Politics

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There are nearly 900 registered lobbyists in Washington state. These are the paid professionals who try to influence the outcome of the legislative process.

But this year, a determined dad proved even outsiders can play the legislative game with a bit of help.

seattlepi.com

Fifty years ago today, a quarter-million people gathered in Washington, D.C., to hear Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. But the summer of 1963 marked a critical point in Seattle history as well, as young activists staged the city’s first sit-ins of the civil rights movement.

The issue that galvanized them was housing discrimination. And in a place that likes to think of itself as progressive, segregation was rampant. 

Damian Dovarganes / AP Photo

Washington voters will decide this fall whether foods that contain genetically-engineered ingredients must carry a special label.

Initiative 522 is similar to a California measure that failed last fall. But so far, the race for political contributions is shaping up quite differently. 

Orlin Wagner / AP Photo

Northwest beekeepers are applauding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for requiring certain pesticides to carry a clearer warning label. The idea is to prevent home gardeners and farmers from inadvertently harming beneficial pollinators, like bees.

The EPA directive applies to widely used bug killers, rose and flower treatments, and grub controls. Future labels will have to carry specific warnings under a picture of a bee. 

401(K) 2012

Now that the Seattle mayoral race has been narrowed down, Ed Murray and Mike McGinn will begin their next wave of fundraising, and it’s shaping up to be an interesting money race.

State Sen. Ed Murray won the primary and has so far won the race for campaign dollars. According to the state Public Disclosure Commission, Murray’s raised about $140,000 more than McGinn. And as of the most recent filings, Murray still had five times as much money in his coffers than the mayor.

Editor's note: KPLU has asked all nine candidates in the Seattle mayoral race to tell us about a time when his or her leadership skills were put to the test. One candidate's answer follows.  

As a fourth generation Seattleite with careers in hotels and real estate, as well as his penchant for the arts, Charlie Staadecker has been dubbed “traditional.”  But that doesn’t mean the bow tie-wearing candidate doesn’t enjoy a little bit of campaign fun.

The candidate’s series of YouTube ads parody a Dos Equis commercial.

Paula Wissel

Editor's note: KPLU has asked all nine candidates in the Seattle mayoral race to tell us about a time when his or her leadership skills were put to the test. One candidate's answer follows.  

Of the nine candidates running for mayor of Seattle, only Mike McGinn has first-hand experience. Leading up to next Tuesday’s primary, KPLU has been asking all the candidates to talk about a time when their leadership was tested.

You could say Mayor Mike McGinn’s leadership skills have been put to the test every day for the past 4 years. How he’s dealt with it has a lot to do with a personal change he made shortly after taking office.

Bellamy Pailthorp / KPLU News

Editor's note: KPLU has asked all nine candidates in the Seattle mayoral race to tell us about a time when his or her leadership skills were put to the test. One candidate's answer follows.  

Peter Steinbrueck served on the Seattle City Council for 10 years, from 1997 to 2007.

“They called me the activist council member. I’m also an architect, so I brought my background, experience, training as a problem solver and designer to public policy,” Steinbrueck said.

Ashley Gross / KPLU

Editor's note: KPLU has asked all nine candidates in the Seattle mayoral race to tell us about a time when his or her leadership skills were put to the test. One candidate's answer follows.  

Joey Gray doesn’t want to be pigeonholed as the ultimate Frisbee candidate. But she honed a lot of her leadership skills throwing a disc, and later leading the sport nationally as executive director of USA Ultimate.

Courtesy of Mary Martin

Editor's note: KPLU has asked all nine candidates in the Seattle mayoral race to tell us about a time when his or her leadership skills were put to the test. One candidate's answer follows.  

Talk to a candidate long enough and she’ll start repeating herself because she's staying on message, or because it's who she really is.

Like when Mary Martin talks about an upcoming trip to Egypt.

Jennifer Wing / KPLU

This time next year, King County's Metro Transit system could be working out the final details of eliminating 65 bus routes and other cuts in service.

The grassroots group Transit Riders Union is holding a rally on Saturday just south of the King County courthouse in Seattle. It starts at noon.

Ashley Gross / KPLU

Editor's note: KPLU has asked all nine candidates in the Seattle mayoral race to tell us about a time when his or her leadership skills were put to the test. One candidate's answer follows.

Ed Murray’s Capitol Hill office is on the same block as the Gay City LGBT library. Inside hangs a sign that says "March with Ed in Pride."

Murray wants to be Seattle’s first openly gay mayor. So maybe it won’t surprise you that many of his leadership moments have to do with securing gay and lesbian rights after many setbacks. Take 2005, for example.

Hayat Norimine / KPLU

Editor's note: KPLU has asked all nine candidates in the Seattle mayoral race to tell us about a time when his or her leadership skills were put to the test. One candidate's answer follows.

Bruce Harrell put his campaign headquarters all of three blocks from the house he grew up in, in the Central District. Striding down 23rd Avenue, it's clear his history here is thick. Over and over he gestures toward a house. That's Mr. Buchanan's house, he says, and Mr. Carter's, Mrs. Young's.  

Florangela Davila

Editor's note: KPLU has asked all nine candidates in the Seattle mayoral race to tell us about a time when his or her leadership skills were put to the test. One candidate's answer follows.

