I thought I was being clever when I titled yesterday’s post “The Daily Hague,” but it turned out to be prophetic. For the second day in a row, both dailies cover the unraveling campaign of the King County Council’s most famous barfly, thus sticking me with a repetitive headline. That’ll teach me.
The P-I seems to be playing catch-up this week, a day behind on Hague’s financial disclosure mess, while the Times reports on efforts by a special prosecutor to readmit Hague’s blood-alcohol tests. Hague had signed a document verifying she’d been warned of the implications of taking the breath-alyzer test, but…
Judge Peter Nault “signed an order suppressing the blood-alcohol readings on the grounds that the implied-consent warnings were confusing,” Moberly wrote.
Um… of course Hague was confused by the implied-consent warnings. She was drunk.
Meanwhile, details of Hague’s PDC enforcement hearing emerged in an HA comment thread of all places, pretty much busting the victim meme being put forth by Hague and her drinking buddies. Jay had stopped by the PDC meeting to listen in to the ongoing debate on whether blogs deserve a media exemption (of course they do… the only real difference between me and Frank Blethen is that I’ve never shot a dog.) You can read Jay’s summary here.
But Jay stuck around for the enforcement hearings, and in HA’s comment thread he provides a telling report about the discussion involving Jane Hague’s recent settlement:
I stayed for the enforcement item on the agenda and saw the Hague discussion. A representative from the Jane Hague’s campaign read a statement on her behalf. PDC Commissioner Nolan talked about “the public being harmed by a public official who is in a position of great responsibility whose campaign finances are in a shambles.” While Nolan acknowledged that these violations and the penalty were agreed to by Hague and PDC staff, Nolan asked staff to consider larger penalties for similar violations in the future. While other candidates with business before the PDC at least called in , Nolan chided Hague for “not being present on her behalf.”
Commissioner Schellberg asked any candidates that are hearing this take the time to read the reports and be responsible for their campaign’s finances. Commissioner Seabrook finds it amazing that Ms. Hague was not aware of what was going on with late filings, missing information, and embezzlement. He complimented the staff in sorting all of this out.
Hague didn’t even bother to phone in? Hell, to his credit, even Tim Eyman shows up for his own PDC enforcement hearings. (I think he may even have a reserved parking spot.)
Through her spokesman Brett Bader, Hague keeps claiming she’s a victim, blaming her campaign finance and disclosure mess on a multiyear embezzlement by her treasurer. But the embezzlement, the late filings, the missing information and the $50,000 contribution that wasn’t, are all symptoms of Hague’s inability (or unwillingness) to be responsible for her own campaign finances.
As I’ve said before, this is all part of a pattern. Whether it’s enough of a pattern to dissuade voters from rehiring Hague, regardless of her challenger, remains to be seen.