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Posts published in “Day: April 5, 2006”

WA 8: A bit closer

The next round of campaign finance data will be coming out in a few days, and that will be worth exploring. One early pronouncement, if not formal report, is worth some note now.

A while back we noted that in Washington's 8th congressional district, which includes eastern King County and northeastern Pierce County, the Republican incumbent Dave Reichert has had a huge financial lead - about five to one (about $1.1 million to about $205,332) - over his Democratic challenger, Darcy Burner. In considerable part for that reason, this race had the feel of a longshot for the challenger.

Reichert probably still has the advantage, but it's likely less now. The Horse's Ass blog reported (and Burner confirmed at a Drinking Liberally event at Seattle) that her campaign income had more than doubled in the last reporting period, to about $536,000 - with another $250,000 from the national Democrats headed in on top of that. (The campaign said $90,000 came in during one two-day stretch, an impressive number for a House race.)

This doesn't yet put Burner ahead or completely level the field; and we don't yet know what Reichert will report. (We do know he's been raising substantial money too.) But Burner clearly has escaped the cellar and will be in position to run a serious, substantial and possibly competitive race - more, if she handles her advantages well, than was the case a couple of months ago.

The sonics and public expectations

The owners of the Seattle SuperSonics, called the Basketball Club of Seattle, has been asking a big favor of the taxpaying public: an upgrade of the KeyArena, where the team plays, estimated to cost about $220 million.

SuperSonicsAs such requests go - and they have become commonplace; Portland has a similar issue on tap now - this one is ordinarily in scope and in its proponents' appeal: The presence of the team is a big boon to the city (i.e., the carrot), and if we don't get it, we may sell off the team and this major league sport won't be played here (the stick).

This space has been basically critical of these proposals: All of them boil down to a decision to give taxpayer money to a preferred business. (If giving underwriting businesses whic perform some publicly useful function is a propert use of taxpayer money, then consider our hands, here at Ridenbaugh Press, out.)

There is an added component to the Seattle issue, though: The people of Seattle don't even know who the people are who would be benefitted from their largesse. (more…)