King County’s sheriff says he’s concerned that people in immigrant communities are afraid to call the police for fear of getting deported. That’s why he’s supporting a measure to limit the county’s cooperation with federal detention requests. 

The main way that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, finds people who are here illegally is through the criminal justice system. Local jails are now required to turn over fingerprint data to the FBI, which shares it with ICE. 

Editor's note: KPLU has asked all nine candidates in the Seattle mayoral race to tell us about a time when his or her leadership skills were put to the test. One candidate's answer follows.

Out of all the candidates running in the 2013 mayoral primary, no one has known incumbent Mike McGinn longer than Kate Martin. The two of them were on the Greenwood Community Council together for almost 10 years. Even though she calls him "Mike," you wouldn't really call them friends.

Office of the Secretary of State

It's that time of year when life slows down a bit, people go on vacation and they study the voters' guide for the summer primary. What? An election in August?  Yes, Aug. 6 to be exact. Because it's an off-year election with no presidential or gubernatorial candidates in the running, voter participation is predicted to be low.

Matt Barreto, an associate political science professor at the University of Washington, says the lack of interest could be caused by "voter fatigue."

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

Washington’s fall voters’ guide may be 20 pages longer and cost nearly a quarter-million dollars more to publish.

That’s because of a voter-approved requirement that all tax hikes appear on the ballot for an advisory vote. This year there will be five of these non-binding ballot measures.

Katie Blinn with Washington’s secretary of state’s office says each advisory vote requires four pages in the voters’ pamphlet.

Joe Bushnell

The Washington State Department of Transportation has now figured out what caused construction lumber to fall off the Highway 16 Nalley Valley Viaduct project and smash onto South Tacoma Way on June 29th.

As KPLU reported, the falling lumber barely missed landing on a man on a moped.

WSDOT says the contractor has now determined that the cause was a defective four-by-six wood support beam, which collapsed spilling the construction lumber onto the roadway below.

City of Pacific

The small city of Pacific, Wash., on the King-Pierce county line has been told that the results of a recent election recalling Mayor Cy Sun have been certified.

City Councilman James McMahan is the new acting mayor. He said in a statement that the City Council planned to meet Tuesday evening to begin the process of appointing a new mayor. The council intends to only consider nominations of current council members.

Jeff Meade

Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, son of the late Senator Ted Kennedy, is wading into Washington state’s marijuana legalization process. He’s opening a local chapter of his group that aims to educate people about the health risks of the drug.

Kennedy has struggled in the past with addiction to alcohol and prescription painkillers. And he’s admitted using marijuana in the past before learning about the health risks of today’s more potent cannabis.

Paula Wissel

It seems as much a part of a trip to the ballpark as eating hotdogs.

But, when you hear the announcer say, "Ladies and gentlemen, please rise and remove your caps for the singing of the national anthem," do you ever wonder why you're standing?

As we discovered, you'll find the answer on an obscure plaque in the city of Tacoma.

Joe Bushnell

The Washington state Department of Transportation is trying to figure out what went wrong on Saturday when dozens of pieces of construction lumber on the Nalley Valley viaduct project on Highway 16 came loose and fell onto the roadway below, smashing into pieces as drivers watched in disbelief. 

Paula Wissel / KPLU

Many people in Washington state are reacting with excitement to the news that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a key part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act and reinstated the right for gays and lesbians in California to marry. 

City of Pacific

Ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday in the recall election of Mayor Cy Sun in the tiny town of Pacific. It’s a story that almost sounds like a sitcom about small-town politics gone awry. 

The Seattle City Council has voted unanimously to shut down the homeless encampment known as Nickelsville, and to set aside $500,000 to help residents transition.

The encampment has been dug in for two years at a site in West Seattle, and the council vote means this summer will be its last. The money will go to providing to provide housing and services to the more than 100 campers who live there.

Washington prisons would stay open, but much of the state would not if there’s a government shutdown. Governor Jay Inslee met with his cabinet Wednesday to begin contingency planning if there’s no budget by the end of the month. That’s the start of the new fiscal year.

“We’re not talking about opening the prison doors because there are clear federal mandates from the federal constitution and federal laws to provide for folks that are in our care and custody,” says Nick Brown, the Governor’s attorney.

There were dramatic developments in Olympia overnight. Governor Jay Inslee held a midnight bill signing to amend Washington’s estate tax. The move means the Department of Revenue will not begin to issue refund checks Friday morning to the heirs of some multi-million dollar estates.

The state of Washington was about to embark on a months-long process of refunding an estimated $140 million to more than 100 estates. This was the result of a Supreme Court ruling earlier this year. The money would have come out of a fund dedicated to public schools.

Gabriel Spitzer / KPLU

Homeless residents of a large Seattle tent city warn that closing down their camp will have dire consequences, while city council members left the door open to keep the camp dwellers together.

About 125 residents make their home at the West Seattle site known as Nickelsville. Advocates told members of a city council committee Wednesday that many of those tent dwellers will die on the streets if the city moves forward with threatened evictions September 1st.

Wikimedia Commons

Over his decades in public life, former Gov. Albert Rosellini helped bring Washington into the modern era, burnishing his reputation as one of the state's most effective leaders.

But FBI officials who scrutinized Rosellini's activities in the 1960s saw something else. They questioned his political associations and probed a series of allegations that Rosellini was corrupt. The Seattle special agent in charge once wrote to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover that Rosellini was "a thorough scoundrel."

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