The Daily Hague

P.T. Barnum once famously said, “there’s no such thing as bad press, as long as they spell your name right,” a dubious maxim Jane Hague seems intent on putting to the test. For the umpteenth time this campaign season the King County Councilmember has found her ethical and legal travails chronicled in both daily newspapers, and you’ve gotta believe the bad headlines are taking a toll.

The Seattle Times reports this morning that Hague has agreed to pay $9,500 in fines to resolve multiple public disclosure violations first uncovered by her opponent, Richard Pope. Hague and her spokesman, Bret Bader, continue to belittle the violations as “a small technical matter” and “a nuisance complaint,” but if so, that begs the question why she would agree to paying more than twice the $4,200 maximum fine the PDC can levy? Could it be that Hague feared stiffer penalties should the case be referred to the state attorney general for further action?

Looking at the scope of the violations, I’m guessing yes. In settling the complaint, Hague acknowledged that she:

• Filed three itemized reports of contributions 20 to 49 days late and six financial summaries 20 to 407 days late;

• Twice deposited contributions late;

• Failed to identify donors’ occupations and employers 37 percent of the time; and

• Received eight contributions over the limit of $700 per election.

On her surplus-funds account, Hague acknowledged filing late reports, failing to identify vendors who received payments, making prohibited expenditures for campaign lunches, and improperly reimbursing herself for contributions she made to other campaigns.

Hague was 275 days late in reporting a $7,547 contribution she made to her 2005 campaign to cover checks after the bank account was depleted by campaign aide Jennifer Hildebrand.

Bader, who’s Madison Communications has already billed the 2007 Hague campaign over $50,000, once again proves that Hague is not only incapable of keeping track of her money, she can’t spend it wisely either. At least not when it comes to damage control:

“These problem filings originated as a result of Jennifer Brzusek Hildebrand’s embezzlement of nearly $150,000 from the Hague campaign,” Hague spokesman Brett Bader said, “and they were forced onto the PDC’s agenda by Jane’s political opponent.

Hey Brett, thanks for a) Reinforcing the perception that Hague can’t manage money; and b) Continuing Hague’s pattern of blaming everybody but herself! Over the past few years Bader has been the primary consultant on such high-profile losing campaigns as Luke Esser, Bret Olson, Jeff Sax and Yes on I-912. If Hague gets beat by Pope and his couple thousand dollars worth of yard signs (and at this point a Pope victory is more than possible,) Bader’s public comments should be enshrined as a textbook illustration of how not to do crisis management.

The issue here is not just that Hague committed numerous public disclosure violations or can’t seem to manage her own campaign finances or lied about her college education or cursed out police officers after pulling her over for driving drunk… the issue is all these things taken together in context, and Hague’s insistence on shifting blame to others while refusing to come straight about her own actions. The issue here is trust.

And until Hague attempts to rebuild that trust by taking full responsibility for her DUI, her fictional diploma, her campaign finance turmoils and other actions, I’m guessing her headlines are going to continue to get worse.

Comments

  1. 1

    Ben Franklin spews:

    She’s still better than Pope. If you look at the story right next to this one, Pope couldn’t even get the endorsement of his new found Party. I guess the D’s are a tough crowd when you are a Fred Thompson endorser.

    As the story states, these irregularities are a result of her former staff member embezelling $200K. This is not an instance of passing blame – Hildebrand was CONVICTED.

  2. 2

    GUIdev spews:

    Thank goodness for another TRULY deepthroat-esque exposé on Hague being posted. Perhaps tomorrow we can find out some other trifling nonissue?

  3. 3

    proud leftist spews:

    If Hague had any integrity (a rare trait among Republican politicians), she would withdraw from the race. She plainly is not fit to serve the public.

  4. 4

    Poop to Pope spews:

    Hague could get bad press everyday until november 6 and STILL beat Pope by a sizeable margin… Sad that Richard (and Goldy) thinks he has a shot. So very sad.

  5. 5

    YLB spews:

    “These problem filings originated as a result of Jennifer Brzusek Hildebrand’s embezzlement of nearly $150,000 from the Hague campaign,”

    I LUV how these corrupt, incompetent R’s eat each other!

  6. 8

    spews:

    @1 That would be because Pope is not a Democrat. He changed parties to take advantage of not having a contested primary challenge. Time will tell if Pope’s conversion is true. At this point the Democratic Party is skeptical.

    That being said, he is a better option than the current office holder. The PDC filing issue is just one of many and it is not solely due to someone’s embezzlement. These issues have nothing to do with anyone but Hague and her campaign:

    Filed three itemized reports of contributions 20 to 49 days late and six financial summaries 20 to 407 days late;

    • Twice deposited contributions late;

    • Failed to identify donors’ occupations and employers 37 percent of the time; and

    • Received eight contributions over the limit of $700 per election.

    It is pathetic that Republicans are even trying to defend her. If the King County Republican Party actually had any ethics, they would demand that she resign, pull out of the race and use existing laws to place a different candidate on the ballot.

