LETTER TO THE EDITOR: ‘An election between David and Goliath.’

[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a Reader. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The SeaTac Blog nor its staff:]

An election between David and Goliath.

On November 3, 2015 an election of unprecedented importance will occur in SeaTac. An election between eight candidates, five of whom are completely nonpartisan candidates and three that are part of a political dynasty that has ruled SeaTac since it became a city. This election could create a completely nonpartisan, local-focused majority in the city council and place the taxpayers back in charge of SeaTac. The two sides in this election appear to be grossly mismatched, much like David and Goliath. On one side you have Goliath with the inherent power that comes with being part of the current council majority: a fully funded political war chest with the support of outside special interest groups, professional political committees and unions, plus a polished political election machine that has rolled over many such candidates in the past. David are the ordinary citizen’s favorite candidates who have self-funded their operations and have run a grassroots campaign supported by local neighbors.

The grand prize for the taxpayer is the chance to retake their city from career professional politicians who have failed to run the city in a financially responsible manner and allowed our neighborhoods to deteriorate. The local favorite candidates are normal taxpayers like us. They have stepped up to fight the good fight and are trying to stop the financial incompetence, the secret meetings, the lack of transparency, and improve services that have degraded over the years. This election offers the possibility of truly nonpartisan individuals to have a majority on the SeaTac city Council.

The primary election back in August 4th demonstrated that the voters were listening and Barry Ladenberg lost his seat on the council before the main event. The local favorites made it through the primary with the most votes, but the primary is only the first round. Now the remaining council majority know they are in a fight and have gone back to the tactics and strategies that have served them so well in the past: Spreading falsehoods and rumors.

One rumor reported (and debunked) was posted on Nextdoor SeaTac by Kathy Thomas on September 22, 2015;

“Lets talk about “political smear campaigns” recently at the International festival we were informed that Peter Kwon (I did not post his name initially since it was hearsay by another candidate and I wanted to clarify before I accused…. my original post was 8 days ago according to my emails ) was going to shut down code enforcement due to fines he acquired for not obtaining the proper permits to build a deck on his house.. I .. until that point had not heard a bad thing about Mr. Kwon ..total opposite in fact .. I HAVE heard about the great work he’s done for our community from friends, neighbors and on here.. . I asked about code enforcement on here and what our options would be if code was removed.. the information I got in return was shocking.. .. I researched the “rumor” and found it totally un true.. not only false but the person who was running his mouth (who is also running and has been on council before) .. has lied about other members in the past.. (Ironically at the same festival a few years ago) …. so here goes….

I find it insulting that Dave Bush would lie to our community.. any person who feels the need to slander others to obtain power of any political office/city council has serious control issues and I truly believe any improvements he attempts to make will only be for the good of himself.. not our community… It’s ironic how we teach our children not to lie, cheat or steal yet as adults some willingly do it anyways and purposely go out of their way to hurt others.. . Mr. Bush you should be ashamed of your actions.. Grow up!!”

Another rumor that is currently circulating is that the local favorites, if elected, will be enacting an across-the-board 10% cut on the SeaTac budget and will be slashing services to the community. This is a falsehood. The local favorites want to see better services in SeaTac and balance the budget so that it will not have to hit the taxpayers with yearly tax increases due to poor planning. The rumored 10% cut has never been considered!

Another unsavory attempt by Goliath to gain an edge through trickery is described in my last letter to the SeaTac Blog. It describes incumbent Dave Bush unethically laying claim to someone else’s private property for his campaign. The results of that misadventure can be found here:


Next Goliath called in their hired gun. Suddenly in late July of this year, John Wyble a paid political consultant of 20 years, who owns Winpower Strategies, appeared on a neighborhood message board called Nextdoor SeaTac. He started posting in discussions about the city council and it soon became apparent that he was very manipulative. Google revealed he is the president of Winpower Strategies. He was challenged by members of Nextdoor regarding his residency because public information shows him as living in the city of Seattle.  Wyble admitted he is currently living with SeaTac’s Mayor Mia Gregerson who is currently up for re-election. How convenient! He admits he is a professional paid consultant for their campaign.

