Were McDermott and Podlodowki aware of this when they endorsed him? Did you call and ask?
This guy is digging his own grave the more he talks-- we don't need his leadership.
Can someone explain the point of this post? He worked for an agnostic, driven-by-the-dollar marketing firm. In other words, he worked for a perfectly normal business, that conducted itself the way every normal business does. Are you implying that he should be held accountable for this somehow? I hope not, 'cause that's ridiculous. It's like blaming a lawyer for taking on guilty clients...that's the nature of the business.
I have no axe to grind here, truly...I'm not backing either of these horses. From that objective standpoint, ECB's post shouldn't have any bearing on how you vote, unless you're a reactionary liberal scold.
I don't think your being entirely fair with your comment.
Tim didn't work for the firm, he was the founder. There is a big difference. Your post essentially places equal responsibility for a company's business decisions on Bill Gates as it does the security guard at a Microsoft building because they both work for a "driven-by-the-dollar" company.
I think the premise behind Erica's post was that Tim is the founder of the firm, and therefore he is the one who is ultimately responsible for what clients he decided to take on. In the quotes she provides, Tim basically agrees and admits he decided to represent this deplorable group. "Driven-by-the-dollar" people are not necessarily who you want representing you in public office. Should we never judge a company or its founders by the way that company runs its business? If you are a libertarian, fine, but progressives, as Tim claims to be, are supposed to care about more than simply the bottom line.
I have not made up my mind in this race either, but this information certainly did not help improve my opinion of Tim.
To answer post #1 - yes, I knew about this before endorsing Tim. Tim was very diligent in reminding me about this so I could make up my own mind prior to endorsement.
And post #3 is perfectly objective, and echos my views on the matter.
I have known Tim for many years, as a neighbor, friend and colleague, and I trust him.
He's FOR equal rights.
He's helped out behind the scenes on more progress issues related to our neighborhoods and city than you can imagine.
He'll make a great councilmember.
As much as I respect and personally like his opponent, when Tim called to ask for my support, there was no hesitation on my part.
No one else should hesitate because of this post - Vote Tim!
does the stranger agree with all of it's advertisers?
I think Della is a dirtbag and dickfuck, but I don't see how I can avoid voting for him now. I'm sure Tim is a lovely guy. But that he helped the CWfA get its rabidly anti-gay, anti-woman message out for nearly a decade isn't something I can shrug off so easily. If he was FOR equal rights--for it in caps, no less--how could he carry water for that disgusting organization for so long?
A guy has gotta eat. But a guy has gotta have a conscience too--particularly a guy that wants my vote.
At #6: were talking about someone who hopes to represent Seattle citizens in government, not a weekly media read.
I was not aware that the progressive stance is that someone launching his or her own business for the purpose of making money (that is why progressives launch businesses, right?) was required to only do business with people whose opinions match their own.
And it's not like he was doing promotions for Hitler here (though many on this board likely see no difference between Hitler and the religious right). They're Bible-thumpers. So what? Don't they have a right to get consultation services like anyone else? Shouldn't progressives believe enough in their own cause that silencing the opponent isn't necessary? To me, this is simply a sneaky form of censorship. I don't want groups like this to be forcibly silenced. I want them proven wrong, and I want them to be as loud as they like about being wrong.
Furthermore, when one is launching a business and trying to make it solvent, one doesn't always have the luxury of making such precise distinctions with clients. If you're a major corporation like Microsoft, you have a little more leeway with how you make these decisions. I don't know that we should hold smallish businesses like the one Burgess was running up to that same standard.
Also, he did later opt out of working on their projects, and made that option available to the staff. So he worked in that level of flexibility and enabled people to have some control over what they would and would not do. To me, that's a pretty progressive way for him to run the business...most employers just tell you to jump, and expect you to say "how high?"
Who one chooses to work for and what they represent are valid measures of a candidate whether you support them or not. It is called a resume.
Meth dealers are "agnostic and driven-by-the-dollar" too. So--that makes everything OK?
At worst, Tim Burgess is more conservative than most Seattle voters. At best, he is more concerned with business profit than business ethics. Either troubles me.
Come on, Erica... Stop doing Della's dirty work for him.
Burgess has been upfront about his religious beliefs, his past statements, and work like this. He's not trying to hide anything.
He's managed to convince many prominent LGBT folks in the community to endorse or support him.
And this appears to be citing his work five years ago and applying it to hateful public pronouncements the CWA have done since then. That hardly seems fair!
Instead of headlines about Burgess's work for religious right groups and his religious beliefs, why don't we have real articles and blog items about why so many community leaders and political groups seem to think a person with Burgess's beliefs and background is preferable to the incummbent, progressive, person of color, Della?
