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LETTER: ‘Who Is Funding The Candidates For Burien City Council?’

This last Saturday, I and a number of my friends and neighbors received a call from the Affordable Housing Council asking us to vote for Gordon Shaw. Wondering who this group was and where there funding came from, I went on line to find out who they were and what they stood for. This organization is a political action group (PAC) sponsored by the largest and weathiest group of right wing developers in the State of Washington-the BIAW(Building Industry Association of Washington). Each election cycle they funnel millions of dollars into Washington State elections to influence the outcome of the elections in the State of Washington to favor large corporations and commercial builders.

The BIAW has been involved in some very extreme political positions. They have opposed legislation to protect environment, critical areas, the salmon, Orca whales. They have opposed solar energy in the building industry and at one point in time, provided funding for the development of a para military group in Snohomish County. The BIAW has referred to people seeking to protect the environment are Nazis and terrorists. They oppose the fact that climate change is occurring on the planet. The BIAW has fought hard against union workers and disabled workers in the State of Washington. The State of Washington sued them for election fraud and failing to follow public disclosure rules-file of $584,000, Sept. 2010.

According to an article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the BIAW is Washington state’s biggest lobby against climate change, open space, and other environmental legislation. According to the same source, the group’s newsletter has gone so far to equate environmentalists with terrorists.The BIAW is unlike other business groups in Olympia according to environmental lobbyist Clifford Traisman. “They are to the far right of most business in Washington state,” Traisman says.

So what is the BIAW doing in the elections of a small city like Burien? Gordon Shaw stated at the Gregory Heights forum that Burien was too small of a city to have neighborhood plans and too small to have neighborhoods give input about what should be happening in the city. However, I guess it is not too small for the biggest and weathiest right wing development group in the State of Washington to finance his campaign and make phone calls to have him elected to the Burien City Council. Gordon Shaw has taken monies from this group in every election he has run in. The real question for every Burien citizen is should this kind of money be buying Burien City Council positions?

I find it very interesting to see who is funding the candidates and issues in elections – http://www.pdc.wa.gov/MvcQuerySystem/Candidate/loc_candidates [1] then go to page 14 until you reach “City of Burien”

What is even more interesting to see who is funding Greg Duff. He has taken a great deal of campaign money from the unions but then has also taken monies from the BIAW-which is opposed to unions. Additionally, Duff has been spending portions of his funds at or for non- union products and services. So what does Greg Duff really stand for? Who does he really represent?

When you look at the Public Disclosure Site for candidates, those candidates that show $0 are candidates that are running campaign that have $5,000 or less in funding and are typically collecting monies from local citizens for small amounts. These are not the campaigns that big corporations and big political action lobby groups are involved in or trying to buy political positions for. They are the campaigns that really represent what the local voice in politics is.

I encourage every citizen in Burien to visit the link provided so they can see for themselves where the funding for the candidates for city council are coming from.

This will help clarify which candidates are representing the citizens of Burien and who is beholden to outside special interests.

Sincerely,
John Poitras

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