Latest from The Spokesman-Review
Spokane City Council members next week will tackle an issue that goes beyond city limits.
They will consider a nonbinding resolution asking Congress and state legislatures to amend the Constitution to give lawmakers the authority to limit corporate political spending in campaigns.
The U.S. Supreme Court, in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, ruled in 2010 that the First Amendment barred Congress from creating spending limits on corporations in political campaigns, though the court left intact the ability to limit direct donations to candidates.
Critics of the decision say it allows elections to be manipulated by the rich and powerful and point to the "Super PACs' that are pouring millions of dollars into the presidential election.
The resolution is sponsored by Councilwoman Amber Waldref. She said Monday that she expects a close vote.
"I really thought that these were values that we all shared," Waldref said.
Councilman Mike Fagan opposes the resolution.
"The Constitution is not a living document," Fagan said after Monday's council meeting. "In my opinion, it would take something earth-shattering in order to warrant a Constitutional amendment."
About 1,000 people turned out to hear Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul on Friday at the Spokane Convention Center. He hit on many of the same things he did two weeks ago at a rally in the same location. But this time he also talked about revelations this week that two former United States senators believe that Saudi Arabia may have had involvement in the 9/11 attacks. He talked about that again in a press conference after his speech. He also talked about his campaign strategy and Super Tuesday. You can hear most of the press conference in the link above.
PHOTO: Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas speaks at a rally in Spokane on Friday. (AP Photo/Jed Conklin)
Two GOP presidential candidates who already held events in the Inland Northwest this month are headed back, Spokane County GOP Chairman Matthew Pederson announced today.
Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum will hold a rally at noon Thursday at New Life Assembly Church, 10920 E. Sprague Ave.
Ron Paul will make his second appearance this campaign season at the Spokane Convention Center. He'll hold a rally there at noon Friday.
Santorum spoke earlier this month in Coeur d'Alene but has since mostly focused on Michigan where he hopes to pull off an upset in that state's primary today.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich spoke in Spokane last week. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney hasn't visited the area, though his son spoke to supporters in Spokane Valley last week.
Washington holds its GOP caucuses on Saturday. Idaho holds its caucuses on March 6, Super Tuesday.
Josh Romney, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s son, spoke to about 75 people at CenterPlace in Spokane Valley on Tuesday.
Romney, 36, is the third of Romney’s five sons. He’s a real estate investor who lives in Salt Lake City.
He said his dad will campaign on March 1 in Bellevue and a location that hasn’t been finalized in Eastern Washington. He downplayed the recent surge in polls experienced by Santorum.
“We feel really good about how things are going. There’s no primary process that is easy or predictable,” he said. “We’re just making sure that people understand our message, our vision for this country and where my dad would take us.”
Josh Romney addressed concerns about his dad’s health care plan in Massachusetts, which he called “a state solution to a state problem.” He also stressed that his dad is “firmly pro-life,” and painted him as an outsider with important business experience.
“My dad’s the one guy who has never worked one day in Washington D.C.”
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich will hold a campaign rally downtown Spokane on Thursday afternoon.
His Washington campaign coordinator said Gingrich will be at The Bing Theater at 2 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. It was earlier described by Spokane County GOP officials as a town hall style meeting, but state campaign officials later called it a rally.
Gingrich is the third GOP presidential hopeful to make a stop in the Inland Northwest. Rick Santorum spoke in Coeur d'Alene last week and Ron Paul held a rally at the Spokane Convention Center on Friday.
Mitt Romney's son visited the Spokane Valley this afternoon.
Gingrich, despite being from Georgia, has noteworthy ties to Inland Northwest politics that he may or may not dwell on in his visit.
He engineered the 1994 Republican sweep that — among other things — took leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives away from Spokane when Republican George Nethercutt beat sitting House Speaker Tom Foley, a Democrat. Republicans, after capturing control of the House that year, chose Gingrich to replace Foley.
Washington holds its precinct caucuses on March 3. Idaho's caucuses are March 6.
After his rally Friday night, Paul took questions from the media, which was almost entirely from local outlets. (The NBC cameraman told me that he's the last member of the national press who still is following Paul regularly.)
Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul may not have won a state primary yet, but he remains a favorite to win Spokane County.
A standing-room-only crowd of about 2,300 shouted their support for Paul during his 45-minute speech Friday evening at the Spokane Convention Center.
Paul is the second Republican presidential candidate to visit the Inland Northwest this week as Washington and Idaho prepare for their presidential caucuses early next month. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum spoke to about 600 supporters in Coeur d’Alene on Tuesday.
Paul, who was introduced by state Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, started his speech pointing to his strong base of support. In 2008, Paul finished first in the caucuses in Spokane County, capturing 46 percent of the vote.
“Four years ago I was told that there was a brush fire started here for the cause of liberty,” he said. “It looks like it’s much bigger than a brush fire right now.”
Paul, a Texas congressman who ran for the GOP nomination four years ago and was the Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee in 1988, criticized the Iraq War and recent government bailouts of economic institutions.
“The people who should have had the depression got the bailout,” he said. “The American people ended up owning this debt.”
He called for less foreign intervention, halting the war on drugs, the repeal of the Patriot Act, an end to federal income taxes and a return to the gold standard.
With the race for the Republican nomination for president heating up and candidate Ron Paul headed to Spokane, Spokane Mayor David Condon said he doesn't plan to endorse a candidate.
"I'm not going to get involved in national politics," he said.
Condon said he hasn't decided if he will participate in the March 3 Washington caucus.
Meanwhile, other Republican-leaning elected Spokane officials haven't solidified their presidential picks.
Council members Nancy McLaughlin and Mike Fagan said this week that they are trying to decide between Paul and Rick Santorum.
Councilman Mike Allen said he's leaning toward Mitt Romney, and Councilman Steve Salvatori said he's undecided.
Rick Santorum became the first presidential candidate to visit the Inland Northwest, just as national polls shows him emerging as the Republican favorite.
In response to questions from the press, Santorum downplayed the polls, noting that he had de-emphasized the same polls in recent weeks when they showed him behind.
“We just have to earn it one state at a time,” he said, adding, however, that the boost “has helped us in fundraising.”
Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, spoke for about 35 minutes and answered audience questions for an hour more at the Hagadone Events Center in Coeur d'Alene. About 600 packed the room, and police turned away dozens of cars at the gate.
Addressing the crowd in jeans and his signature campaign sweater vest, Santorum focused on what he described as attacks on freedoms by big government and President Barack Obama's “hostility” toward religion. He compared the American revolution to the French revolution and said that the American war for independence proved lasting because it was rooted in a higher power, while the French revolution was more focused on “fraternity.”
The Constitution exists to “protect one thing and that's to protect the rights given to you by God,” he said.
Santorum didn't focus on the economy and jobs until nearly 20 minutes into his appearance.
This election is about the economy and jobs, "but, ultimately, it is about the role of government in your lives,” he said.
He said he is the best Republican to take on Obama in the November election because of his position on health care.
“If we don't win this election, Obamacare will be implemented,” he said. “If Obamacare is implemented, the America as I describe it to you will be no more.”