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Posts published in “Day: February 7, 2007”

Out on the edge

The Red State Rebels blog (proprietor, Julie Fanselow) has nominated state Representative Steven Thayn as the best choice, for the moment, as "the most extreme legislator" in Idaho. The farthest out to the edge, that is, on his side of the philosophical divide, which probably would mean the farthest out (on his side of the face) among the northwest's 347 state legislators.

She has good evidence. Her assessment seems the sounder when you add to the material she already provides.

Which starts with a snippet of committee debate quoted in today's Idaho Statesman, suggesting taxpayer money could be saved if school hours were cut to four hours a day.

She goes on to a nice find, a website apparently set up for Thayn (nicely designed by a Nampa web company, Impact Design Studios). The Committees of Correspondence site (with the quite different url http://www.reclaimidaho.com/) suggests a larger organization, but Thayn is the only person mentioned. If there's more to it than the web site, that's not made clear; and most parts of the web site are empty, apart from several pages of philosophizing and a plea for $25 contributions. A newsletter is on offer, but samples are not. Red State Rebels has links to a number of quotes from it.

To that, we have some additions.

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NIMBY on NASCAR

Kitsap Map/WSDOTFor a time there seemed to be some doubt about where the people of Kitsap County stood on the prospect of a NASCAR track and associated facilities located on their peninsula. Their - it has to be said - transportation-strapped peninsula, where major bridge access is about to get costly, where ferry services seems to be a matter of increasingly intense negotiations.

So maybe the report today in the Tacoma News Tribune about the unveiling of 20 legislative backers of state funding which would be key to development of the track, a group led by Representative Geoff Simpson, D-Covington, shouldn't come as a surprise.

The key point wasn't that 20 signed on. (Remember, in Washington that's 20 of 147 - 13%.) It's that no one from Kitsap County, or anywhere especially close to the proposed track location, is among them.

The paper notes: "Nearly all of the Kitsap County legislators are actively opposed. State representatives from Pierce County have been cautious at best about the idea. Tacoma Rep. Steve Kirby said a lobbyist for the track tried to get his support. He told the lobbyist the proposed site near Bremerton is a bad location because of access problems. Track opponents have said traffic getting to the peninsula racetrack would choke the Tacoma Narrows bridges and Puget Sound ferries." And, he said, the track doesn't seem to be locally popular.

Take that as a sign.

Romney gains one

Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney

The Northwest has not jumped early or hard into the presidential contest, in either major party, though all indications are that anyone who waits significantly longer to enter (with the theoretical exception of Al Gore, among the Democrat) will probably be shut out. For all that, not many major political figures in the Northwest have hopped anyone's train as yet.

Idaho Representative Mike Simpson just has, with his endorsement of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. (He may be the first major Idaho political figure to endorse. ) In an e-mail sent out today under his campaign logo (sorry, no direct links as yet. Romney's campaign blog lists Simpson on his "congressional whip team" in a campaign blog post today); he is the only northwesterner among its 22 members.

Simpson: “Mitt Romney has the clear momentum among Republicans and I hope to help him expand his base in the Pacific Northwest. I’m convinced he is our Party’s best candidate and is ideally equipped to be our nation’s next President.”

Romney seems to be developing clear support in Idaho and Oregon; Washington seems a little less clear at the moment.

Chat tonight

Our second weekly Wednesday chat is on for tonight at 6 pm Pacific, 7 pm Mountain, accessible off this page. (Scroll down to the right to the "nickname" box, enter your name, click the button, and you're in.) It lasts about an hour, give or take.

We had a good discussion on a range of topics last week, so we're off to a good start.