The Washington Politics and Government
Welcome to the Washington State Politics and Government Website.
This site is designed to help citizens, voters, and students of
government and politics find information about this state’s political
This site is meant to be an unbiased, non-partisan resource on
state, county, and local politics. Many internet resources on
Washington politics are both biased and partisan. Websites by local
politicians (either their own or paid for by the office they hold),
always accent the positive about themselves, while many other sites
and blogs may contain factual information, but are also often long on
opinion, often with insults and agendas thrown in for good
To the left is a navigational menu with links to pages dealing
with specific topics. More topical pages will be added as time
While the content of this site is meant to be non-partisan, this
site IS supported by advertising, which may promote one candidate or
party over the other. If you are interested in advertising on this
site, please refer to the email link found at the bottom all
If you or your organization are highlighted on this site, and you
feel that some of the factual information is incorrect, please feel
free to contact us.
Why Washington? Why Politics?
Politics is the process that decides who (individuals, groups of
people, corporations, political parties, states, cities, nations,
etc.) get control over resources. What kind of resources? You name
it, it can be considered a resource, and control over it or access to
it is determined through politics and government action.
- Money–as in taxes: who pays, who pays more? Who
pays less? How the tax money is spent after it is
- Land and property–what government regulations are
on the land you own? How much can a landlord charge in rent to
his or her renters? Which energy company, if any, can dig for
coal in government-owned public lands?
- Water –Should the Columbia River have dams? What
is more important, irrigating the Yakima Valley farmlands, or
preserving the salmon that sustain the coastal fishing
industries and tribal cultures?
- Airwaves–Yes, the government decides which
companies or individuals can use radio and TV airwaves, and it
uses that control to regulate what is broadcast over those
airwaves. See the decision in Federal
Communications Commission v. Pacifica
(1978) in which famous comedian George
Carlin found out that yes, the government can regulate
his words on the radio. This is the same reason Howard Stern
left traditional radio and hired on with satellite radio.
- The Vote–In a democratic republic, this is the
ultimate political resource. Who gets to vote? How often do we
vote? Do you have to pass a test in order to vote? Remember, at
one point in America, only white, adult, land-owning males had
the legal right to vote in this country. It took political
protests, lobbying, pressure politics, and court challenges to
get African-Americans, Native Americans, women, and 18, 19, and
20-year olds the right to vote.
- Education–Who pays for schools? Who goes to
schools? At what age? What curriculum will be taught in the
schools? Is school enrollment in a particular area determined
by where the student lives, or the color of their skin? How
much money will the teachers make? How much paid time will the
teachers have to plan their lessons? Does the school, the
district, or the state require an exit exam to graduate?
(Washington has the WASL/HISPE test).
These are just a few of the resources regulated and allocated
by the government through politics. This website will examine the
individuals, the political pressure groups, the political parties,
the lobbyists, the citizens, and the processes that make up
Washington’s political systems.
And the answer to “Why Washington?” is quite simple. I was born
and raised in Washington and have participated in the political
system in this state as a voter, appointed commissioner, and as a
teacher of Civics and American Government. I see the impact of
politics on the world we live in, and have been involved in small,
but important ways. I have informally lobbied politicians and
office-holders, city councils and school boards, written my
congressional representatives, and pigeonholed the mayor a time or
two. I volunteered to work on political campaigns, and I even
donated money to a candidate once. I am involved in the system,
and I believe that the system must be understandable in order to
be effective. One purpose of this website is to help make
Washington’s political and governmental systems easier for
citizens, especially those still in school, to understand how the
system works, and how they can participate in that system.
Date Last Modified: 07.16.10
Copyright © 1998-2010 Roger A. Lee and History Guy Media