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When the dust from candidate filing week settled at the close of business Friday, there were a few surprises in who is running for what. But the biggest surprise was who isn’t running.
For the first time since 1996, a Spokane primary election ballot will be printed without Barbara Lampert’s name on it.
The retired nurse’s aide said after that first campaign 16 years ago she planned to run every year for something until she got elected or turned 70. In that span, she has run for almost every office short of president in that span, from U.S. Senate down to city council member. She is such a fixture that some political reporters joked recently about betting on which race it would be.
Joke’s on us. Lampert, at 66, is shy of her self-imposed age limit and hasn’t wound up with the most votes in a general election. But Friday she said she’s getting spoiled in retirement and isn’t up to a run this year. “I was just too busy with other things,” she said. “There’s no sense to kill myself.”
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Reporters have been known to bet on almost anything, from when a jury will come back to which candidates will win the races they are covering.
It’s a tendency that even some professional gamblers find appalling. So when a Craigslist ad offered a cash prize for the best handicapper of Tuesday’s mayoral race, it caught some eyes in the newsroom.
Even more curious, the referenced website seemed to be that of Mike Noder. But a closer look showed that it wasn’t his mikeforspokane site, but a mocking site, mike4spokane, set up by someone he describes as a former friend turned critic.
To be fair, the mike4 site is close to being an equal opportunity annoyer of all five candidates. The photo of Mary Verner looks like it was shot by the photographer who did Michelle Bachmann for Newsweek, and the shot of David Condon makes his head seem as round as a balloon. The other three candidate’s photos are so out of focus as to be almost unrecognizable.
Only 13 people found their way to the site and left a prediction before the contest closed. The average: Condon 40 percent; Verner 38 percent; Barbara Lampert 9 percent; Noder 7.5 percent and Robert Kroboth 3 percent. Actual results may vary.
Some candidates, particularly novices, have an annoying habit of announcing a vague stand for or against something when they kick off their campaign, and never refining, clarifying or elucidating it later.
Not so with City Council Candidate Barbara Lampert. She came out four-square against varmints when she began her campaign. Her latest campaign literature, a 3.5 inch by 8.5 inch door insert, brings the issue into sharp focus. Eliminate skunks. Lessen the squirrel population. Eradicate crows. Decrease marmots.
It is possible that Lampert, a perennial candidate who has run for something or another for the last 15 years, knows not to make a rookie mistake.
It’s unlikely, however, she’ll get much support from those who like their furry or feathery friends. Sure, skunks can be smelly, squirrels annoying and crows obnoxious. But marmots? They’re cute.
Mayoral candidate Barbara Lampert is lucky Spokane's famous yellow-bellied marmots don't vote. At the first significant mayoral debate of the election season, Lampert listed controlling Spokane's varmint population among her priorities. “Varmints bring disease,” Lampert said Tuesday at the forum sponsored by the nonprofit group Sustainable Resources INW. “Let's create a city plan to control pests and rodents.” Lampert said in an interview on Wednesday that the city needs to reduce the population of squirrels, crows, marmots, skunks and potentially other rodents and animals/Jonathan Brunt, SR. More here.
Question: What type of four-legged varmint is the biggest pest in your community?
Mayoral candidate Barbara Lampert is lucky Spokane's famous yellow-bellied marmots don't vote.
At the first significant mayoral debate of the election season, Lampert listed controlling Spokane's varmint population among her priorities.
"Varmints bring disease," Lampert said Tuesday at the forum sponsored by the nonprofit group Sustainable Resources INW. "Let's create a city plan to control pests and rodents."
Lampert said in an interview on Wednesday that the city needs to reduce the population of squirrels, crows, marmots, skunks and potentially other rodents and animals.
"Children are being dive-bombed by crows. Children are being bitten by squirrels," she said. "I don't think it's right in civilization for pests to have the upper hand."
Spokane voters can get an early look at their choices for mayor Tuesday night at a candidate forum focused on environmentally friendly businesses.
Four of the five candidates for mayor will be at the candidate forum sponsored by Sustainable Resources INW, a nonprofit that assists businesses to make changes that save money while helping the environment, said Susanne Croft, executive director of the organization.
Incumbent Mary Verner, David Condon, Mike Noder and Barbara Lampert will attend. Robert Kroboth has said he won’t participate in any candidate debate.
Croft, who worked as Verner’s sustainability coordinator in 2008, will moderate the debate. She said most the questions will be posed by the audience.
"We really don't take a stand on sustainability as a political issue," Croft said. "It's a topic of community concern just like poverty is."
The hour-long forum will start at 6 p.m. Tuesady at the Community Building, 35 W. Main Ave.
Sustainable Resources INW (the organization formerly known as SLIP) is hosting a mayoral candidates forum on June 28th from 6-7pm at the Community Building (doors open at 5:30), 35 W. Main. The group is an educational non-profit, started by Susanne Croft, that focuses on sustainable practices because they believe they’ll make the whole community more resilient and our local economy stronger for long run. Consistent with that focus, this candidates forum will focus on issues of interest and concern to green businesses.
Croft says "We at Sustainable Resources (formerly SLIP) believe strongly that sustainability isn’t a liberal or a conservative issue – it’s just a better way to run a business, local government or community. It’s up to the voters to decide which approach to sustainability is the best fit for Spokane, but either way it needs to be part of how we plan for our future. If you agree that sustainability should be addressed during this year’s local elections, please join us and bring your questions for the future mayor of the City of Spokane! "
One Mayoral candiate, Robert Kroboth, has pledged not to talk to the media or engage in any forums, so there should actually be four candidates there.
Latest candidate for Spokane mayor, Barbara Lampert, calls for deep budget cuts, but increase in police officers
Barbara Lampert wants to balance the city fo Spokane's budget while at the same time hiring an additional 100 police officers.
The perennial candidate, who filed to run for Spokane mayor on Tuesday, said she would do that by cutting city administration, forcing pay cuts and freezing salaries.
"There are way too many layers of supervision," Lampert said. "Count four steps from the mayor, draw a line left to right, and they're all gone. They can find another job."
Lampert added that her statement about "four steps from the mayor" is only an example and that she would make more concrete decisions about trimming administrators once elected. She admitted, however, that she has not examined a city organizational chart for about 20 years.
"But I can't believe it got better, and, probably, it's gotten worse," she said in an interview Tuesday.
Mayor of Spokane.
Lampert, a former nurse's assistant, has run for office every year for about the last 15 years. Last year, she placed third in the six-way primary for Congress, even beating the candidate endorsed by the Democratic Party.
Today is the second day candidates can file to run in the August primary. Deadline to file for office is on Friday. Lampert, 65, filed her paperwork this morning at the Spokane County Elections Office. She also paid the $1,693.58 fee (1 percent of the mayor's salary) .
In the race for mayor, she joins incumbent Mary Verner and Mike Noder, who co-owns a demolition company.
Last week, Democrats had no one to run against Republican Cathy McMorris Rodgers for Eastern Washington’s congressional seat. Monday they had two candidates – a novice from Spokane Valley and a perennial office-seeker from Spokane.
Clyde Cordero, an advertising salesman for a Web publication, announced Monday that he would run for the seat that has been reliably Republican since the GOP knocked off the sitting speaker of the House in 1994. Cordero is originally from California, and moved to the Valley about 4½ years ago with his wife and two children.
About the same time his announcement was being e-mailed out, Barbara Lampert, a former nursing aide, was filing her paperwork in Olympia. Lampert has run unsuccessfully for offices ranging from city council to U.S. Senate every year since 1996; she ran for Congress two years ago.
Both talked about the importance of giving voters a choice.