LETTER: ‘Who is Funding and Running the Area Y Annexation Campaign?

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To the Editor –

Who is funding and running the Area Y/North Highline/White Center annexation campaign?

Why is annexation being pressed for so hard right now by Burien politicians?

In the local blogs and media sources for Burien and White Center it is assumed that the Pro Annexation Campaign is being pushed for and funded by Area Y/White Center residents. This is not true!

The People For Burien PAC has not been transparent in who is donating to it and running it. People For Burien PAC was established in 2006 with Jerry Robison (at his attorney address) and Liz Giba (a current North Highline Fire Commissioner for North Highline) as the co-chairs and Stephen Lamphear (ex Burien City Council member) as the Treasurer. It was filed as an ongoing PAC. In June- 2012, the PAC was re-filed but listed Lamphear as the only officer. As it filed to use mini-reporting, it did not have to disclose its donors and expenditures to the public until 8 days before the election. So no one has really known who is behind People For Burien PAC until now.

Now that the 8 days period has required People For Burien’s books be open for viewing, and they show that the majority of the donors as well as the leadership for this PAC- are Burien Council members (Bennett, Clark, McGilton, Robison), ex-Burien Council members (Shaw, Lamphear) and members of the Burien Planning Commission (Clingan, Duff, Helms), Water Commissioners (Coy, Prichard). This pro annexation PAC is being driven by Burien politicians and the small membership of the NHUAC.

Pro annexation is being supported very heavily by the King County Executive and his office because he wants to get the management and expenses of Area Y/White Center off of his books. He and his office have no concern of what future impact this has on Area Y/White Center residents, Burien residents or the financial impact it will have the citizens of both areas. The average citizens of Area Y don’t know what this annexation is really about or who is pushing for it. And Burien citizens have been allowed no voice in whether they want this annexation or not.

So why is annexation being pushed so hard by the pro annexation PAC, Dow Constantine/ King County Executive and the some Burien politicians?

  1. The Burien politicians in this expose see this as a way to solve their short term money problems and to do a land grab. It is also a way for aspiring politicians to get into Burien politics and climb the political ladder.
  2. Dow Constantine/King County Executive, Joe Mc Dermott/King County Council Member and Joe Fitzgibbon/State Rep. see it as a way to get Area Y off of King County’s books.
  3. Burien politician and City Manager, Mike Martin could see this as a way to fluff up his resume and perhaps seek other employment. He has been unpopular with many Burien citizens and some city staff for his management style, lack of concern for citizen input, drinking problems and financial processes. Also, a larger city base could increase his salary and his retirement.
  4. The North Highline Fire Commission sees it as a way to solve its financial problems.

However, the residents of Area Y and Burien deserve better than the above reason for why they should pay more taxes and end up getting less service. While annexation appears to be a win-win situation for all of the politicians involved, it means lots more taxes and less services for Area Y residents.

The Independent White Center PAC (Political Action Committee) is opposed to annexation for the financial reason that Burien cannot afford to fund and manage this area and its residents in the long term. The Independent White Center PAC selected to go the long form for reporting to the PDC (Public disclosure Commission) and so its donors and operation have always been open to the public. Both Mark Ufkes and Don Malo have always made it known that they are working for this PAC. Both Don and Mark are business owners, community leaders and residents in White Center.

I think in the interest of public disclosure and transparency these facts should be revealed to all the residents of the Burien and of the proposed annexation area.

– John Poitras

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40 Responses to “LETTER: ‘Who is Funding and Running the Area Y Annexation Campaign?”
  1. Coverofnight says:

    Interesting letter……sounds like a major conflict of interest. If true, are any current council members who are part of it doing anything illegal?

    John writes, “…It is also a way for aspiring politicians to get into Burien politics and climb the political ladder…” That being said, the big surprise therefore, (unless I missed it) is not seeing Joey Moretaxes’ name and/or his involvement with these annexation shennanigans!

  2. Ghost of Maplewild says:

    If true, this is an absolute outrage. I don’t know what we should get ready first, the hand basket or the rail? Jack, Bob and Lucy PlEASE do something!

  3. Concerned says:

    If the concern is that the pro annexation PAC is using Mini-Reporting then were you concerned with both Bob Edgar and Debi Wagner using Mini-Reporting during the last election?

