Saturday, January 31, 2009

Was Karen V's appointment legal?

UPDATE (Wednesday, Feb 4): It is totally legal. Never mind, move along. Nothing to see here.

UPDATE (Tuesday, Feb. 3): So yes, it probably was. As I'd hoped.

Let's just get this out of the way: I sure hope it was, because I want Karen as my next county commissioner.

But.

I'm not sure it was legal. On a totally separate project today I picked up a copy of The Washington State Constitution: A Reference Guide, which includes this passage:

The power of the governor to appoint has been held to extend only to vacancies in the Legislature and and not to vacancies in county elected offices (Munro v. Todd, 1966).
Here is a copy of the Munro v. Todd decision, which seems to point in the same direction:

Thus, a board of county commissioners with one vacancy is a legally constituted body capable of carrying out its legal duties with full constitutional authority, by reason of Art. XI, § 6, to appoint a qualified person to fill a vacancy on the board.

There is no cessation of county government. If the legally constituted board fails to carry out its constitutional duty, it may create a political hiatus (as distinguished from a legal one) for which the two members may be answerable to their constituents; but it does not create a situation in which the legislature may delegate to the governor a duty that the constitution requires must be performed by the board of county commissioners.

Can the governor legally take the decision out of the hands of the county commissioners? A forty year old Supreme Court decision seems to say no.

Any lawyers out there? I'm emailing Hugh Spitzer, one of the co-authors of the 2002 book that I'm citing above. He's at the UW, hopefully I'll get an answer from him quickly.

Olympia telling Olympia what to do

One more thing about this, if you're unfamiliar or unclear as to my pet peeve about people saying "Olympia" when they mean "Washington State government," don't worry, almost everyone is.

But, in regards to this, I'd just like to ask this:

What is Olympia thinking trying to tell Olympia what to do?

Friday, January 30, 2009

New commissioner Karen Valenzula

Via email:
Hi all - Gov. Gregoire has appointed Karen Valenzuela to Bob
MacLeod's seat. pb
Sweet.

Ken Camp for background.

Apparently, she was interview earlier today, with an actual announcement early next week. So, right now is earlier than that.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Monday, January 26, 2009

More FOCA strawman

More Catholics on sermons, homilies and postcard campaigns against FOCA.

Shannon Says...


I don't agree with putting people on the spot when it comes to politics nor should it be done in church. I feel if they said something and let people know there were postcards in the back and what FOCA was all about, it would not seem so pushy.

A very good legal analysis of FOCA pretty much points to the law as being what I thought it was, just fodder, not law:

The same combination, however, makes it a very good weapon in the abortion wars that have divided this country for over thirty years now. In my view, that is the true purpose of FOCA, which has been lurking around Congress in various versions for nearly two decades. Ultimately, the bill should be seen less as a serious attempt at lawmaking than as abortion-war propaganda dressed up as legislation. It’s noteworthy that from a purely political perspective, FOCA is useful to both prolife and prochoice activists. The bill helps prochoicers ward off any perceived threat to the right to abortion-even as, in its ominous shadows, prolifers see new threats to unborn life, and mobilize accordingly. And a new battle begins.


Which of course, is depressing, because that means our church isn't smart enough not to rise to the bait.

One Catholic priest refuses to rise to the bait though:

Obviously church leaders have every right to promote their concerns in the public arena. But FOCA is a phantom threat. It is meant to limit legislation by Congress on abortion. It will not be passed. Why would Congress pass a law to limit its own power? One well-placed Catholic commentator stated, "FOCA has as much chance of passage as the [now 0-15] Detroit Lions have of winning the next Super Bowl."


So, why is it that we were asked during mass to fill out postcards to our federal representatives to voice opposition to FOCA when we've never been asked to write postcards about more likely legislative topics like torture or health services funding?

Donor communities vs. beggar communities (more library funding debate)

This goes out to Chris who was wondering.

Yes, from what I can tell quickly on the internet, rural areas pay less in taxes and receive more in state funding by and large. So, the paradigm of Thurston County paying the largest portion of property taxes into the Timberland Library System and getting less of that back in services is, if its true, a common one.

That of course ignores the historic contribution of timber revenue from the rural areas that had supported library services.

Here's an interesting transportation report that generally supports that.

And a Dkos diary that has a neat map.

I fully understand the facts of donor vs. beggar communities. What I reject is the assumption that it is somehow wrong and that donor communities should flex their muscles.

