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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Dear Michael Grossman,

posted by on October 24 at 10:29 AM

I hate to sound like your fan club here. The Stranger is no supporter of your candidates David Della or Bob Edwards, the Port Commissioner we called “an ally of (and recipient of massive donations from) the port’s corporate puppeteers” and “not much of a stickler for ethics” in our endorsement of his opponent, Gael Tarleton. But your mailer for Edwards, while dishonest, is, once again, damned effective. On one side: A grinning shot of Edwards glad-handing with King County Executive Ron Sims, a left-leaning Democrat and environmentalist. On the other side, a big shot of George Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” photo op, with the stark message: “Gael Tarleton—Port Security from the Company That Brought You the Iraq War.” (More about the conflict-of-interest allegations over Tarleton’s work for customs-security firm SAIC here.) Never mind that Edwards is actually a Republican—or that he was right at the center of the scandal over former Port CEO Mic Dinsmore’s sweet retirement deal. Your mailer makes Edwards look like a hero. Nice job, and I hope it doesn’t work.

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Are you going to show any of these mailers so we, the slog public, know what the fuck you're talking about?

Posted by for reallies, now | October 24, 2007 10:50 AM

so what, seattle has a moderate republican politico in the mold of Karl Rove, is this to be promoted.

Posted by vooodooo84 | October 24, 2007 10:51 AM

I got some type of voting mailer a few weeks ago. It has such a fabulous cover, I found myself extremely bored two pages into the Prop I referendum. So I flipped back and looked at the cover for about 5 straight minutes (it's greenish, a plaidish shield with country-craft symbols in a circle), then pitched the thing. Is that the mailer you're referring to?

Posted by June Bee | October 24, 2007 10:56 AM

sorry i needed a question mark there

Posted by vooodooo84 | October 24, 2007 10:58 AM

@1 If you vote consistently you usually receive these mailers. If you do not, you're not on the lists to receive campaign literature.
Could be good, could be bad. You are in control.
Of course if you slog from another city, country, or state of mind, all the above is moot.

Posted by whatever | October 24, 2007 11:01 AM


If you like negative, dishonest, dirty campaigning then . . . yeah, I guess you should give Grossman props.

But, hey, all his cutesy, creative nasty namecalling didn't help Paige Miller any. Remember the Shakespearian attack ads she ran against Councilmember Richard Conlin portraying him as a wishy-washy Hamlet? Those were brought to you by Grossman as well.

How'd Paige Miller do? She lost big despite Grossman's attack ads. If that is what is considered "damned effective" then bring it on!

Edwards' campaign style - dissembling, backhanded and dishonest - is reflective of his governing style as a public servant.

Please get the word out in support of Gael Tarleton!

Posted by Brotwurst Boy | October 24, 2007 11:01 AM

sorry i needed a question mark there

Posted by vooodooo84 | October 24, 2007 11:05 AM

ECB just because MG uses the nasty mudslinging you enjoy so much doesn't mean that the ads will be effective. Ratehikeheidi might just have worked because she was caught up in the great strip club fiasco and famously had introduced the circus animal ban legislation. Judy also lost that cycle without MG working against her.

MG also had Nickles on the ropes in 2001 but blew it in the general.

And what makes you think he's a D?

Posted by whatever | October 24, 2007 11:29 AM

Most of us don't read those mailers - we just recycle them.

Besides, I voted last week.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 24, 2007 11:31 AM

Knowing full well that campaign mailers are 90% bullshit, I toss all of them into the recycle without reading them. I don't even bother to look who they're from, much less read them.

Posted by SDA in SEA | October 24, 2007 11:45 AM

ECB, glad you like the Bob Edwards piece. What many fail to appreciate about Grossman's work is that the guy actually checks facts. He is a crackerjack researcher, and, get this, puts academic-level citations for the sources of his findings. People may not always like having facts presented in campaigns, especially if it makes candidates look really bad.

