an important step in strengthening laws to protect people. In attendance at the bill signing were Frank and Carol Blair of Tacoma, who have been actively working with law enforcement and legislative leaders to strengthen DUI laws since their daughter Sheena, 24, was killed by a drunk driver in 2010. Frank Blair said the new law is a message to people who drink and drive. “Your state is now going to hold you accountable, more than ever,” he said. Olympian, 7-18-13.
Teachers’ ‘typical work day’ finally will be quantified
Those who wonder what public school teachers do all day are going to get an answer. Tucked deep in Washington’s new two-year budget is money for a study to find out what a “typical work day” looks like for thousands of teachers toiling away in the state’s 295 school districts. Lawmakers specifically want “an estimate of the percent of a teacher’s typical day that is spent on teaching-related duties and the percentage of the teacher’s day that is spent on duties that are not directly related to teaching.” “It’s an old question that no one has ever answered with data,” said Linda Schactler, director of public affairs for Central Washington University, which will conduct the study. “We’ve answered it with anecdotes. We think we know but we haven’t actually done the research.” Rep. John McCoy (D-38) proposed the study because he was tired of listening to the back-and-forth in front of the House Education Committee. “I got frustrated at the unfunded mandates,” he said. “During the session there were some folks trying to add requirements to the teacher’s work day. I said they’re full.” Everett Herald, 7-18-13.
State officials balk at defending laws they deem unconstitutional
Once state legislation is passed, it’s usually up to the governor and attorney general to see that the law is implemented. But in several high-profile cases around the country, top state officials are balking at defending laws on gay marriage, immigration, and other socially divisive issues—saying the statutes are unconstitutional and should not be enforced. In Pennsylvania, for example, Attorney General Kathleen Kane (D) says she won’t defend the state’s ban on same-sex marriage in federal court. In Hawaii, Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) filed court papers calling that state’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional. And in Indiana, Attorney General Greg Zoeller (R) has come under fire from conservatives for refusing to defend a portion of that state’s immigration law. He said a recent Supreme Court ruling on a similar Arizona provision means that Indiana’s law is unconstitutional. Attorneys general routinely have to decide whether laws facing legal challenges are constitutional. But in recent years, the high-profile nature of political battles over same-sex marriage and other social issues have put many of their decisions in the spotlight. The phenomenon appears likely to spill over into the 2014 elections. Washington Post, 7-18-13.
GOP says our congresswoman is in trouble — in Illinois
The National Republican Congressional Committee churns out daily news releases denouncing likely-to-be-targeted Democratic members of Congress, relentlessly negative and written in boilerplate language that does not vary from target to target. In denouncing first-term Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA-1), however, the NRCC accidentally shed light on its longtime clumsiness toward the politics of this Washington. It said she was out of touch with the people of Illinois. The subject was the 38th and 39th vote that the Republican-run House has taken to repeal or eviscerate the Affordable Care Act, aka. Obamacare. The boilerplate release did not strike fear in the heart of DelBene and her staff. “I suppose the NRCC makes a reasonable point,” said aide Viet Shelton. ”DelBene does indeed prioritize Washington voters over Illinois voters. She hopes the people of Illinois are not terribly offended by this.” Seattle P-I, 7-18-13.
To Think About
These ads could finally break the GOP on immigration
In the House, a vote on immigration is not expected before the August recess. That means it may wait until late in the year, or maybe even until 2014, because of pressing budget issues on the agenda this fall. But it also means that immigration reform groups will have more time to pressure House Speaker John Boehner and other Republican lawmakers into finally allowing a vote on legislation that includes a path to citizenship for the country’s 11 million undocumented immigrants. So far, Republican leaders have pushed piecemeal bills focused largely on enforcement measures, and have considered a path to citizenship only for undocumented immigrants brought into the country as children. Increasingly, they are the target of ad campaigns aimed at breaking the conservative obstruction. Mother Jones, 7-18-13.