Press Editorial

July 17, 2012

Dino Rossi will serve district well

Issaquah will soon elect new leadership for the 5th Legislative District, but it’s good to know a qualified appointee will be there to represent voters until year’s end.

Sammamish resident Dino Rossi, a former state senator and gubernatorial candidate, will be the placeholder for the 5th District, following the resignation of Sen. Cheryl Pflug.

Rossi is a good choice. He follows one of the most important rules for caretakers — he won’t be running for the office himself — and couldn’t even if he wanted to since Sammamish will move into the 45th Legislative District next year.

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Dino Rossi to represent Issaquah again in Olympia

July 10, 2012

Former state senator is appointed to Cheryl Pflug’s old seat

Dino Rossi

Dino Rossi is headed back to Olympia to represent Issaquah and other Eastside communities in the state Senate.

Rossi — a GOP candidate for governor in 2004 and 2008, and for U.S. Senate in 2010 — succeeds former state Sen. Cheryl Pflug. The businessman and Sammamish resident last represented the 5th Legislative District in the state Senate from 1996 until resigning in 2003 to run for governor.

King County Council members unanimously recommended Rossi for the caretaker position July 9, a little more than a week after Pflug, a Republican, resigned to serve on a state board.

“I do know the people of this district,” Rossi said in testimony to council members.

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Former Sen. Cheryl Pflug criticizes appointment of Dino Rossi as successor, endorses Mark Mullet

July 10, 2012

UPDATED — 4:40 p.m. July 10, 2012

Cheryl Pflug, former state senator for Issaquah and other Eastside communities, lambasted the appointment of Dino Rossi to fill the seat Pflug vacated late last month.

Cheryl Pflug

The sharp statement from Pflug, a Maple Valley Republican, came a day after the King County Council appointed Rossi, a Sammamish Republican, to the seat as a caretaker until after the November election.

Pflug also endorsed Mark Mullet, a Democrat and Issaquah City Council member, in the race for the Senate race. Mullet is running against Brad Toft, a Snoqualmie businessman, for the post. (Rossi is not a candidate for the seat in the upcoming election.)

“I’m a Republican. I believe Rob McKenna will be a great governor because he’s honest, and he’s a brilliant unifier. That’s why I’m also endorsing Mark Mullet,” Pflug said in a statement issued just after 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. “His business background, financial expertise, and common sense make him the right person to represent all the residents of the 5th District, not just special interests and party bosses.”

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Dino Rossi is poised to serve as 5th Legislative District senator — again

July 9, 2012

NEW — 10:05 a.m. July 9, 2012

Dino Rossi is all but certain to head back to Olympia to represent Issaquah and other Eastside communities in the state Senate.

Dino Rossi

Rossi — a GOP candidate for governor in 2004 and 2008, and for U.S. Senate in 2010 — succeeded former state Sen. Cheryl Pflug. The businessman and Sammamish resident last represented the 5th Legislative District in the state Senate from 1996 until resigning in 2003 to run for governor.

King County Council members recommended Rossi for the caretaker position Monday, a little more than a week after Pflug resigned to serve on a state board.

The council is expected to decide on the appointment Monday afternoon. The last action is a formality.

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King County Council starts process to appoint state Sen. Cheryl Pflug’s successor

June 10, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. June 10, 2012 

King County Council members start the process Monday to appoint a successor to Republican state Sen. Cheryl Pflug.

Under state law, the council is responsible for appointing a successor to the Senate seat after Pflug resigns July 1 to accept a state board post. The law calls for GOP officials to submit three candidates to the council for the open seat. Then, the council must make a selection within 60 days of Pflug’s resignation.

The council is scheduled to act on a motion to start the appointment process.

In May, Gov. Chris Gregoire appointed Pflug to a six-year term on the Washington Growth Management Hearings Board, the panel responsible for mediating disputes about planning and development issues in municipalities throughout the state.

