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Doug Clark: It’s time for Salvatori to sing lame-duck blues

Steve Salvatori announced his resignation from the Spokane City Council the other day.

He’d love to stay, of course, but the poor guy must follow his business to Dallas, where he will hopefully add even more zillions to his already bloated bankroll.

I’m paraphrasing.

I have no contempt for people who accumulate great wealth.

It’s actually more of a bitter, deep-seated envy.

But in light of the Salvatori bug out (or departure, if you’re a Republican), it seemed like a fitting moment to reflect on the councilman’s accomplishments and the political legacy he leaves.


Wait a second.

Uhhh …

Oh. I know.

Before being elected to the Council, Salvatori ran one of the most cutting-edge campaigns I’ve ever seen for a seat on the Spokane County Commission.

And by cutting edge I mean that Salvatori had these life-size (and no doubt quite expensive) photographic stand-ups made of himself for campaign signs.

You know, like the Elvis and Darth Vader novelties that they sell at the malls.

Anyway, the Salvatori signs were amazingly effective.

Er, not politically, alas.

Salvatori lost in the primary, which was downright embarrassing.

But the signs were a great prank on Spokane drivers.

Really. I nearly veered off the road one night when I came around a corner and saw the grinning candidate striking a GQ pose in his designer jeans and dress shirt from a spot dangerously close to the curb.

As for his time on the City Council, well, right off the top of my head I can’t think of any accomplishments.

But the newspaper story about Salvatori leaving did refer to what could be considered as his legacy.

And I quote …

Salvatori’s “resignation will expand the liberal-leaning majority on the council, creating a veto-proof 5-2 majority.”

Translation: Because Salvatori’s taking a powder, the Spokane City Council is about to be taken over by fuzzy thinkers who might turn Riverside into one large bike lane or grant marmots the right to vote.

Look, I’m not against left-wingers.

Or right-wingers, for that matter.

If you’re honest with yourself, all politicians should make you throw up a little bit in the back of your throat.

It’s just that Spokane government seems to be much better off whenever a balance of lunatics is achieved.

When one cult or the other takes power, bad things almost always occur.

Call me a dreamer, but my idea of the perfect City Council makeup is where every vote ends in a tie.

So thanks a bundle, Steve.

But there is a way that Salvatori can slink out of town and still accomplish something truly lasting.

Next week another edition of Spokane Street Music Week will take place during the noon hours on the sidewalks of downtown and the Garland District.

I hereby invite our short-timing councilman to join me near Starbucks on Main where we can attempt to help feed the hungry by singing a couple tunes.

Considering Salvatori’s lame-quack status, I’ve picked out some suitably titled songs. (Versions listed by artists, not necessarily songwriters.)

1. “The Thrill is Gone” – B.B. King.

2. “Betrayal” – Dave Matthews.

3. “On the Road Again” – Willie Nelson.

4. “Travelin’ Man” – Ricky Nelson.

5. “So What” – Pink.

6. “Back Stabbers” – The O’Jays.

7. “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” – Ella Fitzgerald.

8. “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)” – Motley Crue.

9. “Go Your Own Way” – Fleetwood Mac.

10. “The End” – The Doors.

P.S. On the chance Salvatori isn’t available, we will accept* one of his cardboard campaign clones.

(*As long as it’s carrying a large food bank donation, that is.)

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by email at

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