Riley Sweeney, an Olympia native, was born while his father worked on Maria Cantwell’s first run for State House. Doomed from the start, he has worked as a political organizer on a cross-section of Democratic campaigns in the last seven years. He graduated from Western Washington University in 2008 with a degree in Communication. His debut in the Whatcom political scene was managing Catherine Chambers’ city council campaign in 2009. He lives in Bellingham with his lovely wife, Bryna Sweeney. When he is not reading about politics, organizing political events, or writing about politics, he writes and produces a 1930’s detective radio drama with Bryna, plays fancy board games, and frolics in the beautiful Northwest.

The Political Junkie is intended to serve two purposes. First to offer local and national opinion, commentary and insight. All the good hallmarks of a blog, I strive for at least two posts of original content each week. Make sure to tune in Friday mornings for our weekly feature, Friday Odds and Ends.

Second, I want to engage my readers a bit more. I am allowing commenting, please, give me your thoughts on any of this, you can always send tips, feedback and advice to my personal email here.

Citizen Journalism, such as this blog, is a labor of love, but it needs your help to stay strong. Read all about how you can help here.

Finally, unless noted otherwise, all pictures on this blog are property of Sweeney’s Portraits. You can hire them for all your photography needs today!



  1. Hi neighbor!

    I’ve been making the rounds introducing myself to fellow Bellingham/Whatcom bloggers. I’ve established a new blogroll titled “Bellingham Blogs”, where I’m listing local blogs that I like, and have added your blog to the list.

    I admire your passion for blogging about politics. I used to blog solely on the subject myself for quite a few years on a previous blog, but I burned out.

    I look forward to following your blog going forward.


  2. Thank you! I plan to keep pouring work into this little blog, although it is mostly about politics, I do branch out into other subjects (see everything under “Time Wasters”)

  3. Mr. Sweeney,

    I would like to keep you updated on Taxpayers for Common Sense (www.taxpayer.net) and our current efforts in SW Washington.

    Taxpayers for Common Sense is a non-partisan watchdog and we have been fighting for fiscal responsibility in Washington for more than 15 years – working with Democrats and Republicans, and groups on the right and the left. We are best known for our winning campaign against spending “earmarks” and as the original whistle-blower on the “Bridge to Nowhere” – a proposed $380 million Alaskan bridge that became an infamous example of federal waste and a hot button campaign issue in 2008.

    Please email me back if you would like to receive our updates.

    Taylor Barden

    Communications Associate
    Taxpayers for Common Sense
    (202) 546-8500 x111

  4. Riley, you have a very well written blog! Glad I clicked Bryna’s link on fbook. Kudos.

  5. I’m new to this…how do I follow your blog? Can I get posting through email? Thanks!


    • Over in the right column there is a button for “email subscription”. Click the button and put in your email! Thank you for reading!

  6. […] About […]

  7. Please unsubscribe me. THANKS!

    • You don’t appear to be subscribed in the first place, so . . . tada!

  8. Hey Riley, since you’re a political junkie, you will probably love this: http://www.whatcomteaparty.org/index.html#rosa-koire there should be some great political theatre that night, I tell you what!

  9. Very informative post on the new jail complex. I hope you will continue to follow and report on this matter on a regular basis.

    • I plan on it. Thank you for reading!

  10. Thank you for your blog Mr. Sweeney. I am the Chair of Grandparents Rights of Washington State (GROWS). One of our members spoke out at the town hall meeting earlier today Saturday 16 March in Bellingham. Janet is one of our grandmothers who have been unreasonably kept from visiting her grandson who has had a significant wonderful and loving relationship with her for years and then for some unknown reason the parents took away complete access to that grandchild. We have over five hundred grandparents in GROWS and over a thousand grandchildren that we are advocating for in this state who have been unreasonably kept from their grandchildren and the list grows daily. Can you or any of your bloggers think what it would be like if you had a loving relationship with your or their grandparents and all of a sudden, for no good reason you are ripped out of their lives? The first thing you would think is what I have done wrong, why don’t grandma and grandpa love me anymore? What did I do???? Than “family man” Overstreet basically says who cares about those grandchildren let them fend for themselves. I could go in to more and would love to if you ever have the time or space to delve into this situation some more. http://www.grandparentsrightsofwashingtonstate.org.
    Thank you,
    Bob Rudolph
    Chair GROWS

  11. Oh, I meant to add to my comments above, Overstreet made a complete ass out of himself on the House floor that I watched from the Gallery over the top of the floor. He looked like a twleve year old spoiled kid having a temper tantrum. What an embarrassment he is for your neighborhood. Its a shame you don’t have an adult representing you in Olympia.

  12. […] About […]

  13. […] About […]

  14. Riley — You are doing what Berry would want (acting locally from his speech in my Journalism 190 class. Keep it up. Pilgrim

  15. Riley — You are doing what Berry would want (acting locally from his speech in my Journalism 190 class). Keep it up. Pilgrim

    • Thank you so much Tim, it means a great deal coming from you. 🙂

  16. Hi,
    I am really impressed with your blog post, it is really good and you are maintaining it very well. I would like to submit my post on your blog (as guest post) with my website link. Mostly I create about educational and student related subjects. Please let me know if you are accepting guest posts and I’m ready to discuss my contents with you, I promise you with unique, quality and 100% plagiarism free content. I am looking forward to get your reply.
    Thank You,
    Tanya Schenck

  17. Thanks for your coverage of the CLEW process. I’m writing a series of articles for my professional society newsletter, and your initial coverage prompted me to go back and listen to the full TVW coverage. Amazed (?) by Sen. Ericksen’s “performance.”. Another one for your future consideration: In the Sept 11 meeting (around 1:47) DE complains about poor quality of data and analysis (from Ecology). Well, he’s right. The data and analysis are poor, but that’s because the legislature pulled nearly all the funding and the GHG effort at Ecology is on life support. But DE has a solution to this problem! Check out SB6264. Looks like a friendly bill to streamline collection of GHG emissions, but in reality would cut Ecology funding for this program by more than 90%!

  18. I want to make a prediction about Boeing now that they’re transferring over 1000 research engineering jobs to right-to-work-for-less states in their search for more money. Their demoralized and less experienced workforce will start producing an inferior product, and their stock price will suffer, making them ideal for takeover (think Bain Capital). The best parts will be sold off, and the debt of the takeover loaded onto Boeing. Boeing will then go bankrupt, unloading all of the employee pensions onto the PBGC (Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation, a US Govt Agency). I expect the PBGC will not pay the full amount of the earned pensions.

  19. I like how this blog covers local politics… unlike other political blogs, that only cover national and international politics. I believe that the local government has more of a direct impact on the people than the “higher” levels of government.
    And thanks for your time and effort put into this!

  20. Oh, I meant to add to my comments above, Overstreet made a complete ass out of himself on the House floor that I watched from the Gallery over the top of the floor. He looked like a Best Detective twleve year old spoiled kid having a temper tantrum. What an embarrassment he is for your neighborhood. Its a shame you don’t have an adult representing you in Olympia.

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