Offering daily news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Donald Trump clinches the Republican nomination as John Kasich quits campaign

Real estate mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump clinched the Republican Party’s presidential nomination on Wednesday as his last remaining rival, Ohio Governor John Kasich, dropped out of the race, having concluded that there was no path to victory at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

Kasich began his press conference by waxing nostalgic about his campaign, thanking his wife, his children, his campaign manager, advisers, and volunteers, as well as recollecting memories from the campaign trail.

“We were never, ever daunted,” Kasich said, hailing his staff’s efforts. “We just got up every day and did the best we can.”

He then proceeded to lavish praise on his constituents in Ohio before fondly recalling a few more memories from the campaign trail (in South Dakota, in New Hampshire, in New York, in Michigan) and criticizing the mass media for not understanding him or his reasons for running for President.

“As I suspend my campaign today, I have renewed faith that the Lord will show me the way forward,” he said before concluding his remarks and walking away.

Kasich’s exit leaves Donald Trump as the last candidate standing in what was originally a crowded, seventeen person field contending for the nomination. Now the anti-Trump forces within the Republican Party are without a candidate. They have failed in their mission. Their party is now Trump’s party.

Less than twenty-four hours ago, in the wake of the Indiana Republican primary, Ted Cruz also quit the race, leading Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Preibus to tweet that Trump was “the presumptive nominee”.

The timing of Cruz and Kasich’s announcements could not have come at a worse time for the Washington State Republican Party. The end of the Republican presidential contest comes just as ballots are being mailed out for Washington State’s May 24th presidential primary. WSRP Chair Susan Hutchison and her surrogates had been looking forward for months to a competitive primary.

Now, there won’t be one. People can still cast their ballots, of course, but the national media spotlight isn’t going to be coming to Washington in advance of May 24th. Ted Cruz and John Kasich won’t be coming here to raise money, campaign, or rally supporters. Trump doesn’t need to show up in Washington or Oregon, either… he’s now the presumptive nominee and the last candidate left standing.

With the Republican nomination now pretty much a foregone conclusion, many of the voters the WSRP had been hoping would turn out to participate in the Republican primary may simply neglect to return their ballots.

On the Democratic side, there are still two candidates, but Washington Democrats opted last year to use caucuses to allocate all of their national convention delegates, so Washington’s 2016 presidential primary will wind up being a completely meaningless, eleven and a half million dollar straw poll.

To all of the conservative intellectuals and principled right wing activists who had joined forces to oppose Trump, this is a pretty awful moment. They had vowed never to allow their party to nominate Donald Trump, but they failed. The 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland is going to be a Trumpfest.

Republicans who oppose Trump are left with two unpalatable, distasteful choices: join the bandwagon, or withhold their support from their own party’s presumptive nominee. Some view Hillary Clinton is the lesser of two evils, and seem prepared to vote for her in the event of a Trump/Clinton matchup.

For Washington Republicans, Trump’s presence on the top of the ticket this autumn could be disastrous. Republicans, desperately hungry for power, hope to win majorities in both houses of the Legislature this year. All of their candidates will now have to run in the shadow of Donald Trump, who will increasingly define the Republican brand and what it means to be a Republican.

2016 may well be a Democratic wave election with significant downballot effects. It could also be something else… we can’t be sure what the future holds.

Research shows that pretty much everything Trump stands for is distasteful to a majority of Washingtonians. When it comes to presidential contests, Washington is firmly in the Democratic column. It hasn’t awarded its electoral votes to a Republican in over thirty years. George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, George W. Bush, John McCain, and Mitt Romney all lost Washington to their Democratic opponents. And in recent cycles, Democrats have cleaned up in statewide races.

The only Republican left in the executive department is Secretary of State Kim Wyman, and Democrats are seeking to replace her with Tina Podlodowski this autumn. Podlodowski’s candidacy has been extremely well received in the Democratic Party, and she’s getting early endorsements from all over. Republicans view Podlodowski as a huge threat and are trying to raise $1 million for Wyman to defend the last statewide office they hold on the Left Coast.

Ted Cruz ends presidential campaign after losing to Donald Trump in Indiana

Reactionary right wing Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has ended his presidential campaign following his loss in the Indiana Republican primary to fiery real estate mogul Donald Trump, who will now almost certainly be the Republican nominee.

“What you have done, the movement you have started is extraordinary,” Cruz told somber supporters towards the end of a long concession speech.

“I love each and every one of you. From the beginning I have said i would continue on as long as there was a path to victory. Tonight, I’m sorry to say it appears that path has been foreclosed. Together, we left it all on the field in Indiana. We gave it everything we’ve got. The voters chose another path.”

“With a heavy heart, but with boundless optimism for the long-term future of our nation, we are suspending our campaign,” Cruz said.

Responding to Cruz’s announcement, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus acknowledged that Trump was now the “presumptive nominee.

Cruz’s decision to end his campaign means he will not be showing up in Washington State for the events that he had planned for next week, including a fundraisier at a private home on the Eastside co-hosted by Dino Rossi.

The only other credible candidate left standing is Ohio Governor John Kasich, who has a minuscule number of delegates and is running on fumes.

Cruz’s decision to withdraw from the race is a severe blow to Susan Hutchison and the Washington State Republican Party, for it means the forthcoming Washington Republican primary is unlikely to be competitive. Ballots for that election are just about to go into the mail. The deadline to return them will be Tuesday, May 24th.

It’s possible the anti-Trump factions of the party will now rally around Kasich. But that is unlikely to make Kasich competitive. Cruz had much built a deeper base of support, aided by figures like Glenn Beck and, more recently, former rival Carly Fiorina. If anyone was to come from behind and overtake Trump, it was going to be Cruz, who had outlasted a bevy of rivals, from Jeb Bush and Chris Christie to Ben Carson and Marco Rubio, who ended their campaigns back in the winter.

Only a few hours ago, The Seattle Times published a story by political reporter Jim Brunner announcing that Cruz planned a major tour of Washington State and hyping the forthcoming Republican primary. The lede to that story was as follows:

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz plans a campaign swing across Washington state this week, scheduling rallies Wednesday in Spokane and Thursday in Bothell and Vancouver.

The Texas senator trails front-runner Donald Trump in the race for the GOP presidential nomination — and may face even longer odds if Trump wins a key Indiana primary Tuesday.

