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Donovan attacks Glasser. Why?

By John ServaisOn Jul 26, 2017
1:31pm —

Last year, the establishment Democrats, using the Democratic National Committee, worked to block the insurgent campaign of Bernie Sanders. After he bowed out, he urged his supporters to run for local office. One of the people he inspired is local social worker and activist, Amy Glasser, who at the beginning of this year launched her campaign for the brand new North Bellingham County Council district.

Unfortunately, the establishment is always looking for ways to keep the activists out. Todd Donovan, who is only one and a half years into his four-year term on the County Council, saw her run as a personal affront. So he decided in May to also run for the North Bellingham County Council district seat, entering the race five months after Glasser and two years early. As he explained in the Cascadia Weekly July 12 issue, “She is free, anyone is free, to run for office. But I think it should be understood in the context of taking someone who is on the Council off the Council. Because that is the effect . . . It will be interesting in future races, because some of us on the Council will not be viable, will not be elected, in the new districts. So we’re looking at a coming shift on the Council, a conservative shift, and I think the hope of many progressives was that progressives themselves would not complicate that shift.”

To fend off this progressive challenger, Donovan is pulling out all the stops. He sent a mailer to Whatcom Democrats accusing Glasser of not being a real Democrat because she had protested against Gov. Inslee (photo 2 above); he has assailed Glasser on facebook, accusing her of illegal election spending with a “shadowy PAC,” while neither providing documentation nor filing a complaint with the PDC (photo 3); he has badgered her on social media, whining that she wants him, personally, removed from the council (photo 4); as a WWU prof, he’s even used his access to the student database to follow the activities of a Glasser supporter and one of his critics (photo 5).

His latest election tactic has been to flood the district with mailers promoting the Republican candidate. This mailer includes a nice picture of Daniel Collick and states that he is supported by the Whatcom Republicans. It is an encouragement to vote for Collick if you aren’t aware there is a third candidate available to you: Amy Glasser. You may even assume that Collick paid for the advertisement. But you would be wrong.

Donovan is attempting to drive up Collick’s vote total to squeeze Glasser out of the “Top Two” primary. To promote his conservative opponent at the expense of a fellow progressive is deeply disappointing. This sort of heavy-handed dirty politics may be a sad fact of presidential races but it has no place in Whatcom County politics.

Glasser and Donovan have some key policy differences: their approaches to affordable housing, the jail, and how to protect Lake Whatcom. It would be a shame if, once again, the establishment buried a robust discussion of the issues behind shady electioneering.

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About John Servais

Writer • Fairhaven, Washington USA • Member since Feb 26, 2008

John started Northwest Citizen in 1995 to inform fellow citizens of serious local political issues that the Bellingham Herald was ignoring. With the help of donors from the beginning, he has [...]

Comments by Readers

Stephanie Kountouros

Jul 26, 2017

Shameless promo:

Todd Donovan addresses these issues directly in the Cascadia News Now interview. Todd’s and Amy Glasser’s interviews will air again tonight (Wednesday, 7/26) at 5:30 pm, Sunday, 7/30 at 11:00 am, and Monday, 7/31 at 1:00 pm on KMRE 102.3 FM in Bellingham, kmre.org everywhere.

Cascadia News Now loves Northwest Citizen! We invite citizen journalists, comments, and story ideas at our website. 

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John Servais

Jul 26, 2017

Stephanie, we welcome your informational post.  We keep a permanent link to KMRE on this site.  Readers can scroll to the very bottom of any page and see links to many local news media, local causes, local information sites, our governments, and other links we think useful.  Try it now - scroll down from right here.  They are always there.  KMRE is in the left most column. 

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Stephanie Kountouros

Jul 26, 2017

Thanks much, John. I appreciate it, and NWC. 

I’ll write to you personally to see if you might consider adding Cascadia News Now as a local news source as well. :)

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David Camp

Jul 26, 2017

SO Mr. Donovan is explicit that he is a mainstream Democrat and portrays Amy Glasser as some kind of anti-Democrat - she even supports Bernie Sanders, a well-known non-Democrat!

For these reasons alone, the only possible vote is for Amy Glasser. Todd is on the wrong side of history in supporting a Democrat Party that sells out its New Deal heritage for Wall St. billions. 

