NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, March 21st, 2023

NPI’s bill to scrap Tim Eyman’s push polls advances to the House Rules Committee

NPI’s leg­is­la­tion to make it eas­i­er to vote in Wash­ing­ton by abol­ish­ing Tim Eyman’s advi­so­ry votes push polls has cleared anoth­er leg­isla­tive hurdle.

By a vote of 4–3, with Democ­rats in favor and Repub­li­cans opposed, the House State Gov­ern­ment Com­mit­tee gave Sen­ate Bill 5082 a “do pass” rec­om­men­da­tion, send­ing it up to the House Rules Com­mit­tee for fur­ther consideration.

Prime spon­sored by Sen­a­tor Pat­ty Kud­er­er, D‑48th Dis­trict (Red­mond, Kirk­land, Belle­vue, Med­i­na, the Points com­mu­ni­ties) SB 5082 would spare Wash­ing­ton vot­ers from hav­ing any more of their valu­able tax dol­lars spent on anti-tax ads dressed up to look like real bal­lot mea­sures, but which have no effect on state fis­cal pol­i­cy and are loaded with prej­u­di­cial, inflam­ma­to­ry wording.

5082 replaces what are real­ly push polls with a reg­u­lar­ly updat­ed online pre­sen­ta­tion con­tain­ing accu­rate, use­ful infor­ma­tion about the Leg­is­la­ture’s fis­cal deci­sions, acces­si­ble from the voter’s pam­phlet via a quick response (QR) code, a web address (URL), and a tele­phone number.

A bipar­ti­san major­i­ty of the Wash­ing­ton State Sen­ate sent the bill over to the House last month. It then received a hear­ing on March 10th, at which NPI and many oth­er orga­ni­za­tions that work on vot­ing jus­tice spoke in favor of it.

Today, the bill took anoth­er crit­i­cal step for­ward on its jour­ney towards hope­ful­ly becom­ing the law of the land of the State of Washington.

The roll call on the bill in House State Gov­ern­ment was as follows:

Sup­port­ing a “do pass” rec­om­men­da­tion: Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Bill Ramos (Chair), Chris Stearns (Vice Chair), Mia Gregerson, Sharlett Mena

Offer­ing a “do not pass” rec­om­men­da­tion: Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Peter Abbarno (Rank­ing Mem­ber), Leonard Christian

With­out rec­om­men­da­tion: Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Sam Low

Repub­li­cans pro­posed a slew of amend­ments seek­ing to gut the bill and save Eyman’s “advi­so­ry votes” — at least in some form. The com­mit­tee reject­ed all of the Repub­li­can amend­ments and kept the bill that passed the Sen­ate intact, pre­serv­ing its intent and pro­vi­sions, which our team deeply appreciates.

Dur­ing the debate over the bill, Repub­li­cans Peter Abbarno, Leonard Chris­t­ian, and Sam Low spoke repeat­ed­ly of try­ing to fix prob­lems with “advi­so­ry votes” that were iden­ti­fied in tes­ti­mo­ny with their amendments.

But “advi­so­ry votes” can’t be fixed. They are con­cep­tu­al­ly flawed.

The bal­lot is the mech­a­nism by which we make the impor­tant deci­sions about who rep­re­sents us and what laws or plan of gov­ern­ment we should have. It’s sim­ply not an appro­pri­ate place for adver­tis­ing or polling of any kind.

That’s why SB 5082 does­n’t both­er with try­ing to save Eyman’s push polls. Instead, it gets rid of them because they don’t belong there.

Imag­ine if Democ­rats fol­lowed the prece­dent of I‑960 and vot­ed into law their own crop of auto­mat­i­cal­ly-trig­gered “advi­so­ry votes.” For instance, an advi­so­ry vote could be trig­gered every time a bill was passed that affect­ed repro­duc­tive rights, ask­ing if the law should be approved or dis­ap­proved, and pre­scrib­ing a loaded ques­tion that invit­ed vot­ers to vote “Approved” on the Demo­c­ra­t­ic bills.

Repub­li­cans would be fierce­ly opposed. No question.

Giv­en an oppor­tu­ni­ty to save mil­lions of tax dol­lars and elim­i­nate some­thing that is def­i­nite­ly not a core func­tion of gov­ern­ment, three House Repub­li­cans said no today. Because it turns out that as far as they’re con­cerned, wast­ing tax dol­lars is a‑okay if that waste is ben­e­fit­ing a right wing, anti-tax agenda.

Abbarno, Low, and Chris­t­ian also kept bring­ing up how Ini­tia­tive 960 (the Eyman ini­tia­tive that orig­i­nal­ly cre­at­ed “advi­so­ry votes”) was approved by vot­ers and is there­fore sacro­sanct. They seemed not to appre­ci­ate the irony that they them­selves were seek­ing to dras­ti­cal­ly change I‑960 through their amendments.

For instance, one of their ideas was to roll “advi­so­ry votes” into a sin­gle bal­lot item — one com­bined big piece of anti-tax pro­pa­gan­da. Anoth­er pro­pos­al spec­i­fied that leg­isla­tive lead­ers should decide when an “advi­so­ry vote” goes on the bal­lot. There’s no way Tim Eyman would sup­port a bill mak­ing such changes. He would say it was a betray­al of what the vot­ers vot­ed for with I‑960.

But it’s the Leg­is­la­ture’s job to reg­u­lar­ly update our laws — includ­ing the laws the peo­ple passed through the ini­tia­tive process — to make sure that Wash­ing­ton is well served by them. If a law turns out to not be in the pub­lic inter­est, the Leg­is­la­ture has a duty to take action. That’s why we have a Legislature.

NPI has four years of statewide and local polling show­ing that vot­ers who have an opin­ion want “advi­so­ry votes” repealed — and we made sure to ask a neu­tral ques­tion so we could find out what peo­ple real­ly think about them. So we can say with con­fi­dence that vot­ers are enthused about get­ting Sen­ate Bill 5082 passed.

Not many peo­ple know that for sev­er­al years after I‑960 was passed (it appeared in the bal­lot of Novem­ber of 2007), there were no “advi­so­ry votes”. Our then statewide Repub­li­can elect­ed offi­cials Sam Reed and Rob McKen­na and their staffs for­got to imple­ment that pro­vi­sion of I‑960 and nobody flagged their mistake.

Let me reit­er­ate: The first Eyman push polls did­n’t appear on the bal­lot until 2012, because no one — not even Tim Eyman — remem­bered that they existed.

Nobody missed “advi­so­ry votes” when they weren’t on the bal­lot in 2008, 2009, 2010, or 2011. Sim­i­lar­ly, with the excep­tion of right wing oper­a­tives like Tim Eyman and Eyman’s fans, nobody is going to miss them after they’re repealed.

Tuesday, March 21st, 2023

Two-thirds of Washington voters support barring gender-based price discrimination

Youth-cham­pi­oned leg­is­la­tion in Olympia that would pro­hib­it gen­der-based price dis­crim­i­na­tion is extreme­ly pop­u­lar with Wash­ing­ton vot­ers, the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute’s most recent statewide sur­vey has found.

67% of 874 like­ly vot­ers inter­viewed ear­li­er this month by Pub­lic Pol­i­cy Polling voiced sup­port for pro­hibit­ing peo­ple or busi­ness­es “from charg­ing dif­fer­ent prices for two sub­stan­tial­ly sim­i­lar goods based on the gen­der of the per­sons to whom the goods are mar­ket­ed,” which is what Sen­ate Bill 5171 would do if enact­ed. 59% were strong­ly sup­port­ive and anoth­er 8% were some­what supportive.

22% said they were opposed to the idea, while 11% said they were not sure.

SB 5171 passed the Wash­ing­ton State Sen­ate on March 7th by a vote of 27 to 21. It is being heard this after­noon in the House Com­mit­tee on Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion & Busi­ness. To advance, it must be report­ed out with a “do pass” rec­om­men­da­tion before the cut-off on Wednes­day, March 29th.

Prime-spon­sored by Sen­a­tor Man­ka Dhin­gra, the bill is notable for being youth-orga­nized. Stu­dents from Lake Wash­ing­ton High School in Kirk­land brought the leg­is­la­tion to Sen­a­tor Dhin­gra, who made it one of her 2023 pri­or­i­ties. A com­pan­ion bill was intro­duced by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Sharlett Mena in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives and had a hear­ing in late Jan­u­ary, but did not advance.

Here’s the text of the ques­tion we asked and the respons­es we received:

QUESTION: Do you strong­ly sup­port, some­what sup­port, some­what oppose, or strong­ly oppose pass­ing a law that pro­hibits busi­ness­es from charg­ing dif­fer­ent prices for any two goods that are sub­stan­tial­ly sim­i­lar based on gender?


  • Sup­port: 67% 
    • Strong­ly sup­port: 59%
    • Some­what sup­port: 8%
  • Oppose: 22%
    • Some­what oppose: 6%
    • Strong­ly oppose: 16%
  • Not sure: 11%

Our sur­vey of 874 like­ly 2024 Wash­ing­ton State vot­ers was in the field from Tues­day, March 7th through Wednes­day, March 8th, 2023.

The poll uti­lizes a blend­ed method­ol­o­gy, with auto­mat­ed phone calls to land­lines (50%) and online answers from cell phone only respon­dents (50%).

It was con­duct­ed by Pub­lic Pol­i­cy Polling for the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute, and has a mar­gin of error of +/- 3.3% at the 95% con­fi­dence interval.

With a sup­port to oppo­si­tion ratio of over 3:1, this is leg­is­la­tion that ought to have bipar­ti­san sup­port. How­ev­er, Repub­li­cans uni­form­ly opposed the bill on the floor of the Wash­ing­ton State Sen­ate, which is dis­ap­point­ing.

It might inter­est them and their House col­leagues to know that a plu­ral­i­ty of Repub­li­can vot­ers sup­port bar­ring gen­der-based price discrimination.

Specif­i­cal­ly, 41% of Repub­li­can vot­ers Pub­lic Pol­i­cy Polling inter­viewed for us said they sup­port­ed pro­hibit­ing busi­ness­es from charg­ing dif­fer­ent prices for any two goods that are sub­stan­tial­ly sim­i­lar based on gen­der. 38% said they were opposed and 21% were not sure. That’s sig­nif­i­cant. Inde­pen­dent vot­ers were also very enthu­si­as­tic, with 59% of them express­ing sup­port for the bill along with 87% of Demo­c­ra­t­ic vot­ers (80% strong­ly sup­port­ive, 7% somewhat).

Every region of the state is like­wise sup­port­ive, even Repub­li­can-ori­ent­ed East­ern and Cen­tral Wash­ing­ton, where sup­port totals 54%.

The Wash­ing­ton Retail Asso­ci­a­tion regret­tably oppos­es SB 5171 and plans to tes­ti­fy against the bill today. The Wash­ing­ton Food Indus­try Asso­ci­a­tion, which pre­vi­ous­ly signed in against the bill, has signed in as “Oth­er” for today’s House hear­ing. The North­west Gro­cery Asso­ci­a­tion and Wal­greens are also opposed.

Join­ing the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute and Lake Wash­ing­ton High stu­dents in sup­port­ing the bill are Attor­ney Gen­er­al Bob Fer­gu­son’s office, the Asso­ci­a­tion of Wash­ing­ton Assis­tant Attor­neys Gen­er­al (AWAAG), the Wash­ing­ton State Asso­ci­a­tion for Jus­tice, Planned Par­ent­hood Alliance Advo­cates, Statewide Pover­ty Action Net­work, Hopelink, and the ACLU of Wash­ing­ton State.

Hope­ful­ly, the House will give this sen­si­ble leg­is­la­tion the oppor­tu­ni­ty to be con­sid­ered on the floor and pre­sent­ed to Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee for his sig­na­ture. As far as most vot­ers are con­cerned, SB 5171 ought to be the law of the land already.

Monday, March 20th, 2023

Maria Cantwell has a fifteen point lead over hypothetical opponent Jaime Herrera Beutler

Next year, Demo­c­ra­t­ic Unit­ed States Sen­a­tor Maria Cantwell of Wash­ing­ton will be run­ning for a fifth term as one of the Ever­green State’s two votes and voic­es in the world’s most delib­er­a­tive body. Nation­al and state Repub­li­cans haven’t yet recruit­ed an oppo­nent for Cantwell yet, but NPI’s polling this month finds that if that oppo­nent were for­mer Unit­ed States Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jaime Her­rera Beut­ler, a col­league of Cantwell’s for over a decade, Cantwell would win very eas­i­ly, which sug­gests that Wash­ing­ton will not be a Sen­ate bat­tle­ground state in 2024.

Asked whether they would pre­fer Cantwell or Her­rera Beut­ler if the 2024 U.S. Sen­ate elec­tion were being held now, 50% of 874 like­ly 2024 Wash­ing­ton vot­ers picked Cantwell, while 35% picked Her­rera Beut­ler. Anoth­er 14% were not sure.

Visualization of NPI's March 2023 U.S. Senate poll finding

Visu­al­iza­tion of NPI’s March 2023 U.S. Sen­ate poll find­ing (NPI graphic)

Her­rera Beut­ler’s per­cent­age exact­ly match­es the per­cent­age of vot­ers who said they would vote for Repub­li­can Bruce Dammeier if he were a can­di­date for gov­er­nor. (Dammeier is not run­ning and has absolute­ly no inten­tion of run­ning, a posi­tion he made clear to The Seat­tle Times’ Jim Brun­ner last Fri­day.)