But Cruz has a strong organization in Washington and is looking for a win here in the May 24 primary, with 44 delegates at stake. Primary ballots go out this week.

The story went on to summarize Cruz’s planned Washington events:

On Thursday morning, Cruz plans a rally at Cedar Park Christian School in Bothell , 16300 112th Ave N.E., according to campaign sources. Tickets for the free event were being advertised on Eventbrite, an online ticketing service. He’ll hold a rally later that day in Vancouver, Wash.

Cruz’s Washington trip will start with a rally 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Spokane Convention Center, his campaign announced in a news release.

Later that night, Cruz is scheduled to attend a private fundraiser at a home in Redmond. Tickets for that event cost $1,000 a person, or $2,700 to get into a VIP reception with the candidate.

Now that Cruz is out, all those events have been canceled.

Once Cruz had announced his decision to end his campaign, the article above was swiftly replaced by the Times with a new story at the same URL featuring reaction from Cruz’s Washington State campaign chairman (who professed himself shocked) and Tim Eyman ally Doug Ericksen, an enthusiastic Donald Trump booster. The original story is gone from the Times’ website, as if it never existed.

Earlier in the nominating season, pundits speculated that Washington might be the kind of state that could give John Kasich a boost, if he could survive that long.

But our guess is that when the results are posted on May 24th, Donald Trump will have won Washington’s Republican primary in a rout, vanquishing his rivals in much the same way that he has in other states across the country.

That’s certainly what the Washington State Democratic Party expects.

“The Republican party is now officially the party of Trump,” said Jaxon Ravens, State Democratic Party Chair. “Republicans chose as their standard bearer a reality television show host who regularly makes hateful and dangerous remarks about women, Hispanics, and Muslims. Donald Trump may be a good reflection of the Republican party’s values, but his views are deeply inconsistent with Washington state’s values of compassion, empathy, diversity, and inclusion.”

“There’s no doubt that Trump’s presence on the top of the ticket will poison the already weak Republican brand in Washington state,” he concluded.

Kudos to the Seattle City Council for voting down street vacation for Chris Hansen

Yesterday, in a landmark five to four vote, the Seattle City Council turned down a request by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen to vacate part of Occidental Avenue South in the city’s South Downtown (SoDo) neighborhood.

Hansen, who has been engaged in a multi-year quest to return an NBA franchise to Seattle, had petitioned the city to transfer the aforementioned public right of way to his arena enterprise he could unify multiple pieces of property he owns in order to proceed with plans for constructing a new sports palace south of Safeco Field.

But a majority of the Council (Sally Bagshaw, Lisa Herbold, Kshama Sawant, Debora Juarez, and Lorena González) wisely voted against giving Hansen the street.

Bagshaw and Herbold had made their feelings on the matter clear well in advance, but Sawant, Juarez, and González waited until Monday to say how they would vote. González summed up her decision by declaring, “I believe it’s in the city’s best interest to protect the jobs we know we have rather than sell the street for hypothetical jobs that are contingent on a hypothetical team.”

The Council is to be commended for turning down Hansen’s petition. It’s not easy to say no to a wealthy individual with a league of vocal allies, including influential personalities on sports talk radio. But it had to be done, for Chris Hansen’s agenda is simply not in the city or the region’s best interest.

Hansen, an out of state billionaire, sees SoDo as the perfect place to build a new entertainment district anchored by a flashy sports palace. He’s convinced a lot of people desperate to see the Sonics return that his plans are well thought out and wouldn’t adversely impact the nearby seaport or our maritime sector.

But just about everyone who actually has a stake in the maritime sector has rejected Hansen’s vision for SoDo, including the Port and the ILWU.

We all know — or should know — that talk is cheap. Especially considering his track record, Hansen’s promises and assurances aren’t worth much.

The truth is, Hansen doesn’t have an NBA team secured, which his master agreement with the city and the county says he needs in order to begin construction on an arena. Nor is the prospect of a team on the horizon. Top NBA brass recently reiterated they’re not ready to even talk about expansion yet.

Since Hansen has no team and is unlikely to have one before his original master agreement expires, it would have been foolish and premature to continue down the path of clearing the decks for a third arena smack in the middle of SoDo.

Councilmember Debora Juarez astutely observed before the vote that a basketball arena can potentially be built in a number of different places, but a deep water port cannot. And she is absolutely correct.

If the people and elected leadership of Seattle desire to lure the NBA back here by partnering with a potential owner on an arena project — a goal NPI is happy to support — then the city needs to collaboratively and thoughtfully weigh all the options. That includes a potential refurbishment of KeyArena, where the Sonics played for many, many years before Clay Bennett and his Raiders stole them away.

This organization would like to see the NBA award a new Sonics franchise to Seattle, but not at the cost of jeopardizing our maritime and industrial sectors.

Our maritime jobs are some of the best-paying jobs that we have. Our brothers and sisters in the ILWU and other unions have been fighting to protect these jobs for a long time — often without recognition or appreciation. Our seaport is a working waterfront; it is one of the engines of our region’s economy.

“The maritime companies are real, contributing to the economy, paying wages,” Jon Talton noted in a column today. “The NBA and NHL teams are not real (yet). If these leagues want to be part of Seattle, they will make an effort. We don’t have to beg like some needy burg in nowhere.” He’s right.

It is important to remember that before Seattle was a high-tech hub, it was a seaport city, and it remains one today.

Seattle’s working waterfront and status as a gateway to the Pacific is so central to its identity, in fact, that the city’s Wikipedia page begins as follows:

Seattle (i/siˈætəl/) is a West Coast seaport city and the seat of King County. With an estimated 662,400 residents as of 2015,[2] Seattle is the largest city in both the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest region of North America.

There is no reason why Seattle cannot both protect its maritime sector and win a new NBA franchise to replace the team that now plays in Oklahoma City.

These have only been perceived as conflicting goals in recent years because of Chris Hansen’s plans for SoDo. Regrettably, the City of Seattle and King County gave tacit blessing to these plans when they signed the aforementioned Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Hansen several years ago. That was a bad move.

At the time, Hansen was maneuvering to acquire a team in the same fashion that the Raiders got a team for Oklahoma City: by stealing one away from another town. Hansen entered into an agreement to buy the Sacramento Kings from their owners, but that agreement fell apart when the NBA refused to sign off on relocation. The Kings stayed in Sacramento and Hansen’s gambit failed, leaving him empty-handed.

