December 21, 2012 at 6:00 AM
Good Morning. Happy Friday and Happy Holidays:
UPDATED: includes link to NRA Press Conference.
Rob McKenna and the GOP: Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna has been out and about talking about the 2012 election. He had some very interesting things to say about re-branding the national Republican Party and how the party must change, as in, find new ways to appeal to younger voters, minorities and women. As for his own plans, McKenna plans to join a private law firm, and you never know, he might make another run for governor. But, obviously, it’s too early to get into all of that.
The national conversation about gun control: There is no doubt that a nationwide discussion has begun on gun control. The NRA held a press conference Friday on its own “meaningful contribution” to the dialogue. Here’s a link to the call for an armed officer in every school.
Several observers say it matters not that the usual gun control advocates have come forward, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein or New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg. These pols have been working on gun control for many years. The new thinking, if there is such a thing, is that some people who earlier opposed gun control are having a conversion of some sort. Think Outgoing Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, the first GOP senator to support a renewed assault weapons ban. Or West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a longtime gun rights supporter, had a new approach the other day, and then retreated a bit.
Former Seattle City Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck: Steinbrueck announced plans this week to run for Seattle mayor in 2013. That was expected by anyone who has spoken with him in recent months. But few thought he would land such a fast endorsement from his former colleague, Councilmember Nick Licata. The two were big pals when they served on the council at the same time. Also, Steinbrueck had to can some of his activities now that he is officially a candidate.
Everything you want to know about state Sen. Ed Murray. Josh Feit has a long profile on Murray, who has had the busiest political year. The story went to press before the announcement of a new coalition government in Olympia, which, if it succeeds, will mean Murray, the Democrats’ choice for Senate majority leader, will be a little less busy. The coalition plan installs state Sen. Rodney Tom as the majority leader. Murray still cannot raise money for the mayor’s race while the Legislature is in session. Murray seemed to know a potential change was coming. (Read deep in the piece).
We have a new Facebook page that takes us into the new year in politics and beyond. Please take a moment to friend or like us.
December 3, 2012 at 5:00 AM
Support for Washington’s historic measure legalizing gay marriage was strongest in Seattle, but carried across Lake Washington throughout most of the Eastside suburbs.
A Seattle Times analysis of precinct vote totals shows intense support inside the city of Seattle – with approval of Referendum 74 reaching a high mark of 94 percent in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. In all, 82 percent of Seattle voters said yes to equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. (Click map at left to view full-size version.)
That strong endorsement wasn’t confined to Seattle — Ref. 74 also drew more than 60 percent support across Eastside cities including Bellevue, Sammamish, Woodinville and Redmond. In all, 20 King County cities had 60 percent or higher approval.
The local opposition was strongest in southeast King County, where five cities had a majority voting no — narrowly in Federal Way and Auburn, with somewhat larger opposition in Pacific, Black Diamond and Enumclaw.
Statewide, Ref. 74 won 53.7 percent to 46.3 percent, carrying ten of the state’s 39 counties.
November 9, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Cupcake Royale, the Capitol Hill bakeshop that raised more than $7,000 to help get Referendum 74 passed, is offering a free slice of what it’s calling “the World’s Biggest Rainbow Cake in the shape of Washington State” at 3 p.m. today.
Same-sex marriage was approved in Washington state this week, something owner Jody Hall said “is truly a cause for celebration.”
November 7, 2012 at 1:27 PM
Washington United for Marriage, the campaign seeking to legalize same-sex marriage in our state, has crunched the numbers and is declaring victory in Tuesday night’s election for Referendum 74.
With hundreds of thousands of ballots still to be counted, the measure is currently ahead 52 to 48.
Meanwhile, the opposing campaign, Preserve Marriage Washington, is urging caution. The Seattle Times has yet to call this race.
November 6, 2012 at 11:15 PM
Only about a half-dozen people are left at the Election Night party for Reject R-74, the same-sex marriage measure. The mood had steadily grown quieter and more subdued as the night wore on, and it became apparent that the reject side was not going to take the lead for the night.
The signs and banners have been taken down and the food put away.
“I’m a little bit surprised” by the vote, said Judy Fenton of Seattle, who had volunteered for the Reject R-74 campaign, making phone calls, waving signs and distributing literature. “I guess I was hoping that people would think more independently of the commercials they’ve seen (in support of same-sex marriage), because there’ve been a lot.
“I do feel like it’s going to be a monumental shift in our culture,” Fenton added.
Chris Plante, deputy campaign manager for the Reject R-74 campaign, said, “We’re not conceding anything.” But Plante acknowledged that “realistically, something’s going to have to change in our favor. … We’ll have to see how things go.”
November 6, 2012 at 10:40 PM
Update: 11:05 p.m.
Just before 11 p.m., a marching band showed up on Capitol Hill, pulling the crowd away from the dance music.
Then, from a few doors down, someone began blaring Fleetwod Mac’s “Don’t Stop”, and the crowd peeled away from the marching band.
At the center of the throng was a double-decker pro-gay marriage sign, with a third sign taped on top. It read: We Made History.