    Is the concern is that free people were using their income to support something they believe in?

    Where is your openness? Why have you not published your groups claim of “$400” on your website? Break down that math for us buddy. I hear it’s now up to $450? Does that include the yearly tree trimming permit you’re counting?

    You can/won’t because that math is all circumstantial just like your claims. Much like the claims of Dan Wilson being the best hitter in Baseball with Safeco field’s roof closed and a strong breeze out of the south-west on a dewy night – It sounds great but is FAR FAR FAR from the whole story you and your claim goes.

  4. Jennifer says:

    I can’t wait for the election tomorrow and we will no longer have to see these conspiracy letters. Although, if annexation passes I am sure your group will be more up in arms.

    • John Poitras says:


      I guess then if annexation fails then your group will be rioting in the streets?

      Or will the politicians who are really driving this thing actually come up with a better deal for Burien?

      Now that’s hard to argue with isn’t it?

      • Jennifer says:

        Mr. Poitras,
        I doubt we will riot! I just hope the people of White Center have the good sense to research on their own and not depend on your groups “facts” and bullying to make their decision. What has always bothered me about this is many of the group that opposes annexation are from Burien…and there is a lot of effort to desparage Burien. At any rate happy election day!

  5. Brian says:

    Just vote the lame ducks out…

  6. Soczette says:

    Vote yes and be welcomed by our new wonderful lake Burien neighbors.

  7. jim clingan says:

    What an amusing letter, Mr. Poitras. I’ve long suspected many of your letters were written by someone else. I cannot prove my suspicion, but can now prove a very close working relationship with the suspected ghostwriter, Ms. Chestine Edgar.

    The People for Burien books were examined last Friday from 2-3pm. The request to review the books came from Ms. Chestine Edgar, wife of Burien Councilmember Bob Edgar. She and her witness, not you, met with Stephen Lamphear and his witness, me.

    At the conclusion of the meeting, I laughingly mentioned to Mr. Lamphear that the information gathered would be on this blog by Saturday evening. Although it took an extra day, you didn’t disappoint.

    You imply that the People for Burien campaign is Burien financed and run. That is incorrect. The campaign has been a cooperative effort of North Highline and Burien citizens, both financially and organizationally. The fact that some Burien residents have contributed to the campaign should not alarm you. The First Amendment to the Constitution could provide light on the subject, even for elected officials.

    Just for grins, I reviewed the contributors to the anti-annexation campaign. You might be interested to know that of the $4000+ in contributions, two (2) were from residents or business people in North Highline, totaling $540. The overwhelming majority of the rest come from Burien, including your own contribution of $100. Seems like your words and actions are at odds. Oops!

    I’m not trying to get in a pissing contest with you, but thought it necessary to point out your inconsistency. We disagree on annexation. Who cares? Once the votes are counted, it will be time to move on. From my side, I look forward to welcoming about 17,000 more neighbors to Burien!

  8. John Poitras says:

    Jim .. I think you are trying to divert the embarrassment of being found out. To anyone with an unjaundiced eye its obvious that the King County Politicians and the Burien politicians have been driving your PAC right from the beginning.. Its not a question of legality its a question of who was and is behind the leadership of your pro annexation PAC. We have exposed that for all to see.
    The fact that you have co-opted the NHUAC to act as your foot soldiers and in effect be part of your PAC is pretty obvious for anyone familiar with the annexation pro or con debate. However to call your PAC representative of a large number of ordinary residents is pretty laughable.
    Its not about welcoming more people to become part of Burien its about doing it in a way that actually benefits them not just the pandering politicians that have their own agendas.

    • John Poitras says:

      Re-posted to be in chronological order>>

      Btw.. Jim..

      The fact that you are beholding to the very same Burien council members that appointed you to the planning commission and are pushing your PAC’s agenda is exactly the kind of political pandering I am talking about.

      • 3TPDude says:

        btw… “John”

        Any credibility you had left the building. You are nothing but a lackey and attack dog for a vocal minority that thinks they know what is best for Burien.

        btw- did you ever get your ballot?

        • John Poitras says:

          Back at you dude.. Why do you remain anonymous.. Which one of the leaders of the pro-annexation PAC are you? Btw.. We have a pretty good idea.

