Politics

Election
5:32 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Nearly $6 Million And Counting For Wash. Fall Ballot Measures

Petitions for Initiative 594 are counted at the Secretary of State's office Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, in Olympia, Washington.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Washington’s November election will decide three statewide ballot measures. So far, nearly $6 million has flowed to these campaigns, and it’s still early.

Initiative 594 to expand background checks for gun sales is far out in the lead when it comes to fundraising. So far, nearly $3.4 million raised with recent $500,000 contributions each from Paul Allen, Bill Gates and Melinda Gates. Plus, venture capitalist Nick Hanauer just contributed $1 million.

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Women Entrepreneurs
3:23 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Cantwell Takes Aim At Gender Gap In Access To Business Loans

File image
Paul Morigi/Invision for JPMorgan Chase & Co./AP Images

Women entrepreneurs aren’t getting the same access to business loans as their male counterparts nationwide, and a new report shows the gender gap is even bigger in Washington.

Women own about 30 percent of American businesses, but get just 13 percent of the dollars lent by the federal Small Business Administration. In Washington, it’s just 11 percent, according to a new report commissioned by a U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, chaired by Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash. 

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Lobbyists & Legislators
9:46 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Wash. Ethics Board Settles On 12 Lobbyist-Paid Meals Per Year Max

mathteacherguy Flickr

Washington lawmakers will be allowed to accept a dozen lobbyist-paid meals per year, but no more, according to a new vote by the state’s Legislative Ethics Board.

On the low side, one board member proposed a limit of three free meals a year. On the high side there was a proposal to allow two dozen a year. Even the compromise of 12 lobbyist-paid meals per year did not receive a unanimous vote. The vote is also not a final rule. That will come this October when the board meets again.

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Legislators & Lobbyists
3:20 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Washington Legislative Ethics Panel To Consider Free-Meals Rule

mathteacherguy Flickr

How many free meals is too many? That’s the question an ethics panel aims to answer at a public hearing Tuesday in Olympia. The Legislative Ethics Board will consider a draft proposal to limit how many free meals lawmakers can accept from lobbyists.

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Politics
12:16 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Former SPD Interim Chief Pugel Named King County Sheriff's Chief Deputy

Jim Pugel addresses the media on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014.
Ed Ronco

The Seattle Police Department’s former interim chief Jim Pugel will take over as second-in-command to King County Sheriff John Urquhart, the sheriff announced Monday.

Pugel was handpicked by Urquhart, who said he only spoke to Pugel about the job.

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Primary Election
12:20 am
Wed August 6, 2014

In Historic First, Two Republicans Advancing In Wash. Congressional Race

Washington’s August primary appears to have delivered an historic first. Two Republicans are likely to advance to the November election in central Washington’s Fourth Congressional District.

Never before has the state’s top-two primary produced two contenders of the same party for a Congressional seat. 

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Primary Election
3:18 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Have You Voted In The Primary Election? Mail-In Ballots Due By 8 O'Clock

It’s primary day in Washington. Tuesday’s vote will decide a parks levy in Seattle and narrow the field in dozens of state legislative and Congressional races.

Ballots for the all vote-by-mail election are due in drop boxes by 8 p.m.

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Politics
4:35 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

California Billionaire Plans To Help Wash. State Democrats

FILE - In this Sept. 5, 2012 file photo, Tom Steyer, co-founder of Advance Energy Economy, waves as he walks to the podium to address the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
J. Scott Applewhite AP Photo

California billionaire and climate activist Tom Steyer plans to try to help Democrats win back the Washington state Senate.

Steyer and his NextGen Political Action Committee plan to target three to four state legislative races, likely Washington state Senate races. They will work in coordination with state environmentalists who have their own political action committees.

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Primary Election
1:16 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

Wash. Primary Will Winnow Crowded Fields

The seat from Washington’s 4th Congressional District, which runs from the Canadian Border to the Columbia River in central Washington, is up for grabs.
Washington State Redistricting Commission

Washington voters have until 8 p.m. Tuesday to turn in their primary ballots. Secretary of State Kim Wyman projects a turnout of about 40 percent.

Among others, the primary will winnow the crowded fields for an open central Washington Congressional seat and a Seattle-area state Senate position.

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Controversial Words
9:51 am
Wed July 30, 2014

How Twitter Amplified An NRA Lobbyist's Comments About Anti-Gun Jews

The Yes on 594 campaign used Twitter to quickly disseminate comments by NRA lobbyist Brian Judy.

Supporters of a Washington gun control measure on the November ballot may have just gotten a mid-summer boost. They’re capitalizing on an audio recording that recently surfaced.

The hard-to-understand audio recording first appeared on the left-wing blog “Horses Ass.” The blog’s author said the audio is of NRA lobbyist Brian Judy speaking recently to a pro-gun group. Judy questioned Jewish people who are anti-guns.

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Church And State
9:36 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Pierce County Becomes First In Northwest To Approve 'In God We Trust' Motto Display

This file photo shows the exterior of the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Ad Meskens Wikimedia Commons

A divided county council in Pierce County, Washington Tuesday voted to display the motto "In God We Trust" in its chambers, becoming the first jurisdiction in the Northwest to take part in a national campaign to feature the motto.

But the approval came with a twist.

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Primary Election Ballot
5:00 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Seattle Ballot Measure On Park District Divides Parks Advocates

Green Lake Park in Seattle
beataT1i flckr

Voters in Seattle will decide whether to establish a special taxing district to help fund the city’s parks.

Proposition 1, which appears on the Aug. 5 ballot, has created a rift in the ranks of park advocates.

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Campaign Finance
10:52 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Washington's Mid-Term Elections Draw In More Than Nearly $33 Million So Far

Washington Public Disclosure Commission

Washington’s Aug. 5 primary is now less than a month away. It’s a mid-term election year with no statewide offices on the ballot. Even so, nearly $33 million have already been contributed to campaigns.

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Marijuana Banking
4:11 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

House Votes To Allow Marijuana-Related Banking

This July 1, 2014, photo shows packets of a variety of recreational marijuana named "Space Needle" during packaging operations at Sea of Green Farms in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

The House voted Wednesday in support of making it easier for banks to do business with legal pot shops and providers of medical marijuana.

The 236-186 vote rejected a move by Rep. John Fleming, R-La., to block the Treasury Department from implementing guidance it issued in February telling banks how to report on their dealings with marijuana-related businesses without running afoul of federal money-laundering laws.

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Gay Rights
9:04 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Seattle Joins 60 Other Cities, Holds Gay Blood Drive To Protest FDA Ban

“I think the policies are out of date and need to be changed,” said Holly Mitchell, who donated in place of her roommate Collin Webb. “Collin asked me to be his ally and donate for him, and I was happy to do so."
Malcolm Griffes KPLU

When Michael Wells was growing up in Normal, Illinois, his dad would frequently come home from work wearing a pin that had a little blood drop.

“I was always fascinated by it, because my dad never wore any kind of jewelry or anything,” Wells said.

When Wells asked about the pin, his father told him it signaled he'd given blood.

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