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Eye On Olympia

August heats up…

Okay, we're calling an early end to the political dog days of summer. There's too much afoot to ignore:

-A libertarian non-profit law firm, the Institute for Justice, is appealing a court order that radio talk-show touting of (what became) Initiative 912 be reported as political advertising. The case was brought by the prosecutors in San Juan County and three Puget Sound cities, including Seattle. "The prosecutors' message to the people of Washington is: shut up and pay your taxes," Charity Osborn, an Institute for Justice Washington chapter attorney, said in a statement emailed to reporters Monday.

-The National Conference of State Legislatures is holding its annual convention in Seattle next week, bringing lawmakers from across the country. Big topics: higher education, alternative ways to pay for public schools, natural gas, high-tech trash, uninsured patients, uncompensated medical care and (wait, let me get my cell phone) driver distractions.

-and after that comes the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors conference, also in Seattle. Topics: ballot measures, the No Child Left Behind Act, budget pressures from public pensions and health care, etc. Speakers include Gov. Christine Gregoire, two-time Pulitzer winner Eric Nalder and our own Steve Smith, editor of The Spokesman-Review.

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