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Spin Control

Sun., April 15, 2012, 6 a.m.

Fagan once filed initiatives using process he wants to ban

Councilman Mike Fagan, who is co-sponsoring legislation amending the city's initiative process, has proposed initiatives using the direct filing method he now proposes to ban. In May 2010 he submitted two initiatives to the City Clerk's office using the direct petition model. They would have banned the city's participation in groups like the United Nations and restricted portions of the Sustainability Plan, which was developed to decrease the city's impact on global warming. 

Fagan said Friday he didn't remember filing initiatives using the direct-petition option. In April 2010 he filed initiatives on the same topics using the assistance of the city attorney's office, which drafted two ballot questions. He later withdrew the proposals and refiled slightly different ones using the direct option. Fagan never made a serious effort to collect signatures on the initiatives.

Fagan, a co-director along with Tim Eyman of Voters Want More Choices, which puts a citizens' initiative on the state ballot almost annually, has taken heat for his sponsorship of the initiative changes, given that he makes his living by campaigning for initiatives.

The Inlander even quoted Eyman criticizing Fagan and Councilman Steve Salvatori's plan in last week's edition.

“You have to continually remind yourself: It’s called the citizen’s initiative process,” Eyman said, according to the Inlander. “I really, really hope that City Council will not do this.”

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