In a sense, the two major statewide ballot issues yesterday were both

In a sense, the two major statewide ballot issues yesterday were both traffic initiatives. Tim Eyman’s effort to control highway tolls and derail mass transit is fittingly failing. Meanwhile good citizen Costco has apparently succeeded in increasing the roadway carnage with passage of its liquor-privatization measure.As well, all incumbent Seattle City Council members easily steered around their opposition, assuring the snarled city of continued gridlock everywhere but on those ever-intruding bike paths . The results from yesterday’s Election 2011 left the I-1125 tolling plan trailing 49 to 51 percent, with another count update due today.The I-1183 liquor privatization measure – essentially a corporate plot underwritten by Costco’s $22 million campaign donation – was winning 60-40.That means booze sales to the public at Costco and other stores as well as small mom-and-pop operations (true), are likely to begin in June. State officials estimate the number of statewide sales outlets will increase from the current 328 state stores to 1,428 retail outlets.But that doesn’t include perhaps hundreds of outlets that could take advantage of the Costco Law loophole, which allows small stores to operate in an undefined gray zone.As the law says, the Liquor Control Board “shall not deny” a liquor license to stores under 10,000 feet if there is no other liquor retailer in the “trade area,” which is yet to be definitively defined.Though in turn hundreds of state liquor employees will lose their jobs, at least their union spokesperson, Tom Geiger, got the answer to his question: “If a private company decides to spend tens of millions of dollars to pass a new law, to buy an election, can they do it?”They not only did, fattening their bottom line, they’re getting money back. As the Times notes this morning, only $18.5 million of Costco’s $22.7 million donation was spent on the campaign, and officials said the $4 million difference will be returned, “presumably to Costco.”

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

More in News & Comment

Auburn police officer Jeffrey Nelson. File photo.
Auburn police officer’s story conflicts with eyewitness account

Jeffrey Nelson faces trial in the killing of Jesse Sarey.

The former Econo Lodge in Kent is a King County Isolation and Quarantine Facility for COVID-19 patients. FILE PHOTO, Kent Reporter
Man dies at Kent COVID-19 isolation and quarantine facility

Found dead in room at former hotel during routine medical staff check

Inquest hearing for Kent man fatally shot by Seattle Police set for March

Four officers to testify in April 2017 shooting that killed Damarius Butts, 19

Seattle East DDC facility front (Photo by Cameron Sheppard/Sound Publishing)
Seattle East DDC facility front (Photo by Cameron Sheppard/Sound Publishing)
U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene urges Postmaster General to reconsider closing Eastside mail facility

Workers at the East DDC in Redmond are concerned about how the closure would impact mail service.

K9 Beny stands before the 75 pounds of pills found in a vehicle on Jan. 14. Photo courtesy of the California Highway Patrol
Federal Way woman arrested in record-setting fentanyl bust in California

Driver and passenger found transporting $3M worth of pills.

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-WA, who pushed for broadband funding in Washington schools. (Screenshot from
American Rescue Plan Act funding approved for broadband investments in WA schools

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray pushed for the funding, which will benefit several King County school districts.

Courtesy photo
State offers free at-home COVID-19 tests

You can order the tests through the state’s new online portal.

Sen. Mona Das, D-47
Kent Democratic Sen. Mona Das proposes 1% cut in state sales tax

Starting in 2023; Republicans voice support for Senate Bill 5932

Federal Way police arrest suspect in fatal carjacking

35-year-old Tacoma man charged with murder in “random, brutal and senseless carjacking,” prosecutors say.

Most Read