Big Dog, No Hunt: What a Seattle Mayor’s Race Without Corporate Money Looks Like

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Regardless of where you come down on the free-speech rights of giant corporations, here’s why you should care about this: Taking a million dollars of political money out of a campaign is going to help somebody. The interesting questions are who, and why.

What Should Social Media Companies Have to Disclose About Political Ads?

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Facebook and Google chose to withdraw from the market and instituted self-imposed political ad bans in Washington. Those bans have effectively shut out campaigns from advertising on the platforms and led to widespread confusion a bout the law. And the fact that the companies allow some campaigns to still advertise presents its own challenges to a transparent and level playing field.

Realtors Spend Big On State Elections

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Realtors are aggressive about promoting their own members who aspire to political office, under the argument that Realtors will back Realtor-friendly policies. That’s typically where you see the eye-popping contribution numbers from the national group.

Three Washington Congressmembers Join Effort to Get Supreme Court to Overturn Roe v. Wade

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Abortion rights would appear secure on the West Coast and in East Coast and New England states.  The situation in the South and Midwest is far different.

Sizing Up the State of Seattle Politics

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The electorate does have vital reasons to tune in, despite a dismal campaign.  The election in the Emerald City has unfolded along familiar lines.

Should Joe Manchin Just Go to Hell?

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How much longer will the party of Roosevelt, Kennedy and Obama, be forced to tip-toe around a man whose loyalties are not at all aligned with President Biden or members of the Democratic caucus?

State of the Race: Final Pre-Primary Handicapping — Mayor, Council

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Lorena Gonzalez, the current city council president, has passed her first two key political tests -- keeping labor united behind her so that Jessyn Farrell has not been able to peel off that support; and holding the ethnic coalition on her side, lest Colleen Echohawk carve it away.

Game Changer: Aid to Families

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In Washington alone, it's estimated tax credits could provide help for 60,000 children, with checks averaging $423 per family each month.

Let’s All Pile on Rudy! (Except…)

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Would Giuliani's continued ability to practice law in New York for even a short time have "immediately threaten[ed] the public interest?" That's a satisfying conclusion for some of us to see drawn. But really? After all, he can keep lying in public all he wants. He just can't do it as a lawyer representing a client.

The Politics (and Effective use) of Fear

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Democrats also fear the Republicans, but rather than holding rallies they issue policy papers about how Republican’s social and economic policies favor the few over the many. Which party’s approach attracts lines of people waiting to attend their events?

Does Ranked-Choice Voting Boost Women and Minority Candidates?

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The preferential-voting method has long been used in Australia, Ireland and parts of the United Kingdom. Nationally, two states -- Maine and soon Alaska -- and numbers of cities and counties employ the method.

New Change Research Poll: Harrell Leads for Mayor, Gonzalez and Echohawk Battle for Second

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“The biggest divide that we saw among groups of voters in the survey was generational: Older voters are more supportive of candidates like Bruce Harrell and (City Attorney) Pete Holmes, while younger voters are gravitating to candidates like (City Council hopeful) Nikkita Oliver and Lorena Gonzalez.

For the People? Stop Dreaming, Dems and Do Things that Can Get Done

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There are lessons here for Seattle and Seattle politics. While some of the loudest may be calling for “defunding the police” and bringing Amazon to heel, my hunch is that most Seattle voters would just like to see a city that takes care of business and gets some things actually done, like making progress on homelessness and encampments, and fixing the streets and bridges.

Reclaiming Idaho: Bringing People into the Political Process

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Bonner County held elections for a library board, a hospital board, and a school levy. All faced attacks from the extremist wing of the GOP. In each case active engagement at the grassroots defeated misinformation. Experienced candidates for the library and hospital boards defeated lies of their challengers,

A Referendum on Seattle: Ten Issues Mayoral Candidates Could Run On

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A basic rule in politics is to frame the main issue (or villain) to be addressed in such a way as to position yourself as the best person to fix it. The framing is key. So what are the possible framing referenda, locally?

