Tag Archives: Washington State

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray proposes income tax for city’s ‘high-end’ households

ed murray

A sure-fire way to get re-elected: Another tax

The devil is in the “high-end” number, which Murray doesn’t define.

And this proposed tax, combined with his alleged sexual assault allegation, just may not get Murray re-elected. But then again, it’s socialist Seattle.

From Seattle Times: Seattle Mayor Ed Murray will propose a city income tax on “high-end” households, he said Thursday night during a forum for mayoral candidates. On stage with six challengers in a Lake City church, Murray said he would send a proposal in the “next few weeks” for a City Council vote. He didn’t offer many details.

 “We all know that Washington state has a regressive tax system,” Murray told a crowd at the forum hosted by the 46th District Democrats.

“We can all argue about what we’re going to do about it. Those discussions have been going on since I was a kid in this city. But what I’m going to send to council is a proposal for a high-end income tax.”

Thursday’s event was the first such candidates’ forum in the 2017 race for mayor and came two weeks after a 46-year-old Kent man sued Murray for alleged child sexual abuse decades ago.

The mayor has adamantly denied the accusation and similar allegations made by two other men, who also claim Murray abused them as teenagers in the 1980s. Murray has vowed to remain in his job and continue running for a second term.

This week, former Mayor Mike McGinn and urban planner Cary Moon declared bids. They joined Murray at Thursday’s forum, along with educator and activist Nikkita Oliver, who entered the race earlier.

The mayor’s income-tax proposal came as a surprise to many in the crowd and seemingly to McGinn, who in launching his campaign Monday had called for an income tax.

For weeks, a coalition of local organizations led by the Transit Riders Union has been drumming up support for a city income tax under the slogan Trump Proof Seattle.

When asked about the campaign previously, Murray said he had supported the idea at the state level when he was a lawmaker in Olympia, but stopped short of backing Trump Proof Seattle, describing it as ill-fitted to pay for immediate needs.

Washington has long lacked an income tax because of a restrictive state law and voters have said no to statewide proposals before. A 2010 statewide initiative proposing a high-earners tax was defeated.

A Seattle tax likely would be challenged in court and could serve as a legal test case with statewide implications. “It’s going to be challenged,” Murray told the crowd Thursday. “It’s too soon to cheer … But if we win in court and we can get that high-end income tax we can shift our regressive taxes on sales tax and on property tax onto that high-end income tax.”

Asked after the forum to clarify his plan, the mayor said the income tax would be accompanied by reductions in other taxes that hit poorer people harder. During his term as mayor, Murray has backed a number of property- and sales-tax hikes.

The income tax wouldn’t be completely revenue neutral because some of the new revenue would be set aside to backfill potential cuts in federal funding by the Trump administration, Murray said.

“He didn’t steal it. I think he finally saw the wisdom of the idea,” McGinn said after the forum, reacting to Murray’s proposal. “Elections have a way if doing that sometimes.”

Murray said his initial plan is to propose a resolution stating the city’s intent to pass an income tax rather than an actual ordinance putting it into effect. That could potentially leave open the option of asking voters to weigh in later on the ballot.

Oliver declined to immediately comment on Murray’s proposal. Moon answered during a lightning round that she would not support a local income tax. Also taking part in the forum were Jason Roberts, Mary Martin and Alex Tsimerman.

During the lightning round, every candidate expressed support for allowing more duplexes and triplexes in neighborhoods now zoned for single-family houses, including Murray, who put forward and then quickly withdrew such a change in 2015.

DCG

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Seattle, King County councils approve $1.3 million in legal aid for immigrants

lorena gonzalez

Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher: Proposed using your tax payer dollars to defend illegal aliens

Suck it, taxpayers. Your hard-earned money is going to defend illegal aliens whether you approve or not.

From Seattle Times: The Seattle City Council on Monday voted to create a $1 million legal-defense fund for immigrants illegal aliens whom the federal government attempts to deport. And the Metropolitan King County Council approved $750,000 for immigrant and refugee programs, including $300,000 for the defense of people in immigration court.

The city and county will distribute the money to nonprofit organizations such as the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project to do the legal work.

City and county leaders have said local immigrant families need the help because of President Donald Trump’s plan to step up deportations.

Immigration-court cases are civil proceedings because living in the country illegally is a civil violation rather than a criminal one. Unlike in criminal cases, people who can’t afford to hire an attorney for immigration court aren’t guaranteed a public defender.

More than one-third of people with immigration-court cases in Seattle and more than 90 percent of those with cases in Tacoma lack legal representation, according to Councilmember M. Lorena González, who proposed the city fund with Councilmember Tim Burgess.

People convicted of crimes wouldn’t be excluded from getting support through the city’s fund in their unrelated immigration-court cases, according to Gonzalez and Burgess. Burgess said Monday that everyone should be afforded due process, including people facing potential deportation.

