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Friday, September 7, 2012

Capitol Hill Building Owners Donate $20,000 to Anti-Gay Marriage Group After Allegedly Attempting to Stop Pro-Gay Marriage Fundraiser From Taking Place in Their Apartment Building

Posted by on Fri, Sep 7, 2012 at 9:20 AM

A property company that owns a slew of condo and apartment buildings on gay-friendly Capitol Hill has donated thousands of dollars to Preserve Marriage Washington—the campaign battling gay marriage in our state—after allegedly trying to prevent two tenants from hosting a pro-gay-marriage fundraiser in the courtyard of one of its apartment buildings.

  • Kelly O
  • The Granada Apartments on Belmont Ave
Tenants of the Granada Apartments say Breier-Scheetz Properties, LLC, only allowed the gay-marriage fundraiser to take place after they threatened legal action.

And one week following the event, Breier-Scheetz Properties made a $20,000 contribution to Preserve Marriage Washington, helping push the anti-gay marriage campaign's fundraising total to $524,944, according to the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission (PDC).

All told, according to King County property records, the company owns nine residential buildings on Capitol Hill—meaning it collects rent from hundreds, if not thousands of gay and gay-friendly tenants living in its 438 apartment and condo units in the neighborhood.

"I feel sick about this," says 26-year-old April, one such tenant who believes that the anti-gay donation was motivated by her months-long fight with the property company to host a fundraiser for Washington United for Marriage, the campaign to legalize gay marriage in our state. April lives in the Granada Apartments, a 96-unit building located less than a mile from the United for Marriage headquarters on Capitol Hill.

No one from Breier-Scheetz Properties returned repeated interview requests. However, April says trouble began back in June when she first approached her apartment manager (and Breier-Scheetz employee) JoAnn Huth with the idea of holding an intimate pro-gay-marriage fundraiser in her building's lush courtyard.

"I told her what it was for and she said it was totally fine right then," says April, who requested that her last name be withheld. But that message changed a few weeks later, when April and her boyfriend and fellow tenant, Ben Allen, attempted to pin down a date for the event. Huth reportedly told the couple that Frederick Scheetz, the owner of Breier-Scheetz Properties, had informed her the event "was not something we want to have at the Granada." The explanation struck April as strange. Granada's tenants are continuously hosting events in its courtyard and, to her knowledge, no one has ever been told they couldn't have a party. "There was even a wedding reception held here just last month," she says.

Huth declined to be interviewed for this story.

But in numerous follow-up conversations, April says Huth repeatedly told her that the marriage equality event simply couldn't happen. "When I asked what the owner's concerns were, she wouldn't tell me," April says. "She just repeated her talking point: 'It's not something we want to have here.'"

An email sent from Huth seems to confirm this [sic throughout]:

"I have spoken with the owner in regards to a fund raiser in our courtyard here at The Granada and has decided that it would not be something be want to do," Huth wrote in an email to April dated July 25. "I'm sorry know this disappointment to you."

April then reached out to Scheetz directly to try and alleviate his unspecified concerns. In a July 28 email, she explained that the guest list would only include 15-20 people, that the event would only run from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., that no building doors would be left propped open, and that she would be responsible for all cleanup and any damage caused by the event. "If you have logistical concerns about the event please do let me know so we can work through those together," she wrote. "I hope we can work things out so that I can do a good thing for a good cause!"

April never heard back from Scheetz directly. Instead, she received another clipped email from Huth. "I just received a call from the owner about the letter/email you sent him," Huth wrote. "Although he really appreciates the nice letter he is firm on his decision not to have the fund raiser in the courtyard."

"By that point, I knew why they were saying no—they obviously had a problem with gay marriage," April says. "I felt uncomfortable letting the issue go."

So April contacted a lawyer.

On August 1, Breier-Scheetz Properties received a letter threatening legal action if the property company didn't change its stance on allowing the pro-gay-marriage party to go ahead as scheduled. The letter read in part: "The only apparent reason for you to bar [April's] event is due to her political ideology or the political ideology, sexual orientation, or gender identity of her guests. All three of these are protected classes in the city of Seattle, and... [that] is illegal discrimination."