35% is also very sim­i­lar to the per­cent­age we found Repub­li­can Susan Hutchi­son at around five months before the 2018 midterms, the last time that Cantwell was up. Cantwell went on to win by about that same mar­gin, with Democ­rats also cap­tur­ing the 8th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict for the first time with Kim Schri­er that year. (Schri­er was reelect­ed in 2020 and 2022.)

Her­rera Beut­ler, forty-four, was a mem­ber of Wash­ing­ton’s fed­er­al con­gres­sion­al del­e­ga­tion, rep­re­sent­ing the 3rd Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict (South­west Wash­ing­ton) from 2011 until the begin­ning of this year. She was oust­ed in the August 2022 Top Two elec­tion by Repub­li­can vot­ers angry with her vote to impeach Don­ald Trump for incit­ing the Jan­u­ary 6th insur­rec­tion against the Unit­ed States.

The 3rd is now rep­re­sent­ed by Con­gress­woman Marie Glue­senkamp Perez (D), who defeat­ed mil­i­tant extrem­ist Joe Kent in the gen­er­al elec­tion by less than 3,000 votes, in one of the most impor­tant elec­toral vic­to­ries in state history.

Her­rera Beut­ler is said to be pon­der­ing run­ning for her old seat, but she’s also being talked about as a can­di­date for high­er office in Repub­li­can circles.

How­ev­er, our research sug­gests she would not be a for­mi­da­ble oppo­nent for Maria Cantwell. In our polling, since 2016, 35% — 37% is basi­cal­ly the floor for a Repub­li­can statewide can­di­date in a con­test for a major statewide office in Wash­ing­ton. In oth­er words, it’s approx­i­mate­ly what any Repub­li­can can get, whether that Repub­li­can is Don­ald Trump or some­body else. If Her­rera Beut­ler were a com­pelling can­di­date, she’d poll high­er than the mid-thir­ties. But she doesn’t.

All the more rea­son for her to take a pass on this race.

Here’s the ques­tion we asked and the answers we received:

QUESTION: If the 2024 gen­er­al elec­tion for Unit­ed States Sen­ate were being held today and the can­di­dates were Demo­c­rat Maria Cantwell and Repub­li­can Jaime Her­rera Beut­ler, who would you vote for?


  • Maria Cantwell (D): 50%
  • Jaime Her­rera Beut­ler (R): 35%
  • Not sure: 14%

Our sur­vey of 874 like­ly 2024 Wash­ing­ton State vot­ers was in the field from Tues­day, March 7th through Wednes­day, March 8th, 2023.

The poll uti­lizes a blend­ed method­ol­o­gy, with auto­mat­ed phone calls to land­lines (50%) and online answers from cell phone only respon­dents (50%).

It was con­duct­ed by Pub­lic Pol­i­cy Polling (PPP) for the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute, and has a mar­gin of error of +/- 3.3% at the 95% con­fi­dence interval.

Cantwell has the sup­port of about nine of ten Demo­c­ra­t­ic vot­ers, 7% of Repub­li­can vot­ers, and 36% of inde­pen­dent voters.

Her­rera Beut­ler has the sup­port of a lit­tle over eight out of ten Repub­li­can vot­ers, 4% of Demo­c­ra­t­ic vot­ers, and 37% of inde­pen­dents. 27% of inde­pen­dents are not sure, ver­sus 10% of Repub­li­cans and 7% of Demo­c­ra­t­ic voters.

Cantwell leads Her­rera Beut­ler in every region of the state except for East­ern and Cen­tral Wash­ing­ton, where Her­rera Beut­ler has 52% and Cantwell has 38%. King Coun­ty vot­ers are enthu­si­as­tic about Cantwell, with 64% of them ready to sup­port Cantwell’s reelec­tion and only 21% sup­port­ing Her­rera Beutler.

The 2024 Unit­ed States Sen­ate map is tough for Democ­rats. The par­ty has twen­ty seats to defend, while Repub­li­cans have only eleven. That means Democ­rats will be most­ly focused on defense. They can­not afford to lose more than one Sen­ate seat unless they also gain a seat from the Republicans.

Demo­c­ra­t­ic or inde­pen­dent-held seats Repub­li­cans are expect­ed to target:

  • Mon­tana (Sen­a­tor Jon Tester is up)
  • Michi­gan (Sen­a­tor Deb­bie Stabenow is retiring)
  • West Vir­ginia (Sen­a­tor Joe Manchin is up)
  • Ari­zona (Sen­a­tor Kyrsten Sine­ma is up, and Democ­rats have already begun aban­don­ing her in favor of Ruben Gallego)
  • Neva­da (Sen­a­tor Jacky Rosen is up)
  • Ohio (Sen­a­tor Sher­rod Brown is up)
  • Wis­con­sin (Sen­a­tor Tam­my Bald­win is up)

Wash­ing­ton is cur­rent­ly rat­ed “Sol­id D” by Cook, Rothen­berg, and Sabato.

Giv­en the oppor­tu­ni­ties for Repub­li­cans else­where, they’re unlike­ly to expend much mon­ey or effort in Wash­ing­ton State, espe­cial­ly after Tiffany Smi­ley’s dis­ap­point­ing per­for­mance in the 2022 midterms.

Sunday, March 19th, 2023

Last Week In Congress: How Cascadia’s U.S. lawmakers voted (March 13th-17th)

Good morn­ing! Here’s how Cascadia’s Unit­ed States Sen­a­tors vot­ed on major issues dur­ing the leg­isla­tive week end­ing March 17th, 2023.

The House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives was in recess.

In the United States Senate

Chamber of the United States Senate

The Sen­ate cham­ber (U.S. Con­gress photo)

BRENT NEIMAN, ASSISTANT TREASURY SECRETARY: The Sen­ate on March 15th con­firmed the nom­i­na­tion of Brent Neiman to be the Trea­sury Depart­men­t’s Assis­tant Sec­re­tary for Inter­na­tion­al Finance and Devel­op­ment. A for­mer staffer at a Fed­er­al Reserve bank and at the White House Coun­cil of Eco­nom­ic Advis­ers, Neiman is cur­rent­ly an inter­na­tion­al eco­nom­ics pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Chica­go. The vote was 54 yeas to 40 nays.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Yea (2):
Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors Jim Risch and Mike Crapo

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Yea (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Yea (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Maria Cantwell and Pat­ty Murray

Cas­ca­dia total: 6 yea votes

ERIC GARCETTI, AMBASSADOR TO INDIA: The Sen­ate on March 15th con­firmed the nom­i­na­tion of Eric Garcetti to be U.S. ambas­sador to India. Garcetti had been the may­or of Los Ange­les from 2013 to late 2022, and pre­vi­ous­ly was a city coun­cilor for the city and a naval intel­li­gence offi­cer. An oppo­nent, Sen­a­tor Chuck Grass­ley, R‑Iowa, cit­ed “the seri­ous and cred­i­ble alle­ga­tions that he enabled sex­u­al harass­ment and racism to run ram­pant in the Los Ange­les may­or’s office.” The vote was 52 yeas to 42 nays.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Nay (2):
Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors Jim Risch and Mike Crapo

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Yea (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Yea (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Maria Cantwell and Pat­ty Murray

Cas­ca­dia total: 4 yea votes, 2 nay votes

RAVI CHAUDHARY, AIR FORCE ASSISTANT SECRETARY: The Sen­ate has con­firmed the nom­i­na­tion of Ravi Chaud­hary to be the Air Force’s Assis­tant Sec­re­tary for Instal­la­tions, Ener­gy, and the Envi­ron­ment. Chaud­hary was an Air Force pilot and offi­cer from 1993 to 2015; he then became a senior offi­cial at the Fed­er­al Avi­a­tion Admin­is­tra­tion. The vote was 65 yeas to 29 nays.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Nay (2):
Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors Jim Risch and Mike Crapo

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Yea (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Yea (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Maria Cantwell and Pat­ty Murray

Cas­ca­dia total: 4 yea votes, 2 nay votes

JESSICA G.L. CLARKE, U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE: The Sen­ate on March 16th con­firmed the nom­i­na­tion of Jes­si­ca G.L. Clarke to be a judge on the U.S. Dis­trict Court for the South­ern Dis­trict of New York. Clarke has been a civ­il rights lawyer in the New York Attor­ney Gen­er­al’s Office since 2019; she was a civ­il rights lawyer in the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion. A sup­port­er, Sen­ate Major­i­ty Leader Chuck Schumer, D‑N.Y., said Clarke “is a great civ­il rights lawyer, and I am cer­tain she will make an excel­lent mem­ber of the fed­er­al bench.”

The vote was 48 yeas to 43 nays.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Nay (2):
Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors Jim Risch and Mike Crapo

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Yea (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Yea (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Maria Cantwell and Pat­ty Murray

Cas­ca­dia total: 4 yea votes, 2 nay votes

Key votes ahead

The House is slat­ed to take up the “Par­ents Bill of Rights Act” this week, and may also try to over­ride Pres­i­dent Biden’s veto of House Joint Res­o­lu­tion 30.

The Sen­ate will resume con­sid­er­a­tion of S.316, which would repeal the autho­riza­tions for use of mil­i­tary force against Iraq, post-cloture.

Edi­tor’s Note: The infor­ma­tion in NPI’s week­ly How Cas­ca­di­a’s U.S. law­mak­ers vot­ed fea­ture is pro­vid­ed by Tar­get­ed News Ser­vice. All rights are reserved. Repro­duc­tion of this post is not per­mit­ted, not even with attri­bu­tion. Use the per­ma­nent link to this post to share it… thanks!

© 2023 Tar­get­ed News Ser­vice, LLC. 

Saturday, March 18th, 2023

Tim Eyman has quit pitching initiatives and pivoted to lobbying against progressive bills

Late in the morn­ing of Mon­day, Jan­u­ary 2nd, 2023, a curi­ous­ly word­ed email arrived in the mail­box­es of thou­sands of Wash­ing­to­ni­ans from Tim Eyman, who needs no intro­duc­tion to reg­u­lar read­ers of The Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate, but who could be described very sim­ply as one of Wash­ing­ton’s best-known right wing politi­cians for those new to or unfa­mil­iar with Ever­green State politics.

The email declared that Eyman had been cut off from all of his old address­es and that there was only one email address he could now be reached at, asso­ci­at­ed with the web­site set up for his legal defense fund,

“You can text / email me any­time at: [num­ber redact­ed] but when it comes to email, send­ing email to [redacted], [redacted], [redacted], [redacted], or oth­ers means I’ll nev­er get it. Yes, it’s a pain in the arse, but it is what it is,” Eyman wrote.

He did not elab­o­rate fur­ther or explain what had caused him to lose access to his Google, Yahoo, Pro­ton, and Com­cast accounts simul­ta­ne­ous­ly.

Tim Eyman, account restricted

Tim Eyman also claimed his social net­work­ing accounts had been locked, and base­less­ly spec­u­lat­ed that Attor­ney Gen­er­al Bob Fer­gu­son was to blame (Image from Tim Eyman email)

NPI looked for evi­dence of a court order or oth­er action that might explain what Eyman could pos­si­bly be refer­ring to by imply­ing that his email accounts had all been tak­en away from him, but we found noth­ing. Noth­ing at all.

There were a few oth­er inter­est­ing aspects of Eyman’s first mis­sive of 2023.

One was that this mes­sage came from a dif­fer­ent MailChimp account than the one he had been using to send his pre­vi­ous mass emails.

Anoth­er was that the mes­sage lacked a pitch for dona­tions to Eyman’s polit­i­cal com­mit­tee, Per­ma­nent Offense, which is now sup­pos­ed­ly under the juris­dic­tion of two friends of Eyman named Lar­ry Jensen and Sid Maietto.

Up until Christ­mas­time 2022, when Eyman sent his final email of the year ask­ing for mon­ey, his mis­sives had includ­ed stan­dard ver­biage from “Lar­ry & Sid” ask­ing for mon­ey for Per­ma­nent Offense. The text of that bit was:

We’re ask­ing folks to donate to our PAC so we can keep fight­ing for tax­pay­ers with Jim Wal­sh’s ini­tia­tive I‑1491, the stop all income tax­es ini­tia­tive.

The tax­pay­ers of Wash­ing­ton need our help now more than ever. Donate to our polit­i­cal com­mit­tee so we can keep fight­ing for you:

Mail your check — made payable to “Per­ma­nent Offense I‑1491” — to: Per­ma­nent Offense, PO Box 6151, Olympia, WA, 98507
Or donate online:

Kind­est Regards,

Sid Mai­et­to & Lar­ry Jensen

Begin­ning Jan­u­ary 2nd, this appeal dis­ap­peared (Jim Wal­sh’s I‑1491 failed to qual­i­fy, hav­ing nev­er got­ten off the ground) and so did the Donate page on Per­ma­nent Offense’s web­site. If you go there, you’ll get a Page Not Found error because it has been tak­en offline. Yes, that’s right: tak­en offline!

What’s more, Per­ma­nent Offense has­n’t report­ed a sin­gle con­tri­bu­tion or expen­di­ture for all of 2023. The PDC’s web­site rolled the com­mit­tee’s reg­is­tra­tion over into 2023, but no reports have been filed this year.

