Posts tagged: 2012 elections
Republican Matt Shea will seek a third term in the state House of Representatives, not the open seat on the Spokane County Board of Commissioners.
Shea had been mentioned as a possible contender for the commission seat that two-term incumbent Mark Richard said he was leaving last week. This morning, however, Shea scheduled his campaign kickoff for the House re-election campaign next Tuesday evening at Felts Field, saying he was grateful for all the encouragement to run for the commission seat but wanted to continue work in the Legislature.
“I feel I must stay and fight to remove the tangle of taxes and regulations that is causing businesses and jobs to move out of the Spokane Valley and the state of Washington,” he said in a prepared statement.
Shea won the hotly contested open seat in 2008 in the traditionally Republican 4th Legislative District in 2008, and ran unopposed in 2010. So far this year he has one announced opponent, Democrat Amy Biviano, a certified public accountant and former county party chairwoman.
The race for Richard's commission seat already has one announced Republican, Shelly O'Quinn, and two Democrats, former Spokane City Councilman Bob Apple and former television newscaster Daryl Romeyn, talking about possible campaigns.
As a political novice running against a member of the congressional leadership, Rich Cowan said he hopes to use what some would consider his weakness against what many would consider Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ strength.
“This is the worst Congress ever, and she’s part of the leadership of it,” said Cowan, who opened a campaign headquarters Tuesday in Spokane.
Spokane radio talk show host Laurie Roth will not be the Constitution Party’s nominee for president, but is considering a run as a “tea party” independent.
That’s a tough route to the White House, she conceded in typically colorful language Tuesday: “It’s going to be like climbing up Mount Everest in a bikini with no oxygen. I think my country’s worth it.”
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Laurie Roth, a syndicated radio talk show host who broadcasts from Spokane County, is trying to parlay her strong conservatism, an unusual tax plan and the story of her near-death experience into a bid for the presidency.
The self-described Annie Oakley of the Airwaves says she was called by God about a year ago to make the campaign journey from her doublewide trailer in Elk, Wash., to the White House and turn the nation around.
“I am the comeback kid. I am the Seabiscuit story,” Roth, a 51-year-old mother of two, said. “America is road kill, and so was I.”
On Saturday she'll find out if the Constitution Party, one of the nation’s largest third party organizations, will choose her to lead their ticket in the fall election. She’s one of three main candidates, along with Virgil Goode, a former Republican congressman from Virginia and Robby Wells, a former college football coach, seeking the support of the conservative political party at its national convention in Nashville…
OLYMPIA — Two more initiatives to legalize private use of marijuana hit the streets this week, as proponents of what's being dubbed the Cannabis Child Protection Act employ a two-pronged strategy.
They've drafted identical bills, one as an initiative to the voters for this fall's ballot and another as an initiative to next year's Legislature. If they collect signatures on both for the next three months, but if they don't have enough signatures on the first by early July, they'll scrap it and keep collecting signatures on the legislative initiative, which has a January deadline.
The proposal allows people 21 and older to grow, possess and use marijuana, and buy it from any other adult of their choosing. But it has penalties for minors who buy, sell or possess the drug, and felony charges for adults who sell to minors. There are exceptions for parents, giving them “the ability to guide their children's exposure for spiritual and social use”, and for medical marijuana patients.
Text of I-1223, the version that's trying to get on the November ballot, can be found here.
Voters already will face one marijuana initiative in the general election. I-502, which is a different approach to legalizing marijuana for personal use, was an initiative to the Legislature which goes to the voters because legislators failed to act on it.
OLYMPIA — Responding to a shot from Gov. Chris Gregoire that she doesn't need a “monkey wrench” thrown into budget negotiations, a campaign spokesman for Rob McKenna said the GOP candidate won't be releasing a full-blown budget on Monday.
Rather, it will be a statement of principles that a McKenna adminstration would use when compiling a sustainable budget.
The campaign announced this morning McKenna would hold a press conference Monday to announce a “budget policy paper”. Asked about the impact that would have on ongoing talks to close the current budget shortfall — something that's consumed a special session in December, the 60-day regular session and nearly two-thirds of the current special session — Gregoire said she didn't know what McKenna was planning, but a new budget proposal wouldn't be helpful.
“I don't need a sixth budget proposal,” she said. “I don't need somebody external…to throw a monkey wringe into” negotiations.
Charles McCray III, campaign spokesman for McKenna, said the budget proposal will be the latest in a serious of white papers that provide “guiding principles to push us in the direction of sustainability” on state spending, not a full-blown spending plan.
