I’ve been hard on King Council member Jane Hague, and sometimes even liberals criticize me for attacking Jane personally rather than going after her on her record.
But my “personal attacks” are on Jane’s character, her integrity. Or the lack thereof. Character and integrity are not just fair game, they’re really important.
And so based on a number of past events, it seems that Jane Hague has some serious integrity issues. In particular, she has real problems accepting responsibility for her own actions.
Take, for instance, the time in 2001 that Jane Hague ran into a bus:
According to the Metro accident report of May 29, the bus was running the outbound 66 route, driving east on Olive Way. Hague’s 1996 Ford Explorer was stopped in the crosswalk of a traffic signal at Fourth Avenue. Witnesses say Hague pulled out quickly to make a right turn onto Olive and drove into the right side of the bus, behind the front-door frame. The driver reported sounding his horn and stepping on the brakes before impact.
“I do not agree with the driver’s account,” Hague said yesterday. “This is not unusual in the case of a traffic accident.”
According to the Metro driver’s report, after the accident Hague said to him, “You know it’s your fault, don’t you?” The driver replied, “No, I don’t see it that way.”
The driver reported Hague asking, “How do you see it?” and then informing him of her position, saying, “Do you know that I’m your King County councilwoman?”
The driver said Hague demanded his license but didn’t want to give him hers. When witnesses stepped forward and corroborated the driver’s version of events, Hague protested that she was being ganged up on, “to make sure that this accident would appear to be my fault.”
Hague said yesterday her statements to the driver after the accident had been mischaracterized. She denied she had tried to intimidate him or transit officials who came shortly after.
Hague, who is running for re-election, called it “highly unusual” to see “such explicit personality issues raised in the course of a pro-forma traffic report.
There are multiple levels of denial going on here. And, perhaps, a touch of paranoia.
I won’t rehash Jane’s abusive behavior to the police officers who stopped her on suspicion of DUI. And I’ll skip right over the episode in which Jane fails to take responsibility for misleading biographies that incorrectly stated she had a college degree.
Let’s jump ahead to Jane’s most recent accident:
Hague spokesman Brad Harwood said Sept. 26 that the council member was injured on a charity bike ride the previous morning when she collided with another cyclist who made a “goofy” turn in front of her. Harwood said he didn’t know what the event was or where the accident occurred.
It turns out cause of the accident, which occurred on the second day of the Kiwanis-sponsored Wine Country Trek in the Yakima Valley, was a bit more complicated.
Hague and two other cyclists said the accident occurred at an intersection outside Prosser where directions painted on the pavement told bikers to turn left. Hague was about to pass a group of riders ahead of her when they began to make the left turn.
Hague said she was moving “at a fairly good clip” as she approached the intersection, didn’t look for directions because the route went straight in previous years, and she didn’t notice other riders were turning.
Hague’s bike struck Mercer Island resident Penny Storie’s bike, throwing both women to the ground, causing cuts and severe bruising. Hague, who also reported blurred vision and nausea, was later taken by ambulance to a Toppenish hospital and spent two nights in a Bellevue hospital. Storie was not hospitalized.
Hague, 65, said she gave no verbal warning she was about to pass Storie, 66, and a companion because they were still ahead of her.
Storie said the accident was Hague’s fault. “You can’t crash into the back of somebody and put the responsibility on them. . . . I’m black and blue but thankful I have no broken bones.”
Hague said Tuesday she didn’t think anyone was at fault. “It happened so quickly, it’s hard to say.” As for her office’s initial report that the accident was caused by another biker turning into her path, she said it would have been better if she had spoken directly to a reporter. “We were doing the best we could.”
Sadly, ten years after the bus accident, Jane has a bicycle accident that ends in denial and a failure to take responsibility for her own actions. This is a long term pattern with Jane.
And after a decade sprinkled with such “events” the pattern has become much too obvious—even too obvious for the mainstream media to ignore Jane’s integrity problem.