Voting is important for everybody, and so is information

September 18, 2012

Hall Monitor
Veronica Austin
Liberty High School

As a senior in high school, I know that many of my peers will be eligible to vote in the coming election. Needless to say this is a marvelous thing — the exercising of our democratic rights is something we all ought to be eager to do — but I have one question: Who are they voting for?

Many may have already decided on their choice in the presidential race (with only two candidates to choose from, and a seemingly endless campaign having already made the respective platforms fairly clear) but what about the state gubernatorial race? Who should we choose to be our representatives in Congress? Can we even name the candidates for state senate?

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Shootings, election politics contribute to rise in gun sales

September 4, 2012

Police said recent mass shootings, and a superheated presidential election campaign, contributed to a rise in handgun-license requests to local law enforcement agencies.

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Lawmakers earn award for family legislation, performance as employers

September 4, 2012

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert and other Evergreen State lawmakers earned recognition as family-friendly bosses on Capitol Hill.

Overall, 30 lawmakers — Democrats and Republicans alike — received the 2012 Best of Congress Award from Corporate Voices for Working Families and Working Mother Media. The award recognizes lawmakers’ legislative accomplishments and performance as employers.

“I recognize the constant struggle of so many people to make family life a priority while working to excel in a beloved career,” Reichert said in a statement.

Reichert represents Issaquah and the 8th Congressional District. The former King County sheriff and Auburn Republican is running for re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Murray, a Democrat and longtime advocate for issues related to working families, has represented Washington in the U.S. Senate since 1993.

Washington Democrat Adam Smith and Washington Republican Cathy McMorris Rodgers also received the award. Smith represents Newcastle and the 9th Congressional District. McMorris Rodgers represents the 5th Congressional District in Eastern Washington.

Leaders mark 75th anniversary of wildlife restoration law

September 4, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 4, 2012

State leaders recently celebrated a federal law passed 75 years ago to help Washington and other states manage wildlife, purchase habitat and educate hunters.

Gov. Chris Gregoire and state Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Phil Anderson said the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937, provided Washington with millions of dollars to support wildlife conservation and hunter education initiatives.

Sept. 2 marked 75 years since Roosevelt signed the legislation into law.

The law is better known as the Pittman-Robertson Act after the prime sponsors, U.S. Sen. Key Pittman, D-Nev., and U.S. Rep. A. Willis Robertson, D-Va.

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Press Editorial

August 14, 2012

Hired lobbyist could be good investment

We like the idea of the city of Issaquah hiring a lobbyist to represent its interests in Olympia to state lawmakers.

The lobbyist will be there primarily to bring money back to the city, going after local “earmarks,” a term generally associated with Washington, D.C., and Congress.

It doesn’t quite seem right to invest taxpayer dollars to go after a bigger pot of taxpayer dollars, but that’s the reality of today. Think of it as a donor development manager, a position paid for by many nonprofits. Most cities the size of Issaquah now use a paid lobbyist.

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Seniors urged to watch out for health care fraud

August 7, 2012

Seniors should remain vigilant against a health scam, state and federal officials warned July 13.

The state Office of the Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission said scammers exploiting the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent health care ruling could use the decision to scam consumers.

State law enforcement officials received a tip after a scammer called the tipster’s mother and asked her for health care information to “update” her about the Affordable Care Act. The caller asked for the woman’s checking account number.

Earlier, Better Business Bureau leaders warned consumers to remain on the lookout for scams related to the health care ruling. Scams related to the federal health insurance law started immediately after Congress passed the legislation in 2010.

Election includes ‘lots of great races’ for voters to decide

August 4, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 4, 2012

The top elections official in Washington, Secretary of State Sam Reed, urged strong turnout in the upcoming primary election.

Ballots must be postmarked or slipped into a designated ballot drop box by Tuesday.

The summer primary — bumped up 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 Issaquah area, voters must select the top candidates for state House of Representatives and U.S. House of Representatives seats, in addition to selecting hopefuls for judicial and statewide posts.

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Patty Murray, Dave Reichert receive ‘Best of Congress’ honor from family groups

July 25, 2012

NEW — 11:30 a.m. July 25, 2012

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert and other Evergreen State lawmakers each earned a 2012 Best of Congress Award on Wednesday from national organizations advocating for working families.

Overall, 30 lawmakers — Democrats and Republicans alike — received the honor from Corporate Voices for Working Families and Working Mother Media. The award recognizes honorees for leadership in improving the quality of life for working families, plus support for congressional staffers.

“I’m honored to be chosen to receive the 2012 Best of Congress award,” Reichert said in a statement. “Throughout my life and career, I’ve seen firsthand the difficulty of balancing work and family life. I recognize the constant struggle of so many people to make family life a priority while working to excel in a beloved career. In my legislative work and the organizations I’ve been fortunate to be a part of, I have always been committed to improving the lives of working families.”

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Washington elected officials earn honor for conservation efforts

July 24, 2012

Evergreen State elected officials earned a national honor for efforts to conserve Washington wilderness.

Both U.S. senators, Democrats Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, and the Issaquah representative in the U.S. House of Representatives, Republican Dave Reichert, received recognition as America’s Great Outdoors Congressional Champions from The Wilderness Society, a national conservation group.

The organization also recognized other Washington representatives, Democrats Norm Dicks and Rick Larsen, for conservation efforts.

Murray earned recognition for championing the 106,000-acre Wild Sky Wilderness in the Cascades. Murray and Reichert coauthored the Alpine Lakes Wilderness additions bill to add 22,000 acres and more than 30 miles of rivers in the Middle Fork of Snoqualmie River and the Pratt River valleys.

Cantwell worked to preserve the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail and introduced legislation to preserve public access and protect lands in the San Juan Islands.

The recognition came in late June during Great Outdoors America Week.

“Washington state is fortunate to have incredibly strong advocates for protecting and reconnecting Americans to the great outdoors,” said Peter Dykstra, Pacific Northwest regional director at The Wilderness Society.

Tom Douglas, Rick Steves join forces to remind voters to return ballots

July 19, 2012

NEW — 4 p.m. July 19, 2012

Local elections administrators enlisted renowned chef Tom Douglas, travel guru Rick Steves, Seattle Storm players and other local celebrities to remind voters to follow ballot instructions.

The elections departments in King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties, plus the Office of the Secretary of State, collaborated on the voter education project. The effort is meant to inform voters about the voting process. The celebrities involved in the campaign donated their time for the effort.

The campaign includes radio, TV and online advertisements to remind voters to sign return ballot envelopes, return ballots back on time and follow other important instructions. The deadline to return primary election ballots is Aug. 7.

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