LETTER: ‘Is your City Council Candidate selling SeaTac to outside interests?’


[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:]

Is your City Council Candidate Selling SeaTac to Outside Interests?

I recently learned that the South King County Working Families Political Action Committee (PAC) has jumped into our local SeaTac elections to support the current council members up for re-election. This organization is not located in SeaTac and has absolutely no business pouring over $100,000 into our election to manipulate the outcome!  It is important that you, the Voter, understand that who you elect to run YOUR CITY, may just be puppets for outside organizations who are buying them out!

This is my first venture into working with a political candidate or more accurately four political candidates. I got involved in this election because I was upset with the way the SeaTac city council passed the 6% utility tax last year. There were a number of things about the way this tax was passed that disturbed me. The way the agenda item appeared only days before the Council meeting, without any public discussion, the fact that every speaker that night took the position against the tax, and the fact that the city attorney incorrectly asserted that the city had the right to tax the water companies. It later turned out that the water companies were completely correct and they were not bound to collect the 6% tax. However, undaunted the city is creating a “franchise tax”, which allegedly will go into effect January 1, 2016, to effectively charge the taxpayers what they could not do under the utility tax. You can read more about this here:

http://seatacblog.com/2015/09/08/letter-secret-meetings-and-the-utility-tax/

So I have become a political activist and volunteer.

I became involved with a group of people who educated me about the city politics and the fact that services have been declining for years. At the time, I could not understand how the voters of SeaTac could not react to it, as it appeared to be obvious mismanagement. So when the election for this year started and the primaries were in sight, I became actively involved by supporting four candidates: Rick Forschler, Peter Kwon, Michael Siefkes and Erin Sitterly. I have met every one of them and have gotten to know them personally. They are the real deal! They are property owners living in SeaTac who pay taxes just like you and I and who want to improve the way the city is being run. They are running a grassroots campaign. None of them are career politicians. They just want SeaTac to be better!

I have worked to help the election of these new candidates. I have gone door belling, which involved walking around my neighborhood and knocking on doors and talking to my neighbors about why they should vote for the new candidates. I have talked to people at the YMCA, people at Safeway and people on the light rail. I have found that many people are unhappy with the current city Council, with their mismanagement and with their attitudes. People are concerned and scared about the amount of crime that has appeared within the city.  I have talked to people who have been negatively impacted by the ever-increasing taxes with no benefits in the city. I was amazed at how many like-minded people I ran into.

The new candidates have made it clear to all the volunteers helping their campaign that they want to run an honest, clean and legal campaign. They have not used negative ads to smear their opponents, because frankly, the current council has almost no record to stand upon. They could have rehashed the loss of our local police department or the loss of our local fire department and the $8 million McMicken firehouse (paid for by our taxes) that was given to the Kent RFA for one dollar, but they didn’t. They could’ve talked about the “missing councilmember” who use Skype to participate in months of Council meetings, Deputy Mayor Tony Anderson, but they didn’t do that either. They could have brought up that Mayor Mia Gregerson is double-dipping by holding dual public offices, collecting a paycheck for being on the SeaTac city council and the state legislature at the same time, but they didn’t. All they have done this election is state the truth that they want to balance the budget so that less money is wasted and more money goes to improving services. They have stated clearly, their goal is to lower taxes and increase public services through sustainable budgeting.

This week taxpayers received a number of misleading and negative mailers from Mia Gregerson and her new and unknown candidate Sally Andrews. The gist of these flyers is that their opponents “would gut public safety”. SeaTac contracts out Police and Fire services to King County and Kent, with four years left on the contract, so “gutting” would be impossible anyway. The Flyers contain totally irrelevant stock photos of smiling police officers and firefighters meant to infer that the police and firefighters support what’s on this flyer, this is not true. These flyers are blatant unadulterated horse manure. There is not one factual statement regarding their opponents on the entire flyer. In fact, the only truthful statement is “SeaTac is ranked the 7th most dangerous city in Washington”. But seriously, who has been the mayor of SeaTac since January 2012? (Mayor Gregersen!)  Which political majority has been running the city virtually since it was incorporated? And why has the city Council refused to put additional police on the street knowing this?  You can see an example and visual explanation, here:

http://s12.postimg.org/5v6zwv19p/mia_sally_fake4.jpg

But wait, there’s more!

These flyers were not paid by either Mia Gregerson’s nor Sally Andrews’s campaign, they were paid for by South King County Working Families PAC. Now you might ask who that is. The answer is that this political action committee is made up of various unions who have gotten together and poured $73,000 (and counting!) into ensuring that the incumbents stay on the Council. This is an outside organization that is meddling in the affairs of SeaTac by attempting to manipulate the political outcome of the nonpartisan vote. Now, do you really believe that this money is given without the expectation that the recipient will through action or decision, provide the members of the PAC special consideration when they ask for it? Of course not! Clearly, this is just another form of a bribe.

