The Daily Troll: McGinn vs. Holmes. Court lights up a debate on taxes. Outside probe in Snohomish.

Controversy in City Hall, an investigation in Snohomish County and a big court smackdown for Eyman. But sometimes we do big things right.
The Daily Troll: News for your evening commute.

The Daily Troll: News for your evening commute. Art work by Noel Franklin

King County to examine Reardon case

King County sheriff's detectives will look into the filing of public requests by officials in outgoing Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon's office. Reardon resigned recently amid allegations that the records requests were being used to harass Reardon's detractors. When the detectives finish their work, the Skagit County Prosecuting Attorney will look at whether any laws might have been broken in the apparent targeting of Reardon's opponents and critics. As The Herald explains, the neighboring counties are stepping in because of a tangle of potential conflicts of interest.

Court rules against Eyman

The state Supreme Court this morning said enough to initiatives trying to impose two-thirds majority requirements on legislative approval of tax increases. Its ruling means that any such requirement would have to come through the more difficult constitutional amendment process. The Senate's Majority Coalition said it would, nevertheless, keep tax measures from receiving a floor vote, unless they had two-thirds support. Crosscut's John Stang and Tom James have that story here. 

Many Republicans want to send a constitutional amendment to voters. And the reaction is only beginning, as you would expect with a landmark ruling. The Stranger's Dominic Holden has fun with the decision, mocking Gov. Jay Inslee about his unwillingness to break his "stupid" pledge not to raise taxes, but predicting he'll do so anyways sometime in the next few years.

Politician on politician action

Mayor Mike McGinn appeared to be digging in today for a fight with City Attorney Pete Holmes over the city's legal representation in its police department reform. On Thursday, he told KIRO Radio that Holmes needs to set up an "ethical screen" to keep himself out of negotiations over the handling of the reform process.

The fight emerged Wednesday when McGinn accused Holmes of unethically sharing information with the independent monitor of the reform process. The mayor believes Holmes overstepped his authority by trying to independently negotiate the plan for reform oversight with monitor Merrick Bobb. Holmes, however, believes his communications with Bobb fell within his proper authority. It's hardly the first fight between McGinn, a bulldog attorney himself, and Holmes on the reform process; or, for that matter, between McGinn and the City Council.

Crane index

The city of Bellevue is starting to look hopefully to the sky — for construction cranes. At the height of the 2007 construction boom, a posting on the city's website notes that there were 21 large construction cranes in the city. Currently, there's a total of ... one. But the news release says that city officials see signs of construction picking up both downtown and in the nearby Bel-Red corridor, which will be connected by a Sound Transit light-rail line.

The city has a bit of a checkered history with cranes. In 2006, Matthew Ammon, a 31-year-old Microsoft attorney, was killed in his apartment when a nearby crane collapsed. The accident led the Legislature and Gov. Chris Gregoire to make changes in state oversight of cranes.

Sometimes we do get along

Olympia erupted today over whether it was good or bad for a court to overturn a voter-approved measure. The mayor and the city attorney aren't getting along. It's been kinda rainy. But this newly posted video highlights a moment where a ballot measure brought a lot of the state together. Yes, it's promotional, but it's also rather heartwarming.

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


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