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.

Wednesday, May 13th, 2020

WA Filing Week 2020: A look at who’s filed in key races as of Wednesday morning

Wel­come to our con­tin­u­ing cov­er­age of Fil­ing Week 2020!

Until this Fri­day, the Sec­re­tary of State and coun­ty elec­tions offi­cials will be accept­ing for­mal dec­la­ra­tions of can­di­da­cy from Wash­ing­to­ni­ans who have decid­ed they want to run for office at fed­er­al, state, and local lev­els.

This is a pres­i­den­tial year, which means we’ll be elect­ing all ten of our U.S. House posi­tions, all nine of our statewide exec­u­tive posi­tions, most of our state leg­isla­tive posi­tions, and sev­er­al of our State Supreme Court posi­tions, not to men­tion a large num­ber of local posi­tions, espe­cial­ly in Pierce Coun­ty.

This post is the fifth in a series of Fil­ing Week reports we’ll be bring­ing you at reg­u­lar inter­vals until the close of fil­ing at 5 PM on the final day of the work­week.

U.S. House

The Unit­ed States House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives is the larg­er of the two cham­bers of Con­gress estab­lished by the Unit­ed States Con­sti­tu­tion. Mem­bers of the House serve two year terms and must face the vot­ers each elec­tion cycle. Since the 2010–2011 redis­trict­ing process, Wash­ing­ton has had ten seats in the House.

Can­di­dates who have filed since yes­ter­day evening:

1st Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict

  • Repub­li­can Derek Char­trand

6th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict

  • Repub­li­can Chris Wel­ton

7th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict

  • Repub­li­can Scott Suther­land

10th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict

  • Repub­li­can Nan­cy Dai­ley Slot­nick
  • Repub­li­can Don Hewett

Executive Department

Wash­ing­ton State’s exec­u­tive depart­ment con­sists of nine statewide direct­ly elect­ed posi­tions head­ed by a gov­er­nor. All posi­tions are for four-year terms, filled in pres­i­den­tial years. Each posi­tion is inde­pen­dent­ly elect­ed and thus has its own port­fo­lio of respon­si­bil­i­ties. Key man­age­ment posi­tions with­in the exec­u­tive branch that are not direct­ly elect­ed are filled by guber­na­to­r­i­al appoint­ment.

Can­di­dates who have filed since yes­ter­day evening:

Gov­er­nor

  • Amer­i­can Patri­ot Bill Miller

Insur­ance Com­mis­sion­er

  • Repub­li­can Chi­rayu Avinash Patel
  • Lib­er­tar­i­an Antho­ny Welti

Lieu­tenant Gov­er­nor

  • Demo­c­rat Den­ny Heck

State Audi­tor

  • Demo­c­rat Joshua Casey

Super­in­ten­dent of Pub­lic Instruc­tion

  • Maia Espinoza

State Supreme Court

The most impor­tant judi­cial body in Wash­ing­ton State is its State Supreme Court, which, like its fed­er­al equiv­a­lent, has nine mem­bers. How­ev­er, unlike the Unit­ed States Supreme Court, some­times referred to as SCOTUS for short, mem­bers of the State Supreme Court are direct­ly elect­ed by the vot­ers for six-year terms.

No new can­di­dates have filed since yes­ter­day evening.

Key legislative races

The Wash­ing­ton State Leg­is­la­ture, like the Unit­ed States Con­gress, is a bicam­er­al body with a House and Sen­ate. Mem­bers of the state House serve two year terms, just like their fed­er­al coun­ter­parts, while mem­bers of the state Sen­ate serve four year terms. Present­ly, Wash­ing­ton has forty-nine leg­isla­tive dis­tricts, with each dis­trict elect­ing two rep­re­sen­ta­tives and one sen­a­tor.

Can­di­dates who have filed since yes­ter­day evening:

19th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict

  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #2
    • Repub­li­can Joel McEn­tire
  • State Sen­a­tor
    • Repub­li­can Jeff Wil­son

Pierce County positions

Pierce is Wash­ing­ton’s sec­ond largest coun­ty by pop­u­la­tion. Unlike its north­ern neigh­bor King and oth­er home rule coun­ties in Wash­ing­ton State with char­ters, Pierce elects its coun­ty-lev­el posi­tions in even-num­bered years (when turnout is high­er), as opposed to odd-num­bered years (when turnout is typ­i­cal­ly low­er).

Can­di­dates who have filed since yes­ter­day evening:

Coun­ty Coun­cil

  • Dis­trict #4
    • Demo­c­rat Pre­ston Ander­son

See the complete list of everyone who has filed

Want to see a com­pre­hen­sive list of all can­di­date fil­ings at the state lev­el? You can do so at the Sec­re­tary of State’s web­site. You may also browse our archive of Fil­ing Week reports to see who filed for office at oth­er inter­vals.

Tuesday, May 12th, 2020

WA Filing Week 2020: A look at who’s filed in key races as of Tuesday afternoon

Wel­come to our con­tin­u­ing cov­er­age of Fil­ing Week 2020!

Until this Fri­day, the Sec­re­tary of State and coun­ty elec­tions offi­cials will be accept­ing for­mal dec­la­ra­tions of can­di­da­cy from Wash­ing­to­ni­ans who have decid­ed they want to run for office at fed­er­al, state, and local lev­els.

This is a pres­i­den­tial year, which means we’ll be elect­ing all ten of our U.S. House posi­tions, all nine of our statewide exec­u­tive posi­tions, most of our state leg­isla­tive posi­tions, and sev­er­al of our State Supreme Court posi­tions, not to men­tion a large num­ber of local posi­tions, espe­cial­ly in Pierce Coun­ty.

This post is the fourth in a series of Fil­ing Week reports we’ll be bring­ing you at reg­u­lar inter­vals until the close of fil­ing at 5 PM on the final day of the work­week.

U.S. House

The Unit­ed States House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives is the larg­er of the two cham­bers of Con­gress estab­lished by the Unit­ed States Con­sti­tu­tion. Mem­bers of the House serve two year terms and must face the vot­ers each elec­tion cycle. Since the 2010–2011 redis­trict­ing process, Wash­ing­ton has had ten seats in the House.

Can­di­dates who have filed since this morn­ing:

2nd Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict

  • Repub­li­can Cody Hart

5th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict

  • Demo­c­rat Chris Armitage

6th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict

  • Repub­li­can Eliz­a­beth Kreisel­maier

8th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict

  • Repub­li­can James Mitchell

10th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict

  • Demo­c­rat Eric LeMay
  • Demo­c­rat Kris­tine Reeves

Executive Department

Wash­ing­ton State’s exec­u­tive depart­ment con­sists of nine statewide direct­ly elect­ed posi­tions head­ed by a gov­er­nor. All posi­tions are for four-year terms, filled in pres­i­den­tial years. Each posi­tion is inde­pen­dent­ly elect­ed and thus has its own port­fo­lio of respon­si­bil­i­ties. Key man­age­ment posi­tions with­in the exec­u­tive branch that are not direct­ly elect­ed are filled by guber­na­to­r­i­al appoint­ment.

Can­di­dates who have filed since this morn­ing:

Gov­er­nor

  • Trump Repub­li­can Good­spaceguy
  • Social­ist Work­ers Hen­ry Clay Den­ni­son
  • Fifth Repub­lic David W. Blom­strom

State Supreme Court

The most impor­tant judi­cial body in Wash­ing­ton State is its State Supreme Court, which, like its fed­er­al equiv­a­lent, has nine mem­bers. How­ev­er, unlike the Unit­ed States Supreme Court, some­times referred to as SCOTUS for short, mem­bers of the State Supreme Court are direct­ly elect­ed by the vot­ers for six-year terms.

No new can­di­dates have filed since this morn­ing.

Key legislative races

The Wash­ing­ton State Leg­is­la­ture, like the Unit­ed States Con­gress, is a bicam­er­al body with a House and Sen­ate. Mem­bers of the state House serve two year terms, just like their fed­er­al coun­ter­parts, while mem­bers of the state Sen­ate serve four year terms. Present­ly, Wash­ing­ton has forty-nine leg­isla­tive dis­tricts, with each dis­trict elect­ing two rep­re­sen­ta­tives and one sen­a­tor.

Can­di­dates who have filed since this morn­ing:

5th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict

  • State Sen­a­tor
    • Demo­c­rat Ingrid Ander­son

30th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict

  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #1
    • Inde­pen­dent Repub­li­can Mar­tin A. Moore

Pierce County positions

Pierce is Wash­ing­ton’s sec­ond largest coun­ty by pop­u­la­tion. Unlike its north­ern neigh­bor King and oth­er home rule coun­ties in Wash­ing­ton State with char­ters, Pierce elects its coun­ty-lev­el posi­tions in even-num­bered years (when turnout is high­er), as opposed to odd-num­bered years (when turnout is typ­i­cal­ly low­er).

No new can­di­dates have filed since this morn­ing.

See the complete list of everyone who has filed

Want to see a com­pre­hen­sive list of all can­di­date fil­ings at the state lev­el? You can do so at the Sec­re­tary of State’s web­site. You may also browse our archive of Fil­ing Week reports to see who filed for office at oth­er inter­vals.

Tuesday, May 12th, 2020

WA Filing Week 2020: A look at who’s filed in key races as of Tuesday morning

Wel­come to our con­tin­u­ing cov­er­age of Fil­ing Week 2020!

Until this Fri­day, the Sec­re­tary of State and coun­ty elec­tions offi­cials will be accept­ing for­mal dec­la­ra­tions of can­di­da­cy from Wash­ing­to­ni­ans who have decid­ed they want to run for office at fed­er­al, state, and local lev­els.

This is a pres­i­den­tial year, which means we’ll be elect­ing all ten of our U.S. House posi­tions, all nine of our statewide exec­u­tive posi­tions, most of our state leg­isla­tive posi­tions, and sev­er­al of our State Supreme Court posi­tions, not to men­tion a large num­ber of local posi­tions, espe­cial­ly in Pierce Coun­ty.

This post is the third in a series of Fil­ing Week reports we’ll be bring­ing you at reg­u­lar inter­vals until the close of fil­ing at 5 PM on the final day of the work­week.

U.S. House

The Unit­ed States House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives is the larg­er of the two cham­bers of Con­gress estab­lished by the Unit­ed States Con­sti­tu­tion. Mem­bers of the House serve two year terms and must face the vot­ers each elec­tion cycle. Since the 2010–2011 redis­trict­ing process, Wash­ing­ton has had ten seats in the House.

