Friday, October 31, 2008

Executive State Office Candidates

Link to WA State Voter's Pamphlet Data - individual candidate websites are listed in right hand column.

Governor (Partisan office, 4-year term)

Christine Gregoire (Prefers Democratic Party)
Dino Rossi (Prefers G.O.P. Party)

Lt. Governor (View all) (Partisan office, 4-year term)

Brad Owen (Prefers Democratic Party)
Marcia McCraw (Prefers Republican Party)

Secretary of State (View all) (Partisan office, 4-year term)

Sam Reed (Prefers Republican Party)
Jason Osgood(Prefers Democratic Party)

State Treasurer (View all) (Partisan office, 4-year term)

Allan Martin(Prefers Republican Party)
Jim McIntire(Prefers Democratic Party)

State Auditor (View all)(Partisan office, 4-year term)

Brian Sonntag(Prefers Democratic Party)
J. Richard (Dick) McEntee(Prefers Republican Party)

Attorney General (View all) (Partisan office, 4-year term)

Rob McKenna(Prefers Republican Party)
John Ladenburg(Prefers Democratic Party)

Commissioner of Public Lands (View all) (Partisan office, 4-year term)

Doug Sutherland (Prefers Republican Party)
Peter J. Goldmark(Prefers Democratic Party)

Superintendent of Public Instruction (View all) (Nonpartisan office, 4-year term)

Teresa (Terry) Bergeson
Randy Dorn

Insurance Commissioner (View all) (Partisan office, 4-year term)

Mike Kreidler(Prefers Democratic Party)
John R. Adams(Prefers Republican Party)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Dino Rossi Statement on Judge Kallas Decision

Redmond, WA – The Dino Rossi for Governor campaign released the following statement today in response to Monday's ruling by Judge Kallas:

“Whenever Christine Gregoire gets into political trouble, she sends her friends to court to try to win what she is losing with voters. Now her major donors and partisan operatives are using the legal system to generate headlines and keep Dino off the campaign trail during the last week of this campaign. All this to answer the same basic question that Dino answered under oath with the PDC in 2007, namely, when ‘when did he become a candidate?’ His deposition was taken last year on this subject by the PDC which found that he became a candidate in October 2007. But then, Gregoire and her friends already knew that. They don’t care. They have accomplished their mission.

“Now it appears Dino will have to cancel campaign appearances to answer the same basic questions again. He will of course comply with the Judge’s order.”

Rossi Press Release:

For a critique of Bellingham Herald Government Reporter,Sam Taylor's coverage of this story in the Herald -- please see Wally Wonders Why:

Should all of Georgia Pacific's Buildings be preserved?

In 1996, a Hoboken, New Jersey resident watched silently as unidentified drops of liquid slowly dripped from the ceiling of the apartment on to a counter top in his/her home.

The recently revamped five-story brick building was located in a heavily populated, mostly residential section of Hoboken.

In the early to mid 1990's, the historic building, (which served as a former mercury vapor lamp and connector switch manufacturing facility for General Electric from 1910 to 1965), was converted into 16 residential apartments and artist studios. The project was permitted by the City of Hoboken.

The apartment's residents asked state health officials to investigate the drops. The health inspector found liquid mercury under the building's wooden floor boards and in the walls. Mercury vapor was detected in the air with monitors.

Additional tests revealed unacceptable levels of mercury contamination in children living in the area. The Army Corps of Engineers and EPA were called in.

The Corps assisted the EPA in evacuating and relocating the 16 families and 20 businesses that occupied the contaminated area. The Federal government purchased the property from the owners and all of the displaced residents and businesses were relocated to safe locations.

The building's windows were removed and the brick walls were inspected for mercury contamination. The brick was contaminated and the entire structure had to be removed. An air handling system was set up to filter out mercury vapors during remediation. Other measures included closing surrounding sidewalks, placing a fence around the contaminated area and installing air monitors to measure mercury vapor and dust in the neighborhood.

The concrete slab and subsurface piping was removed and mercury contaminated soils were excavated from the site.

"The Mercury contamination was overwhelming and truly a health hazard to anyone on or around it." said Neil Ravensbergen, project engineer for the remediation. "It's a shame to loose a piece of history, but it was a benefit to the overall environment."

Pure liquid mercury found on the site was recycled and mercury contaminated building material was disposed of at an approved hazardous waste landfill.

At the former GP industrial site, Port of Bellingham consultant studies recommend that residential occupancy be banned on the first floor of some of the proposed structures in certain areas.

The consulting firm also recommended that Mercury Vapor monitors be installed around structures, (after remediation and clean up), to monitor mercury vapors in and around buildings on the re-developed site.

I wonder, is this the kind of "clean up" and "re-development" our community is willing to live with?

What is the definition of an "acceptable" risk in regards to public health in Bellingham?

Hoboken website:

USAC Engineers story about the building:

Monday, October 27, 2008

Jury finds U.S. Senator Ted Stevens Guilty of seven corruption charges - Stevens says he will not resign

A defiant Senator Ted Stevens (R) Alaska, told reporters that he will remain in office, despite being found guilty of seven (7) corruption charges.

Stevens faces up to five years in prision for each corruption count, although no one expects that he will actually spend that much time in prision.

There are no rules prohibiting a convicted felon from serving in the U.S. Senate -

Stevens was quoted as saying "I'm not stepping down and I'm going to win this election."

The AP tells readers, "Stevens' conviction is the highlight of a lengthy FBI investigation into Alaska corruption, but prosecutors noted that it is not the end. Stevens' longtime Republican colleague, Rep. Don Young, remains under investigation for his ties to VECO. Stevens' son, Ben, a former Alaska lawmaker, is also under investigation."