“He's not inserting himself into negotiations,” McCray said.
As for the timing of the press conference, McCray said that was when it “fit on the calendar.” It wouldn't be a problem, McCray added, “if they had done their job during the regular session.”
How close are they to reaching a budget deal? About this close, Gov. Chris Gregoire said today.
OLYMPIA — Legislative negotiators are closer to a comprehensive agreement on the state's General Fund budget, but some of the hardest decisions remain, Gov. Chris Gregoire said today.
Gregoire said they need to reach agreement by next Tuesday to have any chance of the Legislature working out the details, writing the budget in the proper legal language and passing it by Good Friday. Plans for Rob McKenna, the Republican attorney general running for governor, to announce his own budget proposal on Monday are not helpful, she said.
“I don't need something external…to throw a monkey wrench into it,” she said of budget talks.
The McKenna campaign announced the likely GOP gubernatorial nominee will release a “budget policy paper” Monday afternoon in Olympia.
“The failure of the Legislature to complete its most basic task of passing a budget proves that Olympia is broken and highlights the need for a new direction,” McKenna said in a prepared statement accompanying the announcement of the press conference. “My budget policy paper provides some specific ideas on how a McKenna administration will approach creating a sustainable budget.”
Sustainability has been one of the main watchwords of legislative Republicans as they pushed for changes in the spending plans of majority Democrats. But both sides argue that the other has proposed things that are one-time budget gimmicks and therefore not sustainable. Republicans criticize Democratic plans to delay a payment to the school districts by a day, shifting those costs into the next biennium. Democrats criticize Republican plans to skip a payment to the state's pension systems.
Gregoire has said both ideas are “off the table” as negotiators look for a comprehensive budget solution.
The governor said she hadn't heard of McKenna's plans but contended that a specific spending plan at this stage would not be helpful. “I don't need a sixth budget proposal. Why weren't these ideas brought up to us two months ago or one month ago?”
Budget negotiators are looking at a package of ideas that touches all aspects of the budget along with ideas for reform and added revenue. “There's something in that package for all of them not to like,” she said. Once there's an agreement among leaders, they'll have to put it to their members and see if they have the votes to pass it.
The likely Republican and Democratic candidates for governor will debate this June in Spokane. An on-again, off-again match up of state Attorney General Rob McKenna and former U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee in front of a major state business group appears on again, for good.
The Association of Washington Business announced, and the campaigns confirmed, Inslee and McKenna will debate at The Bing Crosby Theater on June 12 as part of the group's quarterly meeting, in an event co-sponsored by Greater Spokane, Inc. As recently as Monday, the Inslee campaign was refusing to debate at that particular time and place, accusing the AWB of bad faith in announcing the event before all details were worked out…
OLYMPIA – Lisa Brown, the top-ranking Democrat in the Senate, will seek another four years in central Spokane’s 3rd District.
Brown, who was widely expected to seek re-election to another term, was first elected to the Legislature in 1992 and now serves as Senate Majority Leader. She said she wants to continue work on protecting education and expanding jobs and opportunity in Spokane.
“I’ve led legislative efforts to restore the Fox Theater, redevelop the YMCA/YWCA community centers and build our Riverpoint medical campus,” she said in the press release formally announcing the campaign.
The 55-year-old Brown is a single mother with a son in college who teaches economics at Gonzaga University when the Legislature is not in session.
While she has had relatively easy campaigns against novice candidates in recent years, 2012 could prove to be a tougher race. Spokane City Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin, a Republican, has talked about running against Brown and has press conference Tuesday morning for a campaign announcement.
Dave White, a county utilities inspector and Republican activist, will run for the state House of Representatives this fall in central Spokane’s 3rd District in an effort to rein in state spending and improve state infrastructure.
White, 59, said Thursday he’ll challenge Democratic incumbent Timm Ormsby, hoping to fare better than 2010 when he lost the race for the other House seat to Democrat Andy Billig.
“Two years ago, I was an unknown and got almost 40 percent with very little help,” he said. Since that time, he has served as a Republican precinct officer, been more involved in the political process and worked to keep the city from closing a branch library.
White criticized Democrats for wasting the public’s time by not passing a budget even though they hold majorities in both houses. “We keep spending money that we do not have,” he contended.
The solution is for Republicans to pick up enough seats in the House to get the majority there, then “put our politics aside and just do what is right.”
