Hello Loyal Readers,
It is time, once again, for our weekly feature, the Friday Odds and Ends.
The big news out of Olympia is the state version of the DREAM act finally has the votes to pass the Senate. The DREAM act allows children of immigrants who have spent their high school in Washington to be eligible for financial aid for college. The moderate Republicans out of King County (Sens. Andy Hill, Joe Fain and of course, Rodney Tom) know that they are in for a tough race this year and fear their obstruction of this legislation will be used as a cudgel against them. No matter the reason for their change of heart, it is a welcome change.
Deadlines are fast approaching for our state legislature. On Feb. 7th, all non-fiscal bills that didn’t make it out of committee are deader than Shaq’s acting career. I will be pulling double duty the next couple of days profiling our remaining state legislators and their efforts before they hit the deadline. The short session makes it more difficult for legislation to get through, but on the other hand, it provides less time for lobbyists to wine and dine legislators.
A robopoll recently swept through the 1st Congressional District, a harbinger of potential candidates to come. This poll was testing Pedro Celis as a potential opponent for Rep. Suzan DelBene.
Celis, a Microsoft engineer and businessman, has been active in the hispanic Republican community, serving Mitt Romney’s Washington Steering committee in 2008 and nominated by President Bush to serve on the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee in 2003. The state Republicans just had him speak at their press conference announcing the support for the state DREAM act so all signs point towards him as the opponent, crushing my dreams of a Doug Ericksen/Suzan DelBene matchup.
Finally, earlier this month, I shared my love of Dana Laurent for our next Democratic State Chair. Apparently I’m not alone in this desire, as Governor Jay Inslee (and his wife Trudi) joined the fray, endorsing Laurent for chair. Now, the Governor does not have a vote on this race and top down support for grassroots elections does not always win seats however I would be hard-pressed to think of a bigger endorsement at this level so kudos to you, Dana.
That’s it for today. Stay tuned for an update on Community Television in Whatcom and more state legislative coverage.