A Seattle mayoral candidate's Republican ties: According to disclosure records, Art Langlie, who ran around "touting himself as a City Hall outsider and centrist" in the Seattle Times, paid Sermo Digital around $9,500 to handle the campaign's digital strategy. Matthew Lundh and Josh Amato run the firm; Lundh currently serves as a GOP precinct committee officer for Kittitas County, and Amato served as communications director for the Washington State Republican Party. Langlie also donated money to Republican state Senate candidate Jinyoung Englund (who ran to prevent a Dem majority in 2017), the late Republican state Senator Andy Hill, and Rob McKenna.
Steve Fortney, who goes by "golfinglawyer" on LinkedIn, drops out of City Attorney's race: Last Friday, the guy challenging Pete Holmes withdrew his candidacy after "further evaluation of the race and consultation with my family," he said through a spokesperson in a press release. Given that Fortney's familial and professional obligations likely predated his announcement, I pressed his comms guy for details. He couldn't give any.
GEO Group sues Washington over law requiring closure of Tacoma detention center: The private prison company claims the law would force closure of the detention center in September. The company's lawsuit argues the law interferes with its contract with ICE and undermines federal enforcement efforts, the Seattle Times reports.
Ferg might sue Facebook if the company moves forward with "Instagram for kids:" Brandi Kruse, a commentator with the local Fox affiliate, gets Attorney General Bob Ferguson close to saying he'll do it. Ferguson's statement comes after a bunch of Democrats in Congress called for the tech giant to drop their plans, Reuters reports, "saying the social media company had failed to 'make meaningful commitments to protecting kids online.'"
#TheDivide: Could states sue over creation of an Instagram for kids? @AGOWA hints at the possibility: https://t.co/dbUxsr8uSs #Q13FOX pic.twitter.com/c6NzoDFpek
— Brandi Kruse (@BrandiKruse) May 18, 2021
Young Mariner's fan takes foul ball to the eye, gets a shiner: The team gave the kid, Jairus, a baseball and a home game ticket, KIRO reports.
My nephew went to the game last night and took a foul ball to the eye, poor guy. Team took great care of him after, he was most upset he had to leave the game than anything else. Thank you @Mariners pic.twitter.com/1ILLL4fF3t
— Chris (@Wallc49ers) May 16, 2021
Mayoral town hall on housing and homelessness coming up next Tuesday: Mark your calendars for a Homelessness and Housing Mayoral Candidate Forum on Tuesday, May 25, at 6 p.m., sponsored by some of Seattle and King County's largest housing and homelessness advocates. Candidates will include Colleen Echohawk, Jessyn Farrell, Lorena González, Bruce Harrell, Andrew Grant Houston, and Lance Randall. RSVP here if interested.
Sen. Maria Cantwell did a town hall! In a rare move, U.S. Senator Cantwell took questions from the Washington Indivisible Network last week. The group pressed her on her position on the filibuster, among other questions. So far, she's only announced support for Sen. Jeff Merkley's old talking filibuster proposal, which would force lawmakers to literally maintain a presence on the floor in order to continue blocking debate on bills. On Friday she said for the first time that she'd consider Sen. Dianne Feinstein's proposal to create a carve-out in the filibuster for democracy-related legislation. She stopped short of saying she'd lead on the issue, though: "If we could get the votes for that...yeah, I might do that, yeah," she said.
Inslee raises hackles with vetoes in climate bills: House Democrats and Republicans, Senate Democrats and Republicans, Mark Mullet, tribal leaders, and Black Lives Matter lobbyists picked some bones with the Governor after he vetoed a couple major provisions in the cap-and-trade bill and the clean(er) fuel standard bill, both sweeping and complex pieces of legislation that aim to reduce the state's carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.
Inslee vetoed language tying both bills to a transportation package and a 5-cent gas tax hike, according to the Seattle Times. Democratic leadership argued the veto of that provision in the clean fuel standard bill exceeded Inslee's authority, because the state Constitution only allows Governors to veto whole-ass bills or full-ass sections, and lawmakers placed the language in a little-ass subsection. Inslee argued placing such a consequential line in its own little-ass section only served to avoid his veto, which also violated the Constitution. The other veto involved a provision in the cap-and-trade bill that required more consultation with the tribes when it came to offset investments. The tribes got pissed, but Inslee promised "a better way to do it" and vowed to return to the issue.
In other fun Oly news: The Governor signed two public broadband bills at the same time, apparently in order to sidestep some undefined, potential legal shit, Crosscut reports. Most likely to coddle the egos of all involved, the Legislature passed two bills to expand broadband, one more expansive than the other. The Governor's office and the House bill's sponsor don't see a legal issue, but the Senate bill's sponsor does. Lawyers!
The Bidens release their tax forms: After Trump's refusal to release his tax returns, Biden and Harris are resuming the norm. Joe and Jill Biden made just over $600,000 last year and paid $157,000 in federal income tax. Kamala Harris and Douglas Emhoff reported earning $1.7 million, according to the New York Times.
Cyclone hits India during coronavirus wave: Officials reported no significant loss of life from the storm, but two southern states hit by the storm are hard hit by the pandemic. In Goa, more than 70 people died this month for lack of oxygen, the Washington Post reports.
Myanmar's military "may have committed war crimes and “grave breaches of the Geneva Convention," according to the Chin Human Rights Organization. Al Jazeera reports on the now 800 dead and 4,000 imprisoned in a country continuing to resist the violent coup that began on February 1. "Since imposing martial law there on May 13, the military has used local youth as human shields, occupied schools and hospitals, destroyed property and conducted heavy-weapon attacks by air and land," they write.
Palestinians launch general strike "from the river to the sea": As the death toll climbs to 213 (including "at least 61 children"), Democracy Now reports that millions of Palestinians will hold sit-ins and demonstrations as businesses, schools, universities, and offices shutter in protest against Israeli bombing campaigns and police brutality. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization reports that airstrikes "damaged at least 18 hospitals." One physician told the outlet, “I think this is targeted to increase the overwhelming of the already overwhelmed healthcare system."
Parler is back in the app store: A more restrictive version of conservatives' favorite Twitter knock-off is again available for download in the Apple App Store, according to Vox. But if you want that real free speech—the speech so free it helps organize insurrections—you'll have to download the full-strength app on Android.
The guy who bet big against the housing bubble is betting big against Tesla: Michael Burry, the investor on whom the film The Big Short was based, dropped half a billion dollars that says Elon Musk's electrical car company is way overvalued, Reuters reports.
Japanese doctors want to cancel the summer Olympics: The Tokyo Medical Practitioners Association fear the games, which are scheduled to start in a couple months, will contribute to an already significant COVID-19 spike in the country and stretch already-full hospitals beyond capacity, according to Al Jazeera. Though the prime minister is still pushing for the games to continue, a vast majority of the public wants the games canceled or delayed.
Biden calls for EU to lower taxes on tech companies after they level a new global "digital tax": The Council of the EU politely pushed back, saying it was "important that the definition of the unilateral measures does not hinder the ability of the EU and Member States to define their tax policy and introduce such taxes," Politico reports.
It is the anniversary of Chris Cornell's death: The singer died four years ago today.
Might as well do this horrible and tinny and blown-out but nostalgic one, too: