Welcome to the new normal, buttercups! Last year’s election changed the rules for this year’s crop of state solons, and they’re not taking any guff from the ever-dwindling Olympia press corps. No, the scribes will just have to understand who’s in charge and how stuff works. The snowflakes in the House and Senate won’t stand for impertinence.
That includes questions like “when,” as in, when will Senate Republicans release their long-awaited school-funding plan to address a Supreme Court mandate?
As The Fishwrap’s own Mighty Melissa Santos noted this week, state Sen. Mark Schoesler, leader of the upper chamber’s Republican majority, replied to said question from a reporter with a brushback: “None of your business.”
Brilliant! That’s exactly the tone electeds need to strike in the face of journalistic belligerence. “When” is part of a long list of biased questions, along with “What,” “Where” and “Why.” Hey, that stuff’s private!
You know it’s a dumb question when state Sen. Mike Bombthrower — oops, Baumgartner — the pride of Spokane’s suburbs, steps in to say so. He’s got a statewide rep for thoughtful commentary, which is why he labeled the exchange “cringe embarrassing for WA journos” on Twitter, known to all the world as the ideal platform for thoughtful commentary.
Who cares if lawmakers have been struggling with this education funding thing since forever (OK, since 2012), and racking up $100,000 per day in fines? Maybe one day they’ll get around to revealing a plan, in their own sweet time. Until then, the press corps’ job is simple: Accept the occasional spoon-fed rhetoric at news conferences, dutifully write it down, don’t ask questions and be grateful for the opportunity.
Asterisk: OK, so Schoesler, actually not known for teeing off on newsies, posted a sort of mea culpa Wednesday on the Senate Republican Caucus Leadership Blog, or as it’s sometimes called, Ghostwriter Central.
Referring to the questioner as “a freelance writer” (ooohh, a sick burn), Schoesler said, “I barked at him, which was out of character.” He added that he should have replied in the manner of noted lawmaker and Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, and said, “Relax,” which was not, repeat, not a reference to the old ’80s song about something quite different.
Eight is enough? The contest for a vacant seat on the Tacoma City Council is reaching new heights of tension. An initial crowd of 55 applicants for the seat emptied by mayoral candidate Victoria Woodards is down to eight, thanks to the efforts of a four-member committee of City Council members who get to pick their new playmate.
Will it be ex-member Lauren Walker they welcome back to the council treehouse? Or one of seven other well-meaning professional types who might or might not run for re-election to the seat?
Some current members say they want a temp who promises not to run. Others say it doesn’t matter. Either way, as history shows, this council cares big-time about the appearance of harmony and the avoidance of robust debate. Maybe one of the Elite Eight can bring a salt-shaker to the process.
Alas, the final roster cut also ended playoff aspirations for Sonics Guy, aka Kris Brannon. Nuts. It would have been a hoot to see him shake and bake with Mayor Marilyn Strickland. Keep the flame alive, Sonics Guy!
Excelsior! The Sniffbox always delivers new opportunities. The latest comes from someone named Josefina, who claims to be the personnel manager of a large International Company.
“Most of the work you can do from home, that is, at a distance,” Josefina says, adding, “Salary is $2700-$5100.”
What a hot tip! And think of the latitude — working at home AND from a distance — clearly a dream job. Watch this space for future developments. If you don’t see any, keep your eyes peeled for the emergence of a new corporate titan with a prominent beak. Who knows what the future holds?