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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Spokane Mayor recall to move forward

Seattle Post Intellgencer:

The Washington state Supreme Court on Wednesday affirmed a judge's ruling that a recall petition against Spokane Mayor James West can proceed. Just hours after lawyers for West argued that the petition by Shannon Sullivan was factually and legally insufficient, the high court issued a three-sentence order affirming a lower court ruling that the document bearing a single abuse-of-office allegation could proceed to signature gathering. Full opinions on the matter were expected later. Sullivan filed her recall petition in May, shortly after The Spokesman-Review in Spokane published a series of articles detailing how West -- a conservative Republican, former state senator and longtime gay-rights opponent -- had been meeting men online for sex. Her petition alleges that West used his elected office for personal gain -- specifically, that West wrote a recommendation letter to help someone he believed to be an 18-year-old man get a City Hall internship. The teen turned out to be a computer forensics expert hired by The Spokesman-Review.
I don't follow local politics very closely, and since I don't actually live in the Spokane City limits I won't be voting on this but this is a bit troubling to me. Basically, it seems he is being convicted of being gay. I am pretty sure that if he had done the same thing with an 18 yo girl, nothing would have happened, and I don't think that is right. Of course in addition to this specific charge, there are also rumors floating around about child molestation that occured years ago when he was a Policeman. Certainly if any evidence of such a crime was available, he should not only be forced out of office but sent to jail. As far as I know though there is no actionable evidence on that. I am pretty sure if West doesn't resign he will be recalled.


Anonymous tsykoduk said...

The issue is that he offered city jobs for sex. That is wrong, boy on boy, girl on girl or monkey on whale.

The FBI has an ongoing investigation into Mayor West's past transgressions.

He should just step down, prove himself innocent, and run again.

But he has refused to do so. He has even tried to bring lawsuits to stop the recall. He is afraid, and acting guilt. He does not have a chance.

8/25/2005 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger Dave Justus said...

Perhaps it is wrong, although the circumstances in the case are disputed.

However, I am pretty convinced that if this was a heterosexual encounter he wouldn't be in any real trouble right now.

My understanding is that you can't do a mayoral recall here just because you don't like someone, you have to have some sort of cause.

The personal gain thing seems a stretch to me based on the evidence I have seen.

Personally, I find the child abuse allegations much more serious and signifigant. My gut is that he did it, and I would vote against him in an election because of that (If he was running for something I could vote on.)

Part of the problem though is even if he is innocent of any crime, he is 'guilty' of being gay, and for a conservative republican that means he can't win an election.

That is one thing that does indeed bug me about the Republican Party.

8/25/2005 11:20:00 AM  

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