Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« The American Innocence | Today The Stranger Suggests »

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Speaking of Donations to Republicans

posted by on June 13 at 11:52 AM

There’s a little smear buzz about city council candidate Timothy Burgess, the former Seattle Ethics and Elections Commissioner who’s running against city council incumbent David Della. The gossip is that Burgess is a Republican because he donated to McCain in 2000 and Rob McKenna for state AG in 2004.

ECB reported and addressed this issue in her column last March:

Tim Burgess, former head of the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission, has made a few political donations that may not be in line with the liberal constituency he’ll need to attract as a city council candidate: $1,000 to anti-choice, pro-war, pro-abstinence education presidential candidate John McCain in 2000, and $1,350 to Republican then-AG candidate Rob McKenna (who recently endorsed McCain) in 2004. Burgess says he gave the money under “unique circumstances”—attacks on McCain by the religious right and the defeat of his first choice for AG, Democrat Mark Sidran, respectively—and adds, “I’m definitely a Democrat.” Burgess previously supported Della, but says he’s “been disappointed in his leadership,” particularly on parks, which he oversees as head of the council’s parks committee. Burgess also disparages Della’s preference for a larger new viaduct to replace the current Alaskan Way Viaduct on the waterfront.

I talked to Burgess about this earlier this year too, and he repeated that he donated to McCain in 2000 because he liked that McCain was taking on Falwell and Robertson—”agents of intolerance” (those were the days).

Burgess explains, “McCain was running against then-Gov. Bush in the South Carolina primary. Jerry Falwell and other leaders of the extreme religious right viciously smeared McCain over his faith and accused him of having a daughter outside of his marriage—his adopted daughter from Bangladesh. The attacks had obvious racist overtones. I have spoken out against the extreme religious right’s leadership for nearly 20 years and this smear so enraged me that I fired off a check to Sen. McCain.

(Not sure if he heard McCain’s “gook” comment, but…. Sigh, that’s when I pen-knifed the McCain bumpersticker off my car.)

Meanwhile, I just took a look at some of Burgess’s other donations and mostly the guy seems like a Democrat to me: NARAL and Democratic Port Reformer Geal Tarleton are his most recent donations. He’s also kicked in to lib KC Council Member Dow Constantine, Dem House leader Helen Sommers, and all the Seattle City Council Members, including the max to lefty Nick Licata.

The only donation that tweaks my spider senses: $650 to Casey Corr. Uggggh.

RSS icon Comments


Which I guess all makes sense when you notice that he doesn't mention which church he goes to on his website.

Not like it's important, but that's where his seed money is coming from.

Posted by dw | June 13, 2007 12:13 PM

I consider Burgess' donating to McCain in 2000 a plus, just as I think better of Norm Maleng for donating to assorted Democrats and centrist Republicans. One of the fundamental problems with American politics today is that so many of us care more about what tribe someone belongs to than where they stand on the issues.

Speaking of issues, though... I'm just curious where Burgess comes down on some local transportation issues because David "Mr. New Viaduct for the Workin' Folks" Della has been a disaster where that's concerned.

Posted by cressona | June 13, 2007 12:43 PM

I just wrote: I'm just curious where Burgess comes down on some local transportation issues... Well, besides the viaduct.

As noted from the above excerpt: Burgess also disparages Della’s preference for a larger new viaduct to replace the current Alaskan Way Viaduct on the waterfront.

Posted by cressona | June 13, 2007 12:46 PM

Oh, yeah, Della. What happened to his efforts to reform Seattle City Light? What about everything else he mentioned in his campaign, and the many other initiatives he's spearheaded on the Council. Oh, that's right! He's collected an outsize salary for sitting on his ass for the last four years.

Posted by Gitai | June 13, 2007 1:22 PM

I wouldn't have voted for McCain in 2000 because he was and is too far to the right for my beliefs. However, I respected him for his independence and willingness to criticize the Falwells of the party. I didn't admire his racial slurs, nor do I admire the 2007 McCain, who seems to have dropped his moral compass in the neocon swampland.