We aren't in this alone, not the rural areas, and certainly not us. I don't care if I don't receive any money from the people in Lewis County and all I care about is that they spend their money on good books. And, since we elect the governor together and are part of the same library system, I can be pretty sure they do.

Jim Lazar (and other folks) forget about how Timberland is funded

More on Jim Lazar and his thoughts on Timberland.

I was thinking last night about all the big ol'rural libraries that we Thurston County folks pay for in dirty poor backwards SE Washington (tongue in cheek). You know, Salkum, Amanda Park and Matlock.

But, there was a flaw in my trying to be funny logic, North Mason has a nice huge library, despite their non-incorporated status. So, maybe Jim is right. Maybe North Mason folks are sucking Thurston County dry to build their mecca to books.

Either way, it was built with Timber funds (that Timberland Regional Library for you).

Mike Crose, via email:

We established a special Building Fund in which any “excess” timber revenues could be accumulated for building projects and building remodeling projects for libraries in the unincorporated areas of the District. The Timberland North Mason Library in Belfair was paid for from these funds.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Libraries and Jim Lazar

A lot of blow back on libraries lately (vote yes, btw), but Jim Lazar takes the cake.

Jim used to be cool too:

I support libraries, and would gladly vote for a levy lid lift to support local libraries, but I oppose this measure.

The reason is very simple: Thurston County pays over half of the tax revenue into Timberland Regional Library, but our libraries receive only about one-third of the financial support from Timberland that goes to the total library system. While TRL pays for both the library BUILDINGS and the books and staff in the rural areas, it does NOT pay for new library buildings in the urban areas.

Basically, it's (another) subsidy of rural communities and irresponsible land use policies, with urban area residents subsidizing rural areas.


So, basically we cut off poor kids and families from rural areas because we can't get behind the land use decisions of their county commissions?

I don't know what palatial rural libraries Jim is talking about, but the Salkum library (for example) isn't great shakes. Calling it a mini-library would be giving it too much credit.

This is the kind of rural library that Jim is railing against.

Governance is one thing, but hurting people that need library services isn't going to move us down the road of improving the library district. Let's be honest about this and talk about changing the governance of the system once we win on February 3.

FOCA strawman at St. Mikes

This is the first time I've ever left mass feeling worse than I did going in. Granted, I go to mass at 7:30, so I usually show up groggy, but I usually leave feeling pretty good and guilty for not doing more for my church.

Not this morning though. Today's mass was the seeming culmination of a few weeks of chit chat about the Freedom of Choice Act, a bill that would codify Row v. Wade. Which is pretty bad if you're Pro-Life.

Today, our priest gave a long sermon against FOCA and requested that we fill out post cards to our federal representatives stating our opposition. This is the most politicized mass I've ever attended, one that I hope the origin of was from earnest and well meaning ignorance, not cynical politicing.

Because, it was a hell of a show for a piece of legislation that doesn't have a snow balls chance in heck. Even the Catholic News Service says so (yes, the Catholic News Service):

Spokesmen for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, and the bill's chief sponsor, Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, all declined to discuss the prospects of any specific bill in a legislative session that doesn't start until January.

All pending bills expire at the end of each two-year congressional session, so FOCA would have to be reintroduced.

Erica Chabot, press secretary to the Senate Judiciary Committee, said she can't recall Leahy "ever mentioning this piece of legislation." That doesn't necessarily mean it couldn't suddenly move up on the committee's priority list, she said.

However, "if there were overwhelming support for a bill, chances are I would have heard something about it," Chabot told Catholic News Service.


And further:

At a Democrats for Life event during the Democratic National Convention, Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., called FOCA "dead on arrival," Day said. She said pro-life Democrats including Casey and Reps. Lincoln Davis of Tennessee and Heath Shuler of North Carolina, who backed Obama during the campaign, expect their voices to matter when it comes to the legislative priorities of the White House.

Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee, told CNS that FOCA's inertia so far doesn't diminish the danger of it progressing now.

FOCA moved forward only in 1993, when Democrats controlled the House, Senate and the White House for the first time in 12 years. Introduced in the first days of the 103rd Congress, the House and Senate Judiciary committees quickly moved it on for floor scheduling within weeks.

But it never came up for debate or a vote in the House or Senate.


Now, you could assume that despite all these actual reservations, everyone is all excited about FOCA because they're too ignorant of the process to know better. Or, you could assume that in the face of at least two years of Democratic dominance of the federal government, social conservatives are exciting the base about a straw man.

