Anti-Somers smear campaign: if you’re going to lie, at least try to make it believable!The mail always gets more interesting as November approaches, but this year it seems the levels of hyperbole and malice have increased exponentially as opposing groups spend record breaking amounts of cash to try and affect voter opinion.
There’s the usual suspects like the BIAW and its thinly veiled Change PAC which has been so reckless with the truth in its campaign against Christine Gregoire that the Republican Attorney General has filed suit.
And then there is the local campaign against County Council President Dave Somers. The suspension of disbelief required to seriously accept millionaire developer Dave Barnett’s claims against Somers is big enough to build a fully contained community in.
Barnett, who wants to build a million or so homes on the urban shores of Lake Roesiger, is apparently upset that Somers’ council has put a stop to his plans to build a tree-razing megalopolis in the middle of nowhere.
Or as Somers puts it on his website: “The smear campaign is funded by out-of-county developer Dave Barnett (1) who wants to build a new sprawling city of 8000 homes at Lake Roesiger, 10 miles out in the forest and away from the nearest services and highways. Who does he think he is fooling?”
Somers and the majority of the council feel that “fully contained communities” don’t have a place in the current structure of Snohomish County. Somers rightfully argues that Barnett’s proposed community would:
• raise your taxes;
• cause horrendous increased traffic on our rural roads, Highway 9, and Highway 2.;
• compete for scarce funding with our existing towns and cities;
• destroy 2000 acres of world class commercial forest land;
• destroy our rural communities;
• CREATE SPRAWL.
So instead of taking the discussion up at a factual level, Barnett hired a high-powered lobbyist to smear Somers’ name with the ultimate in anti-Democratic slander.
That’s right; the big glossy mailers that went out across Snohomish County last week proclaimed that our uber-liberal, fish scientist, tree hugging Council President Dave Somers is for Global Warming! The week before, a similarly ridiculous flyer stated that Somers is fighting to CREATE “sprawl” a hideous catchword that leaves enviro’s cringing.
Now, there is definitely some criticism that one could levy against Somers that a reasonable person might agree with. But Global Warmer and Sprawl-er just don’t fit the bill.
Obviously, the purpose behind Barnett’s campaign is to attempt to blackmail Somers into dropping his opposition to the Roesiger development by showing that there is no length he won’t go to in an attempt to sully Somers’, er, uh…good name.
In this case, I think we should let the out-of-town developer know that we aren’t buying his below-the-belt, special-interest laden, ridiculous, insulting and untruthful campaign against Somers.
Email Somers at firstname.lastname@example.org and let him know that you don’t want him to fold against the developer’s well funded misinformation campaign. Tell him he’s right in opposing the armpit of a development that’s so creatively called a “fully contained community”.
And while you’re at it, don’t forget to drop a line to developer Dave Barnett at email@example.com (chuckle) and let him know that if he wants to attack our Council President, then he better damned well make up a story that’s a bit more believable.
Kevin Hulten maintains the Purple and Gold Pigskin blog (Viking Football) and the Off the Record blog.