City Council candidate Mark Hamilton says he hasn't lived at his address in the city of Spokane since November and barely lived in the home since September as a result of construction in the home.
But Hamilton, a real estate agent and the pastor of 1Body Ministries, also said that from the time he acquired the dilapidated home at 217 E. Pacific in May 2012 until September he usually spent about four nights a week there. Utility records show the home had no water or electricity the first month he lived there. He claims to have slept on a cot at his newly-purchased home rather than at his other home outside city limits.
"I actually slept on the premises beginning on May 15, 2012, on a camp cot in the upstairs bedroom. There were no utilities at the time, but I was concerned about the homeless and transient persons in the area and lack of security," Hamilton said in a court declaration. He said he bathed at a friend's home or at his other home outside city limits.
Last month two residents who live in Hamilton's council district filed a lawsuit arguing that Hamilton wasn't qualified to appear on the ballot. He is challenging Councilwoman Amber Waldref in her bid for reelection.
In February, responding to questions about whether he met residency requirements to run for Spokane City Council, Hamilton said he had spent the majority of his nights since May at the home on Pacific.
When Hamilton voted in November, he was registered to vote an address outside city limits. That's one of many factors noted in the lawsuit as reasons Hamilton doesn't meet residency requirements.
The Spokane City Charter says "a person must be a qualified voter of the City of Spokane and have been a resident of the City, and of the appropriate council district, for the one year immediately preceding the time of filing as a candidate for, or the time of appointment to, the office of mayor, council president, or council member."
Hamilton's attorney, Dustin Deissner, argues that the line in the charter does not require a candidate to be a qualified voter "for the one year immediately preceding the time of filing" (last month). That time requirement, he said, only applies to being a resident. He said it was an oversight that Hamilton was registered to vote at an address outside city limits.
The lawsuit and Hamilton's response is attached to this post.
Hamilton has said he will no longer respond to requests for comment from The Spokesman-Review and in a Facebook post last month called on pastors to rise up against the newspaper. He also called S-R reporters "demonic soothsayers." To see his full post, written soon after this column appeared in the newspaper, keep reading this post.
Here is the Facebook message posted by Mark Hamilton last month:
I know what it is like lately to be stabbed to death for entertainment by the Socialist Review. The conservatives need to picket that evil, lying DNC party bent paper. Now I know one reason why Pastors will not stand. It's not the stand it's the apathy of the people to support them. Well I will press because I gave my word. I'm not above the Master and should take the assault because I'm a Christian. But in the end God will take care of the Socialist Review but also those He is inspiring to stand up to them and won't. The hard part is not being a sheepdog and standing up to the wolves of liberalism. The hard part is that God's people are called to courage and they stay sheep. People being sheep was not a compliment by Jesus. We are called to stand as men and women of God not sheep. The Father allowed Jesus to die for our sins once and for all. Than told us to serve one another and unite together in Love. "By this shall men know you are My disciples you have love one for another". Whether the enemy accepts this and repents or hates more begs the issue. They will know we are all fallible brethren washed by the blood of Jesus but will stick together. Question is will we stick together and if we don't is there any penalty for abandoning each other. Let the demonic soothsayers of the paper do their best. There is a God and one day we will all stand before Him and He will ask what did you do with my Son. "How shall we survive if we neglect so great a salvation"?. We are all sinners but some will have their sins forgiven because they accepted Jesus as saviour. I was told don't talk much about God so the moderates will vote for you. Don't talk about social issues so the moderates will vote for you, watch your words and don't call who you think is a nice girl a nice girl, as I'm old enough to be her father, a nice girl because you will insult the sensitive babies of which I had not intention of insulting at all. What kind of stupidity is this. Well Pastor Mark this is a different world now. Well the bible says don't let the world squeeze you into it's mold. The mold of the world is adapt and be liked and the Christian has abdicated their authority to the demonic entities and become their useful pawns. It's time to stand up in this city because if we won't we can and I believe will lose all the seats on the council coming up. The reason why I say all because if it is even a 4 to 3 in favor of the liberals the 3 conservatives will be lame ducks. For those who are moderates The bible commands me to love you and treat you like I would treat myself. Isn't that better than trusting the liberals who have no solid principle and their definition is anything goes. We have some good people who are running for city council. God has put a Pastor into the fray where few ever have or were willing to go. He is testing us all if we will accept Him and His, far less than perfect man who is not always politically correct because I don't know all the terms. I am not a politician nor claim to be. I am trying to obey God and do something for this country that He founded through the sacrifice of other Christian Pastors and those who followed, many not being Christians, and made the noise of the "shot heard around the world". Shame on us if we don't come together. But worst than that shame on us for not taking the opportunity to be the salt of the earth and a light on the City Council. "If the salt has lost it's flavor what good is it for but to be thrown onto the road and stepped on". The