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Among the elected leaders and politicians running for office, it should be no surprise that John Roskelley won the race.
Roskelley, a candidate for Spokane County Commission, had the best Bloomsday time among all elected Spokane and Spokane Valley city leaders; state House and state Senate candidates for districts within Spokane County; Spokane County commissioner candidates; and gubernatorial candidates.
Roskelley is, afterall, a world-renowned mountain climber.
Here is the list of local politicians (plus a governor hopeful) who completed Bloomsday:
- John Roskelley, D, candidate for Spokane County Commission, 0:59:00
- Rob McKenna, R, candidate for governor, 1:00:21
- Amber Waldref, Spokane city councilwoman, 1:07:52
- Marcus Riccelli, D, candidate for state House, 1:08:27
- Steve Salvatori, Spokane city councilman, 1:17:00
- Amy Biviano, D, candidate for state House, 1:17:16
- Dennis Dellwo, D, candidate for state House, 1:20:08
- Tom Towey, Spokane Valley mayor, 1:28:14
- Brenda Grassel, Spokane Valley city councilwoman, 2:13:47
- David Condon, Spokane mayor, 2:41:52
- Michael Baumgartner, R, state Senator and candidate for U.S. Senate, 2:47:31
Just before conceding, Mayor Mary Verner published a scathing comment on Facebook about her opponent’s campaign which she said is a “turning point for the way campaigns are conducted in Spokane.”
“David Condon’s race for a non-partisan local office was woven into a … larger partisan domination strategy with out-of-town consultants, push polls and shrewd positioning of issues in collaboration with media mouthpieces. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent on the campaigns, while more and more people have fallen into joblessness, homelessness, hunger and despair,” she wrote.
But was this campaign that much different than the other three to elect a strong mayor?
When it comes to the amount of money, no. Dennis Hession raised nearly as much as Condon in 2007. John Powers spent more than Condon in 2000.
When it comes to out-of-town consultants, no. Verner apparently is referring to Stan Shore, an Olympia-based consultant who was hired by Condon. But he also worked in each of the previous three mayoral campaigns on behalf of Hession, Jim West and John Talbott.
When it comes to partisan politics, yes. The state Republican Party’s decision to contribute more than $60,000 to Condon in the final days of the campaign is unprecedented. (And could still lead to an investigation into election rules. A complaint filed with the state Public Disclosure Commission will be considered for a possible investigation after Thanksgiving, PDC spokeswoman Lori Anderson said Thursday.)
But party involvement in city races isn’t new. Councilman Steve Corker, a Verner supporter, has noted that parties started getting involved in nonpartisan local elections about a decade ago when the Democratic Party assisted Powers, and Tom Keefe, the former Spokane County Democratic Party, chair argues that it was Democrats who worked to turn the Condon-Verner race into a partisan battle.
Thank you, Greater Hillyard Business Association. The business group planned a "Connect with the Electeds" meeting for this evening (Thursday) starting around 6 p.m. at the Inland NW Wildlife Council, 6116 N. Market. By odd timing, the event will be bigger and more fun than first expected.
When the association put together the idea (to have local pols discuss issues related to the Northeast District), they were planning to have just the "electeds" who survived the election.
Then some races got too tight to call. So, tonight's lineup includes some folks who were "almost elected," as well, said Ken Clouse, the group president.
As of noon today, the lineup includes both current Mayor Mary Verner and apparent Mayor-elect David Condon, Dennis Hession and the guy who defeated him in the race for council president, Ben Stuckart.
Also scheduled to take part in the question-answer session following a dinner are Mike Fagan and Donna McKereghan, also locked in a close election for a Northeast Spokane council seat, and Council Member Amber Waldref.
The event comes with a dinner and beverage, and costs $15 for business association members, $20 for others. To register go to this link.
The Spokane County Republican Party, which has previously declined to endorse candidates running as Republicans against Democrats when they declined to sign the county party's platform, has sent out recommendations for how to vote in Tuesday's nonparitsan city elections.
The picks include: David Condon for mayor, Mike Fagan, Steve Salvatori and Mike Allen for City Council and Dennis Hession for City Council president. The candidates apparently didn't have to sign any pledges to win the recommendations.
Condon, Fagan, Salvatori and Allen have clear ties to the party, though the party declined to back Allen in his 2009 bid for council. And while Hession has enjoyed some Republican support in past races, he also has been more aligned with the Democratic Party, at least on some environmental and social issues.
The party posted the following statement with its recommendations: "The Spokane County Republican Party acknowledges the non-partisan nature of local elections and makes no claim that recommended candidates are in any way affiliated with the Republican Party. The following recommendations are not intended to serve as an endorsement of any issue or candidate."
A new campaign ad that’s been posted on YouTube by the campaign of Dennis Hession starts with him making the following statement:
“Abraham Lincoln once said, ‘You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.’ I believe that. My opponent does not.”
Hession apparently has fallen victim to the “Ten Points.” That’s a list that originated in a pamphlet distributed in 1916 by Rev. William John Henry Boetcker, of Pennsylvania, according to Washington Post and Chicago Tribune articles from 1992.
