Bainbridge Island Review


Thou doth protest too much | IN OUR OPINION

September 13, 2013 · 9:31 AM

Somebody please pull out the smelling salts and the fainting couch.

Earlier this month, the island’s professional demagogues and longtime city hall critics at the Bainbridge Defense Fund wound themselves into a tizzy by making allegations that Councilwoman Anne Blair had advance knowledge of an impending lawsuit against the city but failed to give a head’s up to the powers-that-be at city hall.

As reported in these pages, good government watchdogs Athlea Paulson and Bob Fortner filed a lawsuit against the city in August after Bainbridge Island improperly withheld public records that showed council members Steve Bonkowski, David Ward and Debbi Lester had been conducting city business on their personal email accounts.

Surprisingly, or maybe not, the Bainbridge Defense Fund took on the role of apologists for the council members who did not turn over the public records, and broadcast the truly bizarre claim that the three elected officials were being harassed by those who sought to keep the public’s business conducted in the public, rather than within the shadowy world of secret emails.

Bainbridge Defense Fund’s ridiculous defense included a doctored video from an earlier council meeting that purported to show Blair making comments that indicated she knew about Paulson and Fortner’s impending lawsuit against the city but failed to tell anyone at city hall about it.

The untruth squad known as the Bainbridge Defense Fund then ramped it up even further.

Cover-up! Liar! They insisted when Blair and others called out the video and the false claims for what they were; hogwash.

It’s true Blair talked about a lawsuit at a recent council meeting, but that was an entirely different court matter to which she referred. And as far as advance knowledge, city officials were warned in mid-July that a lawsuit was imminent. It was no surprise to the city manager or city attorney when the suit was finally filed in late August.

Bainbridge Defense Fund’s latest blatherings might be considered comical if not for the frightening prospect that some islanders might actually believe the fantasies they send out email after email, week after week.

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