For shame, Todd, and for shame the local Democrats for rigging the local endorsements just like the national party rigged the primaries for their losing candidate.  It’s no longer business as usual and I’m sorry to say that Mr. Donovan has shown himself to be part of the problem, not the solution.

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Michael Chiavario

Jul 26, 2017

Without commenting on the  specifics of John’s complaints about Mr. Donovan ( I will let Todd do that) I would like to take issue with the heading statement of paragraph 2: “..the establishment is always looking for ways to keep the activists out.” Implying that the Local Democratic Party is ‘Establishent’ and is fomenting division in order to stop real progressive change.

I am a progressive activist. I am also a PCO in the local party. I have never been ‘establishment’. I participated in the Party endorsement meeting and it was not rigged as some have contended. It was an exercise in local democracy. Local Democrats are probably around 80% Berniecrats. You would be hard pressed to find a more progressive organized group of any consequence in our county. In order to insure a progressive Democratic Party that can win in ‘18 and ‘20, I urge John and others who have criticisms of the local Dems to join up and work to ensure that we go in the right direction. Throwing mudballs from outside only serves to divide and weaken the only viable Progressive electoral organization in Whatcom county.  A third party is not going to do it folks. Looked what happened in ‘16 after the Repubs successfully divided the Dems at the national level. We can’t afford to let that happen again.

Please, if you are a progressive and  have criticisms of our local Democratic Party, join us and help us do better.

Michael Chiavario

 

 

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Dianne Foster

Jul 26, 2017

As a long-time PCO who was volunteering at the front table for the Dem county convention,   I can say that Todd was a Bernie delegate,  and that he has made statements in the past against the DLC corporate Dems.  He was quick on his feet to compose the 5-district county structure in the charter review process,  saving us from a permanent teabag/fossil-fuel-backed 3 member council in future.   (although the original idea was proposed at charter review meeting by a Vista middle-schooler whose dad is a history teacher in Ferndale;  all the same,  Todd crafted it into a sellable item that kicked butt,  using his expertise as a nationally known political scientist with specialty area on districting and elections. )        And he has opposed the big jail all along, preferring more spent on alternatives.   Having said all that,    I am sending a donation to Amy,  as I have been turned off by his snarky comments to her,   and now by his endorsement of the Repug in the race.     I attended the CAO council meeting yesterday for almost 3 hours,  and there was very little of any substance discussed,   mostly word-smithing, and this was the last meeting before that all-important update.    There will be a public hearing in 1 month,  but I’m not holding my breath that any of the public’s requests will be implemented,  especially if they don’t represent an economic sector.   We do need a shake-up on council.   Thanks for the article.

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Tip Johnson

Jul 26, 2017

I’m not going to argue that Todd is a corporate D.  After all, as mentioned, he was a Bernista. I find him refreshingly progressive on many issues, though I agree his snark toward Amy has not been helping him.  However, I suspect the mailer idea and verbiage originates with Ds far more entrenched and “establishment” than Todd.  Those glossy mailers have all the hallmarks - finger prints - of other such establishment campaigns I have seen for many years.

There are some other issues worth considering.

The first is that if Amy gets elected, we still keep Todd for the remainder of his term.  Aren’t two progressives better than one?

Second, Todd signed up for his seat and term and the electors chose him to represent them.  Shouldn’t he feel a responsibility to continue representing those electors on that seat for the term?  I can think of only one instance in which a locally elected official voluntarily resigned their term prematurely, and I felt it was a bit off then, too.  I’m of the mind that first you do what you say you are going to do, and then move on.

Third, if Todd wins, we lose Amy’s potentially valuable contributions.  Worse, Todd’s empty seat will be filled by an appointment made by six members of the Whatcom County Council.   Elector’s will have no direct involvement.  Sorry, but that is a far less democratic or progressive way to find oneself represented.  It also is a possibly risky gambit.

I like Todd and think he has a lot to offer the council and the people he represents.  I expect he regrets the mailer and will distance himself from the architects.  But I like what I hear from Amy, too.  In the formulation of public policy, the value of fresh people and ideas is often quite underrated.  In my opinion, we would do better with both candidates.

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