Yes, Erica--stop doing Della's dirty work. Do Tim's dirty work.
Oh Dan -
Not to start a big argument, but your "purity" test is reactionary, kinda touching in a jaded way, yet not very real world and I think you know that. The history of any action needs to be put in context, and even the best folks screw-up. Sometimes even big time. I think both you and I have done that! Well, I'm sure you have...
I urge you/anyone to to talk to Tim directly about this - in fact, every voter should rather than just speculate about it on SLOG posts. City Council candidates are infinitely accessible so get the facts. Then make up your own mind, whoever you vote for...(just do vote!)
Any issues I've had with Tim over this are resolved as far as I'm concerned - I'm voting for Tim. And I'm very clear and firm about how he personally stands on a myriad of issues important to Seattle right here and now, including my civil rights.
Hey tiptoe @ 10
Is consulting for a Christian right group really unethical? No it isn't, except in the context of your own personal bias. There's nothing unethical about what Burgess did. He ran a consulting firm, and they were hired to do some consulting. Comparing it to meth dealing is just ridiculous.
You can argue about whether he did the "progressive" thing or not, but there's no evidence here whatsoever that he has some kind of profits-over-ethics morality issue.
Does Tim have time to talk to every voter about this?
Tim just lost my vote. Not that he had me won over. But now I have to give my vote to sleepy Della. I think Della has been awful, but Tina's so called pragmatist argument is weak beyond words. Yes, he cleared it with Tina cuz she is a big money donor and a player in local politics.
Tim could have refused that contract, excused himself. Whatever. If youre going to say, Well were a firm and we will represent anyone, than be prepared to lose people and votes. If Tom Metzger came asking for PR would his firm do the same thing? what is to say once you get in the council your old clients wont come a knocking.
ECB has been on the job lately. She nailed Della, Shark and now Timmy. Who is next?
I supported Tim Burgess before reading this post, and I still support Tim Burgess now that I know this. Still, I have to admit the guy has gone down a rung in my estimation. Dan Savage's response @7 does kinda ring true to me.
I don't know if this is a fair analogy, but the political consultant Christian Sinderman is working for Burgess now. I couldn't imagine Sinderman accepting work for a homophobic group like this considering who his primary clientele is. By the same token, Burgess' firm wasn't exactly doing political consulting. I dunno.
I wonder though if Erica could mention what prompted her to investigate this story. Is this something she just came across on her own, or did Burgess lay it on the table to try to immunize himself, or was there a tip from a Della sympathizer?
@ 13: Tina, you were the Executive Director of Lifelong AIDS Alliance-- a group who work in the trenches on health issues, particularly those that overwhelmingly serve gay men. CWfA has worked to say that homosexuals shouldn't even exist. You've worked tirelessly for the LGBT community yet you support someone who has worked to help them spread their message.
Don't make another mistake Tina and re-consider your support.
@8... the point isn't that the stranger is running for office... obviously.
the point is that some who works at, edits, or runs the stranger could run for office. would they be disqualified because of some of the ads the stranger ran?
@14: The Yuppie Nuremberg defense: "It pays the mortgage."
@11: Is your argument that CWA's public stands have changed significantly in the five years since Burgess did work for them? I don't think that's the case.
@13: Tina and the Burgess Backers really need to formulate a cogent argument that Della needs to go and that Burgess would represent an improvement. Burgess seems to be appealing to the law-and-order crowd by calling for more cops without saying what he'd cut to fund these new positions. He built his presentation to the 43rd Demos the other night around his participation in the dumb NIMBY opposition to a new mixed-use development on Queen Anne. His Christian leanings keep popping up in various troubling contexts, including this one. Exactly what's so good about this guy, anyway?
@19: When someone runs for the Stranger, let's see what happens.
This is Seattle- the bastion of progressive issues, there is no room for CWA's right wing views.
This information has been out there for weeks - mentioned here on Slog in posts as well.
Burgess took the devils money - now he can sleep with her.
By the way, Phylis Shafley who runs the most poisonous right wing anti gay organization in America has a gay son, out gay son. What a mommie ... Burgess needs to go back to corporate America ... his ethics match corporate greed quite well.
Della has my vote... and a check for 100.00.
I'm really surprised so many of you are so forgiving. I'm truly not a self righteous person at all, but (to me) there is a difference agreeing to work for someone I merely disagree with vs. choosing to work for one of the most rabid and effective anti-gay groups in America. I'm shocked by this news and surprised so many of you are shrugging your shoulders.
