My good friend Gerry Pollet is running against another good friend, Scott White. He's behind in fundraising, and he did not win the Primary. However, thanks to our anti-party public in Washington State which passed I-872 in 2004, and a U.S. Supreme Court that doesn't believe in using their imaginations, both Gerry and Scott will be on the ballot in November. I'm supporting Scott, for a lot of reasons. But I respect Gerry as well. So this is tough.
Gerry sent out an email yesterday stating the claim that Scott had accepted money from the BIAW. Ok, well, not the BIAW, but an "arm" of the BIAW. A PAC. That he does not name. But it's the BIAW, right? It's all the same boggieman, right?
Good question. And it's a question that I have not found a clear answer to. Gerry refers to an article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that describes how this all works, and lists all of the Democrats getting money from the BIAW. Or at least the arms of this terrible political octopus.
Several Democrats interviewed about the contributions made a distinction among the BIAW's PAC, the Washington Affordable Housing Council, the Master Builders PAC, the Affordable Housing Council and other local builders' action committees. They said they work with the builders in their communities on a variety of issues, and although those local groups are members of the BIAW, they don't always share the same hardball political bent.
There's also a PI Blog entry on the topic of Gerry's letter and Scott's response.
Lets put some more links on the table.
BIAW Local Associations
Scott has raised more than $110,000 dollars in this campaign. $800 of that was from the "Affordable Housing Council", which is the political arm of the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties. The MBA-KS is an arm of the BIAW.
I found a page about the AHC on the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties website. Scott is not on their endorsement list. House Speaker Frank Chopp (D-43) is. And they gave a contribution to another good friend of mine. Richard Conlin, from the Seattle City Council. So did they give $800 to a candidate that they did not endorse? I don't know.
Building homes is not a partisan issue. Should it be? Can we honestly say that anyone who runs on a platform of helping people live the American Dream should not take any contributions from the people who swing the hammers to build those homes?
Public financing will do a lot to help with this. But the first thing we have to do is stop going crazy. Is the BIAW an evil organization? Define evil. I'm getting a headache.
And I still support Scott. Because I believe that he will do a better job building coalitions in Olympia to help support the progressive values and issues that I stand for and that the 46th District Democrats stands for.