January 15, 2013
Lawmakers confronted a familiar scenario as the Legislature convened Jan. 14 — a budget shortfall, opposing pressures to preserve essential services and rein in government spending, and a court mandate to spend more money on education.
Observers expect education and transportation to rank as the dominant issues in the 105-day session. The state faces a $900 million budget shortfall for 2013-15 and, in the meantime, faces a court order to increase education funding by 2018.
In addition to the statewide issues on legislators’ docket, a lobbyist hired by city leaders to represent Issaquah is in search of support for local projects, including dollars to upgrade transportation infrastructure and Lake Sammamish State Park.
Issaquah is also focused on securing state dollars for a transportation improvement district in North Issaquah near Costco headquarters and high-traffic retail centers.
January 1, 2013
Strong get-out-the vote operation boosts candidates
Democrats dominated Issaquah in the November election.
City voters chose Democrats for every federal and statewide office on the ballot — sometimes by a broad margin and others by a handful of votes.
Issaquah overwhelmingly supported Democrats in the races for president and vice president, U.S. senator and U.S. representative, and every statewide office. Only incumbent Republican Steve Litzow, a 41st Legislative District state senator representing about half of Issaquah, earned support from a majority of voters inside city limits.
January 1, 2013
City-level results from the November election show Issaquah voters followed statewide trends on some issues, or occasionally chose another direction.
December 26, 2012
NEW — 6 a.m. Dec. 26, 2012
Local lawmakers received or retained influential committee assignments — and the ability to shape state policy on education, transportation and other priorities — in the next legislative session.
Recent changes in how the state Senate operates changed prospective roles for local legislators. Though Democrats claim more members in the Senate, Republicans announced a plan in early December to instead put a bipartisan caucus in place to run the chamber.
With help from Sens. Rodney Tom, D-Medina, and Tim Sheldon, D-Potlach, Republicans received a 25-24 majority. Under the proposal, Tom is poised to serve as majority leader and oust Democrats’ chosen majority leader, Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle. (Until redistricting last year, Tom, a former Republican, represented some Issaquah neighborhoods.)
November 27, 2012
The candidates to represent Issaquah in Olympia raised a combined $1.5 million to fund legislative campaigns.
November 13, 2012
Incumbents triumphed in the race to represent Issaquah and other 41st Legislative District communities.
Steve Litzow, a freshman Republican state senator from Mercer Island, outpaced Mercer Island Democrat Maureen Judge. Renton Democrat Marcie Maxwell, a state representative elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2010, cruised to commanding victory against Issaquah Republican Tim Eaves, a novice candidate.
Issaquah’s Cougar Mountain neighborhoods and North Issaquah fall inside the district, a suburban swath stretched from Mercer Island to Sammamish.
Litzow said the outcome reflected the district’s moderate character. Redistricting last year removed part of Renton and added part of Sammamish to the district.
November 6, 2012
UPDATED — 9:25 p.m. Nov. 6, 2012
The unexpectedly ugly race to represent Issaquah in the state Senate neared a coda Tuesday as Democrat Mark Mullet claimed a lead in initial results.
November 6, 2012
The emerald strip in the center of Northwest Gilman Boulevard is prime real estate for political signs, a landscaped median exposed to thousands of vehicles each day.
Unfortunately for candidates, city code prohibits campaign operatives from turning the median — and others around Issaquah — into a politician’s paradise in the run-up to Election Day.
Some passers-by regard political signs as litter, just another piece of detritus from a long and acrimonious campaign season. Others see the placards as grassroots organizing at the actual grassroots, a First Amendment affirmation.
Michele Forkner, code compliance officer for the city, treats the signs as a necessary but messy task.
October 30, 2012
See the editorial board’s recommendations for congressional and legislative candidates, and statewide ballot measures, in the Nov. 6 general election.
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.