NPI's Cascadia Advocate

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

Friday, December 6th, 2019

Recount complete! Varisha Khan elected to four year term on Redmond City Council

It should­n’t take a close race to remind us that every vote counts, but these days, we need every reminder we can get that par­tic­i­pa­tion in local, state, and fed­er­al elec­tions real­ly and tru­ly does mat­ter. And today, we got a pletho­ra of such reminders, as elec­tions offi­cials in Wash­ing­ton State wrapped up a bevy of recounts in incred­i­bly close con­tests for posi­tions at the local lev­el.

One of those con­tests, which our team at NPI has been track­ing close­ly, is the Red­mond City Coun­cil race between Var­isha Khan and Hank Myers here in our home­town of Red­mond. About a month ago, we report­ed here on the Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate that Khan had over­come a ten point deficit to take the lead over Myers in late bal­lots… a stun­ning, eleventh hour, come from behind devel­op­ment.

Since that late Fri­day evening bal­lot drop on Novem­ber 8th, Khan has main­tained a slim lead over Myers. On Novem­ber 26th, she fin­ished the ini­tial count with that lead intact, but by one vote less than the mar­gin need­ed to avert a recount.

This week, King Coun­ty Elec­tions recount­ed all of the bal­lots in the Red­mond City Coun­cil race via machine recount, and the result was the same: a vic­to­ry for Var­isha Khan by a mar­gin of six­ty-six votes. In less than two weeks, Var­isha Khan will join the Red­mond City Coun­cil as one of its sev­en mem­bers and as one of the first Mus­lim women ever elect­ed to a city coun­cil in Wash­ing­ton State.

Here’s what she had to say after the recount results were deliv­ered:

It’s final­ly offi­cial­ly offi­cial once and for all! The elec­tion is final­ly over and cer­ti­fied! We won!😄 🥳 🙌🏼 🎉

I’m hon­ored to have been elect­ed to serve on Red­mond City Coun­cil.

This win was made pos­si­ble by thou­sands of peo­ple who played their own impor­tant roles along the way:

Vot­ers, vol­un­teers, donors, the King Coun­ty Elec­tions teams that count­ed and recount­ed to ensure every vote was count­ed, every­one who post­ed and shared our cam­paign with their friends and fam­i­ly…

My incred­i­ble cam­paign team who put in their blood, sweat, and tears day and night. And my fam­i­ly, who was end­less­ly sup­port­ive and there to help every step of the way.

If we learned any­thing, it’s that every sin­gle vote mat­ters. One vote mat­ters. One vote would have kept us out of recount. 66 votes put us over the edge. More to come. For now, I’m going to eat break­fast and get ready for Fri­day prayers.

We all earned this win. Cel­e­brate and show grat­i­tude. Then let’s get to work. Time for some pos­i­tive change.

What an uplift­ing mes­sage, eh?

As a friend of Var­isha’s who sup­port­ed and advised her cam­paign, I could­n’t be more delight­ed to see her can­di­da­cy brought to a suc­cess­ful fin­ish.

Var­isha’s vic­to­ry will help the Red­mond City Coun­cil look a lot more like the com­mu­ni­ty of Red­mond. She’ll bring a per­spec­tive to the dais that the Coun­cil has nev­er had before, ben­e­fit­ing every­one in Red­mond.

Varisha Khan

Incom­ing Red­mond City Coun­cilmem­ber Var­isha Khan (Cam­paign pho­to)

Because vot­ers also elect­ed chal­lenger Jes­si­ca Forsythe to the Coun­cil while select­ing Vanes­sa Kritzer for Posi­tion# 5, the Coun­cil will go from major­i­ty male to super­ma­jor­i­ty female. The new Coun­cil (for 2020–2021) will con­sist of:

  • Var­isha Khan, Posi­tion #1
  • Steve Fields, Posi­tion #2
  • Jes­si­ca Forsythe, Posi­tion #3
  • Tani­ka Pad­hye, Posi­tion #4
  • Vanes­sa Kritzer, Posi­tion #5
  • Jeralee Ander­son, Posi­tion #6
  • David Car­son, Posi­tion #7

They will be joined at the dais by May­or-elect Angela Bir­ney (Kritzer’s pre­de­ces­sor on the Coun­cil) who is tak­ing over from John Mar­chione.

I have high hopes for this new Coun­cil. Red­mond has work to do on a host of issues, from tree canopy pro­tec­tion, build­ing effi­cien­cy, replac­ing the poor­ly built and poor­ly main­tained Senior Cen­ter, emer­gency pre­pared­ness, and mit­i­gat­ing the  dis­rup­tion that con­struc­tion of Red­mond Link will cause. This new Coun­cil seems like one that will be able to approach these issues with fresh, crit­i­cal eyes.

The NPI team and I look for­ward to see­ing them in action.

Con­grat­u­la­tions to Var­isha Khan and all of the oth­er suc­cess­ful can­di­dates in this year’s Red­mond city coun­cil and may­oral elec­tions. May you gov­ern well!

Wednesday, December 4th, 2019

Tim Eyman’s pals fail miserably in their attempt to intervene in I‑976 legal challenge

An attempt by sev­er­al friends of Tim Eyman to inter­vene in the legal chal­lenge against Eyman’s Ini­tia­tive 976 end­ed in unsur­pris­ing fail­ure today when Wash­ing­ton State’s high­est court issued an order dis­miss­ing their action.

With Eyman’s bless­ing, Clint Didi­er, Matthew Mor­rell, Kevin Heinen, John Logue, and Park­er Olsen had put their names on a com­plaint draft­ed by theo­con­ser­v­a­tive lawyer Stephen Pid­geon that demand­ed a change of venue in the I‑976 case.

More specif­i­cal­ly, Eyman’s pals want­ed the Wash­ing­ton State Supreme Court to yank the case out of King Coun­ty Supe­ri­or Court and assert juris­dic­tion.

How­ev­er, since Eyman’s pals have a very poor under­stand­ing of the law (and not mere­ly con­sti­tu­tion­al law, but the law in gen­er­al) their action nev­er had a chance. It deserved to be prompt­ly laughed out of the Tem­ple of Jus­tice.

And today, it was. (Fig­u­ra­tive­ly speak­ing.)

Below you can read Pid­geon’s com­plaint, which makes a lot of non­sen­si­cal argu­ments that are whol­ly unsup­port­ed and with­out foun­da­tion.

Clint Didier’s base­less attempt to inter­vene in I‑976 legal chal­lenge

Now, here’s the Court’s order dis­miss­ing their action.

Supreme Court order dis­miss­ing Clint Didier’s action

Tim Eyman and his pals have repeat­ed­ly tried to argue that King Coun­ty Supe­ri­or Court is not a prop­er venue for the legal chal­lenge against Ini­tia­tive 976 (Garfield Coun­ty Trans­porta­tion Author­i­ty et al v. State of Wash­ing­ton) because King Coun­ty is a plain­tiff in the case and Judge Mar­shall Fer­gu­son (who was assigned the case) was appoint­ed to the bench by Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee.

This is an absurd, patent­ly ridicu­lous argu­ment.

King Coun­ty judges hear cas­es every day in which King Coun­ty is a par­ty. For exam­ple, when King Coun­ty brings a crim­i­nal case against a per­son who com­mit­ted a crime in King Coun­ty, a King Coun­ty judge hears that case, and is the tri­er of fact.

Crim­i­nal defen­dants do have the right to a jury tri­al and to have their guilt deter­mined by a jury of their peers, but such cas­es are still presided over by a judge who draws their salary from the same coun­ty that is pay­ing the pros­e­cu­tor to bring the case. And of course, if a defen­dant can­not afford an attor­ney of their own, then a pub­lic defend­er is pro­vid­ed at pub­lic expense.

Motions for a change of venue in a civ­il or crim­i­nal case are not unheard of, but such motions are typ­i­cal­ly only grant­ed in extra­or­di­nary cir­cum­stances.

Court rules spell out what those cir­cum­stances are.

For instance, the rules per­tain­ing to when a change of venue is accept­able in a crim­i­nal pro­ceed­ing for courts of lim­it­ed juris­dic­tion are here.

King Coun­ty is an appro­pri­ate venue for the I‑976 legal chal­lenge and the plain­tiffs explained why in the very first plead­ing they filed with the Court, which states:

VENUE

This Court has juris­dic­tion over this mat­ter pur­suant to RCW ch. 2.08, RCW ch. 7.24, and RCW 7.40.010.

Venue is prop­er in this Court pur­suant to RCW 4.92.010 because the res­i­dence or prin­ci­pal place of busi­ness of one or more of the Plain­tiffs is in King Coun­ty, Wash­ing­ton.

Tim Eyman may not like that state law pre­scribes King Coun­ty Supe­ri­or Court as a prop­er venue for a case like this, but our courts do not oper­ate accord­ing to Tim Eyman’s whims and wish­es. Our courts exist to inter­pret the law, not make it.

By Tim Eyman’s log­ic, this case can­not be fair­ly heard in any court of the State of Wash­ing­ton, includ­ing the Supreme Court, because the State is a defen­dant in this case and all judges and jus­tices are mem­bers of the state judi­cia­ry.

Our State Supreme Court jus­tices are paid salaries by the same juris­dic­tion that is defend­ing the law­suit against Ini­tia­tive 976: the State of Wash­ing­ton.

But that is not a con­flict of inter­est for the same rea­son that it’s not a con­flict of inter­est for a King Coun­ty judge to decide a civ­il mat­ter in which King Coun­ty is a plain­tiff, or a crim­i­nal mat­ter King Coun­ty is pros­e­cut­ing.

The judi­cia­ry is an inde­pen­dent, coequal branch of our gov­ern­ment. It is not part of the exec­u­tive or leg­isla­tive branch­es. It is sep­a­rate.

Judges have a solemn respon­si­bil­i­ty to inter­pret the law in accor­dance with the Con­sti­tu­tion, and they take that respon­si­bil­i­ty seri­ous­ly.

When you think crit­i­cal­ly about Tim Eyman’s argu­ments, they fall apart pret­ty fast.

Wednesday, December 4th, 2019

Washington State Supreme Court keeps injunction against Tim Eyman’s I‑976 in place

Wash­ing­ton State’s high­est court has refused to lift a pre­lim­i­nary injunc­tion bar­ring Tim Eyman’s incred­i­bly destruc­tive Ini­tia­tive 976 from tak­ing effect tomor­row, sus­tain­ing a deci­sion by King Coun­ty Supe­ri­or Court Judge Mar­shall Fer­gu­son in favor of a coali­tion of local gov­ern­ments that was issued a week ago.

The Court was asked by Attor­ney Gen­er­al Bob Fer­gu­son’s office on Mon­day in an emer­gency fil­ing to reverse Fer­gu­son and allow the ini­tia­tive to go into effect.

In a short order issued this after­noon, the Court turned down Fer­gu­son’s request, while grant­i­ng a sep­a­rate motion per­mit­ting the sub­mis­sion of a length­i­er-than-usu­al brief. The order gave no expla­na­tion for the Court’s deci­sion.

Chief Jus­tice Mary E. Fairhurst writes for the major­i­ty:

The Court unan­i­mous­ly grants the motion for leave to file over-length response. The Court, by major­i­ty, denies the emer­gency motion for stay pend­ing review.

DATED at Olympia, Wash­ing­ton this 4th day of Decem­ber, 2019.

Although the major­i­ty led by Fairhurst did not explain their rea­son­ing, three jus­tices filed a writ­ten dis­sent in which they state that they would have grant­ed the state’s motion. The dis­sent­ing jus­tices were Debra L. Stephens (the incom­ing Chief Jus­tice), Susan Owens, and Sheryl Gor­don McCloud.

The Court’s order, includ­ing the dis­sent, is below.

State Supreme Court’s order sus­tain­ing injunc­tion against I‑976

The plain­tiffs in the I‑976 legal chal­lenge — who became the respon­dents when Attor­ney Gen­er­al Bob Fer­gu­son’s office asked the Supreme Court to weigh in — argued emphat­i­cal­ly yes­ter­day that it would be improp­er for the Court to over­turn Judge Mar­shall Fer­gu­son’s rul­ing. From the open­ing pas­sages of their brief:

The State’s emer­gency stay motion, filed late on Decem­ber 2nd, 2019, asks this Court in less than forty-eight hours, based on lim­it­ed brief­ing, and with­out the ben­e­fit of oral argu­ment, to over­turn the pre­lim­i­nary injunc­tion.

