Irish ThuggeryPermalink +
Thu, Apr 02, 2015, 8:30 pm // Tip Johnson
On April 1, 2015, the Port of Bellingham broke up Bellingham's newly consolidated waterfront and set in motion give-away property rates that guarantee taxpayers are left holding the bag for hundreds of millions in costs. No, that's not April Fool's. It's not a joke and it's no laughing matter. And it is just the start. I have previously written about Bellingham's Billion Dollar Boondoggle. The Port of Bellingham may go down as the most costly public administration in Whatcom County's history.
John Servais immediately published a highly critical article. One commenter responded with, "A scam on a waterfront with shady Irish characters and shell companies hiding the real money flows….When I read in the Herald about someone nailed to the floor of the Granary by their knee cap, I will know Bellingham has made it into the big leagues of corruption and vice."
Well, the thuggery has begun, with Port Commissioner Mike McAuley once again taking the lead.
The very evening of the article, Commissioner McAuley wrote to John Servais, "John. I treated you and NW Citizen as a legitimate news source until the day you threatened me at Cascade Pizza. I no longer feel you nor NW Citizen are credible or reliable."
John rightly replied, ""Threatened" is a strong word, Mike. Please clarify. As an elected official, you really cannot say I threatened you without explaining."
McAuley replied tersely, "Put our language for five commissioners on the ballot or else," referring to his skewering of a citizen initiative but not elucidating how he felt threatened.
Voters may remember that in the wake of the Charlie Sheldon debacle, citizens mounted an initiative to expand the port commission. When it appeared to be a very popular idea, McAuley offered to take it to the commission to see if they would put it on the ballot and save constituents a summer of signature gathering.
He got it on the agenda for an advertised meeting, where the commission approved it in front of a packed chamber using the same language citizens had crafted.
Later, without bothering to put it on the agenda so the public would be alerted, the commission reneged on their approval and concocted a hackneyed argument that the initiative should be subdivided. The commission wanted it broken into two questions and the wording changed to include a less appealing redistricting of the port; the citizen initiative had simply wanted two at-large positions added. McAuley led the way.
His argument was that the law prevents an initiative from asking two questions. He had the port's lapdog attorney and another ginned up legal opinion to bolster his claim. Interestingly, the Washington Supreme Court had ruled on the matter that very week. A challenge brought against the liquor initiative on the grounds that it included too many provisions was denied when the court ruled that only unrelated questions cannot be on the same ballot measure, but as many reasonably related questions as necessary to accomplish the aim are allowable. McAuley eagerly lapped up the atorneys' gruel, advising constituents that two legal opinions couldn't be wrong. Well, they were and he was, too.
Not one supporter of the original initiative supported the port's butchered replacement. Not one penny was spent promoting it. Nevertheless, it darn near passed, indicating satisfaction with the present port system of three commissioners is very low.
I predict it is even lower now, with many of the folks who worked very hard for a decade to see a community waterfront feeling disenfranchised with the port having rigged the process and ignored their input to fashion a fantastic mega-development that even the port's own consultants say Bellingham can't support.
To date, McAuley has refused to say whether he felt physically threatened by a much older and smaller man, or psychologically threatened by the fact that John might publish something critical. I personally find it absurd to think McAuley would feel physically threatened by John. And why would he feel threatened by John's criticism of his government actions? If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.
It's actually McAuley who is now doing the threatening, albeit in a passive/aggressive way. He apparently doesn't understand the difference between a threat and a promise. John publishes criticism of bad government. That's what he does, and he just did it again, as promised. McAuley's governing has been poor by any standard. He betrayed the public's trust on a matter of direct democracy. It hardly gets worse than that until they start looting the treasury which, in a sense, is what the commission has now begun.
However, threatening a public servant is a felony and can be taken very seriously. Accusing John of a felony and combining it with marginalizing assertions that John and Northwest Citizen are not "credible or reliable" is the cheapest form of ad hominem smokescreen to defend against criticism of one's own bad decisions. Such rumors can find a life of their own and become very damaging - especially in a small town. John could end up on the no-fly list without even knowing. Trying to limit public dialog with intimidation is unacceptable and McAuley owes Servais a retraction and apology.
McAuley says he will be hosting a discussion of his waterfront perspectives this Saturday at 6:00 p.m. at Cascade Pizza. Maybe you can go tell him what you think of his ideas. If you can't make it, the port has left comment open on the Harcourt Deal and encourages remarks be sent to email@example.com.
Thu, Apr 02, 2015, 8:30 pm // Tip JohnsonThe difference between a threat and a promise
5 comments; last on Apr 03, 2015
Thu, Jan 29, 2015, 10:56 pm // Tip JohnsonWherein Bellingham's billion dollar boondoggle is revisited
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Sun, Jan 18, 2015, 9:15 pm // Tip JohnsonWherein the ridiculous is ridiculed
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Sun, Nov 23, 2014, 4:27 pm // Tip JohnsonWherein Whatcom's Klan heritage may be oozing from some cracks
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Sat, Nov 01, 2014, 12:29 pm // Tip JohnsonOr why to vote for Nyima, the dog, for County Prosecutor
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Thu, Oct 23, 2014, 11:01 am // Tip JohnsonIt's just how things roll in Whatcom County
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Sat, Dec 07, 2013, 9:23 pm // Tip JohnsonWherein the direct, indirect, hidden and lost opportunity costs make this a waterfront boondoggle of billions
3 comments; last on Dec 11, 2013
Thu, Nov 14, 2013, 2:39 am // Tip JohnsonDear Mr. President, There's a sucker born every minute, and two to take him.
7 comments; last on Nov 21, 2013
Mon, Oct 28, 2013, 11:19 pm // Tip JohnsonWherein we discover why we exert our rights - and grab some more petitions before it's too late
3 comments; last on Nov 06, 2013
Sun, Jun 02, 2013, 1:41 pm // Tip JohnsonWherein various comments are compiled and compounded, and citizens encouraged to act
2 comments; last on Jun 11, 2013
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7 comments; last on Apr 17, 2013
Sat, Apr 13, 2013, 3:47 pm // Tip JohnsonWherein the people who call capping a clean-up say toxics safe enough for day care.
1 comments; last on Apr 25, 2013
Mon, Apr 08, 2013, 12:56 pm // Tip JohnsonWherein we complain about the City and Port stealing from the public
6 comments; last on Apr 13, 2013
Sun, Mar 24, 2013, 4:01 pm // Tip JohnsonWherein the Cattlemen define 'small scale' as an unlimited number of facilities of up to 50 million live pounds per year.
3 comments; last on Mar 26, 2013
Sat, Mar 23, 2013, 11:53 pm // Tip JohnsonWherein the rate base gets a soaking while officials keep big-bubble toking
7 comments; last on Apr 08, 2013
Tue, Mar 05, 2013, 4:20 pm // Tip JohnsonWherein it's even worse when the legislation is about sausage
Sat, Mar 02, 2013, 9:03 pm // Tip JohnsonWherein the ironies of life are explored and the necessities of life are contemplated
2 comments; last on Mar 12, 2013
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9 comments; last on Feb 19, 2013
Mon, Dec 03, 2012, 4:26 pm // Tip JohnsonWherein citizens must hold their representatives' feet to the fire
6 comments; last on Dec 09, 2012
Sat, Nov 03, 2012, 2:21 pm // Tip JohnsonAn letter to the County Council on opening the county to the slaughter industry
8 comments; last on Nov 09, 2012
Mon, Oct 08, 2012, 3:53 pm // Tip JohnsonThe Lummi Nation Declares Their Sovereign Objectives at Cherry Point
2 comments; last on Oct 14, 2012
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1 comments; last on Jul 16, 2012
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18 comments; last on Jun 14, 2012
Wed, Jun 06, 2012, 10:32 am // Tip JohnsonWherein the port proves they are incompetent to do the public's business
Thu, May 17, 2012, 10:43 am // Tip JohnsonFootage overlooking the Fairhaven area
5 comments; last on Jun 19, 2012
Sun, Apr 22, 2012, 7:28 pm // Tip JohnsonWill donuts prove more important than street trees?