It should be evident now that Chris Hansen is the wrong person to lead the effort to bring the NBA back to Seattle. Time and again, he has exhibited poor judgment, from selecting the wrong site for an arena to attempting to land an NBA franchise by poaching another city’s team instead of lobbying the NBA for a new franchise to violating California’s public disclosure laws when he didn’t get his way.

(Not to mention that time he neglected to pay the City of Seattle in a timely fashion for the work city staff were performing on his arena project.)

This region needs a prospective owner who is committed to the region’s vitality and well-being, including its maritime jobs. It needs somebody who can work effectively with the NBA, its current thirty owners, and league Commissioner Adam Silver.

The ideal partner would be an individual or group of individuals with means who are laser-focused on getting the NBA to commit to beginning the process of expansion, and open-minded as to where the reincarnated Sonics should play. That’s the key. There is no arena project without a team. And it must be a team that Seattle can legitimately call its own — not a team spirited away from somewhere else.

Again, it would be wrong to rob another city of its franchise. We should not want any other community of fans to go through what we went through in 2008.

It truly saddened me back in 2013 to see ardent Sonics fans rooting for Chris Hansen to succeed in uprooting the Kings from Sacramento and bringing them here. That would not have been the return of the Sonics; it would have been the theft of the Kings. How can any Sonics fan complain about what happened here in 2008, and then turn around and excuse Hansen’s actions?

In addition to finding a new partner and letting the MOU with Hansen’s enterprise expire, we need to seriously study the feasibility of refurbishing KeyArena.

I would be very happy to see the Sonics resume play there. It would complete the feeling of a proper homecoming. Neighborhood businesses would surely be happy to see the Sonics back. KeyArena, remember, used to be the Sonics’ house. It was their home court, which they shared with the Storm, Seattle’s WNBA franchise, and the Thunderbirds, who now play in Kent at the ShoWare Center.

I can appreciate that for those who jumped onto Chris Hansen’s bandwagon, yesterday’s vote by the Seattle City Council comes as a disappointment.

But those folks really, really need to look at the big picture. Approval of the street vacation would have been a boon to Hansen, certainly, but not necessarily to the city’s prospects of scoring a team to replace the Sonics of old.

When it comes to expansion/relocation, the league’s executives and owners are in the driver’s seat. They call the shots. Not the Seattle City Council or the Mayor of Seattle. Not the King County Council or the King County Executive. If the NBA doesn’t want to work with Hansen, it doesn’t have to. It can just blow him off, which is essentially what it has been doing ever since it nixed his bid to buy the Kings.

We can’t get the Sonics back unless the NBA says yes to giving us a franchise. If the NBA doesn’t want to collaborate with Hansen (and they’ve signaled repeatedly that they don’t), then Hansen is actually an impediment to the Sonics’ return.

The sooner Chris Hansen is out of the picture, the sooner we can choose a new partner to lead the effort to secure an NBA franchise for our region.

Liveblogging the ninth 2016 Democratic presidential debate from the great Northwest

Good evening, and welcome to NPI’s live coverage of the ninth Democratic presidential debate of the 2016 cycle. I will be watching and sharing impressions of the debate as it progresses. This debate is being held in Brooklyn, New York and is being broadcast by CNN. You can livestream the debate from CNN’s website.

There are two candidates left seeking the Democratic nomination for President of the United States: Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Tonight’s debate will be the first debate in about a month.

The moderators are Wolf Blitzer and Dana Bash.

We will begin our live coverage at 6 PM, when the candidates take the stage.

UPDATE, 6:10 PM: We’re off and running, and it didn’t take long at all for this debate to get feisty.

UPDATE, 6:22 PM: Dana Bash wants to know… why doesn’t Clinton release the transcripts of her speeches to Goldman Sachs and put the issue to rest?

Clinton is really, really struggling with her answer to this. She keeps trying to change the subject, and it isn’t working.

Bernie Sanders says he’s going to release his tax returns from 2014 tomorrow.

UPDATE, 6:25 PM: Wolf Blitzer throws a hostile question Bernie Sanders’ way, asking how Sanders could promote American business around the world, given his “contempt for large U.S. corporations”. Sanders rejects the premise of the question, noting that not all companies disrespect their workers.

Asked how he would bring jobs back to the U.S. without causing the cost of goods to increase, Sanders spoke of rebuilding America’s manufacturing sector and raising the minimum wage. Clinton says she has a plan to do just that.

UPDATE, 6:30 PM: Staying on the topic of raising the minimum wage, Wolf Blitzer asks: “If a Democratic Congress put a $15-an-hour minimum wage bill on your desk, would you sign it?” Clinton says she absolutely would.

Sanders, reacting with surprise, began giving his response, while Clinton tried to interrupt. The candidates are really talking over each other here.

Given a chance to explain her more nuanced position, Clinton says she supported the fight for $15 in cities like Los Angeles and Seattle.

“I have taken my cue from senators like Patty Murray,” she added, name-checking Washington’s senior senator.

“Of course, if we have a Democratic Congress, we will go to $15.”

“Patty Murray has introduced legislation to increase the minimum wage to $12, that’s good. I’ve introduced legislation to increase the minimum wage to $15; that’s better,” Sanders said in response.

UPDATE, 6:37 PM: We’ve moved on to the topic of gun safety and gun responsibility. Bernie Sanders is defending his record on this subject, saying in 1988 he lost his congressional bid in part because he supported banning assault weapons. Clinton scoffed at that, and repeated her claims that Sanders was in the wrong for voting against the Brady Bill five times, and wrong for supporting legislation that gave the gun lobby immunity from lawsuits.

UPDATE, 6:46 PM: Now talking about the 1994 crime bill. Was it a net positive, or in retrospect, what was it mistake?

Clinton says she’s sorry for the adverse consequences the legislation has had, but pointedly noted it was her husband who signed the bill.

Sanders reminded viewers that the 1994 crime bill included the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and banned assault weapons… so it wasn’t all bad.

“We’ve got to have the guts to rethink the War on Drugs,” Sanders added.

UPDATE, 6:50 PM: Sanders was just asked a follow-up question about ending mass incarceration; he said his plan is to bring progressives and conservatives together in the states to reduce the nation’s overall prison population.

UPDATE, 6:59 PM: We’re back and talking about the climate crisis. Sanders is aggressively going after Clinton over fracking.

