In local legislative contests, outside spending reshapes races

November 27, 2012

Issaquah Democrat Mark Mullet raised $315,166 in the race to represent Issaquah in the state Senate and garnered 36,630 votes throughout the 5th Legislative District.

The total raised amounts to about $8.60 per vote for the ubiquitous campaign mailers, yard signs and TV spots, and online advertising in Mullet’s successful race against Snoqualmie Republican Brad Toft.

Toft collected $306,599 and received 30,683 votes districtwide — or about $9.99 per vote.

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How much did Issaquah legislative candidates raise?

November 27, 2012

The candidates to represent Issaquah in Olympia raised a combined $1.5 million to fund legislative campaigns.

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Officials examine Eastside Fire & Rescue’s business plan

November 27, 2012

It remains to be seen whether things will stay cordial when dollar figures get involved, but Eastside Fire & Rescue partners appear to be finding common ground regarding ways to fund the agency.

The agency is in a full-fledged review of the way it does business, with elected officials and city and EFR staff members holding weekly committee meetings to address the way fire service is provided and how cities are billed for it. The agreement between EFR’s partners — Issaquah, Sammamish, North Bend, and King County fire protection districts 10 and 38 — is due to expire at the end of 2014.

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Junior State of America promotes activism

November 27, 2012

Sampurna Basu Skyline High School

Although election season has wrapped up, members of Skyline High School’s debate club, JSA, have been part of the political hype from the very beginning.

Skyline JSA’s mission is to promote political activism and awareness in all of its members, thereby fighting apathy and giving youths the chance to speak their minds. At weekly meetings, students debate current issues and events using standard parliamentary procedure. The meetings, coupled with regional competitions and chapter conventions, are a great way for students to further their debate and public speaking skills.

This year, the club also had the exciting opportunity to host Democratic candidate Mark Mullet (recently elected to represent Issaquah in the Washington State Senate), at one of its meetings, giving students the chance to learn about his campaign platform firsthand.

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Eastside Fire & Rescue to build Issaquah garage

November 20, 2012

Eastside Fire & Rescue board members signed off on a $268,000 plan Nov. 8 to add an outbuilding behind the agency’s Issaquah headquarters.

The 50-by-100-foot garage — plus a 48-by-20-foot covered parking area — would shelter fire trucks, aid units and other vehicles that now sit uncovered behind the headquarters building, exposed to rain, wind and snow. The new building would also allow the agency to free up space in its shop facility that is used to house equipment.

“This is not a Cadillac or Rolls Royce addition,” said Mark Mullet, EFR board member and Issaquah city councilman. “This is barebones … This is the cheapest building we could build.”

The plan for the building includes a 30-year depreciation schedule that allows an EFR partner to be reimbursed for most of its portion of the building if it leaves the agency.

Mark Mullet elected to represent Issaquah in state Senate

November 13, 2012

Mark Mullet embraces wife Sabath at Zeeks Pizza on election night Nov. 6 moments after initial results give him a lead in the race against Brad Toft for the 5th Legislative District’s state Senate seat. By Greg Farrar

The unexpectedly ugly race to represent Issaquah in the state Senate reached a coda in the days after the Nov. 6 election, but not before more public friction between the candidates.

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Maria Cantwell discusses jobs, stumps for votes in Gilman Village

November 13, 2012

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell focused on the economy and education during a campaign stop at Issaquah’s Gilman Village early Nov. 2, and urged voters to return ballots by the Election Day deadline.

Maria Cantwell

Cantwell’s 26-city “Jobs for Washington” bus tour across the state stopped at the Issaquah Coffee Co. In remarks to a group of sign-toting Democrats and local dignitaries, she emphasized efforts to aid small businesses since the economy collapsed in 2008.

“In my opinion, a lot of money went to Wall Street and the five big banks, and Main Street got the short end of the stick,” she said. “Well, we worked hard to try to correct that by passing a new bill to help support community banks who would lend to small business. In fact, that program helped banks from Issaquah to Bellingham increase their lending to small businesses by as much as 24 percent.”

Cantwell said Eastside residents — and a workforce defined by Boeing engineers and Microsoft programmers — value quality education.

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Off the Press

November 13, 2012

Campaign tests candidates’ — and voters’ — mettle

Warren Kagarise
Press reporter

Throughout campaign season, as the insults zinged back and forth across screens and in mailboxes, I often hoped for Election Day to arrive as soon as possible.

But now, as the election recedes into memory I feel wistful, maybe even a little nostalgic.

Though the process often degraded the candidates and, in the process, voters, I found the contenders dedicated and focused on the task at hand.

Candidates knock on thousands of doors in the run-up to Election Day, a process referred to in candidate-speak as doorbelling. The exercise tests the candidates’ mettle and offers voters a grassroots introduction to the person behind the political sign.

Besides the usual pitfalls — unfriendly dogs, voters pretending not to be home — everybody on the doorbelling circuit, state Sen. Steve Litzow told me in a pre-election interview, encountered at least one naked voter at the door.

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Brad Toft concedes state Senate race to Mark Mullet

November 9, 2012

NEW — 10:05 a.m. Nov. 9, 2012

Less than 24 hours after urging supporters to wait for more election results, Snoqualmie Republican Brad Toft conceded a hard-fought state Senate race to Issaquah City Councilman Mark Mullet early Friday.

Toft could not overcome the lead Mullet, a Democrat, posted on election night, and then continued to maintain as subsequent results arrived. In the most recent results released Thursday by King County Elections, Toft trailed Mullet, 54 percent to 46 percent, out of 50,681 ballots tallied.

“There’s a disappointment in what happened, but the cause goes on,” Toft said in a message to campaign supporters Friday.

Mullet declared victory after the initial election results landed Tuesday, and then disputed Toft’s assertions about a possible turnaround in subsequent days.

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Mark Mullet maintains state Senate lead over Brad Toft

November 7, 2012

NEW — 6:50 p.m. Nov. 7, 2012

Issaquah Democrat Mark Mullet maintained a lead of more than 3,000 votes over Snoqualmie Republican Brad Toft in the latest round of results, as the candidates awaited resolution in the 5th Legislative District state Senate race.

Mullet held about 54 percent — or 23,216 votes — to Toft’s 46 percent — or 19,909 votes — among more than 43,000 ballots counted in the race so far.

The total released at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday added 4,012 ballots to the 39,174 ballots tallied in the race on Election Day.

Mullet, owner of Zeeks Pizza in the Issaquah Highlands and a city councilman, declared victory during a party at the restaurant, moments after the initial results landed Tuesday.

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