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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spin Control

Say what? Which Gospel is that in?

OLYMPIA -- Lawmakers and other denizens of the state capital are starting to flock here, and clearly some are up to rhetorical standards of the session. And some, not so much.

At a hearing of the Education Funding Task Force this week, the normally loquacious Tim Eyman, as one would expect, warned of any tax increases that would come from a change to the state's property tax levy system. For several years lawmakers have been kicking around a way to raise the state property tax rate and lower the local school district rate to send more state money to the schools. This so-called levy swap means that some property owners will pay more in taxes and some will be less, and the winners and losers usually depend on who's doing the kicking. Eyman was against any such swap.

"Biblically, that's called robbing Peter to pay Paul," Eyman told the task force.

Spin Control checked several versions of the Bible, from Douay and King James to New Revised Standard, but couldn't find that reference in any of them. Maybe Eyman has it in a special New Testament version of the Acts of the Apostles.

For several years, Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler has described himself as a "glass half full" sort of person. During the AP Legislative Preview, his Democratic counterpart, Minority Leader Sharon Nelson jabbed him a bit for overuse: "For the last three years I've heard that we have a glass half full. It's time to fill the glass."

President-elect Donald Trump was an easy target for his use of social media.

House Speaker Frank Chopp said it was difficult to come up with a contingency plan for the loss of Obamacare because it's unclear what Congress will do. "Part of the problem is not knowing what the federal government will do from minute to minute or tweet to tweet."

Asked about his concerns about the incoming Trump administration, Gov. Jay Inslee said he didn't really have time to list them all because he had to get sworn in next week. "I'll just mention one that's a concern. The president-elect is in a tweet war with our intelligence services that have reached a unanimous decision about Russian hacking."

Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981 and retired in 2021. He is currently the political and state government correspondent covering Washington state.

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