Politics

Political news

Erin Hennessey

Weeks have passed since the May Day protests, but Seattle police are still asking for help identifying the individuals who damaged property. The violence was largely attributed to people who've been called anarchists. So what is anarchy anyway?

Photo by Bellamy Pailthorp / KPLU News

President Barack Obama was in Seattle yesterday on a fundraising swing. It was his first trip since the big announcement Wednesday that he now supports the right of same-sex couples to marry, a stance that was celebrated by supporters both inside and outside his speech at the Paramount theater downtown.

At 8th and Pine, a colorful band of demonstrators gathered for a rally near the barricades to say thank you to the President, even though they couldn’t afford the thousand-dollar ticket to see him speak.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire has approved a $1 billion stimulus plan that seeks to get construction workers back on the job.

The Associated Press

Now that U.S. Representative Norm Dicks has announced he’s retiring, western Washington will have three open seats for Congress in this fall’s election. That’s unusual, and it could mean a lot of national attention for those elections.

Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon appears unmoved by a call for him to stand down.

As allegations mount that he has abused his public office, the County Council voted unanimously to request he take a voluntary leave of absence. 

As the president delivered the final State of the Union address of his term before a looming re-election battle, he looked out at a sea of angry and skeptical Republicans who had fought him on budgets, government shutdowns, and whether or not to raise the nation's debt ceiling.

And what did President Bill Clinton do in 1996?

He delivered his "the era of big government is over" speech, which The Washington Post summed up this way: "Clinton Embraced GOP Themes in Setting Agenda."

The Mayor of Oakridge, Oregon and three city councilors survived a recall election Tuesday. A financial crisis created turmoil at recent council meetings.

Mayor Don Hampton and councilors Rayetta Clark, Amy Kordosky, and Glenn Fortune are all still in office. But, for the mayor and councilor Fortune, the margin was narrow. Mayor Hampton attributes that to the widespread dissatisfaction people feel with government these days. Hampton says he's heard of the threat of recall used recently in other Oregon communities.

The state's election watchdog has proposed a fine against the Washington State Republican Party for campaign finance violations, including the failure to timely report $500,000 in contributions.

Kin Cheung / AP

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz wants some change in Washington D.C. and the best way to get it, he says, is by boycotting donations to political campaigns. In an open letter sent to Starbucks on Monday, he urged other company heads to withholding campaign contribution until President Obama and Congress solve the nation’s financial woes.  

Chris Lehman

SALEM, Ore. - Conservative Oregon initiative activist Bill Sizemore will serve 30 days in jail. The former Republican nominee for governor pled guilty Thursday to three counts of tax evasion.

Bill Sizemore was best known for his anti-tax initiatives. Now, it's a failure to file his state taxes over the course of three years that's sending him to jail.

He was set to go on trial next week. As part of the plea deal, Sizemore will serve 30 days in the Marion County jail. That's followed by three years of supervised probation, plus 100 hours of community service.

Southern Poverty Law Center

A national conference in Spokane focuses on something a lot of people fear is dying out: civility in American politics. Many see the January shooting in Tuscon as just one sign that the nation's civic discourse has been replaced with mudslinging, threats, and even violence.

Spokane itself was shaken by backpack bomb discovered along the route of a Martin Luther King Day parade.

But consider this: Incivility can sometimes play a positive role in democracy, at least according to some experts.

Kirby Wilbur is the new Republican Party chairman in Washington, unseating former state lawmaker Luke Esser over the weekend in a party's leadership vote. The former KVI talk radio host beat Esser by a vote of 69 to 36, with seven votes for Puyallup Republican Bill Rennie, according to The Seattle Times' Jim Bruener.

Despite GOP gains in the state, Wilbur told the Times the party's advances should have been bigger

State lawmakers are considering tighter restrictions on political action committees, or PAC's. The proposal stems from the case of a Seattle-based Democratic political firm now being sued by the Attorney General for campaign finance violations. 

The FBI says a Palm Springs, Calif., man accused of making threatening, obscene phone calls to the office of U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott  last month told authorities he never intended to hurt anyone.

Washington's major political parties are indicating they'll press on with their battle to overturn the state's top-two primary. This despite yet another court ruling Tuesday upholding the voter-approved primary system.

A federal district judge in Seattle ruled voters are not confused when they see the words "prefers Republican party" or "prefers Democratic party" next to a candidate’s name on the ballot. 

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