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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spin Control Jim Camden


Ballots are in the mail

Ballots for the Aug. 16 primary are in the mail, and should be showing up in the boxes of registered voters this week. Spokane County officials said they were sending out some 200,000 to voters around the county. But not every voter will get a…

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That's Ambassador Locke...

Gary Locke officially trades his commerce secretary hat for one that says "U.S. ambassador to China". The Senate unanimously confirmed his appointment to the post in Beijing. Here's the story on the main webpage.

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TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2011

Dear Congressperson... 

President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner both suggested contacting Congress in speeches Monday. That's fine. Contacting your congressperson is a right guaranteed under the First Amendment freedom to petition the government for redress of grievances. But exercising that right now may prove difficult.…

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Fighting over signature fraud

OLYMPIA -- Last week's allegations of signature fraud on petitions for Initiative 1163 have sparked a little back and forth between the intiative campaigns. For those not in rapt attention, the folks hired to pay for signatures for I-1163, which would reinstitute training and background…

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MONDAY, JULY 25, 2011

Lawsuit challenges supermajority for taxes

OLYMPIA – A coalition of House Democrats and education advocates are asking the courts to void the supermajority required for tax increases, arguing that it’s an unconstitutional limit on legislative authority. State Republicans and the sponsor of initiatives that have repeatedly resulted in voters imposing…

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FRIDAY, JULY 15, 2011


JLARC says close a few tax breaks

OLYMPIA – A special panel is recommending the Legislature end three tax breaks and review eight others the state offers to various businesses or consumer groups. The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee suggests the state could bring nearly $44 million if it allows tax…

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Going viral with doggie doo 

OLYMPIA – Pollution in the Puget Sound is such a problem that a group trying to protect the ecosystem spent $27,000 in state money to make a catchy video, complete with dance steps, telling people how they can do something about it. Pick up dog…

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TUESDAY, JULY 12, 2011

WA Gov race: $1 mill in 1 month

OLYMPIA -- Washington's nascent gubernatorial race between Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna and Democratic Congressman Jay Inslee pulled in more than $1 million in its first official month. Both Inslee and McKenna formally announced their campaigns and started collecting campaign money in June. Candidates must…

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MONDAY, JULY 11, 2011

McMorris Rodgers got to answer Obama 

The president gives a regular radio address on the weekend. In the interests of fairness, Republicans get a few minutes of "equal time" to rebut, refute or otherwise try to counter what he has to say. While the president's address is rarely big news, the…

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FRIDAY, JULY 8, 2011

OLYMPIA -- Initiative 1125 sponsors Tim Eyman and Mike Fagan hold a press conference Friday while Secretary of State Office election workers begin counting their petitions. (Jim Camden)

Road taxes initiative turns in 327,000 names

Initiative sponsors Tim Eyman (right) and Mike Fagan hold a press conference Friday while elections workers begin counting their petitions. OLYMPIA -- Supporters of an initiative to limit the use of road taxes and tolls dropped off their petitions Friday morning with a comfortable cushion…

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OLYMPIA -- Employees at the Washington Secretary of State's office handle boxes of petitions submitted by the sponsors of I-1183, which would privatize liquor sales. (Jim Camden)

Booze initiative turns in 354,000 signatures

Employees at the Secretary of State's Elections Division handle boxes of petitions submitted for I-1183. OLYMPIA -- Sponsors of Initiative 1183, a proposal to get the state out of the liquor business, may have achieved a modern-day record by collecting some 354,000 in just three…

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Egg-laying initiative won't turn in signatures

OLYMPIA -- Sponsors of an initiative that would have allowed voters to order larger cages and other changes for hens on egg-laying farms say they will not turn in signatures Friday. Washingtonians for Humane Farms say they are suspending their campaign for Initiative 1130 because…

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Tweeters ask Obama about jobs, taxes, economy

President Barack Obama answered questions about jobs, the economy, taxes, welfare and space programs in the first Twitter Town Hall meeting. But nothing about marijuana, which was among the most "retweeted" topics before the session started. The session allowed people around the country to send…

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Tweets to prez: How about legal pot?

President Obama is holding the first Twitter Town Hall today. Whatever you may think about the confluence of social media and democracy, there may be some signs that there are shortcomings. For example, what do you think the most frequently aske question is? Hey, Mr.…

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Sonntag not running for governor

State Auditor Brian Sonntag will not be entering next year's gubernatorial race. The Associated Press is reporting that he said in an e-mail Monday night that he decide his current position is the place where he can best contribute. Democrat Sonntag was first elected state…

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MONDAY, JULY 4, 2011

Go Fourth, and take the quiz

If you have time to kill while waiting for the parade, the barbecue or the fireworks to start, take our Fourth of July Quiz by clicking here. It's a prototype for our weekly news quiz, which starts next Sunday. And you could qualify for a…

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SUNDAY, JULY 3, 2011

FRIDAY, JULY 1, 2011

Corrections chief Eldon Vail quits

OLYMPIA -- Secretary of Corrections Eldon Vail quit this afternoon citing "personal reasons." Gov. Chris Gregoire who reportedly learned about his decision just today, quickly named a temporary replacement. A brief statement from the Department of Corrections said his resignation was "effective immediately" but didn't…

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No need to sing Auld Lang Syne

Happy new fiscal year, Washingtonians. Forget about making resolutions, but remember to get a new tab for your boat, or a Discover Pass if you plan to be spending time in state parks. If you’re a state employee, your paycheck gets smaller starting today. Some…

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Get while the getting is good

OLYMPIA -- Gov. Chris Gregoire is ending her term as president of the National Governor's Assocation and starting her term as chairman of the Western Governors Association. That sounds a bit backwards, going from the national to the regional, but remember that Gregoire was picked…

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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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