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Spin Control

Posts tagged: Bob Apple

More on Apple’s endorsement of Ahern

John Ahern’s campaign released this form Wednesday after Bob Apple denied endorsing Ahern. Both Ahern and his campaign manager, Josh Kerns, said they witnessed Apple signing it last year at the county fair.

The top of the form is quite clear: “I endorse John Ahern for State Representative in the 6th District, position 2. By signing below, I give permission to Citizens for Ahern to use my name in campaign materials for the 2010 election. Your contact information will not be shared with anyone outside the campaign. Thank you for your support!”

The campaign blocked other names and Apple’s contact information before releasing the document.

So far, Apple’s opponents in the race are Spokane Indians Baseball Club President Andy Billig and social worker Louise Chadez.

In an interview this morning, Billig said Apple’s endorsement is “surprising,” but that he had no further comment about the issue.

Apple says he’ll compete for Wood’s seat

The field of candidates is growing in the race to replace retiring Democratic state Rep. Alex Wood.

Spokane City Councilman Bob Apple confirmed this week that he will compete for Wood’s seat representing the 3rd Legislative District, the most reliably Democratic district in eastern Washington.

Carpetbaggery, Part 2

Thursday’s post challenging Councilman Bob Apple’s label of “carpetbagger” on a city judicial candidate brought more than a dozen comments, including one from Apple himself.

” I honestly believe any body still considers an elected official who would literaly refuse to live in the area they are elected for would qualify as a carpetbagger. Now Mrs Staab wants us to, elect her as a Spokane City Municipal Court Judge and only hearing cases of Spokane City residents however will not reside within our City as Brian Whitaker dose and as a result, he has my vote. Honestly I cannot imagine voting any other way concerning this simple question.” he wrote.

To save occasional readers from scrolling down, the Reader’s Digest version of this discussion goes like this: Judge Tracy Staab, who is seeking election to the position to which she was appointed earlier this year, lives outside the city limits in Spokane County. The law allows that, although Apple and some others think that regardless of what the law allows, Staab ought not to hold the post. In an e-mail, to constituents and others last week, Apple said he was voting for her opponent, Bryan Whitaker, because she’s a carpetbagger.

The term carpetbagger dates to the 19th Century and  comes from a description of outsiders who move into an area to take advantage of something, such as a political race. It doesn’t apply to Staab, the post argued.

In his rebuttal, Apple makes two interesting arguments. One is that she would “literally refuse to live in the city”. Ignoring for a moment the all too common misuse of literally, Apple seems to be suggesting that Staab should move from the county to the city to be eligible for the job.

That would actually be carpetbagging, because she’d be moving in an attempt to get elected.

The other argument is that he’s using the word properly because under his definition, which he believes is acceptable to “anybody”, that’s what a carpetbagger is.

That’s the argument Humpty Dumpty made to Alice, that a word “means just what I choose it to mean, nothing more nor less.”

But on this side of the looking glass, words mean what they mean.

Should Apple be called on the carpet?

Is it too much to ask that people who hurl political epithets during campaign season at least get them right?

OK, that was a stupid question. It probably is. But still…

In an e-mail to constituents last week, Spokane City Councilman Bob Apple described whom he is endorsing for various city elected positions this year, and how he’s voting on several ballot measures. No big deal. Apple has the same right as everyone else, and has no less right to an opinion by being elected to the council.

At least one reader e-mailed his objections, questioning whether Apple was out of line for his endorsement of judicial candidate Bryan Whitaker – not for anything nice he said about Whitaker but for a label he hung on opponent, Municipal Judge Tracy Staab.


The reader suggested it was libelous, which it probably isn’t on its face. It’s a political term in the midst of a campaign, and political speech is among the most protected by the courts.

Being legally protected, however, doesn’t make it correct…

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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