Former school board member enters race for Congress

January 31, 2012

Larry Ishmael, a former Issaquah School Board member and Republican challenger to U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee in 2006 and 2008, is running for Congress in the redrawn 1st Congressional District.

The independent candidate eschewed a party label for the latest run, but said voters seek a candidate unattached to the political establishment in either party.

“The reasons I ran in 2006 are the same reasons I am running today, bitter partisan politics have destroyed Congress’s ability to accomplish anything for the American people,” he said in a statement. “The only way to break the cycle of pain is to elect more independents that are willing to represent their constituents in Congress and not their political party or special interest groups.”

Ishmael faltered in the contests against the incumbent Democrat, garnering 32 percent against Inslee in 2006 and 2008 — both strong years for Democrats in Washington and nationwide. Inslee is running for governor against Republican state Attorney General Rob McKenna.

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Larry Ishmael, former Issaquah School Board member, enters race for Congress

January 30, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Jan. 30, 2012

Larry Ishmael, a former Issaquah School Board member and Republican challenger to U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee in 2006 and 2008, is running for Congress in the redrawn 1st Congressional District.

The independent candidate eschewed a party label for the latest run, but said voters seek a candidate unattached to the political establishment in either party.

“The reasons I ran in 2006 are the same reasons I am running today, bitter partisan politics have destroyed Congress’s ability to accomplish anything for the American people,” he said in a statement. “The only way to break the cycle of pain is to elect more independents that are willing to represent their constituents in Congress and not their political party or special interest groups.”

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Rob McKenna highlights fight against human trafficking

November 8, 2011

Rob McKenna, state attorney general, addresses local business leaders Nov. 2 at a Nonprofit Leadership & Civic Service Summit. By Greg Farrar

In a speech to Issaquah business and nonprofit leaders Nov. 2, gubernatorial candidate and state Attorney General Rob McKenna highlighted efforts to combat human trafficking — a global pipeline into forced labor and the sex trade.

McKenna, as the top legal officer in Washington and president of the National Association of Attorneys General, launched a nationwide initiative in June to combat human trafficking.

“Human trafficking is now a $32 billion global criminal enterprise in our world,” he said at a Nonprofit Leadership & Civic Service Summit organized by the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce.

The attorney general and Republican candidate for governor served as the keynote speaker. U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee is the Democrat in the 2012 gubernatorial race.

Criminals smuggle 14,000 to 17,000 people into the United States each year for forced labor, McKenna said. In addition, rough figures indicate smugglers traffic 100,000 to 300,000 people each year inside the country, although the problem could be larger.

“What we don’t know is how people are being trafficked within countries — from one part of India to another, from one part of China to another or from one part of the United States to another,” he added.

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In Issaquah stop, Rob McKenna highlights fight against human trafficking

November 3, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 3, 2011

In a speech to Issaquah business and nonprofit leaders Wednesday, gubernatorial candidate and state Attorney General Rob McKenna highlighted efforts to combat human trafficking — a global pipeline into forced labor and the sex trade.

McKenna, as the top legal officer in Washington and president of the National Association of Attorneys General, launched a nationwide initiative in June to combat human trafficking.

“Human trafficking is now a $32 billion global criminal enterprise in our world,” he said at a Nonprofit Leadership & Civic Service Summit organized by the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce.

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Issaquah Chamber of Commerce to spotlight nonprofit groups at leadership summit

October 25, 2011

Rob McKenna

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce leaders plan to showcase local nonprofit organizations at a summit dedicated to the groups’ efforts in the community.

The chamber is hosting a Nonprofit Leadership & Civic Service Summit on Nov. 2 to spotlight nonprofit organizations and encourage business leaders to foster closer ties to the nonprofit sector.

“It’s a tough time for everybody,” chamber CEO Matthew Bott said. “If there are ways we can work together and partner, that’s what the chamber wants to help do.”

The chamber lined up Issaquah Mayor Ava Frisinger, Leadership Eastside President James Whitfield and state Attorney General Rob McKenna, a Republican candidate for governor, to speak at the summit.

(U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee is the Democrat in the gubernatorial race.)

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Meet statewide candidates at Eastside Candidate Forum

October 18, 2011

Though the focus in the November election is on local races and statewide initiatives, voters can preview the candidates on the 2012 ballot at the Eastside Candidate Forum.

The forum is 9 a.m. Oct. 22 at The Golf Club at Newcastle, 15500 Six Penny Lane.

The candidates for governor — U.S. Rep Jay Inslee, a Democrat, and state Attorney General Rob McKenna, a Republican — plan to attend.

Citizens can also hear from the candidates vying to replace McKenna as the state’s top law enforcement officer, King County councilmen Reagan Dunn, a Republican, and Bob Ferguson, a Democrat. (Dunn represents Newcastle and rural areas south of Issaquah on the council.)

The event is not a debate. Under the format, the candidates appear individually and can speak for up to 15 minutes.

The golf club, the Municipal League of King County and the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce partnered to produce the forum. In the past, the Newcastle forum has hosted county, congressional and state candidates.

Redrawn maps could shift Issaquah congressional, legislative districts

September 20, 2011

Issaquah could shift into a redrawn congressional district under plans from the panel responsible for redrawing Washington’s political map.

The bipartisan Washington State Redistricting Commission unveiled four proposals — one from each commissioner — Sept. 13 to reshape the state’s congressional districts. The task for commissioners is made more complicated by the addition of a 10th district to account for population growth since 2000.

The maps serve as a starting point as commissioners negotiate the boundaries for the 2012 elections. If the commission fails to create a final map by Jan. 1, then the state Supreme Court is responsible for redrawing the districts.

Issaquah, long inside 8th Congressional District boundaries, could shift into the 1st Congressional District as commissioners assemble districts using data from the 2010 Census.

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Press Editorial

September 20, 2011

Redistricting matters to Issaquah area

Washington is in the midst of a once-a-decade chance to re-evaluate the lines on a map that create our congressional and legislative districts. Unfortunately, redistricting has become a politically partisan activity.

Please, powers-that-be, draw the lines based on logical groups of people, not on how best to achieve a legislative majority.

Logic does not divide small cities. Logic does not have a district that encompasses large portions of both sides of the Cascades. Logic does not base district boundaries on today’s representation without acknowledging that elected officials and political leanings will change dramatically over the next decade.

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Redrawn political maps could shift Issaquah into different districts

September 13, 2011

NEW — 4:45 p.m. Sept. 13, 2011

Issaquah could shift into a redrawn congressional district under plans released Tuesday from the panel responsible for redrawing Washington’s political map.

The bipartisan Washington State Redistricting Commission unveiled four proposals — one from each commissioner — to reshape the state’s congressional districts. The task for commissioners is made more complicated by the addition of a 10th district to account for population growth since 2000.

Commissioners now start negotiating to set the boundaries for the 2012 election. If the commission fails to create a final map before Jan. 1, the state Supreme Court is responsible for redrawing the districts.

Residents can comment on the proposals at a series of meetings in Olympia.

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