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Initiative 4 under assault

For the second time in three weeks, The Spokesman-Review has used its editorial clout to blast Initiative 4, the “Clean and Fair Elections” ordinance for the city of Spokane.

A sufficient number of signatures were certified by the Spokane County Elections Office to allow placement of the initiative on the November ballot. Nevertheless, the Review editorial board has determined that the measure is unconstitutional and should be challenged in court prior to being tested at the ballot box.

The sponsoring group followed precisely the city’s procedures in placing the measure before the voters, and it is the electorate who should decide if the ordinance will become law.

The Review’s editorial also falsely alleges that Initiative 4 denies free-speech rights to corporate employees. The proposed ordinance requires that corporate entities discuss pending legislation with city officials in public forum rather than privately. Open agreements openly arrived at.

The ordinance would not limit anyone’s free speech. Its purpose is to curtail the unseen and undocumented influence by corporations and other deep-pocket groups on city decisions. The Cowles Company, which owns the Review, naturally views with disfavor any attempt to reduce its considerable influence over city affairs.

Tom Bogley

Nine Mile Falls


 

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Editorial: Washington state lawmakers scramble to keep public in the dark

State lawmakers want to create a legislative loophole in Washington’s Public Records Act. While it’s nice to see Democrats and Republicans working together for once, it’s just too bad that their agreement is that the public is the enemy. As The Spokesman-Review’s Olympia reporter Jim Camden explained Feb. 22, lawmakers could vote on a bill today responding to a court order that the people of Washington are entitled to review legislative records.