  7. 13

    s-choir spews:

    liberal _crusher: We are not the retarded Republican base here. Before shooting off your stupid mouth, why not do a little research? Which of these versions of ‘jihad’ do you think Dr. Esam S. Omeish was referring to?

    “‘Jihad’ is an Arabic word that means “striving in the way of God.” This striving can take a number of forms, including the daily inner struggle to be a better person. However, jihad is often used to refer to an armed struggle fought in defense of Islam.”

  8. 18

    liberal_crusher spews:

    Oh and here is a ON TOPIC post that I am sure will be deleted as well.

    The unemployed political hack Goldstein makes a big deal about $8,400 PDC fine but failes to mention the DEMOCRAT’s who hold the records for the lergest PDC fine in the state at over $150,000! Now I know you liberals aren’t good at math but that is oer 35 times the POTENTIAL fine Hague may face.

    And prior to that fine they had a fine of $100,000 against them that was suspended (again the insider crooked demoncrat policitican cooking the books for their fellow crooks – Gregoire was the AG then).

    Read it quick folks, the little Stalinist censor will be back. But you can read the TRUTH at SoundPolitics.

  9. 19

    s-choir spews:

    You are off topic and your blood-pressure is spiking. Richard Pope is a great candidate! Intelligent and honest.

    Looks like Richard is the WingNutz(tm)__ crusher!!! Heh!

  10. 20

    YLB spews:

    Oh silly Dems, silly silly Dems think they have a chance in the 6th.

    I love the wingnuts who one moment lambasted Hague because she sat out the Dean Logan flap and then rush to apologize for her when she REALLY screws up.

    The wingnut life is a silly life indeed.

  11. 21

    spews:

    crusher @14,

    You are free to go to (u)SP if you don’t like it here, but you are not free to hijack my threads for your own purposes.

    I just posted an Open Thread. You are free to post whatever you want there as long as you don’t violate the copyright laws or some unimaginable line of human decency.

  12. 22

    liberal_crusher spews:

    TinStein Dictator –

    You are indeed hypocritical to the extreme. You CENSOR people here and yet every chance you get you employ the Stalinesque tactic of complaining YOU are the one being censored. How long have you been on the radio???? That FACT speaks volumes to you LIES about liberals free speech being hampered. It has ALWAYS been you liberals censoring people. NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND!

  13. 23

    proud leftist spews:

    crushed
    Your juvenile rantings suggest you must have had trouble with your home room class today. Did the teacher hurt your feelings somehow? Cheer up, my lad. Eighth grade won’t last forever.

  14. 24

    Truth_Teller spews:

    Is any of this bad behavior on Hague’s part helping Pope? Has he managed to raise any money?

  15. 25

    bamajenk spews:

    What puzzles me is that Hague is getting away with all this crap!

    She blames the misfilings on her former campaign worker who was convicted LAST YEAR. Today’s PDC fine is based on the 2007 campaign…THIS YEAR!

    Oops, maybe Brett Bader made that one up too!

    Go Richard!!

  16. 26

    Ludicrus Maximus spews:

    This is kind of suspicious. All these posters—liberal_crusher, Benjamin Franklin, Poop to Pope, etc.—strike me as a little too aggressive in maligning the Popemeister, making excuses for Hague, or trying to divert attention to something or someone else.

    A few weeks back when the Hague DUI story first broke there was also a poster called “Stanwood Sage” who seemed to be trying way too hard to divert attention from Hague to some guy in Everett, who of course is totally irrelevant to us here in King County.

    I bet all these posters are actually Brett Bader.

  17. 28

    Piper Scott spews:

    @19…SC…

    “Richard Pope is a great candidate.”

    Then how come he can’t get elected dog catcher? How come your own Democrats regard him as so much catscat on their collective shoe? How come even the Democratic-friendly Municpal League rated him “not qualified?” How come the KC Bar Association joined the Muni League in giving him the same “not qualifed” rating when he ran for a seat on the NE District Court? How come the best rating he’s ever received was “poor” in his run for Port Commission?

    Huh???

    You guys so willing to die on the hill of Richard Pope only end up looking like a bunch of wild and crazy guys! And you hurt Darcy Burner’s efforts in the process…

    How? Simple…Next year when all of you wild-eyed Popites line up for Darcy, some voters will remember your efforts of this year and tar her with your very skanky Popebrush.

    The Piper

  18. 29

    GUIdev spews:

    I smell misinformation in the statement below Goldy:

    “she would agree to paying more than twice the $4,200 maximum fine the PDC can levy?

    Since it is one of the few bytes that was not ripped straight from the article I was hoping you could show a source on the maximum amount the PDC can fine a candidate. Or was that simply a ploy to get this little dig on Hague in:

    “Could it be that Hague feared stiffer penalties should the case be referred to the state attorney general for further action?”

