Former Seattle Council candidate posts rebuttal to The Stranger’s Burien article

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Former Seattle City Council candidate David Preston wrote a rebuttal to Sydney Brownstone’s article on Burien politics (‘Trump’s America Is 10 Miles South of Downtown Seattle‘) that was published in The Stranger on Sept. 6, 2017.

Preston – who lost in the primary election – lives in Highland Park, and told The B-Town Blog that he “has been covering issues of homelessness and soft corruption in Seattle for several years now.”

Preston’s post is entitled ‘The New Witch Hunters,’ and in it he hits back at The Stranger, the 34th Democrats, and even labels these recent political squabbles as ‘McCarthyism’ – here’s an excerpt:

Many Americans remain frustrated and desperately angry over Trump’s surprise victory, and it’s become common for liberal pundits to attack their opponents by drawing a connection between their opponents and Trump, or Trumpism, which are then linked with racism and other bad things. This phenomenon is particularly noticeable in coastal cities that rejected Trump at the polls. Many of these cities, Seattle for instance, have assumed a posture of reflexive opposition to Trump and his policies.

Read Preston’s thought-provoking story here:

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20 Responses to “Former Seattle Council candidate posts rebuttal to The Stranger’s Burien article”
  1. David Feinberg says:

    This erudite and supposedly learned dismantling of the Stranger piece article by David Preston is ALL OVER THE MAP AND IT IS ALSO FLAWED AT ITS CORE as it is not supported by facts. It relies on arguing the dots haven’t been connected. They have ad pretending otherwise is a fantasy.

    The premise of the article is that it is a whack job on the Debi Wagner, Darla, Joel A Manning and Patty(AkA Gang of Four) and it maintains they may not have known Keller or the connection to USA Inc. We know the former is not true and concerning the latter….they certainly learned it as the truth behind Prop1 was exposed for the anti-immigrant initiative it was.

    Despite MANY requests to the Debi Wagner, Darla, Joel A Manning and Patty both collectively and individually have never disavowed the connection to Prop1/Keller/USA Inc/Tanton/Anti-Immigant/White Supremacists.

    It’s fine to say, “I AM NOT A RACIST”, but it would be better to back the words up with actions. I do not know the hearts or souls of these people, I only know what they say and do. none of them has disavowed and distanced from Craig Keller/USA Inc/ hint Tanton and his hateful white supremacist, Nazi, anti-immigrant agenda.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 47 Thumb down 72

    • Peter says:

      David, you said, “it’s fine to say, ‘I am not a racist’, but it would be better to back up the words with actions.”

      On the contrary, David. If you accuse someone of racism, the burden is on YOU to back up your own accusation with actual examples. You accuse someone of racism and then say, “prove I’m wrong!” Its a McCarthy-ite tactic, and shameful.

      Well-liked. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 74 Thumb down 22

      • David Feinberg says:


        You missed the point entirely. I did not say anyone was racist, what I said was they signed onto an initiative Sponsored by a group defined by its racist agenda and they have never disavowed the group.

        I was also careful to say, I don’t know the hearts and souls of these people.

        If the don’t want people to think they are ducks perhaps they should stop walking and quacking like ducks?

        Rate: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 55

        • Jack says:

          David Feinberg, I am curious as to why you spend so much energy on Facebook pages writing long diatribes about Burien politicians, villainizing people running for office?

          Rate: Thumb up 37 Thumb down 20

          • David Feinberg says:

            Hi Jack,

            What I do with my time is up to me.
            As far as your characterizations, I disagree.
            What is good is that you are paying attention; hopefully others are as well.

            I will say, I felt it really important to discuss the connection to the sponsorship of Initiative1. Were I a law and order, rule of law candidate I would have distanced myself from USA Inc / John Tanton. Yes I do find it troubling that to the best of my knowledge, none of the candidates have disavowed the connection. Are they racists, I’m sure none of them think they are, or at least I hope so. Here is a question:

            If they do not distance, what is the community to think?

