Mayoral Candidate Barker Has Some Explaining To Do

Byy On
• In Bellingham,

What does candidate April Barker have in common with the following other far-right candidates from Whatcom County?

Ben Elenbaas - County Council

Kathy Kershner - County Council

Tony Larson - County Executive

Brad Kelly - County Council

All are recipients of campaign contributions from the Whatcom County Affordable Housing Council (WCAHC) except that April only received $500 while the others received $1,000 each. And why is this significant? The WCAHC, has just been outed by investigative journalist Sandy Robson at Noisy Waters (After 5 months, a small victory with the Washington Public Disclosure Commission) as being joined at the hip with the Building Industry Association of Whatcom County (BIAW), a fact that remained not generally known until Robson’s recent reporting on her complaint to the Public Disclosure Commission (PDC). She demonstrated to the PDC the unreported ties between the two organizations that violated the law.

Moreover, Robson writes about the WCAHC activities thus:

“The Whatcom County Affordable Housing Council political committee contributed $3,000 to the 2015 coal terminal-funded ‘Clear Ballot Choices (Pacific International Terminals)’ PAC that was formed in support of District-Only voting, and against Five Fair and Equal Districts county charter propositions which appeared on the November 2015 general election ballot. Ultimately, the District-Only voting and the Five Fair and Equal Districts propositions were both approved by voters in that election. The over $70,000 in contributions raised by the ‘Clear Ballot Choices (Pacific International Terminals)’ PAC helped fuel the District-Only voting proposition victory.

“The Whatcom County Affordable Housing Council political committee has consistently contributed money to conservative (including Tea Party) candidates’ campaigns. In the 2013 Whatcom County election, its political committee supported, and contributed to, the four conservative candidates (Kershner, Knutzen, Luke, Elenbaas) who were running for County Council and were thought likely to approve the permits needed for then-proposed coal terminal when that issue was expected to go before the County Council.”

A question remains for Barker to answer? Did she look into the activities of WHAHC as a significant donor to her campaign? Or does Barker support the activities of the WCAHC as outlined above by Robson?

Dena Jensen, also writing at Noisy Waters has challenged Barker for an explanation of the acceptance of WCAHC monies in an article entitled “Email to Bellingham Mayoral candidate April Barker about the Whatcom County Affordable Housing Council”. More to come, I am sure.

About Dick Conoboy

Citizen Journalist and Editor • Member since Jan 26, 2008

Dick Conoboy is a recovering civilian federal worker and military officer who was offered and accepted an all-expense paid, one year trip to Vietnam in 1968. He is a former Army [...]

Comments by Readers

Dick Conoboy

Sep 24, 2019

April Barker responds to Dena Jensen on Noisy Waters.  Read the email at the link from April and Dena’s response to April’s always creative bobbing and dodging. 

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