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Spin Control

Posts tagged: Election

Support grows for Spokane EMS levy in second day of counting

Voters who cast ballots later in the election cycle that ended Tuesday were more likely to support the EMS levy on the ballot in Spokane and less likely in Spokane County Fire District No. 10.

Not that it matters too much: We already knew that both measures passed after the first round of counting on Tuesday.

After 3,500 more ballots were counted on Wednesday, support crept up in Spokane from 66.8 percent to 67.1 percent. It fell in District 10, which is surrounded by Airway Heights, from 69.3 percent to 69.1 percent.

Spokane County estimates that only 200 ballots more will be counted. That won’t happen until the day before results are certified on May 12.

Turnout for the election was just over 40 percent.

Out of the nearly 44,000 people who voted in Spokane, 23 people left their ballots blank. Four people voted yes and no, an act that disqualifies the ballot.

Mark your calendar

Chances to catch the candidates, and the surrogates for some of the ballot issues, in the Nov. 3 election are going to be popping up with increasing frequency. The newspaper and the Spin Control Web site will try to keep up with them as they come in, but here’s some we know about right now:
Tuesday evening: Spokane Area League of Women Voters forum for Spokane Public School Board seats, Municipal Court, State House District 9, I-1033 and Ref. 71., starts 5:30 p.m. in City Council Chambers, Spokane City Hall.
Thursday morning: Candidates for all three Spokane City Council seats debate at a Greater Spokane Inc. starts 7:30 a.m., 801 W. Riverside
Thursday evening: Candidates for Northeast Spokane Council Seat 1, Municipal Court race between Tracy Staab and Bryan Whitaker, supporters and opponents of city Prop. 4, starts 6:30 p.m. at the restored Masonic Temple, Market Street at Diamond Avenue.
Oct. 5: Spokane Area League of Women Voters forum for Spokane City Council candidates, Fire Bond, other city ballot issues, starts 5:30 p.m. in City Council Chambers.

Since when do Democrats win late counts?

Jon Snyder must be smiling with the latest counts from Tuesday’s primary.

What was virtually a tie on election night between him and incumbent Spokane City Councilman Mike Allen has become an easy win for him. Since Tuesday’s count, he has gotten 455 more votes than Allen, putting him ahead by a solid 4 percentage points. Of course, a win doesn’t mean much more than bragging rights since both did well enough to move to the general election.

What’s strange about Snyder’s surge is that since vote-by-mail was instituted a few years ago, Republicans generally have done better in late counts, either because Republicans prefer to hold onto their ballots until election day or because of get-out-the-vote efforts.

Although the City Council race is nonpartisan, Snyder was endorsed by the Democratic Party.

Any theories on Snyder’s strong showing among voters who mailed their ballot late?

Elton vs. Eugster

Last night’s City Council debate sponsored by the Campaign for Liberty, went free of personal attacks until David Elton landed one on Steve Eugster.

Elton, who is competing against Eugster and four other candidates for the right to represent south Spokane, complained about a blog post on Eugster’s Spokane Record that questioned if Elton has an Oedipus Complex.

“That’s not the way a distinguished former councilman should behave,” Elton said in his closing statement. ”Maybe that’s why he’s no longer allowed to practice law.”

Elton was referring to Eugster’s 18-month suspension from praciticing law handed down by the state Supreme Court in June.

Eugster’s closing statement was before Elton’s, so Euster didn’t get a chance to mention Elton’s legal problems: Felony harassment charges that prevent Elton from attending City Council meetings.

After the debate, Eugster said he didn’t have anything to add, except to say that he pulled the Oedipus Complex reference from his site after learning that Elton was offended. Today, however, Eugster has reposted the original entry along with e-mails Elton sent that warned him that “Now…the gloves come off” and questioning if Eugster is a “Cowles sycophant.”

Here is Eugster’s original post:

One of the candidates for Spokane City Council Position 2, District 2 uses his candidacy to lambast Betsy Cowles and the Spokesman Review, wants to go after the police department because there have been “seven killings” and because a man was killed by a police officer because he had a bottle of pop in his hand (I think that’s what I heard him say), wants to tear down a short commercial building to make a 0.8 acre “open space, and wants to see a new skyscraper built downtown, (or was it Browne’s Addition?). He would use the power of government to denigrate a women, bring powerful police officers to justice, knock down an old not very tall building and build a new tall building.
What is all of this about? Is it possible the candidate has an Oedipus Complex? I suspect some hidden truth is unconsciously at work in the candidacy of David Elton.  Or said another way, there is meaning here someplace.

Bar rates Muni Court candidates

The Spokane County Bar Association released its rating for the contested Spokane Municipal Court race.

Lawyers polled consider appointed Judge Tracy Staab well-qualified, and attorney Brian Whitaker qualified.

It should be noted, however, that the two candidates were separated by average scores of about of less than a half-point on the Bar’s 4 point scale for qualities such as integrity, ability, temperament, experience and suitabiliy.

And neither could be considered exceptiionally well known. They polled 184 lawyers, and only 103 were able to respond on Staab, and 113 on Whitaker.

To see copies of the candidates’ bios and answers to the bar questionnaire, click here.

No May election in Spokane County

Spokane County voters will be asked to extend a one-tenth of 1 percent sales tax for criminal justice programs in the August primary rather than May. County commissioners, who had scheduled a May special election last month, rescheduled it for two reasons on Tuesday: to save money, and to stay legal.


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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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