Off the Press

September 11, 2012

Delegates defy conventional wisdom

Warren Kagarise
Press reporter

Early on, I dismissed the 2012 Democratic and Republican conventions as prime-time infomercials for both parties, more spectacle than substance.

Scenes from the convention stages in Tampa, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C., seemed about as garish as Times Square. For proof, look no further than the Republicans’ set fashioned from 13 giant LED screens — and billed as “America’s living room.”

Cynicism abounds come campaign season, and I admit to feeling more than a little jaded about the parties’ conventions.

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City lowers flags to mark 9/11 anniversary

September 11, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Sept. 11, 2012

City leaders lowered flags to half-staff at Issaquah City Hall and other municipal buildings Tuesday to commemorate 11 years since the 9/11 attacks.

The federal government and local governments across the United States lowered flags at public buildings for the day, officially called Patriot Day and the National Day of Service and Remembrance.

The flags should remain at half-staff until late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

“More than a decade later, the world we live in is forever changed,” President Barack Obama said in a proclamation to commemorate the anniversary. “But as we mark the anniversary of Sept. 11, we remember what remains the same: our character as a nation, our faith in one another, and our legacy as a country strengthened by service and selflessness.”

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Costco cofounder at Democratic convention: ‘Costco’s story is the American story’

September 6, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Sept. 6, 2012

Costco cofounder and former CEO Jim Sinegal offered a forceful defense of President Barack Obama’s economic policies Wednesday in a speech at the Democratic National Convention.

Jim Sinegal

Sinegal said Obama is more likely to create a hospitable climate for job creation than Republican rival Mitt Romney. The former leader of Issaquah-based Costco also countered GOP criticism of Obama’s “you didn’t build that” line.

“We built our company in a place where anyone can make it with hard work, a little luck and a little help from their neighbors and their country,” Sinegal said to delegates and attendees at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C. “I’m here tonight because Costco’s story is the American story.”

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In Issaquah and Tampa, local Republicans join party festivities

September 4, 2012

State Sen. Dino Rossi visits the floor at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. Contributed

Cyrus Krohn, a pioneer in efforts to increase the GOP’s online presence, sat out the 2012 Republican National Convention.

The downtown Issaquah resident did not attend the convention in Tampa, Fla. — not in person, at least.

Instead, Krohn, a former digital strategist for the Republican National Committee, participated in a Google+ Hangout — or group video chat — streamed at the convention.

“Technology is such now that I feel like I’m a virtual participant in that I can keep up with everything, I can watch Web videos, I can follow the tweets and the posts,” he said. “It’s almost as good as being there without having to wear a raincoat.”

Even downpours from then-Tropical Storm Isaac did not dampen the mood in Tampa as party faithful gathered to nominate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for president.

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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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Wanted: Local partisans headed to conventions

August 21, 2012

Election Day is coming, and The Issaquah Press is seeking local ties to the political parties’ national conventions, especially Issaquah School District residents headed to the events.

Republicans plan to gather in Tampa, Fla., to nominate Mitt Romney from Aug. 27-30. Democrats head to Charlotte, N.C., to nominate President Barack Obama from Sept. 4-6.

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 as soon as possible.

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Off the Press

August 14, 2012

Election enthusiasm, fresh from New Jersey

Warren Kagarise
Press reporter

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.

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Costco cofounder supports, hosts President Obama

July 31, 2012

Jim Sinegal

Costco cofounder and former CEO Jim Sinegal endorsed President Barack Obama for re-election July 23 and defended the president’s economic policies, less than 24 hours before Sinegal hosted Obama at a campaign fundraiser.

Sinegal and cofounder Jeffrey Brotman launched Costco in 1983. Sinegal stepped down as CEO in January and handed the reins to Craig Jelinek.

Costco relocated corporate headquarters to Issaquah in the mid-1990s. The company is the largest employer in the city, encompassing about 2,700 employees.

Sinegal’s support for Obama comes as presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney lambasted the president’s small business policies.

“You might be seeing some ads or hearing some folks say that President Obama doesn’t support small business owners,” Sinegal wrote in a blog post on the Obama campaign website and in a mass email to supporters. “But he understands that small businesses grow and prosper because of individual initiative — because entrepreneurs like you and me do the hard work it takes, and that we can’t do it alone.”

Obama attended a $35,800-per-person campaign fundraiser and, later, a $5,000-per-plate dinner at Sinegal’s Hunts Point home.

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Costco cofounder Jim Sinegal supports, hosts President Obama

July 24, 2012

NEW — 11 a.m. July 24, 2012

Costco cofounder and former CEO Jim Sinegal endorsed President Barack Obama for re-election Monday and defended the president’s economic policies, less than 24 hours before Sinegal hosts Obama at a campaign fundraiser.

Jim Sinegal

Sinegal and cofounder Jeffrey Brotman launched Costco in 1983. Sinegal stepped down as CEO in January and handed the reins to Craig Jelinek.

Costco relocated corporate headquarters to Issaquah in the mid-1990s. The company is the largest employer in the city, encompassing about 2,700 people in corporate offices and at the flagship warehouse in Pickering Place.

Sinegal’s support for Obama’s economic policies comes as presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney attacked Obama for the phrase, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

Romney used the out-of-context remark to portray Obama as denigrating the success of small business owners.

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Local leaders react after Supreme Court health care ruling

July 10, 2012

King County Executive Dow Constantine and other elected officials split along party lines June 28 after the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on the federal health care overhaul.

In a complex decision, justices on the high court ruled 5-4 to uphold the individual mandate — a requirement for all Americans to enroll in a health insurance plan or pay a penalty.

The ruling also limited the plan in the Affordable Care Act — dubbed Obamacare by some — to expand Medicaid for the poor.

Constantine, a Democrat, highlighted the potential impact for uninsured King County.

“And for the nearly quarter of a million people in King County who do not have health insurance this is truly a welcome life-and-death decision,” he said in a statement.

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, a Republican and the Issaquah representative in Congress, said legislators must work to refine the health care law.

State Attorney General Rob McKenna, the highest-ranking Republican official in the state, joined the effort to repeal the health care overhaul and defended the challenge during a June 1 stop at Issaquah High School.

Gov. Chris Gregoire, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and other Washington state Democrats lauded the ruling.

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