LETTER: Debi Wagner responds to accusations by Andrea Reay

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[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a Reader. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The B-Town Blog nor its staff:]

To the Editor;

This letter is in response to the accusations that Andrea Reay and her Campaign Manager, Cindi Laws, have made against me to the Burien media sources (see The B-Town Blog coverage here) and the Public Disclosure Commission (PDC). While Ms. Reay and her Campaign Manager claim this was done in the interest of transparency, truth, and to expose hypocrisy, honesty and real facts were missed or overlooked in their complaint.

Cindi Laws contacted the media in Burien a couple days in advance of ever seeing my books to let them know that there was going to be a possible complaint filed against me. How could Cindi Laws, Campaign Manager for Andrea Reay have known about problems with my books without ever having seen them? Andrea Reay has never seen the contents of my books but relied on Cindi Laws, as a decision maker acting on her behalf, to decide that I was not honest, transparent and a hypocrite. Cindi Laws of Purple Mountain Advocates has received $1,350 to date from Andrea Reay for campaign consulting and decision making. During the inspection of my books, Laws continued to insist she was a PDC Compliance Specialist/ Expert. In my follow up conversation with the PDC, the PDC denied that Laws was affiliated with the PDC or an expert they used.

I have spent $2012.32 to this date on my campaign and have never tried to hide or conceal my donations and expenditures. Please go to the PDC site and note that Andrea Reay has spent $6,216.82 as of her August 1, 2013 filing with the PDC, 3 times more than I have spent and more than I will spend during my entire campaign. In reviewing the historical PDC records, it appears Reay has spent more money in this Primary Election than any other candidate in the history of a Burien election.

The cost of my robo calls wasn’t concealed and I reported to Laws that they cost about $200. In reality they cost $197 and I received the bill from the vendor in Portland, Ore. after Ms. Laws left my home. The calls costs 91% less than the expensive mailers that Ms. Reay sent out, destroyed no trees in their production and caused no damage to our air quality in their delivery to the voters. Robo calls are used by approx. 95% of the candidates seeking office in the United States and are environmentally friendly in their production.

My short video cost nothing. It was donated by a friend who is an amateur YouTube fan and it has no monetary value. The PDC has stated via phone that because of these factors there was no need to list this as an expense or in kind donation. However, it appears that the Treasurer of Andrea Reay’s campaign who prepares her reports to the PDC is a professional finance officer. He appears to be the Controller to the Seattle Opera Company and manages the $27 million dollar budget for the opera. It might seem that his professional services should be shown as an in kind professional donation to the Reay campaign?

Additionally, inaccurate assumptions and statements have been made about;

  1. How my signs are constructed and what materials were used. (Cindi Laws is mistaken about the materials used and had trouble believing the cost of the sticks was as low as it was. I explained I used recycled sticks from other campaigns and bought the rest on sale and I had the receipts to prove this,
  2. How many letters I mailed out to friends and neighbors (she notes I bought more stamps so assumes I sent more letters with more color copies and never made the mental leap to consider I have stamps left over and sent out thank-you notes)
  3. The UPS card method for making black and white flyers (cost effective two sided 4 cent copy).

The complaint about how the Highline Times ad department set up my online ad amounts to frivolous harassment that involved no concealed revenues, expenses or secret big donors. 90% of the donors to my campaign are Burien citizens or Burien small business owners. Only 38% of the donors to Ms. Reay’s campaign are Burien citizens. 62% of Ms. Reay’s donors are not from Burien.

Andrea Reay has stated that she is running for office because she doesn’t approve of divisive behaviors, wants to restore respect to Burien politics and can do this because she is a mom. Both Reay’s and Law’s complaint and media statements about me seem contrary to her reason in running for office and appear to be “swift boating in its most divisive form.”

I am a mother of seven children, a citizen of Burien, a musician, an artist, an author, teacher, community volunteer, neighbor, a wife, daughter, chauffeur, home owner, taxpayer, animal lover, farmer’s market shopper, clean sweep volunteer, financial professional and fiscal conservative. My spending on this campaign shows this. I have spoken up for citizens and their right to be heard before the council numerous times, actively campaigned against annexation and written and spoken for those issues that I believe will help Burien be the best city possible. I have served my community for a long time and deserve not to have my name and my family’s reputation damaged with false accusations/dragged through the mud over trivial, non factual complaints relating to sticks and type setting. The mini-reporting campaign method promotes campaign reform, reduced campaign spending by single candidates and is approved by the state. I would appreciate your support and vote on August 6, 2013. Thank you for your time.

Additional articles to read for perspective on these campaign tactics:

– Debi Wagner for Burien Council Position #3

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24 Responses to “LETTER: Debi Wagner responds to accusations by Andrea Reay”
  1. Jack says:

    Amazing summary of your situation. Your opponents remarks creeped me out and came across quite obviously as a smear campaign. Thanks for the information!

  2. Michael O'Neill says:

    Hey Debi!

    How many trees died for your wood stakes and signs ? Just askin’

  3. Mike says:

    Apparently Laws has a history of making things up and talking badly about Jewish people. She has been the head of loosing campaigns yet feels the need to write letters to the media about her bosses opponent without facts. I’m guessing the $1350 Ms Reay has paid Laws wasn’t such a great investment. Thank you Ms. Wagner for bringing out the facts on your campaign and linking the stories on cindi laws. Maybe laws should apologize…that would be refreshing.

  4. TbC says:

    This whole thing speaks volumes to me as to how Ms. Reay would handle being one of my representatives on the council if elected. Sounds like it would be more of the same. In fighting and backstabbing before taking car of citizens business. I hadn’t quite made up my mind, but Ms. Reay has eliminated herself from my choices. She has lost my vote!

