Todd Mielke Website

Todd Mielke is runing for re-election for Spokane County Commission, and his past may be catching up with him. The site details his history as an aid for Jim West, as a tobacco lobbyst, and as a politician. In 1995 Republican Todd Mielke resigned from the Washington State Legislature to become a high paid lobbyist for big pharmacuetical companies and the tobacco industry. A few years  later the Republican ran for the Spokane County Commission. Read the rest of this entry

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The Incredible, Pedal-able, Spokane Party Trolley

You may have seen the Spokane Party Trolley downtown and  wondered just what the heck it was. It is a human-pedal-powered mobile that holds up to eight cyclists and seven more passengers. It is available for rental from Nina.

Nina let me ride on a couple different tours last week. The first group was a birthday party and the second was a bachelorette party. We started at the Saranac Building and made a loop downtown stopping at a few different bars. It was a complete blast. I have never seen people have so much fun. Read the rest of this entry

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Candidate Amy Biviano for the 4th LD in Spokane County has built a growing list of Republican endorsements because of her even  temperment, business experience, and her ability to work accross party lines. The 4th Legislative District includes Spokane Valley and has historically been very conservative.  Challenger Amy Biviano may have a chance at beating Matt Shea. Read the rest of this entry

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Nancy McLaughlin Wins: The Biggest Union Basher!

Nancy, you won.  However, it really was not a contest. You did not have to prove to everyone in Spokane that you are the biggest union basher on the Spokane City Council.

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(Letter-to-the-Editor  from Bart Haggin) Mayor Condon seems to want to want to appeal to his base by picking Frank Straub for “Police Chief” but that could make his re-election less than iffy.

David Condon’s ideology and his past political experience might tempt him to pick a promoter of the privatization of public services but this guy would be a bad choice. Read the rest of this entry

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Democrat Rich Cowan for Congress on Primary Night 2012

Democratic Rich Cowan was happy on Tuesday night.  He held Republican incumbent Cathy McMorris-Rodgers in the 5th Congressional Race to 55% of the primary vote.  That was 7% lower for her than in 2010 when she got 62%.  All the money she spent did not appear to help her very much.  It may have even hurt her.  If people don’t like what you stand for and don’t like your style of partisan politics, more TV commercials will not result in more votes.

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Democrat Marcus Riccelli attributes his primary 3rd LD victory for the State House to his message, volunteers, and strategic campaigning.

With most of the votes count, Marcus Riccelli essentially cinched his first campaign victory as a candidate. He held his celebration party at the historic Toad Hall this last Tuesday in the West Central neighborhood of Spokane.

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Nancy McLaughlin, Spokane is Laughing

Nancy McLaughlin candidate for the Washington State Legislature was caught faking the support of the well-liked Ben Stuckart.  Stuckart was a bit angry, and he wants to make it loud and clear that he does NOT support Republican Nancy McLaughlin in her bid for a 3rd Legislative District Washington State Senate seat against Democrat Andy Billig.

Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart said Thursday that he didn’t give City Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin permission to use a picture of him on a campaign mailer for state Senate. Read the rest of this entry

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Janitors Rally to Rebuild the Middle Class (Update)

Spokane Area Office Cleaners Organize for Good Jobs & Strong Communities:  The Janitors and window washers who clean, and maintain office buildings in the Spokane area gathered in Downtown Spokane on Saturday, July 21, to march and rally in support of their statewide contract campaign for “Good Jobs and Strong Communities.” Spokane janitor’s remain some of the  lowest paid in the state.  After a short rally, the cleaning professionals from SEIU Local 6 marched from downtown office building to downtown office building that they cleaned and help maintain.  Spokane City Council Member, and candidate for the 3rd Legislative District, Jon Snyder attended to show his support.  Read the rest of this entry

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Walmart is Detroying Us

(Posted for Keith Milligan) In 1976, I was working at a small family owned hardware store in Covington, LA. It was enough to  support me and my new family until Wal-Mart came to town. My hrs. were cut in half which caused considerable financial hardship on me as the sole provider, at the time, of our young family. Needless to say, I don’t shop at Wal-Mart, with such a negative impact on my personal finances caused by their arrival into my hometown at the time.

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I have been hearing for years that the 3rd Legislative District in Spokane is the poorest in the State of Washington.  However, no one has ever offered me a source for that claim.  I finally got around to checking into it.  It is true enough.  Also, the 3rd LD is one of the most Democratic in the State but with one of the lowest voter registration and voter turnout rates.

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Rob McKenna won the first debate? I don’t think so

Rob McKenna has been making his rounds with the outlandish claim that he won the first debate with candidate Jay Inslee for Governor of Washington.  The debate occurred in Spokane two weeks ago.  Maybe McKenna thought  it was a contest to be the most annoying, or the most elitist, or perhaps who could bash middle-class American’s the hardest.

To quote one audience member who was at the Jay Inslee vs. Rob McKenna debate, Rob McKenna was apparently “blaming homeowners for the financial crisis.”

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Labor Dispute: Shame on Columbia Bank

Everyone deserves the opportunity to earn a decent wage and to have access to affordable health care.  Fork it out Columbia Bank. Thanks to the Pacific NW Regional Council of Carpenters for standing up.

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NeuroPolitician has some things to say about the Jay Inslee and Rob McKenna gubernatorial debate in Spokane last week.  He did not like it much.  I have to agree.  Political debates usually put me to sleep.