John Wyble and Winpower Strategies was involved with Mia Gregorson’s campaign in 2011 and Kathryn Campbell’s campaign in 2013 so he has a history of manipulating SeaTac voters.  This year he is involved with Mia Gregerson, Sally Andrews, and Dave Bush.

He has been intentionally attempting to derail local discussions by using professional debating tactics, falsehoods, and misdirection to bully people who don’t support his candidate’s positions, much like ‘Outside Observer’ on the SeaTac blog.  In his own words:

“Only in SeaTac are there a bunch of blathering idiots trying to make lemons out of lemonade.”

More about John Wyble here: http://www.winpowerstrategies.com/who-we-are/john-wyble/

Nextdoor SeaTac website is here:  https://nextdoor.com/city/seatac–wa/

Misrepresentation is an ugly word. However, since SeaTac does not have a local police force nor a local fire department, how can incumbents exclaim on their posters “endorsed by your LOCAL firefighters” or “endorsed by your LOCAL police”? The UNIONS that represent our rented police and firemen have thrown their endorsement behind the incumbents but the signs don’t say that. Those endorsements are a standard tribute to the council majority who gladly use our tax money to pay the unions: another reason our taxes keep rising.

There is a strong core of volunteer members like myself, who have been talking to our neighbors and spreading the word over the past weeks. From my own experience, a very large number of our neighbors are unhappy with the results by the city council majority for some time. Many are upset by the 6% utility tax, especially those on fixed income. Many are upset that the city gave away our firehouses to the Kent RFA for $1.00, after our tax money was used to build them. Another large portion of those people are unhappy that SeaTac does not have its own police force and blame the epidemic of petty crime on the lack of a local police.

We have been diligent sharing with our neighbors much of the information I am now sharing with you. Goliath has gone to their deep pocketed special interest backers who have fueled their machine with big money in order to win. Starting this week, Goliath called on its troops: paid political canvassers to visit SeaTac and ring our doorbells and spread misinformation in the hopes that they could get enough votes to win. You can bet the paid canvassers won’t open their conversation with, “hi, I’m a paid canvasser”! This is what happens in the political arena in the United States when you’re running a grassroots campaign against career professionals: You cannot afford the resources that the Goliaths spend on their campaign.

The last thing I will show you is the challenge of being an independent candidate and running for a nonpartisan position against the Goliath well-established political machine. These are the PDC filings for two incumbents and their new mascot (Mia Gregersen, Sally Andrews, and Dave Bush):


The similarities in the filings are glaring. For candidates to share so much in common flies in the face of nonpartisan politics. Further, if you were to examine the donations that have come into the war chest of these candidates you would find campaign money coming in from several unions and outside special interest groups, even from OTHER STATES!  For a local city election this is outrageous.

So this is why I write today. There is a fight in SeaTac between David and Goliath. David is fighting for the community he works and lives in, to make it better and stronger. David only wants what’s best for their citizens and is the underdog attempting to beat a group of career professional politicians who have had years to prove that they cannot do the job.

I urge you to support the local favorites and vote for a change in SeaTac. To make it easier, I’ve listed the candidates and their positions that we should be voting for this year.

  • Position 1: Rick Forschler
  • Position 3: Peter Kwon
  • Position 5: Michael Siefkes
  • Position 7: Erin Sitterly

– Joel Wachtel

[Have an opinion or concern you’d like to share with our Readers? Please send us your Letter to the Editor via email. Include your full name, please remain civil and, pending our review, we’ll consider publishing it.]


18 Responses to “LETTER TO THE EDITOR: ‘An election between David and Goliath.’”
  1. Michael T Kovacs says:


    Thank You!


  2. Joel says:


    You’re welcome. But it’s only the truth!


  3. seatac says:

    the professional paid doorbelling college kids have already invaded seatac. they’re being transported in by the van loads every day to get your email and phone number. they will start phoning and emailing you when ballots drop in a week.

    some questions you might want to ask them:
    -where do you live?
    -who do you work for?
    -who is paying you?
    -what is the purpose of this doorbelling?
    -what days/times are you doorbelling?
    -why is seatac (and tukwila) being targeted?
    -how many of you are doorbelling this area right now?
    -what are you going to do with the information you collect?
    -can i have your phone number, email, and contact address in case i want to follow up?

