Politics

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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Timberland
9:59 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Grays Harbor County Tries Tax Gambit To Stop Weyerhaeuser's Recreation Fees

Vandalism and illegal dumping like this on the St. Helens Tree Farm was a key reason for the new access policy, says Weyerhaeuser.
Photo provided by Weyerhaeuser.

A coastal Northwest county is the first to strike back against pricey recreation permits now being required by some large timber companies. The Grays Harbor County commission voted unanimously Monday to take a tax deferral away from private timberland owners that charge for public access.

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Federal Funding
2:14 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Feds Warn States Of Possible Highway Cash Holdback

This file photo shows construction along Interstate 90 near Roslyn, Washington during the summer of 2012.
Washington State Department of Transportation

Washington and Oregon may follow Idaho’s lead in temporarily suspending advertising for bids for some highway projects.

Idaho’s decision is the result of a standoff in Congress over how to replenish the money in the pot for highway construction.  

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Marijuana Campaign
11:52 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Oregon Marijuana Campaign Would Like Some Of Your Bitcoin Stash

File image
Ed Andrieski AP Photo

An Oregon political campaign wants your digital donations. The group behind the initiative to legalize recreational marijuana says it's now accepting bitcoin contributions.

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Food Labeling
3:49 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Supporters Of Oregon's Food Labeling Measure Submit Signatures

File image
Toby Talbot AP Photo

Oregon voters may get the chance to require food companies to label products that contain genetically engineered ingredients.

Sponsors of an initiative to require labels turned in more than 150,000 signatures — nearly double the required minimum — Wednesday in an effort to make the ballot this November. Opponents have already denounced the measure.

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City Salary
12:35 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Seattle Mayor: City Light CEO Won't Get Controversial Raise After All

Jorge Carrasco
Seattle.gov

Seattle City Light CEO Jorge Carrasco will not receive a six-figure raise after all, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said Wednesday.

The Seattle City Council recently authorized a pay hike of up to $119,000 per year for Carrasco, who currently earns $245,000 annually as the highest paid city employee. The raise was slated to take effect on July 1.

However, Murray, who previously supported a higher salary for Carrasco, said he has reversed his decision in light of questions recently raised regarding the utility CEO’s judgment.

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Seattle Police
3:56 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

O'Toole Confirmed As 1st Female Chief Of Seattle Police Department

FILE - Former Boston police commissioner Kathleen O'Toole left, speaks after being introduced by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, right, as his nominee to be Seattle's new Chief of Police, Monday, May 19, 2014, in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

The Seattle City Council has confirmed Kathleen O’Toole as the first female chief of the Seattle Police Department.

With an 8-to-1 vote Monday, the council approved Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s nomination. Council member Kshama Sawant cast the lone dissent vote.

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Government Workings
3:07 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Wash. State's Volunteer Drivers Collect Tens Of Thousands In Mileage Reimbursements

This screenshot of Washington’s Open Checkbook shows the mileage reimbursements paid to volunteer driver Lavaughn Nuner in the first nine months of the current fiscal year.

Imagine driving your personal car for work so much that your boss cuts you a $10,000 mileage reimbursement check. That’s what happened recently at Washington’s Department of Social and Health Services.

But the person who got the check isn’t an employee, and she’s not the only one who’s logging high miles and collecting large reimbursements from DSHS. So far this fiscal year, the agency has reimbursed volunteer drivers more than $300,000.

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Politics
8:05 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

You Could Win A Gun If You Give This Candidate Your Contact Info

One candidate for an eastern Washington congressional seat has hit on a way to appeal to Second Amendment advocates and increase the names on his campaign mailing list: He’s offering voters a chance to win a gun.

People who give Clint Didier their name and email address will be entered to win one of three firearms. The Republican candidate for Doc Hastings’ seat is offering up two handguns and a semi-automatic rifle. Didier calls it the Freedom Fighters Gun Giveaway.

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Legislators & Lobbyists
5:15 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Wash. Ethics Panel Gets Earful On Lobbyist-Paid Meals For Lawmakers

mathteacherguy Flickr

How often is “infrequent” when it comes to state lawmakers accepting free meals from lobbyists? Washington’s Legislative Ethics Board spent nearly two hours Tuesday taking testimony on that issue and then grappling with the answer. 

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