It’s our state’s 120th birthday (on Nov. 11); check out this telegram…

 “We are now a state and its name is Washington,” the Yakima Herald Republic reported 120 years ago to mark our territory’s transition to statehood, which became official on Nov. 11, 1889, at 5:27 p.m.

 “The emancipation from territorial vassalage was received in some giddy cities with the burning of powder, patriotic speeches and champagne for the rich — whisky and beer for the poor,” the paper reported, as shown at the Secretary of State’s blog.

McGinn wins; Conlin congratulates “mayor elect”

Mike McGinn has become Seattle’s 52nd mayor after the latest vote count released today gave him a 4,900-vote advantage over Joe Mallahan. City council president Richard Conlin was moved to congratulate the “mayor elect” in this prepared statement:




On behalf of the Council, I want to congratulate our new Mayor-elect, Michael McGinn. Michael has a great track record of working for the people of Seattle. I’m very optimistic about the partnership we have the opportunity to create between the Council and the incoming Mayor. We are committed to ensuring a smooth transition as he takes on his new role.

I also want to commend Joe Mallahan and his supporters for their commitment and passion for public service. It was a hard fought race that raised many important issues that our city will face in the coming years.

We have many challenges ahead, including the economic recovery of our region, managing our budget in a difficult time, strengthening regional connections, and building a new green economy.

I remember when I began my career as a Councilmember in 1998 and what it was like to have partners willing to work with me, sharing the same vision and goals. I, and my colleagues on the Council, offer the same support and partnership to our incoming mayor.

We look forward to working together to make Seattle the best city it can be.


Mallahan has conceded the race, KUOW reports.

McGinn had been pulling away in the late votes counted since election night. He led by about 900 votes on Tuesday. He has only widened the lead recently.


McGinn had 96,514 votes or 50.88 percent at latest count. Mallahan had 91,575 votes or 48.28 percent. Write-in candidates collectively garnered 1,605 votes or slightly under 1 percent.

According to polls done for KING5 by Survey USA, McGinn seemed to be gaining momentum in the weeks leading up to the election. The last poll showed the race neck-to-neck. Mallahan had a wider lead in previous polls.

McGinn has refused to speculate on why that trend emerged. A possibility may be his clarification of his stance on the tunnel, in which he said that while he opposes the project, he would respect the positon of the City Council and state legislature. That may have eased the concerns of voters who may have seen him as an obstructionist.

Mallahan has also laid claim to winning the support of late deciding voters. After Thursday’s count, Mallahan’s campaign noted that he’d inched closer to McGinn — gaining 462 votes since election night. If that trend continued, campaign spokesman Charla Neuman said city might be headed toward a recount. The Secretary of State’s office blog says a recount is mandatory if the vote margin is less than one-half of one percent and also less than 2,000 votes.


However, what gains Mallahan had made since election night evaporated with Friday’s first count.


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Some King County pharmacies to offer H1N1 vaccine for at-risk people

Public Health/ Seattle & King County issued this news release:

KING COUNTY, WA – To provide another option for people prioritized to receive H1N1 vaccine, selected King County pharmacies are receiving limited supplies to begin vaccinating. A total of 15,000 doses of vaccine have been allocated to pharmacies, with more available in future weeks.

Many of the 44 participating pharmacies are taking appointments by phone starting today; some will be holding walk-up clinics without appointment starting next week. The full list of participating pharmacies, including hours, types of vaccine available, vaccination age ranges and administrative fee, is posted at .  This site will be updated Monday through Friday by noon; people should contact pharmacies directly for the most up-to-date information.

With limited national vaccine supplies, Public Health – Seattle & King County has had to delay its plan to make vaccine widely available through community venues. As more vaccine becomes available, there will be additional sites for getting vaccinated, including community clinics.

“Making vaccine available through pharmacies is an important next step in protecting our community, but supplies at both pharmacies and health care providers will continue to be limited for at least several weeks,” said Dr. David Fleming, Director and Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County. “Eventually there will be enough vaccine for everyone who wants to get vaccinated, but we are still dealing with limited vaccine supplies.”


With the latest deliveries this week, King County has received approximately 142,000 doses of vaccine. A new allocation of approximately 71,000 doses is being ordered for delivery to the county. Most of the vaccine is being made available through health care providers.

