Posts tagged: Nancy McLaughlin
OLYMPIA – Spokane City Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin was among victims of child sexual abuse urging the Legislature Wednesday to drop the statute of limitations that they say shields pedophiles from justice.
“It took me years to be able to call what happened to me between age 10 and 18 rape,” said McLaughlin, who told members of the House Public Safety Committee about years of sexual abuse by her father. “You shouldn’t lose the ability to bring about justice just because some years have elapsed.”
Michael Ross of Spokane, the founder of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said some victims of child sexual abuse don’t come to grips with what happened to them until they are in their 40s or 50s. Current law that requires a victim of a child rape to report before turning 29 protects pedophiles, said Ross who told the committee he was abused by a Catholic priest in his teens but repressed that memory until he was 47.
McLaughlin and Ross were among supporters of House Bill 1657, a proposal by Rep. John Ahern, R-Spokane, to lift the statute of limitations for any rape of a minor by an adult. In a sometimes emotional hearing, they and other victims recounted their histories of sexual abuse that they acknowledge the bill can’t help because the law can’t be made retroactive.
It would, however, tell pedophiles from that point on “they could never escape justice”, said Virginia Graham of Spokane, who said she was sexually abused starting at age 10 and her father threatened to kill her if she reported him.
But Lonnie Johns-Brown of the Washington Coalition on Sexual Assault said she was ambivalent about the proposal because it might not have much effect. Rape convictions are difficult even when cases are prosecuted quickly and have hard evidence, she said.
McLaughlin said after the hearing it was the first time she had talked about being sexually abused in such a public setting. She sometimes speaks at victim support groups or other small gatherings. She agreed to testify for the bill because “I think it’s the right thing to do.”
Her faith has allowed her to move on, she said, but the fact that her father was never held accountable still weighs heavily on her family.
Even without newly elected officials on the Spokane City Council, power appears to be shifting in the New Year.
One year after the council removed Nancy McLaughlin from the board overseeing the Spokane Transit Authority, the Spokane City Council voted to reappoint McLaughlin — the council's only self-described conservative — to the seat. The move booted Councilman Jon Snyder from the position.
City Council President Shogan, who proposed the change, said reappointing McLaughlin to the seat is “strictly a matter of representation.”
The city has three seats on the STA board. Spokane's other two members are Amber Waldref, who represents Northeast Spokane and Richard Rush, who represents South Spokane. Snyder also serves South Spokane. Shogan said he supported the change because the city should have an STA representative from Northwest Spokane.
Waldref, who along with Rush and Snyder voted against McLaughlin's appointment, noted that having representatives from each council district is not a requirement and isn't routine for other boards on which council members sit.
Asked why he supported adding McLaughlin back to the transit board after he supported her removal from it last year, Shogan said that last year he “had a different concern.”
He declined to explain what that concern was.
Shogan and Snyder have had a few contentious debates in the last couple months. Shogan led the effort to create a tab tax - a proposal that failed later on Monday largely because Snyder voted against it. But the most public and ugly argument between the two was over the proposal to defund a vacant deptuy fire chief position (audio of that debate from Dec. 20 is above).
Council President Joe Shogan took the lead this year on the plan to create a vehicle tab tax while others on Spokane City Council examined other ideas — including a parking lot tax. Shogan’s plan is pretty much the only tax left that might be used to help balance the 2011 budget. But it’s facing growing opposition on the council.
Three council members were especially angered by the surprise vote to move $1.5 million of street money to the city’s rainy-day fund where it could be used to help fund the fire and police budgets. That proposal wasn’t publicly vetted until Monday, just before the money was shifted in a 4-3 vote. In the audio clip, Rush is explaining that that vote makes it highly unlikely that he would support a tab tax for the 2011 budget. That, along with arguments from Corker in favor of moving a tab tax vote to January, prompted Shogan’s harsh response.
Spokane City Council members on Monday decided to give themselves new taxing authority.
The council voted 5-2 to create a “Transportation Benefit District.” The decision means the council will have the ability to enact a vehicle tab tax up to $20. Higher tab taxes would require public votes.
The decision did not enact any tax. Council members said they likely will hold a hearing on a proposed fee as early as November.
While the money raised would have to be spent on street and transportation projects, the law allows the city to divert other revenue currently spent on streets.
Council members Bob Apple and Nancy McLaughlin voted against the proposal. Council members said they likely will dissolve the district if the county forms a regional district at a later date. Apple said any fee should go on a ballot.
The Spokane City Council just after midnight adopted a plan aimed at cutting carbon emissions and reducing the city’s dependence on oil.
The 5-2 decision was the second time the council voted on a report finished last year by Mayor Mary Verner’s 13-member Sustainability Task Force. Council members Nancy McLaughlin and Bob Apple voted against the plan.
When the council took its first action on the plan, in May 2009, there were only enough votes on the council to “accept” the report. Since then, two City Council members have been replaced.
“I’m honored to have another opportunity to adopt” the report,” City Councilman Steve Corker late Monday night.
City officials say that new state rules require that the city have an “adopted” plan to reduce emissions to qualify for some state grants.
The report recommends several steps the city should take to cut its dependence on oil and reduce the city’s negative effect on climate change. Ideas include promoting energy-efficient construction and transportation. It also sets a goal for the city to acquire 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030.
The results of the November election were on display for the first time Monday in the Spokane City Council chambers.
The three council members who won seats in November, Nancy McLaughlin, Jon Snyder and Amber Waldref, were sworn in by City Clerk Terri Pfister. The brief ceremony was mostly for show because each had already been sworn in for their new terms.
Waldref said while the council members may disagree on certain topics, there’s full agreement on the top issue for 2010: preparing for the city’s forecasted $10 million deficit in 2011.
The showing of Spokane City Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin — the City Council’s most conservative member — in a district that voted for President Obama has prompted speculation that she may run as a Republican for state Rep. Alex Wood’s seat next year in Spokane’s 3rd Legislative District. That’s eastern Washington’s most solidly Democratic district.
McLaughlin won all 43 precincts in her council district race in the August primary, a feat she repeated in Tuesday’s general election.
Speaking from her campaign party Tuesday night, McLaughlin said she will not rule out a run for the Legislature, but added: “At this point, I have no intention of running next year.”
She added that her husband isn’t sold on the idea of her running for an office that would require a campaign every two years.
Karen Kearney, who is one of five challengers to incumbent City Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin, has listed two new endorsements on her Web site.
One is from the Spokane Regional Labor Council. That’s no surprise. Kearney has garnered strong union support throughout her campaign.
The other, however, is from former City Councilman Dean Lynch, who was appointed to his seat and lost an extremely close battle to retain it in 2001 to Dennis Hession.
Lynch generally supports candidates aligned with the Democratic Party. He also was the first openly gay person to serve in an elected office in Spokane city government. Kearney, who has been active in the county GOP, opposes gay marriage and also opposes providing benefits to unmarried partners of employees.