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January 21, 2013 at 6:00 AM
Good Morning. Happy MLK and second inaugural day.
President Obama will be sworn in (again) to his second term today. Here is a link to the schedule, the ceremonial swearing in, the festivities, all of it. Question: Is there an excitement/enthusiasm gap between this inauguration and Obama’s first one in 2008? You make the call. Update: Swearing-in just concluded. What did you think?
Chris Christie, bad boy of the Republican Party. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie seems to be enjoying the heck out of his penchant for going rogue on his own party. Last week, he did it again, telling the National Rifle Association it was way out of line running an ad about Obama’s kids and public safety measures provided at their school.
Gender gap and conservatives: It’s no secret that the Republican Party has a gender gap problem. Women favored President Obama pretty significantly in the recent election. In fact, the gender gap was described as historic. U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers is featured in a Talking Points Memo piece about conservative women tackling the GOP’s problem with women voters.
State Sen. Steve Litzow: State Sen. Steve Litzow made noise in the Legislature when he put his name on a bill requiring reproductive parity. He is co-sponsoring the legislation along with state Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens. Litzow is clearly a moderate Republican, rising in his party. The Reproductive Parity Act was an issue in his recent re-election campaign. Even though Litzow is pro-choice, he voted against the bill amid the budget coup last year. Some Democrats tried to make that into a big issue. Litzow is featured as PubliCola’s lawmaker at the center of the action.
Other lawmakers in the news: State Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, does not want light rail on the new bridge crossing the Columbia River to Oregon. He is quite serious about this, having proposed legislation last week to make sure it doesn’t happen. His co-sponsor is Sen. Ann Rivers of La Center.
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January 16, 2013 at 10:22 AM
Jay Inslee officially became Washington state’s 23rd governor at a swearing-in ceremony Wednesday morning inside the state Capitol building.
Breaking with tradition, the new governor took the oath of office in the rotunda of the Capitol, addressing supporters and onlookers in a brief speech afterwards.
“Let’s go build a working Washington,” Inslee said to loud applause, before hugging his wife, Trudi.
The oath was administered by state Supreme Court Chief Justice Barbara Madsen.
Beforehand, well-known environmental leader Denis Hayes offered a few remarks.
“Jay didn’t run for office because he really, really, really wanted to be governor,” said Hayes, CEO of the Bullitt Foundation. “He ran for office ,because he really, really, really wanted to get some important stuff done.”
Hayes, who is credited with founding Earth Day, said that “more than any other president or governor” in history, Inslee has a mandate to address climate change.
About 250 people watched the proceedings, sitting on the steps to the legislative chambers or jostling for prime viewpoints along the rails of the surrounding balconies. A Bainbridge Island High School music band blared ceremonial music as Inslee exited.
Inslee was scheduled address a joint session of the Legislature at 11:30 a.m.
The Democrat enters office two days into a 105-day legislative session in which lawmakers will have to close a nearly $1 billion budget shortfall and respond to a state Supreme Court order to increase education funding. Inslee has pledged to do all of that without raising taxes, although fellow Democrats are skeptical that it can be done.
Inslee, a 61-year-old longtime congressman born in Seattle, defeated Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna in the November election. He succeeds Chris Gregoire, a Democrat who gave her final State of the State address Tuesday.
The new governor will celebrate his inauguration with a basketball game Wednesday afternoon and a formal inaugural ball Wednesday evening. Some 5,000 people are expected to attend the ball.
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