I’m filling in for Dave Ross this week (and next week, March 4th through 6th) on News/Talk 710-KIRO. Here’s the show as it’s shaping up so far:
9AM: Are we becoming prisoners to the War on Drugs?
According to a new study by the Pew Center on the States, 1 in 100 Americans are now behind bars, the highest of any Western nation. Here in WA state, we now spend 55 cents on corrections for every dollar spent on higher education, compared to only 23 cents on the dollar only two decades ago. We’ll ask the question whether this dramatic shift in priority is really making us safer, and how much of this cost is due to our so-called War on Drugs? But first, we’ll chat with Seattle P-I political columnist Joel Connelly reemerging Democratic prospects in formerly one-party Republican states like Alaska, and what lesson this might hold for Democrats in their virtually one-party strongholds like Seattle.
10AM: Will Tim Eyman call in and defend his for-profit initiative business?
Once again efforts to impose transparency and accountability on professional signature gatherers were met with howls of outrage from professional initiative sponsor Tim Eyman and his enablers on our state’s editorial boards, and once again minor reform legislation died quickly in the legislature. Joining me for the hour will be Kristina Wilfore, Executive Director of the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, an organization that seeks to reinvigorate the initiative process while safeguarding it from corruption and fraud. Eyman, who rarely turns down an opportunity to use the media for self-promotion has yet to respond to our calls and emails, but we’re still hoping he’ll have the balls to engage me. We’ll see. He never agreed to come on my show, so I don’t see why he’d talk to me when I’m subbing for Dave.
11AM: Budget crisis? Potential tax hikes? Then why are we still giving away billions in dubious tax breaks?
After the Seattle P-I’s Chris McGann exposed a $1 billion tax giveaway to Microsoft and Yahoo that was quietly making its way through the Legislature, the bill dropped dead in its tracks, but this is only one of the tens of billions of dollars of special interest tax breaks, loopholes and exemptions that drain state coffers, reducing services and shifting the cost of government to the rest of us. Some of these tax “preferences” might make economic sense, though there is currently no audit process to determine if they are delivering on their promises. Marilyn Watkins of the Economic Opportunity Institute joins me for the hour to discuss the extent of the problem, and what we can do to bring greater accountability and efficiency to our tax system.
Tune in this morning (or listen to the live stream) and give me a call: 1-877-710-KIRO (5476).