The com­mit­tee end­ed 2022 with a bal­ance of $25,741.96, accord­ing to its last amend­ed C4 report, which was filed Jan­u­ary 10th, 2023. It is appar­ent­ly now inop­er­a­tive, judg­ing by the take­down of its dona­tion page and the removal of the “Lar­ry & Sid” pitch from Eyman’s emails. Eyman is still fundrais­ing, but only for him­self and his legal defense fund — not for Per­ma­nent Offense.

And unlike in recent years, Eyman isn’t try­ing to pre­tend that’s he’s doing a sig­na­ture dri­ve for a new scheme to defund pub­lic ser­vices or wreck gov­ern­ment despite not hav­ing access to wealthy bene­fac­tors will­ing to restart his ini­tia­tive fac­to­ry. He’s still fil­ing ini­tia­tives by the buck­et­load — in fact, of the sev­en­ty-six ini­tia­tives filed so far this year, a whop­ping six­ty-four are his.

(Eyman likes to file mul­ti­ple sim­i­lar iter­a­tions of a scheme in the hopes of get­ting a good bal­lot title, an abu­sive prac­tice known as bal­lot title shop­ping that needs to be pro­hib­it­ed through the adop­tion of ini­tia­tive reform legislation.)

How­ev­er, Eyman isn’t pitch­ing any of these schemes in pub­lic. Every sin­gle one of his emails going back to the begin­ning of the year has con­cerned either state leg­is­la­tion or pol­i­cy at the local lev­el, like in Camas, Washington.

We have no doubt Eyman would like to return to being an ini­tia­tive pitch­man; his bal­lot title shop­ping demon­strates that he’d rather be try­ing to qual­i­fy some­thing bad to the bal­lot right now than mak­ing trips to Olympia to yell at leg­is­la­tors from the tes­ti­mo­ny table. But he can’t. And he knows he can’t.

Statewide ini­tia­tives require huge resources, and Eyman is broke.

Eyman’s ini­tia­tive fac­to­ry is no longer mere­ly idle, it has com­plete­ly crum­bled to the ground. The sec­ond incar­na­tion of his bud­dies’ cor­rupt peti­tion­ing busi­ness Cit­i­zen Solu­tions (which once han­dled his sig­na­ture dri­ves annu­al­ly) was admin­is­tra­tive­ly dis­solved by the state in 2020, his past wealthy bene­fac­tors have either passed on or aban­doned him, and he is barred by court order from fly­ing solo as a polit­i­cal com­mit­tee offi­cer with no over­sight, as he did for so many years.

Eyman tried run­ning for gov­er­nor in 2020 after he real­ized that I‑976 (his scheme to gut Sound Tran­sit and ruin mul­ti­modal trans­porta­tion infra­struc­ture across Wash­ing­ton) was not going to be imple­ment­ed. But his cam­paign flopped. Vot­ers reject­ed Eyman’s can­di­da­cy and he did­n’t make it out of the Top Two.

Eyman then became a sur­ro­gate for fel­low grifter Loren Culp, who also went on to lose in 2020 along with their mutu­al idol, the insur­rec­tion­ist inciter Don­ald Trump.

After the 2020 cycle, Eyman tried a few times to get his old ini­tia­tive busi­ness rolling again, even mak­ing pub­lic pleas for new wealthy bene­fac­tors to come forth and pro­vide mon­ey for him­self, Lar­ry, and Sid to use in procur­ing sig­na­tures. Those pleas went unan­swered and Eyman’s schemes went nowhere.

After so many years of try­ing the “fake it till you make it” approach to get­ting back into the ini­tia­tives busi­ness, Eyman seems to have giv­en up.

Nei­ther I nor any­one else on our team can recall this much time hav­ing passed where Eyman was­n’t solic­it­ing mon­ey for a cam­paign, be it an ini­tia­tive he want­ed to do or his failed guber­na­to­r­i­al run. Instead of pitch­ing bad right wing stuff, Eyman is busy try­ing to get Repub­li­can PCOs and oth­er right wing activists to oppose leg­is­la­tion they don’t like in Olympia. Here’s a list of the major 2023 bills Eyman has either spo­ken against or urged his fol­low­ers to help him defeat:

  • SB 5082 / HB 1158: This is NPI’s leg­is­la­tion to repeal Eyman’s advi­so­ry votes push polls — the anti-tax pro­pa­gan­da items that auto­mat­i­cal­ly appear on Wash­ing­to­ni­ans’ bal­lots if the Leg­is­la­ture does any­thing to increase rev­enue. SB 5082 received a bipar­ti­san vote in the state Sen­ate and is now mov­ing along in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives (HB 1158 was the com­pan­ion bill). Nat­u­ral­ly, Eyman is furi­ous­ly opposed to it.
  • SB 5723: This is NPI’s leg­is­la­tion to allow cities to move their reg­u­lar­ly sched­uled elec­tions to even years if they want. It’s a new idea that has got­ten a lot of inter­est; Eyman was the only per­son to speak against it. It was not con­sid­ered before cut­off and is now in the Sen­ate Rules “X” file; but it could eas­i­ly be revived in 2024 and select­ed for floor action.
  • SB 5486 / HB 1473: This is the tax on extreme wealth intro­duced by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive My-Linh Thai and Sen­a­tor Noel Frame, cham­pi­oned by EOI, NPI, the Wash­ing­ton Bud­get & Pol­i­cy Cen­ter, and a long list of pro­gres­sive orga­ni­za­tions that want to bal­ance our tax code. Though Eyman is now poor, he absolute­ly despis­es this bill, per­haps part­ly on behalf of the wealthy right wing folk that he wish­es would give him mon­ey but keep ignor­ing him.
  • SB 5284: This is leg­is­la­tion NPI has tes­ti­fied for that would update sec­tions of Wash­ing­ton’s pub­lic dis­clo­sure laws, which are col­lec­tive­ly known as Chap­ter 42.17A RCW. Eyman knows all about this sec­tion of the Revised Code of Wash­ing­ton because he’s been con­vict­ed of seri­ous­ly vio­lat­ing it.
  • HB 1589: This bill would reduce the North­west­’s depen­dence on petro­le­um gas, a dirty fos­sil fuel, by bar­ring large util­i­ties like Puget Sound Ener­gy from accept­ing new res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial gas hookups after June 30th of this year. To man­age the tran­si­tion away from gas for cook­ing and heat­ing, it spec­i­fies a process for merg­ing the rate bases sup­port­ing gas and elec­tric oper­a­tions of a com­bi­na­tion util­i­ty into a sin­gle rate base.
  • HB 1389: This is a ten­ant pro­tec­tion bill that would restrict by how much land­lords can raise rents with­in a giv­en year. Specif­i­cal­ly, the bill pro­hibits, in most cas­es, “a land­lord from increas­ing the rent for a ten­an­cy sub­ject to the Res­i­den­tial Land­lord-Ten­ant Act or the Manufactured/Mobile Home Land­lord-Ten­ant Act dur­ing any 12-month peri­od in an amount greater than the rate of infla­tion as mea­sured by the Con­sumer Price Index or 3 per­cent, whichev­er is greater, up to a max­i­mum of 7 per­cent above the exist­ing rent.”
  • HB 1333: This bill would have cre­at­ed a thir­teen-mem­ber com­mis­sion on in-coun­try vio­lence extrem­ism. The bill is no longer mov­ing this ses­sion, but right wing blogs and orga­ni­za­tions have been furi­ous­ly lob­by­ing against it for weeks, denounc­ing it in the most absurd and hyber­bol­ic terms, and com­plete­ly dis­tort­ing the scope and pro­vi­sions of the leg­is­la­tion. Eyman decid­ed to join the big pile-on with gusto.
  • HB 1832: Estab­lish­es a vol­un­tary road usage charge (RUC) pro­gram that would become manda­to­ry in 2030. The goal is to replace declin­ing gas tax rev­enues as elec­tric cars replace those with inter­nal com­bus­tion engines and dri­ving decreas­es. Ore­gon has a road usage charge pilot pro­gram already with a few hun­dred active participants.
  • SB 5618: Amends Eyman’s prop­er­ty tax restrict­ing Ini­tia­tive 747 (unwise­ly rein­stat­ed by the Leg­is­la­ture and Gov­er­nor Gre­goire in a one-day spe­cial ses­sion in 2007) to stop the mea­sure from slow­ly chok­ing local gov­ern­ments to death as it has been doing for two decades.
  • HB 1628: This bill would mod­i­fy the real estate excise tax to raise more mon­ey for hous­ing. It advanced out of the Local Gov­ern­ment Com­mit­tee, but did­n’t get act­ed on in Finance. Spon­sored by Frank Chopp, it is sup­port­ed by the Asso­ci­a­tion of Wash­ing­ton Cities, Hous­ing Devel­op­ment Con­sor­tium, and Habi­tat for Humanity.
Tim Eyman testifying remotely

When Tim Eyman tes­ti­fies remote­ly, he often does so with a Zoom back­ground of a pic­ture of him­self, which is just… weird. (Image from a TVW clip that Eyman uploaded)

In years past, Eyman con­fined his tes­ti­fy­ing and lob­by­ing to bills con­cern­ing ini­tia­tives or which sought to raise rev­enue to fund Wash­ing­ton’s essen­tial pub­lic ser­vices. But as you can see from the list above, Eyman has become a sort of jack of all right wing caus­es lob­by­ist, weigh­ing in against rent con­trol, updates to pub­lic dis­clo­sure laws, and attempts to study and mon­i­tor mil­i­tant extremism.

This is like­ly to be his role in state pol­i­tics for what­ev­er is left of his career.

No wealthy per­son has any rea­son to trust Eyman with any sig­nif­i­cant amount of mon­ey and Eyman does­n’t have bud­dies he can fun­nel cash to for a sig­na­ture dri­ve. The Eyman ini­tia­tive error appears to be in the rearview mir­ror, hav­ing last­ed from 1998 until 2018, when Eyman raid­ed his retire­ment fund for one final sig­na­ture dri­ve that yield­ed anoth­er decep­tive ini­tia­tive, I‑976, men­tioned above.

I‑976, which our team was heav­i­ly involved in oppos­ing, was sup­posed to be a “Son of 695,” but it nev­er went into effect. After the Supreme Court struck it down, Democ­rats did not both­er try­ing to rein­state it, demon­strat­ing that at least one impor­tant les­son had been learned from the I‑695 disaster.

Friday, March 17th, 2023

King County Executive Dow Constantine has decided against running for governor in 2024

The top elect­ed offi­cial in Wash­ing­ton State’s largest local juris­dic­tion declared today that he has decid­ed against becom­ing a can­di­date for gov­er­nor in 2024 should incum­bent Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee choose not to seek a fourth term.

King County Executive Dow Constantine

King Coun­ty Exec­u­tive Dow Con­stan­tine (Cam­paign pub­lic­i­ty photo)

Dow Con­stan­tine, six­ty-one, has been King Coun­ty Exec­u­tive since 2009, hand­i­ly win­ning reelec­tion three times (2013, 2017, 2021). He had pre­vi­ous­ly expressed inter­est in run­ning for the state’s top job.

But today, in an email to sup­port­ers, he declared that he won’t be a can­di­date if the posi­tion comes open next year.

“Not infre­quent­ly, peo­ple kind­ly ask whether I would run for Gov­er­nor in 2024 if Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee choos­es not to seek re-elec­tion,” Con­stan­tine said.

“Gov­er­nor is an impor­tant office, and Jay is doing great work, day-in and day-out, for Wash­ing­ton State — and lead­ing the nation on the crit­i­cal issue of climate.”

“While I hope he is will­ing to con­tin­ue, he should be giv­en the grace to make his own deci­sion on his own time­line,” the mes­sage went on to say.

“But I’ve made my deci­sion. Hav­ing giv­en it thor­ough con­sid­er­a­tion, I have con­clud­ed that the answer is no, I would not run. I’m not will­ing to set aside all that we’re achiev­ing right now — the full-time work that I’m pas­sion­ate about — in favor of full-time fundrais­ing and cam­paign­ing. I am grate­ful to serve as Exec­u­tive of one of the nation’s largest, most pro­gres­sive, most inno­v­a­tive juris­dic­tions, and I’m com­mit­ted to see­ing my many local, region­al, and nation­al ini­tia­tives through.
I’m count­ing on your con­tin­ued sup­port to make that possible!”

Con­stan­ti­ne’s announce­ment comes a day after the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute released polling show­ing that Attor­ney Gen­er­al Bob Fer­gu­son, a fel­low Demo­c­rat, has three times as much ear­ly sup­port as either Con­stan­tine or Com­mis­sion­er of Pub­lic Lands Hilary Franz, anoth­er prospec­tive can­di­date. Fer­gu­son received 21% in response to our ques­tion, which asked vot­ers about a pure­ly hypo­thet­i­cal field — one that I not­ed does­n’t exist now and may nev­er exist.

With respect to the four elect­ed offi­cials who appeared in our ques­tion, which respon­dents saw on March 7th and 8th, Fer­gu­son, Franz, Con­stan­tine, and Pierce Coun­ty Exec­u­tive Bruce Dammeier (a Repub­li­can), I wrote: “It is pos­si­ble that some of them won’t run — it’s even pos­si­ble that none of them will run. We don’t know the future and don’t pre­tend to, so I won’t offer any predictions.”

Today’s news demon­strates this point. It’s a cru­cial ear­ly development.

