Golden Moment

This summer, another member of the Romney clan will compete for one of the biggest prizes in the world: Olympic gold. Ann Romney is part owner of Rafalca, a horse that recently pranced its way into the London Olympic Games in dressage. Also known as “horse ballet” (and “the least action-packed of Olympic events” in The Complete Book of the Olympics), a horse and rider will win a gold medal in dressage.

Mitt Romney’s rescue of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics is one of his signature accomplishments, and by attending the London Games this summer he may remind Americans of that part of his resume. That he and his wife are part owners of an Olympic athlete only adds to the storyline.

Or will it? If you look closely at the Romneys’ tax returns for 2010, you’ll find a $77,000 tax-deductible loss there for the care and feeding of Rafalca.

As Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert put it recently: “Folks, the image of Romney as a privileged princeling ends today, because now Mitt is just your average blue-collar fan of dressage.”

Whoa, Nellie!


According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the average American claims an annual income of $49,445 per year — $27,000 less than the Romneys deducted for their horse. Maybe Mitt would prefer that Rafalca not win after all.

Quick Turnaround

Due to the federal MOVE Act, states are required to mail ballots to servicemen and women at least 45 days before any election. The upshot in Washington this year is that the primary election date has been moved up to Aug. 7. That’s, like, the earliest it’s ever been.

It’s no biggie for most races in which there are just two candidates, or two heavily favored candidates. But in races with more than one contender per party, the primary is where the dream can end. And just to make it interesting, most voters aren’t even paying attention yet.

In this cycle, Andy Billig’s old 3rd District state representative seat has attracted a den of Democrats. Bob Apple, Marcus Riccelli and Jon Snyder all want your vote, in what has been a reliably D-leaning district. But the 6th District is a swing district, and three Republicans are vying to survive the 7th of August — Larry Keller, Jeff Holy and Ben Oakley. They’d like to replace John Ahern, who is retiring from Olympia after just retaking his seat two years ago. Finally, the race for county commissioner — Mark Richard’s seat — has two Republicans, Rob Chase (current Spokane County treasurer) and Shelly O’Quinn.

Ballots for members of the military will be mailed on Friday; the rest get mailed between July 18-20. Yes, people will be voting in less than a month.

Witness to Wartime: The Painted Diary of Takuichi Fujii @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through May 16
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About The Author

Ted S. McGregor Jr.

Ted S. McGregor, Jr. grew up in Spokane and attended Gonzaga Prep high school and the University of the Washington. While studying for his Master's in journalism at the University of Missouri, he completed a professional project on starting a weekly newspaper in Spokane. In 1993, he turned that project into reality...