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Posts Tagged ‘Bob Scales’

Here’s a response to the unfortunate Democrat vs. Democrat politicking of the 23rd L.D. Democrats, from Kirsten Hytopoulos, campaign chair for Bob Scales.

I’ve watched this primary election unfold as a voter, a Democrat, a former elected official, and co-chair of a campaign, and I must say that it’s been a quick and painful education in partisan politics.

When my former colleague, Bob Scales, announced his candidacy for Prosecuting Attorney, I didn’t hesitate a moment before offering to serve as his co-chair. Having served with Bob on our City Council, he’d long ago earned my respect as one of the smartest, hardest-working, most ethical individuals I’ve worked with.

What a rude shock it was to attend the 23rd District Democrat endorsement meeting in May, only to be met with a wall of insular partisanship that placed more emphasis on preserving the status quo than on recognizing a critical need for change.

After going forth, campaigning across the county where Bob has been received with open arms by voters hungry for change, it was a sadly fitting slap across the face to be met with the recent letter to the editor penned by several PCOs and board members from the 23rd Legislative District Democrats, who had the audacity to insinuate, among other things, that Bob is not a Democrat.

Now, members of the 23rd are forwarding an e-mail suggesting that Bob is a member of the Tea Party because the Kitsap Tea Party gave him high marks for his responses to answers on a questionnaire sent out to all four of the candidates in the race.

It’s a very sad day for Democrats, and for Kitsap County, when partisan operatives sink to such levels to protect an entrenched incumbent and to smear the reputation of a highly qualified candidate.

I urge my fellow voters, do your own research and vote for the most qualified candidate across all party lines, Bob Scales. http://www.ScalesForProsecutor.com

—Kirsten Hytopoulos, former City Councilmember

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The Kitsap County Deputy Sheriffs Guild sent this press release out late yesterday:

The Kitsap County Deputy Sheriffs Guild hasn’t determined which candidate it will endorse in this year’s Kitsap County prosecutor’s race, but it has decided who it will not endorse — incumbent Russ Hauge. The Guild announced today, in a strongly worded statement, that while it was still assessing the other three candidates for the prosecutor seat, it had decided to officially oppose Hauge and encouraged the voters to consider one of the other three candidates in the August primary.

Guild President Jay Kent explained that the Guild took the unusual position of issuing an “anti-endorsement” because of its strong opposition to Hauge. “The prosecutor’s office is a mess” Kent said “and Hauge is responsible for that. We are not going to get the office’s problems fixed until he leaves the office.” Kent said the Guild wanted more time to assess the other three candidates — Bruce Danielson, Tina Robinson, and Bob Scales — but that it was “firmly set” against Hauge’s reelection. (more…)

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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

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).  (more…)

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trick-or-vote-graveyardI’m now sending daily nag-texts to my three 20-something sons to vote and mail their ballots. Like most Americans, they’re not much interested in local elections, even though the government decisions that affect us most directly are made at the local level.

For the past decade, the turnout on Bainbridge in local elections has been in the neighborhood of 40%. By contrast, the island’s turnout for the 2008 presidential election was over 90% in many precincts.

Low turnout can happen when voters don’t think their vote will have much consequence. Several council candidates in the past were unopposed. Christine Rolfes and Bob Scales walked on in 2003. Hilary Franz and Barry Peters were unopposed in 2007.

Most races hand the winner a convincing victory. The closest race in the past two cycles was the 2009 matchup between Bob Scales and Debbie Vancil. Scales took the race with 250 votes, which was a two percentage point advantage.

The Anne Blair/Melanie Keenan race was the most lopsided win in the past two races, with Blair garnering 1389 more votes than Keenan, beating her by 16 percentage points.

Turnout was lower in 2011 than it was in 2009. The numbers vary slightly by Council race, but in 2009, the Kirsten Hytopoulos/Tim Jacobsen race gained the most votes at 9959. In 2011, the most votes were cast in the Barry Peters/Steven Bonkowski matchup, with 9173 votes cast.

The year 2011 was also when the island saw the emergence of a special interest group promoting a slate of candidates. The Ratepayers Alliance rallied voters in Winslow, many of whom were angry over high water rates charged by the City. The Alliance was in litigation with the City and its members had urged that the City divest itself of the water utility.

