Request for Citizen Evidence

Wherein inquiring minds just want to know!

Wherein inquiring minds just want to know!

• Topics: Bellingham,

We need your help.

Kind readers and concerned citizens may have seen much written here about the recently proposed sales tax for a new Whatcom County jail.  The measure was defeated at the polls this last election.  In the run-up to the election, the County mailed a large, glossy brochure to select voters.  It looked (and was) very expensive, so raised the ire of many fiscally sensitive citizens.  Several of them filed complaints with the Public Disclosure Commission (PDC).  Without researching background documents, the PDC staff brought a recommendation forward to the Commission to dismiss the complaints and not forward any recommended action to the Attorney General.

Citizens, however, at the eleventh hour forwarded to the PDC some fairly incriminating documents acquired through public records requests.  Commissioners thus, in an unexpected move, rejected their staff's recommendation, carried the matter over to their January 28th meeting and instructed staff to get busy looking into the background.  It is not known how arduously such staffers will bother to dig.  We'd like to help them.

One of the items acquired is a rather detailed calendar (linked below), apparently coordinating a significant campaign in favor of the jail tax.  I say apparently because that would be an illegal use of public resources, so the matter must be left to more competent authorities to decide.  Suffice it to say that many community organizations and neighborhood associations were apparently targetted and scheduled for presentations.  Other documents detail the division of these tasks between several key individuals.

I invite you to take a look at the calendar linked below to see the extent of the County administration's campaign coordination.  If you were fortunate enough to have been in attendance at one of these events - or know someone who was - we would be very interested in any videos, pictures, notes or meeting minutes that may be available.  Almost everyone has a camera on their phone these days.

Please send any such materials to, or a note telling us how to get hold of you to get them.  Thanks in advance!

Attached Files

About Tip Johnson

Citizen Journalist and Editor • Member since Jan 11, 2008

Tip Johnson is a longtime citizen interest advocate with a record of public achievement projects for good government and the environment. A lifelong student of government, Tip served two terms [...]

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