NEWS: City Council President Ben Stuckart was proud of the fact that developer Larry Stone had endorsed him for mayor.
"Larry loves our city," Stuckart wrote on Facebook in December, "He is constantly looking for ways to improve our community by leading smart economic development projects, investing in landscape ideas that strengthen and protect our environment and serving as a strong champion of human rights. I am honored to have his support my mayoral campaign and I look forward to his continued investment in the betterment of our city."
Stone didn't just endorse him. He donated nearly $1,000 dollars to Stuckart's campaign, with the most recent donation coming just last month. But in recent months, Stuckart had been nervous. He heard that Stone had been working on a "Seattle is Dying"-style video painting Spokane's downtown crime and homelessness in ugly terms.
Stuckart, in a text message exchange with the Inlander last night, said that he'd asked Stone about the video at a house party before it was released.
"He said it was about opening a new jail," Stuckart says.
But at 1:30 pm yesterday, Stuckart says, Stone sent him an email with a link to a "Curing Spokane" video, and a message that explained that, now that two candidates supported Stone's drive to make downtown safer, he'd switched his stance on the mayoral race to "neutral." Stuckart pulled Stone's name from his list of endorsers.
Stuckart doesn't necessarily disagree with every line in the video. Stuckart wants more structured parking downtown — though not necessarily free surface parking — and pushed for a levy to support more beat cops downtown. He believes we "100 percent need a new jail" calling the current jail "a mess and old and inhumane" — but is not necessarily convinced the jail needs to be bigger.
But Stuckart also says the video's "data is old and is propaganda."
This time, his review of Stone's work on Facebook was not nearly as kind. He writes that Stone's video was "embarrassing, inciting, and shaming our people to make a political point."
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