Spokane North Notes
A weekly bulletin of the Spokane-North Rotary Club
June 6, 2016
Editors: Chuck Rehberg and Sandy Fink
Photo: Eric Johnson
Program Coordinator: Brad Stark
Fund drive a huge success!
          The numbers tell an amazing story: fund-drive coordinator Jodi Harland announced that the campaign for needy school children at Holmes Elementary had raised gross receipts totaling $24,445.  Restaurant fees still remain to be paid.
          While members and guests at the June 6 luncheon toasted the success with flutes of pomegranate and peach refreshers, assistant district governor Jim Schindler, a member of Aurora Northwest, said simply: “That’s a BIG number for 30
          Club President Lenore Romney singled out for special praise key fund raisers Jodi Harland, Melinda Keberle, Nancy Hanson and Robbie Jackson.  Lenore added proudly: “and every member in the club contributed to the effort.”
Harland said the Mexican-themed dinner June 2 at The Backyard brought in nearly $10,000.  Four teams of club members were tasked with producing eight gift baskets, but 22 silent auction items were up for bid.  Two Mexican vacation trips yielded another $1,000 and the popular “heads or tails” game was another good money maker.  Bruce Ellwein’s band provided terrific music during the dinner and emcee Bill Simer smoothly handled the auction bidding and “calls for the cause.”
          Save the date:  In a special program June 20, the last luncheon program of the Rotary year, the Gerald Saling Memorial Scholarships will be presented and a past scholarship winner is scheduled to speak.  Our Rotary year concludes
Tuesday, June 28, with the board installation dinner at the Kalispel Golf and Country Club (formerly the Spokane Country Club).
Election 2016 instructions: Hold nose, cast vote
          In his 40 years at GU, political science professor Blaine Garvin has seen a wide variety of presidential election campaign strategies, debates, shenanigans and heartfelt messages.
          “Talking about a presidential election,” Garvin told the club June 6, “is like saying how pleasant a train wreck was. “  Mixing metaphors, Garvin added, “it’s like being at sea on choppy waters…with no safe harbor in sight.”
          He has watched somewhat puzzling dynamics, to wit: “In the last election African Americans voted at a higher percentage than whites,” and, “if only women voted, Democrats would almost always win.”
          But nothing compares with this year’s race.
          “With Donald and Hilary, in November millions will vote for someone they don’t like versus someone they really hate,” Garvin said.
          Not mincing words, he added: “Trump is a whole lot worse than Hilary.  He would be the most dangerous, least qualified person ever to have that office.
          He adds: “And most Republicans in Congress would agree.  They are deciding now whether it’s better to endorse their party’s candidate, or sit it out.  The only positive thing for them, is that he’s better than (Sen. Ted) Cruz, whose colleagues really hate him.”
          Democrats don’t fare much better in Garvin’s analysis.  He said, “Hilary is not beloved.  She is qualified for the presidency – more than anyone in a long time.  Young people flocked to (Sen. Bernie) Sanders, even if they didn’t know him a year ago. 
          They like his anti-establishment tone and his criticism of corporate America,” he said, even if there is no chance many of his proposals (including free college and national health care) could become law.
          Garvin sees no chance for either presumptive nominee to be successfully challenged at the party conventions and said it’s too late for a “viable” third party candidate.
          Garvin cited three turning points in “how we got to where we are and how imbecilic our government has become.”
          Three dates to remember, he said are:
               1964.  When Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act black voter support for Democrats went from 2-1 to 10-1, but most southern white voters switched to the Republican party.  And, moderate Republicans, like Dan Evans, a Washington governor and senator, were replaced by conservatives.
               1968.  The tumultuous Chicago Democratic convention turned Mayor Richard Daley’s iron-fisted rule into a police riot, fueled by anti-Vietnam War sentiment.  As a result, nominating rules were changed shifting control from party bosses to voters in state primaries and caucuses.  Since many state legislatures were Democratic-controlled, the Republicans went along with the changes.  And enough voters wanted Donald Trump to stand up to the inefficient political system, whether the party leaders
want him or not.
               1973.  The Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade.  Designed to protect doctors who perform abortions – not the abortions themselves – the ruling became “a wedge issue which opened the door for other issues.  And now each party demonizes the other.  The political center is disappearing and winning elections is more important than ideology.”
          Garvin added: “They really are warring camps.  But maybe it’s a comfort, not a curse, that government can’t do anything.”