Hell freezes over: Times columnist comes out against estate tax repeal

To the best of my knowledge, Danny Westneat has now established himself as the only news or editorial columnist at the Seattle Times to come out against I-920, their boss’s estate tax repeal initiative.

The worst is Initiative 920, to repeal the state estate tax. Paid for by a handful of multimillionaires, it slashes taxes for a handful of multimillionaires. The kicker: It all comes out of the hide of education, just as schools are laying off librarians or cramming 30-plus kids in classes. If ever an initiative deserved a thrashing, this is it.

Of course, the most vocal of these millionaires is Times publisher Frank Blethen. Nobody could possibly believe that there is uniformity of opinion on this issue over at the Times, but until now, nobody has had the nerve to publicly break ranks.

Danny and I don’t always see eye to eye, but I’ve always respected his work. This reminds me why.


  1. 2

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Maybe Westneat just came into a legacy. Bet no one at the Spokesman-Review will “break ranks.” They need their paychecks.

  2. 3

    ivan spews:

    More likely Fancher persuaded Frank that they’d have to have at least one of their columnists oppose 920 so they wouldn’t *all* look like the total tools that they really are.

    Now than can say “See? Frank doesn’t tell our columnists what to write.” Or “See, news *is* separate fropm editorial.”

  3. 4

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Westeneat also came out against Nickels’ bridge and street levy. I beat him to it by several weeks. As I’ve previously posted on HA, I don’t see why Hizzoner needs $1.8 billion of new taxes to clear a $500 million backlog of bridge and street repairs.

  4. 5

    Mark The Redneck KENNEDY spews:

    Why don’t you freeloadering moonbats just pay your fair share? Problem solved. Why do you think The Producers should bear a disproportionate share? Makes no fucking sense…I thought you guys were for fairness.

  5. 6

    brady spews:

    Producers? What exactly, besides personal wealth for the beneficiary and banker does an inheritance sitting in multiple financial institutions around the world produce? Capitol gains tax is already lower than income tax, so there’s an existing palm-greasing for the wealthy. Don’t cling to the canard that the money is used by the financiers to fuel the economy- when the same mechanics are a result of the funds being dispersed by any means of dispersal…like redirection into the market place through taxation. I’ve owned a small business in the Puget Sound area for 15 years, and can say that most of the very successful people I’ve come to meet and work for are liberal. And they understand that with their good fortune comes a responsibility–to gladly pay their fair share. Now having said that, there is an argument to be made that the portion of the accumulated wealth which has been subjected to income tax, should be immune to further penalty. And remember, old golfers never die. They just lose their balls.

  6. 8

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Car and housing sales are slumping, interest rates are rising, inflation is a concern, and many economists predict a recession within the next year two years. Go ahead and run on the economy, Republicans! I dare you! I think McGavick should run ads asking people to vote their pocketbooks!

  7. 9

    Roger Rabbit spews:


    Economics pre-101:

    The economy really does fluctuate.
    Unemployment really does go up (or down).
    Interest rates fluctuate, too
    Inflation is a man-made phenomenon, not an act of God or nature.

  8. 10

    rhp6033 spews:

    This was just so hilarious.


    We all remember Ted Stevens, the Republican senator from Alaska, who vowed to get even with Maria Cantwell when she dared to stand up to him in the Senate regarding votes on oil drilling in the Artic Wildlife Refuge and his proposal to increase supertanker traffic in the Puget Sound. He is also a lead person on the Senate committees to investigate and regulate the internet, despite not knowing anything about it himself. He also has made something of a name of himself as he and his families have been surrounded by scandals recently, mostly related to using political office for private gain.

    Well, somebody started a website: http://www.tedstevens.net, which purported to list all the scandals. This made Ted Stevens very angry, and he took time in the Senate to call it “identity theft”.

    But what disturbed the Cantwell campaign was that the owner of the domain was listed as “M. Cantwell” with a Seattle P.O. box as an address. They knew they had nothing to do with the site, so they started to investigate.

    What they finally discovered was that the site was not owned by anyone connected with the Cantwell campaign. It wasn’t even owned by some independent person with an itch to take a jab at Stevens, or by anyone from Washington State. Instead, it was owned by – get this – a former staffer of Senator Stevens, Joel Yarmon of Anchorage, who resigned from the Senator’s office last July.

    And a check on this staffer shows an interesting connection: He was co-interns in 2002 on Steven’s staff with Elliot Bundy, who is now the top press aid to – wait for it – Mike McGavick, Cantwell’s opponant in the 2006 Senatorial election!

