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Poll: Southwest Washington’s 3rd District congressional race in a dead heat

U.S. Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez and Republican challenger Joe Kent are neck and neck among nearly 650 likely voters who live in the district, a recent poll from the Northwest Progressive Institute found.

“It is a textbook definition of a tight race that could come down to a recount,” said Andrew Villeneuve, the executive director of the left-leaning nonprofit. NPI was among the few pollsters to ascribe a fighting chance to Gluesenkamp Perez’s longshot 2022 campaign, which she eventually won.

Mark Stephan, an associate professor of political science at the Vancouver campus of Washington State University, said that incumbents are most vulnerable during their first reelection campaign.

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Oregon Public Broadcasting

Law experts chime in on first criminal conviction of a president in U.S. history

When news broke Thursday that the first president in U.S. history was convicted of a crime, animated responses rang out from politicians and legal experts all across Washington state.

University of Washington Law Professor Jessica West said in an interview, “It’s a good and strong system. They had a chance to present their testimony. Mr. Trump could have testified if he wanted to. There were lots of protections in place.”

Cornell Clayton, professor of political science and director of the Thomas S. Foley Institute of Public Policy and Public Service at Washington State University, agreed with West in saying he was not shocked by the jury’s verdict in the trial.

“It wasn’t surprising for those who had followed the trial, given how the evidence came in,” Clayton said, adding that the defense “didn’t provide any sort of alternative narrative to rebut the prosecutors’ case.”

Clayton said the verdict may have more of an impact on the institution of the presidency in the long run than it does on the 2024 election.

“I think, historically, it’s extremely important that for the first time we have a president who’s been convicted, criminally convicted, and that will change the way we think about the presidency,” he said, comparing the trial’s outcome to President Richard Nixon’s resignation in 1974.

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The Spokesman-Review
Yahoo! News

Candidate wants to use the national guard to solve homelessness

Republican candidate for governor Semi Bird wants to use the Washington National Guard to solve homelessness. The legality of that idea is an open question according to legal scholars.

Bird’s campaign website says that if he is elected governor he will declare a state of emergency and deploy the national guard…under Article 3, Section 8 of the Washington state constitution].

University of Washington law school professor Hugh Spitzer, a leading state constitution scholar, thinks it is unlikely Bird could actually make such a move.

Cornel Clayton, a Washington State University political science professor and the director of the Thomas S. Foley Institute of Public Policy and Public Service, expressed similar skepticism.

“My initial reaction is that this is not what that clause in the constitution was intended for.  Rather, it contemplates calling up the national guard during an emergency,” Clayton said.

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Mattis accepts inaugural Foley Award for Distinguished Public Service

In accepting the first Thomas S. Foley Award for Distinguished Public Service, former Secretary of Defense and retired general James Mattis on Tuesday called on those in the audience to reject political division and cynicism for this country.

“I trust some of you young folks in the audience will leave tonight refusing to adopt the childish practices you see too often on our television screens. Rather, resolving to embrace the courage, the conviction, the civility and the dignity of Tom Foley,” Mattis said.

At the center of Mattis’ message was for Americans to reject disunity.

“At home, we see Americans engaging in contempt for each other and seemingly unaware of the delight they create in Bejing and Moscow — hoping Americans will turn cynical and lose their selfless spirit,” he said.

It was a message WSU senior and Foley Institute intern Nicholas Wong called “inspiring” for someone who wants a career in public service.

“Mattis very much spoke to the idea of just being human and how it doesn’t really matter at the end of the day, we all want largely the same stuff,” he said. “It felt like he was semi-directly talking to me. It means a lot to hear from a person of his position to not be cynical when it comes to our country.”

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The Spokesman-Review
Yahoo! News

Congress has been historically unproductive. How did we get here?

During the first half of Joe Biden’s presidency, when Democrats controlled both chambers, 365 bills were signed into law. Then Republicans took control of the house in the 2022 midterms.

More than halfway through its two-year term, the 118th Congress has enacted, and Biden has signed, 47 pieces of legislation. The last 10 Congresses averaged almost 390 bills enacted per term.

“It is the least productive Congress in at least 50 years in terms of the numbers of bills,” said Cornell Clayton, a political science professor at Washington State University and the director of the university’s Thomas S. Foley Institute of Public Policy and Public Service.

And an unproductive Congress means an unproductive president, at least in terms of bills signed. But judging a Congress’ productivity solely on the number of bills passed isn’t entirely accurate, Clayton said.

“I think quantity is important, but more important than quantity is quality,” he said. Still, the 118th Congress hasn’t done well on either count.

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