If so, it offends me that made it into church this morning.

Now, don't get me wrong, politicking in church is something I don't have a problem with. I actually appreciated the information and debate during the assisted suicide campaign last year. But, the over the top display this moring dismayed me.

Mostly, because we looked stupid worrying about a zero-chance bill. But, also because we take a hack at this pitch way outside the strike zone when we keep the bat on our shoulder when so many fast balls come flying by us.

Things much more likely to happen that are also not good if you're Catholic:

1. War in Iraq will continue for the time being. Oh yeah, in Congo too.

2. 78,000 children in Washington State have no health insurance, at all. That's won't change, and we don't talk about that in mass.

3. Mortgage meltdown continues and will continue. Strangely, even though Father cited the banking crisis as evidence of the moral problem we face, he didn't go on to point out the number of Pro-Life conservative politicians that also voted to deregulate banking in the past decade. A lot more than Pro-Choice Democrats.

And, while we do hear a lot about materialism, I have never seen postcards in the pews regarding a banking bill.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Next step for Ken Camp, the blogger of Tumwater

I'm sure Ken would tell you he's busy now. Oh yeah, everyone that works in a building of greek design in Olympia is sooo busy now. Well, still, I have a few ideas for you blogger now that you're seeing a lull and the county commissioner appointment process that you covered so well has petered out.

1. Redesign. Your design is pretty bad. Not horrible, but you need to dance that ol'blog up.

If you were asking, this one and this one look nice.

2. Cover Tumwater city hall. The council posts their packets here, go through it each week and spout off about something. You live in Tumwater, right?

Oh yeah, and while we're talking about that, what do you think of an Olyblog for Tumwater?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Blue Tiger media

A few years ago an organization of Democrats that wanted to reengage the party in civic engagement sprung up in New York. They talked a lot about the club houses Democrats used to have and the concept of civic engagement. Democrats getting into the day-to-day business of their community.

Of course, that was a lot easier to do when patronage jobs were common in politics, but their point was well taken by me. Politics and being political is too removed from day-to-day, parties need to reengage the common.

Anyway, one of the the things the Blue Tigers didn't talk about (I think they're gone again, their website is down) is the old parties and their use of media. Many newspapers, especially pioneer newspapers during the first explosion of media in the early 1800s were extremely partisan:

By 1835 papers had spread to the Mississippi River and beyond, from Texas to St. Louis, throughout Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and into Wisconsin. These pioneer papers, poorly written, poorly printed, and partisan often beyond all reason, served a greater than a merely local purpose in sending weekly to the seat of government their hundreds of messages of good and evil report, of politics and trade, of weather and crops, that helped immeasurably to bind the farflung population into a nation. Every congressman wrote regularly to his own local paper; other correspondents were called upon for like service, and in some instances the country editors established extensive and reliable lines of intelligence; but most of them depended on the bundle of exchanges from Washington, Philadelphia, and New York, and reciprocally the city papers made good use of their country exchanges.
Holy cats, if that doesn't sound like the worst, most base description of blogs, I don't know what does. But, that doesn't really matter because it just shows that blogs are simply replicating an older form of media.

Lately, we've been talking about (here and here) the future economic nature of journalism. I think one of the futures is direct partisan support for partisan online publications. Think of a direct subsidy from Democrats to horsesass.org to subsidize coverage of the legislative session.

I'm not sure it would ever occur to the actual party organization to subsidize a partisan journalist, especially since the thought of even starting their own blog was so foreign just a little while ago. But, it would be interesting to see as the old media outlets around town dry up, whether liberal and conservative donors start realizing there's going to be a vacuum there and that they can fill it with some good ol'partisan journalism.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Rhenda back at Olyblog

At least for one comment thread, here and here.

She's doing it right this time, simply restating the facts of the incident as she sees them, not getting wrapped around the axle. And, trying to be funny about the cookie thing.

Also, I think SMASH is joking here. He/she actually wants does want elected officials "coming around here, acting like regular people."

Confederacy of Ambition (I recommend it)

I've read histories of Olympia and of early Washington Territory, but nothing like Confederacy of Ambition. Really good book. William Winlock Miller showed up in Olympia in 1850 and the path of his life is pretty much the path of Olympia for the next 26 years. If he didn't have a hand in it, we probably don't remember it.

