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You may have already received your state voter's pamphlet in the mail. How much do you trust the candidate's statements?

We talk to Shane Hamlin, elections co-director for the Office of the Secretary of State, about a controversial statement by a candidate for King County Superior Court.

Medical marijuana dispensary
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Should marijuana be taxed and regulated in Washington state? Initiative 502 would allow for the sale and possession of marijuana for adults over 21. If voters approve I-502, Washington state would be out front in challenging federal marijuana policy. We discuss legalizing pot with Alison Holcomb of New Approach Washington, Douglas Hiatt of Sensible Washington, former DEA administrator Peter Bensinger and former Seattle police chief Norm Stamper.

"The Last Great Senate" With Ira Shapiro

Oct 18, 2012

The US Senate just isn't what it used to be. Political insider Ira Shapiro longs for the 1960s and 1970s, where lawmakers passed landmark civil rights legislation, debated the Vietnam War and held Nixon accountable for Watergate. Shapiro's book, "The Last Great Senate," chronicles those golden years and provides a vision for the future. He spoke at Town Hall on September 24, 2012.
 

Boy Scout badges
Flickr Photo/rocket ship (CC BY-NC-ND)

A court-ordered release of the Boy Scout’s so-called “perversion files” lists 25 men in Washington state.  The complete files identify more than 1,200 Scout volunteers who were accused of child abuse and banned from the organization. These once-secret documents give the pubic an unprecedented look inside the scouting organization.

this is my caption
KUOW Photo/Ashley Ahearn

The war of words stemming from the effort to reform the Seattle Police Department is heating up.  At issue is the selection of an independent monitor who would oversee the reforms.

The Justice Department and the city are supposed to jointly select the monitor, but city officials can't agree on whom that monitor should be.

Mayor McGinn opposes the selection of a Los Angeles police consultant named Merrick Bobb, who has been described as being one of the country’s preeminent police reform experts. McGinn said he had questions about whether Bobb would be fair.

KCTS 9 is releasing a new Washington Poll today on the major races and issues on November’s ballot. David Hyde breaks down the numbers and what they mean with University of Washington political science professor, Matt Barreto.

Ask King County Executive Dow Constantine

Oct 18, 2012
Dow Constantine in the KUOW studios.
KUOW Photo/Jason Pagano

Seattle's arena deal took a major step forward this week as King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn signed legislation to commit $200 million in public money toward a new $490 million sports facility. That frees investor Chris Hansen to begin the hunt for an NBA franchise – just as a union representing Seattle longshore and warehouse workers says it will file a lawsuit to halt the deal. We'll ask Dow Constantine what's next for the arena and delve into his proposed county budget. Have a question for the King County Executive?

Liz Jones/KUOW

Washington is one of four states that will vote on same-sex marriage in just a few weeks. History is on the line, as one of these states could be the first to approve gay marriage by a vote of the people. The campaigns on both sides are intensifying efforts to connect with voters but there’s a stark contrast in their strategies.

Here, gay marriage opponents have set up their campaign headquarters in a quiet strip mall just off I-5 in Lynnwood. Their office is tucked in next to a hair salon, a dry cleaners and a chain pizza restaurant.

Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes along with four members of the City Council are criticizing Mayor Mike McGinn over his opposition to their choice for an independent monitor to oversee the city's police reform efforts. Their statement released on Wednesday accuses McGinn of "obstruction and stall tactics" in his opposition to one finalist for the job, L.A.-based consultant Merrick Bobb. The city has had 10 months to select a monitor; the deadline is just a week away.

Don't Know Much About the American Presidents book cover
dontknowmuch.com/

The presidential debates are a major factor in this year’s race for the White House. When did the debates become such a big deal? 

Historian Kenneth Davis tells us the story of America’s presidential debates and talks about his new book, "Don’t Know Much About The American Presidents."

election party napkins
Flickr Photo/LaMenta3 (CC BY-NC-ND)

Although the governor’s race is receiving the most press coverage this year, it’s not the only battle for control of state government.  Republicans think they have a chance to win control of the state Senate for the first time in a decade. Democrats also hope to increase their majority. 

Chris Grygiel, the Washington state news editor for the Associated Press, joins us with an inside look at how the parties are stacking up.

Vaughn Palmer
KUOW Photo/Jason Pagano

Vancouver Sun political correspondent Vaughn Palmer brings us the news from Canada, we look at what’s happening at the movies with film critic Robert Horton, and The Seattle Times columnist Jon Talton reviews the latest economic news.

Classroom
Flickr photo/Barnaby Wasson (CC BY-NC-ND)

This November, voters once again have the chance to weigh in on whether to set up charter schools in Washington state. Forty-one states currently allow charter schools; Initiative 1240 is the fourth attempt since 1996 to pass a charter school law here. Supporters of charter schools say they will allow for more diversity and flexibility in education. Opponents argue charters lack a record of success and will mean a loss of revenue for public education.

John Koster
(KUOW photo/Deborah Wang)

If Republican congressional candidate John Koster has a signature campaign issue, it’s the country’s ballooning national debt.

The website for his 1st Congressional District campaign features a national debt clock ticking away. The total now stands at more than $16 trillion.

“I think one of the greatest things that we could do for our constituents and our future generations is not hamstring them with huge debt and huge deficits that they will have to pay off,” he said.

In his two decades in politics, Koster has been a staunch advocate of limited government.