What a sad commentary on politics in this nation - regardless of party affiliation.

Mayor Kilpatrick of Detroit was recently removed from office by the Governor of Michigan for purjury, obstruction of justice and assault against a peace officer.

AP article:

KING TV Report:

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Technodirt - Should Elected Officials be blogging anonymously during the work day from publicly-owned equipment?

Is it ethical for "full time" local elected officials to blog "anonymously" about elections and campaigns during the work day on publicly-owned equipment?

Let's take a look at Whatcom County's Code of Ethics chapter 2.104

Use of County Property.

"No elected county official shall sell, divert, convert, give away, or use any county equipment, vehicles, or other county property, real or personal, other than in the performance of his/her official duties in behalf of the county. (Ord. 2002-023 Att. A § 14; Ord. 98-057 Att. A § 14; Ord. 97-045 § 14)."

(I can not find a Code of Ethics chapter on the City of Bellingham's website governing the personal use of city property by elected officials).

If someone has information that I can post - please feel free to forward it to me.

We are only discussing alleged behavior by elected officials who post anonymous comments/opinions about "campaigns and elections" NOT issues, during work hours from publicly-owned computers.

I always appreciate reading a timely correction or a legislative update from our elected representatives, when the comment is posted under their own name and is for educational purposes. For example, Stan Snapp and Sam Crawford have posted information on the Herald site that is useful to citizens.

Anyone have a thought or comment on this topic that they would like to share?

Washington State Candidates for Executive Office

Link to WA State Voter's Pamphlet Data - candidate websites are listed in right hand column.

(Partisan office, 4-year term)
Christine Gregoire
(Prefers Democratic Party)
Dino Rossi
(Prefers G.O.P. Party)

Lt. Governor (View all)
(Partisan office, 4-year term)
Brad Owen
(Prefers Democratic Party)
Marcia McCraw
(Prefers Republican Party)

Secretary of State (View all)
(Partisan office, 4-year term)
Sam Reed
(Prefers Republican Party)
Jason Osgood
(Prefers Democratic Party)

State Treasurer (View all)
(Partisan office, 4-year term)
Allan Martin
(Prefers Republican Party)
Jim McIntire
(Prefers Democratic Party)

State Auditor (View all)
(Partisan office, 4-year term)
Brian Sonntag
(Prefers Democratic Party)
J. Richard (Dick) McEntee
(Prefers Republican Party)

Attorney General (View all)
(Partisan office, 4-year term)
Rob McKenna
(Prefers Republican Party)
John Ladenburg
(Prefers Democratic Party)

Commissioner of Public Lands (View all)
(Partisan office, 4-year term)
Doug Sutherland
(Prefers Republican Party)
Peter J. Goldmark
(Prefers Democratic Party)

Superintendent of Public Instruction (View all)
(Nonpartisan office, 4-year term)
Teresa (Terry) Bergeson
Randy Dorn

Insurance Commissioner (View all)
(Partisan office, 4-year term)
Mike Kreidler
(Prefers Democratic Party)
John R. Adams
(Prefers Republican Party)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

BIAW Lawsuit will move forward

On Friday, A King County Superior Court judge chose not to dismiss a lawsuit brought by two former Supreme Court justices against the Building Industry Association of Washington.

The lawsuit alleges that Dino Rossi illegally coordinated fundraising with the BIAW before he became a candidate for governor.

The Judge will rule Monday whether or not Rossi will be deposed before the general election.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Renton Man Steals 138 Campaign Signs

King County law enforcement announced that a 43 year old Renton man stole 138 "Marcie Maxwell for State Representative" (41st Legislative District) campaign signs in King County.

KIRO tells viewers, "Police expect man will be charged with eight counts of removing or defacing political advertising, a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and 90 days in jail for each count."

Silver Beach Moratorium Extension Hearing


Notice is hereby given that the BELLINGHAM CITY COUNCIL will hold a public hearing on MONDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2008, 7:00 PM, or as soon thereafter as possible, in the CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL, 210 Lottie Street, Bellingham, Washington, to take public comment on the following:

EXTENSION OF AN Interim Emergency Ordinance establishing a moratorium on the filing, acceptance, and processing of applications for divisions of land, new building permits, AND LAND DISTURBANCE ACTIVITIES in the portion of the Lake Whatcom Watershed located within the City of Bellingham.

For additional information, please contact Kurt Nabbefeld at 778-8351 or by email at

Anyone wishing to comment on this topic is invited to attend; or if unable to attend, to send your comments, in writing to the Council Office, 210 Lottie Street, or email to, or fax to 778-8101, to be received prior to 10:00 a.m., November 5, 2008 to be included in the agenda packet. Comment received after that time will be distributed to Council but not included in the published meeting materials.

For our citizens with special needs, City Council Chambers are fully accessible. Elevator access to the second floor is available at City Hall's west entrance. For special accommodations, please contact J. Lynne Walker at 778-8200 in advance of the meeting.


