Take That Seattle!
This year's session of the Washington state legislature was called by many the 'Seattle Session,' after much of the agenda of Chirstine Gregoire and the Seattle-led Democrat delegation was enacted. (Luckily, the anti-gun part went down in flames.) The capstone as an increase in the state gas tax of 9.5 cents a gallon phased in over 4 years. This tax increase, along with the rest of the budget, was passed by the legislature as 'emergency' measures, in order to avoid the 3/5 supermajority requirement for raising taxes or increasing spending in excess of the increase of population + inflation.
Tax opponents immediately began the necessary paperwork to put an Initiative on the November ballot to repeal the gas tax increase. Gax tax supporters threw up all sorts of legal roadblocks, ultimately giving suppoters of Initiative 912 only a month to collect the necessary 225,000 signatures by the July 8th deadline.
I-912 supporters didn't have enough money for paid signature gatherers, which most ballot initiatives have to employ in order to collect enough signatures. Nevertheless, yesterday, I-912 supporters turned in just over 420,000 signatures.
Queen Christine, your subjects are on the phone. They're not very happy with you.
There is more fighting ahead. Go to NoNewGaxTax.com to donate.
I wonder how long it will be before Judge Wickham calls my blog an 'in-kind' contribution?
Reaction to KVI Ruling
The Seattle papers are finally, a week after the decision, waking up to Judge Wickham's ruling.
From today's Seattle Times
See what is being done here. The judge is following a simple syllogism:
All political contributions may be regulated;
Speech is a political contribution;
Therefore, speech may be regulated.
Two years ago, when the federal campaign-finance law reached the U.S. Supreme Court, dissenting justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas warned that something like this would happen. We doubted it; it seemed clear to us that the law applied to ads, not editorial content. We thought Thomas was over the top when he said campaign-finance law was leading toward "outright regulation of the press."
Judge Wickham has made a step toward just that. It is a dangerous, unconstitutional ruling. The losers need to appeal it and the appellate courts need to reverse it.
Satan must be ice skating to work, because it looks to me like the Times is actually admitting that Justices Thomas and Scalia were right about something.
The Seattle P-I also takes note of the issue, although it doesn't go as far as the Times does in calling for the case to be reversed on appeal. The P-I article does contain this interesting quote:
Brian Maloney, a former Seattle-area talk-show host who now runs a national blog on talk-radio issues, raises this question: If talk-radio comments count as political contributions, why not newspaper editorials? Or Web sites?
(link added by me)
And good news on I-912: 232,000 signatures have been turned in so far (today is the final day), which should be enough to put the measure on the ballot in November.
So donate to No New Gas Tax today!
Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Judge.
Was just checking my Ecosystem stats...I'm not sure what happened, but within the last few days I've skyrocketed from Adorable Rodent to Marauding Marsupial, from 52 inbound links to 92.
Can someone clue me in on which post did it?
Oh, I Wish I Wasn't in Dixie...
Today's Weather Forecast
Columbia, SC: Low-74, High-93
Olympia, WA: Low-51, High-63
We've been hitting 90+ on the wet bulb here by 11 AM for the last three days. And by around noon for at least the last week.
Why, and how, did people live in this sweaty, bug infested hole before A/C was invented?
Fred Thompson for SCOTUS?
Former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson has been named by the White House to 'manage' the Supreme Court Justice nomination.
Dick Cheney was put in charge of finding a Veep nominee in 2000. What are the odds of Fred "Law & Order" Thompson ending up with the nomination?
Having made the speculation, I know nothing of Thompson's views or potential judicial philosophy.
Update: Gullyborg has much more on Fred Thompson.
I Love My Wife, Part VIII
En Route to Reno, July 4th, 2003
"You were pretty as can be,
Sittin' in the front seat, lookin' at me,
Telling me you loved me,
And you're happy to be
With me on the Fourth of July."
-Shooter Jennings, "4th of July"
Happy anniversary, sweetheart. I love you.
Everybody Else is Doing It
So here's my top two wish list to replace retiring Justice O'Connor:
1. Alex Kozinski, 9th Circuit
2. Janice Rodgers Brown, D.C. Circuit
In the unlikely event that Kozinski were to get the not, I think that Eugene Volokh would be an excellent choice to replace him on the 9th Cicuit Bench. He would also be a good choice to replace J.R. Brown on the D.C. circuit. Glenn Reynolds might also be a good choice there.