From the wide-open lobby-lands of Olympia to the lush cash-forests of Seattle, a complex ecosystem of money and influence shapes how we vote — and how we live — in Washington state. Most of us only catch glimpses of it, when politicians display their plumage in TV ads or glossy mailers.

State legislator Brady Walkinshaw represents Washington State's 43rd District.
Courtesy of Ann Norton

Pramila Jayapal got Bernie. 

Now Brady Walkinshaw gets Barney.

A political action committee largely funded by three wealthy Washingtonians has unleashed a hard-hitting attack on a state Supreme Court justice up for re-election. The TV ad suggests Justice Charlie Wiggins is soft on crime.

'Week in Review' panel Sydney Brownstone, C.R. Douglas, Brier Dudley and Bill Radke.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Did Governor Jay Inslee and Bill Bryant change any minds during this week's gubernatorial debate? What are the arguments for and against spending $54 billion on Sound Transit 3? And this week, Seattle teachers, students and parents wore Black Lives Matter shirts to class - what did we learn? Finally, should presidential candidates be doing stand-up comedy?

Rashid Abdi registers to vote for the first time
KUOW Photo/David Hyde

Amina Ahmed faces an uphill battle on a breezy Saturday morning in a neighborhood straddling Tukwila and SeaTac: She's running a voter registration drive.

Ahmed is up against power and influence in American politics. The wealthy have it. And they also vote at much higher rates.

Make no mistake. Gloria Steinem, noted feminist and author, does not see that a woman elected to the White House automatically means a win for feminists or women.

"This is not all about biology, and I think we have to be careful to always say that, because if Sarah Palin were the president it wouldn't signify change," she tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. "If President Obama did not represent the majority views of Americans and of African-Americans, he would not represent change as he does. So it isn't about simple biology. It's about what we represent."

A trio of wealthy Washingtonians has just put $350,000 into an effort to defeat a sitting state Supreme Court justice. Their target is Charlie Wiggins who’s been on the court since 2011.

Bill Radke talks with Northwest News Network reporter Anna King about what incumbent Governor Jay Inslee and Republican challenger Bill Bryant sparred over in the third and final debate.

Washington’s race for governor is a lopsided affair. Incumbent Democrat Jay Inslee has a three-to-one fundraising advantage over Republican challenger Bill Bryant. And polls show Inslee with a 10 point lead.

But that’s not stopping Bryant from trying to make the campaign a referendum on Inslee’s leadership.

In front of an exuberant crowd Thursday in Delaware, Ohio, Donald Trump again addressed whether he would accept the outcome of the November election.

"Ladies and gentleman I want to make a major announcement today," Trump said, continuing, "I would like to promise and pledge to all of my voters and supporters, and to all of the people of the United States, that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election ..."

Light rail runs on the surface in Seattle's Rainier Valley.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

A lot of claims are floating around in the public relations struggle over the $54 billion Sound Transit 3 proposal that voters will decide Nov. 8. Who's right?

This week, ST3 supporter Shefali Ranganathan of Transportation Choices Coalition and detractor Maggie Fimia of Smarter Transit debated on KUOW's "The Record."

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump had one job in his third and final debate with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton: break out.

He needed to break out from the narrative that is fast enveloping his campaign — the way evening overtakes the late afternoon.

He needed a breakout performance showing himself to be disciplined and knowledgeable enough to be president.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, and his Republican challenger Bill Bryant sparred in their last scheduled debate in Pasco Wednesday night over Inslee's record at Hanford and their stances on environmental regulations.

JZ Knight claims to channel a 35,000-year-old warrior-spirit named Ramtha.
Ramtha's School of Enlightenment

Controversial "spirit channeler"JZ Knight of Yelm has channeled another $54,000 into Washington state politics.

Knight claims to channel a 35,000-year-old warrior-spirit named Ramtha and charges believers up to $5,000 to spend a day with "Ramtha the Enlightened One" at her school in Yelm.

Election officials are calling it a watershed year for voters in Washington. 

Roughly 4.2 million people are registered to vote, a record for Washington state. That represents 83 percent of all the people eligible to vote in Washington, according to an outside researcher and the Secretary of State.