You Get What You Pay For in Campaigns

You spend 20 hours a day between your business and your legislative campaign and you make a request of the free staff and next thing you know people think you’re looking forward to planting banana trees.

Marlyn Jensen, Republican House candidate in the 26th District, said a volunteer on her staff was (ir)responsible for the cheeky responses to the Kitsap Sun’s questions on its election site.

We’ve got the story right around here.

On Puget Sound cleanup:

“I think Puget Sound is one of the cleanest places on the planet. There are more important problems to adress than finding jobs for Evergreen College graduates.”

On whether the state should address global warming:

“Before we spend a dime on this questionable science, I would have to know how much it is going to cost, and how it’s going to effect the economy of this state. I also resent the fact that politicians are content to destroy our ecconomy when very few if any other nations feel the same urgency to destroy theirs. Personally, I think we could use a warmer climate. Plants thrive on CO2. Also we’re getting signifcantly longer growing seasons in northern latitudes. This could be a blessing in disguise if we are to feed a growing world population.”

Jensen said the volunteer who she asked to help write her responses thought it was funny and didn’t know that the answers were published online.

This isn’t the first time the free help has been blamed for campaign boo-boos. In 2006 then-candidate Christine Rolfes, now a D-Bainbridge Island, got into trouble with the Public Disclosure Commission over financial reporting.

According to Rachel Pritchett’s story from Oct. 28, 2006:

Rolfes Campaign Manager Patricia Graf-Hoke said the campaign had a problem with a volunteer treasurer who became inundated by the number of small contributions.

“Due to the large number of contributions and the technical issues, some small details were not attended to,” Graf-Hoke said.

The treasurer, whom Graf-Hoke declined to identify, now is doing administrative duties, Rolfes said. A person with professional knowledge of PDC workings has taken on the work to comply with PDC rules, according to Rolfes.

Habecker, who contributed to the Woods campaign, said it’s the first time he’s filed a PDC complaint and that he is “incensed.” He said he’s been the treasurer on four Kitsap campaigns, both Democrat and Republican, and he knows the work that’s involved.

“You have to care to get those reports filed,” he said.

Rolfes said, “The complaint was politically motivated.”

She also said she is taking the issue “very seriously.”

Meanwhile, House Republican Political Director Kevin Carns said this about Rolfes in a press release, “Her blatant disregard for state campaign finance law is appalling.”

The real question is whether those who might have been offended by Jensen’s joke answers will be any less horrified by her amended response.

7 thoughts on “You Get What You Pay For in Campaigns

  1. There are only two candidates, right? Jensen’s answers make little sense, and Seaquist apparently has not submitted any answers. Oh well, they will be the “top two” in the primary.

  2. I am a Democrat and can see this was a joke gone bad. Let our party shine by appearing the bigger person and not be seen in this vindictive light. Our issues are enough to let us shine but making cheap shots at the other party is not the direction to head. I am disappointed in how are party is playing this election. We are better then this…..In my humble opinion.

  3. I read the story , but I do have an interest for politics . I think most people will take it with a grain of salt . Rolfes appears to be an honest and caring person to me , and I don’t know the other .

    Was this a slow news day , I was al little surprised Steve you made a story of it . Maybe it deserved a blurb , just surprised me I guess . Maybe I am out of the loop of what is politically important thyese days .

  4. Marlyn Jensen appears to be taking responsibility for the campaign worker’s poor judgment and/or technology gaff. Knowing Marlyn, I am sure that she had no intention of the first responses being posted.

    That being said, gaffs aren’t exclusive to one party or the other. Just ask Mr. Seaquist how long it has taken to live down his gaff last year about NASCAR fans.

    Candidates and elected officials are human. Would it be fair to judge Larry Seaquist solely by his gaff regarding NASCAR? I don’t think so.

    Every once in awhile, good people deserve a “Mulligan”.

    Kathryn Simpson

  5. To answer the how was this news question. One of the reasons it became a story, rather than a blurb, is because the answers had been used by the other party at a campaign function. Once someone notices, it becomes a question of “Is this what you really feel?” The operating assumption was that she had put the joke answers down herself. Her answer for how it happened merited complete explanation.

    So you’ve got cheeky responses being used against the candidate and the candidate explaining how it happened. Plus, once I put the whole funny answer out there, to me it was only fair that I put the whole amended answer out there too.

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