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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Olympia

The fog of war…

The fight over the Viaduct is producing the legislative version of Greek choruses, with various alliances of lawmakers trying to stake out their positions with increasingly opaque joint statements:

First came this, from Gov. Chris Gregoire, House Speaker Frank Chopp, Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, Rep. Judy Clibborn and Seattle City Council President Nick Licata:

"We all understand that we need to move forward. No action is not an option...There are two remaining options: move forward with an elevated viaduct replacement or reprogram funding to the 520 replacement project.
"We thank all parties for a very candid discussion."

Then came this, from east-of-Seattle Republican Reps. Fred Jarrett, Jay Rodne and Glenn Anderson (this was Rodne being quoted):

"The 520 bridge and I-405 are important to our daily commutes and future economic vitality. For too long their much-need improvements have been delayed as a result of inaction on the Alaskan Way Viaduct. It's time to move forward."

Translation: Give us the money.

Then this, from Reps. Helen Sommers and Mary Lou Dickerson:

"The people in our district -- as well as in most Seattle districts -- voted in 2005 to sustain the increased transportation revenues because they had confidence that the viaduct was a priority project. We need to respect that confidence."

Translation: When people voted to uphold a big gas-tax hike two years ago, they thought a big part of that money would pay for a viaduct project. Don't try to shift that cash.

And now this, from state senators Ken Jacobsen, Adam Kline, Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Ed Murray and Erik Poulsen:

"We are working together for a satisfactory solution that ensures that the values of Seattle residents are respected. We are committed to listening to the people of Seattle and ensuring that their voices are heard in Olympia."

Translation (I think): We haven't given up on the tunnel.

Short takes and breaking news from the Washington Legislature and the state capital.