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Postman on Politics

Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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August 19, 2008 9:03 AM

Join me for a primary night chat

Posted by David Postman

After the polls close tonight I plan to do a little live-blogging and, I hope, a lot of chatting with you all about the state's first-ever top two primary. The campaigns have already flooded me with their pre-spin so it'll be fun to see how the expectation game plays out.

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August 18, 2008 11:45 AM

This week in blogging

Posted by David Postman

I am working on a story for the paper that has to be done before the Democratic convention opens so blogging will be light at best for a few days.

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August 15, 2008 2:42 PM

Gregoire on KING 5 Sunday

Posted by David Postman

Gov. Chris Gregoire says she’s trying to run a positive campaign and only began airing ads attacking Republican Dino Rossi after his backers attacked her. She’s doing that even though she concedes it has meant putting on hold what would have be an important part of her early re-election campaign.

Lori Matsukawa and I taped an interview with Gregoire this morning for the weekend edition of KING 5's Up Front. The web-extra portion of that interview has been posted at the Up Front site.

On the program - Sunday morning at 9:30 on KING 5 and at 8 p.m. on Northwest Cable News - Gregoire talks about gay marriage, the income tax, state spending and the shaky economy.

The web portion of the interview started off with a question about the campaign. Four years ago Gregoire told me that she had made a mistake in her first campaign for governor by not taking more time to tell voters about her background and to give them a better sense of the real Chris Gregoire.

But it seems she’s skipping that part of the campaign again. I told Gregoire that her ads talk much more about Rossi than they do about her. She said:

This campaign isn’t going like I hoped it would, to be perfectly honest with you. I had hoped it would be a campaign on issues and we could have healthy debates and let the voters decide. But instead we started in June, of all times, with attack ads by the BIAW to the tune of $1 million and now my opponent has added on to the attacks. So what I’d like to see is a healthy debate about issues, has now turned into my having to respond. I will not let them lie, Dave. I will not let them sit there and do those attacks without a response.

She said she was trying to run a positive campaign, though she was asked about ads from her and the labor-backed Evergreen Progress that hit Rossi as BIAW ads hit her.

My ads that you’re referring to are a response to his misrepresentations. My ads, that I put out, are very positive.

That's just one of a couple distinctions Gregoire tries to draw between her campaign and what's being done on behalf of Rossi.

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August 13, 2008 3:56 PM

I'm away from the blog

Posted by David Postman

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August 12, 2008 8:06 AM

Local firm tied to Alaska scandal

Posted by David Postman

Madison Communications, a Republican political consulting firm in Kirkland, was named today by the Anchorage Daily News as a possible an unnamed co-conspirator in the latest charges in Alaska’s growing political scandal.

The Daily News suggests strongly that says the firm, headed by well-known consultant Brett Bader, is the “Consultant A” mentioned in the charges, and guilty plea, by private prison executive Bill Weimar. Weimar pleaded guilty yesterday to two federal felonies.

(I originally said the Daily News said Madison was the firm in question. But the paper builds a case that it was the firm, but stops short of saying that outright.)

Richard Mauer wrote in the ADN:

He admitted his role in a conspiracy to secretly funnel money to a political consultant for an unnamed state Senate candidate, knowing the candidate would back a private prison if he won.

The candidate, Mauer says, appears to be former Alaska state Sen. Jerry Ward, a Republican. In court yesterday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Joe Bottini said the consultant was from Seattle.

Some of Ward's biggest campaign expenses in 2004 were more than $43,000 in fees charged by Madison Communications, an advertising and public relations firm based in suburban Kirkland, Wash.

That same year -- and this is nothing more than conincidence -- the firm was paid nearly $43,000 for work on Republican Rob McKenna’s successful campaign for attorney general. This year Madison has been paid $85 $276 by McKenna’s campaign for design services.

Mauer and I were unable to reach Bader.

Continue reading this post ...

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August 11, 2008 5:03 PM

Off-duty cops boot Demo cameraman from Rossi event

Posted by David Postman

This is a version of a story Andrew Garber and I wrote for tomorrow's paper.

Off-duty Seattle police officers last week forcibly removed a Democratic Party cameraman from a press conference where the police guild was giving its endorsement to Republican Dino Rossi.

Guild members threatened the young man with arrest and made an emergency call to 911, bringing uniformed officers to the scene. Cameraman Kelly Akers was given a written "admonishment" that warned him against trespassing.

“There’s no fine, no penalty, no request for charges,” said Seattle Police Department Sgt. Sean Whitcomb.

You can watch Akers' video of the event here.

Continue reading this post ...

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August 11, 2008 10:37 AM

Hughes leaves World for history

Posted by David Postman

I was shocked to see that John Hughes, editor and publisher of the Daily World in Aberdeen, had announced he was leaving the trade. He’s going to be in charge of the state’s oral history program.

Hughes has been at the World his entire career. He started as a nine-year-old paperboy and worked his way up to editor and then publisher. He’s 64, so it’s not that I thought he would work forever. And this sounds like the perfect new job for Hughes, a historian by avocation and the author of a fascinating book about Grays Harbor County, "On the Harbor, From Black Friday to Nirvana."

But the loss for the rest of us is greater than just the institutional memory that will move with Hughes from his newspaper office to to-be-built Heritage Center. He was a meat and potatoes journalist who knew how to balance the competing interests of sticking up for your community and giving it a kick when needed. Small town papers don’t always carry that off so well.

He’s been among the strongest advocates for open meetings and public records in the state. He's also a damn good writer. There's a long list of journalists in this state who have passed through The World. They all owe something to Hughes, as do we who now benefit -- and sometimes suffer -- at the hands of his proteges.

I am certain that Hughes’ new job won’t make him any less of an advocate for the people, places and things he has long championed. But the newspaper business in this state just won’t be the same without him among the ranks of the ink-stained wrenches.

Secretary of State Sam Reed, Hughes' new boss, is running a home for wayward journalists, young and old. He hired AP vet Dave Ammons as his press secretary and Christina Siderius, formerly a rising star at the Seattle Times, to do new media.

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August 11, 2008 9:38 AM

Top 2 Primary: The roots of Republican rebranding

Posted by David Postman

On this month’s primary ballot, 26 Republicans, including gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi, have dropped their common party identification and instead are listed as preferring the “GOP” or “GOP Party.”

It’s an obvious effort, at least on the part of some, to avoid the tarnished Republican brand. But state Republican Party Chairman Luke Esser says “GOP” and “Republican” mean the same thing - synonyms that voters understand.

I don’t think it’s going to make a dime’s worth of difference. I used it when I ran for office to refer to myself. It’s an academic question.

For academic questions, we turn to Will Mari, Times editorial intern and Friend of the Blog. After the jump, read Mari’s report on the birth of the GOP and how the archaic term may help Republicans this year.

Continue reading this post ...

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Sep 18, 08 - 07:21 AM
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The McCain speech

Sep 4, 08 - 02:38 PM
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