Midday Scan: Legislature staggers out into light of day

The Legislature wrapped up with a compromise built on an accounting gimmick. Governor's race looks like a tight contest in terms of cash. Differing views on the Arena proposal.

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Many of the state's tax and trust challenges date back to the tax package for the construction of Safeco Field.

The Legislature wrapped up with a compromise built on an accounting gimmick. Governor's race looks like a tight contest in terms of cash. Differing views on the Arena proposal.

It's one of those moments you thought would never come. Like when Odysseus came home after 10 long years, to a son already grown and a wife aged. While not 10 years, the journey of the legislative session has been just as tumultuous and needlessly drawn out — and now an end, after lawmakers pulled a budget-making all-nighter, is finally here.

Associated Press writer Rachel la Corte delivers the good news and a summary of what that looks like. Also a notable read is Publicola's breakdown.

The compromise, in the end, did rest on an accounting gimmick, la Corte reports. This means most likely that our battlehardened legislators will be thrown into the unforgiving sea again. And, as grudges will have time to fester, the monsters faced could be larger next time around.

You may ask, what is the Mariners' beef with the new arena? Are they really that concerned about traffic congestion? Or do they just hate Seattle?

One answer is simple: people are greedy, and the Mariners' owners are no exception. As News Tribune columnist Peter Callaghan puts it, they want the "public trough" all to themselves, and another arena would mean less trough. But mankind's lesser traits are no surprise; rather, as Callaghan notes, what's surprising is that the Mariners were so public about it.

"The public-policy playbook for teams that already have their tax-subsidized stadium is to publicly wish the next guys in line all the luck in the world while working privately to give them the shaft." 

Seattlepi.com columnist Joel Connely has a different bone to pick with the proposed arena site: It ignores the traffic problems that would plague the working waterfront:

"Doesn't anybody at City Hall appreciate that Seattle has a working waterfront? We have a waterfront with a serious east-west access problem, moving cargoes away from the Port of Seattle toward distant markets and bringing products to the waterfront: We still make stuff in Washington that the rest of the world wants to buy."

The gubernatorial election is like a real-life political Monopoly game — it's a race to drown the opposition in millions and millions of dollars. Currently, Jay Inslee has a head start on Rob Mckenna, who is barred from fundraising during the special session ("Do not pass Go, do not collect $200"), according to Publicola editor Josh Feit. But the lead, given the extra time, doesn't look impressive, he says. Feit has the numbers, and the dictum:

"Frankly, especially considering the assist from the Democratic Party, Inslee’s four-month advantage doesn’t seem to have translated into a major lead. To the contrary, I’d say the not-so-dramatic gap makes McKenna look good."

Lastly, in this age of political turmoil, there arises a shining light from this writer's home, Graham. A man so dedicated to volunteerism it makes you feel bad for spending time reading this (don't feel bad) and not contributing to society. Eatonville Dispatch reports, "Rob Curran, who works for Boeing in Auburn, was presented the gold-level President's Volunteer Service Award, which is the highest award given by the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation." 

How many hours do you volunteer to get this highly esteemed honor? 500. So be impressed: this is the third year Curran has received a White House award.

Link Summary

Seattle Times, "Wash. Legislature passes budget proposal"

News Tribune, "Mariners seek to hog the public arena trough"

Seattlepi.com, "Don't let a sports arena mess up Seattle's working waterfront"

Publicola, "Jolt: Inslee's fundraising numbers bode well for McKenna"

Eatonville Dispatch, "White House honors Graham man — again"


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