Eastern Washington Voters’ Past Achievements

It has been ten fun years advancing progressive candidates and issues in Eastern Washington.  We are quite proud of what we have been able to help achieve, and are looking forward to making Eastern Washington a more progressive place in the decades to come.  It is not easy work, and we encounter nay-sayers all the time.  We just carry on.

2011 to 2017

Expanding the Progressive Base of Voters in Eastern Washington

We are building a capacity for voter registration and engagement to generate enough new progressive voters to shift the balance of power in Spokane County and elsewhere.  So far we have

  • We have registered to vote over 6,000 targeted Democrats Over the last six  years, had around 36,000 face-to-face conversations with registered voters about our Democratic candidates, and distributed by hand over 30,000 pieces of literature to registered voters about those candidates.
  • In major election years, such as 2012 and 2016, about 40% of those we registered did cast a ballot.
  • Between 70% and 80% of those who cast ballots do so for Democratic candidates in typical years as measured by our in-house exit polls.

2015 Achievements

A Huge Democratic Majority!

After years of working to expand the Democratic base, we now have a 6 to 1 progressive majority on the Spokane City Council. Congratulations Lori Kinnear on the being the newest Council Person. Ben Stuckart welcome back to the Office of the Council President.

2013 Achievements

Our voter registration work helped elect Democrat Candace Mumm to the Spokane City Council and helped retain Democrat Jon Snyder and Amber Waldref.  Congrats you folks!

2012 Achievements

Jay Inslee vs. Rob Mckenna for Governor

We did much of our voter registration work in 2012 while talking to voters about Democratic candidate for Governor, Jay Inslee.  We had face to face conversations with about 5,000 registered voters and talked about Jay’s plans to build a working Washington.  By doing so we helped Jay Inslee defeat Rob McKenna.

Republican Matt Shea, Spokane Valley’s 4th District Representative, Pulled Gun on Motorist

It is sad when someone has to be afraid for their life, but it is even sadder when someone has to be afraid of bodily harm from an elected official that holds the public trust. This was the case last November.  Republican State Representative Matt Shea, Spokane Valley 4th Legislative District, pulled a loaded handgun on another motorist in the City of Spokane. Leroy Norris of Spokane County had to flee for this life. Matt Shea was cited for two violations of state firearms law in the road rage incident.  The Spokesman Review has a copy of the Police Report on Matt Shea.  He is an angry bully with a long string of behaviors including wife abuse, restraining orders, and intimidation that make him unfit to represent his constituents in Washington State House of Representatives.

Matt Shea’s Domestic Abuse

Republican Matt Shea also has a record of treating women like possessions to be bossed around. His ex-wife Lisa Shea has given some pretty scary accounts of what it was like to live with the guy. Shea made his ex-wife walk on his left side and made her give the inheritance from her father to him.  Women are over one-half of the State of Washington population. It is really simple politics.  If Matt Shea cannot treat women with respect, then he does not deserve to be re-elected to the Washington State House of Representatives.

2011 Achievements

There were some setbacks in 2011, but that should not overshadow our accomplishments. Eastern Washington Voters registered a ton of voters and turned a great many of them out to vote. This is partly why we elected five new progressives to office in Eastern Washington during 2011:

  • Ben Stuckart, President of the Spokane City Council.
  • Tom Kammerzell, Whitman County Port Commissioner.
  • Mary Wissink, Water District Commissioner in Spokane County.
  • Tom McGarry, Fire District Commissioner in Spokane County.
  • Deana Brower, Spokane School Board


That was pretty decent for what others were calling a bad year for Democrats and progressives.



2010 Achievements

We made it through the election year, but the results were brutal.  We don’t have much to look back on.  However, the first wind farm built in the Spokane-Pullman corridor was exciting to us since we help elect Pat O’Neil a key supporter of the project two years prior.  

Wind farms are coming to Whitman County: Thanks to Commission Pat O’Neill and Eastern Washington Voters

It is a full circle. Commercial wind energy is coming to Whitman County in the spring of 2012 thanks to Commissioner Pat O’Neill, Eastern Washington Voters, and others. Back in 2010 at annual Pullman membership meeting in June (see picture below), Whitman County Commissioner Pat O’Neill talks about the new commercial wind ordinance.

Whitman County Commissioner pat oneill at pullman membership meeting

First Wind is the renewable energy company that opened an office in Oakesdake, WA, and intends to have an wind farm in operation in Whitman County very soon. First Wind has received a permit to install wind turbines on the ridge 1/2 mile east of the rest stop on Hwy 195, which is in the Thorton/Rosalia/Oaksdale area of Whitman County. Avista has already built the new substation to transfer the electricity to the grid.

Pat is not the only one who was glad. We all were. We were even happier that Eastern Washington Voters helped elect Pat in a very close race in 2008. It was Pat who led the charge to get the commercial wind ordinance passed in the county.

2009 Achievements

With a dedicated group of volunteers, we won five out of seven campaigns.  We helped distribute by hand 14,000 pieces of literature, organized four sign-waiving events to more than 40,000 motorists, and coordinated dozens of letter-to-the editor submissions.  Here were the results.  Specifically, we helped with


Amber Waldref, Spokane City Council

Jon Snyder

Jon Snyder, Spokane City Council

  • a new seat for Jon Snyder to the Spokane City Council.
  • a new seat for Amber Waldref to the Spokane City Council.
  • the re-election of Bill Paul to the Pullman City Council.
  • the win of approval of R-71 for domestic partnerships.
  • soundly defeating Tim Eyman’s I-1033.


 2008 Achievements

  • We helped elected Pat O’Neil in a very close race to the Whitman County Commission through 2,000 direct mailings and helped to facilitate another 5,000 mailings.  Pat is the first Democrat to win the seat in almost two decades, and he then played an important role in passing a commercial wind power ordinance that has resulted in the first wind farm to be located in the corridor between Spokane and Pullman.  It is owned by First Wind.
  • We helped re-elect Gov. Gregoire by distributing “by hand” over 11,000 pieces of literature,
  • We helped elect challenger Peter Goldmark to the Commission of Public Lands by distributing “by hand” over 4,000 pieces of literature, and
  • Also, we did a bit of work to help elect challenger John Driscoll to the State House from the 6th Legislative District in another very close race.


2006 Achievements

  • We helped pass I-937 for renewable energy by coordinating the collection of 3,000 signatures and distributing “by hand” over 4,000 pieces of literature.
  • We helped challenger Bonnie Mager win a Spokane County Commission seat in a very close race through door belling and sign-waiving.
  • We helped defeat I-933 by distributing “by hand” over 3,000 pieces of literature.  We also help film a TV commercial using crop art.  One of our members, Aaron Flansburg, used his combine to write “No I-933” in his barley field near Palouse Washington, while it was filmed from a helicopter.  The footage was made into a popular TV advertisement that was played over and over on the West side of the State of Washington.  The “No on I-933 campaign said that the TV ad turned the tide for our side. You can watch a video of it here. I-933 would have required state and local government to pay developers to follow zoning laws and environmental protections.