Legal triumph for the GA, fiery return of the DC for the governor

Washington Legislature 2022, Day 12 of 60

Jerry Cornfield, Everett Herald political reporter: [email protected] | @dospueblos

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OLYMPIA, Jan. 21 — Score another win for Bob Ferguson, this one in state Supreme Court.

Thusday, in a 5-4 decisionhe upheld a mammoth $18 million fine against an association of food industry icons for cheating in an initiative battle in 2013.

Ferguson, the state attorney general, had previously convinced a lower court that the Grocery Manufacturers Association — now dubbed Consumer Brands — broke campaign finance rules by spending millions on a ballot measure without disclosing the source of money. That’s when he got the big fine.

The trade group, with hundreds of members like Coca-Cola and Nestle, argued the sum was excessive, but the majority of the state high court said no.

Ferguson, who hoped to be governor by now, can put that trophy alongside the one he won a year ago with a resounding victory over initiative promoter Tim Eyman. In that case, a judge fined the serial initiative promoter $2.6 million for a treasury of misdeeds in campaign finance.

Meanwhile, Consumer Brands will attempt to make its case in the United States Supreme Court. It goes with Ferguson, who said: “I’m confident we’ll win again.”

By the way, the money is literally in the bank. According to a 2017 court order, the association posted $19.5 million replaces bind.

Is COVID Killing Republicans?

A congressional hearing on how states are coping with COVID soured in a partisan fight Thusday. Gov. Jay Inslee, a guest attendee and former congressman, joined in pointed remarks that misinformation spread by Republican leaders is preventing people from getting vaccinated. This has consequences for the party.

“We have a disproportionate number of Republican Party members dying in my state,” he said. “Now I think if you’re a Republican you would really want to be aggressive to avoid losing your people.”

The governor’s comment is based on analysis showing that at the end of last year, the COVID death rate in the country’s 10 reddest counties was six times higher than the rate in the 10 bluest counties. NPR reported similar findings in December.

Moving

House Bill 1735clarifying the amount of force police can use in their role as community guardians, passed unanimously by the House Public Safety Committee.

It will rewrite provisions of a law passed last year that made officers reluctant or unwilling to help in situations where they might be asked to physically intercede to help someone in crisis seek treatment. The changes make it clear that they can, with reasonable care, use physical force.

House Bill 1751which aims to curb hazing in colleges and universities through proactive student education, House College and Workforce Development authorized in a unanimous vote Thursday.

Below the version that passed, students, as part of their orientation, will receive instruction on the dangers of hazing, which is prohibited in public and private colleges. Information will also be published on the websites of higher education institutions.

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Defeat the Journalists: Jerry Cornfield (Herald) | Rachel LaCorte (PA) | Joseph O’Sullivan (Hours) | Jim Brunner (Hours) | Austin Jenkins (NW Information Network) | Melissa Santos (cross section) | Shauna Sowerby (McClatchy Newspapers) | Laurel Demkovich (Spokesperson-Review)


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