  4. Chuck D'Arielli says:

    That story about Peters deck and shutting down code unenforcement is the same one dave bush told me about the deck Rick Forscler wanted to build and he was the driving force to shut down code unenforcement weird

    • Rick Forschler says:

      Well even if someone confused me with Peter, the story is still a fabrication.

      I did have an issue with the city over my deck related to Code Enforcement, in addition to another time where Code Enforcement was used abusively against me. However, these experiences have only served to give me perspective on both sides. Namely, that sometimes Code Enforcement doesn’t do enough to address real issues, and sometimes it is used improperly in a punitive way. Yet more often than not, it performs a good and vital service for the community.

      I have NEVER suggested that we should eliminate Code Enforcement. On the contrary, I believe we need to devote more resources toward making it more effective than it is today. I also feel we need an ombudsman role in the city as a check-and-balance against abuse. I want MORE service, not less, and I’m confident we can do this while lowering taxes.

      I’ve always campaigned for fairness in Code Enforcement, not eliminating it. People who claim otherwise are either mistaken, or intentionally trying to deceive.

  5. Dorinda says:

    What Goliath hasn’t figured out yet is that our SeaTac neighborhoods have come
    together in the background and will no longer be pitted against each other no
    matter how hard Goliath tries or successful they have been in the past.

    For the members of the Goliath cabal, know this. The rumors will be traced to
    the source and the individuals spreading them identified. The individual/s named
    in the article have demonstrated why our majority Council has absolutely refused
    to enact a Code of Ethics for our City. They would violate them at will with no
    conscience/regret for any of their actions or malicious words.

    It has always been these individuals (and their cabal members) that have been at
    fault and never a neighborhood/voting block. We all know that now and will not
    be fooled this time. If we vote these individuals out, in time we will be whole

    “We are always disappointed when a liar’s pants don’t actually catch on fire”

  6. Mike Condon says:

    I am Just a small business in SeaTac, What would I like to see honesty, I have had interaction with Mia’s Cartel, it has not been pleasant, I was in the SeaTac Rotary with Dave Bush, it was not pleasant, I am a small business owner that cares about the community. I look forward to helping others, but what is happening in the Seatac community is dangerous the majority of the council does not care about the damage they cause. Council member Kathyrn CAMPBELL HAS GONE ON RECORD STATING I am NO GENTLEMAN, lets see who really has done more for the community, Kathryn!!! I will put my record of helping the SeaTac Community against any council member. Quit hiding behind your salmon vacations!!!

  7. Natalie Mattos says:

    I’m a long time citizen of this area long before it was called Seatac and I am sick what is happening to our neighborhood. We are being bullied by a few that think they know what is best for us. We were once a neighborhood that took care of ourselves we didn’t need a city council to set rules for us, but now that we have them we need the people that live here and care about the future. New faces and new ideas.
    Thank you Joel for your great article
    Mike I think you are a true gentleman
    and shame on Dave Mia and Sally for putting ILS/ Freedom park in jeopardy

    • Pam Fernald says:

      I have been told by a couple of the founding members of the City of SeaTac that the route SeaTac is going now is not what they envisioned for Seatac when they worked for incorporation.
      I lived in McMicken in the 60s and it was a close knit, quiet, clean area. Not now.

      The north end of SeaTac where I live was later incorporated into SeaTac and when I moved to our current home 40 years ago, it was a quiet, well kept area and all of the neighbors on our street knew each other and the kids. Not now.

      We know change is inevitable. But the growth in SeaTac leaves much to be desired by longtime, loyal, local families, as well as newcomers, who just want a clean, safe place to live. I;m not stupid. I know things change, but there is no reason for that change to allow/embrace deterioration…

      We should preserve as much of our single family residences as possible. This area has history that should not be destroyed. New and different is not always better… I am not a fan of the flavor of the month type projects and jumping on every bandwagon that comes along because someone higher up says it ‘will be good for us.’

