A Guide to Voters’ Guides for the Rational Voter
Do your homework, fill out your ballot, and turn it in this weekend!
In my opinion the best positive voting guide is the progressivevotersguide.org published by FUSE Washington. It provides reasoned recommendations for most of what might appear on your ballot anywhere in Spokane County (where I have studied it carefully) and beyond. Its limitation is that it doesn’t extend to recommendations for every small town and school board election, some of which, especially school boards, have highly contested and important races. Following my High Ground sign-off below I once again share the expanded recommendations of Petra Hoy.
NEGATIVE Voting Guides
There are three voting guides covering Spokane County that serve well to point out people for whom you probably do NOT want to cast a vote. All three might be useful for you to explore as you contemplate your choices.
ONE: The Spokane GOP endorsements (aka those of the Spokane County Republican Party) found here: https://www.spokanegop.com/ are a good NEGATIVE guide. Last December the SpokaneGOP took a hard right turn and promptly went itself off the rails. The endorsement committee of the SpokaneGOP is now led by Rob Linebarger, notable for his extremism cloaked in his particular conception of Christianity. Consider this quote from the endorsement webpage stating the SpokaneGOP’s Mission:
“to promote good government by Getting Republicans Elected at all levels, Support them, and Hold Them Accountable” once elected. The first step in this Mission is the process to either recruit, evaluate, and vett [sic] quality candidates who are challenging or running for an open seat or engage incumbents, evaluate their performance, and determine if further support is deserved.
Whoa! We support you and you will adhere to party ideology or we will replace you! That is a level of authoritarian-speak worthy of the Inquisition, not an American political party, especially one that elsewhere professes a “Big Tent” inclusiveness.
TWO: We Believe We Vote found here: https://webelievewevote.com/ . We Believe We Vote has a new director who has declared WBWV is a “ministry” (see “Notes” here), not a political PAC. As a result WBWV no longer reports to the Public Disclosure Commission, its donors are not named, and it insists that donors may claim an income tax deduction. Be sure to check out the “Core Beliefs and Position” under the “ABOUT” tab and click “VIEW SURVEY RESPONSES” for those candidates who filled out the survey.
THREE: The Family Policy Institute of Washington Action (FPIWAction)’s recommendations for school board candidates available here are also useful as a NEGATIVE guide. (For POSITIVE recommendations see below.) FPIW “is holding forums around the state to inform parents on what is really happening the Washington Education system.” These are called “Crises in Education Forums”. On the FPIW website a little digging will take you to a resource guide under “Education” that spells out “Inappropriate School Library Books” and a how-to guide to get them banned; the imagined horrors of Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE); and Resources on “Gender Theory”, including a guide written by Christopher Rufo. As a bonus, take note that FPIW recently acquired a new Executive Director, Pastor Brian Noble, who stepped down from his chairmanship of the SpokaneGOP to join FPIW.
Do your homework, fill out your ballots, and turn them in.
Keep to the high ground,
School board races are particularly fraught—and often challenging to research. The recommendations listed below for many of the school board contests in eastern Washington were assembled from a variety of sources by public school advocates led by Petra Hoy. (The municipal candidates recommended below are almost entirely in agreement with the Progressive Voters Guide. They are presented again as a bonus.)
Spokane County Candidates 2023
City of Spokane
Spokane City Council
Cheney City Council
City of Liberty Lake
Mayor: Cris Kaminskas Voters Guide
Liberty Lake City Council
Spokane Valley City Council
Spokane Valley Fire Department
Commissioner #5: George Orr Voters Guide
Spokane County Water District
Commissioner #3: Mary Wissink Voters Guide
SPOKANE COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD RACES
Central Valley School District
Cheney School District
Director, District 3: Henry C. Browne Jr. Voters Guide
Mead School Board
Spokane School Board District 81
Nine Mile Fall School District
Medical Lake School District
Deer Park School District
STEVENS COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD RACES
MARY WALKER SD 207
District 3 Jim Cannon Voters Guide
KETTLE FALLS SD 212
Director At Large #4 Thomas (Chip) Johnson Voters Guide
[District 3 Write-in candidate Debbie Stewart, recommended by a respected reader of The High Ground who is familiar with the race.]
BENTON COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD RACES
Kennewick School District 17
Director 3 Michael Connors Voters Guide
Director 5 Lisa Peppard Voters Guide
Richland School District 400
Director No. 3 Chelsie Beck Voters Guide
Director Nol 4 Katrina Waters Voters Guide
Director No. 5 Jill Oldson Voters Guide
CHELAN COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD RACES
MANSON SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 19
Director District #2 Aurora Flores Voters Guide
YAKIMA COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD RACES
WAPATO SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 207
Director, District 3 Maria Antonia R. Erickson Voters Guide