It’s July, and chances are you don’t know anything about the candidates listed on the primary ballot that came in the mail this week. You may not even know there’s a primary, but your ballot is due August 5.
Photo credit: Facebook page of Bob Scales for Prosecutor-D
It might be worth your time, though, to tune in to the small local drama playing out in the four-way primary contest for Kitsap County Prosecutor that illustrates why so many of us have a distaste for party politics.
Russ Hauge, a Democrat, is an 18-year incumbent who has drawn three challengers. The Kitsap Sun has called the number of opponents in the race an indication of “a critical mass of dissatisfaction with Hauge.”
Hauge has garnered detractors for a variety of deficits, including a reputed bad temper, his failure to fire a deputy prosecutor after two drunk driving arrests, and his expensive and largely unsuccessful fifteen-year crusade against the Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club.
Tina Robinson, the Republican challenger, has limited legal and prosecutorial experience, and the Independent, Bruce Danielson is a far-right, self-described “constitutional fundamentalist” who has lost to Hauge before (though not by much).
Bob Scales, a Democrat and former Bainbridge council member who has spent his career in public safety, has shaken up the race as a same-party challenger to Hauge. As a result, the Hauge crowd has been playing hardball as the primary winds to a close. His supporters are particularly targeting Bainbridge Island because of our history as reliable primary voters who are mostly Democratic. The strategy depends on discrediting Scales, who has lived on Bainbridge for fifteen years, and has served the island during two terms on city council.
Scales is highly qualified. He was a King County deputy prosecutor for six years. He was a senior policy analyst for public safety for the City of Seattle, and worked on developing programs to enhance police accountability, firearm safety, drug enforcement tactics and treatment programs, and community engagement, to name just a few. He has been nationally recognized for his work on strategies for prosecuting juvenile firearm offenders.
Now that the ballots have dropped, Hauge’s campaign is showing the ugly side of politics: when your candidate’s qualifications and track record aren’t enough for the win, go for lies and propaganda.
One example is today’s letter to the editor in the Bainbridge Review and the Islander, signed by several precinct committee officers and board members of the 23rd Legislative District Democrats (signed as individuals, not as representatives of the 23rd). Continue Reading »