politics | KUOW News and Information

politics

A former top official at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has been convicted of breaking into the home of a colleague and raping her. The verdict Wednesday follows a lengthy trial in a case that revealed a sexualized workplace culture at WDFW.

Updated at 3:39 p.m. EST on Jan. 24

The hottest thing on Capitol Hill this week is a document that no one in the outside world is allowed to see.

A secret four-page memorandum prepared by the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee has become a rallying cry for Republicans waging a sustained campaign against the FBI and the Justice Department.

The document, pulled together by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., alleges that the Obama administration abused the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in targeting the Trump campaign.

The Washington state House Environment Committee hosted public hearings Tuesday on two bills that would restrict a class of chemicals found in everything from firefighting retardant to food wrappers.

Perflourinated (PFAS) chemicals have been linked to numerous health problems, from endocrine disruption to cancer.

In Olympia, state lawmakers are considering stronger protections for the critically endangered population of resident killer whales.

Courtesy of Jamie Rand Imaging/Jamie Colman

Tens of thousands of people participated in the second annual Seattle Women’s March. The day started with a rally of fiery speeches to warm up participants on a chilly, rainy morning.

Updated at 5:08 p.m. ET

So, here we go again.

The federal government is once more on the verge of a shutdown, and just like the last time, in October 2013, there will some things you'll notice that are shuttered and others you won't.

On Sunday, people around the country will mark one year since the Women's March on Washington, D.C. Last year it brought hundreds of thousands of liberals to the capital, many wearing pink knitted caps in solidarity. Others marched in hundreds of cities and towns across the United States and more than 80 other countries.

Washington lawmakers are taking steps to address sexual harassment at the state Capitol. The House passed a resolution Thursday to establish a task force on sexual harassment. Members will include lawmakers, lobbyists and staff.

The Constitution of the United States in the rotunda of the National Archives, in Washington, DC.
Flickr Photo/MrTinDC (CC BY ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/7txMkC

The political climate in the United States is marked by ultra-partisanship. So it’s a good time to ask, how’s the Constitution holding up? A recent event brought together two people with a depth of political and jurisprudent experience to explore that question.

Pramila Jayapal
Flickr Photo/Joe Mabel (CC BY SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/zznt82

Kim Malcolm talks with Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-Seattle) about why she won't attend President Trump's State of the Union address on January 30.

Updated at 12:05 p.m. ET

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., announced he will not seek re-election Wednesday, adding to a record number of House Republicans heading for the exits ahead of the 2018 midterms — perhaps seeing the writing on the wall of a possible wave election for Democrats.

There are now 31 Republicans who will not seek re-election in November: 19 who are retiring outright and another 12 who are running for higher office. And that list is is expected to grow in the coming weeks.

Climate Activists Urge Washington Lawmakers To Take Action In 2018

Jan 8, 2018

Climate activists want Washington state to be powered exclusively by renewable energy within 10 years. They rallied at the state Capitol Monday—the first day of the legislative session.

Washington state Sen. Doug Ericksen said he’s not taking a job with the Trump administration and plans to run for re-election.

The Washington Legislature convenes Monday for a 60-day election year session. For the first time since 2013, Democrats will have one-party control of the Capitol.

The top issues include: education funding, a carbon tax and passage of a state capital construction budget.

The Washington Legislature is set to open it's 2018 session on Monday. The 50 State Project from CQ Roll Call asked Austin Jenkins to come up with the top five issues facing Washington lawmakers this session.

Here's his list:

Journalist Michael Wolff’s new book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” was released Friday.

Publisher Henry Holt & Co. decided to push the publication date up by four days after President Trump’s legal team issued a cease-and-desist letter to Wolff, the publisher and former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who was interviewed at length for the book.

Updated at 3:50 p.m. ET

The book that created a rift between President Trump and his former campaign chief executive and adviser Steve Bannon hit the shelves Friday morning, ahead of the original Tuesday release date, despite the president's threat to block its publication.

Michael Wolff, author of Fire and Fury: Inside The Trump White House, told NPR's Kelly McEvers that he "100 percent" stands behind his reporting, which the White House and some of the book's subjects have sharply criticized.