liberals are stepping on us and we refuse to stand up. Yes it looked like we lost last year but we didn't. Many got together and stood against tyranny, higher taxes, gun rights, for the Constitution and many other things. Some we won some lost but at least we were together. Jesus lost most of His disciples when He said "drink my blood and eat my flesh" turned and asked His main disciples will you go also. they said "Where are we to go You have the Words of life". He still does have the words of life and uses His body to speak them....Well if they will. So we need to "look up, get up and never give up". But Pastor the residency issue. I am a resident by state law and charter law. And if they try the charter thing over the state law the state law trumps the charter and I only have to be a resident one year back from the election. However I bought the house by Purchase and sale agreement on May 11th accepted on May 14, had keys and was working on cleaning it out, and remodeling it. Were you sleeping there, yes, but that begs the issue too because the RCW says I only have to have a presence there and intend to make it my domicile or in other words intend to live there. Look up the law on the attorney generals site for yourself. Atg.wa.gov. I have put $60 thousand into my home and have been there almost every day for over a year and have cleaned up the neighborhood, with the cooperation of the police and neighbors, of Prostitutes, drug addicts, vandalism and theft. This is what the city needs. Home and business owners that will help our public safety people and take back the streets we live on. Enough is enough. We don't do this just because we are Christian or not. This is our country and city whether we are believers or not we are Americans in the city of Spokane it is my duty as an American to defend the Constitution and all it's people. Believers, non believers, every sect of American culture, every shade of the one race, the human race, Gay, straight, Demo"s Republicans and everyone in between protected by the this "Republic for which it stands". Shame on you liberals that want to run this election on dirty politics and not the issues. You never once once asked me the issues I'm running on, like domestic violence, homelessness, building small and big business by being a welcoming city, senior abuse and neglect. You're just worried because I'm against the incumbents plans to turn Hamilton (her neighborhood pandering) into a two lane street thus telling the 60 thousand above her neighborhood to take a hike not to mention the whole city that wants to use their road right off the freeway. 43 thousand cars use that road a day and you want to choke it down to two car lanes, two bike lanes and 10 foot wide sidewalks. At what school did she learn this was wise for the city. This will also destroy all the business on that portion of Hamilton in the two years it will at least take to finish not to mention all the business up side of the choking. Go clean up Sprague they want it there and it won't hurt most businesses there as they have a freeway and we don't in Logan neighborhood. That is the first district too why are you not working as hard in that run down neighborhood to bring it up and quite. Thats where drugs, prostitution and crime needs to be eliminated not your neighborhood. That's important , if not more important, to work for than your personal neighborhood. The North South Freeway will be too far away and we haven't gotten it for 50 years anyway. Wake up Spokane and take back your city. We have a good Mayor and most on the council now are working for the city without an agenda. Some on the council have conflict of interest and needs to be outed. Like if you are an advocate for more bike lanes and walking trails, of which I'm not against and ride and hike much, than produce a magazine all about them and sell advertising to enrich yourself Like Councilman Snyder does or want to shut down the second most traveled street in the city because you and your constituents live there and want your neighborhood quite over the imminent domain of the city. Bit of a conflict of interest there I think. If there is any on the conservative side they need to be outed too. This is the peoples city not the Councils city. The Council is hired to work for the people of the City of Spokane not their own self interest. It is to be a statesperson (see I didn't say Statesman I'm getting politically correct...Gag me ) not a promotion of self. Well in these few words, LOL, I have stated my position agree or disagree at least my cards are on the table and I won't hide behind dirty politics or some kind of amoral, ignore the facts Christianity. In one article the Socialist Review insulted Pastors, Realtors, Abe Lincoln, all Politications and the whole city council as a bunch of snakes. Than people say I'm mean to Comrad Brunt for telling him to take a hike and Council member Waldref for calling her a nice girl. Oh the madness never ends nor the apathy toward it. Win or lose I win because Jesus is still my Saviour. I am a sinner saved by His Grace trying to serve my city with His help. Every Pastor(now that the IRS said it can't take away 502c3 because Pastors talk about politics)needs to stand up aganist this foolishness and tell the people the truth as Lincoln said "vote for those who are closest to God's ways" and "I don't know if God is on the side of the north or the south I just want to be on Good's side." Admiral Farragut said when going through a mine field in the civil war at the battle of Mobile "damn the torpedoes full speed ahead" won the battle securing Lincoln's reelection. Pastors we need to say full speed ahead and put our cards on the table we have the best hand in Jesus. Question is will we play it whether it looks like we win or lose. Christian the Pastor isn't the only one who must stand. We are all children of God unless we deny Jesus. Lets not abandone our breathern. To all the others the word says we are to have love for all men. We fail many times but that dosn't mean we should stop trying. Thank you for reading this and forgive me if I am only being a fool to believe better of this citys people and for not knowing how to be a politically correct person. Love Mark