Pharmacy vaccination details

People eligible to receive vaccine through pharmacies include:

  • Pregnant women
  • People who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age
  • People between the ages of 6 months and 24 years old
  • People between 25 through 64 years of age with chronic health conditions or weakened immune systems
  • Healthcare and emergency workers with direct patient contact

The amount of H1N1 vaccine at pharmacies will be limited, with each pharmacy receiving a few hundred doses each. Vaccine will be re-supplied to pharmacies as more becomes available over the coming weeks, so people should regularly check Public Health’s website for updates. 

Many pharmacies are unable to vaccinate babies and young children because their staff is not licensed and/or trained for these age groups. Residents trying to vaccinate children should check with pharmacies directly and with their health care providers since vaccine is continuing to arrive.

Pharmacies may charge a fee for administering the vaccine, typically between $12 and $22 (not to exceed $22). This fee is covered by most health insurance. People should bring their health insurance information to the pharmacy, and they may need to submit a receipt to their insurance company for reimbursement.

Visit the Public Health H1N1 influenza website at for updates on vaccine availability in the community or call the Flu Hotline at 877-903-KING (5464), which is staffed with operators to answer questions from King County residents about H1N1 influenza. Hours of operation with operators are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, with special 24-hour nurse line service extended over this weekend for people with flu seeking medical care advice.  Recorded information will be available 24 hours a day.


Current list of pharmacies as of 5 p.m. today (check here for the latest list or go to this Google map detailing locations):




Seattle, WA 98199

2222 32nd Ave W

Appointment only
14 and older


Seattle, WA 98117

1407 NW 85th St

Walk-in, starting Nov. 9

Mondays – Fri 3 – 6 pm

3 and older



915 NW 45th St


Seattle, WA 98107

Appointments full
Appointments full
Appointments full
13 and older


Seattle, WA 98125

13000 Lake City Way Ne

Appointment only
13 and older


Seattle, WA 98105

5400 Sand Point Way Ne


Sat. Nov. 14, 10 am – 6 pm

Thur., Nov. 12, 9 am – 7 pm

Wed. Nov. 11, 9 am – 7pm

6 months and older
QFC #807


2745 Ne 45th St


Seattle, WA 98105



Appointments full
Appointments full
Appointments full
11 and older


201 Broadway East


Seattle, WA 98102



Appointments full
Appointments full
Appointments full
3 and older


2345 Rainier Ave S


Seattle, WA 98144



Appointment only
14 and older


3820 Rainier Ave S


Seattle, WA 98118



Appointments full
Appointment only
5 – 49 can get nasal spray vaccine; 8 and older for flu shots


516 First Ave W


Seattle, Wa 98109



Appointments full
Appointments full
Appointments full
5 – 49 can get nasal spray vaccine; 8 and older for flu shots


4575 Sand Point Way Ne


Seattle, WA 98105



Walk-in, starting Nov. 9

Mon – Fri, 12 pm – 4 pm

4 and older



10616 16th Ave SW


Seattle, WA 98146



Appointment only (not yet scheduling)
12 and older


9456 16th Ave SW


Seattle, WA 98106



Walk-in, Nov. 10th, 11 am – 1 pm
9 and older


6330 35th Ave SW


Seattle, WA 98126



Walk-in, Nov. 10th, 11 am – 1 pm
9 and older

City crews continue to repair storm damage, restore power

Here’s what the city has to say about repairs from the overnight winds and rain:

Seattle City Light crews continue this morning to repair damage from overnight lightning strikes.

About 190 customers were without power in the Leschi neighborhood, where lightning was suspected as the cause of damage to overhead lines in one spot and an adjacent underground cable.

An overhead repair crew was working to replace a broken utility pole, replace downed wires and replace a damaged transformer affecting about 80 of the customers. Service was expected to be restored by 3 p.m. An underground crew was trying to determine the extent of the damage and did not immediately have an estimate for restoration of service for the 110 customers served by the cable.

For more on the latest about Friday morning’s storm damage from the city, read here.

Commentary: State Auditor’s Office reviews its performance measures

By Jason Mercier

Special to the PostGlobe

The State Auditor’s Office acts as the eyes of citizens to help ensure state and local governments are operating in an accountable, transparent and effective manner. To help lead by example, staffers in the Auditor’s Office met last week to focus on strategic planning and performance measures planning for the agency.