UPDATE, 7:01 PM: Defending her advocacy of fracking, Clinton calls natural gas “a bridge” to the future (meaning, a transitory energy source that’s better than coal or oil but not as good as wind and solar.)

UPDATE, 7:03 PM: “Little steps are not enough,” Sanders declared in response. “We’ve got to tell the fossil fuel industry: their short term profits are not more important than the health of this planet.”

He asks Clinton if she’d support a tax on carbon dioxide emissions.

UPDATE, 7:07 PM: Pressed on whether his energy proposal would “drive this country back to coal and undermine his fight against global warming”, Sanders talked about the need to ambitiously build rooftop solar, weatherize buildings, and protect jobs as the country transitions to a renewable energy future.

UPDATE, 7:16 PM: We’re talking about U.S. support for NATO now. Sanders says European countries should be paying more of the defense budget. Clinton agrees, and says there are obligations that are not being met, and those requirements need to be enforced. Clinton goes on to call NATO the most successful military alliance in history, and it would be strengthened, not dissolved.

UPDATE, 7:21 PM: For the first time in these Democratic debates, we’re having a lengthy, in-depth discussion about Israel and Palestine. Bernie Sanders, who says he’s “100% pro-Israel”, also maintains that the Palestinian people need to be treated with respect and dignity, or there will not be peace.

UPDATE, 7:29 PM: Bernie Sanders has given some of the best answers of the night in response to these questions about Israel and Palestine. He’s correct: There are most certainly two sides to this conflict. Israel may have the right to defend itself, but we should not have a one-sided approach to addressing this conflict.

UPDATE, 7:34 PM: Now back from the break.

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer immediately trotted out another hostile “gotcha” question for Sanders about the costs of his proposals. Sanders disputed the data used as the premise of the question, and pointed out that many other developed countries provide access to healthcare and a tuition-free college education to their people.

UPDATE, 7:40 PM: We’ve now moved on to talking about Social Security. Wolf Blitzer asks Clinton (yes or no), would you scrap the cap?

Clinton did not immediately say yes, but gave a more lengthy answer detailing her support for asking wealthy families to pay more into Social Security.

“I think we are in vigorous agreement here,” Clinton told Sanders, at one point during the testy back and forth between the two.

Clinton did contribute one very important point to the discussion: no matter who gets the nomination, they’re going to need a cooperative Democratic Congress to work with in order to accomplish key priorities like expanding Social Security or making college more affordable or tuition-free.

UPDATE, 7:48 PM: Clinton just called out the moderators of this and eight previous debates for failing to ask any questions about reproductive rights. The audience responded with rousing applause.

UPDATE, 7:52 PM: The candidates are now talking about Democratic politics and the future of the Democratic Party. Bernie Sanders touted polls showing that he does better than Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump; Clinton pointed out she’s received more votes so far this nominating season.

Sanders fielded a hostile question from CNN about his participation in Democratic Party politics, noting that he has helped raise money for the DSCC, to help Democrats get elected to the United State Senate.

Rosemary McAuliffe announces her retirement from the Washington State Senate

Longtime education champion Rosemary McAuliffe (D-1st District: Bothell, Kirkland, Clearview) announced today in a press release that she has decided not to seek reelection in 2016, ending a decades-long career in the Legislature that began with her victory in the “Year of the Woman” in 1992.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the people of the 1st Legislative District for twenty-three years. While I have decided to finish out this year and not seek re-election, I will without a doubt continue to be involved in my communities.” said McAuliffe, adding: “I appreciate the support of my community. It is now time to come home and be with friends and family, and with my husband Jim. I am excited about future plans, whatever they may be. It has truly been an honor to serve.”

McAuliffe’s colleagues lauded her service.

“Just saw the news that my friend and colleague Rosemary McAuliffe is retiring,” said Senator Marko Liias of the 21st District. “She has always had a heart for kids, and she has never forgotten that we need excellent teachers to get them the education they deserve. Thanks for a long record of great work.”

“It’s been a real pleasure to work with Senator Rosemary McAuliffe for our shared constituents in the 1st Legislative District, most recently to protect the Wayne Golf Course for habitat and open space in perpetuity,” said Councilmember Rod Dembowski. “She’s been a longtime champion for kids and education; her leadership and advocacy for our constituents will be missed.”

McAuliffe’s seatmate, Representative Luis Moscoso, announced he will run to take McAuliffe’s place in the Washington State Senate — with her blessing. Here’s his letter to Democratic activists in the 1st District:

Dear Friends:

I want you to be the first to know that I’ll be announcing my candidacy for the Senate tomorrow. I am pleased to have the endorsements of Senator McAuliffe and my seat mate Derek Stanford. Thank you both for believing in me.

I look forward to working with all of you in a my campaign. This will be a historic venture and I will need all your help to succeed. I want to be sure to carry forward the work Senator McAuliffe has so ably done for the 1st LD this past quarter century.

Much of the legislation I’m already deeply involved in; like the Washington Voting Rights Act, Public Safety and Prison Reform, and a myriad of transportation concerns, will be major campaign issues for us here in the 1st LD.

Our Democratic values and principles will be tested in this Presidential election year. And I know we can prevail with your help. Thanks again for all your support these past 6 years in the House as well as the encouragement you’ve given me since 2001 when you first elected me as Snohomish County Male Delegate from the LD.

¡Si se puede!

~ Luis

Moscoso will be giving up his House seat to run for the Senate, which means there’s an opening for an aspiring leader at the local level to move on up as well.

The 1st is a fairly Democratic district, and elected Moscoso handily in a tough year for Democrats… so he ought to be able to hold McAuliffe’s seat, and the party should be able to hold on to his House seat as well.

We at NPI thank Senator McAuliffe for her many years of dedicated public service. She’s been in the Legislature for over two decades, and was a Northshore School Board member before that. She has always been a dependable advocate for students, parents, and teachers, working to support Washington’s youth and the hardworking professionals committed to their well-being. She leaves behind a positive legacy in the statehouse.  We wish her all the best.

Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz easily win Wisconsin presidential primaries, results show

Voters in Wisconsin tonight boosted the campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz by backing them over Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton and Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, preliminary results out of the Badger State show.