For Democ­rats, it means the intra­mur­al round of the guber­na­to­r­i­al race is more like­ly to be a com­pe­ti­tion between just two major con­tenders (Fer­gu­son and Franz) as opposed to a more com­pli­cat­ed race with three or more cred­i­ble Demo­c­ra­t­ic can­di­dates vying for mon­ey, endorse­ments, and even­tu­al­ly votes.

I not­ed yes­ter­day that our polling “indi­cates that there could be an open­ing for either Franz or Con­stan­tine to wage a com­pet­i­tive cam­paign, par­tic­u­lar­ly if one of them decid­ed to for­go run­ning, result­ing in just two cred­i­ble Democ­rats com­pet­ing for time, tal­ent, trea­sure, and votes in the elim­i­na­tion round.”

(Empha­sis is mine).

Today, Con­stan­tine declared he’s out. That’s a big deal for Hilary Franz. It leaves her as the only major alter­na­tive to Fer­gu­son. Our team thinks she’s now got more of a lane in which to run, again assum­ing that Gov­er­nor Inslee retires… which Con­stan­tine, a four-ter­mer him­self, seems to be hop­ing that he won’t do.

We are like­ly only weeks away from fur­ther devel­op­ments, includ­ing an announce­ment of Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee’s plans.

Friday, March 17th, 2023

Democrats in Washington lost ground with Latino voters despite 2022 wins, data shows

Edi­tor’s Note: Guest con­trib­u­tor Andrew Hong is a data sci­ence stu­dent at Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty and life­long Wash­ing­ton­ian from South Seat­tle. He has pre­vi­ous­ly worked as a cam­paign con­sul­tant, com­mu­ni­ty orga­niz­er, statewide coor­di­na­tor of Redis­trict­ing Jus­tice for Wash­ing­ton, and cur­rent­ly serves as a Research Data Ana­lyst at the Wash­ing­ton Com­mu­ni­ty Alliance Data Hub. Andrew can be reached at this email address with any inquiries. NPI is delight­ed to be able to share his time­ly and well researched elec­toral analy­sis in this guest post. 

One of the biggest polit­i­cal shocks in 2020 was the Lati­no vote shift­ing to the Repub­li­can Par­ty, with some coun­ties in Tex­as­’s Rio Grande Val­ley shift­ing toward Trump by as high as 50%. Wash­ing­ton’s Lati­nos large­ly bucked that trend in 2020. But in 2022, the Lati­no con­ser­v­a­tive wave reached the Ever­green State.

By ana­lyz­ing data from the U.S. Cen­sus Bureau and Sec­re­tary of State’s 2022 elec­tion results by vot­ing precinct, I’ve esti­mat­ed the mag­ni­tude of the Lati­no Repub­li­can shift was well into dou­ble dig­its. I also mod­eled the degree to which this shift came from depressed Lati­no turnout or his­­tor­i­­cal­­ly-Demo­c­ra­t­ic Lati­no vot­ers cross­ing par­ty lines, which I will expand on fur­ther below.

Democ­rats and pro­gres­sives should care deeply about the Lati­no vote. Lati­nos make up the state’s largest minor­i­ty racial group, and are fast grow­ing in Cen­tral Wash­ing­ton where they form majori­ties in mul­ti­ple counties.

For exam­ple, in Yaki­ma Coun­ty, Lati­nos make up a major­i­ty (51%) of the pop­u­la­tion, up from 36% just twen­ty years pri­or. These com­mu­ni­ties have his­tor­i­cal­ly made up a key part of the Wash­ing­ton Democ­rats’ mul­tira­cial elec­toral coali­tion, and as they grow in size, they rep­re­sent Democ­rats’ best oppor­tu­ni­ty to flip red dis­tricts to win leg­isla­tive super­ma­jor­i­ties in Olympia.

On the oth­er hand, if this year’s trend con­tin­ues, work­ing class Lati­no vot­ers — along­side work­ing class Asian, Black, and Lati­no vot­ers in King Coun­ty — could deliv­er a reemer­gence of the Wash­ing­ton State Repub­li­can Party.

Electoral data analysis

The first and most obvi­ous sign of wor­ry for Democ­rats was in a local coun­ty com­mis­sion­er race in Yaki­ma. In 2021, a judge ruled that Yaki­ma Coun­ty vio­lat­ed the Wash­ing­ton Vot­ing Rights Act by bar­ring Lati­no vot­ers’ legal­ly pro­tect­ed abil­i­ty to elect can­di­dates of their choice.

This land­mark deci­sion led to the cre­ation of three coun­ty com­mis­sion dis­tricts — two of which are major­i­­ty-Lati­no dis­tricts that Joe Biden won by dou­ble digits.

Yet in 2022, Democ­rats failed to win a sin­gle district.

In the over­lap­ping, new­­ly-drawn major­i­­ty-Lati­no 15th leg­isla­tive dis­trict, the Demo­c­ra­t­ic can­di­date for state sen­ate only received 32%, down a whop­ping 17% from Biden’s nar­row vic­to­ry in the dis­trict in 2020. While the 15th Dis­trict will like­ly be redrawn by fed­er­al courts next year because it vio­lates the Vot­ing Rights Act by divid­ing minor­i­ty pop­u­la­tions and geo­graph­ic com­mu­ni­ties of inter­est, the vast drop in Demo­c­ra­t­ic sup­port in this dis­trict spells trouble.

These trends extend­ed to statewide races, although to a less­er degree.

For exam­ple, Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor Pat­ty Mur­ray earned just 1.2% less of the vote statewide in 2022 than Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor Maria Cantwell did in 2018.

But crit­i­cal­ly, in Lati­no-heavy Cen­tral Wash­ing­ton, Mur­ray dropped 4.8% from Cantwell’s 2018 run. (Cen­tral Wash­ing­ton is defined here as Grant, Yaki­ma, Adams, Franklin, and Ben­ton coun­ties — the cen­ter of the Lati­no com­mu­ni­ty in Wash­ing­ton.) Cantwell in 2018 and Mur­ray in 2022 share sim­i­lar dynam­ics: pop­u­lar incum­bent Demo­c­ra­t­ic sen­a­tors run­ning for re-elec­­tion dur­ing a midterm year, each receiv­ing a sim­i­lar final statewide result. Thus, it’s a good pair of races to rep­re­sent gener­ic par­ti­san changes over the past four years.

When dig­ging deep­er into the data, we find that much of the Repub­li­can gains came from major­i­­ty-Lati­no precincts.

Some precincts in East Yaki­ma, East Pas­co, and the Yaki­ma Low­er Val­ley can reach up to 90%+ Lati­no, and these areas had Repub­li­can shifts as high as 35% between 2018 and 2022; this occurs even as major­i­­ty-white precincts in West Yaki­ma and Tri-Cities had actu­al­ly Demo­c­ra­t­ic gains.

Indeed, my data mod­el of these two elec­tions at a precinct lev­el approx­i­mates a dra­mat­ic 17% drop in Demo­c­ra­t­ic sup­port among Cen­tral Wash­ing­ton Lati­no vot­ers from 2018 to 2022, while only a 2–3% drop among white voters.

It seems that the polit­i­cal earth­quake that began two years ago in the Rio Grande Val­ley has offi­cial­ly hit Wash­ing­ton, the Ever­green State.

Turnout versus shifting preferences

These pro­found changes raise fur­ther ques­tions: is the Repub­li­can shift in Cen­tral Wash­ing­ton due to turnout (Lati­nos vot­ing in small­er num­bers) or vot­ing choice (Lati­nos switch­ing to the Repub­li­can Par­ty), or both?

By return­ing to the Cantwell 2018-Mur­ray 2022 com­par­i­son, we find turnout decreased in 2022 across Wash­ing­ton, but dropped more in Cen­tral Washington.

Here, my precinct-lev­­el analy­sis deter­mined while white turnout dropped from 78% to 72%, the already low­er Lati­no turnout plunged from 42% to 23% among Lati­nos — a stag­ger­ing 19%. This means Lati­no vot­ers went from being 16% of the Cen­tral Wash­ing­ton elec­torate in 2018 down to 10% in 2022.

While this turnout dif­fer­ence is sig­nif­i­cant, it was not big enough to account for all of the Repub­li­can gains. If we assume Lati­nos and whites vot­ed for Demo­c­ra­t­ic can­di­dates at the exact same pro­por­tion as they did in 2018, the change in turnout in 2022 would only explain a 2.9% Repub­li­can gain.

But there was a 4.8% Repub­li­can gain, so that means a lit­tle less than half of the GOP shift was not from turnout changes, but from pre­vi­ous­ly Demo­c­ra­t­ic vot­ers vot­ing Repub­li­can in 2022.

We also know that the Repub­li­can gains in Cen­tral Wash­ing­ton were in most­ly heav­i­­ly-Lati­no com­mu­ni­ties like East Yaki­ma, East Pas­co, and the Yaki­ma Low­er Val­ley. So most of those Demo­c­rat­ic-to-Repub­­li­­can vot­ers were like­ly Lati­nos, not whites. So the answer to the ques­tion posed above is both: the Repub­li­can shift was because Lati­nos both vot­ed less, and the ones that did vote vot­ed more Repub­li­can altogether.

An impor­tant caveat, albeit wonky: because we do not have pub­lic data on vot­er reg­is­tra­tion rates by race/ethnicity, this analy­sis does not account for prob­a­ble dis­par­i­ties between white and Lati­no vot­er reg­is­tra­tion rates. 

There­fore, this analy­sis like­ly over­es­ti­mates the over­all share of the vote that is Lati­no, and there­fore over­es­ti­mates how much depressed Lati­no vot­er turnout explains the Repub­li­can shift. Put dif­fer­ent­ly, this mod­el like­ly under­es­ti­mates the true mag­ni­tude of Lati­no vot­ers switch­ing par­ties to vote for Republicans.

Charts showing eligible voting population and projected voteshare by race for 2018 and 2022

Charts show­ing eli­gi­ble vot­ing pop­u­la­tion and pro­ject­ed vote­share by race for 2018 and 2022 (Graph­ic by Andrew Hong)


2018-2022 Central Washington: Modeled Source of Republican Shift

2018–2022 Cen­tral Wash­ing­ton: Mod­eled Source of Repub­li­can Shift (Graph­ic by Andrew Hong)

Wash­ing­ton Democ­rats declared the 2022 cycle a resound­ing vic­to­ry, but a 17% decline in sup­port with­in the fastest-grow­ing minor­i­ty group spells trou­ble for Democ­rats’ future. In ten years, Cen­tral Wash­ing­ton will see mul­ti­ple major­i­­ty-Lati­no leg­isla­tive dis­tricts and a new major­i­­ty-minor­i­­ty con­gres­sion­al district.

Democ­rats have an oppor­tu­ni­ty to chal­lenge for anoth­er seat in the U.S. House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives and achieve a leg­isla­tive super­ma­jor­i­ty to sub­mit state con­sti­tu­tion­al amend­ments to vot­ers. But their lack of atten­tion to the Lati­no sleep­ing polit­i­cal giant could pave way to Repub­li­can dom­i­nance in the region.

This lack of atten­tion can be seen in that no Demo­c­ra­t­ic can­di­dates were recruit­ed to run in a Biden+15 dis­trict for Yaki­ma Coun­ty Com­mis­sion — a painful missed opportunity.

2018-2022 Central Washington Republican gains, by race

2018–2022 Cen­tral Wash­ing­ton Repub­li­can gains, by race (Graph­ic by Andrew Hong)

If the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty invests into can­di­date recruit­ment and fundrais­ing, it can make up some of this ground. But a mes­sen­ger with­out a strong mes­sage won’t deliv­er the votes. Polling by the Pew Research Cen­ter, among oth­ers, has shown Lati­nos gen­er­al­ly pri­or­i­tize eco­nom­ic issues over social issues.

Some polit­i­cal sci­en­tists and Demo­c­ra­t­ic strate­gists, such as Ruy Teix­eira, have argued — cor­rect­ly, in my view — that Democ­rats have lost work­ing class Lati­no vot­ers by de-empha­­siz­ing eco­nom­ic issues for social issues in an effort to appeal to upper-class sub­ur­ban vot­ers. That’s come at the cost of work­ing class vot­ers of all races. In fact, Democ­rats also lost ground with work­ing class Asian and Black com­mu­ni­ties last year in my home in South Seat­tle and South King County.

To buck this right­ward trend, Wash­ing­ton Democ­rats need to embrace a clear, pop­ulist, eco­nom­ic-focused mes­sage — and deliv­er leg­is­la­tion — that speaks to work­ing class vot­ers of col­or. They also need to invest in can­di­date recruit­ment, cam­paigns, and orga­niz­ers in these communities.

With the sup­port of work­ing class Lati­no vot­ers, Democ­rats could win a his­toric statewide man­date in these next two decades.

Thursday, March 16th, 2023

Bruce Dammeier (R), Bob Ferguson (D) lead hypothetical 2024 gubernatorial field in WA

Should Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee decide against seek­ing an unprece­dent­ed fourth term lat­er this year, Repub­li­can Pierce Coun­ty Exec­u­tive Bruce Dammeier and Demo­c­ra­t­ic Attor­ney Gen­er­al Bob Fer­gu­son would be the two lead­ing can­di­dates to suc­ceed him in a hypo­thet­i­cal field that also includ­ed King Coun­ty Exec­u­tive Dow Con­stan­tine (D) and Com­mis­sion­er of Pub­lic Lands Hilary Franz (D), a poll recent­ly con­duct­ed for the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute has found.

