No doubt state Rep. Geoff Simpson (D-47) is facing a tough reelection fight, what with the press gleefully trumpeting his arrest on suspicion of domestic violence, yet quietly chirping like crickets when the case was quickly dropped without charges being filed. But it’s not just his bad press that’s made Simpson vulnerable this election cycle, it’s also his stalwart opposition to all things BIAW, which has made him the target of some very powerful enemies.
And when the BIAW goes after you, they fight dirty, unimpeded by the law, let alone the Queensberry Rules.
Take for example an email sent out recently to a number of lobbyists by Drew Stokesbary, the campaign chair for Simpson’s Republican opponent Mark Hargrove… an email so inappropriate that even lobbyists were disgusted, prompting several to forward copies directly to Simpson and his campaign.
I noticed that one of your clients, [REDACTED], has contributed to Geoff Simpson. I’d like to encourage you to see if you can get Simpson’s opponent, Mark Hargrove, a similar contribution from [REDACTED]. I understand there are political reasons for that contribution, but the dynamics of the race of have been shifting lately.
[…] The caucus is making a significant hard-dollar contribution, and probably a larger soft-dollar contribution. Builders, construction, insurance, pharma, NFIB, ag, and others are jumping in now.
You gotta appreciate young Stokesbary’s eagerness to take the initiative, if not his respect (or lack thereof) for our state’s campaign finance laws, for three things immediately jump out from both his email and his public record: A) Stokesbary is clearly using Simpson’s PDC reports to solicit funds, which is illegal; B) Stokesbary clearly implies that he is coordinating soft-dollar expenditures with his state caucus, which is illegal; and C) Stokesbary is… well… an asshole, which isn’t illegal per se, but turns out to be quite pertinent to the rest of this post.
For in addition to being Hargrove’s campaign chair and son-in-law, Stokesbary turns out to be an employee of both the BIAW and Attorney General Rob McKenna, a bigot, a racist, a George W. Bush fan, a teacher-hater, a sycophant, a hothead and, well, an asshole.
Hmm… where to start? How about with the most damning of the epithets I just tossed Stokesbary’s way, his association with the lying, cheating, equally assholic bastards at the BIAW, where according to their annual report, he was employed at least through 2007. And it was with a fellow BIAW employee Tom Kwieciak, that Stokesbary most visibly displayed the organization’s unique approach to public discourse, by notoriously heckling professional golfer Curtis Strange from the hospitality box of the 2007 Boeing Classic.
“Go for it, Curtis,” Drew Stokesbary, 22, of Olympia yelled from the Canyon Club. “Be a man.”
Strange, 52, took his time while he surveyed the troublesome hole. His expression didn’t change.
“Go for it, Curtis,” Stokesbary repeated loudly, seated at a table. “Hit it like a man.”
Choosing the conservative route, Strange swung and put one in the fairway. Another verbal assault followed him off the tee.
“That’s what the ladies’ tour is for, Curtis,” Stokesbary chided as the golfer passed in front of the box.
[…] “I heard on the radio that he’s considered a hothead, which is why I singled him out, and he proved it,” Stokesbary said, referring to Strange.
I mean… what an asshole.
That is the sort of antisocial behavior Stokesbary has displayed throughout his short life, which of course makes him perfect BIAW material. According to a blog post by a Chinese classmate of his at Duke, Stokesbary used to intentionally “stir up trouble with his incendiary arguments” during history class…
Once, when he made a remark about how if immigrants wanted to keep their traditions alive, they shouldn’t have come to the US in the first place, my friends had to literally restrain me from knocking him over.
And in his Amazon review of Gordon Park’s classic 1964 “The Learning Tree,” a novel about growing up black in a white man’s world, Stokesbary displayed his usual racial sensitivity:
this was about the worst and slowest-paced book i’ve ever read. In english class we had to read a book by a black author and my teacher thought i might like it. but i didn’t. it was terrible. by the time you get about halfway through the pace picks up, but by then it’s pointless. don’t buy this book or read it. please.
Yup. Nothing worse than being forced to read a book by a black author.
I don’t know much about Hargrove, but if I were him I’d be more than bit uncomfortable having this unrepentant fratboy chair my campaign, let alone marry my daughter. And as for Rob McKenna, I think he needs to answer a few questions about whether Stokesbary was acting on his authority, since the email certainly appears to give that impression.
This email, in which Stokesbary warns lobbyists that clients who have given to Simpson better give to Hargrove too, was sent from a RobMcKenna.org email address, and signed by Stokesbary with the title “Field Director, Re-Elect AG Rob McKenna.” The clear impression left with some recipients was that this was a direct request from McKenna, the most powerful Republican in the state, and a man in a position to impose political fealty.
So why would McKenna risk putting his name on such a legally and ethically dubious email? After obtaining a copy of Stokesbary’s email from a political consultant, I contacted Rep. Simpson and asked him for his response. Not surprisingly, he seems to believe it all comes down to the BIAW:
“Why are they coming after me? They want existing taxpayers to pay for the roads, schools and fire stations their new development requires and I think the developers should pay their fair share through impact fees. They are one of the state’s most powerful political group but I stand up to them and am one of the biggest obstacles to them getting what they want in Olympia. They want growth without regulation. I want controlled and planned growth. They want to maintain their ability to skim industrial insurance money to use for political purposes but I worked to stop them. Hargrove hasn’t even been elected yet and he’s already sold out to the BIAW.”
If so, expect this campaign to get much nastier. And, less legal.