Didn't Burgess personally opt out of working with CWA?
He took the devil's money? We all take the devil's money to some extent -- The Stranger included. It would be hypocritical to dismiss him based on these specific actions of his company years ago.
He seemed to have taken a very reasonable stance. Comparing him to an SS officer or Meth dealer is not defensable.
While it's troubling that Burgess would represent groups that oppose equal rights for gays and lesbians, oppose a women's right to make personal medical decisions, and proselytize Christina Values as values that "should dominate our government," what's more troubling is that he has written an op-ed espousing these views as his own.
"We don't like abortion. We value the sacredness of marriage between a woman and man. We recognize that not everyone agrees with us and we know the law isn't a good mechanism to resolve these issues, but moral persuasion is."
These are not my values... These are not Seattle's values... These are not values that we can afford on our City Council.
I'm one of Tim Burgess's supporters (and endorsers) in the LGBT community, and I want to chime in here.
Slog readers should know that this issue about CWA and Domain has been propagated by Della and his consultant Michael Grossman through an unseemly whispering campaign in recent months, targeting influential LGBT and progressive community leaders. They've tried to use the CWA work by Tim's company, together with an outright misrepresentation of Tim's views on marriage equality, to impugn Tim's progressive credentials.
To paraphrase Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, I don't mind a negative campaigner, but I object to a cut-rate one. Della, as others here have pointed out, lacks a clear record of accomplishment in nearly four years on the council. Unable to run on his own record, he and Grossman have instead sought to invent a distorted image of Tim Burgess to run against. It's not likely to work for them, because Seattle voters are generally sophisticated and well-informed, but nonetheless, I'll call it what it is: gay-baiting.
Gay-baiting in campaigns manifests itself in multiple ways: one day it's Karl Rove insinuating that (hetero) Ann Richards is a lesbian to rile Texas voters; today, it's Della/Grossman insinuating that (progressive) Tim Burgess is somehow in league with evangelical conservatives in an attempt to rile Seattle's LGBT voters. In either scenario, it all cascades down to the same dismally low ethical standard. In this case, it defames Burgess temporarily and unfairly in the eyes of a few, but ultimately, it demeans David Della, the sole person responsible for promoting this garbage in the first place.
i don't like abortion... who likes it? there is a difference between liking something and supporting it as law. i don't like taxes, either.
the marriage thing is a little different, but i rather like a candidate who supports giving people to live they way they want to (under the law). i don't have to agree with them as long as they are not forcing their beliefs on me.
isn't this what we would want in any leader or lawmaker?
it is that same belief that allows him to start a company that would for a while work with a group whose philosophy he did not agree with.
Reread my post Matthew and Infrequent. I never compared Burgess to a meth dealer. What pissed me off an prompted me to post was your original defense of his actions because they were "driven by the dollar".
This kind of bullshit "gotta pay the bills" crap has been used throughout history to justify all kinds of heinous actions. Many Germans looked the other way when Hitler began killing the jews and gays.
1,2,3...now attack me for comparing Tim to Hitler...
So, I'll ask Erica (and now Dan, too) again...
Instead of doing Della's dirty work for him, why don't we have an actual discussion of what Della has or has not accomplished in his term on City Council (particularly in light of the campaign rhetoric he ran on)? And then we can compare Burgess's stated beliefs about what he would like to accomplish on City Council, and how he would differ from Della.
You know, engage in the journalism you're good at, rather than the lazy postings that are encouraged within Slog?
Grossman is the 'mastermind' behind many low and distorted campaign tactics and smears (Rate Hike Heidi for one) and I have no respect for any candidate who hires him (add Port Commission Bob Edwards to that mix).
@29 nobody attacked you previously. i said comparing him to an SS officer or meth dealer is not defensible. do you really think Tim is like a meth dealer? do you not see the differences between working for a company doing legal business and personally selling a harsh illegal drug? do you think he should be compared to someone -- your choice of of Hitler -- who is killing others, or even looking the other way when others are being killed (where, by the way, you didn't even show that they were doing it for the almighty dollar)?
Mickymse: Um... are you kidding? I've covered Della's record substantively in this paper and on Slog for years, pointing out repeatedly, for example, the fact that he ran against Wills's record on the City Light committee and then turned down the chance to head that committee. This piece on Burgess is news, too.
From a guest editorial to the Seattle Times in 2005 entitled 'Question what you're told about faith-driven voters' Mr. Burgess writes...