Wisconsin Democratic Primary, April 5th, 2016
59.9% Reporting as of 7:10 PM Pacific

Candidate Votes Percentage
Bernie Sanders 354,549 55.8%
Hillary Clinton 278,840 43.9%
Martin O’Malley 961 0.2%
Uninstructed 854 0.1%

“Wisconsin, today you sent a strong message: when we stand together there is nothing we cannot accomplish. Thank you!” tweeted the Sanders campaign.

“The corporate media and establishment keep counting us out, but we keep winning by large margins,” it added in a later tweet.

Hillary Clinton was gracious in defeat.

“Congrats to @BernieSanders on winning Wisconsin. To all the voters and volunteers who poured your hearts into this campaign: Forward! -H,” she tweeted.

Clinton may be losing statewide, but she is narrowly ahead in Milwaukee County.

Milwaukee County Results
President of the United States
Hillary Clinton . . . . . . . . 83,329 50.96
Martin O’Malley . . . . . . . . 183 .11
Bernie Sanders. . . . . . . . . 79,764 48.78
Uninstructed Delegation. . . . . . 167 .10
WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . . 91 .06
Over Votes . . . . . . . . . 0
Under Votes . . . . . . . . . 831

Meanwhile, on the Republican side, it’s not close.

Wisconsin Republican Primary, April 5th, 2016
59.9% Reporting as of 7:10 PM Pacific

Candidate Votes Percentage
Ted Cruz 357,472 50.1%
Donald Trump 234,987 33.0%
John Kasich 103,144 14.5%

Mass media have already projected that Sanders and Cruz are the victors in Wisconsin. Clinton will still wind up with delegates, since the Democrats allocate delegates proportionally in every state. For Republicans, Wisconsin is a winner takes most state, which means Cruz will get the bulk of the state’s delegates (but not all).

Peter Goldmark announces his retirement as Washington’s Commissioner of Public Lands

Washington State’s incumbent Commissioner of Public Lands has just announced via Facebook that he’s decided to step down and will not seek a third term in 2016.

Peter J. Goldmark, sixty-nine, has served as the state’s independently elected chief of the Department of Natural Resources since January 2009. He was originally elected in 2008, defeating incumbent Republican Doug Sutherland. He was reelected in 2012, defeating Republican challenger Clint Didier.

In a statement, Goldmark said:

After talking with my family, I have now decided not to seek a third term as Washington’s Commissioner of Public Lands. These last eight years have been the highlight of my nearly 40 years of public service. Thank you to the many friends throughout the state who support and guide me. The dedicated staff at DNR are an inspiration every working day. And my gratitude goes to the people of Washington, who have twice given me the honor of choosing me to serve. I look forward to continuing that service until January 2017.

Goldmark, who owns a ranch in Okanogan County and ran against Cathy McMorris Rodgers for Congress in 2008, is the only current member of the executive department who hails from Eastern Washington. (The other eight members — Jay Inslee, Brad Owen, Bob Ferguson, Kim Wyman, Troy Kelley, Jim McIntire, Randy Dorn, and Mike Kreidler — are from Western Washington).

Two individuals besides Goldmark have filed so far to run for Commissioner of Public Lands in 2016. They are Karen Porterfield, a Democrat who unsuccessfully challenged Dave Reichert in 2012, and Steven M. Nielson of Port Orchard, who identifies as a Libertarian. Porterfield has raised $7,300 to date, according to Public Disclosure Commission data. Nielson has not reported raising any money so far.

Goldmark’s announcement is likely to prompt additional candidates to seek the job of Commissioner of Public Lands. It’s not often the position comes open.

Also retiring from their positions in the executive department this year are Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen, Treasurer Jim McIntire, and Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn. Troy Kelley hasn’t said he’s retiring, but we can’t imagine he’s going to seek reelection.

If Kelley doesn’t file for reelection, it will guarantee that a majority of the positions in Washington’s executive department will be turning over as of next January.

We at NPI thank Peter Goldmark for his many years of service to our state as Commissioner and wish him the best in retirement.

NPI calls on Governor Jay Inslee to uphold our Constitution by vetoing charters bailout

Editor’s Note: Two weeks ago, Republican-dominated majorities in the Washington State House of Representatives and Senate passed a bill restoring funding for charter schools and allowing new charters to be authorized, in defiance of the Supreme Court’s ruling in League of Women Voters v. State of Washington. NPI is asking Governor Jay Inslee to veto this legislation and uphold our Constitution. We laid out our reasoning in the following message sent to the Governor this afternoon, which we are releasing as an open letter.

Dear Governor Inslee:

On behalf of the team at the Northwest Progressive Institute, we write to respectfully urge you to veto E2SSB 6194 in its entirety and honor the State Supreme Court’s ruling that I-1240 is unconstitutional.

NPI strongly believes in public schools and elected public school governance that all citizens can participate in. Public schools are the cornerstones of strong, vibrant communities. We have a mutual responsibility to each other to ensure that our youth receive a well-rounded education. Our state’s founders considered this to be so important that the Constitution they handed down to us calls this responsibility Washington’s paramount duty. Our public schools are the only schools required to serve all children no matter their background or needs.

We also believe in the professional educators in our public schools. E2SSB 6194 prohibits employee bargaining at a charter school from affiliating with other bargaining units. This is not a progressive policy in support of worker rights — it’s an inappropriate political statement.

Our public school districts and educators are working hard to provide innovative services that meet and exceed those claimed by charters even while they are challenged with strained budgets due to underfunding from the state.

The Supreme Court spoke clearly last year when it struck down I-1240 and charters as unconstitutional in League of Women Voters v. State of Washington. We urge you to uphold the Supreme Court’s ruling and veto E2SSB 6194 in its entirety.

Although charter proponents cite the needs of disadvantaged children, the evidence from around the country shows that charter schools aren’t helping those students — and may actually be hurting them. A report released last week by the Civil Rights Project at UCLA found that charter schools are four times as likely to suspend black students than white students. Charters have also been blamed for accelerating the resegregation of American schools. A recent study by Duke University found that charter schools were responsible for resegregating North Carolina schools. The ACLU filed a lawsuit charging that charters in Delaware were causing resegregation.

The focus of Washington’s Legislature and executive department should be complying with the Supreme Court’s earlier decision in McCleary and producing a viable plan to raise the revenue required to fully fund our public schools.

The Legislature must do more than simply define basic education. It must provide publicly-governed school districts with the resources they need to carry out their mandate. We have over a million children in our public schools, and they’re not getting the support they need.

