government

Why would someone who had been accused of financial misdeeds run for political office? That’s a recurring question in the case of indicted Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley.

The first-term Democrat is accused of corrupt business practices and tax evasion -- allegations that have dogged him since before he ran for statewide office.

Now, Kelley has pleaded not guilty to federal charges and is on leave.

An impressive résumé

Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley was elected to root out waste and fraud in state and local government. Now, the first-term Democrat faces federal charges that he defrauded escrow company customers and the IRS.

Flickr

A grain handling facility in Eastern Washington has been leaking chemicals into the only source of drinking water for a local school district. The Environmental Protection Agency now wants to add it to the Superfund list of hazardous waste cleanup projects.

Washington Attorney General's Office

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson is filing a lawsuit against a Super Bowl ticket vendor who, he says, sold Seahawks fans bogus tickets.

Some paid SBTickets.com $2,000 to $3,000 for a pass to the game.

And they didn't find out there weren't any tickets until they had already flown to Arizona for the Super Bowl.

One fan told Ferguson the company wasn't in touch until after the big game.

Washington state lawmakers are more than a third of the way through their 105-day legislative session.

Paid sick leave and a boost in the minimum wage are among the top priorities of organized labor in Washington state this year.

It’s the end of week two of Washington’s legislative session. Already more than 1,200 bills have been introduced.

U.S. Pacific Fleet / Flickr

The USS Michigan will be the first submarine to allow enlisted women to serve onboard. It’s part of the Navy's plan to have women doing 20 percent of the jobs on mixed gender submarines by 2020. The Michigan is an Ohio-class nuclear-powered guided missile submarine stationed at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor.

The Navy began allowing female officers on subs three years ago. Lieutenant Commander Brian Bandura says allowing enlisted woman is the next step in the Navy’s plan to a fully integrated submarine force.

Washington Consolidated Technology Services

 

     

A foil-wrapped secret room is a plausible use for unused portions of Washington’s new data center. That’s according to a national expert on what Time Magazine has dubbed “spy-proof rooms.”

You’ve likely never heard of a SCIF. Unless you’re a fan of the TV show Drop Dead Diva.

“Excuse me, what’s a SCIF? It is a Sensitive Compartmentalized Information Facility,” the show says.

Northwest News Network

  

The fate of a human trafficking lawsuit against Backpage.com is now in the hands of the Washington Supreme Court. The justices heard oral arguments Tuesday in a case that involves three underage victims of sex trafficking.

The lawsuit alleges the Washington girls were pimped-out through ads posted to Backpage.com. Erik Bauer is a lawyer for the victims. He argues Backpage has created a sex marketplace where human trafficking can flourish.

MathTeacherGuy / flickr

The state of Washington paid out nearly $50 million last fiscal year to people who were somehow harmed by the state. The numbers were released Tuesday in an annual report on “tort claim payouts.”

Photo credit: Wikimedia user Jay8g / Wikimedia Commons

California billionaire Tom Steyer is poised to help Democrats try to win back control of the Washington Senate. But first, his NextGen political action committee had to satisfy a quirk in the law. Call it the ten-ten rule. In Washington, political committees have to jump a small hurdle before they can play in Washington’s political sandbox.

Washington State Legislature / http://www.ltgov.wa.gov/

Washington Lt. Gov. Brad Owen has agreed to a $15,000 ethics fine. The settlement announced Friday stems from the five-term Democrat’s use of state resources to operate a non-profit with his wife.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

The Washington Supreme Court has its first openly gay, Asian-American, Latina justice. Former King County Superior Court Judge Mary Yu was sworn-in Tuesday. Yu will run in November to finish out the term of retiring Justice Jim Johnson. Like a lot of appointed judges this year, Yu faces no opposition on the ballot.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Ralph Nader has never been elected president, but his new book has a broad-based coalition of endorsements that range from Grover Norquist on the right to Robert Reich and Cornel West on the left, in which Mr. Nader finds in a partisan time the outlines of a new political force that crosses all party lines. His new book is "Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance To Dismantle The Corporate State." Ralph Nader joins us in our studios. Thanks so much for being with us.

RALPH NADER: Thank you very much, Scott.

According to a National Park Service report, towns around national parks lost an estimated $414 million during the partial government shutdown last October.

Robert S. Donovan / Flickr

Washington’s ethics boards should define how often lawmakers can dine out at lobbyist expense. That’s the consensus of nearly a dozen state senators. They’ve signed onto a proposal that would direct legislative and executive ethics panels to clarify the rules for lobbyist-paid meals.

The political divide is already on display in the Washington state capitol as lawmakers convened for their 60-day election year session.

Republicans are lining up for the chance to take on Oregon Democratic U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley. Portland doctor Monica Wehby tossed her hat into the ring Tuesday.

Federal workers in Oregon who were furloughed during the partial government shutdown won't get extra pay for that time off after all.

Washington and Idaho want recently furloughed federal workers to repay unemployment benefits. But a quirk in Oregon law means affected workers in Oregon will get to keep whatever they received.

From Crater Lake to Mt. Rainier, visitors wasted no time returning to the Northwest’s national parks and monuments.

National Guard members in the Northwest will get the chance to make up the training they missed during the partial government shutdown.

The partial government shut down may be over. But the impacts are still being felt. One casualty has been the start of the Alaska king crab season.

A lot of Northwest fishermen earn part of their living from that catch, and they're still sitting in port without pay Thursday .

Right now, the crew of the crab boat Handler would usually:

"Be making bait this morning, getting ready to set our gear. Getting ready to do fishing. That’s what we do. Now we’ve just come out here to sit?"

Even if the federal government re-opens immediately, some people in the Northwest fear they’re still going to feel the effects of the partial shutdown.

Furloughed EPA Workers Anxious to Return to Work

Oct 16, 2013

A deal is in the works today for Congress to end the partial government shutdown. If it goes through, hundreds of thousands of furloughed federal employees could be back at work as early as tomorrow.

Jelson25 / Wikipedia

For federal employees it’s payday Tuesday, but because of the partial government shutdown thousands of federal employees are getting a reduced paycheck. Among them air traffic controllers at Sea-Tac airport who are getting paid about half of what they would normally get.

brewbooks / Flickr

Timber companies filed a lawsuit Monday against the federal government. They claim there is no legal reason to suspend logging during the partial government shutdown.

Shutdown Halts Logging On Northwest's National Forests

Oct 11, 2013
U.S. Forest Service

Loggers are packing up and leaving timber sales uncut across the Northwest. It's another effect of the partial government shutdown. Timber companies say even if a deal is reached soon at the nation's capitol, the effects from the logging hiatus could be felt all the way into next spring.

Oregon State University

An Oregon State University research vessel is continuing its federally funded mission even though the federal government is shutdown.

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