If you don’t know what this is all about, read this. I’ll see you there.
Wonks, hacks, friends, superstars:
As many of you know, our dear friend and political wunderkind McKenna Hartman is currently suffering a set back in the form of a law suit and injunction against working, egregiously placed by her to-remain-unnamed former employer.
With a mortgage to pay, groceries to by, and the need for the occasional glass of wine…things are looking pretty dire for McKenna. So….what can you do? Come to an awesome party, show your support, cough up some dough and maybe even buy a night on the town with McKenna.
That’s right. We won’t just be passing around a bucket..we’ll be auctioning off a week of fun with McKenna….7 nights of McKenna. Ooh! Will you be the highest bidder on taking McKenna to her favorite happy hour? Are you dying to escort McKenna to El Gaucho? All possible for the right price!
Please join us:
7 nights of McKenna: A Fundraiser for a Fundraiser
*Kicks off at 6 PM, auction begins just after 7pm.*
2318 Second Ave.
Wed, Feb 13th
* If you can’t give, please come anyway and show your support. It’s a party!
* If you can’t come, but can give, let us know! Gifts of support, including taking her out for a meal, or making her dinner are great!
* This is about supporting McKenna, not bashing the unnamed former employer…at least not too much.
* If the injunction gets lifted and McKenna doesn’t need the dough…all proceeds will go to Kiva (http://kiva.org). You know, women owned businesses got to stick together!
See you there!
Sarah Schacht and Cynara Lilly, aka “The Friends”
Richard Pope spews:
Jeffrey Ramsdell should be a fair judge. This is totally insane. Non-compete clauses are strictly construed, and are often limited to a reasonable time and geographical boundaries. In this case, was there even a non-compete clause? And it would seem that there are First Amendment rights with respect to political fundraising. How can ANY non-compete clause even be constitutional?
why should any of us weep for a fundraiser? aren’t they the very people who are messing up our political system? i say let her go to work raising money for a non-profit.
Richard Pope spews:
Here is the court docket, to date, from the state courts website. It would be interesting to read the pleadings, of course, but looks like a pretty active case so far.
Superior Court Case Summary
Court: King Co Superior Ct
Case Number: 08-2-03256-6
Sub Docket Date Docket Code Docket Description Misc Info
1 01-17-2008 SMCMP Summons & Complaint
2 01-17-2008 *ORSCS
JDG0009 Set Case Schedule
Judge Jeffrey M. Ramsdell Dept 9 07-13-2009ST
3 01-17-2008 CICS
LOCS Case Information Cover Sheet
Original Location – Seattle
4 01-17-2008 MT Motion For Prelim Injunction
5 01-17-2008 MTHRG
EXP0001 Motion Hearing
6 01-17-2008 NTAPR
EXP0001 Notice Of Appearance
– 01-17-2008 AUDIO Audio Log Dr325-3 3:00:52-3:10
7 01-22-2008 TMRO
EXP0001 Temp Restrain Order And Set Hearing
Ex-parte, Dept 02-15-2008
8 01-22-2008 MTHRG
EXP0001 Motion Hearing
– 01-22-2008 AUDIO Audio Log Dr 325-2 / 3:30
9 01-31-2008 NTHG Notice Of Hearing /revision 02-15-2008
10 01-31-2008 MT Motion/def/revision
11 01-31-2008 DCLR Declaration Of Def.
13 02-01-2008 AMCPT Amended Complaint
14 02-01-2008 NTHG Notice Of Hrg /prelim Injunction 02-15-2008
15 02-01-2008 NTHG Notice Of Hearing /revision 02-07-2008
16 02-01-2008 NTHG Notice Of Hearing /shorten Time 02-06-2008
For those of us not in the in group, can you tell us more about Ms. McKenna???
so from what I see, Hartman is a fundraiser for Democrats.So why don’t you just just drop him completely and not give him any biz ? I’m sure someone else would be able to quickly step up…right now he’s the only game in town because everyone (or a majority) uses him.
Drop him, boycott him…
Right now it looks like: Let’s get some breadcrumbs for McKenna while we continue to use Hartman….