White is the first Republican to file for a legislative race in the 3rd, which usually is a strongly Democratic district. All three incumbents, Ormsby, Billig and state Sen. Lisa Brown, are seeking re-election.
For more about White's campaign platform, read his press release.
OLYMPIA—Washington voters will choose candidates this fall for the congressional and legislative districts approved this year by a special commission, the state Supreme Court said Wednesday.
Whether those districts will need to be adjusted before the 2014 elections, based on a challenge that they were improperly drawn, remains to be seen. But with the filing deadline for candidates only about two months away, the court said that for 2012, at least, the districts are the ones that determine where voters live, and where candidates run.
Secretary of State Sam Reed, Washington's top elections official, called the ruling “very good news” especially for counties which are scrambling to adjust their voting precincts to comply with the new districts.
The Redistricting Commission finished its work on Jan. 1 of redrawing all the state's legislative districts and adding a tenth congressional district based on the 2010 Census results, and the Legislature approved those districts on Feb. 7. John Milem, a Vancouver citizen who attended almost every meeting of the commission and submitted his own sets of legislative and congressional boundaries, filed a challenge to the new maps on Feb. 8, saying the new districts divide too many cities and counties and reduce competition rather than encourage it.
The Supreme Court said it will consider the challenge, but Milem and the state attorney general's office still have some groundwork to do on setting up the basic facts of the case, and if they can't agree, they may need a Thurston County Superior Court judge to step in, and report back to the high court by May 29.
That's too late for Washington's candidate filing week, which runs from May 14 to 18. Ballots for the state primary go in the mail in July.
“Our 2012 elections season is barrelling down on us,” Reed said.
U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee resigned his congressional seat today to concentrate on his run for governor.
Inslee announced he'd leave Congress on March 20, saying he was not one “half-measures or half-hearted efforts.”
“It was a difficult decision, but what I need to do right now is focus all my attention on talking to people about what’s really important – creating jobs and growing our economy,” he said.
Inslee is considered the likely Democratic nominee against Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna for this year's governor's race. They are the “name” candidates for both parties for the open seat.
But Inslee's campaign has come under fire from some Democrats for a slow start, and Republicans criticize hom for any missed vote that's a result of his being in the state to campaign.
“I look forward to hearing Congressman Inslee explain how 15 years in Washington, D.C. have prepared him to lead our state, now that he is quitting Congress,” McKenna said.
With presidential candidates making their quadrennial stops in the Inland Northwest ahead of the caucuses, Republican voters might be wondering how to pick among the four remaining candidates.
After all, none of the four has very strong connections to the region, or has spent much time in the area when not on the campaign trail. And some haven’t even made so much a pit stop here yet.
Spin Control decided to get some insight from one fairly well-known Republican who served with at least three of the four would-be nominees. Former Rep. George Nethercutt was elected to the House in the historic GOP takeover engineered by Newt Gingrich, and served with Rick Santorum and Ron Paul during his six years there.
So who’s he backing? . . .
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Mitt Romney doesn’t have a campaign stop in the Inland Northwest yet, but one of his sons, Josh, is attending a campaign meet and greet, plus caucus training, at 12:15 Tuesday at Center Place in the Spokane Valley.
U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell's campaign released its campaign contribution reports from the last quarter of 2011 which shows it had just over $4 million “on hand” as of Dec. 31.
(On hand makes it sound like the money is sitting around on someone's desk, or in a wall safe at campaign headquarters, but it's really the Federal Election Commission's term for in the bank.)
She raised about $1.3 million in contributions in the last three months of the year and spent about $521,000. Most of the money at this point is coming from individuals — she picked up $3,000 from Democratic party groups and $6,500 from other political committees in the fourth quarter.
Cantwell, a Democrat seeking her third term, has two announced Republican challengers, state Sen. Mike Baumgartner of Spokane and Art Coday, a Shoreline physician. Neither have filed reports yet for the final quarter of 2011.
OLYMPIA — The beginning of January doesn't just mark the beginning of the Legislature. It is also the beginning of the initiative filing season.
Earlier today, an Everett attorney filed paperwork for an initiative that would define marriage as strictly between one man and one woman. Well, actually the language says “This act reaffirms the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman,” because it's an attempt to shore up the Defense of Marriage Act, which is currently on the books but could be changed if the Legislature passes a bill that would allow same-sex marriage.
