Art work by Noel Franklin
R-74 looses its victory cry
As the blue dust started to clear today, supporters of same-sex marriage proclaimed that they weren't just leading. They had won the race.
In an email message sent just before noon, Washington United for Marriage said an all-night session of number crunching had convinced the group of what most people pretty much already thought. Referendum 74 is home free.
In the statement, campaign manager Zach Silk’s statement said: “We have run the numbers every which way, and we can now confidently say that we have won. This is an historic day for Washington, an historic day for our country and, most of all, for families across the state who have dreamed of this day and the wedding celebrations to come.”
It can't hurt to see another round or two of returns. But Silk's statement sounds right.
No gay marriage backlash for R's here
In a posting on The Stranger’s Slog, Dan Savage criticized the big marriage-exclusion group, the National Organization for Marriage, for a statement about a “silver lining outcome” in the midst of the marriage-equality sweep across the nation: the defeat of a couple of New Republican senators – by Democrats. The R’s had voted for same-sex marriage.
Savage has some fun with questioning why electing more Democrats would be good for NOM. But of course the statement is all about the vengeance.
Recall that NOM had initially promised huge campaign funds to punish Republicans here who had voted their consciences in the Legislature for gay marriage. And the group failed to get up the promised support. Thus, for instance, Mercer Island Sen. Steve Litzow and Walla Walla Rep. Maureen Walsh both swept to victories last night. So, the National Organization for Marriage seizes on a couple of votes in New York? Well, big talk doesn’t mask a nasty case of electoral dysfunction.
Police monitor making the rounds
Merrick Bobb, the new outside police monitor for Seattle assigned to oversee their accountability reforms, came with impressive recommendations. He was an original founder of the police oversight field, and, from the looks of his busy schedule this week, he’s diving into his duties.
Bobb (who did an earlier KUOW interview with Steve Scher) met this morning with City Attorney Pete Holmes and city law staffers working on police improvements under an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice. This afternoon he had a series of meetings with City Council members. Thursday morning he'll gather a large contingency of the 34-person task force that originally sought an investigation into police use of force, including the ACLU of Washington, Mothers for Police Accountability and the Defender Association. Friday, he meets with a long list of police officials, beginning with Chief John Diaz, and finishes with the U.S. Attorney for Western Washington, Jenny Durkan.
Somewhere in there he also will meet with Mayor Mike McGinn. Asked about the mayor’s meeting, McGinn spokesman Aaron Pickus replied in an email: “Mr. Bobb is in town this week, meeting with the police force, community leaders and various elected officials, including the mayor. The meeting is not public and has not happened yet, but I imagine they will focus on the work ahead as we implement our successfully negotiated settlement agreement with the Department of Justice.”
The mayor somewhat stiffly opposed Bobb's appointment, but McGinn has also been a longtime advocate for fairer treatment of minority communities in various ways by the city. So, maybe there's a chance that if Bobb really makes progress, McGinn will soon be embracing his work — you know, kind of an Obama-Christie kind of bromance between the widely traveled monitor and our sometimes-scruffy mayor.
Bellevue building up
In another sign of Bellevue's growing economic strength, the Puget Sound Business Journal reported this morning on revised plans that now include a second option for the design of a new office tower proposed in Bellevue. The revision involves the possibility of a somewhat smaller, 23-story building on the downtown intersection (NE Eighth Street and 110th Avenue NE), where the city has already approved a 32-story tower.
Journal reporter Marc Stiles wrote that real-estate company Beacon Capital Partners would be able to adjust based on whether a client actually wants the larger building. Beacon declined to comment, but in a recent panel discussion a company official expressed optimism about the job market in the Seattle area and mentioned the Bellevue project.
A last hope for McKenna?
Gubernatorial race-watchers could see an end to the waiting for results in the next day or two. Or not. A significant batch of King County results is being released shortly before 5 p.m. today. The votes could have particular bearing on whether Rob McKenna has a chance of at least forcing a recount in the governor’s race with Jay Inslee. Republicans hope their strong final-week efforts to mobilize supporters in King County could pay off with perhaps a 41 or 42 percent vote locally — enough to keep McKenna’s hopes alive. McKenna had just under 37 percent after Tuesday’s King County tally. McKenna's group will be hoping for a good trend as the very late ballots start to be counted in significant numbers on Thursday.
4:30 p.m. update: KING 5 News just reported that King County Elections is running two hours behind. An Elections official blames the delay on the high volume of ballots and maintenance on equipment.
In the meantime, though, here are two looks at the Blue City celebrating election wins, first last night and then four years ago.
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