Sunday, October 14, 2007

What's so "extreme" about Cheryl Haskins, anyway?

If this were Spokane, Chehalis, or Bonney Lake, Cheryl Haskins' right-wing politics wouldn't raise any eyebrows. But this is Renton, an up-and-coming blue collar town that votes overwhelmingly Democratic or (very) moderate Republican, and has always welcomed people of all backgrounds. In our hard-working, "Ahead of the Curve" city, what makes Cheryl Haskins so extreme compared to other candidates for city council? Here's a summary:
  1. She's receiving tens of thousands of dollars from supporters that don't even live in Renton. As a result, her campaign contributions dwarf that of any other candidate.
  2. Her biggest donors are leaders and members of the ultra-conservative, wealthy, megachurch she attends in Kirkland, where her husband is an associate pastor.
  3. She leads (or recently lead) a well-funded, religiously-rooted organization, Allies for Marriage and Children, whose primary aim is to prevent gay couples from achieving any form of legal protections or recognition. Don't expect to read any anti-gay vitriol on the group's website, though; they choose their words very carefully.
  4. In 2006, Cheryl Haskins' "Allies" group testified in opposition to the state law which now protects gay people from employment and housing discrimination.
  5. Under her leadership, the "Allies" group strongly opposed our state's domestic partnership law when it was proposed in January 2007. The bill ultimately passed the state House and Senate, and was signed by the governor, but...
  6. In a press release dated 1/17/07, Cheryl Haskins was quoted as saying, "Legislative proposals like Senator [Ed] Murray’s suggest that an amendment to the state’s constitution defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman should be carefully considered as over half of the states in this nation already done." Care to guess what their next course of action will be?
  7. She has not been upfront with voters about her divisive political activities.
  8. She is a polarizing candidate for an office that's designed to be non-partisan and consensus-building. How can she fulfill those mandates when she carries so much baggage?

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