Defending, sort of, Bruce Danielson’s non-campaign

Having just returned this week from vacation, when I ignored this place and any issues it might discuss, I just Thursday read Josh Farley’s story about how some people are complaining because Bruce Danielson, candidate for state Supreme Court, doesn’t seem to be campaigning.

I’m going to play the devil’s advocate here, in a way. I’m not saying this move by Danielson is good or right. (Nor am I saying he’s the devil.) I am saying he just might benefit from this strategy, and that in itself might make it good or right. I’ll also argue that maybe there is more than winning the election at issue.

I understand the complaint. The 20 or so of you who might want to go to a debate between the judge candidates and the hundreds more of you who would like to read something before voting could benefit from knowing Danielson’s positions on judicial matters, assuming you’re undecided.

My answer to that is Danielson did post a one-page website and put his info in the voter’s guide. He’s telling you something. It’s not nothing. Whether there is enough there for you to get a sense of how he would perform as a judge is another question.

That, perhaps, gets answered in the Sun story itself. Farley followed the advice of bob12345 before bob12345 gave it, suggesting to me that maybe bob12345 didn’t read the entire story. bob12345 wrote, “i have no problem with him not posting his info, campaigning, or participation in debates. his info is out there, the sun should have filled in his info for him.. ‘reporting’.” Well, bob12345, I assume you’re talking about the questionnaire we gave each candidate first. No, we’re not going to fill in the answers to our questions for him. Would you expect the county auditor to do that? The questionnaire is a place for candidates to make their arguments without any filtering by us. Farley did, however, go back to some of Danielson’s old public statements and put them in the story. You know, reporting.

On the question of whether Danielson’s strategy will make him the winner, well I’d say it probably won’t, based on history of other candidates who choose not to show up to public events, answer questions from inquiring news organizations, or doorbell.

It doesn’t mean it won’t ever work. Danielson, I suspect, may be employing this technique to illustrate his point on his website that “Judges should be elected without influence from a political party or special interest group.”

For the record, I think the term “special interest group” is thrown around way too much, the all-encompassing bogeyman used by politicians to scare voters into not voting for the opponent.

For those who might think Danielson is arguing against electing judges, the very next sentence on his site should dispel that notion. “Voters should not settle for a judge who has been appointed by the most partisan office of the State.”

Another reason it could work one day, if not now, is because it makes the candidate look like a maverick, bucking the system and delivering a middle finger to establishment politicians and the mainstream media. Some respond favorably to that.

It also generated a story (free advertising) because some in the legal community are put off by Danielson’s decision to run this way. The story does not, contrary to some of the commenters, say the Kitsap Sun is upset about it. The Kitsap Sun, as far as I am aware, has not taken a position on Danielson’s tactic. We also don’t have a practice of editorially slamming people who don’t buy ads from us, by the way. In fact, I only know who buys ads when I see them the way you do, on my computer screen or in the paper. Those of you who want to believe otherwise are probably not going to believe that, but I’ll go through the useless exercise of telling you anyway.

Finally, let’s not discount the idea that maybe winning the election is not the candidate’s first priority. I don’t know Danielson’s motivation for running. We assume all candidates actually want to win. The large majority probably do and would take the job if they did win, but you’d be surprised how many know very well they’re not going to. So they run for other reasons.

Danielson could win, and if he does I’m sure he’d relish the job. But if he doesn’t win, he has made a statement by running the way he has. And if you’re more cynical, he’s paid a filing fee and paid for a website, which if nothing else ends up creating advertising for his legal services. How many clients would it take for him to make up whatever price he paid?

As a P.S. to this, Danielson is not alone this election in applying this kind of technique. In the 6th Congressional District race Eric Arentz filed as an independent and as far as I know hasn’t campaigned other than providing information for the official election guides.

Stephan Brodhead, a Republican, has done a little more. He answered our questionnaire, has a pretty comprehensive website and I see his ads on Facebook. He won’t, however, talk to me or other reporters.

In fact, when I wrote that the primary ballots were in the mail and described him as “2010 Oregon Congressional candidate Stephan Brodhead,” he took particular exception to that, writing as a story comment, “Well Gardner, for your information, when I ran in Oregon in 2010, I did it for experience. I ended up endorsing one of your fellow Mormons that attended BYU, hence your qualifiying me as an Oregon candidate is quite self serving… In fact it is prickish and somewhat BYUish…..Sorta Council of 50 type of deal…”

Later that day I wrote an e-mail to him saying, “I was hoping we could set up a time to chat on the phone for an election story for the weekend,” making no reference to his online comment.

He responded: “Go ahead and talk to Brigham Young, I mean, Jesse Young. Given how you worded your blog, I am certain that your interpretation and journalistic intent will not fall in my favor; hence, I am not interested in talking with you at all….
“Good day!”

