Election 2010

Ted Warren / AP Photo

Washington’s sales tax on candy, soda and bottled water goes away today. Some candy and chocolate stores are bracing for a surge in business from corporate gift purchases that have been delayed until now to avoid the tax.

Larsen.House.gov

Larsen Wins a Squeaker

The nation is watching the northwest, with earthquakes - political and real - in mind.

One That Didn’t Happen

What on Tuesday looked like a looming shake-up of the political landscape in Washington subsided.  State voters did not rebuke the Democrats in power. Instead, they returned Patty Murray to the US Senate, and gave the ‘D’s’ the majority in both chambers of the state legislature. 

AP

Democrat Patty Murray has defeated Republican challenger Dino Rossi after a third day of vote tallying in their closely fought race for the U.S. Senate. In capturing her fourth term, Murray adds to the Democrats' slight cushion in the Senate after Republicans made gains there Tuesday while also seizing control of the House. 

AP

Democrat Patty Murray has slightly expanded her lead over Republican Dino Rossi in Washington's too-close-to-call U-S Senate Race. Democrats remain confident she will ultimately prevail in her re-election bid.

New batches of mail-in ballots show Republicans are gaining seats in the Washington state House and Senate but it's not known yet which party will control the Legislature.    

Since the initial vote counts from Tuesday's election, Republicans have been optimistic they can seize the state Senate

More ballots were counted Wednesday.  Democrats have been soundly defeated in three districts.: east King County's 45th and 47th districts, and Spokane's 6th district. 

AP photo

Election lawyers are on stand-by in Washington in the event of a super-close U-S Senate race. Polls show Republican challenger Dino Rossi neck-and-neck with incumbent Democrat Patty Murray.

Rossi knows a thing or two about close elections. He was the Republican candidate in 2004 when Washington’s gubernatorial race ended up in court. He ultimately lost by a mere 133-votes after an election contest trial. Rossi clearly hopes the lawyers aren’t needed like they were in 2004.

AP photo.

You've heard the complaints about ballot initiatives. Is it right that a corporation with a lot of money can get one on the ballot? And are we, the voters, really qualified to be deciding complicated things like tax policy? But, the KCTS 9 - KPLU - Washington Poll shows that voters in Washington are generally happy with the initiative process.

Here's the question that was put to voters:   Overall, do you think that statewide initiative elections are a good thing for the state, a bad thing or don't make much difference?

construction workers on site at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Keith Seinfeld / KPLU

Washington is one of only four states in the nation that offers workers compensation insurance only through a government agency.   That could change this November.  Initiative 1082 would allow private insurers to enter the market.   Backers of the measure say the competition would force rates down on a tax that's been going up steadily in recent years.   Opponents say it's a power grab by the insurance industry that could leave injured workers in a lurch.   KPLU business and labor reporter Bellamy Pailthorp has the story.

AP photo.

A self-described 'poor man' from Spokane tells us he wouldn't think of voting for I-1098, the income tax measure, because "the rich are blessed."  KPLU's Paula Wissel asks "Who's rich and who's not?" in our latest report on Election 2010.  The initiative aims to tax the wealthiest 1.2% in the state. That's a quantifiable definition of 'rich.'  But the conversation also invites a qualitative definition to a perhaps undefinable question.

Courtesy Koster and Larsen campaigns.

Ten years ago, Democrat Rick Larsen and Republican John Koster battled for an open seat in Washington's Second Congressional District. Larsen won that election and since then he's represented the district that runs from about the King- Snohomish County line to the Canadian border. This year, Koster - a Snohomish County Councilmemeber - is back for another shot at the seat.

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn will present his plans today (Monday) for balancing the city’s budget. That means proposing cuts totaling $67 million dollars.