government | KUOW News and Information


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.

The U.N. General Assembly votes every year on a resolution calling for an end to the U.S. embargo on Cuba. The U.S. has always opposed the symbolic measure.

But today, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N Samantha Power told the General Assembly that for the first time, the U.S. would abstain.

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET

The jury hearing the federal trial of seven people who occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon entered a fourth day of deliberations Wednesday — a day after jurors' ability to reach a verdict came into question.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Kim Malcolm talks with Seattle Times reporter Geoff Baker about a new proposal from Chris Hansen to build a sports arena in Seattle's Sodo area. Hansen now says he doesn't need the public to chip in $200 million in public financing.

Nicole Grant of the Martin Luther King Labor Council has a blackboard decorated with the initiatives and issues supported by the local labor movement.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

Washington state has long had one of the highest minimum wages in the country. At $9.47, it is also one of the few minimum wages that can rise with the cost of living.

But then Seattle set a new bar for minimum wages. 

Pramila Jayapal and Brady Walkinshaw agree on the issues for the most part. Walkinshaw notes that his contributions come mostly from within Washington state; Jayapal rebuts that she is running for national office.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Kim Malcolm talks with Publicola's Josh Feit about the 7th Congressional District race between Pramila Jayapal and Brady Walkinshaw. This week, Jayapal's campaign accused Walkinshaw's campaign of putting out a dishonest and misleading TV ad. Feit is political editor at Seattle Met Magazine where we writes the blog, Publicola.

"There isn't a simple answer when it comes to Mormons and Trump," Stephanie Fowers said. "We are so torn right now that hardly anyone I know will even mention his name anymore because it's too depressing."

That makes her just another disenchanted voter in the endless slog that is Campaign 2016. Fowers, a writer from Cottonwood Heights, Utah — and a Mormon — said that among the Mormons she knows, she sees a lot of indecision.

A federal judge has approved Volkswagen's $14.7 billion settlement over the carmaker's vehicle emissions scandal. The process of compensating affected U.S. car owners is beginning now, with the first buybacks expected to happen within the next few weeks.

Under the terms of the deal, Volkswagen agrees to either buy back or repair vehicles involved in the scandal. That means paying as much as $10.033 billion to owners. In addition, the carmaker has come to an agreement with the United States under which it will pay nearly $5 billion in environmental remediation.

housing: Apartment buildings in the University District, Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Bill Radke speaks with Seattle Times columnist Jon Talton about a tax Vancouver, B.C. imposed on foreign real estate buyers and its impact on Seattle's housing market. 

Jill Stein is running for president as the Green Party candidate.
Flickr Photo/niXerKG (CC BY NC 2.0)/

Bill Radke speaks with The Nation contributor Joshua Holland and Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant about the merits of voting for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. Read why Sawant supports Jill Stein and why Holland thinks voting for Stein is a waste.  

The Columbia Generating Station outside Richland, Washington, is the Northwest’s only nuclear power plant. Now, the federal government is auditing the plant to make sure it could weather flooding.

Sally Jewell has served as secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior for three and a half years. Before that she was CEO of Kent, Washington-based REI and a member of the UW Board of Regents.

Policing and homeless services are high profile items in Seattle's proposed budget. A program that helps drug users touches on both. Now, the fate of the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program is stirring up debate.

Through LEAD, police connect low level drug and prostitution suspects to community services, instead of arresting them.

'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?

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.