On the Take - Coal Port advocates

By On

Seems that Dave Warren, the long time labor leader and vocal advocate for the coal port at Cherry Point, is on the take from SSA, the proponents for the project. Craig Cole admitted as much at the Northwest Business Club meeting this noon. And this confirms a report I got earlier this week from a person close to the process. Dave Warren has been getting money from the Gateway Pacific companies in exchange for his backing the project.

So - now the question is who else is on the take? We know Craig Coal is being compensated - and hopefully very well given how he is trashing his local reputation. It is time for others - Ken Oplinger of the Chamber of Commerce, for instance - to inform us of any monetary payments or contributions of any sort to himself or his organization by SSA or their partners or others. This is not to suggest Ken is on the take - but he and Dave have appeared together in many ads by SSA. So it is reasonable to ask him to make a full disclosure.

It is time for any others in our community to come clean. Dave Warren is invited to send an explanation for posting on NWCitizen. Indeed, we would appreciate hearing his side of all this. Dave?

Update: To clarify. SSA has just announced that Dave has joined their "team." What Dave should tell us is when he started receiving payments from SSA or their partners. Did he receive any last week, or prior to last week? It was last week that he presented himself at the public meeting as representing labor interests in Whatcom County. Was he then already signed up to receive payments from Team SSA?

About John Servais

Citizen Journalist and Editor • 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

Mark Flanders

Jun 11, 2011


“On the Take” implies a public official in a decision making position accepting a bribe. I don’t know the particulars of Dave Warren getting paid or not for his endorsement, but he is not “on the take”. Your overall point about the influence is valid, but this is just a snidge over the top. (IMHO)


Mark Flanders

Jun 11, 2011

Correction; added missing word “...influence of money is a valid point”


Douglas Smith

Jun 11, 2011

Mark, I agree with you.  I also agree that it would be very helpful for Dave to clarify his relationship with SSA.  Dave has given many years of great service to the labor movement.  I for one hope to give him some benefit of the doubt that he is not an advocate for “jobs at ANY cost”. He has never struck me as being thoughtless on environmental issues.  And I can kind of understand the frustration of watching so many good unionized jobs, i.e. GP disappear over the years.  But most of all, I don’t wish to see progressive labor or progressive environmental activists fall victim to the divide and conquer strategies that we all know the big corporate special interests love to use against all of us.  I wish for pause and clarification before I start judging any other progressives.


David Camp

Jun 12, 2011


Good points. I’d suggest “on the payroll”, which implies legal compensation rather than “on the take”, which implies the illegal version.

It’s not surprising that all the proponents of this project stand to benefit financially, or are already on the payroll. This is what the whole frapping project is all about - selling out, from Goldman Sachs, Judas-in-chief, to Craig Cole, Regional flunky Judas. Selling out you, your green county environment, your green planet, your national resources to economic rivals, all in worship of Mammon.

They may own the federal government, but they don;t own us.