The FACT is that Gael Tarleton, who worked for Port contractor SAIC, has real problems. Gael, a self-described "ethics expert" has already admitted to serious ethical violations during her campaign. Bob Edwards has never had such ethical violations. People may disagree on some votes, but he's never been guilty of violating laws like Gael has. Really, if you like Dick Cheney's relationship with Halliburton, you will LOVE Gael Tarleton and her relationship with SAIC.

In our post-911 world, do we need to have 1/5 of our elected port commissioners sit one out due to conflict of interest? Like Cheney, Gael still owns stock in her former employer, which does $7 million in business at the Port of Seattle. Voters need to know that Gael will have to recuse herself from scores of votes, and probably the discussion, of security issues.

Call it negative campaigning, or call it raising the facts. Gael Tarleton is bought and paid for by a contractor with Iraqi blood on its hands. Not only that, but Gael started out her career working for the CIA. She was even awarded by them. Since when do liberals, progressives, or Democrats support CIA operatives, or Blackwater-style contractors like SAIC?

Vote for Bob...and salute Grossman for his outstanding research. His stuff is head and IQ above the liberal pablum fed to us by Moxie Media and Christian Sinderman.

Posted by Nota Dime | October 24, 2007 11:46 AM

Political consultants are professionals. That means they work for money. That means when a candidate like Paige Miller--all money and no real political prospects--comes down the road, they take the job. Look at Sinderman's dynamic duo this year: Tim "Righty" Burgess and Bruce "Boring" Harrell. Are these Sinderman-style candidates, or is Christian just making sure his staff members get paychecks? You be the judge.

Posted by J.R. | October 24, 2007 11:52 AM

Nota Dime: Sound Politics is one of Grossman's "academic-level citations?" Yeah, go to loony right-wing blogs for your "crackerjack research." And give Republican Bob Edwards another dry handjob while you're at it. Like we can't see right through you.

Posted by kurisu | October 24, 2007 11:54 AM


Already mailed in my ballot, but thanks. I don't receive junk mail thanks to this:


Posted by for reallies, now | October 24, 2007 11:55 AM

Notadime - SERIOUS campaign ethics violations? Bought and Paid for? I think you are Grossman. She used her UW email account to send some political email early in the campaign. Didn't know it was a violation, owned up, didn't do it again. Wow...serious stuff.

Conflict of Interest? Incumbent Bob Edwards biggest contributor is shipping company SSA ($2800 from the company itself). Does that explain why the Port is ponying up $10 million to build a bridge between terminal 25 and 30 for SSA?

Posted by watcher | October 24, 2007 12:21 PM

kurisu, no need for the handjob, but thanks for illuminating us with your gutteral mind. Sound Politics was itself citing solid research -- the PDC. You may not like the conservative source, but the data is solid. Once in a while, actually, every few hours, the Stranger breaks with some solid data, be it Barack Obama or Rabbi child molesters. Journalists and other blogs troll sites like the Stranger, and Sound Politics, for leads. And when the leads lead to facts, they are presented as such, with the source noted. But facts are facts.

Posted by Nota Dime | October 24, 2007 12:24 PM

@ 11 Gael's resume actually says she worked for the Defense Intelligence Agency--not the CIA. Maybe you should check your facts.

How is Bob Edwards any better? He was on the commission when the port police were sending out racist and sexist emails. He was involved in the scandal to give the CEO a golden parachute. The guy is no good and wastes our tax dollars.

Did anyone notice that Gael's name was mispelled on the inside on the mailer? Sloppy work, Grossman.

Posted by FedUp | October 24, 2007 12:29 PM

Watcher, no, I'm not Grossman, just an admirer, just like Erica and Josh. And yes, Gael made serious violations. She calls herself an ethics expert, and used a government computer, government server, and government staff time to send emails. LOTS of them. All UW staff are made aware of the use of computers, telephones, and other property, and they are reminded constantly. This isn't rocket science, especially for someone who previously worked in government. Gael just thinks the rules don't apply to her because she acts like a friggin princess.