City Appointees first - Members of the Public second


Notice is hereby given that on OCTOBER 28th and OCTOBER 29TH, 2008 , @ 7:00 PM at DEPOT MARKET SQUARE, 1100 RAILROAD AVENUE, BELLINGHAM, a quorum of the BELLINGHAM CITY COUNCIL and a quorum of the following CITY ADVISORY BOARDS:

Arts Commission
Bellingham Public Development Authority
Bellingham/Whatcom Public Facilities District Bellingham Public Library Board of Trustees
Bellingham/Whatcom Commission Against Domestic Violence
Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee
Civil Service Commission
Code Appeals Board
Community Development Advisory Board
Design Review Board
Greenway Advisory Committee

Historic Preservation Commission
Lake Whatcom Watershed Advisory Board
Mayor's Neighborhood Advisory Commission
Parking Commission
Parks & Recreation Advisory Board
Planning and Development Commission
Public Works Advisory Board
Sehome Hill Arboretum Board of Governors
Sister Cities Advisory Board
Tourism Commission
Waterfront Advisory Group
Whatcom Museum Society Board

have been invited to attend meetings about waterfront redevelopment for the purpose of the following:


The same presentation will be made each night. Members of the public will not be invited to make comment at this time. There will be public meetings for the purpose of taking public comment on November 13th & 17th, @ 6:30 PM, at Depot Market Square. For additional information, please contact the Mayor’s Office, at 360-778-8100

PUBLICATION DATE: Friday, October 24, 2008

Mayor Pike's Connections Plan:

Updates will continue to be posted on the City’s website. Regular waterfront redevelopment updates also are provided during Bellingham City Council meetings.

Council meeting agendas, minutes and videos
Council meetings being broadcast on Bellingham TV Channel 10 (PDF)
For more information, contact the
City’s Waterfront Office
Related Materials
Waterfront Connection Plan (PDF)
Port of Bellingham Proposal for Waterfront District
Waterfront District Planning
Dan Burden Presentation: Creating People-Friendly Communities (WMV)
Video of Waterfront Update to Bellingham City Council - Sep 29, 2008 (WMV)
Video of Waterfront Update to Bellingham City Council - Aug 4, 2008 (WMV)
Waterfront Vision Video - Sep 2008 (WMV)
Waterfront Vision Video - Aug 2008 (WMV)
Video of Mayor's Remarks - Jun 2008 (WMV)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sour Grapes on NW citizen

If you haven't already - check out the articles and comments posted by Greg Kirsch, Tip Johnson and Tom Pratum over at NW Citizen regarding Whatcom County's recent decision to transfer DNR lands to Whatcom County.

Here's the link to NW Citizen's site:

Whatcom County Parks site:

Rand Jack's opinion piece at the Herald:

Conservation NW site:

Reader comments:

I have to admire the tenacity of Greg and Tom. I am sure they are disappointed. Tip's comments were simply wrong, but likely based on misinformation he was told.

The County's position is to keep the landscape plan in place and they have been very clear about that. I do agree with Tom and Greg that there will be financial impacts. I also agree there is an impact to the logging industry.

Neither the financial or logging industry impact is so large as to not move forward with this forest reserve. Otherwise, I found many of their other arguments had very little merit or were wildly conspiratory.The saddest part for me is that both Greg and Tom have been very destructive with personal attacks against a number of lake advocates and flat out vicious towards the County Executive.

Their aggressive attacks on the credibility and motives of those that have advocated for the proposed plan have had a lot of collateral damage. Sadly, a significant amount of the damage has been done to themselves. These are smart people, but I have to ask, If you were in a position of power in County government,Would you trust them?

Elisabeth said: no, I would not trust them.

Greenspan -- "Once-in-a-century Credit Tsunami"

Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan testified at a House Government Oversight Committee hearing, "that as a result of the current situation the United States is heading for a "significant rise in layoffs and unemployment" and a continued downturn in home values as the world works through a crisis that is "broader than anything I could have imagined."

Greenspan called for "imposing some of the same sorts of regulations on mortgage securities he resisted when he was in office, acknowledging that the current financial crisis had exposed "a flaw" in his view of how the world and markets function."

The absence of significant controls on how mortgages are repackaged into larger and more complex securities has been cited as a central cause of the current financial crisis."

Greenspan told committee members he saw "no choice" but to force the financial firms that package mortgage loans to "retain a meaningful part of the securities they issue" -- thus keeping them on the line if the underlying loans go bad."

The entire article can be read here: By Howard SchneiderWashington Post Staff Writer Thursday, October 23, 2008; 12:19 PM:

FDIC may guarantee some mortgages:

FDIC Chair Bair said "new efforts to stem foreclosure are needed, even if it means the Treasury offering to absorb losses on some soured mortgages."

"Loan guarantees could be used as an incentive for servicers to modify loans," Bair said. "Specifically, the government could establish standards for loan modifications and provide guarantees for loans meeting those standards."

The entire article can be read here. By Peter Whoriskey and Kim HartWashington Post Staff Writers Thursday, October 23, 2008; 12:19 PM

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Code Pink - identifies attempted Rove abductor as Janine Boneparth

Janine Boneparth, a 58 year old anti war protester attempted to handcuff Karl Rove in what she called a "citizen's arrest for treason." at a seminar in San Francisco. Code Pink issued a statement identifying Boneparth at the conclusion of the theatrical stunt. CBS News Interactive: About Karl Rove

Mayor Dan Pike signed a Code Pink resolution opposing military intervention in Iran earlier in the year. Pike is one of only 44 mayors across the nation that signed this resolution. (Most American mayors, regardless of party affiliation, avoid this group like the plague). Pike's signature can be viewed here:

American citizen Medea Benjamin, a leader of the anti-American group Code Pink, announced in Amman, Jordan in January of 2005, that Code Pink, it's parent group Global Exchange and Families for Peace donated $600,000 in aid to the 'other side' in the terrorist haven city of Fallujah in Iraq.