The Google Books version has a pretty healthy preview, so I'd suggest thumbing through it before you check the book out from the library.

It reminds me a lot of the communal history told through a single person type format that was Skid Road.

Also, reminds me of the questionable scholarship that goes into a lot of local histories. I pretty much trusted what I read in CoA, mostly because the author wrote the book based on all of the correspondence of the topic of the book. Therefore I'm pretty sure that while William Winlock Miller was a general in a marginal sense (served as quartermaster for the Territorial Volunteers), he did not serve in the Civil War and was not a hero.

Actually, he never even left the west coast during the war at all. Also, while Winlock is named after him, Millersylvania State Park is named after another Miller.

All of these facts (Civil War reference, Winlock and Millersylvania) are all packed into one paragraph in the local history book "Olympia High School."

Anyway, if you like Olympia history, read CoA.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Jim Jeykll, who are you? Why don't you have a blog that I can read?

The last few days "Jim Jekyll" has been dropping down the wisdom in the comment threads here, picking apart some of my new media posts with a rapier-mind.

For some reason, I typically know 90 percent of the people who comment on my blog. Well, "for some reason" typically is I write posts for certain people and beg them to comment, but Jekyll's comments have come totally out of the blue, and for an unsolicited commenter, he's freaking good.

Here's his latest on my favorite new topic, the now dead Sitting Duck:

Yeah, it's too bad the Sitting Duck was so poorly executed and generally sophomoric, although that can be done well too, except it wasn't. It seemed like it could have been a good publication if it really tried.

But hey, why does it have to be The Olympian, or any other newspaper for that matter, that brings these issues to the forefront. Newspapers are dying, so wtf now?
And, a few minutes later, he reposts:

And to follow up on that thought ...

Is an alternative publication really even viable in the Olympia market? Seriously. I'm not questioning the need for one but the print model takes loads of cash and a few good martyrs. That was in better days. Now, it's just not viable. The advertising market was shifting away from print long before the current economic downturn and the cash cow of classifieds has long since disappeared since Craig's List.

So everyone can be a publisher now with the internet but it takes a certain level of professionalism to do it well and who is going to spend the horrendous amounts of time to do good investigative pieces for FREE? Google's CEO was just bemoaning this ironically enough but also saying they won't try to prop up the dying print industry, even though they could, because the industry is no longer economically viable. Everybody wants the news, everybody wants an alternative voice but no one wants to pay for it due, in large part, to Google.

Seriously, what is the answer?
I'm not sure what the answer is, but I'm sure I'm going to be thinking about it more now.

Here's the rest of Jim's recent comments:

Jim on New media outcroppings
Jim on the shrinking capitol press corp

He's obviously someone familiar with being a reporter or editor, maybe one of the dozens of recently unemployed newsroom people sadly let go in the last year. Either way, he's a sharp mind, and I wouldn't mind it much if he set up shop and start spewing his own blog. Though, I have a feeling that he wouldn't like having to do it for free.

Which does sort of get to Jim's central question, how we move past the current model of journalism and into what we'll have next. I'm thinking it revolves around two things: freedom of association (that bastard step child of political freedoms) and the good ol'Pioneer and Democrat.

Anyone catch my drift?

Friday, January 09, 2009

Floods force new media outcropping (#wafloods, Lewis County Buzz, Olympian)

1. #wafloods is a revolution in Washington media. The more we can create cross news room standards like this, the better.

2. Lewis County Buzz is back for the floods as well. Originally started in response to the 2007 floods, the Chronicle shuttered the forums after things got out of hand back in August. It might have been the nature of online forums, but I'm sure a little moderating (whether imposed by the Chronicle or by the community) would have done some good.

Lets hope that they either keep the forums open this time, or a user has the foresight to start a new forum in the expectations that the Chronicle will close the Buzz in a little while anyway.

3. The Olympian turned their site blog into a breaking news blog. Nice touch for the floods.

Want college football playoffs? Don't watch bowl games

I skipped the National "Championship" Bowl last night in favor of a recorded FA Cup 3rd Round game and UW beating Stanford. Mostly because I didn't watch any bowl games this year, not wanting to encourage the entire system.

The only bowl game I even remotely tried to watch was the Rose Bowl, it has too many emotional ties for me to completely ignore it. But, if they got rid of it for a playoff system, I'd be ok with that.