Candidates rarely say anything interesting.  Candidates know that debates rarely influence the outcome of races, except when one of them screws up big time.  Therefore, in this era of gotcha politics, candidates are incredibly cautious in debates.  Typically, one or both sides insist on no cross questioning, no outside cameras, and no questions from the audience.  Consequently, political debates usually end of being exactly as NeuroPolitician describes below. You can read his entire post that was prompted by the Jay Inslee and Rob McKenna gubernatorial debate on his blog.

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Candidate for Governor, Jay Inslee, recently spoke to community leaders in Spokane.  Jay Inslee placed an emphasis on job creation and matching our educational system to the needs of the work force in Washington State.  As a U.S. Congressman, Jay helped create millions of jobs  accross the country through his vote for the Stimulus Bill.   An example right here in Spokane County, is the Demand Energy Project in Liberty Lake.

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Rep. Andy Billig had kick-off event for his campaign to the State Senate last Wednesday. Here is a verbatim transcript.

Andy Billig Announces Run for the Washington State Senate

Justice, equality, safety, responsibility, and prosperity . . . those are the things we cherish. My goal in being a Representative is to take those values and put them into action, and you all helped me do that over the last two years. With your help, I was able to go to Olympia and fight for those values and put them into action.

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While Bank of America’s CEO and shareholders meet in Charlotte, NC, tomorrow, the 99% is took to the streets across the nation to protest BofA. As the economy declined, BofA made millions in profits by dodging taxes and foreclosing on homes, which hit communities of color especially hard.

Bad publicity is like kryptonite to big corporations—that’s why thousands of people are protesting, marching, and raising our voices in solidarity to draw the media’s attention to BofA’s shameless practices. Nearly 200 communities are standing up to Bank of America this week, and there’s one near you.   More rallies are coming (Much of this text came from an email by Cynthia Hamilton, May 8, 2012).

(Update: Some friendly mention of the 99% movement‘s opposition to big corporations appears at HorsesAss.org.  Goldy and his colleges are all around muckrakers of the muckiest and proponents of good.)

 

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While this may seem like a sudden decision to many, it was probably planned for a month or more by Senator Lisa Brown and her close supporters. Because she is the Senate Majority Leader and Democrats control the Senate by a narrow margin, her decision not to seek re-election does have consequence.  However, Rep. Andy Billig, a Democrat, has declared that he is running for the open Senate seat in the 3rd Legislative District, and he should be a strong candidate.

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Rich Cowan gained my respect.

Okay.  He already had my respect.    Rich Cowan is an accomplished professional who has brought hundreds of jobs to Spokane through his business North by North West.  Of course I admire that.

This last week he gained my respect in a more significant way.  I now know a bit more about the “stuff from which he is made.”

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Denny Dellwo announces run for the Legislature

This is great news for anyone that holds a fondness for the working class, tolerance of one’s neighbors, restoring the state budget, and the general idea of sanity.  Democrat Denny Dellwo is challenging incumbent John Ahern for the 3rd Legislative District Seat in Spokane.

Denny should be a very strong candidate, and the eccentric Ahern appears vulnerable.  Dellwo was elect to the  Washington State House of Representatives years ago, but then chose not to seek re-election. He instead wanted to go back to the private sector. Now he is eager to return to public service.

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Ben Stuckart off to a great start

Spokane Council President Ben Stuckart has hit the ground running to address the issues on which he campaigned.  Police reform is on the top of his agenda.

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New Spokane County Jail Will Not Be on the 2012 Ballot

It came as no surprise, but it is now official.  The County of Spokane will not be placing a construction bond on the 2012 ballot to finance their proposed new Spokane County Jail.

New Spokane County Jail

Back in 2011, the Spokane County Commission and the Sheriff’s Department were planning to place their construction bond on that years’ ballot. However, they retreated from that election year as well. There was and still is a growing public reluctance to spend tax dollars on massive new public works projects like a new Spokane County Jail when alternatives have not been fully explored.

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You know . . . sometimes you meet another person and realize you have met a great human being.  While speaking in Spokane oationn the need for police reform, retired Seattle Police Chief, Norm Stamper, gave me that much respect.  It was not because of his accomplishments, knowledge, or oratory skills.  While significant, these are not the source of his exceptionalism.

It is his humility and courage behind it.  Norm Stamper has the self-honesty to share his own mistakes and lessons learned, and do so in a way that compels others to examine their own life and strive for self improvement.  In the movement for police reform, Norm Stamper is a leader in the best possible way . . . by example.

In the video to the right, Chief Stamper discusses the time he falsely arrested a citizen out of power lust, and how having to confront what he did changed him into the reformer he is.

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Occupying St. Paddy’s Day in Spokane

St. Paddy’s Day has been celebrated in different ways by different people.  Sometimes, it has been used as a day of protest in the Irish tradition of fighting the establishment as this video documents.  Of course, the most common tributes to Irish culture have usually been parades, bagpipes, and partying.  It was also occupied by Occupy Spokane.

For 1,000 years, St. Paddy’s Day was a religious day of observance of Saint Patrick and celebrated with Irish bacon and cabbage.  It became more secularized when Irish Immigrants formed the Charitable Irish Society of Boston and held the first St. Patrick’s Day parade on March 17th, 1737 to draw attention to their plight.

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Our new WordPress blogging platform

Hi Friends,

After a bit of a hiatus, Spokane Watch is back.  If the site looks different, it is because I recently moved it to WordPress.   I transfered  as many of the posts and pages as I could could from Soapblox to our new WordPress blogging platform .  –Bryan E. Burke, Administrator

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