I had the opportunity to sit in on the sessions and was very impressed with the direction the office is heading.

Earlier this year, the Office of Financial Management  issued an assessment  of the performance measures the Auditor’s Office was using for its activities. The Financial Management office said:

With two possible exceptions, the current performance measures in the Performance Measure Tracking System should be replaced with outcome/result measures that are more relevant to a budget/policy development audience. In particular, survey results and the cost of performing the audits in relation to the size of the audited entity are better as internal performance management perspectives. This assessment offers suggestions about the types of measurement topics that would tell a more complete and compelling performance story.

The Auditor’s Office responded by holding the performance measure planning sessions last week. Here is  some of the information discussed at that session :

A performance measure is a quantifiable expression of the amount, cost or result of activities that indicate how well, and at what level, services are provided.

Performance measures provide a snapshot of current performance capabilities and track whether actual performance is getting better, staying the same or getting worse over time.

What isn’t a performance measure?


  • Statements of what you intend to do or how you intend to do it (goals, objectives and strategies)
  • Performance questions that can be answered with a “yes” or “no”
  • A timeline of when something will be accomplished
  • The responses from a survey

What are the Attributes of Good Performance Measures?

  • Relevance – Useful to an external audience of stakeholders to assess the level of accomplishment
  • Understandability – Clear, concise and easy for a nonexpert to understand
  • Comparability – Do the data, targets and footnotes provide the reader with enough context to tell whether performance is getting better, worse or staying the same?
  • Timeliness – Are the data current and reported frequently enough to be of value in assessing accountability and making decisions?
  • Consistency – Is the data collection method standardized, and is the operational definition for data calculations adhered to?
  • Reliability – Is the information verifiable, free from bias and a faithful representation of what it purports to represent?
  • Performance – Is actual performance in reference to the stated targets getting better, worse or staying the same over time?

All agencies (state and local) should undergo the same type of self-reflection as the Auditor’s Office to help improve their performance measures. Doing so will allow elected officials to have access to meaningful performance data to help guide budget decisions.

Jason Mercier is the director of the Center for Government Reform at the Washington Policy CenterHe serves on the executive committee of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force and is a contributing editor of the Heartland Institute’s Budget & Tax News.Mercier also serves as treasurer on the board of the Washington Coalition for Open Government and was an adviser to the 2002 Washington State Tax Structure Committee.

Commentary: A longtime Seattle activist’s thoughts on the mayoral race

From John Fox, head of the anti-homelessness group, the Seattle Dispacement Coalition:

Last week I reported on our meeting with Mike McGinn and offered some of my impressions. This week, I report on our meeting with Joe Mallahan and close with my final reflections on both candidates

First a report on our meeting with Mallahan held last week:

Our meeting with Joe Mallahan last week began right at 1130AM in his campaign offices and lasted 45 minutes…up from the 30 minutes he originally have us but still not long enough to cover the breadth of issues and concerns we had hoped to discuss with him.  Those attending included Justin Simmons (Metropolitan Democratic Club), Sarjane Siegfried (46th District Democrats), David Bloom (Displacement Coalition and Council Candidate), Bill Kirlin-Hackett (Interfaith Task Force on Homelessness), Julian Wheeler (43rd District Democrats) and Joshua Okrente (Low Income Housing Institute). Former Seattle City Councilmember Tina Podlodowsky (and likely Deputy Mayor) joined Joe at our table.

Note that the organizational affiliations listed above are for ID purposes only.  However, everything that follows below, I get 100 percent of the blame, as the case may be, especially the last part where I compare the candidates – it is all my own…

Our meeting with Joe Mallahan first was scheduled three weeks ago but canceled.  After some of our supporters raised a stink and reporters covered this fact, Mallahan rescheduled it for last week. At the outset of our meeting with him, he more or less apologized for these difficulties saying it’s just that he’s been completely inundated with requests.


We ended up spending a good 20 minutes or more discussing the question of “access” and “openness”.  Would he simply reprise the Nickels regime or offer a real change in terms of ensuring access for folks such as us and the neighborhoods? We referenced how housing and homeless advocates, neighborhood groups, and other grassroots organizations have been completely cut off from this current Mayor and referenced even cases where some members of this Mayor’s staff promised retribution (cutting off individuals and groups from access or even funding if they didn’t cooperate/support the Mayor’s pre-determined agenda). 

