Today’s Seattle P-I covers the candidate filings for this year’s elections. And, once again, HA commenter and political troublemaker, Richard Pope’s name comes up:
Serial candidate and municipal gadfly Richard Pope filed against Councilwoman Jane Hague, R-Kirkland. Although he has run as a Republican in several past races, Pope is a Democrat this time.
Municipal gadfly? What is that supposed to mean? I mean, the papers refer to people as “gadflys” all the time, but municipal gadfly? The term aptly describes Will Baker who has been called that “Tacoma gadfly” (News Tribune, 10 Jun 2004, pg. B06), “[Tacoma’s] most vocal political gadfly” (Seattle P-I, June 5, 2004, pg. B3), and a Tacoma “council gadfly” (News Tribune, 26 Aug 2003, pg. B06).
And then there is Glenn Baldwin who earned the headline “Vancouver Council Gadfly Tosses His Hat in the Ring” in The Columbian (August 03, 1995, pg. A8):
Vancouver City Council candidate Glenn Baldwin says his attendance at council meetings is better than that of the incumbent he’s challenging.
Once a milk man in Vancouver, Baldwin spent most of his career driving delivery trucks for Blue Bell Potato Chips in Portland. He retired in 1992 and planned to complete several repairs to his house. Instead, he became a City Council gadfly, attending meetings and writing to the council and The Columbian.
The Seattle Weekly once ran an article about dangerous dogs (March 1, 2001, Pg. 16) and mentioned another municipal gadfly:
Mitzi Leibst, a former Army intelligence officer and longtime city gadfly, whose concerns actually extend well beyond last summer’s code changes. “For years and years and years,” she charges, “the city’s gotten away with this kind of fascist mentality on dog bites. Seattle is one of the few jurisdictions in the state that doesn’t allow you to have a dangerous dog. That’s just crazy.”
Now those are examples of municipal gadflies.
(Apparently other governmental bodies can have their own fly problem, like former port commissioner Jim Wright, who was called “a port gadfly” by the Seattle Times [12 Sep 1993, pg. B1].)
Richard is an eastsider, and his gadflightery isn’t limited to any municipality, level of government, or even political party. He is more of a generalized political gadfly (and a perennial candidate).
For example, Richard has recently won the love and adoration of State Republicans (like former truck mechanic and failed King County Executive candidate David Irons Jr. and Benton County Republican Party Chair Patrick McBurney) over his PDC complaints about GOP campaign reporting violations. Ever the multi-partisan, Pope has also filed an unsuccessful PDC complaint against the state Democrats, and an ethics complaint against Gov. Gregoire last fall over a dinner date.
And last year, in a move that Ralph Nader could be proud of, Pope threw the election for King County Judge; his candidacy knocked out incumbent Mary Ann Ottinger in the primary and resulted in a victory for Frank V. LaSalata.
Pope is more like his brother-in-perennial-candidacy Michael Shanks, a.k.a., Mike the Mover. Before becoming a perennial candidate, Mr. Mover fought tirelessly (and did some jail time) to get rid of licensing for movers. It earned him his own Seattle P-I (15 Sep 2004) headline calling him a “political gadfly.” The Spokesman Review (15 Sep 2004, A1) referred to him as “perennial political gadfly Mike the Mover.” Most recently Mr. Mover ran against Cantwell for the Senate.
Maybe Pope is more akin to Dale Washam, described as “an unsuccessful office-seeker and political gadfly” by the Columbian (05 Sep 1996, pg. A3). Washam is, perhaps, most famous for suing Newt Gingrich for stealing his ideas when Newt created the “Contract with America.”
Washam, 58, a former Democrat, ran unsuccessfully for the Puyallup School Board in 1991, Pierce County executive in 1992 and Pierce County auditor in 1993.
When Washam won the Republican nomination for auditor, the county GOP chairman said he was voting for the Democratic incumbent.
In each election, Washam filed a notarized “political employment contract” containing campaign promises and a pledge to resign if requested in petitions bearing the names of at least 51 percent of the voters in the last general election. Citizens who felt he violated his campaign promises also could try to oust him with a breach-of-contract suit, he said.
In a complaint, Washam said Gingrich, Eikenberry and the state GOP “plagiarized as their own the plaintiff’s Political Employment Contract idea, concept and contents when drafting their 1994 ‘Republican Contract with Washington State,’ the ‘Contract with America’ and the defendants’ book ‘Contract with America.’ ”
In any case, look for a highly parsimonious campaign from perpetual political gadfly and perennial candidate Richard Pope. Richard is always proud to point out his very high ratio of votes to campaign dollar invested.