Update: 10: 40 p. m.
(Video by Erika Schultz / The Seattle Times)
Mike Darr and Brad Trenary, of Capitol Hill, were getting ready to go to bed when they heard the music coming from 10th and pike and decided they had to check it out.
Together for three decades, they were “kind of choked up” at the strong early lead of Referendum 74, the same-sex marriage measure.
“We’ve been waiting 33 years for this,” Darr said. “It’s incredibly moving. This is about love, the right to be loved. It feels so validating.”
“I’m glad we lived long enough to see this,” Trenary said
By 10 p.m., throngs of people had begun pouring out of Capitol Hill bars and onto the streets, starting an impromptu party in the middle of 10th and Pike.
Dance music carried the mood as men climbed one by one onto thumping speakers to dance.
As one dancer removed first his scarf and then his shirt, the crowd roared its approval, waving green pro-gay-marriage signs, sipping cans of beer and letting out random screams and howls.
Victory for the state’s same-sex marriage issue, Referendum 74, seemed so close. But it was hardly the only reason folks here were dancing.
Some of the celebrants sipped booze out of paper bags; others smoked marijuana.
Dave Monrreal, 32, said he was drawn to the festivities by three things.
“It’s about Obama’s re-election; marijuana is legal and everyone can get married, which is more in line with what the Constitution says,” he said.
“You wouldn’t be on the hill if you didn’t believe in all three,” said his friend Brenda Zugina, 25.
Kort Haven, 26, said that the passage of gay-marriage was “gigantic.”
“It’s something that’s going to go down in history as one of the biggest moments for civil rights in this generation,” he said.
November 6, 2012 at 8:43 PM
Supporters for Referendum 74 gather at their campaign party HQ at the Westin Hotel in downtown Seattle. (Video by Susan Kelleher / The Seattle Times)
November 6, 2012 at 7:56 PM
It’s quiet so far at the Reject Referendum 74 election-night party, being held at campaign headquarters in the Newberry Square strip mall in Lynnwood.
A few volunteers have trickled in, gathering around the veggie and fruit trays, cupcakes and a Crock Pot full of meatballs. A few others are a few doors down at the Vienna Coffee Company coffee shop — the second site of the Reject R-74 party, where campaign workers have also put up a tent in the front in case of spillover.
So far, though, not many are here because many volunteers were out sign waving earlier this evening and many are still doing phone banking and distributing door hangers, said DiAnna Brannan, director of grassroots for Preserve Marriage Washington.
The campaign has at least 20,000 volunteers statewide, said campaign spokesman Chip White, who added with a laugh: ”I hope we get a lot more votes than actual people here in our office tonight.”
White is predicting a “razor thin fight to the finish” for R-74.
“This summer, we were as much as 19 points down,” he said. “But with the launch of our TV ad campaign in October and our ground game more recently, we see momentum as being on our side. And we think we’ve really closed the gap.”
November 6, 2012 at 7:17 PM
Very early election results show voters approving same-sex marriage in Maine and Maryland and rejecting a constitutional ban against it in Minnesota.
The states were among four with same-sex ballot measures. Results on Washington’s Referendum 74 are not yet available.
November 5, 2012 at 12:48 PM
More than 40 members of the Washington State Bar Association have signed a letter asking the organization’s board of governors to publicly revoke its endorsement of Referendum 74, the statewide same-sex marriage ballot measure, saying such support violates the organization’s bylaws.
In an Oct. 17 letter, the 42 attorneys also demanded the organization refund or allow future deduction of the portion of their dues attributable to activities in support of Ref. 74. Many state attorneys, it said, “oppose same-sex marriage and therefore disagree with, dissent from and object to” the board’s position on Ref. 74.
Bellevue attorney Chris Evans, who wrote the letter on behalf of the others, called the board’s endorsement “mission creep.”
In September, the board passed a resolution supporting Ref. 74, and in a subsequent letter to its more than 29,000 members explained the decision was based on several principles, including the understanding that equal access to the rights and responsibilities of civil marriage is a matter of justice.
Debra Carnes, spokeswoman for the bar association, said the organization has received several emails from attorneys who object to or support the bar’s position. She said there’s a process for members to file a petition if they want to affect any policy enacted by the board.
The attorneys who signed the letter cited the 1990 case of Keller v State Bar of California, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that attorneys who are required to be members of a state bar association have a First Amendment right to refrain from subsidizing the organization’s political or ideological activities.
Under Keller, they say, the bar is not allowed to engage in activities that are “of a political or ideological nature that are not necessarily or reasonably related to regulating the legal profession or improving the quality of legal services to the public.” Ref. 74, they argue, falls within that category.
In a letter responding to the members, the board’s president said the organization has consistently found that issues like Ref. 74 do affect the practice of law and the administration of justice. It said Keller does not prohibit the bar from taking positions on any issue, but rather forbids it from using mandatory member fees to support such positions. It offered the attorneys the option of deducting from their dues an amount ranging from 98 cents to $6.40.
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