The Moderate Washingtonian

Outlook on politics and elections in the state of Washington from an overall centrist viewpoint. My views tend to be libertarian in nature, but at the same time are largely nonpartisan.

31 July 2005

West appeal disgraceful

It seems that once again disgraced Spokane Mayor Jim West is hiding behind the demographic he launched a legislative career on discriminating against. West's lawyers are claiming in their appeal to the state Supreme Court that the recall being launched against him is based on his sexuality and that his "private life shouldn't be a cause for his ouster from public life." Perhaps not, but the use of taxpayer-financed computers and internet access for chasing teenage boys online is not what his city equipment and office ought to be used for, let alone by a man in his fifties. Two thirds of the public has lost enough confidence in the mayor to want him to resign, and I don't know how he intends on leading the city in this climate. So much for his insistence on allowing the public to choose if he should stay or not.

West's willingness to hide behind his sexuality after spending his legislative career as one of the most anti-gay rights legislators is shameful. While it would have proven more difficult to get elected were he honest the whole time about his sexuality, Dean Lynch has already proven that a gay man can get elected in the city of Spokane. If West had any honour left, he'd do the city a favour and resign so a competent and trusted leader, Council President Dennis Hession, can take over as mayor and continue the progress that West had gotten most of the credit for, despite Hession's consistency in leading a much more civil city council than we had only a few years ago. Let's only hope the Supreme Court will be a little better about handing down good decisions than they have recently.



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