That result would effec­tive­ly give the State com­plete relief on the mer­its, at least for the months it will take for this Court to address the pro­pri­ety of the issuance of the pre­lim­i­nary injunc­tion and, regard­less of the out­come of dis­cre­tionary review, the peri­od fol­low­ing remand of the case to the tri­al court for a deter­mi­na­tion of the mer­its.

This Court has declined to grant such extra­or­di­nary emer­gency stays in the past, and should decline to do so here.

The brief’s intro­duc­tion ends by declar­ing:

The State seems to argue the nov­el and far-reach­ing propo­si­tion that there is some right for vot­ers who sup­port­ed a bal­lot mea­sure to have even an uncon­sti­tu­tion­al ini­tia­tive imple­ment­ed until there is a hear­ing on the mer­its. No case sup­ports that propo­si­tion.

It is wrong and should be reject­ed.

Final­ly, the Court should con­sid­er that the pub­lic inter­est is best served by a quick res­o­lu­tion of the Respon­dents’ con­sti­tu­tion­al claims.

That can only be achieved by deny­ing the stay and the request for inter­locu­to­ry review and allow­ing the tri­al court to prompt­ly resolve the mer­its, a process it has already com­menced in call­ing for a brief­ing sched­ule. At that point, direct expe­dit­ed review by this Court would be appro­pri­ate. Appeal­ing a motion for pre­lim­i­nary injunc­tion only delays that for months.

The State does not meet the stan­dard for an emer­gency stay of a pre­lim­i­nary injunc­tion. The State’s motion should be denied.

Six jus­tices — a two-thirds super­ma­jor­i­ty — appar­ent­ly agreed with these argu­ments, as evi­denced by the Court’s order, while three dis­agreed and would have giv­en Attor­ney Gen­er­al Bob Fer­gu­son the stay that he want­ed.

Seat­tle City Attor­ney Pete Holmes, whose office is work­ing on the case in con­junc­tion with attor­neys employed by King Coun­ty and Paci­fi­ca Law Group, applaud­ed the Supreme Court’s refusal to reverse Judge Mar­shall Fer­gu­son.

“The Court’s order right­ly main­tains the sta­tus quo while we have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to ful­ly present our argu­ments that this harm­ful, mis­lead­ing mea­sure should not take effect,” Holmes said in a state­ment react­ing to the order.

With the pre­lim­i­nary injunc­tion affirmed, Ini­tia­tive 976 can­not take effect tomor­row as intend­ed by Eyman. It will like­ly remain frozen in ice until the Supreme Court decides whether the plain­tiffs in Garfield Coun­ty et al v. State of Wash­ing­ton have proved that it is uncon­sti­tu­tion­al.

Wednesday, December 4th, 2019

Raquel Montoya-Lewis joins Washington’s highest court as first Native American justice

What­com Coun­ty Supe­ri­or Court Judge Raquel Mon­toya-Lewis will suc­ceed retir­ing Chief Jus­tice Mary Fairhurst on the Wash­ing­ton State Supreme Court, Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee announced today dur­ing a press con­fer­ence at the Tem­ple of Jus­tice.

New Supreme Court Justice Raquel Montoya-Lewis

New Wash­ing­ton State Supreme Court Jus­tice Raquel Mon­toya-Lewis (Cour­tesy of Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee’s office)

Mon­toya-Lewis, fifty-one, is the first Native Amer­i­can jus­tice in the his­to­ry of the Court, and only the sec­ond Native State Supreme Court jus­tice in U.S. his­to­ry.

Mon­toya-Lewis is from the Pueblo of Lagu­na Indi­an and Pueblo of Isle­ta tribes in New Mex­i­co, fond­ly known as the Land of Enchant­ment.

“Because Judge Mon­toya-Lewis is Native Amer­i­can, many will focus on the his­toric nature of this appoint­ment,” Inslee said in a state­ment.

“And it’s entire­ly appro­pri­ate to do so. But I want the record to show that Judge Mon­toya-Lewis is the kind of excep­tion­al judge I want serv­ing on the high­est court in our state because she is the best per­son for the job.”

This is not the first time Inslee has appoint­ed Mon­toya-Lewis, fifty-one, to an open posi­tion in Wash­ing­ton’s judi­cia­ry.

In 2014, two years into his first term as Gov­er­nor of Wash­ing­ton State, Inslee appoint­ed her to the What­com Coun­ty Supe­ri­or Court.

Although Mon­toya-Lewis is suc­ceed­ing Fairhurst on the court, she will not be the Court’s next Chief Jus­tice. That is because, unlike at the fed­er­al lev­el, the Chief Jus­tice of the Wash­ing­ton State Supreme Court is cho­sen from amongst the jus­tices by the jus­tices them­selves. The jus­tices decid­ed last month that Debra L. Stephens will be tak­ing over for Fairhurst as Chief Jus­tice.

It is pos­si­ble that Mon­toya-Lewis could be cho­sen to serve one or more stints as Chief Jus­tice in the future by her col­leagues on the Court.

First, how­ev­er, she must be retained by the vot­ers in her new role.

Vacant Supreme Court posi­tions may be filled by guber­na­to­r­i­al appoint­ment, but vot­ers will ulti­mate­ly decide who rep­re­sents them on the state’s high­est court.

That’s anoth­er dif­fer­ence between the Wash­ing­ton State Supreme Court and SCOTUS. Jus­tices appoint­ed to the U.S. Supreme Court serve for life and nev­er face the vot­ers. In Wash­ing­ton, jus­tices face the vot­ers reg­u­lar­ly. They serve for six year terms and must retire after they turn sev­en­ty-five years of age.

Pri­or to join­ing the What­com Coun­ty Supe­ri­or Court, Raquel Mon­toya-Lewis was the chief judge for the Nook­sack and Upper Skag­it Indi­an Tribes and an asso­ciate pro­fes­sor at West­ern Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty in Belling­ham. She earned her under­grad­u­ate degree from Uni­ver­si­ty of New Mex­i­co. She sub­se­quent­ly earned her law degree and mas­ter’s in social work from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wash­ing­ton.

Help­ing peo­ple rec­og­nize uncon­scious bias has been a big focus for Mon­toya-Lewis, as the Belling­ham Her­ald report­ed in this well-writ­ten pro­file back in Sep­tem­ber:

In the late 1800s, Mon­toya-Lewis’ ances­tor was sent to a Penn­syl­va­nia board­ing school that stripped her of her native iden­ti­ty.

“It’s a sto­ry that we talk about in our fam­i­ly a lot,” Mon­toya-Lewis said, “but it’s not some­thing that’s talked about out­side.”

Mon­toya-Lewis shares her family’s sto­ry when she teach­es class­es in uncon­scious or implic­it bias to judges, court employ­ees and oth­ers through­out Wash­ing­ton state, includ­ing the Judi­cial Col­lege that all new judges must attend.

She tells her stu­dents how Tza­shima went as a girl to the Carlisle Indi­an Indus­tri­al School, where trib­al mem­bers were assim­i­lat­ed into white cul­ture and often treat­ed bru­tal­ly.

The full sto­ry, by Robert Mit­ten­dorf, is tru­ly worth a read if you want to bet­ter under­stand what this appoint­ment means for our state’s courts.

Raquel Mon­toya-Lewis isn’t just a trail­blaz­er. She is an role mod­el for every­one who inter­acts with our judi­cial sys­tem, espe­cial­ly pros­e­cu­tors, attor­neys, and jurors.

She believes in access to jus­tice, she believes in empa­thy and mutu­al respon­si­bil­i­ty, and she believes in rec­og­niz­ing and con­fronting insti­tu­tion­al racism head-on.

I share Gov­er­nor Inslee’s con­fi­dence that she will be a great Jus­tice for the State of Wash­ing­ton. What­com Coun­ty’s loss is the entire state’s gain.

Her new col­leagues cer­tain­ly seem to like her; they were all beam­ing at today’s press con­fer­ence at the Tem­ple of Jus­tice, and retir­ing Chief Jus­tice Mary Fairhurst (who also spoke) offered high praise for the appoint­ment.

Mon­toya-Lewis will take office on Jan­u­ary 6th, 2020, which is also when Debra L. Stephens will take over as the new Chief Jus­tice of the Supreme Court.

Con­grat­u­la­tions Judge Mon­toya-Lewis, soon to be Jus­tice Mon­toya-Lewis!

Wednesday, December 4th, 2019

Denny Heck to retire from Congress, creating an open seat in Washington’s 10th District

Unit­ed States Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Den­ny Heck announced today that he will leave Con­gress at the end of his term and pass the hon­or of rep­re­sent­ing Wash­ing­ton’s 10th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict in the House to some­one new.

“Being away so much from Paula, my best friend and wife of near­ly forty-four years, can be lone­ly even when I am in a crowd­ed room. At our age, how­ev­er many ‘good years’ we have left togeth­er is not a grow­ing num­ber,” Heck wrote in a let­ter released by his office and pub­lished on Medi­um.

“In the spir­it of com­plete open­ness, part of me is also dis­cour­aged. The count­less hours I have spent in the inves­ti­ga­tion of Russ­ian elec­tion inter­fer­ence and the impeach­ment inquiry have ren­dered my soul weary.”

“I will nev­er under­stand how some of my col­leagues, in many ways good peo­ple, could ignore or deny the President’s unre­lent­ing attack on a free press, his vicious char­ac­ter assas­si­na­tion of any­one who dis­agreed with him, and his demon­stra­bly very dis­tant rela­tion­ship with the truth,” Heck added.

Denny Heck speaking

Unit­ed States Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Den­ny Heck speaks at the 2018 Wash­ing­ton State Demo­c­ra­t­ic Crab Feed (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/Northwest Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute)

“Con­gress­man Den­ny Heck is a cher­ished Mem­ber of our Demo­c­ra­t­ic Cau­cus and a crit­i­cal force in the Con­gress for the eco­nom­ic and nation­al secu­ri­ty of the Amer­i­can peo­ple,” said Speak­er Nan­cy Pelosi. “His years of lead­er­ship in Wash­ing­ton State and in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. have strength­ened Amer­i­ca, and his guid­ance and friend­ship will be missed by his many friends in the Con­gress.

“Since Day One, Con­gress­man Heck has dis­tin­guished him­self as a leader of out­stand­ing integri­ty and char­ac­ter.  A cham­pi­on of edu­ca­tion and oppor­tu­ni­ties for all, he came to Wash­ing­ton com­mit­ted to lift­ing up hard-work­ing fam­i­lies and small busi­ness­es, and his ser­vice on the Finan­cial Ser­vices Com­mit­tee has helped tilt the play­ing field back to the side of work­ers. His patri­o­tism, pas­sion and per­sis­tence have been crit­i­cal to the Intel­li­gence Committee’s work to keep Amer­i­ca safe, par­tic­u­lar­ly dur­ing this chal­leng­ing time for our democ­ra­cy.”

“In his retire­ment state­ment, Den­ny spoke with rev­er­ence of the great hon­or that Mem­bers have to hold pow­er in trust on behalf of our con­stituents. Denny’s humil­i­ty, integri­ty and absolute ded­i­ca­tion to his dis­trict will con­tin­ue to be a bless­ing to our insti­tu­tion and our nation for years to come. We thank his wife, Paula, and his sons, Bob and Trey, for shar­ing Den­ny with the Con­gress and the coun­try, and wish them the best in all their future endeav­ors.”

“I just spoke to Den­ny and thanked him for his tire­less advo­ca­cy on behalf of the peo­ple of the 10th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict,” said Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee in a state­ment sent to NPI short­ly after this post was ini­tial­ly pub­lished.

“No one is more ded­i­cat­ed to serv­ing this region than Den­ny,” the Gov­er­nor declared. “With­out fail, any­time I attend an event in his dis­trict, Den­ny is there. His ded­i­ca­tion and ener­gy are unmatched, and he will be missed.”

