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Opinion >  Column

Doug Clark: Time for a do-over on 2015 mayoral election

So a recent independent investigator has validated what I spent half of last year harping to all of you about.

And that is that the ouster of Frank Straub, Condon’s previously handpicked BFF police chief, stunk like 3-day-old roadkill.

Turns out that Spokane Mayor David Condon and several of his cronies clamped the lid on damaging dirt about Straub’s transfer until after last November’s election, when hizzoner could become the city’s first two-term mayor since the Flour Mill actually milled flour.

That was the verdict rendered in the first version of the independent investigator’s report, anyway.

A Nixonian cover-up – I knew it!

And then, like after you draft that venomous letter to the boss, feet got cold. Rewrite time.

The report’s second version surgically removed the names of Condon and the mayor’s chief spokesguy, Brian Coddington.

Snip. Snip.

Still needing someone to blame, I suppose, investigator Kris Cappel and some city officials put their minds together and decided that City Administrator Theresa Sanders and former City Attorney Nancy Isserlis would be the official fall gals.

Yeah, that’s the ticket.

But let’s get real. I know Mayor Condon well enough to know how hands-on he is.

And by hands-on I mean that if Condon were competing in the MasterChef Kitchen, he’d be constantly tasting and stirring and fussing around with everybody’s pots and puddings and driving the other chefs plum crazy.

The point is that nothing goes on in the Condon administration without Mayor Condon’s paw prints all over it.

And especially, in my opinion, if it has anything to do with old sourpuss Straub.

Condon, after all, rammed Straub down our civic gullets despite the sheriff and other smart people pointing out how much rancor and ruin Straub created when he was public safety director back in Indianapolis.

The mayor also knew full well that any crap the chief caused here would splash directly back onto him.

And then Straub imploded – and in an election year, of all things. That must’ve driven the re-elect Condon machine to paranoia.

Straub’s flaws are well-documented and I don’t have the will to go into all of them again. But as the report revealed, the chief ruled the SPD with all the warmth of a mini-Mussolini.

For the record, Condon has convincingly denied being part of any cover-ups, Straub-related or otherwise.

Move it along, folks, nothing to see here.

On the other hand, you show me a politician who isn’t adept at uttering denials, and I’ll show you a politician who’s out of office.

So the questions remain: What did Condon know and when did he know it?

The sides will line up. Fingers will point. The truth will be a matter of partisan debate.

Which is why there’s only one way to solve this City Hall kerfuffle fairly, and that’s by … Mayoral Election Do-Over.

I know. It sounds a bit radical, but trust me on this.

Cover-up or no cover-up, Condon’s victory last November wasn’t a fair test of Spokane’s “Curse of the One-Term Mayor.”

Incumbent Condon was running against Shar Lichty, for crying out loud. With all due respect, this woman couldn’t scare a hamster if she were armed with a flame-thrower.

All we have to do is turn back the clock and redo the mayor’s race just like it never happened.

I hear there’s another election going down next November, so adding another race to the ballot shouldn’t be a problem.

Instead of Lichty, Republican-oriented Condon can square off this time against his left-wing nemesis, City Council President Ben Stuckart.

Now that’s a matchup.

Stuckart is still kicking his massive ego silly for not having the fortitude to run against Condon in 2015. He’s already announced his intent to run in at least the next 12 mayoral elections, so why not get this thing over with now?

Start the campaigns. I’ll call the elections office and file the requisite “Mayoral Do-Over” forms.

Will voters ignore the reports and re-elect Condon over an actual tough and tenacious foe?

Will voters buy into the cover-up scenario and kick Condon to the curb?

Or will we all join hands and sing “Kumbaya My Lord” while we finish with the immortal words of Hillary Clinton, who once said …

“What difference, at this point, does it make?”

Doug Clark can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or

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