politics

Some of the results may not be known for weeks, but the most expensive election ever in Washington state wrapped up Tuesday night. 

The Week's Other Leadership Contest: China

Nov 6, 2012
Hu Jintao
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

The US presidential election is not the only major leadership contest happening in the world this week. On Thursday, China's Communist Party convenes to pick a successor to President Hu Jintao. Vice President Xi Jinping is expected to succeed him as all but leader of the country's military. University of Washington China scholar David Bachman joins us to discuss the changing Chinese government.

KUOW/Deborah Wang

Democratic Party activists in the state of Washington were in high gear this weekend conducting a massive get-out-the-vote campaign. Hundreds of volunteers manned phone banks and fanned out across neighborhoods to encourage people who hadn’t voted to turn in their ballots.

Northwest Money Helps Pay For Swing State Ads

Nov 2, 2012

Northwest voters are spared most presidential campaign ads. But Northwest money still plays a part in them. A handful of big spenders from the region are bolstering major super PACs behind a barage of ads now hitting swing states.

Florida voters might thank some wealthy Washington residents for a recent ad blitz targeting President Obama. People working in the financial services sector around Seattle have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Karl Rove's American Crossroads. It's a super PAC that supports Republican candidates.

We speak with Karen Porterfield, candidate for Congress in Washington's 8th District, and Priya Guha, Britain's top diplomat in the Northwest. Plus, we hear live music from members of the award-winning Roosevelt High School Jazz Band and get a weekend weather forecast from Nick Bond.

Flickr/401 (K) 2012 (CC BY-NC-ND)

Businesses have poured millions of dollars into political contributions this election season. But you may be surprised to learn that in Democratic-leaning Washington, the state’s three largest employers tend to favor Republican candidates.

Seattle Washington ballot box vote
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Procrastinators. That’s how a lot people described themselves while waiting in line Monday for voter registration. It was the final deadline for Washington residents to register for the Nov. 6 election. Hopeful voters had to fill out the paperwork in person since the deadline had already passed to register by mail or online.

Elections 2012: How To Read The Polls

Oct 29, 2012
Polling Station sign
Flickr photo/Martin Bamford

With just over a week to go, news outlets are inundated with polling results gaging voter sentiment in the presidential election — up to 20 state and national polls are coming out every day, often with different results. Which ones can you trust? How are they conducted? Washington Post polling director Jon Cohen helps us separate the signal from the noise.

Suzan DelBene at a podium
KUOW/Deborah Wang

On the campaign trail, Suzan DelBene tells the story of how her family struggled when she was a kid. Her father was laid off from his job when she was nine, and the family moved all over the country as her parents looked for work. “They never got back to a situation where they were financially stable,” she explains.

She recounts that despite her family's financial difficulties, she was able to go to college on student loans. “I was in a position to take care of my family,” she says. “I’m not sure I could tell that story today.”

US Rep. Jim McDermott (left) and challenger Ron Bemis.
Courtesy of McDermott and Bemis campaigns

Democratic Rep. Jim McDermott has represented Seattle and its suburbs in Congress since 1989. He faces a Republican challenger, attorney Ron Bemis, at the polls in November. Both candidates join us in our studio for a discussion of the issues at hand in Washington's 7th District.

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.

Sodo stadiums
(Flickr photo/SDOT)

The King County Council and Seattle City Council both gave the go-ahead for an agreement to build a new professional basketball and hockey arena in Seattle.

The union that represents Longshore workers plans to file a lawsuit to stop it.

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:

Presidential Popularity Contests With Robert Merry

Oct 11, 2012
Where They Stand
(Credit/Simon & Schuster)

Who was the best US president? The worst? Biographer Robert Merry plays "rate the presidents" based on popularity and historical judgment. Here are some hints: Abraham Lincoln's at the top and James Buchanan ranks as one of the country's biggest failures.

(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.”

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