Thursday, November 1, 2007

BREAKING NEWS: Cheryl Haskins' Supporter Is the Real "Sign-Stealer"

Just when I thought things had calmed down, I received this email:

Date: November 1, 2007 5:52:47 PM PDT
Subject: Haskin's signs

Hello Kevin,

I spoke with Cara Soloman [of the Seattle Times] this afternoon after reading her article to get your web address. I wanted to share something with you.

On Monday as I was driving home from work, I observed a woman removing what I thought to be Haskins campaign signs from the south entrance to Gene Coulon Park. It angered me that someone would stoop that low.

I looked up her website, knowing nothing about the candidate and called them and let them know. My feelings were whatever side of the political spectrum they were on, this was just wrong. My mistake. I gave them the physical description of the woman and her license plate number and description of her SUV.

I grew up in Renton and work there, but live in Seattle about 1000 feet outside the city of Renton's line - I say this to cover myself because I wasn't paying attention to the campaign as it's out of my area.

When I got home tonight I had a voicemail from Det. Barfeild (sp? - I have his tel. #) ) from the Renton Police Department. I returned his call and he asked me if I had seen this woman actually pull the signs out of the ground. I told him no, but I had seen her walking from the area where pol's signs were clustered and she threw the sign in the back of her SUV. The officer told me that he had checked out the address of the licenses plate holder and that they had Haskins signs in their yard, so he assumed they were supporters simply maintaining her signs. I now realize that this supporter wasn't pulling Haskins signs, but yours - they are very close in color and design.

I had not researched Haskins and had no idea of her positions or funding till after I had done this. In hindsight it was a bad move.

I'm a 45 year old gay man and will have been with my partner for 21 years come March. We registered as domestic partners last month. Needless to say I regret my action - but it wasn't in my area and I wasn't paying attention [to Renton politics].

My question to you now is, how can I help you? I need to make amends -

Thanks for reading

Brad Crane


So that explains why most of my "95% funded by outside interests" signs have gone missing! I did indeed put a sign in the very spot Brad mentioned, and I noticed it had disappeared. Talk about irony. Imagine, Cheryl Haskins' campaign files the police report, then finds out that one of her own supporters ended up being investigated by the police! Not only that, but the civic-minded witness to the event turns out to be GAY!

Obviously, Brad has nothing to be ashamed of, as he was just trying to do the right thing by reporting the incident. Brad has agreed to go public with the story, and I commend him for his bravery, especially since he has seen how the Haskins campaign has tried to intimidate me over the past couple of days.

I also have the email Brad originally sent to the Haskins campaign with the SUV's license plate number and the description of the woman, but I'm choosing not to publicize it. It will be interesting to see how the media and the Haskins campaign respond to this bombshell.

More irony: on Cheryl Haskins' campaign website, she makes a big deal about the police report that was filed, along with the "perpetrator's" license plate. [UPDATE: that statement has since been removed form the website.] Hee hee. She also goes on to describe the complaint to the PDC against me, which will not advance any further now that I've filed a C6 form.

Cheryl Haskins' October Surprise has now become a November Surprise.


JimW said...

Cheryl Haskins has already demonstrated that she believes "Gays" are not deserving the same rights as she. Perhaps, she feels she is not required to obey the same laws, either. So, the moral of Cheryl Haskins' sermon is, "Do as I say, but not as I do."

dbcooper70 said...
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dbcooper70 said...
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Rationale Person said...

He he... you people are amusing, if not pathetic. You resort to pre school antics, conspiracy, et. al. It tells me that having lost the debate, and refusing to talk about Renton issues, you are resorting to all out baseless attacks to divert attention from your losing campaign! I am sure Cheryl will open up a dialog with you "haters" , but I sure wouldn't. You have demonstrated your intolerance and your single issue political agenda! It will be good to see that type of strategy defeated on Tuesday!

Renton Citizen said...


You're kidding me, right? You think going through "the proper channels" includes Cheryl calling two newspapers to tell them them that she's filed a frivolous PDC complaint against a private citizen, and that she thinks I'm behind the sign stealing, without any providing any proof whatsoever? She has accused me of doing something illegal, and I'm challenging her claims. Remember, she's the candidate, not me, and she cannot just go around defaming a private citizen.

The "seams" comment was a direct quote from someone I know, and I thought it was a pretty accurate assessment of Cheryl's defensive posturing. If you look at Cheryl's website right now, it looks kind of CR@ZY, as in, a candidate for office, regardless of the "attacks" made against her, isn't supposed to draw attention to her critics' messages. She's supposed to rise above it all, perhaps mentioning her critics in passing, but never lending credence to their efforts.

