April 09, 2014
King County staff identified "transit advocates" on behalf of Prop 1 campaign

Washington's public records act is an expansive law passed by voters in 1972. The law says it "shall be liberally construed and its exemptions narrowly construed" because "the people of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies that serve them." There is a strong presumption under the law that most public records can be handed over to citizens.

But what about creating public documents on behalf of political campaigns, work that includes classifying citizens by their political opinions? That's what King County councilmember Larry Phillips and his staff did on behalf of Move King County Now (MKCN). MKCN is the campaign organization advocating for Proposition 1, which would raise the sales tax by another .1% and impose $60 car tabs, with most of the funds going toward Metro bus service.

MKCN's campaign manager, April Putney, submitted a public records request on January 28 asking for a "contact list of people identified by Councilmember Phillips (or any other councilmember...) as transit advocates." While most public records requests take some time to process, compile, and get reviewed by attorneys, this one was fulfilled with blazing speed. Phillips' office responded to Putney on January 29.

What they sent Putney was a spreadsheet of over 4,500 records with names and e-mail addresses of identified "transit advocates." That raises a few questions. Did Phillips' staff work furiously to fulfill Putney's request in a day? Or does Phillips keep spreadsheets of citizens based on their political inclinations?

Posted by Adam Faber at April 09, 2014 02:40 PM | Email This
Comments
1. .
Adam Faber (HACK!), It has been so long since you've posted your nonsense here I was afraid you had succumbed to ObamaCare 'Death Spiral!' or had been carted off to an Obama mandated 'FEMA Concentration Camp!'. So much for hope.

Today your highly technically competent mind quizzes us with this HACK

"What they sent Putney was a spreadsheet of over 4,500 records with names and e-mail addresses of identified "transit advocates." That raises a few questions. Did Phillips' staff work furiously to fulfill Putney's request in a day? Or does Phillips keep spreadsheets of citizens based on their political inclinations?"

Yes, in 2014 it is nearly impossible to create a spreadsheet with 4500 rows! No doubt it would take you a life time to put such an artifact together.

Alternatively, maybe Councilmember Phillips just asked Sound Transit to execute a query from their database of transit supporters?

You'll never know.

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on April 9, 2014 03:51 PM
2. Politicians can't participate in political activity? Really?

Posted by: Roger Rabbit on April 9, 2014 06:58 PM
3. No, they can't, they're not supposed to use public resources for campaign purposes.

Posted by: Uhh... on April 9, 2014 07:05 PM
4. .
@3 Uhh... on April 9, 2014 07:05 PM,

Citation needed.

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on April 9, 2014 07:27 PM
5. Hi, I'm Max Mania, the disgraced former Port Angeles (WA) city councilman. When my wife, Dale Holiday, failed in her election campaign for county commissioner, I went into a total meltdown. And I'm still melting. Now, almost two years later, I've alienated everyone I know. I don't have a friend in the world.

But that's OK, 'cause I've got my blog. I can just sit here for hours at my keyboard taking potshots at everybody who's been mean to me and Dale. You probably think it's kind of sad -- a 46-year-old man with no friends, no job skills, just sitting here at my blog, pretending to be bantering back and forth with my imaginary friends.

But don't cry for me. I'm having more fun than I've ever had in my pathetic life. If you're like me and you hate Port Angeles and everything about it and everybody in it, please visit my blog and join the festivities with me and my imaginary friends and the voices in my head.

Just click on my name -- Crypt Kicker -- and the link will take you to my blog. Looking forward to your visit.


Posted by: Crypt Kicker on April 9, 2014 07:56 PM
6. Although I use transit occasionally, I will vote "No" on Prop. 1. Of course, King County Council are advocates for this. Who will stop them from doing it ? not the WSSC for damn sure. The county exec. crafted this. I might have considered voting for a more modest increase.

My premise is that the Government needs to learn to live within its means and if it means a shortfall in some programs which fills the shortfall in transit, so be it ! What is the latest tax revenues that they have gauged from ? I'll bet that revenues are higher this year than in 2013.

Posted by: KDS on April 9, 2014 10:46 PM
7. @4, I'm happy to answer that, but first, I'd just like to say, "Seriously?" Do you think there's no law against using taxpayer-funded resources for campaigns? Is this even in doubt?

It's RCW 42.52.180.

