LATEST BLOGS

We accept this major award
By TODD MYERS  | 
Nov 13, 2018

We are always proud when honored with a major award.

In his end of the campaign awards, Jim Camden of the Spokesman-Review gave us honorable mention for saying the carbon “fee” in Initiative 1631 was a carbon “tax.” He says this gave off the “powerful odor of mendacity,” because a “fee must be used for something connected to the item or activity being charged.” The money from 1631, he argued, could only have been used to address climate issues.

We admit it is an odd award because Jim himself calls money protected by the 18th Amendment of the State Constitution a “gas tax,” and not a “gas fee.” I’m sure he will correct that going forward. Unlike the fee formerly known as the “gas tax,” money from 1631 would not have been constitutionally protected and could have been used for any purpose the legislature desired.

We are happy to accept the award for pointing out this reality.

Here is the full transcript of our acceptance speech.

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After WA carbon tax failure will greens look for success or stick with dogmatism?
By TODD MYERS  | 
Nov 8, 2018

Once again, a carbon tax proposal has failed in Washington state. Environmental activists have nobody to blame but themselves for their failure, and the lesson of this string of defeats is that pushing hard-headed ideology and politics on the public is not an effective way to improve energy efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions.

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Everett school superintendent says he will seek a state bailout after putting his budget into deficit
By LIV FINNE  | 
Nov 8, 2018

Everett Superintendent of Public Schools Gary Cohn (salary and benefits $301,000), says he plans to ask for a bailout from the state legislature when lawmakers meet in January.

The shortfall stems from a spending agreement he made with the Everett teachers union in negotiations that concluded in September.

The union pay agreement will boost District spending by $41 million in the coming year, by raising salaries by 20% for older teachers and by 8% for younger ones.  Average teacher pay in Everett, not counting the planned increases, is $87,000 for a ten-month work year, plus $30,000 in benefits, making Everett public school teachers among the highest paid in the state.

Now Superintendent Cohn says he plans to lay off clerical staff if he does not receive a bailout from state taxpayers.  This foreseeable and avoidable budget crunch was caused by the Superintendent’s apparent inability to manage his District’s $322 million budget.

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