government

Greg Dunlap / Flickr

Washington’s idled construction industry continued to show signs of life in August. Nonetheless, the state’s jobless rate still rose slightly. Overall Washington lost 1,100 jobs last month. The new unemployment rate announced Wednesday is 8.6 percent -– up a tenth of a percent from July.

David Snyder / National Park Service

Oregon and Washington are contemplating a dramatic shift in drug policy this November. But the initiatives to legalize marijuana are getting little attention from state lawmakers on the campaign trail.

Liam Moriarty / KPLU

One of the Northwest’s leading solar power advocates likely used his state position to help a company he was working for get an unfair tax designation. That’s the conclusion of a state ethics board investigation released Friday.

Oregon State Sen. Frank Morse To Resign

Sep 14, 2012
Campaign photo / Northwest News Network

Long-time Oregon state Sen. Frank Morse says will resign his seat. In an emotional speech on the floor of the state Senate Friday, Morse said he no longer has the energy for what he called a “marathon with no finish line.”

Photos courtesy Watkins and Kelley campaigns

Character is quickly becoming a key issue in the race for Washington State Auditor. Republican James Watkins and Democrat Troy Kelley sparred Wednesday over the question of honesty as they debated before a business audience.

Watkins reiterated his attack from last week: that Kelley can’t be trusted because of past civil allegations that he misappropriated millions of dollars. Watkins told the debate audience about a deposition Kelley gave in a 2001 wrongful termination lawsuit in California.

Campaign photos / Northwest News Network

Character is quickly becoming a key issue in the race for Washington State Auditor. Republican James Watkins and Democrat Troy Kelley sparred Wednesday over the question of honesty as they debated before a business audience.

Photo Credit: Chris Lehman

The Chinese government is playing the role of art critic in Corvallis. A giant mural there depicts a Tibetan monk setting himself on fire.

Pocatello, Idaho, is on track to become the state’s second city to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. The city council there is drafting an ordinance to protect gays and lesbians in matters of housing and employment.

TVW

Past allegations of corrupt business practices have come back to haunt Troy Kelley, the Democratic candidate for Washington state auditor. Kelley’s Republican opponent Thursday launched a website containing hundreds of pages of court documents. Some of them contain accusations that Kelley misappropriated funds and attempted to move the money offshore.

Northwest News Network

As Democrats gather in North Carolina for their convention, there’s new research from the Northwest on the power of partisan rhetoric. Turns out, your core political beliefs can trump your education level when it comes to understanding the basic facts of a highly contentious issue.

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.

More than 700 workers in one of Oregon's largest counties are one step closer to walking off the job. Members of the Marion County Employee Association have voted by a three-to-one margin to authorize a strike.

Gregg M. Erickson

Oregon lawmakers got some short term good news Wednesday: state revenues are predicted to be a little higher than previously thought. But the long-term outlook remains gloomy.

Rad Racer / en.wikipedia

This week, we’re taking a look at some of the claims made about marijuana. Voters in Oregon and Washington will decide this November whether to legalize pot. Ballot measures in both states would allow the drug to be sold in state-licensed stores. The Oregon initiative would allow people to grow their own. One of the claims made by opponents of the legalization measures is that the marijuana of today is much more potent than the pot smoked decades ago. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman looked into whether that’s true.

Chmee2 / Wikimedia Commons

This fall, voters in Oregon and Washington will decide whether to legalize marijuana. Washington’s Initiative 502 would allow pot to be sold in state-licensed stores. So would Oregon’s Measure 80. But it would go one step further: The Oregon ballot measure would allow people to grow their own marijuana.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

The ACLU of Washington says at-large city council elections in the city of Yakima dilute the Latino vote and violate the federal Voting Rights Act. The ACLU filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the city.

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.

U.S. House of Representatives

"Irretrievably damaged." That's how Washington Republican candidate for governor Rob McKenna describes U.S. Senate candidate and current Congressman Todd Akin. The Missouri Republican is engulfed in a firestorm of criticism after comments he made over the weekend regarding pregnancies resulting from rape.

More than 700 employees of Oregon's fifth largest county could vote later this month to go on strike. The Marion County Employee Association says it's scheduled a strike vote for August 30.

Final Hours Before Wash. Primary Election

Aug 6, 2012

The most closely-watched primary race is for Washington’s first new governor in eight years. It’s dominated by two candidates: Republican Rob McKenna is the state’s attorney general. Democrat Jay Inslee stepped down from his seat in Congress in March to run for governor.

Facebook

It’s election time again: the Washington state primary is Tuesday. And the election process is changing. Every county in the state uses mail-in ballots now. And social media is gaining a bigger role in the election process.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Washington Republican candidate for governor Rob McKenna proposes to increase funding for public schools by capping all non-education state spending. That’s just one piece of an education funding plan he unveiled Tuesday.

Mitchell Laurren-Ring / Flickr

Northwest voters now have a better sense of which ballot measures they'll need to decide this fall. The Oregon Secretary of State's office announced Friday which initiatives qualified for the ballot. Voters in Washington and Idaho also have several statewide questions to consider.

Washington Aims To Reduce Dual-Registered Voters

Jul 26, 2012

If you recently moved to Washington State and registered to vote, you may still be on the voter rolls of the last state you lived in. In Washington, it’s legal to be registered here and somewhere else. But it's illegal in other states.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

The Oregon Department of Revenue has disciplined four employees over their role in approving a fraudulent $2.1 million tax refund. The announcement Wednesday comes a day after the Salem woman who claimed the cash was sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison.

Obama's Portland Visit Met By Protestors

Jul 24, 2012
whitehouse.gov

President Barack Obama is in Portland this afternoon. He arrived late this morning and met with members of the Oregon National Guard.

The president also made a stop at The Gateway Breakfast House in Northeast Portland, where he greeted diners and sat at a table with three Oregon veterans.

Kristofer Björkman / Flickr

A newly certified initiative to allow non-tribal casinos in Oregon sets the stage for a possible showdown over gambling centers in the state. The Oregon Secretary of State's office announced Monday that it has certified an initiative for the ballot that could eventually lead to the region’s first full-service casino not operated by a tribe.

Claire Thompson / Flickr

Get a traffic ticket, get a letter of reprimand from the Department of Licensing. That’s how it works in Washington if you are a driver between the ages of 16 and 21. The letter-writing campaign is designed to reduce crashes among younger drivers. But some parents don’t appreciate it.

M.O. Stevens / Wikimedia Commons

This fall, Oregon voters will debate the future of one of the state’s most unusual tax policies. Oregon elections officials will soon announce whether an initiative to repeal the state's one-of-a-kind corporate kicker rebate has made the ballot. Backers submitted well over the number of signatures needed. But unlike one recent corporate tax measure, this initiative isn't generating much opposition yet.

Hendrike / Wikimedia Commons

Marijuana initiative activists say Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown is being too aggressive in tossing out petition signatures. One group filed a lawsuit Wednesday saying the rate of invalidated signatures will likely snuff out an initiative to decriminalize marijuana possession.

Pages