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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Votes reveal political map

A voting district southeast of the Spokane Valley city limits can bask in the bright red glow of being the county’s most conservative Republican precinct. Part of Browne’s Addition, just west of downtown Spokane, can claim bragging rights as the county’s most liberal Democratic precinct.

Senate Democrats propose leadership changes

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Spin Control: Secessionists miss mark wide right

After spending the Apple Cup as a Cougar fan in the midst of Huskies, it strikes me that would-be secessionists could learn a lot from the annual intrastate rivalry. That’s saying quite a bit about the position on the outer ring of craziness of those petitioning the White House to leave the Union, considering the passion that accompanies the game.  For those who have willingly tuned out from presidential politics since Nov. 6, an explanation: Folks disgruntled with the outcome of the election have filed petitions on the White House website to allow their state to secede from the country.

Minorities’ political power rising in statewide elections

SEATTLE – If pollster Matt Barreto is right, then Latino voters in Washington were one of the key factors in Gov.-elect Jay Inslee’s win over Republican candidate Rob McKenna. Barreto estimates that about 140,000 Latinos voted in these past elections. While there were no wide-ranging exit polls conducted here, by pooling polls Barreto roughly projects that Latinos in Washington broke similarly – about 3 to 1 – for the Democrat Inslee as they did for President Barack Obama.

Pollster: Latino voters boosted Inslee

If pollster Matt Barreto is right, then Latino voters in Washington were one of the key factors in Gov.-elect Jay Inslee’s win over Republican candidate Rob McKenna.

Charter schools still face hurdles

SEATTLE – Now that voters have spoken about charter schools, will the new, independent public schools be an option at the beginning of the next academic year? It seems unlikely.

Spin Control: Waiting for election results doesn’t harm anyone

A familiar post-election refrain, as predictable as swallows returning to Capistrano or Cougar fans pinning their Apple Cup hopes on bad weather in Pullman, sounded last week. The amount of time Washington takes to count its ballots and settle elections predictably irked several politicians. The Secretary of State-elect Kim Wyman, Washington’s election chief in waiting, wants to require all ballots to be in elections officials’ hands by Election Day. State Sen. Randi Becker, R-Eatonville, said she’d introduce legislation to do just that.

McMorris Rodgers makes conference chair

Eastern Washington’s clout in the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives appears to be growing. U.S Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Spokane Republican, was chosen by her colleagues Wednesday to serve as chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, the fourth-highest-ranking position in the congressional chamber. The secret ballot vote was conducted in a closed meeting. The tally was not publicly disclosed.

Spokane County won’t take legal action on pot cases

Spokane County prosecutors are following colleagues from King, Pierce and Clark counties in saying they will no longer prosecute adults 21 and older for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. “We are not going to prosecute any new cases,” said Jack Driscoll, chief criminal deputy Spokane County prosecutor, following passage last week by Washington voters of a marijuana-legalization law. “After Dec. 6, it is legal to possess an ounce” if you are 21 or older, he said.

McMorris Rodgers steps up in House power

Eastern Washington’s clout in the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives appears to be growing. U.S Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Spokane Republican, was chosen by her colleagues Wednesday to serve as chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, the fourth-highest-ranking position in the congressional chamber.

Today’s fun video: Making fun of secessionists

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State to plan pot licensing, taxing

OLYMPIA – Washington will be “following the will of the voters and moving ahead” with setting up ways that adults can legally obtain marijuana for recreational use, Gov. Chris Gregoire said Tuesday after meeting with federal law enforcement officials. Gregoire met with Deputy Attorney General James Cole in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday to discuss how the state would implement Initiative 502, which voters passed in last week’s election.

Gregoire: Moving ahead on marijuana

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Today’s weird video: Really upset Obama won

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Changing California a harbinger for GOP

LOS ANGELES – If the future happens first in California, the Republican Party has a problem. The nation’s most populous state – home to 1 in 8 Americans – has entered a period of Democratic political control so far-reaching that the dwindling number of Republicans in the Legislature are in danger of becoming mere spectators at the statehouse.

Law puts churches on varied paths about same-sex weddings

For some pastors, Washington’s new law allowing same-sex marriage only adds a piece of paperwork to the blessings they already give to gay couples making a lifelong commitment. For others, the new law has no bearing because their church rules already bar them from marrying people of the same sex.

Wyman will be next secretary of state

SEATTLE – The Democratic candidate for secretary of state conceded Saturday, making Kim Wyman Washington’s next top election officer and the only Republican to win a statewide election this year. In turn, Democrat Kathleen Drew came close to breaking a Republican grip on the secretary of state’s office. Democrats have not produced a secretary of state in nearly 50 years.

Spin Control: Murray was key in party recruiting

It might be easy to argue that the biggest winner in Tuesday’s election, outside of the folks who were actually on a ballot, was Patty Murray. She certainly sounded like it last week. “I’m really excited,” she said with greater-than-normal enthusiasm in a phone interview while on her way to catch a plane.