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Spin Control

Posts tagged: Kevin Parker

Sunday Spin: Getting a closer look at IT spending

OLYMPIA – Tucked inside the 291-page budget Gov. Jay Inslee signed last week is a paragraph that tells state agencies to ask for money for new-fangled tech gear a better way.

It’s what’s known as a proviso, sort of a marching order from the Legislature, somewhat akin to an earmark from Congress. . . 

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

Robocall may have prompted death threat

Robocalls may be annoying, particularly during campaign season, but for Rep. Kevin Parker, one apparently prompted a death threat.

The Spokane Republican contacted the Washington State Patrol this week after someone left a message on  his office voice mail with graphic threats to him and his family. The patrol handles security for legislators, and they brought in Spokane police detectives, who tracked down the caller, interviewed then arrested him.

Here's the kicker: This wasn't a campaign robocall. According to the police affidavit it was the far more innocuous type, a simple invitation to a town hall meeting. From January. The Airway Heights man  apparently had kept it on his machine and over time he became angrier and angrier until he decided to call back.

For more information, check out Reporter Kip Hill's story by clicking here.

Parker said the incident raises questions about untreated mental health problems in the community.

“Mental illness is far more prevalent than people think,” he said today. As many as one person in four may deal with someone who has a mental health problem in their family. “I'm hoping this individual gets help while he's in custody.”

Seahawks’ Taima is in the House…

OLYMPIA — The Seahawks' flying mascot Taima made a guest appearance in the Legislature this morning, posing for pictures and being present in the House when a resolution of his honor was adopted.

The resolution, by Rep. Kevin Parker, R-Spokane, commended the augur hawk as a good luck charm and a uniting element of Eastern and Western Washington. The bird is owned and trained by David and Robin Knutson of Spokane County's West Plains, who bring  Taima to the Seattle stadium for every home game so he can be the first Hawk out of the tunnel at game time.

“He's a symbol of excellence and possibilities,” Parker said.

Taima didn't do his signature flight above the House chamber, or during his visit later to the Senate. David Knutson said he's worked bigger, noisier crowds, so that wouldn't have been a problem. But Taima is molting and not in training, so he isn't up to his game-day standards.

Legislative town halls at the MAC today

The Museum of Arts and Culture will be a busy place this weekend for Spokane residents who want to ask their legislators what’s happening in Olympia.

As the 2014 session nears the two-thirds mark, legislators from the 3rd and 6th Districts have town hall meetings Saturday at the MAC, 2316 W. First Ave.

Democratic Sen. Andy Billig and Rep. Marcus Riccelli will have a meeting there from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Their district includes downtown, Browne’s Addition, the lower South Hill and neighborhoods as far north as Hillyard.

Republican Sen. Mike Baumgartner, Reps. Kevin Parker and Jeff Holy will be in the same location from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Their district includes parts of northwest and south Spokane, the West Plains, Cheney and Airway Heights

School bills move through Legislature

OLYMPIA — Washington schools would be required to protect students against emotional bullying, keep more data on homeless students and test out whether extra days would help some students retain more from one year to the next under bills that advanced Friday. . . 

To read about the bills, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

 

 

Local legislators reaching out by phone

OLYMPIA — While Spokane-area legislators are spending most of their time for the next two months in Olympia,some are  are trying to keep in touch with constituents by shifting the standard “town hall meeting” from a place to a phone number.

Republican Reps. Kevin Parker and Jeff Holy from Spokane's 6th Legislative District, which has parts of south and northwest Spokane city and much of the West Plains, are having a one-hour conference at 6:30 p.m. tonight. conference. Constituents can call 1-800-759-5308 to listen and press the star key to ask a question.

The 7th Legislative District delegation, Sen. Brian Dansel and Reps. Joel Kretz and Shelly Short, will have a joint teleconference on Feb. 3. Constituents can call 1-877-229-8493 and enter  112381 when prompted.

Parker hosting human trafficking meeting

A legislator, a member of a youth volunteer organization and a major league pitcher will host a town hall meeting on human trafficking Wednesday evening in North Spokane.