As for the "assumptions" you mention, I assume you are referring to my OPINIONS, which I'm perfectly entitled to express, and I (and others) think I have done so without resorting to pettiness, misinformation, or personal attacks on Cheryl's character. If you want to avoid my commentary, I suggest you stick to visiting the site, not this blog.

Finally, concerning the sign issue, even if this woman has been cleared by the police, don't you find it ironic that the Haskins campaign was responsible for filing the complaint and providing the police with the license plate number?

How exactly do you know that the woman has been cleared, by the way? I chatted with quite a few people in the city government yesterday evening, and no one mentioned that particular piece of information.

Renton Citizen said...

First off, "Rationale Person," RATIONAL is not spelled with an e at the end. Someone keeps mentioning that to me, and I thought I'd let you know.

Anyway, you'll recall that the person who began all these rumors of sign-stealing and conspiracy was Cheryl E. Haskins herself.

I have always stayed on message with my "campaign," despite the fact that I'm not running against Cheryl, nor am I working for her opponent, whom I've never communicated with in any way. You sound like one of the letter writers in the Renton Reporter -- you know, the person who accused me of being King Parker's "king pin," and called this a "gay web site."

There is absolutely no room for dialog with Cheryl in this debate, unless she publicly apologizes for and renounces her past work against GLBT rights, esepcially her organization's opposition to both the anti-discrimination bill and the domestic partnership bill. She will also need to sever any connections she has outside political groups, such as the Christian Coalition and Families Northwest. Finally, she will need to publicly apologize to me for spreading the false rumor that I was behind the theft and vandalism of her signs.

Rationale Person said...

Boy, just like your claims attacking Cheryl, you are throwing off unsubstantiaed charges, with no proof. Is that the only way you can refute, throw out false statments? My only interaction with you and this arugment has been through this blog.

You sound absolutely opened minded and fair, when you refuse dialog with folks that you disagree with (yeah right). Shame on you.

You should know better! You seem to be the one falling apart at the seams.

dbcooper70 said...
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dbcooper70 said...
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Renton Citizen said...


I think you're referring to "Rationale Person"'s comments, which he/she was directing at me, not you. I would never call someone "pathetic," which is probably why you were shocked to think I had made those comments.

I'm upset that Cheryl called Cara Solomon and Dean Radford to suggest my involvement in the sign stealing and defacing. Here's a quote from the Times article: "In an interview, she suggested Poole could have been involved."

Would that not upset you if you'd done nothing wrong? I have no knowledge of anyone stealing or defacing signs, and I have said multiple times that I do not support such activity. The fact that most of my signs have gone missing was to be expected, but I'm not going to raise a stink about it or waste taxpayer resources by filing a complaint about it.

In response to the fundraising concerns, this is not a statewide or national election; it's a local, non-partisan race and no one else even comes close to having raised the kind of money that Cheryl has, especially from outside individuals. But more importantly, the fact that Cheryl's money has almost entirely from outside donors should tell you that her ties to the community are very weak. If I'd lived here for 10 years and had been involved in the community, I'd think more than 24 people in Renton would donate to my campaign. She also only has one local endorsement, and that was only made because King Parker pissed off the firefighters years ago.

Finally, the gay thing. You really need to understand that Cheryl's group has not just been against "gay marriage." It has opposed even the most basic human rights for gay people, like protection from employment discrimination -- which she, as an African American, Christian woman is covered by on multiple fronts. I respectfully request that you do some intensive research on the way the religious right has used the gay marriage issue to galvanize its base since the late '90s. There's a lot of info out there on the topic. I don't necessarily think Cheryl is part of a "vast right-wing conspiracy," but I DO think she's being used by the likes of Jeff Kemp to advance an anti-gay agenda.

Renton Citizen said...

That's OK, db. Perhaps now you have a better idea of the kind of crap I'm up against here. It's not fun, especially when I'm trying to remain completely ethical.

One other thing I'd ask you to do is this: could you, even just for a fleeting moment, try to imagine what it would be like to be gay and have Cheryl Haskins running for city council in your city?

dbcooper70 said...
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Renton Citizen said...

db, you never answered my question about how you found out about the sign thing. That's not an accusation, just a question. Do you have inside information?

dbcooper70 said...

buzz - not official - I looked at my terminology and it should be "not charged" - "She has been cleared" infers already charged and charges dropped which is not true - symantics again.

Renton Citizen said...