Sadly, at the same time the Legislature was blatantly ignoring the Supreme Court’s most recent McCleary order, which imposed sanctions on the state, majorities in both houses were intently listening to the nearly two dozen lobbyists who descended on the Capitol Campus to lobby for E2SSB 6194.

The results of the just-concluded special session and regular session that preceded it once again demonstrate the power of money in our state’s capital. Those who already have fortunes are well-positioned to ask for (and get) money out of the Legislature for their priorities, while middle and low income families are not.

Unlike the legislators who voted for E2SSB 6194, you were elected statewide to represent all Washingtonians.

We urge you to be an advocate for the more than one million public schoolchildren who cannot afford dozens of lobbyists in Olympia working on their behalf to ensure their schools are properly funded in a timely fashion. Veto E2SSB 6194, and let the well-off proponents of charters fund those schools, while keeping public money flowing solely to public schools, as our founders intended.


Robert Cruickshank
Northwest Progressive Institute
Andrew Villeneuve
Founder and executive director
Northwest Progressive Institute

Labor movement finally catches a break as Supreme Court deadlocks in Friedrichs case

A right wing attempt to severely weaken public sector unions ended in failure today when the Supreme Court announced in a one-sentence ruling that it would not overturn its 1977 decision allowing such unions to charge non-members agency fees to cover the cost of representing them in collective bargaining negotiations.

Presumably, the remaining members of the court’s right wing bloc (John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy) desired to set a new precedent and overturn the 1977 decision, but were effectively stopped by the progressive bloc (Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer).

With Justice Antonin Scalia no longer on the bench, the right wing bloc lacked the five votes it needed to decide the case in favor of the Republican Party and its right wing allies, who desperately wanted a ruling out of the Court that would greatly weaken unions like the National Education Association (NEA) or AFSCME, which generally support the Democratic Party and progressive causes.

When public sector unions negotiate contracts, they do so on behalf of entire groups of workers, not just those who wish to belong to the union. It is therefore completely appropriate and reasonable that the workers who benefit from those negotiations pay a fair share service fee to the union.

U.S. Senator Patty Murray applauded the outcome, which affirmed a ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals leaving intact the current agency fee system.

“This is good news for workers, unions, families, and the economy,” Murray said. “With the lower court ruling being affirmed by a deadlocked Supreme Court, this latest assault on the ability of teachers, nurses, and other public servants to organize and make their voices heard in the workplace has been beaten back.

“The economy is only truly strong when it is growing from the middle out, not the top down—and unions are key in making that happen. When unions are strong, workers can fight for higher wages, more opportunities, and greater economic security for themselves and their families. Many Republicans are going to keep working to tilt the scales in favor of the biggest corporations and the wealthiest Americans by making it harder for workers to band together and fight to improve and protect their wages and benefits. But as a nation, we should not turn our backs on empowering workers through collective bargaining and making sure that workers have a strong voice at the table—and this decision today upholds that principle.”

“While a deadlocked Supreme Court happened to result in a positive outcome in this case, this is one more reminder that we need a fully functioning Supreme Court to protect the rights of workers, women, and families across the country. Now that the President has nominated Judge Merrick Garland, Senate Republicans should do their jobs by giving him all due consideration, a hearing, and a vote.”

Happy Easter 2016!

Stained glass window depicting Resurrection scene

This stained glass window is in the basilica of the Sacred Heart in Paray-le-Monial. (Photo: Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P.)

If you are observing the Easter holiday today, please accept best wishes from all of us at the Northwest Progressive Institute. May your celebration of Christ’s Resurrection be peaceful and memorable.

And, for your reading pleasure on this joyous Easter Sunday, here is an account of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the Gospel of John (20:1-9):

On the first day of the week,
Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark,
and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them,
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
and we don’t know where they put him.”
So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter
and arrived at the tomb first;
he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.
When Simon Peter arrived after him,
he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there,
and the cloth that had covered his head,
not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
Then the other disciple also went in,
the one who had arrived at the tomb first,
and he saw and believed.
For they did not yet understand the Scripture
that he had to rise from the dead.

This will be President Obama’s last Easter as President. On Friday, the President made the following statement regarding the holiday:

Michelle and I join our fellow Christians in observing Good Friday and celebrating Easter this weekend.

This is a time to remember the sacrifices made for us and hold all who suffer close to our hearts. Yet it is also a time to rejoice, give thanks for the Resurrection, and unite with Christians around the world in proclaiming, “Christ has risen; He has risen indeed.” We wish all who celebrate a blessed and joyful Easter.

The First Family celebrated Easter at the Alfred Street Baptist Chuch this morning, according to the White House pool reporter assigned to accompany the President:

Alfred Street Baptist Church is packed to the brim.

President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Sasha and Malia are here, per White House.

Your pooler estimates 500+ attendees, plus another 100-person chorus clad in red, gold and white robes. Pool entered the church to a rousing song and then prayer.

Pastor greeted First Family, then updated the congregation on the church’s effort to aid citizens of Flint, Mich., saying they’ve sent 15,000 cases of water to affected families.

The White House posted a photo of the First Family singing at the service.

The First Family at Easter services

The First Family at Easter services

The 138th Annual White House Easter Egg Roll will take place this year on Easter Monday, which is tomorrow. More than 35,000 tickets have been issued to people from all fifty states for the event, the White House says.

Notably, the winning artwork for this year’s Easter Egg Roll comes from NPIs hometown of Redmond, Washington. Per the White House:

Felicity Ng is a 10-year-old in 4th grade at Audubon Elementary School in Redmond, Washington. Her artwork was chosen as the 2016 Easter Egg Roll Program Cover. Felicity enjoys drawing, writing, and playing piano, and wanted to create a patriotic egg design to commemorate President and Mrs. Obama’s final Easter Egg Roll.

Congratulations, Felicity! What an honor.

NPI boardmembers reflect on their 2016 Democratic presidential caucus experiences

Editor’s Note: Although NPI is not affiliated with a political party, does not endorse candidates, and does not engage in electioneering for or against any candidate, NPI’s leaders are involved in Democratic politics as individuals, and participated in this morning’s Washington presidential precinct caucuses.

As our boardmembers each reside in a different precinct in the Puget Sound area, we asked them to share a few words about their caucus experience. The commentary and reporting that follows reflects the personal views of each individual member of the board, and not NPI as a whole. 

