Why Time is Running Out for Universities to Practice Affirmative Action Admissions

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Washington voters have had two cracks at affirmative action, and have rejected it both times. And don't expect affirmative action to survive this SCOTUS term.

A Citizen Lobbyist Learns the Subtle Arts of Influencing Olympia

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In the early 1990s, however, my lobbying became more difficult. Because my targets were no longer politicians, but administrative staff in the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), whose default response to change was "no."

Winners and Winners in the Short Session of the State Legislature

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The teachers' union and its PAC spent $3.75 million on campaigns in the 2020 cycle. With a haul of more than half a billion dollars from the Legislature this year alone, that looks like money well spent.

Victory for Washington’s Campaign Finance Laws: Court Rules Against Grocery Lobbyists

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The state sued Grocery Manufacturers, spurning a cost-of-doing-business settlement, and won a $6 million judgment. 

Thirty Years After the Scandal that Changed Northwest Politics Forever

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From it flowed a cascade of effects that brought about a remarkable and under-appreciated rise of women into elected office in Washington, a political ascendancy unmatched in any other state.

How Mike Pence Could Become President

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Keep in mind that Libertarians, like Pence, strongly condemned the January 6 insurrection. And the Libertarian Party is registered in all 50 states as a third party.

Political Fallout from the Canadian Trucker Blockades

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The “Freedom Convoy” protests began as an action by some truckers – angered that proof of vaccination is required to enter Canada – but was embraced by a variety of anti-vaxxers and right-wing groups.

Attack: Trump Tries to Change Rules on Liz Cheney Primary

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The battle in Wyoming puts a spotlight on survival struggles of Republicans who voted to impeach Trump after the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. 

Punish the Liars? Would Inslee’s Proposed Bill Have been Legal?

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Well-intentioned or not, would Inslee's anti-lying bill have been constitutional?  Maybe.

Harrell to Council: Your Path to Win-Win

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Harrell has a difficult tightrope to walk here. He wants to assert his momentum and mandate without being perceived as a bully; he also doesn’t want to concede so much to the Council that he weakens his own power to negotiate. Elected officials are adept at selectively quoting; in their public responses we can be sure that the Councilmembers will choose to highlight Harrell’s concessions to their agendas without mention of what he asked for in return.

Harrell: Leaning on Campaign Themes

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While the new mayor could be accused of not delivering many specifics, his speech did offer glimpses into what may be ahead for the city.

Setting the Tone: The “And” Speech

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He signaled the message from last November’s election, that the “status quo is unacceptable,” that going back to basics is where good governance begins.

The Harrell Administration: Can you Feel the Love?

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Harrell told the voters he would lead with love, and this speech demonstrated that he's dead serious about that. The question yet to be answered is whether that's going to be enough. 

Optimism, Collaboration. A Good Place to Start

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His speech outlined his vision: "One Seattle," and named many priorities and goals. As an opening salvo, it's useful for him to broadcast that...

An Emphasis on Homelessness and Public Safety

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Most notably, after two years of variations on “defund the police” pushed by activists and most on the council, Harrell reassured Seattleites that the city would “enforce criminal laws” including “organized retail theft” while “wholly committed to avoiding the mistakes of the past.”

Yay Team! (I Have A Cliche for That)

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We saw a cautious guy, talking in the language of government, carefully wafting incense at the city’s interest groups, making fuzzy promises. He missed the moment, for the city is hurting, the town is impatient, and the new Mayor is promising only to be deliberate.

Inclusive to a Fault and Signifying Little

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One of the useful leadership and planning tools that I stumbled upon over the years was the concept of “the vital few.” What are the vital few things that an organization, business or institution must do and do well if it is going to accomplish its mission and thrive?

Failure to Howl (The Issues left Unspoken)

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One of the ways to assess a State of the City address is to note the dogs that didn't bark.

Democrats Dream Big for State Transportation

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With no need to court Republican votes, Democratic transportation leaders wrote a spending plan much more focused on transit and non-driving forms of transportation than previous plans.

Anti-Vax Canadian Truckers Set Off Transborder Demagoguery

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The Freedom Convoy aside, resistance to vaccination in the Great White North is far less than in “the states.” As of Wednesday, 90.3 percent (4.5 million) of eligible people aged 5 and older in British Columbia have received at least one shot in the arm, and 84.8 percent have received their second dose.

Time to Finish the Job: Enact the ERA

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Social changes have transformed our lives leaving old opposition points (same-sex marriage? women in the military?) no longer at issue.

Debate: Does Seattle Have a Crime Problem?

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"Look, if I had a small business, and I was standing behind a counter over there by 3rd and Union or 3rd and Pike, it probably would be a complete shit show. I'd probably be scared too."

Trump Versus his Northwest Congressional Enemies

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The Trump targets are getting support in usual and unusual places.

Off with his Head! Canada’s Conservative Party Decapitates its Leader

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The Canadian Conservatives are in a dire place.  They have gone through six leaders since Prime Minister Stephen Harper was defeated in 2015.

From Votomatic to Rigging Election Laws: An Election System in Peril

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Congress seems paralyzed.  What Republicans are doing in state legislatures to undermine voting is countered by the Democrats’ too-sweeping For the People Act. So far, that leaves no room for finding common ground.

Knotting Up: The Legal Obstacles of Gerrymandering

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Courts don't want to touch the issue. Congress is unlikely to go near the problem. The Supremes waved it off.

Political Quake: What Seattle Sen. Reuven Carlyle’s Decision not to Seek Reelection in 2022...

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There was some talk that Carlyle might face a challenge from the Left in 2022, but given the progressive victories in the Legislature, which Carlyle voted for, it's not clear a challenger would have much to run on.

How Democrats Could Counter Republican Attacks on Voting Rights

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Democrats need to select the turf that they can win instead of wandering around in a state's political wilderness.

Nine Reasons Joe Biden Is Down

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Steeped in D.C. Democratic politics, Biden seems more intent on serving various interest-group causes, if only in speeches and kitchen-sink legislation that can't make it to his desk.

Nicholas Kristof for Oregon Governor? Um… Buffering…

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Kristof and his campaign operatives have long contended that he should qualify as a resident based on his deep roots in the state.