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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spin Control

Sunday Spin 2: Sound Transit in hot water

To err is human, as Shakespeare observed, but for real problems you need a computer. This was proved twice last week. First, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife reported that someone had hacked the records of people who had purchased hunting and fishing licenses.

Also with computer woes is Sound Transit, the controversial agency that runs buses and commuter trains in the heart of Pugetopolis and is hoping for a $54 billion ballot measure this fall. The Seattle Times reported that the agency released email addresses it had collected for 173,000 holders of its ORCA passes to the campaign committee in favor of the ballot measure, Mass Transit Now.

Opponents of the ballot measure have asked the Public Disclosure Commission to look into the possible violation of the Public Records Act, which seems to require such information be redacted before those records can be released.

Sound Transit is now faced with two bad outcomes of such an investigation: If it was intentional, there could be legal penalties. If it was an inadvertent, some voters might wonder whether this agency should be trusted with an extra $54 billion.

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