The couple never heard back from Scheetz or Huth. But on Thursday, August 16, following the advice of their lawyer, April and Allen went ahead with their fundraiser. It was, as promised, a low-key affair: they decorated the courtyard with streamers, played music on a laptop, and had beer and homemade gay marriage cupcakes featuring matching guy robot couples and matching girl cowboys. In two hours, the couple raised $1,800 from their friends for marriage equality.

Then, the following Friday, August 24, Breier-Scheetz Properties made its $20,000 donation to stop gay marriage in Washington.

"It's hard not to feel responsible for this donation," April says. "Maybe they were planning it all along but with the timing..." she trails off. "I've lived in the Granada for two years. At this point, I've paid them almost exactly $20,000 in rent. It kills me that they’re taking money from people who believe in equality and giving it to a hate group."

This donation is just the latest in a string of contributions to conservative causes over the years. A quick scan of PDC reports show that the company has contributed to Republican Rob McKenna in past election cycles, while Scheetz and his wife have personally donated to the campaigns of Dino Rossi and conservative wingnut and semi-benched judge Richard B. Saunders, as well as anti-choice groups.

Still, marriage equality hits a little closer to home for most Capitol Hill residents: "I think that if other tenants knew they're rent money was going to hate organizations, they'd be as enraged as I am," April says.

As I mentioned earlier, Breier-Scheetz Properties owns nine residential buildings on Capitol Hill, all within easy walking distance of Washington United for Marriage headquarters. They are:

· The Hillsborough Condominiums, 740 Bellevue Ave E
· Lenawee Apartments, 1629 Harvard Ave
· Terrace Crest Apartments, 517 9th Ave
· The New McDermott Apartments, 1514 Bellevue Ave
· Mission Inn Apartments, 1743 Boylston Ave
· The Granada Apartments, 1736 Belmont Ave
· Corinthian Apartments, 1705 Summit Ave
· Second and Pine Apartments, 211 Pine St
· And a duplex on Howell Street located at 604 E Howell St

April and Allen are now hunting for a new apartment. While they acknowledge that it's not practical for every gay-marriage supporter who pays rent to the company to follow suit, they hope that a few tenants, at least, will feel motivated to throw pro-marriage-equality fundraisers in their buildings.

The email address for Breier-Scheetz Properties is (Eds note: After reading in the comments that the previous email address didn't work, I hunted down this one.)

"I hope some people feel inspired to send them a message: Don’t come into our community, take our money, and use it against us," Allen says.


Comments (70) RSS

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south downtown 1
i'd be curious to know about the contribution records for the last few years of the developers that Sally Clark and the rest of Council have been coddling, making rich, and pissing off Cap Hill residents over.

And I mean the contributions other than those back to the Council members...
Posted by south downtown on September 7, 2012 at 9:35 AM · Report this
The solution is simple. Every tenant that wants marriage equality should withhold rent and prepare to move out/be evicted. I would imagine that would be most tenants on the hill. If every tenant who held those convictions did that, the landlord would HAVE to cave.

But. Are people willing to do that? I doubt it.
Posted by tkc on September 7, 2012 at 9:39 AM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 3
I used to live in the New McDermott, approximately one million years ago. It was a very well-run, clean building. But if they knew the tawdry things that went on in that place....
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on September 7, 2012 at 9:51 AM · Report this

With current apartment vacancy rates on the Hill hovering around 3.5% that may not be a particularly effective strategy. Instead, I'd suggest that tenants hold even MORE pro-marriage equality events in their buildings, and see if Breier-Scheetz takes the bait by making even more contributions themselves.

Because, hopefully, it'll be a wasted investment on their part. ..
Posted by COMTE on September 7, 2012 at 9:52 AM · Report this
seatackled 5
Regarding withholding rent, I think it's risky, so they'd need to get good legal advice, but for it to work, they'd have to pay the rent into an escrow account. They can't do it for the purpose of living rent free.
Posted by seatackled on September 7, 2012 at 9:58 AM · Report this
seatackled 6
And leave the building manager alone.
Posted by seatackled on September 7, 2012 at 9:59 AM · Report this
Just say you're having a fundraiser for a pro-life organization. If someone comes by while it's happening (doubtful), explain that it's a pro-GAY-life rally.
Posted by tiktok on September 7, 2012 at 9:59 AM · Report this
I cannot check the political leanings and contribution histories of every company I do business with. That would be crazy. Moreover, I'm not sure that I would choose not to do business with a company based on any single issue or even a political perspective. I certainly wouldn't want people to refuse to do business with me on that basis.

