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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spin Control

GOP comes to McLaughlin’s aid after campaign misstep

Nancy McLaughlin's campaign for state Senate greatly exaggerated her opponent's stance on income taxes.

So much so, that she apologized to Democrat Andy Billig for the falsehoods her campaign used in literature during the primary after a complaint was filed with the state's Public Disclosure Commission.

Even so, Republicans apparently aren't taking the issue off the table for the general election.

Earlier this month, the county Republican Party issued a press release attacking Billig for declining to rule out income taxes as part of some kind of tax reform.

It's not surprising that the issue has been raised again. After apologizing for the inaccuracies, McLaughlin expressed frustration because she said her campaign didn't need to use incorrect information for the income tax issue to attract voters. What is somewhat surprising is that it was the county party that highlighted the the issue, not McLaughlin's campaign.

Here are Billig's and McLaughlin's positions on income taxes as stated in their responses to a question in the Spokesman-Review's legislative candidate questionnaire:


Would you support the creation of an income tax to reduce or eliminate the business and occupation tax or cut other kinds of state taxes?

Billig: Washington’s current tax system is in need of reform. The current system is subject to volatile swings, relies too heavily on the regressive sales tax and a B&O tax that can be onerous for small businesses. I support a comprehensive overhaul that will make Washington’s tax system more stable and fair while providing adequate revenue to fund essential state services. As we work toward a smarter tax system we should not eliminate any of the possible solutions from consideration.

McLaughlin: Voters rejected the idea of a state income tax HEAVILY in 2010 (64.15 percent said “no” to I-1098). The promise of reducing other taxes in favor of an income tax does not give citizens assurance because once enacted, taxes tend to be raised, not reduced. (The state gas tax began at 1 cent per gallon and today it’s 37.5 cents per gallon; the first state sales tax was 2 percent and today it’s 6.5 percent.) We need to reduce taxes on small business and continue to reform Worker’s Compensation, Unemployment Insurance, etc. in order to get people back to work.

To read the full 15-topic quesstionnaire, click on the following links:



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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