One might wonder about the political wisdom of this, or at least the timing. The same-sex marriage bill isn't being proposed as one that comes with a referendum clause, which would send it automatically to the ballot, but such a clause might be needed in any compromise that moves it through the Legislature. Even if it doesn't have such a requirement, however, opponents could send it to the ballot by gathering half as many signatures as an initative needs. Putting an initative and a referendum on the same topic on one ballot is a recipe for confusion…just ask the groups that sponsored two liquor initiatives in 2010.
And should the Legislature fail to pass a same-sex marriage bill, do sponsors really want to place the issue on the November ballot, and risk the prospect of voters rejecting the one-man, one-woman description? Or will they just fold their tents and stop gathering signatures?
Meanwhile, Tim Eyman is on track to retain the title of most prolific initiative filer, with five different ballot initiatives already in the hands of the Secretary of State. He has proposals on preserving $30 car tabs, super majorities for tax increases, restricting traffic ticket cameras, stopping government fraud and “protecting the initiative.” That last comes down hard on anyone harassing signers or signature gatherers, and adds six months to the process so initiatives can be filed as early as July of the year before the election, rather than January of election year.
Eyman makes clear that his organization has yet to determine which, if any, of these it will push. “We want to see how the legislative session unfolds,” he says in a press release that doubles as an appeal for money from contributors.
What may well be the first gubernatorial debate of the Washington election season could happen June 12 in Spokane.
The Association of Washington Business, which has a long history of gubernatorial matchups in front of its membership, wants to have Attorney General Rob McKenna and U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee face off the Bing Crosby Theater during the group's annual spring meeting.
But after it announced the debate this week, the Inslee campaign said it was still working on the schedule and hadn't yet committed to that event or any other debate, forum or joint appearance. (Editor's note: an earlier version of this post said the debate was set.)
“It's on our list of things we wanted to schedule,” Jaime Smith, campaign spokeswoman said, adding she was aware the group has a long tradition of holding a gubernatorial debate but was baffled that AWB's announcement came before a formal commitment. “We've got lots of invitations.”
Jocelyn McCabe, a spokeswoman for AWB, said scheduling a debate is a bit like planning a wedding. You get the place, the date, the time first, then handle some of the other details like format and lining up media partners a bit closer to the event. It has Greater Spokane Inc., as a co-sponsor of the debate. The group needed to schedule its spring meeeting in Spokane and book the hall for the debate now. It told the Inslee campaign it would announce the matchup in early January. And did.
“We're having the debate,” McCabe said.
And if Inslee can't make it? They may be having a conversation with McKenna, because it requires at least two people to debate.
Also on the AWB's planned fight card — oops, debate schedule — will be state attorney general candidates Reagan Dunn and Bob Ferguson.
The debates will take place before either race is officially set, because the state primary isn't until early August. But that isn't a concern for the Inslee campaign. In fact, he's called for six debates across the state, divided geographically, and with some focusing on set issues, so to wait until after the primary for a half dozen debates would require cramming the debates pretty closely together.
McCabe, spokeswoman for AWB, said both campaigns would be given a set number of tickets to watch the debate along with the group's members.
Moderating both debates would be Austin Jenkins of Northwest News Network. The Bing has been the site of several memorable political debates for local offices.
Now it might be the back drop for what is a regular feature of most hotly contested races: a debate over debates.
The campaign of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has won the endorsement of U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, Romney's campaign announced today.
McMorris Rodgers will serve as Romney's chairwoman in Washington, his campaign said in a news release.
Not sure how often this happens, but over the weekend, a guest column by a Washington State University professor was featured in the New York Times.
Matthew Sutton, an associate professor of history at WSU, writes about the prospect that the apocalyptic beliefs of some fundamentalist Christians might help knock Barack Obama out of the White House and elect the GOP nominee.
It's called “Why the Anti-Christ Matters in Politics.”
It's an interesting premise, whether you ultimately believe it or not.
U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee appeared to criticize his fellow Democrats when introducing his campaign for governor to Spokane on Tuesday.
“Frankly, we need some new blood in Olympia,” Inslee said in his speech. “Having not been in Olympia, I think I'm in pretty good shape to bring a little new blood to Olympia and stop some of the ossification that has happened there.”
Democrats control the state House, state Senate and governor's office.
Besides highlighting his time outside Olympia, he also stressed his time outside the Puget Sound.
“Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a governor who's lived outside the shadow of the Space Needle for once?” Inslee said.
Inslee, who lives on Bainbridge Island, lived near Yakima when he first served in Congress in the early 1990s.