Activist has two roles — and two minds


Spokane City Councilman Mike Fagan — also a citizen activist who works with Tim Eyman on statewide initative campaigns — was sporting a “Let Voters Decide” T-shirt in a photo that ran in The Spokesman-Review newspaper.

Did Fagan decide to be consistent and allow two proposed initiatives to be placed on the ballot? Did Eyman persuade him to drop his “father knows best” attitude?

Because Fagan is part of an outfit called Voters Want More Choices, what choice does he have? Well, there’s always the political two-step, and it looks like he’ll go with that.

Citizen Fagan is pushing a statewide voter initiative while Councilman Fagan may block two local ones from getting on the city ballot. It’s similar to the dance he performed in calling Gov. Jay Inslee a naughty name. That was Citizen Fagan, not Councilman Fagan.

Maybe he should get another T-shirt to go along with the two hats he wears. How about one with this slogan: “Voters Want My Choices.”

Fagan explains this contradiction by saying that in his City Council role he has a duty to be a careful manager of public money. Meanwhile, as a citizen activist, his role is to block the arrival of those funds. Apparently in this bizarro world, victory is declared when there is no public money to manage.

Councilman Fagan believes that the two city initiatives — which he just happens to oppose — are unconstitutional, and so the city could be dragged into costly legal challenges. He may well be right.

But Citizen Fagan has pushed a half-dozen or so initiatives that were inevitably ruled unconstitutional. Each challenge cost the state considerable cash.

One of the drawbacks of single-issue activists is that they can mess with government without having to clean up.

So it’s karmic to watch a citizen activist/councilman with a mop and a pail.


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