          • John Poitras says:

            Btw Dude.. You are either one of the same pandering politicians this article exposed but because you are obviously hiding your identity we don’t know for sure.. But we do know that you are one of them or one of their as you called it .. Attack dog and lackey..
            Why don’t you MAN UP and tell us your real identity? Its easy to strike from the shadows.

      • Joey Martinez says:

        (Reposting as well)

        Assuming the City Council adopts the changes to the commissions – Mr Clingan will most likely be term limited at the end of his current term. He may be a lame duck – but lame ducks are beholden to no one.
        Joey Martinez

      • jim clingan says:

        I am not “beholding” or beholden to the council. I chose to apply to be on the planning commission. They made the mistake of appointing me. They may choose not to appoint me some day. That is their decision, which I respect.

    • jim clingan says:

      Maybe you overlooked the line that I was in the room last Friday for the inspection of the books. Hardly trying to hide, Mr. Poitras. “Embarrassment at being found out,” Mr. Poitras? I’ve been in support of annexation for many years. In fact, the “leadership” you refer to have been supportive, as well. Nobody here trying to hide anything. But if you want to imagine you’ve accomplished embarrassing us, that’s OK with me.

      By the way, did you forget to comment on my ghostwriter remark or the actual financial support from Burien (including your own support) residents? Or would you prefer to just ignore those? Don’t want to confuse you with facts, but I do expect answers.

      • John Poitras says:

        WE are ordinary people Jim not politicians or politicians “appointee’s” That’s a FACT.

        Its about BURIEN.. the residents of Burien did not get asked and do not get to vote on it although why not is a question that is is beyond my understanding…

        The embarrassment Jim is finding out who is behind this PAC.. Politicians who are essentially supposed to be providing information on annexation only NOT promoting it.. Obviously they have.. I am guessing you got your political appointment on the planning commission because of your support of annexation.

        • jim clingan says:

          You may guess anything you like, Mr. Poitras. But your refusal to answer my questions about your ghostwriter and the IWC’s financial supporters doesn’t add to your credibility. What’s the matter? Waiting for William Forest or Fred to help you out?

          • John Poitras says:

            Jim you got caught with your foot in it … All the smoke you want to blow does not change that fact.

            Your buddy fellow political appointee Joey M on the planning commission has already chimed in for you.

            I guess you are waiting for your army of trolls to post and throw up so much smoke no one will notice what was just exposed. Shall I name a few of them for you..
            Although I suspect it is just a few trolls who keep changing their aliases here are dozen of them in no particular order.

            Daniel Bone, Questioner, Concerned, Foul, Jimmy, Al, Casaduo, 3TPDude, Chris, Lutz or JLutz , Soczette and Brent.

        • Ivan Weiss says:

          “John Poitras” says:

          “Its about BURIEN.. the residents of Burien did not get asked and do not get to vote on it although why not is a question that is is beyond my understanding…”

          I’ll spell it out for you so that you can read it slowly. I-T’-S T-H-E L-A-W.

        • concerned says:

          If you have no say in the vote, why is it such a big issue for you?
          Seem all you want to do is get people fired up to vote YOUR way.
          They are adults that I`m sure can make up thier own minds.
          You enjoy stirring the pot? Didn`t your mom ever tell you to MYOB?
          If it doesn`t concern you stfu. You speak about trolls, take a peak in the mirror dude.

  9. John Poitras says:

    I understand its the law Ivan.. I just don’t understand the WHY of the law.

  10. Soczette says:

    John p finally you said it. You live in Burien and you want nothing to do with us in white center. You are a joke!!!

    • Ghost of Maewild says:

      Don’t worry John. These are desperate measures by desperate people. We are at zero hour on the vote. They still don’t answer the questions. I felt embarrassed for them tonight at the council meeting. NHUAC took all of the public comment time telling us all that they are misunderstood by those bad “Three Tree Point and Lake Burien people”. Divide and deflect. Jerry Robisons MO throughout this whole dog and pony show.

    • John Poitras says:

      LOL Soczette .. whomever your are.. One of the trolls of the pro annexation PAC thats for sure.. Don’t like being OUTED do you? Whats your real name or don’t you have the courage to stand up and be counted when you slander people on the blog?