The city’s fund is separate from $250,000 Seattle is spending to help immigrants and refugees navigate life under Trump, with a focus on children in the city’s public schools.

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Washington State agrees to pay $3M to family of boy killed by convicted felon/gang member in 2010

Alajawan Brown

The killer had EIGHT prior felonies for assault and was walking free. Unbelievable.

From Seattle Times: The state Department of Corrections (DOC) has agreed to pay $3 million to settle a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by the parents of a 12-year-old Skyway boy shot in the back by a known gang member on community supervision.

Alajawan Brown stepped off a Metro bus on April 29, 2010, after buying a pair of football cleats with money he made doing lawn work for neighbors.

Curtis Walker — a longtime member of the Blood Pirus street gang who had been in a shootout with a group of Crips gang members at a nearby apartment complex minutes earlier — got out of his car, which was stopped at a red light, and fired twice at Alajawan, striking the boy once in the back.

Alajawan died in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven at South 129th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way South, less than two miles from his home. Wearing a blue-and-black jacket, the colors worn by the Crips, his death was a case of mistaken identity.

After a three-week trial in early 2012, Walker, now 42, was found guilty of first-degree murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and was sentenced to 50 years in prison. Walker, who had eight prior convictions for felony assault, tried to pin Alajawan’s death on another man.

But it wasn’t until Walker’s sentencing hearing in March 2012 that Alajawan’s parents, Ayanna and Louis Brown, learned Walker was on DOC supervision for a drug crime and was barred from possessing firearms, said attorney Nate Roberts, who with co-counsel Evan Fuller represented the Browns in their wrongful-death suit, which was settled on Thursday.

DOC spokesman Jeremy Barclay said Alajawan’s death was a tragic loss, but he declined to comment on the specifics of Walker’s community supervision. The department was represented in the lawsuit by the state Attorney General’s Office.

“The department was able to achieve this week’s resolution as a result of the collaborative effort of the Attorney General’s Office and the attorneys representing the Brown family, and for that we are grateful,” Barclay said Friday.

In summer 2012, Ayanna and Louis Brown were profiled in The Seattle Times after they founded the Alajawan Brown Foundation, also known as Alajawan’s Hands. In memory of their son, the couple set up a scholarship fund, and offer tutoring services and hold annual drives to collect backpacks and school supplies, which are then given to low-income schoolchildren in the Renton School District.

The Browns filed their wrongful-death lawsuit against DOC in King County Superior Court in November 2014. DOC argued in court that the lawsuit was filed after the three-year statute of limitations had run out, and a judge agreed, dismissing the suit. The Browns then appealed to the state Court of Appeals.

In December, a panel of appellate judges unanimously sided with the Browns, holding that the clock didn’t start ticking on the statute of limitations until Walker was found guilty of Alajawan’s murder. “The identity of the killer was in question until the verdict was reached,” Roberts said.

After the Browns hired Roberts and Fuller, the attorneys filed a public-disclosure request with DOC and learned Walker “had a lot of law-enforcement contact while on supervision,” Roberts said. They also received an entry from the DOC’s computer system that showed a concerned citizen had phoned Walker’s community-corrections officer eight days before Alajawan was killed and reported that Walker had assaulted his girlfriend, threatened her with a gun and was believed to be selling marijuana out of his apartment, Roberts said. But nothing was done, he said.

Walker routinely refused to answer the door when his community-corrections officer attempted to make home visits — also a flagrant violation of his supervision, according to Roberts.

“They let him have way too long of a leash. He’s a known gang member, and he’s doing the two things he’s absolutely not allowed to be doing — selling drugs and possessing firearms — and they let him get away with it,” Roberts said. “It’s maddening to see that.”

For the Browns, the lawsuit was a way to hold DOC accountable for its deficient supervision of Walker.

“It’s bittersweet,” Roberts said of the settlement. “They’re happy this chapter in the book is closed, but it also brings back this crippling grief. They would give everything in the world to have another day with their boy,” he said.

DCG

Chick-fil-A announces two more Seattle-area locations

chick fil a lynnwood

People camped out for the opening of the Lynnwood Chick-Fil-A

Liberals hardest hit.

From Seattle Times: The extremely popular (and sometimes controversial) Chick-fil-A chain has announced plans for two new Seattle-area branches: Bothell and Federal Way (exact locations TBA). Kirkland and Puyallup are still slated to get their own outlets for the fast-food fried-chicken-sandwich in 2017 as well. The company had promised an announcement of four to five more Washington branches at the beginning of this year, but no word on any others yet (nor on opening dates for the ones in the works).

The Bellevue franchise of Chick-fil-A opened to camping-out crowds (and subsequent traffic problems) in the spring of 2015, with Tacoma, Lynnwood, and Vancouver, Washington, branches following.

