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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

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November 9, 2013 at 2:19 PM

Nervous? Conlin urges ballot check

Socialist Kshama Sawant’s momentum has all but scared the fleece off the trademark vest of Seattle City Councilmember Richard Conlin. With Conlin clinging to a steadily shrinking lead over Sawant, the four-term incumbent emailed supporters Saturday, telling them to “make sure every vote is counted.” The usually unflappable Conlin asked supporters to make sure their ballots had been…

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0 Comments | More in Politics Northwest, Seattle City Council | Topics: kshama sawant, Richard Conlin

November 5, 2013 at 7:08 AM

Publicly financed Seattle City Council campaigns trailing early

UPDATE, 8:15 p.m.:A measure to largely finance Seattle City Council candidates with property taxes was trailing by eight percentage points in initial results Tuesday. ORIGINAL POST: Seattle voters today will decide whether future candidates for City Council are eligible to receive public property tax dollars to help their campaigns. Under Proposition 1, if candidates raised 600…

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0 Comments | More in 2014 elections | Topics: Seattle Proposition 1

November 5, 2013 at 7:06 AM

Seattle voters approving City Council districts in initial results

UPDATE, 9:15 p.m.: Faye Garneau felt pretty good Tuesday night about the commanding lead held by a measure to elect Seattle City Council members by geographic  district. “I’m on my second martini,” Garneau said from the districts-election campaign party at the 125th Street Grill. A North Seattle business advocate, Garneau contributed $232,447 of the $262,860 raised by…

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0 Comments | More in 2014 elections | Topics: district elections, Seattle Charter Amendment 19

October 18, 2013 at 1:53 PM

California panel looks at legalizing pot with assist from Washington state

There was significant pot news out of California Thursday with the announcement that Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is heading an ACLU panel that aims to put a legalization measure before Golden State voters during the next presidential election in 2016.

If such a measure passes in the country’s largest state, pot advocates have predicted it could effectively end federal prohibition of marijuana.

Alison Holcomb, the chief author of Washington state’s legal pot law, is on the panel along with at least one skeptic, Keith Humphreys, a former White House drug policy advisor. The panel includes 13 others, including medical, legal and law enforcement experts.

California voters rejected a legalization measure, Proposition 19 in 2010. But Prop. 19 lacked a plan for statewide regulation and taxation of legal pot. Only 46.5 percent of voters supported it.

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0 Comments | More in Marijuana | Topics: Alison Holcomb, I-502, marijuana

October 14, 2013 at 4:15 PM

Lack of transparency in Seattle Prop. 1 campaign

Proposition 1 would create accountability and transparency in Seattle City Council elections by funding candidates with property taxes, according to the campaign’s Fair Elections Seattle website. But money from the biggest donor to Fair Elections Seattle itself is not transparent. Washington Public Campaigns (WPC), a local nonprofit group, has contributed $10,000 to Fair Elections…

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0 Comments | More in 2014 elections, Politics Northwest | Topics: campaign finance, Election 2013, seattle city council

October 1, 2013 at 1:01 PM

City Council: Move most medical pot patients to recreational system

Most medical marijuana patients should be brought into the recreational pot market the state is creating, urged all nine Seattle City Council members in a letter to Gov. Jay Inslee and key legislators. The medical marijuana market continues to operate, at best, in a gray market, council members said, which could undermine the state’s goal of  curtailing…

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0 Comments | More in Politics Northwest, Seattle City Council, State government | Topics: Jay Inslee, marijuana, seattle city council

September 9, 2013 at 4:34 PM

Inslee asks feds to fix banking woes for legal pot

Gov. Jay Inslee and state Attorney General Bob Ferguson asked a U.S. Senate committee for a key bit of help in creating a tightly regulated legal pot market. In written testimony submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee for a Tuesday hearing, Inslee and Ferguson stressed that without changes at the federal level, Washington state’s legal pot merchants will…

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0 Comments | More in Attorney General, Governor, Marijuana, Politics Northwest | Topics: Bob Ferguson, I-502, Jay Inslee

August 22, 2013 at 12:11 PM

Pot consultant offers solution to government standoff

Mark Kleiman, the state’s top pot consultant, has suggested a way to end the lingering tension between Washington’s new recreational pot law and the federal government, which considers all marijuana illegal.

And state Attorney General Bob Ferguson did not dismiss Kleiman’s idea. Ferguson said the AG’s office “has done their own examination” of Kleiman’s proposal and “it’s too soon to say” if it has traction with decision-makers.

Ferguson did not want to reveal any more about the state’s discussions with the federal Department of Justice. “I’m not ready to get into more detail about what communication is going on with the feds,” Ferguson said.

In an article published Wednesday in the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis, Kleiman said the DOJ now seems to have three options: cracking down on legalized pot in Washington and Colorado, acquiescing to legalization, or “muddling through”  with its current policy of only saying it continues to review new laws in those two states.

Kleiman sees two better alternatives.

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0 Comments | More in Marijuana, Politics Northwest | Topics: Bob Ferguson, department of justice, marijuana

August 6, 2013 at 8:19 PM

Sawant to face Conlin, Shen to run against O’Brien for Seattle council

Seattle City Council incumbent Richard Conlin will face Kshama Sawant, a Seattle Central Community College economics instructor, in the November general election. Incumbent Mike O’Brien will square off against engineering consultant Albert Shen. Don’t look for an overarching theme in the early returns for the two races. Sawant, a socialist, says she’s challenging Conlin because the…

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0 Comments | More in 2014 elections | Topics: albert shen, kshama sawant, mike o'Brien

June 24, 2013 at 1:06 PM

U.S. mayors tell feds to respect local pot laws

Prodded by mayors including Mike McGinn of Seattle and Marilyn Strickland of Tacoma, the U.S. Conference of Mayors adopted a resolution Monday urging the federal government to respect the abilities of states and cities to implement policies such as marijuana legalization. The resolution carries no legal weight and was one of dozens adopted by the…

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0 Comments | More in Marijuana, State government | Topics: marijuana, Mayor Mike McGinn

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