Members cannot serve simultaneously on the board and in the Legislature. Pflug intends to resign from the Senate on July 1, the same day the state board appointment starts.

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State Sen. Cheryl Pflug departs suddenly to accept board post

May 29, 2012

Snoqualmie businessman Brad Toft, Councilman Mark Mullet seek seat

Gov. Chris Gregoire appointed Republican state Sen. Cheryl Pflug, a representative for Issaquah and surrounding communities, to a state growth board May 18, the same day Pflug withdrew from the race for another legislative term.
The surprise announcement stunned the political establishment in Olympia and reverberated in the Senate race Pflug departed.

Cheryl Pflug

The last-minute withdrawal left Issaquah Councilman Mark Mullet, a Democrat, and Snoqualmie businessman Brad Toft, a Republican, in the running to represent Issaquah and the reshaped 5th Legislative District in Olympia.

Gregoire appointed Pflug to a six-year term on the Washington Growth Management Hearings Board, the panel responsible for mediating disputes about planning and development issues in municipalities throughout the state. Members earn $92,500 per year.

Members cannot serve simultaneously on the board and in the Legislature. Pflug intends to resign from the Senate on July 1, the same day the state board appointment starts and about six months before the Senate term expires.

Under state law, the King County Council is responsible for appointing a successor to the Senate seat after Pflug resigns. The law calls for GOP officials to submit three candidates to the council for the open seat. Then, the council must make a selection within 60 days of Pflug’s resignation.

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Campaign season starts as candidates file for election

May 22, 2012

The ballot voters receive in the mailbox by late July is all but certain to contain some familiar names, as elected officials campaign for higher offices and other candidates try another run for elected office.

The period for candidates to enter races up for election on the August and November ballots ended May 18 in a buzz of activity.

Local voters face choices in countywide, legislative, statewide and federal offices.

Voters pick the top two candidates, regardless of party affiliation, Aug. 7 in the all-mail primary election. The top vote recipients then advance to an all-mail general election Nov. 6.

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Governor vetoes dollars for Lake Sammamish State Park

May 15, 2012

Cheryl Pflug

Questions about long-term funding for a proposed concession and event facility at Lake Sammamish State Park led Gov. Chris Gregoire to eliminate the $3.1 million legislators had set aside for construction.

The long-term plan for the state park included the concession and event facility as a supplement to the aging amenities at the lakeside destination. Officials questioned a plan from the cash-strapped state parks system to pay for the facility.

The governor struck the state park facility from the supplemental capital budget. The document authorized more than $1 billion in public works spending statewide, including a $4 million project to replace a problem-plagued Issaquah Salmon Hatchery dam.

Gregoire signed the supplemental capital budget April 24.

State Sen. Cheryl Pflug, a Maple Valley Republican and the representative for Issaquah, joined other senators to pressure the governor to preserve funding for the state park facility, but also raised questions about long-term funding.

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Issaquah legislators top list for missed votes

May 1, 2012

Local legislators missed the most votes in the Legislature during the 2012 regular and special sessions.

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Governor vetoes state park facility, OKs hatchery dam

April 25, 2012

NEW — 9:45 p.m. April 25, 2012

Gov. Chris Gregoire eliminated $3.1 million for a proposed concession and event facility at Lake Sammamish State Park, but approved $4 million to replace a problem-plagued Issaquah Salmon Hatchery dam Tuesday.

Cheryl Pflug

The governor struck the state park facility from the supplemental budget before authorizing more than $1 billion in public works spending.

State Sen. Cheryl Pflug, a Maple Valley Republican and the representative for Issaquah, lambasted the decision to eliminate the state park project. Pflug joined other senators to pressure the governor to preserve funding for the facility.

“I challenged it myself, of course, but I also enlisted a team of Senate leaders — the Senate operating-budget and capital-budget leaders and the chairman of the Senate Natural Resources Committee,” Pflug said. “They quickly called the governor’s office and expressed their desire that the funding be preserved.”

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