NPI Director Gael Tarleton, reporting from SEA 36-2511:

What a great morning! I walked into North Beach Elementary at 9:20 am, and precincts were divided into two large spaces. By 9:45 it was standing room only in the gym, so my precinct and 2 others were designated to relocate to the school library.

Turnout was astonishing – hundreds of people, maybe as many as 700? I didn’t have time to go into every single one of the caucus areas but estimated about 300-350 in the gym.

It was so fun – fifty-nine people of all ages caucused in my precinct. Some brought their kids or grandkids. Some were long-time residents and some had just moved to Seattle from other states. Mona McPhee, our PCO/Caucus Chair, did not arrive until 10:20 AM. The group had elected me to serve as Caucus Chair in case she didn’t show. But she did make it, and did a fantastic job running the caucus. I was appointed Precinct Secretary to take the official minutes. Three others volunteered to do ballot counting and tallying of delegates.

Then we did speeches. Bernie supporters split up their 3 minutes comments between two speakers. A total of 6 people spoke for Hillary (very economical use of words!).

No one changed their preferred candidate after the speeches, so the original vote count stood: 33 for Hillary at 56 percent, 26 for Bernie at 44 percent, none uncommitted.

The caucuses quickly selected their delegates and alternates – 3 delegates for Hillary, 1 delegate for Bernie. A few of our caucus goers did not agree with the formula being used to allocate our 4 delegates‎. We did all the tallying and allocation decisions in front of the caucus.

Before we adjourned, one of the delegates asked that we all commit to voting for the Democratic Party nominee. She said, Please don’t decide to not vote if your choice is not the nominee. We are Democrats and we must vote. This election may decide the fate of our democracy and everyone needs to vote. We all applauded and said “Yes”!

We adjourned at 11:22 AM.

Many thanks to the 36th District Democratic volunteers who ran the North Beach Caucuses! It’s a lot of work and things went smoothly, especially in light of the huge turnout.

NPI President Robert Cruickshank, reporting from SEA 36-2520:

It was clear from the first caucusgoers to show up to our precinct meeting at Whitman Middle School in Northwest Seattle that Bernie was going to have a big day, and that’s how it turned out. The final count in our precinct was 59 votes for Bernie and 15 for Hillary, which produced a 5-1 split among our precinct’s delegates.

As we got the caucus under way, State Representative Noel Frame – celebrating her birthday today by chairing her precinct’s caucus – led the entire room in a rousing chant of “this is what democracy looks like!” and urged participants to continue the fight for progressive values in downballot races.

She got a very positive reception to that important message.

We had a revealing moment at our precinct caucus. There was one vote for “uncommitted,” and she took her 3 minutes to ask supporters of both candidates if they would commit to voting for the Democratic presidential candidate in November – even if that candidate wasn’t the one they supported today. Every single one of the precinct caucus participants raised their hands.

Despite Republican hopes, our party will be united to stop whichever extremist the GOP nominates for president this year.

NPI Director Mario Brown, reporting from Edmonds 40:

My precinct, Edmonds 40, had 57 total ballots. I assigned a tally clerk and Secretary. My neighbors were there early and en masse. We could not all fit in the hall for the 10 AM introductory speech.

I was asked to give the donation pitch. I asked who was ready for Hillary and got applause and the I asked with was feeling the Bern and got thunderous applause.

Then we broke into our precincts and I collected all the forms.

We did a count and told the group the results, people continued to come in before the final count and we are very proud to say the we counted every vote. We did allow speeches while the count was being done, but no one switched. ‎

In the end, we had 5 delegates and Bernie got 4 and Hillary got 1. Everyone left feeling heard and included and ready do more.

NPI Treasurer Essie Hicks, reporting from ISS 05-2806:

I have been preparing for the Issaquah Middle School Area Caucus for several months because I was helping to run it with my good friend Ava Frisinger, who has led several caucuses. I had the support of great people in the 5th Legislative District, who met frequently to train each other on how to successfully run a caucus, and familiarize ourselves with all of the forms. I loved meeting new friends along this learning process and talking with Hillary and Bernie supporters.

My morning started at 7 AM. I packed my car full of all my supplies, equipment, and double checked my checklist. I showed up as early as Issaquah Middle School would allow me to, and started setting up a sign in desk outside, a whiteboard with suggestions, political materials, and started putting volunteer buttons on early arrivals.

I was so grateful to get so many willing and helping hands. We all set up the tables, precinct signs, and technology together and before I knew it the room was full of people trying to find their precinct.

Websites were down, people were milling around with their smartphones, the Information Desk was full, and we were all working together to help each other. Everyone was helping.

I was so happy to meet people who were just observing. They were not eligible to vote. They just wanted to be there and see how it happened. They were just happy to help.

Some people came too late, and that made me really sad, because I could see how much they really wanted to participate.

We successfully closed our caucus and stayed later with precincts who needed extra help. We discussed resolutions and cleaned up together. People helped me pack my van, and many volunteers stayed with me until every single thing was done. After the car was packed, I drove to Carnation where 5th District Caucus leaders kept rolling.

We unpacked all of our gear and our district leaders had everything laid out so we could sort through everything, tally our results and get them into the State Party. Our little band of 5th Legislative District volunteers is clearly growing. One of the precinct leaders who we had to call to ask a question of, said, “Well, if you have a question, and I can help, I’ll just come down there.” She stayed until 10:30 PM tonight. It is now 11:55 PM, and I’m now ending my night with this little story about my 2016 Caucus experience which I will never forget.

Thank you to all of the Democrats of the twenty-five Issaquah Precincts which Ava Frisinger and I had the pleasure of leading through a successful Caucus. I hope to see all of you in the next four years or so. Thank you for helping each other, helping me, and making this a great experience. We are electing a Democrat in 2016.

NPI Director Ralph Gorin, reporting from Meander:

In my area, big crowd. We filled the middle school cafeteria and gym.

In my precinct there were 21 participants (counting surrogate forms).
15 for Hillary, 6 for Bernie. 2 delegates for Hillary, one for
Bernie. My precinct adjourned at 11:20 AM.

In my area, the statistics were reversed compared to my precinct:
about 2 to 1, Bernie over Hillary. I stayed to help other precincts and to help with the cleanup. We were done with it all by 1:30 PM.

Lots of people stayed to help.

with more reports to follow.