Can­di­dates who have filed since yes­ter­day evening:

3rd Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict

  • Mar­tin D. Hash (states no par­ty pref­er­ence)

5th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict

  • Repub­li­can Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers
  • Repub­li­can Stephen T. Major

6th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict

  • Repub­li­can Rebec­ca Par­son

8th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict

  • Demo­c­rat Kim Schri­er

10th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict

  • Demo­c­rat Mar­i­lyn Strick­land
  • Repub­li­can Ryan Tate

Executive Department

Wash­ing­ton State’s exec­u­tive depart­ment con­sists of nine statewide direct­ly elect­ed posi­tions head­ed by a gov­er­nor. All posi­tions are for four-year terms, filled in pres­i­den­tial years. Each posi­tion is inde­pen­dent­ly elect­ed and thus has its own port­fo­lio of respon­si­bil­i­ties. Key man­age­ment posi­tions with­in the exec­u­tive branch that are not direct­ly elect­ed are filled by guber­na­to­r­i­al appoint­ment.

Can­di­dates who have filed since yes­ter­day evening:

Gov­er­nor

  • Demo­c­rat Jay Inslee
  • Trump Repub­li­can Leon Anon Law­son
  • Cre­gan M. New­house (states no par­ty pref­er­ence)
  • Lisa Thomas (states no par­ty pref­er­ence)

Attor­ney Gen­er­al

  • Demo­c­rat Bob Fer­gu­son
  • Repub­li­can Brett Rogers

State Audi­tor

  • Repub­li­can Chris Ley­ba

Super­in­ten­dent of Pub­lic Instruc­tion

  • Ron Hig­gins

State Supreme Court

The most impor­tant judi­cial body in Wash­ing­ton State is its State Supreme Court, which, like its fed­er­al equiv­a­lent, has nine mem­bers. How­ev­er, unlike the Unit­ed States Supreme Court, some­times referred to as SCOTUS for short, mem­bers of the State Supreme Court are direct­ly elect­ed by the vot­ers for six-year terms.

No new can­di­dates who have filed since yes­ter­day evening.

Key legislative races

The Wash­ing­ton State Leg­is­la­ture, like the Unit­ed States Con­gress, is a bicam­er­al body with a House and Sen­ate. Mem­bers of the state House serve two year terms, just like their fed­er­al coun­ter­parts, while mem­bers of the state Sen­ate serve four year terms. Present­ly, Wash­ing­ton has forty-nine leg­isla­tive dis­tricts, with each dis­trict elect­ing two rep­re­sen­ta­tives and one sen­a­tor.

Can­di­dates who have filed since yes­ter­day evening:

1st Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict

  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #2
    • Demo­c­rat Shel­ley Klo­ba

5th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict

  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #2
    • Demo­c­rat Lisa Callan

10th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict

  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #1
    • Demo­c­rat Ivan Lewis
  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #2
    • Demo­c­rat Dave Paul
  • State Sen­a­tor
    • Demo­c­rat Helen Price John­son
    • Repub­li­can Ron Muz­za­ll

11th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict

  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #1
    • Demo­c­rat David Hack­ney
    • Demo­c­rat Zack Hud­gins
  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #2
    • Demo­c­rat Sean Atchi­son
  • State Sen­a­tor
    • Demo­c­rat Bob Hasegawa

19th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict

  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #2
    • Demo­c­rat Bri­an E. Blake

25th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict

  • State Sen­a­tor
    • Repub­li­can Chris Gildon

26th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict

  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #1
    • Repub­li­can Jesse Young

28th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict

  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #2
    • Repub­li­can Jamie Michaud

30th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict

  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #1
    • Demo­c­rat Jami­la Tay­lor
  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #2
    • Repub­li­can Jack Walsh

35th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict

  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #2
    • Earl W Burt (declared par­ty pref­er­ence is “short­stop”)

42nd Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict

  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #2
    • Demo­c­rat Sharon Shew­make

Pierce County positions

Pierce is Wash­ing­ton’s sec­ond largest coun­ty by pop­u­la­tion. Unlike its north­ern neigh­bor King and oth­er home rule coun­ties in Wash­ing­ton State with char­ters, Pierce elects its coun­ty-lev­el posi­tions in even-num­bered years (when turnout is high­er), as opposed to odd-num­bered years (when turnout is typ­i­cal­ly low­er).

Can­di­dates who have filed since yes­ter­day evening:

Coun­ty Coun­cil

  • Dis­trict #3
    • Demo­c­rat Mar­cus Young
    • Repub­li­can Amy Cru­ver

See the complete list of everyone who has filed

Want to see a com­pre­hen­sive list of all can­di­date fil­ings at the state lev­el? You can do so at the Sec­re­tary of State’s web­site. You may also browse our archive of Fil­ing Week reports to see who filed for office at oth­er inter­vals.

Tuesday, May 12th, 2020

Laborers fight for safe working conditions while the media chases right wing protesters

While a rel­a­tive­ly small num­ber of covid­iots have been able to stage media-friend­­ly events for var­i­ous out­lets, what’s get­ting a lot less atten­tion are around the one hun­dred and nine­ty strikes and work­er actions tak­ing place with­in the Unit­ed States due to COVID-19, and how some busi­nesses are fail­ing to react respon­si­bly to ensure the health and safe­ty of their employ­ees.

Pay­Day Report has been track­ing these activ­i­ties, which includes work­er absen­tee actions at a Tyson Meats pro­cess­ing plant in Wal­lu­la, Wash­ing­ton; employ­ees refus­ing to show at the re-open­ing of oper­a­tions at the Boe­ing com­mer­cial air­craft man­u­fac­tur­ing facil­i­ty in Ren­ton, Wash­ing­ton; and employ­ees on strike at the Mon­delēz-Nabis­­co facil­i­ty in Port­land, Ore­gon.

They are track­ing the num­ber of meat­pack­ers who have fall­en ill under sub­stan­dard work­ing con­di­tions at the best of times – over 4,400 and count­ing.

With Don­ald Trump deter­mined to use the Defense Pro­duc­tion Act to keep meat­pack­ing plants open, Repub­li­can Gov­er­nors threat­en­ing to end unem­ploy­ment ben­e­fits for any employ­ee that refus­es to return to work after COVID-19 restric­tions are lift­ed with­in their state, and recal­ci­trant employ­ees like­ly to be fired from their jobs as a result, we can expect the num­ber of sick and dead meat­pack­ers to rise sub­stan­tial­ly over the com­ing months.

They are also notic­ing such out­landish actions as fir­ing en masse strik­ing con­tract trash haulers in New Orleans and replac­ing them with pris­on­ers, how hos­pi­tal work­ers are orga­niz­ing in the midst of both COVID-19 and union bust­ing tech­niques, and how Mex­i­can immi­grants mak­ing Per­son­al Pro­tec­tive Equip­ment at LSL Health­care in the north­west Chica­go sub­urb of Niles walked off the job, demand­ing paid time off to go into quar­an­tine after a work­er died of COVID-19.

One of Pay­Day Report’s two beat­ing hearts are Kat Calla­han, who until recent­ly was the Asia Cor­re­spon­dent at Jalop­nik and LGBT Edi­tor at Jezebel, and who present­ly also writes arti­cles for Kin­ja.

The oth­er is Mike Elk, a pro­tege of the late William Grei­der who has cov­ered the drug war in Brasil, spent years cov­er­ing union orga­niz­ing in the South for the Guardian, and marched one hun­dred and ten miles with strik­ing teach­ers across the state of Okla­homa. Togeth­er, one of their most viral efforts has been this excel­lent piece in March regard­ing Nis­san employ­ees being forced to work in dan­ger­ous con­di­tions for poten­tial infec­tions of COVID-19 at a facil­i­ty in Can­ton, Mis­sis­sip­pi, where oper­a­tions were even­tu­al­ly sus­pend­ed.)

Esquire, NPR’s On the Media and Vice mag­a­zine has pro­vid­ed some vis­i­bil­i­ty toward Pay­Day Report’s efforts, and we are proud to do the same.

We hope pub­lish­ers, edi­tors, and reporters at oth­er media out­lets will ded­i­cate more resources to chron­i­cle the dai­ly suf­fer­ing of those who help pro­vide for our dai­ly needs and less for those who use fear and hatred to push tox­ic agen­das.

Monday, May 11th, 2020

COVID-19 Update: New mask requirements, threats, lawsuits, and antibody tests

It’s time for anoth­er install­ment of of our spe­cial series COVID-19 Update, bring­ing you the lat­est devel­op­ments on the nov­el coro­n­avirus out­break that pub­lic health author­i­ties here and across the coun­try are work­ing to mit­i­gate.

Washington

Ear­li­er today, Seat­tle & King Coun­ty Health Offi­cer Dr. Jeff Duchin issued a pub­lic health direc­tive requir­ing every­one to wear face cov­er­ings indoors and out­doors when phys­i­cal dis­tanc­ing is dif­fi­cult.

Metro will require the use of masks by oper­a­tors and rid­ers at all times. (Sound Tran­sit has not yet declared such a pol­i­cy, but if they do, it will like­ly be post­ed here.) This direc­tive will take effect on Mon­day, May 18th.

Peo­ple who have been com­plain­ing about busi­ness­es vio­lat­ing Gov­er­nor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order, as a mea­sured relax­ation of the stay at home order is imple­ment­ed, have had their names and con­tact info pub­lished on Face­book, which in turn has result­ed in harass­ment and death threats against them.

One of these Face­book posts was cre­at­ed by the Wash­ing­ton Three Per­centers, which is one of an array of far right groups that, per the South­ern Pover­ty Law Cen­ter, “advo­cate or adhere to extreme antigov­ern­ment doc­trines.”

This hap­pened in the midst of demon­stra­tions of approx­i­mate­ly 1,500 peo­ple in Olympia against Gov­er­nor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order, which is less than the 2,000 to 2,500 that demon­strat­ed in Olympia last month.

Oregon

On Wednes­day, May 6th, ten church­es from across the state of Ore­gon and twen­ty-one indi­vid­u­als, made up of pas­tors, staff and con­gre­gants, filed a law­suit against Gov­er­nor Kate Brown’s State of Emer­gency order, declar­ing that it “at least implic­it­ly lim­its plain­tiffs’ free exer­cise of reli­gion,” which is pro­tect­ed by the First Amend­ment of the US con­sti­tu­tion and Arti­cle 1 of the Ore­gon Con­sti­tu­tion.