I guess that's what is bugging me about this. It would be illegal for the landlord to refuse to do business with a tenant based on the tenant's political perspective, but it isn't illegal for the tenant to refuse to do business with the landlord for that reason. Nevermind legality - if one is immoral, then isn't the other?

Yes, a landlord could have business relationships with many tenants, and the landlord is offering a public accomodation, but tenants have many landlords to choose from as well.

I know that a lot of folks would say that the relationship is not between equals, but if that were really true then isn't every lease signed under duress and therefore invalid? Is every tenant an exploited and oppressed victim?

I haven't worked out all of my thoughts about this, but I have to wonder about what the reciprocal looks and works.
Posted by Charlie Mas on September 7, 2012 at 10:00 AM · Report this
Fred Scheetz is at least second-generation Cap Hill - he grew up in the Anhalt at 750 Belmont. The family corp he runs has owned that shit for decades. That "duplex on Howell" listed there was a refugee shelter until he shut them down. Yet he gets a seat on the siting boards for SCCC and the fucking Cabrini Foundation - here's him at their NY banquet this year:…

What an asshole.
Posted by gloomy gus on September 7, 2012 at 10:02 AM · Report this
@4: I agree with the idea of having as many pro-marriage equality events in these buildings as possible. Especially since April has already done the legal footwork preventing this bigot from saying no to them.

Have as many parties as it takes to get to (and exceed) his $20,000 donation. The amount is already $1800 to the good.
Posted by maeveh on September 7, 2012 at 10:03 AM · Report this
tomsj 11
@8: This suggests that if the KKK is holding a bake sale to finance their next lynching, and I eat cookies, I should be bound legally or morally to buy from them? I guess you agree with Romney that corporations are people too. Given this choice, I'd sooner stop eating cookies.
Posted by tomsj on September 7, 2012 at 10:11 AM · Report this
Chef Thunder 12
@4 & 10- This is a great idea if the tenants in the various buildings could organize to raise $20,000 in response I think it would be a much better story then trying to withhold rent.

And remember to remind everyone to vote APPROVE 74
Posted by Chef Thunder on September 7, 2012 at 10:11 AM · Report this
it doesn't escape me that the majority of this outfit's buildings are in the slumlord area of the hill. Seems almost typical of an Eastside screw-you-over landlord.
Posted by Critter on the Hill on September 7, 2012 at 10:17 AM · Report this
Just looked at the contributions website. Who the hell are Thomas and Mary Matthews? They've contributed $140,000 and live in Madison Park....?!
Posted by Get friggin real on September 7, 2012 at 10:18 AM · Report this
Man - looking through the list is suprising. James Mischel, CEO of Electric Mirror - who deals with gay designers and decorators every day....
Posted by Get friggin real on September 7, 2012 at 10:32 AM · Report this
treacle 16
8, the major difference is that if you are a business owner/landlord, you are offering a good or service to the public at large, you shouldn't be able to discriminate (save when a person is doing something demonstrably harmful).
As a private citizen availing yourself of the wares of a vendor, you are acting purely on your own behalf. You can't be compelled to purchase some thing or service that you don't want to, no matter the reason.

It doesn't surprise me that a large property owning firm's owners have fiscally-conservative and socially-regressive ideas. Not that that helps any. Good on April for fighting back, this sort of petty shit on the landlord's part needs to stop. Too bad they didn't get fined an equivalent amount to $20k for bigoted obstruction.
Posted by treacle on September 7, 2012 at 10:40 AM · Report this
Trying to withhold rent is wrong and goes against everything democracy stands for, everyone has the right to donate to any cause they want.

