Democrats | KNKX


Shortly after the final gavels fell Thursday night on Washington’s 2018 legislative session, Gov. Jay Inslee stepped before a smattering of reporters and cameras gathered in his conference room and touted “a long list of accomplishments” over the 60 day session.

Washington’s 60-day legislative session is approaching the halfway mark and majority Democrats are flexing their newfound one-party control of Olympia. That’s especially evident in the state Senate where several priority Democratic bills have been put on a fast track.

First it was Georgia. Then Montana. Now the national political spotlight is falling on Washington state and a special election later this year. But unlike those earlier contests, this one isn’t to fill a seat in Congress.

It’s for the state legislature.

National Democrats are investing more resources in an upcoming Georgia special election, hoping new research gained from focus groups could not only pull off an upset in the suburban Atlanta district, but also give them clues to how they can best put the House in play next year.

The Republican Party heads into 2017 with more power than it has had for a long time.

For the Democrats, it's a different matter.

Hillary Clinton's loss in the presidential race and Democratic failures further down the ballot have the party searching for a way forward.

Here are five things Democrats need to do, as they look for a path out of the political wilderness:

1. Be clear about how bad things are — and are not — for the Democratic Party.

President Obama sees a role for himself in rebuilding the Democratic Party after he leaves office — coach.

The Democratic Party is looking the worse for wear these days. And that's putting it mildly. The party's net favorability rating has fallen off steeply in the past few years, and it's been negative or near-negative since 2010, according to multiple polls.

That would be cause for concern, except for one thing: The GOP looks much worse.

Too-big-to-fail banks are generating plenty of anger from the public, but former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the real risks to the financial system lie in the vast, lightly regulated corners of the economy called shadow banks.

Under fire for her ties to Wall Street, Clinton increasingly has talked about the need to crack down on the hedge funds, private equity firms, money market funds and derivatives traders that perform many of the same functions as banks without being regulated the same way.

Washington Lt. Governor Brad Owen hasn’t announced if he intends to seek a sixth-term next year. But he already faces challenges from two fellow Democrats who are betting he won’t run.

Washington voters consistently send Democratic majorities to the statehouse. But four times over the past 20 years they’ve also voted to require a supermajority of the legislature to raise taxes. Most recently, in 2010. Now a group of Democratic lawmakers and their allies are challenging the constitutionality of that two-thirds rule.

A national poll released Monday shows Latinos are unhappy with both major political parties. The poll posed several questions to Latino registered voters about their attitudes toward candidates and the 2012 election.


OLYMPIA, Wash. – It’s been a good run for Democrats in Washington state. They’ve held the governor’s office for nearly thirty years, the state House for a decade and the Washington Senate since 2005. But that political dominance could be imperiled.

Susan Walsh / Associated Press

U.S. Senator Patty Murray has debuted in her newest high profile role. The Washington Democrat co-chairs the so-called supercommittee on federal debt reduction. It held its first meeting today in Washington, DC., and Murray provided opening remarks.

This fall, the deficit cutting committee will recommend $1.2 trillion in spending cuts over the next ten years.

It's not quite Wisconsin, but Republicans – and a lone Democrat - in Washington are taking a jab at state employee unions. They've introduced legislation to not fund union contracts negotiated by the governor.

Washington lawmakers are singing the blues over the state’s budget woes. The legislature convenes Monday for a 105-day session. Once again, majority Democrats are confronted with a multi-billion dollar budget shortfall.

New batches of mail-in ballots show Republicans are gaining seats in the Washington state House and Senate but it's not known yet which party will control the Legislature.    

Since the initial vote counts from Tuesday's election, Republicans have been optimistic they can seize the state Senate

More ballots were counted Wednesday.  Democrats have been soundly defeated in three districts.: east King County's 45th and 47th districts, and Spokane's 6th district.