Politics

Election 2014
5:00 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Why Do Unions Want To Run Child Care Teacher Training In Seattle?

SEIU Local 925 and American Federation of Teachers are sponsoring Proposition 1A, one of two competing preschool ballot measures
seiuhealthcare775NW Flickr

Seattle voters will have to choose between two ballot measures that both aim to help improve education for preschoolers, but in different ways.

The city’s plan, Proposition 1B, would set up a pilot program of subsidized preschool using a property tax levy.

The competing measure, Proposition 1A, is sponsored by two unions, Service Employees International Union Local 925 and American Federation of Teachers, a national teachers’ union affiliated with AFL-CIO.

Prop. 1A calls for a quicker path to a minimum wage of $15 an hour for child care teachers and would set a city policy that states no family should have to spend more than 10 percent of the household income on child care.

One other provision that’s drawn less attention is a plan to set up a system of training in which the unions would play a bigger role. 

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Election 2014
5:00 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Seattle Voters To Decide On Monorail Plans — Again

Passengers ride the privately owned Seattle Monorail as it speeds along its elevated track on Monday morning. A ballot question asks city voters to fund a study for a larger, public system connecting West Seattle and Ballard.
Ed Ronco KPLU

Seattle voters have a monorail proposal on their ballots this year. The city's last public monorail effort died in 2005. Now, supporters hope to revive the idea.

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Election 2014
10:52 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Some Lobbyists Play Key Role In Washington Campaign Finance

Harvey Barrison Flickr

The top political spenders in Washington this election year include environmentalists, unions, trial lawyers and business interests.

But there’s a group of influential players who don’t necessarily show up in the campaign finance reports: lobbyists. They often work behind the scenes to guide campaign contributions on behalf the interests they work for. It’s another way that lobbyists exert their influence over the political process.

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Election 2014
5:00 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Ballot Initiatives Pit Gun Control Advocates Against Gun Rights Activists

Seth Perlman AP Photo

There are two gun initiatives on the Washington ballot. Initiative 594 and Initiative 591 both have to do with background checks on gun buyers.

The battle over the initiatives is a classic fight between gun control advocates who say more regulation will limit gun violence and gun rights activists who fear a loss of their Second Amendment “right to bear arms.”

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Election 2014
5:00 am
Mon October 20, 2014

Election 2014: Big Money, Big Issues

James Myers of Seattle peers into the slot before dropping in his ballot at a ballot drop box Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

We’re just about two weeks away from the 2014 election. It’s not a presidential election year, but there are several big issues on the ballot that have attracted big money to try to get your vote. Those issues include gun sales, class size and control of the state Senate.

Here’s a quick look at what’s on your ballot, what’s at stake and what it’s costing.

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Election 2014
5:00 am
Mon October 20, 2014

Proposition 1 Promises Better Bus Service In Seattle

File image
Oran Viriyincy Flickr

Imagine commuting by bus in Seattle without any need for a bus schedule app on your phone or a paper one in your pocket. This is what Scott Kubly, the new head of Seattle’s Department of Transportation, envisions if voters approve Proposition 1, giving the city more than $40 million a year to invest in Metro Transit.

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Lobbyists & Legislators
4:59 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Washington Ethics Board Adopts Annual Cap Of 12 Lobbyist-Paid Meals For Lawmakers

Starting in January, Washington lawmakers will be barred from accepting more than 12-lobbyist-paid meals per year. The state’s Legislative Ethics Board adopted that limit today after months of public hearings and deliberation.

The issue of free meals first came to light in May of last year when we, in partnership with the Associated Press, reported on the practice of lawmakers letting lobbyists pick up the tab.

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Dueling Initiatives
4:05 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Elway Poll: Wash. Background Check Measure Retains Healthy Lead

FILE - Elections worker Joseph MacLean moves boxes of petitions for Initiative 594 at the Secretary of State's office Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, in Olympia, Washington.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

A ballot measure to expand background checks for gun sales in Washington has lost some support, but still enjoys a healthy lead, according to the latest Elway Poll released Monday.

Meanwhile, a competing gun rights measure appears to be in trouble.

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Election 2014
11:10 am
Mon October 13, 2014

Watch Your Mailbox For Ballots, Voter’s Guides

Priscilla Slaughter of Seattle lets out a little cheer and raises her arms in celebration after dropping in her ballot at a ballot drop box Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Election 2014 is less than a month away. 

Ballots will soon be arriving in mailboxes in Washington and Oregon where the election is all vote-by-mail. Idaho voters still go to the polls, but about a quarter of Gem State ballots are cast absentee.

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Politics
9:33 am
Fri October 10, 2014

Oregon's First Lady Admits She Married Immigrant For Cash

Cylvia Hayes, fiancee of Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, cries as she speaks at a news conference in Portland, Ore. on Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014.
Gosia Wozniacka AP Photo

Oregon’s first lady said she committed a federal crime 17 years ago. Cylvia Hayes told reporters Thursday that she married a man for the sole purpose of helping him get a green card.

She said the confession came as a surprise even to the man who, this summer, became her fiancé: the governor of Oregon.

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Election 2014
5:00 am
Mon October 6, 2014

Political Action Committees Pop Up In Election Years

Political Action Committees in Washington have spent more than $14 million so far this year. The top spenders are teachers, trial lawyers, SEIU and a business PAC called Enterprise Washington. But there are also dozens of smaller PACs — PACs in a box — that have been set up for just this election year.

You’ve heard of a jack in the box. Single-year political action committees are sort of like that. They just pop up. And then when the election is over, they disappear again.

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Election 2014
1:24 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

National Republican Group Puts Money Into Washington Legislative Races

Colin Fogarty

The Republican State Leadership Committee, a national Republican group with a focus on “down ballot” races, is pumping money into Washington state.

So far this year, the committee has invested more than $300,000 in the state.

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Political Contributions
10:51 am
Tue September 23, 2014

California Climate Activist Dumps $1 Million Into Washington State Politics

FILE - In this Sept. 5, 2012 file photo, Tom Steyer waves as he walks to the podium to address the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
J. Scott Applewhite AP Photo

California billionaire and climate activist Tom Steyer has dumped $1 million into Washington state.

The seven-figure contribution was made last week and became public Monday.

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Politics
8:44 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

King County Executive Proposes Budget That Would Cut More Than 500 Jobs

King County Executive Dow Constantine
King County WA Flickr

The economy in King County is booming, but county government is planning to cut more than 500 jobs to balance its budget. King County Executive Dow Constantine says the problem is that state laws restrict the ability of local government to raise taxes to keep up with growth. 

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Political Contributions
9:34 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Wealthy Individuals Bankroll Washington Campaigns

In this Aug. 2, 2013 photo, Venture capitalist Nick Hanauer poses for a photo in his office in downtown Seattle.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

So far this year, business interests have contributed more than $16 million to political campaigns and committees in Washington.

But gifts from individual donors eclipse even that. That’s because a small group of wealthy people are writing large checks.

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