October 22, 2007
The uninspiring King County Prosecutor's Race (II): A bizarre P.R. stunt

Postman today reports on Dan Satterberg's bizarre attempt to appear "non-partisan" by returning political contributions from Republican activist Lori Sotelo. Norm Maleng didn't prosecute Lori Sotelo in 2005 because she did not commit any crime. She made some mistakes which she promptly retracted. (And Maleng/Satterberg never prosecuted, as Satterberg suggested they would, any of the hundreds of people who Sotelo properly challenged for falsely claiming residence in mailboxes, but which challenges were rejected by the partisan Democrats on the canvassing board). To suggest that Sotelo's contribution to Maleng's unexpected heir two years later could plausibly be seen as a quid pro quo is ludicrous.

By returning the contribution instead of simply explaining the correctness of the decision not to prosecute Sotelo, Satterberg only raises doubts about his own impartiality and legitimizes the false partisan insinuation that Sotelo really should have been prosecuted.

And it gets worse... More later.

Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at October 22, 2007 05:52 PM | Email This
1. Stefan,

There is a difference between the candidates. Politics is a mean and ugly business, and sometimes a candidate does something with which you disagree. Remember what Reagan said about someone who's your friend 80% of the time isn't your enemy 20% of the time.

A PA Sherman will be way worse than your worst nightmare of PA Satterberg.

Trust me...Sherman WILL criminalize political disputes, which means guys like me who file ethics complaints against a certain legislator will have targets painted on their backs.

The Piper

Posted by: Piper Scott on October 22, 2007 06:42 PM
2. From David Postman:

Satterberg said he would not accept campaign donations from anyone that the prosecutor's office reviewed for possible charges.

"I do not want even a hint that someone we declined to charge would later send a contribution as some sort of quid pro quo later on."

OKAY -- does that mean that Dan Satterberg is going to be cancelling his appearance at the Jane Hague fundraiser for the King County GOP tomorrow night? And is Satterberg ever going to explain why it took his office six weeks to charge Hague (July 16, 2007) after she was arrested for DUI (June 2, 2007)?

Posted by: Richard Pope on October 22, 2007 07:05 PM
3. #2 made sense until I read who wrote it..

I have to agree with Piper. It makes sense.

Posted by: Chris N on October 22, 2007 07:16 PM
4. Sotelo=mistakes, ACORN=OMG VOTE FRAUD. Thanks for the clarification.

Posted by: Giffy on October 22, 2007 07:38 PM
5. Giffy, did Sotelo try to register Mickey Mouse? ACORN CLEARLY tried to register phoney names and submit knowingly false information. Most people get that. sorry you don't

Posted by: Misty on October 22, 2007 08:56 PM
6. @5 no... she just tried to disenfranchise hundreds of voters.

Posted by: Giffy on October 22, 2007 09:10 PM
7. No, she mistakenly assumed people were registered at only mailboxes without realizing they were in an apartment, as I understood it. Once she realized the mistake it was dropped. Do you really believe she started out wanting to get people off the rolls who were legally on them? Really? I don't believe it for a second.
We DO know that many ARE registered at little mailboxes even thought that's not legal. Does that bother you? I had to follow registration laws when I registered, didn't you also have to??

Posted by: Michele on October 22, 2007 09:38 PM
Dan Satterberg is one of the reasons that inner city Seattlite Dems sit back and wonder "Why Aren't I Voting Republican?"

I mean seriously...if you live in Seattle, you own an expensive home. You should go with the honest, low tax party. Heck, even Rom Sims, the High Toad Of Libs is telling you out front that you're about to get hornswaggled by the Lite Rail Banditos!

And yet you take it, full force!

Posted by: John Bailo on October 22, 2007 09:46 PM
9. 1. Agree with Piper.

2. Am I missing something here, is the gist of this post that a candidate, any candidate is forced to accept a campaign contribution, no matter what? How does this work for both sides?
I have been beating Bruce, not Bruce G over the head on a regular basis because Hillary took blood money from hip hop thug Timbaline. Come to find out that Hillary was right because she had to take the money. Isn't this like restaurants have the right to refuse service, assuming it is not a discriminatory reason?

Posted by: WVH on October 22, 2007 10:34 PM
10. Giffy - Lori Sotelo was trying to correct a major loophole that hundreds of voters were using to fraudulently register to vote. That some of the challenges were erroneous makes for an interesting left-wing talking point, but it doesn't detract from the main issue, which is that records and elections allows people to list a post office box as a residence. This is not disenfranchisement. I am certain Lori wants these people to vote in accordance with the law.

I mean, I could register to vote at a PO box in Richard Pope's district just so I could vote against him, but is that acceptable?