Thanks for the clarification. I assume you must know someone in Cheryl's campaign or you're at the RPD, but I won't push it! :-)

How about my "imagine you're gay" request?

dbcooper70 said...

buzz - a friend's husband works at the station.

Rationale Person said...

Just to be clear, I was not calling db pathetic, my post just was probably input about the same time as yours. I was refering to the attacks arguments Kevin has been using this month. I believe it is dangerous to allow those on the extreme side of any argument to employ a campaign primarlif focused on hot button issue, that has little to do with the city council. On a national scale, I also rail against those who would disqualify a candidate like Rudy, based on a single issue, like abortion.

Minor point on my id, I believe rationale is suppose to be with an "e", at least spell check, and google have it that way.

ra•tion•ale –noun
1. the fundamental reason or reasons serving to account for something.
2. a statement of reasons.
3. a reasoned exposition of principles.

JimW said...

Dear "Rationale (sic) Person":

I was just wondering - - Who you are referring to when you write " people..."?

Please enlighten me.

Renton Citizen said...

Nice try, "Rationale." For the context you were shooting for, you should've spelled the word without an e. "Rationale Person" makes no sense whatsoever.

I do not consider myself to be on the extreme side of this issue. I've never advocated for gay marriage myself, I've only tried to publicize Cheryl's public activism against it. Her activism, on the other hand, certainly qualifies as extreme. How many people in our state are so concerned about the threat of gay marriage that they testify in front of the legislature against it, and run an organization devoted to opposing it? Let's see, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being Ron Sims and 10 being Ken Hutcherson, I'd say Cheryl qualifies as a 9 or 10 on this issue, depending on who she's allying herself with on any given day.

Renton Citizen said...

Sorry, meant to say that the *spelling* of "Rationale Person" makes no sense whatsoever. I wouldn't go so far as to say the writing of the person makes no sense. I don't agree with it, but I understand it.

Rationale Person said...

"you people" = those that are single issue focused, and use that single issue to attack, as opposed open dialog with those they disagree with.

By the tone of your query, I assume you are trying to paint me as hating gays. That is incorrect.

Rationale Person said...

In terms of the debate over the definition of extreme, I think we have covered most of our disagreements. For the benefit of those following this dialog;

My opinion, all the activities Cheryl that this blog highlights, are simply effort to oppose both the overt attempts to redefine marriage, and the subverts effort to use civil unions to grease the skids, or pave the way for the eventual court challenge/legislative efforts . The bill passed this spring, seems reasonable on the surface, but is the belief of many, that this was the first salvo in the ongoing effort to redefine marriage. Kevin believes those efforts end there, I do not. That is the source of the disagreement on extreme efforts. If you are to follow the logic I stated (I realize some do not), then I would say; focusing on a single issue as rationale (hope I got that word right) is what is, in itself, extreme.

Renton Citizen said...

Ok, super. But how about a representative of Cheryl's group testifying against HB 2661, which added sexual orientation to the state's anti-discrimination law?

By the way, Rationale, your writing style certainly has become more professional and articulate. Cheryl, is this you we're speaking with? Y'all know who I am now!

Sounds like someone decided to delete Rationale's comments and do a little damage control. Too late!

Defending marriage sounds quite noble, but those of us who are actually impacted by the religious right's manipulation of this issue understand what their true motivations are: to prevent any "normalization" of "the gay lifestyle" in our society. Again, too late.

It doesn't seem to me that Cheryl's intentions come out of hatred (perhaps fear, though), but the folks she has allied herself with -- the James Dobsons, Pat Robertsons, and Ted Haggards of the world -- have a very clear concept of gay people; that their natural sexual orientations should be suppressed, and that they as human beings should be vilified.

Renton Citizen said...

Let's also not forget Cheryl's public opposition to the Bellevue firefighters and 911 supervisor's request for domestic partnership benefits for their loved ones.

Or the fact that Cheryl went on a psychotically anti-gay radio show in Spokane to speak out against gay marriage.

Or that her husband sits on the board of a group formed to overturn HB 2661's protections.

Are those examples extreme enough for you?

Rationale Person said...

Thank you for your complement of my professional writing style! I am almost flattered you think I am Cheryl! I have not deleted anything, I was curious which comments were, because all of mine are still there.

Just to be clear...It is me. No change in identity!

Also, I just do not buy your attempt to lump Cheryl with folks that you know will get a rise out of people (Hargard, Robertson, There are reasonable people who believe in the efforts to oppose marriage redefinition. FYI- the folks you mention, in my opinion are loons.

In terms of the House Bill, I did read it, and the group’s reasoning for opposing; my take is as stated in the earlier post, opposition to efforts that will make it easier to redefine marriage.

