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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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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.

Marr and Baumgartner: Raising taxes

Washington state Sen. Chris Marr, a Democrat, and Republican challenger Michael Baumgartner respond to the question, "Would you support raising taxes to balance the budget?"

Spokane swing district again among state’s spendiest

A Spokane legislative district tops the state for money raised by candidates, and is near the top for spending that money before the August primary. The 6th Legislative District – which curves around central Spokane’s core from the Whitworth area to the South Hill – is often a pricey political battleground. Its last three state Senate races have been the three most expensive in state history, with the 2006 contest between Democrat Chris Marr and Republican incumbent Brad Benson at the top of the list. Nearly $818,000 was spent in that race for a seat that pays just over $42,000 per year.

Links on Marr’s website not ethics violation

Sen. Chris Marr did not violate ethics rules by placing links to legislative sites on campaign-related Internet pages, a state board concluded. The Legislative Ethics Board dismissed this week a complaint against Marr by Spokane resident Don Jacobson, who raised questions about the 6th District Democrat’s campaign website and Facebook pages that contained embedded features and links to materials produced by the state.

Incumbents persevere, but challenges await

Thousands of votes are still to be counted from Tuesday’s primary, but along with most races, some lessons are clear. Lesson 1: It may be uncomfortable to be an incumbent this year, but it’s not fatal. Few incumbents were eliminated in the state’s top-two primary, but some clearly have their work ahead of them.

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.

Anti-Marr mailer draws fire

In Tuesday’s primary elections, voters can pick a candidate for the state senate in Eastern Washington’s most competitive legislative district, but both choices are assured of winning a spot in November’s final showdown. Even so, the race between Sen. Chris Marr and his GOP rival, Michael Baumgartner, in the 6th Legislative District has turned into one of the nastiest primaries in the region, with accusations of ignorance, mismanagement and carpetbagging dominating the debate.

They said it

Community leaders agree that the people who take over for Bill Robinson and Gary Livingston will have huge shoes to fill, because the men left their strong footprints throughout the Inland Northwest. Here’s what some of those leaders said:

Liquor limits expanded

OLYMPIA – Small distilleries will be able to produce more liquor under a new law that triples their maximum capacity to 60,000 gallons. The law, signed Thursday by Gov. Chris Gregoire, is a reflection of the fast growth of Spokane’s “craft” distillery, Dry Fly, which was the first such operation in Washington since Prohibition when it was set up in 2007.

Bill benefitting Dry Fly signed into law

Small distilleries will be able to produce more liquor under a new law that triples their maximum capacity to 60,000 gallons. The law, signed Thursday by Gov. Chris Gregoire, is a reflection of the fast growth of Spokane’s “craft” distillery, Dry Fly, which was the first such operation in Washington since Prohibition when it was set up in 2007.

Senate OKs sales, business tax hikes

OLYMPIA – The Senate passed increases in state sales and business taxes Friday afternoon, sending a slightly pared-down version of its original tax package to the House, which had rejected it earlier this month. Democrats in the House, as well as Gov. Chris Gregoire, remain opposed to a sales tax increase, but passing the budget in one chamber is a needed step in negotiations to fix a $2.8 billion budget shortfall and end the special session.

Washington Legislature’s special session begins

OLYMPIA – The Washington Legislature picked up Monday where it left off Thursday, trying to close an estimated $2.8 billion hole in the state’s operating budget. Legislative leaders said they were closer to agreeing on how much to cut and spend, and how much to raise in taxes, but didn’t release figures.