Fuse Washington: Jay Arnold: April 2012 Archives

Jay Arnold: April 2012 Archives

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace workers District 751 (the 45,000-member Boeing workers' union) endorsed Progressive Majority leader and Washington Bus Board member Noel Frame.

Frame, who's been active with Progressive Majority organizing for liberal candidates for the past several years, has already picked up a batch of endorsements from progressive legislators such as state Sen. Sharon Nelson (D-34, W. Seattle, Vashon), and progressive campaign groups such as Fuse.

"Craig will finally bring oversight and accountability to the billions of dollars in tax loopholes and expenditures on the books in our state," according to a statement made by Fuse. "Unlike some of his primary opponents, Craig's leadership is based on progressive values: he's been a consistent defender of women's health, marriage equality and environmental protections."

Fuse members tell legislators to end the Groundhog Day cycle budget deficits by closing tax loopholes.

After four months, three rogue senators, two special legislative sessions, and one all-nighter, we finally have a state budget!

We knew we had our work cut out for us from the beginning. Our state faced another $1.5 billion deficit after three straight years of cutting billions from services for working families. Making matters worse, Tim Eyman’s Initiative 1053 - bankrolled by oil companies and big banks - requires a 2/3 supermajority vote to pass any new revenue or close tax loopholes.

Despite these challenges, we were able to avoid deep cuts to essential services and made progress closing unjustified tax loopholes. While we’re never satisfied just playing defense, the truth is that we helped prevent things from being much worse.

Here’s our rundown of what happened in Olympia:

The historic:
The biggest accomplishment of 2012 was passing a historic marriage equality law. Washington was only the seventh state in the country to end discrimination against couples based on who they love. This victory was the product of years of organizing by many of our partners, and Fuse members joined in a big way by taking more than 6,000 actions in support of equality. Unfortunately, far-right groups are collecting signatures to put our marriage equality law on the ballot. If they are successful, we will be working hard to uphold this historic law by approving Referendum 74.

The good:
It may not exactly qualify as historic, but we’re very proud that legislators finally closed the infamous tax loophole for Wall Street Banks. This has been one of our top legislative priorities over the last two years. Fuse members’ emails, calls, and lobby visits were critical to making this reform possible.

In the final few hours of negotiations, legislators were also able to pass Rep. Hans Dunshee’s public infrastructure bill that will create 18,000 construction jobs. These investments will help put Washington families back to work and fund long-overdue toxic cleanup, school modernization, and infrastructure improvements.

We also helped advance several other progressive reforms this year and built a foundation for strong reforms next year. Freshman Rep. Laurie Jinkins introduced a bill that would tax capital gains for the wealthiest few in Washington. In addition, Rep. Reuven Carlyle’s bill to sunset all exemptions received a hearing and was widely covered in the media. These bills changed the debate in Olympia about tax loopholes and increased our opportunities for success next year.

The acceptable:
It’s hard to get terribly excited about preventing bad things from happening. But after the devastating budget cuts of the last three years, we feel like working families fared as well as we could have hoped for in this budget. The final budget prevented cuts to education, family planning, food assistance, and Disability Lifeline. As the budget and our overall economy continue to improve, we look forward to going on the offensive to pass stronger progressive reforms.

We also helped block efforts to expand coal exports in Washington. Fuse members pitched in to oppose a bill that would have made it easier for developers and big coal companies to start building projects like coal export facilities before public appeals have been reviewed.

The historically bad:
Three Democratic senators joined Republicans to take over the Senate late on a Friday night at the end of session. Their budget cut deeply into education, disability lifeline, childcare for working families, and other essential services. Conservatives’ secret ploy broke trust between legislators, destroyed efforts to forge a true compromise, and drove us into a costly special session. Fuse members sent more than 3,700 emails to legislators in opposition to the conservative budget. Thankfully, progressives were able to defeat the far-right budget in special session and achieve a more acceptable compromise.

Looking ahead:
While this legislative session was frustrating at times, we were ultimately successful in defeating the conservative senate budget. It also helped make the stakes of the November elections more clear than ever.

When given the opportunity, conservatives passed a budget that showed their true priorities: cutting funding for teachers, kids, health care for working families, and other essential services. At the same time, they prioritized tax loopholes Wall Street Banks and wealthy special interests.

We have an incredible opportunity over the next six months to define what kind of future we want for our state. Do we strengthen working families and create a better future for our kids, or do we let special interests use their deep pockets to rig the system?

This election is an opportunity to hold wealthy special interests accountable and create a better future for our kids. We need to be out there advocating for working families, now through Election Day. Will you join us? Click below to sign up for our 2012 election volunteer team:


The progressive group Fuse Washington issued early endorsements in some state races yesterday, including in Seattle's hotly contested 36th Legislative District (Ballard, Queen Anne) where a pack of Democrats are running to take retiring state Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson's open seat. Fuse endorsed Progressive Majority executive director and founding Washington Bus board member Noel Frame.