Olet non volet I guess
Richard Pope spews:
Dutch @ 5
Actually, the person in question is “McKenna Hartman” and she is a female. Nobody yet has mentioned the name of her former employer, who is a male. From some of my Google research, her former employer may be doing fundraising business for Republicans as well — including both of the Republican Port of Seattle candidates in 2007. Republican Bill Bryant, who ousted Democrat Alec Fisken in November 2007, spent $33,603.35 with this woman’s former employer.
I linked to a Stranger article in the post.
RP: Ok, so if all Dems not use him (the employer) anymore…that would be a better sign of support than the silly fundraiser and continue to use “the only game in town”. Principles, principles….and if the former employer then only works with Republicans….that would fill another 2 GB or space on this blog.
But as long as the democrats use him…..it means nothing.
So here’s the thing … local candidates do not need to pay these people. Inless you’re at the statewide or federal level, you’re simply wasting your money.
Here’s the secrets of the trade:
1. Make a list of all your friends and family. Discern how much money they make per year. Ask them for an amount that will not impact them financially.
2. Repeat this process with every one of your business contacts and anyone you have a business card for.
3. You should have enough money at this point to credibly approach other elected officials and allied interest groups and ask them if you can raise money off of their donor lists, with their referral.
So … call the people you know first, then move to people you don’t know but agree with why you’re running.
BAM! Local fundraising consultants rendered obsolete!
Richard @ 1
I have sgned non-competes a number of times and looked into them a lot. The risk taken by signing a non-compete, confidentiality or similar agreement is just this: even if the agreement does not hold up to legal challenge (and many will not), the injunctions, etc. can put a serious damper on your ability to compete while fighting your former employer, for a typical small consulting startup. Pretty tough to poach clients from the old employer while the cloud hangs over. That business delay/damage is enough to provide teeth to the non compete even if it does not hold up.
That is why non competes are so often used by employers who have little chance of enforcing the agreement. The fight is crippling for the competing startup business even if the battle is won in the end on legal grounds.
Every non compete I’ve ever seen has money or extra severance pay, etc. as inducements for signing it. So you sign it with your eyes wide open. Confidentiality agreements are different: the only inducement to sign is you get to keep your job.
I would think that in the case of a business like this fundraising that is built on contacts, a confidentiality/trade secrets agreement is probably standard as a term of employment and for good reason. If she really did violate the confidentiality agreement she should have known better because of the nature of the business she is in. It should be pretty easy to prove one way or the other, for example cell phone bills. I doubt that cell phone numbers were part of the public record and if the poached clients were called on their cells, watch out.
Roger Rabbit spews:
So if I, like, contribute to a Democratic candidate does, like, 97% of my contribution go into this guy’s personal pocket?
I’ll be there. McKenna’s a stand up girl and this whole lawsuit is just…wrong. From what I’ve heard, cases like these can take up so much time, so much money, it isn’t even realistic to work another job while it’s going on (try getting a job at Starbucks while you’ve got court to attend).
If, God forbid, something like this ever happened to me, I hope my friends would step up and do something like this. …This whole thing sucks, but McKenna’s pretty lucky that so many people care about her.
proud leftist spews:
RP @ 1
Noncompete clauses are “strictly construed” in Washington, which means, they are construed against the employee. There are temporal and geographical limitations (e.g., 2 years and a five-county area) that no employee will ever beat. The usual contractual considerations–oh, for instance did the employer give up anything for binding the employee in this way?–don’t come into play. Our state’s reputation for liberalness most certainly is wrong when it comes to employment law. Litigating noncompete clauses on behalf of those who want out of them, even those who have been discharged, is frustrating, to say the least.
