In response to a gathering imbroglio surrounding a recent endorsement letter supporting four Burien City Council candidates mailed out by Respect Washington, the candidates in question have taken to social media and the internet to express their non-involvement with the action.
Joel Manning, Darla Green, Patty Janssen and Debi Wagner have each published statements indicating that the mailing (pictured below) was done without their knowledge or permission.
Below are excerpts from some of the candidatesâ€™ statements with links to the full statements:
Current City Council member and active â€œQuiet Skies Coalitionâ€ advocate Debi Wagner leads off her campaign website with a prominent statement disavowing the mailing:
â€œI disavow the mailing from Respect Washington. I have also stated publicly that I knew nothing of the mailer in advance and was not consulted. I am also shocked at printing names and addresses of individuals in the community who may now be concerned about their safety. I donated to Respect Washington for a victims fund they had advertised to help a 19 year old Burien resident who had been brutally attacked, was badly injured and in the hospital. At the time there had been no disclosure of another donor who was subsequently determined by the Southern Poverty Law Center to be a white nationalist.â€
LINK: Debi Wagner’s website.
Well-known candidate Darla Green stated in a Facebook post dated Oct. 26, 2017:
â€œI have no relationship with Respect Washington, nor was I aware of this letter being sent out. What is terribly unfortunate is that we have a group of our neighbors who are trying to silence those of us whom they disagree with. Calling us “racists” is an example of their bullying. This could not be farther from the truth. What this small group of people is doing is wrong and in fact creating the very division in our community they are so very vocal about. Again, it is a small group of bullies crying foul – non-stop.â€
LINK: Darlaâ€™s Facebook statement.
Long time Burien resident and candidate Joel Manning provided these insights on his campaign facebook page:
â€œ(I) do not condone the distribution of a list of names and address [sic] of individuals with alleged and unsubstantiated claims of criminal activity. What Respect Washington has done in their letter is negligent and grossly irresponsible.
However in regard to any association between myself and Respect Washington, there is none. Respect Washington is not a part of my campaign in any way nor have I personally, or my campaign been involved with any of their efforts.â€
LINK: Joel Manning’s Facebook post.
In a statement posted on her â€œCitizens for Patty Janssenâ€ Facebook page dated Oct. 27, 2017, Ms. Janssen renounced racism of any kind:
â€œI learned yesterday that a group called Respect Washington had used my name and photo in a letter that was sent out to a number of Burien residents. This letter was offensive and irresponsible.
I would like everyone to know that I’m in no way connected to Respect Washington, nor are they involved in my campaign, they also had never consulted with me in regards to the letter, nor did they have permission to use my name or picture. I will not tolerate ANY form of racism, period.â€
LINK: Patty Janssen Facebook post.