Also, you should have sat in on these hearings. What an education we gained about the extent to which people will fabricate in order to justify clearly illegal behavior. The best sob story was the homeless transsexual who was registered to vote at a mailboxes etc, and actually claimed that she (formerly he) did, on occasion, sleep on the floor of said retail store.


Posted by: AD on October 22, 2007 10:34 PM
11. So many Democrats are still fighting the 2000 presidential campaign; it's what stirs their juices, riles their tempers, and raises their blood pressure. But it's O-V-E-R...it's history...the dead of that campaign WILL NOT rise again.

Must people on the right make the same mistake by revisiting the grievances of the 2004 election and its aftermath by tossing the Dan Satterberg baby out with the Lori Sotelo water?

Really...how dumb is that?

The issue is who is the better candidate for Prosecuting Attorney, not what happened to a campaign contribution. Frankly, sometimes it's necessary to take one for the team, and, to hazard a guess, I'll bet Lori Sotelo is amenable to having her money returned to her if there's a chance that such an action might make the difference between a Satterberg victory or a Sherman disaster.

Anyone have any doubt as to who Lori Sotelo will vote for in the Satterberg - Sherman race? I didn't think so...

There's a large and growing body of evidence to suggest that Bill Sherman will not only politicize the PAO, but he'll radicalize it.

I do not want to have to retain an attorney to defend myself for having signed an ethics complaint under penalty of perjury simply because it irritated Democratic Party powers that be who, in turn, pressured their hey-boy, Bill Sherman, who will owe them more favors than Hillary Clinton has Chinese busboy campaign contributors, to criminalize political disputes.

Guess who would be next? Bloggers. Don't kid yourselves that you can hide behind the First Amendment or Internet anonymity; neither will protect you form a Mike Nifong act-alike, which is what I fear in Bill Sherman.

This is serious stuff, and it shouldn't be subject to how far someone's nose got bent out of joint.

The Piper

Posted by: Piper Scott on October 22, 2007 10:55 PM
12. One of my KEY issues is 2nd Amendment Rights.

Here is the result of an information request to Bill Sherman's campaign via his website inquiring what Sherman intended to do to ensure citizens would be "safe from gun violence." His campaign manager's response, received by yesterday, appears below:

"Hi _________,

Thanks for getting in touch. If elected, Bill plans to join with Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlokowski and the National Assocation of Police Chiefs to call for a renewal of the assault weapon ban that congress let expire in 2004. If congress doesn’t act, Bill will work for a state or county-level ban.

Thank you,

Dan Nolte
Campaign Manager
Bill Sherman for King County Prosecutor
(206) 234-8303"


Of course, what Mr Sherman may not realize is that a COUNTY ban would violate state law, but that typically doesn't stop democrats.

Posted by: Right Wing Wacko on October 23, 2007 02:34 AM
13. AD and Michele, So when Sotelo makes a mistake it is of course completely innocent, but when KCE does it it must be a sign of vote fraud. Clearly she won't try to disenfranchise people for partisan gain, its not like she is partisan or anything.

Thats one of the big differences right now between dems and r's. While a perfect system is ideal, absent that, we would rather error on the side of overenfranchisement, while you want to error on the side of underenfranchisement.

John, maybe its because we're not selfish pseudo individualists, and actually recognize the need for government investment in our society. Maybe we can pretty clear see that the nicer places to live in this country happen to be either places run by democrats, or subsidized by the taxes of places run by democrats. But then pretending that one doesn't need government is fun too.

Posted by: Giffy on October 23, 2007 07:42 AM
14. Giffy,

Thats one of the big differences right now between dems and r's. While a perfect system is ideal, absent that, we would rather error on the side of overenfranchisement, while you want to error on the side of underenfranchisement.

There is a flaw in your argument. Attempting to enforce laws is different than ignoring laws. If someone is cheating and no enforcement is made, then there is true disenfranchisement by the fact that a vote would be cast that counters a legitimate vote. However, if enforcement is attempted and a LEGITIMATE voter is challenged, s/he has the option of redress and thus his/her vote is not nullified simply by being challenged.

Thus, when you error on the side of over-enfranchisement, you guarantee that there will be DIS-enfranchisement. When you error on the side of under-enfranchisement, you simply correct your mistake and NO ONE is dis-enfranchised.

The difference between ACORN and Sotelo is that the latter made too broad a sweep of the data and did not check to see if some boxes might legitimately belong to specific residences. This is called a mistake and it was corrected. The latter specifically and knowingly registered fake voters in an effort to change election results.