I responded, “What are you talking about?”

His answer: “You called me the ‘Oregon candidate’ in your blog….You chose this as a qualifier, and did not have to. This shows your intent….I am not interested in any type of interview at this juncture. I think we are done…Please quit with the emails….”

My final response: “I’m not done. I don’t understand what the problem is with what I wrote.
“I’m giving you an opportunity to make your case as a candidate. To be clear, you’re going to decline an opportunity to make that case because I mentioned the fact that you ran for Congress in Oregon?
“If that’s what you want, for me to write that you refused to be interviewed for the story, I’ll grant your wish.”

He didn’t respond to me again until after I wrote the story I had asked him to comment for. In that story I described him as “a real estate owner and manager, small business owner and veteran.” He took issue with that description.

Brodhead’s message to me: “Collectively, all of the news organizations have censored my service in Iraq while playing up Driscoll. Your latest article simply calls me a veteran while you explain in detail Eichner and Driscoll’s military service. This is just another blatant example of your media bias and manipulation. Your credibility as a journalist is suspect. Thanks for devaluing my contributions as a veteran while playing up others….”

My response: “Amazing that someone who refuses to talk to anyone in the media complains that he’s being censored.”

In the story I referred to Eichner’s military service by calling him a “former Navy submarine captain.” Of Driscoll I said he was “a veteran who in 2006 volunteered to rejoin the U.S. Marine Corps and served in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

So perhaps Brodhead has a point, though I don’t feel all that guilty for using “veteran” to describe him. Most people do still consider being a veteran a good thing, right? Given the chance to do the story again I might say he was a flight engineer in Iraq. I wasn’t trying to discount his service. But again, if want to believe otherwise, what I say here isn’t going to change your mind. If you go to the bio page on Brodhead’s site you’ll see his military experience.

And if you’re looking for a candidate who won’t talk to the media or debate his opponents, you’ve got your man. In a primary race with five candidates from the same party, I can see a day when that strategy might work.

5 thoughts on “Defending, sort of, Bruce Danielson’s non-campaign

  1. @ Robin I went to a forum and Danielson and hauge debated during that election.

    @Stone I know hipersonallyly , he is honest,he is fair. He would apply the law , not make it up . The most we should ask of any Judge.

    @Steve The last thing I would use is the word “reportconcerningernin the article Josh wrote . Allcommenter’snters were anti Danielson and pro his opponent . Why not an article speaking to the false racist charges the opponents camcirculatingultin , asking only Danielson supporters what he think of that ? Of course not .

    First time I ever though Josh was capable of being used as he was .Hope he was used , hate to think the media culture of the Sun got to him . The whole story line was from the opposition side complaints . . Its like asking a person to comment on if he beats his wife. No matter what your starting from the bottom . Gonzales has articles on his election web speaking to the possibility of Danielson using his “white” name . The Stranger had the same story . Amazing how that stuff grows in our mainstream media culture of today . The donations from NARAL, Planned Parenthood, SEIU ,and other groups associated with leftpoliticspoliics and big government intdefinitelyfintely put the incumbent on the left sJudicialJudical bench so to speak . No mention of that . It was a hatchet job , and if you want to spin it as reporting your obviously loyal but notcredibleredable .

    Josh made a mistake , he was used. Hopefully he was just used. Like to think he learned from it .

  2. The great state of Pennsylvania is “The Keystone State.” Without Pennsylvania, our great Union would not exist. During the American Revolution, it was the Pennsylvanians that rose up, and with no bones about it, answered the call to freedom. They were the first to call for a “First Continental Congress,” and the first to call for revolution. Pennsylvania riflemen were the first to arrive at the “Siege of Boston.” They were the first to stand with George Washington. From the first cries of freedom to Yorktown, our patriot brothers from Pennsylvania answered the call for a new nation. Pennsylvanians have never run from a fight; not in 1812, not at the “Stone Bridge”, not at “Belleau Wood,” not at “Guadalcanal,” not at “Khe Sanh,” and certainly not in the “Streets of Fallujah” or “Anbar Province.” In fact, Pennsylvanians have never ever run from a fight!

    My Great plus Granduncle General Daniel Brodhead covered the withdrawal of George Washington’s army across the East river after the defeat at the” Battle of Long Island.” He would defend Philadelphia, be wounded at the Paoli Massacre, winter at Valley Forge, and be the commander of Fort Pitt. He is one of our “Founding Fathers.” His brother Luke would be wounded and spend months rotting on a British prison ship, and fight to join his “Band of Brothers” at Valley Forge. The brothers would take the “Oath of Allegiance” and inoculate themselves against “Small Pox” with the blood of dying Pennsylvania patriots at Valley Forge.

