A co-worker of Tim Eyman, the prominent anti-tax initiative guru of Washington, has joined the race for Spokane City Council.
Mike Fagan, co-director of Eyman's Voters Want More Choices, filed on Wednesday to run for a seat representing Northeast Spokane.
The seat currently is held by City Councilman Bob Apple, who can't run again because of term limits. Earlier this week, downtown businessman John Waite and Riverside Neighborhood Council Chairman Gary Pollard filed for the seat.
Fagan, 51, is a member of the Spokane Patriots, an offshoot of the Tea Party of Spokane. Fagan ran for council in 2009, losing to Councilwoman Amber Waldref in the general election.
He said he's running because the council has enacted too many taxes and increased too many fees and trampled on private property rights. He claims that it's easier to get welfare in Spokane than to get a building permit.
"It just about takes an act of Congress to get a building permit," he said.
On the property rights front, Fagan criticizes the city's use of eminent domain to build a bridge over railroad tracks at Havana Street, city rules that restrict the demolition of historic buildings downtown, and certain code enforcement rules, such as ones preventing overgrown weeds, which he said are "subject to interpretation."
Last year Fagan and the Spokane Patriots worked to place an initiative on the city ballot that would have revoked the city’s memberships and relationships with the United Nations and other groups “undermining United States sovereignty.” He also proposed an initiative to prohibit the city from “adopting any regulations, taxation or other policies which would be targeted specifically towards modifying greenhouse gas emissions."
City officials privately mocked the sovereignty proposal, noting that Spokane doesn't belong to the UN or other groups that would undermine America. Fagan and the Spokane Patriots, however, pointed to the city's membership in ICLEI, a group focused on climate change issues that was founded in the early 1990s at a U.N. conference of local governments.
Fagan said the initiatives have "nothing to do with this run for City Council."
He added that no further action was taken on the initiatives once they were filed with the city clerk.