RELEASE: STRONG CANDIDATE PARTICIPATION IN SHBA BACKGROUND CHECK PROCESS

(Spokane, Wash.) – The Spokane Home Builders Association (SHBA) is pleased to report that the new mandatory background check policy for candidates has been met with a positive response and strong participation.

“Following our first time going through this process, we continue to believe that mandatory background checks for candidates increases transparency, which is beneficial for the both the community and the candidates themselves,” said Michael Cathcart, Government Affairs Director for the Spokane Home Builders Association.

The May 21st press release, “Spokane Home Builders Association Taking the Lead on Candidate Transparency,” which announced this new program is available by visiting SHBA.com or by clicking here.

The SHBA invited 19 candidates to participate in an endorsement process that concluded this week with candidate interviews and a vote of the Board of Directors. The first step asked the invited candidates to comply with the background check requirements. The Association declined to interview or consider any candidates who did not agree to the background check.

An announcement of the endorsed candidates will be released next week.

The following list includes all of the candidates invited to participate, if they participated, and whether they chose to publish the results for the public to see. All published background check reports are available online at www.candidateverification.org.

Candidate Participation Chart

“We want to thank all of the candidates who chose to take part in the background check and those choosing to publish the results. We believe this is a big win for election transparency in Eastern Washington,” said Cathcart. “We continue to encourage all Eastern Washington organizations who issue campaign endorsements to join with us in making background checks a mandatory part of their process.”

The background checks through Candidate Verification include:

  • Civil and criminal records search, including the national sex offender registry search
  • Military records verification
  • Resume verification, including: employment history verification, professional credential verification, and post-secondary degree/diploma verification
  • NOTE: A credit check is not part of this process

More information about Candidate Verification can be found at www.candidateverification.org. Anyone wishing to contribute to Candidate Verification to ensure the funding of candidate background checks in Spokane and Eastern Washington may do so by clicking here.

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WHY WE ENDORSE POLITICAL CANDIDATES

Why we endorse political candidates
Michael Cathcart, Director of Government Affairs

There’s often a lot of debate surrounding the endorsement of political candidates. Does endorsing a candidate or candidates of a particular political persuasion make us a partisan organization? Should we be in the business of siding with one candidate over another? How do we know which candidate is most deserving of our support? What if an endorsement spurns a member or many members of our Association? These are questions that get routinely asked every year, especially as we approach election time. As a staff member and as someone with intimate knowledge of political campaigning and a strong familiarity with many of our local officials, it is my job to provide our Board of Directors with the necessary insights and guidance to answer those questions so that they can make the best decisions possible. On occasion there are differences of opinion among staff and among Board members, but everyone wants what is absolutely best for our Spokane Home Builders Association.

So let me make the case to you.

Does endorsing a candidate or candidates of a particular political persuasion make us a partisan organization?
This is a difficult question as the answer is really in the eye of the beholder. In all actuality though, we don’t endorse Republicans or Democrats. We endorse candidates who will support and hopefully champion our issues. So what are our issues? In a nutshell, we want policies that reduce taxation and regulation so that our members can focus on running their businesses, creating jobs, and supporting their families. We want government to be smarter, more transparent, and more efficient. Certainly, it gets more nuanced, but that’s really the gist. Now, by law, we are required to advertise the political parties of the candidates we support, however, I can guarantee you that party has almost zero factor in how our Board makes their decisions. We support one party, the “Pro-Growth” Party.

Should we be in the business of siding with one candidate over another?
The answer is yes, especially in instances where we know one candidate will do more for our industry, or where we know the other will simply create roadblocks. We can’t successfully advocate on the issues you expect us to if we don’t work to elect the right officials.

How do we know which candidate is most deserving of our support?
It’s not always easy, but the factors to consider are:

Support for our issues
Willing to listen and engage with us on our issues
Incumbency/track record
Association and community support
Electability

What if an endorsement spurns a member or many members of our Association?
It’s impossible to satisfy 100% of everyone 100% of the time. However, we work really hard to gather insights from our membership throughout the year and we are always encouraging feedback from you. So, if you have strong issues with a candidate or candidates we support, have supported in the past, or if you know of someone we need to consider in future elections, please let us know. Ultimately, we are all here to serve you and your guidance and input is crucial to do so effectively.

Finally, if we want to effectively represent you, it is critical that we endorse candidates. Passing good policy and stopping bad policy requires votes and without the right votes we are likely to get walked right over. When our candidates win we know we have someone who supports our issues and is open to hearing our opinions on legislation. We still have to work incredibly hard to keep them informed, but a close minded official will make that task impossible.

Elections matter. Endorsements matter. Winning matters. Responsible governing is what’s at stake.