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Posts Tagged ‘Dan Griffey’

Montana campaign finance ruling has no impact here

Monday, June 25th, 2012

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Montana’s laws about contributions to state elections has no impact in Washington. That’s the word from Lori Anderson, Washington Public Disclosure Commission spokeswoman.

Montana banned corporations from campaign spending. Washington limits how much they can contribute to candidates, but does not limit how much they can spend on independent expenditures.

Where independent expenditures come into play is mostly in advertising that is not sponsored by either candidate, but can be supportive or opposed to them.

I checked PDC records and most of the independent spending done locally in state legislative races seems to have been done in 2006. Still, 2010 had a fair amount.

In the 35th Legislative District Position 1 race Republican Dan Griffey benefitted from $16,399.79 spent on his behalf, with $13,864.70 coming from the committee Main Street Matters. Kathy Haigh, the Democratic incumbent, had $117.42 spent on her behalf by the Washington Conservation Voters Action Fund. She also had $4,621.57 spent against her by the same organization that supported Griffey.

Main Street Matters was funded primarily by the Washington Affordable Housing Council, the political action committee for the Building Industry Association of Washington.

In 2010 Main Street Matters targeted seven races in five legislative districts, including the Haigh-Griffey race. In three contests the organization spent $13,864.70 on behalf of the Republican and $4,621.57 opposing the Democrat for ads that went out on Oct. 25, 2010. In three races the spending for Republicans matched the money spent against the Democrats, all at $4,621.57. In one race the Republican was credited with one penny more than the Democrat. Main Street won two races in the 47th Legislative District and lost in the five others.

In September of 2011 we ran a Seattle Times story saying BIAW had reconsidered its political activities. Two months later it named Art Castle, former executive vice president of the Kitsap Homebuilders Association, to the same post, something he had been doing on an interim level since the previous April.


Here is the latest picture of me

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

This on the left is the latest in the new world for me. I still don’t know what we use it for the most, but Dan Griffey, who’s running for a state House seat had one of these on the back of his card. I knew my new iPhone would read it, so I wondered what he had. I now have all his contact info stored.

Then I found out I could create one for myself, which is the image you see on the left. If you want to have my contact info handy at all times, there it is right there. You don’t see it? Your QR Code reader does. Ask it.


Lary Coppola Predicts at Least One Local Incumbent Gone

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Port Orchard Mayor and publisher of the previously mentioned Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal Lary Coppola, operating as neither, offers his predictions the November election.

On most of the close races he hedges, laying down no public bets. Not, though, in the race in the 35th District between Kathy Haigh and Dan Griffey.

“Republican challenger Dan Griffey will upset longtime incumbent Kathy Haigh in a fairly close matchup.”

Coppola also predicts Hauge will win. As of this posting he has not weighed in the county commissioner race between Josh Brown, the Democratic incumbent, and Abby Burlingame, the Republican challenger. I commented asking if he will.

Remember, if you haven’t voted in the poll on the right hand side of this page (your right), you still can.


Larry Seaquist/Doug Richards Race Mentioned in L.A. Times Story

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

The race for state legislative House District 26, Position 2, helped provide context for an L.A. Times story that highlights a trend from this election. First, here’s the entire selection dedicated to the Larry Seaquist-Doug Richards race:

In Washington, State Rep. Larry Seaquist hasn’t focused on a foreclosure suffered by his homebuilder opponent.

“I frankly don’t think there’s a lot of mileage to be gained in that,” Seaquist said Thursday.

The story generally focuses on how a candidate’s financial struggles are not necessarily hurting them in the 2010 election. In fact, in some cases it is a sign that the candidate can relate. Again from the story:

In some cases, adversaries point to these problems as examples of poor judgment and highlight perceived ethical lapses. But experts say they would be wise to tread carefully in a time of widespread pain, because voter sympathy may weigh into election day decisions.

First off, homebuilder is not Richards’ day job, but let’s not quibble. In July Chris Henry wrote the story about Richards facing foreclosure on an investment property. The comments on the story are interesting and to some degree do reflect the point of the L.A. Times story.

In the August primary Seaquist and Richards were the only names on the ballot for the race. Seaquist received 51.6 percent of the vote to Richards’ 48.4.

