Dwight Pelz

In a state that's way too full of nicey-nice elected officials and political operatives who never, ever want to be caught on record saying one fucking mean thing, Washington State Democrats chairman Dwight Pelz is a blast of fresh fucking air (or, really, a blast of fresh fucking invective, which goes better with your morning coffee, anyway). "John Koster is lying to the public," began a recent tirade from Pelz. He was doing to Koster, a Republican running for Congress in Washington's 2nd District, exactly what liberals are always clamoring for Democrats to do more of: standing up and shouting that the lying liars are telling more fucking lies. Pelz loves doing this. He has been the state party chair since 2006, isn't going anywhere, and swings the rhetorical hammer harder with each passing year.

When supporters of Republican Jaime Herrera (running for Congress in the 3rd District) whimpered that Pelz was being sexist in calling Herrera a "long on style, short of substance" photocopy of Sarah Palin, Pelz shot back: "I compared her to Sarah Palin, and the Republican Party apparently thinks that's an insult, so they must not think much of Sarah Palin." On Republican Dino Rossi's ownership stake in a troubled Eastside bank: "It's clear that Dino Rossi is not too big to fail." On being selected for the political genius shortlist: "That's fucking awesome, man." ELI SANDERS

C. R. Douglas

In the basement of City Hall there's this weird warehouse room that feels like someone's garage, but with lights and fans and black curtains instead of old porn and car parts. It's the Seattle Channel studio. And in that cramped bunker, C. R. Douglas is doing two things that seem impossible: (1) hosting government TV that isn't banal, and (2) beating local television at its own game. Case in point: Seattle Channel won four regional Emmys in June. The political interview program City Inside/Out, hosted by Douglas, won in the politics and government category and in the interview category. (In the politics category, KING 5's signature political show Up Front wasn't even nominated.) Most exceptional is Douglas's willingness to suss out a tough issue—nailing elected officials who work upstairs—in the politest manner possible. Former mayor Greg Nickels famously refused to appear on Douglas's show when the scrutiny got too intense during a controversy over City Light. And anyone who can make the mayor hide, while making government media's political coverage relevant—even biting—is a genius. DOMINIC HOLDEN

Sally Bagshaw

Freshman Seattle City Council member Sally Bagshaw has already established herself as someone who can make shit happen at City Hall. After studying the city's machinations closely in her bid for office last fall, she is now leading the council's committee on the massive waterfront redevelopment project. As chair of the parks committee, she's laying the groundwork for a bike and pedestrian trail from Lake Union to the waterfront.

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Bagshaw has cleverly sidestepped the mayor's attempt to backtrack on negotiations with the Museum of History & Industry, while pushing through her own legislation to preserve the museum's money. And she pushed the envelope of the Chihuly museum controversy (questioning a private, for-profit exhibit on public property) by insisting that Seattle Center open up the bidding to outsiders.

Granted, Bagshaw is occasionally wrong—she seems to view the deep-bore tunnel as the city's personal glory hole and she took a callous position on a failed panhandling bill—but you've got to admire her chutzpah. And her genius. CIENNA MADRID