"Admittedly, we struggle with a lot of pressing issues. We don't like abortion. We value the sacredness of marriage between a woman and man. We recognize that not everyone agrees with us and we know the law isn't a good mechanism to resolve these issues, but moral persuasion is. "
This paragraph in the article gives me great pause because unless I am reading it wrong this does sat that Mr. Burgess and other faith driven voters that are of his ilk)oppose abortion and gay marriage. Maybe the type of faith based voter he refers to believes in the 'moral persuasion' as the appropriate tool rather than policy or law. I say fair enough. But if this IS INDEED what Mr. Burgess is saying, then as a lesbian and a woman would not support him a local elected official. Choice & Gay Civil Rights the 2 issues that are most important to me. I want city & county elected officials, school board members, state representatives, etc. who I know will support these issues will all of their hearts, not to use 'moral persuasion' to work against these policies.
If Mr. Burgess has had a change of heart on these issues then I think thatís great and I encourage him to clear the record. However, I don't expect that he would be a veracious advocate.
this post was interesting information as far as it went, but enquiring minds want to know - in the period 1990-2003/4 did CWA become more extreme in its views such that it became the client you didn't know you'd signed on for? it's a big deal to dump a paying client - did ecb ask why they did?
sometimes it seems like she and dan et al get a little too much thrill from the gotcha - maybe that's just reporter way, but some of this is getting a little tabloid-y.
This paragraph in the article gives me great pause. Unless I am reading it wrong, this does say that Mr. Burgess (and other faith driven voters of his ilk) opposes abortion and gay marriage. Maybe the type of faith based voter he refers to believes in the 'moral persuasion' is the appropriate tool rather than policy or law. I say fair enough. But if this IS INDEED what Mr. Burgess is saying, then as a lesbian and a woman I would not support him as one of my local elected official. Choice & Gay Civil Rights are the 2 issues that are most important to me. I want city & county elected officials, school board members, state representatives, etc. that I can count on to support these issues will all of their hearts, and not to use 'moral persuasion' to work against these issues.
If Mr. Burgess has had a change of heart on these issues then I think thatís great. I don't expect that he would be a veracious advocate however.
Here are two problems with the anti-Burgess arguments being thrown around here:
1) You're playing a classic game of Shoot The Messenger. You don't like the message of the group that hired Burgess' firm. Fine. But you're conflating those views with Burgess himself, who was only being paid to act as a consultant (or messenger). He personally doesn't believe this stuff, but he also isn't such a reactionary--or so unconfident in his beliefs--that he finds it necessary to smother those who disagree with him.
2) You think that anybody running for City Council should only have owned businesses that put politics (specifically, your politics) above profit. Anything less, and you're a moral-free shill for the Almighty Dollar. There's only Gordon Gekko and Vladimir Lenin. Apparently, you don't seem to understand that we live in a capitalist society, where businesses don't have opinions. They're supposed to lawfully and ethically make money. That's it. We call it "the real world."
Let's take your version of how things should be to their logical conclusion: All business owners only do business with clients whose politics they personally espouse. Where will that get us, exactly? Tiptoe, since you're so fond of making comparisons, I've got one for you: Remember those pharmacists who wouldn't fill out prescriptions for birth control pills based on their politics? That pissed you off, huh? There's a reason why businesses aren't supposed to take such things into account (and yes, I know that comparison is flawed because we're talking medicine vs. private business. But if you guys can bring up Hitler and meth dealers, I get pharmacists).
A councilman/woman should be unbiased and critically evaluate arguments based on merit. They should also be straightforward about their thought process. Burgess has demonstrated those characteristics, and while I started the day off undecided, this argument has me leaning toward him over Della.
barb, he didn't say he moral persuasion was a tool. he is saying it is up to an individuals moral pursuasion to decide for themselves... meaning it should be legal, and let the person decide.
just like drinking alcohol, going to church, and any other number of issues we allow for people to decide for themselves on.
It's interesting how hacks for hire--whether you are writing fundraising mail or working in politics--calibrate their political barometer. Personally, I try to reconcile my own values to the profile of a candidate that I think can be elected in that jurisdiction. So in Seattle I wouldn't work for someone opposed to marriage equality, for example. But I have worked for Democrats in other parts of the state who are (unfortunately) much squishier on the issue.
I would never work for a Republican, even in a non-partisan race, but I would take on a Democrat more conservative than myself in a district where it will make a difference in the larger political landscape.
All of us, no matter what we do for a living, cut corners now and then. I know lots of progressive attorneys who have held their noses to represent a polluter; consultants who take on a client they later regret; newspapers who sell ads to questionable businesses.
I honestly think for Tim this is the exception that proves the rule: CWfA may not share our beliefs, but I am confident that Tim Burgess does in fact represent and hold dear the values we expect and deserve in a City Council member.
