In presidential election, voters face health care choice

October 30, 2012

Hall Monitor
Joshua Schaier
Skyline High School

For many seniors, this election will be their first opportunity to vote and the first time that they’ve really had to pay attention to the issues. The Affordable Care Act is one of the biggest issues in the 2012 election. It is hotly contested by politicians from both parties. What about this law has stirred such passionate reactions from both sides?

The ACA is a law that strives to make sure Americans have the health insurance coverage they need. To ensure that more Americans get health insurance, a tax is placed on Americans who don’t buy health insurance and refuse to buy it. It also makes sure that insurance companies are more tightly regulated.

Many Americans feel the government has no right to interfere in healthcare, and think Americans who don’t want health insurance shouldn’t be penalized for that decision. They see it as a question of the government encroaching on their freedoms.

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Student Mock Election asks for future voters’ opinions

October 25, 2012

NEW — 9 a.m. Oct. 25, 2012

The minimum age to vote is 18, but the hurdle did not stop students throughout the Issaquah School District from casting ballots in the tight races for president and governor.

Educators on local campuses organized mock elections or joined the annual Student Mock Election overseen by the state elections office to educate students about the importance of participation in the political process.

Students at Issaquah and Tiger Mountain Community high schools, Issaquah Middle School, and Creekside, Endeavour and Sunny Hills elementary schools cast ballots in ersatz elections or plan to do so by the actual Election Day, Nov. 6.

Teachers involved in the mock elections said the exercise is about more than determining whether students support Jay Inslee or Rob McKenna for governor.

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Voter turnout is forecast at 81 percent, less than 2008 record

October 18, 2012

NEW — 3 p.m. Oct. 18, 2012

Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed on Thursday predicted 81 percent voter turnout, a robust response to the races for president and governor, but less than the record set in 2008.

Washington is home to 3,880,859 registered voters. State elections officials said 149,202 people registered or reactivated a registration since the August primary.

The historic average turnout in a presidential and gubernatorial year since 1952 is 79.2 percent. Reed does not expect the turnout — or ballot return, in the case of all-mail voting — to match or exceed the record level 84.6 percent in 2008.

In King County, officials started mailing 1.16 million ballots to voters Wednesday. The deadline to postmark or return ballots is Nov. 6.

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King County Elections mails 1.16 million ballots to voters

October 17, 2012

NEW — 9:30 a.m. Oct. 17, 2012

King County Elections plans to mail more than 1.16 million ballots to voters Wednesday as all-mail voting starts in federal, state and local contests.

The election marks the first presidential contest since King County started conducting all-mail elections and since Washington transitioned to a vote-by-mail state.

“Voters should watch for their ballots in the mail and contact us if they haven’t received it by Monday, Oct. 22,” Elections Director Sherril Huff said in a statement. “We anticipate a high turnout, and we encourage all voters to get their ballots voted and returned no later than the Election Day deadline — the earlier, the better.”

King County voters should also start receiving voters’ pamphlets in the mail in the coming days. Voters receive a local pamphlet from the county and a state pamphlet from the Office of the Secretary of State.

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Press Editorial

October 9, 2012

Join conversation at candidate forum

In 2008, fueled in part by the historic candidacy of Barack Obama to the highest office in the land, voters engaged in the political process in a once-in-a-generation way.

Though 2012 cannot recapture the sense of excitement, contests up and down the ballot merit some serious attention from Issaquah voters. So much attention is focused on the race for president, but Washington voters must decide important races for governor and other executive positions.

Voters also face a chance to make history through ballot measures to legalize marijuana and affirm the rights of same-sex couples to marry.

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Off the Press

October 9, 2012

Campaign trail includes strange detour

Warren Kagarise
Press reporter

Journalism puts me into some strange situations from time to time, but the oddest yet remains the time I met Ann Romney, wife of Mitt and potential first lady-in-waiting.

The memory came rushing back to me Oct. 3, as I watched Romney greet her husband onstage after his debate with the president.

I met Romney in December 2007, before the former Massachusetts governor suffered a surprise loss to Mike Huckabee in the Iowa caucuses.

I worked as a reporter at a Florida newspaper group at the time and, through a connection to the publisher, slipped behind the cordon to interview Ann Romney after a meet-and-greet fundraiser in Vero Beach, Fla.

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Local Democrats rally, volunteer as party gathers in Charlotte

September 11, 2012

First lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama gesture to the crowd at the Democratic National Convention on Sept. 6. By Emiliana Chavez

The television audience for the 2012 Democratic National Convention remembers the event for speeches from former President Bill Clinton, first lady Michelle Obama and more, but local delegates to the convention said projects far from the convention floor defined the days in Charlotte, N.C.

The agenda for the event included the usual party business — a blur of speeches and celebrations — and Southern hospitality aplenty.

Washington Democrats sent 121 delegates and eight alternates to the convention. The delegate ranks included Issaquah resident Jennifer Sutton and Sammamish resident Dorothy Willard.

Sutton joined a volunteer effort from Craftsman and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” host Ty Pennington called House United. The project enlisted volunteers at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., to start construction on a home.

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Off the Press

September 11, 2012

Delegates defy conventional wisdom

Warren Kagarise
Press reporter

Early on, I dismissed the 2012 Democratic and Republican conventions as prime-time infomercials for both parties, more spectacle than substance.

Scenes from the convention stages in Tampa, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C., seemed about as garish as Times Square. For proof, look no further than the Republicans’ set fashioned from 13 giant LED screens — and billed as “America’s living room.”

Cynicism abounds come campaign season, and I admit to feeling more than a little jaded about the parties’ conventions.

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Costco cofounder at Democratic convention: ‘Costco’s story is the American story’

September 6, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Sept. 6, 2012

Costco cofounder and former CEO Jim Sinegal offered a forceful defense of President Barack Obama’s economic policies Wednesday in a speech at the Democratic National Convention.

Jim Sinegal

Sinegal said Obama is more likely to create a hospitable climate for job creation than Republican rival Mitt Romney. The former leader of Issaquah-based Costco also countered GOP criticism of Obama’s “you didn’t build that” line.

“We built our company in a place where anyone can make it with hard work, a little luck and a little help from their neighbors and their country,” Sinegal said to delegates and attendees at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C. “I’m here tonight because Costco’s story is the American story.”

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In Issaquah and Tampa, local Republicans join party festivities

September 4, 2012

State Sen. Dino Rossi visits the floor at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. Contributed

Cyrus Krohn, a pioneer in efforts to increase the GOP’s online presence, sat out the 2012 Republican National Convention.

The downtown Issaquah resident did not attend the convention in Tampa, Fla. — not in person, at least.

Instead, Krohn, a former digital strategist for the Republican National Committee, participated in a Google+ Hangout — or group video chat — streamed at the convention.

“Technology is such now that I feel like I’m a virtual participant in that I can keep up with everything, I can watch Web videos, I can follow the tweets and the posts,” he said. “It’s almost as good as being there without having to wear a raincoat.”

Even downpours from then-Tropical Storm Isaac did not dampen the mood in Tampa as party faithful gathered to nominate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for president.

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