My information on Doug Ericksen’s tax lien was going to be posted after the voting was over as I did not want to join the race to the bottom of this election season. But during my guest appearance on Dillon Honcoops' KGMI radio show this morning, Honcoop brought on Randy Pebble, who dragged the rhetoric of the program into the gutter.
I’ve been on Honcoops' program many times over the years - but in the past, the on-air discussions have been informative for listeners - not advancing a political candidate or issue. Today, Pebble called KGMI while the show was in progress and was allowed on. He offered no disclaimer and did not disclose his affiliation as as an extreme right political operative. The website he supposedly writes for - shiftwa.org - is one of those anonymous places with no accountability - just the sort we should all detest and ignore, whether of left or right politics. As soon as he came on he started smearing Democrats and Seth Fleetwood in particular.
I refuse to let a bully hit someone else and do nothing. So, on air, I mentioned Doug Ericksen’s tax lien, information I have been holding the entire election season. I revealed that while Ericksen has spent the campaign smearing Seth Fleetwood for having had a tax lien, Ericksen himself faces a tax lien of tens of thousands of dollars.
After a commercial, Ericksen phoned in to say I was lying, he had no tax lien. Honcoops then asked me to comment. When I exposed the facts, Ericksen admitted I was right but explained he was just participating in a tax shelter program that is available to anyone, a part of our county's agriculture preservation program. Well - the truth is, Fleetwood’s tax arrangement from many years ago was just as legal and also available to anyone. Fleetwood was never behind on his taxes nor in violation of any tax laws - as is also true for Ericksen. But Ericksen twisted the facts about Fleetwood’s tax program and used it to smear Fleetwood. All the while, Ericksen is participating in an equilivent program.
Ericksen claimed his program protected his land forever from development. That is simply not true. Ericksen can opt out of that program and sell his land for development any time he wants. Once he does, he will be required to pay his tax lien. Currently, it's at $29,350.07 - taxes you and I pay to make up. I will write more about this tax lien of Ericksen’s after the election - as I had planned.
From the beginning, Ericksen's campaign against Fleetwood was little more than lies, smears and the twisting of facts. After this election, I will follow Ericksen more closely and inform voters about him before his next political campaign. With so little political news, we citizens - we voters - have a very hard time bringing our own personal analysis to campaign claims and accusations.
Randy Pebble’s attacks of Fleetwood motivated me to expose the deceit behind his smears. With most ballots already cast, I doubt this will impact the election in any manner. Doug Ericksen - as I said on the program - will easily beat Seth Fleetwood and be returned to the Washington State Senate. That's unfortunate for us, because Fleetwood is a fine fellow, a good representative of we the people, and a man of honor who will retain that integrity after this election.
Finally, my disclaimer. I am an Independent - a non partisan voter - and have been all my life. Well, while in college, I was a charter member of the Young Americans for Freedom - a rather right wing group. But I contributed to Bill Clinton’s campaign in 1992 - after which the Democratic Party automatically made me a member. It took me over 10 years to get off their party rolls and as a consequence I have not contributed money to a Democratic candidate since 1992.
Update - Wed, Nov 5 - 1am: The podcast of the program is now posted. You can listen for yourself. The first half hour is a calm discussion by Riley, Dillon and myself about the election - with no campaigning. At minute 37 it heats up; at 40 Randy Pebble gets into smears; at 42 I respond; and at 51 Doug Ericksen responds. Doug first denies he has a tax lien, and then has to admit he does have one.