As expected, my post Clark GOP Playing Dirty Again? was not well received by some extremist factions within the Clark County Republican Party, who seemingly spent much of Monday, May 19 scurrying around doing damage control and attempting to make themselves appear altruistic.
In the process, they have made some claims that are not being confirmed by the ones they are attributed to when I contacted them.
These extremists would have you believe that the initial email sent out to a selective group of PCO candidates was their effort to ferret out what they describe as a conspiracy against them by some WSRP operative in Bothell that “has been caught filing at least 20 online PCO applications on behalf of Clark County residents, some of whom had no intention of filing and gave no permission to use their names.”
Unfortunately for them, they did not cover their tracks very well in that claim as contacting the Clark County Elections Office asking about that, I was told
“We had two PCO candidates who stated they never filled out any online application, nor did they want to be a PCO. Their names were withdrawn yesterday. To my knowledge, those were the only PCO filings that were done without a person’s knowledge.”
Hardly the “at least 20” being claimed.
Still, even if two were filed, that is two too many, but hardly rises to the level of some mass conspiracy against the local extremists.
Then too, the initial email sent out discredits the conspiracy claim very early on with the paragraph,
“Now that you have taken this important step, you have one opportunity THIS WEEKEND to convince your opponent to voluntarily drop out of the race. We have a very successful way to make this happen with a phone call. Please pay close attention, then make a very nice, friendly and cheerful call ON SUNDAY to see if they will withdraw. This has already worked for David Hedrick and a few others. This does work and can be done. The general idea is to express the fact that YOU are EXCITED about running, and then ask them if THEY are also EXCITED to run. (Many people have been called at the last minute by the establishment and really could care less about running). You expressing YOUR excitement then asking them if they are excited is the KEY.”
The effort is clearly stated to “convince your opponent to voluntarily drop out of the race.”
That point is key as, even if there really was some mass conspiracy going on, it is irrelevant to the effort to encourage selected candidates to “convince your opponent to voluntarily drop out of the race.”
Strange too since one of their cornerstone claims was that they were about “ending the conquer and divide” mentality.
Yet another claim made in the defense of the email was
“Cathie Garber, Clark County Elections Supervisor, intends to change the process, which may include requiring a credit card payment of $1 in order to file online in order to tie an identification to each filing. She concludes, ‘This is abuse of the system, and we can’t have that’.”
Ms. Garber is an upstanding person and freely accessible to citizens. A very trustworthy person, in my estimation. Her response was,
“I never said I was going to change PCO filing fees. I only stated that I thought we should have it reinstated so we can clearly see who has filed the PCO filing by their credit card information. A change would have to be made by legislature.”
I bolded that last sentence because any changes to filing fees must be done in the legislature, just like when the $1 filing fee was ended a few years ago because it was actually costing more to collect it.
Still, for matters of confirming filers’ intent, since so much is online today, I would have no objection if the legislature did in fact add the fee back to filing for PCO.
But, it also is not anywhere near the claim made of she “intends to change the process.”
On a more personal note, I have to shake my head at people that live by conspiracy, the eternal victims so to speak that cannot accept other views and take measures to ensure their views are dominant by underhanded, back door methods.
That is evidenced in their claim,
“it appears that elements of the WSRP collaborated with local Establishment operatives in an attempt to defeat or undermine the rise of the conservative grassroots activists that have been manifested over the last two years.”
Yes, anonymous, unnamed operatives, the hallmark of the conspiracists that claim civilian aircraft contrails at high altitude are really government agents spraying chemicals on the people to control us. Or that the September 11 attacks weren’t terror, but an inside job by some anonymous, unnamed government agents.
Yes, we’re all out to “get them.”
And through it all, missed in the quick effort of Monday was that even if there were some truth in the claim of massive fraudulent PCO filings, it is irrelevant to the fact of the intent of the original email exposed here of this faction of the Clark County Republican Party selectively trying to urge some citizens to withdraw their application in favor of one more agreeable to the faction.
Evidenced by two comments left on my facebook page where I linked the original post;
“I decided to run as a PCO out of BG and the day I signed up online my wife received multiple phone calls from Katja Delavar asking for an immediate call back. When she did not, I received an email from her asking me to call her THAT NIGHT. When I called, I was presented with the same script from the email and asked to call my fellow running mate to ‘decide which one of us should run, and which should drop out.’ Look I’m not dumb, she wanted ME to drop out.”
“I received a phone call from Kenny Smith regarding this very matter of whether I was truly interested in the PCO position I am running for in my precinct in Camas, and if I knew there was also someone else running who he liked. He did say that I looked like I would probably be a good person for the position, but that I should still call my opponent and have a discussion with her. Honestly, I got off the phone with a sour taste in my mouth. After hearing about the phone call my friend had and now seeing this email, I think it is clear that I was NOT their pre-approved candidate.”
This brings us to what was labeled in a subsequent email as a “Spectator PCO,” one who only attends one meeting every two years where party leaders are voted for.
Is it really up to this small faction to make predeterminations as to just who that might be? And, if they really thought there was someone filing just to have the label PCO, isn’t it more transparent to allow a challenge and let precinct voters make that decision?
And if it was a case of someone’s name being on the ballot that did not really want the position; wouldn’t it seem likely that a challenger working the precinct, letting voters know who they are and why they filed to be a PCO be the one that wins in the election?
Would someone not interested in being a PCO actually fight in a campaign to win?
Then too, since this faction likes to portray themselves as the greatest thing to happen to politics since sliced bread, if they see someone filing that hasn’t attended any Central Committee Meetings, wouldn’t it be more proper for the party leaders to reach out to the person, discuss why they are inactive and if they get blown off, recruit another who is interested?
Wouldn’t that have been better than to surreptitiously engage in a behind the scenes effort to encourage only some to withdraw?
And, by the way, what was engaged in did nothing about any “Spectator PCO” running unchallenged, the effort apparently being solely an effort to run selective people unchallenged by encouraging not so favored ones to withdraw.
In closing I’ll mention what I find most remarkable in all of this. Many of these engaging in this behind the scenes effort are among those who complain about the lack of transparency in government, be it the legislature, Congress, city council or even C-Tran.
Yet, they try to hide from view what they are doing and trump up some conspiracy when it is exposed.
I believe you know the proper word for that.