The suit was filed by the Pacif­ic Jus­tice Insti­tute, which the South­ern Pover­ty Law Cen­ter has declared is an anti-LGBT group that “…com­pared legal­ized gay mar­riage to Hitler and the Nazis’ ascent in Ger­many; endorsed so-called ‘repar­a­tive’ or sex­u­al ori­en­ta­tion con­ver­sion ther­a­py; claimed mar­riage equal­i­ty would lead to legal polygamy and incest; fought against pro­tec­tions for trans chil­dren and fab­ri­cat­ed a sto­ry of harass­ment by a trans stu­dent; and said that LGBT His­to­ry Month pro­motes gay pornog­ra­phy to chil­dren.”

The next day, on May 7th, Elkhorn Bap­tist Church in Salem filed a motion for a tem­po­rary restrain­ing order against Gov­er­nor Kate Brown’s stay at home order, declar­ing that it infringes on their reli­gious free­dom to con­gre­gate.

Said Salem-based attor­ney Ray D. Hacke, who filed the tem­po­rary restrain­ing order Thurs­day: “If we’re risk­ing our lives to go to church, if we sur­vive, great… If we die, then we’re going to heav­en. If we want to take that risk, then it’s on us.” (This ignores the pos­si­bil­i­ty that church mem­bers may become asymp­to­matic and pass the nov­el coro­n­avirus to non-par­tic­i­pants in church ser­vices.)

The Ore­gon Health Author­i­ty on Sat­ur­day, May 9th, empha­sized pub­licly an FDA guid­ance issued on May 7th, revok­ing autho­riza­tion for more than six­ty-five of the eighty known man­u­fac­tur­ers of KN95 res­pi­ra­tors, cit­ing poor qual­i­ty, and remind­ing med­ical pro­fes­sion­als not use them in the per­for­mance of their duties. KN95 res­pi­ra­tors are made exclu­sive­ly in Chi­na, but are not required to be test­ed by NIOSH (Nation­al Insti­tute for Occu­pa­tion­al Safe­ty and Health), as N95 res­pi­ra­tors must be to receive such a des­ig­na­tion.

This is the present list of approved res­pi­ra­tors by the FDA as of May 7th.

Idaho

A non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tion, Crush the Curve, has been offer­ing free anti­body tests to assess, test and trace for peo­ple who have had COVID-19 or are asymp­to­matic.

So far, Crush the Curve has been pro­mot­ing the results of test­ing in east­ern Ida­ho, where it has declared a low num­ber of peo­ple that have had or do have the nov­el coro­n­avirus.

There has been con­tro­ver­sy regard­ing anti­body test­ing for this spe­cif­ic virus.

The qual­i­ty of many such tests is high­ly ques­tion­able, it doesn’t always catch ear­ly infec­tions in progress, and inter­pret­ing the results can require sub­tle­ty at a time when the White House and oth­er enti­ties want such tests to be a quick means of pro­vid­ing evi­dence that most peo­ple can go back to work.

The tests used via the Crush the Curve cam­paign are avail­able through the Virol­o­gy Depart­ment at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wash­ing­ton, which in turn were made by Abbott Labs. While they appear to have a reli­ably high accu­ra­cy rate, and while the FDA grant­ed, on May 11th, an emer­gency use autho­riza­tion for the test, some con­tro­ver­sy exists regard­ing the avail­abil­i­ty of these tests in oth­er areas, such as in the state of Wash­ing­ton.

The hard, cold numbers

Wash­ing­ton state has had 17,890 cas­es and 953 attrib­ut­able deaths.

248,875 peo­ple have been test­ed.

Ore­gon has had 3,286 cas­es and 130 attrib­ut­able deaths.

77,542 peo­ple have been test­ed.

Ida­ho has had 2,260 cas­es and 70 attrib­ut­able deaths.

31,961 peo­ple have been test­ed.

British Colum­bia has had 2,353 cas­es and 130 attrib­ut­able deaths.

111,498 peo­ple have been test­ed.

Monday, May 11th, 2020

WA Filing Week 2020: A look at who’s filed in key races as of Monday afternoon

Wel­come to Fil­ing Week 2020!

Today through Fri­day, the Sec­re­tary of State and coun­ty elec­tions offi­cials will be accept­ing for­mal dec­la­ra­tions of can­di­da­cy from Wash­ing­to­ni­ans who have decid­ed they want to run for office at fed­er­al, state, and local lev­els.

This is a pres­i­den­tial year, which means we’ll be elect­ing all ten of our U.S. House posi­tions, all nine of our statewide exec­u­tive posi­tions, most of our state leg­isla­tive posi­tions, and sev­er­al of our State Supreme Court posi­tions, not to men­tion a large num­ber of local posi­tions, espe­cial­ly in Pierce Coun­ty.

This post is the sec­ond in a series of Fil­ing Week reports we’ll be bring­ing you at reg­u­lar inter­vals until the close of fil­ing at 5 PM on the final day of the work­week.

U.S. House

The Unit­ed States House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives is the larg­er of the two cham­bers of Con­gress estab­lished by the Unit­ed States Con­sti­tu­tion. Mem­bers of the House serve two year terms and must face the vot­ers each elec­tion cycle. Since the 2010–2011 redis­trict­ing process, Wash­ing­ton has had ten seats in the House.

Can­di­dates who have filed since this morn­ing:

2nd Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict

  • Repub­li­can Tim­o­thy S. Haze­lo
  • Repub­li­can Kari Ilon­um­mi

3rd Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict

  • Demo­c­rat Car­olyn Long
  • Repub­li­can Jaime Her­rara But­ler

4th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict

  • Demo­c­rat Dou­glas E. McKin­ley

7th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict

  • Demo­c­rat Prami­la Jay­pal

8th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict

  • Repub­li­can Kei­th R. Swank

Executive Department

Wash­ing­ton State’s exec­u­tive depart­ment con­sists of nine statewide direct­ly elect­ed posi­tions head­ed by a gov­er­nor. All posi­tions are for four-year terms, filled in pres­i­den­tial years. Each posi­tion is inde­pen­dent­ly elect­ed and thus has its own port­fo­lio of respon­si­bil­i­ties. Key man­age­ment posi­tions with­in the exec­u­tive branch that are not direct­ly elect­ed are filled by guber­na­to­r­i­al appoint­ment.

Can­di­dates who have filed since this morn­ing:

Sec­re­tary of State

  • Repub­li­can Kim Wyman

State Audi­tor

  • Demo­c­rat Pat McCarthy

State Trea­sur­er

  • Demo­c­rat Mike Pel­lic­ciot­ti
  • Repub­li­can Duane A David­son

Super­in­ten­dent of Pub­lic Instruc­tion

  • Stan Lipp­man

State Supreme Court

The most impor­tant judi­cial body in Wash­ing­ton State is its State Supreme Court, which, like its fed­er­al equiv­a­lent, has nine mem­bers. How­ev­er, unlike the Unit­ed States Supreme Court, some­times referred to as SCOTUS for short, mem­bers of the State Supreme Court are direct­ly elect­ed by the vot­ers for six-year terms.

No new can­di­dates have filed.

Key legislative races

The Wash­ing­ton State Leg­is­la­ture, like the Unit­ed States Con­gress, is a bicam­er­al body with a House and Sen­ate. Mem­bers of the state House serve two year terms, just like their fed­er­al coun­ter­parts, while mem­bers of the state Sen­ate serve four year terms. Present­ly, Wash­ing­ton has forty-nine leg­isla­tive dis­tricts, with each dis­trict elect­ing two rep­re­sen­ta­tives and one sen­a­tor.

17th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict

  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #1
    • Repub­li­can Vic­ki Kraft

18th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict

  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #2
    • Demo­c­rat Don­na L. Sin­clair
    • Repub­li­can Lar­ry Hoff
  • State Sen­a­tor
    • Demo­c­rat Rick Bell

19th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict

  • State Sen­a­tor
    • Demo­c­rat Dean Takko

23rd Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict

  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #1
    • Demo­c­rat Leslie J. Daugs
    • Demo­c­rat Tara Sim­mons

25th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict

  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #1
    • Repub­li­can Kel­ly Cham­bers
  • State Sen­a­tor
    • Repub­li­can Chris Gildon

Pierce County positions

Pierce is Wash­ing­ton’s sec­ond largest coun­ty by pop­u­la­tion. Unlike its north­ern neigh­bor King and oth­er home rule coun­ties in Wash­ing­ton State with char­ters, Pierce elects its coun­ty-lev­el posi­tions in even-num­bered years (when turnout is high­er), as opposed to odd-num­bered years (when turnout is typ­i­cal­ly low­er).

No new can­di­dates have filed.

See the complete list of everyone who has filed

Want to see a com­pre­hen­sive list of all can­di­date fil­ings at the state lev­el? You can do so at the Sec­re­tary of State’s web­site. You may also browse our archive of Fil­ing Week reports to see who filed for office at oth­er inter­vals.

Monday, May 11th, 2020

WA Filing Week 2020: A look at who’s filed in key races as of Monday morning

Wel­come to Fil­ing Week 2020!

Today through Fri­day, the Sec­re­tary of State and coun­ty elec­tions offi­cials will be accept­ing for­mal dec­la­ra­tions of can­di­da­cy from Wash­ing­to­ni­ans who have decid­ed they want to run for office at fed­er­al, state, and local lev­els.

This is a pres­i­den­tial year, which means we’ll be elect­ing all ten of our U.S. House posi­tions, all nine of our statewide exec­u­tive posi­tions, most of our state leg­isla­tive posi­tions, and sev­er­al of our State Supreme Court posi­tions, not to men­tion a large num­ber of local posi­tions, espe­cial­ly in Pierce Coun­ty.

This post is the first in a series of Fil­ing Week reports we’ll be bring­ing you at reg­u­lar inter­vals until the close of fil­ing at 5 PM on the final day of the work­week.