“Den­ny has fought hard for a strong democ­ra­cy, been a pow­er­ful voice at the nation­al lev­el and is nev­er afraid to do what’s right. Here at home, Wash­ing­to­ni­ans will ben­e­fit for gen­er­a­tions from his remark­able lead­er­ship on recov­er­ing the Puget Sound, reau­tho­riz­ing the Export-Import Bank and so many oth­er issues.

“No mat­ter what he does next, one thing is for sure – the Con­gres­sion­al Record will be short­er with­out him. I wish Den­ny the very best in his retire­ment and hope he has the oppor­tu­ni­ty to spend more time in the real Wash­ing­ton, enjoy­ing the peo­ple and places he’s fought so hard for in Thurston, Pierce and Mason Coun­ties.”

“Den­ny Heck is a good, kind and decent man who – over four decades – served our state and our nation with hon­or and dis­tinc­tion,” said Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Pra­ma Jaya­pal, who joined the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives four years after Heck did.

“I am proud to have been his col­league and am par­tic­u­lar­ly grate­ful for his stew­ard­ship of Wash­ing­ton state’s nat­ur­al resources, most notably his efforts to restore the Puget Sound. I will miss his guid­ance and friend­ship, but I wish him and his fam­i­ly great hap­pi­ness in the years ahead.”

Heck has rep­re­sent­ed Wash­ing­ton’s 10th Dis­trict in Con­gress since it was cre­at­ed in the last round of redis­trict­ing. The dis­trict encom­pass­es much of the South Sound area, includ­ing the state’s cap­i­tal of Olympia and south­ern Pierce Coun­ty. While not a lib­er­al bas­tion like Wash­ing­ton’s 7th or 9th, the 10th is reli­ably Demo­c­ra­t­ic, so Heck­’s retire­ment should not alter the par­ti­san make­up of the state’s del­e­ga­tion.

Espe­cial­ly giv­en that he’s retir­ing in a pres­i­den­tial cycle.

Demo­c­ra­t­ic strate­gists pre­fer that Demo­c­ra­t­ic office­hold­ers retire in pres­i­den­tial cycles because an open seat is eas­i­er to defend in a high turnout elec­tion, whether it’s in Con­gress, a state Leg­is­la­ture, or a local gov­ern­ment.

A num­ber of Demo­c­ra­t­ic leg­is­la­tors live in Wash­ing­ton’s 10th Dis­trict and sev­er­al of them will undoubt­ed­ly now begin con­tem­plat­ing a bid for Con­gress.

In 2012, when Norm Dicks opt­ed to retire, State Sen­a­tor Derek Kilmer was able to clear the field and run a low-dra­ma cam­paign. Will the same thing hap­pen this time around, or will mul­ti­ple Demo­c­ra­t­ic con­tenders square off in the Top Two?

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019

Kamala Harris exits contest for 2020 Democratic presidential nomination

In an unex­pect­ed announce­ment on Tues­day, California’s Unit­ed States Sen­a­tor Kamala Har­ris dropped out of the con­test for the 2020 Demo­c­ra­t­ic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion. The deci­sion comes after months of polls show­ing the Sen­a­tor in steady decline, and rum­blings of seri­ous dis­con­tent with­in her cam­paign team.

Unlike Mon­tana’s Steve Bul­lock and Penn­syl­va­ni­a’s Joe Ses­tak, who also bowed out this week, Sen­a­tor Har­ris was long con­sid­ered one of the top tier of con­tenders for the Demo­c­ra­t­ic nom­i­na­tion. Her campaign’s open­ing ral­ly in Oak­land drew 20,000 atten­dees (more than Barack Obama’s 2007 announce­ment), and ear­ly polling put her in a strong third place, behind only Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden.

Har­ris’ cam­paign had a break­out moment after the first round of tele­vised debates in June. Har­ris mem­o­rably took Joe Biden to task over his prob­lem­at­ic record on race, focus­ing par­tic­u­lar­ly on com­ments sur­round­ing seg­re­ga­tion­ist sen­a­tors and bus­ing poli­cies. Har­ris best­ed an unpre­pared Biden, and was wide­ly regard­ed by swaths of pun­dits as the “win­ner” of the June debate.

Demo­c­ra­t­ic activists also showed enthu­si­asm for Har­ris after that debate. Dona­tions to the Har­ris cam­paign flood­ed in and her stand­ing in the polls got a boost, while Joe Biden’s sup­port amongst Demo­c­ra­t­ic vot­ers saw a decline.

How­ev­er, Har­ris could not chan­nel that momen­tum into a long term advan­tage.

Over the next few weeks, Har­ris’ stand­ing in the polls dwin­dled, and Biden showed up for the sec­ond debate much more pre­pared to actu­al­ly debate.

As the media’s focus drift­ed from Har­ris towards oth­ers can­di­dates – par­tic­u­lar­ly Eliz­a­beth War­ren and Pete Buttigieg – her cam­paign lan­guished into list­less­ness.

In sub­se­quent debates, she came across as unre­mark­able and even bizarre (like when she crit­i­cized Eliz­a­beth War­ren for not join­ing her in call­ing on Twit­ter to sus­pend  Don­ald Trump’s Twit­ter account, a move that puz­zled many peo­ple.)

Slump­ing poll num­bers cor­re­spond­ed with slump­ing dona­tions.

By the time autumn arrived, Har­ris’ cam­paign was “hem­or­rhag­ing” cash at an alarm­ing rate, with online dona­tions drop­ping off and big-mon­ey con­trib­u­tors turn­ing to oth­er can­di­dates. In the most recent quar­ter, Kamala Har­ris For The Peo­ple spent $1.41 for every dol­lar it raised.

With mon­ey dry­ing up, Har­ris’ cam­paign was forced to change its approach, and began slash­ing its adver­tis­ing bud­get and let­ting staff go in cru­cial areas, includ­ing New Hamp­shire. The cam­paign decid­ed to focus on Iowa (where Har­ris recent­ly spent the Thanks­giv­ing hol­i­day) out of neces­si­ty.

The strate­gic piv­ot did not yield results. A recent Iowa State Uni­ver­si­ty poll showed Har­ris in eighth place, with a mea­ger two per­cent.

Kamala Harris speaks to Iowa voters

Kamala Har­ris speaks to Iowa vot­ers (Pho­to: Gage Skid­more, repro­duced under Cre­ative Com­mons license)

By the time Thanks­giv­ing arrived, it seems that Har­ris’ cam­paign had nowhere to go: her best efforts in Iowa had not made her a top tier can­di­date, and mon­ey was get­ting tighter. Har­ris’ team was informed of her deci­sion to drop out in an all-staff call, with the Sen­a­tor sound­ing “dis­traught” over the phone.

In her exit let­ter on Medi­um, Har­ris made it clear that her campaign’s finan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties were the rea­son she dropped out: “I’ve tak­en stock and looked at this from every angle, and over the last few days have come to one of the hard­est deci­sions of my life. My cam­paign for pres­i­dent sim­ply doesn’t have the finan­cial resources we need to con­tin­ue.” In that let­ter, she also took a thin­­ly-veiled swipe at Michael Bloomberg, who plans to per­son­al­ly finance a late bid for the nom­i­na­tion.

Mon­ey was­n’t Har­ris’ only prob­lem. Despite hav­ing great poten­tial, she strug­gled to build a base of sup­port with­in the Demo­c­ra­t­ic elec­torate.

At the out­set of her cam­paign, Har­ris was expect­ed to bring togeth­er a wide coali­tion of vot­ers. Her iden­ti­ty as a woman of African and Asian descent put her at the cen­ter of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic party’s demo­graph­ic base, while her rel­a­tive­ly young age (fifty-five, com­pared to the sep­tu­a­ge­nar­i­ans cur­rent­ly lead­ing the Demo­c­ra­t­ic pack) was seen as endear­ing to younger vot­ers, anoth­er key group for the Democ­rats.

Har­ris added to this already-strong case by using her posi­tion on Sen­ate com­mit­tees to sub­ject Don­ald Trump’s nom­i­nees and appointees to exten­sive grillings, designed in part to win over the Democ­rats’ Trump-loathing activist base.

She then used those exchanges, along with her record as a pros­e­cu­tor and attor­ney gen­er­al, to argue for her elec­tabil­i­ty against Don­ald Trump, who she promised to “pros­e­cute the case” against in the gen­er­al elec­tion.

How­ev­er, Har­ris’ coali­tion nev­er came togeth­er. At least not in polling.

The black vot­ers who were sup­posed to form Har­ris’ base of sup­port large­ly stuck with Joe Biden, Barack Oba­ma’s run­ning mate and Vice Pres­i­dent.

How­ev­er, per­haps more impor­tant than Biden him­self is the tra­di­tion­al cau­tion and cyn­i­cism of black vot­ers. His­tor­i­cal­ly, black vot­ers have gone for can­di­dates who they believe white vot­ers will be com­fort­able with, rather than those who stand for their val­ues and iden­ti­ty. Even Barack Oba­ma didn’t take the lead in black sup­port until he had proved his appeal to white vot­ers by win­ning Iowa in 2008.

Har­ris wasn’t helped by the fact that the 2020 con­test has turned out to be a skir­mish between the neolib­er­al wing of the par­ty (rep­re­sent­ed chiefly by Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg) and the pro­gres­sive wing of the par­ty (rep­re­sent­ed pri­mar­i­ly by Eliz­a­beth War­ren and Bernie Sanders).

Har­ris tried to find the mid­dle ground between the two wings, but often end­ed up pro­mot­ing pol­i­cy direc­tions that did not make much sense.

Her con­fus­ing attempts to explain her “Medicare-for-All-but-not-real­­ly” pol­i­cy frame­work are a par­tic­u­lar­ly fine exam­ple of this.

Har­ris may not be the par­ty’s nom­i­nee in 2020 for Pres­i­dent, but she remains a Unit­ed States Sen­a­tor from the coun­try’s most pop­u­lous state, and will be talked about as a poten­tial pick for Vice Pres­i­dent, depend­ing on who the nom­i­nee is.  This pres­i­den­tial cam­paign did not end well, but that does­n’t mean Kamala Har­ris does not have a bright future. Her polit­i­cal future will be what she makes of it.

Monday, December 2nd, 2019

Steve Bullock ends his presidential bid

On Mon­day, Montana’s Gov­er­nor Steve Bul­lock announced to CNN that he would be aban­don­ing his bid for the 2020 Demo­c­ra­t­ic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion.

Point­ing to the still-enor­­mous field of Demo­c­ra­t­ic con­tenders, Bul­lock said: “While there were many obsta­cles we could not have antic­i­pat­ed when enter­ing this race, it has become clear that in this moment, I won’t be able to break through to the top tier of this still-crowd­ed field of can­di­dates.”

Steve Bullock speaks at the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding

Steve Bul­lock speaks at the Iowa Demo­c­ra­t­ic Wing Ding (Pho­to: Gage Skid­more, repro­duced under Cre­ative Com­mons license)

Gov­er­nor Bul­lock is the lat­est exam­ple of the weird dynam­ic with­in the 2020 Demo­c­ra­t­ic pri­ma­ry cycle, one in which polit­i­cal expe­ri­ence and exec­u­tive skill seem to mat­ter very lit­tle. Of the top ten polling can­di­dates, two (Andrew Yang and Tom Stey­er) have nev­er held elect­ed office, one (Pete Buttigieg) is a mil­len­ni­al with only may­oral expe­ri­ence, and one (Michael Bloomberg) has won elec­tions as a Repub­li­can and Inde­pen­dent, but nev­er as a Demo­c­ra­t­ic con­tender.

Mean­while, mul­ti-term gov­er­nors with sig­nif­i­cant polit­i­cal and leg­isla­tive achieve­ments under their belts – Colorado’s John Hick­en­loop­er, Washington’s Jay Inslee, and now Steve Bul­lock – have fall­en by the way­side.

Bullock’s can­di­da­cy nev­er real­ly made it off the ground; his polling scraped along at around 1%, he strug­gled to raise funds and he only man­aged to get on stage in the July debate before being left behind by ris­ing entry require­ments.

His num­bers prob­a­bly weren’t helped by the fact that he was swept up in a slugfest between pro­gres­sives and neolib­er­al can­di­dates in his only debate per­for­mance.

