Ballot Turn-in deadline next Tuesday
Opening Note: As always, anything underlined in this email is a link to more information, some of which are analyses I’ve previously published.
I expect that most of the readers of The High Ground (these emails) have already filled out the ballot they received and either deposited it in one of the Drop Boxes (which saves the county the cost of postage) or dropped it in the mail (at no direct cost to the voter). If you haven’t voted, please do so. I encourage you to touch base with people you know and remind them to vote, too.
The Republican blare machine fueled by uber-wealthy (mostly) real estate interests has spent a record amount of money flooding the airwaves, our mailboxes, social media, and phone lines with vile misinformation and distortion this election season, all in the hope of stirring up fear and loathing to stimulate a certain kind of voter turnout. It is a carefully honed tactic. Don’t let them succeed. Vote and encourage your friends to do the same.
Shout Out to the investigative journalism of RANGE Media
Luke Baumgarten and Aaron Hedge each published an article yesterday (Thursday, November 2) that is well worth your time to read. Aaron’s article, How to spot an ad paid for by special interest groups, is a terrific guide to the garbage that is filling up your mailbox. Luke’s article, More than anywhere in Washington state, private wealth is fueling candidates in Spokane, reveals the jaw-dropping concentration of money brought to bear on this year’s City of Spokane municipal elections. Luke has worked through mountains of publicly available, but hard to navigate, Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) data to present a startling picture of this year’s “independent” expenditures. Please click on each of those articles, read them, share them, and sign up for a paid subscription to RANGE. (You can read RANGE for free, but they deserve our support.)
One must wonder why the City of Spokane has become such a target. Consider that Spokane is the seat of power of the Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers political machine, the machine of the two remaining Republican U.S. Representatives from Washington State (the other is Dan Newhouse, just west of us). Is all this money and organization brought to bear on our local election the result of a lingering grudge? Is this payback from the McMorris Rodgers machine for the audacity of Lisa Brown in challenging CMR for her congressional seat in 2018?
We are facing another winter—and, once again, the Woodward administration is careening into winter without an adequate plan to provide emergency shelter. Woodward, who, ran for mayor on the issue of homelessness in 2019, is a month past the September 30 legal deadline to publish a plan for emergency warming, cooling, and safe air shelters for next year—yet another example of what happens when you hire a newscaster with scant administrative experience to run a city. See Erin Sellers’ excellent article on this issue, also at RANGE Media. Let’s elect a mayor, Lisa Brown, who has abundant experience in administration.
Below, for convenience, I have pasted the same voting recommendations I’ve sent out before. Here’s the link to the list of some of the positive (and negative) voting guides I consulted.
Keep to the High Ground,
Here is an excellent RANGE Media piece on both these measures
City of Spokane Proposition 1 NO (link)
Spokane County Measure 1 NO (link)
Spokane County Recommendations 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
School Board Recommendations:
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 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
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