U.S. House

1st Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict

  • Demo­c­rat Suzan Del­Bene
  • Repub­li­can Jef­frey Beel­er, Sr.
  • Lib­er­tar­i­an Steven Skel­ton
  • Robert Dean Mair (No Par­ty Pref­er­ence)

2nd Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict

  • Demo­c­rat Jason Call
  • Demo­c­rat Rick Larsen

4th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict

  • Repub­li­can Dan New­house

6th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict

  • Demo­c­rat Derek Kilmer

7th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict

  • Repub­li­can Craig Keller

9th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict

  • Demo­c­rat Adam Smith

10th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict

  • Demo­c­rat Randy Bell
  • Demo­c­rat Beth Doglio
  • Demo­c­rat Phil Gard­ner
  • Demo­c­rat Sam Wright
  • Repub­li­can Jack­son May­nard

Executive Department

Four can­di­dates have filed so far to run for Gov­er­nor:

  • Repub­li­can Loren Culp
  • Repub­li­can Phil For­tu­na­do
  • Repub­li­can Bill Hirt
  • Trump Repub­li­can Anton Sakharov

One can­di­date has filed so far for Insur­ance Com­mis­sion­er:

  • Demo­c­rat Michael Krei­dler

For Lieu­tenant Gov­er­nor (which is an open seat due to the retire­ment of Cyrus Habib), there are four can­di­dates so far:

  • Demo­c­rat Steve Hobbs
  • Demo­c­rat Marko Lilas
  • Repub­li­can Joseph Brum­bles
  • Repub­li­can Mar­ty McClen­don

One can­di­date has filed so far for Sec­re­tary of State:

  • Demo­c­rat Gael Tar­leton

There are no can­di­dates for Attor­ney Gen­er­al yet.

One can­di­date has filed so far for Super­in­ten­dent of Pub­lic Instruc­tion:

  • Chris Reyk­dal

State Supreme Court

Posi­tions are typ­i­cal­ly for a six year term.

Posi­tion #3

  • Raquel Mon­toya-Lewis

Posi­tion #4

  • Charles W. John­son

Posi­tion #6 (For an unex­pired term of two years)

  • G. Helen Whiten­er

Posi­tion #7

  • Debra L. Stephens

Key legislative races

State Rep­re­sen­ta­tives typ­i­cal­ly serve two years, and state Sen­a­tors typ­i­cal­ly serve four years.

1st Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict

  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #1
    • Demo­c­rat Davina Duerr
  • State Sen­a­tor
    • Demo­c­rat Derek Stan­ford

5th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict

  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #1
    • Demo­c­rat Bill Ramos
  • State Sen­a­tor
    • Demo­c­rat Mark Mul­let

10th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict

  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #1
    • Demo­c­rat Suzanne Wood­ward
    • Repub­li­can Greg Gil­day
  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #2
    • Repub­li­can Bill Bruch

11th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict

  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #2
    • Demo­c­rat Steve Berquist

17th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict

  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #1
    • Demo­c­rat Tan­isha L. Har­ris
  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #2
    • Repub­li­can Paul Har­ris
  • State Sen­a­tor
    • Demo­c­rat Daniel Smith
    • Repub­li­can Lyn­da Wat­son

18th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict

  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #1
    • Repub­li­can Bran­don Vick
  • State Sen­a­tor
    • Repub­li­can Ann Rivers

19th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict

  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #1
    • Demo­c­rat Clint Bryson
    • Demo­c­rat Mar­i­an­na Ever­son

23rd Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict

  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #1
    • Repub­li­can April Fer­gu­son
  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #2
    • Demo­c­rat Drew Hansen
    • Repub­li­can Elian­na Gon­za­les-Blan­ton
  • State Sen­a­tor
    • Demo­c­rat Chris­tine Rolfes
    • Repub­li­can Pam Mad­den-Boy­er

25th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict

  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #2
    • Demo­c­rat Bri­an Duthie
    • Repub­li­can Cyn­dy Jacob­sen
  • State Sen­a­tor
    • Demo­c­rat Julie Door

26th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict

  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #1
    • Demo­c­rat Car­rie Hesch
  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #2
    • Demo­c­rat Joy Stan­ford
    • Repub­li­can Alisha Beel­er
    • Repub­li­can Michelle Caldier

28th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict

  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #1
    • Demo­c­rat Mari Leav­itt
    • Repub­li­can Kevin Bal­lard
  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #2
    • Demo­c­rat Dan Bronoske
    • Repub­li­can Chris Nye
  • State Sen­a­tor
    • Demo­c­rat Twina Nobles
    • Repub­li­can Steve O’Ban

30th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict

  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #2
    • Demo­c­rat Jesse John­son
    • Repub­li­can Mark Greene

35th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict

  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #1
    • Demo­c­rat Colton Myers
    • Repub­li­can Dan Grif­fey
  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #2
    • Demo­c­rat Dar­cy Huff­man
    • Repub­li­can Drew C. MacEwen

42nd Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict

  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #1
    • Demo­c­rat Ali­cia Rule
    • Repub­li­can Luanne Van Wer­ven
  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive — Posi­tion #2
    • Repub­li­can Jen­nifer Sefzik

Pierce County positions

All posi­tions below are for a four year term.

Pierce Coun­ty Exec­u­tive

  • Repub­li­can Bruce Dammeier

Coun­ty Coun­cil

  • Dis­trict #2
    • Demo­c­rat Sarah Rum­baugh
    • Repub­li­can Hans Zeiger
  • Dis­trict #3
    • Demo­c­rat Yanah G. Cook
  • Dis­trict #4
    • Demo­c­rat Tim Far­rell
    • Demo­c­rat Ryan Mel­lo
  • Dis­trict #6
    • Demo­c­rat John Caver­ly
    • Demo­c­rat Jami Hitchen
    • Repub­li­can Jason Whalen

Coun­ty Asses­sor-Trea­sur­er

  • Mike Lon­er­gan

Sher­iff

  • Doug Richard­son
  • Ed Troy­er

Sunday, May 10th, 2020

Where does Trump’s campaign money go?

With six months still to go before vot­ers decide (either at the polls or at home) between which par­ty’s slate of elec­tors will par­tic­i­pate in the 2020 meet­ing of the Elec­toral Col­lege, the race for the White House has unfold­ed in a total­ly unex­pect­ed and unprece­dent­ed man­ner. The onslaught of COVID-19 has upend­ed the tra­di­tion­al dynam­ics of polit­i­cal cam­paign­ing, forc­ing both Trump and Biden to eschew in-per­­son meet­ings and ral­lies with their fol­low­ers.

Instead of feud­ing over char­ac­ter and pol­i­cy, both men are hav­ing to deal with the pan­demic’s gigan­tic and still grow­ing impacts.

Trump at a rally in Arizona

(Pho­to: Gage Skid­more, repro­duced under a Cre­ative Com­mons license)

One thing that hasn’t changed, though, is how impor­tant mon­ey is.

Espe­cial­ly since the Supreme Court’s infa­mous 2010 Cit­i­zens Unit­ed (or, as we like to say, Cor­po­ra­tions Unit­ed) rul­ing, pres­i­den­tial cam­paigns have been influ­enced as much by the influ­ence of mon­ey as by any oth­er fac­tor, and in every elec­tion cycle the preva­lence of mon­ey in cam­paigns has increased.

In 2016 Don­ald Trump’s elec­tion cam­paign was con­stant­ly plagued by the hap­haz­ard and incom­pe­tent nature of its can­di­date, its strat­e­gy and its employ­ees, from their bungling of the Iowa cau­cuses to Trump’s cam­paign man­ag­er assault­ing a Bre­it­bart reporter – and of course there are the numer­ous sus­pi­cious con­nec­tions between mem­bers of the Trump cam­paign team and the Russ­ian gov­ern­ment.

Nat­u­ral­ly, this hurt the campaign’s finances, and Trump has been dogged through­out his time in office by rev­e­la­tions about the dodgy deal­ings and out­right crimes per­pe­trat­ed on his behalf by his oper­a­tives.

One of the most notable finan­cial scan­dals involved “hush mon­ey” pay­ments by Trump’s per­son­al lawyer Michael Cohen to women who alleged­ly had sex with the can­di­date, and ulti­mate­ly result­ed in a jail sen­tence for Cohen.

The rot went even deep­er, with the cam­paign team even stoop­ing so low as to spend donors’ mon­ey on thou­sands of copies of Trump’s own book, ‘Crip­pled Amer­i­ca: How to Make Amer­i­ca Great Again’ – an unso­phis­ti­cat­ed way of fun­nel­ing mon­ey straight into Trump’s pock­ets.

If we have learned any­thing from the Trump years, it is that Don­ald is inca­pable of learn­ing from his mis­takes (or crimes) and only ever esca­lates them.

Every­thing from his self-defeat­ing for­eign pol­i­cy to his increas­ing­ly repul­sive Supreme Court nom­i­nees proves this les­son.

The Michael Cohen “hush mon­ey” scan­dal offers a clue as to the kind of finan­cial skul­dug­gery the Trump cam­paign may well get up to in the next six months (or indeed, has already been up to under the radar).

Accord­ing to data from the Cen­ter for Respon­sive pol­i­tics, three of the top recip­i­ents of Trump cam­paign mon­ey are law firms.

In total, the Trump team has paid over $11 mil­lion already for their ser­vices, with six months still to go in the elec­tion cam­paign. By com­par­i­son, Hillary Clinton’s entire 2016 cam­paign spent less than half of that on legal advice, while Barack Obama’s 2012 cam­paign spent less than $4 mil­lion on sim­i­lar ser­vices.

Telling­ly, these three firms are at the cen­ter of a dizzy­ing array of Trump scan­dals.

The inter­na­tion­al law firm Jones Day has pro­vid­ed over a dozen lawyers to both the Trump cam­paign and White House, the most promi­nent of whom is Don McGahn. McGahn (who was Trump’s cam­paign coun­sel in 2016 and lat­er served as White House coun­sel) has been embroiled in Robert Mueller’s inquiry into Russ­ian inter­fer­ence in the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

He has exten­sive busi­ness links to Russ­ian and Ukrain­ian oli­garchs, and helped the Pres­i­dent obstruct the Spe­cial Coun­sel Inves­ti­ga­tion at numer­ous points.

McGahn even­tu­al­ly became a fall guy for the regime, resign­ing in Octo­ber 2018, but has con­tin­ued to aid Trump by refus­ing to obey con­gres­sion­al sub­poe­nas. Jones Day has proved itself to be an amoral actor in oth­er cas­es; it was heav­i­ly impli­cat­ed in Ger­man car man­u­fac­tur­ers’ cheat­ing of emis­sions reg­u­la­tions.

