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Best recourse on PAC is to vote | LETTER TO THE EDITOR
To the editor:
One wonders how many islanders paid attention to the article (A27) of the Bainbridge Review this week about Common Sense Bainbridge, a new PAC formed by Gary Tripp and Glenn Avery, Seattle resident and chairman of the Seattle 36th District Republicans.
According to the article, the PAC will be seeded with contributions solicited through Mr. Tripp’s email which encourages donors to “please keep this confidential” and will support a “slate” of three candidates (Buetow, Haugan, and McComb).
Mr. Tripp “will be entirely responsible for the actions of the political action committee that contributes to their campaigns,” even though he has not spoken to any of the three candidates “in some time.”
So, the shady, anonymous financing of politics has now infested our own little island city council race — you know, the one where money buys elected officials who are then beholding to their anonymous donors.
In this case, the odor is especially stultifying, with a Seattle resident and experienced Republican campaign financer listed as the treasurer of the Common Sense Bainbridge PAC along with Mr. Tripp as the campaign manager.
This new strategy is not surprising. Mr. Tripp has been less than successful in his public efforts to undermine elected city council members and due process on a number of issues with a strategy of exaggeration, personal attack, and outright lies; so he will now resort to buying the candidates of his choice to get his way. The way to ensure that doesn’t happen is to vote!
We all need to take the time to read the candidate statements; go to the candidate forum on Oct. 3 and ask critical questions; attend neighborhood meetings where we can get to know the candidates.
The Supreme Court may have condoned political action committees under the auspices of free speech, but citizens can make that ruling irrelevant if they vote based on support of a candidate’s experience, position on issues, and past demonstrated respectful communication and willingness to hear all views to reach good decisions for the common good.
Mr. Tripp says the message from Common Sense Bainbridge “will always be civil.” Based on past Tripp communication we should all be concerned not only about civility, but also about truth, transparency and respect for the opinions of others.