Legal triumph for the AG, fiery D.C. return for the governor

Here’s what’s happening on Day 12 of the 2022 session of the Washington Legislature.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112

2022 Washington Legislature, Day 12 of 60

Everett Herald political reporter Jerry Cornfield: | @dospueblos

Want this in your inbox Monday-Wednesday-Friday? Subscribe here.

OLYMPIA, Jan. 21 — Chalk up another win for Bob Ferguson, this one at the state Supreme Court.

On Thursday, in a 5-4 ruling, it upheld a ginormous $18 million fine against an association of food industry icons for cheating during a 2013 initiative battle.

Ferguson, the state attorney general, had already convinced a lower court that the Grocery Manufacturers Association — now dubbed Consumer Brands — broke campaign finance rules when it spent millions of dollars against a ballot measure without disclosing the source of the money. That’s when he secured the big fine.

The trade group, with hundreds of members of the likes of Coca-Cola and Nestle, contended that sum was excessive, but the majority on the state’s high court said no.

Ferguson, who had hoped to be governor by now, can put this trophy alongside one picked up a year ago with a resounding win against initiative promoter Tim Eyman. In that case, a judge fined the pesky serial initiative promoter $2.6 million for a trove of campaign finance misdeeds.

Meanwhile, Consumer Brands will try to make its case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Fine with Ferguson, who said, “I’m confident we would prevail again.”

By the way, the money is literally in the bank. Per a 2017 court order, the association posted a $19.5 million supersedeas bond.

Is COVID killing Republicans?

A congressional hearing on how states are coping with COVID deteriorated into a partisan brawl Thursday. Gov. Jay Inslee, an invited participant and a former congressman, joined in with pointed remarks that misinformation spread by Republican leaders is steering people away from getting vaccinated. It has consequences for the party.

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

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

On the move

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

This will rewrite provisions of a law passed last year that had officers hesitating or refusing to assist in situations where they might be asked to physically intercede to help a person in crisis get treatment. Changes make clear they can, with reasonable care, use physical force.

House Bill 1751, which aims to curb hazing at colleges and universities through proactive education of students, cleared the House College and Workforce Development on a unanimous vote Thursday.

Under the version that passed, students, as part of their orientation, will get instruction on the dangers of hazing, which is outlawed at public and private colleges. Information will also be posted on websites of higher education institutions.

To subscribe to the Cornfield Report, go to | Previous Cornfield Reports here.


News clippings

Compiled by: House Democrats | House Republicans



Non-profit TVW covers state government in Olympia and selected events statewide. Programs are available for replay on the internet, and the channel is widely available on Washington cable systems.

TVW schedule | Current and recent video | Shows



Contact your legislator | District lookup | Bill lookup

Legislature home | House | Senate

Caucuses: House Democrats | House Republicans | Senate Democrats | Senate Republicans

Office of the Governor

Laws and agency rules

Beat reporters: Jerry Cornfield (Herald) | Rachel La Corte (AP) | Joseph O’Sullivan (Times) | Jim Brunner (Times) | Austin Jenkins (NW News Network) | Melissa Santos (Crosscut) | Shauna Sowersby (McClatchy newspapers) | Laurel Demkovich (Spokesman-Review)

Talk to us

More in Local News

A woman was struck by a car while crossing HIghway 99 on Dec. 2, 2021. (Lynnwood Police Department)
Woman charged in Highway 99 death of Lynnwood pedestrian, 72

Prosecutors allege Tachelle Thomas was under the influence of THC when she hit and killed Fozieh Shirdelhefzabad, 72, in 2020.

Election season about to get real as candidate filing begins

It will be an intriguing year in Snohomish County politics, as retirements open seats and redistricting stirs competition.

Nonprofit offers free mental wellness event for local teens

The Saturday gathering at EvCC, sponsored by Leadership Launch, is for teens in eighth grade through college.

The Snohomish County Sheriff's Office released this redacted photo of a suspect in connection with a shooting after he was taken into custody Monday. (Snohomish County Sheriff)
1 shot, 1 arrested after gunfire on 164th south of Everett

Sheriff’s deputies were investigating what led to the shooting around 11:40 a.m. near I-5.

A fatal accident the afternoon of Dec. 18 near Clinton ended with one of the cars involved bursting into flames. The driver of the fully engulfed car was outside of the vehicle by the time first responders arrived at the scene. (Whidbey News-Times/Submitted photo)
Lynnwood woman accused of killing 2 in 2021 Whidbey crash

A judge found probable cause existed to believe Danielle C. Cruz committed vehicular homicide in December.

Water heaters that are not up to code are visible from the hallway on Wednesday, May 11, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Even after housing ‘nightmare,’ new tenants pay more at Grand Apartments

Dimension, a real estate company, bullied longtime tenants and ignored urgent requests for repairs, former residents said.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mukilteo in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Mukilteo man missing for over 24 hours found dead

Kook Byung Choi, 84, was found in woods near where he went missing in Mukilteo.

‘Prepper’ arrested in Everett after grenade, explosives found

The suspect was described as “anti-government,” police wrote. He remained in custody Monday.

Justin Blasko
Report on Monroe superintendent’s conduct delivered to school board

Employees accused Justin Blasko of fomenting a hostile workplace. Findings won’t be public for about two weeks or longer.

Most Read