Politics

Budget Cuts
4:13 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Gov. Inslee Directs State Agencies To Identify 15 Percent Cuts

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Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Gov. Jay Inslee is directing Washington state agencies to identify 15 percent cuts in the next budget. The directive comes as the latest revenue forecast released Tuesday shows an ongoing sluggish recovery.

State budget director David Schumacher says the budget-cutting exercise does not mean all agencies will be cut by 15 percent.

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Balance of Power
9:31 am
Tue June 17, 2014

School Funding Lawsuit Prompts Hearing On Separation Of Powers

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Elaine Thompson AP Photo

The Washington Supreme Court could hold state lawmakers in contempt over school funding. But is the high court overstepping its bounds? A Republican-led legislative panel held a hearing Monday on separation of powers.

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Politics
9:27 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Northwest Lawmakers Likely Not In Running For House Majority Position

File image of Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash.
Susan Walsh AP Photo

The surprising upset for House Majority leader Eric Cantor has the GOP looking for a possible successor.

Pundits are already throwing a few names around as possible replacements, including two Northwest lawmakers who have prominent roles in the House Republican leadership. But neither is likely to seek a promotion.

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City Government
11:39 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Murray Appoints Joncas Of Downtown Seattle Association As Deputy Mayor

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has named Downtown Seattle Association President and CEO Kate Joncas as his new deputy mayor of operations.

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Judicial Independence
4:39 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

OIC Whistleblower To Speak Out As Questions Linger Over Her Own Conduct

In this photo taken Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler speaks to seniors at an annual lobby day for the group in Olympia, Wash.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

An administrative law judge who says her boss meddled in her deliberations is calling for more independence for hearings officers who, like her, work for state agencies. But she faces questions about her own conduct in the case, too.

Chief presiding officer Patricia Petersen was in the middle of a high-profile dispute between Seattle Children’s Hospital and the state insurance commissioner when she said a prominent official at the commissioner’s office leaned on her to decide in the agency’s favor. That official also happens to be Petersen’s direct supervisor.

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Whistleblower Dispute
3:25 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Insurance Commissioner Convenes Probe Of Whistleblower Complaint Against Its Own

Washington’s Insurance Commissioner is hiring an outside investigator to look into ethics complaints lodged by a hearing officer, and raising questions about the accuser’s own conduct.

Chief presiding officer Patricia Peterson referees disputes that arise at the commissioner’s office. During an especially contentious case, she says the commissioner’s number-two official tried to improperly influence her judgment.

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Politics
5:00 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Carfax For Candidates? Nonprofit Offers Politician Background Checks

It’s an mid-term election year. Even so, some 300 candidates are vying for 162 local, state and federal positions in Washington state alone.

So who are these would-be officeholders, and what kind of troubles may they have had in the past? Formal background checks for candidates are not a part of the typical vetting process, but a former candidate wants to change that.

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Transit Cuts
4:31 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Seattle Mayor Taps Brakes On Transit Funding, Prepares His Own Plan

Mayor Ed Murray said the first round of planned bus service cuts would likely go through even if voters pass a new funding measure.
Atomic Taco Flickr

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is urging voters and elected officials not to get behind a local property tax hike to fund mass transit. Instead, the mayor plans to introduce his own proposal next week.

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Politics
10:24 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Washington Governor Finds Billionaire Partner In Fight Against Climate Change

FILE - In this Sept. 5, 2012 file photo, Tom Steyer, co-founder of Advance Energy Economy, waves as he walks to the podium to address the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
J. Scott Applewhite AP Photo

In the world of Democratic politics, Tom Steyer, a former California hedge-fund manager, is like a real-life Bruce Wayne, aka Batman.

Steyer is a billionaire philanthropist who wants to save not just Gotham City, but the entire planet, from global climate change.

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Metro Bus Cuts
9:24 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Would Seattle Transit Initiative Prompt State Lawmakers To Expand Bus Service?

Jennifer Wing

Some state lawmakers who are supporting a Seattle initiative to undo King County Metro bus cuts say it could give them some bargaining power in Olympia.

State Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, D-Burien, is one of eight Democratic lawmakers who’ve signed on as endorsers of the so-called Keep Seattle Moving Initiative.

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Politics
5:00 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Gary Locke On Lessons Learned During Public Service And What Comes Next

Outgoing U.S. ambassador to China, Gary Locke gestures as he speaks during a farewell press conference held at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014.
Ng Han Guan AP Photo/Pool

It may sound like the life of a movie star or famous athlete: posing for a magazine cover, having your picture taken at restaurants and gaining international attention by simply ordering a cup of coffee. But we’re talking about Gary Locke.

The former Washington governor and commerce secretary is now back in the Seattle area, after serving two years as the U.S. ambassador to China, and sat down with KPLU for his first radio interview since his return.

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Police Chief
2:42 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Short List For New Seattle Police Chief Down To Three Names

Ryan Healy Flickr

A committee searching for Seattle’s next police chief has handed three names to Mayor Ed Murray. The finalists are Elk Grove, California police chief Robert Lehner, Mesa, Arizona chief Frank Milstead and former Boston police commissioner Kathleen O’Toole. Committee co-chair Ron Sims said each candidate is a “change agent,” who clears a very high bar set by the mayor.

“They don’t make people like he just demanded that we meet. Where are they? But we found them. And I think the public will be incredibly well served by any of these three,” Sims said.

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High Court
2:36 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Inslee Appoints First Openly Gay Supreme Court Justice

King County Judge Mary Yu has been appointed to Washington Supreme Court.
Austin Jenkins

Gov. Jay Inslee has appointed King County Superior Court Judge Mary Yu to the Washington Supreme Court. Yu replaces two-term Justice James Johnson who stepped down this week for health reasons. Johnson was viewed as a lone conservative voice on the high court.

Yu will be the first woman of color, the first Asian-American, the first Latina and the first openly LGBT justice on our state's highest court.  

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Cap and Trade
3:03 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Inslee Calls For New Cap And Trade Program

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Rachel La Corte AP Photo

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Metro Transit Cuts
3:03 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

King County Council Begins Tough Job Of Eliminating Bus Service

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AP Photo

King County Council members are proceeding with the unwelcome task of eliminating bus service. Metro already has a plan, but council members have the final say on how to parcel out the cuts in the most logical and equitable way. 

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