Posted by: sweeneyblog | October 17, 2011

Dan Pike’s Deceptive Doorhanger

It is not news that Dan Pike has made the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal and Coal Trains the central message of his campaign. However, I was extremely disappointed to come across this piece of campaign literature that the Pike campaign is dropping on voter’s doors.

Click for a Larger View

There are several things wrong with this piece. First of all, attacking Kelli for using the same words as SSA Marine is pretty low. It smacks of guilty by association (note the “Goldman Sachs” reference at the end and the repeated line “Kelli Linville and SSA Marine will not acknowledge that . . “).

Second, it just isn’t true. Kelli Linville has acknowledged that this is a coal terminal. From the July 24th article in the Bellingham Herald profiling the candidates, “Both oppose a massive coal terminal at Cherry Point, and both say they have no big objection to a much smaller, multi-cargo facility of the kind SSA Marine originally planned to build there . . . (Linville) . . . notes that she was expressing opposition to a coal port while Pike was still talking about routing the coal trains around Bellingham.”

Here she is again in the latest issue of the Whatcom Watch,

“I am opposed to a single-purpose coal pier that exports our non-renewable natural resources and will not be sustainable because of cost and environmental pollution.”

Seems pretty clear cut. She is for some sort of shipping facility but not this proposal and certainly not anything that involves coal. She even calls it a “Coal pier”. Not quite the “coal port” that Dan Pike is calling on her to say, but darn close.

But most of this is semantics. What it really gets down to is that Dan Pike is trying to make it appear as if Kelli Linville is pro-coal trains. She isn’t. It is that simple. Frankly, I’m disappointed. I would expect this sort of deceptive campaign tactics from Doug Ericksen, not a Democratic Mayor.



  1. Nice column.

    Kelli has a problem. She is smart, insightful and a nuanced thinker. When she was running against Buys she was asked (at a meet the candidates night) for her position on a state income tax. She gave a smart, insightful and nuanced answer. Buys responded to the same question by saying “I’m against all new taxes.” The room erupted in applause. I knew we were doomed.

    All too often smart, insightful and nuanced stances get shoved off-stage by empty talking points.

    I don’t live in Bellingham — but I still have to figure out what to do with the two running for County Executive.

  2. Arthur… from what you say above, I recommend Jack Louws. He is the real thinker, but his opponent is the soundbite guy.

    As for this mailer… I have avoided being negative about my friend Dan Pike, but invoking Goldman Sachs ??? There is one, and only one person running for mayor who has recently signed a contract with Goldman Sachs that will divert $342,000 per year away from the Bellingham economy and send it out of state to a Goldman Sachs company. This contract was signed by Pike despite thousands of petition signatures trying to stop the deal, and despite a legislative bill getting dozens of bipartisan sponsors to stop these deals statewide.

    • Huey, can you be more specific?

      • I believe he is talking about brining in the Red Light Camera company ATS which is a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs

  3. Huey:

    Please be specific; what contract are you talking about?

  4. The door piece in your post looks like it was written by the Sierra Club, not by a municipal mayoral campaign. Don’t we have to have a community conversation about a lot of things over the next 4 years: growth boundaries, development, water, city services??

    The City of Bellingham is not a train track with 100,000 people surrounding it – it is a community of 100,000 (surrounding area included) with many resource demands and inputs and outputs for the community and the economy, which incidentally has a train track going through it .

    • I agree we should absolutely have a conversation about it, but it should not be the ONLY issue in the mayoral campaign. Also, I checked, it was an official Pike campaign material, not Sierra Club.

      • I’m really disappointed that WCV was handing this out to voters along with their slatecard. Pike, as usual, is waging an ugly campaign, but it’s sad, as a former chair, to see WCV jump right in with him. I don’t understand burning all this money and time while completely ignoring Pete Kremen, who actually would have a vote on this matter and has a shot at winning. That used to be an important criterion for WCV. And why hasn’t Pike endorsed Pete? Pete also has a great record on the Lake Whatcom preserve and has been working hard to support it, something that can’t be said of Pike. The coal trains aren’t a city issue, but Dan’s lackluster record leaves him with very little else to talk about. And Lori’s right, the hit piece looks like something an interest group would cobble together, not a candidate.

      • Frances is absolutely right. It is critical to get Pete in and Larson out. Dougie is almost certain to be the Executive and if he has a clean majority in council it could get unpleasant. Not surprisingly, Larson is way ahead in the cash-on-hand game since he’s a wholly owned subsidiary of local developers. Then there’s the wildly improbable get-rid-of-Crawford gambit …..

  5. […] some of you noted in the previous post, Riley Sweeney has a blog entry on Political Junkie that includes a picture of the doorknob literature that Linville is incensed about. Sweeney also […]

  6. This is the kinda piece you run when you are losing…

    • I am in complete agreement with David.

  7. But I thought Pike liked Goldman Sachs – he signed a contract this year w a company that is backed by them! This is pretty low. Definitely am not voting for Pike.

  8. Funny how Dan Pike was pro coal-train until his buddies pressured him out of it. He doesn’t stand for things because he takes a hard stand, but because it’s the most popular. Leadership is taking risks and trusting your gut. This is made more painfully obvious by the fact that he stands ironically FOR Goldmann Sachs backed red-light cameras and signed a contract with them before doing the due diligence. We need leadership in Bellingham not opportunism.

  9. […] it is over the focus of his campaign, his efforts to install Red Light Cameras (see above) or his deceptive campaign materials, so clearly I would not be voting for him. On the other hand, I am very excited to support Kelli […]

  10. […] have already touched on this subject this year with my earlier fact-checking of a terribly misleading mailer put out by the Pike Campaign. I will be fact-checking these mailers as we examine them. However, I would like to point out that […]

  11. […] this doomsday scenario launched an aggressively negative campaign (see some of my coverage of that here and here) towards Kelli Linville in an attempt to eat away at her Democratic vote, and it seemed to […]

  12. […] a prayer from local clergy and then it was followed by Mayor Dan Pike speaking. I know I have been rather roughon Mayor Pike, but I believe in calling it as I see it, and Dan Pike gave a great speech in […]

  13. […] many of you know, Dan Pike and I have not always seen eye to eye on things as diverse as campaign tactics, Occupy Bellingham, and phone etiquette, however he recently took to the editorial page of the […]

  14. […] Finally, it looks like Dan Pike has landed on his feet. I was tipped off that he has landed a new job as a lead administrator with […]

  15. […] when it rubs me the wrong way. Despite being naturally predisposed to believing them, I debunked coal claims from Dan Pike last year, and debunked accusations that The Woods was […]

  16. […] up, former mayor Dan Pike criticized Mayor Kelli Linville negotiations with the Port while speaking as part of the Huxley […]

  17. […] total transparency. I’m a proud Democrat, but not a blind one. I’ve been critical of Democrats in the past and will in the […]

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