Washington’s presidential electors to cast votes for Barack Obama, Joe Biden

December 9, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Dec. 9, 2012

Washington’s Electoral College members plan to cast votes Dec. 17 for President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

Each state is afforded the same number of electors equal to the number of senators and representatives a state has in Congress. Washington possesses 12 electoral votes, one for each congressional district and another two for each senator. Democrats chose the electors from the state’s 10 congressional districts at caucuses in May, and chose the at-large electors at the state Democratic Party convention in June.

The group plans to gather in Olympia to cast votes for Obama and Biden. The incumbents received 56.16 percent of votes in Washington. Republican Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan pulled in 41.29 percent statewide.

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USS Arizona Memorial inspires photographer to capture Pearl Harbor images

December 4, 2012

Jerry Kaufman (left) hands a copy of his book, ‘Renewal at the Place of Black Tears,’ to U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, a World War II veteran. Contributed

The day etched into history for the brazen attack on Pearl Harbor and the tremendous loss of life — Dec. 7, 1941 — repeats often for Jerry Kaufman.

The photographer and Issaquah resident created a book of images dedicated to the steady release of oil from the USS Arizona shipwreck, or “tears of the Arizona” in Pearl Harbor lore. For years, Kaufman journeyed from Washington to Hawaii to collect images at the memorial for the eventual book, “Renewal at the Place of Black Tears” — photographs shot at the majestic structure.

The multicolored patterns formed by the intermingling of oil and water long intrigued Kaufman and provided inspiration for the book. “Renewal at the Place of Black Tears” also struck a chord among the throngs of visitors at the USS Arizona Memorial.

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Governor urges Congress to pass sales tax bill

December 4, 2012

Gov. Chris Gregoire urged Congress on Nov. 26 — Cyber Monday, the largest online shopping day all year — to require online businesses to collect sales tax.

The governor said Washington businesses face unfair competition from online and mail-order retailers that fail to collect sales taxes.

The proposed Marketplace Fairness Act aims to give states the option to collect sales and use tax revenues from out-of-state sellers.

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Wanted: Local reaction to ‘fiscal cliff’

December 4, 2012

The “fiscal cliff” is dominating the national conversation, and The Issaquah Press seeks residents concerned about the ongoing negotiations and potential fallout.

White House officials estimate a typical middle-class family of four could see taxes rise by $2,200 if the president and lawmakers cannot reach a deal to avert the crisis.

Email your contact information to editor@isspress.com, or contact the newspaper on Twitter at www.twitter.com/issaquahpress, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/issaquahpress.

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Legislation to aid law enforcement proposed on shootings’ anniversary

November 29, 2012

NEW — 4 p.m. Nov. 29, 2012

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert introduced legislation Thursday — three years to the day after a gunman killed four Lakewood police officers at a coffee shop — to improve information sharing among local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

Reichert, a former King County sheriff and Auburn Republican, joined another Washington lawmaker, U.S. Rep. Adam Smith, to introduce the Department of Justice Global Advisory Committee Authorization Act.

Investigators determined the killer in the Lakewood shootings, Maurice Clemmons, was a convicted felon on parole and the relevant information was not effectively transmitted to proper authorities.

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Costco CEO tells president not to raise middle-class taxes

November 27, 2012

Costco CEO Craig Jelinek told President Barack Obama not to raise taxes on the middle class, after the president called Jelinek to discuss the looming “fiscal cliff” — tax hikes and spending cuts poised to go into effect Jan. 1.

Jelinek, Issaquah-based Costco’s CEO since January and a longtime company executive, offered support for a compromise between Obama and Congress to avoid a tax increase for middle-class taxpayers. The president called Jelinek on Nov. 17, in a broad effort to reach out to the business community.

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Governor urges Congress to require online businesses to collect sales tax

November 27, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 27, 2012

Gov. Chris Gregoire urged Congress on Monday — Cyber Monday, the largest online shopping day all year — to require online businesses to collect sales tax.

The governor said Washington businesses face unfair competition from online and mail-order retailers that fail to collect sales taxes. Gregoire said Congress should address the issue by passing legislation to treat out-of-state sellers the same as local businesses.

The proposed Marketplace Fairness Act aims to give states the option to collect sales and use tax revenues from out-of-state sellers. U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., introduced the bill a year ago.

Congress is now reconvening to address expiring tax provisions and the looming “fiscal cliff” crisis. Gregoire said the focus on taxation issues is a good opportunity to address the online sales tax legislation.

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Costco CEO tells president not to raise middle-class taxes as ‘fiscal cliff’ nears

November 20, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 20, 2012

Costco CEO Craig Jelinek told President Barack Obama not to raise taxes on the middle class, after the president called Jelinek to discuss the looming “fiscal cliff” — tax hikes and spending cuts poised to go into effect Jan. 1.

Jelinek, Issaquah-based Costco’s CEO since January and a longtime company executive, offered support for a compromise between Obama and Congress to avoid a tax increase for middle-class taxpayers. The president called Jelinek on Nov. 17, in a broad effort to reach out to the business community.

Costco employs more than 115,000 workers in the United States, including about 2,700 people in Issaquah. Jelinek told the president the company’s middle-class employees and customers — particularly small business owners — “have borne the brunt of the recession.”

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Editorial

October 30, 2012

Karen Porterfield for Congress

Issaquah Democrat Karen Porterfield is an excellent choice to represent the expansive 8th Congressional District.

In 2004, voters elected Republican Dave Reichert to succeed Republican Jennifer Dunn in Washington, D.C. Since then, Reichert has failed to distinguish himself in the U.S. House of Representatives and too often seems detached and unavailable from constituents at home. He does deserve credit for his work in Congress to expand the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

Following redistricting last year, the 8th District covers more ground, stretching from Auburn to Issaquah to Wenatchee. The change in the district is a good time to change representation.

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Gubernatorial hopefuls support hatcheries, parks

October 23, 2012

Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Rob McKenna clashed in a recent series of debates, but the candidates vying to serve as Washington’s next governor share similar positions on local issues, such as support for the state parks system.

Jay Inslee

Rob McKenna

The race at the state level is focused on the candidates’ policies on education and transportation — hot topics on the docket as Inslee and McKenna met in recent weeks.

The Issaquah Press asked the candidates about funding for state parks, salmon restoration and growth management — key concerns in Issaquah and the surrounding area.

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