So, Bob got a $2800 contribution from SSA. In the words of the late Chris Farley, "La-di-FRICKIN-dah!". $2800 is not significant; BUT the $38,000 GAEL got from SAIC and it's employees is.

Why are you defending a CIA operative? Jesus H. Christ, she doesn't walk on water. Why are you, and some other progressives, so desperate to elect someone so darn flawed? Haven't we had enough problem defending people like this?

Posted by Nota Dime | October 24, 2007 12:32 PM

The Defense Intelligence Agency is a subsidiary of the CIA. That's why Gael's website points out an award she received from the CIA: "I was awarded the Director of Central Intelligence's National Intelligence Medal of Achievement",

Bob Edwards sat on the commission AND FIRED THE POLICE CHIEF for not responding adequately to cops sending porn. Bob didn't send the porn; he fired the staff who covered up the crime.

Gael is nothing but trouble, and the way she's run her campaign, making excuses "I didn't know!" is akin to the way her friend Venus Velazquez took responsibility for her DUI.

Posted by Nota Dime | October 24, 2007 12:46 PM

"a CIA operative" WTF, Nota Dime? Do you fancy yourself as another Robert Novak or are you just gratuitously sliming away? Either way, it's contemptible if not unpredictable.

"someone so darn flawed" Were you fed your talking-points from the WSRP, (u)SP, or Bob himself? Or don't we want to notice Edwards's documented shenanigans with Pat and Mic on the Port Commission? Now, that's flawed, and not merely "darn" so.

The Edwards/Grossman hitpiece mailer was gross, man.

Posted by N in Seattle | October 24, 2007 12:56 PM

Wait, I thought *I* was the hotshot, not Grossman. Boo the Stranger! Your love is fickle.

Posted by Jason B | October 24, 2007 1:27 PM

ECB, what are you talking about? The Edwards mailer is terrible.

The side opposing Tarelton is confusing and poorly structured. The statement "SAIC... who were responsible for planning and executing the war in Iraq," is laughable on it's face.

The side supporting Edwards doesn't deliver and left me rereading - The headline says "Bob Edwards has been making our port more secure." But the copy doesn't talk about him doing anything related to security.

The only effective part of the piece is the photo of Edwards and Ron Sims, and Sims is wearing braces. It's really a crappy mail piece.

Posted by Wa Dem | October 24, 2007 2:07 PM

I haven't seen the Bob Edwards flyer -- and don't doubt it could contain inaccuracies.

But there is no question that Gael Tarleton has received substantial $ from SAIC-related donors for this campaign -- including the founder of SAIC and one of its lobbyists. SAIC is a war profiteering $40 billion company that actively helped push us into the Iraq occupation -- and has wasted tremendous money there. It has $7 million of business with the Port -- and wants much more. Last time I looked on PDC, Gael had raised something like $19,0000 from SAIC-related donors. She dwarfed the competition in the primary. She won because of this flood of money (and her good campaigning too -- she's an effective campaigner).

Gael has no record of service in elected public office. We can't look at her votes. I'll guess she's on the up-and-up. But to vote for her is really an act of faith imo. She's charming, she's persuasive, she says she's a progressive. That means nothing to me. I look at a person's record. And the only record I see here that I can examine is her PDC record -- how she raised $ in this election. And, imo, that record stinks and she won't admit it.

I'm so tired of greenwash and of being lied to and manipulated in general - and I'm unhappy with the way she's dismissed these concerns -- including in a phone call I had with her. I wrote this story:

Seattle Port Vote of Conscience

Posted by Noemie Maxwell | October 24, 2007 3:09 PM

Yes, Noemie, and Grossman used something very close to what you wrote there (unattributed) as one of of the "bullet points" in the mailer. You must be very proud.

I don't suppose the two candidates's own contribution history has any bearing on their relative progressiveness, does it?

