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100 years ago in Spokane: County prosecutor candidate names Spokane businessman in Prohibition bribe scheme

Harry L. Cohn named one prominent Spokane businessman among those who were attempting to bribe him to turn a blind eye to liquor sales during the Prohibition era on this day 100 years ago.  (S-R archives)
Harry L. Cohn named one prominent Spokane businessman among those who were attempting to bribe him to turn a blind eye to liquor sales during the Prohibition era on this day 100 years ago. (S-R archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

Harry L. Cohn, candidate for county prosecutor, made good on his promise to name the men who tried to bribe him to go easy on bootleggers and liquor violators.

He said Harry Phillips, prominent Spokane businessman, told him he would fund his campaign if Cohn went easy on the Spokane Country Club’s “19th hole.”

When Cohn rejected that offer, he said Phillips replied, “Since you are so sanctimonious, you can get rid of all responsibility by letting me name your chief deputy.”

The chief deputy handles all criminal cases. Cohn said he rejected that offer, too.

Cohn also named several other men representing the “Wet interests” who also asked him to go easy on liquor violations.

These revelations stirred up even more intrigue in an already sensational prosecutor’s race. Cohn claimed these men were now supporting one of his rivals in the race, A.G. Gray.

Gray angrily denied Cohn’s claims, saying “there wasn’t a word of truth” in it.

From the radio beat: The Spokane Daily Chronicle wanted everybody in the Inland Northwest to “understand what radio is.” For that reason, the paper installed six “receiving stations” (radios) at the interstate fair for public use.

The Chronicle had a particular interest in teaching the public about the wonders of radio. It had started its own radio station, KOE, earlier in the year, and it sponsored programs on another early Spokane station, KFZ.

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