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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Topic: Cultural sights

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April 15, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Seattle might learn from Philadelphia on sports stadiums

Citizens Bank Park

View from Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA (Photo by David Domke/UW Election Eye).

PHILADELPHIA — Sports stadiums are a big deal for cities.

They cost a lot of money to build, their teams inspire passion among fans and loathing among rivals, they spur significant revenue among restaurants and other businesses in the vicinity, and they draw traffic like honey draws bees. We know all this well in Seattle.

In Philadelphia on Sunday, I saw the upsides.

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Comments | More in National | Topics: Citizens Bank Park, Cultural sights, Philadelphia

March 31, 2012 at 9:54 AM

The Ron Paul Family Cookbook: The most delicious campaign material yet

The Ron Paul campaign calls it “one of the best campaign handouts you will ever find.” After finding the Ron Paul Family Cookbook (2011 edition, that’s right, there’s more than one edition) on the floor of the Taco Bell Arena after Paul came in third at the Ada Co. caucus in…

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Comments | More in National | Topics: Brownies, Campaign literature, Campaign materials

February 8, 2012 at 11:00 AM

In passing: Meeting progressive politics in Manitou Springs

"In Passing" posts capture shorter snapshots of places and people we encounter on the road. (Photos courtesy of Alex Stonehill, A.V. Crofts and Flickr Creative Commons/UW Election Eye)

MANITOU SPRINGS — It was the calm before the Santorum storm.

On a chilly Tuesday afternoon with snow flurries swirling, just hours before Rick Santorum’s surprising win in the Colorado Republican Party caucuses, we followed the example of a number of former U.S. presidents, including Teddy Roosevelt.

We went to the Colorado mountains and Manitou Springs for a pause from the impending caucus craziness.

Squint while standing on the town’s main street, Manitou Avenue, and you could be in a Spaghetti Western. Or Roslyn, WA. Our team’s Colorado native, Jason Gilmore, keyed us in to this serene mountain town that he’s been visiting since he was “knee high to a grasshopper.” It’s one of his favorite places.

It was easy to see why.

Snuggled near Pikes Peak west of Colorado Springs, this historic resort spot is famous for its restorative springs, proximity to the Garden of the Gods, memorable shops such as a charming Penny Arcade, and independent people.

Over hot beverages at Marika’s Coffeehouse, A.V. Crofts and I met one of them, Alan Delwiche, for a conversation about his hometown and the local political scene. Delwiche, whose son Aaron is an alum of the UW Department of Communication, is active in local Democratic Party politics.

Alan Delwiche, resident of Manitou, Col., outside Marika's Coffeehouse, on Manitou Avenue (Photo by A.V. Crofts / UW Election Eye)

Delwiche moved to Manitou Springs in 1982, and has seen the town bounce back from a decade of neglect in the 1970s. Ironically, this neglect meant that many of the historic buildings still stand, as they were not leveled for new construction in the 1960s and ’70s, while many were in neighboring Colorado Springs.

Back then, “it had a sort of Bohemian flavor,” Delwiche says. Today, Manitou Springs has emerged as a bluish dot in an otherwise red sea in the greater Colorado Springs area.

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Comments | Topics: Barack Obama, Colorado, Colorado caucus

February 5, 2012 at 6:30 AM

In search of Sheldon Adelson, finding a UW alum and a community treasure

The entrance to the Adelson Educational Campus in Summerlin, NV is a shining glass dome. We visited the private Jewish community school the Friday before the state's caucus. (Photo courtesy of adelsoncampus.org)

LAS VEGAS — Media and punditry buzz over Sheldon Adelson hit a crescendo this week. Time, then, for us to get an insider’s view of the impact of this multi-billionaire casino mogul and entrepreneur — literally.

We did, thanks to a UW alum in the desert.

Adelson is the multi-billionaire casino mogul who has bankrolled the Newt Gingrich campaign with millions of dollars in super PAC donations. He has a reach that is far and wide in Las Vegas.