Under Abandonment: A Gripping Account of Last Summer’s East Precinct Debacle

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Raftery deftly captures the power dynamics and tensions roiling SPD leadership, and between the mayor's office and SPD command staff.

Difficult Women All: Why is Kamala Harris a “Bad Boss”?

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Difficult bosses do come in both genders and reside in both parties. With women, however, there comes a recurring theme that the “Gentlelady” is in over her head.

Meet Lisa Mennet, a Wealthy Local Who Writes Big Checks for Democratic Causes

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Mennet gave the party $300,000 last month, according to the PDC, more than half of ithe party's 2021 haul thus far. That’s an unusually large donation, especially for an odd-numbered year.

Same as it Ever Was? Mayor’s Race Heads Down Familiar Path

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No center-left candidate has moved to peel off votes from Bruce Harrell, so the primary winners will probably be Harrell and Lorena Gonzalez, with Harrell the likely winner in November. Want more excitement? The open city council seat.

Where’s my Ballot Initiative?

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2021 will be the rare year without a statewide ballot initiative or a citizens’ referendum challenging something the Legislature did earlier this year. Years without direct democracy at the state level are rare, and the last one was in 2017. Before that, you have to go all the way back to 1989.

Soundness Versus Sound-Bites: Lessons for Seattle From NYC’s Mayoral Primary?

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So far, the Seattle mayor’s race has been dominated by forums before left-activist groups. We hear recitation of progressive bromides, with identity politics thrown in. The folks who "work hard and play by the rules," using Bill Clinton’s phrase, get little courtship.

Yay! Signs a Seattle Homelessness Program is Working (But Can we Believe the Report?)

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Researcher and report author Katherine Beckett and her team were funded by several progressive nonprofits, including Blue Meridian Partners and UW's West Coast Poverty Center, to conduct an evaluation of the first six months of JustCARE's work. This week they issued their glowing, wholly uncritical, report on the program.

How Mainstream LGBTQ Groups Became a Political Force in Seattle

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Gay groups tailored their incrementalist message to the political realities of Washington state. That gained them clout, as well as the ire of more radical activists. Today, Gay Seattle is flourishing.

Critical Thinking: American History Through a Lens of Race and How it Shapes our...

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There is no set definition of Critical Race Theory because, as a theory, it is constantly changing. It’s been around for 40 years, and as any social, political, or legal theory ages, there arise multiple interpretations.

Handicapping Early Challenges to the State’s New Capital Gains Tax

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Imagine the now 30-something offspring of one of the original Microsoft executives selling $10 million of the stock daddy got for $10,000 back in the bad-hair days. That’s a capital gain of $9,990,000. Born-rich heir would owe $681,800 under the new tax.

Your Democracy Vouchers in Action: Seattle Mayor’s Race

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Democracy vouchers were supposed to democratize campaigns and blunt the power of the monied classes, who for many years dominated political fundraising in city races. But it’s possible they’ll help perpetuate the status-quo.

Tim Burgess Explains the Compassion Seattle Amendment. Count me in

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There are cities that have taken the approach advocated by Compassion Seattle and gotten to “functional zero.” It can be done. It has been done. It takes resolve and it takes leadership.

Worrisome Poll for Sen. Patty Murray’s Re-election Hopes?

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The statewide poll in late May shows a 40-36 approval/disapproval rating for Sen. Murray, a powerful incumbent of 30 years. Biden does much better in the polling, with a 54/41 approval score.

Infrastructure: How Democrats Can Reconnect with Blue-Collar Workers

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Blue-collar workers identifying as Democrats have declined. An NBC survey found that drop over the last decade was by 8 percentage points, while the number who call themselves Republicans has increased by 12 percentage points. That trend is not limited to white workers.

What the latest Polls say about the Mayor’s Race

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It looks like Harrell will survive the August 3 primary election, and a real race is shaping up for the other slot (with Gonzalez the leading candidate). The non-council candidates are too tightly bunched.