Topic: Snohomish County
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February 28, 2013 at 12:50 PM
The King County Sheriff’s Office will investigate mysterious records requests, attack web sites and other shenanigans alleged to be connected to employees at the Snohomish County Executive’s Office.
Reports about the requests in the Everett Herald were followed by County Executive Aaron Reardon’s sudden resignation last week, a day after the County Council took the information services department out of his control over concerns about data security. Reardon said he will step down May 31, although he has still not formally resigned in writing.
The requests were for information about county employees who cooperated with a Washington State Patrol investigation into Aaron Reardon last year. One of Reardon’s aides, Kevin Hulten, has acknowledged he is behind the requests, which were made under the name “Edmond Thomas.”
Snohomish County Council chairwoman Stephanie Wright said today: “I am confident that King County will provide the independent and thorough review of all allegations that our citizens and employees deserve.”
November 19, 2012 at 3:08 PM
Snohomish County has again lived up to its uncanny reputation for closely predicting the outcome of gubernatorial races in Washington.
With ballot counting nearly finished, Democratic Governor-elect Jay Inslee beat Republican Rob McKenna by 51.3% to 48.7% statewide.
In Snohomish County, Inslee leads McKenna 51.1% to 48.9%. That’s just .2 percent off the statewide mark — the closest mirroring of the final outcome of any of the state’s 39 counties.
While King County was once again the key to the Democratic victory in the gubernatorial race (Inslee beat McKenna by 218,000 votes here), its neighbor to the north is a better indicator of the final margins.
As we noted on Election Day, going back to 1980, Snohomish County has had the best record for predicting the statewide vote totals for the winner in governors races, according to an analysis by Seattle Times data whiz Justin Mayo.
This year’s result keeps the bellwether’s streak very much alive.
1980 SnoCo Statewide
D McDermott 44.6% 43.3%
R Spellman 55.4% 56.7%
D Gardner 52.7% 53.3%
R Spellman 47.3% 46.7%
D Gardner 62.5% 62.2%
R Williams 37.5% 37.8%
D Lowry 52.4% 52.2%
R Eikenberry 47.6% 47.8%
D Locke 57.4% 58.0%
R Craswell 42.6% 42.0%
D Locke 56.9% 57.9%
R Carlson 41.3% 40.2%
D Gregoire 47.7% 48.9%
R Rossi 49.9% 48.9%
D Gregoire 52.7% 53.2%
R Rossi 47.3% 46.8%
D Inslee 51.1% 51.3%
R McKenna 48.8% 48.9%
November 8, 2012 at 5:37 PM
Democrat Jay Inslee slightly increased his lead in the governor’s race in updated vote tallies released Thursday afternoon, further complicating Republican Rob McKenna’s path to victory.
Inslee led McKenna statewide by 56,849 votes out of nearly 2.3 million ballots counted as of 5:15 p.m. Thursday — a lead of 51.2 percent to 48.8 percent.
Wednesday, Inslee was leading by about 49,000 votes and with 51.1 percent of the total counted.
In vote-rich King County, McKenna got 39.5 percent of the roughly 74,000 votes released Thursday. That’s somewhat better than he did among the votes in the original batch counted on election night but slightly worse than his share of the votes reported Wednesday.
King County is planning another vote dump of at least 25,000 ballots at 8:30 p.m.
In Pierce and Snohomish counties, which are often considered bellwether areas, McKenna performed slightly better than he had Tuesday and Wednesday. He got 52.4 percent of the Pierce vote (up from 50.6 percent Wednesday) and 51.5 percent of the Snohomish vote (up from 50.4 percent Wednesday. Overall, McKenna narrowly led in Pierce but trailed in Snohomish.
Nearly 600,000 ballots still remain to be counted.
As he has in the past, McKenna campaign manager Randy Pepple insisted that the math was still feasible for McKenna to win. In a video released just after King County’s updated totals were announced, Pepple sketched out the math McKenna is counting on to win.
Staff reporter Justin Mayo contributed to this report.
October 4, 2012 at 4:43 PM
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie stopped by Snohomish County’s Republican headquarters in South Everett Thursday afternoon to thank volunteers and rally the troops working to elect Rob McKenna as governor.
“The way we’re going to win this election is all of you,” he said, as a grinning McKenna stood nearby. Volunteers personally vouching for a candidate, he said, “is even more charming than a warm and automated phone call from the governor of New Jersey — only slightly.”
Christie stumped only for McKenna, not mentioning another candidate in a tight race, 1st District Congressional candidate John Koster.
“Real leaders in the governor’s chair make a real difference,” he said. “Rob McKenna is going to change Washington, and he’s going to change it for the better.”
Christie was in town to raise money for McKenna — his second fundraising swing to support the gubernatorial candidate. He charged into the Everett banquet hall adjacent to Koster’s campaign headquarters for a 15-minute speech, backed by a few dozen red, white and blue balloons clinging to the ceiling. About 200 people were at the event.