  5. Kathy says:

    What a whiner! You may as well throw in the hat now. Who can stand your constant diatribes!

  6. dcollier says:

    Isn’t it interesting that when Debi Wagner is caught red handed breaking elections laws, she tries to turn the whole thing around and claim she is innocent and it’s actually Ms. Reay and her campaign manager that are at fault. Sorry, Debi, you chastised the North HIghline Council for mini reporting and then you turn around and do the same thing. It is not surprising that your cronies are supporting you in your “spin game”.
    You blew it with your campaign and now you can’t face the music.
    Ms. Reay, you have my vote.

    • Mike says:

      It’s interesting how a bunch of you people are so quick to say Ms. Wagner is guilty of wrong doing before the PDC even investigates her. And you believe Ms Laws even though she hadn’t looked at her books? WOW (And Ms Reay has never looked at her books) What happened to innocent until proven guilty collier? Did you even read the links to cindi laws prior decision making? She doesn’t look good. She is bad at it. She has a terrible record of making false statements and backing losers in other elections as well as misrepresenting herself as a PDC Compliance Specialist/ Expert. Wow collier you picked a winner there! I bet Ms Reay is even rethinking her decision to hire laws.

    • I posted Debi’s video on my Youtube channel back on May 15th. Debi declared her candidacy on May 18th with an article posted on this very blog including a link to the video I made for her. Debi also included a link to the video on her webpage. The video was there for all to see.

      If this whole thing is not a political ploy by Andrea Reay then why wait tell 5 days before election day to make a big deal about it? Truth is dcollier, no law was broken.

      Debi, once again another well-written, insightful letter to the editor. This is another example why I support you and think that you are the best-qualified person in this race for the job.

  7. John Elliott says:

    I don’t see anything out of whack here. One candidate tried to bring something up that she thought was a bit shady, her opponent states otherwise. So it sounds to me we still have two candidates who are trying to do the right thing. You all are in such a hurry to slam others for what they bring forth without thinking of the positives either one of these people could provide to this City.
    You haven’t shown me one thing that either has done wrong other than politics!

  8. Sally Fortner says:

    Debi, I’m just going to come out and say that your response here is so incredibly off-putting and illogical that my decision of who I’m NOT voting for is definitely solidified….

    But since you’ve joined the discussion in such a public way, will you finally explain why you were so public in your disapproval of mini-reporting before but you chose to use it yourself? And please don’t dodge that question by claiming it’s an “attack on your character”, it’s not. I’m actually just asking you, why did you oppose it before for other people but are in favor of it for yourself? Can you please just answer that?

  9. peter says:

    I think its unfortunate that the Ms Laws is using the same dirty politics that the anti-annextation campaign resorted to when they got desperate and saw the writing on the wall. It really goes against what Ms Reay says she stands for. I think a public apology by Ms Laws is in order.

  10. John Poitras says:

    I think it is inappropriate and interesting to note that Cindi Laws is using tactics that are against the whole spirit of that I saw from Andrea Reay at the candidates forum. This unwarranted attack on Debbie is really dirty pool. I think Andrea if she really wants to not just talk the talk but walk the walk should denounce this kind of behavior from her campaign manager Debbie Wagner is a stand up person and will make a wonderful council member. She speaks for herself and does not let other people like Cindi Laws put words in her mouth. My wife and I will proudly be voting for Debi Wagner.

    • ShellyC says:

      John, you and candidate Wagner spent most of last year using the same tactics against anyone who was pro-annexation.

      • John Poitras says:

        ShelliC It sounds like you were one of the pro-annexation pack.

        I challenge you to find examples of where we did what you accuse us of.

        In fact we spent most of our time exposing the misinformation that the Pro Annexation campaign was propagating.

    • jimmy says:

      wait a minute jonh did you actullty register to vote in washington or are you going to write in your candinate on your California voting pamphlet

  11. TcB says:

    I fully expect that once this election is over, we will all come together, put the past behind us, and complain about every single thing our new council does.

  12. Burien Fan says:

    If this is the kind of politics people prefer, then they should support either Wagner or Reay. I don’t like any of it, which is why I support the re-election of Joan McGilton.

    • Marty says:

      Of course you do and you would be happy to for the city fund another run at annexing white center too. Anyone that is of that bend should vote for Joan. On the other hand if you think it was and is a bad idea then you do not want to vote for Joan.

      • Burien Fan says:

        Annexation is not the only issue that matters in Burien, despite the efforts of you and others to make it so. The vote was decisive — 2 to 1 against. The voters in North Highline pretty definitively said that they did not want to be annexed into Burien.

        Yet you keep throwing out there as a boogeyman. No Council member in their right mind would propose it again after that. So what are you so afraid of? Why do you want other people to be afraid? How do you expect your local government to be successful if it is fueled by fear? Is this the land of the free and the home of the brave, or isn’t it? Why would you expect to be taken seriously when this is the only subject you talk about?

        • John Poitras says:

          Burien Fan?? Are you related to Burien lover??

          Did you even listen to what the candidates said at the Forum??

          Both Joey and Lauren are still for pursuing annexation.

          I am not naive enough to believe that annexation is a dead issue until the proponents of it are voted out of office. That means Rose and Joan in this election cycle.
          THEN and ONLY then will I consider us safe from another ill advised attempt at the annexation of white center.

  13. Kellie Bassen says:

    I really don’t care who spends how much. More power to the candidate who can drum up some funds in this crappy economy.

    All I have to say is that $197.00 was not well spent. Robo calls are a lazy way to campaign and piss off the person answering the phone at dinnertime.

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