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Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Legislative End Game

Posted by on Thu, Jan 17, 2013 at 9:22 AM

I'm not too excited about this week's start to the 2013 legislative session, because I already know how it ends.

After four months of stalling and bickering, the regular session will draw towards its close with no budget agreement, the Republican-controlled Senate insisting on deep cuts to social services while refusing to ratify any revenue increases. The Republican calculus is that as a special session looms, minority leader Ed Murray—desperate to get on with his campaign for Seattle mayor—will ultimately blink.

It's a stupid calculus, but Republicans are stupid, so hear it through.

State elected officials are barred from raising campaign contributions during session, a prohibition that could cripple Murray's mayoral hopes should budget negotiations slide into one or more special sessions. The regular session is scheduled to adjourn April 24. A 30-day special session would extend toward the end of May. Ballots for the August primary will be mailed out July 19. That doesn't give Murray much time to raise money and campaign.

No doubt Murray would loathe the prospect of a special session—hell, I wouldn't blame him for loathing the regular session. But it doesn't help him in Seattle to look weak in Olympia, and Murray knows that. So don't expect any political blinking.

But even so, it doesn't matter. Murray is the minority leader. Republicans already have the votes they need in the Senate to do what they want on the budget. It's the House that's the obstacle to Republican austerity, and they're not writing a budget based on Ed Murray's career ambitions.

At some level I think Republicans understand this, but if they fuck up Murray's mayoral bid, well, that's a win for them too. Because that's the sort of petty bastards they are. Remember, Rodney Tom has repeatedly brought up Murray's mayoral candidacy in justifying his own political treachery. After denying Murray the Senate leadership, there's likely nothing Tom and his cohorts would enjoy more than rubbing salt into Murray's festering wounds.

So I'm not really interested in the inevitable regular session gamesmanship because I don't believe it will result in a budget deal. And everything else this regular session is a sideshow.


Comments (12) RSS

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MrBaker 12
That should say "Special Session", fingers are not working too well today.
Posted by MrBaker on January 17, 2013 at 5:15 PM · Report this
MrBaker 11
My guess is that inslee will give the legislature a "cooling off period" prior to calling a Soecial Session that would allow Murray to raise a bunch of money, and allow the Dems to let the Republican Senate budget hang out there long enough for folks in red counties to see the handouts that are no longer there.

Goldy, the governor can throw a wrench into Rodney Tom's petty and vindictive plan.
Posted by MrBaker on January 17, 2013 at 5:14 PM · Report this
Why yes, the Republicans are so petty.
Posted by Mister G on January 17, 2013 at 3:32 PM · Report this
The real story should be that Murray really ISN'T running for Mayor. He has been whispering to his inside circle that "his heart really isn't in it". Including last night at the Governors Ball
Posted by prince206 on January 17, 2013 at 2:21 PM · Report this
Your calculus is likely correct, but the schedule is even worse for Murray than you indicate. The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn Sunday, April 28 - four days later than you indicate.
Posted by SuperSteve on January 17, 2013 at 1:29 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 7
@5 for the insightful Courts Gonna Shine Hay Gonna Grow Hop On The Baler My Friend win.
Posted by Will in Seattle on January 17, 2013 at 11:20 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 6
I smell a dead unfunded tunnel.

It smells like ... victory.
Posted by Will in Seattle on January 17, 2013 at 11:19 AM · Report this
@4 - State Supreme Court says you have a funding responsibility regarding public education. Hopefully soon, it will also say that a two-thirds requirement to expand the means is unconstitutional.
Posted by palamedes on January 17, 2013 at 10:41 AM · Report this
Live within our means? Supreme Court says we don't have the means. Now what.
Posted by mayberrymachiavelli on January 17, 2013 at 10:33 AM · Report this
So, oh coward at @2, you mean that?

You really want to see education spending have responsibility de-evolve to say, the county level? Because King County would get a HUGE windfall out of that. And I sure wouldn't want to live in most of Eastern or Southwest Washington with kids, were that to come to pass.
Posted by palamedes on January 17, 2013 at 10:28 AM · Report this
When will you morons get it, an income tax is never going to happen in the great state of Washington. The people have spoken loud and clear. Live within your means.
Posted by Sugartit on January 17, 2013 at 9:39 AM · Report this
Has spellcheck replaced all Stranger copy editors?
Posted by hmmmmm on January 17, 2013 at 9:33 AM · Report this

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