Don Harper, Jon Hansen, Faye Garneau, Alyne Fortgang, and Jim Coombes Are Shameless Lying Liars

I’m sometimes accused of being uncivil on my blog, I suppose because of my blunt political commentary. But you know what’s truly uncivil when it comes to politics? Lying:

Lying about Prop 1

Just say “NO” to giving Special Interests a blank check and power to sell or privatize our parks, build new stadiums, create parks for waterfront hotels, buy more caged zoo animals, or…?

I’ve no doubt that is effective political rhetoric, but it is the bullshittiest bullshit, everDon Harper, Jon Hansen, Faye Garneau, Alyne Fortgang, Jim Coombes, and everybody else who paid for this mailer aren’t just concerned citizens with whom I have a political disagreement. They are shameless lying liars, filling voters’ mailboxes with shameless lying lies (PDF).

No, Seattle citizens have not been funding our parks through voter approved levies “for a hundred years” as these despicable liars shamelessly claim; we’ve only been resorting to parks levies for the past decade or so. No, Prop 1 does not “remove all citizen accountability”; the parks would be run by the mayor and the council, exactly as they are now. And no, under Prop 1, your property taxes would most certainly not “increase by 20%.” That is a simply preposterous claim!

Honestly, fuck these people. Because there’s absolutely nothing civil about a political campaign built entirely on lies.

And vote “Yes” on Prop 1.


  1. 1


    RCW 35.61.130 provides that:

    “A metropolitan park district has the right of eminent domain, and may purchase, acquire and condemn lands lying within or without the boundaries of said park district, for public parks, parkways, boulevards, aviation landings and playgrounds, and may condemn such lands to widen, alter and extend streets, avenues, boulevards, parkways, aviation landings and playgrounds, to enlarge and extend existing parks, and to acquire lands for the establishment of new parks, boulevards, parkways, aviation landings and playgrounds.

    “The board of park commissioners shall have power to employ counsel, and to regulate, manage and control the parks, parkways, boulevards, streets, avenues, aviation landings and playgrounds under its control, and to provide for park police, for a secretary of the board of park commissioners and for all necessary employees…”

    “Th e board of park commissioners shall have power to improve, acquire, extend and maintain, open and lay out, parks, parkways, boulevards, avenues, aviation landings and playgrounds, within or without the park district, and to authorize, conduct and manage the letting of boats, or other amusement apparatus, the operation of bath houses, the purchase and sale of foodstuffs or other merchandise, the giving of vocal or instrumental concerts or other entertainments, the establishment and maintenance of aviation landings and playgrounds, and generally the management and conduct of such forms of recreation or business as it shall judge desirable or beneficial for the public, or for the production of revenue for expenditure for park purposes…

  2. 2


    @1 And your point is what? The popularly elected council and the mayor have all those powers over Seattle’s parks now.

    This is scare tactic bullshit. All Prop 1 does is pass through additional regular levy taxing authority. That’s what you’re really opposed. So please, don’t come into my comment threads and treat my readers like they are stupid.

  3. 4

    Theophrastus spews:

    There should be a shorten term, (probably neither obscene nor already a proper noun), for funding a campaign for entirely other reasons than advertised. “lying liars” is close, but too non-specific.

    If the Harper, Jon Hansen, Faye Garneau.. gang campaigned strictly: “Proposition #1 will cost property owners too much” then they would only at worst be greedy, acquisitive, avaricious, rapacious… But because of this relatively lavish campaign of theirs they’re lying disingenuous stingy bastards.

    Perhaps “campaign-trolls” after ‘concern-trolls’ …nah

  4. 5

    Liberal Scientist is the "Most vile leftist on this blog!" spews:

    Here’s some Michael Maddux (recent poster here) at the Urbanist:

    “As examples, the biggest contributor is Faye Garneau, at $17.5k, who also was a giver to the No On Transit campaign and recently Forward Seattle. Other notable contributors include Jim Coombes (who gave hefty amounts to Eyman’s Permanent Offense group), Fremont Dock Co. (a regular opponent of completing the Burke-Gilman missing link) and Glenn Avery (also their treasurer), who is the chair of the 36th District Republicans. Combined, these folks alone are 59% of the $37k raised. Their consultant has been Sharon Gilpin, who works with Republican candidates and conservative business interests, and has also been a donor to Eyman causes.”


    Lying liars, indeed.

    Seems if you can’t argue with facts, lie. Anyone who has supported Eyman is deeply suspect, if not permanent pariah. This is another skirmish in the shrink government, make everyone miserable, libertarian dystopia….*shakes head*

  5. 6

    j-lon spews:

    I have no problem with the tax increase itself. But the oversight aspects of Prop 1 do give me pause (and put me on the fence).

    The inter-local agreement between the city and the new MPD calls for the establishment of a “Community Oversight Committee”. That’s all well and good, but at the end of the day, this committee has no real power to affect decision-making. All it does is advise and oversee. You want to talk about bullshit, that’s bullshit.

    It’s just more of the same Seattle process. Everybody in the community gets a chance to vent. But ultimately, the Council has all the power and will do whatever it sees fit to do, for reasons that may have very little to do with the needs of the community as a whole (I’ve pasted in the language from the inter-local agreement on this subject beneath my comment).

    Moreover, what’s to keep the Council and MPD from negotiating a different inter-local agreement down the line (i.e, the council negotiating with itself), changing the terms? Does the initiative or state statute bar this?

    Remember, that’s not the way these kind of park districts work in every city. For example, both Tacoma and Minneapolis have an independently elected board of parks commissioners.

    If Prop 1 had similar provisions, it seems like it would go a long way towards solving a lot of the concerns about oversight.