Looking further, I checked the numbers from the 2008 election to see if we could learn anything from it to suggest how things might go in November. Seaquist actually gained three percentage points in 2008 between the primary and the general election, but you could dismiss that as the difference between what was going on in August 2008 compared to November 2008. Democrats gained percentage points in five of the seven legislative races that year. And in the two races they did not the losses were slight.

Speaking more broadly, the general election played out exactly as the primary did when it comes to final results in 2008. Six Democrats and one Republican won. The margins in this year’s primary were much narrower than they were in 2008, so the six wins Democrats saw in the eight races are not as safe in terms of predicting what happens in November. But still, how big a win do you need?

Fred Finn, first-term incumbent Democrat representative in the 35th District received 46.6 percent against two candidates, one a Republican (Linda Simpson) and one who identified himself (Glenn Gaither) as an independent conservative. Democrat Kathy Haigh, representing the other 35th District House seat, had less than a percentage point margin over Republican Dan Griffey. In 2008 Haigh’s total went up more than five percentage points between the primary and the general election and won by 23 percentage points.

If Republicans hope to turn around the 8-1 margin against them in the Legislature, it would appear this would be the year. As mentioned earlier, the margins are closer. On the other hand, there is no solid evidence to wager your house on any change at all from the Kitsap delegation. As much ground as Republicans seem to have made, it may not be enough come November to close the Kitsap legislative gap. A half-point win results in the same thing as a 20-point margin. The winner goes to Olympia.

Feel free to weigh in on the poll on the right.


More on Candidates’ Debate

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

A couple of people commenting on my story about Monday’s candidate forum complained that it was lacking in depth.

I understand that trying to give 12 candidates in six races a say in a single story can seem superficial. Even before I read those comments, I had planned to do a follow-up blog post. Today, I’ll give a little more on what I heard from 35th District candidates. Tomorrow, I’ll give 26th District Candidates their turn.

I thought the format of the forum, hosted by the League of Women Voters of Kitsap County, was good, in that they separated the races, giving candidates in each race a chance to address the questions one-on-one, instead of using a panel format. Questions were submitted by members of the audience. Because of time constraints, not all candidates got to answer all the same questions.

The whole forum will be broadcast on BKAT at 8 p.m. Sept. 16, 10 a.m. Sept. 17, 8 p.m. Sept. 23 and 7 p.m. Oct. 3. You can see video coverage of candidates in most races speaking to the Kitsap Sun’s editorial board at the Kitsap Sun’s Election Guide Web page.

No surprise, many of the questions at the forum related to the state budget, specifically:
* Gov. Chris Gregoire’s order for across the board cuts to the state budget
* contract talks between the governor’s office and the state’s largest union representing government workers.
* Fully-funded basic education.
* along with other issues

35th District Rep. Position 2
Incumbent Fred Finn, D-rural Thurston County, said he generally supports across the board cuts, given the current realities of the state budget. In theory, targeted cuts would be better, “but this is the real world,” he said.
Republican Linda Simpson of Bremerton also said she would prefer to selectively trim the budget based on priorities, but “at some point, across the board cuts seem the way to go.”

On education funding, Simpson said the amount allocated to K-12 education actually should be adequate, as long as the allocation remains dedicated specifically to education. “I honestly don’t believe it’s underfunded,” she said. “It has enough money, but it should be the number one thing that’s funded.”
Finn named education among his top three priorities, along with job growth and transportation (specifically with an eye on the yet-to-be-built Belfair Bypass). He noted his involvement in passage of a bill that revised the way school transportation is funded. Implementing fully funded education will require strong bipartisan cooperation, he said.

35th District Rep. Position 1
Candidates in this race got a question asking for “specific solutions to the budget crisis.”
Republican Dan Griffey of Allyn called for “zero-based” budgeting and a six-year budget cycle, instead of two. Like many, he talked about setting priorities, “instead of the shotgun approach.”
Incumbent Kathy Haigh said of the budget process, “It’s hard work. It’s hard and long and tedious, and I plan on being there.”

