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Fri., Oct. 18, 2013, 10:43 a.m.

Foley: state’s last major politician who also was a hunter

Tom Foley is a former Eastern Washington Congressman and Speaker of the House of Representatives. This is a 1982 photo of Foley at the end of a day of duck hunting in Eastern Washington. (Photo Archive / The Spokesman-Review)
Tom Foley is a former Eastern Washington Congressman and Speaker of the House of Representatives. This is a 1982 photo of Foley at the end of a day of duck hunting in Eastern Washington. (Photo Archive / The Spokesman-Review)

HUNTING -- The pressure on sportsmen applied by the NRA and other gun rights organizations to "vote their sport" is particularly troubling since in the past 25 years it’s strayed from the big picture of fish, wildlife and habitat conservation to the narrow premise that a candidate is viable only if he has an unblemished record of opposing gun control.

This narrow approach to voting in 1994 helped unseat former Speaker of the House Tom Foley, the last major Washington candidate, I believe, to pose in a duck blind with a shotgun for statewide campaign ads.

Sportsmen are distinguished for being politically savvy, but they got snookered in that election.

RIP Tom Foley.  I hope sportsmen reflect on your service and ability to work with all parties to keep wildlife in the equation.




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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