Its weird to me that a ten year old article from World Net Daily would express my feelings so well on this topic:

If the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) was supposed to make college football fans drop their demands for a national championship playoff, it is a complete and utter failure. If the BCS was supposed to bring meaning to the post season bowl games, it is a complete and utter failure. In fact, the only thing that the BCS has done is drive the last nail in the coffin of the old bowl system.

College football is the most exciting team sport in America. No other sport fills stadiums with more than 100,000 fans at a time, week in and week out. No other sport can match the excitement of last week's UCLA-Miami or Kansas State-Texas A&M games.

However, college football is seriously ill and those who are responsible for its health have taken leave of their senses. They have sacrificed everything that makes college football wonderful at the altar of egocentric coaches and advertisers who want to waste their money for meaningless bowls.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Just random stuff on the next steps to replace Bob Macleod

We did all of this so far (hat tip, 1889 Washington Constitutional Convention):
That the person appointed to fill the vacancy must be from the same legislative district, county, or county commissioner or council district and the same political party as the legislator or partisan county elective officer whose office has been vacated, and shall be one of three persons who shall be nominated by the county central committee of that party,
Now, we're in for this (apparently):
and in case a majority of the members of the county legislative authority do not agree upon the appointment within sixty days after the vacancy occurs, the governor shall within thirty days thereafter, and from the list of nominees provided for herein, appoint a person who shall be from the same legislative district, county, or county commissioner or council district and of the same political party as the legislator or partisan county elective officer whose office has been vacated,
So, the governor has to choose from the list the PCOs prepared two nights ago and she has 90 days from the beginning of January.

Now, I'm thinking that its raining outside, there's going to be state emergencies declared, legislative sessions starts next week and the state budget is not in good shape, to say the least.

I mean, can't the governor spare a few minutes to make a decision for us?

I think Ken hits the nail on the head:

I find it hard to believe that just 24 hours after getting the names from Jim Cooper, that the commissioners are at an impasse. This whole thing looks preordained to me; arguably an abdication of responsibility, given the lack of time given to reflect on the vote by the PCOs. Part of politics is being able to compromise, but it looks like minds were made up before the PCOs voted.
I would never argue that just because the PCOs are PCOs they would obviously make the right decision. I happen to think otherwise, but in this case I think they might the best choice. Not going through the process of interviewing the three candidates, but just immediately throwing up hands just seems really weird.

This also reminds me of the last time a local government gave up the ghose on choosing some replacements. The Olympia School Board at least put up a huge fight trying to pick a name, but they eventually kicked it up to a higher power as well. Jim Anderson did some great blogging on that process here. This is a particularly good post.

Maybe commissioners Romero and Wolfe don't have the fight in them, but it would have been nice to at least see them try.

Ken Balsley and dominating political women

In his instantly out of date piece today, Ken says:

Thurston County is unique in politics. It’s become the norm that women run and are elected. As a matter of fact, being a woman on the ballot, here in Thurston County, gives the candidate a five point edge before the campaign even starts.

So Brendan William's absolute shellacking of not only Ann Burgman, but also sound defeat of three other Democratic women in the primary in 2004 is based on what?

I guess you could argue that the Democratic women split the "Ken Balsley +5 percent vote," but could you honestly say that a sitting Lacey city councilmember who ran an aggressive, centrist campaign would have done worse if she were a man? Hardly, she lost because the 22nd LD is strongly Democratic and even a well funded Republican gets shellacked, no matter their sex.

Thurston County happens to have a lot of succesful women politicians, because their happen to be women in politics.

TVW comments

TVW has a blog (hat tip their twitter), but not with comments:

On the point of accessibility, one thing you won’t find here is comments. Why? If we do our job right, you’ll be a more informed citizen after reading The Capitol Record. That might make you want to share your opinion with someone. But the office of your elected official is the more appropriate place to do that. We’ll help facilitate that direct communication by providing links to the Legislature’s web site, where you can find the contact information for your elected official.
I have a problem with this because it assumes that engagement is best between a citizen and an elected official. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I think the more valuable engagement is between citizens, and TVW is giving up on that.

Yes, its much much easier not have to moderate comments from readers, but they're shutting off communication between their readers.

Another interesting thing about the TVW blog is it makes TVW a defacto media organization, more along the lines of what a real, post newspaper, media organization would look like. Original musings here.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Valenzuela, Bogni and Jorgenson

The PCOs voted tonight and the ranked list we're sending to the county commissioners is:

1. Karen Valenzuela (Tumwater city council member) 164 points
2. Susan Bogni (current commissioner's assistant, who endorsed her) 109 points
3. Walt Jorgenson (former Tumwater city council member) 87 points.

