Government and Politics

Political news

Pastors Use Pulpits To Ease Election Day Rancor

Nov 4, 2012

PORTLAND — In this election, religion has sometimes played a divisive role. But on election night, churches throughout the Northwest — and the country — will try to use their pulpits to ease the rancor of politics.

Electoral politics don’t always have the nicest soundtrack. You’ve heard the ominous music in the ads.

“Good for them — bad for us,” says one spot.

“Doesn’t America deserve better?” says another.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – New polls show Washington’s open race for governor remains close. Already hundreds of thousands of Washington voters have returned their ballots. Many more will do so in the coming days. But county auditors have a warning to voters who wait until the last minute.

In Oregon you have to have your ballot in by 8pm on Election night. But in Washington you just have to have your ballot postmarked. That means for days after the election ballots keep on rolling in and they get counted -– unless the postmark is past the due date.

What if there was a crystal ball that could reveal the outcome of an election? Turns out modern day campaigns use forecast models to project the winner of a race long before a single vote is counted.

In vote-by-mail states like Washington or Oregon, political parties and campaigns have an advantage. They can find out on a daily basis if you’ve returned your ballot.

Northwest Election Law Hotlines Tend To Be Snoozers

Oct 30, 2012

This election day, the U.S. Department of Justice will have federal attorneys in every state, ready to take complaints. It's a long-standing program aimed at combating election fraud and voter rights abuses. But the hotlines tend to be pretty quiet in the Northwest.

The election day program has been around for decades. But attorneys in Oregon and eastern Washington say -– at least in recent memory -– they haven't gotten any complaints. Western Washington received a few calls in 2008 about voter registration issues.

Washington Considers Another Impact Of Wolves: Skinny Cows

Oct 30, 2012

Washington ranchers who can show that wolves are making their cattle lose weight could get reimbursed under a new proposal. The rule before the Fish and Wildlife Commission would expand a compensation program for ranchers living in wolf country.

Washington’s cattle ranchers aren’t the first to complain about skinny livestock. Ranchers in Idaho and Oregon also say the reintroduction of wolves has made sheep and cattle move more and eat less.

That translates into the bottom line, says Dave Ware. He’s the game manager with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington Democratic Party says it will donate contributions from controversial spiritual leader JZ Knight to the Anti-Defamation League and the campaign to uphold gay marriage. That announcement late Friday follows the release of new video clips that show Knight making offensive and at times bizarre comments about gay people and people from Mexico.

The latest video clips were released by the conservative Freedom Foundation. In them Knight says gay men were once Catholic women. And attacks people from Mexico.

Washington Secretary of State

OLYMPIA, Wash. - In the presidential race, we hear a lot about the electoral map -- and the math to winning the presidency. It’s all about swing states like Ohio and Florida. At the state level, there’s no electoral college. The candidate with the most votes wins. But there’s still a formula for victory -- even in blue states like Washington and Oregon.

Former state Democratic Party Chair Paul Berendt says the way to navigate a path to victory in Washington -- if you’re a Democrat -- involves what he calls a “salt water strategy.”

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Both candidates for Washington governor have said “no” to higher taxes. But, outgoing Governor Chris Gregoire says she will propose a new source of funding for public schools before she leaves office in January.

For months Gregoire has been saying the state will have to come up with a new revenue source for schools. This after the Supreme Court ruled Washington is not adequately funding education.

But now, for the first time, Gregoire confirms she will propose a new funding source as one of her last acts as governor.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington Republicans have released documents that show Governor Chris Gregoire appointed a state senator to a $92,000 a year job –- despite concerns that the senator wasn’t qualified for the position. This is just the latest development in a political drama touched off by the appointment.

Most City Councils In Northwest Have No Latinos

Sep 24, 2012

YAKIMA, Wash. – According to an estimate from a database of Hispanic officeholders in Washington, Oregon and Idaho, nearly nine out of 10 city councils across the Northwest have no Latino members.

One of the cities with no Latino representations is located in one of the most heavily Hispanic parts of our region, Yakima, Washington. And the ACLU is suing over the issue.

So why does the region's largest minority group have so little clout in the political arena?

Flip through the radio dial in Yakima and you’ll hear lots of Spanish.

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