Olympia Merry Go Round: Fergie’s Media Coup, State Education Czar

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Attorney General Bob Ferguson plans to announce a lawsuit this week against a major retailer for discrimination against pregnant employees. That kind of thing is very much in the realm of the AG’s duties, but we mention it because it’s an illustration of how good it is to hold that office if you’re running for governor.

Ferguson’s been suing on behalf of Washingtonians since he took office in 2013. Assuming that most folks in our litigious society are in favor of that kind of thing, that means he infuses a little I’m-on-your-side messaging into the political bloodstream on the regular.

For a sampling of this effect, take a little scroll through the AG’s official Twitter feed.

The event’s scheduled for 11 am Wednesday, which allows our sisters and brothers in TV and radio ample time to tee it up for the evening news. Look for him to get a solid two cycles of good pub out of this, for which the Ferguson campaign will spend exactly nothing.

That’s just basic ball from a PR perspective, but it’s far easier when you’re the sitting attorney general.


Nguyễn tapped to run national PAC

State Sen. Joe Nguyễn has a new¹ day job running the AAPI Victory Fund, a national political action committee that supports Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander candidates.

The PAC raised and spent about $1.4 million in the 2022 cycle, which is relatively small by national standards, but its filings with the Federal Elections Commission indicate it is growing.

Nguyễn burst onto the political scene in 2018 with a surprise win over an establishment candidate in the safely Democratic 34th District. He ruffled some feathers in 2021 by challenging incumbent King County Executive Dow Constantine before rising to become chair of Environment, Energy & Technology after an easy re-election last year.


A new challenger for Reykdal

Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal has a new challenger in the form of Reed Saaris, who founded a national education nonprofit.

As Jerry Cornfield reported over at the Washington State Standard, Saaris is coming after Reykdal over OSPI’s use of the giant pile of federal COVID relief that flowed through the agency to local school districts during the pandemic.

The list of people and organizations that care about who holds that office is actually pretty short, and the most important of them is the Washington Education Association, one of the biggest players in state politics. The teachers union has been supportive of Reykdal in the past.

Saaris’ organization, Equal Opportunity Schools², is highly thought of in education-reform circles, but it’s not clear that translates to the kind of money that would be necessary to oust an incumbent.

Footnotes:

1. Well, newish, anyway. We missed this news when it was announced in July.

2. Back in Paul’s former life as a communications operative, Equal Opportunity Schools was a client.

These items originally appeared in the author’s political website, The Washington Observer.

Paul Queary
Paul Queary
Paul Queary, a veteran AP reporter and editor, is founder of The Washington Observer, an independent newsletter on politics, government and the influence thereof in Washington State.

1 COMMENT

  1. Bob Ferguson’s office needs to be open to calls after 3:00 pm. It’s pathetic that they are so uncooperative with regular people’s work schedules. The first warning of red tape for a consumer. Isn’t the office to serve the citizenry?

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