Issaquah residents defied trends in November election

December 14, 2010

The ballot measure to create a state income tax failed just about everywhere outside of left-leaning Seattle and Vashon Island — except for a precinct nestled along Lake Sammamish.

Initiative 1098 received ironclad support — 80 percent — in the precinct. The catch: King County records indicate the precinct has 11 registered voters; 10 participated in the Nov. 2 election.

The information about the Lake Sammamish precinct comes from a detailed analysis of the precinct results in the recent election. (Issaquah is carved into 30 precincts.)

The neighborhood-level data — released a month after the election — illustrates how the Issaquah electorate bucked state trends on some issues and rejected incumbents even as the candidates cruised to re-election.

The dueling liquor initiatives on the ballot, 1100 and 1105, received uneven support from Issaquah voters.

Initiative 1100, a liquor privatization measure backed by Issaquah-based Costco — the largest employer in the city — received broad backing in the city even as the measure came up short statewide.

Initiative 1105 failed in every Issaquah precinct and only managed to garner 35 percent of the vote statewide.

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Issaquah precinct defied trend to support income tax measure

December 5, 2010

NEW — 8 a.m. Dec. 5, 2010

The ballot measure to create a state income tax failed outside of left-leaning Seattle and Vashon Island — except for a precinct nestled along the southern end of Lake Sammamish.

Initiative 1098 received ironclad support — 80 percent — in the precinct.

The catch: King County records indicate the precinct has 11 registered voters; 10 participated in the Nov. 2 election.

King County Elections has released detailed data for the election. The information offers insight into how residents in Issaquah and the surrounding area cast ballots in high-profile contests.

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Dino Rossi falls short in Senate bout

November 9, 2010

By Greg Farrar Dino Rossi, U.S. Senate candidate, kisses wife Terry as children (from left) Jake, Joseph, Juliauna and Jillian look on during a GOP celebration in Bellevue Nov. 2.

Republican Dino Rossi, a Sammamish resident and former Issaquah legislator, faltered in a hard-fought U.S. Senate race to the incumbent, Democrat Patty Murray.

“I ran for the Senate because I believe we need a basic course correction from where Washington, D.C., has been taking us and to make sure this country is as free, as strong and as prosperous in the future as it has been in the past to preserve the best of America for future generations,” Rossi said in a concession statement released Nov. 4. “That was a message that found a very receptive audience all across this state, though not quite receptive enough.”

Rossi campaigned as a fiscal conservative, and used the years he spent as a budget architect in Olympia as a touchstone in the U.S. Senate campaign.

Murray, bolstered by strong turnout in true-blue King County, built a slim lead on Election Day until more than 60,000 votes separated the candidates.

Rossi stumbled in the 2004 and 2008 races for the Governor’s Mansion to Democrat Chris Gregoire. He offered no hints about future political plans.

“The lesson I leave you with is one we learned as kids: We’re all in this together,” he said in the statement. “If Washington, D.C., doesn’t act to help the economy grow and solve this massive spending and debt, it’s going to hurt us all. It won’t distinguish by political party.”

Dino Rossi, former Issaquah legislator, concedes Senate race

November 4, 2010

NEW — 6:30 p.m. Nov. 4, 2010

Republican Dino Rossi, a Sammamish resident and former Issaquah legislator, has conceded a hard-fought U.S. Senate race to the incumbent, Democrat Patty Murray.

“This evening, I called Sen. Murray to offer my congratulations on her re-election to the U.S. Senate,” Rossi said in a statement released Thursday. “I ran for the Senate because I believe we need a basic course correction from where Washington, D.C., has been taking us and to make sure this country is as free, as strong and as prosperous in the future as it has been in the past to preserve the best of America for future generations. That was a message that found a very receptive audience all across this state, though not quite receptive enough.”

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Dino Rossi trails in U.S. Senate race as count continues

November 3, 2010

Dino Rossi, U.S. Senate candidate, kisses wife Terry as children (from left) Jake, Joseph, Juliauna and Jillian look on during a GOP celebration in Bellevue Tuesday. By Greg Farrar

State Senate races remain too close to call

UPDATED — 5:55 p.m. Nov. 3, 2010

Republican Dino Rossi, a Sammamish resident and former Issaquah state senator, trailed incumbent U.S. Sen. Patty Murray by about 24,800 votes Wednesday afternoon, though the number could shift in the days ahead as mail ballots reach elections offices statewide.

