campaigning

Three of the candidates for Oregon Secretary of State made their case to voters in Eugene Friday. Democrat Brad Avakian, Republican Dennis Richardson and Alan Zundel of the Pacific Green Party spoke before the Eugene City Club.

Flickr user 401(K) 2012 / FLICKR Creative Commons

If you look at your voters' pamphlet and see page after page of candidates trying to win your vote, you might think democracy is strong in Washington state. But look at the money behind the candidates, and you'll see there's much less competition than meets the eye. 

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Astroturfing is when interest groups run a campaign that’s designed to look like it’s grassroots in nature. A document obtained by public radio shows the oil industry is at the center of more than a dozen Astroturf groups in Washington, Oregon, and California.

A.J. Balukoff / http://www.ajforidaho.com/

Balukoff began the hour-and-a-half back-and-forth by introducing himself as a successful businessman and longtime Boise school trustee. Otter touted his administration’s fiscal responsibility, and Bujak attempted to paint himself as an alternative candidate who would change the way Idaho government works.

By the end of the forum, the three had touched on Idaho’s economy, school funding, the state of its roads and bridges, a prison scandal, and more.

Campaign Photos

Incumbent Democrat John Kitzhaber and Republican challenger Dennis Richardson faced-off in the resort town of Sunriver.

Austin Jenkins

Washington lawmakers convene Monday for what could prove to be the most partisan session in a decade. Control of the Washington Senate is up for grabs this fall. Currently, a coalition of 24 Republicans and two breakaway Democrats hold a three seat advantage. Democrats think they have shot at winning back the majority in November. Both sides will be looking for political advantage over the next 60 days.

Two Washington state lawmakers are defending their frequent dinners with lobbyists. The meals show up in monthly reports filed with the state’s Public Disclosure Commission. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins has been digging into those reports.

An expected special session of the Washington legislature would mean another freeze on political fundraising. State law prohibits lawmakers from soliciting contributions while they are in session. For most members that’s probably not a huge concern since this is an off-election year. But a few legislators will be on this year’s ballot.

The so-called session freeze on fundraising lifts at 12:01am on the day after adjournment. It goes back into effect at 12:01am on the first day of a special session. You can bet candidates will make the most of whatever window they get.

Deborah Wang / KUOW

Starbucks holds its annual shareholders' meeting in Seattle on Wednesday. And on the agenda, a proposal from a group of investors that's meant to limit the company's involvement in political campaigns.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – In the world of state legislatures, there’s a powerful breed of players who normally shun the spotlight. They prefer to work behind the scenes to influence policy outcomes. We’re talking about business lobbyists. Inside this often hidden world, you’ll meet two of the most successful corporate contract lobbyists in the Washington state capitol. And learn some of their tricks of the trade.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Some of the results may not be known for weeks, but the most expensive election ever in Washington state wrapped up last night.

Who In The NW Helps Pay For Swing State Ads

Nov 2, 2012

Northwest voters are spared most presidential campaign ads. But Northwest money still plays a part in them. A handful of big spenders from the region are bolstering major super PACs behind a barrage of ads now hitting swing states. Jessica Robinson reports.

Kevin Mooney

Oregon has a spirited history of legislating from the ballot. But this year looks pretty sleepy on the ballot measure front. Oregon voters will decide seven citizen initiatives this year.

But in an unusual twist, the groups behind three of the measures have stopped campaigning. And there's been relatively little spending by the backers of the four others.

Idaho’s Secretary of State wants a court to order a group campaigning for Idaho’s ballot referenda to reveal its donors. But making those names public before the election might be difficult. Adam Cotterell has more.

Photo by Richard David Ramsey / Wikipedia

The Washington State Democratic Party says it will not return $60-thousand [dollars] in contributions from a controversial spiritual leader from Yelm, Washington. This, despite the release of a video that shows JZ Knight delivering a profanity-laced attack on the Catholic Church and others. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins reports.

Steve Rhodes / Flickr

In this era of mail-in balloting, political campaigns have become a bit like Santa Claus: he may know if you’ve been bad or good, but they know whether you’ve voted yet or not - and who you’re likely to support.

Steven Lee / Flickr

The airwaves in Washington are chock-a-block with campaign ads. But one group’s missing from the fray despite its reputation for not pulling any punches. We’re talking about Washington home builders.

Oregon political campaigns will continue to have access to unlimited campaign contributions. That's the upshot of a ruling Thursday from the Oregon Supreme Court.

Richard David Ramsey / Wikipedia

She is perhaps the Northwest’s most famous new age spiritual leader. JZ Knight of the Ramtha School of Enlightenment in southwest Washington. Now Knight has a new role: major political donor. She recently wrote a $50,000 check to the state Democratic Party.

Independent Super PACS are playing a big role in the presidential election. At the state level, Washington campaign regulators also predict a deluge of spending by third-party interest groups.

Photo courtesy U.S. White House

President Barack Obama returned to Oregon yesterday for a brief campaign fundraising swing. When candidate  Obama swept through Oregon in 2008, a huge crowd packed Portland's waterfront for a sunny rally that became one of the memorable images of that year's campaign. But the closed fundraiser at the Oregon Convention Center was different kind of affair. From Oregon Public Broadcasting, April Baer reports.

Photo credit: Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Lobbyists have been pounding down the doors of Washington state lawmakers for the last several months. But now that the legislature has adjourned, the roles have suddenly reversed. Just ask lobbyist Nick Federici who advocates for human services organizations.

Nick Federici: “It is a little bit ironic that in a week’s time they went from ‘oh my God I don’t want to talk to you ever again’ to ‘oh, by the way, could you send me a check?’”

Idaho Crowd Cheers Santorum's Pro-Life, Anti-Tax Promises

Feb 14, 2012
Photo by Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum drew an enthusiastic crowd at a campaign stop in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho Tuesday. Some of the loudest cheers came in response to his socially conservative positions.

Northwest Gets In On Super PAC Action

Feb 1, 2012
Wikimedia user: w:User:J.J.

In the first election that so-called “super PACs” can collect unlimited money for presidential races, some big spenders from the Northwest are getting in on the action.