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Updated Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at 08:31 AM

Wednesday wrap: "gypsy" political journalists; gov debates; big health insurer surpluses

Joni Balter

Good morning.

A month ago, PubliCola.com, an experimental online news site, announced that its sharp-tongued news writers/analysts, Josh Feit and Erica Barnett, would be moving, at least temporarily, to another online web location, Crosscut.com.

They did indeed turn up the next week at Crosscut, but now that arrangement has ended with another announcement that the pair has "gone fishin' but would reappear at another location by month's end.

Crosscut founder David Brewster said Tuesday it was always unclear if Crosscut could afford to fund the pair long term, but something else has worked out for the two writers, who he jokingly called "gypsy journalists.'' Feit and Barnett are expected to announce a new gig, somewhere, some time, shortly..PubliCola reborn? Sponsored by whom?

It's official, says Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed. Referendum 74, the measure aimed at repealing the state's new law allowing gay marriage in Washington, will be on the November ballot. The Secretary of State certified the measure Tuesday. Sponsors brought in way more than the required number of signatures.

Washington's first gubernatorial debate has come and gone,, an event that did not break much new ground. Both candidates did take new taxes, even with a public vote, off the table for education. (Photos from TVW.)

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With this match behind us, what does the rest of the debate schedule look like? Spare, so far.

And careful with the term "debate." Randy Pepple of the Rob McKenna campaign says there are forums and question-and-answer sessions, including two on June 27, one for Seattle Rotary and one for Forterra (and two other organizations), and editorial boards, but no other "debate" debates are scheduled at this time.

Jaime Smith, spokeswoman for Inslee, said more formal debates will be held in September or October, but she did not cite any dates or times.

Get ready to hear the words "health care reform" and "individual mandate''. A lot.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule on Obama's health care reform plan any time now. Part of the backdrop of that discussion might include this story about Washington's top two nonprofit health care plans, Premera Blue Cross and Regence BlueShield.

Both are sitting on big surpluses at a time when policy holders are paying a lot for their plans.


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