Rationale Person said...

I think you can guess my answer, your efforts to oppose someone based on a single issue are more extreme than the examples you state.

Renton Citizen said...

I take it back... for some reason, dbcooper70 deleted all of his early posts. I wonder what that's all about? We were having a good discussion, I thought. Sorry for the accusation, Rationale.

Anywho, I am not opposed to Cheryl simply because she has personal views on this "single issue." My beef with her is that she has disqualified herself from running for local, non-partisan office by having participated in such divisive and controversial political activities. I think you can agree that they're at least "controversial," no? I just don't think she's the type of person who can effectively represent ALL the people of our city, when she's publicly and professionally opposed the efforts of a particular group o citizens. She is the one who made gay marriage her "single issue," not me.

Rationale Person said...

I do agree gay issues are issues that generate controversy, and emotions. However, we are not going to convince each other (you believe her beliefs on gay issues is germane to the council race, I do not) The biggest issues impacting me and my family, and the citizens as a whole are managing growth, creating economic opportunities, keeping us safe. I think you would at least agree those issues are important. The differences are, you believe her affiliation with a group trumps all else.

I think both our efforts are coming to a close. My intent was not to change your mind, but to (much like yourself) influence others. Come Wed. morning, my sincere wish is to have city, county, and state government attack those things that affect us day to day. I will concede gay issues do impact, but more at a state and national level. If Cheryl were to win, and in the future go on to state office, I would have less of a problem with efforts like this.

Renton Citizen said...

Again, this is not about Cheryl's "beliefs" about gay issues. It's about her public and professional activism in opposition to such issues. Heck, she's been more of an activist than I'll ever be!

By accepting massive contributions from wealthy church friends outside of Renton, and by lacking a true record of community involvement within our city, Cheryl herself has made this into more than just a "gay thing." For that, I am truly grateful.

As I've said before, I think Cheryl would be a much more appropriate candidate for a partisan office -- maybe in the state legislature representing, say, the Pullman area, where she actually has much more of a history of local involvement and may better reflect the location population's political beliefs. I don't wish her any ill-will, but I just think she's not right for Renton or for a non-partisan office.

I hope Cheryl someday sees this experience as an example of why speaking out against a group of innocent people -- whose concerns really don't impact your own life -- will ultimately come back to haunt you.

To quote a line from Muriel's Wedding, one of my favorite movies: "You reap what you sow, Muriel... you reap what you sow."

Rationale Person said...

Kevin, I am really trying hard to, at least understand your point of view, but I get the feeling that no matter what I say, you would still dismiss my opinion.

I think it would be naive to assume people in Pullman are any less sensitive to your issues, than they are here. Quite frankly, as a conservative, church going, white male, I feel like my kind is under attack here in King County. Some of us say; that not all conservatives believe gays should be marginilized or condemed. I consider the Republican Log Cabin group (gay republicans) to be a key member of efforts to promote fiscal sanity, national defense, and yes, family values. I also believe it is legimate to oppose redefination of marriage, which is (in my opinion) all that Cheryl efforts are about. That being said, I will never agree with your condemnation of her, based on somthing that has nothing to do with making sane decsions about what to do with the highlands (I have never hear your opinion about that).

No doubt this would ever happen, but it would be a hoot if you, me, maybe even Cheryl to sit down at the Whistle Stop over a couple of fine brews to make each of our perspectives and opinion better know. (ok, she probably would not come). Bottom line, after Tuesday, you and I will go on about our lives, with what is important to each of us, which most likely has little to do with the politics of the religious right, radical liberals, gays, straights, ect. I understand your fears, I just hope you acknowleged there are few things in this world that are black and right. I believe in absolutes, but not in this case.

By the way, I did vote for Cheryl, but if King wins, that would be just fine. His attention to fiscal responsibility, and not backing down from the Union representing the fire fighters, speaks volumes to me. I would not consider either candidates stance on marriage to be a factor, as I hope most residents will also.

Renton Citizen said...

Thanks, Rationale. I was joking about Pullman... if anything, I'd think the abundance of college voters would make it fairly progressive. How about... Omak?

Anyway, I really do get the feeling that I would enjoy and appreciate Cheryl as a person, minus the dogma. But again, in order for she and I to have any sort of constructive dialog, she'd really have to own up to the fact that her actions have been hurtful to a lot of people, with absolutely *no* benefit to anyone. I'd also have a hard time relating one-on-one to someone who sees me as as a sinner who's going to hell, and based on her apparent fundamentalist view of the Bible, I'm not sure we can really ever bridge that gap. I'm not going to pull a Ted Haggard and pretend I'm straight, and she's not going to shed decades of exposure to religious doctrine to see me as simply a normal human being, without horns. So, while the idea of having beers at the Whistle Stop with you is cool, Cheryl would need to demonstrate a major change of heart and attitude before I could trust her intentions.