35% of 874 like­ly 2024 gen­er­al elec­tion vot­ers inter­viewed from March 7th-8th for NPI by Pub­lic Pol­i­cy Polling said they’d back Dammeier if the elec­tion were being held today, while 21% said they’d pick Fer­gu­son. 7% said Con­stan­tine and anoth­er 7% said Franz. A total of 30% were not sure, a fig­ure that exceeds the sup­port of each of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic can­di­dates, though not all of them combined.

NPI poll finding: 2024 gubernatorial race hypothetical field

Visu­al­iza­tion of NPI’s March 2023 guber­na­to­r­i­al poll find­ing, with a hypo­thet­i­cal field of four can­di­dates (North­west Pro­gres­sive Institute)

The results sug­gest that Fer­gu­son would have the advan­tage at the out­set of a 2024 guber­na­to­r­i­al cam­paign among the three top Demo­c­ra­t­ic office­hold­ers in the state known to be inter­est­ed in the job, but also indi­cates that there could be an open­ing for either Franz or Con­stan­tine to wage a com­pet­i­tive cam­paign, par­tic­u­lar­ly if one of them decid­ed to for­go run­ning, result­ing in just two cred­i­ble Democ­rats com­pet­ing for time, tal­ent, trea­sure, and votes in the elim­i­na­tion round.

Dammeier’s 35% per­cent­age is pret­ty much what we thought we’d most like­ly see. In head-to-head ques­tions in our statewide polling, we usu­al­ly see declared or hypo­thet­i­cal Repub­li­can can­di­dates in the mid to upper thirties.

This range has been fair­ly steady since the tumul­tuous 2016 elec­tion. Three exam­ples: Susan Hutchi­son polled at 36% in May of 2018, Don­ald Trump polled at 37% in Octo­ber of 2019, and Tiffany Smi­ley polled at 37% in May of 2021.

Repub­li­cans have not won a guber­na­to­r­i­al elec­tion in Wash­ing­ton since 1980, and, aside from a long string of vic­to­ries for Sec­re­tary of State that end­ed last year, have won only a hand­ful of down­bal­lot exec­u­tive con­tests since 2000. They’ve also been reduced to just two seats in the state’s twelve-mem­ber con­gres­sion­al del­e­ga­tion, leav­ing them with a thin bench, in stark con­trast to the Democrats.

Giv­en Wash­ing­ton’s Demo­c­ra­t­ic ori­en­ta­tion, most of the action for gov­er­nor will be on the Demo­c­ra­t­ic side, again assum­ing Inslee retires. But the Repub­li­cans can be count­ed upon to field some­body, which is why we put togeth­er a ques­tion that includ­ed a hypo­thet­i­cal Repub­li­can can­di­date as well as the three Demo­c­ra­t­ic can­di­dates. Here’s the text of our ques­tion and the respons­es we received:

QUESTION (VERSION A): If the 2024 Top Two elec­tion for Gov­er­nor of Wash­ing­ton State were being held today and the can­di­dates were Demo­c­rat Hilary Franz, Repub­li­can Bruce Dammeier, Demo­c­rat Dow Con­stan­tine, and Demo­c­rat Bob Fer­gu­son, who would you vote for?

Half the poll sam­ple saw the ques­tion with the order of can­di­dates as shown above and half the sam­ple saw the ques­tion with the order of can­di­dates shown below. The word­ing was the same, but the order was invert­ed to make the ques­tion as neu­tral as possible. 

QUESTION (VERSION B): If the 2024 Top Two elec­tion for Gov­er­nor of Wash­ing­ton State were being held today and the can­di­dates were Demo­c­rat Bob Fer­gu­son, Demo­c­rat Dow Con­stan­tine, Repub­li­can Bruce Dammeier, and Demo­c­rat Hilary Franz, who would you vote for?


  • Repub­li­can Bruce Dammeier: 35%
  • Demo­c­rat Bob Fer­gu­son: 21%
  • Demo­c­rat Hilary Franz: 7%
  • Demo­c­rat Dow Con­stan­tine: 7%
  • Not sure: 30%

Our sur­vey of 874 like­ly 2024 Wash­ing­ton State vot­ers was in the field from Tues­day, March 7th through Wednes­day, March 8th, 2023.

The poll uti­lizes a blend­ed method­ol­o­gy, with auto­mat­ed phone calls to land­lines (50%) and online answers from cell phone only respon­dents (50%).

It was con­duct­ed by Pub­lic Pol­i­cy Polling (PPP) for the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute, and has a mar­gin of error of +/- 3.3% at the 95% con­fi­dence interval.

NPI and PPP have worked togeth­er for a decade and have a track record of excel­lence, as detailed in this 2022 elec­toral polling recap and this 2020 one.

Most vot­ers in Wash­ing­ton iden­ti­fy either as Demo­c­ra­t­ic or inde­pen­dent, and as you might expect, giv­en a choice of three Democ­rats for an impor­tant office, large num­bers were unde­cid­ed. One in three Democ­rats (33%) said they were not sure, with 39% back­ing Fer­gu­son and Franz and Con­stan­tine get­ting 12% each. 42% of inde­pen­dent vot­ers were also not sure. 33% of inde­pen­dents said they’d back Dammeier, while 12% picked Fer­gu­son, 8% Con­stan­tine, and 5% Franz.

Repub­li­cans eas­i­ly lined up behind Dammeier — as men­tioned, the only Repub­li­can option. 84% of them backed Dammeier and 11% were not sure. 3% said they’d sup­port Fer­gu­son; 1% said Franz, and anoth­er 1% said Con­stan­tine, for a total of 5% of Repub­li­can vot­ers will­ing to back a Demo­c­rat. That match­es the num­ber of Democ­rats who said they were for Dammeier — 5%.

Region­al­ly, here’s how the dynam­ics break down:

  • King Coun­ty: This is the most Demo­c­ra­t­ic part of Wash­ing­ton State — it’s a blue bas­tion. Con­stan­tine did twice as well (14%) in the King Coun­ty sub­sam­ple of our poll as in the over­all sam­ple, but Fer­gu­son still was the top Demo­c­rat in Wash­ing­ton’s most pop­u­lous coun­ty with 20%. Franz, mean­while, got 10%. The per­cent­age of not sure vot­ers was 38%. Dammeier only got 18% among our King Coun­ty respondents.
  • North Puget Sound: This area usu­al­ly votes Demo­c­ra­t­ic, espe­cial­ly in top of the tick­et con­tests. Dammeier fared rea­son­ably well in this region. He received 40% sup­port there, while Fer­gu­son received 20%. Con­stan­tine received 8% and Franz 7%, sim­i­lar to their statewide num­bers. 25% were not sure, a low­er fig­ure than the statewide percentage.
  • South Sound: This is Dammeier’s home turf (it includes Pierce Coun­ty), but a lit­tle sur­pris­ing­ly, his num­ber there is mere­ly the same as his statewide per­cent­age — 35%. Fer­gu­son, mean­while, was very com­pet­i­tive, clock­ing in at 31%, his best show­ing in any region of the state. He seems to have seri­ous strength in the South Sound. Con­stan­tine and Franz received just 2% each. 30% said that they were not sure, match­ing the statewide percentage.
  • Olympic Penin­su­la and South­west Wash­ing­ton: This is swing turf for both par­ties. Democ­rats have held onto the 24th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict in recent elec­tions while Repub­li­cans have tak­en the 19th. The Democ­rats man­aged to flip the 3rd Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict last year in a major vic­to­ry. Fer­gu­son received 15% in this region, while Con­stan­tine and Franz each got 8%. Dammeier received 42%. 27% were not sure.
  • East­ern and Cen­tral Wash­ing­ton: This is the most Repub­li­can part of Wash­ing­ton State by far, and accord­ing­ly, a major­i­ty of like­ly vot­ers favor Dammeier. He received 50% sup­port, while Fer­gu­son received 18%. Con­stan­tine received 1% and Franz 4%. 27% were not sure.

Notes and caveats about our question and the finding

It’s impor­tant to remem­ber this ques­tion asked vot­ers about a hypo­thet­i­cal field, one that does­n’t exist now and may nev­er exist. Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee has­n’t made or announced a deci­sion about run­ning again and none of these four elect­ed offi­cials has launched a cam­paign. It is pos­si­ble that some of them won’t run — it’s even pos­si­ble that none of them will run. We don’t know the future and don’t pre­tend to, so I won’t offer any pre­dic­tions. There’s many plau­si­ble scenarios.

Our intent with this ques­tion was to have fun explor­ing some of the poten­tial dynam­ics of a land­scape in which Gov­er­nor Inslee does­n’t seek reelection.

We only includ­ed cred­i­ble poten­tial can­di­dates in our ques­tion because it isn’t fea­si­ble or worth­while to ask vot­ers about dozens of pos­si­bil­i­ties in a sur­vey. There were thir­ty-six can­di­dates (yes, three dozen!) for Gov­er­nor in the August 2020 Top Two elec­tion and most of them did not receive even 1% of the vote.

Fer­gu­son, Con­stan­tine, and Franz have all pre­vi­ous­ly expressed inter­est in run­ning for gov­er­nor, are unques­tion­ably qual­i­fied for the office, and have demon­strat­ed they can raise the resources need­ed to com­pete statewide. Fer­gu­son and Franz have also each won con­sec­u­tive statewide elec­tions for oth­er posi­tions in the exec­u­tive depart­ment — Attor­ney Gen­er­al and Com­mis­sion­er of Pub­lic Lands.

Dammeier, mean­while, is the most cred­i­ble Repub­li­can can­di­date our team could think of (we want­ed a cred­i­ble Repub­li­can to go with the three cred­i­ble Democ­rats in the ques­tion). He’s in charge of the sec­ond largest coun­ty in the state and would run a much more seri­ous cam­paign than a grifter like Loren Culp or Tim Eyman if he chose to enter the race. Pierce Coun­ty has term lim­its, so Dammeier can­not run again for Exec­u­tive next year. He could run for gov­er­nor, though!

Future polling plans

In our spring sea­son­al sur­vey, we’ll take anoth­er look at the guber­na­to­r­i­al race and bring you a new find­ing. It is pos­si­ble by that point that Gov­er­nor Inslee will have announced his plans, but it’s also pos­si­ble he won’t have. His most recent two pre­de­ces­sors wait­ed until June and July to offi­cial­ly announce that they had decid­ed to retire. Chris Gre­goire’s retire­ment announce­ment was made pub­lic on June 13th, 2011; Gary Locke announced his retire­ment on July 21st, 2003.

Wednesday, March 15th, 2023

Voters in Washington State strongly support taxing extreme wealth, NPI poll confirms

Two-thirds of like­ly 2024 vot­ers in Wash­ing­ton State sup­port levy­ing a tax on extreme wealth in Wash­ing­ton, with well over fifty per­cent strong­ly sup­port­ive, the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute’s lat­est statewide poll has confirmed.

67% of 874 like­ly vot­ers sur­veyed by Pub­lic Pol­i­cy Polling last week for NPI said they sup­port­ed levy­ing a one per­cent wealth tax on Wash­ing­ton res­i­dents whose world­wide wealth exceeds a quar­ter bil­lion dol­lars, to ben­e­fit the state’s essen­tial pub­lic ser­vices, while only 28% were opposed and 5% were not sure.

Washingtonians strongly support taxing extreme wealth

Wash­ing­to­ni­ans strong­ly sup­port tax­ing extreme wealth (NPI graphic)

The find­ing cor­rob­o­rates ear­li­er polling con­duct­ed in Wash­ing­ton by Tar­getS­mart for the State Inno­va­tion Exchange in Decem­ber 2022 — Jan­u­ary 2023.

Tar­getS­mart’s mul­ti­modal sur­vey of 497 adults found that two-thirds of Wash­ing­ton vot­ers sup­port imple­ment­ing a wealth tax where the first $250 mil­lion is exempt before any pre­sen­ta­tion of argu­ments for the idea.

It’s also con­sis­tent with NPI’s past wealth tax research.

Dur­ing the pre­vi­ous elec­tion cycle, we repeat­ed­ly asked if vot­ers sup­port levy­ing a tax on bil­lion­aire for­tunes and found enthu­si­as­tic sup­port, despite not spec­i­fy­ing in our ques­tion which par­tic­u­lar ser­vices the rev­enue would be ded­i­cat­ed to.

Our 2021–2022 data showed that vot­ers under­stand our tax code is inequitable and are very recep­tive to ideas to bal­ance it pri­mar­i­ly on fair­ness grounds.

For 2023, we updat­ed our ques­tion to fit the con­tours of the leg­is­la­tion that’s cur­rent­ly before the Leg­is­la­ture: House Bill 1473, prime spon­sored by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive My-Linh Thai, and Sen­ate Bill 5486, prime spon­sored by Sen­a­tor Noel Frame, both good friends of the North­west Pro­gres­sive Institute.

These bills would tax for­tunes of $250 mil­lion or more and allo­cate the rev­enue equal­ly to the Dis­abil­i­ties Care Trust Account, the Edu­ca­tion Lega­cy Trust Account, the Wash­ing­ton Hous­ing Trust Fund, and the Tax­pay­er Jus­tice Account.

