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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Mager fires back at French

County Commissioner Bonnie Mager said Friday that her election challenger, Al French, was hypocritical when he accused her of wanting to make tax increases easier. “I think somebody who actually authored a new tax is a little out of line to try to throw mud at me for just wanting the county to have what he already enjoyed in the city,” Mager said.

Mager, French debate raceway, waste

The “only candidate who has created jobs” will face the “only fiscal conservative” in a prerecorded county commission debate tonight at 7 on KSPS-TV. Spokane County Commissioner Bonnie Mager will cite her opposition to the purchase of the Spokane County Raceway as evidence of her ability to pinch a penny.

GOP platform proves vexing in Spokane County

Much of the county Republican Party’s platform reflects longtime GOP values: Limited government. Gun rights. Lower taxes. An end to abortion. But some of the platform’s 120 policy statements make more-surprising calls, for, among other things: An end to no-fault divorce. A return to the gold standard. Tax incentives for the shoe and textile industry. U.S. withdrawal from the United Nations and the World Trade Organization.

French hangs on for general election

A final vote count in last month’s primary election, to be certified today, didn’t turn around any races or trigger an automatic recount. Republican county commissioner candidate Al French retained a narrow lead Tuesday over Republican Jeff Holy and will advance to the Nov. 2 general election. French will face incumbent Democrat Bonnie Mager.

Mager runner-up vote count continues

The race for second place in last week’s primary for Spokane County Commissioner Bonnie Mager’s position remained too close to call Monday. Jeff Holy shaved five votes off Al French’s lead for runner-up when 4,544 more ballots were counted. They were separated by 153 votes, 4,887 to 4,734, but more ballots are to be counted today and Wednesday.

Election roundup: Murray, Rossi tie on the gloves

Sen. Patty Murray will face Dino Rossi in the November general election, continuing the fight for a U.S. Senate seat that started even before the Republican former legislator got into the race in May. With hundreds of thousands of ballots still to count, Murray was pulling down the most votes Tuesday night in the state’s top-two primary, and Rossi was a somewhat distant second, but far ahead of tea party favorite Clint Didier, a former NFL player turned Eltopia farmer. Bellingham businessman Paul Akers ran a distant fourth.

Salvatori lambastes French mailing

County commissioner candidate Steve Salvatori says a weekend “attack” mailing by rival Al French improperly put words in his mouth. “Steve says, ‘Zoom,’ ” according to the mailing, which facetiously shows Salvatori and fellow Republican candidate Jeff Holy standing on the track at the Spokane County Raceway in orange jumpsuits and racing helmets.

Spokane City Council mixed on proposed tab fees

Facing daunting shortfalls in revenue, the Spokane City Council will discuss tonight instituting a tax on vehicle license tabs. Councilman Bob Apple said he will bring a proposal forward for a $20 fee, which is the most the city can impose without going to voters for approval.

Editorial: Commission would benefit from French’s leadership

Democratic incumbent Bonnie Mager has drawn three strong Republican challengers in the primary contest for Spokane County commissioner. Party affiliation alone could grant her one of the two slots for the general election if her opponents divvy up GOP votes. But much of the job is nonpartisan, and the decision for voters ought to rest on who can be the most effective leader in highly challenging times. Mager is often at odds with the two other commissioners, Mark Richard and Todd Mielke. To her credit, she was a critic of the duo’s unfortunate deal to purchase Spokane Raceway Park, which the county ought to sell back into the private sector at the first opportune moment.

Spokane County commissioner race votes limited to district

Voters throughout Spokane County eventually will have the chance to vote for Spokane County commissioner. But only those who live in Commissioner Bonnie Mager’s district can vote in the Aug. 17 primary in that race.

Mager faces four GOP challengers

As the only Democrat and the only woman, Bonnie Mager stands out among the candidates for her Spokane County commissioner position. Standing apart could help her survive next month’s primary election if Republicans split their votes among Steve Salvatori, Al French, Jeff Holy and David Elton. But in Washington’s top-two primary system, being the only Democrat no longer guarantees a ticket to the Nov. 2 general election.

French backs off on letters

Candidate Al French says he was just trying to be helpful when he wrote letters to the editor for his supporters to sign and send. “I have several written and you can have your pick,” French told Robin Sparrow on Friday on his personal Facebook page. “I have others (supporters) that are submitting, too. Or you can write your own if you like.”

Mager faces 4 GOP challengers

As the only Democrat and the only woman, Bonnie Mager stands out among the candidates for her Spokane County commissioner position. Standing apart could help her survive next month’s primary election if Republicans split their votes among Steve Salvatori, Al French, Jeff Holy and David Elton. But in Washington’s top-two primary system, being the only Democrat no longer guarantees a ticket to the Nov. 2 general election.

French cleared on ethics

The Spokane Ethics Committee has cleared City Councilman Al French in accusations that he violated ethics rules when he supported maintaining bus bench advertising. French asked the committee in August to take up the case after he was criticized for leading an effort to maintain bus bench ads. Late last year, the committee received two complaints alleging that French’s successful effort to change city law to allow bench ads was aimed at helping a business client who is a part-owner in an advertising company.

Spokane City Council OKs 2010 budget

Spokane leaders last week climbed out of a $7 million budget hole and approved the city’s 2010 budget with no layoffs and no dramatic loss of city services. The approval allows officials to concentrate on a bigger financial challenge: a predicted deficit of more than $10 million in 2011.