The PCOs were allowed to rank three of the applicants, with six points to divide among their first second or third choices.

Obogni

Don't worry Mark, I respect your opinion, despite your non-PCO status:

I would not vote for Susan Bogni. At the forum on Saturday, she struck me as one who felt she was due the appointment by virtue of employment for the current commissioner. The only other political adroitness she seemed to possess was the ability to say Barack Obama's name, and if I remember correctly, she said she wanted to implement his vision in our corner of the worthld.

When did central planning become the mantra of our political age? She may be the most qualified candidate (though I didn't take that from the forum), but she fails to grasp a very simple concept in a representative democracy, that the country doesn't belong to its leaders, be they Barack Obama or Susan Bogni. I hate the concept of benevolent overlords, and I hate it when politicians (even more so, aspiring politicians) embrace it. Obama's tagline certainly did not aspire to such lunacy look to the right of Joe Biden and read what it says.

Chokehold

From Jackie Barrett Sharar (via email) supporting Susan Bogni for the ye ol'open county commission seat:
Susan has never ever come across the table at colleagues or attempt to put them in choke holds nor does she have a short fuse and doesn't engage in demagoguery. We've disagreed but I have never ever found Susan to be disagreeable. She is always respectful and always kind. As Obama says we need leaders that can disagree without being disagreeable. We need unity so we can all move on with our progressive agenda.
Who put someone in a chokehold? If one of Susan's qualifications is that she's never physically assaulted someone, then I guess I feel... safe?

Operation full court Bogni is in full effect. In addition to the above email (which was much longer), my wife took a phone call for me at home from "Nancy" reminding me about tonight's meeting and hoping that Susan has my vote.

Well, only if I can be 100 perent sure she's never kicked a co-worker in the shins, ok?

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Not bad online forum by Thurston Democrat

Ken Camp arranged an online forum this afternoon intended to include several of the applicants for the open county commission seat and some PCOs. Not a bad discussion. I've sort of been waiting for this.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Where the Seahawks score found me

I put this as a note on my shared items, but I think it is worth repeating:

I didn't watch the end of the game, and from clicking around this morning I hadn't found a score yet.

A personal blog I read, though, tells me the score with some observations. You may think that bloggingvabout something that is already covered to death in the traditional media is pointless, but the Barers of Maple Valley got me the Seahawks score before the Olympian, ESPN, Fox Sports or Yahoo Sports.

The shrinking Washington State liberal blogosphere

Evergreen Politics is going the way of Pike Place Politics, Blog Reload Olyscoop and Better Donkey, and I've been meaning to write a post about where things have been going in the liberal political blogosphere around here.

Things aren't like they were in 2004. Yeah, there are a handful of new blogs out there (Spokane Skeptic and the Other Side) which are pretty good, but it isn't like there are a bunch of people diving into blogging lately. Washblog is pretty stale and has been for awhile.

Horse's Ass is still going strong, and gobbling up other bloggers while they shutter their own blogs (see Pike Place Politics and Blog Reload). Even Josh Feit found a paying gig over there for awhile, and it seems like they're becoming the liberal vesion of crosscut. Nothing wrong with a big blog, but I wonder about some things.

Do the big blogs left in the state-level liberal political blogoshere do enough linking to smaller blogs trying to make their way? It seems like I can't go a day without seeing them link back to the Seattle Times or the Vancouver Columbian, but I seriously can't remember the last time they linked to another bog not Effin' Unsound.

Do A-list bloggers have a responsibility to link to smaller blogs (here and here)? Yes, in the interest of the blog ecosystem. Hell yes.

I pulled out of the community I'm addressing here as a serious participant awhile back. It had to do with a lot of things, some within that group of bloggers, but also because I found other reasons to blog. Also, I had a feeling that no matter what point I made, it wouldn't be linked to. There were some nice exceptions, but those guys stopped blogging awhile back.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Sexually harassed former employees already cost Thurston County $3 million

Maybe if those women hadn't sued, the new chair of the Thurston County Republicans might be wondering this morning, we wouldn't have needed to fire all those security guards.

Thing is ( I never get tired of mentioning this) you don't blame the victim for costing the county when the county loses a big lawsuit. The people who sue the county, over sexual harassment or land use planning, don't cost the county money.