Rep. Kevin Parker, R-Spokane, said the meeting is designed to discuss what the state is doing to address human trafficking: “It is difficult to conceive that people are still being sold into slavery in our day and age, and in our country. However, human trafficking is very real and, unfortunately, prolific in our country.”

Joining Parker will be Jeremy Affeldt, a pitcher for the San Francisco Giants, and Darrin Duty of Generation Alive, a volunteer organization for young people that Affeldt and his wife helped start.

The meeting is starts at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Service Station, 9315 N. Nevada.

House Majority Leader grabs a Spokane cup o’ joe

A member of U.S. House of Representatives leadership grabbed some java to go at a Spokane-area Dutch Bros. Coffee this morning. And it wasn't who you might think.

Franchise owner and state Republican lawmaker Kevin Parker hosted House Majority Leader Eric Cantor at one of his drive-thru espresso stands this morning, tweeting out “Look who stopped by our coffee stand this morning.” Accompanying the pic was a shot of both men grinning in front of a drive-thru window, ties not included.

Parker said Cantor was in town to attend an area fundraiser for Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers on Thursday night. While there, Parker talked to Cantor about the business he started, and the Virginia Republican expressed some interest in seeing one of the stands before he left from the airport Friday morning.

Cantor, who graduated from Columbia University in New York with a Master of Science degree in Real Estate Development in 1989, worked at his family's real estate firm for a decade in the '90s while beginning his political career in the Virginia State House of Delegates. Parker was surprised and impressed by Cantor's private sector acumen.

“He's a pretty big business guy,” Parker said Friday afternoon.

Legislative town hall meetings in Spokane

Spokane-area residents will have chances to ask their legislators what’s going on in Olympia this weekend at several town hall meetings scheduled for Saturday.

Sen. Andy Billig, Reps. Timm Ormsby and Marcus Riccelli, all Democrats from central Spokane’s 3rd District, have a 10 a.m. meeting at Shadle Park High School Auditorium, 4327 N. Ash, and a 2 p.m. meeting at Emmanuel Family Life Center, 631 S. Richard Allen Ct.

Sen. Mike Baumgartner, Reps. Kevin Parker and Jeff Holy, Republicans from northwest and south Spokane’s 6th District, have a 10 a.m. meeting at Lincoln Heights Elementary School, 3322 E. 22nd Ave.  

Not sure what legislative district you're in? For a detailed map of Spokane-area legislative districts, click here.

Inauguration Day: The full speeches

Inslee delivers his speech to a joint session of the Legislature.

If you can't get enough of Inauguration Day rhetoric, wonder what else was in the Gov. Jay Inslee's speech or the GOP response, we can help.

Click here to go inside the blog to read the transcript of Inslee's speech.

Click here to read the transcript of the GOP response given by Rep. Kevin Parker of Spokane.

Click here for a link to the TVW broadcast of the six GOP leaders comments and press conference after the speeches. 

Parker giving GOP response to Inslee’s first speech

OLYMPIA — Spokane Rep. Kevin Parker will give the Republican response to Jay Inslee's inaugural address Wednesday.

Inslee will give his speech after he and other statewide elected officials take the oath of office Wednesday morning in the Capitol Rotunda. The ceremony starts at 10:30 a.m., and the inaugural speech is set for about 11:30 a.m.

Parker will give the GOP response after Inslee's speech, and Senate and House Republican leaders will hold a press conference right after that in the House wings to talk about their priorities for the session.

Parker gets honorary gig on McMorris Rodgers’ campaign

State Rep. Kevin Parker has plenty of time on his hands, politically speaking.

The Republican from Spokane's 6th District doesn't have an opponent in this year's election. So over the weekend, he signed on as honorary chairman of Cathy McMorris Rodgers' congressional re-election campaign.

According to the press release, she is pleased and he is honored. She wants him to help her campaign “move forward”. He wants to make sure the campaign stays in touch with voters while she's back in that other Washington.