Bullock’s debate per­for­mance was par­tic­u­lar­ly embar­rass­ing for him, as his defin­ing moment con­sist­ed of start­ing an unpro­voked fight with Eliz­a­beth War­ren over nuclear weapons, of all things. Vot­ers came away from that debate with the uneasy real­iza­tion that a Pres­i­dent Bul­lock would seem­ing­ly have no qualms about autho­riz­ing sur­prise nuclear strikes, like some deranged com­ic book vil­lain.

The real dam­age the debate did to Bullock’s can­di­da­cy was that it gave across the impres­sion that he was mere­ly part of a bloc of neolib­er­al can­di­dates.

But Bullock’s can­di­da­cy didn’t fit neat­ly into a pro­gres­sives vs. neolib­er­al frame­work. Despite his views on Medicare For All and nuclear pro­lif­er­a­tion, the Mon­tana Gov­er­nor has a strong pro­gres­sive streak.

He described him­self as a “pro-choice, pro-union Demo­c­rat,” and railed against the insid­i­ous role of big mon­ey in pol­i­tics. How­ev­er, the unusu­al dynam­ics of this con­test didn’t allow him to make this case to the vot­ers effec­tive­ly.

Anoth­er key sell­ing point that Bul­lock was unable to cap­i­tal­ize upon was his posi­tion as the only Demo­c­rat to win statewide elec­tion in a red state in 2016.

Bul­lock was able to com­fort­ably win reelec­tion despite the fact that Mon­tana swung for Trump by over twen­ty points! This abil­i­ty to appeal to con­ser­v­a­tive vot­ers should have been com­pelling to Demo­c­ra­t­ic vot­ers, but was large­ly drowned out in the cru­cial ear­ly stages by the sea of con­tenders (now that the field has thinned some­what, Sen­a­tor Amy Klobuchar is mak­ing a sim­i­lar pitch more effec­tive­ly).

Bullock’s polit­i­cal path is now unclear.

Hav­ing aban­doned his White House cam­paign, he will also have to aban­don the governor’s res­i­dence in Hele­na after 2020; Mon­tana has guber­na­to­r­i­al term-lim­its. Bul­lock has also unequiv­o­cal­ly ruled out run­ning for the U.S. Sen­ate – despite the fact that incum­bent Repub­li­can Sen­a­tor Steve Daines’ seat is up in 2020.

How­ev­er, a Sen­ate run for Bul­lock is still a pos­si­bil­i­ty. After dis­miss­ing a Sen­ate run while he was still a pres­i­den­tial can­di­date, Colorado’s John Hick­en­loop­er was con­vinced to mount a Sen­ate cam­paign against Cory Gard­ner. Bul­lock could still be lob­bied by forces with­in the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty into chal­leng­ing Daines.

Wednesday, November 27th, 2019

VICTORY! Injunction granted to prevent Tim Eyman’s destructive I‑976 from taking effect

Tim Eyman’s dis­hon­est, incred­i­bly destruc­tive scheme to slash bil­lions of dol­lars in bipar­ti­san, vot­er-approved trans­porta­tion invest­ments at the state, region­al, and local lev­els will not go into effect on Decem­ber 5th as sched­uled, King Coun­ty Supe­ri­or Court Judge Mar­shall Fer­gu­son ruled this morn­ing.

“In bal­anc­ing the equi­ties, inter­ests, and the rel­a­tive harms to the par­ties and the pub­lic, the Court con­cludes that the harms to Plain­tiffs result­ing from the imple­men­ta­tion of I‑976 out­weigh the harms faced by the Defen­dant State of Wash­ing­ton and the pub­lic of imple­men­ta­tion is stayed,” Judge Fer­gu­son wrote.

“if the col­lec­tion of vehi­cle license fees and tax­es stops on Decem­ber 5, 2019, there will be no way to retroac­tive­ly col­lect those rev­enues if, at the con­clu­sion of this case, the Court con­cludes that I‑976 is uncon­sti­tu­tion­al and per­ma­nent­ly enjoins its enforce­ment. Con­verse­ly, refunds of fees and tax­es impact­ed can be issued if the State ulti­mate­ly pre­vails in this mat­ter, albeit at some expense to the State.”

We have pub­lished a state­ment over at NPI’s Per­ma­nent Defense prais­ing the deci­sion and thank­ing Judge Fer­gu­son for uphold­ing our Con­sti­tu­tion.

This is great news to go into the Thanks­giv­ing hol­i­day with… tru­ly great news.

Fer­gu­son’s order declares that is:

ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that Plain­tiffs’ Motion for a Pre­lim­i­nary Injunc­tion is GRANTED. It is fur­ther

ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that the effec­tive date of I‑976 is STAYED pend­ing fur­ther order of this Court. While this stay is in effect, Defen­dant State of Wash­ing­ton, its offi­cials, employ­ees, agents, and all per­sons in active con­cert or par­tic­i­pa­tion with Defen­dant, are enjoined from imple­ment­ing or enforc­ing I‑976. Defen­dant shall con­tin­ue to col­lect all fees, tax­es, and oth­ers charges that would be sub­ject to or impact­ed by I‑976 were it not stayed, and shall dis­trib­ute those funds to local munic­i­pal­i­ties and polit­i­cal sub­di­vi­sions as appro­pri­ate pur­suant to exist­ing laws, reg­u­la­tions, con­tracts, oblig­a­tions, poli­cies, and pro­ce­dures. Any munic­i­pal­i­ty or polit­i­cal sub­di­vi­sion that accepts such funds while this Order is in effect, includ­ing those that are not par­ties to this law­suit, do so sub­ject to the like­li­hood that refunds of over­pay­ments may be required should the State ulti­mate­ly pre­vail in this action.

Read the full rul­ing:

Rul­ing grant­i­ng pre­lim­i­nary injunc­tion against I‑976

The plain­tiffs — Garfield Coun­ty Trans­porta­tion Author­i­ty, the City of Seat­tle, King Coun­ty, the Asso­ci­a­tion of Wash­ing­ton Cities, Wash­ing­ton State Tran­sit Asso­ci­a­tion, Inter­ci­ty Tran­sit, Port of Seat­tle, Amal­ga­mat­ed Tran­sit Union Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil of Wash­ing­ton, and Michael Rogers — are not required to pro­vide any secu­ri­ty as a con­di­tion of the pre­lim­i­nary injunc­tion, the rul­ing states.

While this pre­lim­i­nary injunc­tion will pre­vent I‑976 from being imple­ment­ed in the near future, it is not the courts’ final word on I‑976. Judge Fer­gu­son empha­sized the plain­tiffs must still prove that the ini­tia­tive is uncon­sti­tu­tion­al beyond a rea­son­able doubt. While he has found they are like­ly to be able to do that, a prop­er judg­ment con­cern­ing I‑976’s con­sti­tu­tion­al­i­ty won’t come till next year.

King County Superior Court Judge Marshall Ferguson

King Coun­ty Supe­ri­or Court Judge Mar­shall Fer­gu­son hears oral argu­ments in Garfield Coun­ty et al v. State of Wash­ing­ton (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/Northwest Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute)

Fer­gu­son — who clear­ly pos­sess­es crit­i­cal think­ing and long term think­ing skills, unlike some oth­er peo­ple I could think of — also had the fore­sight to end his order with a plan for next steps. His rul­ing directs the par­ties to dis­cuss sched­ul­ing mat­ters togeth­er and to pro­vide him, no lat­er than noon on Thurs­day, Decem­ber 5th, a pro­posed time­frame for future motions, brief­ing, and hear­ings.

That is, of course, if they can reach agree­ment on one.

It did­n’t take long for reac­tion to Judge Fer­gu­son’s deci­sion to begin pour­ing in.

“This is good news for tran­sit, safe­ty, and equi­ty in Seat­tle,” said Emer­ald City May­or Jen­ny Durkan. “The Court rec­og­nized the severe and irrepara­ble harm to our res­i­dents that would have occurred with­out this injunc­tion. The City of Seat­tle
will con­tin­ue to fight this uncon­sti­tu­tion­al ini­tia­tive.”

“We believe the court is cor­rect in rec­og­niz­ing that I‑976 is like­ly uncon­sti­tu­tion­al and rul­ing that the ini­tia­tive would cause irrepara­ble harm,” said King Coun­ty Exec­u­tive Dow Con­stan­tine in a state­ment released by his office.

“The City of Seat­tle has com­mit­ted that it will not cut Metro ser­vice hours fund­ed by the vot­er-approved Seat­tle Trans­porta­tion Ben­e­fit Dis­trict, so that res­i­dents can con­tin­ue to depend on fast, reli­able tran­sit.”

“Despite today’s rul­ing, Metro con­tin­ues to face the prospect of reduced state and region­al fund­ing for bus­es, RapidRide, van­pool and oth­er ser­vices, includ­ing Access para­tran­sit, a life­line for res­i­dents with dis­abil­i­ties.

“We will con­tin­ue to fight to ensure this region – where I‑976 was defeat­ed by a near­ly twen­ty-point mar­gin – will face as few ser­vice dis­rup­tions as pos­si­ble.”

“It is crit­i­cal that the Leg­is­la­ture act to pro­vide bet­ter, more pop­u­lar rev­enue alter­na­tives to the cur­rent vehi­cle fees, and main­tain the state’s com­mit­ment to fund its share of trans­porta­tion projects until the Supreme Court has ren­dered a final deci­sion on the con­sti­tu­tion­al­i­ty of I‑976.”

“This is not a final judg­ment, and this case is far from over,” said Attor­ney Gen­er­al Bob Fer­gu­son in a state­ment issued after a review of the rul­ing.

“We will con­tin­ue work­ing to defend the will of the vot­ers,” Fer­gu­son added.

“This case will ulti­mate­ly wind up before the State Supreme Court. We are work­ing now to deter­mine our imme­di­ate next steps. As my solic­i­tor gen­er­al, Noah Pur­cell, said yes­ter­day, Tim Eyman’s out­burst in court was wild­ly inap­pro­pri­ate, and it hurt our chances of suc­cess­ful­ly defend­ing the people’s ini­tia­tive.”

Mean­while, of course, Seat­tle and King Coun­ty and lawyers for Inter­ci­ty Tran­sit will con­tin­ue work­ing to defend the will of *their* vot­ers. I‑976 failed over­whelm­ing­ly in King Coun­ty. It also failed in five oth­er coun­ties, includ­ing Thurston Coun­ty, home to Inter­ci­ty Tran­sit, one of the oth­er plain­tiffs in the case.

No coun­ty vot­ed more strong­ly against I‑976 than San Juan Coun­ty, where 71% of vot­ers emphat­i­cal­ly reject­ed the mea­sure. Offi­cials there are eager to sup­port the law­suit, as they should be. On Novem­ber 18th, the San Juan Coun­ty Com­mis­sion met and autho­rized Coun­ty Pros­e­cut­ing Attor­ney Randy Gay­lord to file an ami­cus brief in the Garfield Coun­ty case sup­port­ing the plain­tiffs.

Tuesday, November 26th, 2019

Tim Eyman throws a temper tantrum after hearing on possible injunction against I‑976

Today was an impor­tant day in the legal chal­lenge against Tim Eyman’s I‑976.

King Coun­ty Supe­ri­or Court Judge Mar­shall Fer­gu­son heard more than two hours of oral argu­ment this morn­ing from attor­neys rep­re­sent­ing the state and a coali­tion of plain­tiffs who are suing the state con­cern­ing the fate of Eyman’s lat­est assault on Wash­ing­ton’s pub­lic ser­vices. I‑976 jeop­ar­dizes bil­lions in bipar­ti­san, vot­er-approved trans­porta­tion invest­ments at mul­ti­ple lev­els, and if it is not stopped, it will harm com­mu­ni­ties in every part of the state.

Argu­ing for the plain­tiffs (who con­tend that I‑976 is uncon­sti­tu­tion­al) were Seat­tle’s Car­olyn Boies, King Coun­ty’s David Hack­ett, and Paci­fi­ca Law Group’s Matthew Segal. Boies and Hack­ett rep­re­sent­ed the local gov­ern­ments they work for, while Segal rep­re­sent­ed the remain­ing plain­tiffs, which include the Asso­ci­a­tion of Wash­ing­ton Cities, Garfield Coun­ty Trans­porta­tion Author­i­ty, and Inter­ci­ty Tran­sit, plus the Wash­ing­ton State Tran­sit Asso­ci­a­tion and Michael Rogers.