Updated at 4:45 p.m. ET

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scrapping Obama-era guidelines that essentially removed marijuana from the list of federal drug enforcement priorities as more states legalized it.

In guidance issued Thursday, Sessions rescinded those policies and instead will permit individual U.S. attorneys to decide how aggressively to go after marijuana in their jurisdictions.

Sessions, a former Alabama senator, has long viewed pot as a public menace and a source of street crime.

One of the biggest stories in a year of big stories was the intersection of sports, race and politics, and it's looking like that story won't go away in 2018.

And at several key moments one of the people who seemed right in the middle of this story was ESPN's Jemele Hill.

Back in February, ESPN relaunched the evening edition of its flagship sports news show, SportsCenter, with Jemele Hill and Michael Smith as its new anchors.

The DREAM Act has failed to pass when Democrats have held complete control of government; when Republicans have held all the cards; and in periods when the two parties have split control of the White House, Senate and House.

But lawmakers from both parties hope to secure permanent legal status for people protected by the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals , or DACA, program and they are trying to achieve some sort of solution over the next two weeks.

Former Mayor Ed Murray at a press conference in the University District in September 2016.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Bill Radke talks to Seattle Times reporter Lewis Kamb about how the city of Seattle came to settle the lawsuit filed against former mayor Ed Murray and why it will pay $150,000 to the man accusing Murray of raping and molesting him as a teenager. 

President Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, is suing the Justice Department and special counsel Robert Mueller, alleging that Mueller has exceeded his mandate by investigating matters unrelated to the 2016 election.

Manafort and business associate Rick Gates face money laundering and other charges as part of the special counsel's investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Both have pleaded not guilty.

The founders of the political research firm that commissioned the infamous Russia dossier on Donald Trump say they were "shocked" by the things they say it uncovered and want their full story to be public.

Updated at 6:18 p.m. ET

The longest-serving Republican senator in American history is finally ready to call it quits.

Utah GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch announced on Tuesday that he will not run for re-election in 2018 and will leave the Senate at the end of his current term, after 42 years in his seat.

Public records released by Central Washington University this week show professor and GOP state Rep. Matt Manweller is barred from contacting past or present students while the school investigates allegations of sexual harassment against him.

Nikkita Oliver: 'This year has been unexpected'

Dec 28, 2017
Nikkita Oliver, attorney, activist, and artist
Courtesy of Nikkita Oliver/Alex Garland

Back in March, Nikkita Oliver announced she would run for Seattle mayor. She said the city needed a leader "who’s going to reject the status quo and bring a new vision to the city of Seattle.”

She barely missed getting into the general election, finishing third in the primary behind Jenny Durkan and Cary Moon. But her vision shaped the campaign and the conversation about what kind of place Seattle should be.

Reporters and researchers are just starting to comb through the huge, rushed-to-passage tax package to figure out the implications.

One of the changes, according to the Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy, which advocates for a "fair and sustainable" tax system, allows far more wealthy donors in 10 states to turn a profit through "donations" to private school scholarships.

Updated at 11:02 p.m. ET

When President Trump signed the $1.5 trillion tax cut bill on Friday at the White House, he made a bold claim — that his "legislative approvals" were off the charts. "No. 1 in the history of our country," he said, citing 88 as the number of bills he had signed into law.

The actual number of laws Trump signed this year is 96. His claim of historic achievement isn't accurate, either.

But that didn't stop him from repeating the erroneous claim Wednesday during a visit with firefighters in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Republicans in Congress are promising that their tax bill will create jobs. One place where we know it's going to create a lot of work is at the IRS.

That agency will have to figure out how to interpret and implement the hundreds of pages of changes to the tax code that were just passed, at a time when it is already struggling with budget cuts and staff reductions.

The Trump administration says it's already working with the IRS to update tax forms and withholding tables, promising that most taxpayers will notice a difference in their pay stubs by February.

It was hardly a footnote in most national stories on the issue, but Congress' passage of the Republican tax bill will be a chapter in Alaska's history books. The law opens a part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil development, ending an epic, nearly four-decade battle.

For years, environmental groups, the oil industry, Alaska Native communities and the state's political leaders have debated the potential consequences of oil development in ANWR — on species like caribou and polar bears, on Alaska's oil-dependent economy, on nearby villages and on the climate.

Pages