Some other Fuse picks: They endorsed Bellevue attorney Cyrus Habib in the Microsoft suburban 48th, where he's running to replace retiring Rep. Deb Eddy; and liberal state Sen. Craig Pridemore (D-49, Vancouver) for state auditor. Pridemore is running against his fellow state legislator Rep. Mark Miloscia (D-30, Federal Way), a labor Democrat, but social conservative.

Fuse Washington released its early endorsements for the 2012 elections, including support for Ballard resident Noel Frame in her race for the 36th Legislative District.

With the help of volunteers, Fuse will raise funds and educate voters about these candidates in the 2012 primary and general election. The full list of Fuse endorsements will be released in the primary Progressive Voters' Guide in mid-July. In 2010, Fuse early-endorsed candidates Joe Fitzgibbon, Tami Green, and Charlie Wiggins.

Fuse Washington released its early endorsements for the 2012 elections today. With only a few weeks left before the filing deadline, many competitive races are already set for the legislature and statewide offices.

Fuse's criteria for early endorsements include:

  • Supporting first time candidates or candidates for higher office who have outstanding leadership qualities and will fight for working families and a better future for our children.
  • Supporting strong progressive candidates in competitive primaries against more conservative opponents.
  • Defending progressive incumbents who face strong challenges.
Fuse will organize volunteers, raise funds, and educate voters about these candidates in the 2012 primary and general election. The full list of Fuse endorsements will be released in the primary Progressive Voters' Guide in mid-July.

36th Legislative District: Noel Frame

Noel Frame is the strongest and best-qualified progressive candidate in a crowded 36 th District race. From her work defending domestic partnerships for gays and lesbians on the Approve R- 71 campaign to electing young people, women, and candidates of color through Progressive Majority, Noel has dedicated her life to creating a more progressive future. She has also increased the amount of awesome in the world as a founding board member of the Washington Bus. Noel's leadership on issues important to her district and the state - like her top priority of fully funding education - will make her a smart and effective progressive champion in Olympia.

You can learn more and join Noel's campaign at: http://noelframe.com/getinvolved


48th Legislative District: Cyrus Habib

Cyrus Habib has a resume to make even the biggest overachiever envious. Having grown up on the mean streets of Bellevue, Cyrus won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford and went on to attend Yale Law School, where he served as editor of the law review. He is very active in his community and is a staunch advocate for public education, transit solutions, and people with disabilities. Cyrus is also a former board member of the Fuse Innovation Fund, which speaks well of him and us. Cyrus would bring a much-needed vision for a progressive future to the legislature.

You can learn more and join Cyrus' campaign at: http://electcyrus.com/


State Auditor: Sen. Craig Pridemore

Craig is the clear progressive choice in the crowded primary for State Auditor. Craig will finally bring oversight and accountability to the billions of dollars in tax loopholes and expenditures on the books in our state. Unlike some of his primary opponents, Craig's values are also in the right place: he's been a consistent defender of women's health, marriage equality, and environmental protections.

You can learn more and join Craig's campaign at: http://craigpridemore.com/


28th Legislative District: Rep. Tami Green

Tami Green is one of the strongest champions for working families and environmental conservation in the legislature. She has fought for education and healthcare services, and her leadership helped raise revenue and bring transparency to tax expenditures. Tami also won the "True Patriot" Fuse Sizzle award in 2010 for her courageous and principled leadership. When she's not vanquishing special interest tax loopholes in the legislature, Tami is a registered nurse dedicated to caring for mentally ill adults and children.

You can learn more and join Tami's campaign at: http://www.tamigreen.com/


47th Legislative District: Bud Sizemore

Bud Sizemore is a professional fire fighter in Kent and the former Mayor Pro-Tem of the City of Covington. Coming from a background in public safety and as a father of a Kent school district student, Bud's perspective and real-world experience would be a valuable addition to the legislature. Bud is challenging Mark Hargrove, a conservative Republican recognized by The Stranger as the “Dumbest Legislator in Washington” for basing his opposition to marriage equality in part on a Jack in the Box commercial. In the 47th District, this Bud's for you.

You can learn more and join Bud's campaign at: http://budsizemore.com/


State Attorney General: Bob Ferguson

Bob Ferguson will return progressive values and a commitment to consumer protection to the Attorney General's office. He brings impeccable legal and social justice credentials to the race. He graduated from New York University Law School and clerked for two federal judges before entering the private sector, where he was part of the legal team that successfully overturned Tim Eyman's initiatives 695 and 722. On the King County Council, Bob is a leader on on on public safety, veterans, and environmental issues. And how can you go wrong with an internationally-rated Chess Master?

You can learn more and join Bob's campaign at: http://electbobferguson.com/


Governor: Rep. Jay Inslee

What can we say? We like Jay. No one in Congress has been a stronger advocate for green jobs and protecting the environment. He has lived in and represented both sides of the state and would bring a well-rounded perspective in Olympia. Jay has also made it a top priority to close unjust tax loopholes and fund quality education, starting with Kindergarten for all. In contrast, Jay's opponent has spent the last two years suing to overturn health care for millions of young people and cut access to family planning for millions of women. Electing Jay Inslee is a top priority for Fuse in 2012.

You can learn more and join Jay's campaign at: http://www.jayinslee.com/