Holding as many pro gay marriage events in their courtyard is perfect and the appropriate response.
Posted by Madame Chintoa on September 7, 2012 at 10:48 AM · Report this
I live in one of his buildings as well. I think we should use his buildings to host more fundraisers and try to beat his $20,000 donation. Who's in?
Posted by sarahd on September 7, 2012 at 10:50 AM · Report this
monkey 19
Posted by monkey on September 7, 2012 at 10:57 AM · Report this
Breier-Scheetz is a horrible company, generally. When my boyfriend and I lived in the Granada, they used big bully tactics several times to get their way. They even once almost forced us to change apartments (to one far less good than the one we were in) for NO RENT REDUCTION and NO COMPENSATION FOR MOVING. They wanted to our remodel our unit, but us (and our pesky "lease") were in the way. So they called their lawyers and pinned us against a wall, threatened to drag us to court if we didn't move to let them make their renovations. Meanwhile, they never had any of these conversations themselves, but instead downloaded the responsibility to poor JoAnn. I would encourage anyone and everyone to flee as far as possible from Breier-Scheetz -- and I will personally be hosting a fundraiser for Washington United for Marriage and making the donation in Breier-Scheetz' name.
Posted by Hates BS on September 7, 2012 at 11:05 AM · Report this
@16, Yeah... That's the difference I reckon. The lunchcounter is holding out a service to the general public and cannot discriminate, but I am not making any kind of offer to the general public and therefore I can choose a vendor based on whatever criteria I like.

The difference lies in the act of making an offer to the general public, which the landlord does but the tenant does not.

@11, You're an idiot. Shut up.
Posted by Charlie Mas on September 7, 2012 at 11:05 AM · Report this
myjourney 22
If anyone does hold a pro-gay marriage fundraiser at one of the buildings, I'm in!
Posted by myjourney on September 7, 2012 at 11:13 AM · Report this
I lived in one of these buildings not that long ago. I recall one of the owners showing up every once in awhile in a car covered in pro life stickers. Good to see they are keeping it classy
Posted by yumyum74 on September 7, 2012 at 11:14 AM · Report this
I also live in a Breir-Scheetz building. Scheetz is a grumpy old douchebag.
Posted by happy renter on September 7, 2012 at 11:29 AM · Report this
Cracker Jack 25
Not paying rent just adds fuel to the "Gays are persecuting me!" fire. If you don't want to give them your money, move.

If you want to put a bug up their rears, do as Comte suggests and throw lots of fundraising parties (in keeping with other similar events which have occurred in those buildings) and annoy them at their own game.
Posted by Cracker Jack on September 7, 2012 at 11:34 AM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 26
For a fundraiser/protest, How about something like floor parties, like we did back in college? Everyone who wants to, opens their door and becomes part of the party. Strictly speaking, it's just a bunch of private parties. Or do the leases preclude that?
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on September 7, 2012 at 11:34 AM · Report this
It would take a bit of organizing, but simultaneous floor parties in all his buildings with media coverage... Ending with a march and rally at his office, if he has one... A big, colorful, drag show of a rally.
Posted by Pol Pot on September 7, 2012 at 11:46 AM · Report this
If that old relic wants to throw his money away on a losing cause, so be it. He & his old world ideas will be dead soon. In the meantime, keep up the pro-gay marriage parties & force him to throw his money away.
Posted by Relic on September 7, 2012 at 11:49 AM · Report this
very bad homo 29
Will SLOG please let us know of any pro-gay fundraisers that do happen so we can all go and donate? I'm in.
Posted by very bad homo on September 7, 2012 at 11:49 AM · Report this
SpecialBrew 30
At the very least everyone should write them a shaming email/letter how hypocritcal it is to make money off of gay people (I daresay at least 30% of their renters are gay or more) and then use said money toward anti-gay groups. If gay money is good enough for them why can't these paying customers have equal rights?

They are the equivalent of a Southern restaurant circa 1950 that would serve blacks out the window in the back, but donate to the KKK. A restaurant that didn't serve blacks at all would strangely have more moral integrity.
Posted by SpecialBrew on September 7, 2012 at 12:02 PM · Report this
How about a flash party in front the the Granada? Take over a section of the street, have a some fun, then collect cash and march as a group to deliver it to WA United for Marriage. It could be a fun community event, raise money, and be a nice fuck you.
Posted by AnonymousCapHiller on September 7, 2012 at 12:07 PM · Report this
along with (part of) additional fundraisers in every one of their buildings, there needs to be some sort of gay kiss-in or other highly visible demonstration featuring public display of gay love. invite lots of press.
Posted by Glaucon on September 7, 2012 at 12:07 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 33
I wonder what's going on in that company that the apartment manager passed the request up to her boss. Certainly she doesn't do that for casual parties or even that wedding. So is she a bigot too or does she know her boss well enough to think she might get shit-canned for letting a pro-gay fundraiser happen in the building?
Posted by keshmeshi on September 7, 2012 at 12:09 PM · Report this
WWPRD? (What Would Pussy Riot Do?)
Posted by Pol Pot on September 7, 2012 at 12:21 PM · Report this
merry 35
SOO thankful that I don't rent from these folks... Ye Gods!