The oth­er two law firms hired by the Trump cam­paign are involved in the var­i­ous unfold­ing stages of the Stormy Daniels “hush mon­ey” saga. Laroc­ca, Hor­nick, Rosen, Green­burg & Bla­ha are a New Jer­sey-based firm that helped rep­re­sent Michael Cohen after news of the pay­ments came out. Iron­i­cal­ly, the firm’s involve­ment in the case only under­mined Cohen’s argu­ment that he was act­ing inde­pen­dent­ly of Trump, as they have worked for the Trump orga­ni­za­tion for years.

Charles Hard­er – own­er of Hard­er LLP, which has received almost $3 mil­lion from the Trump cam­paign – is an expert in defama­tion law­suits with expe­ri­ence from dozens of high pro­file cas­es, most notably rep­re­sent­ing Hulk Hogan in the law­suit that brought down Gawk­er. He has rep­re­sent­ed both Don­ald Trump and numer­ous mem­bers of his fam­i­ly in an array of dif­fer­ent legal cas­es.

Of course, Hard­er is also involved in the Stormy Daniels case; he rep­re­sent­ed Trump in a defama­tion case brought by the adult film actress in 2018.

His suc­cess in that case, along with his expe­ri­ence of rep­re­sent­ing tru­ly repul­sive fig­ures such as Har­vey Wein­stein, guar­an­teed Hard­er lucra­tive con­tracts from the Trump cam­paign, and he con­tin­ues to rep­re­sent the Trumps.

Inves­ti­gat­ing these three law firms’ activ­i­ties will be key to uncov­er­ing shady or down­right ille­gal con­duct that Trump’s re-elec­­tion cam­paign, but it will be dif­fi­cult.

All three firms have enor­mous expe­ri­ence at keep­ing their clients’ secrets buried, and it will be a chal­lenge for jour­nal­ists to uncov­er the truth.

What will make the job of jour­nal­ists inves­ti­gat­ing the Trump campaign’s finances even more dif­fi­cult is that Trump has tak­en a leaf from the famous­ly opaque Mitt Rom­ney cam­paign of 2012. Polit­i­cal cam­paigns are required to sub­mit a lot of their finan­cial infor­ma­tion to gov­ern­ment agen­cies such as the IRS and then FEC. Romney’s team got around that by cre­at­ing an in-house pro­duc­tion com­pa­ny called Amer­i­can Ram­bler Pro­duc­tions (ARP).

ARP was osten­si­bly intend­ed to stream­line the campaign’s finan­cial out­lay, but it seemed cus­tom designed to make the flow of cash impos­si­ble to fol­low.

It was incor­po­rat­ed in Delaware, whose state laws allow for almost ridicu­lous lev­els of cor­po­rate secre­cy, and lit­tle is known about where the $260 mil­lion that the Rom­ney cam­paign pushed through ARP end­ed up.

The Trump cam­paign has copied the mod­el of ARP with Amer­i­can Made Media Con­sul­tants (AMMC), a polit­i­cal con­sul­tan­cy estab­lished in 2018.

It claims to be an inde­pen­dent com­pa­ny, so it doesn’t have to reveal the kind of finan­cial infor­ma­tion that Trump’s polit­i­cal cam­paign does, but these claims stretch the truth to the point of increduli­ty.

AMMC only caters to one client, the Trump cam­paign, and was actu­al­ly incor­po­rat­ed by Don­ald Trump’s cam­paign man­ag­er, Brad Parscale. So far, the cam­paign has fun­neled over $40 mil­lion though this obvi­ous shell com­pa­ny. Two oth­er sim­i­lar com­pa­nies found­ed by Mr. Parscale – Parscale Strat­e­gy and Parscale Dig­i­tal – have togeth­er received about $10 mil­lion in Trump cam­paign funds.

It is unclear what these shell cor­po­ra­tions are doing with the over $50 mil­lion entrust­ed to them, but what infor­ma­tion we do have is dis­turb­ing.

In Decem­ber, The Inter­cept report­ed that AMMC has hired a tech­nol­o­gy com­pa­ny that spe­cial­izes in the mass har­vest­ing of smart­phone data, essen­tial­ly allow­ing the Trump team to track mil­lions of vot­er for polit­i­cal tar­get­ing. AMMC is also con­nect­ed through Mr. Parscale to Data Pro­pria, a dig­i­tal polit­i­cal con­sul­tan­cy that was found­ed by for­mer employ­ees of the dis­graced firm Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca.

How­ev­er, the opaque­ness of AMMC’s finances is not all to Don­ald Trump’s ben­e­fit.

Brad Parscale has a long history of profiting from the Trump family

Brad Parscale has a long his­to­ry of prof­it­ing from the Trump fam­i­ly (Source: Web­fo­rum, repro­duced under a Cre­ative Com­mons license)

Brad Parscale, the head of Trump’s re-elec­­tion cam­paign and founder of AMMC, has a sto­ried finan­cial past. He first came to the Trump family’s atten­tion in 2012, when he designed a web­site for the Trump orga­ni­za­tion.

An expert at flat­ter­ing and manip­u­lat­ing the Trumps (his own fam­i­ly dynam­ic bears remark­able sim­i­lar­i­ties to Trump clan), Parscale was able to par­lay a good rela­tion­ship with Trump’s sons Eric and Don­ald Junior into a career of mutu­al back-scratch­ing between Parscale’s busi­ness­es and the Trump Orga­ni­za­tion.

Along the way, he accu­mu­lat­ed a huge for­tune. The rela­tion­ship between Brad Parscale and the Trump fam­i­ly is best summed up by Parscale him­self: “I’m here because I love this fam­i­ly and I wouldn’t have the life I have with­out [them].”

Don­ald Trump’s unex­pect­ed deci­sion to run for Pres­i­dent in 2015 saw Parscale per­fect­ly posi­tioned to ben­e­fit. With his back­ground in dig­i­tal media and his close rela­tion­ship with the Trump fam­i­ly, he secured a posi­tion as Trump’s dig­i­tal cam­paign direc­tor. His uncon­ven­tion­al (and often immoral) approach to the role earned him a rep­u­ta­tion as an “elec­tion guru,” but it also earned him some­thing else: accord­ing to Cory Lewandows­ki, Trump’s 2016 cam­paign direc­tor, Parscale’s com­pa­ny was paid an eye-water­ing $94 mil­lion by the Trump team.

Parscale is in an even bet­ter posi­tion to ben­e­fit finan­cial­ly from Trump now than he was in 2016. As cam­paign direc­tor, he has far greater con­trol of the campaign’s resources than he had before, and also has far more ways to fun­nel mon­ey to him­self. Along­side AMMC, Parscale has found­ed or invest­ed in lit­er­al­ly dozens of com­pa­nies that orbit around the Trump cam­paign, and every time Trump’s team pays one of these firms, you can expect Parscale to take a cut.

Per­haps antic­i­pat­ing this, Don­ald Trump has report­ed­ly warned Parscale to restrain his prof­i­teer­ing from the 2020 cam­paign to a mere $800,000.

Leav­ing aside the hypocrisy of Trump’s demand (Parscale’s com­pa­nies cur­rent­ly give mas­sive salaries to Lara Trump and Don­ald Junior’s girl­friend Kim­ber­ley Guil­foyle as “advi­sors”), it is dif­fi­cult to see how Trump would even know if Parscale had exceed­ed the lim­it, such is the com­plex­i­ty of the cor­po­rate labyrinth that the cam­paign direc­tor has erect­ed.

Thanks to the unprece­dent­ed army of unscrupu­lous lawyers and the maze of shell cor­po­ra­tions which han­dle the campaign’s mon­ey, it is impos­si­ble to know exact­ly how the cam­paign is spend­ing its donors’ mon­ey in real time.

Only snip­pets of finan­cial infor­ma­tion escape black box­es like AMMC, and what those snip­pets show is dis­turb­ing.

The Unit­ed States des­per­ate­ly needs cam­paign finance reform – but with the Repub­li­cans (and the many Democ­rats who also ben­e­fit from cor­po­rate dark mon­ey) in charge, it’s unlike­ly that we’ll see much reform at the fed­er­al lev­el any time soon. Thank good­ness we have cham­pi­ons for open­ness and trans­paren­cy at the state lev­el like Mike Pel­lic­cot­ti, a state rep­re­sen­ta­tive now run­ning for Trea­sur­er who refus­es to accept cor­po­rate mon­ey in his cam­paigns.

Sunday, May 10th, 2020

Last Week In Congress: How Cascadia’s U.S. lawmakers voted (May 4th-8th)

Good morn­ing! Here’s how Cascadia’s Unit­ed States Sen­a­tors vot­ed on major issues dur­ing the leg­isla­tive week end­ing Fri­day, May 8th, 2020.

The House was in recess.

In the United States Senate

Chamber of the United States Senate

The Sen­ate cham­ber (U.S. Con­gress pho­to)

CONFIRMING HEAD OF COUNTERINTELLIGENCE: Vot­ing 84 for and sev­en against, the Sen­ate on May 6th con­firmed William R. Evan­i­na as direc­tor of the Nation­al Coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence and Secu­ri­ty Cen­ter over crit­i­cism that he has been a reluc­tant sup­port­er of whistle­blow­er rights. The NCSC is the lead U.S. agency for safe­guard­ing Amer­i­ca against for­eign intel­li­gence pen­e­tra­tions.

The vote keeps Evan­i­na in a post he assumed in 2014 when Sen­ate con­fir­ma­tion was not required. After join­ing the FBI as a spe­cial agent in 1996, he inves­ti­gat­ed orga­nized crime and ter­ror­ist activ­i­ties, and he was pro­mot­ed in 2013 to head FBI-CIA joint coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence oper­a­tions. In 2014, Evan­i­na was tasked with putting into effect a new law pro­hibit­ing retal­i­a­tion against whistle­blow­ers in the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty by revok­ing their secu­ri­ty clear­ances.

Sen­ate crit­ics say that six years lat­er, he has not yet com­plet­ed that assign­ment.

Mark Warn­er, D‑Virginia, called the con­fir­ma­tion essen­tial at a time when the U.S. intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty has no Sen­ate-con­firmed appointees in its top ranks. He said “now more than ever, we need at least one career intel­li­gence pro­fes­sion­al with a good record, con­firmed by this Sen­ate, stand­ing guard over” spy and counter-spy oper­a­tions.

