Dirty Politics | 45th Dist Dems secretly videoed, Campaign Signs Defiled

UPDATED

"This is Dave Asher. He doesn't like fellow Kirkland Council Member Bob Sternoff and wants to unseat him. Watch this video and the others to follow. See what extremes he and his 45th District Democrat friends will go to in order to accomplish that. Even changing the endorsement rules."

Opening credits to a YouTube video posted by ConcernedKirklandDem.

The name, ConcernedKirklandDem is of course, a spoofy of the political action committee named, Concerned Kirkland Citizens of Kirkland which has a stated goal of preventing the reelection of incumbent Kirkland City Councilmember Bob Sternoff and is responsible for the "Reject Bob Sternoff signs".

The Background

As if the people of Kirkland have not already seen enough shenanigans and dirty tricks during this election season, now we have what appears to be a surreptitiously recorded video of the 45th District Democrats' meeting to endorse Jason Gardiner for Kirkland City Council. Two things are most interesting about this video: 1.) it appears to have been made without the approval of the 45th District Democrats by one of their own members; and 2.) the video with on-screen transcription has been posted to YouTube by a source known only as ConcernedKirklandDem.

[box type="note" style="rounded" border="full"]Links to these videos were sent to Kirkland Views in a letter to the editor written by a Dan Floyd. We were unsuccessful in our attempts to confirm that Dan Floyd is an actual person. He did not respond to our emails nor is there any record of a Dan Floyd having voted in Kirkland. We therefore presume that Dan Floyd is a pseudonym, and we will not publish his letter. We caution the reader from drawing conclusions from videos posted by an anonymous source. The video above is highly edited to make a political point. A longer video (26:52) which is less edited is available from the same source.[/box]

Kirkland Views was made aware of some dissension among the ranks of the 45th District Democrats last week when several members contacted us regarding the organization's unusual move to endorse Jason Gardiner, an independent. Gardiner is running against incumbent Kirkland City Councilmember Bob Sternoff and the endorsement was criticized as a move against Sternoff rather than an embracing of Gardiner. In fact, according to the video, the group knows very little about Gardiner's values or positions. Several attendees at the meeting questioned why Gardiner's endorsement was rushed and required a rules change to accomplish.

In an October 9 phone interview with Kirkland Views, Andrew Villeneuve was asked who recommended Jason Gardiner as an endorsement candidate to the 45th District Democrats endorsement committee. At the time of the phone interview, Villeneuve did not recall.

The Video

"There is a city council member named Bob Sternoff who we would like to see replaced… many of us who… especially those of us who live in Kirkland…" states Villeneuve in the video. "And Dave Asher has talked to me for a long time about this over and over and hoping to find someone to run."

It has now become clear that Gardiner was approached by the Democrats. He was not seeking any endorsements. Only one problem existed for the 45th District Democrats -- their rules say they can only endorse Democrat candidates.

A discussion ensued about how the 45th District Democrats approached Gardiner, an independent. Audience member Ken Nelson then noted, "At the forums he [Gardiner] said he wasn't seeking endorsements and that he wanted to be independent" to which Villeneuve replied, "Well we did reach out to him and that's and that's part of why this request is before us because we invited him to make a request."

An unknown attendee then asked Villeneuve, "Did he [Gardiner] indicate why he's not a Democrat?" Villeneuve replies that Gardiner did not and then reads from Gardiner's response, "I'm an independent. I'm not known to be a Democrat."

As discussion continued with questions about how long Gardiner has lived in Kirkland, how well he knows the city and why the regular endorsement process was not followed. Statements in favor and against the endorsement of Gardiner were made.

With a vote of two thirds of those in attendance, the 45th District Democrats changed their endorsement rules forbidding the organization from endorsing non-Democrats. This procedure opened the door for the Fightin' 45th to endorse independents in certain circumstances.

Conclusion

Funny things are happening with the 45th legislative district Democrats. There has been dissension among the ranks in recent years. Some have described the organization as having been hijacked by the extreme elements of the party. What is interesting to watch, is the non-trivial efforts made by some Democrats to expose what they see as inappropriate actions by others in the organization. Some have suggested that the Fightin' 45th has left the moderates behind in a lurch to the left.

That is for others to decide.

So, this year we can add political in-fighting to the long list of "interesting" happenings in Kirkland politics.

In the coming days, a flood of campaign mailings and political flyers will fill our mailboxes. When they do, be sure to take a good look at them. Some of them will be hit pieces. Others will try to confuse the voter. Some may actually help you decide for whom you should vote.

Somewhere in the pile of campaign flyers, often referred to as junk mail, you will find the names of Jason Gardiner, Dave Asher and Jessica Greenway as the endorsed candidates of the 45th District Democrats.

And that is how Jason Gardiner, an independent, came to be endorsed by the Democrats. Now, you know, the rest of the story (apologies to Paul Harvey).

There are two videos of the Fightin' 45th posted online; one video is tightly edited to 3 minutes, the other lasting almost 27 minutes.

As of this writing, ConcernedKirklandDem has posted three videos online.