Political Buzz

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Category: Inauguration

Jan.
18th

Why was new First Lady Trudi Inslee in a wheelchair at Inaugural Ball? Just giving an injured knee a rest

At least some of the photographs from Wednesday’s Inaugural Ball in Olympia showed First Lady Trudi Inslee in a wheelchair. Like the one here by Ted Warren of the Associated Press.

But she was shown standing while her husband Jay Inslee took the oath of office in the rotunda of the Legislative Building and at other times during the day’s events. Hopefully she hadn’t suffered an injury during the new governor’s afternoon basketball game at the Mansion.

Inslee spokesman David Postman explained it this way: “Not a basketball injury. She started the day with knee problems but was able

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Feb.
9th

Campaign to legalize marijuana doesn’t see Legislature fast-tracking efforts

An initiative to legalize marijuana in Washington, I-502 had a work session at the Capitol today. Lawmakers could pass the measure directly into law or propose an alternative that would appear next to it on the ballot, but the campaign doesn’t see signs that they’ll do either.

“We’re being realistic about the fact that this is a short session,” Alison Holcomb, the campaign director of a group supporting I-502, told reporters after the meeting. “They’re very busy this year and we have a budget problem.”

Holcomb also said the Legislature would likely need a 2/3 vote to pass the initiative  into

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Jan.
27th

International perspective on inauguration

We’ve had views of President Barack Obama’s history-making inauguration from Washington, D.C. and Washington state. Pacific Lutheran University student Tricia Johnson sent in this account from Australia, where she is studying now.

People from all over the world gathered together on a scorching Sydney afternoon to witness the United States 44th President, Barack Obama’s inauguration and celebrate his historic move to The White House. The event, held at the Manning Bar on the University of Sydney’s campus, was put on by the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. I was lucky enough to attend this "standing room only" event along with four other students and a professor, all currently studying abroad in Australia from Pacific Lutheran University.

The overwhelming amount of concern this group of people displayed toward the United States current economic status as well as Obama’s move to The White House was apparent even though I was in a foreign country. This tremendous amount of support made me wonder why Australians seem so interested in American politics and its current economic standing, while some Americans cannot even manage to find Australia on a map.

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Jan.
23rd

Dicks had great seats while the staff and guests stayed warm

U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks bundled up and ventured out Tuesday to watch the inauguration of Barack Obama from the steps of the Capitol. But the staff took advantage of the Belfair Democrat’s choice Rayburn House Office Building assignment and watched from the windows.

And apparently so did a lot of others who realized that it was better to be up close and warm than way in the back and freezing.

“We had many people in town who didn’t get tickets, so we told them we have a great view of the show – three large windows facing the Capitol,” wrote Dicks’ top aide George Behan.

The staff served coffee and food and offered binoculars and TVs – sort of like a luxury suite at the ballpark.

“As it turned out, we had some constituents who called us from cell phones while they were in lines that obviously were not moving,” Behan wrote. “We told them to come on in and they were much better off than colleagues who were in a line while Barack was taking the oath.”

Behan guesses that 150 people passed through the office during the day.

Dicks was near the aisle, next to U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. Both were close enough to shake Obama’s hand, as this photo – taken by Michael Meehan – shows.

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Jan.
21st

More dispatches from the Mason group

From education reporter Kris Sherman

Memories are still coming in from Tacomans who witnessed Barack Obama’s inauguration Tuesday.

Turns out not all of those Mason Middle School kids in D.C. For the event lasted until the bitter-cold end. But they’re still wrapping themselves in the warm memories.

I got this missive and photo in my inbox today from one of the parent-chaperons.

The photo below shows (l to r) Kassidi Reaugh, Allison Hakanson, Grace Groneck, Megan Gezelius at the Nurses Memorial with one of the stars and decorated evergreen trees they left behind to memorialize their visit.

But don’t think they were littering. All the trinkets they left at various memorials get picked up and archived, social studies teacher and tour leader Marilyn O’Malley-Hicks said.

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Jan.
20th

Near the podium – and Jessica Alba

Tacoma attorney Lara Herrmann e-mailed Peter Callaghan with some photos of her and her sister, Katie Herrmann, enjoying the festivities. (Laura is in the black cap).

Those are some impressive seats. But even more impressive is who was sitting nearby.

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Jan.
20th

‘Word’ on the street


Yusuf Word, president of University of Puget Sound’s student association, rose when many college students are normally hitting the hay in order to attend Obama’s speech in D.C.


"We left the house at 4 a.m. and were downtown around 4:30," said the 22-year-old senior, who is majoring in communications studies. “They let us in at 8 a.m. and we were there until about 1."


Word said he was struck by the diversity of the crowd, in terms of both race and age.


"It was great feeling all that positive

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Jan.
20th

Shots of espresso and politics

Blogger/copy editor Kelly Davenport shared a scene from this morning:


At Satellite Coffee in Tacoma’s Stadium District, customers gathered around a laptop on the counter streaming a live video feed from CNN.com. From desktop speakers that usually blast Motown and soul hits boomed the voice of the new president giving his inaugural address.


Barista Magdalena Ramos timed her espresso shots – punctuated by the loud crunch of the coffee grinder and the blast of the steam wand – to lulls in the broadcast so as not to interrupt. On screen, Obama thanked President George W. Bush for

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