SAIC isn't solely a customs security company. They're also a pretty huge government contractor. Military and intelligence contracts, too.
So what, Josh?
The port pays $6,000/year. Do you really expect port commissioners to live on $6,000/year??? Stands to reason that they would have day jobs and lives outside the port.
Jack Block, Jr. is a Burien City Councilmember and he also works for SSA Marine. Should he be disqualified because SSA Marine is a tenant of the port? Should he be disqualified because Burien is working together with the port on economic development around the airport??
Of course not! Similarly, Gael should not be slandered because she has relevant job experience that gives her great perspective on an issue of great importance to ports - security. She said she'll recuse herself if the port commission has any votes on deals with SAIC, and she should.
That should be the end of the story. Instead, you have juvenile doctrinaire lefties who spout the tired truism "business = bad" and eat their own good candidates. Thank god Governor Gregoire was able to get elected despite the carpings of all the nutjobs!
Brotwurst Boy @ 2:
Josh hardly needs me to stick up for him, but this hardly rises to the level of slander.
Josh did his job, and props to him for that. Gael Tarleton is an excellent candidate, but she is no more immune to scrutiny than anyone else is.
So what ... What?
No, Jack shouldn't be disqualified and nor should Gael. I didn't say she should be. I asked her a question, and she answered it well.
Keep it up Josh. Your reporting isn't slandering anyone. But it is getting this aspect of port campaigns some much needed attention. The candidates ought to be asking you to bring it on.
So what? What difference does it make if she raised money from other co-workers at a former job? I used to work at a chain restaurant. If I ran for the legislature and raised 10% of my budget from my former co-workers does that mean I am in the pocket of the Washington Restaurant Association? Am I certain to vote for tip credit? Abolish the no-smoking ban? Would I vote to undo the minimum wage annual increases? Of course not.
These are good questions to ask - but let's start talking about how the hell we fix that mess called the Port of Seattle.
Besides, she has to be lightyears ahead in terms of ethics than Bob Edwards. Pat Davis and Mic Dinsmore have their hands jammed so far up Bob Edwards' ass, it's hard to know who's doing the speaking for him anymore. Gael seems impressive. Jack would do in a pinch. I am for anyone but Edwards.
Way to downplay Gael Tarleton's contributions from SAIC. By referring to only current employees and not former employees or family members of employees you are able to cite a figure of 10%. However, when you include former employees, mostly top execs, the figure jumps to 20% of her money coming from SAIC related parties. Because SAIC is an employee owned company, almost all of these contributors surely have an ongoing financial interest in SAIC. More on this conflict here:
Also, please see information involving another ethics scandal related to SAIC disclosure and Port security on a national level:
So these guys aren't just any old contractor, to say the least.
Tarleton may agree to recuse herself from any matters directly concerning SAIC (although it took this story to get her to do that). But she can't recuse herself from involvement in the larger questions around security at the Port - questions like the need to balance technology with manpower, or the need to require departure point ports to handle container scanning vs doing it here at The Port of Seattle. These are the types of policy questions that will impact the Port's security contracting decisions for many years. And these are exactly the kind of high-level policy decisions that could benefit Tarleton's biggest supporters in a major way. If she were to recuse herself from those types of decisions, then what would be the point of having her on the commission?
To point out that Bob Edwards has gross conflicts of interest as well is quite true. But of course it's irrelevant to the question of Tarlatans’ conflicts. And to describe the fact that Jack Block Jr's father contributed to Bob Edwards as a situation comparable to the corporate conflicts of the other candidates seems somewhat strange. Have any friends in the Tarleton campaign Josh?
To point out that Bob Edwards has gross conflicts of interest as well is quite true. But of course it's irrelevant to the question of Tarlatan's conflicts. And to describe the fact that Jack Block Jr's father contributed to Bob Edwards as a situation comparable to the corporate conflicts of the other candidates seems somewhat strange. Have any friends in the Tarleton campaign Josh?
Jess is correct, SAIC is much more than just a Ports contractor, although that is a major push for them lately. More on SAIC here:
Look up in the sky, Jeff! It's a black helicopter! Go chase it!
Good lord...and we need to see his rant twice?
Jeff Upthegrove's idea of trade is delivering his adult entertainment to Asian markets. We should really take this guy seriously as a 'reporter'.
Let's just hope to God that Jeff stays *behind the camera*
Why the personal grudge against Tarleton?
Edwards has taken contributions from SSA...Jack Block Jr. works for SSA and has taken numerous contributions from the Longshoremen...are they all conflicts of interest, or do candidates simply rely on their friends and co-workers for donations?
Why not concentrate on what matters here...firing Bob Edwards!
Fair question j-seawa.
I have plenty of criticisms of both Bob Edwards and Jack Block. If you check the record at The Port Observer you will see that each has come under scrutiny in the past, especially Edwards.
But this story isn't about them. Or about me. (I'm not running for anything) As you can see by the Tarleton shills on this thread, this information has obviously touched a nerve.
Sadly, there exists a group of local establishment so-called Democrats who believe that the only qualification for public office is the ability to raise corporate money and print the letter D in front of your name. Values be damned. Sometimes you need to lay out the truth in clear terms. The result is the howling and crying that you see here. Sad really.
Wow, I was inclined to dismiss this stuff. But when you look at the attacks on the messenger you have to wonder what's up...
@15 - Values be damned? What do you know about Tarleton's values? As has been pointed out in this thread all of the candidates have "conflicts" in their donations. You don't run for Port Commissioner if you haven't aquired some port-related contacts. Tarleton worked at SAIC for like 25 years - she made some friends. That's what you do when you run for office, you call your friends. You call them many times. If you've got an issue here it's with the campaign fundraising laws or a system that requires a candidate to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to run a campaign to become a public servant.
@15 Thanks for the explanation, jeffuppy. I have to politely disagree with your perspective. You are entitled to your opinion, but who are you to judge Tarleton's values? I hardly think that her only qualification is raising corporate money. I donít find anything inappropriate about a candidate who wants to win and therefore works hard, soliciting her friends, so that she raises enough money to run a challenging campaign. That is what successful candidates do...they raise a lot of money so that they can reach large quantities of voters.
@17 Hmmm is right...if we had clean, publically funded elections we would not have to worry about these kinds
My point, j-seawa, was not to question Tarleton's values, but the values of those Democrats who define the "best candidate" as the one able to raise the most corporate cash. That's the values with which I take issue.
I have no idea about Gael's values, progressive or otherwise. I've spoken to her on two separate occasions now - at length - and have heard nothing I would define as progressive ideas about policy or progressive actions in her past. So who knows what her values are? I don't.
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