I love the idea of many fund-raising parties in and around these buildings... Let us know when they're happening and I'll be there with bells on!!
Posted by merry on September 7, 2012 at 1:19 PM · Report this
I used to live The Granada and I loved that place. Too bad it's owned by assholes. I just looked up real estate listings for condos for sale on Capitol Hill on and there are eleven listing for under $150k and 22 for under $200k. Don't pay your rent for a few months and save up to buy somewhere else in the area.
Posted by DowAbby on September 7, 2012 at 1:30 PM · Report this
@17 They would NOT withhold rent because of who the landlord donates money towards.

But rather they could rent strike ONLY if were told they could not have perfectly legal political fund raisers in their own residence - which, as the lawyer described in the article, is a clear cut case of illegal discrimination.

That response, as long as money was put in escrow and the tenant were prepared to be evicted en masse, would in no way be "undemocratic" and in fact would be in keeping with other boycot forms of protest.

Rent strikes are a very common and effective means of in other democratic countries.
Posted by tkc on September 7, 2012 at 1:38 PM · Report this
I used to live at the Hillsborough. Nice building with nice management. It's a shame the owners are hate-filled dirtbags.
Posted by HOT PUSSY on September 7, 2012 at 1:42 PM · Report this
Their email addy doesn't work (they probably deleted it), and I can't find any other email address on the web for them. Found their office address though, so I plan on sending them snail mail, today:

Breier-Scheetz Properties, LLC
1402 3rd Ave # 826
Seattle, WA 98101
Posted by Julian on September 7, 2012 at 1:53 PM · Report this
I think we should have a fundraiser for Washington United for marriage in all the courtyards of all the listed apartment buildings. I think residents and all their friends would be more than happy to collect donations to match or even surpass what Breier-Scheetz Properties has contributed to Preserve Marriage Washington. I live in one of these buildings and am happy to spearhead an event in my courtyard.

Posted by dane(ger) on September 7, 2012 at 1:54 PM · Report this
For every party on one of their properties, I will donate $500 for every $500 donated up to $5000 of my own money. Fast way to get to $10,000. Let's make it happen! Please let me know if they start happening.
Posted by JGF on September 7, 2012 at 2:16 PM · Report this
OMG Stop the Presses: Business folks who happen to be "anti-gay" folks are not above making money of gay and gay friendly folks. --- Gee I wonder is there are racist business folks out there making a buck off minorites. Why on earth would a resonable person think that just because a business is located in a certain area that they "support" the ideas of said area, sometimes business is just about making a buck.
Posted by A Colored Sissy on September 7, 2012 at 2:31 PM · Report this
Send them a letter, OR BETTER YET, CALL THEM!

Breier Scheetz Properties
P.O. BOX 2366
Seattle, WA, 98111

Phone: 206-623-3452
Posted by plasdix on September 7, 2012 at 4:07 PM · Report this
If you can afford it, don't pay your rent for months and save up for a down payment on a condo in the neighborhood. Curbed Seattle just posted an article about this as well and listed cheap places.…
Posted by DowAbby on September 7, 2012 at 4:08 PM · Report this
really? really? am i the first to be this immature; alright ill go for it.
what a piece of scheetz.
Posted by grace on September 7, 2012 at 4:22 PM · Report this
I guess I will be making a donation to Washington United for Marriage. I suggest everyone else who is appalled follow suit. If 200 people make a 100$ donation that would be a big fuck you to that big douche bag.
Posted by Randy Ray on September 7, 2012 at 5:59 PM · Report this
Speaking generally and not to this particular situation with these particular owners, but:

