Saturday, October 20, 2007

Non-partisan? Not even close.

It was pointed out to me by a political insider that the 2006 Washington State Republican Party Chair, Diane Tebelious, can be seen in a photo of Cheryl Haskins' campaign kick-off event last July. In addition, Rose Strong, a candidate for the same party office in 2005, was a speaker at the event. She's apparently a member of Cheryl Haskins' church, and can be seen in the photo at right, next to President Bush.

OK, so Cheryl Haskins has friends in high places within the state Republican Party who are supporting her candidacy. Not a surprise to me, but some voters in Renton might be uncomfortable with that fact, given that the city council election is non-partisan.

Having at least two important figures in the state Republican Party present at your kick-off event is anything but non-partisan, and seems somehow calculated. To illustrate my case, check out this statement Rose Strong made in a blog titled "Operation: Red Washington" in 2005:

What do you see as the main task(s) of the state party chair? Candidate recruitment – we should recruit those persons interested in running for office on every level of elective office, to include non-partisan positions. A Candidate Recruitment Chair should be appointed by each of the 39 counties to coordinate and vet each candidate.

Sounds to me like Cheryl Haskins was just the person they were looking for!

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

She must be taking tips from mayor kathy. Look at her endorsements---it's a list of Democrats. And council candidate Shirley Gaunt-Smith: her only endorsements are from the Democrat party. Now look at Denis Law's endorsements: former Gov. Mike Lowery, Dem, AND Attorney General Rob McKenna, Rep. That's truly a non-partisan list! Terry Perrson also makes much of his Dem connections, altho he briefly was affliated with the Rebulicans when he wanted their endorsement. These races are NON-PARTISAN folks; why do these candidates flaunt their party??? Even the King Co. Council is considering going non-partisan.

Renton Citizen said...

I agree wholeheartedly. I was disappointed to see that the mayor, Shirley Gaunt-Smith, and Terry Persson have all made their campaigns partisan, and I'm a Democrat! Personally, I think Denis Law's endorsements are fine, as he doesn't list the political affiliations of his endorsers, and he has such a wide range of supporters, including Democrats. I really don't have a problem voting for centrist, fiscally conservative candidates in local elections, even if they're Republican-leaning. Especially in Renton, I think we need a good mix of view points at City Hall. What we don't need is someone who's publicly established herself as a representative of the Religious Right's social agenda.

Anonymous said...

So, we put "Renton Citizen" in charge of who should represent us, and they automatically disqualify someone because they do not approve of the church a candidate belongs too. It is ludicrous that you attack someone based on their affilition, and then refuse to engage in any conversation direcly with the candidate you are slamming. Unbelieval example of closed mindedness.

Renton Citizen said...

I think we'd all appreciate it if you (previous poster) would come up a new theme for your comments. And flagging my blog as "objectionable" isn't going to help your cause.

Anonymous said...

Just to be clear, your baseless argument has been perfectly refuted; You attack Cheryl for party affiliations, yet ignore others who flaunt theirs. If you remove that argument, what remains? Answer, your hostility to someone due to their faith and affiliation with a church you deem as bad, all this with refusing to talk directly. (FYI- I never flagged this blog as objectionable!)

Renton Citizen said...

What part of the following statement was unclear: "I was disappointed to see that the mayor, Shirley Gaunt-Smith, and Terry Persson have all made their campaigns partisan..."?

I am not attacking anyone's faith. I am simply calling attention to Cheryl Haskins' very public activism against gay rights. People have a right to know what causes she has supported. They also have a right to know that the vast majority of her money's coming from outside of Renton. And that she has few ties to the community.

Anonymous said...

So why even bring up the last post about the republican party? If that is not an issue, as you state, then you are diverting attention from your disturbing agenda, that is to demonize those who think differently than you, without any engagement. I get concerned when you on the left blasts those who disagree with your agenda. Bottom line, I listened to Cheryl, I like her vision for Renton, and any attack on her for being conservative religious person is irrelevant. Her $800/mo (est.) position on the council deals with Renton business, not Gay marriage! I am against litmus tests on both sides. For example, I am livid that the conservative establishment stance against Rudy is also ridiculous.

Renton Citizen said...

The reason why I posted the info about the Republican Party being involved in her campaign is because I believe it illustrates the involvement of the Religious Right (the Christian Coalition, Focus on the Family, etc.) to stealthily get people into local non-partisan offices, then advance them into higher offices. In case you didn't know, religious conservatives control the Republican Party both naitionally and in each state; they spent a lot of time and effort getting control of the leadership. There is plenty of evidence to support these claims, and the Religious Right publicly stated such goals beginning in the mid '90s. Ultimately, after stacking school boards and city councils with Creationist, anti-sex education, and anti-gay elected officials, the general public became savvy to their tactics and voted them out of office. As a result, the Religious Right reworked its strategy, and began supporting less controversial candidates that it knew would be more electable in the longterm. It also focused on recruiting conservative candidates from traditionally Democratic-leaning groups, such as African-Americans and Latinos. There are quite a few books on the topic, many of which are authored by conservatives.

