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November 6, 2012 at 10:17 PM
(Video by Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times)
During an emotional speech at a party in support of same-sex marriage, which was leading in initial returns, State Sen. Ed Murray, who is openly gay, said the celebration was not a victory of one set of Washingtonians over another.
“Instead, we celebrate the belief that all families should be treated fairly,” Murray said. “We celebrate the work of those in this room and tens of thousands across this state who had the courage and belief that by acting could strike down an injustice.
“We celebrate those who over the decades despite scorn and discrimination built this movement and made this day possible,” he continued. “While tonight we celebrate, tomorrow we must reach out to those who opposed us. All of us desperately love this nation and this state. Together we must unite in this time of great financial crisis, and work to strengthen all marriages and all families.”
Murray waded into the crowd where he was greeted by hugs and thanks from people grateful that he has fought 17 years for marriage equality.
“This is strange for me,” he said during a rare moment of quiet in the hallway. “Politicians aren’t used to being hugged and thanked.”
Murray said he and his partner have been waiting until Washington’s law changed in order to be married here.
Given Ref. 74′s lead, they may make plans to get married next summer.
November 6, 2012 at 9:50 PM
(Video by Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times)
At a party celebrating the early lead of Ref. 74, more than a thousand people packed a ballroom and hallway.
They cheered as Gov. Christine Gregoire credited her daughter and son in law for changing her mind on same-sex marriage.
“They told me this was the civil rights issue of this generation,” she said.
She said that with the passage of same-sex marriage measures in Maryland and Maine, as well, that it was just a matter of time before same-sex marriage would be legal nationwide.
“This is our civil rights movement of today,” Gregoire said.
November 6, 2012 at 7:06 PM
Jon Richardson, Steve Rubio and Joe Lessmann, all of Seattle, look happy and exhausted after months of volunteering to help pass R-74.
“This means the world to us,” said Rubio, who married his partner of 33 years in California, when marriage was briefly legal there.
If the referendum passes, he said he the couple’s marriage will transfer to Washington state.
The measure had a solid lead in initial vote counts Tuesday.
August 7, 2012 at 7:30 PM
Suzan DelBene, the Democratic establishment choice for the first Congressional district, usually sticks to talking points during debates, so perhaps it’s not surprising that her primary-night party at the Kirkland Performance Center feels a lot like opening night of a regional play.
There’s the marquee announcing the DelBene reception. The stage, set up with a podium, and volunteers waiting for show time, when the numbers roll in,
“I know a lot of these people,” she said a few minutes ago, as she came down to the stage to hug and shake hands with supporters.
Asked how she thought she would do tonight, she said, “I’m not one to speculate. We’ll find out soon enough.”
August 2, 2012 at 2:59 PM
Exhausted but happy after their week-long garbage strike against Waste Management, Teamsters Local 117 credited local mayors — especially Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn — for bringing Waste Management back to the bargaining table by vowing to collect fines for missed collections.
“Behind the scenes, we’re being told that was really instrumental in getting Waste Management back to the table. That’s what pushed them,” said Heather Weiner, political action director for Washington Teamsters Joint Council 28. Local 117, which represents the 153 recycle drivers who went on strike July 25, overwhelmingly approved a new six-year contract with the company Thursday morning.
Weiner said the calculus of the strike changed when the mayors of Federal Way and Seattle said they intended to hold the company accountable for missed collections.
The cities’ contracts with Waste Management allow them to impose fines for every service missed. Those fines could have amounted to $1.25 million a day in Seattle alone. When the mayors made clear their intention to collect those fines, the strike became more expensive for the company, Weiner said.
“We don’t like the idea of the fines, but were well of aware of those obligations,’’ Waste Management spokeswoman Robin Freedman said in an email. “ I believe our drivers—garbage and recycling drivers wanted to get back to work. That is a long time to go without a paycheck.”
Weiner had special praise for McGinn, who held a press conference Wednesday morning to describe his plan for documenting missed collections around the city, and who vowed to return “every penny” of the fines to customers in the form of reduced bills.
“We’ve had our differences with the mayor, but he stood up and did what he thought was best for the city,” she said. “We’re very grateful that he decided to be public about enforcing the contract. ”
Within hours of the press conference, she said, the company was back at the negotiating table.
Seattle dispatched inspectors to neighborhoods to check for garbage, food/yard waste and recycling that went uncollected Wednesday. Fines will be assessed against the company for materials that were missed Wednesday. No fines will be levied for materials missed Thursday.
July 19, 2012 at 2:45 PM
Retiring State Auditor Brian Sonntag has nice things to say about the men vying to replace him, but he has no intention of endorsing any of them, he said, even if a new television ad makes it look like he already has.
State Rep. Troy Kelley, D-Lakewood, recently began airing a television ad that could be construed as an endorsement from Sonntag, a popular Democrat who has held the office since 1992.
Kelley’s campaign, citing technical difficulties, would not provide a copy of the ad, only a script and description of the visuals. The description matches that provided by another candidate, who called the ad ”deliberately misleading.”
Kelley’s campaign manger, Matt Miller, said the ad shows a photo of Sonntag and Kelley, accompanied by the words “He’s the independent voice we need.” A date printed at the bottom right corner of the photo is the only indication that the words were spoken two years ago, when Kelley was running for re-election to the legislature.
State Rep. Mark Miloscia, D-Federal Way, who also is running for auditor, said the ad misleads voters into thinking Sonntag has endorsed his opponent.
“Heck, Brian said something similar about me ten years ago, but I am not going to peddle it today,” Miloscia wrote in an e-mail to The Seattle Times.
Sonntag said Kelley’s campaign asked him if it was okay to use the quote, which previously appeared as part of a longer statement in a voter’s guide.
“I told them to make sure it’s in context in some fashion so it’s clear when I said it,’’ Sonntag said. “I suppose to somebody, it could look misleading, but that’s part of politics, too.”
Sonntag said he’d gotten some calls and emails from people complaining about the ads. But he said had no interest or intention of policing campaign materials to make sure his statements were properly represented.
“I don’t want to make it seem like I’m endorsing anybody, or that I’m running away from them either, or being critical. I said what I said, and it’s up to them to use it in their campaigns and police each other,’’ he said.
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