There may be a difference between any old party, wedding reception, what have you, and a fundraiser or any event that requires a donation or admission fee. Legally, the owners *might* be able to hang their hat on this difference.
Posted by clashfan on September 7, 2012 at 6:15 PM · Report this
@ 18: you've got the idea!! Pass out some flyers and you may even get a small brewery to donate a keg, wineries in Woodinville to donate a case. It never hurts to ask around for that sort of thing. One of the wineries I frequented in the Amador Ca held many events on their property and donated wine to good causes.
Posted by dr welch on September 7, 2012 at 6:17 PM · Report this
Rainbow flags in every window. Political signs in every window.
Posted by jeffy on September 7, 2012 at 7:00 PM · Report this
Rainbow flags and political signs in every window.
Posted by jeffy on September 7, 2012 at 7:01 PM · Report this
Pro gay fundraisers, drag shows, planned parenthood fundraisers and gay weddings EVERY weekend after we pass ref 74!!!
Posted by Kimcheeboi24 on September 7, 2012 at 8:38 PM · Report this
Why should anyone leave the building managers alone? If you are willing to use the backing of the property owner to force a tenant's compliance of the owner's rules, then you should be willing to suffer as a proxie for the back-lash against the owner's behavior. One of the few ways we can legally retaliate against fascist pigs like these folks is making it impossible for them to hire decent people. After the way these owners have acted, tenants in these buildings should make life hell for the owners, and any one who works for them. I hope the Seattle Tenant's Union makes sure that every one who lives in a building owned by these folks knows even the most trivial right they have under city, county, state, and federal law, and holds the owners accountable for the most trivial lapse of those rules.
Posted by Greenwood_Bob on September 7, 2012 at 9:01 PM · Report this
Don't feel bad, April. What you did was right, raising funds and challenging the bigots. You are not responsibile for the actions of bigots. Even more important, we will win marriage equality, and Sheetz/BSP will have wasted their $20k.
Posted by Lhota on September 7, 2012 at 11:05 PM · Report this
As a supporter who is straight but not narrow, may I suggest that the idea of holding fundraisers in support of Referendum 74 in as many of the buildings as possible (noting the generous matching offer of another poster) is the way to go. The more flambouyant displays (e.g., gay kiss-ins, drag parades, etc.) just reinforce the objections many opponents have to LGBTs and their rights. Keep it cool and civil and legal, and it will be more valuable in the long run. And, but all means, invite the media, explaining the background and rationale.

One of my favorite lines from The Hobbit is, "Never laugh at a live dragon, Bilbo you fool." The Dem convention kept it classy and gained a great deal of positive press and feedback. Great model.
Posted by Karen L. Lew on September 8, 2012 at 12:39 AM · Report this
I don't live on the hill anymore, but invite me to any fundraisers! It could ne like a huge progressive dinner where you go from one building to the next all evening.
Posted by dbgill56 on September 8, 2012 at 5:11 AM · Report this
DNC highlight reel ----

1- Clinton making the case that:
Obama hasn't gotten the job done-not even close- but, hey!- even a demigod like me couldn't have done it.....(plus reminding everyone how much they miss Bill and what a limp noodle Obama is)

2- The vicious snarling angry rank and file Democraps rejecting God and Jerusalem (with the yummy icing of the total fiasco hamfisted clumsy way in which it was handled, managing to Piss Off and Disgust, literally, every band on the ideological spectrum- the Godless Heathens know they had the votes to defeat the measure but were screwed over and ignored and humiliated and Godfearing Real America not at all fooled by the cosmetic repair to the platform.)

3- Obama's limp speech, confirming the impression of inadequacy created by Bill's boffo performance and hinting at the job numbers to come....

4- the truly frighteningly GRIM job numbers that rushed in before the hangovers were even gone mocking the Democraps party.

damn. You couldn't make up stuff this good.......
Posted by - pass it on on September 8, 2012 at 5:19 AM · Report this
Lots of good idea and retaliation strategies here, but one of the simplest, most effective things anyone can do is to simply dig into their wallet (I know, it's hard to do) and make a BIG donation to Washington United for Marriage. If everyone who reads this article could cough up $100, the $20,000 number would get real small real quick.…
Posted by it'sallaboutyou on September 8, 2012 at 7:29 AM · Report this
I think it is only fair that if a small business decides to make a political statement, they can expect opposition from that choice. There are many many places we all go every day that we do not know how the owners vote. I have not seen anything but "Approve 74" signs, I do not even know if the other exists. My boyfriend and I are looking to move and looked at a few of those properties listed above, but now that that company has made their political beliefs public, we will look elsewhere. In all fairness, none of the email inquiries we sent to them have been returned, so it puts their property management skills into question.