The press release also contains some bio information on Parker, such as his co-ownership of coffee shops, serving as a leadership instructor at Fairchild Air Force Base and adjunct business prof at Whitworth University.

He was also “honorary commander for Fairchild” last year, it notes. We're guessing as honorary commander of the base, Parker didn't get to order launches of any of the planes. Perhaps this honorary gig will be more action-packed.

Parker again without challenger

So much for magical thinking.

The Occupy Spokane activist who challenged state Rep. Kevin Parker's reelection bid already has dropped out of the race.

Wayne Kyle Spitzer, a Democrat, confirmed today that he decided against running for Parker's 6th District House seat. He filed paperwork officially dropping out on Monday.

Spitzer said recently that Parker would be tough to beat, but that with some “magical thinking” it could be done.

His withdrawal means that for the second election cycle in a row, Parker will not face a challenge to reelection.

Parker challeger, Wayne Spitzer, used to big challenges

Wayne Kyle Spitzer isn’t without ‘magical thinking.’

Just check out his 1990s film work on YouTube.

Spitzer, who has become a prominent voice in Occupy Spokane, recently announced on Facebook that he will challenge state House Rep. Kevin Parker, R-Spokane, in the August primary as a Democrat.

Parker has raised more than $140,000 for his reelection bid and has obtained a reputation as nearly unbeatable in only two terms serving his House district that includes much of Spokane. No one even bothered to challenge Parker in 2010.

“I don’t have any delusions about our chances, and yet I don’t think it’s impossible,” Spitzer said in an interview at Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown’s farewell party on Wednesday at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox. “It takes a leap of faith and just a little dose of magical thinking.”

Spitzer, 45, has had many jobs since he graduated from University High School in 1984, but he probably is best known as an independent filmmaker, who produced science fiction programming and short films, including the series “Dead of Night” which ran on a cable access channel in Spokane in the mid-1990s. And, yes, some of his work is thankfully available on YouTube. Here’s a Spokesman-Review story about “Dead of Night” from 1996.

Parker aide, Ben Oakley, announces bid for Ahern’s House seat

A third Republican candidate has entered the race to replace state Rep. John Ahern.

Ben Oakley, the legislative aide for state Rep. Kevin Parker, filed paperwork earlier this week announcing his bid with the state Public Disclosure Commission.

Oakley joins Republicans Larry Keller, the superintendent of the Cheney School District, and Spokane attorney Jeff Holy. Former state Rep. Dennis Dellwo, a Democrat, also is running. 

Ahern announced last month that he would not seek reelection for his 6th Legislative District seat.

Oakley, 29, worked for Parker's office for three years until he stepped down last week to run for the office.

Dellwo challenges Ahern for 6th District seat

Democrats will give voters a choice in at least one race in the 6th Legislative District.

Former state Democratic state Rep. Dennis Dellwo filed paperwork with the state Public Disclosure Commission last month announcing a bid to challenge Republican state Rep. John Ahern.

Democrats had success in the 6th District, which surrounds central Spokane on the south, west and north, in 2006 and 2008. But they lost all three seats in 2010 and redistricting may have shifted the district more toward the GOP camp.

Dellwo, 66, served 13 years in the Legislature serving the 3rd District. He was first elected in 1982. He left in 1996 to take a position on the Eastern Washington Growth Management Hearings Board. He said he moved into the 6th District a three years ago and lives near Polly Judd Park on the South Hill.

Santorum looking for caucus support

Under the watchful eye of Ronald Reagan's portrait, Rick Santorum holds a press conference in the House Republican Caucus Room

OLYMPIA – Looking for a chance to “plant a flag” in Washington for the March 3 precinct caucuses, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum stopped by the state Capitol Monday to chat with GOP legislators.

To read the rest of this post, or to comment, click here to go inside the blog.
  

Fund ed first, House Republicans say

OLYMPIA – House Republicans, who say they are fed up with the slow pace of budgeting process in a session where that was supposed to be the main thing the Legislature tackled, argued Thursday for a new approach.

