OLYMPIA – Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, D-Spokane, has a challenger for re-election: the night janitor at Dick’s Hamburgers.
John Patrick Moyna, 52, this week filed paperwork with the state Public Disclosure Commission to run as an independent for the 3rd District seat long held by Brown.
He’s vowing to spend less than $5,400; Brown has raised more than $130,000.
Moyna has an extensive personal/campaign Web page, on which he describes himself as a populist “who is too conservative for democrats, too liberal for republicans, too radical for libertarians, too constitutional for greens, and too controversial for patriots.”
A South Carolina native, he grew up as an on-the-move military brat and landed in Spokane for a few years as an adult before spending nearly a decade on the road as a “homeless tramp.”
Upon returning to the Lilac City, he got the job at Dick’s. He is a vegan.
On his Web page, Moyna offers the hard-to-argue-with observation that “a community that does not recall what it was yesterday, and does not understand what it should be today, will fail in its efforts to reach its goals in the future.”
Politically, he said, he was a Democratic supporter of Jimmy Carter who broke ranks to vote for Reagan. In the end, he says, he became disillusioned with both “the tax and spend Democrats or the secret socialist Republicans.”
Among his campaign planks: cutting the state budget – particularly for parks – and steering more money into human services. He also proposes tolling Interstate 90, State Route 2 and U.S. 395 to raise money for transportation projects.
“I’m not doing this for my own benefit,” he says of his run, “but to hopefully wake up the voters to the reality that total, complete cradle-to-grave Big Brother government control is upon us.”
He is the only candidate to have filed against Brown.
Eyman takes out a second mortage to bankroll new initiative
In what is either a sign of desperation or a novel way to light a fire under campaign donors, initiative promoter Tim Eyman says he’s taking out a $250,000 second mortgage on his Mukilteo home in order to pay signature gatherers.
Initiative 985, in case you’ve misplaced your scorecard, would open up carpool lanes to all vehicles in off-peak hours and steer red-light camera money into anti-congestion projects, among other things. (That last item means that your red-light fine could pay for smoother traffic in, umm, Seattle. But I’ll write more about that if I-985 makes it to the ballot.)
Eyman says the campaign has raised nearly $280,000, but needs $290,000 more to pay signatures gatherers now. For the measure to appear on the fall ballot, Eyman needs about 250,000 valid signatures by July 3.
In recent years, Woodinville investor Mike Dunmire has shoveled hundreds of thousands of dollars into Eyman’s measures and a “compensation fund” for Eyman and his Spokane partners, Mike and Jack Fagan.
But that well may be running dry. In a letter to supporters Tuesday, Eyman said Dumire informed him that “because of charitable donations and other obligations, we can’t count on anything more from him in the foreseeable future.”
Hence the loan. Eyman hopes that donations in the coming months will repay it.
“I’m jumping off a big cliff,” he wrote to contributors. “Please help catch me.”
The three-bedroom, three-bath, three-car-garage home on a golf course that Eyman bought a decade ago for $433,000 is now worth $844,000, according to the local county assessor’s office.
Teachers union backs schools chief challenger
The Washington Education Association has endorsed Richland school superintendent Rich Semler in his run for state superintendent of public instruction. Incumbent Terry Bergeson – a former WEA president who’s drawn fire from the union over testing – is running for re-election.
Despite Bergeson’s former role with the group, the endorsement of a challenger shouldn’t be a big surprise. Four years ago, the WEA endorsed another Bergeson challenger, former state schools chief Judith Billings.
Semler began his career as a teacher in Spokane and who has a son, Travis, who lives there. He’s pledging “to refocus Washington education from testing to a more balanced curriculum that embraces high standards yet respects individual student needs and desires.”
About those Playboys you never got …
A now-defunct company that sold magazine subscriptions on the auction site eBay has agreed to refund thousands of dollars to Washingtonians who never got their publications.
Cheapest-Magz, run by Wilmyr Dagohoy and Eireen Ejem-Dagohoy, has agreed to pay $15,000 in refunds, a fine and attorneys’ fees.
The company, initially based in Bremerton, sold thousands of subscriptions to magazines such as Newsweek, Oprah, Playboy, TV Guide and Wired. In thousands of cases, the state attorney general’s office says, the magazines never came.
“A promise to deliver is a promise to deliver,” said Attorney General Rob McKenna.
Customers who paid for subscriptions with Cheapest-Magz will be contacted within 40 days and sent a check equal to what they paid. Anyone with questions should call the AG’s Consumer Resource Center at (800) 551-4636.
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