Posted by: Uhh... on April 9, 2014 11:21 PM
8. April and Larry have these lists at their fingertips, they probably compiled the lists together. You do know that April is on loan from Futurewise as the Campaign Director for MKCN? She is a professional advocate. This is the go-to process for the King County Executive and Democrats on the Council. They use the front groups like Futurewise to do the "dirty work" in the campaign and initiative process they are not "allowed" to do by the law. Futurewise gets paid off with appointments to committees and commissions where they get do deliver the desired outcomes back to the County and the Democrats, who then fund their programs. It's tried and true scam...and it works.

Posted by: Smokie on April 10, 2014 06:15 AM
9. It's great to see Adam and the peanut gallery here swing effortlessly from complaining about how supposedly inefficient liberal governments can be, right over to complaining about how demonstratedly efficient they are, all without missing a beat. They have always been at war with the big government of Eastasia! :-)

Posted by: tensor on April 10, 2014 03:46 PM
10. "Supposedly inefficient liberal governments"

Your river of denial runs deep.

"right over to complaining about how demonstratedly efficient they are, all without missing a beat."

Bloated leftist governments - how so ? Too much cannibus in your brain - you've been smokin it again.

Posted by: KDS on April 10, 2014 09:37 PM
11. KDS --as usual, you're the one in denial. Here's merely one of several statements Adam has made in defense of citizen access to public records:

The Public Records Act requires records requests to be fulfilled with "the most timely possible action on requests" (RCW 42.56.100) and that the records be made available "promptly" (RCW 42.56.080 and 42.56.520). Judicial action can be taken if agencies do not provide a "reasonable estimate" of when the records will be provided. (RCW 42.56.550).

Instead of praising Councilmember Philips and his staff for acting "promptly" and "in the most timely manner possible," he complains about it! This becomes extra hilarious when considering how Adam himself has wasted taxpayer money on public document requests to flog the deadest of political horses.

Why, it's almost as if our public servants can tell the difference between a highly relevant request, such as for material useful to the public in an upcoming election, and the embittered attempts at score-settling by a failed political operative.

Posted by: tensor on April 11, 2014 07:57 AM
12. Adam's premise lies (and yes, I mean that word as a double entendre) in "most public records requests take some time to process, compile, and get reviewed by attorneys". But he offers no evidence for this claim, nor any hint of whether "some time" means hours, days, weeks, or months. Sure, the occasional high-profile, controversial or complex request takes months to resolve, but that's irrelevant to how long most take.

Posted by: Bruce on April 11, 2014 08:05 AM
13. Possible Public Records Act violation by my fellow transit advocates.

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=42.56.070

"This chapter shall not be construed as giving authority to any agency, the office of the secretary of the senate, or the office of the chief clerk of the house of representatives to give, sell or provide access to lists of individuals requested for commercial purposes"

If not crossing the line, coming right up to it.

Posted by: Joe on April 11, 2014 09:36 AM
14. Joe -- take a look at the actual language. Unless you are claiming an election is a "commercial" activity, the law you cited clearly does not apply.

Posted by: tensor on April 11, 2014 10:15 AM
15. I consider using that list for political fundraising commercial activity as that's for raising money. Cutting it mighty close...

Posted by: Joe on April 11, 2014 10:27 PM
16. I consider using that list for political fundraising commercial activity as that's for raising money.

That's nice. How about quoting a legal definition of "commercial activity"? The half of the paragraph you didn't quote gives a hint:

"PROVIDED, HOWEVER, That lists of applicants for professional licenses and of professional licensees shall be made available to those professional associations or educational organizations recognized by their professional licensing or examination board, upon payment of a reasonable charge therefor..."

I wasn't aware there was professional licensure for political campaigns! One learns so much at this blog! :-)

Posted by: tensor on April 12, 2014 05:28 AM
17. "Here's merely one of several statements Adam has made in defense of citizen access to public records"

What does that have to do with anything I wrote ? Changing the topic again. Done when you have NO argument. Repeat after me...Adam is the villain in the eyes of the union of low information voters.

Tensor, Why shouldn't Adam have his question answered by Mr. Phillips ? I have not read a valid answer yet from any leftist troll, just ad-hominem tripe. You are entrenched in denial and are taking your cues from the lemmings.

Posted by: KDS on April 13, 2014 09:42 PM