We decided to go to a place that has received a great deal of attention: the Dr. Miriam & Sheldon G. Adelson Educational Campus (AEC), where the highest-profile Republican caucus in the state was held last night, after other caucus sites were closed, for citizens whose religious faith precluded them from caucusing during Saturday daytime.

What we found was not Adelson, but a Jewish community centerpiece.

UW Election Eye colleagues David Domke, A. V. Crofts and I drove north from downtown, to an area of gated communities and tan, Spanish-style buildings. This had manicured written all over it, and I questioned if we would be able to enter the campus. Recollections of my own time at a Jewish Day School in Bellevue told me to expect a protective fence.

And we found one, a tall, strong fence, with a security guard in front of it. With a school logo on his jacket, the guard asked to see our credentials. He crosschecked the schedule of visits — the three of us knew we weren’t on it, and we braced ourselves to be summarily dismissed. Not finding our name, the guard called into the school to check if someone there was expecting us. That was going to be another no-go, we knew.

“We have about a 30 percent chance of getting into this place,” Domke said. I thought this was wildly optimistic.

Soon an employee emerged from behind the fence and curtly told us that we did not have an appointment, and informed us in no uncertain terms that we would not be entering — unless we wanted to return for the public caucus.

Domke asked if there was any possible way to talk to someone else. The guard mentioned a name and said we could call her. He did not offer a phone number, but I had it. Domke dialed, and while he did, I snuck away to snap whatever photos I could of the elusive school. We would be leaving in about 60 seconds, I figured, so I’d get what I could.

Moving along the tall shrubbery, I caught glimpses of the buildings inside. A glass dome, artfully flanked by palm trees, marked the school’s entrance. In front of the doors, twin metal doves arched their wings skyward atop an outdoor statue. As I contorted to try to get the best photo angle of the flying Israeli flag, Domke called me over.

We were going in.

It turns out that the school’s Director of Development is a 1997 University of Washington graduate. When we agreed to focus on the school and not the caucus, she agreed to give us 10 minutes, but with no quotes on the record.

She ended up giving us 45 minutes, a tour, and a recorded interview.

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Comments | Topics: Caucuses, Cultural sights, education

February 4, 2012 at 6:21 PM

In Passing: La Choza #2 Mexican Restaurant

LAS VEGAS – When we exit the Summerlin Parkway in Las Vegas on to North Rancho Drive, at first the shops and scenery reflect the outskirts of any number of U.S. cities: an enormous Walgreens, a corner 7-11, a Burger King. But towering above the standard signs there is one that stands out: “Dos Hermanas…

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Comments | Topics: Cultural sights, Florida, food

January 18, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Capitol contradictions chiseled in stone

COLUMBIA — The state Capitol building here symbolizes the contradictions that define South Carolina. For starters, the west side of the building features bronze stars that highlight six shell holes from the Civil War. Yet across the street stand modern glass and metal office buildings. Even more prominent are the anchors to the grounds. The Confederate…

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Comments | Topics: Civil War, Confederate flag, controversy

January 16, 2012 at 5:00 AM

Photos: "Obama" gas station in Columbia

Obama gas station in Columbia

Late yesterday morning, as we were heading out of Columbia after finishing church at First Baptist, and on the way to see Santorum in Florence, we saw something a bit rarer in these rather reddish parts of the country: a giant photo of Obama and his logo pasted to a tall sign.

We had to investigate, and a couple of us popped out to talk to the folks working behind the counter.

As you might imagine, one of them, Khalad Hirabi, likes Barack Obama. Indeed, he likes Obama so much, in fact, that he and his business partners named a string of convenience stores after the president. He says that it has been a “boost to business.”

“People come here because they like the name,” he says, but also because they like our personality.

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Comments | Topics: Barack Obama, campaign oddities, Cultural sights

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