In the day’s only skirmish, a handful of seniors protesting Koster’s views on Medicare were told to leave the front of the campaign headquarters or be arrested, they said. The Republicans called the Snohomish County Sheriff’s office, and two deputies made them leave the private property.
Koster signed a pledge Thursday morning promising to save Medicare by supporting a so-called voucher system, giving people the option of keeping government insurance or taking government money to a private insurance provider.
The campaign for Koster’s opponent, Suzan DelBene, said Koster’s pledge was not a serious one; DelBene believes such an approach “will dismantle Medicare as we know it.”
September 26, 2012 at 6:00 AM
Presidential and potential vice-presidential thoughts on the Seahawks-Packers game: President Obama called the refs’ decision in that controversial Monday night football game, ultimately “won” by the Seahawks, “terrible.” Do you think Obama figures Washington state is in the bag for him, and he is therefore free to play to Wisconsin fans? Or was it just a completely off-the-wall call? And vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan, who is from Wisconsin, tried to turn the bad referees’ decision into a slam on Obama and, somewhat illogically, his budget office.
The view from New York, sort of: One of the most data-driven political blogs in the country is Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight regular analysis in the New York Times. This guy actually uses numbers — gazillions of them — from polls and other sources to form conclusions. Interviewing University of Washington political science professor, Mark Smith, the blog does a take-out on Washington state politics and how it has been trending Democratic in recent years. The blog also focuses on Snohomish County and its importance to Washington state elections.
Here is an excerpt:
“The Bellwether: Snohomish County
Anchored by Everett, where Boeing has a large plant, Snohomish County is “far enough away from the urban core to become somewhat less liberal, but not out in a rural area that becomes conservative,” Mr. Smith said.
Accordingly, it has been an almost exact barometer of Washington’s political mood in the last three presidential elections. Snohomish County was just one percentage point more Democratic than the state in 2000 and 2008, and it matched the statewide vote perfectly in 2004.”
Other experts say Washington elections are won and lost in Pierce County. Both counties matter quite a bit.
Open mike, not quite karaoke: Seattle City Councilmember Tim Burgess is not doing a great job of keeping his mayoral aspirations secret. The smart bet is that he will announce his candidacy for the 2013 mayor’s race some time after the election. But the other day, some City Hall watchers caught Burgess -- with his mike on. After hearing Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn’s give his budget address, Burgess said jokingly, in a whisper, “That was a good campaign speech.” The irony? Council President Sally Clark earlier — by 40 minutes — warned council members that even though they are at times, “at ease,” that “your mikes are still on.” Yes, they are.
Oregon’s pot initiative lagging: The Oregonian says the big money is not coming in to boost Oregon’s pot initiative but donors are more bullish on Washington’s and Colorado’s pot measures. Turns out the pot initiative in Oregon is not as popular as it is in Washington and Colorado. Latest polling in Washington showed Initiative 502 at about 50 percent approval, which is usually not enough, but Oregon’s Measure 80 is even less popular.
June 27, 2012 at 11:08 AM
After six months of investigation, the Washington State Patrol’s investigation into Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon came down to a $6 cab ride. That’s the only questionable charge investigators found on Reardon’s county credit card bill within the statute of limitations on misuse of public funds.
Island County Prosecutor Greg Banks declined this month to press charges against the executive.
According to details from the investigative file released this week, Tami Dutton, who says she had a six-year affair with Reardon, told investigators she was in the taxi with Reardon in Chicago in 2010. But most of that trip was paid for by the Democratic Leadership Council.
Another trip Dutton says she took with Reardon in 2007 was too long ago to be included in the investigation. The state Public Disclosure Commission is still investigating whether Reardon illegally used county resources for his campaign.
Reardon hasn’t spoken about the months-long criminal investigation or any relationship with Dutton. The file includes details of interviews patrol investigators did with more than a dozen of Reardon’s staff-members and former staff-members. His assistant, Nancy Peinecke, told detectives Reardon had purchased a hotel “intimacy kit” on his county credit card on a 2007 trip to Washington D.C. — then she resigned a few weeks later.
Among the more interesting interviews is a report on the detective’s hour-long phone conversation with Gary Weikel, a former Deputy County Executive and Reardon’s former acting parks director. Weikel, a 20-year county employee, didn’t hold back:
Mr. Weikel described Reardon as a pathological liar. He further said that Reardon does not work with the Snohomish County Council, but instead alienated the relationship that had been built in the past with the council members. Mr. Weikel further advised that the Boeing Company wants nothing to do with Reardon and that Reardon had destroyed the relationship with the Boeing Company. Weikel described the relationship that Reardon had with the Jay Inslee office and that it was in poor standings. Weikel stated that there had been a questionable relationship with “Masterbuilders” of Snohomish County and that there had been rumored benefits given to Reardon. … Mr. Weikel described Reardon as being virtually non-existent at the county office but always has time to do his own things,such as promoting himself for the future, and exercise.
For comparison, here’s what Reardon said about Weikel when Weikel retired from county service in 2007:
“Gary has been a priceless asset to this County and its leaders. His knowledge, charisma and compassion are unparalleled, he will truly be missed.”
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