I'm still voting for Burgess. The absolute worst case scenario I see here is that Burgess is a whore, doing what the client wants. In this case, I'm the client. He's gotten the SEAMEC rating, he's gotten the endorsements, and he's been up front. Besides, he actually has ideas and plans, whereas Della has the most undistinguished record on the council, and not just this council, but probably in living memory. I can forgive him for the CWA work, especially as I don't think that their values are his own, or that he would attempt to impose them on the city.
If this is the worse thing that the Della can dig up on Burgess, I don't think Burgess has anything to worry about. First of all, it is old news and, secondly, how many voters will really care when they get down to actually comparing the two candidates?
I can hardly wait for the Burgess campaign to start mentioning things like Della has taken contributions from predatory payday loan companies, Martin Selig, and Lori Sotelo and Burgess hasn't. For anyone who doesn't remember, Sotelo is the Vice Chair of the King Co. GOP who erroneously challenged the voter registrations of hundreds of King County residents in 2005.
In a perfect world, we would have candidates who never made any errors in judgement or made mistakes, but that is simply not realistic.
#38 Infrequent and other Burgess supporters - Letís just get past all the dickering around here...
1) What is Mr. Burgessí record on Choice and Gay Civil rights?
2) There is an implication from Ms. Podlodowski and others that he does not believe in the principles he peddled for CWFA so...What has he done to prove himself a supporter/advocate of gay issues or a woman's right to choose (and I agree you don't have to 'like' abortion to be pro choice).
I still would find it difficult- based on my own moral conscious - to support someone who helped CWFA do a better job and oppressing me.
@37: So because he was *paid* to be this group's mouthpiece, he's absolved of all moral responsibility for the positions he helped them push? That's convenient.
As his consultant please show me any record out there that exists that shows Mr. Burgess is a supporter or advocate for gay and lesbian civil rights or a woman's right to choose.
The mere fact that he has endorsements from Tina Podlodowski and Joe McDermott do not count as a record of support for gay rights.
I look forward to reviewing this information and would ask that the SLOG post it in the interest of better informing readers like me.
Hey all you stupid fools who can rationalize themselves into half way accepting the ugly, vile, attacks of Concerned Women of America ... how can you do that?
This is the most horrible anti-gay group in America, relentless year after year after year. Raising millions on our backs, repeating the most vile and ugly crap you can imagine in their mailings.
I could not stand to be in the same room with these people, their smell and facial expressions would be so foul.
Let alone take hundreds and hundred of dollars of their blood money.
Your enemies friend is your enemy. Did Burgess do work for Karl Rove? Ask him Erica?
I think Mr. Burgess is a Republican trapped in a City than has no place for Rs.
Not my vote. Not my friends vote. Never.
Years back I got on the CCWA mailing lists - Did
Burgess work on the PR about how gay men ear feces - and deserved the AIDS epidemic as the revenge of God. Did he?
Dan and Erica and Dave Coffman, just what PR materials did Burgess and his company work on? How bad is the stench?
I don't know of any official records, but when I e-mailed Tim to ask him about his stance on (1) gay and (2) abortion rights, he told me:
1. "I support marriage equality."
2. "I would never deny a womanís ability to make her own health care decisions and I am pro-choice."
"Admittedly, we struggle with a lot of pressing issues. We donít like abortion. We value the sacredness of marriage between a woman and man. We recognize that not everyone agrees with us and we know the law isnít a good mechanism to resolve these issues, but moral persuasion is."
Pro-choice, but wants to use "moral persuasion" to talk us out of choosing abortion. For gay marriage, but values the "sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman," and wants to use, again, "moral persuasion" to "resolve" the issue of gay marriage, which is, by implication, something less than sacred -- something, perhaps, profane?
Sorry. That graph alone prevents me from voting for Burgess. That's bigoted, religious-right code. Pure Concerned Women for America demagoguery--particular in Jan of 2005, when Burgess wrote that graph for the Seattle Times.
Sorry, Tim. Not buying your current "support" for marriage equality.
see, i didn't read it that way. i read "moral pursuasion" as an individual's choice. he says he doesn't think a law should answer that question, but someone's moral pursuasion should.
i suppose he could mean that he his trying to pursuade people using moral methods... but that just seems silly. when someone talks of another's political pursuasion, they mean their polical beliefs. moral pursuasion, moral beliefs.
so, in effect, he seems to be saying, "we don't like abortion (who does!), but the law shouldn't decide whether someone can get one or not. and indivual's own moral state must determine this."
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