For the Nickels regime, everything was top down.  How would Mayor Mallahan do things differently? Would you, Joe, give us and groups like those of us represented around the table access before you made decisions which affected them and issues they represented.  He pointed to his management style and his background as an organizer – he said top down was not how he worked and gave examples of that. He assured us that we and groups currently left out would be sought out. There would be an open door and he’d not act on matters directly affecting these constituencies without first hearing from them.


Then I pointed out that he had chosen to give support to Burgess’s anti-panhandling proposal publicly at last nights KUOW debate without first hearing our side or from homeless people who would be directly affected. I then handed him a cogent legal brief on its UN-constitutionality from the ACLU, Columbia Legal Services, and the ACLU, our criticism of the Burgess proposal, and a list of the dozen or so laws already on the books to address truly assaultive behavior. I then quoted directly from Inter-Im Police Chief Diaz saying the last thing we don’t need another law.

I also referenced the fact that he had spoken out in favor Children’s Hospital expansion without first hearing the community’s side.  (Note McGinn opposed the Burgess Law but has said he supports Children’s expansion). Mallahan nodded and then acknowledged that he spoke too soon on such matters and more or less apologized – said he wanted and would ask to hear our side first in the future before giving such definitive positions on these and other such matters.  (The Seattle Times and several other media outlets have turned the Burgess law into one of the defining issues of this campaign – McGinn as taken a better position on this so far). 


By now we had eaten up 30 minutes of our 45 minutes of our meeting with Mallahan.  At this point, he said he wanted to hear more from us about concerns we had with the budget process vis a vis funding for human services and housing.  First though we talked about tent cities and Nickelsville – would he help them find a permanent site on public land if necessary. 

Tent Cities:


We clarified that by a permanent tent city site, we meant a place that so long as we had a homeless crisis with thousands on our streets after all shelter beds are full, the city should allow tent cities to remain open or even encouraged in appropriate locations – something like Dignity Village backed by the Portland Government.  Bill pointed out it didn’t even have to be that permanent. There the city allowed Dignity Village to construct even makeshift shelters from wood. (The other day I heard Richard Conlin actually make the outrageous claim there were enough shelter beds in our city..ooops I’m straying from the topic at hand).  Note that Mallahan often has said he will insist that his administration including the police “always treat everyone including homeless with dignity”.  Here was a way, by sanctioning tent cities, he could live up to that promise.

Mallahan said he had great sympathy for the homeless, would make that a priority, but had some concerns about the concept of tent cities. We didn’t have time to really delve into what those concerns were. He asked questions about who lived in the tent cities and then said he really regretted not yet having time to tour these facilities or talk with folks who live there leaving us with the impression he intended to do so soon if elected.  He indicated that the notion of sanctioning encampments like this was something he would certainly consider but gave us no commitment.  Note that McGinn has been favorable to tent cities and been more explicit in giving them his support.

Then we talked about the budget and let him know that we wanted him to be strong in protecting human services, shelter programs, and other human services from any budget cuts now and in the future. This was as important as the issue of funding for the police and public safety. He clearly was up on the budget process and said he was exactly on that page with us. He also said that coordination of services is needed and can bring efficiencies. We added that these savings are very small compared with the expense of policing and public safety.advocating to restore the cuts in the city budget for advocacy and human services coordinating, particularly the need to coordinate the food banks, which is eliminated.  He did engage us a bit here though insisting that public safety to him was as important and should be viewed as an important social justice issue (not withstanding many comments he’d heard from the African American Community leaders telling him as far as they were concerned, there were more than enough police in SE Seattle – perhaps for these leaders police accountability was more important – something unfortunately we did not have time to discuss nor has either Mallahan or McGinn spent much time adressing – neither seems up to speed on this).

The Budget:

Mallahan made it pretty clear here that the budget was a special area of expertise and concern for him. He knew the city was hurting financially and that it had exhausted nearly all of its “rainy day” fund and that next year there was a likelihood of facing even deeper cuts.  He made it clear he’d be sensitive to the need to maintain funding for human services, asked some questions here about the dust-up with Share/Wheel over bus vouchers, and tried to assure us that with his management style these kinds of conflicts could be avoided. It was somewhere about here in our conversation that he spoke confidently about his abilities to manage budgets pointing out how he took a small department in his job at T-Mobile and grew it into a project with a 12 billion dollar budget, managed it with efficiencies, a more interactive collegial style etc etc…this was something he said he was very good at.) He also somewhere in here warned that while he was not going to cut services and programs for those in need, he would carefully look for and find efficiencies, remove administrative and staffing costs while still delivering programs and serving the same numbers or more…. Again this was something he expressed great confidence that he could do.

