Joey Martinez Endorses Shaw, Challenges Edgar to Stop ‘Cheating’ Voters

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City Council candidate Joey Martinez in Burien's 2011 Independence Day Parade. Photo by Michael Brunk.

by Ralph Nichols

After challenging Burien City Councilman Gordon Shaw in the Aug. 16 primary election, Joey Martinez told The B-Town Blog Saturday (Aug. 27) that he is endorsing Shaw for re-election.

Martinez finished third in the primary, with just over 16 percent of the vote. Shaw is second with 37.95 percent of the vote, and “non-candidate” Bob Edgar leads the race with 44.99 percent (read our coverage of Edgar’s unsuccessful attempt to drop out of the race here).

“I hope all my voters will vote for Gordon,” Martinez said of the incumbent lawmaker. “He’s the better of the two candidates” for City Council Position 4in the general election.

If, that is, this council race features two actual candidates for office – regardless of the fact that Edgar’s name will appear on the November ballot.

Only Edgar knows the answer, and so far he’s not talking.

He has not campaigned in public, and has not responded to repeated voice mail and e-mail requests for comment by The B-Town Blog. (His campaign e-mail address, however, was still online last week.)

Edgar filed for election in June and submitted his campaign statement for publication in the King County Elections Voters’ Guide, but then withdrew as a candidate – only after the legal deadline to withdraw had passed.

As a result, his name appeared on the primary ballot and now will go on the general election ballot. Should he win the election, even as a “non-candidate,” state officials say it then would be up to him whether to be seated on the council or to decline to be sworn in.

City Councilmember Gordon Shaw shakes Joey Martinez' hand at The B-Town Blog's July 26 Candidates Forum. Photo by Scott Schaefer.

So while Martinez is pleased that he received over a thousand votes in his first run for local elective office, he is not a happy warrior about the way the campaign unfolded.

“Can’t Have It Both Ways”
“I feel cheated,” Martinez said. “One of my opponents was a phantom candidate. I feel like I was unable to campaign effectively. I was unable to campaign against him.”

Nor could Shaw really campaign against him after Edgar notified the state Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) and King County Elections that he was not running.

Edgar “didn’t campaign – as far as we know,” Martinez observed.

Although Edgar addressed the Burien City Council during public comment on several occasions, and wrote letters to the editor for posting, he had no campaign materials such as yard signs or fliers. So he was not required to file financial information with the PDC.

Another would-be candidate, Diana Holman, filed for Position 4 but withdrew prior to the statutory deadline for withdrawing from the race.

“I definitely think he’s playing games with the electoral process,” Martinez said. “I feel the voters who voted for me got cheated” because of his actions.

“I challenge him to either publicly state he is not running, or publicly campaign for the job. He can’t have it both ways. By continuing to hide he ultimately cheats the voters. It’s not fair to anyone, least of all the Burien voters.”

“There will be some people who will think I’m a sore loser,” Martinez continued. “It’s not that. It’s the principle, the electoral process.”

The issue is “a candidate who conveniently withdraws after the deadline to withdraw from filing, and after the deadline for submitting a candidate’s statement, but before the deadline for filing campaign financial information, and notifying only King County Elections and the PDC” that he is no longer a candidate.

After that, Martinez noted, Edgar kept “making public comments as a citizen but hides in the shadows as a candidate. This is playing games with the democratic process.”

Plans to Run Again
Despite the fog surrounding Edgar’s “phantom” candidacy, Martinez, 32, is glad he ran for elective office this year – and thinks he will run again for the Burien City Council.

Martinez came to the Seattle area at age 19 “to get away from California. I picked a place and moved up here. And I’m really glad I did. I met my wife here and now have two boys.

“I moved from Los Angeles as a boy and became a man in Burien,” he added.

He’s worked two years for the city of Seattle after nine years with the city of Auburn, and coaches the Burien Bearcats midget football team.

“I’ve always been interested in politics, and have wanted to give something back to the community, Martinez said. So when The B-Town Blog posted the notice for candidate filings and encouraged citizens to run for local office, he decided to take the leap (read that post here).

While another campaign is likely, “it will be a decision I make with my wife. I’ll run again unless she convinces me not to – or demands that I don’t run!”

In the meantime, Martinez “will look into what is required to serve on the commissions for the city of Burien. That will be the best way to learn to do the job as a city council member, so I will be applying for the appropriate vacancy.”

The next time he runs, Martinez hopes to involve more local Latinos in the political process – “and all would-be voters. There’s too much apathy. People get busy and just want to work and be left alone.”

For Annexation
Martinez said he “didn’t run to be for or against annexation, or for or against the SMP” (Shoreline Master Program) if the state Department of Ecology again sends it back to the city. “I ran to make Burien a better place to live for all of us.

“Initially I was against annexation for all of the perceived problems like the crime rate in White Center. But after doing my own research, it actually looks to be a better proposition for the city for a lot of reasons.”

He said if Burien stands by and allows Seattle to annex North Highline, “Seattle will continue the practices of the King County Housing Authority and overload that area and the Highline School District with low-income housing.”

It will be Burien taxpayers who end up paying the bill for Highline schools if that happens, Martinez warned.

On the other hand, “the crime rate between Burien and White Center is not statistically different,” despite what some opponents of annexation claim.

“I believe the numbers in the Berk report because they would not skew the numbers to please us. They won’t sell out their professional reputation to please [City Manager] Mike Martin.”

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23 Responses to “Joey Martinez Endorses Shaw, Challenges Edgar to Stop ‘Cheating’ Voters”
  1. elizabeth2 says:

    How did “your” voters get cheated by whatever another candidate was doing? They each get one vote; they each exercised their one vote. No cheating.

    This reminds me of a story my Mom would tell me when I was a teenager and I felt she treated my youngest sister better and let things slide with her (after 5 children, maybe true),

    She asked me if the way she treated my sister affected in any way the way she treated me. Was I still listened to and treated appropriately. I answered that it yes, true, I was still given the same attention and support as before. Her response – then why are you wasting your energy worrying about what your sister does and how I respond to her?

    Same question to you – your voters got your attention, you got their vote. Why are you complaining?

    • Not just my voters, but all voters. No complaints as a candidate. As a voter, I have plenty. The democratic process of this republic is sacred and special. It is what makes us unique as a country in this world. For Mr Edgar to not publicly state whether he is running or not hangs a cloud on this election, wastes voter time and intent, and cheapens our democratic process.

      I stand by the rest of this article. Thank you everyone.
      Joey Martinez

      • SD says:

        As a voter, I don’t feel I’ve been cheated in the least.

        • elizabeth2 says:

          I think I am mature enough in my thinking to cast my ballot as I did without ‘cheapening our democratic process’. A little civil disobedience never hurt the process if it causes people to think and re-examine the candidates and the process.

          I voted for the person I did because I believe his political views and I DO NOT LIKE THE OTHERS – there was no other motive beyong that. I was not cheated, hornswoggled, or treated unfairly. I voted as I wanted to and that is part of the democratic process, whether you like it or not! It may not have gone your way, but it did clearly and overwhelmingly go the way of the majority of the voters.

          Futhermore, you state that the issue is “a candidate who conveniently withdraws after the deadline to withdraw from filing, and after the deadline for submitting a candidate’s statement, but before the deadline for filing campaign financial information,”

          The wording of “conveniently withdraws” implies some sort of nefarious plot and plan by Mr. Edgar – do you know something for certain that we do not?

      • joan m says:

        Thank you Elizabeth 2! I agree with you. Don’t the members of the city council and the mayor understand the people of Burien are not in favor of annexation???

      • big Nate says:

        Joey- You are not a sore loser or any kind of Loser. I too question the actions of Mr. reluctant-candidate Edgar, from my position as a citzen. I look forward to an explanation from Mr. Edgar very soon, before I formulate an opinion on his ethics. I hope you succeed in gaining a position on some commision in order to showcase your ability as an effective administrator willing to work for the interest of all citizens in Burien. To Mrs. Martinez- suport Joey’s 2012 run.

  2. Slight correction on: He’s worked two years for the city of Seattle after nine years with the city of Auburn, and coaches the Burien Bearcats midget football team.

    I worked for the City of Auburn for 4 years (2001-2005) now Seattle (2007-present). I also an assistant coach the BearCat Bantams.

  3. Get a clue burien city council says:

    I’d be upset too if I lost to a guy that didn’t even campaign.

    Does anyone else see that the one candidate who was against annexation won without campaigning?

    • elizabeth2 says:

      Hoorah to ‘Get a clue’ who seems to understand! I would hope that

      THE CANDIDATES WHO LOST BIG TIME TO SOMEONE WHO DID NOT CAMPAIGN wil re-examine their political stance and views – there are people out there who are saying they do not like the fact that there is something rotten in the state of Burien politics.

      So we cannot force ourselves to vote FOR you so we use our democratic voice to vote AGAINST you -the result may indeed be the same in terms of whose bottom will be warming the chair’ however, I can guarantee you that that person is aware of how many, many voters are ready and willing to vocally state their feelings. To that candidate, my advice:

      LISTEN carefully, quietly. Examine and re-examine what you hear. Think, quietly, what you are hearing before you open your mouth or make your own votes.

      • FunnyBurien says:

        I don’t know Elizabeth2, your logic or reason doesn’t seem to fit the fact that Ed Dacy didn’t move on to November. Duff is pro annexation…

        • elizabeth2 says:

          I was not intending to refer to Dacy or Duff for Position 2 but instead the other candidates for the same position as Mr. Edgar – Shaw and Martinez and Position 4.

          • Big Nate says:

            Elizabeth- You seem to support a candidate circumventing established election protocol, and not disclosing his financial status. The fact that Mr. Edgar tried to withdraw his application, onlly to miss the deadline, indicates he does not want to run, or he is savy enough to know that he could side step the rules and still get enough votes to carry him to victory this is the type of representation you want for Burien.

    • joan m says:

      Thank you, get a clue!!!!

  4. FunnyBurien says:

    The facts just don’t add up. The Anti-annexation group does not make sense. They say that with annexation our taxes and or services will suffer. The Burke report proves this not to be the case. In fact, we should be able to keep our current level of services without making any cuts. If we don’t annex then get out the red pen! Taxes or services Burien, your choice.

    Crime: Way worse in White Center! WRONG AGAIN. The Sherrifs office just told us that they’re about the same and, In fact, Burien has a gang problem with a Kent gang. White Center, not claimed by any gangs.

    Time to change the tune anti-annexation group, the reasons are off pitch.

  5. Bonnie Moormeier says:

    While it is hard to know exactly why so many voted for Bob Edgar, it would seem to indicate a vote against annexation. I hope the City Council will listen to the people they represent before “leaping ahead” on such an important issue. Since we don’t have an opportunity to actually vote on the annexation issue, this is our only opportunity to have a voice in the decision.

  6. VERY TIRED says:

    Mr. Martinez,

    I actually voted for you, but I think your premise is a bit weak. The “democratic process” was not cheapened by Mr. Edgar, quite the contrary. Think of him as a “none of the above” candidate. Since people did not know you, and really did not like Mr. Shaw (as evidenced by the numbers), it brings the election down to two choices…do we continue the status quo, or do we tell the council to take a hike?

    The fact of the matter is that there are quite a few people that are upset with the annexation, and do not want to see it happen again. This was their protest vote. In a “democracy”, this is how the electoral process works. Nevermind that we are a Republic, but I digress.

    All of my kvetching aside, I hope that you will reconsider running in the future. It takes a man of great courage to try to make this area a better place for everyone. I commend you sir, and I hope this is not the last time we see you. 🙂

  7. Thom Grey says:

    Duh Ian Dude and Funny Dude,
    When all else fails, it pays to read the Berk report which is online at this blog site. Berk does not paint a rosy picture for Burien. Like Berk said in 2007, Burien can’t afford to annex White Center/AreaY. Nothing has changed and Burien can’t afford it. What Berk does say-in this new report 2011-is that if someone or some money source gives Burien extra money for a short while, then Burien might be able to carry White Center for that short while. Burien can’t save that money and it can only use it to run White Center on an annual basis. But when that extra funny money runs out, Burien is going to be in deep DOO DOO. That is because Burien is already not running a balanced budget. It’s spending more than it takes in and at the end of 10 years, it will not be getting the funny money to keep White Center afloat. Dudes, at the end of 10 years Burien will be -24% in the hole annually for not balancing its budget right now and in addition it will have had to take on all of the debt and repairs that White Center has-somewhere between $46 and $77 million dollars. This is the debt that Seattle was not willing to touch with a 10 foot pole. And like duh, Burien still will not have enough money to run White Center and the other remaining areas of Burien. Dudes, if you are not report readers, you might turn on the TV tube and at least watch the council meetings to follow the action. Opps, You might want to read the King County Sheriff’s report starting with 2008. Taking on Area X has increased crime for Burien and taking on Area Y/ White Center will further increase it for Burien. Darn dudes, you can learn a lot from reading.

    • FunnyBurien says:

      Duh Thom, you’re forgetting about state law that requires cities to keep a budget from going in the red. Duh, The real issue, regardless of annexation, is the restrictions we put on city hall with the passage of I-747. Duh, in limiting them from charging us more than 101% from last years property taxes we voted to force the “structural deficit”. Duh, the cost of inflation goes up more than 1%/year for most things. Putting the two together shows that they are not spending more than they are getting in taxes (property, sales, utility) year over year, duh. It’s an issue, unless changed, they have to deal with at every budget cycle. It’s an issue that has not impacted services Burien taxpayers receive (not counting animal control – don’t get me started on that).

      What annexation would allow is for Burien to keep services at the present levels for longer, duh. Otherwise, get out the red pen now!

      Also, like duh, I didn’t know that crime stayed in white center. We all know that like duh, criminals respect lines on maps. Also like duh, crime is up from area x because we added people. You keep jumping back and forth between “per thousand” and overall. “Per Thousand” is about the same and slightly trending down. The new Sherrifs report also shows that and north highline are like, duh, even.

      Also, 9-1-1 calls are up like 24% in the area? Duh, the police have been telling everyone to call for anything and everything in white center. So duh, maybe we’re seeing the true crime rate or maybe we’re having some cranky person call because someone walked by cross-eyed.

  8. Big Nate says:

    4:09 PM Thursday Sept.1st

    I am watching a Burien City Council Discussion on Channel 21 GovAccess
    the Topic : ANNEXATION is any body listening .

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