Bernie Sanders wins Washington’s 2016 Democratic presidential precinct caucuses

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders will likely wind up with a commanding victory over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington’s 2016 Democratic presidential precinct caucuses, early results suggest.

Washington Democratic Caucuses — Preliminary Results
Saturday, March 26th, 2016

Candidate Percentage Legislative Delegates National Delegates
Bernie Sanders 74.7% 5,536 (so far) 18 (est)
Hillary Clinton 25.1% 1,931 (so far) 5 (est)

The state party has an official results page powered by the Associated Press.

“Washington, thank you for your huge support! It is hard for anybody to deny that our campaign has the momentum,” the Sanders campaign tweeted.

The Clinton campaign has not yet reacted to the mass media’s projections that Sanders will win Washington (as well as Alaska), but earlier today, it was urging supporters in those states plus Hawaii to turn out for Hillary.

Clinton’s campaign anticipated that Sanders could do well in Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii, which are all caucus states.

Wisconsin and Wyoming will be the next states to hold nominating contests, on Tuesday, April 5th, and Saturday, April 9th.

After that, the race shifts to the Atlantic seaboard, with contests in New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.

Congratulations to Bernie Sanders on his impressive victory in Washington State, and kudos to everyone who had a hand in making Washington’s Democratic presidential precinct caucuses happen this morning.

LIVE from Safeco Field: Bernie Sanders returns to Seattle for final rally on caucus eve

Good evening from Safeco Field! It’s a beautiful spring evening here in Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood, where Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is making his final Evergreen State appearance ahead of Washington’s 2016 Democratic precinct caucuses. Sanders is hoping for a big victory in Washington to demonstrate that Hillary Clinton doesn’t have the nomination locked up yet.

Sanders greets the crowd with fresh humor, saying he had dreamed of standing at home plate in a Major League Baseball stadium as a child, but thought he would be at bat rather than giving a speech.

After thanking supporters for the massive turnout, Sanders announces that he foresees the momentum from a victory in Washington translating to subsequent wins in California and Oregon.

In his now famous call-and-repeat about the average donation of $27, Sanders announces that his campaign has now received over 6 million individual donations, a new record for American political campaigns. Reminding voters that Hillary Clinton’s campaign relies heavily on super PAC spending, Sanders calls for his Democratic primary opponent to release the transcripts from her paid speeches to large corporations and Wall Street banks.

Sanders congratulates the City of Seattle for passing a $15 an hour minimum wage, and calls on the nation as a whole to follow suit. Without noting last years ballot measure in Seattle, the candidate also calls for public campaign financing nationwide.

The stump speech takes a somber tone as Sanders shifts from wealth inequality to discriminatory policing, calling for demilitarization of police departments and prosecution of officers who break the law. He announces legislation that he has introduced to remove cannabis from its current status as a schedule I controlled substance.

“They deserve the whole damn dollar!” Sanders declares in reference to the fact that women still make only 79 cents on the dollar compared with their male counterparts.

Emphasizing the importance of infrastructure investment, Sanders notes that Flint is just one of many cities where Americans are being forced to endure conditions that make aspects of the standard of living (i.e water source) in the world’s most prosperous nation comparable to third world countries.

Reminding the crowd of a time before women had the right to vote, before same-sex couples had the right to marry, Sanders declares that there will always be those who say “think smaller.” Despite his detractors within his own party, Sanders doubles down on the importance of taking on the insurance lobby to establish a single payer health care system, and establishing a $15 an hour federal minimum wage.

“Real change comes from the bottom up… when millions of people come together and say ‘enough’ with the status quo… if we stand together, there is nothing we cannot accomplish!”

In closing, Sanders declares that with a high voter turnout, his campaign will secure a win in Washington on the way to the Democratic nomination.


Bernie Sanders is coming back to Seattle… and he wants you to help him fill Safeco Field

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is headed back to Seattle for what promises to be one of the biggest political rallies of all time in the history of the Pacific Northwest and the United States.

Sanders will attempt to fill the Seattle Mariners’ home stadium of Safeco Field with tens of thousands of supporters for a massive free rally that will take place on Good Friday, on the eve of Washington State’s 2016 Democratic presidential precinct caucuses. Here is the campaign’s guidance for the event:

Join Bernie Sanders for a rally in Seattle, Washington.

Friday, March 25th, 2016
Safeco Field

1250 1st Ave South
Seattle, WA 98134
Doors open at 4 PM

This event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required, but RSVPs are strongly encouraged. Admission is first come, first served.

For security reasons, please do not bring bags and limit what you bring to small, personal items like keys and cell phones. Weapons, sharp objects, chairs, and signs or banners on sticks will not be allowed through security. Parking is available at the Safeco Field Garage and CenturyLink Event Center Garage for a fee.

Public Transportation: Light Rail stop is on Central Link line stadium station stop. Sounder line is King Street Station stop.

You may RSVP for the Safeco Field rally here.

As the campaign notes, Safeco Field is well served by transit. Take advantage of Sound Transit’s Link light rail or Sounder commuter rail to get to this rally. Or make use of a Metro or Sound Transit route that serves the International District. (For example, the 550 connects Bellevue to downtown Seattle using bus ramps that allow the buses to drive directly off the expressway into the Transit Tunnel.)

NPI will offer live coverage of the rally on Friday evening.

Be aware that that the Secret Service and law enforcement have had difficulty effectively and efficiently moving people through security checkpoints at recent local events for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. If you want to be assured of getting in and getting a good seat, arrive early and be prepared to wait a while.

A few tips:

  • Dress in layers so you’ll be comfortable no matter the weather.
  • Travel light. Don’t bring a lot of gear. It’ll slow you down.
  • Bring a paperback novel to read.
  • Go with friends so you’ll have company to talk to while waiting in line.
  • Hydrate before showing up to wait in line at Safeco.
  • Load up some tunes or podcasts on your smartphone or music player to listen to while you’re waiting to get in.

If you’d rather not fight the crowds, you can follow along with us here on the Cascadia Advocate and on In Brief, as well as watch a livestream.

Also, for those on the other side of the mountains: Bernie Sanders will be coming to Yakima for a rally on Thursday afternoon. Doors open at 4 PM.

Thursday, March 24th, 2016
Yakima Valley SunDome at State Fair Park
1301 S. Fair Park Avenue
Yakima, WA 98901

You may RSVP for the Yakima event here.

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