Now we were really running low on our 45 minutes. I took a long gulp of air, then raced thru two issues in about five minutes with him.  I handed him our petition opposing Mercer signed by 20 groups and 150 community leaders. I showed him a letter from the Freight Haulers stating that freight movement would not be improved one iota by Mercer and that it was not an adjunct or needed to support the bored tunnel. How could it be an adjunct to it when the current design including Mercer West is the same design essentially from 8 years ago long before the bored tunnel option was put on the table.

Mercer and Impact Fees:

Mallahan said he has remained consistent on Mercer. I am not sure he has but we had no time to remind him of that.  He said he believed the project was fine so long as property owners who benefited would help foot the bill.  Here too he seemed to think (erroneously) that the recently revived second 100 million plus phase of Mercer involving improvements West of Dexter to Queen Anne was a needed adjunct of the bored tunnel.  I said the LID idea he was proposing would likely not fly because it requires 60 percent approval from abutting property owners (meaning Vulcan) and Vulcan simply would veto the idea. He professed and it seems pretty clear he really didn’t understand how LID’s worked.  I said if you were really serious about the idea of making developers pay, he say he supported the imposition of impact fees that would require all new development to pay fees in proportion to the size and amount of space in their developments. The Growth Management Act (GMA) allowed it and nearly every city in the region made use of impact fees except Seattle. He told me to send him a memo on this…(He didn’t say “send me a memo” flippantly and seemed sincere about giving this consideration)

Growth, Density, and ‘1 for 1’ replacement:

Then I took another gulp and asked him why when he got up and talked about the need for more density in our neighborhoods as a solution to our housing crisis why he didn’t also air caution that growth can also cause displacement and gentrification. Would he support and call for in the future and 1 for 1 replacement policy.  Here he strongly asserted that he had been airing that concern on the campaign trail and giving support to “1 for 1”, ie., requiring developers to replace housing they removed at comparable rent.    Again he seemed sincere here as much as one could tell.   Our 45 minutes was up…and he quickly left to another engagement.

My Final thoughts on Mallahan vs. McGinn

I seriously thought about voting for McGinn until his flip flop on the tunnel. It’s the largest colossal blunder by a local candidate that I can recall – at least since the late 70’s when Chip Marshall (left progressive former anti-war activist) in a close race with Michael Hildt decided to endorse use of hollow point bullets.  Marshall got the endorsement of the police guild he was seeking but his progressive base left him in droves and swing voters saw him as an opportunist. Hildt won in a landslide.  McGinn has effectively done the same thing here but worse, he’s jettisoned his core issue (and a huge chunk of that 25% who got him thru the primary) in hopes of capturing a large pool of undecideds.  First he’s alienated many of his supporters.  And most swing voters we’ll simply view him as the consummate flip-flopper (and opportunist) his actions say he’s become. He certainly lost any chance of getting my vote and thousands like me and I firmly believe cost him any chance at all in the race.

The other reason I could never support or vote for him – no true progressive or populist who’d simply want to open the floodgates to development without expecting and calling for developers to pay their fair share of the cost of that growth.  McGinn told us point blank he opposes those things.  Like Michael O’Brien, he is part of the new wing of the corporate liberal establishment – the wing that wraps their developer driven agenda in a thin patina of pseudo environmentalism. 

Mallahan also has his problems on this question.  But he appears to be old school corporate liberal establishment, ie, “I support more development and density because that will expand supply and housing will “trickle down to the poor?” This of course is transparent baloney but it’s old baloney that no one now really believes.   McGinn’s position is of greater concern because its less honest – the “warm and fuzzy” strategy for packaging development that is gaining far too much traction especially among gullible enviro’s (and thus is a greater threat to those of us calling for managed and responsible levels of growth and policies that require developers to pay their fair share). Mallahan also appears open to use of impact fees, has said at least that developers should foot more of the bill for Mercer and said he supports as a condition for growth requiring developers to do 1 for 1 replacement. 