The state should set aside what it wants to spend on K-12 education first, then figure out what’s left for other state programs. They call it “Fund Education First” and say it’s in line with both the state Constitution’s declaration that education in the state's public schools is the state’s “paramount duty” and a recent state Supreme Court ruling that the Legislature must do more to meet that duty.

“This is not a gimmick. It’s a workable solution,” said Rep. Kevin Parker, R-Spokane, a co-sponsor of a bipartisan bill that would make that change in budgeting.

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, click here to go inside the blog.

Legislative pay cut: Some say yes, some say no

OLYMPIA – About half of the 15 members of the Spokane-area legislative delegation have volunteered for the same level of pay cuts the imposed on state workers. That’s a level slightly better than legislators statewide.

Many who have done it, like Rep. Kevin Parker, R-Spokane, say it’s a personal decision.

“As a businessman, the buck starts and stops with me,” said Parker, who owns a chain of coffee shops. “It’s the same with us as legislators.”

Parker’s seatmate in Spokane’s 6th District, Republican John Ahern, said he doesn’t plan to ask for a pay cut, but he is donating 3 percent or more to charities, ranging from his church and the Boy Scouts to organizations that oppose abortion like Teen-Aid.

“This way I know exactly where the money is going,” Ahern said. If he took a pay cut, the money would stay in the state’s general fund, and go to state programs or agencies he doesn’t support….

To read the rest of this item, or for a list of the Spokane-area delegation's decisions on a voluntary pay cut, click here to go inside the blog
  

Taking the idea initiative

OLYMPIA — Two questions for the big thinkers out there:

Do you have an idea how to improve Washington state in the future?

Do you think it would stack up so well to other peoples' ideas that it could make the top 100?

If so, a group calling itself 100 Ideas for Washington's Future has a deal for you. (And, of course, a website, because you can't do anything in 2011 without a website.)

The group is trying to get as many ideas as possible to an Advisory Board that will divvy them up, check them out and try to come up an even hundred. Those top 100 will go in sort of a greatest hits book, with details of the ideas and attribution to the person or persons who thought it up. The book will go to government officials, civic leaders and others around the state, and could wind up as legislation or administrative laws if any of them have a “Eureka!” moment while perusing the pages.

The program is the brainchild of Rep. Mike Hope, R-Lake Stevens, who is getting an assist from several other elected officials, including Rep. Kevin Parker, R-Spokane. Hope notes, however, that it's been tried successfully in Florida and Oklahoma, so they aren't coming up with this completely out of the blue.

Adults who come up with a list-making idea will have the satisfaction of seeing themselves in the book, and possible of seeing their idea turned into a law or a policy. High school or college students who come up with one would be eligible for scholarship money.

There's a few unknowns about this, Hope said this week when announcing the program. One is the size of the scholarships, which will depend on the donations. The other is some of the funding; they're looking for donors to the 501 (c) 4, that is the main organization, and the 501 (c) 3 that will hold scholarship money.

The group is still looking for people to sit on its Advisory Board that already includes some state and local politicians, along with represenatives of academia and business.

Reagan Dunn, a King County councilmember and member of the board, said the program is about representative democracy. “It's a way to directly connect citizens to their government.”

While they mentioned transparency during the rollout at the Capitol Building, organizers said they won't necessarily be talking about where their money comes from, however. Hope said if someone wants to donate anonymously to the effort, or the scholarship program, theyl'll take it and not reveal the source. It's not a political organization or a campaign committee, so it's not subject to Public Disclosure Commission rules, Hope said.

And are there really 100 great ideas out there? Hope thinks so. When Gov. Chris Gregoire set up a website to ask for ideas to transform Washington, she got almost 2,000. A shortcoming for that process, he said, was that the person submitting the idea wasn't getting any credit. With this program, the top idea meisters would wind up  in the book with their name, picture and bio along with their idea.

if that's an incentive for you, check out 100 Ideas For Washington's Future.

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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.

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