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Monday, May 21, 2007

Your Friendly Neighborhood Good Government Activist

posted by on May 21 at 11:09 AM

David Postman seems a little uncomfortable with the fact that I’ve been calling GOP activist Chris Clifford a “Good Government Activist.”

Over on his blog, Postman posts a rundown of Clifford’s greatest, mostly partisan, hits.

Postman fails to link the fact that Clifford won his suit against the city of Seattle to make sure the Mardi Gras task force meetings were open to the public.) Instead, Postman provides a link to a Seattle Times story reporting that Clifford lost his battle for a temporary restraining order on the meetings.

In fairness to Postman, he acknowledges that his rundown was just a “cursory” list.

Anyway, the reason I’ve been calling Clifford a “Good Government Activist” is this: He has a record of challenging closed meetings and discovering ethics violations. I first met Clifford, by the way, when he was battling against former city attorney Mark Sidran’s crackdown on Seattle nightlife in the late 90s.

Clifford sued the school district (scroll down on that link) when its school closure discussions were closed to the public.

Clifford successfully sued Republican KC Council Member Jane Hague for taking contributions from companies with business in front of the council.

As I linked above, Clifford was successful in his efforts to keep the Mardi Gras Task Force meetings open to the public.

Clifford’s fights against Sidran (Postman links a story about Clifford’s failed lawsuit charging that city policies were racist) actually resulted in a follow-up lawsuit that iced Sidran’s push for an added activities ordinance (a cumbersome licensing scheme which would have constituted prior restraint), which a judge labeled unconstitutional. Go Chris!

When Clifford called me a few weeks ago to let me know he was pushing a Pat Davis recall petition (Port Commissioner Davis signed off on a suspect retirement package for outgoing Port CEO Mic Dinsmore), I was hardly surprised.

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Uh, JF -

If you want to make it in this town you've got to learn to spin these things. Look how Postman is doing the Davis/Clifford story. THAT's how you get a Seattle Channel gig . . ..

Posted by word to the wise | May 21, 2007 12:13 PM

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