Accord­ing­ly, we asked:

QUESTION: Do you strong­ly sup­port, some­what sup­port, some­what oppose, or strong­ly oppose levy­ing a one per­cent wealth tax on Wash­ing­ton res­i­dents whose world­wide wealth exceeds a quar­ter bil­lion dol­lars, to ben­e­fit pub­lic ser­vices here in our state, such as dis­abil­i­ty ser­vices, hous­ing, and spe­cial education?


  • Sup­port: 67% 
    • Strong­ly: 57%
    • Some­what: 10%
  • Oppose: 28%
    • Some­what: 6%
    • Strong­ly: 22%
  • Not sure: 5%

Our sur­vey of 874 like­ly 2024 Wash­ing­ton State vot­ers was in the field from Tues­day, March 7th through Wednes­day, March 8th, 2023.

The poll uti­lizes a blend­ed method­ol­o­gy, with auto­mat­ed phone calls to land­lines (50%) and online answers from cell phone only respon­dents (50%).

It was con­duct­ed by Pub­lic Pol­i­cy Polling for the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute, and has a mar­gin of error of +/- 3.3% at the 95% con­fi­dence interval.

For ref­er­ence, our pre­vi­ous ques­tion, first asked in 2021, was as follows:

QUESTION: Do you strong­ly sup­port, some­what sup­port, some­what oppose, or strong­ly oppose levy­ing a one per­cent wealth tax on Wash­ing­ton res­i­dents whose world­wide wealth exceeds one bil­lion dol­lars, to ben­e­fit pub­lic ser­vices here in our state?


  • Sup­port: 60% 
    • Strong­ly sup­port: 50%
    • Some­what sup­port: 10%
  • Oppose: 36%
    • Some­what oppose: 11%
    • Strong­ly oppose: 25%
  • Not sure: 5%

Com­pared to that find­ing, over­all sup­port in response to the 2023 ver­sion of our wealth tax ques­tion is 7% high­er, with all of that growth com­ing in the “strong­ly sup­port” buck­et. Oppo­si­tion, mean­while, is down 8%, for a total increase in net sup­port of 13%. And that’s despite the def­i­n­i­tion of extreme wealth in the ques­tion hav­ing widened from a bil­lion dol­lars to a quar­ter bil­lion dollars.

Through­out NPI’s twen­ty-year his­to­ry, we have empha­sized that there are two sides to every equa­tion, includ­ing the pub­lic finance equa­tion. Essen­tial pub­lic ser­vices require fund­ing. They aren’t free: we have to pool our resources to be able to afford them. That’s why we like to explain the con­nec­tion between a pro­posed rev­enue source and the ser­vices it would ben­e­fit in our sur­veys. Vot­ers need to know about both sides of the equa­tion to offer an informed opinion.

The wealth tax ques­tions above aren’t argu­ments-struc­tured ques­tions (e.g. with pro­po­nents say vs. oppo­nents say fram­ing), but we know from years of ask­ing Wash­ing­to­ni­ans how they feel about a cap­i­tal gains tax on the wealthy that the right wing’s argu­ments against a cap­i­tal gains tax sim­ply do not res­onate. It seems very unlike­ly that argu­ments against a wealth tax would fare differently.

Wash­ing­ton has been hob­bled for years by an upside down tax code, rat­ed as the most inequitable in the nation by the Insti­tute on Tax­a­tion and Eco­nom­ic Pol­i­cy (ITEP) for many years. Our schools and many oth­er pub­lic ser­vices have suf­fered due to under­fund­ing — a prob­lem that could be mean­ing­ful­ly addressed if the wealthy were required to start pay­ing their fair share in dues to our great state.

Dur­ing last week’s hear­ing on SB 5486, right wing activists offered a litany of laugh­able argu­ments in oppo­si­tion to the wealth tax, which basi­cal­ly boiled down to, the wealthy deserve their wealth, so how dare you pro­pose this leg­is­la­tion?

It was par­tic­u­lar­ly amus­ing to hear com­plaints that the wealth tax was a vehi­cle for “wealth redis­tri­b­u­tion.” I had the priv­i­lege of clos­ing out the pub­lic hear­ing as the final per­son to offer remarks, and I point­ed out to leg­is­la­tors that a mas­sive redis­tri­b­u­tion of wealth has already tak­en place and is still occurring.

“Unless you’re liv­ing under a rock, you have to have noticed that wealth redis­tri­b­u­tion is already hap­pen­ing. We’ve been see­ing income inequal­i­ty widen for decades,” I told the Sen­ate Ways & Means Com­mit­tee. “And we know that one of the great ways to equal­ize — to cre­ate a bet­ter, just, more pros­per­ous soci­ety — is for wealth to be invest­ed in the form of tax­es. They are invest­ments. It is patri­ot­ic to be a tax­pay­er and pay your dues. And it’s time for extreme wealth in Wash­ing­ton to be invest­ed in the essen­tial pub­lic ser­vices that the peo­ple need.”

Vot­ers in Wash­ing­ton agree — emphat­i­cal­ly — as our research shows.

It was only a days ago that Demo­c­ra­t­ic leg­is­la­tors dropped plans to pro­vide no-cost school meals to all pupils in Wash­ing­ton because of “mon­ey,” to quote State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mar­cus Ric­cel­li, a pro­po­nent of the idea.

That sor­ry devel­op­ment was a fresh reminder that our schools are under­fund­ed and we need to raise rev­enue to ful­ly them — a state­ment that a major­i­ty of Wash­ing­ton vot­ers have told us they agree with for the bet­ter part of a decade.

By levy­ing a wealth tax, we can mean­ing­ful­ly address the spe­cial edu­ca­tion fis­cal cri­sis while also rais­ing fund­ing for dis­abil­i­ties care and hous­ing… and devote fur­ther resources to bal­anc­ing our tax code. Wash­ing­ton would win on all counts.

A tax on extreme wealth that ben­e­fits spe­cial edu­ca­tion, dis­abil­i­ties care, and hous­ing is pre­cise­ly the kind of pro­gres­sive change that Wash­ing­to­ni­ans vot­ed for in the 2022 midterms and want to see from the Demo­c­ra­t­ic House and Sen­ate that they elect­ed. Our polling is fresh proof of that. Let’s get it done!

Sunday, March 12th, 2023

Biden-Harris administration reportedly plans to approve Willow oil drilling project in Alaska

The Biden-Har­ris admin­is­tra­tion will scale back but approve the pro­posed Wil­low Project on Alaska’s North Slope, the largest pend­ing oil and gas devel­op­ment in the Unit­ed States, accord­ing to reports pub­lished by The New York Times, Bloomberg, and oth­er news orga­ni­za­tions.

The devel­op­ment by Cono­coPhillips would be locat­ed west of the Prud­hoe Bay oil field, in the twen­ty-three mil­lion-acre Nation­al Petro­le­um Reserve, a vast and large­ly wild swath of the nation’s forty-ninth state. At peak oper­a­tion, it is expect­ed to pro­duce 180,000 bar­rels of oil each day.

Willow project area

The area where the Wil­low drilling pads would be built in Alas­ka (Graph­ic by Alas­ka Pub­lic Media)

Cono­coPhillips had pro­posed five drilling pads at the site.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Man­age­ment, in an envi­ron­men­tal review released in Feb­ru­ary, pro­posed a small­er “foot­print” of three drilling pads able to accom­mo­date two hun­dred and nine­teen wells. White House aides, seek­ing to mol­li­fy envi­ron­men­tal groups, have float­ed the idea of two drilling platforms.

As draft deci­sion doc­u­ments cir­cu­lat­ed Fri­day, White House press sec­re­tary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that “no final deci­sions have been made.”

Furi­ous lob­by­ing has con­tin­ued by both pro­po­nents and oppo­nents of a project that would be locat­ed in one of the most remote cor­ners of America.

Alaska's Mary Peltola and Lisa Murkowski

Alaska’s Mary Pel­to­la and Lisa Murkows­ki at an AFN event before the Novem­ber 2022 gen­er­al elec­tion (Cam­paign photo)

The Alas­ka con­gres­sion­al del­e­ga­tion has mount­ed a full-court press for Wil­low, enlist­ing back­ing from orga­nized labor, may­ors of near­by Indige­nous vil­lages, and unan­i­mous res­o­lu­tions of sup­port from the Alas­ka Leg­is­la­ture and Uni­ver­si­ty of Alas­ka Board of Regents. The del­e­ga­tion met recent­ly with Pres­i­dent Biden at the White House.

New Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mary Pel­to­la tweet­ed: “Encour­ag­ing news on Wil­low today – seems like the Admin­is­tra­tion is tak­ing Alaskans’ sup­port for this project seri­ous­ly. I don’t want to jinx any­thing but I hope the Admin­is­tra­tion stays the course and reap­proves this project. Alaskans are watching.”

Sen­a­tor Lisa Murkows­ki, R‑Alaska, has pressed for Wil­low, describ­ing the devel­op­ment as “metic­u­lous­ly planned, social­ly just and envi­ron­men­tal­ly sound.” She has pressed for three drilling sites, say­ing: “Wil­low is too impor­tant to Alaska’s future to set­tle for any­thing less than an eco­nom­i­cal­ly viable project.”

Three pads are “the min­i­mum for Wil­low to remain eco­nom­i­cal­ly viable,” Pel­to­la said last month.

Envi­ron­men­tal groups have cam­paigned against what the Sier­ra Club has described as “a cli­mate dis­as­ter wait­ing to hap­pen.” A peti­tion oppos­ing Wil­low had drawn 3.1 mil­lion sig­na­tures and an esti­mat­ed 1.1 mil­lion unique let­ters have descend­ed on the White House.

Sen­a­tor Maria Cantwell, D‑Washington, a strate­gist behind recent pro-preser­va­tion deci­sions in Alas­ka, has warned of cli­mate con­se­quences to the Arc­tic that would be “irre­versible and irre­spon­si­ble to future gen­er­a­tions,” adding: “Oil com­pa­nies already have record prof­its and access to drilling rights on mil­lions of acres of pub­lic lands which they should be using to meet our cur­rent fos­sil fuel needs.”

As news orga­ni­za­tions pre­dict­ed approval of Wil­low, Sen­a­tor Jeff Merkley, D‑Oregon, tweet­ed on Fri­day: “It’s a com­plete betray­al of Biden’s promise not to allow more drilling and a com­plete cat­a­stro­phe to rein in cli­mate change.”

The Biden-Har­ris admin­is­tra­tion has deliv­ered a suc­ces­sion of pro-envi­ron­ment deci­sions in Alas­ka. It has used the Clean Water Act to reject a mas­sive open pit mine pro­posed between two of Bris­tol Bay’s major salmon spawn­ing streams. It has blocked fur­ther oil leas­ing in the Arc­tic Refuge. And it has rein­stat­ed the Clin­ton era “Road­less Rule,” block­ing con­struc­tion of new roads into old growth forests of South­east Alaska’s vast Ton­gass Nation­al Forest.

“We’ve had deci­sion after deci­sion go against us and even this one – a social­ly just project locat­ed with­in a petro­le­um reserve – it’s per­ilous­ly close,” Murkows­ki said in a recent speech to the Alas­ka State Leg­is­la­ture in Juneau.

The Wil­low Project was approved dur­ing the Trump admin­is­tra­tion. But a fed­er­al judge sent agen­cies back to the draw­ing board, find­ing analy­sis of envi­ron­men­tal impacts inad­e­quate and incom­plete. The lands around Cono­coPhillips’ pro­posed drilling sites com­prise major migra­to­ry bird habi­tats – cen­tered on Teshekpuk Lake — and are home to a major cari­bou herd, accord­ing to the BLM.

The Bureau of Land Man­age­ment, in scal­ing back drilling sites, reduced by forty per­cent the impact on polar bear habitat.

But Wil­low will have impacts. The BLM’s pre­ferred alter­na­tive would mean con­struc­tion of thir­ty miles of grav­el roads, 268 miles of indi­vid­ual pipelines, plus 431 miles of ice roads. The exist­ing Trans-Alas­ka Pipeline would be used to ship oil south across Alas­ka to the oil port in Valdez.

Cono­coPhillips had esti­mat­ed the Wil­low site con­tains six hun­dred mil­lion bar­rels of oil. The cost of the project is esti­mat­ed in the $6–8 bil­lion range.

It would cre­ate about 2,500 large­ly union con­struc­tion jobs, and gen­er­ate an esti­mat­ed $17 bil­lion in rev­enue to the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment, state of Alas­ka, and Alas­ka Native corporations.

It would, how­ev­er, yield 9.2 mil­lion met­ric tons of car­bon diox­ide emis­sions a year, at a time when the Arc­tic is warm­ing at a rate four times that of the rest of the plan­et. “I expect the unex­pect­ed and that our land will be com­plete­ly unpre­dictable, in many ways, unknown to us because it’s chang­ing so fast that our ani­mals and our peo­ple can­not adopt,” in words of Siqiniq Maupin, a native of the area and direc­tor of Sov­er­eign Inu­pi­at for a Liv­ing Arctic.

The basic ratio­nale for Wil­low: The Unit­ed States will need oil, even as it tran­si­tions out of fos­sil fuel dependence.

As the BLM not­ed in its lat­est review, we can pro­duce that oil domes­ti­cal­ly, or pur­chase it from coun­tries with far less rig­or­ous envi­ron­men­tal protection.

