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Eye On Olympia

Posts tagged: Liz

Catching up…

Farmers markets and the state of the state treasury have been keeping me busy lately, but here’s some interesting stuff that’s been piling up in the in box:

-Former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, who created a stir earlier this month by declaring himself a candidate for county clerk in tiny Wakhiakum County, has pulled out of the race.

“My protest is over,” he wrote recently in a column on the Seattle Weekly’s blog. He said his very-brief candidacy was a stunt to draw attention to what he sees as a grievous wrong about Washington’s new “Top Two” primary elections. Under the new system, which allows people to specify virtually any “party preference,” political parties have no control over who runs under their name. To demonstrate this, Novoselic filed as preferring the non-existent “Grange Party.” Writes Novoselic:

Looking back, perhaps I should have chosen an organization which would have been more willing to protect its trademark? How about the Prefers Starbucks Party? Maybe Microsoft? The best would be the Prefers Walt Disney Party—because claiming Disney would further demonstrate what a Mickey-Mouse system this is.

We undoubtedly haven’t heard the last of the topic from Novoselic, though. He’s the guest speaker at a lecture at the capitol July 2nd. TVW will tape it to play on the public affairs network statewide and on their website.

-Politico’s “lighter side of politics” column has the tale of a bizarre overreaction when Elizabeth Becton, the scheduler/office manager for Congressman Jim McDermott, was addressed as “Liz” in a quick email from someone wanting an appointment with the congressman.

Becton’s emailed responses — all seven of them — to this perceived slight start with an icy “Who is Liz?” and quickly move on to browbeating the woman:

“If I wanted you to call me by any other name, I would have offered that to you…Now, please do not ever call me by a nickname again…Sounds like you got played by someone who KNOWS I hate that name and that it’s a fast way to TICK me off. Who told you that I go by that name? They are not your friend.”

The executive assistant trying to set up the appointment apologized. Over and over. Six times, in fact. Becton was not mollified.

“In the future, you should be VERY careful about such things…Quit apologizing and never call me anything but Elizabeth again. Also, make sure you correct anyone who attempts to call me by any other name but Elizabeth. Are we clear on this?”

etc. etc. The story has generated hundreds of comments on Politico’s website, many suggesting a very different nickname for Becton. But I think the first one sums it up best:

“Settle down Liz. You sound like a sack full of crazy.”

-The Olympian’s Brad Shannon points out that the governor’s guidance on more budget cuts also calls for a hiring preference for state employees. From Gregoire’s memo:

If agencies need to hire, I want to reiterate my direction that agencies should not hire from outside state government until efforts to consider qualified candidates from among those affected by layoffs are exhausted. We cannot underestimate the value of trained and experienced state employees.

Multiple hat tips: Dave Ammons.

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Richard Roesler covers Washington state news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Olympia.

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