Writings and observations

Richard Curtis

Richard Curtis

There’s too little information yet to know what to make of this, and whether it will turn into a big deal or nothing much at all. But you might do well to keep a watch on the name of Washington state Representative Richard Curtis, R-La Center, over the next few days.

That’s because of an odd-sounding legal situation, of some sort, emanating from the other end of the state, at Spokane. Curtis is the lawmaker referred to in this lead from a Spokane Spokesman-Review story this morning: “An alleged extortion attempt involving a state lawmaker and a reputed male prostitute is under investigation by Spokane police.” Curtis’ local paper, the Columbian, is also on the case, though not much new has developed yet.

As indicated, not much by way of detail yet; it may turn out to be nothing much. Meantime, best to keep watch.

UPDATING Spokane KREM-TV is reporting, “Detectives tell KREM 2 News at some point Thursday Curtis had a sexual encounter with a man, who police have not identified. A Spokane Police Dept. spokesperson says Curtis and the man were spotted at several locations across the city that evening. The next day, someone filed a police report alleging that Curtis was being extorted.”

Late this afternoon, Curtis talked with Columbian editor Lou Brancaccio, saying, “I am not gay . . . I have not had sex with a guy.” He said that extortion was involved in the case, however.

This will not end quickly. There will be much more about this, soon.

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Not that it matches entirely with our take on the race, but Joel Connelly’s overview today of the Washington governor’s race (it’s in the P-I) is a should-read stand-back picture of where things stand as the race gets (semi-)officially underway.

Among his thoughts: “Gov. Chris Gregoire is projecting nervousness about her political prospects. The governor has been holding fundraising events at a non-stop pace, appearing at carefully choreographed town meetings, and staging an autumn version of a spring cleaning of top staff.” (Of course, the failure to campaign strongly enough was thought to be a key reason she didn’t do better in 2004; we’d be more inclined to see it, strategically, as simply not making the same mistake twice.)

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