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Posts published in “Day: May 11, 2008”

Erickson leading?

We've suggested in a few posts that the 5th District Republican contest, which has been broadly assumed to be lining up for legislator and gubernatorial candidate Kevin Mannix over rerunning businessman Mike Erickson, may be turning. The weight of Erickson TV ads, mostly aimed hard at Mannix, could be having effect.

There's not been a lot of polling, but a SurveyUSA poll from April 13-15 put Erickson at 44% and Mannix at 40%. That was within the margin of error. But SUSA was back in the field last week (through Thursday) and putting Erickson at 49% and Mannix 41%, right at the margin of error. With not many votes left undecided. With polling happening during the early part of actual ballots cast.

This could turn into a nailbiter.

Trafficking in people

This report is a little frustration specifically because it lacks some of the most specific stuff: Statistics. Yet the case study details in it are more than compelling.

This is a just-out report called (in over-long title) "A Survey of Human Trafficking in the Spokane Region: Conducted by the Inland Northwest Task Force on Human Trafficking," prepared by Debbie R. DuPey for the Western Regional Institute for Community Oriented Public Safety at Washington State University-Spokane.

How widespread is this activity? What are the numbers that could give some perspective to it? Those aren't here, as the report's introduction says: "The interview instrument and methodology were not quantitative in nature, and therefore a formal numerical estimate of trafficking victims in the Spokane region is not included in this report."

Still: "The data obtained in the survey is subjective and based on the interpretation of the interviewees, reflecting how they extract meaning from the definition posed and apply it to their interactions with the individuals they serve. However, all of the interviewees were professionals trained in working with vulnerable populations. It is assumed that their subjective interpretations have merit for the purposes of this survey."

And there is enough to put some parameters on the problem. It is broken down by type (gang-related, prostitution, "mail-order brides" and so on) and these are described with some detail.

Till more comes in, this is a report of value.