McKenna is too conservative for my taste also, but I also respect him, as he seems quite competent, and he is not a neocon hack.

Although I'm a D, I don't mind Burgess' donations to those two. Imagine what our political discourse would be like if the moderate R's dominated their party. We'd be going full force on global warming and a bunch of things. The neocons have set much of the U.S. political agenda for many years.

And I doubt we'd have people like John Edwards advisor Mudcat Saunders bashing the left . Perhaps that's wishful thinking, but I've had enough of D's who hate the base of their party.

Posted by Ebenezer | June 13, 2007 1:27 PM

Josh keeps bashing Casey Corr because he's jealous. Casey is what Josh has always wished he could be -- a top-notch journalist.

Posted by ivan | June 13, 2007 1:41 PM

you mean top notch journalistic.

Posted by Josh Feit | June 13, 2007 1:52 PM

I think he gave $650 to Casey just to thumb his nose at you, Josh.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 13, 2007 2:03 PM

Della deserves credit for the successful Charter Amendment to have the Council appoint some of the Parks' Board members rather than the Mayor picking all of them.

And, like it or not, it took guts to stand up for the 43% of voters who want the Viaduct replaced in-kind over the opposition of the downtown business/political cabal (if the so-called "Surface/Transit" option had been on the ballot, it would have been lucky to get half that many votes).

We get a whole lot of lip service from some Council members about keeping families and working folks in Seattle - at least Della was willing to stick his neck out and actually vote for something concrete that would have helped do so.

Posted by Mr. X | June 13, 2007 2:10 PM

Nick Licata is not a lefty, he's a regressive populist (just like our own Mr. X).

Steinbrueck is a lefty.

Posted by Sean | June 13, 2007 2:35 PM

Ivan @7--

Casey Corr a "top-notch journalist"? Are you joking? Being satirical?

I'm so confused these days.

Posted by Ebenezer | June 13, 2007 2:38 PM

Your obsession with Casey Corr is truly odd. Get a life, and fuck yourself.

Posted by Get over 2005 | June 13, 2007 2:41 PM

Must have been that line hinting that Josh was a member of the Monorail Taliban. Josh is competing with Joel Connelly as the grudge-keeping pisser in political reporting.

Posted by Remembers what happened at Willamette Week | June 13, 2007 2:50 PM

Mr. X: Families... Working folks... Elitists... Business... Special Interests... Cabal...

I gotta hand it to you, Mr. X, you've got the whole Lou Dobbs thing down pat, maybe better than ol' Lou himself.

Funny thing, though, about those who trade in populist rhetoric whether it's Nick Licata or David Della, Lou Dobbs or William Jennings Bryan. The solutions they propose usually end up screwing the very people they claim to represent.

Posted by cressona | June 13, 2007 2:50 PM

you need a life coach.
Go to the gym or something.

Posted by Josh Feit | June 13, 2007 2:52 PM

Mr. X @9:

Della deserves credit for the successful Charter Amendment to have the Council appoint some of the Parks' Board members rather than the Mayor picking all of them.

Y'know, I do have to give David Della credit. I mean, if there's anything that has made a tangible difference in the lives of regular Seattle working people, it's been the ability of City Councilmembers to appoint city parks board members.

With that kind of running start, you figure that in his next term Della do something really spectacular. Y'know, like establishing a process for hiring the next city dogcatcher.

Posted by cressona | June 13, 2007 2:56 PM


Right - and tearing down the Viaduct and replacing it with nothing was REALLY gonna screw all of them working stiffs from Ballard to West Seattle. Silly me!

FOAD (not very genteel, but effectively the same thing the Council has now said to 80,000 West Seattle residents).

Posted by Mr. X | June 13, 2007 2:58 PM


I guess responding to citizens isn't Cressona's idea of responsiveness.