In 2005, Code Pink staged numerous protests in front of Walter Reed Memorial Hospital.

Kevin Pannell, who was treated at Walter Reed and had both legs amputated after an ambush grenade attack near Baghdad in 2004, considers the presence of the anti-war protesters in front of the hospital "distasteful."

When he was a patient at the hospital, Pannell said he initially tried to ignore the anti-war activists camped out in front of Walter Reed, until witnessing something that enraged him.

"We went by there one day and I drove by and [the anti-war protesters] had a bunch of flag-draped coffins laid out on the sidewalk. That, I thought, was probably the most distasteful thing I had ever seen. Ever," Pannell, a member of the Army's First Cavalry Division, told Cybercast News Service.

"You know that 95 percent of the guys in the hospital bed lost guys whenever they got hurt and survivors' guilt is the worst thing you can deal with," Pannell said, adding that other veterans recovering from wounds at Walter Reed share his resentment for the anti-war protesters."

In an article printed in "Canada Free Press," author George Koukeas stated that Code Pink confuses the "issue of constitutional protest versus unconstitutional conduct."

In fact, he says, Code Pink is a good example of how most left wing groups confuse abuse of their rights with free speech/ peaceful assembly.

"They overlook the limits all of our constitutional rights have. Every right imposes on us an obligation to avoid violating other people’s rights when we exercise our own. Yet many leftists--including Code Pink--violate the rights of others through their “protesting”.

Koukeas warned, "Should the US soldiers be sent home as Code Pink espouses, the terrorists will establish their own government in Iraq. If that occurs, terrorists will be able to better coordinate their murderous attacks on Americans with other terrorist groups in other nations. Iraq potentially gives terrorists a base of operations. If Code Pink’s anti-recruiting goals were reached on a large scale, it would weaken our country’s defense against the terrorists attempting to take-over Iraq. Meanwhile, the terrorists are unrestricted in recruiting more American-hating mass-murderers. Hence, Code Pink, if successful, would be assisting our enemy in murdering Americans. Therefore, Code Pink should be investigated for sedition and the police should break up their pseudo-protest group."

Link to Canada Free Press article:

Click here to see Code Pink in action:

*Disclaimer: Having grown up on military bases, I have a difficult time understanding the hatred that some Americans feel for America's armed forces. Nevertheless, I've been forced to deal with it from a very young age.

My Step dad is one of the former Base Commanders of Whidbey Island Naval Air Station and my dad was a pilot in the USAF who served the (JCS). Both my step dad and my dad served during WW II, Korea and Vietnam. (Yes, I also have painful memories of the fathers, husbands, brothers, boyfriends and former classmates who were killed in Vietnam during my childhood). But I do not and could not ever hate the men and women who served in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. They were ordered to serve by Congress.

The State of Washington is home to Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, National Guard, and Navy bases. Bellingham is home to the National Guard. Military facilities provide jobs and millions of dollars of income for surrounding businesses and communities. Bellingham, like most cities has a diverse population - active military, national guard, reserve military and retirees.

Not everyone who lives in our community is a war protester.

Congress almost unanimously authorizes use of military force in Afghanistan:

Congress Authorizes Military force if needed to disarm Iraq:

Congress poised to authorize the use of military action in Iran:

The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution:

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Speaking of Arrests - did you know that Mayor Dan Pike spent a week in jail?

A young, idealistic, Dan Pike spent a week in jail after being arrested in Connecticut for protesting the laying of the keel of the USS Ohio, (the first Trident class nuclear submarine) pictured left.

In an August 21, 2008, newspaper interview posted on the net, Mayor Pike told Lea Kahn, staff writer for the Lawrence Ledger, "I was involved in some protests. In Connecticut I protested the laying of the keel of the USS Ohio (at the Groton Shipyard) and I spent a week in jail." According to the Navy site listed below, the laying of the keel took place April 10, 1976 - almost one year after Dan Pike graduated from high school.

In 2007, the USS Ohio was transferred to her new home port located in Bangor, Washington.

An outline of the USS Ohio's construction and history can be found here:

Mr. Pike acknowledged that in retrospect, "I don't think you could look at my actions and say, "He's going to do something in politics." If they did, they didn't share it with me...."

:) -- What a quote!

Mayor Pike told the reporter that he decided to run for mayor after complaining to an acquaintance about the caliber of candidates in Bellingham. "Many of whom were sitting City Council members -- he felt none of them had the necessary skill sets needed to address the issues."

"None of them" had the necessary skill sets needed to address the issues?

Um... on a scale of 1 to 10, how big is Mayor Pike's ego? (1,000).

Its almost Halloween, are there any other "skeletons" that you would like to share with us, Mayor Pike?

*Disclaimer: (it's difficult for me to understand some people's hatred of military personnel) My Step dad is one of the former Base Commanders of Whidbey Island Naval Air Station. Both he and my dad (a USAF pilot) served during WW II, Korea and Vietnam. (I also have painful memories of the fathers, husbands, brothers, boyfriends and former classmates who were killed in Vietnam during my childhood). Over the years, I discovered that there is a special bond between members of the military, military families and surrounding communities. Perhaps that bond is the result of the rejection many military families experience when they attempt to move back into civilian life. Many former military families want to live close to bases. The State of Washington is home to Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, National Guard, and Navy bases. Bellingham is home to the National Guard. Military facilities provide jobs and millions of dollars of income for surrounding businesses and communities. Bellingham, like most cities has a diverse population - active military, national guard, reserve military and retirees. Not everyone who lives here is a war protester.

