Remember the ‘Truth Squad’?

We need one to follow Asmundson during the next three weeks - and to nudge the Herald to do minimal checking of facts before publishing. I’m referring to Friday’s post below, where it was noted how Stark allowed Mark to phone in why he, Mark, had done the surprise raise in our taxes the day after his re-election in 1999. Mark said it was caused by the passage of initiative 695 on the day before - which limited taxes. Tilt.

The Herald on Thurs, Nov 4, 1999 reports that Asmundson told the council that he realized the previous Sunday - two days before the election - that a tax increase of 3% was needed. He did not cite 695 as a reason. Indeed, he said a “695 version” - a further scaled-down budget - would be presented at a later date. The tax increase was needed because he needed extra funds for his budget expenditures.

Asmundson had the special session of the City Council called on short notice for the day after the election - Wed, Nov 3. He presented the budget and talked the council into voting for it - even though they had no chance to study the budget. Lynn Carpenter, then City Finance Director, urged council members to “comb through” the budget to see if a tax increase was really needed. Asmundson was visibly upset with her and said her figures were “goofball percentages”. Bob Ryan switched his vote to give 5 votes needed for passage as a “courtesy” to Mark. Only Gene Knutson had the gumption to stick with his ‘NO’ vote.

In 1999, Mark repeatedly promised no tax increase before the election. He could not present the budget to the council in October, as required by law, because the “computer was down”. He delayed until after the election. And revealed a tax increase. This year, 2003, he is promising top priority for Lake Whatcom - something he has moved very slowly on for eight years. And my environmental friends believe him.

Mark routinely fudges the truth - and worse - and gets away with it. With the council, with the Herald and with us citizens. We need to remember this election that this guy has said whatever he thought needed to be said for his agenda for eight years now. He is dishonest on a routine basis. We cannot trust him even day to day. As I talk to my liberal friends each day - and local Democratic Party operatives - they all admit that Mark is dishonest and they are embarrassed about him. Some say they will not vote for him - but they will not admit that in public. For the rest of us liberals and progressives who are not morally corrupt party followers, we should vote for Brett Bonner. Remove Mark, a very dishonest politician, from public trust.

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 [...]

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