Democratic state legislators in Washington State are taking aim at changing the state ballot initiative process, all because of numerous successes of perennial anti-tax advocate Tim Eyman, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported today.
While P-I reporter Brian Slodysko did an overall good job reporting the controversy, including how critics think the legislature could be overreaching in their "reform" efforts, this portion proved a bit vexing (emphasis mine):
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Sam Hunt, D-Olympia, has the backing of a coalition of organized labor, business interests and environmental groups, who say special interest groups have co-opted the state's initiative and referendum process from its populist origins.
"Up until the late '80s, almost into the start of the '90s, (the initiative process) was a populist grass-roots effort. At this point in time, it became professionalized. We felt obligated to defend the Legislature," Jim Bricker, a spokesman for the coalition, said.
It's bound to be overlooked by the media at-large in large part due to the Iowa caucuses, but a court ruling that burdens the U.S. Navy with yet another environmentally-driven restriction was handed down from a federal district court judge yesterday. That judge, the Hon. Florence-Marie Cooper, is a Clinton appointee, a fact unreported by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's Robert McClure (emphasis mine):
A federal judge forbade the Navy on Thursday from using a powerful form of sonar within 12 miles of the California coast and slapped other restrictions on naval war exercises in a ruling that could have repercussions in the Pacific Northwest.
U.S. District Judge Florence Marie-Cooper [sic] said noise from the Navy's midfrequency sonar far outstrips levels at which federal rules require ear protection for humans on the job. Whales' hearing is extremely sensitive.
"The court is persuaded that the (protection) scheme proposed by the Navy is grossly inadequate to protect marine mammals from debilitating levels of sonar exposure," Marie-Cooper wrote in her ruling.
The Navy offered to reduce the sonar's intensity when whales approached within about 1,100 yards and power down further before shutting the sonar off when the creatures got within 200 yards. The judge ordered sonar shut off when marine mammals are within 2,200 yards.
Cartoonist Bruce Tinsley has the perfect Christmas gift idea for biased liberal journalists: pointing them to the MRC, the parent organization of NewsBusters.org. In his December 14 "Mallard Fillmore" comic strip, Tinsley shows his title character reciting his "Christmas Gift Idea #35":
Are voters sick of taxes?
Gov. Chris Gregoire is worried enough about angry voters to call a special legislative session to reinstate I-747's tax limit.
That's how the Seattle Post-Intelligencer website front page teased a November 26 story by state capitol correspondent Chris McGann. The bottom line is that the Democratic governor -- who eked out a narrow victory in 2004 after a drawn-out recount process -- has called the state legislature to convene on November 29 in a special session to address a court ruling that struck down I-747, a tax limitation measure that voters approved six years ago.
McGann found a politicial scientist and a Democratic state legislative leader to suggest that voters are not really all that steamed about high taxes. By contrast, McGann produced just one man, Tim Eyman, to suggest voters in Washington State are fed up with high taxes.
What's more, nowhere does McGann find any conservatives to suggest that Washington State voters might chafe at their legislators failing to do anything to address overreaching or judicial activism by the court that struck down a ballot initiative approved by the voters themselves.
Here's an excerpt of McGann's article, with portions in bold reflecting my emphasis.:
Displayed prominently on the home page for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer Web site at 12:30 Tuesday afternoon was this tease for a story about a local politician in hot water for crude remarks to a colleague:
GOP lawmaker punished
Minority House Republicans have severely disciplined a Vancouver lawmaker for inappropriate remarks to a female staffer.
The link takes readers to AP writer Curt Woodward's story, "House GOP member punished for remark to woman aide," in which we learn in the lead paragraph that "Minority House Republicans" in the Washington state House of Representatives, "already reeling from a sex scandal that prompted one member to quit, have severely disciplined a Vancouver lawmaker for inappropriate remarks to a female staffer."
Helen Thomas is a "stalwart of the White House press corps who wields candor like a weapon of mass instruction," gushed Seattle Post-Intelligencer managing editor David McCumber in a November 2 post at his paper's Big Blog.
In a short video of her Friday appearance, Thomas regales the P-I newsroom audience with her tired left-wing ravings about how the Bush administration lied to get the United States into war with Iraq, and how President Bush must have been utterly amazed at how sheep-like the media were in the lead-up to war. McCumber was so enchanted by her presence that he included what he considered to be a pearl of wisdom from the reporter-turned-front-row-Bush-basher:
Mindless, publicity-seeking pawns of eeeevil neocons. That's how Seattle Post-Intelligencer columnist Robert L. Jamieson Jr. sees College Republicans at the University of Washington. Jamieson's gripe, the recently-observed Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week:
Maybe the stunt was fun and games for the publicity-seeking Republican college group. But it's serious business for the folks behind last week's national event, sponsored by David Horowitz of the Los Angeles-based Freedom Center, a conservative think tank. These right-wingers want to grab power by creating campaigns that spread fear and invoke made-up, hot-button words.
Yup, that's College Republicans alright, mindless stooges of vile neocons bent on ruling the world! [cue evil organ music, lightning clap, mad scientist laugh]
To Jamieson, there's no legitimate concern to be had over radical Islamic terrorism, or if there is, College Republicans were creating controversy solely for publicity, not out of a desire to educate or spark discussion.:
In the same vein as NewsBusters Warner Todd Huston's earlier blog today about labeling bias, the Associated Press found a Republican politician's alleged episode of gay sex worthy not only of mentioning his party affiliation, but of doing so in the lede.
SPOKANE -- A Republican state legislator from southwest Washington had sex with a man he met at an erotic video store and then told police he had been targeted in an extortion attempt, according to police documents released Tuesday.
State Rep. Richard Curtis, R-La Center, who on Monday declared, "I have not had sex with a guy," told police he was the victim in an extortion attempt by Cody Castagna at the posh Davenport Tower hotel Friday, search warrant documents said.
Curtis' party was also mentioned in the subhead for the article, although that may have been the work of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, where I found the article from a link in the paper's Big Blog.
Cherie Black of the Seattle P-I took the opportunity to inform readers of a liberal cancer patient's political stunt: putting out a personals ad looking for a Canadian man to marry, for health care, of course.
But while Black breezed past Canadian angst over American Jeanne Sather's hopes of cashing in on love and free health care, the P-I reporter failed to mention a prominent Canadian pol who recently went to the United States for cancer care.