  11. Fred says:

    Jim Clingan doesn’t deny that the Burien politicians have organized and run the pro annexation campaign. Jim Clingan doesn’t deny the reason for why the Burien and King County politicans want this annexation. It explains why Burienn citizens were never allowed an advisory vote on this issue. In the informal poll that was done on this blog and can still be seen, 2/3 s of the Burien population was opposed to annexation. Jim Clingan and Stephen Lamphear are long time Burien politicans that are always hoping to be picked for the city political team again.

    The reason Jim Clingan is angry with John Poitras is because John dared to go public on who the pro annexation campaign is being controlled by, Burien politicans. John named them in public. That’s what put Jim’s panties in a twist. So Jim Clingan had to get his posse to attack John on this blog. The trick is to try to take attention away from the truth about who People for Burtien really is. Jim Clingan was hoping this would just slide by without notice.

    The tragedy is that the citizens in both areas will not be well served by this annexation.
    They will get more taxes and less services. But Ivan Weiss summarized the typical politican’s attitude-the public and their needs be damned. Too bad for them. Stick it to the citizens if it is legal just as long as it advances whatever the Burien politicans and King County politicans want done.

    • jim clingan says:

      Fred/William Forest/John Poitras/Chestine Edgar – Jim Clingan will repeat his previous statement. The People for Burien campaign is a group of North Highline and Burien citizens. The mix of volunteers and financial supporters is roughly 50/50. Several of our contributors are Councilmembers, which is their First Amendment right. And, by the way, since these Councilmembers voted for annexation, why would we be surprised they support the campaign? None of us are embarrassed to be publicly named. But if you get your jollies thinking we’re embarrassed, knock yourself out.

      Finally, Jim Clingan is not angry with Mr Poitras and Jim Clingan’s panties are not in a twist. But Jim Clingan is waiting patiently for Mr Poitras’ response to the ghostwriter issue and the funding of the IWC PAC. But Jim Clingan is not holding his breath.

      • John Poitras says:

        I can understand why you want annexation to go thru Jim because if it does not.. Rose Joan and Brian are toast come next november and when your political appointment is up it will NOT be renewed.

      • mike says:

        clingan, If what you said is true, “None of us are embarrassed to be publicly named”
        then why file to use mini-reporting in June 2012? Why lie? Why hide it clingan?

        Its the same reason robison failed to disclose he was for annexation during his campaign. He would have LOST. I think y’all were scared to be honest about it, you’d look like you were violating the law by promoting annexation. You guys look even worse now for hiding it.

        You’re dishonest politicians that just lost any credibility you had. See ya, wouldn’t want to be ya

  12. William Forest says:

    Jim .. I think all your questions have been answered by John.. I have come out of retirement from this blog that I left because of the constant propaganda and slanders from your pro annexation gang. However in your case I am making an exception.

    Let me just say that you have demonstrated beyond any doubt you are NOT fit to hold ANY public office and you do not deserve the public trust. Your political appointment to the Planning commission was a big mistake..

    You were caught as a leader of the Pro Annexation PAC and you are doing all you can to spin it so people will avoid noticing the elephant in the living room.. Do you really think if you were anti-annexation and not a leader of the pro annexation PAC you would have gotten the favor of a political appointment by the Burien City Council which is 4 to 3 in favor of annexation.?
    3 of these folks are up for re-election in November..
    These are the same folks that are pushing for high density housing in Burien Town Square.. Jim you are on the wrong side of both annexation and of high density housing..

    Do us all a favor >>> get off your soapbox and your smoke and mirrors machine. You are just making such an ass of yourself and digging yourself into a deeper hole.

    • jim clingan says:

      William Forest/Fred/John Poitras/Chestine Edgar – How nice of you to come out of retirement to take a shot at me. You allege many issues, which I’ll try to cover. My participation on the planning commission goes back to 2004. I’ve been appointed three (3) times. Annexation had nothing to do with my appointment.

      And now that I read further in your comment, I realize you’re just repeating Mr Poitras’ comments. Oops, I almost forgot, you’re the same person. I would ask you if you ever plan to move to Burien, Mr Forest, but you already do, Mr Poitras.

  13. John Poitras says:

    Believe what you like Mr Clingan…

    Me thinks you doth protest too much … Its very telling… and the cats out of the bag.

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