The list has often been mistaken as Lincoln’s own words, and Hession finds himself in good company. The Post and Tribune articles from 1992 were about former President Ronald Reagan incorrectly attributing portions of the “Ten Points” to Lincoln in a speech to the Republican National Convention.
Spokane Mayor Mary Verner said last week that a campaign statement on the Otto Zehm matter wasn't meant to pin blame on others.
Responding to a news release criticizing her response to the Otto Zehm cases from her election opponent, David Condon, Verner released her own statement on Sept. 6. Part of it appeared to assign blame to her predecessor, Dennis Hession: “I believe the voters will see through his (Condon's) attempt to blame me for actions of a former city administration, the county prosecutor, and other attorneys working on this case in Federal Court. As I have said all along, I respect the judicial process and the facts that will come forth,” Verner said in the Sept. 6 news release.
While most of the political news is swirling around City Hall this morning with the press conference over the Otto Zehm case (read about that here), there was a development in the Council President race.
Councilman Steve Corker, who finished third in the primary for the job last month, announced he was endorsing former opponent Ben Stuckart for the job: "Ben represents a bright, new voice for Spokane."
Stuckart thanked Corker for the endorsement and "for his many years of service to the City of Spokane."
Corker also pointed out the key element of the primary results as the city looks ahead to the Nov. 8 election. Unlike the mayor's race, in which incumbent Mary Verner essentially lapped the field, no one got a majority in the council president's race. Dennis Hession, the former council president and mayor, finished on top, with 37 percent, but Stuckart got 30 percent and Corker 27 percent.
One other interesting stat: 2,175 voters "skipped" that race. That is, they marked their ballots in other contests, but not for council president. Had they voted for Corker, he would've finished second; had they voted for Stuckart, he would've been almost tied with Hession; had they voted for Hession, the race would now be seen as pretty much over.
The Spokane City Council President race would appear to be a toss up, particularly in many North Spokane precincts where a clear favorite has yet to emerge.
No duh, you might say, considering that winner Dennis Hession got only slightly more than a third of the vote in a four-person field.
But Spin Control does not make such prognostications lightly. Instead, we employ the very best of computer science and data analysis to confirm what you may already suspect: That Spokane voters seem less sure of their selection for the person to run council meetings for the next four years than the person to run the city.
Hey, some days, running the council is a real chore, but the city pretty much runs itself….
Unlike Spokane's mayoral race, which has a clear favorite based on the primary results, the council president race is a more interesting mix of support around the city for the top three candidates.
As things stand now, former Council President and Mayor Dennis Hession would face political newcomer Ben Stuckart in the November general. Councilman Steve Corker is third in the Top Two primary, and will have to make up ground on Stuckart in the later vote counts. (Update: With almost all the ballots counted, it's clear that Corker will not make up that ground.)
But maps (found below or by clicking the links on the names) of the candidates' support, based on the first round of ballot counts, shows the three have different strongholds.
Hession, not surprisingly, ran very strong on the South Hill, where he's lived for years and where his base of support was in previous successful runs for city council and council president. He actually won outright some of the heaviest voting precincts on the hill, as well as the Logan District precinct that incluldes Gonzaga University, and ran strong in the far northwest sections.
Stuckart did well on the South Hill where ever Hession didn't, basically below 29th around Manito Park and east of Rockwood Boulevard. He did OK in some parts of northwest Spokane, but not so well in the northeast.
Corker did better north of Interstate 90, both in his Northwest Spokane Council District 3, and in much of the the northeast, but poorly in much of south Spokane. The problem for Corker, as candidates discover in most Spokane city races, is that doing well in the northeast district doesn't usually help you as much — voter registration and turnout are lower there than other parts of Spokane, so you wind up running behind in a citywide race.
(click on map to enlarge)
Dennis Hession is currently first in the Spokane City Primary for council president. This map shows the percentage of the votes he got in each city precinct.
No matter which two candidates emerge from Tuesday's primary for City Council president, it looks like they'll have a lot of fund-raising work left to do, according to the latest filings with the state Public Disclosure Commission.
Ben Stuckart and Steve Corker have nearly tapped their campaign chests, and while Dennis Hession had about $6,000 left (at least according to information available this morning), that's not much for a city-wide general election.
Former Spokane Mayor Dennis Hession on Thursday filed to run for Spokane City Council president.
His decision is the big surprise so far this week among candidates entering Spokane races.
Hession was City Council president in 2005 when Mayor Jim West was recalled from office. Hession was elevated to mayor and served in that spot until defeated by Mary Verner in 2007.
Hession has endorsed David Condon in this year's race for mayor.
Spokane County Court Commissioner James Triplet had to keep the secret all of Sunday night: He’d been chosen by Gov. Chris Gregoire to replace Neal Rielly as Superior Court Judge.
“She swore me to secrecy until she could make the announcement today,” Triplet said of the governor. “It’s both an honor and a privilege to get this appointment.”
Gregoire picked Triplet over fellow finalists Mark Vovos, a prominent defense attorney, and former Spokane Mayor Dennis Hession.