“We are decades away from a time that we would be beyond oil resources: The need is very very much still there,” Murkows­ki recent­ly argued.

If the Unit­ed States approves a big new oil project, how­ev­er, what mes­sage does it send to the rest of the world.

“The pol­lu­tion it would gen­er­ate will not only put Alas­ka natives and oth­er local com­mu­ni­ties at risk, it is incom­pat­i­ble with the ambi­tion we need to achieve a net zero future,” for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Al Gore argued on Friday.

The Wil­low Project deci­sion is, in a phrase made famous by Joe Biden, a big (exple­tive) deal.

Sunday, March 12th, 2023

Last Week In Congress: How Cascadia’s U.S. lawmakers voted (March 6th-10th)

Good morn­ing! Here’s how Cascadia’s Mem­bers of Con­gress vot­ed on major issues dur­ing the leg­isla­tive week end­ing March 10th, 2023.

In the United States House of Representatives

Chamber of the United States House of Representatives

The House cham­ber (U.S. Con­gress photo)

REPUBLICAN BILL CONCERNING CENSORSHIP: The House on March 9th passed the “Pro­tect­ing Speech from Gov­ern­ment Inter­fer­ence Act” (H.R. 140), spon­sored by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive James Com­er, R‑Kentucky, to bar employ­ees in the exec­u­tive branch of the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment from direct­ly or indi­rect­ly cen­sor­ing speech, with penal­ties imposed if employ­ees cen­sor speech.

Com­er said: “Fed­er­al offi­cials, no mat­ter their rank or resources, must be pro­hib­it­ed from coerc­ing the pri­vate sec­tor to sup­press cer­tain infor­ma­tion or lim­it the abil­i­ty of cit­i­zens to freely express their own views on a pri­vate-sec­tor Inter­net plat­form.” A bill oppo­nent, Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Daniel S. Gold­man, D‑New York, said it would allow Rus­sia, Chi­na, and oth­er coun­tries adver­sar­i­al to the U.S. “to con­tin­ue using social media plat­forms unfet­tered to wreak hav­oc on our demo­c­ra­t­ic insti­tu­tions, includ­ing the integri­ty of our elections.”

The vote was 219 yeas to 206 nays.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Yea (2): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Russ Fulcher and Mike Simpson

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Yea (2): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Cliff Bentz and Lori Chavez-DeRemer

Vot­ing Nay (4):  Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzanne Bonam­i­ci, Earl Blu­me­nauer, Val Hoyle, and Andrea Salinas

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Yea (2): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Dan New­house and Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers

Vot­ing Nay (7): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzan Del­Bene, Rick Larsen, Marie Glue­senkamp Perez, Derek Kilmer, Prami­la Jaya­pal, Kim Schri­er, Adam Smith, and Mar­i­lyn Strickland

Not Vot­ing (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Kim Schrier

Cas­ca­dia total: 6 yea votes, 11 nay votes, 1 not voting

VOIDING EPA/CORPS RULE ON WATERS OF THE UNITED STATES: The House on March 9th passed a res­o­lu­tion (H.J. Res. 27), spon­sored by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Sam Graves, R‑Missouri., to dis­ap­prove of and void an Army Corps of Engi­neers and Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency rule issued this Jan­u­ary that defines Waters of the Unit­ed States (WOTUS).

Such waters would be sub­ject to reg­u­la­tion under the Clean Water Act. Graves said: “Return­ing to a more cost­ly, bur­den­some, and broad WOTUS def­i­n­i­tion could have a mas­sive impact on local com­mu­ni­ties and Amer­i­cans’ abil­i­ty to do their jobs and man­age their own pri­vate property.”

A res­o­lu­tion oppo­nent, Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Rick Larsen, D‑Washington, said: “This res­o­lu­tion rep­re­sents a giant step back­ward for clean water, increas­es uncer­tain­ty for farm­ers, home­builders, road­builders, and all Amer­i­can families.”

The vote was 227 yeas to 198 nays.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Yea (2): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Russ Fulcher and Mike Simpson

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Yea (2): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Cliff Bentz and Lori Chavez-DeRemer

Vot­ing Nay (4):  Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzanne Bonam­i­ci, Earl Blu­me­nauer, Val Hoyle, and Andrea Salinas

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Yea (2): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Dan New­house and Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers

Vot­ing Nay (7): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzan Del­Bene, Rick Larsen, Marie Glue­senkamp Perez, Derek Kilmer, Prami­la Jaya­pal, Kim Schri­er, Adam Smith, and Mar­i­lyn Strickland

Not Vot­ing (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Kim Schrier

Cas­ca­dia total: 6 yea votes, 11 nay votes, 1 not voting

Read More »

Friday, March 10th, 2023

State House hears NPI’s bill to make it easier to vote by ending Tim Eyman’s push polls

Today, the Wash­ing­ton State House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives’ State Gov­ern­ment & Trib­al Rela­tions Com­mit­tee held a pub­lic hear­ing on NPI’s leg­is­la­tion to abol­ish and replace Tim Eyman’s advi­so­ry votes push polls — those pieces of anti-tax pro­pa­gan­da that have been appear­ing on Wash­ing­to­ni­ans’ bal­lots since 2012.

Spon­sored by Sen­a­tor Pat­ty Kud­er­er (D‑48th Dis­trict: Belle­vue, Red­mond, Kirk­land), Sen­ate Bill 5082 would get rid of the push polls and replace them with truth­ful, use­ful infor­ma­tion about the state’s finances, acces­si­ble from the offi­cial leg­isla­tive web­site and the voter’s pam­phlet via a QR code and URL.

The bill is sup­port­ed by Sec­re­tary of State Steve Hobbs, the Wash­ing­ton Asso­ci­a­tion of Coun­ty Audi­tors, the Wash­ing­ton Vot­ing Jus­tice Coali­tion, the Bal­ance Our Tax Code Coali­tion, the Wash­ing­ton State Labor Coun­cil, AFL-CIO and the labor move­ment, the League of Women Vot­ers of Wash­ing­ton, and a long, long list of orga­ni­za­tions that work on bal­lot access.

SB 5082 received a bipar­ti­san vote in the Sen­ate last month and is now under con­sid­er­a­tion in the House. If approved there with no fur­ther changes, the leg­is­la­tion would go to Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee to be signed into law.

I tes­ti­fied for the bill at the hear­ing along with NPI Leg­isla­tive Direc­tor Kathy Saka­hara. My tes­ti­mo­ny focused on the grow­ing momen­tum for the bill and the sup­port we’ve received from edi­to­r­i­al boards, includ­ing The Seat­tle Times.

Kathy’s tes­ti­mo­ny focused on the pub­lic opin­ion research we’ve designed and com­mis­sioned over the years that finds repeal­ing Eyman’s “advi­so­ry votes” is some­thing vot­ers want — includ­ing a sig­nif­i­cant per­cent­age of Repub­li­can vot­ers, who want the state to take advan­tage of an oppor­tu­ni­ty to save tax dol­lars and get gov­ern­ment out of the push polling business.

Also tes­ti­fy­ing for the bill were:

  • Wash­ing­ton Sec­re­tary of State Steve Hobbs
  • King Coun­ty Elec­tions Direc­tor Julie Wise
  • Joseph Lach­man and Hai­ley Wu from the Asian Coun­sel­ing and Refer­ral Ser­vice (ACRS)
  • Abi­gail Leong from the Wash­ing­ton Vot­ing Jus­tice Coalition
  • Joe Kendo from the Wash­ing­ton State Labor Coun­cil, AFL-CIO
  • Patrick Schoettmer, a pro­fes­sor of polit­i­cal sci­ence from Seat­tle University
  • Jazmine Smith from The Wash­ing­ton Bus
  • Cindy Black from Fix Democ­ra­cy First
  • Car­ol Sul­li­van from the League of Women Vot­ers of Washington
  • Steve Zemke from Major­i­tyRules, an NPI Advi­so­ry Councilmember
  • Julie Andrze­jew­s­ki from Indivisible
  • Kari Bull from Fair­Vote Washington
  • Kristin Ang from Faith Action Network

As expect­ed, Tim Eyman appeared in oppo­si­tion to the bill along with sev­er­al friends and allies, such as Antho­ny Mix­er, Julie Bar­rett, and Jeff Peck.

Eyman’s cohorts kept their tes­ti­mo­ny to the one-minute time lim­it just like the pro tes­ti­fiers, but Eyman did not. Eyman came for­ward to tes­ti­fy with the inten­tion of cre­at­ing a scene, offer­ing inflam­ma­to­ry com­ments that he knew would cause him to be gaveled down by Chair Bill Ramos. Eyman also delib­er­ate­ly went over his time lim­it and con­tin­ued speak­ing well after the light had turned red.

Eyman had Mix­er film­ing him from the seats in the hear­ing room while he engaged in his planned-in-advance grand­stand­ing. His objec­tive? To gen­er­ate fod­der and a video for an email mis­sive he’d send after the hear­ing where he would yelp about being silenced and cen­sored by Demo­c­ra­t­ic legislators.

Ramos banged his gav­el, instruct­ed Eyman to stop talk­ing, told staff to cut his mic and even paused the hear­ing to try to com­pel Eyman to end his theatrics.

None of that worked, so secu­ri­ty staff were sum­moned to inter­rupt Eyman’s grand­stand­ing. Eyman kept talk­ing and paid no atten­tion until the secu­ri­ty offi­cer walked up and leaned over to speak to him. Then he shut up like a clam and returned to his seat. You can see the sequence of events in this video:

Hilar­i­ous­ly, the last words Eyman audi­bly spoke were: “This is disrespectful.”

He was­n’t refer­ring to his own tes­ti­mo­ny, but he might as well have been.

Eyman has long been dis­re­spect­ful and con­temp­tu­ous in set­tings such as pub­lic hear­ings like these. It is impor­tant that peo­ple under­stand that it’s an act. Eyman is a per­former who craves atten­tion. He has his­tor­i­cal­ly rev­eled and rel­ished in rhetor­i­cal joust­ing, believ­ing it is good for pub­lic­i­ty. How­ev­er, few­er and few­er jour­nal­ists are inter­est­ed in cov­er­ing his antics any­more, which is a good thing.

Eyman and Repub­li­cans (the Wash­ing­ton State Repub­li­can Par­ty, the Sen­ate Repub­li­can cau­cus, the Con­ser­v­a­tive Ladies of Wash­ing­ton, and oth­ers) also made a huge push to get peo­ple to sign in con against the bill, hop­ing to be able to claim that oppo­si­tion was over­whelm­ing and sup­port mea­ger based pure­ly on the sign-ins, which are an unsci­en­tif­ic met­ric of pub­lic sup­port and opposition.

How­ev­er, this gam­bit was unsuc­cess­ful. NPI, the Wash­ing­ton Vot­ing Jus­tice Coali­tion, Indi­vis­i­ble, and the wider pro­gres­sive move­ment orga­nized a sign-in call to action of our own, and in the end, we suc­ceed­ed in recruit­ing more peo­ple to sign in pro than Eyman’s camp was able to recruit con. By Take Action Net­work’s count, there were 1,448 peo­ple sign­ing in pro and 1,165 sign­ing in con.

The next step for SB 5082 is to earn a “do pass” rec­om­men­da­tion from the State Gov­ern­ment & Trib­al Rela­tions Com­mit­tee in an exec­u­tive ses­sion. It can then go to the Rules Com­mit­tee for review and selec­tion for floor action.

Thursday, March 9th, 2023

Two-faced Tucker Carlson and the ugly underbelly of Rupert Murdoch’s FNC

The $1.6 bil­lion defama­tion suit filed by Domin­ion Vot­ing Sys­tems against Rupert Mur­doch’s FNC has pro­duced a doc­u­ment dump of rev­e­la­tions into uneth­i­cal con­duct not seen since the Nixon White House tapes revealed the office talk of our thir­ty-sev­enth pres­i­dent in the 1970s, a long-bygone decade.

The high/low point came Tues­day night. Using footage sup­plied by House Speak­er Kevin McCarthy, FNC host Tuck­er Carl­son sought to depict the Jan­u­ary 6th, 2021, U.S. Capi­tol insur­rec­tion­ists as peace­ful tourists, escort­ed through hal­lowed cor­ri­dors by Capi­tol police. Kudos from Don­ald Trump: “Con­grat­u­la­tions to Tuck­er Carl­son on one of the biggest ‘scoops’ as a reporter in U.S. history.”

On the same day, Domin­ion dropped its lat­est depo­si­tions, reveal­ing what Carl­son real­ly thought of our forty-fifth pres­i­dent. “I hate him pas­sion­ate­ly,” Tuck­er said in an email two days before the Jan­u­ary 6th insur­rec­tion, adding that “we are very very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights. I tru­ly can’t wait.”

The net­work had lion­ized Trump for four years, but of his pres­i­den­cy Carl­son said: “We’re all pre­tend­ing we’ve got a lot to show for it, because admit­ting what a dis­as­ter it’s been is too hard to digest. But come on, there real­ly isn’t an upside to Trump.”

In the pri­vate sec­tor, Carl­son said of Trump, Trump was a failure.

“What he’s good at is destroy­ing things. He’s the undis­put­ed world cham­pi­on of that,” and was to add: “He’s a demon­ic force, a destroy­er. But he’s not going to destroy us. I’ve been think­ing about this every day for four years.”

