History, politics, people of Oly WA

Month: August 2006 (Page 4 of 4)

I’m glad Mike! is so open about things

Ken has a great post on what has been so good about the Open Mike! tour:

1. Mike! is open to a $28 million golden parachute/ campaign contribution from his former employer Safeco (which is now getting him sued).

2. Mike! is open to selling out to Ted Stevens and Big Oil to drill in ANWR.That’s the same Ted Stevens who wants to send supertankers into Puget Sound to affect my quality of life.

3. Mike! is open to giving people like Paris Hilton a financial break, while sticking it to working men and women, and to making Bush’s tax cuts for the richest 1% permanent.

4. Mike! is open to teaching intelligent design in our schools. (Shouldn’t he be running for Senator in Kansas?)

5. Mike! is open to staying the course in Iraq (which is working so well), with no timetable for bringing our troops home.

6. Mike! is open to gutting the Endangered Species Act.

7. Mike! is open to privatizing higher education (specifically UW & WSU). Note to Mike!: In Washington, we already have SPU, UPS, Gonzaga, Walla Walla, Whitman and PLU, so there is a choice for students among private colleges and universities.

8. Mike! does his best to portray a nice-guy, moderate image (much like that wolf in sheep’s clothing Dino Rossi) but Mike! is open to the right-wing agenda, particularly when the righties get people to open their wallets for him.

Why does Netroots mean: “lefty on the internet”?

Netroots as a word doesn’t imply liberal, progressive or big D Democratic. As a word outside any context it means “wired grassroots.” It could imply any type of political affiliation from socialist to anarchist. But in the past year or so it has shed any non-partisan meaning it have once held and attached itself firmly to folks promoting Democrats.

Eric’s post at Soundpolitics and the conversation following it got me going on this subject. I’ve been wondering about it for awhile though, why Republicans have so quickly rejected the term as a self identifier, and have started making fun of the “nutroots,” as an ineffective wing of the Democratic Party. Most of the people who throw around the term netroots are themselves bloggers, so its hard for me to understand why they would mock a term that technically (at least) included them as well.

This is so much so that ABC PAC has launched an effort called “Right Roots,” an effort to seemingly counter the work on the lefty netroots to promote a list of candidates and raise money for them over the internet. Rightroots though, doesn’t really mean anything.

It means the same thing as “Right-wing grassroots,” and aside from sounding like “netroots,” doesn’t imply any sort of internet component to it at all.

I think a better reaction to the lefty dominance of the term “netroots,” would be a right-wing reclamation of the term. Sort of like telling us that we don’t own the word (not that I’ve ever claimed ownership of it), and that it should cover any online political engagement, not just those coming from the left.

McGavick on Maria’s minimum wage vote, a tale of two letters

In attacking Maria Cantwell on her vote yesterday on the bait and switch minimum wage vote, Mike! McGavick referenced a letter from the Department of Labor:

Contrary to Sen. Cantwell’s claim, the bill would not lower the wages of employees receiving tips below Washington state’’s minimum wage of $7.63 an hour. In response to Democrat claims, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a letter stating that the department interprets the bill as protecting the current minimum wage in Washington state.

I guess this is a matter of who you believe. Two letters, with two very different meanings, were written on the minimum wage/tips topic.

The DOL letter was written by former GOP congressional staffer Victoria Lipnic to Senate Leader Bill Frist, MD. It essentially said that while the bill wasn’t very specific, for now they’d interprit it one way. But, really, we should tighten up that language since someone could easily see it another way. Seattle Times:

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., a Labor Department official said the department would interpret the bill’s language as protecting current wages for tipped employees in the seven states. Victoria Lipnic, assistant secretary of labor for employment standards, offered in the letter to work with lawmakers to clarify the intent of the legislation — something that several Republican senators, including Norm Coleman of Minnesota, said Wednesday they intended to do.

The other letter, from the non-partisan Congressional Research Service, says the opposite:

…a memo by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service on Wednesday backed up the Democrats’ position. Under the bill’s language, the seven affected states “would seem to be prohibited from enforcing the minimum-wage rate provisions of their laws with respect to a tipped employee,” the memo said.

So, do you believe a political appointee or a non-partisan research office?

Andy’s wanderings #3 (and #3.5): Minimum wage and Maria

Well, because you can’t talk about female politicians without being the least bit sexist (or just a bit insulting), to start off:

…you can probably look for these two to respond with the intelligence of hung over sorority girls faking being awake at an 8:00 am history class without having read the assigned chapters.

But, you could always just be wrong. Basically, Andy, in Washington State we passed an initiative to pin the minimum wage to inflation and protect tip-earning baristas and doormen. Sorry, if Maria Cantwell and Patty Murry (Pati-cakes? Come on Andy…) don’t let the DC GOP run over our state on this one.

Oh, yeah, 3.5: If you really do want to comment on one of Andy’s posts, since he doesn’t let people post over the TP, he sometimes cross posts over at the Sound Politics Public Blog. For example, this post about Mark Shattuck being the dark horse in the 35th.