Ron Wyden, D‑Oregon, said: “The fact is that Mr. Evan­i­na has failed repeat­ed­ly the key test on pro­tect­ing whistle­blow­er rights. Specif­i­cal­ly, he failed to enact whistle­blow­er pro­tec­tions that the Con­gress required in 2014.A six-year track record of let­ting down whistle­blow­ers and fail­ing to fol­low the law.”

A yes vote was to con­firm the nom­i­nee.

The State of Idaho

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

The State of Oregon

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

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Aye (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor Maria Cantwell

Not Vot­ing (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor Pat­ty Mur­ray

Cas­ca­dia total: 3 aye votes, 2 nay votes, 1 not vot­ing

UPHOLDING VETO OF WAR POWERS BILL: Vot­ing 49 for and 44 against, the Sen­ate on May 7th failed to reach a two-thirds thresh­old need­ed to over­turn Don­ald Trump’s veto of a res­o­lu­tion (S.J. Res 68) con­cern­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ty of war with Iran. The mea­sure sought to require the admin­is­tra­tion to obtain advance con­gres­sion­al approval for actions against Iran or its proxy forces except when there is an immi­nent threat to the Unit­ed States.

It did so by invok­ing the 1973 War Pow­ers Res­o­lu­tion, which asserts the pow­er of Con­gress to declare war under Arti­cle I of the Con­sti­tu­tion.

Under the 1973 law, pres­i­dents must noti­fy Con­gress with­in forty-eight hours when they send the U.S. mil­i­tary into com­bat, then with­draw the forces with­in a set peri­od unless Con­gress has autho­rized the action.

Jeff Merkley, D‑Oregon, said that as a result of Trump’s words and actions, “we have come with­in a hair’s breadth of war with Iran.The found­ing fathers were adamant about not hav­ing any­thing resem­bling a king in the new coun­try they were build­ing. The pres­i­dent was giv­en the pow­er to lead the nation’s armed forces as com­man­der in chief, but Arti­cle I, Sec­tion 8 of the Con­sti­tu­tion stat­ed: ‘The Con­gress shall have Pow­er… To declare war.’ ”

James Inhofe, R‑Oklahoma, said “nobody should want a pol­i­cy that would leave Amer­i­cans vul­ner­a­ble to the whims of Iran’s ter­ror­ist-sup­port­ing regime. If we do that, if we tie the pres­i­den­t’s hands so that he can­not defend Amer­i­can lives, we leave our­selves more vul­ner­a­ble and, there­fore, make war infi­nite­ly more like­ly, and accord­ing­ly, we must all vote to sus­tain the Pres­i­den­t’s veto.”

A yes vote was to over­ride the veto.

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 (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor Maria Cantwell

Not Vot­ing (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor Pat­ty Mur­ray

Cas­ca­dia total: 3 aye votes, 2 nay votes, 1 not vot­ing

Key votes ahead

The House will take up Con­gress’s fifth coro­n­avirus relief bill in the week of May 11th, while the Sen­ate will vote on judi­cial and exec­u­tive branch nom­i­na­tions.

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!

© 2020 Thomas Vot­ing Reports.

Saturday, May 9th, 2020

The Pandemic is Personal: Sedro-Woolley’s Germaine Kornegay on small town resilience

Editor’s note: Wel­come to The Pan­dem­ic is Per­son­al, a week­ly series focus­ing on on how the nov­el coro­n­avirus (SARS-CoV­‑2) is affect­ing the every­day lives of peo­ple through­out the Pacif­ic North­west. We hope to enlight­en you and reflect on what you and oth­ers are address­ing as this pan­dem­ic runs its course. If you have a sto­ry to tell, please feel free to con­tact us.

Germaine Kornegay

Sedro-Wool­ley Coun­cilmem­ber Ger­maine Korne­gay (Cour­tesy pho­to)

In this install­ment, we’ll hear from Ger­maine Korne­gay. Orig­i­nal­ly from Philadel­phia, Ger­maine has been a small busi­ness own­er for twen­ty-four years and a mem­ber of the Sedro-Wool­ley City Coun­cil since 2014. She has been a Domes­tic Vio­lence and Sex­u­al Assault Advo­cate for Skag­it Coun­ty, an advo­cate at the Oasis Teen Shel­ter, a coun­selor at the local Boys and Girls Club, and a “gen­tle­la­dy farmer” who has raised chick­ens for ten years.

In Wash­ing­ton State’s Skag­it Coun­ty, where the pop­u­la­tion is just over 129,000, we’ve recent­ly opened up our first dri­ve-through test­ing site.

Our Skag­it Coun­ty Pub­lic Health Depart­ment has been keep­ing us updat­ed on cas­es, hos­pi­tal­iza­tions and deaths. We had a local choir group who met after a rehearsal and twen­ty days lat­er, two were dead and twen­ty-eight of forty-five present test­ed pos­i­tive for COVID-19. They took all of the pre­cau­tions known at the time, but were unaware of the virus spread­ing through droplets in the air.

It’s grim, but our com­mu­ni­ty is resilient. I learned that after the Cas­cade Mall shoot­ing four years ago. Here in Skag­it Coun­ty, we are a tight-knit com­mu­ni­ty of small towns, so our local net­work helps one anoth­er in so many ways.

A Skagit Valley sunset

Snow Geese pass­ing in front of Mount Bak­er in the Skag­it Val­ley (Pho­to: Eric Elling­son, repro­duced under a Cre­ative Com­mons license)

Our prin­ci­pal coun­ty food bank, Help­ing Hands in Sedro-Wool­ley, is our pride and joy. Help­ing Hands typ­i­cal­ly sup­plies oth­er local food banks through­out Skag­it Coun­ty, but they are now all closed, bring­ing all clients in the area to Help­ing Hands.

With the new phys­i­cal dis­tanc­ing require­ments and a dou­bling of nor­mal dis­tri­b­u­tion require­ments placed on Help­ing Hands, we’ve need­ed more vol­un­teers.

We’ve also had to replace some of our usu­al vol­un­teers as well, who have had to stay home as they are among our most vul­ner­a­ble.

I per­son­al­ly upped my vol­un­teer hours until the Nation­al Guard came in to help. We are so grate­ful for their pres­ence – and some of the Guards­men and Guardswomen are from Sedro-Wool­ley.

Local farm­ers are kick­ing in and folks like myself are rais­ing mon­ey. I raised over $1,000 through my birth­day event last month for Help­ing Hands (thank you to those able to give!) and it’s not too late if you would like to con­tribute.

The city has made it pos­si­ble for employ­ees to work from home when­ev­er fea­si­ble. Our police and fire depart­ments are, like most these days, stretched thin.

Mask wear­ing and sham­ing is a strange new phe­nom­e­non.

Some here don’t believe in sci­ence when it dis­agrees with a belief, and it’s becom­ing as divi­sive as every­thing else these days.

An upriv­er Face­book group had to remove a post where a woman point­ed out a group at a busi­ness estab­lish­ment that were not wear­ing masks.

Dis­turbing­ly, at essen­tial busi­ness­es such as gro­cery stores, it was rare to see any­one oth­er than the work­ers (myself and a cou­ple oth­ers) wear­ing a mask — a huge risk to the essen­tial work­ers. But at the gar­den cen­ters that are open, every­one was wear­ing one. (I actu­al­ly did­n’t expect to see them open the first time I went a gar­den cen­ter since the out­break of the virus, and left mine in the car at home. Of course, all my neigh­bors were there with theirs on. Oops.)

I am work­ing to get the Gov­er­nor to see pet groom­ing, espe­cial­ly with the upcom­ing warm months and its accom­pa­ny­ing flea sea­son, as essen­tial.

After a dis­cus­sion with my state sen­a­tor, I’ve been try­ing to form an alliance with oth­er groom­ing busi­ness­es in the area to put for­ward sim­i­lar requests with good rea­son­ing behind the idea and work­able plans on how to min­i­mize issues.

Some, instead, called my land­lord to ensure I wasn’t groom­ing, which was dis­ap­point­ing. There is enough busi­ness for us all, and I present­ly have a wait­ing list of 150+ dogs as a one-woman shop with tem­per­a­tures some days trend­ing toward 80 F (and some­times even inch­ing just beyond). I am going to be over­whelmed when I return to my busi­ness. Feast or famine!

The local thrift shop will soon be over­whelmed with my spring clean­ing dona­tions. Most peo­ple I know local­ly are in self quar­an­tine, so I spend time get­ting my gar­den togeth­er, cook­ing and call­ing friends while I walk my adopt­ed Rot­tweil­er, Trey. Thank­ful­ly, I adopt­ed Trey from Seat­tle Pure­bred Dog Res­cue right before the news of the virus hit us.

Skag­it Coun­ty will lose tons of rev­enue this year with­out tourism.

It’s a $65 mil­lion a year busi­ness here. More than a mil­lion peo­ple come to see mil­lions of tulips in bloom every year through the Skag­it Tulip Fes­ti­val and the dis­play gar­den tours at Tulip Town and Roozen­Gaarde — but not this one.

(They are doing vir­tu­al tours and bulbs can be ordered.)

Skagit Valley panorama

A panoram­ic view of Skag­it Val­ley tulips (Pho­to: Abhin­a­ba Basu, repro­duced under a Cre­ative Com­mons license)

For tax rev­enue, Sedro Wool­ley counts heav­i­ly on small busi­ness­es and they in turn rely on tourism, espe­cial­ly this time of year with such events as Wood­fest, Blast from the Past and the Help­ing Hands Food Bank Beer Fes­ti­val. We will lose a sub­stan­tial amount of busi­ness from tourism this year.

The mea­ger lev­els of incom­ing tax rev­enue we’re see­ing could lead to us tem­porar­i­ly cut­ting pur­chas­es and oth­er expens­es from our city bud­get. We will also have a lot of mak­ing up to do, but a longer way to go, than larg­er cities.

As far as our local busi­ness­es go, many were oper­at­ing on tight bud­gets already, as expect­ed in a small town. At least a few will not be able to return, unfor­tu­nate­ly. The com­mu­ni­ty is doing all it can to sup­port them, and our local restau­rants are over­whelmed with take­out orders. I try to sup­port them as well, but many are clos­ing ear­ly in the day as they run out of sup­plies.