    Given your heavy slant I like my theory more than yours

  19. 30

    s-choir spews:

    #27 — One thing Richard Pope and the Democrats have learned from the Republicans is that winning is very important. AND if you have a political foe that follows no rules or laws (Republicans), you may have to bend some rules yourself to defeat the Machiavellian Bastards (again, Republican).

    So, you are absolutely correct that the Dems. broke some rules and uncomplainingly paid some fines.

    But the important is: WE WON AND YOU LOST.

    Who’s Governor of WA? Not Rossi.

  20. 32

    s-choir spews:

    WA state Republicans were the template for defeating Republicans on a National scale.

    One ‘strategerie’ that works particularly well is to get them frothingly-lick-spittle angry. Then sit back and await the stupid remarks from them.

    Richard Pope employs this gambit very effectively.

  21. 33

    YLB spews:

    You guys so willing to die on the hill of Richard Pope

    Yes, Pope is the alternative to a lying, incompetent drunk driver.

    And the same voters who threw the lever for Darcy Burner will do so again in 2008 plus a bunch who are fed up with the seat warmer there now whose only competence is with hairspray and free weights.

  22. 35

    Piper Scott spews:

    Time to lay odds…

    All you Poperies (you sweet smellers, you!) tell me your best political punditry guestimate as to Pope’s margin of defeat. 15 points? 20? 30? More?

    Maybe the legislature will pass an 11-Strikes You’re Out Bill in Richard’s honor and for our relief.

    The Piper

  23. 36

    spews:

    I was at the Public Disclosure Commission hearing today for their discussion of developing disclosure rules in Washington State for internet and campaigns and whether blogs deserve a media exemption. My meeting summary is here.

    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 behing harmed by a public offiicial 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 informaiton, and embezzelment. He complimented the staff in sorting all of this out.

  24. 37

    chadt spews:

    God, how I love the sound of imploding Republican assholes.
    Even the sound of imploding Republican Whining Bagpipe assholes.

    We don’t need fireworks, and this will only get louder and more frequent.

  25. 38

    spews:

    Guido @29,

    If you actually read the articles I linked to, you would have found this in the P-I:

    The disclosure commission has scheduled an enforcement hearing on the complaint for Sept. 27 in Olympia. If it finds Hague in violation, it could fine her up to $1,700 for a single violation or up to $4,200 for multiple violations, or could refer the case to the state attorney general to pursue stiffer penalties.

    But, you know, it’s a lot easier to accuse me of lying than it is to actually follow the links or do a little research yourself.

  26. 39

    Piper Scott spews:

    @36…Chadt…

    Careful…you insult one piper, you insult them all…and every well dressed piper is armed.

    But you neglected to pick my challenge and make book on Pope’s prospects…Or is that too scary?

    The Piper

  27. 40

    grandgadfly spews:

    I know it is difficult to keep a score card on Jane(you stupid slut(SNL trivia))Hague’s pile of legal and moral violations, but why is are we forgetting that she is the only King County Council member to have been found guilty of violating the County Ethics code?

    When that happened she tried to blame the lawyer for the King County Council.

    How about a real cool Vegas style nickname Jane “pass the buck” Hague.

  28. 41

    Luigi Giovanni spews:

    Given all the news that has come out, how can a Republican with principle still support Hague? Those Republicans that do are unprincipled and expedient.

    Why haven’t Republicans of principle asked Hague to do the honorable thing and resign?

    Why hasn’t Hague of our own accord done the honorable thing? Is Hague devoid of honor?

    While a DUI is a serious offense (for which Hague deserves the presumption of innocence at the moment), I’m more disturbed about issues concerning her integrity. Lying about your educational background is a serious breach of the public’s trust. It’s also unnecessary and really shabby. Also, Hague has a longstanding propensity and pattern of blaming others for the situations in which she finds herself, including, unfortunately, yesterday’s PDC hearing; Hague never truly accepts responsibility for her actions; Hague and her advisor, who is quoted in the newspaper, haven’t learned a thing.

    In brief, Hague is unfit and unworthy of public office of any kind.

  29. 42

    messenger spews:

    Apparently the PDC has the authority to levy much higher fines–as in the case of Monroe City Councilman (and attorney) Ken Berger, a 16 year council veteran who was fined a whopping $20,000 by the PDC last October for concealing the true source of campaign contributions in 2001 and 2003. A co-conspirator came forward with information that Berger used him as a straw donor in two elections. The PDC has been investigating Monroe city councilman (and political consultant) Chad Minnick for over a year now, as he allegedly participated in concealing the true source of campaign cash. Berger didn’t want his name to show up on campaign reports apparently so he could appear “above the fray”, according to the report of investigation.

  30. 43

    pdc spews:

    The truth of the matter is that the Democrat party holds the state record in PDC fines for dirty campaigning.

    In 2003, in the largest campaign-disclosure fine imposed against a political party in Washington, the Democrats were assessed $150,000 for failing to properly disclose about $7 million worth of campaign donations and expenditures during the 2000 election.