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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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The Zags, Frank Straub, David Condon – Clarnak the Magnanimous dishes on all of them

Scandals and accusations. Lawsuits and demands. Heartburn and angst …

The closing days of David Condon’s first term as mayor of Spokane are the gift that keeps on giving.

For a smart aleck columnist, anyway.

One can only imagine what civic turmoil Disaster Dave’s historic second term will bring.

Hmmm …

Fortunately, we don’t have to imagine. Here to give us the straight skinny on what municipal mayhem lies ahead is that premier prognosticator, the Svengali of swamis:

Clarnak the Magnanimous.

Sit back and prepare to be amazed as Clarnak peers into the vast unknown to solve the riddles of our Unhinged Empire.

So let the soothsaying begin.

RIDDLE 1 – Unicorns, elves and fairies.

CLARNAK – Name three myths with more credibility these days than Mayor Condon.

RIDDLE 2 – The Force Awakens.

CLARNAK – New Star Wars flick or life at the Spokane Police Department after the ouster of Chief Vader, I mean Frank Straub.

RIDDLE 3 – Complaints Department!

CLARNAK – How receptionists now answer the phone at Spokane Parks.

RIDDLE 4 – “I’m deeply sorry you’re all too obtuse to understand the intricacies of what’s been going on.”

CLARNAK – Paraphrasing the mayor’s recent nonapology to the Spokane community.

RIDDLE 5 – Riverfront gondola ride operator.

CLARNAK – The Last city parks employee who appears content with his job.

RIDDLE 6 – The Mafia. The Hells Angels. The Spokane Police Guild.

CLARNAK – Organizations that are worth indicting under the RICO Act.

RIDDLE 7 – The Shark Tank.

CLARNAK – The lefty Spokane City Council as seen by its lone-conservative, Mike Fagan.

RIDDLE 8 – Willie Nelson’s tour bus.

CLARNAK – The only place smoking more weed than Spokane County.

RIDDLE 9 – Dropping the ball.

CLARNAK – The Zags new basketball strategy at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

RIDDLE 10 – Plug nickel.

CLARNAK – Current market value of the Condon Coin.

RIDDLE 11 – Three men and a baby.

CLARNAK – The only Spokane County residents who haven’t applied for a concealed carry permit.

RIDDLE 12 – Old faithful.

CLARNAK – What blows nearly as much steam as City Council President Ben Stuckart?

RIDDLE 13 – Declaration of Independence. Treaty of Versailles. Law erasing Spokane pot convictions.

CLARNAK – Documents lacking David Condon’s signature.

RIDDLE 14 – Doodles, dillydallying and biting the hand that feeds you.

CLARNAK – What Frank Straub does all day to earn his big fat paycheck.

RIDDLE 15 – “Where am I? What have I done?”

CLARNAK – Inner thoughts of Raheel Humayun, who has accepted an offer to be the Spokane police ombudsman.

RIDDLE 16 – “Help! Help! Get me outta here!”

CLARNAK – Inner thoughts of next Spokane police chief.

RIDDLE 17 – Dumping fee.

CLARNAK – $90 grand a year to transfer Monique Cotton from SPD to Spokane Parks.

RIDDLE 18 – When hell freezes over.

CLARNAK – Date CenturyLink figures to finally have phone and Internet service totally restored.

RIDDLE 19 – Delay. Deny. Deflect.

CLARNAK – “Keys to Re-election,” by the D. Condon administration.

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by email at

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