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Spin Control archive for Jan. 1, 2014

SUNDAY, DEC. 7, 2014

Sunday Spin2: About those Powerball odds

Whenever a jackpot in one of the nation’s state-sanctioned numbers games, officially known as lotteries, approaches the stratosphere, reporters are asked to explain the odds of winning. Being notoriously bad at math, we often find some college professor to explain the formula then turn it...

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SATURDAY, DEC. 6, 2014


FRIDAY, DEC. 5, 2014

Lege could try to boost rural doctor program

OLYMPIA – The Legislature may direct medical schools to expand the number of physician residencies in Eastern Washington to provide more doctors for rural communities and family practice. Rep. Larry Haler, the top Republican on the House Higher Education Committee, Friday told representatives of the...

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THURSDAY, DEC. 4, 2014

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 3, 2014


A term we probably won't use

OLYMPIA -- A source who asks to remain nameless looked at the House Republicans lineup of leaders and noticed something he found interesting. The House GOP named Reps. Matt Shea and Matt Manweller as assistant floor leaders. Does that mean they will be nicknamed the...

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State gets grade adjustment of voter guide

OLYMPIA -- Like a college student keeping a watchful eye on the GPA, the Secretary of State's office successfully argued for a higher grade and got an A on its voter guide. The grader in question, Ballotpedia, had to admit it missed a feature worth...

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TUESDAY, DEC. 2, 2014

MONDAY, DEC. 1, 2014

OLYMPIA -- State workers hoist the Holiday Kids Tree into its stand in the Capitol Rotunda by pulling on ropes from the Third Floor Balconies. The 34-foot noble fir was donated by Winkleworld Tree Farm in Olympia and the donated cash and toys are handled by the Association of Washington Business (Jim Camden)

O holiday tree. O holiday tree.

OLYMPIA -- Volunteer state workers hoisted the Association of Washington Business Holiday Kids’ Tree onto its stand in the middle of the Rotunda this afternoon after decorating the top half of the 34-foot noble fir. Note that the tannenbaum, donated by Winkleworld's Tree Farm in...

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Schoesler named Senate majority leader

OLYMPIA -- Ritzville Republican Mark Schoesler was elected the Senate majority leader Monday for the upcoming 2015 session. Officially, Schoesler will head the Majority Coalition Caucus, a group of 25 Republicans and one Democrat who will control the chamber. Schoesler, 57, a wheat farmer, has...

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Riccelli, Baumgartner to push WSU med school plan

A pair of Spokane legislators will propose legislation to put the state's second medical school in Spokane under the control of Washington State University. Rep. Marcus Riccelli, a Democrat, and Sen. Mike Baumgartner, a Republican, will unveil legislation on Tuesday that would change a nearly...

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WEDNESDAY, NOV. 26, 2014

Spokane Mayor David Condon  (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

Voters to decide mayor's wage 

Spokane voters will get a chance to weigh in on the mayor’s salary next year, but City Council members say a change to the city charter may complicate other potential ballot measures that will seek money for schools and an expanded transit system. A proposed...

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TUESDAY, NOV. 25, 2014

A sidewalk chalk drawing by Rick Bocook, AKA Harpman Hatter, of Dr. Evil referring to Spokane Mayor David Condon inheriting $1 million. (Nicholas Deshais)

Harpman Hatter renders Dr. Evil

Rick Bocook, a perennial figure at Spokane City Council meetings, has just a few issues he rails on at City Hall. Freedom for street musicians. The tyranny of the city's sit-lie ordinance. Sidewalk chalk drawings. Bocook, AKA Harpman Hatter, was in fine form on this...

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SUNDAY, NOV. 23, 2014

Sunday Spin 3: Sin taxes roll in

Voters have a way of complicating the state’s revenue forecast by changing the laws on things that provide revenue. After they passed a law abolishing the state’s monopoly on wholesale and retail liquor sales, the state coffers saw a big bump in booze taxes. In...

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Sunday Spin 2: Other ways to divvy up court

OLYMPIA -- Legislators may be asked to split the state into districts to elect the state Supreme Court justices, an idea that got a sometimes friendly, sometimes skeptical hearing Friday before the Senate Law and Justice Committee. Jason Mercier, of the Center for Government Reform,...

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SATURDAY, NOV. 22, 2014

Sunday Spin: Could he spend money on a new metaphor? 

OLYMPIA – Someone please give Senate Republican budget writers a new metaphor for hyperbolic parsimony. Looking at the state’s less than cheery prospects of matching income to outgo last week, the chief GOP Senate budgeteer deployed the well-worn image of personal thriftiness, the squeezed toothpaste...

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FRIDAY, NOV. 21, 2014


Kristiansen re-elected House GOP leader

OLYMPIA -- House Republicans re-elected their top leadership today, returning Dan Kristiansen as their leader for the 2015 session.. Kristiansen, of Snohomish, was named to the job earlier this year after Rep. Richard DeBolt stepped down for health reasons. Joel Kretz of Wauconda was re-elected...

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Remote testimony: Split high court into districts

OLYMPIA — A Pasco-based government watchdog made a pitch Friday for district elections to the Supreme Court and two Spokane Valley law enforcement officers told legislators about rising arrest numbers for driving under the influence of marijuana. That would be fairly normal fare for a...

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THURSDAY, NOV. 20, 2014


Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart tells the media Friday at C.O.P.S. West that “I can’t in good conscience vote for Mayor Condon’s proposed 2015 budget.” Behind him are council member Amber Waldref, Chief Garry Park neighborhood co-chair Colleen Gardner and council members Karen Stratton and Candace Mumm. “I can comfortably say ... this budget for a vote today wouldn’t get a single vote,” Stuckart said. (Dan Pelle)

Stuckart fined $250 for ethics violation 

Spokane City Councilman Ben Stuckart was fined $250 for violating the city's ethics code, but committee members said his action did not financially harm the city. Stuckart was referred to the committee for leaking what city officials called a “highly confidential email regarding a pending...

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WEDNESDAY, NOV. 19, 2014

The International Harvester Company Truck Showroom built in 1929 at 1030 W. Third Ave. in downtown Spokane. Photo courtesy of The Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture/Eastern Washington State Historical Society, Spokane, Washington.

The auto row building saved by compromise

In today's paper, I wrote about the proposed demolition of two historic buildings on Spokane’s storied auto row, part of the conceptual master plan by the Larry H. Miller Group to build a large downtown campus for its auto dealerships. The buildings to be razed...

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WA budget forecast: Revenue up, expenses up more

OLYMPIA -- Washington legislators will have a bit more money in the coming fiscal years than they expected when they adjourned in March, but not enough to cover the projected costs of current programs. Increases in the number of school children, Medicaid recipients, along with...

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TUESDAY, NOV. 18, 2014

House Dems re-elect Chopp speaker

OLYMPIA -- House Democrats had their numbers shaved in this month's election but voted today to stick with most of last session's leadership. Seattle Rep. Frank Chopp was re-elected speaker, a position he has held by himself since 2002, and shared as co-speaker in 1999,...

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



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