Saturday, July 30, 2011
Friday, July 22, 2011
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Sunday, July 3, 2011
1. Since the defeat of last year’s liquor privatization initiatives, both sides have taken steps to sweeten their side of the deal for the imminent Round II on the ballot this fall. First came the refiling of the initiatives by privatization proponents with added revenues for the state and local governments who were left out of the prior measures.
Not to be outdone, the state legislature countered with a late session bill to study privatizing the distribution, but not sales, of liquor. This was billed as a budget measure, but it did nothing to clear the air around such a complex issue.
However, yesterday we saw some real campaign strategy! The state liquor control board who runs the liquor sales in Washington, announced
30 years late uniform and longer hours for all stores. Bottom line, the Saturday closing time of the Broadway store will now be 10 PM instead of the current, ridiculous time of 8 PM.
It is still early in the campaign season and Fizz is hoping for some more offers to swing our vote, maybe the stores can start doing home delivery or Costco can commit to selling a new brand of premixed drinks called “Rum and Publicola.”
How do Fizz readers plan to vote if the liquor privatization measures come back to the ballot?
2. Medical cannabis is having a rough couple of months. Starting with Governor Gregoire’s confusing partial veto of legislation proposed to clean up Washington law, the hits (sorry) just keep coming. Yesterday the AP got its hands on a letter from the Justice Department that states earlier DOJ memos had not given states cover from prosecution. It basically said that those growing and selling medical cannabis should feel warned.
This means that efforts by Washington cities to cobble together some legal medical cannabis distribution system in the wake of the veto were dealt a setback. Clearly advocates would have loved if the federal authorities had given them the “all clear” signal, but this is also not the end of hope either. The letter did not expressly say that there would be increased enforcement against legitimate patients either.
The likely result will be that states that want to continue sales of medical cannabis likely will, and states looking for an out, were just served one on a platter. And all sides will likely wait to see what the their local U.S. Attorneys do next.
3. Tucked into all the articles about the Super PAC being formed by Stephen Colbert was another Federal Elections Commission decision that these same PACs could not give more than $5,000 to any candidate or party. Some have said that there is a loophole in that a candidate could tell their supporters to donate to a specific PAC that supports them.
That argument strikes Fizz as reaching for a reason to gripe. The ruling seems to be the first good news out of the FEC in a while in this otherwise depressing area of Super PACS. If the PACS been allowed to give unlimited amounts to parties or campaigns, it would have been extremely easy for large donors to give unlimited amounts anonymously almost directly to campaigns.
4. Right wing blogs and local radio host Dori Monson are wondering if they know the reason Ron Sims left HUD so unexpectedly. They are claiming that he made numerous trips back to Seattle paid for by the government without valid work reasons in many cases.
Happy Fourth of July!
Intern’s Note: Sandeep did not work on Morning Fizz.