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Spin Control

Posts tagged: proposition 4

Where Prop 4 fared less awfully

There are few, if any, bright spots supporters of Envision Spokane’s Community Bill of Rights will find in last night’s count.

As a whole, Proposition 4 only garnered 25 percent support. It failed in all of the city’s nearly 125 precincts.

The measure won 40 percent support only in four precincts: downtown Spokane, one that covers most of Browne’s Addition and the western portion of Peaceful Valley, one precinct in East Central and one in the Bemiss Neighborhood, which is just south of Hillyard.

The worst showing was in a precinct bordering Latah Creek in the far south of the city where only 7.7 percent of voters supported the proposition.

Click here to download a high-resolution JPG of the above map.

All in

Here’s one of the more talked about election mailers distributed locally this campaign season.

It’s from Envision Spokane, the campaign in support of Proposition 4. It hit mailboxes last week.

What do you think? Is it effective?

Prop4: Where’s the money coming from?

Opponents of Proposition 4 have complained that out-of-town influence helped shape the proposed amendment to the Spokane City Charter. But the opponents rely heavily on national and state development interests to bankroll the campaigns against the proposal.

Led by the National Association of Home Builders, out-of-town business groups account for about 85 percent of the identified contributions to Save Our Spokane, which opposes Proposition 4’s Community Bill of Rights. Out-of-town business groups account for about 30 percent of identified contributions to the other opposition group, Jobs and Opportunities Benefiting Spokane, or JOBS. The national home builders association has funneled some $85,000 to the political action committee of its local affiliate.

Together, the two campaign committees have raised more than $275,000. When expense reports were filed last week, they had almost half of that total still available for a pre-election day push.

Envision Spokane, a group that spearheaded discussions that produced the proposed charter changes, has raised about $69,500, with $55,000 coming from Jim Sheehan, a retired local attorney who established the Center for Justice and owns the Community Building on Main Avenue. The largest out-of-town contribution for Envision Spokane was about $450 for the donated work of a graphic artist in Wauwato, Wash.

To read more, and for links to a list of the PAC contributors, go inside the blog

GSI debate was a stacked deck

Anyone laboring under the misconception that political debates take place on neutral turf would have been disabused of such foolishness Friday at a Proposition 4 debate.

Three members of Envision Spokane, the group trying to convince Spokane to pass what they call the Community Bill of Rights, played what sports fans would call an away game, debating before a Greater Spokane Inc. breakfast crowd of about 150.

How unbalanced the crowd was would be hard to quantify with mathematical certainty, so let’s try anecdotally: Everyone walked in the door and passed rows of blue and yellow “Vote No on Prop 4” yard signs stacked against the wall. Employees of GSI handed out cards urging “Vote No on Prop 4”. All questions to panelists from the floor were queries critical of Prop 4, which meant supporters answered first and opponents got the last word through rebuttal.

In the Arena’s Champion’s Room, which was the debate venue, feelings toward Prop 4 might have been slightly better than the attitude toward the Oregon Ducks in a Martin Stadium men’s room when the game is in Pullman. (For those who’ve never been there, let’s just say there are interesting places one finds rubber duckies.)

Prop 4 debate: Rollin on the river

Just how polluted the Spokane River is became a bone of contention Friday between panelists debating a major change to the Spokane City Charter.

Among the nation’s most polluted, said supporters of Proposition 4, which asks voters to add what they call a Community Bill of Rights to the charter. One of those rights would allow people to sue on behalf of the river or other parts of the environment and force a cleanup.

The river was listed in a 2004 report as one of the most polluted in the United States, said Chad Nicholson, campaign coordinator for Envision Spokane, which is pushing for passage. Signs warn people not to eat the fish they catch, or to report sewage being dumped into it, he said: “The river is dying.”

But supporters who cite that 2004 listing never mention that the same group, American Rivers, listed the Spokane River it as one of the nation’s success stories in 2005, countered Kate McCaslin, a former county commissioner and opponent of the proposal.

“In all the years since then, Spokane has never been listed as an endangered river again,” she added to the applause of an audience attending a Greater Spokane Inc. breakfast.

Who’s right?

Prop 4 debate Friday a.m.

Supporters and opponents of Spokane City Proposition 4 will go at it Friday morning at a breakfast debate sponsored by Greater Spokane Inc.

Prop 4 is the ballot number for a proposal that’s AKA The Community Bill of Rights. It would amend the charter in various ways, including changes for health care, wage requirements, apprenticeships, neighborhood control of development, and establishing rights for the environment.

Greater Spokane Inc. is on record of opposing it. (If pressed, some members of GSI would probably say this is about the worst thing since the bubonic plague. They might prefer a  debate on whether it is slightly worse or significantly worse than the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.) So Envision Spokane, which drafted the proposal, can probably be listed as the Away Team for this one.

But it should be entertaining, and probably enlightening. It starts at 7:15 a.m. at the Champions Room, 720 W. Mallon. Tickets range from $30 for GSI members to $55 for non members. Call Marcia Vandervert at 321-3629 or click here to sign up on-line

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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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