Anonymous said...

As a member of the Republican party, I can say you are just plain wrong. You believe association equates to evil intentions, and that is a very dangerous stance. There is no “right wing conspiracy” and there are those of us normal hard working Americans that can be disturbed by the leftwing agenda (i.e. move on.org, Michael Moore, etc. ) It is your attempt to lump qualified people (based on my direct interaction with her) with a bogie man (right wing Christians) and that is either na├»ve or just plain slanderous. Again, I am dumbfounded by your relentless attacks on Cheryl, without the decency to engage her directly. You regurgitate the left wing talking points, and try to smear those who you perceive to enemies, as opposed to talking about the actual issues impacting us locally.

The difference is, me as a conservative would not eliminate those who I disagree with based on a litmus test. I point out examples such as my support for Rudy. I implore you to look beyond talking points, propaganda, and truly make a decision based on what is relevant for a city council position. Your claims and complaints that she has higher aspirations can be equally applied to those from the radical left wing.

Renton Citizen said...

Actually, I think there are lot of very reasonable Republicans out there, some of my friends and family members included. I wasn't referring to Republicans in general, but to the party leadership. I also take issue with many elements of the Democratic Party leadership. The difference is that one particular group doesn't control the message of the Democratic Party, as it does with the Republicans.

Again, I'm not trying to smear Cheryl at all; I just want to make sure people are aware of her activism against gay rights and her outside support. The "talking points" you refer to are my own... I'm drawing upon my own research and conclusions.

I'm all about discussing the issues that impact us locally, but I don't think Cheryl Haskins is the right person to be in a position of authority in our city. Did you miss the comments where I described my admiration of Greg Taylor, an apparently conservative Christian? I think he's an astute businessman and community leader, and I'm seriously leaning towards voting for him. How else can I demonstrate to you that this isn't about attacking Cheryl Haskins, it's about informing people of her divisive politics?

Renton Citizen said...

Cheryl sowed the seeds of this controversy when she and her husband all but declared war on gay people. YOU may not think that's relevant, but a lot of other people do, as evidenced by the number of hits to this website.

Anonymous said...

See, that is what I am talking about, declaring war on Gay People?!! How extreme and over the top is that statement. You can be against gay marriage, but declaring war is an extreme radical statement, meant to smear those who do not believe what you do! I know you think otherwise, but most issues that affect us Renton citizens have absolutely nothing to do with homosexuality. Go ahead and sleep with whoever you want, but do not expect all candidates to kowtow to your agenda, especially when sexuality has nothing to do with a vibrant and economically healthy community that, I believe, a candidate like Cheryl would strive for.

Renton Citizen said...

Dude, I'm not making this stuff up. Check this out: http://www.king5.com/video/featured-index.html?nvid=185248. Cheryl's husband is closely allied with Ken Hutcherson.

Then there's this quote, from testimony against House Bill 2661, which added sexual orientation to our state's anti-discrimination law (Cheryl Haskins' group provided testimony in opposition to the bill):

"One of God's rules is that a man shall not lie with another male. It is an abomination. People have turned away from God and they don't see his power in the creation. This proposed bill is intending to make what the unchangeable law of God calls dishonorable, degrading, indecent, harmful behavior, resulting in insanity, a civil right. This is ridiculous. Do not try to legalize what God has clearly prohibited."

Have you ever had your life referred to as an "abomination"? Or had someone say it's OK to fire you if they find out about your private life?

You apparently don't understand what Cheryl Haskins' group is all about. If it were up to her, do you really think that I, as a gay man, would have all the rights and privileges that I currently have? Do you think my partner would be able to visit me in the hospital or make medical decisions for me? Do you think he would automatically inherit my estate? Cheryl's group opposed all of these "special privileges" earlier this year -- she was specifically quoted as being against domestic partnership protections. Does that sound like someone who would serve all the city's residents without prejudice? Yes, I know that "gay issues" are unlikely to ever be a part of the city council's agenda, but you never know... did you read the story about the Bellevue city workers?

I, more than anyone, would love it if our society just adopted a "live and let live" attitude toward homosexuality. I am actually not a proponent of gay marriage right now, because I don't think our society is ready for it. I'd be happy with "civil unions," but even those might be a ways off. Let Canada and Spain blaze the trail. Unfortunately, even getting basic legal protections for our relationships is challenged at all angles by the Religious Right, who believe that we live in a Christian, not secular and pluralistic society.

I hope you can understand where I'm coming from.

mike said...

Yes, "War on Gay People" is inflammatory. How about "Concerted campaign to ensure that gay people are denied the same rights as other citizens"?

Or "Religiously-based efforts to penalize people for their private lives"?

ep said...

anonymous, why do you support Haskins?

Anonymous said...

Because she rang his doorbell and charmed him with her good looks, intelligence, and new ideas. And he feels oppressed by what he sees as a permissive, ungodly society. Am I close?

ep said...

I don't know if you're close, but you being called anonymous too makes this really confusing.