I happen to agree with Andy on this one, I’ve always been surprised that the Mason Co. GOP couldn’t get their act together enough to put a real horse in those races. Maybe if Mark raises enough money, he might have a change. Though in all of his other races, he never raised (or at least never claimed he raised, according to the PDC) a red cent. The 35th LD GOP better hope its not a vanity race.

Ashdown as the new model of legislator (in defense of Pete)

Peter Ashdown is the Democratic candidate running against the seemingly unstoppable Sen. Orin Hatch of Utah. Ashdown would likely be a side note in a very interesting year for Western upstarts taking Repblicans if it wasn’t for Ashdown doing something very interesting.

At the start of his campaign, Ashdown started a campaign wiki, asking folks to chime in on his platform:

This is where you have the power to influence my Campaign for U.S. Senate. You can help work on policy, strategize in an open forum, or simply see what needs to be done. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake, I’m covering new ground every day.

This site is not an official pronouncement of the policies endorsed by Pete Ashdown. Instead, it is public forum where we, the people, can help create what we feel is good policy. Every page can be edited by you or anyone else, and each edit is tracked, so everyone can view each change and input to each discussion, no matter what content gets changed or overwritten. (Vandalism is quickly reverted and vandals banned.) Pete uses the input from these pages to form his official policy, which can be found on his official campaign web site at issues.

Some people though, have taken it that he doesn’t know what to think and needs some guidance from the people (to put it lightly):

Ashdown’s views undecided

Pete Ashdown is campaigning for a Senate seat in Utah, and he wants you to define his stances on major political issues such as abortion, foreign relations, taxation, etc. Shouldn’t he have made these decisions for himself long before deciding to run for office?

I would be reluctant to vote for any candidate who hasn’t already built a strong ideological foundation backed up by substantive experience.

Ashdown should do his own homework on the issues. Utahns shouldn’t have to do it for him.

Brooke Ann Smith
Lehi

The point isn’t that Ashdown will believe whatever you and your friends want him to believe (yeah, let’s start a killing puppies page on his wiki), but rather politicians don’t solicit your input, usually. Using a wiki is a way for politicians to not only get people to speak up, but for people to do it in public and together.

Of course, people will write their representatives and say what they want them to do. In terms of crafting a collaborative policy on anything though, we leave that up to committees, bill writers and, essentially, the professionals.

A paper by Policy Consensus challenges the contemporary view of (in this case) state legislators. Our representatives, rather than marching up to the hill in Olympia with a cross between what they know our district wants and what what they believe — and translating that into bill sponsorships and votes — should be bringing people together to tackle issues.

From Legislators at a Crossroads: Making Choices to Work Differently:

This new role is that of convener. A convener is someone who brings a diverse group of people to the table to resolve problems collaboratively. Legislators are beginning to recognize the role of convening as a way they can take action, or facilitate action, without waiting for the legislature to act. Legislators have the power, by virtue of their elected office, to summon people to work on and resolve issues at the community level, without the need to go to the legislature at all.

By acting as a convener, legislators are able to be more responsive to the public. In the traditional legislative environment, legislators may feel stymied in their attempts to solve problems. But those who see themselves as conveners—those who pull different interests together to work toward solutions—feel more like effective problem solvers.

From a broad point of view, Ashdown is already doing this. Instead of asking for input and then putting the pieces together himself, he’s asking supporters (and I assume detractors) to help him put the pieces together.

Too late on the Gary Locke/Safeco/McGavick’s golden ‘chute thing

I probably should have taken some wonderful advice from a commenter and emailed Gary Locke a few weeks ago. Now that a lawsuit has been filed, how many folks think he would email me back with a “Oh, Hey Emmett…. Well, the reason I voted (didn’t vote) to give McGavick a big chunk of change as he was running to unseat Maria Cantwell was…”

Oh well:

A shareholder sued Safeco’s former chief executive — U.S. Senate candidate Mike McGavick — and its board of directors on Tuesday, claiming they violated securities laws by awarding McGavick about $28 million in stock and other perks when he left Safeco earlier this year.

The lawsuit was filed by Emma Schwartzman, 27, a former waitress studying at the University of Washington who says her great-great-grandfather was a founder of the company that became Safeco.

The suit contends McGavick and the board “committed corporate waste” and made false statements to investors about the nature of McGavick’s financial package.

Former Democratic Gov. Gary Locke, a member of the Safeco board, is listed as a defendant, too.

Reichart and the sales tax rebate and “Reichart joins with DC Republicans to outfox Washington”

Reichart votes to allow our sale tax rebate ($500 million for Washingtonians) to be held hostage by the estate tax. I know he can claim he was voting for our sales tax rebate, along with a minimum wage increase, but it also speaks to his willingness to go along with the Republican leadership’s sneakiness.

Of course, then there is this video with Rep. Zach Wamp pretty much delivering a nice tag line for an anti-Reichart ad. “Reichart joins with DC Republicans to outfox Washington State.”

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