Meet candidates in contested congressional, legislative races

July 17, 2012

The only local races contested in the Aug. 7 primary election include a U.S. House of Representatives election and a state House of Representatives election.

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Ballots for August primary to reach voters soon

July 10, 2012

Ballots should start to arrive in King County voters’ mailboxes in the days ahead.

The summer primary — bumped up to Aug. 7 to accommodate military and overseas voters — allows local voters a chance to decide a property tax measure and cull the field in federal, judicial, legislative and statewide contests.

The electorate selects the top two candidates, regardless of party affiliation, in the all-mail primary election. The top vote recipients then advance to an all-mail general election Nov. 6.

In the 5th Legislative District, voters must narrow the field of Republican Chad Magendanz, Democrat David Spring and independent candidate Ryan Burkett in the race for a state House of Representatives seat.

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King County, Washington leaders react after Supreme Court health care ruling

June 28, 2012

NEW — 10:45 a.m. June 28, 2012

King County Executive Dow Constantine and other elected officials split along party lines Thursday after the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on the federal health care overhaul.

In a complex decision, justices on the high court ruled 5-4 to uphold the individual mandate — a requirement for all Americans to enroll in a health insurance plan or pay a penalty. The provision is scheduled to go into effect in 2014.

The ruling limited the plan in the Affordable Care Act — dubbed Obamacare by some — to expand Medicaid for the poor.

Justices ruled the federal government cannot withhold a state’s entire Medicaid allotment if the state does not participate in the planned Medicaid expansion.

“I celebrate the Supreme Court’s ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act,” Constantine said in a statement. “A stable, healthier future has been made possible by this ruling. This is affirmation of our nationwide, bold move toward achieving quality affordable healthcare, and we are moving in the right direction.”

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Issaquah business, government leaders welcome U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert

June 4, 2012

NEW — 3:30 p.m. June 4, 2012

Issaquah business and government leaders greeted U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert on Monday at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the congressman’s Issaquah district office.

In March, the GOP congressman opened the office in a Southeast 56th Street office building uphill from East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast.

The relocation reflects changes in the 8th Congressional District precipitated last year by redistricting. The redrawn district stretches from Auburn in South King County to Wenatchee in Chelan County.

The former district encompassed only communities in King and Pierce counties. Reichert used to operate a district office in Mercer Island, but redistricting shifted Mercer Island into the 9th Congressional District.

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Congressman spearheads ‘blue alert’ legislation

May 29, 2012

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert — Issaquah’s lawmaker in Congress — applauded the May 15 passage of legislation to create a National Blue Alert, a nationwide system to inform the public about people suspected of injuring or killing law enforcement officers.

Reichert, a former King County sheriff and Auburn Republican, cosponsored the National Blue Alert Act of 2012. The bill passed the House of Representatives, 394-1, on National Peace Officer Memorial Day.

“When a criminal murders a law enforcement officer, speedy apprehension is essential to protecting the public, preventing further loss of life and returning peace to communities,” he said in a statement.

The legislation establishes a communications network within the U.S. Department of Justice to disseminate information after a law enforcement officer is killed or injured in the line of duty.

The system is envisioned as similar to the AMBER Alert, a network of electronic billboards, TV spots and other messages to alert people to missing children.

The measure heads to the Senate for additional consideration.

In March, Gov. Chris Gregoire signed a state “blue alert” measure into law.

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert commemorates fallen on Memorial Day

May 28, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. May 28, 2012

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert honored veterans and families on Memorial Day, as the Issaquah representative in Congress also highlighted legislative accomplishments for veterans.

“As so many of us settle into this long weekend looking forward to visiting with and enjoying our friends and family, let us pause to remember those Americans who have given us the liberty to do so,” he said in a statement. “We are blessed to have so many generations of warriors who have fought valiantly for our freedom. They suffered so that those of us who endure may pursue our American dreams.”

Reichert, a former King County sheriff and Auburn Republican, also served in the U.S. Air Force Reserve during the Vietnam War era.

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King County mails voter registration cards to reflect redistricting changes

May 22, 2012

King County Elections is mailing updated voter registration cards to all King County voters.

The elections office started sending the cards May 21. The cards identify a voter’s precinct, and congressional, legislative and King County Council districts. Many districts changed late last year due to post-Census 2010 redistricting.

The recent redistricting affected more than 600,000 of the 1.1 million registered voters in the county.

Officials plan to mail ballots for the Aug. 7 primary election July 18, so mailing the voter registration cards in May allows time for the county to update records before the primary.

Voters can reach the elections office at www.kingcounty.gov/elections. Or call 206-296-VOTE. Visit elections headquarters at 919 S.W. Grady Way, Renton.

Press Editorial

May 15, 2012

Ready to run for political office?

If you are interested in politics and want to make a difference at the state level, this is the week to take the next step. The deadline to file to run for the Washington State Legislature is May 18. From there, it’s full speed ahead to raise campaign funds, seek endorsements, doorbell the voters and recruit volunteers to put up yard signs for the next six months.

In Issaquah, there are two legislative districts — the 5th and 41st — with two House and one Senate seat per district. Of course, there are other state offices up for election in November, everything from governor to insurance commissioner, but the legislative seats are more local-centric.

If you come with a law enforcement background, the position of King County sheriff is seeking candidates. Or if you like real power, go for the 8th Congressional District seat, representing voters from Issaquah to Wenatchee.

All of these races need volunteers as much as they do candidates. Pick your favorite and lend a hand. It’s a great way to learn about the democratic process.

Prefer a closer-to-home run for City Council, mayor, school board or water commissioner? Start preparing, the 2013 campaign season will be here soon enough.

Local Democrats prepare for caucuses, opportunity to shape party priorities

April 10, 2012

Caucusgoers could change state and, perhaps, national policies as Washington Democrats gather for caucuses April 15.

President Barack Obama is the standard bearer for the Democrats in November, but although the party is not in the midst of a nomination fight, caucusgoers can still influence local, state and national issues by shaping the Democratic Party platform. Caucusgoers can present resolutions on political issues for consideration at local, state and national party gatherings.

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King County Council raises deep-vein thrombosis awareness

March 27, 2012

King County Council members — led by Councilman Reagan Dunn — sought to raise awareness of a life-threatening condition March 19, and proclaimed March as Deep-Vein Thrombosis Awareness Month.

Dunn, a local representative on the council, sponsored the proclamation to honor his late mother, former U.S. Rep. Jennifer Dunn. The elder Dunn died in September 2007 from a pulmonary embolism caused by deep-vein thrombosis.

“In honor of my mother, I have worked across the country to raise awareness of this serious, yet preventable, condition,” Reagan Dunn said.

Jennifer Dunn, a former state GOP chairwoman, represented Issaquah and the 8th Congressional District in Washington, D.C., from January 1993 to January 2005.

Deep-vein thrombosis is the formation of a blood clot in a deep vein, most often in the lower leg. The clot can then break off and, if not treated immediately, move into the lungs and block circulation, creating a pulmonary embolism — a life-threatening condition. Pulmonary embolisms caused by deep-vein thrombosis claim up to 300,000 lives in the United States each year.

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