Being a small com­mu­ni­ty with 12,000 res­i­dents, we real­ly can­not afford to lose a sin­gle busi­ness. I hope that most of them can hold on until we get to the oth­er side of this. I see the light at the end of the tun­nel. When going through hell, it’s best to keep going, as Win­ston Churchill once quipped.

Thursday, May 7th, 2020

Poll Watch: Biden’s lead over Trump has increased, despite Tara Reade allegations

Don­ald Trump and Joe Biden have both had a chal­leng­ing week.

The source of Trump’s woes is, of course, his administration’s ongo­ing sham­bol­ic response to the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic. Ear­li­er this week Trump – in an obvi­ous attempt to declare some sort of pre­ma­ture vic­to­ry over the virus – declared that he was con­sid­er­ing wind­ing down the White House coro­n­avirus task force.

Faced with an imme­di­ate pub­lic back­lash, he reversed course in under twen­ty-four hours, but made it very clear that his deci­sion had absolute­ly no basis in pub­lic health sci­ence: “I had no idea how pop­u­lar the task force is until actu­al­ly yes­ter­day when I start­ed talk­ing about wind­ing it down!”

Biden’s rough week was caused by an entire­ly dif­fer­ent set of cir­cum­stances.

In late March Tara Reade, a for­mer Sen­ate staffer, claimed in a pod­cast inter­view that in 1993 then-Sen­a­­tor Biden sex­u­al­ly assault­ed her.

This claim took some time to be cov­ered by big media, but the sec­ond half of April saw mount­ing atten­tion paid to the alle­ga­tions – at the same time as Ms. Reade’s fam­i­ly and neigh­bors came for­ward to cor­rob­o­rate her claims.

Biden did not help him­self with his slow response to Reade’s alle­ga­tion. Instead of quick­ly address­ing the issue him­self, Biden opt­ed to let high-pro­­file Demo­c­ra­t­ic women defend him in TV inter­views – while pro­vid­ing them with inac­cu­rate talk­ing points. Biden only broke his long silence on Fri­day to issue a blan­ket pub­lic denial of the accu­sa­tions: “I’m say­ing unequiv­o­cal­ly it nev­er, nev­er hap­pened.”

How­ev­er, the lat­est poll from Mon­mouth Uni­ver­si­ty seems to show that Biden’s slow response to the Reade accu­sa­tions has not hurt him with vot­ers; the poll, released on Wednes­day, showed Biden with an increased lead over Trump of 50% to 41%. The sur­vey – which began ask­ing respon­dents about Tara Reade’s alle­ga­tions after Biden’s pub­lic denial on Fri­day – showed that the over­whelm­ing major­i­ty of peo­ple (86%) have heard about the sto­ry.

Patrick Mur­ray (Direc­tor of Monmouth’s polling insti­tute) explained that although head­lines about Reade’s accu­sa­tions may affect the for­mer Vice President’s favor­a­bil­i­ty rat­ings, “most vot­ers still see this elec­tion as a ref­er­en­dum on Trump.”

Even with the survey’s 3.6% mar­gin of error, Biden holds a com­fort­able lead over Don­ald Trump, news that will be wel­come for Democ­rats.

How­ev­er, the Democ­rats can­not not rest on their lau­rels – Don­ald Trump was elect­ed in 2016 by the Elec­toral Col­lege despite los­ing the pop­u­lar vote to Hillary Clin­ton by near­ly three mil­lion votes.

The Repub­li­cans have shown over the past few years that they will do any­thing to keep this state of affairs in place. To name just one exam­ple, Flori­da Repub­li­cans are fight­ing tooth and nail to clamp down vot­ing restric­tions on ex-felons in the state – despite a 2018 bal­lot mea­sure that restored those felons’ vot­ing rights.

The onslaught of COVID-19 has not slowed Repub­li­can attempts at vot­er sup­pres­sion at all. In the vital­ly impor­tant state of Wis­con­sin, the Repub­li­cans delib­er­ate­ly turned the state’s pres­i­den­tial pri­ma­ry into a chaot­ic mess, putting hun­dreds of thou­sands of Wis­con­sinites in dan­ger of catch­ing the virus – all with the intent of stop­ping “unde­sir­able” vot­ers from exer­cis­ing their vot­ing rights.

Democ­rats will need to be on the look out for such tac­tics in the run-up to Novem­ber. The COVID-19 cri­sis has only rein­forced how vital­ly impor­tant it is to get Don­ald Trump out of office and install some­one (lit­er­al­ly any­one) more com­pe­tent, less ego­tis­ti­cal, and less cav­a­lier with Amer­i­cans’ lives.

Thursday, May 7th, 2020

Republicans file new lawsuit against Governor Inslee’s stay home, stay healthy orders

A grow­ing num­ber of promi­nent Repub­li­cans in Wash­ing­ton State appear to either have a wors­en­ing case of cab­in fever or are wor­ried sick that the eco­nom­ic fall­out from the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic will doom their par­ty’s elec­toral prospects this autumn. They’re des­per­ate for a return to nor­mal­cy — the same con­cept that Repub­li­can War­ren Hard­ing cam­paigned on exact­ly one hun­dred years ago.

That’s evi­dent­ly why a bunch of them have cho­sen to par­tic­i­pate in a law­suit chal­leng­ing Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee’s stay at home order. Those par­tic­i­pat­ing include Andrew Barkis, Chris Cor­ry, Drew MacEwen, and Bran­don Vick.

Oth­er plain­tiffs include:

  • Fran Wills, who has declared that her lack of access to an ath­let­ic club, which is present­ly closed due to the stay at home order, denies her a ther­a­peu­tic means of exer­cise against Mul­ti­ple Scle­ro­sis.
  • Bruce Rus­sell, own­er of the Lake Bowl bowl­ing cen­ter, restau­rant and tap room, locat­ed in Moses Lake, who says his busi­ness has lost mon­ey.
  • Lee Pfluger, who says his con­struc­tion busi­ness has lost income due to the stay at home order. Lee Pfluger is also Cap­tain of the Dou­glas Coun­ty chap­ter of “Lib­er­ty State”. 

For those unaware, “Lib­er­ty State” a seces­sion­ist effort that seeks to con­vert East­ern Wash­ing­ton into a dystopi­an theoc­ra­cy.

It con­sists of a col­lec­tion of mil­i­tant, rad­i­cal right wing groups and indi­vid­u­als, includ­ing Matt Shea, who has spo­ken of estab­lish­ing a “theo­crat­ic redoubt” in the Inland North­west and who has fur­ther doc­u­ment­ed means of suveilling polit­i­cal oppo­nents, dis­cussed vio­lence and harass­ment favor­ably in chat rooms, and has embraced an armed youth group prepar­ing for “bib­li­cal war­fare.”

Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Drew Stokes­bary, Kel­ly Cham­bers, Mor­gan Irwin, and J. T. Wilcox (the top House Repub­li­can) expressed sym­pa­thy with the plain­tiffs.

Wilcox cit­ed “irre­triev­able dam­age being done to fam­i­lies, insti­tu­tions and com­merce… We were not meant to be gov­erned in the long term by emer­gency orders… It is good to test this con­sti­tu­tion­al­ly.”

The law­suit alleges that the stay home, stay healthy orders are depriv­ing Wash­ing­to­ni­ans of their First and Fifth Amend­ment rights.

You can read the suit below:

dkt-001–20200505-complaint

Gov­er­nor Inslee’s response that same day was direct and to the point.

“It would be a hor­rif­ic sur­prise to the over eight hun­dred fam­i­lies that have already lost a loved one already to this pan­dem­ic to think that this is not a cri­sis.”

“I believe that posi­tion is bio­log­i­cal­ly igno­rant and humane­ly heart­less… We can’t have a good econ­o­my with­out a healthy Wash­ing­ton and the mea­sures we have tak­en are designed to pre­serve health and life itself.”

Gov­er­nor Inslee rein­forced the point when, at his media event the next day in cel­e­bra­tion of Nation­al Nurse’s Day, he asked the nurs­es invit­ed to speak with him if, semi-rhetor­i­­cal­­ly, when they spoke with fam­i­ly mem­bers who had rel­a­tives being treat­ed for COVID-19, whether fam­i­ly mem­bers cared about them less if they were more than six­ty years of age. He lat­er stat­ed clear­ly that he had no tol­er­ance for any­one who con­sid­ered oth­ers liv­ing in the state of Wash­ing­ton as poten­tial­ly dis­pos­able peo­ple, and that such talk was moral­ly repug­nant.

Tina Pod­lodows­ki, Chair of the Wash­ing­ton State Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty, also con­demned the law­suit in a state­ment pro­vid­ed to NPI.

“This is yet anoth­er irre­spon­si­ble action from Wash­ing­ton State Repub­li­cans that jeop­ar­dizes the sac­ri­fices so many Wash­ing­to­ni­ans have made to save lives in the fight against this virus. As Democ­rats across all of Wash­ing­ton remain com­mit­ted to fol­low­ing the sci­ence and advice of pub­lic health experts to reopen our state safe­ly, Repub­li­cans con­tin­ue to be guid­ed by the most extreme parts of their par­ty, push­ing dan­ger­ous ideas like mass infec­tion and vio­lent rebel­lion.”

“Today and every day until this Novem­ber’s elec­tion, we’ll make sure Wash­ing­to­ni­ans know who was on their side and who put their lives in dan­ger to score cheap polit­i­cal points,” Pod­lodows­ki con­clud­ed.

The afore­men­tioned law­suit is the sec­ond in a series of legal maneu­vers launched by right wing Repub­li­cans in Wash­ing­ton against Gov­er­nor Inslee’s stay home, stay healthy orders. The first law­suit was filed May 1st by Franklin Coun­ty Com­mis­sion­er Clint Didi­er and con artist Tim Eyman.

Tuesday, May 5th, 2020

COVID-19 Update: Elected officials call for testing, tracing, and mitigation

It’s time for anoth­er install­ment of of our spe­cial series COVID-19 Update, bring­ing you the lat­est devel­op­ments on the nov­el coro­n­avirus out­break that pub­lic health author­i­ties here and across the coun­try are work­ing to mit­i­gate.

Washington

Gov­er­nor Inslee extend­ed the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order through May 31st, but also unveiled a four-phase plan for a grad­ual open­ing of the state.

