Government and Politics

Wash. Unemployment Drops
4:08 pm
Wed May 16, 2012

Washington’s Unemployment Rate Continues Slow Drop

Washington State Capital in Olympia reportsthe state's jobless rate continues to inch downward.
Photo credit: Wikimedia user Jay8G Wikimedia Commons

Washington’s jobless rate continues to inch downward. The April numbers out Wednesday put unemployment at 8.1 percent. That’s down from 8.3 percent in March. Most of April’s job growth was in manufacturing. State economist Dave Wallace says so far 2012 is proving to be a recovery year in Washington.

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Washington State Foreign Investment Board
5:52 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

Wash. Investment Board Hires Security Firm After Close Calls Overseas

A series of close calls on overseas trips has led the Washington State Investment Board to contract with a top global security firm. One incident even had the potential to turn into a kidnapping.

From China and India to remote mining areas in Patagonia and Western Australia. These days Washington state investment officers travel the globe to see firsthand real estate and other investment opportunities. But visits to emerging markets come with risk. According to state documents, staff members have been threatened in Rio de Janeiro, swept up in a civil riot in Nigeria and even, in one case, eluded what could have turned into a kidnap and ransom situation in remote Southeast Asia.

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Washington's U.S. Senate Race
5:28 pm
Mon May 14, 2012

Wash. U.S. Senate Race Overshadowed By Gubernatorial Match-Up

Michael Baumgartner of Spokane will challenge incumbent U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell.
Washington State Senate

This is the week candidates formally file for office in Washington. Republican State Senator Michael Baumgartner made it official Monday: he will challenge incumbent U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, a Democrat. But the race is starting out as a bit of a mismatch.

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Export-Import Bank Bill
4:40 pm
Mon May 14, 2012

Cantwell Hopes Senate Republicans Will Vote To Continue Export-Import Bank

Senator Maria Cantwell said the bank helps fund international trade out of states like Washington.
United States Senate

On Monday the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on the Export-Import Bank bill, which passed overwhelmingly in the House last week. In a trip to Spokane on Friday, Senator Maria Cantwell said the bank helps fund international trade out of states like Washington. She says the bank’s authorization expires at the end of the month.

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Gregoire Supports Gay Marriage
5:35 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Wash. Gov Emerging As Unlikely Gay Rights Activist

Washington Governor Christine Gregoire's role in helping pass a same sex marriage law has made her a sought after spokesperson for the movement.
Washington Office of the Governor

Washington Governor Chris Gregoire is emerging as an unlikely gay rights activist both at home and on the national stage. Her role in helping pass a same-sex marriage law this year has made Gregoire a sought after spokesperson for the movement. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins explains.

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Oregon Attorney General Election
5:01 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Oregon Attorney General Candidates Make Final Push

Candidates for Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and Dwight Holton.
Photo credit: OPB News Northwest News Network

The two Democrats running for Oregon Attorney General are making a final push as Tuesday's election nears. Both of the candidates have raised about $600,000 each, according to the latest figures.

Current Oregon Attorney General John Kroger says he'll step down this summer to take a job at Reed College in Portland. That means whoever wins the Democratic primary could have an inside shot at taking over the job in a matter of months, if they're appointed by Democratic governor John Kitzhaber.

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Third Party On Oregon Ballot
5:22 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Americans Elect Qualifies For Oregon Ballot

Americans Elect has submitted enough valid signatures to qualify for the Oregon ballot in November.
Northwest News Network

A new political group will appear on the Oregon presidential ballot this fall. The Oregon Secretary of State's office announced Thursday that Americans Elect has submitted enough valid signatures to qualify. But voters will have to wait a little longer to find out who the party's candidate will be.

"Americans Elect" calls itself a non-partisan organization that's trying to give Americans a third option for president. The group says it will hold an internet primary to select a candidate next month.

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Referendum 74
4:24 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

R-74 Campaign Hopes For Boost From President's Marriage Comments

President Barack Obama endorsed same sex marriage in an interview with Robin Roberts of ABC's Good Morning America.
Photo courtesy of the White House Northwest News Network

Northwest gay rights supporters are cheering President Obama’s comments that he thinks same sex couples should be able to marry. But organizers of a petition drive to repeal Washington’s new marriage equality law hope to capitalize on the President’s new stance.

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Obama To Speak In Seattle
4:30 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

Obama To Appear at Two Fundraising Events in Seattle on Thursday

President Obama will speak at an unnamed private residence and the Paramount Theatre in Seattle.
Photo credit: Wikimedia user OESX Wikimedia Commons

President Barack Obama is due back in Seattle on Thursday for two fundraising events to benefit his re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

The first is a brunch for big donors and the second is a reception at the Paramount Theatre.

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DSHS Morale
4:56 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

Morale At Washington’s Biggest State Agency Plummets

Department of Health and Human Services employees are lacking zeal at work.

The Great Recession has taken its toll on morale at Washington’s largest state agency. Employee satisfaction at the Department of Social and Health Services has plummeted over the past couple of years. That’s according to a new employee survey.

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