I really appreciate you trying to understand where I'm coming from, but I don't think you really "get" how I, or other gay people, feel. Being gay isn't like choosing to practice a particular religion, or living in some exotic foreign land. It's about identity, as much so as you might identify as a son, or a father, or a husband. Particularly for those of us who dealt with being gay early on (pre-adolescence), we've been subject to a relentless assault on our identity (and humanity) by religious conservatives. Cheryl may not have nefarious motives in challenging gay issues, but as I've said MANY times now, she is associated with people who clearly aim to vilify and oppress us. Her participation in the nutcase radio talk show in Spokane was particularly alarming. The host refused to use the word "gay," saying HOMOsexual over and over, with venomous contempt. Remember that, Cheryl? Not a good move, Girl. It's those types of activities that really make me question her true intentions. The fact that her husband is associated with Ken Hutcherson is also a big red flag. Ken, bless his heart, has become a monster in the eyes of many people. I’m not sure he’s really what Christ had in mind.

So, as much as I think of myself as a compassionate, loving, and tolerant person, I am not willing to sacrifice my own self-worth to sit down with someone who considers my "lifestyle" and my family to be less deserving of legal protections than her own. I don't like taking such a hard line, but we're not talking about mere personal opinions or political persuasions here, we're talking about human dignity. And that, my friend, is what many people tuned into this whole controversy just don't understand.

Rationale Person said...

Understood, but you need to know that religous doctrine does not say, you, Kevin are going to hell because of you are. I say that, as a consevative Luthern. We believe we are all sinners, and only by the grace of God, are we worthy of anything else. Me personally, being gay is not a sin, but even if I thought that, it would pale in comparison of other sins. I hope you can appreciate that. My sins is more related to reacting impolsively (see my earlier posts), procastinations, not putting my 2 boys interst ahead of myself, ect.. What I am trying to say is, most “true” relgious conservatives try to live a virtious life, but know that we more often then not, fall short. We do fight for stable families, and values. I can not speak for Ken, Ted H., et al, but from myself, those who would de humanize others because of their orientation (is that the right word?) are simply wrong. I do not know Cheryl closely, but despite your take on her political activities, I believe she would respect all citizens. Perhaps that is a bridge that you and I will not be able to cross. So be it, Wed, Nov. 7th will be a new day.

I am off to bed (big time soccer games in the morning). Curious to read your reaction, tomorrow morning.

Renton Citizen said...

I absolutely understand that there is plenty of variation in religious doctrine with regard to gay people, especially amongst the various sects of Christianity. I know and love Lutherans, and while Lutheran churches tend to be more conservative than other mainline Protestant denominations, their parishioners don't seem to be obsessed with all things gay, as say, Ken H's Antioch Bible Church is. So yes, I really do understand that being gay isn't s a big deal for many mainstream Christians, and certainly isn't a political issue they spend a lot of time thinking about, unlike, say, Cheryl does.

I don't get the feeling that you understand how precious and hard-won my current rights as a gay person are. 50 years ago, it would be remarkable for someone like me to be living in a house with a partner in a blue collar suburb, or anywhere. To survive, we probably would've had to have pretended to be brothers, and we would've had to maintain heterosexual facades at work, with our families, and with our neighbors. We would've been subjected to violence, harassment, extortion, and ridicule. We would've had absolutely no means of ensuring hospital visitation privileges or rights of inheritance, as our biological families would have contested even the most iron-clad legal agreements (assuming we could've found a lawyer to draw them up).

Despite all of those challenges, people like me and my partner *did* exist 50 years ago, as we have since the dawn of time. You may not grasp how much our society has come along, but I certainly do, and I will never take things for granted. All along the way, though, people with intentions like Cheryl have been fighting the progress tooth and nail. Have they really been able to stop society's progress? No, but they've certainly made it painful for gay people along the way.

Why is it so difficult for you to put yourself in my shoes, to understand my challenges? Why? If it's because you think being gay is a "choice," then there's no sense in continuing this conversation. Have you ever had a heart-to-heart talk with a gay person about what it's like to grow up gay? If you really understood where I'm coming from here, you'd also understand that Cheryl Haskins does not fit the profile of the type of person we should be encouraging to lead our local government.