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Posts tagged: Spokane Labor rally

Spokane Labor Rally Wednesday

Many of the state's Democratic candidates will be appearing Wednesday afternoon at the Spokane Labor Rally at the Spokane Interstate Fairgrounds.

The Labor Rally is one of the iconic events on the political calendar in even-numbered years. The speeches rarely reach the level of great oratory, but it gives candidates a chance to “press the flesh” with average folks while the union members and their families eat burgers and sip beer or sodas at rows of tables. Hundreds of people drop by after finishing their shift and picking up the family.

It's about as close to a must-show for an endorsed candidate as there is in Spokane Democratic politics. About the only acceptable excuses for not showing up would be being in jail on a nonbailable offense, or dying. Both U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell and gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee are on the list of scheduled speakers.

There was once an axiom among the state's political reporters that a chili dog consumed at the Labor Rally will occupy a spot in one's stomach until Election Day. True or not, labor organizers in recent years have stricken chili dogs from the menu in favor of more  healthy food and perhaps a chance to show the labor movement has moved into the 21st Century.

One other nod to present day: Attendees this year are being asked to bring a donation to the Second Harvest Food Bank.

WA Senate: Playing the ‘Big Union’ card

Dino Rossi and state Republicans are leveling a charge against Patty Murray that Republicans often use on Democrats, that she’s kowtowing to the union bosses. But they may have picked the wrong backdrop to launch this attack.

As recounted today by S-R reporter Chelsea Bannach, the Spokane Labor Rally, a biannual feature of the local political scene, was held Wednesday at the Spokane County Fairgrounds.

For those unfamiliar with the labor rally, it’s a chance for union members, their spouses, kids and miscellaneous family members and friends to have some food and drink after work while listening to candidates the unions’ endorse – mostly Democrats – make a pitch for votes and news media types try to take the temperature of the blue collar voters.

(There is a myth among the state’s political reporters that a chili dog ingested at the Labor Rally will sit uncomfortably in one’s stomach until election day. This is not true; it has never been known to last past Halloween. And Beth Thew of the Spokane Labor Council advises that there weren’t any chili dogs at Wednesday’s rally, but there were veggie burgers. One has to wonder what the labor movement is coming to. But I digress…)

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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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