Richard Pope spews:
Will, I wonder if any of the following court cases apparently involving the fellow suing your friend could possibly be relevant, either in a court of law or in the court of public opinion:
1 Underwood, Colby
Respondent King Co Superior Ct 93-2-30022-1 12-06-1993 Civil
2 Underwood, Colby Austin
Defendant Seattle Municipal Ct 381127 05-01-2000 Criminal Traffic
3 Underwood, Colby Austin
Defendant Kcdc-east Div (bel) BI0667147 08-10-2004 Infraction Traffic
4 Underwood, Colby Austin
Defendant Mercer Island Muni 111630 05-31-2007 Infraction Non-Traffic
5 Underwood, Colby Austin
Defendant King County District I04415276 10-31-2005 Infraction Traffic
6 Underwood, Colby Austin
Respondent Snohomish Superior 01-2-09971-8 12-07-2001 Civil
Richard Pope spews:
The Stranger, January 30, 2008
Prominent Democratic fundraiser Colby Underwood, who earlier this month sued former employee McKenna Hartman for starting up a competing firm after leaving Underwood’s office [“Fund Fight,” Erica C. Barnett, Jan 24], has just one other incident on his file at King County Superior Court. But what an incident: According to the superior court documents, when Underwood was 15, a superior court judge granted a restraining order against the teenager for alleged racial harassment against two of his neighbors in Shoreline. The petition for a restraining order alleges Underwood put up a racist sign in his neighbors’ yard, tore up their garden, and made over-the-top racial and sexual slurs that are shocking and appalling. Underwood refused to comment about the 1993 antiharassment order. ERICA C. BARNETT
Richard Pope spews:
No wonder he decided to raise funds for Hillary Clinton …
I think that asking for money from friends because you got yourself in hot water is unbelievably tacky and classless. It’d be cute, maybe, in college. Maybe for beer money. But not as a working adult who got themselves into this on their own by being shady. And, yes, there had to be something done wrong or there would not have been a temporary injunction granted.
I’m embarrassed for Ms. Hartman.
I agree. Not helping out women at all. Childish. No way I’m helping pay legal bills for somebody else!
Instead of jumping to the conclusion that the press and those above in this blog have thoroughly researched the court files, please closely examine the court dockets. Colby Underwood is not a bigot nor is he abusive.
The old restraining order was issued jointly, restraining a 15 year old Colby Underwood and his middle aged neighbor that, a month later, threw herself off of the Aurora bridge. It is believed she was a diagnosed manic depressive and had been threatening Colby and his family.
Second, the more recent temporary restraining order related to an alleged domestic violence charge which was dropped two weeks later when the court heard testimony from the disgruntled ex girlfriend. The court held she had no legal grounds for a restraining order.
Looks like Underwood is more a victim of geography (living near a bat-shit crazy lady), a woman’s scorn (the disgruntled ex who tried to get back at him for calling it quits) and poor hiring choices. Although it looks like it makes a sexier news story to stick up for the underdog (Hartman). I guess it’s true that you shouldn’t take everything you see in print at face value.
I don’t understand why any of this other stuff from when he was 15 relates to the current legal dispute at all???
Richard Pope spews:
Marilyn @ 19
I have looked at the actual court files in the two cases involving protection orders. The 1993 case resulted in an anti-harassment protection order being granted to protect two neighbors against Colby Underwood. The 2001 case resulted in the denial of a domestic violence that a recently-former girlfriend was seeking against Colby Underwood.
However, now that I have seen your comment posted above, I must say that I am disturbed by certain factual errors contained in your comment, and also wonder exactly who may have given you this particular incorrect factual information.
First of all, the anti-harassment protection order granted against Colby Underwood was not mutual. The only person restrained in the order was Colby Underwood. The only persons protected in the order were the neighbor, the late Cheryl Glass, and a man who was living with her.
Secondly, Cheryl Glass did commit suicide by jumping off the Aurora Bridge — but this was July 15, 1997, over three years after the anti-harassment order was granted. Why did you say she killed herself a month later? Where did you get this information from?
(I looked up Cheryl Glass in the Seattle Times archives, based on your comment. There are a number of interesting stories about her, including a July 23, 1997 story about her suicide. Now that you mention in, I think I recall reading some of those stories about her over 10 years ago. It certainly was a tragic way for her to end her life.)
The court file in the 1993 anti-harassment case also indicates that Cheryl Glass and her roommate presented two pictures, that were admitted into evidence against Colby Underwood. It is not clear what these photographs were taken of (the exhibits were destroyed on August 11, 1998, as typically happens with unclaimed exhibits after trial). But in any event, the judge trying the case was not relying solely on the testimony of the parties, since there were photographs of something.