Call me crazy, but if I was a consultant for the GOP, I'd have some advice for John Koster, the Republican running in Washington State's new 1st Congressional District: You shouldn't have Larry Stickney as your campaign manager.
Stickney ran Protect Marriage Washington, a statewide campaign to repeal domestic-partnership rights for gay couples in 2009, a campaign that was extremelydishonest, a campaign that operated in conjunction with an out-of-state tax-evader, and a campaign—with Stickney as the head man—who used every anti-gay trick in the book and claimed to espouse family values despite the fact that Stickney was thrice married and faced allegations from an ex-wife of domestic abuse.
Now Koster has paid Stickney $148,000 in wages and other receipts in the 2010 and 2012 campaigns, according to records from the Federal elections Commission, including $3,250 monthly salary as the campaign manager. Meanwhile, his family is in on the act. Among Greta, Matt, and Pollyanna Stickney, they've hauled another $36,000.
Why is Koster so cozy with an anti-gay bigot who flamed out in an election failure?
Koster didn't return my call today. But if it gives you any solace, Stickney has a track record of defeat. I can't calculate what, exactly, the voting trends were inside Washington State's new 1st Congressional District in when voters approved Referendum 71, despite Stickney's efforts to defeat it, because the new district didn't yet exist in 2009. But it stands to reason that many key voters approved gay rights. And they'll be inclined to vote against Koster, particularly if they know he's got Stickney in tow.