News flash - what happens in neighborhood parks has a whole lot of bearing on the day-to-day lives of lots of Seattle residents. But that sort of thing is lost on elitist know-it-all types, I suppose.

Posted by Mr. X | June 13, 2007 3:01 PM

Cressona @ 14,

And you think Corporate Seattle politicos like Jan Drago and Greg Nickels are doing better by them?

Posted by Mr. X | June 13, 2007 3:18 PM

Mr. X, you're absolutely right. It's only a bunch of out-of-touch elitists who would think that there's any kind of public demand for actually improving our parks. No, the real public outcry has been for changing the process by which the parks board gets appointed.

I mean, what regular Seattleite doesn't occasionally think during the day, "Wouldn't it make my life a whole lot better if our City Council could grab some power from our mayor?"

Posted by cressona | June 13, 2007 3:22 PM

Do you even read any other papers than the Stranger? There were a series of actions by the Parks Dept. (overseen by the Parks Board) that outraged thousands of citizens all over Seattle that gave rise to that change. The Charter Amendment passed with (as I recall) well over 70% of the vote, BTW.

You're a real man of the people, dude.

Posted by Mr. X | June 13, 2007 3:32 PM

Well, Mr. X, I must confess, unlike those "thousands of citizens," I haven't been so up on the machinations of the Parks Department. Little good that daily newspaper subscription has done me.

But hey, I was aware of all the trouble with City Light and those skyrocketing electric bills -- y'know, the whole issue Della used to get elected. Anyone have any info how Della's been doing on that front?

Oh, I also have to give credit to Della for looking out for the interests of "them working stiffs from Ballard to West Seattle." And what better way to do that than to be the one City Councilmember most determined to kill that monorail that would have served, well, Ballard and West Seattle?

Posted by cressona | June 13, 2007 3:43 PM

There's a good point here. Maybe you're the one needing time at a gym. Let it go!

Posted by Reader Alert | June 13, 2007 4:47 PM

David "Heidi Wills ruined City Light" Della was too much of a pussy to take the chair of the energy committee when Drago offered it to him. That's all I need to know about him.

To be honest though, I wish there was a more exciting challenger than Burgess....but he'll get my vote anyways.

Posted by Willis | June 13, 2007 4:56 PM

@ 1 Burgess goes to Bethany Presbyterian Church which conveniently enough is number 16 in the Stranger's excellent feature.

As a former parishioner (and current atheist) i can tell you that Bethany tries to be relatively apolitical but has surprisingly conservative theology on gays (ie. it came up maybe once in 15yrs)

They take the falsely moderate position that being gay is fine as long as you don't, you know, do any thing gay like sleeping with same-sex people

Posted by Vooodooo84 | June 13, 2007 8:18 PM

@ 22 (and 24),

I wouldn't blame the Monorail on Della (he was just one of the first elected to turn on them when the debt to project cost ratio exceeded 5 to 1), but the City Light stuff is definitely fair game.

Posted by Mr. X | June 13, 2007 9:01 PM

Mr. X, I'm always impressed by the sheer creativity of your misrepresentation. I state that Della was a diehard monorail opponent and you transform that into my blaming the monorail fiasco on Della. Wow.

And let's get the timeline straight. Della wasn't merely a monorail supporter who only turned when the finances turned sour. I remember very well in 2003 that Heidi Wills was the pro-monorail candidate and Della was the anti-monorail candidate or, at the very least, a monorail skeptic. Wasn't the monorail to him just another tax that would help drive away all those middle-class folks? Never mind that some middle-class folks might have actually benefited from the monorail.

Posted by cressona | June 13, 2007 10:12 PM

Hello! Good Site! Thanks you! dymovthjgmgth

Posted by gjjvnvdqlq | June 18, 2007 4:02 AM

Hello! Good Site! Thanks you! xsxdwqmsrqpov

Posted by jryzltkljc | June 18, 2007 4:02 AM

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 14 days old).