10 comments; last on May 02, 2012
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1 comments; last on Apr 11, 2012
Mon, Jan 09, 2012, 10:27 pm // Tip JohnsonWe have a new mayor!
4 comments; last on Jan 10, 2012
Sun, Dec 04, 2011, 6:53 pm // Tip JohnsonWherein the sooty prospect of economic necessity rears its ugly head
2 comments; last on Dec 05, 2011
Sat, Nov 26, 2011, 5:30 pm // Tip JohnsonO.K. Who's in charge of all these ungulates?
14 comments; last on Dec 02, 2011
Fri, Nov 11, 2011, 5:11 pm // Tip JohnsonDaydreams of a recovering politician
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Thu, Sep 29, 2011, 9:00 pm // Tip JohnsonI think we've got a winner!
3 comments; last on Sep 30, 2011
Mon, Sep 26, 2011, 12:59 am // Tip JohnsonEeny, meeny, miny, moe
15 comments; last on Sep 29, 2011
Sun, Sep 18, 2011, 6:16 pm // Tip JohnsonSpoiler Alert: If you are enjoying your blackberries this year, read no further
2 comments; last on Sep 19, 2011
Wed, Sep 14, 2011, 1:38 am // Tip JohnsonA bad deal, but good enough - for now
1 comments; last on Sep 15, 2011
Mon, Sep 12, 2011, 2:44 pm // Tip JohnsonLegislation and Sausage: Very hard to watch being made.
2 comments; last on Sep 13, 2011
Sun, Sep 11, 2011, 10:36 pm // Tip JohnsonRepublished from Whatcom Watch - Let's Save Vendovi Island!
2 comments; last on Sep 15, 2011
Mon, Aug 15, 2011, 11:49 pm // Tip JohnsonShould we accept or dig into Chuckanut Ridge?
21 comments; last on Aug 30, 2011
Mon, Jun 20, 2011, 11:42 am // Tip JohnsonWherein something smells a bit fishy
2 comments; last on Jul 29, 2011
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6 comments; last on Jun 02, 2011
Thu, Mar 03, 2011, 2:16 am // Tip JohnsonOr, The Village That Once Was. Or, I Didn't have Time to Write Something Short, Again.
7 comments; last on Apr 24, 2011
Thu, Feb 24, 2011, 3:09 am // Tip JohnsonYou've gotta be kidding!
13 comments; last on Mar 01, 2011
Fri, Nov 26, 2010, 2:09 pm // Tip JohnsonWherein surrender may be the key to success
5 comments; last on Dec 11, 2010
Thu, Aug 26, 2010, 4:01 pm // Tip JohnsonLegal or Political Football?
4 comments; last on Aug 27, 2010
Fri, Aug 20, 2010, 5:26 pm // Tip JohnsonIslanders need a new game
1 comments; last on Aug 24, 2010
Wed, Aug 18, 2010, 6:07 pm // Tip JohnsonIgnoring the real problem
3 comments; last on Aug 19, 2010
Sat, Aug 14, 2010, 2:20 pm // Tip JohnsonTime for hardball?
Thu, Aug 05, 2010, 3:50 pm // Tip JohnsonWhere, oh where, are our federal representatives?
6 comments; last on Aug 06, 2010
Mon, Jul 19, 2010, 1:53 pm // Tip JohnsonFor-Profit Non-Profits - Pulling the Plug on Services
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4 comments; last on Apr 16, 2011
Mon, Jun 21, 2010, 6:40 pm // Tip JohnsonWherein the absurdity of the Lummi Blockade is explored in yet more excrutiating detail
1 comments; last on Jun 22, 2010
Tue, Jun 08, 2010, 11:31 pm // Tip JohnsonI mean, come on!
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Tue, Jun 01, 2010, 9:33 am // Tip JohnsonOil Addiction: All Day Every Day
Sun, May 02, 2010, 6:31 pm // Tip JohnsonMore problems with secret government
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Sat, May 01, 2010, 9:53 pm // Tip JohnsonIn which the perils of a police state are only barely considered
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