    That’s why I think this thing is going to go down to defeat, regardless of how I vote. It has well-intentioned aspects, but it’s also a centralizing power grab move, and people don’t like that.

    If developers are going to try to influence what happens with parks money (and they do and will), maybe it would be better (and more transparent) if they had to grease the palms of two sets of officials, rather than being allowed to one stop shop with the Council.

    Yes, it’s true, the Council and the Mayor have been running the parks in the context of the levy system. But if a separate taxing authority of this sort is going to be imposed, wouldn’t it be better to place the authority for it in the hands of elected officials whose sole job is to administer this fund? Then, if the inter-local agreement is to be modified, it’s happening in an arms length negotiation.

    Parks seem to be one of the most personal amenities of the city. Many people use them, they are very popular, and everybody is a bit of an expert. So there is always lots of debate about them.

    Maybe it would be better if this debate about direction and funding took place in its own arena. I know that would not take the parks completely out of the realm of politics, but it would at least keep the debate about parks funding focused on the parks, rather than expanding the degree to which it is a political bargaining chip that Council members pull out in contexts that have nothing to do with parks.

    Instead of saying “bullshit, bullshit, bullshit” in your blog post, how about a good argument for why the Council as MPD Board is the superior solution to a separately elected board.

    I’d like to hear somebody make that argument well, and you seem well qualified to make it. At least in this blog post, you’ve mostly glossed over what I think are the most troubling aspects of this proposal.

    Sure, there are plenty of no-tax tea party folks on the “no” side. But there are also plenty of tax and spend liberals, like myself, who have some doubts about this thing, and most of those doubts relate to accountability and oversight of this new pot of money.

    Inter-Local Agreement language on Oversight Committee.

    4.4 Community Oversight Committee . In addition to the community-based Park Board, which advises the City pursuant to chapter 3.26 of the Seattle Municipal Code, a Community Oversight Committee (“Oversight Committee”) shall be formed to provide advice to the Mayor, City Council, and Superintendent of Parks and Recreation, and to provide oversight of the projects, programs and services undertaken jointly by the City and the Seattle Park District, pursuant to this Agreement, as follows:

    A. The Oversight Committee shall have 15 members: 4 Park Board members; 7 members, one from each Council district; and 4 additional members to be considered for appointment based on recommendations from City commissions, including the Immigrant and Refugee Commission, the Commission for People with Disabilities, the Human Rights Commission, the Seattle Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Commission, and the Women’s Commission. All member appointments are to be confirmed by the City Council. The Mayor shall appoint the Chair of the Oversight Committee.

    B. The City will seek to appoint Oversight Committee members with a diversity of expertise, and perspectives including but not limited to parks management, public financing, urban horticulture, landscape architecture, contract management, and the interests of low-income and communities of color..

    C. Oversight Committee terms for Park Board members will coincide with their Park Board terms. The 11 other members will serve 3-year terms that begin in April. The initial terms for these seats shall be staggered, so that 4 members serve a one-year term, 4 members serve a 2-year term, and the 3 remaining members serve a 3-year term.

    D. The Oversight Committee will advise on spending and activities including:

    1. Establish a Major Projects Challenge Funds application process and evaluation criteria, and make recommendations to the Superintendent of Parks and Recreation (“Superintendent”) on the annual allocation of the Major Projects Challenge Fund.

    2. Reviewing an annual report prepared by DPR for the Seattle Park District and the City, including assessment of performance measures and expenditure of District funds including interest earnings, and reporting to the Superintendent and Park Board on implementation issues, concerns and needed adjustments in services or spending.

    3. Holding public meetings and making recommendations to the Superintendent in connection with each 6-year update to the spending plan.

    4. Provide to the Mayor, City Council, and Superintendent of Parks and Recreation an annual report on the progress of expenditures, a mid-term report half-way through each 6-year period, and a final report in advance of each 6-year update to the spending plan. Progress on construction of park development on the 14 land-banked sites in Initiative 4.4 will be among the issues addressed in the first mid-term report.

  6. 7

    Kate Martin spews:

    Hi Goldy. I think your arguments are weakened with the name calling. For me it’s NO for many reasons. The Port taxing district and the School taxing district already underwhelm me in so many ways. That we even have a $1/4B backlog of maintenance is telling. Promising me that a new taxing district is the fix gives me pause because even entities with their own taxing districts mismanage and / or neglect facilities. Politicians tend to like to chase shiny new objects and neglect maintenance. And BTW, even with the Eyman initiative lid, my property taxes have gone up over $1,000 in the last 4 years. That’s not exactly small change.

  7. 8


    Kate @7: I’m not name-calling. I’m truth-telling. They are LYING. That makes them LIARS. (I mean, “your property taxes would increase by 20%”…? More like 1.2 percent.)

    And don’t tell me that your property taxes gave gone up $1,000 over the last 4 years. Tell me how much they’ve gone up over the last 8 years. In fact, better yet, give me your address, and I’ll explain your property taxes to you myself.

  8. 10

    sally spews:

    It’s entirely possible to be against this proposition without believing (or even reading) everything that its detractors say. You know, kind of make up your own mind, like voters are supposed to do. I don’t know Faye Garneau and I don’t give a rip what she thinks about anything, and I really resent it being assumed that all “no” voters are following Garneau and the other people mentioned. I read the proposition, I thought about it, weighed it in my still fairly useful mind, and voted.

  9. 11

    Emily spews:

    The Methow Valley recently tried to establish a recreation district. That the district would have had the right of eminent domain was a huge, scary selling point for the no side. The fact that the County Commission already has eminent domain mattered not at all.

    I hope this election goes better than the Methow Valley Recreation District election did.