“There was some stiff competition out there,” Triplet said. “I’ve been a fulltime court commissioner since 2004 so I feel I’m prepared for the next step in my career.”
Gregoire said in a news release that Triplet will continue to bring innovation to the court.
“As commissioner, he continually worked to provide understanding and accessibility to the general public regarding our court system,” Gregoire said in the release. “His passion and background will make him a strong addition to the Superior Court.”
Triplet — who earned his law degree in 1988 from Gonzaga University School of Law — said he’s currently working to transfer to another commissioner the cases involving 150 children in dependency and 300 family-law cases.
Earlier this year, the Washington State Bar Association named him Family Law Section Professional of the Year in recognition of his contributions to establishing a unified family court model.
Triplet said he worked for years under Rielly, who retired on Aug. 29.
“I have big shoes to try to fill,” Triplet said of Rielly. “But I think he got the better end of the deal. He’s retiring and gardening and playing golf. I have a lot of things I have to transition out of and into. That’s what I’m stressing about today.”
Vovos could not be reached late Monday for comment. Hession said he was disappointed but honored to have been considered a finalist.
“Jim Triplet is just a very good judicial officer,” Hession said. “He’s well respected and he will be an excellent Superior Court Judge.”
For most, the changing of the seasons is identified more by traditional events than changing weather patterns or months and numbers on a calendar. Which if you’ve lived in Spokane over the last two years you can attest to - snow in June last year, 90-degree weather in May this year. So for most younger folks out there who have gone through their prom and graduations in the last few weeks, summer has begun. And the same holds true with DTE as we attended our prom over the weekend - and what a prom it was! So now begins our summer season, a summer that will likely prove significant in Spokane’s political future, and without doubt will give us something to talk about each week. So while a lot of your attention might have been turned to foreign affairs this week, here are a few stories you might have missed.
We’ve signed climate change petitions, but that doesn’t make us scientists. Former Spokane mayor Dennis Hession announced last week that he has applied to be the top administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 10, which covers Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Alaska. And what is Hession hanging his hat on in terms of his environmental record - but his signing of the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. This would only be better if he talked about his “work” at the Spokane River Cleanup Event in 2007. Read more on Hession HERE.
Whoops, they did it again. Well not yet anyways, but Energy Northwest is shopping around the idea to build a nuclear plant in the Pacific Northwest. According to the AP, “in a May 27 letter obtained by The Associated Press, the consortium asked each of its 25 member public utilities and municipalities to pitch in $25,000 for further research into building one or more small reactors.” Energy Northwest, which used to be called the Washington Public Power Supply System, or WPPSS, is probably most well known for ambitiously proposing five nuclear plants in the early 80’s (and just building one), and spawning what was then the largest municipal bond default in U.S. history. Thus forcing them to change their name from WPPSS when people started calling them “whoops”. DTE’s stance is that nuclear isn’t the answer, regardless if it’s carbon-free. Read more about this story HERE.
Here’s a little more on energy. Governor Chris Gregoire, along with the governors of Montana, Oregon, and Idaho have signed a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Energy supporting funding for the Bonneville Power Administration to study technologies for integrating wind and other renewable energy into the Northwest power grid. Here’s Governor Gregoire’s comments, “The Northwest states have made huge progress in developing renewable power. We need to continue to build on that momentum. With funding from the Department of Energy, we should be able to prepare the ground work to get even more renewable power into the grid and make it usable for families and businesses. I look forward to working with Bonneville and our neighboring states to grow our renewable power industry and better serve our communities.” Read more about this HERE.
Dennis Hession has applied to be the top
administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 10, which covers
On a separate appointment to be made by Obama, Judy Olson, a
former National Association of Wheatgrowers president and longtime
This one’s of interest mainly to readers in Spokane. From tomorrow’s paper:
OLYMPIA _ A controversial proposal to merge the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture with its Western Washington counterpart appears to be dead.
One of the state’s most powerful lawmakers said Thursday that the Senate will not be approving the plan, which was proposed in December as a cost-cutting move by Gov. Chris Gregoire.
“The bill is on my desk. It’s not going to be introduced in the Senate,” said Sen. Lisa Brown, D-Spokane.
So it’s dead on arrival, a reporter asked.
“It is,” responded Brown.
The bad news: torpedoing the merger won’t necessarily shield the museum and its operations from state budget cuts. Gov. Chris Gregoire in December proposed cutting the MAC budget by $524,000 over the next two years, which is about a 13 percent cut. And the state’s budget picture is now believed to be much bleaker.
Stopping the merger, however, would keep the MAC as a distinct organization, separate from the Tacoma-based Washington State Historical Society.
Brown’s comments came on the same day that MAC officials were in Olympia, urging skeptical House lawmakers not to allow the merger or deep budget cuts.
“Simply saying that it’s going to be hard or that it would be impossible is falling on our deaf ears,” state Rep. Jeannie Darneille, D-Tacoma, warned CEO Dennis Hession and development officer Lorna Walsh Thursday. “…We’re looking at just the most dire of budget circumstances.”
When Gregoire called for the $524,000 cut, state budget writers thought they faced a shortfall of