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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spin Control

An end to summer silly season?

No matter what the weather people tell you, Monday is the end of summer. The kids are back in school and most adults have burned up their vacation.

That should mean the start of serious political campaigning and the end of the summer crazies, which this year included an Idaho gubernatorial candidate talking about hunting tags for President Barack Obama, a referendum campaign trying to keep its donors names’ secret, Mayor Mary Verner getting a tattoo on television …

OK, so her honor’s tattoo is the henna variety, which fades over time. But when one returns to Spokane from two weeks off, is paying only marginal attention to the evening newscast with the TV volume on mute, and sees a fleeting glimpse of the mayor’s leg being tatted up, one can’t help but wonder if something changed in one’s absence. Has Verner decided to quit her day job and hit the road as a rapper, or is this just another “dog days of summer” TV story?

More of the latter, it turns out. Verner got temporary body art on her ankle last week as a part of a fundraiser for Cancer Patient Care, city spokeswoman Marlene Feist said. She picked out a design that features a cancer ribbon wrapped around a sword, with the words “Still Fighting.”

For Verner, who has lost several family members to cancer, support of cancer research is very personal, Feist said.

That’s admirable, if unconventional. One can only imagine, however, what other local politicians might choose for body art if this kind of thing catches on. Spokane Valley council members might have “We (heart) Spokane Valley” tattooed on some expanse of flesh in celebration of the disincorporation forces announcing, yet again, that they can’t gather enough signatures to put their initiative on the ballot. Idaho gubernatorial hopeful Rex Rammell might have the president’s face with a target applied to his chest, giving him yet more opportunities to ask why people don’t get the joke. Perennial candidate Barbara Lampert could have “Vote for Me for ___,” and use henna to fill in the blank with the office she aspires to in any given year.

The possibilities could be endless, at least during the summer doldrums. But as Jim Morrison once said, summer’s almost gone.


The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.