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Seahawks day at the Lege

Sen. Joe Fain, R-Auburn, sports Seahawks attire while leading the Senate through today's pro forma session.

OLYMPIA — It is Seahawks attire day in the Capitol, where Senators and staff were allowed — actually encouraged — to wear team attire or team colors and a motion in the House approved by Speaker Pro Tem Jim Moeller will allow such on Fridays through the Super Bowl.

The latter will presumably be moot should the 'Hawks not win on Sunday.

The sartorial splendor was somewhat short-lived in the Senate, which only had a quickie "pro forma" session to show of the blue and lime green.

Majority Floor Leader Joe Fain, R-Auburn, took advantage of the relaxation of normal rules for "business attire" to sport a combination hood and scarf which he said was a Christmas gift. Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, which had relaxed the dress code earlier in the week, presided in a Seahawks tie from behind a rostrum that had a Seahawks license plate with his name on it. Sen. Kirk Pearson, R-Monroe, briefly wore had a lime green hat.

This caps a week of repeated and often gratuitous exclamations of "Go 'Hawks" in everything from Gov. Jay Inslee's state of the state address to a floor speech supporting the end to differential tuition in the state's colleges and universities to a lobbyist questioning changes to the states medical marijuana law.

Today’s fun video: Music in Lt Gov race

OLYMPIA — The lieutenant governor's race doesn't garner anywhere near the attention of the state's top executive spot.

While many people can't name their current lieutenant governor without a hint or two, it's rare for an incumbent to get ousted.

Facing that challenge in his run against Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, Republican Bill Finkbeiner decided to set his campaign peregrinations to music, tapping some musician friends, rewriting the lyrics to "I've Been Everywhere", and using shots of him standing in front of signs or icons for cities and towns around Washington. (Spokane's near the end.) It won't make you forget the Johnny Cash version, but it is entertaining.

This could start an interesting trend, because Owen himself is part of a musical group. Maybe he could record and post up his own music video, and t0he lieutenant governor's race could double as a a Battle of the Bands.

Special Session Day 1: Don’t blink…

The special session opens.

…Or you'll miss it.

The Special Session of the Legislature opened and quickly adjourned for the day. Total elapsed time: About one minute.

In the Senate, Sens. Debbie Regala, D-Regala, and Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, were on hand to see Lt. Gov. Brad Owen bring the gavel down to open for special session, accept a few messages from the governor or the House, and adjourn until Tuesday.

Over in the House, Reps. Laurie Jinkins. D-Tacoma, and Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland, were the on the floor for a similarly brief open and close to the day's "business."

Opening day for a special session is in sharp contrast to the opening of the regular session, which features all legislators in their seats, flags being escorted in by Washington State Patrol or Washington National Guard personnel in spiffy uniforms, maybe a display of rifle twirling in the aisle, prayers and speeches.

The special session was called late Thursday night, the final day of the regular session, when it became clear the Legislature would not reach an agreement on changes to its General Fund operating budget.  Gov. Chris Gregoire said she wanted to legislative leaders to meet to decide on a budget framework, then budget writers to work out the details. 

She suggested all legislators should come back for Day 1, then go home until a deal was struck. "The last thing anybody wants to see is the full Legislature sitting up here with nothing to do."

Apparently the Legislature was happy to oblige at least on the second part of that suggestion.

For the sake of comparison, here's a photo taken about midnight Thursday for sine die adjournment of the regular session.