What you can do right this very second is donate to Washington United For Marriage. If enough people donate, organize parties, and spread the word, and vote to APPROVE 74. one $20k donation from a faceless person will not mean much.

I just wish I could contribute their behalf, the ultimate fuck you.
Posted by spa on September 9, 2012 at 10:06 AM · Report this
What about the possibility of propaganda? Is this a fundraising campaign or a story? Is this April Thomas? April is one of the 7 campaign "skool kids" that became a McGinn staffer.…
On Twitter she is a self-described "political creature". And a Communications Specialist. She's a PR Specialist? OMG, what is this article? Spontaneous or scripted?

Here's what other political creatures know about her landlord:
'This donation is just the latest in a string of contributions to conservative causes over the years. A quick scan of PDC reports show that the company has contributed to Republican Rob McKenna in past election cycles, while Scheetz and his wife have personally donated to the campaigns of Dino Rossi and conservative wingnut and semi-benched judge Richard B. Saunders, as well as anti-choice groups.'

At what point did April know she was giving money to a notorious Right Wing Seattle property owner? At what point am I supposed to believe this was not a story designed by "a political creature"? Was Dominic played? Are we being played?

Sheetz had an inevitable reaction to April's persistence (Newton's "Third law: When two bodies interact by exerting force on each other, these forces (termed the action and the reaction) are equal in magnitude, but opposite in direction." wikipedia).

Is it a coincidence this timeline of injustice happened to the Mayor's Communications specialist?
Who was the lawyer? Someone who has defended political campaigns prior?
Why were the guests in the dark about the controversy? Seems like a good way to raise money off of them.
Was the party planner waiting for the inevitable Right Wing reaction to the party they were asked to cancel? If so, wouldn't it be advantageous to wait for that: for maximum fundraising and media effect?
Was April discussing this matter with her peers at United for Marriage headquarters, "located less than a mile from" the Granada?

Is this propaganda?

"It's hard not to feel responsible for this donation," April says. "Maybe they were planning it all along but with the timing..." she trails off. "I've lived in the Granada for two years. At this point, I've paid them almost exactly $20,000 in rent. It kills me that they’re taking money from people who believe in equality and giving it to a hate group."

Can we examine this? Because I know it is a PR person's job to spin, but what is The Stranger's responsibility?

Posted by Shine a light on September 9, 2012 at 2:18 PM · Report this
Hello everyone!

Please join us in responding positively to the donation. If you are interested in participating or hosting a fundraiser in the courtyards of these buildings to help match or surpass the $20,000.00 that Breier-Scheetz Properties contributed to Preserve Marriage Washington, please email

A number of residents are hosting a fundraiser on 9/22 from 3-7PM and would like to have a fundraiser in all the courtyards of all their properties. We'd like your support! If you live in any of the following buildings and can help host a party, please email us so we can start planning this Thursday!

· The Hillsborough Condominiums, 740 Bellevue Ave E
· Lenawee Apartments, 1629 Harvard Ave
· Terrace Crest Apartments, 517 9th Ave
· The New McDermott Apartments, 1514 Bellevue Ave (residents hosting an event)
· Mission Inn Apartments, 1743 Boylston Ave
· The Granada Apartments, 1736 Belmont Ave (residents hosting an event)
· Corinthian Apartments, 1705 Summit Ave
· Second and Pine Apartments, 211 Pine St
· And a duplex on Howell Street located at 604 E Howell St

Posted by dane(ger) on September 9, 2012 at 2:19 PM · Report this
Apparently this is a fundraising campaign designed by the Mayor's PR Specialist (April), and the Marriage Equality campaign. This may or may not have happened the way it is written. Believe what you will. April will be graduating from the Mayor's office and she will ascend her education and/or career by telling the Spin Doctors of Politics that she knows how to fool an entire city. Or will Mercury Communications take the smokescreen credit to rope in another client? Either way, any way, letting this ruse continue means Holden or The Stranger is in desperate need of mentors and adult supervision. They should be on this like white on rice, looks like it is high time for another alternative newspaper!
Posted by Shine a light on September 10, 2012 at 1:02 AM · Report this
Cienna Madrid 62
Why hello, @59, 61. I see you registered to Slog yesterday; welcome! Given your hilariously reactionary comments, I take it you work for Scheetz Properties. A few notes for you:

1) I, Cienna Madrid, wrote this piece, not Dominic.
2) All of the information cited in this piece is readily available through a public records search, so I'm not quite sure what "political propaganda" you're referring to. Perhaps you routinely confuse the facts with propaganda?

