Reporter Neil Modie takes down King County Councilman
Raymond Shaw Reagan Dunn in this morning’s Seattle P-I… and it’s well deserved.
If identity thieves needed assistance plundering King County’s records for sensitive personal data about its citizens, County Councilman Reagan Dunn may have unwittingly helped them out Monday.
Dunn held a news conference to call attention to the fact that the county Records, Elections and Licensing Services Division posts documents containing Social Security numbers and other personal data online for “potentially thousands of current and former King County residents.”
Sandeep Kaushik, a spokesman for King County Executive Ron Sims, Logan’s boss, added, “Here’s a situation where there’s no indication that any kind of identity theft has occurred before, and now there’s a public announcement out there drawing people’s attention to it.”
See, here’s what I’m guessing happened.
Shaw Dunn thought he had a sexy story on his hands — one of those golden opportunities for some free press — and all he needed to do to cash in was take yet another cheap shot at outgoing KCRE director Dean Logan. This was a freebie.
But in his haste,
Shaw Dunn simply didn’t think through the consequences, for in publicizing this issue he likely made the problem much worse by telling aspiring identity thieves exactly where to find the personal information they are looking for.
And when you look at the chronology of events,
Shaw’s Dunn’s defense of himself comes off as a bit disingenuous.
When asked why he held a news conference to highlight the problem instead of drafting legislation to remedy it, Dunn said he wouldn’t have done so “if the director had been willing to work with us on this. … I couldn’t get Records and Elections to do anything about this.”
Shaw Dunn could get Logan to do anything about this… for an entire day.
From: Barringer, Christopher
Sent: Thursday, June 22, 2006 1:10 PM
To: Logan, Dean
Cc: Dunn, Reagan; Axe, Casey
Subject: REALS Information
Attached is an urgent letter from Councilman Dunn. If you would like to speak with Councilman Dunn over the phone, please do not hesitate to call me [...] I will do my best to put you in contact with him or his Chief of Staff, Casey Axe.
Here is a copy of the letter sent out by
Shaw’s Dunn’s staffer on Thursday afternoon. At 9:28 AM the next morning, Logan forwarded the letter to staff, and by that afternoon he emailed back a detailed, three-page response. Shaw Dunn held his press conference the next business day, at 11 AM Monday morning.
Didn’t exactly give KCRE much time to “work with us on this,” huh?
See, this is exactly the kind of ill tempered, ill thought out, partisan sniping that has Logan leaving for greener pastures, and several of the top management slots at KCRE left unfilled. I mean really… who the hell would want to work in an environment where every communication with a Republican council member must be assumed to be a setup for a media assault and a personal attack?
The responsible thing for
Shaw Dunn to do would have been to really attempt to work with Logan instead of immediately going for the easy media hit. It also would have been the smart thing for Shaw Dunn to do, for unless he takes a step back from the KCGOP’s angry, right-wing base and starts governing like a grownup, he’s going to permanently alienate himself from the independent and centrist Eastside voters he’ll need if he’s ever going to fulfill is political promise.
Shaw Dunn is the anointed one; if Darcy Burner defeats Dave Reichert this November, dollars to doughnuts she’ll be facing off against Shaw Dunn in 2008.
But first impressions count, and so far
Shaw Dunn isn’t making a very good first impression.
INSIDE JOKE ALERT:
FYI, the whole “
Raymond Shaw Reagan Dunn” schtick is, of course, a Manchurian Candidate reference, and while the excellent original starring Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh and a chilling performance by Angela Lansbury is the only version worth seeing, it’s Liev Schreiber’s character in the disappointing 2004 remake to which Dunn eerily resembles in appearance, manner, and um… circumstance.