Sally Adams, Alliance secretary, hosted at least one campaign event (to which I was invited, and still have the invitation) for the slate of Sarah Blossom, Dave Ward and Steven Bonkowski.  According to state campaign finance records, Sally Adams and Dick Allen (president of the Alliance) made contributions to Blossom’s campaign. Allen also contributed to Ward’s campaign. At the time that Allen made his contribution to Ward’s campaign, Ward was a member of the City’s Utility Advisory Committee, which was working on its recommendation to Council on whether to divest the City’s water utility.  (more…)

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The following article of mine was published by Inside Bainbridge on July 18, 2013. I am re-publishing it here to have it archived on my blog.

Documents released by the city pursuant to a public records request reveal that Arlene Buetow, Central Ward City Council candidate, lobbied four members of the Council at their private e-mail addresses on behalf of her homeowners’ association. Shortly after she sent three e-mails to the four requesting an exemption from the city’s business licensing requirements, Councilmember Dave Ward made a motion to do just that at a regularly scheduled council meeting.

On April 14, Buetow sent an e-mail to the personal e-mail addresses of Councilmembers Steven Bonkowski, Sarah Blossom, Debbi Lester, and Ward—who constitute a quorum of the Council—attaching a memo explaining her objections to a recently adopted ordinance that included homeowners’ associations among those entities that must obtain a business license. Buetow, who identified herself as president of the Tiffany Meadows Homeowners’ Association, said the license requirement subjected homeowners’ associations (HOAs) to “superfluous and unnecessary staff review.” She argued that the Council never meant to include HOAs in its ordinance.

On April 15, she sent another message to the four Councilmembers at their personal e-mails, writing, “Dave Ward asked me to provide details on the timing of this Ordinance through Council and how that relates to the Notice being sent out to the ‘affected parties.’” She attached portions of previous Council minutes at which the licensing provisions were considered and adopted.

Although I submitted a Public Records Act request for Councilmembers’ e-mail records, as of July 17 I had received no records showing how Ward communicated his request to Buetow. In fact, I have not received any e-mails from Bonkowski, Lester, or Ward on the topic of the HOA business licensing provision. (more…)

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If you’ve seen enough drama at City Hall this year, Pay Attention. If you want the Council to deliver on promises to quiet the turmoil, Speak Up.

Interim city manager candidate Michael Caldwell has been clear that he sees no reason to calm the turbulence at City Hall. His interview answers directly oppose earlier Council assurances on that subject.

At several meetings in March, Council member Steven Bonkowski, speaking on behalf of the ad hoc city manager search committee, promised that no more changes are in store for City Hall until a permanent city manager is hired.

At the March 21 meeting, Bonkowski emphasized that the Council’s philosophy during the transition to a new permanent city manager would be stability and avoidance of conflict. He took pains to assure city management in the legal, planning, finance, public works and police departments that they will continue in their roles. Changes may come, he added, once a new city manager is in place, but won’t occur now.

He repeated those assurances at the March 30 meeting, promising that in its search for an interim city manager, the city isn’t looking for a “change agent.”

But here’s that promise in action at last week’s Council meeting, while the Council was interviewing Mike Caldwell. Caldwell is the only candidate under consideration for Interim City Manager other than Acting City Manager Morgan Smith (whose experience has been found wanting by members of the ad hoc committee): (more…)

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You can set your watch by it—when anyone tries to be helpful in the realm of politics, someone else will smell conspiracy. Opposition and different viewpoints are wonderful. The innuendos and silliness used to kill other people’s ideas are not.

And by innuendo and silliness, today I mean former Council member Debbie Vann’s latest blast on the Trippwire, trying to discredit Kirsten Hytopoulos’s recommendation to hire a nationally recognized police consultant, Michael Berkow. After Vann griped about the utter nerve of Hytopoulos and her colleague Bob Scales (who, as members of the City’s Police Management Study ad hoc committee, are supposed to be working on reform) for daring to look for a policing expert, she fired her kill shot:

“I think the reason they want this man is that he is a friend of Althea Paulson’s and she recommended him to Kirsten.”

OMG. Busted!

Herein lies my confession.  (more…)

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