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Friday, July 18, 2008

Burbank Lists Appointment by Pelz as “Elected” Experience

posted by on July 18 at 17:29 PM

John Burbank, one of two Democrats running for state legislature from the 36th District (Ballard, Magnolia, and Queen Anne), is listing his status as the official Democratic Party nominee on his voter guide statement and boy, is his opponent, Reuven Carlyle, pissed.

Burbank was appointed as the district’s “official” nominee by state Democratic Party chair Dwight Pelz, a longtime friend of his, after the 36th District Democrats declined to nominate either Burbank or Carlyle, citing their objection to the Democrats’ sanctioned nominating process for this year’s top-two primary, which only allowed precinct committee officers to vote.

In an email, Carlyle fumed that Burbank “was APPOINTED by his official beer drinking buddy, Dwight Pelz, as the nominee, not elected by voters, the district organization or any other entity of any sort.”

Asked how his appointment by Pelz constituted elected experience, Burbank seemed a bit flummoxed, eventually responding, “That is the position of the Washington State Democratic Central Committee. If you go to their web site, you will see that their nominee for this position, Position One, is John Burbank. Thatís me. ...[The voter guide statement] was approved by the Secretary of State, so if someone has an issue with it they should take it up with the Secretary of State.”

Burbank added: “It’s an odd thing that this is what it’s come down to”—debates over party process, rather than discussions of the issues. That’s a fair point, but in this case, the story isn’t so much about the particulars of any internecine battle (if you really want to see interparty warfare, check out what’s going on in the 46th) as it is about the top-two primary, which has pitted Democrat against Democrat in general-election battles in races that used to be decided in September.

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Reuvan shouldn't worry. Burbank's appointment as the "official" Dem nominee just proves how boring and establishment Burbank is. Reuvan is the face of the new Dems, Burbank is old Dem. Of course the party establishment wants the old Dem to win, they are old Dems! This race is a choice between hippie Dem policies like Burbank's Latte Tax and Post Hippie Dem economic plans developed by someone who has actually run a business and had a real job.

Posted by Frank | July 18, 2008 5:52 PM

burbank got the nod? really?! good god. i had hoped the dems were starting to get a clue.

Posted by ellarosa | July 18, 2008 6:23 PM

Howdy Erica, hey I wasn't "pissed" or "fuming" in any fashion, just pointing out how strange/embarrassing/inappropriate it is that Burbank has the chutzpah to pretend that an appointment by Dwight Pelz can, in any fashion, be categorized or spun as "elected experience."

It's factually inaccurate and a symbolic representation of Burbank's effort to pretend that he has some sort of institutional political support or backing rather than merely the nod from the state party chairman.

But, then again, I can understand Burbank's effort to hide behind the 'official nominee' backing from the state party chairman when I received the sole endorsements from: Sierra Club, Washington Conservation Voters, Young Democrats of Washington, SEIU Healthcare 1199, Seattle Fire Fighters Local 27, Local 17 the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, the Seattle business community and espresso stand owners throughout our district, city and worldwide.

We have one of the most educated, engaged and passionate districts in the state. Folks look deeper than surface gimmicks and won't be fooled by tired, old fashioned tricks of the trade like this one.

Just having some fun. Back to doorbelling. Reuven.

Posted by Reuven | July 18, 2008 7:36 PM

I'm kind of disappointed that me having exploded the myth of the "fancy" motorcycle hasn't spread across the local media and catapulted me to fame. It was a sexy scandal and some solid investigation on my part. Or not. But I think it was. Wasn't it?

Posted by elenchos | July 18, 2008 9:38 PM

Pelz is a back-room, cigar-smoking type who should be replaced post haste as chair of this party. There is no room in the Party for his good-old-boy style of leadership. He pulled a similar stunt at the convention in Spokane when he told Superintendent of Public Instruction Terry Bergeson there would be no endorsement at the convention and then called her the night before to tell her he had the votes to endorse his old beer-drinking-buddy Randy Dorn - and then did so. Regardless of how you feel about any of these candidates, this isn't how the process should work. Anyone want to be State Party Chair?

Posted by watcher | July 19, 2008 1:21 AM

Is Burbank seriously blaming Sam Reed for saying that he has "elected experience" or approved Burbank saying so?

Um, I don't think so. According to the Secretary of State's website on the matter of the Voter Pamphlet, there's the following:

Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 434-381-180

The secretary of state is not responsible for the content of arguments or statements. The secretary may correct obvious errors in grammar, spelling or punctuation.

The Supreme Court has upheld political lies as free speech under the first amendment. Burbank should know better than to blame Sam Reed for any content in his voter pamphlet submittal.

Posted by Sam Reed | July 19, 2008 2:43 PM

The membership of the 36th held its endorsement meeting a couple weeks ago. The room was packed, and John won the endorsement vote there overwhelmingly, 107-61. Although the 64 percent support he received put him a few votes shy of the two-thirds needed in this case for a sole endorsement (two-thirds is required when there is no recommendation from the 36th Executive Board), it still stands as a strong ratification of the state party's decision to award him the "official Democratic nominee" status. Dwight made the right call, at least in the sense of reflecting the views of the grassroots membership of the 36th Dems.

I don't know whether it is official, but as another one of Dwight's sometime drinking buddies (apparently, it's quite a long list) the description of him as a "back room, cigar-smoking type" seems a little off. I'd suggest a more accurate description would be: funnny, foul-mouthed, warm, politically incorrect, Sonics-obsessed grassroots troublemaker. Establishment? Hardly. I don't think he (or John, for that matter) do much business at the Rainier Club or attend many Monday CDRT lunches at the WAC.

Posted by Sandeep Kaushik | July 19, 2008 8:04 PM


I was at that endorsement meeting, and I can tell you that the 36th has things like RULES. And Burbank may have gotten a majority, but he did not get any endorsement or endorsement vote, no matter how much bandwagon propaganda you're putting out there. Losing does not equal winning.

John had the brass of the 36th working the membership long and hard for him, and still couldn't get the necessary 2/3. So much for inevitability for the "Official Nominee."

This whole race is sounding like Hillary vs Obama to me. Yesterday vs tomorrow. Hold the cigars.

Posted by Bob | July 19, 2008 8:22 PM

Dan Savage advocates for the Iraq War in The Stranger--Oct. 2002

"War may be bad for children and other living things, but there are times when peace is worse for children and other living things, and this is one of those times."

"In the meantime, invading and rebuilding Iraq will not only free the Iraqi people, it will also make the Saudis aware of the consequences they face if they continue to oppress their own people while exporting terrorism and terrorists. The War on Iraq will make it clear to our friends and enemies in the Middle East (and elsewhere) that we mean business: Free your people, reform your societies, liberalize, and democratize... or we're going to come over there, remove you from power, free your people, and reform your societies for ourselves."

Posted by ................... | July 19, 2008 10:21 PM

Pelz is a hack. If anyone wonders why younger voters shun organized politics, it's because of power-mad bullies like Pelz. Who can even stand him?

Posted by ugh | July 21, 2008 11:03 AM

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