Finally, I contacted your office--Scheetz Properties--no less than three times last week to give you a chance to respond to April's story. I suggest that if you have something useful to add to this conversation, you man up and call me back instead of issuing blind, cowardly attacks in the comments section to a piece you have, as yet, refused to publicly comment on.

Or shit, at the very least brush up on your trolling. This is just terrible.

I can be reached at: 206-323-7101. Thanks!
Posted by Cienna Madrid on September 10, 2012 at 1:00 PM · Report this
Oh, snap!
Posted by madcap on September 11, 2012 at 12:21 PM · Report this
As vacancy rates rise, I hope that people know what sacks of shit they supporting by living there.
Posted by sea'mo on September 11, 2012 at 5:58 PM · Report this
Right on, Cienna!

As vacancies increase, people should know that they may opt out of giving thousands of dollars to bigoted shitheads. I vote with my dollars.
Posted by sea'mo on September 11, 2012 at 6:05 PM · Report this
Ooopsie-doodle! I thought I had lost my first post about these bigoted shitheads during the registration process. Double post!
Posted by sea'mo on September 11, 2012 at 6:25 PM · Report this
Baconcat 67
@59/@61 Popping in to say that I blew the whistle on Breier-Scheetz after combing through PDC reports, it filtered out and, tada, here we are. This wasn't a PR confabulation this was a legit WTF moment. It does all line up and no amount of panicked spin will change that, shine a light.

Yes, I connected the dots then told the world and someone who got screwed over by B-S came forward because of it. Now everyone knows something that otherwise would have slipped by in spite of the outsized donation amount. U MAD BRO?

If you're upset that people have the internet and can research very public records I suggest you take a breath and step outside for a bit.

Also: I suggest that before you float incorrect speculation on teh intarwebs again you refrain from doing things that appear to be retaliation against a tenant.

Baconcat, Data-loving gay dude
Posted by Baconcat on September 11, 2012 at 6:41 PM · Report this
Cienna Madrid 68
@67, well said and thank you for your tireless wonky work!
Posted by Cienna Madrid on September 11, 2012 at 7:43 PM · Report this
Baconcat 69
<3 I have a growing list of strange donors, inconsistencies, weird foreign addresses and just plain odd donors. It's interesting.
Posted by Baconcat on September 11, 2012 at 10:37 PM · Report this
Wow, that picture of him sure shows a happy looking guy, doesn't it?

They are local Capitol Hill people, whose family has been in the area for many generations, with that being said, they've inherited their wealth versus working for it. Well, they've worked enough to not lose the buildings that generations before them purchased, so that's something. But, they've had a huge leg up, as many conservative business people have, only they don't want to admit it.

And the irony of housing 100's of gay and lesbian people, having gay and lesbian sex ALL the time in their buildings, is striking. I guess as long as you're making them rich they're okay with all the gay and lesbian sex going on ALL the time in their properties, but just don't hold a fundraiser in their building because that does not make them rich.

In terms of landlords, they're okay. I lived in the New McDermott and their building was mostly well taken care of. The laundry is bad and the machines didn't work, but the managers were not interested in doing anything about that because they had a private laundry room in their apartment.

The rents were high, and I can see if you're plopping down $20,000 on a hot head reaction, you probably don't need the cash.

The one good thing I can say in their favor is that they are not developers who tear buildings down. Their buildings are kept in tact and they do a good job of keeping as many small details as possible. This is nice to see, as every other landlord seems to sell of their building as soon as possible to someone that tears it down. So, thank you for that.

But 30% gays in their buildings? No way. It's WAY more than that, and I'd say close to 100% gay supporters. It just sounds like this guy didn't get his way, their was nothing to he could do about it, so he reacted. But like they say, every action has a reaction, so keep us posted on further fundraising events, because I will come out and support it.

Posted by Gays on September 15, 2012 at 5:26 PM · Report this

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