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Fri., May 14, 2010, 9:37 a.m.

Gates Senior, dam fixes: Wassup May 14

Bill Gates Sr., is in Spokane this evening, trying to drum up support for a proposal that would place a state income taxe on folks with annual incomes over $200,000, or couples over $400,000.

Initiative 1098, which would also cut the state property tax and make changes to the business and occupation tax, will be on the November ballot if Gates and other supporters can gather about 300,000 signatures by the end of June. He's at the Glacier Conference Room at the Quality Inn, 110 E. 4th Ave., at 5 p.m. He's also speaking to the Washington Education Association gathering at the Convention Center at 8 p.m.

On the other side of the state, Sen. Patty Murray,  U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott and an array of local officials are celebrating the announcement of $44 million in federal money to help shore up the Howard Hanson Dam in the Green River Valley.

And talk of Gov. Chris Gregoire being on the list of possible replacements for Elena Kagan as the White House solicitor general appear to have quieted, at least for the time being.

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The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.