Spin Control

THURSDAY, AUG. 11, 2011, 9:24 A.M.

Candidate says he can’t comply with state law

A candidate for Spokane City Council is continuing to decline to show his campaign finance books even after acknowledging Thursday that state law doesn't appear to give him the flexibility to refuse to show them in the week before an election.

Chris Bowen, who is running for the seat held by City Councilman Bob Apple, has told the state Public Disclosure Commission that he's spent $18,000 on his campaign, but he hasn't filed any paperwork saying where he got it.

In response to a reporter’s interview request, Bowen emailed last week that he would not share information about his fundraising.

“Thank you for your interest in my election books,” he wrote. “State law requires that the books are to be shown by appointment. All appointments have been filled for this primary election.”

This morning, he said, he called the commission and learned that the law wasn't as flexible as he thought. Still, he said, there's so much interest among the public to see his finances that he is completely booked for the times set out by state law: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday (Aug. 8) to Monday (Aug. 15) excluding Saturday and Sunday. The primary election is Aug. 16.

He refused to name anyone who has requested to see his books. Asked how many people have requested to see his paperwork, Bowen said: "Quite a few, I haven't added them all up yet."

Asked if this reporter could attend one of his already scheduled appointments, he said it would be too difficult to show his books to multiple people at the same time.

He said he believes he isn't violating the law because it's impossible for him to grant any more inspections.

"What am I supposed to do?" he said. "Perform miracles?"

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Jonathan Brunt
Jonathan Brunt is an assistant city editor.

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