Argu­ing for the State was Deputy Solic­i­tor Gen­er­al Alan Copsey. The State of Wash­ing­ton is the defen­dant in this case because I‑976 passed in the Novem­ber 2019 gen­er­al elec­tion. (Note that I‑976 was *not* approved by a major­i­ty of Wash­ing­ton State vot­ers; most Wash­ing­to­ni­ans did not vote in the elec­tion.)

At the out­set of the oral argu­ment, Judge Mar­shall Fer­gu­son made it clear that he expect­ed every­one in his court­room to behave appro­pri­ate­ly and uphold the deco­rum of the court. And for the entire­ty of the pro­ceed­ings, every­one did… every­one except for I‑976 spon­sor Tim Eyman, that is.

It took only a few days for Eyman’s Elec­tion Night eupho­ria to total­ly evap­o­rate. Gid­dy Tim Eyman has been replaced by Angry Tim Eyman… a sullen fig­ure who snaps and snarls and is prone to sud­den out­bursts when he is deprived of atten­tion or an oppor­tu­ni­ty to hear the sound of his own voice for too long.

Those present in the court­room this morn­ing got to watch Angry Tim Eyman blow up right before their very eyes just before Fer­gu­son declared court adjourned.

Upon the con­clu­sion of oral argu­ment, but before Fer­gu­son had risen to return to cham­bers, Eyman sprang out of his front-row seat in the court­room and pro­ceed­ed to hijack the pro­ceed­ings, denounc­ing the Attor­ney Gen­er­al’s efforts in defense of Ini­tia­tive 976 as inad­e­quate and whin­ing that his pal Clint Didier’s attempts to inter­vene in the case had not borne any fruit yet.

Judge Mar­shall Fer­gu­son respond­ed calm­ly, telling Eyman he was out of line, but Eyman refused to sit down and con­tin­ued his rant.

Judge Marshall Ferguson admonishes Tim Eyman

King Coun­ty Supe­ri­or Court Judge Mar­shall Fer­gu­son admon­ish­es an unhap­py Tim Eyman at the end of oral argu­ment for and against a pos­si­ble injunc­tion bar­ring Eyman’s I‑976 from tak­ing effect (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/Northwest Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute)

The judge respond­ed a sec­ond time, reit­er­at­ing that Eyman was not rec­og­nized to address the court and not­ing that pret­ty much every mem­ber of the pub­lic in his court­room like­ly also has strong feel­ings about Ini­tia­tive 976 and might appre­ci­ate an oppor­tu­ni­ty to speak to the court about the case.

With Eyman still glar­ing at him, Judge Fer­gu­son then (with­out skip­ping a beat!) declared the pro­ceed­ings con­clud­ed and rose to return to his cham­bers.

A still-angry Eyman pro­ceed­ed to approach Solic­i­tor Gen­er­al Noah Pur­cell, one of Attor­ney Gen­er­al Bob Fer­gu­son’s top staff mem­bers, and unleash a tor­rent of ver­bal abuse. Pur­cell was not intim­i­dat­ed and flat­ly told Eyman that he was wrong and that he should be grate­ful to the Attor­ney Gen­er­al’s staff for their out­stand­ing work in defense of Ini­tia­tive 976. I wit­nessed this exchange along­side The Asso­ci­at­ed Press’ Ted War­ren, who is a tal­ent­ed pho­tog­ra­ph­er.

Judge Fer­gu­son had pre­vi­ous­ly stat­ed at the out­set of the hear­ing that he intend­ed to rule on the request for a pre­lim­i­nary injunc­tion to stay Ini­tia­tive 976’s imple­men­ta­tion lat­er on Tues­day or tomor­row (Wednes­day, Novem­ber 27th).

As no opin­ion has been released by Judge Fer­gu­son as of this evening, we can pre­sume that it will be pub­lished tomor­row.

I imag­ine that Judge Fer­gu­son is draft­ing his own writ­ten rul­ing as opposed to uti­liz­ing the pro­posed order sup­plied by the plain­tiffs.

Hav­ing now been a guest in Judge Fer­gu­son’s court­room for three hours, I can see why our Gov­er­nor appoint­ed him to the bench.

Judge Fer­gu­son is thought­ful, dili­gent, kind, and patient. It was evi­dent that he had read all of the briefs in this case thor­ough­ly. The judge occa­sion­al­ly flipped through what appeared to be a set of exten­sive notes on yel­low lined notepads as he for­mu­lat­ed ques­tions for Boies, Hack­ett, Segal, and Copsey to answer.

This did not escape the notice of the attor­neys work­ing on the case. Both sides com­pli­ment­ed Fer­gu­son on his prepa­ra­tion and atten­tion to their argu­ments.

Judge Fer­gu­son’s staff were equal­ly kind and set the exam­ple for appro­pri­ate con­duct with their pleas­ant demeanor. Fer­gu­son and his staff allo­cat­ed the jury box for the medi­a’s use, pro­vid­ing reporters a place to set up cam­eras and oth­er equip­ment. An over­flow room was also con­fig­ured to ensure that addi­tion­al seat­ing would be avail­able for mem­bers of the pub­lic who wished to observe.

What real­ly struck me about this oral argu­ment was how long it went. Judge Fer­gu­son was in absolute­ly no hur­ry at all. Instead of direct­ing the attor­neys to con­fine their pre­sen­ta­tions to say, twen­ty min­utes each, Fer­gu­son allot­ted around an hour for each side and built in a fif­teen-minute break halfway in.

Essen­tial­ly, Fer­gu­son opt­ed for thor­ough­ness over quick­ness. That result­ed in a hear­ing that took up the whole morn­ing. Despite its length, it was a much more sat­is­fy­ing hear­ing to wit­ness because the issues were so well cov­ered.

Regard­less of how Fer­gu­son rules tomor­row, it was appar­ent to me that he takes his role and respon­si­bil­i­ties as a judge seri­ous­ly. The peo­ple of Wash­ing­ton State can trust that Judge Fer­gu­son will think crit­i­cal­ly about these weighty mat­ters, and con­sid­er the argu­ments care­ful­ly before he issues an opin­ion.

Tuesday, November 26th, 2019

Attorney General’s arguments in defense of Tim Eyman’s I‑976 don’t hold water

This morn­ing, King Coun­ty Supe­ri­or Court Judge Mar­shall Fer­gu­son is hear­ing oral argu­ments for and against a request for a pre­lim­i­nary injunc­tion to block Tim Eyman’s incred­i­bly destruc­tive Ini­tia­tive 976 from tak­ing effect on Decem­ber 5th. It’s the first phase of the legal chal­lenge against I‑976 filed by the Garfield Coun­ty Trans­porta­tion Author­i­ty, the City of Seat­tle, King Coun­ty, and a sup­port­ing coali­tion of local gov­ern­ments plus the Amal­ga­mat­ed Tran­sit Union.

Defend­ing I‑976 is the Wash­ing­ton State Attor­ney Gen­er­al’s office, cur­rent­ly head­ed by Bob Fer­gu­son. The office is required by law to defend statewide ini­tia­tives that are passed by the vot­ers, so Fer­gu­son is oblig­ed to take the posi­tion that the mea­sure is con­sti­tu­tion­al and to con­vince the courts of that posi­tion.

Eyman demand­ed that Fer­gu­son turn over the defense of I‑976 to a pri­vate law firm after the suit was filed. Fer­gu­son, a stick­ler for fol­low­ing the law, refused. Fer­gu­son has been a top tar­get of Eyman’s trash talk for years, owing to his work to hold Eyman account­able for repeat­ed­ly vio­lat­ing our pub­lic dis­clo­sure laws.

It is appar­ent from the brief the AGO filed late last week that the pro­fes­sion­als who work in Fer­gu­son’s office are doing their best to try to save I‑976 by mak­ing the best argu­ments they can muster. But that may not be enough, just as Keep Wash­ing­ton Rolling’s war chest was­n’t enough to over­come I‑976’s bad bal­lot title.

The plain­tiffs assert I‑976 has mul­ti­ple con­sti­tu­tion­al defects, and we agree.

If the State were to con­cede that, then there would be noth­ing to argue over — the plain­tiffs would win by default — so the State has tak­en the posi­tion that the ini­tia­tive is con­sti­tu­tion­al. The State has also argued that a pre­lim­i­nary injunc­tion bar­ring I‑976’s imple­men­ta­tion would be unwar­rant­ed.

Echo­ing com­ments made by spon­sor Tim Eyman on Novem­ber 7th, the State’s brief argues that I‑976 is essen­tial­ly a clone of Eyman’s 2002 ini­tia­tive, I‑776, which was par­tial­ly upheld by the State Supreme Court in Pierce Coun­ty v. State, and there­fore the legal chal­lenge to I‑976 should be reject­ed.

The brief states:

As an ini­tial mat­ter, Plain­tiffs can­not show that I‑976 is uncon­sti­tu­tion­al beyond a rea­son­able doubt because our Supreme Court already reject­ed near­ly all of their argu­ments as to a very sim­i­lar mea­sure. Ini­tia­tive 776, enact­ed by the vot­ers in 2002, adopt­ed many of the same poli­cies embod­ied in I‑976: lim­it­ing state vehi­cle license fees to $30 and repeal­ing author­i­ty for local gov­ern­ments to impose cer­tain vehi­cle fees and tax­es.

This is the first of a num­ber of argu­ments in the brief that do not hold water.

Using Draftable, our team at NPI pub­lished the text of Ini­tia­tives 776 and 976 side by side so that any­one who wants to can com­pare the mea­sures for them­selves. While both mea­sures were def­i­nite­ly mar­ket­ed by the same indi­vid­ual using the same bumper stick­er slo­gan, they are very dif­fer­ent in terms of pol­i­cy specifics.

For exam­ple, with respect to scope, I‑776 tar­get­ed for repeal Sound Tran­sit’s motor vehi­cle excise tax and local MVETs in four coun­ties: King, Sno­homish, Dou­glas, and Pierce. I‑976 tar­gets a much broad­er slew of tax­es and fees.

In addi­tion to Sound Tran­sit’s MVET, I‑976 seeks to repeal:

  • state-lev­el motor vehi­cle weight fees
  • the state-lev­el motor home (RV) vehi­cle weight fee
  • the state-lev­el sup­ple­men­tal sales tax on retail car sales
  • city-lev­el trans­porta­tion ben­e­fit dis­trict fees on vehi­cles
  • pas­sen­ger fer­ry dis­trict fees on vehi­cles (note that none cur­rent­ly exist)

And with respect to Sound Tran­sit’s MVET, I‑976 is word­ed quite dif­fer­ent­ly from I‑776. The Supreme Court held that I‑776 was con­sti­tu­tion­al on Arti­cle II, Sec­tion 19 (sin­gle sub­ject) grounds because I‑776’s lan­guage per­tain­ing to Sound Tran­sit’s bond oblig­a­tions was mere­ly “pre­ca­to­ry” (lack­ing legal effect).

The pro­vi­sions in I‑976 that con­cern Sound Tran­sit’s bonds are not pre­ca­to­ry and are not housed in the ini­tia­tive’s intent sec­tion as I‑776’s are. Con­se­quent­ly, I‑976 can­not be upheld on the basis that I‑776 was six­teen years ago.

The brief also argues that in adopt­ing I‑976, vot­ers (well, some vot­ers: the major­i­ty did­n’t vote at all) made a pol­i­cy choice that should be hon­ored.

More broad­ly, the whole premise of Plain­tiffs’ harm argu­ment is that I‑976 should be enjoined to pre­vent them from los­ing mon­ey, but enjoin­ing I‑976 will sim­ply mean that oth­ers — Wash­ing­ton tax­pay­ers — lose that same amount of mon­ey, mon­ey they will save if I‑976 is allowed to take effect. Giv­en that Wash­ing­ton vot­ers approved I‑976 and the pol­i­cy con­se­quence of reduc­ing tax­es and fees flow­ing from tax­pay­ers to pub­lic agen­cies, this con­se­quence can­not be seen as a “harm,” but rather pre­cise­ly what the peo­ple vot­ed to adopt. The equi­ties thus tip strong­ly against grant­i­ng injunc­tive relief.

