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Eye On Olympia

Mon., March 2, 2009, 10:45 a.m.

Stalking the wily legislator…and Brown bears…

-The Olympian's Adam Wilson has a humorous introduction to the legislature. It's particularly welcome given the mid-session tenor of the capitol campus right now. (Mid-point: Thursday.)

-And our own Becky Kramer has a long profile of Simon ffitch, with the attorney general's Public Counsel office. It's essentially ffitch's job to try to keep utility rates low. (And yes, that's the correct spelling of his name, a family tradition dating back to the 1600s. The AG's office seems unusually blessed with interestingly-named staff, including ffitch and the award-winning Rusty Fallis.)

-At the Seattle P-I, columnist Joel Connelly decries lame "zombie governors" and says that the state Senate "has emerged as the Legislature's bold chamber." (Connelly mentions the Senate's passage of the homeowners' bill of rights, but you could also add payday lending bills and the Senate's championing of paid family leave and and a working families' tax credit.) Writes Connelly...

The Senate is somewhat receptive to challenging the voters: Put a tax increase on the ballot, and explain what education and social programs it would save from the ax.

(Senate Majority Leader Lisa) Brown is a state senator from Spokane. We haven't had a governor from Eastern Washington since Clarence Martin left office in 1941. Still, Brown bears watching.

He goes on to parse the list of potential gubernatorial candidates in 2012, including Brown and, on the Republican side, Attorney General Rob McKenna. Connelly continues:

Brown, Inslee, McKenna -- and maybe Gregoire -- look like the prime prospects for 2012. But will all be politically alive after this difficult year?

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