The article, titled, "Lawrence is hometown to Mayor of Bellingham, Washington." (The Lawrence Ledger 08/21/08) can be located at this address:
USS Ohio:

Another perspective - from a young man who served in Afghanistan:

Here's an excerpt from correspondence that Stephen Fortunado's mom received from him before he was killed in Afghanistan. He is expressing his distress regarding the lack of understanding in this nation about the crisis in the Middle East.

Personally, I think its healthy to consider other points of view when discussing highly charged issues, such as U.S. military activity abroad.

Out of respect for the thousands of men and women who are serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, I would like to dedicate this excerpt from Stephen's correspondence to our local elected city officials.

"If I may … I’d like to say something…. Just to get it out there so it is clear.

To all the pampered and protected Americans who feel it is their duty to inform me that I am not fighting for their freedom, and that I am a pawn in Bush’s agenda of greed and oil acquisition: Noted, and [expletive deleted] You.

"I am not a robot. I am not blind or ignorant to the state of the world or the implications of the "war on terrorism." I know that our leaders have made mistakes in the handling of a very sensitive situation, but do not for one second think that you can make me lose faith in what we, meaning America’s sons, daughters, fathers, and mothers in uniform are doing.

I am doing my part in fighting a very real enemy of the United States, i.e. Taliban, Al Qaeda, and various other radical sects of Islam that have declared war on our way of life. Unless you believe the events of 9/11 were the result of a government conspiracy, which by the way would make you a MORON, there is no reasonable argument you can make against there being a true and dangerous threat that needs to be dealt with."

Thank you, Stephen.

It breaks my heart to know that young men like Stephen feel abandoned and shunned by the American people for serving in Afghanistan or Iraq. (It's just like Vietnam all over again).

What an incredibly sad thing to write -- just before you are killed by the people you are attempting to protect America from. People who have publicly claimed responsibility for attacks against the U.S. My deepest sympathy to his mother, family and friends.

Apparently, the anti nuclear/war protester coalition obsession with the USS Ohio has not ended. Port Angeles USCG currently provides security for the USS Ohio:

Stephen Fortunado's entire statement can be read here:

MSNBC has excellent footage of American soldiers defending themselves from the Taliban. Click the video at the top of the page. Afghanistan news can be found under world politics.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Here's the Ranker hit pieces that are being distributed throughout the 40th Legislative District

Smear tactics differ from normal political discourse in that they do not bear upon the issues or arguments of a campaign.

A smear is a carefully planned tactic to malign a candidate and undermine his/her credibility with the voters.

Even though smear tactics are considered by many to be a low form of discourse; they are nevertheless very common.

They also violate the provisions of WAC 390-32-310, Washington's Fair Campaign Practices Code, as adopted by the Public Disclosure Commission. Granted, the code is a guideline - (The PDC will not enforce it). But voters have the right to choose candidates who treat opponents and citizens with respect, rather than contempt.

Last week, Sam Taylor, government reporter for The Bellingham Herald debunked the personal attacks against Kevin in his political blog.

Taylor conducted a detailed background investigation which revealed that information published about Ranker in these fliers are “false, distortions or spin” Taylor's article in The Bellingham Herald can be read here:

The San Juan Islander also address the attacks head-on here:

Here are links to copies of the fliers and press release that have been allegedly distributed by Steve Van Luven and his supporters.

The first set of fliers were allegedly distributed at forums and other events in the 40th Legislative District: flier 1 states that the Steve Van Luven for State Senate Committee paid for the cost of copying the document. Flier 1.1 is a press release falsely accusing Ranker of participating in a protest to release a convicted cop killer, Mumia Abu-Jamal.



The second set of fliers were allegedly placed in Bellingham newspaper boxes by persons unknown. Julie Shirley's post regarding the fliers may be found here:



RCW 42.17.120 requires that sponsor(s) of political advertising identify themselves. The only flier in this collection that includes sponsor identification is flier 1.

There is no information posted on the other two fliers identifying the sponsor(s) or group that printed or distributed the fliers.

Looks like a valid Attorney General's Office complaint to me --

Open, honest, transparent elections are worth fighting for!

Relevant rules and statutes:

Fair Campaign Practices Code

WAC 390-32-010 - The public disclosure commission adopts this Fair Campaign Practices Code. Pursuant to the provisions of RCW 42.17.370

(1) I shall conduct my campaign, and to the extent reasonably possible shall insist that my supporters conduct themselves, in a manner consistent with the best American tradition, discussing the issues and presenting my record and policies with sincerity and candor.

(2) I shall uphold the right of every qualified voter to free and equal participation in the election process.

(3) I shall not participate in, and I shall condemn, personal vilification, defamation, and other attacks on any opposing candidate or party which I do not believe to be truthful, provable, and relevant to my campaign.

(4) I shall not use or authorize, and I shall condemn material relating to my campaign which falsifies, misrepresents, or distorts the facts, including but not limited to malicious or unfounded accusations creating or exploiting doubts as to the morality, patriotism or motivations of any party or candidate.

(5) I shall not appeal to, and I shall condemn appeals to, prejudices based on race, creed, sex or national origin.

(6) I shall not practice, and I shall condemn practices, which tend to corrupt or undermine the system of free election or which hamper or prevent the free expression of the will of the voters.

(7) I shall promptly and publicly repudiate the support of any individual or group which resorts, on behalf of my candidacy or in opposition to that of my opponent(s) to methods in violation of the letter or spirit of this code.