The above seems more like a polit­i­cal argu­ment than a legal argu­ment. It resem­bles state­ments that Dori Mon­son has made on his show in sup­port of I‑976.

The notion that tax­pay­ers will save mon­ey if I‑976 is imple­ment­ed is wrong. Wash­ing­ton tax­pay­ers will save noth­ing from I‑976; the mea­sure is a recipe for more traf­fic, more pol­lu­tion, and more inequity in our tax code, not to men­tion high­er vehi­cle main­te­nance costs from dri­ving on roads that aren’t being prop­er­ly cared for. These con­se­quences went entire­ly unmen­tioned in the bal­lot title that the AGO cre­at­ed for the ini­tia­tive, which Tim Eyman picked as the title he want­ed vot­ers to see after he went bal­lot title shop­ping in the spring of 2018.

As the plain­tiffs have argued, there will be harms — sig­nif­i­cant harms — if I‑976 is imple­ment­ed and it is entire­ly rea­son­able for the courts to put I‑976 on hold until its con­sti­tu­tion­al­i­ty (or lack there­of) is deter­mined.

Lat­er on, the brief tries to make excus­es for the lan­guage of the I‑976 bal­lot title, which is one-sided, dis­hon­est, and unrep­re­sen­ta­tive of I‑976’s pro­vi­sions.

Plain­tiffs claim that the title mis­led vot­ers into think­ing that any “vot­er-approved charges in excess of $30 would be retained, or that at least vot­ers would retain the author­i­ty to approve such vehi­cle charges.” […] But that is not what the title said.

The title first clear­ly informs vot­ers that the mea­sure would broad­ly “repeal, reduce, or remove author­i­ty to impose cer­tain vehi­cle tax­es and fees,” with­out men­tion­ing or exempt­ing vot­er-approved charges. In a sep­a­rate clause, the title then explains that one spe­cif­ic type of vehi­cle fee, “annu­al motor-vehi­cle-license fees,” would be lim­it­ed “to $30, except vot­er-approved charges.”

The title thus did not say that all exist­ing vehi­cle tax­es and fees above $30 would con­tin­ue if vot­er approved, nor that vot­ers in the future could broad­ly increase vehi­cle tax­es or fees beyond $30; both the lim­it and the vot­er-approval option are spe­cif­ic to the fee men­tioned in that clause, “motor-vehi­cle-license fees.”

Although space lim­i­ta­tions did not per­mit the bal­lot title to detail how a “motor-vehi­cle-license fee” is defined, or how and when this excep­tion for “vot­er-approved charges” might arise, it was suf­fi­cient to give notice that would lead to an inquiry into the text of the ini­tia­tive.

Wrong! There is noth­ing clear about the I‑976 bal­lot title. It does inform vot­ers what the mea­sure actu­al­ly does. It’s a bad bal­lot title… a very bad title.

I emphat­i­cal­ly dis­agree that the title’s word­ing was “suf­fi­cient to give notice that would lead to an inquiry into the text of the mea­sure.”

If I was asked to include this lan­guage in one of our research polls to ascer­tain vot­er opin­ions about vehi­cle fees, I would reject it with­out a sec­ond thought. It’s tru­ly appalling that this was the only lan­guage that vot­ers saw on their bal­lots.

For ref­er­ence, here is the title in its entire­ty:

Ini­tia­tive Mea­sure No. 976 con­cerns motor vehi­cle tax­es and fees.

This mea­sure would repeal, reduce, or remove author­i­ty to impose cer­tain vehi­cle tax­es and fees; lim­it annu­al motor-vehi­cle-license fees to $30, except vot­er-approved charges; and base vehi­cle tax­es on Kel­ley Blue Book val­ue.

Should this mea­sure be enact­ed into law? Yes [ ] No [ ]

Let’s break it apart, shall we?

The first part of the title says that I‑976 con­cerns “motor vehi­cle tax­es and fees”. Actu­al­ly, it con­cerns a lot more than that. It con­cerns mul­ti­modal trans­porta­tion infra­struc­ture fund­ing. It con­cerns the integri­ty of the state’s trans­porta­tion bud­get. It con­cerns what ought to hap­pen to tax rev­enue that has been pledged to repay bonds, which are con­sti­tu­tion­al­ly pro­tect­ed from being impaired.

It would have been more accu­rate to say that I‑976 con­cerns trans­porta­tion fund­ing because all of the tax­es and fees tar­get­ed by the ini­tia­tive sup­port trans­porta­tion-relat­ed accounts at the state, region­al, and local lev­els.

The sec­ond part of the title is the con­cise descrip­tion. This begins with the phrase “This mea­sure would repeal, reduce, or remove author­i­ty to impose cer­tain vehi­cle tax­es and fees.” Which tax­es and fees are affect­ed? The title does­n’t say. Instead, it uses the word “cer­tain”, which is entire­ly unhelp­ful. It’s as clear as mud.

Next is the bit “lim­it annu­al motor-vehi­cle-license fees to $30, except vot­er-approved charges.” This bit is entire­ly dis­hon­est, as I‑976 does not lim­it annu­al motor vehi­cle license fees to $30 for any­one and even Tim Eyman admits this. Nor does it exempt vot­er-approved charges from the sup­posed thir­ty dol­lar lim­i­ta­tion.

The State con­cedes in its brief that “space lim­i­ta­tions” did not allow “motor vehi­cle license fees” to be defined, but argues, as not­ed above, that “it was suf­fi­cient to give notice that would lead to an inquiry into the text of the ini­tia­tive.”

How so?

The phras­es “motor vehi­cle tax­es and fees” (from the state­ment of sub­ject) and “motor-vehi­cle-license-fees” (from the con­cise descrip­tion) are almost iden­ti­cal.

The only dif­fer­ence is the word the pres­ence of the word “license” in phrase num­ber two. The State’s posi­tion is essen­tial­ly that the inclu­sion of this one dif­fer­ent word is suf­fi­cient to enable vot­ers to under­stand that the phrase refers to only “one spe­cif­ic type” of vehi­cle fee, as opposed to a whole range of vehi­cle fees.

Sor­ry, but nope. This argu­ment fails.

In juris­dic­tions like Seat­tle, vot­er-approved fees that sup­port trans­porta­tion ben­e­fit dis­tricts are paid annu­al­ly to renew a vehi­cle’s reg­is­tra­tion.

The phrase “lim­it annu­al motor-vehi­cle-license fees to $30, except vot­er-approved charges” does not dif­fer­en­ti­ate between juris­dic­tions and it does­n’t even dif­fer­en­ti­ate between dif­fer­ent types of state fees.

There is actu­al­ly more than one type of vehi­cle fee with “license” in the name at the state lev­el. There’s the “license/registration” fee, the “license ser­vice” fee, and then there also are “license plate” fees. Con­fus­ing? You betcha!

How on earth are vot­ers sup­posed to know what this bal­lot title is refer­ring to?

Even the Depart­ment of Licens­ing avoids using the prob­lem­at­ic lan­guage “motor vehi­cle license fee” to the extent it can because it’s a recipe for con­fu­sion: it could be con­flat­ed with fees paid to obtain or renew a dri­ver’s license.

The DOL “Vehi­cles” sec­tion and “Vehi­cles” spe­cif­ic nav­i­ga­tion menu instead uses the phras­es “tabs,” “car tabs,” “reg­is­ter your vehi­cle,” etc.:

How to renew your tabs
Reg­is­ter your vehi­cle
Change your name or address
Buy­ing a vehi­cle
Sell­ing a vehi­cle
Lost tabs, plates, or titles
License plates
Titles
Fees, tax­es, and dona­tions

“License” appears only in one DOL menu item, “license plates”.

Plates are phys­i­cal objects that go on cars as opposed to fees paid to the Depart­ment, so that menu item is not as prob­lem­at­ic. But imag­ine if the first link said “How to renew your license”. Most peo­ple would like­ly think that meant their dri­ver’s license, as opposed to their vehi­cle’s reg­is­tra­tion. Adding the words “motor vehi­cle” might lessen the con­fu­sion a bit. But it would still be con­fus­ing.

In a pre­vi­ous post here on the Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate, I dis­cussed how the bal­lot title could have been bet­ter, and came up with the fol­low­ing as a first draft of a more defen­si­ble bal­lot title that could stand up to scruti­ny:

Ini­tia­tive Mea­sure No. 976 con­cerns trans­porta­tion fund­ing.

This mea­sure would elim­i­nate motor vehi­cle fees sup­port­ing state and local trans­porta­tion improve­ments. Vehi­cle fees would be lim­it­ed to $30, cost­ing an esti­mat­ed $4.2 bil­lion in fund­ing for projects and ser­vices through 2025.

Should this mea­sure be enact­ed into law? Yes [ ] No [ ]

Even the above is still prob­lem­at­ic because I‑976 does­n’t actu­al­ly lim­it vehi­cle fees to thir­ty dol­lars. So here’s a sec­ond, more pol­ished draft:

Ini­tia­tive Mea­sure No. 976 con­cerns trans­porta­tion fund­ing.

This mea­sure would low­er or abol­ish sev­er­al dif­fer­ent tax­es and fees on motor vehi­cles sup­port­ing state or local trans­porta­tion improve­ments, elim­i­nat­ing an esti­mat­ed $4.2 bil­lion in fund­ing for projects and ser­vices through 2025.

Should this mea­sure be enact­ed into law? Yes [ ] No [ ]

This ver­sion gets rid of the prob­lem­at­ic, decep­tive ref­er­ence to a fake thir­ty dol­lar lim­i­ta­tion and instead informs vot­ers that the mea­sure will low­er a bevy of tax­es and fees on motor vehi­cles, but at a sig­nif­i­cant cost.

The thir­ty word lim­i­ta­tion on the length of the con­cise descrip­tion (which only applies to statewide mea­sures, not local ones) is huge­ly prob­lem­at­ic because it forces bal­lot title writ­ers in the Attor­ney Gen­er­al’s Office to leave out impor­tant details. The length needs to be altered to per­mit more descrip­tive bal­lot titles.

Judge Mar­shall Fer­gu­son has indi­cat­ed that after hear­ing oral argu­ment, he will take a lit­tle time to fur­ther review the briefs and issue a writ­ten rul­ing either this after­noon or some­time tomor­row. We’ll keep you post­ed.

Monday, November 25th, 2019

Tim Eyman formally files to run for governor; WFEG files new PDC complaint against him

Ser­i­al pub­lic dis­clo­sure law offend­er Tim Eyman has reg­is­tered with the Pub­lic Dis­clo­sure Com­mis­sion to run for Gov­er­nor of Wash­ing­ton State as an inde­pen­dent, vio­lat­ing (once again!) the very laws the Com­mis­sion is charged with enforc­ing on behalf of the peo­ple of Amer­i­ca’s forty-third state.

Eyman’s C1 (can­di­date reg­is­tra­tion state­ment) is one of two bits of paper­work he is required to file with the state’s cam­paign finance agency with­in two weeks of becom­ing a can­di­date. The oth­er is his F1 — Per­son­al Finan­cial Affairs State­ment.

Eyman claimed today at a media event he called in Olympia at the Sec­re­tary of State’s office that he has­n’t put his F1 togeth­er yet because his bank­rupt­cy attor­neys at Vort­man & Fein­stein are out of town for the Thanks­giv­ing hol­i­day.

On his can­di­date reg­is­tra­tion state­ment, on his cam­paign web­site, and in pro­mo­tion­al emails, Eyman has cho­sen to call his uncon­ven­tion­al guber­na­to­r­i­al bid “Gov­er­nor Tim Eyman for Wash­ing­ton,” which is ille­gal, because it implies that Eyman is the incum­bent gov­er­nor, when in fact he is not (Jay Inslee is).

RCW 42.17A.335(1)(b) explic­it­ly for­bids such con­duct:

(1) It is a vio­la­tion of this chap­ter for a per­son to spon­sor with actu­al mal­ice a state­ment con­sti­tut­ing libel or defama­tion per se under the fol­low­ing cir­cum­stances:

(a) Polit­i­cal adver­tis­ing or an elec­tion­eer­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion that con­tains a false state­ment of mate­r­i­al fact about a can­di­date for pub­lic office;

(b) Polit­i­cal adver­tis­ing or an elec­tion­eer­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion that false­ly rep­re­sents that a can­di­date is the incum­bent for the office sought when in fact the can­di­date is not the incum­bent;

The PDC’s polit­i­cal adver­tis­ing guide, which is eas­i­ly acces­si­ble, warns can­di­dates not to do what Eyman is doing. “Do not false­ly imply incum­ben­cy in a polit­i­cal adver­tise­ment about a can­di­date who does not hold the office,” it admon­ish­es.

