The Daily Troll: Clint Didier aims to please gun voters. University prez says Starbucks isn't paying. Regrouping on apodments.

Appeal planned on JBLM domestic spying case.

Didier shooting for victory in 4th District

U.S. House of Representatives candidate Clint Didier is going for the gun vote in the crowded August 5 primary balloting in Eastern Washington's 4th Congressional district: On his website, he's offering chances on a military style rifle and two handguns to people who submit their email addresses and zip codes. He's hoping to reach 10,000 likes on Facebook — he was a little under 2,000 early this afternoon — or the same amount of followers on Twitter. Joel Connelly of seattlepi.com notes that Didier, during an unsuccessful run for the U.S. Senate four years ago, said the UN was "out to take our guns." At least one person in Richland has questioned whether the random giveaway amounts to offering something of value for a vote, according to the Tri-City Herald. With a dozen candidates seeking to replace retiring Congressmember Doc Hastings, it's a wild, wild race. — J.C.

Starbucks: Not quite so generous

Shining praise for Starbucks’ new barista scholarships got a bit duller today: The company isn’t actually furnishing funds for the scholarship according to The Associated Press. Starbucks originally gave reporters the understanding it would reimburse its baristas for two years’ worth of tuition for online classes from Arizona State Universality. But the university’s president told The Chronicle of Higher Education that Starbucks isn't actually paying it for the classes. Rather, the university is giving baristas a steep discount for the bulk of tuition costs.

In students' final two years of college, they could be reimbursed for the remainder of tuition (an estimated $1,000 a year, according to Starbucks), but the money will likely be paid with federal financial aid — after all, barista tips only go so far. — M.L.

Regrouping on micro-housing

City Councilmember Mike O'Brien has asked neighborhood groups and developers to take part in a series of meeting about legislation to impose new conditions on micro-housing, aka apodments. Crosscut's Bill Lucia has the full story here. Both sides appear to welcome the discussions. At least for now. — J.C. 

Judge dismisses lawsuit against JBLM “spy”

A U.S. District Court in Tacoma has dismissed all civil rights charges against a military informant who allegedly spied on peace activists in Olympia, The News Tribune reports. The lawsuit, filed by members of the anti-war group Port Militarization Resistance, accused a JBLM employee, John Towery, of chilling political speech when he infiltrated the group and reported on its activities to local police in 2007. Larry Hildes, the attorney representing the activists, argued the informant enabled local police to target specific anti-war organizers. Hildes also contended that Towery’s actions violated a federal law prohibiting military personnel from engaging in domestic law enforcement.

But Judge Ronald B. Leighton said Towery acted legally as he tried to protect the safety of JBLM’s property, since he was a member of the base’s security and protection division. In 2007, protestors from the group attempted to block JBLM from using the Port of Olympia to ship troop brigades and equipment used in the Iraq War. More than 60 activists were arrested. Attorney Hildes plans to appeal the decision. No surprise: The legal battle has been going on since 2010. — M.L.

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

Marissa Luck is a Tacoma-based writer and editorial intern at Crosscut. She has previously reported on issues of activism, homelessness, and Olympia city news for Works in Progress and Olympia Power & Light. She graduated from The Evergreen State College in 2011, with a BA focused in political economy and international studies. Marissa can be reached on Twitter marissa.luck@crosscut.com.

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