[FEC] Reichert, McGavick, Gorton, Tebelius, Don Young, Cantwell
[PDC] WSRP, King County GOP, McKenna, Rossi, Jim Horn, Clare Nordquist, Lambert, Maleng, Washington Conservation Voters, Chelminiak, Hara, Berkowitz, Conrad Lee, Paige Miller, Drago, Pageler, Compton, Rasmussen
[SEEC] Rasmussen, Della, Paige Miller, Drago, Pageler, Compton, McIver, Nicastro

[FEC] Democratic National Committee
[PDC] Sherman, Fisken, Phillips, Burgess, Velazquez, 36th District Democrats, Planned Parenthood PAC, Washington Conservation Voters
[SEEC] Velazquez, Burgess

Whaddaya think? Who's more progressive?

Posted by N in Seattle | October 24, 2007 4:01 PM

Already voted for Gael. So did my girlfriend.

Posted by whatever | October 24, 2007 11:36 PM

I'm a different "whatever" than the one that posted much earlier.

Posted by whatever not the same as before | October 24, 2007 11:38 PM

Not a dime IS Michael Grossman.

It's the exact same tag he used on the P-I sound off boards being an apologist for "Go Along Get Along" Rubber Stamp Commissioner Bob Edwards.

Oh . . . but I forgot. Bob really, really does care about the homeless (not).

My Republican friends are wigged out that Gael is backed by the Progressive Majority folks. But a commissioner with an open mind who actually thinks about the issues - what Gael promises to be - would be a thousand times better than a guy who never once asked questions under Mic Dinsmore's reign, and only seems to have found a voice after being confronted by a strong, capable and credible challenger.

Posted by Syriana | October 24, 2007 11:41 PM

I vote in every election and I didn't get the mailer, I wonder to whom it was sent?

Blaming SAIC for the Iraq war seems like an incredible stretch, I doubt anyone will take it seriously.

I think I read a report about a candidate forum early in the season, sponsored by the Alki Foundation (political arm of the Chamber of Commerce). The candidates had paddles to indicate yes or no to a question. When asked a question along the lines of "is the port headed in the right direction" everyone voted no except for Edwards." If you agree with him, vote for him. I'm voting for Gael.

Posted by Stuart Jenner | October 25, 2007 9:58 AM

There's no point for me to do any action, any volunteer work, unless I speak the truth as I see it.

Truth #1 is that the military industrial complex has taken control of our economy in the United States and we are drowning in blood.

I'm not proud to speak the truth as I see it. I'm struggling to not feel despair.

When I look at Gael Tarleton's fundraising, and then I see progressives around me claiming that this has no meaning -- and even directing anger at me -- that makes it hard to want to have anything to do with anyone.

Regularly, I think about the people being crushed by this military machine and my role in this -- and the bloody mess we're in. And I have to figure out how to want to live.

It takes some meditating on the goodness of people, which is just as real, to simply not want to lie down and give up.

Posted by Noemie Maxwell | October 25, 2007 10:11 AM

JR @ 12: Well, that's cynical view, isn't it? Yes, I do need to make payroll...that doesnn't mean I'd take on, say, Concerned Women for America...but I will say that my "dynamic duo" is a pretty good duo compared to some of the other stables out there, and despite all the histrionics, Tim is not a "Righty".

As many of the Venus apologists out there have noted (yourself included I believe), do we not get a pass on one or two errors of judgement in life?

Or are the politically stupid things we do sober somehow more egregious than those we commit while intoxicated?

Posted by Christian | October 25, 2007 12:11 PM

Wait a minute . . . Hasn't Bob Edwards been trumpeting the fact that he worked for Boeing as an engineer out of college?

Doesn't Boeing supply an awful lot of military fighters, cruise missiles, unmanned surveillance aircraft and the like to our own US military, the very same one currently fighting a war in Iraq?

So, by Edwards' logic, the Iraq War was brought to us by Seattle's own Commissioner Bob Edwards!!

Thanks Bobby boy, thanks a lot!!! Real effective policy decision-making there Bob!!

Posted by Timesa'changin' | October 28, 2007 10:26 PM

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