Haigh, who has chaired the Education Appropriations Committees, said education has been and remains her number one priority. In the last session, faced with the need to make cuts, she reluctantly voted to eliminate money set aside under Initiative-728 funding, for example, because it was not mandated by state law.
Griffey supports a “segregated” fund for education, and he suggested separating the job of funding education from the job of setting education policy. Fund it first, then talk policy, he said.

35th District Senate
Incumbent Tim Seldon, D-Potlatch, and challenger Nancy “Grandma” Williams, a member of Washington’s Tea Party, talked about how to help small business.
Williams, who with her husband has owned a mini-storage and cab company, said she would “get rid of B&O taxes for two years” to give businesses a chance to stabilize. She also favors deregulation and allowing “free market principals” to drive the economy. “Life is simple,” she said. “We make it difficult by putting laws and regulations on people.”
Sheldon’s family has been in the timber and oyster business, and he has a bachelor’s degree in economics and an MBA in business administration. Out of the discussion of the proposed Adage biomass project – to involve energy generation through burning of timber slash – and a question on the future of the timber industry, Sheldon gave a fairly rosy projection. While “on the ground” timber jobs have been lost to technology, the industry actually is thriving. “I see a good future for the timber industry in our area if we continue to invest in new technologies like biomass.”
Sheldon was in the minority on the biomass plant, as other candidates raised concerns about air pollution and whether the plant would be sustainable.

The candidates also talked about the importance of ferries to the 35th District, which represents Mason and portions of Grays Harbor, Kitsap, and Thurston Counties.
Williams favors privatizing the ferries. She said she recognizes the importance of ferries to commuters in the 35th.
Sheldon said Kitsap and Mason counties respectively have the number one and two longest commutes in terms of time in the state. Passenger only ferries have not proven profitable, he said, but Western Washington needs to keep up the pressure on Washington State Ferries for more regular service.
“We don’t take a backseat to anyone,” he said. “We need to start acting a little bit like the boss and tell the state ferries that they’ve got to listen.”
Sheldon favors opening ferry construction contracts to out-of-state companies.


The Back Story on Haigh’s Convention Comments

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

My story on Kathy Haigh’s convention comments was edited for space and appropriateness. It’s a battle we always go through, presenting a story that tells the story without overtelling it.

If you look to the right and blow in the rail on the side you’ll see a tab that invites you to become a fan of the Kitsap Caucus on Facebook. Dan Griffey, the Republican candidate challenging Haigh in the 35th District is either a friend or a fan of the caucus. On Tuesday of last week I saw that he had posted the following. (Click on the images to see them more clearly):

Later the post appeared under his own name:

I wrote to him and asked how he head heard about it and this was his response:

Addressing the issue again, he posted:

There were two reasons to pursue this story. The first is that someone was being accused of calling someone a racist. Not only was it someone, it was someone elected reported to have said it. These things are often bothersome to deal with and most of the time it turns out the accusation isn’t true. But on the chance that it is true, we think people would want to know that an elected representative, or someone wanting to get elected, said something like this.

So we go after it. The second reason to pursue the story was also the more compelling reason to actually run the story. The accusation was out in public. So I called people who were there and Haigh herself to get their versions of what was said. Then I called Griffey. I made another call for someone who could add context, but was unable to reach that person. As it turned out, what Haigh did say merited explanation it is clear many found her explanation unsatisfactory.

My thoughts going into writing the story were that if I’m going to write it, I have got to give the incident as complete a context as I can. On the other hand, we don’t want to make more of this than it deserves. I wrote a pretty long story that ended up getting cut. Two of the comments pictured above were part of the original story, but I placed them well into the second half.

The fact is I agree both with my reasons for including more context and my editor’s reasons for reducing the story. As it was we didn’t get to talk about it before the cuts were made, because I had joked I didn’t want anyone calling me Friday night. My wife and I and friends were going to be in Seattle watching the play “On the Town” at The 5th Avenue Theatre. I thought the story was edited well, but those comments from Griffey posted on Facebook said something to readers, too. If I had presented at least one of the quotes higher in the story, perhaps it would have remained.

On the whole, the story we published said all it needed to. The story included what was reported to have been said, gave Haigh a chance to elaborate on her statement, gave Griffey a chance to comment and presented the fact that he did post the issue online.


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