The words came from one who had gushed that Trump “the great­est pres­i­dent that every will be” in con­ver­sa­tion with fel­low Fox host Greg Gut­feld,” and lat­er a “gen­uine­ly great president.”

The “upside” to Trump, of course, was that Fox News reaped access, rat­ings and income dur­ing Donald’s four years in office.

Trump true believ­ers sought sus­te­nance from the net­work. Sean Han­ni­ty was trans­formed from a pub­lic bore into a pun­dit with reg­u­lar access and an advis­er to the pres­i­dent. Carl­son car­ried on the president’s cul­ture wars for white people.

In the wake of the 2020 elec­tion, how­ev­er, Carl­son and oth­er Fox hosts saw the destroy­er side of Trump. The net­work of pro­pa­gan­dists had field­ed an hon­est vote tab­u­la­tion effort. Late on elec­tion night, Fox pre­dict­ed that Joe Biden would car­ry Ari­zona, the first Demo­c­ra­t­ic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date since Bill Clin­ton in 1996.

Trump was infu­ri­at­ed, seek­ing to con­tact net­work own­er Rupert Mur­doch. Fox view­ers began to decamp to news orga­ni­za­tions fur­ther on the right.

Trump cried fraud and field­ed a bizarre team of advo­cates, who man­aged to lose more than six­ty caus­es in court and were rebuffed, in many cas­es by Trump-appoint­ed judges, and gave Amer­i­cans the unfor­get­table image of hair dye run­ning down Rudy Giuliani’s cheeks plus Four Sea­sons Land­scap­ing jokes.

With rat­ings imper­iled, Fox brass found a new tar­get, the hon­est jour­nal­ists who accu­rate­ly mapped Biden’s path to victory.

Writ­ing to for­mer New York Post edi­tor Col Allen, Rupert Mur­doch railed: “I hate our Deci­sion Desk peo­ple! And poll­sters! Some of the same peo­ple, I think. Just for the hell of it still pray­ing for Az to prove them wrong.”

Han­ni­ty and Steve Doocy piled on the “straight news” side of the network.

“News’ destroyed us,” said Han­ni­ty. “Every day,” Doocy replied., to which Han­ni­ty added: “You don’t piss off the base.” The prob­lem on the news side, Han­ni­ty argued, a refusal to pan­der: “They don’t care. They are jour­nal­ists.”

The result, to hold view­ers – Carl­son reg­u­lar­ly tops three mil­lion – was that Fox fanned con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries, put Trump advo­cates onto the air, while pri­vate­ly dis­play­ing con­tempt for Trump’s elec­tion chal­lenge. One exec­u­tive, Wash­ing­ton, D.C., man­ag­ing edi­tor Bill Sam­mon, did warn pri­vate­ly of consequences.

“It’s remark­able how weak rat­ings make good jour­nal­ists do bad things,” he wrote to polit­i­cal edi­tor Chris Stire­wait, who answered: “It’s a real mess.”

Rupert Mur­doch pri­vate­ly mocked Trump-gen­er­at­ed conspiracies.

The CEO’s depo­si­tion makes for dev­as­tat­ing reading.

“You’ve nev­er believed that Domin­ion was involved in an effort to dele­git­imize and destroy votes for Don­ald Trump, cor­rect?” he was asked.

Replied Mur­doch, “I’m open to per­sua­sion, but, no, I’ve nev­er seen it.”

Top rat­ed Fox News hosts began ques­tion­ing the election.

The network’s rat­ings were restored. Mur­doch did not believe a word of it, but took no action to curb the air­ing of con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries. He would con­cede in his depo­si­tion, “Maybe Sean (Han­ni­ty) and Lau­ra (Ingra­ham) went too far.”

Pri­vate­ly, Carl­son and Ingra­ham mocked high-pro­file elec­tion fraud lawyer Sid­ney Pow­ell, along with Giu­lianai the most promi­nent of Trump’s pub­lic advocates.

“I had to try to make the WH (White House) dis­avow her, which they obvi­ous­ly should have done long before,” he texted Ingra­ham. Ingra­ham, while fan­ning rumors, replied, “No seri­ous lawyer could believe what they were saying.”

The back­stage rev­e­la­tions from Fox have caused a firestorm on main­stream media, and copi­ous cov­er­age on rival net­works CNN and MSNBC. The air­brush­ing by Carl­son of the U.S. Capi­tol insur­rec­tion has brought down con­fir­ma­tion from Repub­li­cans in the Sen­ate, although not House Speak­er McCarthy.

“It was a mis­take, in my view, for Fox News to depict this in a way that’s com­plete­ly at vari­ance with what our chief law enforce­ment here at the Capi­tol thinks,” said top Sen­ate Repub­li­can Mitch McConnell.

As for Carlson’s claim that 01/06/2021 was “peace­ful chaos,” Sen­a­tor Thom Tillis, R‑North Car­oli­na, said: “I think it’s (exple­tive).”

Sen. Mitt Rom­ney, R‑Utah, was even more blunt, say­ing he’s “real­ly sad to see Tuck­er Carl­son go off the rails like that,” and “join­ing a range of shock jocks that are dis­ap­point­ing Amer­i­ca and feed­ing false­hoods. The Amer­i­can peo­ple saw what hap­pened on Jan­u­ary 6th. They’ve seen the peo­ple that got injured. You can’t hide the truth by selec­tive­ly pick­ing a few min­utes out of tapes and say­ing this is what went on. It’s so absurd. It’s nonsense.”

But hid­ing the truth is exact­ly what Carl­son is up to. Fox view­ers are see­ing or hear­ing almost noth­ing about back­stage con­ver­sa­tions, or the con­tro­ver­sy set off by Carlson’s effort to recast the insur­rec­tion. Right wing media has large­ly cut off cov­er­age of duplic­i­ty and dis­hon­esty by top propagandists.

I’m remind­ed of jour­nal­ist William L. Shirer’s “Berlin Diary” account of the lead­off to World War II. As CBS’ man in Berlin, Shir­er ducked off to Switzer­land for a fam­i­ly vaca­tion in the sum­mer of 1939. He saw the world’s press report­ing on Germany’s immi­nent inva­sion of Poland. Return­ing to the Third Reich, how­ev­er, he found news­pa­per kiosks filled with Nazi news­pa­pers breath­less­ly report­ing that Poland was about to mount an attack on Germany.

The com­par­i­son is apt.

The right wing’s fab­ri­cat­ing suc­ceeds if no com­pet­ing infor­ma­tion is let in. Sad­ly, in Amer­i­ca, right-wing media is will­ful­ly manip­u­lat­ing true believ­ers. Tuck­er Carl­son is ply­ing his view­ers with mis­in­for­ma­tion and tak­ing them for a ride.

How long can it work? Fox is now try­ing to slide away from Trump and anoint Flori­da Gov­er­nor Ron DeSan­tis as America’s next pres­i­dent. The Trump cult won’t have it. A blunt threat, at last weekend’s CPAC con­fer­ence, from for­mer Trump “chief strate­gist” Steve Ban­non: “You’ve deemed Trump’s not going to be pres­i­dent. Well, we’ve deemed you’re not going to have a network.”

Wednesday, March 8th, 2023

VICTORY! Washington State House votes to ban military style assault weapons

Tonight, Wash­ing­ton took a big step towards a safer future with the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives’ approval of leg­is­la­tion request­ed by Attor­ney Gen­er­al Fer­gu­son and Gov­er­nor Inslee that would final­ly ban mil­i­tary-style assault weapons.

By a vote of 55–38, the House sent HB 1240 on to the Sen­ate for fur­ther con­sid­er­a­tion. Prime spon­sored by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Strom Peter­son, the bill “prohibits the man­u­fac­ture, impor­ta­tion, dis­tri­b­u­tion, sale, or offer for sale of any assault weapon, sub­ject to var­i­ous excep­tions for licensed firearm man­u­fac­tur­ers and deal­ers, and for indi­vid­u­als who inher­it an assault weapon.”

It also pro­vides that “a vio­la­tion of these restric­tions con­sti­tutes a gross mis­de­meanor and is action­able under the Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Act.”

“The House today put pub­lic safe­ty above the inter­est of the gun lob­by,” Attor­ney Gen­er­al Bob Fer­gu­son said. “The dev­as­ta­tion of mass shoot­ings extends far beyond the casu­al­ties and injuries. Mass shoot­ings trau­ma­tize entire com­mu­ni­ties. We must stop sell­ing these weapons of war in Washington.”

“Assault weapons have con­tributed to some of the dead­liest shoot­ings over the last decade, and keep­ing more of them out of our com­mu­ni­ties will make Wash­ing­ton a safer place,” Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee said.

“I applaud the bill spon­sors and the Attor­ney General’s Office for help­ing advance this cru­cial pub­lic safe­ty measure.”

“We have a cri­sis of gun vio­lence in this coun­try, and it is only esca­lat­ing,” Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Peter­son (also a Sno­homish Coun­ty Coun­cilmem­ber) observed.

“Too many of our neigh­bors’ lives have been cut short. In 2016, a 19-year-old here in Muk­il­teo used an assault rifle to end three lives and upend count­less more. I am proud that we passed this leg­is­la­tion off of the House floor. We need to con­tin­ue to take real, tan­gi­ble action to curb gun vio­lence in our state. Get­ting this bill to the governor’s desk will be a major step forward.”

“It is time we put chil­dren before the gun indus­try and peo­ple before prof­it,” said Sen­a­tor Pat­ty Kud­er­er, prime spon­sor of the com­pan­ion bill in the Sen­ate. Kud­er­er rep­re­sents NPI’s home­town of Red­mond along with Sen­a­tor Man­ka Dhingra.

“We passed com­mon-sense gun safe­ty leg­is­la­tion last year because the data shows when shoot­ers have more bul­lets, they use them. We’re back this year because the research tells us when shoot­ers get to attach red dot sites, fore­grips, col­lapsi­ble butt­stocks and lasers: they use them in our class­rooms. Assault weapons are favored by mass shoot­ers pre­cise­ly because they are able to mow down many peo­ple in a short peri­od of time. This isn’t a game. This is real and these are the lives of our most vul­ner­a­ble com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers. There is no place for weapons of war on our streets, our schools and in our neighborhoods.”

The Attor­ney Gen­er­al’s press release cel­e­brat­ing the pas­sage of the bill not­ed that the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute’s polling has found extreme­ly strong sup­port among like­ly vot­ers in Wash­ing­ton for an assault weapons ban.

That sup­port stood at 56% last June and was sub­se­quent­ly cor­rob­o­rat­ed by a poll con­duct­ed by Sur­veyUSA for its part­ners. A new statewide NPI poll just back from the field today found that sup­port had increased slight­ly, to 58%, which shows that vot­er enthu­si­asm for this crit­i­cal law is not only rock sol­id, but growing.

Our team is very hap­py to see this bill leave the House as the final action tak­en on cut­off day. It’s about time! Thank you, Representatives!

The roll call was as follows:

Roll Call
HB 1240
Firearms/assault weapons
3rd Read­ing & Final Passage

Yeas: 55; Nays: 42; Excused: 1

Vot­ing Yea: Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Alvara­do, Bate­man, Berg, Bergquist, Berry, Bronoske, Callan, Chap­man, Chopp, Cortes, Davis, Doglio, Don­aghy, Duerr, Enten­man, Fari­var, Fey, Fitzgib­bon, Fos­se, Good­man, Gregerson, Hack­ney, Klo­ba, Leav­itt, Lekanoff, Macri, Mena, Mor­gan, Orms­by, Ortiz-Self, Orwall, Paul, Peter­son, Pol­let, Ramel, Ramos, Reed, Reeves, Ric­cel­li, Ryu, San­tos, Senn, Sim­mons, Slat­ter, Springer, Stearns, Stonier, Street, Tay­lor, Thai, Tharinger, Tim­mons, Walen, Wylie, Jinkins

Vot­ing Nay: Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Abbarno, Barkis, Barnard, Caldier, Cham­bers, Chan­dler, Cheney, Chris­t­ian, Con­nors, Cor­ry, Cou­ture, Dent, Dye, Eslick, Goehn­er, Gra­ham, Grif­fey, Har­ris, Hutchins, Jacob­sen, Klick­er, Kretz, Low, May­cum­ber, McClin­tock, McEn­tire, Mos­bruck­er, Orcutt, Robert­son, Rude, Rule, San­dlin, Schmick, Schmidt, Shavers, Steele, Stokes­bary, Volz, Walsh, Waters, Wilcox, Ybarra

Excused: Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Hansen

No Repub­li­cans sup­port­ed the bill. That’s dis­ap­point­ing, but not unexpected.

Two Democ­rats vot­ed nay: New State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Clyde Shavers (D‑10th Dis­trict: Island and Sno­homish Coun­ties) and State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Ali­cia Rule (D‑42nd Dis­trict: What­com Coun­ty). Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Drew Hansen, who is bat­tling COVID-19, was excused from the vote. The cau­cus could have afford­ed to have lost five more votes and still passed the bill. How­ev­er, it passed more com­fort­ably than that, show­ing that Democ­rats know this is leg­is­la­tion the peo­ple want.

HB 1240 now heads to the Wash­ing­ton State Sen­ate for fur­ther consideration.

What a great vic­to­ry to be able to cel­e­brate on the final day for bills to be con­sid­ered in their cham­ber of ori­gin in the 2023 leg­isla­tive session!

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