Phase­dReopen­ingChart

This plan will start Phase I, begin­ning today, and there are expect­ed to be a min­i­mum of three weeks between each phase, though what will ulti­mate­ly deter­mine whether the state will advance to the next phase are five met­rics.

These are COVID-19 dis­ease activ­i­ty; test­ing capac­i­ty and avail­abil­i­ty; case and con­tact inves­ti­ga­tions; risk to vul­ner­a­ble pop­u­la­tions, and health care sys­tem readi­ness. For exam­ple, if the Fed­er­al gov­ern­ment fails to pro­vide the half mil­lion test swabs and relat­ed mate­ri­als for test­ing on a reg­u­lar basis to Wash­ing­ton state, for exam­ple, there will be a delay in mov­ing for­ward to Phase II.

Gov­er­nor Inslee also remind­ed view­ers that munic­i­pal­i­ties and coun­ties can still apply stricter mea­sures than those the state has in place through the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” plan through­out this process, to meet the local sit­u­a­tion at hand.

In con­junc­tion with this four-phase plan is the COVID-19 risk assess­ment dash­board, to pro­vide a broad overview of where the state stands per the fine met­rics and explain in greater detail what each met­ric means.

As in Ore­gon, approx­i­mate­ly 1,500 per­son­nel will be hired by mid-May to main­tain dai­ly one-on-one con­tact with those who have been diag­nosed with COVID-19 and ensur­ing they don’t spread the virus fur­ther.

Ten coun­ties will be con­sid­ered, as they make up less than 3% of the pop­u­la­tion of the state, if they main­tain their extreme­ly low num­ber of cas­es of the virus and have enough hos­pi­tal capac­i­ty and per­son­al pro­tec­tive equip­ment (PPE) on hand, to be allowed a vari­ance to move ear­ly to Phase 2.

These coun­ties are Colum­bia, Fer­ry, Garfield, Grays Har­bor, Jef­fer­son, Kit­ti­tas, Lin­coln, Pend Oreille, Ska­ma­nia and Wahki­akum. If this move is suc­cess­ful, oth­er coun­ties will be able to request con­sid­er­a­tion to join this group.

Oregon

Gov­er­nor Kate Brown has extend­ed the present State of Emer­gency order with­in Ore­gon through July 6th, but may allow spe­cif­ic coun­ties that have zero cas­es of Covid-19 to grad­u­al­ly reopen start­ing May 15th.

She has also announced a new pro­gram, “Be the Key,” with 100,000 ran­dom­ly select­ed vol­un­teers, focused on vul­ner­a­ble pop­u­la­tions, to cre­ate a bet­ter idea of where COVID-19 exists and how it affects their com­mu­ni­ties.

Those who agree to par­tic­i­pate would be tracked for up to one year.

The Ore­gon Health Author­i­ty, in con­junc­tion with “Be the Key,” also announced a series of mea­sures to fur­ther con­tain the spread of COVID-19. These are built around two strate­gies – one for test­ing and con­tact trac­ing, and one for con­tain­ment and iso­la­tion of those found to have the virus.

The first step is statewide active sur­veil­lance – that’s main­tain­ing dai­ly one-on-one con­tact with those who have been diag­nosed with COVID-19 and ensur­ing they don’t spread the virus fur­ther. Around six hun­dred vol­un­teers will be hired for this pur­pose, espe­cial­ly for those with the cul­tur­al and lin­guis­tic com­pe­tence nec­es­sary to effec­tive­ly work with at-risk groups.

The first step is expand­ing test­ing to iden­ti­fy those with, and to then stop the spread of the virus. The statewide goal is thir­ty tests per week per 10,000 Ore­go­ni­ans, and to ensure any­one with symp­toms is test­ed with­in forty-eight to sev­en­ty-two hours, though more spe­cif­ic goals exist for each of the nine regions into which the state will con­duct test­ing.

The sec­ond step is to iden­ti­fy and inves­ti­gate as part of a pro­gram of “broad con­tact trac­ing;” to track all those who may have been in con­tact with the per­son found to have test­ed pos­i­tive for COVID-19. The third step is to iso­late those who test pos­i­tive for the dis­ease and quar­an­tine those exposed. The fourth step is to iden­ti­fy and reduce the poten­tial spread of the virus with spe­cif­ic at-risk groups.

The hard, cold numbers

Wash­ing­ton state has had 16,136 cas­es and 846 attrib­ut­able deaths.

216,320 peo­ple have been test­ed.

Ore­gon has had 2,759 cas­es and 109 attrib­ut­able deaths.

63,443 peo­ple have been test­ed.

Ida­ho has had 2,106 cas­es and 64 attrib­ut­able deaths.

30,146 peo­ple have been test­ed.

British Colum­bia has had 2,224 cas­es and 117 attrib­ut­able deaths.

96,517 peo­ple have been test­ed.

Tuesday, May 5th, 2020

ICANN refuses to sign off on proposed sale of .ORG domain registry to private equity firm

Late last month, the ICANN Board made the deci­sion to reject the pro­posed change of con­trol of the .ORG reg­istry. The .ORG reg­istry has been man­aged by the Inter­net Soci­ety’s Pub­lic Inter­est Reg­istry (PIR) since 2003.

Many in the non­prof­it com­mu­ni­ty were grave­ly con­cerned when in Novem­ber of last year, ISOC announced that PIR would be sold to Ethos Cap­i­tal, a pri­vate-invest­ment firm. The online com­mu­ni­ty was con­cerned that a for-prof­it com­pa­ny was inter­est­ed in gain­ing con­trol of the .ORG domain reg­istry.

ICANN

Logo of ICANN, the Inter­net Cor­po­ra­tion for Assigned Names and Num­bers

In a state­ment released last week, ICANN sur­prised many by refus­ing to sign off on the sale. ICAN­N’s gov­ern­ing board rea­soned, cor­rect­ly, that it need­ed to oppose the sale “to ensure the sta­ble and secure oper­a­tion of the Inter­net’s unique iden­ti­fi­er sys­tems.” ICANN offi­cials also said they had a respon­si­bil­i­ty to “weigh all fac­tors […] includ­ing con­sid­er­ing the glob­al pub­lic inter­est.”

Said ICANN lead­ers:

ICANN eval­u­at­ed an exten­sive amount and vari­ety of infor­ma­tion relat­ed to the pro­posed trans­ac­tion, includ­ing details of the trans­ac­tion struc­ture, financ­ing, and oth­er fund­ing sources of Ethos Cap­i­tal, the par­ties involved, the role of the Penn­syl­va­nia author­i­ties, infor­ma­tion relat­ed to finan­cial resources and oper­a­tional and tech­ni­cal capa­bil­i­ty, how the new for-prof­it PIR under the con­trol of Ethos Cap­i­tal would be respon­sive to the needs of the non-com­mer­cial com­mu­ni­ty, what input the .ORG com­mu­ni­ty had pro­vid­ed to PIR or ISOC on the pro­posed trans­ac­tion, and how that com­mu­ni­ty input would be reflect­ed in the oper­a­tions of PIR fol­low­ing its con­ver­sion.

ICANN had pre­vi­ous­ly sig­naled on sev­er­al pri­or occa­sions that it was close to mak­ing a deci­sion, only to hold off and push out the time­frame.

Many in the glob­al non­prof­it com­mu­ni­ty had feared that ICANN would sim­ply rub­ber stamp Ethos’ pro­posed acqui­si­tion and abdi­cate its respon­si­bil­i­ties.

Instead, ICAN­N’s board con­clud­ed that PIR should not be sold to Ethos Cap­i­tal.

“While rec­og­niz­ing the dis­ap­point­ment for some [but real­ly just the Inter­net Soci­ety and Ethos Cap­i­tal], we call upon all involved to find a healthy way for­ward, with a keen eye to pro­vide the best pos­si­ble sup­port to the .ORG com­mu­ni­ty.”

It then thanked the glob­al com­mu­ni­ty for its engage­ment dur­ing the process and an online cel­e­bra­tion was notice­able after the announce­ment was made.

The Elec­tron­ic Fron­tier Foun­da­tion, one of the world’s lead­ing dig­i­tal lib­er­ties orga­ni­za­tions, called it “a stun­ning vic­to­ry for non­prof­its and NGOs around the world work­ing in the pub­lic inter­est […] This is an impor­tant vic­to­ry that rec­og­nizes the registry’s long lega­cy as a mis­sion-based, non-for-prof­it enti­ty pro­tect­ing the inter­ests of thou­sands of orga­ni­za­tions and the peo­ple they serve.”

Save­Do­tOrg, the coali­tion that EFF and part­ners orga­nized to keep the .ORG Reg­istry out of the hands of Ethos Cap­i­tal, not­ed that “the cur­rent glob­al pan­dem­ic has fur­ther illus­trat­ed the impor­tance of non­prof­it web­sites, as most of the world’s lead­ing sci­en­tif­ic an research insti­tu­tions, health and safe­ty resources, and edu­ca­tion­al ser­vices are on .ORG web­sites.”

Save­Do­tOrg also thanked the “near­ly nine hun­dred orga­ni­za­tions and 64,000 indi­vid­u­als” who helped by call­ing for the sale to be stopped.

“The col­lec­tive voic­es made a dif­fer­ence,” it said.

They cer­tain­ly did. NPI is proud to be one of those orga­ni­za­tions.

NPI’s Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Andrew Vil­leneuve said the vote will go down in ICAN­N’s his­to­ry as one of its most impor­tant deci­sions — if not the most impor­tant.

“ICANN has made some poor deci­sions in recent years. It would have lost what was left of its rep­u­ta­tion and cred­i­bil­i­ty had it blessed this acqui­si­tion,” he said.

“ICANN lead­ers knew there was basi­cal­ly no one out there who favored this deal except those who stood to direct­ly prof­it from it. They should have said ‘No deal’ months ago — this ought to have been an easy call for them. But at least they reached the cor­rect deci­sion in the end. And we are very grate­ful for that.”

NPI owns a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of .ORG domains, includ­ing its pri­ma­ry domain, nwprogressive.org, which the Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate resides at.

While the .ORG reg­istry appears to have avoid­ed end­ing up in the clutch­es of an opaque pri­vate equi­ty firm, there is more work to do to secure its future. NPI would like to see the reg­istry trans­ferred to the con­trol of a trust­ed con­sor­tium of rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the non­prof­it com­mu­ni­ty, as the Inter­net Soci­ety has demon­strat­ed that it can­not be trust­ed with the man­age­ment of .ORG.