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Spin Control

Posts tagged: Luke Tolley

Fagan publishes false endorsement

Spokane City Council candidate Mike Fagan has listed a couple of surprising endorsements on his campaign website: Endorsements given to his opponents (one of which is false).

“It is our understanding that opponent L. Tolley was endorsed by the Unions, and opponent J. Waite was endorsed by Amber Waldref,” his website says.

Waldref, a city councilwoman who beat Fagan to win her seat in 2009, confirmed Thursday that she hasn't endorsed John Waite or any of the other five candidates in the race for the open Northeast Spokane City Council seat and won't at least until after the primary.

Fagan said Friday that the information was “erroneously passed on to me by a trusted person.” He said he would remove the information from his site. It was still posted as of 11:30 a.m.

(The statement about candidate Luke Tolley is accurate. He got the nod of the Spokane Regional Labor Council.)

Spokane City Council candidates debate marijuana law

The following was asked on The S-R's candidate questionnaire. Candidate Chris Bowen declined to submit a questionnaire. Here are the answers, which were allowed to be up to 150 words, from the five other people hoping to replace Bob Apple and represent Northeast Spokane on the council.

Would you support a law, modeled after a law in Seattle, to make misdemeanor possession of marijuana by an adult the city’s lowest enforcement priority?

Continue reading the post to find out their answers.

Spokane City Council candidates debate streetcar plan

The following was asked on The S-R's candidate questionnaire. Candidate Chris Bowen declined to submit a questionnaire. Here are the answers, which were allowed to be up to 150 words, from the five other people hoping to replace Bob Apple and represent Northeast Spokane on the council.

Do you support asking voters for a sales tax to build a streetcar or trolley system in central Spokane?

Continue reading the post to find out their answers.

Spokane City Council candidates debate global warming

The following was asked on The S-R's candidate questionnaire. Candidate Chris Bowen declined to submit a questionnaire. Here are the answers, which were allowed to be up to 150 words, from the five other people hoping to replace Bob Apple and represent Northeast Spokane on the council.

Do you support the sustainability plan promoted by Mayor Mary Verner, which was adopted by the Spokane City Council in 2010? Do you support the decision of former Mayor Dennis Hession to sign the U.S.Conference of Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement?

Continue reading the post to find out their answers.

Spokane City Council candidates debate tax breaks for businesses

The following was asked on The S-R's candidate questionnaire. Candidate Chris Bowen declined to submit a questionnaire. Here are the answers, which were allowed to be up to 150 words, from the five other people hoping to replace Bob Apple and represent Northeast Spokane on the council.

Do you support tax incentives for historic renovation? Do you support tax incentives for building condos and apartments downtown and in certain neighborhood centers?

Continue reading the post to find out their answers.

Spokane City Council candidates debate union rules

The following was asked on The S-R's candidate questionnaire. Candidate Chris Bowen declined to submit a questionnaire. Here are the answers, which were allowed to be up to 150 words, from the five other people hoping to replace Bob Apple and represent Northeast Spokane on the council.

The city recently has lobbied the Legislature to amend state law regarding binding arbitration so that if contract negotiations stall between the city and a union representing firefighters or police officers, an arbitrator could consider additional factors when setting wages and benefits, such as a city’s ability to pay and to maintain a reserve fund. Do you support this change to state law?

Continue reading the post to find out their answers.

Spokane City Council candidates debate sewer fees

The following was asked on The S-R's candidate questionnaire. Candidate Chris Bowen declined to submit a questionnaire. Here are the answers, which were allowed to be up to 150 words, from the five other people hoping to replace Bob Apple and represent Northeast Spokane on the council.

City officials increased sewer charges by 17 percent last year and predict more increases the next few years in large part to pay for nearly $650 million for projects required by the state to improve sewage treatment and prevent untreated sewage from spilling into the river. Do you support sewage fee increases that could top 10 percent in each of the next couple of years? If not, what would be your preferred alternative?

Continue reading the post to find out their answers.

Labor coalition declines to back Verner or Condon

The race for Spokane mayor is getting more interesting.

The Spokane Regional Labor Council has released the list of candidates it supports for the August primary and Spokane Mayor Mary Verner isn't on the list.

That's a bit of a surprise given her recent support for a labor-backed change to contracting rules giving the city wider lattitude to pass over low bidders on contracts when a low bidder has had recent problems following labor, environmental or other laws. (Verner, however, surprised some union leaders when she said she would push to amend the rules.)

The council, which is the regional organization for the AFL-CIO, also declined to back any of Verner's opponents, including her main challenger, David Condon. That's not a surprise, given Condon's promise to be a tougher negotiator with unions and his calls for pay freezes at City Hall.

Verner's relationship with unions at City Hall has been mixed and grew strained as she worked to win contract concessions in the last two budget cycles. Most the city's bargaining groups eventually agreed to contracts or contract changes that allowed them to avoid layoffs.

Unions play a large role in city politics, just as the business and development community do. The decision means the main local labor group won't be working for a Spokane mayoral candidate, at least through the primary, an outcome that likely benefits Condon — especially since he already enjoys a big fund-raising advantage.

Beth Thew, secretary-treasurer of the council, said she wouldn't be surprised if the council reconsiders the race after the primary. Candidates were interviewed on June 28 and a group made up of representatives of local AFL-CIO-affiliated unions voted on the endorsements. To win backing, a candidate needed two-thirds support from the group, Thew said.

“If there are any questions that need clarification or anything like that, we will wait to hold off on our endorsements,” she said. “We want to make sure that when we move forward with our endorsement that everybody is comfortable and can stand behind it.”

To see the list of candidates endorsed by the labor council for the August primary, continue reading this post.

Luke Tolley joins race for Spokane City Council

The chairman of the Hillyard Neighborhood Council added himself late Wednesday to the growing list of people who want to represent Northeast Spokane on the City Council.

Luke Tolley, 32, also ran four years ago, but lost in the primary. He is the outreach and marketing organizer of Sustainable Works, a nonprofit group that works to make homes more energy efficient.

This is candidate filing week in Washington. In the race for Northeast Spokane, Tolley joins downtown businessman John Waite, Riverside Neighborhood Council Chairman Gary Pollard and Mike Fagan, co-director of Voters Want More Choices. Two others have filed campaign finance paperwork indicating that they also plan to run. The winner will take the seat currently held by Bob Apple, who can't run again because of term limits.

Tolley says his goal is to “try to get government and citizens and businessses to try to work together.”

In dealing with the city's budget problems, Tolley said there isn't “a silver bullet” and that he would prefer trying to avoid cutting full programs like the Youth Department. But he said he is willing to make “tough decisions” if alternatives aren't possible.

“We have to learn to live within our means,” Tolley said.

Tolley also opposes the new $20 vehicle tab fee that was imposed this year by the City Council.

“I feel like it's a tax that is going to hurt low-income people,” Tolley said.

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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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