Kris Halterman and her pro-coal PAC from last year, SAVEWhatcom, took issue with my recent reporting on the Charter Review Commission and published a blog post saying that I, “failed to do some basic fact checking before publishing his article” and, “Now that Riley Sweeney has been caught in the act of misrepresentation, how is one to trust what he says?”
First of all, thank you for giving me an excuse to drag my “cranky conservative achievement award” icon from the dustbin. I haven’t used it since Garin Wallace accused me of being a clown, an insult to the noble profession of clowning if I ever heard one.
Second, when I posted the article, I admitted it was a scattershot attempt to provide some more information. As it says at the top of the article, “If you have more information about some of the people running for Charter Review, feel free to add it in the comments, below is what I know off the top of my head or was able to dig up.” But enough excuses, let’s look at my horrible, horrible misrepresentations.
I stated that Delaine Clizbe was “one of the key organizers of the Whatcom Tea Party movement.” Halterman says they talked to the Whatcom Tea Party and she has never been involved.
Except, Clizbe publishes a blog in which she rants about the evils of government over-taxation when it comes to the Chuckanut Community Forest, regularly comments at the Tea Party run blog The Whatcom Excavator, and donated $240 to the Pro-Coal PAC SAVEWhatcom (as well as Bill Knutzen and Ben Elenbaas). So yes, I will update my article to clarify that she is not directly involved with the local Tea Party leadership, that is my error and I will gladly correct it.
Of course it raises the question, what is so toxic about the local Tea Party that SAVEWhatcom wants to distance their donors from it?
Another issue is Yvonne Goldsmith and for this one I am guilty as charged. I listed her as a key organizer with SAVEWhatcom because when Lisa McShane came to inspect their books, Goldsmith was the one helping with that process, so I put two and two together. I’m very sorry to associate Goldsmith with the pro-coal PAC SAVEWhatcom and I will update accordingly. It is accurate to refer to her as a “Republican fundraiser” having donated to, and volunteered for, the local party for the last ten years.
Finally, they objected to my calling SAVEWhatcom a “pro-coal PAC,” saying they are merely “pro-business.” When you raise over $150,000 from coal company subsidiaries and funnel it through a shell PAC (“Whatcom First”) so you don’t have to list SSA Marine as one of your top donors on all your mailers, and promote candidates that are friendly toward the proposed coal terminal, then I think calling you a “pro-coal PAC” is fair game. If you wish, you may call the Washington Conservation Voters a “pro-environment PAC” if it makes you feel better.
Finally, I don’t think this is about making sure my Charter Candidate’s article put each conservative candidate in the proper association (move Goldsmith to simply “Republican Donor” and Clizbe from “Tea Party” to “SAVEWhatcom”). I think this is because I’ve now debated Kris Halterman twice; once on the KGMI morning show and once on her own show where she had to bring Allen Brown and Charlie Crabtree to back her up. It can be rough on such a public figure as Halterman to lose two debates in a row but I’m sure there will be an opportunity this year for her to lose a third time.
That’s as close to Richard Sherman-ing as I get. Enjoy the nice weather everyone and stay tuned for my article on PCO filings.