Exam­ples of cor­rect syn­tax for a chal­lenger’s cam­paign are “John Smith for Gov­er­nor” or “Suzie Q. Pub­lic for Sec­re­tary of State”. Alter­na­tive­ly: “Elect Michael Rogers Trea­sur­er.” The can­di­date’s name needs to comes first, as opposed to the title of the office, because putting the title first implies incum­ben­cy.

Respon­si­ble can­di­dates cam­paign respon­si­bly with­in the bounds of the law. Mas­querad­ing as an incum­bent in cam­paign adver­tis­ing is a big no-no.

Eyman, of course, does not care. He has been vio­lat­ing RCW Chap­ter 42.17A (our body of pub­lic dis­clo­sure laws) with impuni­ty for years. What’s more, he has so far suc­cess­ful­ly evad­ed hav­ing to pay a penal­ty for doing so. He may not be able to hold off Attor­ney Gen­er­al Bob Fer­gu­son for­ev­er, but he’s cer­tain­ly try­ing.

Unlike the land­mark case Fer­gu­son has going against Eyman in Thurston Coun­ty Supe­ri­or Court, which is com­plex and con­cerns a mul­ti-year kick­back and con­ceal­ment scheme, this is a fair­ly straight­for­ward case of wrong­do­ing.

Wash­ing­to­ni­ans For Eth­i­cal Gov­ern­ment (WFEG) — which I cofound­ed to hold uneth­i­cal polit­i­cal fig­ures like Eyman account­able for their wrong­do­ing with Sher­ry Bock­winkel and Knoll Lowney — is push­ing for a prompt inves­ti­ga­tion.

To secure one, we filed a com­plaint with the Pub­lic Dis­clo­sure Com­mis­sion this after­noon alleg­ing that Eyman is in vio­la­tion of the afore­men­tioned RCW.

“The PDC must act swift­ly to dis­ci­pline Tim Eyman for this vio­la­tion of our laws,” our com­plaint states in its con­clud­ing para­graph, observ­ing: “Past com­plaints against Eyman have tak­en years to inves­ti­gate. This com­plaint must be inves­ti­gat­ed imme­di­ate­ly. Eyman, a ser­i­al offend­er, will ben­e­fit from any delay in address­ing this vio­la­tion of our pub­lic dis­clo­sure laws.”

Eyman will make his uncon­ven­tion­al guber­na­to­r­i­al bid as an inde­pen­dent instead of as a Repub­li­can or Lib­er­tar­i­an. He told the gag­gle of reporters gath­ered at the Sec­re­tary of State’s office to hear his mono­logue that he con­tem­plat­ed affil­i­at­ing with a polit­i­cal par­ty, but decid­ed against doing so.

Eyman has named Dave Hob­ley as his cam­paign man­ag­er, Michele Dar­nell as his vol­un­teer coor­di­na­tor, and Sarah Eck­ert as his Trea­sur­er.

Eck­ert han­dles the books for Eyman’s ini­tia­tive fac­to­ry in a min­is­te­r­i­al capac­i­ty and Dar­nell occa­sion­al­ly accom­pa­nies Eyman to speak­ing appear­ances.

Dar­nell has pre­vi­ous­ly run for state lev­el office her­self sev­er­al times as a Lib­er­tar­i­an, los­ing repeat­ed­ly to well regard­ed Democ­rats like Pat­ty Kud­er­er.

Sev­er­al Repub­li­cans are already express­ing annoy­ance with Eyman over his long­shot guber­na­to­r­i­al bid, includ­ing Phil For­tu­na­to, an arch­con­ser­v­a­tive Repub­li­can state sen­a­tor who is a can­di­date for gov­er­nor him­self.

“This is a seri­ous thing,” For­tu­na­to remarked.

“Repub­li­cans have a win­dow of oppor­tu­ni­ty this year… His enter­ing into the race, espe­cial­ly as an inde­pen­dent, makes the thing a cir­cus.”

State and nation­al pol­i­tics were arguably already a cir­cus, but we can under­stand For­tu­na­to’s annoy­ance. If it makes him feel any bet­ter, he should know that Eyman’s guber­na­to­r­i­al bid faces steep odds. Eyman is an unpop­u­lar, divi­sive fig­ure, and no inde­pen­dent has ever been elect­ed as Gov­er­nor of Wash­ing­ton State.

Except for the state’s third gov­er­nor, John Rankin Rogers, every sin­gle per­son pre­vi­ous­ly elect­ed to the state’s high­est office has been elect­ed with the sup­port of either the Demo­c­ra­t­ic or the Repub­li­can Par­ty going back to state­hood. Rogers was ini­tial­ly elect­ed with the sup­port of the Peo­ple’s Par­ty, but then switched his par­ty affil­i­a­tion to Demo­c­ra­t­ic (and was reelect­ed with Demo­c­ra­t­ic sup­port.)

Repub­li­cans, how­ev­er, haven’t won a guber­na­to­r­i­al race in a while.

The last time a non-Demo­c­ra­t­ic can­di­date was elect­ed Gov­er­nor of Wash­ing­ton was in 1980, when Repub­li­can John Spell­man sought the state’s top job.

That was almost forty years ago.

The Wash­ing­ton State Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty boasts the longest active streak of con­sec­u­tive guber­na­to­r­i­al wins in the coun­try, with nine: 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016.

The par­ty hopes to make it ten next year with Inslee, who is seek­ing a third term.

Eyman has made no secret of his dis­like for Inslee, although it’s hard to tell who he dis­likes more: Inslee or Attor­ney Gen­er­al Bob Fer­gu­son. Both are fre­quent tar­gets of his trash talk. Eyman also despis­es King Coun­ty Exec­u­tive Dow Con­stan­tine and every­one who is an elect­ed rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the City of Seat­tle.

Eyman has sig­naled he will run on a plat­form of Seat­tle-bash­ing. Repub­li­cans have tried doing that for sev­er­al years now in key races, like the spe­cial elec­tion in the 45th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict two years ago. It has not yield­ed favor­able results.

Despite claim­ing to have an opin­ion on every issue imag­in­able, Eyman demurred when asked by reporters about his posi­tions on top­ics like the abo­li­tion of Wash­ing­ton’s death penal­ty, a cause NPI emphat­i­cal­ly sup­ports and has advo­cat­ed for. Eyman was repeat­ed­ly invit­ed to share his views on abo­li­tion and refused, although he crit­i­cized Inslee for impos­ing a mora­to­ri­um on exe­cu­tions and hint­ed he would­n’t sup­port elim­i­nat­ing the state’s death penal­ty statute, which the Supreme Court struck down as uncon­sti­tu­tion­al but which remains on the books.

Vot­ers will decide who should serve as Gov­er­nor through 2024 in a lit­tle less than a year. The Novem­ber 2020 gen­er­al elec­tion will be pre­ced­ed by Fil­ing Week (in May of 2020) and the Top Two elim­i­na­tion elec­tion (in August of 2020).

Eyman’s can­di­da­cy will be at an end if he does not secure one of the top two spots in the elim­i­na­tion elec­tion. The tri­al in the cam­paign finance enforce­ment law­suit Eyman is embroiled in is present­ly sched­uled for the pre­vi­ous month (July), which could severe­ly com­pli­cate Eyman’s abil­i­ty to cam­paign in the home stretch.

Monday, November 25th, 2019

Michael Bloomberg is trying to buy the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination

Almost a year after the first major can­di­date to throw her hat in the ring (Eliz­a­beth War­ren) declared her run for the pres­i­den­cy, Michael Bloomberg has decid­ed that he is the man that Amer­i­ca needs as its next pres­i­dent.

On Sun­day, the for­mer May­or of New York and mul­ti-bil­lion­aire declared his intent to “Rebuild Amer­i­ca,” in an announce­ment video that spent as much time attack­ing lead­ing Democ­rats’ vision for health­care as it did crit­i­ciz­ing Don­ald Trump.

Michael Bloomberg delivers a speech to the Presidential Gun Sense Forum

Michael Bloomberg’s cam­paign has pumped over $30 mil­lion into polit­i­cal adver­tiz­ing. (Pho­to: Gage Skid­more, repro­duced under Cre­ative Com­mons license)

Michael Bloomberg has had a long and tumul­tuous rela­tion­ship with the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty. A reg­is­tered Demo­c­rat before 2001, he switched par­ties to run as a Repub­li­can for may­or of New York (get­ting an endorse­ment from the now dis­graced Rudy Giu­liani), became an inde­pen­dent in 2007, and only re-joined the Democ­rats in 2018, around the same time he fun­neled a stag­ger­ing amount of mon­ey into the par­ty in the run-up to the midterm elec­tions.

Bloomberg is report­ed­ly worth $53 bil­lion dol­lars, mak­ing the oth­er two bil­lion­aires cur­rent­ly in the pres­i­den­tial race (incum­bent Don­ald Trump and activist can­di­date Tom Stey­er) look like pau­pers beside him. He has repeat­ed­ly fund­ed polit­i­cal cam­paigns from his per­son­al cof­fers; in 2009 he spent a record-break­ing $102 mil­lion to get re-elec­t­ed in New York (this worked out to about $172 per vote).

This time is no dif­fer­ent.

As his cam­paign launched on Sun­day, Bloomberg bought an unprece­dent­ed $37 mil­lion worth of TV spots for a two week peri­od – more ad spend­ing than the entire non-bil­lion­aire Demo­c­ra­t­ic field for the entire race so far (although Cal­i­for­ni­a’s Tom Stey­er has spent around $60 mil­lion so far).

CNN’s polit­i­cal ana­lyst Har­ry Enten remarked that the Bloomberg cam­paign will like­ly prove once and for all, “how much mon­ey can buy” in Amer­i­can pol­i­tics.

Bloomberg’s advi­sors have spun this mas­sive injec­tion of cash as a sign that the for­mer-May­or “can­not be bought” – a sim­i­lar argu­ment to the one Don­ald Trump made in 2016 when he was seek­ing the Repub­li­can nom­i­na­tion.

While Joe Biden respond­ed to Bloomberg’s entry to the race by say­ing, “I wel­come the com­pe­ti­tion,” the lead­ing pro­gres­sives in the field were far more scathing.

Sen­a­tor Eliz­a­beth War­ren wor­ried that a suc­cess­ful Bloomberg can­di­da­cy could change the very face of Amer­i­can democ­ra­cy itself.

“It’s going to be about which bil­lion­aire you can stom­ach going for­ward, because believe me, there are plen­ty of bil­lion­aires who believe they should be pres­i­dent.”

Sen­a­tor Bernie Sanders – whose pio­neer­ing of small-donor cam­paign tac­tics won him sec­ond place in the 2016 pri­ma­ry and have ensured his posi­tion in the 2020 field’s top tier – point­ed imme­di­ate­ly to Bloomberg’s great­est weak­ness.

“If you can’t build grass­roots sup­port for your can­di­da­cy, you have no busi­ness run­ning for pres­i­dent,” Sanders said.

Sanders hit the nail on the head: there is absolute­ly no rea­son any self-respec­t­ing Demo­c­ra­t­ic activist should sup­port Michael Bloomberg, and Bloomberg knows it.

As a big city may­or, Michael Bloomberg claimed that the Great Reces­sion was not the fault of the banks but Con­gress, enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly sup­port­ed George Bush and the occu­pa­tion of Iraq, sup­port­ed Israel’s 2009 assault on Gaza even as the Israeli gov­ern­ment was being accused of war crimes, and sub­ject­ed his city’s Mus­lim res­i­dents to a sin­is­ter blan­ket of police sur­veil­lance.

Bloomberg considers Israel's far-right Prime Minister Netanyahu a "friend"

Bloomberg con­sid­ers Israel’s far-right Prime Min­is­ter Netanyahu a “friend” (Pho­to: Prime Min­is­ter of Israel, repro­duced under Cre­ative Com­mons license)

Of course, all this was before Bloomberg rejoined the Democ­rats.

