Speaker Tom Foley's passing has given this community time to reflect on what it means to be a real dedicated public servant. And coming at a time of important local elections, it's feeling like that reflection is showing for the moment.
I moved to Spokane the year he was tossed out of office. And I do mean tossed. It seemed, from the talk I heard, that many people here had no idea how well he served this district and what a point of pride he was. There were people who believed he could still be Speaker even if he lost the election or that Nethercutt would become Speaker if he won. I actually argued with someone about that. Apparently most had no idea how he had been targeted by big power in the Republican party-thinking the fight to unseat him was local because "he had lost touch with his district". And so he was replaced by George- all about the only 3 terms term limit-(oops, five terms really, but who's counting)-Nethercutt. And now by Cathy!- the bobble-head you see in all the photos behind the "leadership" in the House, heading toward a likely 5th term- McMorris Rodgers.
So late Tuesday night as the votes were coming in, I see this headline-
Conservative lose control of Spokane City Council
The conservatives were soundly beaten!
In Spokane, Democratic activist Candace Mumm is leading conservative Michael Cannon in the race to replace Nancy McLaughlin, who is barred by term limits from seeking re-election. And incumbent Councilman Jon Snyder is trouncing former Republican state Rep. John Ahern.Jon Snyder, a hard-working progressive running for re-election, was endorsed by the Spokesman-Review, but they did not support Candace Mumm, arguing her support was from the firefighters union and she would be beholden to them. Totally ignoring Mayor Condon's and business interests' support of her opponent. Cause, I guess, he wouldn't be beholden to them.
Mumm, a former TV broadcaster whose campaign was backed by numerous labor unions, was leading Cannon by a 10-percentage-point margin of 6,384 to 5,314. Cannon was backed by business interests and Spokane Mayor David Condon, a longtime Republican operative.
The races have set new Spokane records for municipal campaign spendingI might add, Mayor David Condon is formerly the Deputy Chief of Staff for Mc Morris Rodgers.
A couple of days later I read this from the Spokesman Review regarding ENDA:
Nearly 20 years ago, Congress began debating the Employment Non-Discrimination ActAnd this little nugget-
It helps that public opinion has shifted and that many states have already outlawed such discrimination. But a different kind of majority runs the U.S. House of Representatives. Problem is, that majority constitutes a minority on this subject.
It's telling that 17 years ago, politicians would freely share their pro-discrimination views. Now they hide behind process.[...]
Members of the U.S. House of Representatives can also hide in this fashion because leadership, which includes U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, refuses to allow a vote.
[...] House leaders ought to put this bill to a vote, so members can publicly argue their positions and plant the flag for or against discrimination. Failing to do so only adds cowardice to their shameful position.
And then there is George Nethercutt's tiny voice/opinion piece this week in The Hill (and read on my local public radio station during morning drive time) regarding the value of earmarks and singing a mighty different tune from his 1994 melody. All compromisey and stuff, he closed with this :
Tom Foley and Bill Young were giants in their time. Their wisdom, dignity and sense of fairness made them special..
And they supported earmarks
Cathy, of course, signed the no earmarks pledge with a big smile.
Mr Foley's passing brings into stark relief the depth of the shameful lack of wisdom, dignity and sense of fairness we have been suffering from.
For those of you that know this district, I'm not ignoring that the city Spokane has been a speck of blue in a sea of red. But I'm wondering - with a very healthy dose of realism- could it be that the "conservative" stranglehold around here has loosened a bit? Not sure what we'll see going forward. But something has changed.