(8) I shall refrain from any misuse of the Public Disclosure Law, chapter 42.17 RCW to gain political advantage for myself or any other candidate.[Statutory Authority: RCW 42.17.370(1). 85-22-029 (Order 85-04), § 390-32-010, filed 10/31/85; Order 93, § 390-32-010, filed 8/26/77; Order 64, § 390-32-010, filed 11/25/75; Order 62, § 390-32-010, filed 8/26/75; Order 50, § 390-32-010, filed 3/3/75.

RCW 42.17.120 -- No contribution shall be made and no expenditure shall be incurred, directly or indirectly, in a fictitious name, anonymously, or by one person through an agent, relative, or other person in such a manner as to conceal the identity of the source of the contribution or in any other manner so as to effect concealment.

RCW 42.17.120 can be viewed here:

WAC 390-32-010 can be viewed here:

Definition of Smear Campaign.

Photo of Kevin and one of his supporters from his Senate campaign website:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Update on BIAW Change PAC Scandal

"After experiencing the viciousness of the attacks designed to silence BIAW, we felt compelled to do everything we could to give a voice to small businesses. Clearly Gregoire supporters are willing to do anything and everything to re-elect her, including stripping BIAW of its First Amendment Rights and abusing the court system to carry out a political smear campaign, so BIAW came to the conclusion we must do everything we can to support Rossi on behalf of small businesses." (Erin Shannon - BIAW)

Click here to see a statement that the BIAW issued jointly with other Rossi supporters, the National Federation of Independent Business and the Washington State Farm Bureau about the decision to spend $4 million in the last weeks of the campaign.

Rossi supporters were quick to condemn allegations made by Fuse, Click here to see Fuse’s statement. Fuse also is connected to two former Supreme Court justices who have sued BIAW and intend to sue Rossi over allegations he courted builder financing prior to becoming a candidate in 2007.

Click here for the entire story: Brad Shannon's "The Politics Blog" at "The Olympian."

Lies, lies and more lies

Fighting rumors in the Media and on the Internet takes hyper vigilance and a lot of caffeine. Left unchecked, these rumors can get out of control, because perception is fact" (Ron Bonjean - CNN).

We've all heard them. Rumors that Senator McCain told "60 Minutes" that he was a war criminal who intentionally bombed women and children in Vietnam. And, rumors that Senator Obama is a Muslim. But McCain didn't tell 60 minutes that he was a war criminal and Obama is a Christian, not a Muslim.

Both Obama and McCain have been forced to deal with an unprecedented number of smear attacks that started on the Internet, got washed through the mainstream media and passed back and forth to American households through e-mail.

Obama has been accused of not being a natural born citizen, therefore ineligible to run for the presidency. McCain has been accused of rude behavior during a vacation at Turtle Island. But it doesn't stop with the presidential candidates. Biden and Palin, V.P. candidates have also been the targets of smear campaigns.

What's the truth?

Sarah Palin did not ban books from the library when she was mayor of Wasilla, nor is she a member of the Alaska Independence Party. Trig is Sarah Palin's son, not her daughter's son.

Obama was born in Hawaii and the professor who was circulating the e-mail about McCain's rude behavior told interviewers that she did not start the rumor, she only forwarded an e-mail after she received it from a friend.

Last, but not least, Joe Biden is not stepping down so Hilary Clinton can take his place as Obama's V.P. running mate.

CNN tells us, "if you have spent any time browsing the Internet this year, you may have read rumors to the contrary."

"All these stories -- and more -- are being e-mailed to friends and family and posted on blogs."

And they are all false.

Washington Public relations expert Ron Bonjean told CNN "The best way to fight Internet rumors is to go straight to the news media and try to get a story published saying 'this is not true,'" he said. "For any site that is promoting this rumor, you want to counter-attack it with the facts."

If the rumor appears on a blog, he said, "flood it with comments from your team, or activate grassroots support. Ask your friends and campaign allies to do it."

Truth or Fiction told interviewers that Palin and Obama are the primary targets of Internet based smears. Fight the Smears has a website dedicated to debunking lies about Barack Obama.

Be a Savvy voter - check the facts before you mark your ballots.

Sources for debunking smears:

Fight the smears (Obama) can be found here:

Fact Check: (Obama is on the board of this organization) can be found here:

Truth or Fiction, a bi-partisan site, can be found here:

CNN Article "Candidates hit back hard" link is here:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Who's smearing who?

From the Rasmussen reports: 10/3/08

The race for Washington’s next Governor is now a tie. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the state finds incumbent Christine Gregoire and challenger Dino Rossi each attracting 48% of the vote.

Gregoire is viewed favorably by 51% and unfavorably by 47%. Her job performance is rated 43% good or excellent from voters, while 35% say she is doing a poor job.

Former State Senator Rossi’s ratings are 50% favorable, 48% unfavorable.

Over $30 million dollars has been spent on the Gubernatorial campaign - with additional contributions on the way.

It's unknown at this time if buildergate is having any impact on Rossi's favorable standing with voters.

The Rasmussen Report: Election 2008: Washington Governor
Gregoire and Rossi Tied in Washington’s Gubernatorial Race
Pollster graph:,Gregoire&phone=&ivr=&internet=&mail=&smoothing=&from_date=&to_date=&min_pct=&max_pct=&grid=&points=1&lines=1&colors=Rossi-BF0014,Gregoire-2247AF

Bellingham Herald Endorses Kevin Ranker; Debunks Smear Campaign

Over the course of this week, an anonymous group has been circulating documents as part of an increasingly desperate smear campaign against Kevin.