    Daniel’s son Ensign would die from wounds sustained at the Battle of Long Island. Our roots as Pennsylvanians grow deep.

    Pennsylvania Senator Richard H. Brodhead would hold the same seat in the senate as Mr. Santorum. Instead of spending a billion dollars in earmarks and passing the bill to our children, he would pass legislation that funded the beginning of the transcontinental railroad and telegraph.

    It would be completed on May 10th 1869 at Promontory Point, Utah and joined our “Manifest Destiny”.

    Brigham Young would be the first person to transmit his voice from “Sea to shining sea”, on the transcontinental telegraph. What took months by” Ox and Conestoga” on the Mormon trail, now took weeks by rail. This magnificent American achievement allowed American pioneers of every nationality, color, religion, and language to flood the West and Mid-West. We populated our “Manifest destiny” with the immigrant spirit and blood of Protestants, Catholics, Latter Day saints, and every manner of religion and character.

    In America when one takes the oath to America, one is an American. This web of diverse culture, this melting pot of freedom, this tolerance of strength and dignity define who we are as a people. We are the envy of the entire world.

    When a newly elected president walks “Pennsylvania Avenue,” he is walking on a foundation that was built from the bones and blood of Pennsylvania patriots. He is walking on the spirit and sanctity of Pennsylvania patriots that gave their lives for freedom, and created the greatest nation on earth. A country that is based on the equality of man, with “God Given” rights, a Bill of Rights, and a Constitution.

    The thought of Barack Obama walking the treasured ground of Pennsylvania Avenue once again is downright sickening.

    As a retired Iraq war Veteran, and a concerned American citizen, I feel that Mitt Romney has earned the right to walk Pennsylvania Avenue.

    Like Pennsylvanians, Mitt Romney has never ever run from a fight. Unlike Barack Hussein Obama, who has given up on ever passing a realistic Federal budget, Mitt Romney possesses the demonstrative skills, tenacity, experience, and fundamental intelligence to put our economy on sound footing, strengthen our social and medical networks, maintain our peace through strength, and balance the budget.

    Prior to becoming president, Barack Hussein Obama’s only small business experience was “Buying a house!” He is the most divisive and incompetent president in our nation’s history. He has failed to rise to the challenge of limiting government; in fact he is an incompetent socialist that doesn’t really understand or uphold the Constitution. He has failed to rise to the challenge of nurturing inclusion; in fact he pushes the racial sensitivity button whenever his incompetent political advisors see an opportunity to drive a wedge in our society for political gain. Americans must inoculate our beloved country from further economic and social deterioration by voting this guy out of office.

    While Americans are fully embracing and applying, the good teachings of Martin Luther King; Barack Hussein Obama’s presidency, on the other hand, has devolved and depends on Chicago style race bating, and the control and maintenace of alienation. This reality has come home to roost! Americans have had enough. It’s time for a new beginning that is built on the foundations of competence, experience, and tenacity. A president that espouses inclusion, and prosperity for all Americans. It is time for Mitt Romney.

    Posted by Stephan Brodhead at 8/7/2012 8:38 AM | Add Comment

  3. Mr. Gardner, we started off on the same team. All I required was equal treatment. All I required was the same considerations that others were afforded. It seems the TNT,and the Seattle Times have enaged in censorship and bias. The reason why I felt it inappropriate to debate the other candidates is because their positions are insultingly vague. At best they resemble Fox news and at worst, they are pathetic. Three of the candidates fell in line with big timber and totally abandoning the EPA. While I support this renewable resource, I did not want to be lumped in with “Anti-environmentalists”!Newt Gingrich stated “Bypass the media”. This is what I am doing. After all, reporters are only human. They have the same equality as the basic tax payer. Giving reporters access to my person also opens me to their interpretation and ability to effect an outcome. The Northwest press is ridden with liberals from out of state that want to create the news instead of report it. Bill Driscoll feels he is an authority on the military after serving 7 months overseas. He feels that the military is to large and should be reduced. Eichner is a Ron Paul protege, and his positions are not based in reality. Young feels that he is capable of representing us because he lived in a Fleetwood in someone’s backyard.Cloud seems to be the only one that has his shit together.But then again, none of these candidates offer any solutions to anything…The debate forums did not cater to real answers, just BS sound bites that say nothing. I attended several debates in the past. I did not feel that attending any now would benefit my campaign. I played my best hand. I could have campaigned harder, but, I have a business to run. Unlike the other candidates, I actaully have wealth, brick and mortar and a business that I built myself….Anyways, I am sorry if I offended you.It will al be over at 8PM.

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