October 23, 2012
Candidates staked moderate positions and touted the importance of education as the contenders for offices to represent Issaquah in Olympia gathered for a candidate forum Oct. 18.
Education emerged as the signature theme in the races to represent local constituents in the state Senate and state House of Representatives. Candidates also tackled issues related to taxation, transportation, land use and — as lawmakers prepare for more budget cuts next year — government spending.
October 16, 2012
5th Legislative District — state House of Representatives
How can the state fulfill its “paramount duty” to fund education, despite budget limitations?
• Budget writers must follow the Supreme Court ruling to fund education as our “first and highest priority before any other state programs or operations.”
What specific steps can state government take to entice businesses to expand or relocate to Washington?
• Reduce burdensome regulations by aligning with federal standards, reform workers compensation and unemployment insurance programs to lower costs, and simplify the B&O tax structure.
What specific steps can state government take to increase revenue, despite the existing limitations?
• A revenue-neutral swap of state property tax for local school levies would bring $1 billion of education funding into a more regular and dependable tax structure.
What specific steps can state government take to shore up Washington’s higher education system?
• Return to a 50-50 deal with university students and restore funding levels to their historical average, rather than just 8 percent of the general fund.
October 16, 2012
The candidate no longer in the race looms over the contest for the 5th Legislative District’s state Senate seat.
Cheryl Pflug, a Republican former senator and erstwhile candidate, is a constant presence in the race — in television spots supporting the Democrat in the contest and in diatribes from Republicans.
The acrimonious race to succeed Pflug pits the Democrat, Issaquah City Councilman Mark Mullet, against Republican Brad Toft, a manager for a national financial services firm and a Snoqualmie resident.
In a race focused on the economy and education, distractions abound — including Toft’s past legal troubles and accusations of dirty campaign tactics from both sides.
Toft entered the race late last year, before Mullet announced plans to run and Pflug filed for re-election.
October 9, 2012
Hear from the candidates for offices in Olympia and Washington, D.C., at a candidate forum cosponsored by The Issaquah Press, the American Association of University Women and the League of Women Voters.
The lineup for the Oct. 18 forum includes candidates for the state House of Representatives and state Senate, plus a candidate to represent Issaquah in Congress. The forum includes candidates in contested and uncontested races.
The event is not a debate. Candidates offer opening statements to the audience and then answer a series of questions from the moderator, Publisher Debbie Berto.
October 9, 2012
Education is the No. 1 priority for state House of Representatives candidates in the 5th Legislative District — a local school board member and a citizen advocate for education.
Issaquah School Board member Chad Magendanz, a Republican, and North Bend Democrat David Spring remain focused on education in the race for a rare, open House seat.
In a 7-2 ruling delivered in January, state Supreme Court justices said the state is not fulfilling the “paramount duty” to fund education. Both candidates in the 5th District race said education funding is a bipartisan issue.
“There’s a huge amount of work to do together,” Magendanz said. “When you set aside all of the partisan rhetoric and you really focus on what needs to be done for our kids, for our future, there is a lot of work there.”
Issaquah School Board members appointed Magendanz to the panel in 2008. The software design consultant ran unopposed for the seat in 2009.
October 2, 2012
Voters can hear from candidates for the state House of Representatives and Senate on Oct. 9 at a forum organized by the Issaquah and Sammamish chambers of commerce.
The lineup includes the contenders for a 5th Legislative District House seat — Republican Chad Magendanz and Democrat David Spring — and the Senate seat — Democrat Mark Mullet and Republican Brad Toft.
The candidates in the 41st Legislative District, state Rep. Marcie Maxwell, D-Renton, and Issaquah Republican Tim Eaves — plus state Sen. Steve Litzow, R-Mercer Island, and Mercer Island Democrat Maureen Judge — also plan to attend.
State Rep. Jay Rodne, R-North Bend, the uncontested candidate for the other House seat in the district, is also expected to attend.
The forum is from 3:30-5 p.m. at Blakely Hall, 2550 N.E. Park Drive. Organizers plan to focus on business and economic issues.
September 18, 2012
Data from the Aug. 7 primary shows how Issaquah voters decided — and offers clues to how the local electorate might vote in the November general election.
August 14, 2012
King County voters endorsed a $200 million property tax measure to build a juvenile justice facility to replace the aging Youth Services Center, a juvenile detention facility in Seattle.
The property tax measure, Proposition 1, appeared on a crowded primary ballot alongside federal, judicial, legislative and statewide contests.
August 14, 2012
Election enthusiasm, fresh from New Jersey
Election Day, as a barrage of ads across all media reminds us, is only weeks — days, really — into the future.
Forget the Aug. 7 primary and the gaggle of also-ran candidates for state auditor, state insurance commissioner and other unglamorous-but-important roles. Until Nov. 6, all attention is focused on the race for governor.
Yes, I realize the presidential contest represents a watershed moment, but Washington is not a battleground state and the most locals can expect to see is more in-state fundraising from President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
Though the presidential race inched tantalizingly close to Issaquah in recent months — Obama in Seattle, Bellevue, Hunts Point and Medina; and Romney in Bellevue and Medina — neither candidate crossed Lake Sammamish.
So, in the meantime, amid the ubiquitous TV ads featuring Jay Inslee’s bulldozer and Rob McKenna’s family, do not overlook the races farther down the ballot.
August 7, 2012
NEW — 8:40 p.m. Aug. 7, 2012
King County voters endorsed a $200 million property tax measure to build a juvenile justice facility, as King County Elections released initial results Tuesday night.
Officials asked voters to fund a replacement for the aging Youth Services Center, a juvenile detention facility in Seattle.
The measure appeared on a crowded primary ballot alongside federal, judicial, legislative and statewide contests. Voters in Issaquah and throughout Washington returned ballots in recent days, as the calendar inched closer to the summer primary — and the Tuesday deadline to postmark or return ballots.
The electorate chose 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.