Even though the claims have been proven to be, “false, distortions or spin” according to Sam Taylor, Government Reporter for The Bellingham Herald, the Republicans and others have persisted with their negative campaigning. Taylor's article can be read here:

According to The San Juan Islander, false allegations about the circumstances surrounding an arrest were posted on the local Republican party's website. A letter of explanation is posted below.

The San Juan Islander also address the attacks head-on here:

The Bellingham Herald also endorsed Ranker this weekend, citing his ability to, “to spell out a clear potential answer” for most problems in the district. They also found his opponent’s answer to Lake Whatcom “unrealistic” and his lack of knowledge about local issues “unfortunate.”
Read the endorsement here:

Kevin has 15 years professional experience in the private and public sectors, developing and advancing legislation, community development strategies, and conservation initiatives. He has directed numerous organizations and has specialized for several years in working to promote healthy, diverse, and strong communities and jobs, while protecting the environment.

Kevin was elected to the San Juan County Board of County Commissioners in 2004. During the past years, Kevin has taken on additional responsibilities that have allowed him to work on issues for the entire region, including Skagit and Whatcom Counties.

These commitments have allowed Kevin to represent issues ranging from senior citizen and veteran's needs, to agricultural preservation to health care, education and the environment. Kevin lives on San Juan Island with his wife and daughter.

A letter to the San Juan Islander debunking the arrest smear: LETTER: about rumor about Kevin Ranker

More information about Kevin can be found on his website:

Jason, Kevin's campaign manager may be contacted at

Latte Republic's post on Smear Campaigns:

Monday, October 13, 2008

Nobody is going to believe that this is not political

No doubt about it. Former Washington Supreme Court Justices Robert F. Utter and Faith Ireland have certainly shaken up Washington State politics with their newly filed lawsuit against Gubernatorial candidate, Dino Rossi.

In the suit, Utter and Ireland accuse Rossi of coordinating fundraising activities with the builders to build a $3.5 million dollar war chest for the 2008 elections before he became a candidate for Governor. (According to the AP, both Utter and Ireland are supporters of Governor Gregoire).

In response to the suit, Senior Assistant Attorney General Linda Dalton drafted a letter stating that King County Superior court does not have legal jurisdiction in a case charging that Dino Rossi improperly helped the BIAW raise campaign money.

According to Dalton, "to the extent there are new claims in their citizen action letter, the law requires notice and opportunity for the state to investigate before a citizen action suit can be filed."

Here's Knoll Lowney's response to state attorney general opinion.

Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna filed two lawsuits against the builders after the Public Disclosure Commission conducted an investigation into allegations that the Builders had not reported ROII funds that were deposited into the account for Change PAC.

Here's an excerpt from the AGs press release: "In the Master Builders’ case, the office agreed with the PDC’s recommendation that “evidence of the investigation supports the allegation the MBA-K&S’ “Just 10%” program failed to register and report contributions and expenditures required under state law and committed multiple apparent violations” of the states’ campaign finance disclosure law. The court assigned the MBA K&S case to Judge Gary Tabor and scheduled a status conference for Dec. 19, 2008.

In the BIAW-MSC case, the office also agreed with the commission’s recommendation that “evidence of the investigation supports “the allegation that BIAW-MSC committed multiple apparent violations” of the law “by failing to register as a political action committee and report contributions it solicited, received and retained from its local associations in 2007, and by failing to reports expenditures to ChangePAC in 2008 with the contributions received.” The court assigned the MBA K&S case to Judge Christine Pomeroy and scheduled a status conference for Dec. 19, 2008. Attorney General’s Office files two suits against builders groups for alleged campaign violations

John Landenburg, McKenna's opponent, along with Utter and Ireland's attorney, insist that McKenna recuse himself from the case, based on the allegation that he is biased because he received funds from the BIAW in past campaigns.

Apparently, even Landenburg plans to use Utter and Ireland's suit to launch himself into public office. (Might as well get the maximum bang for the $ being spent on this very professional campaign tactic).

McKenna's opponent is right about one thing, "no one is going to believe that this is not political."

For a detailed update from the Attorney General's Office, click here:

Link to Smith and Lowney's entire overview of the BIAW case can be found here:

Link to AP article can be found here:

Did Palin abuse her authority by dismissing Monegan?

Apparently, some members of the media are upset that Sarah Palin is insisting that she was cleared of any unethical behavior regarding her dismissal of Walt Monegan, former Alaska Public Safety Commissioner.

AHN said, "Palin was asked by a reporter over the weekend in Pittsburgh if she abused her power, according to Fox, and she responded, "No. And if you read the report you'll see that there was nothing unlawful or unethical about replacing a cabinet member. You got to read the report, sir."

What does Walt Monegan have to say?

"I've never contested my firing. My firing was completely lawful," Monegan said in a nationally broadcast interview. "It wasn't that I was fired that I asked any questions. It was, what were the reasons for the firing."

In an interview on NBC's today show, Monegan refused to discuss what legal options, if any, he might be exploring after the release of Branchflower's report on October 10th.

But MSNBC tells us, "Among the e-mails released was one of farewell written by the public safety commissioner himself, Walt Monegan, when he was fired in July. In it, he suggested the governor had reason to believe she had lost his support, and urged his former colleagues to communicate better with her."

Why did Governor Palin have reason to believe that she had lost Walt Monegan's support?

Monegan had signed a public letter supporting a $3.6 million project designed to keep troubled teens off the street in Anchorage -- even though the governor had vetoed the project the previous year. Plus, Monegan, a cabinet member, was secretly working behind closed doors with a State Senator to revive the legislation Palin had vetoed.

