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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

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You are currently viewing all posts written by Allison Int-Hout. Allison Int-Hout is an undergraduate student at the University of Washington earning a major in journalism and a minor in Spanish. She has interned at the Wenatchee Business Journal in Wenatchee, WA, the Great West Division of the American Cancer Society and also written for several ethnic and neighborhood newspapers in the Seattle area. She serves as the student representative on the UW Department of Communication Alumni Board.

June 4, 2012 at 7:42 AM

The two UWs: Whether in Washington or Wisconsin, college degrees don’t come cheap

The University of Washington and the University of Wisconsin-Madison share more than initials; both universities and their students are struggling with the rising costs of education and its impact on the quality of education.

MILWAUKEE — This Sunday, the Foster School of Business graduation ceremony marked the end of Cheney Ferrell’s four years at the UW. And although she has worked 20 hours a week since the beginning of her sophomore year of college to make ends meet, Sunday’s graduation also triggered the six-month countdown until she starts paying back about $15,000 in loans.

Figure: Over the last 30 years, the average cost of undergraduate tuition at a 4-year university has more than doubled in terms of its percentage of the median household income. (Provided by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity)

For another UW student — a University of Wisconsin-Madison student — graduation might mean the same thing in a few years. Jensen Trotter just finished up his sophomore year at UW-Madison and is looking for another job, since his and 18 other positions at the campus’ Multicultural Student Coalition were recently cut. Although he hasn’t taken out much money in loans so far, thanks to a small amount of federal aid and savings from his parents, Trotter knows the financial responsiblity that comes with getting a college degree.

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Comments | More in National | Topics: College affordability, Tuition, Tuition increase

May 28, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Memorial day in Wisconsin: In Green Bay, patriotism is a seven-letter word

Christopher Reed, a member of the 432nd Civil Affairs Battalion in Green Bay, participated in the 21 Gun Salute during the Memorial Day ceremony held at Fort Howard Memorial Park. (Allison Int-Hout/UW Election Eye) GREEN BAY, Wisc. — At a Memorial Day ceremony in Green Bay today, patriotism took many forms. For some people at the event, showing their…

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May 25, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Two Midwest tales of weathering the Great American Recession

UW Election Eye is on the road for three weeks, covering politics in the heartland of America. One of our points of focus is Wisconsin, where voters will decide on June 5 whether to recall their governor. A big issue there, like everywhere, is the economy. Here’s two towns that have different, yet both challenging, tales.

A tumble weed is the only sign of movement you would expect to see at the General Motors Janesville Assembly in Janesville, Wisc. The factory closed its doors in June 2008 and is in standby until its fate will be reconsidered in 2015. (Allison Int-Hout/UW Election Eye)

ON THE ROAD IN WISCONSIN — A total of 49 miles apart in this state anchoring the upper Midwest, Janesville and Middleton tell two very different stories of how some towns in America are weathering the Great Recession. They represent economic turmoil on one hand and prosperity on the other.

Their experiences point to the issue that hangs over all of American politics like a cloud this election season: jobs. It’s certainly front and center as Wisconsites consider whether to oust Governor Scott Walker in a recall election on June 5. And it is jobs that will go far to determine the fate of many other elections in November.

From Puget Sound to Lake Michigan and beyond, it’s on everyone’s mind, even those who are doing relatively well.

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Comments | Topics: Economy, General Motors, Janesville

May 17, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Gubernatorial candidates, especially Rob McKenna, spending campaign dollars out of state

Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Rob McKenna have spent almost the same amount so far on their campaigns for governor. But differences in the way they spend just might give us a clue as to who will win in November, and how they’ll run our state.

(Graphic by Betsy Hauenstein/UW Election Eye)

Politics is a money game.  The candidate with the most cash usually wins, but in Washington state’s gubernatorial race, the two main candidates are almost neck and neck in terms of fundraising. There’s no sign that this tight race will let up before November, so what matters most is how they choose to spend that money.