      More discretion needs to be considered for our growth. Citizens–stay involved!!!

  8. seatac says:

    it seems dave bush is now trying to appeal to the war veterans using the USMC logo illegally in his campaign mailers. when will this foolish and illegal behavior stop?

    • Earl Gipson says:

      I have not seen any brochures or mailings with that picture, however, the official Marine Corps question and answers about their logo/s website is below and yes it’s political use is illegal. 4th question from the bottom.


      Below is where it can be reported:

      Headquarters United States Marine Corps Public Affairs (PA)
      Trademark Licensing Office
      3000 Marine Corps Pentagon
      Washington DC, 20350-3000
      703-614-7678 (phone); 703-697-5362 (fax)

    • Michael T Kovacs says:

      Good evening this is Matt Francis, 1340 AM WOYL Oil City Pennsylvania, loading up the tunes from The Heart of Pennsylvania Petroleum Industry. Its the top of the hour with another set of music starting the set of gold music from 1971 and Three Dog Night “Liar”.

  9. Cassie says:

    As you are reviewing your campaign literature, it is critical to take a step back from the fear mongering propaganda that seeks only to manipulate your emotions with lies.

    The current case in point: recent mailers that attempt to show a police alliance with some candidates while other candidates will “gut public safety.” These mailers insinuate an endorsement by police of the candidates who claim they will “put SeaTac Families first.” The SeaTac Police are contract employees through the King County Sheriff’s Office and they have not collectively endorsed any candidates running for office in our City. The other candidates have never said they would “gut public safety,” but have only expressed desire for responsible spending that supports SeaTac without taking advantage of its taxpayers. This desperate attempt shows a lack of integrity and an alarming comfort with lies. What else are they lying about?

    Please take a moment, take a breath, and take back control of your decisions.

    The images used in the mailer are not even SeaTac officers. Let’s meet the people behind the uniforms:
    Officer Stock Photo: A friendly looking female officer standing behind crime scene tape with her arms crossed.
    Officer Stock Image: Police Badge, Police Force, Badge, Police Uniform, first responder http://www.istockphoto.com/photo/smiling
    Officer Stock Image: Police Force, African Ethnicity, Males, African Descent, Car http://www.istockphoto.com/photo/police-
    Officer Stock Image: Police Force, Policewoman, Females, Women, Latin American and Hispanic Ethnicity http://www.istockphoto.com/photo/police-

  10. Vicki Lockwood says:

    Thanks Cassie, for exposing the tactics of those with hidden agendas. There is a HUGE difference between the folks who are running for Council positions in the City of SeaTac. Ms. Gregerson and her puppets are using smoke and mirrors trying to mask their real reasons they want to be elected, while those opposing her group which is backed by outside PACs and people from other cities, counties and states, are being honest about their intentions and are being backed by real live citizens living in our City. The choice is yours voters!

  11. Janice Taylor says:

    Joel, a great letter. Hopefully the majority of voters in SeaTac will look at the facts, and not be baffled by the BS.
    Speaking of said BS, at a city crime prevention meeting a while back, I overheard Councilmember Campbell offering her definition of politics–basically whatever it takes to get into office. She followed up that sentiment by saying once in, the job was to represent the people. Like communism, nice in theory. But I have a hard time believing the people who lie, misrepresent and slander suddenly become reborn once they get into office.

  12. seatac says:

    it looks like seatac isn’t the only small city being manipulated by john wyble and winpower strategies;

  13. jellybean says:

    I have been getting calls from Washington 206-201-0435 a few times a day for the past couple days. Today I was fed up and I answered it. It was a Sandra saying that Peter Kwon and the others are lying and going to cut the budget by reducing the police on patrol and no more Code Enforcement and if we don’t vote for Sally, Mia and Dave, then we will not be safe in our homes. I asked her if she lives in Seatac “No” I asked her does Mia, Sally and Dave “Well, I don’t know” do you know Mia, Sally and Dave “uh no” then why are you calling me “I need the money”! I told her do NOT call me again!