See the PAC’s PDC filing here:

https://www.pdc.wa.gov/rptimg/default.aspx?batchnumber=100662867

Another benefit of having campaign material produced by a PAC is not only that the special-interests get to give this money to the candidate legally, but they can also make untrue statements about the opposition and skew the facts because of freedom of speech. So if the ad has a misrepresentation or untruth, there is no harm no foul. This is without a doubt a big win-win situation for the outside interests looking to manipulate the SeaTac voters.  Not surprisingly, the smear campaign for the PAC is carefully synchronized with the “regular” campaign because it’s all run by the same person who is controlling Mia, Sally, and Dave’s show: John Wyble and WinPower Strategies.  You can see the connection here:

http://s30.postimg.org/eu5shton5/msdq_wyble.jpg

Note he is also controlling DeSean Quinn’s show for Tukwila Mayor, another PAC-manipulated campaign to fool the voters.

What is at stake? This election is an opportunity for non-partisan candidates to take over the city Council voting majority for the first time in decades and to reverse the political maneuvering that has made certain people powerful and wealthy at the expense of the taxpayer. This election is an opportunity to take back our city and have it run in the best interest of the people who pay the bills. SeaTac has significant revenues stemming from the airport and it has tremendous ability to grow as a city.  You as a voter must decide if you wish to continue paying higher taxes while getting fewer services as the current council has been doing since they’ve been in power, or if you want a new council who will listen to you, free our city from outside grip, and actually work to improve SeaTac. Why do you think the outside interests have put so much money behind so much incompetence?

You must decide whether you as a taxpayer will run this city or if the outside interests should run it for you. What do you think is best for your family? Vote for the candidates below to TAKE SEATAC BACK!

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

Our local regular columnist Earl Gipson has more on these fine folks here:

http://seatacblog.com/2015/10/15/the-cactus-speaks-my-recommendations-for-seatac-city-council/

– 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.]


Comments

7 Responses to “LETTER: ‘Is your City Council Candidate selling SeaTac to outside interests?’”
  1. jellybean says:

    I would like to switch sides and on election night, be where Mia, Sally, Dave and their families are all gathering. I want to share the moment.. that special time.. when tears of.. Wait, those are not happy tears, those are LOOSER tears! I still wanna be there 🙂

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  2. Daryl Tapio says:

    Every day I go to the PO Box there is another campaign flyer filled with lies and fear mongering. This is incredible! Do the unions paying for spreading these lies and the candidates being supported by these lies actually think that they will be able to govern if they get elected using corrupt and sleazy tactics?

    If they get elected, they will have no credibility. They will be a laughing stock.

    We need to regain control of our election process in Seatac, eliminate the outside interests, return to having open discussions at City Hall, and have honest campaigns where each candidate explains their vision for the city.

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  3. pam fernald says:

    When I ran, and was elected, in 2009, it was on a 5K campaign consisting of campaign signs and I think I did 2 mailers. For a city the size of SeaTac, I’d say that was a good plan.

    Somehow, it has become very high stakes to run for city council in SeaTac. We need to get back to the business of electing candidates who are in touch with what will make our city viable in the future, period.

    Doing what is in the best interest of the taxpayer– not being beholden to outside interests– and keeping our city as ‘autonomous’ as practicable and not get swallowed up in special interests–UNLESS those interests are ALSO the interests of our taxpayers, is what is needed now as much as ever.

    Our legacy citizens who built the city of SeaTac are being left in the dust, crime is rampant and there are too many boarded up homes which bring down both our property values and sense of family and safety.

    We must do better, and we absolutely can do better. It takes priorities and ‘political’ will and listening to the citizens.

    Please vote by November 3 and vote for the candidates you think have a good grasp on reality.

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  4. jellybean says:

    Here is something to think about…. Sally is a paralegal and use to work in Seattle I believe. Well, for some reason (bribe maybe) a attorney left and opened up a office in April (few months back)…. in Burien.. and Sally went with him.. hmmm. Well few months back, I saw a ‘vote for Sally’ campaign sign west of Ambaum? Huh.. Well wouldn’t you know, it was where she works, with the attorney who works with IMMIGRANTS. Her Linkedin states ‘completes and edits government application forms, interpret government documents to clients’ and she speaks arabic. Why would she have a Vote for Sally campaign sign in Burien where she works.. with Immigrants? How do we check to see if all voters are citizens?

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  5. Joel Wachtel says:

    I was shocked the other day when I found out the South Kings Family Workers PAC had $73,000 in their coffers. The way they are attacking the opposition, I think its 4 flyers this week, you have to believe that SeaTac is very important to them. The sad fact is that they could give $3,000 person in the city to help pay their property taxes. Instead they are buying off our city council with scary flyers. Its really quite amazing!

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  6. Daryl Tapio says:

    It is encouraging to see more people getting involved in finding out what has been going on in SeaTac for the last few election cycles. This is a story that needs to be told.

    In the last two weeks I have heard multiple radio programs talking about what has been going on in SeaTac elections. The suppression of citizen input and the elitist mentality of both the controlling council majority and the city staff leadership is being exposed.

    The recent popularity of social media is informing the community and will help tell this story to hundreds or even thousands of citizens. The elitists were able to keep their power when the community did not have a good communication option but that is rapidly changing.

    Even if they win in this election it will be extremely difficult for them to get anything past without intense citizen scrutiny and media attention. The community now has effective communication tools that will be a game changer.

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  7. Chuck D'Arielli says:

    Thats why they hate Social Media (Seatac Blog and Nextdoor) stay with it folks your doing a great job!

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