            I have the same issue with the term, “illegals”, the Library of Congress says it is pejorative yet many believe it is a legitimate shorthand to call someone a human being who crossed illegally or whose visa expired by that pejorative term that describes an criminal action not a person.

            WORDS MATTER.

            I believe the above two examples are representative of how our culture shapes us, gives us identity and security. I am not comfortable baking those expressions into our social fabric. In fact I am asking people to look at their assumptions and consider giving up the shorthand and challenging themselves to change. What I got from FB is most people (read lean right) don’t want to give these up and believe there is nothing wrong with them. I do not, I find them deeply disturbing.

            Were I Debi, Darla, Joel or Patty, I probably would be hurt by what I said or see me as a troll or villain. I offer a public apology:

            Debi, Darla, Joel & Patty, I apologize if my words were hurtful. I’m not here to demonize you or anyone. Please accept my apology.

            In taking the stance I have, I’m pointing out you are asking to represent our community. You will be held to a higher standard, your actions matter that much more because you want to lead us.

            I remain concerned that there has never been acknowledgment that you signed onto an initiative sponsored by white supremacist anti-immigrant group. Let me ask you:

            Does that matter to you and if not why?

            My views are evolving, my core beliefs have not changed but perhaps I have been too hard charging (see above). I did it to create a conversation which has happened and would have in some form with or without my contribution. Once again, this is not personal, you are asking to be our leaders, as members of the community I believe you need to answer hard questions.

            Soon this election will be over and we will all see each other at CC meetings. I’ll be door belling to support my chosen candidates Jimmy, Pedro, Nancy and Krystal, it’s a better use of my time than debating on Facebook with people who hold different beliefs.


            Rate: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 34

      • On Lake Burien Minor says:

        Your refusal to acknowledge the evidence David presented doesn’t amount to not meeting the burden of proof. Stuffing your fingers in your ears and then trying to smear your opponent with ludicrous accusation of MCcarthyism isn’t an actual rebuttal to what he said regarding these candidates’ refusal to dissociate themselves from a racist campaign.

        Rate: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 51

        • David Feinberg says:

          I don’t see evidence, I see conjecture.

          I don’t see, McCarthyism, I see conflation.

          Respectfully, I disagree.


          Rate: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 28

  2. Burien voter says:

    Preston is well known as a right wing wackaloon. His rantings should not even be dignified by mentioning them at all.

    Rate: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 59

    • Peter says:

      As opposed to what? The left-wing nut fudge fringe of the Stranger and the paranoid rantings of David Ginsberg? Once again, your response demonstrates you can only attack personally, rather than address the substance.

      Well-liked. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 56 Thumb down 20

      • On Lake Burien Minor says:

        Actually, in King county, right wingers like you are on the “fringe”, the Stranger? not so much. Don’t you forget it.

        Rate: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 52

        • Peter says:

          Oh totally – on that we can agree. But “fringe” is a relative term.

          To sum it up: those in Seattle who believe in the constitution, personal responsibility, limited government, freedom, liberty, the bill of rights, the ideals of MLK jr., etc. are “right wing” fringe. As someone said a few decades ago, “extremism in defense of liberty is no vice”. Moderation in the protection of liberty is no virtue.”

          Rate: Thumb up 42 Thumb down 14

          • On Lake Burien Minor says:

            One can only wonder how these lofty values (some of them) are actually reflected in your actions. At first glance I note that you claim to be for freedom and liberty, yet it doesn’t appear to bother you that your preferred candidates are associated with racists who want to take freedom away from brown people. In fact, it bothers you so little that you keep making excuses for them.

            Rate: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 41

      • Burien voter says:

        Substance? What substance?

