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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spin Control: Before you forget 2015 politics, how much of it do you remember?

The year 2015 may not go down among the most memorable of political years in the history of the city, state and region. But it was not without its moments.

The city of Spokane broke a four-decade string of ousting mayors before they could serve a second term, but Mayor David Condon’s re-election victory glow soon faded under the black clouds of controversy billowing from the Police Department.

In Olympia, the Legislature seemed to enjoy being in session so much that lawmakers stayed for a record 176 days. In the other Washington, months of partisan wrangling wrapped up with some bipartisan legislation.

To find out how much you were paying attention, take our year-end quiz:

1. When Monique Cotton complained of harassment from police Chief Frank Straub, to what city department was she transferred?

a. Fire Department

b. Parks Department

c. Mayor’s office

d. Commerce Department

2. David Condon was the first Spokane mayor to be re-elected since:

a. Neal Fosseen

b. David Rodgers

c. Jim Chase

d. Vicki McNeill

3. True or False? Spokane’s inability to keep a mayor for more than one term was a result of the Gypsy Curse.

4. Speaking of long strings in office, next year all the state executive positions are up for office. Washington hasn’t elected a Republican as governor since

a. 1976

b. 1980

c. 1984

d. 1988

5. Troy Kelley took a six-month unpaid leave of absence, then came back to his office after state lawmakers prepared a resolution to impeach him for abandoning his office. What state office does he hold?

a. Treasurer

b. Lands Commissioner

c. Auditor

d. Insurance Commissioner

6. How big is the contempt of court fine the state Supreme Court levied when the Legislature failed to submit a plan on how to fix certain problems with the state’s public schools?

a. $10,000 a day

b. $100,000 a day

c. $100,000 a week

d. $1 million a month

7. A state representative apologized after incorrectly writing on his Facebook account that the news media did what?

a. Smoked marijuana before Jay Inslee’s state of the state address

b. Underestimated the size of a demonstration favoring gun rights

c. Went home early and missed inebriated senators on the floor in a late-night debate

d. Incorrectly listed him as a sponsor of an abortion-rights bill

8. Washington raised its gasoline tax in August, and will raise it again next July. Which of the following states has higher taxes and fees on gasoline than Washington?

a. California

b. Hawaii

c. New York

d. As of now, no state has a higher total of taxes and fees on gasoline than Washington.

9. In January, the Legislature banned what from the House and Senate visitors galleries?

a. Firearms

b. Marijuana

c. Lobbyists

d. Muslims

10. Gov. Jay Inslee did a bit of traveling in 2015. Which of the following countries did Inslee not visit on a trade or environmental mission?

a. China

b. Japan

c. South Korea

d. France

11. Eight years ago, Democrats had a 28-seat majority in the state House of Representatives. After the November election, how big is their majority in the House?

a. 1 seat

b. 2 seats

c. 3 seats

d. There’s no majority, the chamber is evenly split.

12. 2016 is a presidential election year. How will Washington award delegates for the presidential nominations?

a. Both parties will use a primary.

b. Both parties will use precinct caucuses.

c. Democrats will use a primary, Republicans will use precinct caucuses.

d. Republicans will use a primary, Democrats will use precinct caucuses.


1. b. Cotton was transferred to the Parks Department with a raise and the cover story that her expertise was needed for upcoming improvements to Riverfront Park.

2. b. Rodgers was the last mayor to be re-elected, in 1973. Fosseen was elected twice, but was Rodgers’ predecessor. Chase and McNeill didn’t seek re-election.

3. False. The string of one-term mayors predates the curse, which allegedly was cast by the Marx family after a 1986 police raid.

4. b. The last Republican elected governor was John Spellman in 1980.

5. c. Kelley, who faces federal criminal charges connected to the business he ran before his election, took an unpaid leave from the auditor’s job but returned this month as legislators were preparing an impeachment resolution.

6. b. The fine is $100,000 a day, although the money hasn’t been paid because the Legislature would have to appropriate the money and set up a special fund, and it hasn’t been in session since the fine was levied.

7. c. Rep. Matt Manweller accused Senate Democrats of being inebriated during an early morning budget debate near the end of the session. When a Facebook friend inquired why that wasn’t being reported, he said all reporters went home at 1 a.m. believing the budget deal had been struck. Reporters, who didn’t recall any inebriated legislators of either party, quickly produced reports they filed throughout the night and into the morning.

8. d. According to the American Petroleum industry, Washington is No. 1, all by itself, for gasoline taxes.

9. a. After legislators reported gun-rights activists displaying firearms in the gallery in January, the House and Senate updated rules and added guns to items not allowed in that area. Openly carried firearms are OK in the rest of the Capitol, though.

10. a. Inslee went to Japan and South Korea on a trade mission, and to France for the Paris climate summit.

11. b. After losing a seat in an interim election last month, Democrats will have only a two-seat majority in 2016.

12. d. Democrats will award presidential delegates through a process that starts with precinct caucuses in late March. Republicans will hold caucuses in early March, but they will award delegates to the candidates through the results of a special primary, currently scheduled for May.


0-4 right: You’re a normal person who doesn’t pay too much attention to politics.

5-8 right: You’ve got a vested interest in something politicians do.

9-12 right: You’re either in office, should run, or set yourself up with a blog.

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