Politics

Budget Conference
3:49 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Despite Public Pessimism, Murray Remains Optimistic about Budget

Senator Patty Murray says she's hopeful a deal can be reached, but she understands the low expectations.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

Washington Sen. Patty Murray is the top Democrat on a conference committee charged with hashing out a budget by mid-December, and she’s well aware many pundits and citizens have low expectations.

“I don’t blame anybody for being pessimistic about this,” Murray said at an appearance in Seattle. “Our country’s been through a lot.”

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Election 2013
5:00 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Challenge for Seattle's Next Mayor: Making Housing Affordable

Laura DeFrate says she and her family may have to leave Seattle because rents have gotten too high.
Ashley Gross KPLU

Seattle’s next mayor will face the challenge of balancing the city’s growth with affordability. 

“Because our city’s popular, because we’re adding jobs, because more people want to live in our walkable urban places, the competition for existing housing is driving up the rent, driving up housing prices,” said Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn.

Both McGinn and challenger Ed Murray shared their ideas, many of them similar, on ways to create affordable housing for people of all income.

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Election 2013
11:55 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

KCTS Debate: Seattle Mayoral Candidates Forced to Prioritize

It isn't always easy to pin down a politician. Most would prefer to list a range of issues they plan to address than choose just one top priority. But Tuesday night, during a debate on KCTS-TV, the candidates for mayor of Seattle, incumbent Mike McGinn and challenger state Senator Ed Murray, were forced to list everything, from housing to education in the order of importance.

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Election 2013
5:01 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Mayoral Candidates Differ on Most Effective Transportation Fix

Oran Viriyincy Flickr

Have you ever been stuck in traffic or tried to get on an overcrowded bus, or had to dodge potholes in the bike lanes?

Sometimes, just getting from point A to point B can be an exercise in frustration, even if you live and work within the city limits of Seattle. The candidates for mayor of Seattle, incumbent Mike McGinn and challenger state Sen. Ed Murray both say they’ve experienced problems in getting around the city.

Not surprisingly, each candidate also says he is the best candidate to improve transportation in the city.

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Election 2013
12:36 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Big Money Pouring into Wash. Senate Race

Alan Cordova Flickr

The ongoing power struggle in the Washington state Senate has made one upper chamber race in an off-year election the most expensive legislative contest in state history.

The 26th District race between Democrat Nathan Schlicher and Republican challenger Jan Angel has already seen a combined spending of $1.9 million, with about half of that money being spent by third-party groups.

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Election 2013
12:00 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Behind 'Political Grandstanding,' Shared Views on Street Safety

Sea_Turtle Flickr

The race for mayor of Seattle has put public safety downtown front and center, and at first it might seem to be following a familiar storyline: a polarized fight between the get-tough camp and the services-oriented approach. 

"There are hotspots, and we’ve been very, very slow to act,” said challenger Ed Murray, advocating the hiring of 100 new police officers. 

"You know, that's political grandstanding," said Mayor Mike McGinn, arguing we "can't arrest our way out of the problem."

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Election 2013
12:00 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Three Reasons Why You Should Care about the School Board Race

Why should you care about the Seattle School Board race? Consider these three reasons:

1. Unstable Board = Bad for Students

Research has shown that a chaotic board "will repel all people of quality," thereby negatively impacting student achievement, according to Thomas Alsbury, professor of educational administration and supervision at Seattle Pacific University. 

“When boards and central office leaders are viewed as unstable or chaotic, excellent principals and teachers choose to go elsewhere,” Alsbury said.

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Election 2013
12:00 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Two Newcomers Vie for Seat on Seattle School Board

Suzanne Dale Estey, left, and Sue Peters.
Photos provided by their campaigns.

Two first-time candidates are facing off in a tight race for a seat on the Seattle School Board. Suzanne Dale Estey and Sue Peters are both vying to represent District 4, which covers Queen Anne, Magnolia, and parts of Ballard.

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Election 2013
12:00 am
Mon October 21, 2013

How Redistricting Would Change Seattle's Political Landscape

What We Have Now

Seattle has nine at-large city council positions. The council members are responsible to all 600,000+ city residents.

Pros: Council members try to solve problems in ways that benefit all taxpayers. Supporters say it's a more holistic approach that lays a strong foundation for future growth.

Cons: Voters say they don’t have a voice and don’t know who to go to when they have a problem in their neighborhood.

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Obituary
3:39 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Former Titan of Northwest Politics Tom Foley Dead at 84

In this June 1989 file photo, former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Tom Foley poses in his office in Spokane.
AP Photo

 

Former U.S. House Speaker Tom Foley has died of complications from strokes. He was 84.

The Democrat served nearly 30 years in Congress before being defeated in the Gingrich Revolution of 1994.

Foley had the distinction of becoming the first, and so far only, Speaker of the House from the Northwest. He was also the first Speaker defeated at the polls since the Civil War.

Foley grew up on Spokane’s South Hill, the son of a prominent judge. As a politician, he described himself as a “peace maker, not street fighter.” It might have been his Achilles heel.

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Campaign Financing
8:53 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Grocery Manufacturers Agree to Disclose Donors

Tom Paulson Humanosphere

State Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Friday the Grocery Manufacturers Association will disclose who its donors are, as it campaigns against a ballot Initiative 522.

Ferguson's office had planned to take the industry group to court, saying it violated Washington’s campaign finance law that requires donors to be public. The Washington, D.C.-based GMA represents more than 300 companies.

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budget negotiations
12:28 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Murray Aims to 'Find Common Ground' with GOP on Budget

Scott Applewhite AP Photo

With the government reopened and a budget deal reached, members of Congress are heading into a new round of budget negotiations. Front and center is Sen. Patty Murray, who chairs the Senate Budget Committee. On Thursday morning, Murray stood next to House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and told reporters that the two sides will work together to avoid another impasse.

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Politics
9:22 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Seattle Federal Employees Head to Work, Glad Shutdown Is Over

The federal building in downtown Seattle filled up with workers again after Congress reopened the government
Andy Slabaugh

Relief. That was the main reaction from government workers heading back to their jobs at the federal building in downtown Seattle after a couple weeks of forced time off due to the partial government shutdown. A steady stream of people headed through the revolving doors even before sunrise.

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GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN
7:19 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Congress Approves Bill To End Government Shutdown, Avert Default

Speaker of the House John Boehner pumps his fist after leaving a meeting of House Republicans at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 9:32 pm

Bringing to an end an episode that once again exposed Washington gridlock at its worst, the House approved a Senate deal that will end a 16-day federal government shutdown and avert the first government default in U.S. history.

The 285-144 vote came at the eleventh hour, after weeks of partisan bickering and a very public airing of deep divisions within the Republican party. President Obama signed the bill into law after midnight Thursday.

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