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Office Hours

Posts tagged: President Obama

President Obama singles out Spokane business owner in remarks about health care bill and small business benefits

Added this morning: video of the president's remarks on Janine Vaughn. She's mentioned at 10:18 mark.

Spokane business owner Janine Vaughn hit the weekly-double this week, in terms of national press attention.

On Friday at a Washington, D.C., event, President Obama highlighted Vaughn's small Spokane business, Revival Lighting, and how last year's health care law has helped her stay in business and keep the business profitable.

Obama singled out Vaughn during a keynote address before a gathering of more than 1,000 health care advocates at a D.C. hotel.

Earlier this week and right after the president's state of the union address, Vaughn was singled out and received prominent mention in the White House blog. The White House blog comments are here.

She's singled out for having a businesswoman's positive view of the new health care law. The blog says: “Janine says that the Affordable Care Act has given her more peace of mind. Before it was signed into law in March 2010, she had to think hard about whether she was going to be able to even offer insurance to her employees in the future, but now, the tax credits remove that worry.”

We ran a story on Vaughn in the Spokesman-Review on Sept. 28, taking note of her support then for the state initative to add an income tax for high-worth earners.

That initiative was defeated soundly by the voters.

Itron could use more visits with Obama

Did it make any difference when Itron Inc. CEO and President Malcolm Unsworth met with President Barack Obama in a Rose Garden ceremony last week?

The Itron stock symbol seems to tell the story.On Friday morning, April 30, Itron shares opened at $80.45. That morning Unsworth, with two Itron manufacturing workers, met Obama and listened as the president praised efforts by U.S. firms like Itron in helping meet the pressing needs of a more efficient electric grid.

At 11:40 a.m., shortly after the White House event, shares of Itron hit their recent high point, at $81.75. That’s the high price point over the past two years.

Since then the Itron share price has slid southward. As of today, it’s trading at $75 and change. To see the earlier Office Hours blog entry on the Rose Garden event, it’s here.

Deloris Duquette, who is vice president for sales development and operations at Liberty Lake-based Itron, said the real reason for the spike was the April 28 Q1 financial results.

“We released earnings after the market closed on the 28th and beat expectations by quite a bit and saw a (roughly) $5 uptick in the price on the 29th on very heavy volume.”

Right after the earnings report, the Thursday and Friday total volumes of shares traded also soared to more than one million shares, Duquette pointed out.

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John Stucke John Stucke is a deputy city editor who helps build local news coverage and writes about health care, bankruptcy and rural affairs.

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