5th Legislative District House contest includes familiar faces

October 9, 2012

Education is the No. 1 priority for state House of Representatives candidates in the 5th Legislative District — a local school board member and a citizen advocate for education.

Chad Magendanz

David Spring

Issaquah School Board member Chad Magendanz, a Republican, and North Bend Democrat David Spring remain focused on education in the race for a rare, open House seat.

In a 7-2 ruling delivered in January, state Supreme Court justices said the state is not fulfilling the “paramount duty” to fund education. Both candidates in the 5th District race said education funding is a bipartisan issue.

“There’s a huge amount of work to do together,” Magendanz said. “When you set aside all of the partisan rhetoric and you really focus on what needs to be done for our kids, for our future, there is a lot of work there.”

Issaquah School Board members appointed Magendanz to the panel in 2008. The software design consultant ran unopposed for the seat in 2009.

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Legislators Judy Clibborn, Jay Rodne run unopposed for re-election

October 9, 2012

In November, local voters face a choice in most legislative contests, but a duo of lawmakers from neighboring districts is certain to return to Olympia.

State Rep. Jay Rodne is guaranteed to represent the 5th Legislative District in the House of Representatives for another term, after nobody stepped forward to challenge the North Bend Republican. In the neighboring 41st Legislative District, state Rep. Judy Clibborn did not attract a challenger.

In 2010, Clibborn and Rodne cruised to re-election against little-known opponents.

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Local legislative candidates join chambers’ forum

October 2, 2012

Voters can hear from candidates for the state House of Representatives and Senate on Oct. 9 at a forum organized by the Issaquah and Sammamish chambers of commerce.

The lineup includes the contenders for a 5th Legislative District House seat — Republican Chad Magendanz and Democrat David Spring — and the Senate seat — Democrat Mark Mullet and Republican Brad Toft.

The candidates in the 41st Legislative District, state Rep. Marcie Maxwell, D-Renton, and Issaquah Republican Tim Eaves — plus state Sen. Steve Litzow, R-Mercer Island, and Mercer Island Democrat Maureen Judge — also plan to attend.

State Rep. Jay Rodne, R-North Bend, the uncontested candidate for the other House seat in the district, is also expected to attend.

The forum is from 3:30-5 p.m. at Blakely Hall, 2550 N.E. Park Drive. Organizers plan to focus on business and economic issues.

Personal stories define Referendum 74 discussion

September 25, 2012

Dana Alixander (left) and partner Sage Alixander stand on the staircase of their Sammamish home with their California-issued marriage license and photographs chronicling their life together. By Greg Farrar

In the moments before the state Senate voted on a landmark same-sex marriage bill Feb. 1, Dana Alixander joined other supporters in the gallery overlooking the chamber.

“I was there, waiting for history to happen — and terrified that it wouldn’t,” she said in a recent interview.

Legislators, after impassioned debate, passed the bill and sent the measure to the state House of Representatives for consideration. In February, Gov. Chris Gregoire signed the legislation as supporters looked on from the packed State Reception Room at the Capitol.

The measure, Referendum 74, goes before voters on the November ballot. Opponents to the same-sex marriage law gathered enough voter signatures to put the measure before the electorate.

R-74 is the centerpiece in a high-dollar, high-profile contest in the national battle between same-sex proponents and foes.

Alixander headed to Olympia to support marriage rights — a long-running fight for the Sammamish resident and partner of 22 years, Sage. (In 2008, Sage and Dana got married in California before Proposition 8 outlawed same-sex marriages there.)

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Under Initiative 1240, local charter school is unlikely

September 25, 2012

On Nov. 6, people across the state will cast their vote whether to allow charter schools in Washington, and locals stand on both sides of the argument.

Supporters say the schools could pursue innovative educational techniques, free from most state regulation and without unionized teachers.

Opponents say charter schools have insufficient oversight and would drain money from traditional public schools.

“We have great schools, we have great teachers,” said Jodi Mull, an Issaquah High School parent who said she had no problem gathering signatures to get Initiative 1240 on the ballot. “Maybe it’s not going to help me in my community, but it will help others.”

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How did Issaquah vote?

September 18, 2012

Data from the Aug. 7 primary shows how Issaquah voters decided  — and offers clues to how the local electorate might vote in the November general election.

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Press Editorial

September 11, 2012

Excess campaign funds need clarification

Some state lawmakers have been taken to task for using leftover campaign funds in ways that may or may not be within bounds. There’s the problem. The rules are too vague and open to interpretation, so it’s unclear if there was a violation. More definitive guidelines should be developed.

An Associated Press reporter combed through records detailing the way politicians spend money left over from campaigns. The law allows them to hold onto the cash for the next election or use it for “public office-related expenses.” The vast majority of expenses are above board, though some are borderline and strain credulity.

One Issaquah legislator, state Rep. Glenn Anderson, R-Fall City, had used some funds to help with car maintenance. Anderson reportedly said he has logged miles on the vehicle for official business, so it was reasonable to use the funds for maintenance. But that same car likely also made trips to the grocery store or the movies. Where is the line between official and unofficial use?

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Brian Deagle is new Issaquah School Board president

August 28, 2012

Chad Magendanz has stepped down as president of the Issaquah School Board. Brian Deagle has been named Magendanz’s predecessor, effective immediately.

Brian Deagle

The announcement came at the end of the Aug. 22 school board meeting. Magendanz is running as a Republican for the 5th Legislative District seat in the state House of Representatives and cited the upcoming political debate season as his reason for passing the gavel.

“The only person who can really speak for the board is the board president,” he said. “And there was concern that there would be confusion when I talk in a debate as to who I’m speaking for — the board or myself.”

He added that the beginning of the school year seemed like the most logical point to step down.

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Voters endorse property tax measure, incumbent candidates

August 14, 2012

King County voters endorsed a $200 million property tax measure to build a juvenile justice facility to replace the aging Youth Services Center, a juvenile detention facility in Seattle.

The property tax measure, Proposition 1, appeared on a crowded primary ballot alongside federal, judicial, legislative and statewide contests.

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Local legislators earn opposite results in statewide races

August 14, 2012

Kathleen Drew and Glenn Anderson, past and present state legislators, respectively, experienced opposite political fortunes as county officials counted ballots statewide.

Drew is poised to face Thurston County Auditor Kim Wyman in the race for secretary of state. Anderson fell short in the race for lieutenant governor against Republican Bill Finkbeiner, a former state senator, and incumbent Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, a Democrat.

Drew, a former Issaquah resident and onetime state senator for the 5th Legislative District, secured state Democrats’ endorsement for secretary of state and outpolled other Democrats — Puyallup state Sen. Jim Kastama and former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels — in the Aug. 7 primary election.

Incumbent Secretary of State Sam Reed, a Republican, is retiring at the end of his term.

Anderson, a longtime legislator and a Fall City Republican, plans to step down from the state House of Representatives once his term ends at the end of the year.

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