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    The Daily Troll: Steinbrueck's 'secret' mayoral run. Gregoire's last word. Cheap gas at last!

    Another candidate is entering the mayor's race. The departing governor calls for more revenue and more cuts. Will Seattle get a chance to entertain the rest of America with its pathetic snow antics?
    Pike Place Market

    Pike Place Market David Herrera/Flickr

    Washington Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen (D)

    Washington Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen (D) Washington State Office of Farmland Preservation

    Peter Steinbrueck

    Peter Steinbrueck Peter Steinbrueck

    One financial relief

    OK, a lot of us are stressed about holiday expenses. So here's a small bit of good news. The News Tribune's John Gillie posted an update on gasoline prices, and the headline sums it up neatly: "South Sound gas prices lowest since winter of 2011." He notes a price war in the Bonney Lake with one store selling regular at $3.12.

    Steinbrueck running

    Former Seattle City Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck will announce his candidacy for mayor on Wednesday morning. The Seattle Times reported at noon, Justin Simmons, president of the Metropolitan Democratic Club of Seattle, went on the Facebook page People for Steinbrueck to say "in confidence" that he would be the campaign manager. 

    We assume that was somewhat tongue-in-cheek about confidentiality, although the posting isn't actually visible at the moment. The top item, though, is a picture of Steinbrueck meeting Sunday with ... the Metropolitan Democratic Club of Seattle. According to Publicola, Simmons has already written a letter Steinbrueck's supporters requesting endorsements.

    Anyway, just in confidence to all you readers, the announcement, which he had telegraphed would be in December, will be at 10 a.m. under the clock in Pike Place Market. At least, that's the word we are expecting to receive in a press advisory scheduled for this afternoon.

    Gregoire's final budget

    Gov. Chris Gregoire this morning released her final two budgets: That is, she put forth a legally required budget that would balance the budget with absolutely no new revenues, and then she offered one with a mix of cuts and new revenues to avoid what she said would be "unacceptable consequences" in terms of lost support for poorer school districts, across-the-board cuts in higher education and an end to the State Food Assistance Program.

    Her introductory letter and budget documents are all here.

    The outgoing Governor's budgets elicited political reactions across the spectrum:

    • Jason Mercier of the conservative Washington Policy Center called it DOA (dead on arrival), but advised remembering for future discussions her proposals to extend temporary taxes that are set to expire next year. 
    • The liberal Washington Budget & Policy Center applauded the idea of revenue enhancements: "Legislators and the new governor [Jay Inslee] should follow Governor Gregoire’s example and make sure that new resources are an ingredient in future budget proposals."
    • The Transportation Issues Daily blog suggested transportation advocates of all stripes, including transit and bikes enthusiasts, would be disappointed that a Gregoire proposal for a wholesale excise tax on gasoline and fuel would go simply to the cost of student transportation. There's no tax increase for general transportation improvements, but the article noted that there was a lack of consensus on what should be funded.

    Other departing politicans

    In an article posted Monday night (before the budget), seattlepi.com columnist Joel Connelly wrote an admiring farewell to three politicians: Congressman Norm Dicks, Secretary of State Sam Reed — both of whom decided against running — and state Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, the powerful (intellectually as well as politically) chair of the Senate Transportation Committee. 

    Haugen always had tough fights in a conservative district and Connelly's analysis of Haugen's defeat this year by Republican state Rep. Barbara Bailey, an opponent of marriage equality, is sharp:

    Haugen had drawn new enemies. She came down hard on perks and privileges among Washington State Ferries workers after a spot-on KING/5 investigative series. The ferry workers' unions defected to GOP foe Barbara Bailey.

    Haugen, a very traditional Christian, was moved by a January meeting with gay constituents on Whidbey Island. She cast a key vote for marriage equality.

    There was a time, as Haugen has often recalled, that Republicans repeatedly went around targeting her as a "former hairdresser" who had no place in the Legislature. Hah. She finally lost, targeted for her principled stands, but she was a huge winner for the public throughout a distinguished career.

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    Posted Tue, Dec 18, 10:44 p.m. Inappropriate

    Will Peter actually display his father's dead body, or just trade off it?

    He sees an opening against McGinn on the SPD situation. Burgess already beat you to that position. But, Peter already took "consulting" money, so, he has to run, it's his job.

    Justin had Goldman at the MDC "speaking" and was heckled on the MDC Facebook page over it. Justin, you are picking losers, so I have unfriended you. Good luck with whatever it is you think you are doing.

    Mr Baker

    Posted Thu, Dec 20, 5:21 p.m. Inappropriate

    What are you whining about with insults about last name recognition? I never knew Victor but I've worked with and watched Peter over the years. His record speaks for itself.

    And "unfriending" someone because you don't like the candidate they're supporting, or the dedicated public interest advocate they invite to speak to a room full of Democrats? Good luck with whatever it is you think you're accomplishing with petulant comments.


    Posted Wed, Dec 19, 2:50 a.m. Inappropriate

    Peter Steinbrueck will make a good Mayor for Seattle. He recognizes that subsidizing billionaires for NBA arenas is bad business. Mcginn, Burgess, and Harrell are easily lobbied cronies. We need a Mayor that is more concerned with the citizens of Seattle, than he is doing the bidding of wealthy interests. Steinbrueck seems as if he would not go against the will of the Seattle Citizenry in order to subsidize billionaires. I would vote for Steinbrueck.

    Also, Peter Goldman is a good lawyer, and a good citizen. Heckle all you wish on Facebook.


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