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Sunday, August 18, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  WA Government

Spin Control: Campaign season is about to start, officially

Jim Camden
Jim Camden

OLYMPIA – Although it seems like more than 100 Democrats have been campaigning for months for the 2020 election, campaign season officially begins Monday in Washington.

For the 2019 elections.

While the presidential campaign may take up the attention of most political pundits – we have attention spans of mayflies most of the time – 2019 is important for residents of Spokane and other cities in Washington, who will elect council members and, in some cases, mayors.

It’s also important for school districts – the state has 295 of them, so chances are you’re in one – which elect boards, as well as fire, water, sewer and cemetery districts in unincorporated areas. Go ahead, make a joke about people just dying to be elected to the cemetery board. We’ll wait.

Anyway, filing week opens Monday morning, at your friendly local county elections office, and closes at the end of business Friday.

While we don’t encourage candidates to wait until Friday afternoon to file – it’s a pain in the neck for anyone trying to compile the full list of candidates for dozens of offices when that person would much rather be sipping a beer in the sunshine – we know some people will. If you do, be sure to check for closing time of the elections office in your particular county. Because of shortened hours brought on by budget constraints, they don’t all lock up at the same time.

Although most offices on the 2019 ballot are nonpartisan, the Washington Democratic Party sent out a mass email last week urging recipients “__(fill in the first name) __, you should run for office.” It was a large enough delivery list that some Democrats who are already in office got the missive, as did some reporters.

To which, we here at Spin Control have to say, “Thanks, but no thanks.” We’ll stick with trying to keep folks honest from the sidelines.

Just making a point, honey

The Legislature tends to pass hundreds of bills in the final days of the session, which have to be signed within 20 days of their arrival on the governor’s desk. That means that for about three weeks after the session ends, Gov. Jay Inslee signs a boatload of bills almost every day when he’s around.

It’s a constant stream of people filing in to watch him put pen to paper and add his signature to the proper line, then smiling for the camera to record the event for posterity. Sometimes the process gets interrupted, like last Tuesday, when one of the bills involved a change in liability for beekeepers in urban areas.

That prompted Inslee to mention that his wife, Trudi, got a second-place ribbon two years ago at the state fair for the honey raised in the hives on the lawn of the Governor’s Mansion. The hives were installed a couple of years ago, along with signs on the nearby sidewalk that alert pedestrians there are bees at work.

“First place,” said Trudi Inslee, who was attending bill signings as she usually does. They bantered back and forth for a few seconds over the placement, then slipped into his nearby office to emerge with the actual ribbon, that was framed and on display.

It was a red, second-place ribbon. “Still something to be proud of,” Inslee said.

“Never doubt Jay,” Trudi Inslee said. “Never doubt the governor,” he agreed, as they shook hands good-naturedly over the display.

This brings up an interesting question for the Inslee presidential campaign: Should voters support someone who is brave enough to contradict his wife and prove that he’s right on television? Or be wary of someone foolish enough to do so?

Forewarned is …

With the Legislature gone, there’s more time to wade through the hundreds of emails arriving every day and not automatically delete anything that isn’t clearly about legislation, government action or politics.

This can turn up some interesting but clearly misdirected emails like the one that started “With the recent news of shark attacks in Florida, Hawaii and now France, it is so important to inform The Spokesman-Review audience about the dangers and what can be done to protect yourself in the ocean.”

It was tempting to send Jessica of the Chic Blvd marketing firm a map that would show how far Spokane is from the ocean. But some readers might be spending vacation in a tropical locale. If you are, and have seen enough “Jaws” and “Sharknado” movies to be worried about getting into the water, you can Google “shark deterrent devices.” They can send out an electromagnetic field that will convince the shark to swim away from you.

Possibly to eat someone else nearby who isn’t wearing one.

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