It's that time of year again. Sure, it's time to pick our leaders who will represent us as major decisions are pondered. Yadda, yadda, yadda. More important, of course, is that it's time for another installment of The Inlander's Campaign Awards.
Best Use of a Prop in a TV Ad -- George Nethercutt won this one back in 1994 for using his golden retriever to scold Tom Foley: "I'd never kick my dog." That was pure genius. This time around, who could miss the ad with Alan Blinken, the U.S. Senate candidate for Idaho, furiously cleaning his gigantic gun. It's like the camera's bugging him during his daily devotion. He does glance up just long enough to point out that his opponent, Larry Craig, doesn't even have a license to kill animals in his home state. But then he's back to cleaning that sucker out for the next conquest!
Best Campaign Photo -- Head shots are the name of the game during campaign season, so why not set yourself apart? That seems to be the thinking of Thomas R. Macy, the Libertarian candidate for Kootenai County Commissioner, District One.
Best Low-Budget Strategy -- Jeff Knox, a first-time Republican candidate for state representative from the Third District of Washington, found a way to woo voters from the side of the road. If you happened to drive by his corner, you'd notice him holding a sign: "Will Work for Votes."
Best Non-Issue -- Puget Sound gets the lion's share of the benefits of R-51. Thus goes the refrain from some East-of-the-Mountainers who won't support anything that might give Puget Sound more than its fair share. The fact is, Puget Sound pulls more than its fair share. It is the economic engine of the entire state, and the taxes generated there support the rest of us.
Best Predictor of Victory -- In the seven city council races for the new Spokane Valley Council, differences have been hard to find. But there are a couple of areas in which local candidates have been trying to outdo each other. We have a hunch that winning candidates may well be determined not by their stands on sewers and police, but by how long they have lived in the Valley and how fruitful they have been. Long neglected as criteria for politicians, this new city aims to do things differently, and why not start here? If you've lived in the Valley your whole life, you've got a great chance. Add in eight or so grandkids, and you're a shoo-in.