• No Sweat
  • Saturday, December 10, 2005

    Sex for Jobs in Spokane Washington: a Conservative Mayor's Downfall

    I have not yet seen this in the American news, though that may partly be that I mostly don't watch/read American news. But there is a new scandal to hit the Republicans and this time it was the voters, angered by newspaper reporting on the scandal, who ousted the corrupt Conservative.

    The mayor of Spokane, Washington, was accused by the Spokane Spokesman-Review newspaper of soliciting sex in exchange for offers of city jobs. He did this online using his city-owned computer. So he was not only doing something illegal, he was doing it stupidly as well.

    Excerpted from BBC:

    A mayor in the US state of Washington has been ousted after allegations that he wooed gay men over the internet by offering them city jobs.

    Conservative Mayor James West was recalled from his post in Spokane, the state's second-largest city, by voters in a special election...

    Spokane's daily newspaper, the Spokesman-Review, reported in May that Mr West had spent a great deal of time on gay websites using his city-owned computer.

    It quoted three young men who said they had been offered jobs by him during conversations in internet chat rooms.

    The newspaper hired a computer consultant to pose as an 18-year-old school boy. He reportedly discussed with Mr West a position on a city board and meeting up for sex.

    Mr West, who had been mayor for two years, admitted he had led a double life but denied he had done anything illegal.

    He adamantly denied offering anything in exchange for sex, and insisted he had "never done anything to harm our city"...

    Spokane recognized the corruption of their mayor and ousted him. I am assured that Spokane didn't just oust him because they dislike gays but rather because the found his corruption disgusting. Would that Conservatives across the nation held DeLay and Frist and Cheney as accountable as Spokane has held Mayor West. Personally I don't care if he had gay sex. But I do care if he is a conservative hypocrite, opposing gay rights even as he is gay himself. And I care if he is influence peddling, a crime that I do not consider acceptable even if the majority of the Republican party all the way up to the Bush and Dick running the nation thrive on it. Hypocricy and influence peddling are why I am glad this man was ousted. I don't think he should be ashamed of having gay sex but rather because he compromised his integrity by, allegedly, offering city favors in return. Yet he somehow refuses to pull a Cunningham and admit his mistake and face the music. Instead he plays a DeLay and whines about how he did nothing wrong even when caught red handed.

    Mayor West has consistently put forth a strongly anti-gay facade. From the Spokane Spokesman-Review:

    Spokane Mayor Jim West's votes on gay-rights and human-rights issues:

    # On Christmas Eve 1985, Gov. Booth Gardner signed an executive order banning discrimination in state hiring based on sexual orientation. West and 14 other Republicans responded by introducing a bill in January 1986 that would have barred gay men and lesbians from working in schools, day-care centers and some state agencies. The bill called for screening prospective employees for sexual orientation and firing state workers whose sexual identities became known. The bill failed.

    # Also in 1986, West voted to bar the state from distributing pamphlets telling people how to protect themselves from AIDS during sex.

    # West opposed gay rights bills introduced in 1985 and 1987...

    # In 1990, as part of a bill on AIDS education, West proposed that teen sex be criminalized. The bill, written by the abstinence group Teen Aid, would have made sexual contact a misdemeanor for unmarried teenagers under 18. Sexual contact was defined as "any touching of the sexual or other intimate parts of a person" for sexual gratification.

    # West voted in 1998 for the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman. Gov. Gary Locke vetoed the bill, but the Legislature overrode his veto.

    # As Senate majority leader, West and other Republicans in 2003 bottled up the gay-rights bill in committee and it died.

    # As Spokane's incoming mayor in November 2003, West said he's opposed to extending City Hall benefits to domestic partners, citing the cost. In April 2005, the City Council approved domestic partner benefits in a 5-2 vote, enough to withstand a mayoral veto.

    How can this guy face himself. He is condemning and marginalizing the very practices he goes online to solicit. Hypocricy is a disgusting thing and is one of the main reasons why I consider the modern Republican party so much worse than the traditional Republican Party. The traditional Republicans I merely disagreed with. The modern, radical, hypocritical Republicans are absolutely disgusting. Mayor West is certainly guilty of hypocricy and misrepresenting himself to the public. It remains to be seen if he also broke the law, though it sure sounds like he did.

    I respect the fact that the media and people of Spokane are holding their mayor accountable. Similarly I respect the conservative San Diego media for taking down Cunningham. If only the corruption of the entire Republican party got a similar response from the media and voters nationally.

    Write your Congressional Representatives and Senators and hold up Spokane as an example of what voters should do to corrupt politicians. Demand that Congress begin an investigation into Congressional corruption and that they come out OPPOSED to the cronyism and corruption that is eating up the Republican Party.


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