NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Slimy Kemper Freeman mailer misleads voters

Kem­per Free­man must have a lot to lose on Elec­tion Day. A cam­paign mail piece that he sent to Belle­vue vot­ers this week, smear­ing pro­gres­sive city coun­cil can­di­date John Stokes, reeks of des­per­a­tion. Free­man had a dif­fi­cult time find­ing filth to throw at Stokes, who is run­ning against Freeman’s cho­sen can­di­date, Aaron Laing, so he dug up a cou­ple of small infrac­tions and weaved them togeth­er with innu­en­do to cre­ate an unusu­al­ly dirty hit piece for a local race.

Why is Free­man so des­per­ate to dam­age John Stokes’ rep­u­ta­tion?

Does it have to do with light rail — which Kem­per wants to kill and Stokes pub­licly sup­ports? Or is it because Stokes has a vision for Belle­vue that cov­ers more than just Kemper’s down­town domain?

In his writ­ten rebut­tal to the smear, Stokes asks if Free­man is afraid of his “inde­pen­dence and ded­i­ca­tion to rep­re­sent all of Belle­vue, not just their [Freeman’s] inter­ests?”

Free­man and two oth­er Belle­vue devel­op­ers cre­at­ed the “East­side Lead­er­ship” polit­i­cal action com­mit­tee and fund­ed it with $69,000, using almost $23,000 of the funds against Stokes and anoth­er like-mind­ed city coun­cil can­di­date, Clau­dia Bal­duc­ci, who is seek­ing reelec­tion.

Anoth­er devel­op­er behind “East­side Lead­er­ship” is Robert Wal­lace, the father of Belle­vue coun­cil mem­ber Kevin Wal­lace. Kevin’s part of the coun­cil con­tin­gent that prefers a dif­fer­ent light rail align­ment from the align­ment that Belle­vue already agreed upon with Sound Tran­sit. This con­tro­ver­sy has delayed con­struc­tion by a year so far. Kevin has also endorsed Stokes’ oppo­nent, Aaron Laing.

Freeman’s hit piece implies that Stokes has nev­er been a licensed attor­ney, when the truth is that he prac­ticed law as a licensed attor­ney for forty years.

It implies that Stokes is hid­ing some­thing, and refers to a legal com­plaint made against him twen­ty years ago that was addressed.

The mail­er also claims that he is being inves­ti­gat­ed for “mul­ti­ple cam­paign law vio­la­tions,” which refers to a mis­fil­ing of cam­paign expen­di­tures which has already been cor­rect­ed. This hard­ly con­sti­tutes “a prob­lem with pro­fes­sion­al mis­con­duct” as the mail­er claims.

Kem­per Free­man is a very pow­er­ful spe­cial inter­est not only in Belle­vue, but across the state. Tim Eyman’s Ini­tia­tive 1125 is on the bal­lot thanks to his largess. Now, Free­man is try­ing to have his way with the Belle­vue city coun­cil. The pos­si­bil­i­ty that John Stokes may win has him rat­tled and he’s tak­ing no chances. His slimy attack on John Stokes’ rep­u­ta­tion is pure des­per­a­tion.

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One Comment

  1. It was nasty.

    # by Mike Barer :: November 3rd, 2011 at 10:51 PM