Thanks to the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission (PDC), we get an idea of where the money is going.

The graphics above categorize all of the expenses listed on the PDC website for the Rob McKenna (R) and Jay Inslee (D) campaigns. The more than 1,000 expense entries for each campaign provide a glimpse into each candidate’s campaign approach.

The numbers tell two stories: one about new technologies, one about an old truism.

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Comments | More in State | Topics: advertising, campaign funds, Election 2012

May 3, 2012 at 6:30 AM

How (not) to embezzle campaign cash and flee the country

Greetings from Hawaii

Oh, the places I'll go... with leftover campaign contributions. (Illustration by Daniel Ecklor)

‘Tis the season to be in politics. Washington state politicians are ramping up their campaigns, donors are responding with hefty checks, and campaign bank accounts are beginning their steep, upward climbs.

I can’t help but wonder, what happens to those heaping piles of cash when candidates drop out of their races? If they don’t make it to the general election, do candidates have to give money back to their loyal supporters, or can they keep it? Can they donate it to charity or to their children’s college funds?

More importantly, could I run for state office, scrounge together a couple grand in campaign funds and then drop out of the race just in time to take that post-graduation trip to Hawaii that I’ve been planning in my mind for the last six months?

The prospect of spending a week in a chaise lounge, feet buried in silky Hawaiian sand and a piña colada in each hand, was motivation enough to find the answer.

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Comments | More in State | Topics: Campaign Finance, dontations, elections

April 18, 2012 at 2:48 PM

Wenatchee dodges disaster from failed arena project

A tax increase in Central Washington that passed on Tuesday will help the Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee pay off its $42 million debt. If the measure had failed, the arena most likely would have had to close its doors. (Photo by Larry Int-Hout)

In a special election Tuesday, voters in Central Washington approved a tax increase to bail out the Town Toyota Center. Debt on the arena threatened to force Wenatchee into bankruptcy.

WENATCHEE, Wash — Seattleites can probably remember when financing for Safeco Field was a topic of heated debate. A 1995 tax increase to help fund the stadium was narrowly defeated with 49.9% of the vote, and the city was left to ask the Washington State Legislature for help.

To help finance the stadium, Seattle formed a public facilities district with other surrounding cities to convince the state to contribute to the project.

Wenatchee had the same idea when they were looking for funding for an events arena in 2006. They formed the Greater Wenatchee Public Facilities District (PFD) with several surrounding towns and got tax money from the state to finance an arena.

But unlike Safeco, today Wenatchee’s Town Toyota Center is in serious financial trouble — to the tune of $42 million of debt that it appeared impossible to pay off, possibly forcing the city into bankruptcy.

That is until a special election in Chelan and Douglas counties yesterday yielded surprising results.

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Comments | More in State | Topics: arena debt, Central Washington, Proposition 1

April 14, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Young candidate hopes to inspire Latino voters in Yakima

Central Washington University student Pablo Gonzalez is currently the only Democrat in the race in the 15th LD.(Photo courtesy Pablo Gonzalez)

Pablo Gonzalez, a senior at Central Washington University, has entered the race for representative in the 15th Legislative District. He’s a moderate Democrat from a Latino background, and is running in the state’s only district with a Hispanic majority.

Pablo Gonzalez is no stranger to beginning the day in a race against the clock.

Like any college student, most days he leaves the house before he even has time to eat breakfast.

But unlike most college students who leave home without a second to spare, Gonzalez is not trying to catch a bus or make it to class on time. He is trying to win an election.

Hailing from a small town in the Yakima Valley and now finishing up his final quarters at Central Washington University, Gonzalez is gearing up to run for representative in the 15th Legislative District, position 2. He is the only Democrat in the race at this time, and the current representative, David Taylor (R), has not yet officially declared.

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Comments | More in State | Topics: 15th Legislative District, Central Washington University, David Taylor