Posted by: sweeneyblog | June 15, 2011

The “Firing” of Dan Pike

Photo by Bryna's Photography

     I keep hearing this narrative from supporters of the Dan Pike campaign: Why would you fire Dan Pike? What has he done that merits firing him? It was most prominently used in this, pardon the pun, fiery letter to the editor by Chuck Robinson. The key phrase that sticks out is this line:

As a business person, I don’t believe it would ever be right to fire someone who was doing a good job, just to give the job to a friend.

     I have heard variations on this in conversations with Pike supporters over the last month. As a campaign narrative, it is pretty persuasive. In Whatcom County, we have a real aversion to being mean, and this drives right at that. Why would you fire Dan Pike? He hasn’t kicked any puppies, flown over any flood zones, or invaded Skagit looking for Weapons of Mass Destruction. He did put up some really tacky art downtown (Remember these?) but most people who do not follow politics closely would be hard to identify something he has done wrong off the top of their head. I’m not saying he hasn’t screwed up, I’m just saying a majority of people are not aware of anything dramatic. So it makes sense that his campaign would push the rhetoric that not reelecting him would be firing him.

     It couldn’t be further from the truth. We live in a Democracy, not an aristocracy (in theory). Every two to four years, our elected officials are done. Their terms are up. They must justify that they did a good job and need to be rehired for a new term. The burden of proof is always on those seeking election, incumbents are never exempt. Imagine you hired a contractor to build a house. He finishes building the house, and when you give him his last paycheck he says, “Wait! Why are you firing me?!” You would laugh in his face. His job is done. Now if you needed another house built, you might rehire him, but you would want to inspect his work, and shop around for a better deal first.

     It is the same thing on the federal level. If you are the incumbent, you tell people that you have done a good job in the past and therefore, you hope they choose you for the next four years. Dan Pike, at the Whatcom Democrats Soapbox in May at one point defended his work on the Port with this quote, “We have tried things, and they didn’t work. That’s how the process works. Now we know what doesn’t work and we can implement what does work in the future.” While not quite as bad, it does have an almost Donald Rumsfield-ian feel to it. I hope that this Thursday, he brings his accomplishments to the table when seeking the Whatcom Democrats endorsement.

     Speaking of which, I will be blogging about the Dems Endorsement Meeting. I will be taking notes, quotes and pictures. Unfortunately, there are no internet connections in Norway Hall, so I will not be live-blogging it, but it will be up when I get home after the meeting. But back to this hire/fire thing.

To see Dan Pike’s supporters pushing this misleading narrative is deeply disappointing. He should run on his record, not the assumption of an endless term. The Mayor of Bellingham makes $126,396.00 a year before taxes. That is a lot of public money. Multiply that out by a four year term and you get over $500,000.00. Dan Pike must justify that he is worth REHIRING to the tune of half a million dollars of public money. Kelli Linville is making the case that she can do a good job as mayor,  Dan Pike should make the case that he would do a good job as well . . . not that he hasn’t screwed up yet.



  1. Riley, You poked a pretty large hole in that reasoning. Good thinking!

  2. New Jersey Pike’s record?

    Did he owe $130,000 to the IRS in 2007? See the court records.
    Did he fail to file numerous IRS returns? Ditto
    Did he get kicked out of his house multiple times in 2007? 911 calls.
    Did he he travel to Korea, Japan and Russia on Tax payer time & $ $?
    Did he lie about managing a $500 Million dollar project. (No budget or signature authority and no personnel supervised.)
    Did he reveal is arrest record and jail time? Trespass in Groton CT.
    Investigated and convicted by the PDC for stealing from his government employer by running his campaign on SCOG time using their equipment and offices.
    Investigated and convicted of filing wrong PDC financial reports.
    Hiding 54% of his donations until after the election, mostly from developers.
    Investigated and convicted of violating the Hatch Act?
    Promising action on Lake Whatcom?
    Promising peer review on Water Front?
    Promising purchase of Chuckanut Ridge?
    Signing a secret red light contract with ATS/Goldman Sachs that strips the initiative right away from the citizens in a multi million dollar, no public hearing, no bid contract?
    Work week of 28 hours according to Pike.
    Caught on video lying to City Council about waterfront? YouTube
    Tried to charge $2000 for a public disclosure request while at SCOG.
    Promised opposition to Coal Trains but won’t cancel track re-alignment project.

    If people or local reporters would just take some time to research this person
    they would know what kind of character he is.

    • This is way overboard, nothing but baseless accusations. You are going to have to peddle your smears somewhere else.

  3. Sorry, all documented facts. Just because you won’t look it up don’t blame it on smear.

    For example: Pike’s arrest record was in an interview he gave to his hometown newspaper. Search for an August 2008 article. Pike says he protested and was arrested and spent a week in jail. Let us know what you find. Of course you might have to spend $1 to retrieve the whole article to convince yourself.

    Search : Pike Bellingham Mayor for 2008 time frame.
    Latte Republic reported on this in 2008, are you new to Bellingham or something?

    and more….
    Pike investigated by the Office of Special Counsel? Violated the Hatch Act. Look. It. Up.

    Pike and his employer trying to charge $2000 for PDA records? See the Skagit Valley Herald did an article on him.

    Pike investigated by the PDC? Again, Latte Republic covered this in 2008. How is that a smear? It is in the State records, Pike was convicted plead guilty, paid fines. Pike smeared himself.

    Riley, do you even know how to use the Internet?

  4. Mr. Riley,
    Here is a bit of information: You can look it up to confirm.

    Hatch Act File No. HA-08-1494 Office of Special Counsel investigation regarding Dan Pike’s 2007 Candidacy.

    3 page letter concludes..
    “Based on the preceding, we have determined that Mr. Pike’s candidacy for Mayor of Bellingham, Washington, violated the Hatch Act.”

    “However, we have insufficient evidence to prove that Mr. Pike knowingly or willfully violated the law. Therefore we have decided not to pursue disicplinary action in this matter and are closing our file.

    Nicole Eldredge
    Hatch Act Unit.
    Office of Special Counsel

    I.e. found guilty, but the OSC was not motivated to actually pursue looking at willful or knowing evidence since Harvard Educated Pike no longer worked for the agency (SCOG) that could be punished and his election was over.

  5. Public Disclosure Commission:

    PDC Case No. 08-110 and PDC Case No. 08-089 complaints from 2008.

    Mr. Pike violated RCW 42.17.040, 080, and 090 with case 08-089 he violated RCW 42.17.130.

    Pike was fined $500 with $250 suspended on the condition Mr. Pike commits no further violations through the 2011 Election.

    Guilty. Fined.

    • Please, let’s refocus this somewhere more productive than dumping opposition research on my blog. That’s my job. Keep updating your blog and if there is something with truly electoral merit, I’ll link it.

  6. […] posted about a disagreement I’ve had with a line of logic pushed by his supporters (read that here), and he and I have disagreed over other city issues (namely his support of Red Light Cameras). […]

  7. […] it. I don’t forget that any day that I am serving.” A very noble thought that I wish other incumbents had taken to heart. Riley’s closing […]

  8. […] her antique furniture business, Linville decided to run for Mayor of Bellingham barely edging past incumbent Dan Pike in a campaign that can at best be described as […]

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