    Of course, Mike McGavick’s campaign (and Bundy) deny any connection with Yarmon or the site. Perhaps so, because I would have thought that if it was a dirty trick by them (to goad Stevens even further), or to make it look like Cantwell’s campaign was playing dirty politics, then it seems they would have played that card sooner.

    But it is hillarious. Ted Stevens is so outraged that someone stoll his name, and it turns out to be someone from his own staff! And despite being on the committee that “regulates” the internet, it takes the Cantwell campaign to be able to find out who really owns the site!

  9. 12

    GBS spews:

    @ 19:

    There you go again, whinning like a pussy-whipped conservative.

    Whhaaaaaa Whhaaaaa Whhaaaaaa.

    Of course it doesn’t make any fucking sense to you; you have no fucking idea how the economy works.

    Ass lick.

  10. 13

    Proud to be an Ass spews:

    Just for you, Daddy Love,


    Three guys decide to play a round of golf: a priest, a psychologist, and an economist. They get behind a VERY slow two-some, who, despite a caddy, are taking all day to line up their shots and four-putting every green, and so on. By the 8th hole, the three guys are complaining loudly about the slow play ahead and swearing a blue streak, and so on. The priest says, “Holy Mary, I pray that they should take some lessons before they play again.” The psychologist says, “I swear there are people that like to play golf slowly.” The economist says, “I realy didnt expect to spend this much time playing a round of golf.”

    By the 9th hole, they have had it with slow play, so the psychologist goes to the caddy and demands that th ey be allowed to play through. The caddy says O.K., but then explains that the two golfers are blind, that both are retired firemen who lost their eyesight saving people in a fire, and that explains their slow play, and would they please not swear and co mplain so loud.

    The priest is mortified; he says, “Here I am a man of the cloth and I’ve been swearing at the slow play of two blind men.” The psychologist is also mortified; he says, “Here I am a man trained to help others with their problems and I’v e been complaining about the slow play of two blind men.”

    The economist ponders the situation–finally he goes back to the caddy and says, “Listen, the next time could they play at night.”


  11. 14

    stedman spews:

    Does the Times really have a writer by the name of, “Lance Dickie”? Oprah says my sense of humor can be juvenile. I need 50 bucks. Where the hell is she?

  12. 16

    righton spews:

    You commies always fib and say its “for the children”.

    Its just a campign gimmick you guys trot out. You really just want the money.

  13. 17

    Daddy Love spews:

    1 RR

    I get the weird feeling sometimes that economists collude by having half of them take the pessimistic side of the economic forecast and half the optimistic, just so they can stay in business. I don’t really believe it, but that’s what I get for having too little economic education.

  14. 18

    GBS spews:


    Safavian sentenced to 18 months in jail
    Judge notes ‘abuse of public trust’, desire to ‘hang out with the big boys’

    Safavian openly wept in court as he asked for leniency . . .

    JCH, MTR, Klake, Puddybud, MWS, ChristmasGhost, HowCanYouBeProudToBeAnAss, Janet S. (aka anonymous):

    Can any of you explain why conservative men are such raging pussies?

    Is it because all of you were insecure, snot nosed, little whiney shits as children?

    Jesus Fucking Christ you guys are the biggest collection of little, crying ass, pussy-whipped, ass wipes I’ve ever seen.

    No wonder the terrorist have ZERO respect for Americans. Every time they turn on the TV there’s some Republican crying his little fucking eyes out.

    It looks like the Soccer Mom’s need to wipe the bottoms of their so called “men,” powder their bottoms and put on fresh diapers.

    It might be a good time to invest in Pampers because come this January when Speaker Pelosi has subpoena powers there’s going to be a lot more Republicans whining like the pussies they are.

  15. 19

    popeye spews:

    “…Elliot Bundy, top press aide to…”

    Just out of curiosity, is he related to long-ago Dan Evans staffer Theodore “Ted” Bundy who went on to make a name fior himself as a serial killer?

  16. 21

    Daddy Love spews:

    Speakign of funny:

    “Asked why he had decided to stay the course of refusing to use the phrase “stay the course,” the president said, “If I didn’t stay the course of refusing to use the phrase ‘stay the course,’ it would send a confusing message, and I am trying to do the opposite of that.”

    While reaffirming his decision to no longer use the phrase “stay the course,” Mr. Bush had more positive things to say about the phrase “cut and run,” which will continue to appear in his speeches on Iraq.”

    “I have no intention of cutting and running from the phrase ‘cut and run,'” the president vowed.