        Rate: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

  3. On Lake Burien Minor says:

    The xenophobic right-wing responsible for McCarthyism now claims that progressives are McCarthyist for pointing out that the local right-wing is taking a leaf out of Trump racist/xenophobic campaign. That is what is called chutzpah, folks.

    Rate: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 48

  4. AmandaK says:

    David Preston has presented his opinion as facts. Sorry folks, but to be a journalist, you need to research. Much like The Stranger did in uncovering who was/is behind the initiative.

    Rate: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 47

  5. JC Harris says:

    I found the article to be very troubling in one respect: It is clear from the text that The Stranger–like all the Seattle media outlets simply does not know South King County.

    Although I am quite willing to accept the basic premise of the article (racism in Burien), some of the examples cited by the reporter indicated that she does -not- really understand the people she mentioned. Debi Wagner a racist? Seriously?

    What the article says to me is that The Stranger, like -all- Seattle papers, needs at least ONE full time reporter on a beat compromised of the airport communities in order to do a story like this.

    Well-liked. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 51 Thumb down 14

    • On Lake Burien Minor says:

      The Stranger article doesn’t claim that Debi Wagner is racist. The Stranger reported Ms Wagner’s words and her associating with racists, and these words and actions make one wonder whether Ms Wagner is racist. The reporter did her job very well.

      Rate: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 47

  6. Boots says:

    It’s hilarious that so many people take The Stranger so seriously.

    Rate: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 6

  7. PWS says:

    1. Preston tells us that Brownstone “claimed” to uncover a link between the sanctuary-repeal initiative and the white nationalists. Sure, the initiative’s organizers (Respect Washington) are mostly funded by US Inc., which publishes tracts about immigrant “invaders” and which the Southern Poverty Law Center considers a hate group–but that has nothing to do with white nationalism!
    2. Rather than being “passed in a rush,” Ordinance 651 was debated over two full council meetings (each about three hours) in December and January. I don’t know what “unorthodox procedures” Wagner is thinking of: in December the ordinance was passed by a majority of a quorum. After it was found that the rules require a majority of the full council, a majority of the full council passed it in January.
    3. As for knowing of Keller’s associations, anyone who has observed his public comments at council meetings could not seriously be surprised to learn of Keller’s white nationalist funders. Keller has repeatedly used his time to read gruesome stories of rape and gang violence, emphasizing the suspects’ Spanish surnames as if that proved anything. Brownstone may not have personally interviewed the Burien First candidates, but she attended last winter’s council meetings, where several of said candidates contributed to the debate.
    4. Oh, and the “alleged hate crime in Burien” you mention actually involved someone spray-painting “F—ING MEXICANS” on the side of an RV–but we may never know for sure what was in the graffiti artist’s heart.
    5. Although name-calling can be counterproductive, and it is truly important to distinguish between varying levels of extremism on the Right, it’s unrealistic and disingenuous to demand that critics ignore the broader implications of someone’s political stance. Thankfully, Burien is not yet overrun with neo-Nazis, but there is real danger in the anti-anti-Trump crowd’s dismissal of anything the “social justice machine” has to offer. The Burien First candidates stubbornly fight against progressive policies, but offer no alternatives to address their opponents’ concerns. That blind intransigence amounts to direct or indirect support for the extremists who seek to advance their own agenda. You may prefer to stick your head in the sand at such irresponsible leadership. Many others fear what will come of it, and would rather call out the danger now.
    6. It’s simply wrong to characterize Ordinance 651 as requiring “civil disobedience” or that officials “refuse to volunteer information to, or comply with requests from, federal authorities.” What Ordinance 651 actually prohibits is (1) conditioning service on, (2) requesting documents about, (3) initiating inquiry or enforcement solely due to, or (4) using forms requiring disclosure of immigration status, unless otherwise required by state or federal law. Ordinance 651 specifically provides that officials are not prohibited from cooperating with federal authorities, and that the ordinance is intended to be consistent with federal laws including 8 USC 1373.

    Rate: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

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