Army Spc. Brittany Gordon
(Photo/7th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office)

The US Department of Defense issued a news release Monday afternoon about the death of Army Specialist Brittany Gordon. Gordon was assigned to the 572nd Military Intelligence Company, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

The DoD says 24-year-old Gordon died from injuries caused by an improvised explosive device. Now multiple news reports say Gordon’s death may be the latest in a series of so-called insider attacks in Afghanistan.

Mailer about Referendum 74
(Photo/Liz Jones)

Some senior citizens in Washington recently got a flyer in the mail from same-sex marriage supporters. It says approval of Referendum 74 will preserve domestic partnerships for seniors. Gay marriage opponents call the ad a misleading scare tactic.

The campaign backing same-sex marriage paid for the mailer. It’s targeting seniors because Referendum 74 touches on domestic partnerships between straight couples who are are 62 or older and living together.

The New York Times says Washington state’s online voter registration system is not secure. Ross Reynolds talks with Washington's assistant secretary of state, Steve Excell. 

King County Primary Ballot
(Flickr photo/Brian Daniel Eisenberg)

Washington state’s online voter registration system is vulnerable to hackers, according to The New York Times.  

The newspaper said it took less than three minutes to get the information it needed to access the registrations of some unnamed executives.

Basketball signed by the 2007 Sonics.
Justin Kraemer Photography

Story last updated by Patricia Murphy on October 15, 2012 at 3:13 p.m.

The Sodo arena plan has had a few twists and turns.  After first being unveiled in February, it was later altered by the Seattle City Council and more recently by the King County Council.

The latest iteration is scheduled to be voted on by the whole King County and Seattle City councils.

Here’s an outline of how it works:

Ballots go out in Washington and Oregon at the end of the week of October 15. Last minute money is pouring into the ballot fight over same–sex marriage in Washington. Those dollars are buying television ads on both sides of the issue. So what claims are the campaigns making? Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins takes a closer look.

Flickr/Bellevue Fine Art Repro

Applications are now available to serve on Seattle’s new, court-ordered Community Police Commission. This citizen oversight board is part of the city’s agreement with the Department of Justice about police reforms.

This is not exactly a new idea. Seattle’s created civilian panels in the past to monitor police and propose changes. But City Council Member Nick Licata says this new one has a key difference.

Oregon's pot law allows up to four pot plants per home.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

A new study by Marijuana Arrest Research Project says more than 240,000 people in Washington have been arrested for marijuana possession over the past 25 years, and that those arrested are disproportionally Black, Latino and Native American.

(Photo/City of Kent)

The Mayor of Kent, Washington is proposing another round of layoffs and new taxes to bridge a $2 million budget shortfall. Mayor Suzette Cooke presented her 2013-2014 budget to the City Council Tuesday. In her opening speech, Mayor Cooke called her budget “as ugly as the economic times we face.”

US Supreme Court
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Despite their political differences, the young and ambitious Harvard Law graduates and Harvard Law Review alumni President Obama and Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts share many similarities. We talk with Jeffrey Toobin, author of the new book “The Oath: The Obama White House and The Supreme Court,” about the battles and truces between America's judicial and executive branches – from inauguration day to the recent Supreme Court ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act.

Sodo stadiums century link safeco
Flickr Photo/SDOT Photos (CC BY NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/bZhk8f

The full King County Council is expected to vote on the latest Sodo arena plan next week, following some adjustments made by the council’s budget committee Tuesday.

Committee chairman Joe McDermott said the adjustments included that language that requires
improving pedestrian access to the new Sodo arena. “It could be anywhere from sidewalks to an overpass or underpass somewhere.  I want to underscore that those kinds of pedestrian improvement also assist in freight mobility,” he said.

Paul Krugman
Center for American Progress

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman explains why he believes we are in a depression and how a massive government investment could get us out of it. Ross Reynolds interviewed Paul Krugman in front of a live studio audience, May 24, 2012. 

Paul Krugman is a Nobel Prize-winning economist and he writes The Conscience of a Liberal blog for the New York Times. 

KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

People who ride the bus around Seattle are adjusting to major service changes this week. One huge shift is the end of the ride-free zone downtown.

In its place, the city’s paying for a free shuttle to help low-income people get around.  It runs in a loop downtown Seattle to seven stops near services for homeless and low-income people.

Derek Mitchell got on after his appointment at the WorkSource employment office. “It’s convenient," he says. "It’s very comfortable — a little lightweight jazz in the background. I love it.”

City of Tacoma website

Tacoma officials are proposing slashing 217 city jobs over the next two years in order to bridge a looming budget gap of $63 million.

The police and fire departments would both lose 27 officers and two support staff. Other layoffs would result from the restructuring of several city departments.

The fate of legal same-sex marriage in Washington is going to be decided by voters this November. Ross Reynolds sits down with Representative Laurie Jinkins, a public health official from Tacoma and advisor for the Washington United for Marriage, and Paula Renny, an attorney and volunteer for the Preserve Marriage Washington campaign.

Religion Not A Factor In Latino Politics

Sep 28, 2012
Pablo Monroy
N3 Photo/Florangela Davila

Religion is one of the most defining characteristics of Latino culture. But pollsters say it plays virtually no role n how they vote. And for two Mexican–American siblings, faith shapes their lives but not their politics.

I learn a lot about Marielena Hernandez just by where she wants to meet for an interview.

Marielena is 21 years old and she greets me while holding her infant daughter Nicole at her childhood home, in Pasco, in Eastern Washington where her parents still live.

We head to Marielena’s favorite place – the kitchen – where her mom is cooking.

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