politics

Update at 5:10 p.m. ET. Hagel Confirmed:

After an unprecedented filibuster by Republicans, the nomination of Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense prevailed, Tuesday afternoon.

With a vote of 58 to 41, the Senate acted mostly along party lines to confirm Hagel.

KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Snohomish County officials are preparing for a change in leadership. Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon says he’ll resign at the end of May. Reardon announced his pending resignation at a 7:00 a.m. meeting at the Everett Golf and Country Club Thursday.

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File

The Everett Herald reports Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon will resign, effective May 31. Reardon has been dogged by allegation he misused county funds and  had his staff anonymously harass critics. Ross Reynolds talks with Everett Herald reporter Scott North about Reardon's announcement.

The Price Of North Dakota's Oil Boom

Feb 21, 2013
North Dakota oil field sunrise
Flickr photo/Adam Schreiner

North Dakota is booming. The state's unemployment rate is just 3.2 percent — well below the national average of 7.9 percent. Officials are trying to keep pace with a population surge brought on by oil industry jobs that have made North Dakota the country's number two oil-producing state. But what will extracting millions of barrels from the Bakken oil field mean for the region's environmental and economic future? Writer and reporter Richard Manning joins us with the story of North Dakota's oil boom.

Seattle’s mayor is launching a new program aimed at improving instruction in the city’s preschools. Mayor Mike McGinn announced the initiative in his State of the City address Tuesday.

N3 Photo/Chantal Andrea

Drug-testing welfare recipients, Governor Inslee’s jobs package, the gun control debate, and extending the waiting period for divorce are just some of the topics that have been discussed by lawmakers in Olympia this week. Ross Reynolds talks with Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins about the state of things in the state capital.

Can We Still Afford Higher Ed?

Feb 13, 2013
Higher ed
Flickr illustration/Curtis Cronn

Recent debate over the future of the state's pre-paid tuition program and the continually rising cost of college raises a larger question: Who is going to pay for a college education? It used to be that Washington state paid most of the cost of a public university degree. Today, students must find most of the funds. As costs rise, how will society keep higher education affordable? William Zumeta heads the graduate program at the Evans School of Public Affairs and has written about the costs of college. He joins us to talk about how we can make sure people in Washington state can pursue higher education without having to go into crushing debt.

Despite recent disagreements over gun control proposals in the state legislature, a few Democrats and Republicans are coming together to support one bill that would require background checks for all firearms transactions in Washington.

marsmet481 / Flickr

Both state and federal lawmakers have been debating over how to approach immigration reform. Immigrants themselves tend to favor paths to citizenship and educational opportunities for their children. But how do non-immigrants formulate their opinions on the subject? A recent academic study says that maybe our genes play a key role in shaping our political views. According to the research, people with a predisposition to social anxiety and fear are more likely to be critical of the unfamiliar and therefore more likely to support things like anti-immigration policy. David Hyde talks to lead author and political science professor Pete Hatemi to get the details.

Ray Suarez
Courtesy/Ray Suarez Twitter Page

How do organized religion and politics intersect in the United States? Ray Suarez, a senior correspondent for PBS's NewsHour, explores this topic in his new book, "The Holy Vote: The Politics of Faith in America." Ray Suarez spoke at Town Hall on January 11, 2013. The talk was presented by Seattle University as part of its Faith and Values in the Public Square lecture series.

Gates Foundation

Former gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna supported charter schools, and some are arguing that his grand old party is leading the way on education reform while democrats in Olympia simply tout old policy. Ross Reynolds talks with Tacoma News Tribune columnist Peter Callaghan.

Big changes to US immigration policy could mean more temporary work visas for people with skills like computer programming. Employers in the Northwest including Microsoft say there aren’t enough US workers to meet demand. Now, a bipartisan group of Senators wants to expand the number of temporary worker visas from 65,000 to 115,000. But critics say those jobs can and should be filled by qualified US workers. Ross Reynolds talks with public policy advocate and political strategist Maria Cardona and president of the Programmers Guild, Kim Berry about the ongoing issue of temporary worker visas.

marsmet531 / Flickr

The Seattle City Council is thinking about developing a publicly-funded approach to campaign finance. The Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission would develop a detailed plan and voters would decide whether to approve it later this year. The idea to use public money to fund city campaigns is meant to open up the political arena to candidates who might not otherwise run for office. On Thursday, city councilmembers will meet with representatives from Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles to see how publicly funded campaigns have played out in their cities.

What It Takes To Win The White House In 2016

Jan 10, 2013
Bill Clinton, George Bush, Barack Obama
Courtesy/Wikipedia

What do presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama have in common? They were each re-elected to a second term. That may seem like the norm, but it isn’t — we haven’t seen so many reelections in a row since the 1800s. What does it mean for a person considering a presidential run in 2016? University of Washington professor David Domke joins us.

Calvin Trillin
AP Photo/Richard Drew

America's deadline poet Calvin Trillin presents this talk about the 2012 presidential election -- in verse. With wry humor, Trillin discusses politics, campaigns and poetry, including the frustrating difficulty of trying to rhyme words with presidential candidate names. He spoke at Seattle's Town Hall on December 10, 2012.

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