On Friday, July 23, Burien City Council Candidate John White told The B-Town Blog he was offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever was responsible for defacing campaign signs, as well as posting anonymous ‘Vote Against’ signs around Burien last week.
One day later – on Saturday afternoon, July 24 – he re rescinded that offer.
“I am withdrawing my offer of a reward to find the person or group that put up the red sign with the words ‘Seattle Politics are Bad for Burien’ and ‘Vote Against’ four candidates running for office,” White said in a statement. “I received calls saying the sign had symbols of white supremacy, and, when I looked at it, I too thought it looked that way. The sign symbols have been traced to an artist in Indonesia and the symbols are more about an attack on communism. It is free speech. The double lightning bolts theory has been debunked.”
White added that so far nobody has come forward with a name and “it’s just as well. My drive to find out is not necessary. In addition, as ugly as I think the signs are, they should stand in the name of free speech. Was it a stunt? Was it a right wing attack? Who knows?
“With respect to Jimmy (Matta) having his signs plastered with the words ‘corrupt,’ well this is not free speech and we Burienites should come to agreement on that point.”
Matta’s $2,000 reward for the defacement of signs is apparently still being offered.
Here’s more from White’s statement:
“I do not like the red sign. However, I am sure there are people that do not like my sign. I did not take any of the red signs down. I am glad I did not. If the person or group that put up the signs really is for free speech, then this is a good time to speak out against the removal of your signs. For those that took them down, well, take a look in the mirror, you have your own thoughts to process and perhaps correct. It’s hard to admit to mistakes but it will free up the mind.
“I look in the mirror and I wonder sometimes if I have the necessary skills to be a city council member. Some days I want to quit. Scarred and bruised from my own actions, I go on. One thing I will always do is listen and when questioned, I will re-check myself. I read the comments on the B-town blog Facebook page. The comments were wide ranging and delivered by Burienites that care about our community. I continued doing research as I should have done before making a move. We live in a land of free speech and, at times, we are going to be irritated by what we see. All we can do is process it and make corrections if we learn new information.
“I have never made a sign or a statement that I could not put my name under. I made statements and I corrected them when they needed to be corrected. My drive needed to be corrected.
“Thanks to every single person that posted a comment or put their views out for all of us to consider and process. I am proud of each and everyone one of you. To those that dislike that sign, well I totally understand. To those thinking it is free speech, I agree with you. It would be nice if the person or group responsible for the red sign could step forward and stand among those in the arena that have identified themselves. Your signs have been removed. What say you?
“No matter what, I still love Burien.
John L. White”