I am very surprised that you cannot get past your partisan blinders and see a very distinct difference. It greatly reduces any credibility you have on other arguments since a clear failure to address the facts beyond partisanship means that you might also do this on other topics.

Posted by: Eyago on October 23, 2007 08:12 AM
15. Giffy,

I suppose I should also address the King County side of things. Again, the challenge of voters is not dis-enfranchisement since the voter has the option responding, but failure to address potential fraud allows no remedy for correction.

If you proceed on a path that fails to enforce, you allow for fraud, but if you proceed on a path that does enforce, you might create more work and hassle, but you reduce the chance for fraud.

Your false dichotomy of over verses under is missing the point. It is not between those two, it is between enforcement and non-enforcement. It is between true reflection of voter intent and falsified election returns.

The very fact that the failure of KC elections to do their job properly has created a group of citizens that no longer trust the integrity of the election process is reason enough to fix it, despite partisan issues. I do not think there is any sophistry you can dream up that will negate that point. Democracy is lost if the people no longer feel that the process reflects their will.

Posted by: eyago on October 23, 2007 08:24 AM
16. Giffy, you miss the point. I hope you have read eyago's comments well, because they try to explain to you what the differences are quite well. Sotelo wasn't trying to get people she thought were legitimately registered off the rolls. THAT would be disenfranchisement. Rather, she tried to do something about people who, it appeared to her, were registered at little mailboxes, which we DO know happens and is illegal. She later found they were not little mailboxes, but apartments and dropped it. If she wanted to disenfranchise, she wouldn't have dropped it once discovered. ACORN knowingly submits false information. I've lost count of how many times they've been busted all over the country for intentionally trying to do false registrations, etc. I don't think even you believe Sotelo knew those apartment-dwellers were apartment-dwellers at the outset. I sure don't.
Then here we have King County, who knowingly counted Fatal Pends ballots and Huennekens later admits "We shouldn't have counted those." Oh really?? Giffy, there's a lot at KCE that you apparently try to excuse. Even after Stefan outed KCE for knowingly putting out false ballot reports.

Posted by: Michele on October 23, 2007 08:48 AM
17. How many posts on this thread are arguing history, and how many are discussing the KC Prosecting Attorney race?

Again, again, again...What happened in the 2004 election and its aftermath is history. Now, if that history was not to your liking, then what all are you willing to do to ensure that it's not replicated...or worse?

The essential question should be, "Where do we go from here? Satterberg or Sherman?" I'm here to tell you that it does make a difference!

Under a PA Sherman, Lori Sotelo would be in a King County courtroom right now sitting at the defendant's table. Bill Sherman, partisan Democratic ideologue and activist that he is, will criminalize political and policy differences such that every Republican and every conservative who weighs in on whatever better retain an excellent criminal defense lawyer.

And I will bank this drum until you're all deaf: the attorneys and other employees at the PAO are overwhelmingly in favor of Satterberg and increasingly concerned about the very politicalization of the office that I address. And for the most part they're Democrats themselves.

There's an urgent need to not focus on the nits of the PAO office involvement in election politics and see the bigger picture of what will happen to criminal justice in King County if Satterberg loses and Sherman wins.

Or does anyone care???

The Piper

Posted by: Piper Scott on October 23, 2007 09:08 AM
18. Piper, take it easy here. Stefan's burr is the crooked elections in King County. Satterberg was part of it. Totally appropriate that Stefan point out these issues. I'll bet you a fin that Stefan ends up voting for Satterberg. Doesn't mean he has to like his politics.

And it seems Satterberg gave advice that continued some of the abuses.

Posted by: swatter on October 23, 2007 01:49 PM
19. I just see where Sotelo is a member of the Reagan Wing. I think I would return donations from any of them, too.

Posted by: swatter on October 23, 2007 04:50 PM
20. Lori is not a member of the Reagan Wing. The Reagan Wing is a group of about 4-5 crazies headed up by Doug Parris. In fact, they HATE Lori Sotelo because she doesn't march lockstep with their ideological dogma and immediately capitulate every time Doug makes an awkward power grab.

I know Lori very well. And it is soooo weird to see people get worked up about her. She is the most genuinely kind and funny person I worked with in politics, back when I did.

Posted by: AD on October 23, 2007 05:05 PM
21. mea culpas all over AD. I didn't know anything about Sotelo or the issue so I googled her name.

Most of the first page and articles were Sotelo and the Reagan Wing. I rechecked and the reason was Sotelo was being hammered by the Reagan Wing. To me, that is a good thing, so I have to reassess. Thank you AD.

So, what is Satterberg's problem then if he doesn't take money from Republicans? Grrr, politics suck.

Posted by: swatter on October 24, 2007 06:50 AM
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