Realtors are aggressive about promoting their own members who aspire to political office, under the argument that Realtors will back Realtor-friendly policies. That’s typically where you see the eye-popping contribution numbers from the national group.
2021 will be the rare year without a statewide ballot initiative or a citizens’ referendum challenging something the Legislature did earlier this year. Years without direct democracy at the state level are rare, and the last one was in 2017. Before that, you have to go all the way back to 1989.
Imagine the now 30-something offspring of one of the original Microsoft executives selling $10 million of the stock daddy got for $10,000 back in the bad-hair days. That’s a capital gain of $9,990,000. Born-rich heir would owe $681,800 under the new tax.
Democracy vouchers were supposed to democratize campaigns and blunt the power of the monied classes, who for many years dominated political fundraising in city races. But it’s possible they’ll help perpetuate the status-quo.
When the bill got to the House, tribal lobbyists got lawmakers to install some teeth. A new subsection required that projects “must be paused or ceased” if a tribe finds it would “adversely impact cultural resources, archaeological sites, or sacred sites.” It was part of a series of changes in the bill designed to win over environmental justice advocates. That spooked Inslee into vetoing this section.
To get the votes for two major climate bills on energy, Democrats had to agree to a future gas-tax increase for roads infrastructure. It was an awkward linkage, and Insleee's veto pen blew up the deal.
Constantine, now 59, has never faced a real challenge from the left. Can Joe Nguyen, 37, pull it off? There’s no big scandal dogging Constantine or the county, which is generally considered to be pretty well-run, especially compared to the perpetually flaring dumpster fires down the street at Seattle City Hall. But Nguyen gets to run in the second year of pandemic discontent.
Operatives and lawmakers involved in the passage of the climate proposals this year say that the package was on the brink of collapse at several points during the session. The difference this year: lots of money available to the lawmakers, so no need to cut into sacred cows.