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King County voter turnout exceeds pre-election estimates

November 3, 2010

NEW — 5:55 p.m. Nov. 3, 2010

Ballots continue to arrive at King County Elections’ Tukwila headquarters, but the county has already beat pre-election turnout estimates.

The office predicted 68 percent turnout, but turnout — fueled by interest in a hot U.S. Senate race, plus statehouse races and a slew of ballot measures — has already surpassed 71 percent. The total includes about 57,000 ballots returned to ballot drop boxes on Election Day.

The elections headquarters has received most of the ballots postmarked by the Election Day deadline, totaling more than 762,000.

“It always makes us happy to see a high level of voter turnout,” Elections Director Sherril Huff said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon. “With over 145,000 ballots arriving in the mail today alone, this election tested our ability to deal with record volumes of mail and I’m very pleased to say that we successfully got the job done.”

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Jimmy Carter offers another chapter on tumultuous presidency

October 19, 2010

Former president brings book tour to Costco

Jimmy Carter owes a lot to Richard Nixon.

Sure, the Watergate scandal set the stage for the Washington outsider persona Carter cultivated on the stump in 1976, but the former peanut farmer credits Nixon for something else: the reason he started a diary.

Former President Jimmy Carter signs copies of ‘Living Faith’ during a 1996 stop at the Issaquah Costco. File

Back in the early 1970s, Carter and future first lady Rosalynn attended a White House reception.

Carter, then the governor of Georgia, had not met a president before.

“Nixon reached out to my wife and he shook her hand and said, ‘Young lady, do you keep a diary?’ Rosalynn said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘Well, you ought to keep a diary to let people know in future years what happened to you at the White House,” Carter recalled in a phone interview last week.

The idea lingered and Carter, then a little-known Southerner, put pen to paper. Nixon, of course, preferred to tape record.

Carter recounts the prescient scene in the opening pages of “White House Diary,” the annotated, edited and candid account of a tumultuous era.

The former president — in the midst of a national tour to promote the tome — is due in Issaquah next week to sign copies at Costco. (Carter last appeared at the local Costco on a 1996 book tour.)

“I think a lot of people are intrigued by my personal insights into the struggles and achievements and doubts and fears and accomplishments — and sometimes failures — of an incumbent president,” he said.

Carter, 86, outlined parallels between the political squabbles of a generation ago and the present day.

“Many issues carried over from my time — and I had a very difficult time dealing with them — and are now on the desk of President Obama,” he said.

The nettlesome struggle to foster peace in the Middle East, questions about energy policy, a hostile regime in Iran and a lethargic economy — for the record, Carter did not use the word “malaise” — continue to shape the debate in the other Washington.

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Ballots head to voters as state predicts record turnout

October 11, 2010

NEW — 3 p.m. Oct. 11, 2010

King County voters should start to receive ballots and voters’ pamphlets in the mail this week.

In addition to the county voters’ guide, the Secretary of State’s Office has a mailed a guide to state and federal races.

Voting starts as soon as voters receive their ballots. The elections office has 11 ballot drop boxes, including a box at Issaquah City Hall. The county also plans to open accessible voting centers Wednesday for voters with disabilities.

Ballots must be postmarked or dropped off by 8 p.m. Nov. 2, Election Day. Track returned ballots here.

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Arthritis advocates take case to congressman

September 28, 2010

Congressman Dave Reichert listened to Issaquah residents Peggy Timmins and 11-year-old Alicia Seidel talk about their support for the Arthritis Prevention Control and Cure Act at his office Sept. 17.

Reichert, who is a co-sponsor of the bill, said he was there to listen, but said it was unlikely Congress would pass the act this session because of the budget deficit. Read more

Dino Rossi strives to be comeback kid in Senate race

September 14, 2010

Former Issaquah legislator returns after dual losses

The story is classic Dino Rossi: a daunting policy issue framed as a kitchen table discussion.

Dino Rossi

Not long before the Sammamish resident and GOP standard-bearer decided to run for the U.S. Senate, son Jake had a question about the national debt.

“My 16-year-old asked me, ‘How much do I owe?’ Sixteen-year-olds shouldn’t be asking questions like that,” Dino Rossi recalled. “They should be asking, ‘Can I have the car keys? And get out the money while you’re giving me the car keys.’”

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