Bloomberg’s par­ty affil­i­a­tion may have changed, but he still har­bors many right wing views. He has claimed that China’s Xi Jin­ping is not a dic­ta­tor, com­pared Sen­a­tor Warren’s pro­posed wealth tax to Venezuela’s regime, and cozied up to Sau­di Arabia’s homi­ci­dal auto­crat Muham­mad bin Salman.

There are signs that Bloomberg is aware of how much Demo­c­ra­t­ic activists dis­like him. Instead of hir­ing on sea­soned cam­paign man­agers as oth­er can­di­dates have done, Bloomberg has elect­ed to fill his team’s ranks with peo­ple who already owe him their careers – most notably, a num­ber of Bloomberg News’ edi­to­r­i­al staff have joined his cam­paign (inci­den­tal­ly, Bloomberg’s can­di­da­cy has already dam­aged the respect­ed busi­ness news out­let due to staffing and con­flicts of inter­est).

Even more telling, the Bloomberg cam­paign has opt­ed to avoid cam­paign­ing at all in the four ear­ly states: Iowa, New Hamp­shire, Neva­da and South Car­oli­na.

These states are unique not only for their “first in the nation” sta­tus, but also for the fact that win­ning there relies on old-fash­ioned “retail pol­i­tics”: door-to-door cam­paign­ing. A right-wing bil­lion­aire like Bloomberg is unlike­ly to draw many young, enthu­si­as­tic Democ­rats to his ban­ner, putting him at a dis­ad­van­tage in states where such vol­un­teers are essen­tial. Instead, the cam­paign has opt­ed to make a play for the Super Tues­day states, where Bloomberg’s vast per­son­al cof­fers can make a dif­fer­ence in expen­sive media mar­kets like Cal­i­for­nia and Texas.

For all the report­ing that Michael Bloomberg’s cam­paign is “seri­ous this time,” the odds of his nom­i­na­tion are dubi­ous at best: Polls show that – despite the con­cerns of New York’s elite donor class – the over­whelm­ing major­i­ty of Demo­c­ra­t­ic vot­ers are sat­is­fied with the field of can­di­dates as it cur­rent­ly stands.

The cur­rent field rep­re­sents every major school of Demo­c­ra­t­ic and pro­gres­sive thought. It would be in no way enhanced by Michael Bloomberg’s pro-big busi­ness, social­ly lib­er­al, fis­cal­ly back­wards ide­ol­o­gy.

Above all, Demo­c­ra­t­ic vot­ers want Don­ald Trump replaced.

Few seem inter­est­ed in the notion that the fake New York bil­lion­aire in the White House should be replaced with a real New York bil­lion­aire.

Sunday, November 24th, 2019

Last Week (November 18–22) In Congress: How Cascadia’s U.S. lawmakers voted

Good morn­ing! Here’s how Cascadia’s Mem­bers of Con­gress vot­ed on major issues dur­ing the leg­isla­tive week end­ing Fri­day, Novem­ber 22nd.

In the United States House of Representatives

Chamber of the United States House of Representatives

The House cham­ber (U.S. Con­gress pho­to)

APPROVING AGENCY FUNDING THRU DECEMBER 20TH: Vot­ing 231 for and 192 against, the House on Novem­ber 19th approved stop­gap appro­pri­a­tions (H.R. 3055) to fund the gov­ern­ment at fis­cal 2019 lev­els between Novem­ber 21st and Decem­ber 20th, giv­ing nego­tia­tors more time to seek agree­ment on a reg­u­lar, full-year bud­get for fis­cal 2020, which began about sev­en weeks ago.

One stick­ing point is Pres­i­dent Trump’s request, opposed by Democ­rats, for $9 bil­lion in Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty fund­ing for a bor­der wall. In addi­tion to avert­ing anoth­er fed­er­al gov­ern­ment shut­down, the bill adds mon­ey to ensure a “fair and accu­rate” 2020 Cen­sus, respond to an ebo­la virus out­break in Africa and fund a 3.1 per­cent mil­i­tary pay raise that took effect Octo­ber 1st

Major­i­ty Leader Ste­ny Hoy­er, D‑Maryland, said: “I hope we use these days that are left between today and Decem­ber 20th in a pro­duc­tive, effec­tive way so that the appro­pri­a­tions process can be con­clud­ed on Decem­ber 20th or before.”

Steve Wom­ack, R‑Arkansas, object­ed to increas­ing manda­to­ry spend­ing by $76 bil­lion with­out off­set­ting cuts and expressed doubt that Con­gress “will enact a full-year defense spend­ing bill, which the mil­i­tary so des­per­ate­ly needs right now.”

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Aye (1): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mike Simp­son

Vot­ing Nay (1): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Russ Fulcher

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Aye (2): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzanne Bonam­i­ci and Kurt Schrad­er

Vot­ing Nay (3): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Peter DeFazio and Earl Blu­me­nauer; Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Greg Walden

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Aye (8): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzan Del­Bene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Prami­la Jaya­pal, Kim Schri­er, Adam Smith, and Den­ny Heck; Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jaime Her­rera-Beut­ler

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

Cas­ca­dia total: 14 aye votes, 3 nay votes

PREVENTING WORKPLACE VIOLENCE AT HOSPITALS, SOCIAL AGENCIES: Vot­ing 251 for and 158 against, the House on Novem­ber 21st passed a bill (H.R. 1309) requir­ing the Depart­ment of Labor to issue a rule designed to reduce work­place vio­lence at med­ical facil­i­ties includ­ing hos­pi­tals, nurs­ing homes and out­pa­tient clin­ics, where attacks occur far more fre­quent­ly than in the over­all work­place, accord­ing to fed­er­al sta­tis­tics.

The rule would also apply to social ser­vices facil­i­ties includ­ing voca­tion­al-reha­bil­i­ta­tion and child day-care ser­vices and com­mu­ni­ty food and hous­ing agen­cies. The bill defines work­place vio­lence as acts or threats of forcible action that could cause phys­i­cal injury of psy­cho­log­i­cal trau­ma or stress.

The bill directs the Occu­pa­tion­al Health and Safe­ty Agency to put the rule in oper­a­tion with­in two years of enact­ment.

Mark DeSaulnier, D‑California, said “there is an epi­dem­ic of vio­lence against health­care and social work­ers in the Unit­ed States. Last year, Depart­ment of Labor sta­tis­tics show they were near­ly five times as like­ly to suf­fer a seri­ous work­place vio­lence injury than work­ers in oth­er indus­tries.”

Michael Burgess, R‑Texas, said: “We can all agree that there is a need for OSHA to issue prop­er work­place vio­lence pre­ven­tion reg­u­la­tions,” but object­ed to the expe­dit­ed timetable for putting the rule into effect.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

The State of Idaho

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

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Aye (5): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzanne Bonam­i­ci, Earl Blu­me­nauer, Peter DeFazio, Kurt Schrad­er; Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Greg Walden

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Aye (10): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzan Del­Bene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Prami­la Jaya­pal, Kim Schri­er, Adam Smith, and Den­ny Heck; Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Jaime Her­rera-Beut­ler, Dan New­house, and Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers

Cas­ca­dia total: 15 aye votes, 2 nay votes

FAULTING DEMOCRATS’ LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES: Vot­ing 222 for and 188 against, the House on Novem­ber 21st effec­tive­ly killed a Repub­li­can motion to HR 1309 (above) assert­ing that House Democ­rats were wrong­ly “pri­or­i­tiz­ing impeach­ment of the pres­i­dent’ over advanc­ing mea­sures to fund the Pen­ta­gon, low­er pre­scrip­tion-drug prices, secure the south­west­ern bor­der and approve the pend­ing Unit­ed States-Mex­i­co-Cana­da Agree­ment on free trade.

On this vote, the House sus­tained a point of order raised by Democ­rats that the Repub­li­can motion was not ger­mane to the sub­stance of bill there­fore out of order.

Joe Court­ney, D‑Connecticut, said: “On behalf of America’s nurs­es, doc­tors and social work­ers, who are beg­ging for relief from unprece­dent­ed lev­els of work­place vio­lence, I insist upon my point of order.”

Mike Kel­ly, R‑Pennsylvania, said Democ­rats were shirk­ing leg­isla­tive oblig­a­tions “while we have wast­ed pre­cious time and mil­lions of hard­work­ing Amer­i­can tax­pay­er dol­lars on a pur­suit of an effort to impeach” Pres­i­dent Trump.

A yes vote was to turn back a non­bind­ing state­ment offered by Repub­li­cans.

The State of Idaho

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

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Aye (4): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzanne Bonam­i­ci, Earl Blu­me­nauer, Peter DeFazio, Kurt Schrad­er

Vot­ing Nay (1): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Greg Walden

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Aye (7): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzan Del­Bene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Prami­la Jaya­pal, Kim Schri­er, Adam Smith, and Den­ny Heck

Vot­ing Nay (3): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Jaime Her­rera-Beut­ler, Dan New­house, and Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers

Cas­ca­dia total: 11 aye votes, 6 nay votes

In the United States Senate

Chamber of the United States Senate

The Sen­ate cham­ber (U.S. Con­gress pho­to)

SENDING STOPGAP BILL TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: Vot­ing 74 for and 20 against, the Sen­ate on Novem­ber 21st joined the House (above) in pass­ing a bill (H.R. 3055) that would fund agen­cies on a stop­gap basis from Novem­ber 21st through Decem­ber 20th. In addi­tion to its fund­ing author­i­ty, the bill keeps the Export-Import Bank in oper­a­tion until Decem­ber 20th and extends until March 15th cer­tain For­eign Intel­li­gence Sur­veil­lance Act anti-ter­ror­ism pro­vi­sions that oth­er­wise would expire Decem­ber 15th.

John Cornyn, R‑Texas, said:

“I hope that good faith [bud­get] nego­ti­a­tions can resume and we can fund the remain­der of the fis­cal year by Christ­mas because the last stock­ing stuffer we want to give the Amer­i­can peo­ple is anoth­er gov­ern­ment shut­down.”

No sen­a­tor spoke against the over­all bill.

A yes vote was to send the bill to Don­ald Trump, who signed it into law.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Aye (1): Repub­li­can Sen­a­tor Mike Crapo

Vot­ing Nay (1): Repub­li­can Sen­a­tor Jim Risch

The State of Oregon

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

The State of Washington

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

Cas­ca­dia total: 5 aye votes, 1 nay vote

SHIFTING $12 BILLION TO INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS: Vot­ing 73 for and 20 against, the Sen­ate on Novem­ber 21st tabled (killed) an amend­ment to HR 3055 (above) that sought to cut 1 per­cent from fis­cal 2019 agency bud­gets and allo­cate the $12 bil­lion sav­ings to road, bridge and water projects fund­ed by the High­way Trust Fund and Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency. The across-the-board cut would be inflict­ed retroac­tive­ly on all domes­tic, mil­i­tary and for­eign-affairs accounts on the dis­cre­tionary-spend­ing side of the fed­er­al bud­get.

Patrick Leahy, D‑Vermont, called the pro­posed blan­ket cut “a sim­plis­tic tool that ignores the com­plex­i­ties of our fed­er­al bud­get. It is not a way we should gov­ern.”

Amend­ment spon­sor Rand Paul, R‑Kentucky, said “infra­struc­ture in Amer­i­ca is falling behind. Every­one knows it, but like so many things, Wash­ing­ton can’t fig­ure out how tofind the mon­ey to fix it.” He said his plan “does­n’t increase tax­es and does­n’t increase our debt. The pen­ny plan for infra­struc­ture pays for it with mon­ey we have already allo­cat­ed.”

A yes vote was to kill the amend­ment.

The State of Idaho

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

The State of Oregon

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

The State of Washington

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

Cas­ca­dia total: 4 aye votes, 2 nay votes

Last Week In Congress will be on hiatus next weekend

Con­gress is in Thanks­giv­ing Day recess in the week of Novem­ber 25th.

Edi­tor’s Note: The infor­ma­tion in NPI’s week­ly How Cas­ca­di­a’s U.S. law­mak­ers vot­ed fea­ture is pro­vid­ed by Votera­ma in Con­gress, a ser­vice of Thomas Vot­ing Reports. 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!

© 2019 Thomas Vot­ing Reports.