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Spin Control: What’s ahead for the state of Washington in 2018? Jim Camden throws out a few possibilities

In this Feb. 9, 2017, file photo, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson speaks at a news conference in Seattle, Wash. The state’s top lawyer stepped into the breach multiple times over the past 12 months to challenge executive orders by President Trump; expect to see more of him in 2018. (Elaine Thompson / AP)
In this Feb. 9, 2017, file photo, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson speaks at a news conference in Seattle, Wash. The state’s top lawyer stepped into the breach multiple times over the past 12 months to challenge executive orders by President Trump; expect to see more of him in 2018. (Elaine Thompson / AP)

A new year stretches before us, full of possibilities, challenges and stupid stuff that we suspect will happen.

As it does most years, Spin Control likes to look into the crystal ball to see what might be ahead, rather than dwelling on the highlights and lowlifes of the year that’s about to run out.

So, as Bullwinkle J. Moose would say, “Eenie, meanie, chili beanie.”

Prediction 1: Gov. Jay Inslee will insert sports metaphors into his State of the State address. If the Seattle Seahawks are still in the playoffs, he’ll use them as an example of how teamwork in the Legislature could bring them to a deal on a carbon tax or fee. Lawmakers will rule it an incomplete pass. If the Seahawks don’t make the playoffs, he’ll use the Mariners; lawmakers will balk.

Prediction 2: President Donald Trump will sign an order repealing an Obama administration order on the environment. Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson will sue to protect Washington’s air and water quality.

Prediction 3: In the midst of a record cold snap, people who don’t believe in climate change will say, “See, global warming is a hoax!” – confusing the concept of weather with climate.

Prediction 4: Legislators will arrive in Olympia in January promising to be done in the legally allotted 60 days. They will put off their biggest task, how to come up with $1 billion needed for education, until around Day 58, necessitating a special session.

Prediction 5: President Trump will sign an order rolling back an Obama administration rule on consumer protection. Attorney General Ferguson will sue to protect Washington consumers.

Prediction 6: Initiative impresario Tim Eyman, along with Spokane confederates City Councilman Mike Fagan and his father, Jack Fagan, will file dozens of possible ballot measures, many of them iterations of familiar themes like tax restrictions or car tabs. After asking repeatedly for donations to do their sacred work, they will qualify – at most – one initiative for the ballot or Legislature.

Prediction 7: Fiscal conservatives will be on alert against a state income tax and will go to DEFCON 1 if any progressive legislator proposes a bill to create one. They won’t lower the threat level even when reminded a state income tax would take a constitutional amendment, not just a bill, to enact.

Prediction 8: Social progressives will be on alert against any effort to limit abortion rights and will go to DEFCON 1 if any Christian conservative legislator proposes a bill to put time restrictions or parental notifications into law. They won’t lower the threat level even when reminded that such proposals couldn’t pass the Senate even when Republicans were in control.

Prediction 9: Sometime during a heat wave in the summer, people who believe in climate change will say, “See, we told you so!” – confusing the concept of weather with climate.

Prediction 10: Underscoring the difference between the two states’ politics, Washington’s two senators will vote no on any legislation of substance when Idaho’s two senators vote yes, and yes on any when Idaho senators vote no.

Prediction 11: President Trump will sign an order repealing some workplace safety rules from the Obama administration. Attorney General Ferguson will sue on behalf of Washington workers.

Prediction 12: Television pundits will point to the result of every special election for Congress, the Legislature, city council or dogcatcher as proof that Democrats will or will not take over the U.S. Senate and House in 2018. In the end, all will have predicted both that control of Congress will and won’t change hands. They will play the clip with the correct prediction the day after the election.

Prediction 13: National Democratic organizations that are usually “all talk, no dollars” about supporting a congressional candidate in Eastern Washington will put some money where their mouths are and give some to Lisa Brown. National Republican organizations will give more to U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

Prediction 14: President Trump will sign an order including extraterrestrials in the restrictions against immigration. Attorney General Ferguson will sue on behalf of Washington’s future space alien community.


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