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The Daily Troll: Legislators play marriage counselor. Police on the upswing. Reardon, not so much.

McGinn says we're halfway there on police reform. Republicans chime in for immigrant children. Baby lions! Baby lions!

Police progress update

Mayor Mike McGinn is proclaiming that the city has made progress on improving police practices around the use of force and community relations. He said today that the city is about halfway through the tasks he set in his 20-month reform plan, launched just over 10 months back. With the mayor's race looming, there's surely a political element in his announcement. But the city has a site for tracking the progress in each area and judging for yourself: Click here for the progress reporting and here for the overall plan

Your elected marriage counselors

Conservative Republican Sen. Don Benton and seven other senators want to make it tougher for couples to divorce. Their bill, which Q13 notes is called the Family Second Chance Act, would require couples to wait a year (rather than the current 90 days) before divorcing. And both spouses would have to swear that they had read a state-approved handbook on preserving their marriage. In the spirit of the day, we will encourage the preserve-marriage senators to get out this evening and toast some of the same-sex couples celebrating their first Valentine's Day of the marriage equality era.

*Bipartisan* DREAM Act support

Yakima-area Republican state Reps. Bruce Chandler and Charles Ross have stepped up to support the state DREAM Act. The act, as Publicola reports, makes the children of undocumented immigrants eligible for in-state tuition at public colleges. Chandler could be particularly significant in inspiring some courage by other Republicans and moderate Democrats: The Granger resident has served since 1999 and was the Republicans' House minority leader at one time.

Cuteness alert

Woodland Park Zoo will put its four lion clubs on display for the first time this Saturday. As Seattlepi.com's Vanessa Ho reports, "In the last few weeks, the 3-month-old, still unnamed cubs took their first steps in the lions' outside pen, in which they rolled in grass and chewed on sticks." The viewing hours will generally be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., but should expand as the cubs grow.

Reardon's in hot water ... again

Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon's office is once again at the center of political weirdness: The county council is considering an uprecedented investigation into what appears to be an elaborate effort on the part of Reardon's office to harass and gain public records on the exec's political opponents.

The Herald put together a seven-minute video to explain the labyrinth of documents, dubious names and record requests involved. Two of Reardon's fellow Democrats -— County Council members Dave Somers and Brian Sullivan — along with their aides, have been particular targets of the record requests. Longtime Republican Councilmember John Koster (one of the most decent if utterly conservative pols you'll ever find) tells The Herald that answers are needed: "The voters expect better of us."

Reardon was cleared last year of any financial wrongdoing in connection with an extramarital affair. The county was once a model of good governance under Bob Drewel, who was executive for 12 years through 2003. Then came Reardon.

Shocker alert: 'Die Hard' scores a positive review

Bruce Willis' latest Die Hard movie, "A Good Day to Die Hard," is out and it already has at least one positive review: Megan Seling of The Stranger. Here's betting her review is much more entertaining than the movie.

Orcas Island flash mob

OK, we get that you might be skeptical just reading the headline. And this starts a tad slowly. But Orcas Island earns some cred by the time this is over.

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Joe Copeland is political editor for Crosscut. You can reach him at Joe.Copeland@crosscut.com.


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Comments:

Posted Fri, Feb 15, 9:42 a.m. Inappropriate

I'd like to commend the Herald for piecing together the very interesting tales of Executive Reardon and his staff. THAT is investigative journalism. I haven't agreed with all of the Herald's tactics in covering Reardon, but they should be commended for piecing all of this together. One can only hope the Herald will continue this level of journalism under Sound Publishing.

Posted Sat, Feb 16, 5:16 p.m. Inappropriate

The DREAM act allows children who have lived in Washington, gone to school here, pay the same taxes that everyone else does, and are likely to live here in the future to get student aid. They've been eligible for in-state tuition for several years. That vote was also bipartisan.

Posted Sun, Feb 17, 6:19 a.m. Inappropriate

The Dream act allows illegal aliens and the children of illegal aliens who have taken resources away from legal aliens and citizens to stay here and breed so they have little citizens by birthright and never have to leave. Under the President's do not deport Executive Order, the Dream act was implemented defacto without a vote. Do they really pay the same taxes that everyone else does? I say prove it.

If the rosshunter posting is the Legislator from Medina, shame on you for not proactively protecting the legal citizens of Washington State from the costs associated with the 250,000+ illegal aliens and their children that are here. The Sanctuary policy of you and your party costs Washingtonians far more than any benefit you claim.

Cameron

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