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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spin Control

Fagan publishes false endorsement

Spokane City Council candidate Mike Fagan has listed a couple of surprising endorsements on his campaign website: Endorsements given to his opponents (one of which is false).

"It is our understanding that opponent L. Tolley was endorsed by the Unions, and opponent J. Waite was endorsed by Amber Waldref," his website says.

Waldref, a city councilwoman who beat Fagan to win her seat in 2009, confirmed Thursday that she hasn't endorsed John Waite or any of the other five candidates in the race for the open Northeast Spokane City Council seat and won't at least until after the primary.

Fagan said Friday that the information was "erroneously passed on to me by a trusted person." He said he would remove the information from his site. It was still posted as of 11:30 a.m.

(The statement about candidate Luke Tolley is accurate. He got the nod of the Spokane Regional Labor Council.)

Asked why he would advertise alleged endorsements that were given to opponents (especially one from a sitting council member who won in an landslide, taking 63 percent of the vote), Fagan noted that he listed the endorsement next to the endorsement he got from City Councilman Bob Apple.

The backing he got from Apple paired with an endorsement for another candidate from Waldref would help differentiate him as the conservative choice, he said.

Fagan said he believes he and Waite will advance to the general election.

We'll have to wait at least until Aug. 16 to find out if he's right.

Jonathan Brunt
Jonathan Brunt joined The Spokesman-Review in 2004. He is the government editor. He previously was a reporter who covered Spokane City Hall, Spokane County government and public safety.

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