I do agree however with Mallahan critics who say he’s too cozy and too close to the establishment. We’re no doubt facing the prospect that he will be filling his administration with pre-Nickels insiders dating back several administrations.  However, after sitting down with both McGinn and Mallahan, I strongly believe that of the two, Mallahan is more likely to meet with us and especially neighborhood groups when it comes to growth questions, listen to their perspective, and on occasion respond especially on the key question of how much growth our city should absorb. (admittedly, if Mallahan allows these establishment types to run him – this could be washed out to be sure)

 Mallahan readily and refreshingly acknowledges he has more to learn including from us, the neighborhoods and across a range of issues. McGinn I see as darn inflexible and not just on this key issue of growth.  I sure saw that when he blindly supported the recent TOD bill sponsored by Futurewise and openly criticized our efforts to restrict the runaway growth that bill aimed to promote.  McGinn seems very closed minded here and less likely to support mitigation to protect trees, open space, streams, and our existing low income housing stock.  I think that will cross over to other issues too.  He’s a know-it-all and not in a good way. I also can’t help getting the feeling that McGinn just is not competent enough to do the job nor are the people he would hire as his staff, whereas with Mallahan for better or worse that simply is not the issue -he is very competent.

I guess my bottom line though is this – even though McGinn (and OBrien) are not fans of the “Sidran Laws” and more favorable to tent cities, (all to the good), on core development issues – the forces that give rise to displacement, and homelessness and inequality (and erode liveability and physical character of our city in the first place), Mallahan I believe is likely to be more responsive, flexible, and open.

So that’s my two cents on this race.  Ever onward!  

 -John V. Fox

Update: Release of viaduct destruction video stirs controversy

(Washington State Department of Transportation)

Update: Publicola, the local politics blog, reported that “in response to a scary video released by the Washington State Department of Transportation showing the destruction of the Alaskan Way Viaduct in an earthquake, five members of the 30-member Viaduct Stakeholders Group released a statement calling for the state to begin taking down the viaduct as soon as possible.” Read entire post.

The Belltown people neighborhood blog has this post about a Washington State Department of Transportation simulation of what would happen to the viaduct during an earthquake.

Publicola, the local politics site, thinks it’s interesting the simulation is being made available a week before a Seattle Mayoral election, in which Mike McGinn is criticizing plans to replace the viaduct with a tunnel.

Note: McGinn points out it will actually take longer to replace the tunnel with a viaduct than the surface plan he advocates:


Publicola: Documents Reveal Fix Was In for Deep-Bore Tunnel

In the neighborhoods: Take Back the [Aurora] Bridge

From the Aurora/Seattle blog:

Fremont Universe reported today on the Turn Back the Bridge fundraising event for the Crisis Clinic of King County.  More significantly, this event hopes to bring awareness about suicide and prevention during a series of events at/near the Aurora bridge, which has the second highest bridge suicide rate in the nation.




9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals orders release of R-71 petitions

By Jason Mercier

Special to the PostGlobe

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled for Secretary of State Sam Reed in the dispute over whether to release the R-71 petitions in response to a public records request. Here is the court’s order

The court, after consideration of the record and briefs of the parties, and oral argument, has determined that the district court’s Order Granting Plaintiffs’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction (the “Preliminary Injunction Order”), filed September 10, 2009, relies on an incorrect legal standard and, therefore, must be reversed.

It is therefore ordered:

1. Appellants’ motion for a stay pending appeal is granted and the Preliminary Injunction Order is hereby stayed, effective immediately, pending final resolution of these appeals.

2. An opinion setting forth the reasons for the court’s reversal of the Preliminary Injunction Order shall be issued expeditiously and in due course.

This decision should mean there will be quick resolution to yesterday’s ruling in Thurston County Superior Court granting a temporary restraining order against Sam Reed concerning compliance with a public records request for copies of past initiative petitions.

Jason Mercier is the director of the Center for Government Reform at the Washington Policy CenterHe serves on the executive committee of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force and is a contributing editor of the Heartland Institute’s Budget & Tax News. Mercier also serves as treasurer on the board of the Washington Coalition for Open Government and was an adviser to the 2002 Washington State Tax Structure Committee.