And the obligatory anti-Chick-fil-A statement from the liberal Seattle Times:

If you’re interested in exploring other options, here are four great local fried-chicken sandwiches that aren’t Chick-fil-A. And here’s one more that might just be the best around.

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Canadian SJW destroys college pro-life display at WSU

Watch the video to obtain all the details about this SJW’s butt hurt and how he used his “white male privilege” to destroy the display.

If you are on Twitter, be sure to send the SJW Keaton a tweet. Here’s his Twitter page.

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Hundreds of immigrant detainees at Tacoma ICE facility on hunger strike, activists say

concerned face

From Seattle Times: As many as 400 immigrant detainees at the Northwest Detention Center have refused meals for a second day, according to activists, while federal immigration officials prepare to invoke a hunger-strike protocol that could result in forced treatment of inmates who continue to refuse nourishment.

A group of immigration and Latino activists rallied outside the Tacoma detention facility for the second night while inside they said hundreds of detainees facing deportation have refused to eat. Some of those with jobs inside the privately run facility have stopped working, said Maru Mora Villalpando with the group NWDC Resist, an anti-detention group led by undocumented immigrants illegal aliens inside the detention center.

On Monday, the group presented the detention center with a written list of demands, mostly involving living conditions in the detention center, including the quality of food, access to medical care and lowering of commissary prices.

What began with a handful of protesters has turned into a hunger strike involving hundreds of detainees, Villalpando said Tuesday. “So far, so good,” she said. She said the estimated number of participants has been determined through telephone and email contacts with detainees throughout the facility.

The detention center, operated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) through a private contractor, GEO Group, contains more than 1,500 detainees.

Rose Richeson, a spokeswoman for ICE, has referred to the protest as a “meal refusal involving a number of detainees who have chosen not to eat meals provided by the cafeteria.” Some continue to eat food purchased from the commissary, she said.

Richeson said Tuesday that the “number of detainees refusing prepared meals at the NWDC continues to decline.”

So far, she said, “none of the detainees has missed a sufficient number of meals to be considered on a hunger strike.”

Those who have refused any food are being monitored. Once they have gone 72 hours without food — sometime Wednesday for those who began the strike Monday — the agency will initiate a hunger-strike protocol that will allow the detainees to be referred to the medical department for monitoring “and possible treatment.”

“Individuals on a hunger strike will continue to be offered three meals daily and provided with an adequate supply of drinking water and other beverages. They will also be counseled about the related medical risks,” according to Richeson.

DCG

Latest firearm legislation in Washington state focuses on protecting victims

drew hansen]

Brainchild of this bill, Drew Hansen

Victims in Seattle of serious crimes wait for more than an hour for police assistance. Also, Seattle neighborhoods hire their own security because police are a rare sighting in their areas. Color me skeptical that the police (at least in the larger cities) are well equipped and staffed to notify a domestic violence survivor in a timely manner.

From MyNorthwest.com: In 2014, Washington State voters approved universal background checks for gun buyers. But what happens to felons, domestic abusers and others who fail those background checks and illegally try to buy a gun? Not much, as it turns out. However, there’s an effort in Olympia to change that.

The idea behind House Bill 1501 began with a conversation between State Representative Drew Hansen (D-Bainbridge Island) and another lawmaker last year.

“If a criminal tries to buy a firearm from a gun store and fails a background check, does law enforcement get notified? Do domestic violence survivors get notified if criminals are ineligible because of a restraining order? Do cops on the street get notified?” Hansen asked. “The answers to those questions are no, no, and no. Our bill makes the answers to those questions yes, yes, and yes.”

The bill adds teeth to the universal background check law. “We had over 3,000 failed background checks in Washington state last year,” Hansen said. “About half of which were failed because the purchaser was a criminal or fugitive … That is a lot of dangerous people trying to buy firearms.”

“If you walk into a gun store and you know you’re ineligible and you try to buy a firearm anyway and get caught and turned down, there should be an investigation, an arrest, and, in appropriate cases, prison time.”

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg agrees. When voters passed universal background check law, there was an implied understanding that there would be consequences for someone who fails a background check, he said.

Hansen says one of the key parts of the legislation is making sure victims, especially domestic violence survivors, are notified when their abuser is trying to arm themselves.

Lying on an application is a felony, and under federal law punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Right now, however, there really isn’t much follow up happening. The legislation would target domestic abusers, felons, people who have been involuntary committed, and people with warrants.

It would also require failed background checks to be reported to local law enforcement. The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs would also maintain a statewide system to handle the notifications for domestic-violence survivors.

State grants would help local police agencies pay for the needed follow-up. Prosecutors and local law-enforcement agencies, including the Seattle Police Department, support the legislation. Hansen says they worked closely with the National Rifle Association to ensure Second Amendment rights were protected.

Hansen says it passed out of the House with overwhelming bipartisan support — so he’s hopeful they’ll get this one on the books this session.

DCG