Representative Springer responds to anonymous attack about Kirkland Uncorked

The political mudslinging in the 45th District has begun. The opening shot came in the form of an anonymous email attacking 45th Legislative District Rep. Larry Springer (D) of Kirkland, who is running for re-election in November. The email titled, "No money for Larry Springer," makes accusations against Springer and attacks Kirkland Uncorked, the three-day self-described "wine, dine and design" festival at Marina Park July 16-18. The email was distributed around the district and was written by an individual using the pseudonym, "Foolme Once."

Representative Springer has sent us a response along with a copy of the "Foolme Once" email (see below).

The following is Representative Springer's unedited response:

If there was any doubt we are in campaign season (they don’t call it the “silly season” for nothing) the email being sent around regarding the Kirkland Uncorked event and my alleged duplicity in its “business ravaging” effect should be proof.  After 3 campaigns for the state legislature I have come to expect this kind of attack and my default response is to ignore it, especially when these attacks come from people who clearly do not have the strength of their convictions to even sign their name.  The same thing happened to Penny in her run for city council last year and, unfortunately, is a disturbing trend in thisera of electronic instant communications where anonymity is so easy.

However, I have also learned that to ignore these character attacks simply leaves  those who read them with a question…could it be true?

So here’s my response:

No, my business is not the only business to benefit from Uncorked (truth be told….we basically break even.)  With 1000’s of people coming to downtown I suspect several merchants see an increase in foot traffic. It is the responsibility of those merchants to take advantage of that kind of traffic in the same way they do during the Christmas Tree Lighting, 4th of July, the former Art Festival, the numerous bike races and runs., etc.

I do not know who the anonymous writer(s) of the email might be.  They claim to have approached me to do something about Uncorked but conveniently avoid the reality that the event is an agreement between the festival sponsor, the City of Kirkland, the Hope Heart Institute, the beneficiary of proceeds from the festival, and the Washington Wine Commission.  To suggest any one person could insert himself into that contract and cancel the event is extraordinarily naïve and clearly politically expedient.

I do remember some conflicts that occurred with my friend Jon Hesse at Bikini Beach and with my other good friend Terri Fletcher from the Classic Car Show.  But I can tell you I would never use my position as a State Representative (former Mayor makes me old news I’m afraid) to influence a local issue such as this.  We have ethics, even though occasionally people like the writer would conveniently like us to ignore them.

While I’d like to think I have the gravitas to solve all the writers’ alleged issues in “5 minutes” I am afraid they must be thinking of someone else.

And oh by the way, the Kirkland Classic Car Show, founded by another good friend, Dick Beazell, has been in downtown Kirkland for the past 8 years, not “decades” as the email would have you believe.

And another thing, a quick check with city hall would tell you the City of Kirkland and its Lodging Tax Advisory Committee have made the funding decisions for the festival and the funds allocated to the event are controlled by the City Council.  That might be a better venue for the writers’ concerns than with someone who has not served on the council for the past 6 years.

So, there you have it.  It is so disappointing to have to go through this ridiculous exercise when what we should be discussing is how we are going find adequate funding for K-12 education, deal with a state budget crisis, and how we are going to assure Washington climbs out of this recession.  These are the questions upon which you should decide whether I am worthy of your support, let alone a campaign contribution.

Thanks for listening.

Larry Springer

Downtown Business Owner, former Mayor, State Representative, basic guy

From: Foolme Once <oncefoolme@yahoo.com> Date: Wed, Jun 23, 2010 at 3:00 PM Subject: No money for Larry Springer To: oncefoolme@yahoo.com

The horrid way that Kirkland Uncorked has treated the merchants and residents of Kirkland demands a response.

Since the owner of Bold Hat Productions won't dain to even respond to our concerns we took them to our former mayor and current state representative Larry Springer who is also the only merchant to benefit from having uncorked in Kirkland.

Why do we bring trinket tents to clog up Kirkland Avenue and block merchants who are barely making it anyway?

Why does Uncorked get tens of thousands of tax dollars that they were supposed to repay but never did?

Why does Uncorked leach off of the Car Show that has been a Kirkland institution for decades?

When the head of the car show asked for a different weekend for Uncorked she was rudely dismissed.

When Jon from Bikini Beach tried to get attention to his shop that was blocked from view by nonstop tents he was visited by the police.

When Jon Gilday tried to meet with the head of Uncorked to suggest a different layout that wouldn't hurt our businesses, Uncorked head Phil Megenhardt called the police on him too.

Bold Hat Productions looks down thier nose at our Car Show but insists on doing their event on the same weekend.  And they do it with OUR TAX MONEY!

We don't need food vendors taking money from our restaurants and we don't need trinket tents blocking our merchants and we don't need Uncorked leaching off of The Car Show and taking massive amounts of parking and borrowing nearly $100,000 of our money with no intention of paying it back.

So when Larry Springer, the one man that could have solved all of these problems in five minutes, asks you for a campaign contribution, please tell him "not this year, we are losing too much money because of Uncorked." Thank you for your time