On MSNBC, "Monegan acknowledged he shouldn't have signed the letter, because it put the governor in the awkward position of defending her veto decision."

OK. It appears that there is a disconnect taking place between what the media is reporting and the actual events that led up to Monegan's firing. The MSNBC article can be read here:

Here are Stephen Branchflower's Findings:

Finding Number One: For reasons explained in Section IV of the report, I find that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act. Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) provides:

"The legislature reaffirms that each public officer holds office as a public trust, and any effort to benefit a personal or financial interest through official action is a violation of that trust."

Finding Number Two: I find that, although Walt Monegan's refusal to fire Trooper Michael Wooten was not the sole reason he was fired by Governor Sarah Palin, it was likely a contributing factor to his termination as Commissioner of Public Safety. In spite of that, Governor Palin's firing of Commissioner Monegan was a proper and lawful exercise of her constitutional and statutory authority to hire and fire executive branch department heads.

Finding Number Three: Harbor Adjustment Service of Anchorage, and its owner Ms. Murleen Wilkes, handled trooper Michael Wooten's worker's compensation claim properly and in the normal course of business like any other claim processed by Harbor Adjustment Service and Ms. Wilkes. Further, Trooper Wooten received all of the worker's compensation benefits to which he was entitled.

Finding Number Four: The Attorney General's office has failed to substantially comply with my August 6, 2008 written request to Governor Sarah Palin for information about the case in the form of e-mails.

Walt Monegan claimed that he lost his job because he refused to fire Trooper Michael Wooten, Sarah Palin's former brother in law. However, Branchflower's report states that "it was likely a contributing factor, but not the only factor that led to his dismissal."

Recommendations for Action by the Legislature:

First Recommendation: The legislature should consider amending AS 23.20.107(b)(1) to require that a "governmental agency" that seeks to acquire medical or rehabilitation records of an employee first establish a reasonable relationship between the request for the records and the purpose for obtaining the records. Additionally, the term "government agency" should be defined in AS 23.30.107. (Discussion can be found on page 78).

The Second Recommendation: The legislature should consider amending AS 39.25.080 to permit those who file complaints against peace officers to receive some feedback about the status and outcome of their complaint. (Discussion can be found on page 79).

In the discussion section below, Branchflower opines, "In this case, there has been much said about the level of frustration that existed on the part of Sarah Palin's father, Chuck Heath who filed the original complaint against Trooper Michael Wooten, and on the part of Sarah and Todd Palin, who attempted to learn the status of the investigation only to be told by Colonel Grimes that the matter was confidential by reason of AS 39.25.080. I believe their frustration was real as was their skepticism about whether the complaints were taken very seriously, and a thorough investigation was underway. However, law prevented the Troopers from giving them any feedback whatsoever.

When a citizen files a complaint against a peace officer, there should be a balance in our law that on one hand seeks to protect the confidentiality of the investigative process, but on the other recognizes that someone may have been aggrieved. At the very least, the law should provide for the release of some information to the complainant regarding the status of the case. When citizens are told no information can be released, it has the potential of engendering skepticism about whether the complaint was taken seriously. There is likewise a great potential that the confidence we need to have in our law enforcement agencies will be undermined, and respect for those institutions will be eroded. This is especially so because in most instances, as was the case here, the officer is an employee of the very same agency that was conducting the investigation.

In sum, AS 39.25.080 should be studied to determine whether some relaxation of the law is possible to allow some feedback to a person who files a complaint against a law enforcement officer. (Discussion can be found on page(s) 80 and 81)."

I think that pretty much sums up the events surrounding "Trooper Gate".

The Branchflower Report determined that Governor Palin violated the public trust by using her office to attempt to get feedback on her father's complaint, (which was filed because Trooper Michael Wooten had allegedly threatened to kill him).

Branchflower found that, "although Walt Monegan's refusal to fire Trooper Michael Wooten was not the sole reason he was fired by Governor Palin, it was likely a contributing factor."

What are the other contributing factors? A blog called Protein Wisdom Pub, claims that the real reason Manegan was fired is because of "repeated attempts at budgetary end-runs around Governor Palin."

For example, Monegan signed a public letter of support for a $3.6 million project designed to keep troubled teens off the street in Anchorage — even though the governor had vetoed the project the previous year and hadn’t included money for it in her budget for 2008. For more info, click repeated attempts at budgetary end-runs around Governor Palin:

Monegan even admitted in an interview that he should not have signed the letter. The letter was disrespectful of the Governor's position on the bill.

A Cabinet member who is disloyal to the Governor can and should be fired. Walt Monegan not only proved that he could not be trusted, he also proved that he can be spiteful and vengeful. (I'm sure his attorney will be filing a lawsuit for monetary damages before the month is out).

Before we go, Congratulations to Trooper Michael Wooten for his infamous plunge into American history!

From this moment on, he will be fondly remembered as the Alaska Trooper who was suspended for drinking and driving on the job, tasering a 10 year old child, participating in an illegal moose hunt and threatening to kill his father in law.

Nice resume.

Best of luck to you, Trooper Wooten!

More infomation about Wooten's employment history an be found at the Juneau Empire at this link: (Sam Taylor provided it).

Branchflower Report:

MSNBC article on Monegan's betrayals:

McCain-Palin Campaign: Troopergate Report Cleared Governor Of Wrongdoing AHN October 13, 2008
McCain-Palin Campaign: Troopergate Report Cleared Governor Of Wrongdoing AHN October 13, 2008Posted using ShareThis

AP Article in Star Tibune

Protein Wisdom Pub: