LETTER: Former Burien Mayor Calls Gordon Shaw’s Mailer ‘Dirty Tricks’

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Dear Editor,

Candidate Gordon Shaw reached deep into his bag of dirty political tricks to send out a mailer that intentionally attempts to confuse the voters of Burien and to imply that his opponent Bob Edgar is not a candidate for the Burien City Council (read about that here). He further implies that Bob Edgar is not “unswerving” in his commitment  to the voters of Burien. Shame on Candidate Shaw for trying to deceive the voters of Burien.

Bob Edgar is an active and engaged candidate for the Burien City Council and is indeed “unswerving” in his commitment to the voters of Burien.

Candidate Shaw knows this and here’s why:

  • When Bob Edgar’s family faced a serious health matter he was concerned that he would not be able to dedicate himself to an active campaign and that if elected he would not be able to give 100% of his time to the Burien City Council. That grave concern was resolved and he felt confident that he could indeed wage a robust and open campaign and commit fully to the citizens of Burien. That’s what he is doing right now. Gordon Shaw knows that.
  • The record of Bob Edgar’s public service to the Burien community is clear. The fact that he has served as a volunteer in our fair city for years is also a matter of record. To question his ethics and commitment is a disservice to not only Bob Edgar’s record and dedication but to an honest and open campaign focused on the serious issues facing the city.

I am disappointed that our fair city has to go through a dirty tricks campaign. I am disappointed that any candidate would try to muck around in the dirt and focus on “innuendos” about their opponent. I am disappointed that the issues before us like annexation, animal control policies and an open and responsive government are not at the forefront of this campaign.

I am hopeful that all candidates for the Burien City Council will make the right choice and refrain from indulging in dirty tricks. I hope they will stay focused on their best ideas to move our wonderful city forward so it can be an even better Burien.

– Sally Nelson
Former Mayor and City Council Member, City of Burien

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30 Responses to “LETTER: Former Burien Mayor Calls Gordon Shaw’s Mailer ‘Dirty Tricks’”
  1. I met and spoke with Bob Edgar (for about 2 seconds) after the June 20th meeting. I felt that Mr Edgar was arrogant and dismissive I can now say that he probably had a lot on his mind with the family illness. However, Mr Edgar had plenty of time to tell me in person that he had withdrawn from the race or attempted to withdraw and would not be campaigning. Instead I hear about it from this site (nice scoop Scott!)

    Additonally, several news sites attempted to confirm the letter with Mr Edgar. It wasn’t until after Mr Edgar had a good showing in the primary that he finally spoke up. According to the PDC there would have been no issue with his confirming his non-candidacy.

    I do recommend to Mr Edgar that he send out his own mailers to everyone since a large portion of the registered voters do not normally view/read the 3 main Burien sites.

    Joey Martinez
    Former Candidate for Burien City Council Position 4

    • William Forest says:

      Ditto to Neil I entirely agree..

      Joey>> you made a spectacle of yourself at the candidates forum by giving a campaign speech for Gordon Shaw rather than asking the question you supposedly raised your hand to ask. You were asked repeatedly by the moderator “what is your question” Instead you kept on promoting Gordon Shaw and his pro-annexation agenda.. You have also made it quite clear YOU ARE PRO-ANNEXATION.

      Unfortunately it looks like you are part and parcel of the bag of dirty tricks being dished out by the Shaw campaign that former mayor Sally Nelson wrote in her letter to the editor to complain about.

      If I were you I would take some quiet time and reflect on these comments..

  2. Neil says:

    Let it go Joey, You lost the primary so please take the high road and bow out graciously. Cut the man some slack since he was facing grave illness in the family. You don’t know what he was going through. Being petty dosn’t make you look good for your next run if you choose to do so. Bob Edgar hardly campaigned and won the primary because of the single most important issue that is facing this city…ANNEXATION. He won without campaigning because people like Gordon Shaw and yourself cannot admit to themselves what the residents of Burien want. If you dont represent what your constituents want than you will LOOSE elections. Gordon Shaw knows he is in trouble so he is stooping down to lying and misleading voters.

    • I have bowed out graciously. I’m merely sharing some of my personal experiences. I felt that information was relevant to this story so I shared it. Additionally, after speaking with thousands of Burien residents I can look you straight in the eye and tell you that most (70% plus) voters don’t even know about annexation. After filling them in they still stated that the biggest issues for them were transportation, sidewalks, parks… Basically stuff that makes our lives easier (or should).

      This came from my time out speaking with the people. I have nothing to gain by annexation, no one of note contributed to my campaign. i have no business interests nor friends with deep pockets. I risk alienating my management by speaking against annexation. I came to the conclusion that annexation is right for Burien at this time on my own accord. I started out “against annexation” because that is what the blog seems to represent and I do want to represent the people. Combined with my talks and after looking at every piece of data on the web I spent my own time and money digging through public records. After analyzing the facts I came to the conclusion that annexation is the right thing to do for North Highline and especially for Burien now and in the future.

      Thanks for your time.

      Joey Martinez

      • “I risk alienating my management because I work for the city of Seattle.”

        • William Forest says:

          I really don’t think we need to know that Joey.. Whether what you say is true or not. Its just not information that is relevant to this thread or this blog.

      • William Forest says:

        Joey this is getting really tedious.. Get off your soapbox Joey … You were NOT selected by the residents of Burien to be a candidate for city council.. Get over it. You keep repeating the same tune over and over again. Its true that 70% of the voters don’t know what the stakes are with annexation.. We are attempting to remedy that. However I very strongly disagree that annexation is a good thing for Burien.. ITS NOT.. ITS A VERY BAD THING.
        Your stand on it is probably a lot of the reason you got so few votes in the primary.. So again Joey .. please do yourself a favor and take a time out!

      • Neil says:

        Joey, if you want to give voters that you talked to transportation,sidewalk and parks than you have to question your decision to support annexation. All the things mentioned costs money. If we annex white center, the taxes collected from Burien will have to be diverted to the needs of the white center residents and believe me I have driven through there and can tell you their needs far exceeds the needs of Burien residents. Also if there is a shortfall in revenue to meet the needs of white center, than taxes will have to be raised to pay for that. Now if you had posed the question to your voters” are you willing to pay extra in taxes ie. property tax, car tab tax, business tax,extra police,firefighters etc to help with the annexation cost of white center?.” You might get a different response to your question.

  3. blog reader says:

    I wish that the blog had spell and grammar check.

  4. William and Neil,
    I take exception to your questioning my motivation and trying to stifle my first amendment rights. Just because I disagree with you you want me to take a time out? How many hours have you spent of your own time researching the facts Your arguments against annexation have been refuted and proven false and by repeating them you spread mis-information.

    The only argument you make that has any sense of truth is trying to keep Burien small.

    And William, at least I took a risk and put myself out there.

    I’m done feeding trolls like you two. The fire department couldnt talk you out of a burning house.

    • Al says:

      Not to worry Joey, that is just part of that group who think they are the only ones allow to speak, it is always good to hear both sides of a story!

    • Neil says:

      joey, calm down. no one is taking away your right to speak. Seattle had a right to annex white center also. both Seattle and Burien reviewed the Berg report. Seattle’s conclusion from this report was that it isnt economically viable. Now if seattle being a larger city with better economists on board is walking away from annexing than we have to tread very gently on our reasons for annexation.
      Joey, if you ever want to represent people in govt, calling them names is counter productive. You will always have people disagreeing with you. Learn how to handle them without getting personal. William is just telling you to take time out to reflect on this from all angles instead of repeating yourself with the same message that cost you the primary. And yes Kudos for running, it takes a lot of personal committment to do so but now that you have not succeeded, a smart person would reflect on the reasons he failed and correct it instead of chanting the same message over and over again.

  5. Ed Dacy says:


    I do not like negitive ads,and I like honest anwsers from canidates. I wish in the original withdarawal Bob had said it was for family health reasons, it would have made more sense, but it must of come up quickly and been resolved quickly.

    In looking over Gordon’s mailing it looked liked it was truthful. I wonder if it was ispired (sic) by the apparent fact that a large amount of voters do not read either the blog or the local paper.

    • Wiliam Forest says:

      I think it was inspired by trying to win at any cost even playing dirty politics rather than running on the issues Shaw is running away from them.

  6. Rob says:

    Personally I think Mr. Shaw’s ad was offensive. Almost as offensive as his dream to turn North Highline into BIg Box and Auto Mall city, without getting any input from the residents that live there and would be affected.

  7. Jay says:

    Someone please tell me what auto dealership is going to move to Burien. Ford and Dodge both have left the city. Another grand plan by the our city leaders that will never happen. We have been hearing for years about the hotels that are coming to Burien. Maybe the city council should drive around town and see all the vacancies. We do not currently have a vibrant business environment.

    • Wiliam Forest says:

      Its called “misdirection”>> its used to distract us from the real issues at stake. The current council lives in a fantasy land of their own that is divorced from the reality of whats really happening. Its more comfortable for them to pretend that everything is hunky dory rather than deal with the reality on the ground.

      • Wiliam Forest says:

        When I say the current council I mean Shaw, Robison , Clark and McGilton. They are the CURRENT majority on the council that is driving the bus, going nowhere good.

  8. Julie says:

    Although this thread has been hijacked, this comment is in response to the original letter.

    Ms. Nelson, your perception does not change the fact that Mr. Edgar wrote that letter, sent it to The Public Disclosure Commission and then refused comment for some time to any credible inquiry. Just recently he declares his return to the race, excusing his flaky behavior with vague “family health reasons”, but, this voter would like to see a more stable personality who will be able to withstand obstacles (they come up) and provide steady leadership over a period of years.

    • elizabeth2 says:

      Julie – Your compassion and ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes is overwhelming!

    • Wiliam Forest says:

      Julie.. What do you mean “just recently” ??
      Bob Edgar won the primary election back in August.
      I don’t want the kind of leadership I think you are referring to; like the annexation of white center where activist council members are taking us down the garden path to more taxes less services and higher crime. I want someone who is RESPONSIVE to the residents of Burien not someone who has their own activist agenda like Gordon Shaw. That is the kind of leadership Burien DOES NOT NEED>

  9. May says:

    To Julie,
    As I recall Gordon Shaw goes on a vacation for two to three months every year at citizen expense. I see him missing on the TV broadcasts of the meetings-for that long. Then it takes him another month to get back up to speed on the issues because he has been gone for so long. This means that he misses at least 25% of the meetings and what is going on at the council. If he was taking a class at a college or this was his real job-as he claims it is for him-he would have failed the class or been fired by now. At least Mr. Edgar was honest about whether he would be able to serve the council full time. So does Gordon Shaw still collect his salary and health benefits for all of the time he is gone? As I recall Mr. Edgar had some rules he had to follow about whether he could campaign. As soon as those rules were up, he announced that he was running for office. That was about a month and a half ago. Frankly, with all of the vacation time Mr. Shaw gives himself, I doubt he is unwavering in his committment to the city council job. Also, I am tired of Gordon Shaw always bragging about how rich he is and how he really does not need to be working on the council. If he is that rich, why doesn’t he take a permanent vacation? If he only wants to work 75% of the time, how can he be serving all of the citizens? Is he only taking 75% of his annual salary and benefits? I didn’t know that we had part time city council positions? Bob Edgar at least appears to be honest about the time he will be serving the council. I don’t call that unstable for the long term.

    • Julie says:

      Hi May, if you’ll re-read my post, I didn’t say anything about Mr. Shaw, just that Mr. Edgar DID write that letter and failed to explain for several weeks. When he did, it was substaintally AFTER the primary election and those 2 behaviors certainly appear flaky even if justified for a health reason. My last comment was I would prefer steady leadership. It’s unknown if Mr. Edgar could provide that if he resigns before he even starts.

      • elizabeth2 says:

        As someone who spent 24 hours a day/7 days a week as a caregiver during the terminal illness of my family member, I will be the first to admit that normal thought and activities as I once knew them flew out the window.

        The emotion plus the physical toll of dealing with a terminally ill loved one is something I do not wish on anyone.

        Therefore, I will stay clear of passing judgment on anyone who has been caught up in a similar situation. I am not sure that we need to know or have a right to know the personal and specific details of a family’s challenge just to justify some political hack who wants to pass sentence of “flaky” and unstable. I can assure you that while a caregiver, I was guilty of both conditions! I have since returned to a calmer state of mind and I am sure that we will find Mr. Edgar has too.

        If you refrain from passing judgment, you will never be wrong!

        • Julie says:

          Elizabeth, did you call me a “political hack” and at the same time say that if one “refrains from judgement they will never be wrong”. Wow. So you get to judge, but others don’t get opinions? I get it now – if I don’t agree with you then I’m a “hack”. Nice and very unjudgemental of you.

  10. Pat Dooley says:

    Maybe we just need some new blood on the council. Where are the Hotels? We have a freeway that ends from a MAJOR Gateway, Pacific Rim, and not a Hotel in the city. How much OUTSIDE money would that bring into our City? I think Sally is right and Maybe a mistake was made in non-disclosure at the beginning but lets move on and elect some new people to a council stuck and not going anywhere fast. How about some A Frame signs to promote our business’s. ove on folks,

    • William Forest says:

      I totally agree Pat.. There is all this talk about a movie theater but when my relative or friends come to town its frankly embarrassing that there isn’t a hotel in Burien where they can stay.. They have to go to Seatac. I think a hotel is where we need to start with an anchor and a movie theater is secondary..

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