Elections, Crime, and the Media

ELECTIONS

The harsh fiscal realities are staring Rep. George Nethercutt, R-Spokane, in the face just as he rises to the top of the GOP's wish list of opponents for Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, in next year's U.S. Senate race. Last week, Murray and Nethercutt both filed their first-quarter fund-raising reports. Murray raised an impressive $728,418, while Nethercutt brought in a puny $44,412. Murray is also far ahead in cash on hand, with $1.6 million to Nethercutt's $82,283.

Money will be an important consideration for Nethercutt as he ponders whether to jump into the race. He will need to raise around $10 million, far more than he'd need to defend his own seatin 2002, he only raised $916,555 to get re-elected to the House.

TRANSPORTATION

Dead on arrival. That's the diagnosis from King County Council member Dwight Pelz, D-Seattle, of the ailing Regional Transportation Investment District (RTID), the tri-county taxing authority that was supposed to send a transportation tax measure to the ballot this November. In a wide-ranging discussion at Seattle Central Community College Monday night, Pelz said the RTID was definitely "not going to be on the ballot in '03," contrary to recent reports that the counties could still pull out an eleventh-hour proposal. Why the holdup? Blame the state Legislature: Measures that would have changed RTID to single out certain roads in Snohomish and Pierce counties for funds and allow Pelz's pet project, Sound Transit's light rail, to receive RTID funds died when the legislative clock ran out. And without transit, Pelz insists, the RTID will never fly in King County. "Until the legislation is fixed, it will not be utilized," Pelz said.

CRIME

Washington State Bar Association investigators have determined that suburban prosecutor-for-hire Margita Dornay "appears to have committed a criminal act, perjury," which could lead to a disciplinary hearing for the prosecutor, who had an affair with a King County deputy sheriff (see "Trials and Tribulations," Sept. 20, 2002). The bar's review, which has not been made public, found that Dornay, who served as prosecutor in Kirkland and other cities that contract with her Issaquah law firm, gave false testimony on behalf of boyfriend/deputy David Hicks at a child custody hearing last year. That was before the two ended an affair and Dornay sought a restraining order against Hicks; subsequently, a wary judge ordered Hicks not to carry a gun, and his department was obliged to fire the unarmed deputy. Who says the burbs are dull?

MEDIA

The battle for Iraq may be all but finished, but the homefront war against "hate radio" station KVI-AM is still going strong. A loose coalition of peace activists maintains that the conservative talk-jocks at KVI have organized listeners to disrupt peace protests around the Seattle area, so the activists have fought back by mounting a grassroots boycott of the station's advertisers. KVI program director Paul Duckworth says one advertiser has stopped airing ads on the station as a result of the boycott.

ebarnett@seattleweekly.com

 
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