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County jail commander charged with harassment


3.3 million voters' pamphlets in the mail

3.3 million voters' pamphlets in the mail

About 3.3 million voters' pamphlets will arrive to households across the state this week.

According to the Assosicated Press, the secretary of state's office says the pamphlets are being delivered around the same time voters are receiving their ballots for next month's election.

There are 26 editions of the pamphlet to account for races in different counties, plus pamphlets in Spanish, Chinese and Vietnamese. The biggest pamphlets are more than 240 pages.

The pamphlets include information on races for president, governor, Congress, the state Supreme Court and Legislature as well as ballot measures concerning legalizing marijuana, same-sex marriage and authorizing charter schools.

Politwoops tracks deleted tweets from politicians

How many times have you tweeted something, noticed a typo, and went back to delete it? Or maybe you thought the tweet wasn’t worded quite as you liked. Maybe you tweeted from the wrong account. Most everyone has had that problem, including politicians.

You might have clicked delete, but the tweets remain. The Sunlight Foundation, a non-profit utilizing online technology to share government information, devised a website, Politwoops, to track tweets from politicians that were soon deleted.

We went through and searched for local Spokane-based politicians in their search engine to see who was included in the database, but it appears only Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers is included. The database did not include any regional state senate, represenative, mayoral or city council individuals. 

Governor signs supplemental capital budget

The new supplemental capital budget signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire today creates thousands of jobs in Eastern Washington and $1 billion being budgeted into jobs across the state.

The Governor’s Office sent out a list of projects being funded by the budget categorized by county.

Here’s a list of Whitman County projects:

  • Malden New Water Reservoir - $975,000
  • Community Action Center, Marcus Place - $660,000

10 Washington Congressmen That Ended Term Early

The nice thing about public records, when kept long enough, you collect all sorts of interesting knowledge you never thought would come in handy until the 10th sitting member of the U.S House of Representatives leaves office before completing their term.

The Office of Secretary of State historian, Patrick McDonald, compiled a list of Washington congressmen who never finished their term. The latest is Jay Inslee who resigned on March 30th to focus on his campaign for Governor.

The 5th congressional district is kind of interesting if you’re a fan of patterns. For 24 years in a row, not a single congressman finished his term.

It started in 1919 when John Stanley Webster was elected to serve in that position. He resigned in 1923 to be a U.S. District Court Judge for Eastern Washington. Samuel Billingsley Hill took over during a special election, but he resigned too in 1937 to become a judge on the U.S. Board of Tax Appeals. The next man to hold the position was Charles Henry Leavy who resigned in 1943 to become a judge on the U.S. District Court for Western Washington.

Connecting the dots with Idaho's D- score

A long list of grades was released yesterday, sorting states in order of their level of accountability. The Center of Public Integrity reported a D- rating for Idaho citing the state's lack of financial disclosure and even legislature votes that conflict with personal interests.

Two stories are coming off the AP wires that tie together with the above characteristics that earned the state its rating. 

An ethics panel is exploring allegations that a Idaho senator broke their rules during a vote last week. A complaint filed by Democrats says state Sen. Monty Pearce did not disclose industry ties during committee and floor votes regarding the energy industry.

Last November, Pearce signed a lease with a company that would restrict county and city control over gas drilling projects.

Pearce's attorney, Charles Peterson, says the Senator did what he needed to do to disclose the leases that date back to the 1980s.

Idaho Scores D- On Accountability

Would you say the state of Idaho is accountable? If you thought yes, your opinion would not match the score of a recent integrity investigation. The state ranks #40 in the nation, or a D- if you want to go by the letter grading system. The Center for Public Integrity released new data yesterday that examines state politics and just how dirty it gets.

Idaho ranks in the same level as many other sparsely-populated states in the nation like Wyoming and the Dakotas. The watchdog group says the honest belief that “everybody knows everybody” has overridden the perceived need for strong protections in law.

They also cite libertarianism roots, that small-town and neighborly approach to government. A lack of transparency is also to blame. Idaho has no financial disclosure requirements for lawmakers and executive branch officials.