Tag Archives: Feb 3 2009 Special Election

Will David Irons be Nonpartisan if he’s Elected?

Back in 2006, David Irons, a former Republican officeholder who is now running for the nonpartisan office of King County Elections Director roundly criticized a fellow Republican, now a Democrat, for pointing out PDC errors of the King County Republicans. Richard Pope first pointed out the errors to the Republican Party organization and after 3 months, when they had not been corrected, filed a complaint with the PDC.

As reported in the Seattle PI :

The investigation found that the party had missed the deadlines for more than 100 reports, which were filed anywhere from five to 306 days late. The reports covered nearly $170,000 in contributions and other money received and more than $180,000 in expenditures. For the year, the party took in more than $342,000 in contributions and receipts and spent nearly $358,000.

The investigators also found that the county GOP had failed to provide the required occupation and employer information for 90 percent of the contributors who gave more than $100. That represented 114 contributors who gave a total of $92,744….”.

The Republican Party was fined $40,000 by the PDC for their mistakes.

But David Irons, in a fiercely worded e-mail sent to Richard Pope afterwards apparently didn’t take kindly to his Republican Party being called to task for violations of our state’s public disclosure laws:

“In your effort to damage others I fear you have destroyed what little reputation you had remaining. It must be lonely sitting on that pedestal you built for yourself.

I personally forgive you for your actions and the manor in which you have so aggressively attack good people. As for your hate, I sorry to say that is likely to continue to consume you for now until eternity.”

Kind of makes you wonder what kind of response people in the King County Elections Department would receive from him if they point out mistakes or problems if he was elected their boss. I certainly would not feel comfortable working for someone with this kind of attitude. And will his decisions favor one party over the other? Can you expect an old dog to learn new nonpartisan rules?

You can read the original post and the full e-mail over at the blog Horsesass.org entitled David Irons Slams Richard Pope.

Also you can read David Postman’s take on it at Postman on Politics in a post entitled, David Irons condemns whistleblower “until eternity”

The election for King County Elections Director is an all mail in elction with ballots needing to be postmarked by Tuesday, Feb 3, 2009.

Note: Majority Rules Blog is urging voters to support the currently appointed King County Elections Director Sherril Huff who is also on the ballot. You can learn more about her by visiting her website at http://electsherrilhuff.com/.

BIAW Jumps in King County Elections Race

The right wing builder group, the BIAW, that has previously spent enormous amounts of money trying to get its conservative candidates onto the Washington State Supreme Court, get Dino Rossi elected Governor and helped Rob McKenna in 2004 get elected, has just dumped $26,500 into Republican Pam Roach’s campaign for King County Elections Director, according to the Seattle Times.

Even so, she is far behind fellow Republican David Irons who according to PDC records has raised $115,536, of which $103,460 comes out of his personal pocket. Irons is spending some $75,489 on last minute mailings and automated robo calls.

Considering the Office pays $160,000 a year, the campaign spending is still luke warm.

Meanwhile Sherril Huff, the candidate backed by Democrats, has been slow on raising money. Latest reports show her having raised $21,236 and spent $46, 845.

One wonders where Ron Sims is and why he has not been helping more.. After all he is the King County Executive who appointed her to the position several years ago and in December worked to get other Democratic candidates, like Jason Osgood who ran for Secretary of State in Nov. and Port Commissioner Lloyd Hara, to exit the race. They had more name recognition than Huff.

One would have assumed Ron Sims would have made a stronger commitment to raise money for the candidate he supported because the name Sherril Huff is not exactly a household word. Sure she is technically the “incumbent” and comes highly recommended, getting 35 of the state’s 39 county auditors to endorse her but this race is such a sleeper that one of the two Republican candidates might win this race just by turning out hard core Republican votes based on residual name recognition alone.

The economy of course is terrible, so deep pockets like David Irons has and special interest money like the BIAW is spending, are working the Republican side of this election. The Democrats are doing grassroots efforts but you have to wonder why more money is not flowing into Huff’s campaign.. She has raised the most money from individuals but this is after all a county wide race, not a legislative district race and being the only viable Democratic supported candidate you would expect more support.

This little gem of a special election devised by Republican operatives with no primary is so far seeing only 10% of the ballots for this all mail election being sent back to King County Elections. A low turnout election can be unpredictable but with such a low turnout Irons’ willingness to commit his own money is significant as is the BIAW’s smelling the possibility of a Republican win for this seemingly nonpartisan race.

Democrats better get busy this weekend spreading the word to their family, friends and neighbors to vote for Huff. And of course money can help pay the bills so people who want to see the professional elections person win, not a right wing Republican, should contribute now to Sherril Huff at her website electsherrilhuff.com

Vote for Sherril Huff for Elections Director

Sherril Huff is the current Elections Director for King County, having been appointed to the Office several years ago by King County Executive Ron Sims. Her tenure at King County Elections has seen a clean election process and numerous reforms. She deserves to be returned to the Office as the first elected Director of Elections in King County.

Last November voters approved a Republican sponsored initiative to make the Office an elected position, like it is in the other counties in the state. In other counties the Elections Office is run by an elected County Auditor. Sherril Huff has been endorsed by Auditors in 35 of Washington State’s 39 counties.

You can visit Sherril Huff’s website here.

But as important as this office is and the need to have a competent person with election experience run the office, the special election is currently only seeing 10% of the registered voters returning their ballot. The deadline for this all mail in ballot to be returned in next Tuesday, February 3, 2009. Ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday or turned in to special drop boxes around the county on Tuesday.

Here is what some other people and organizations have to say about Sherril Huff and the other candidates:

Seattle Times 1/21/2009

“…she oversaw consolidation of three dispersed election facilities to one location and implemented important electronic security measures. Huff is credited with cleaning up the operation and dramatically improving organizational and cultural climate in elections.

The proof was in the latest election. King County produced a much smoother election in 2008 than it did in 2004 and Huff gets a lot of credit. Secretary of State Sam Reed has publicly complimented the county’s noticeable improvements. He did not endorse in the race but is very impressed with Huff’s work.”

FUSE : see Progressive Voters Guide here

“Sherril Huff has been highly regarded for her work managing the county’s 1.1 million voters since King County Executive Ron Sims appointed her in 2007. Of the five candidates vying for her office, Huff stands out for her experience and non-partisanship. She has helped the county institute more than 300 reforms in response to the 2004 county elections debacle and has helped conduct 21 successful elections since then.

A two-term county auditor, she has been endorsed by just about every county auditor in the state.Huff has been rated Outstanding by the Municipal League of King County, and has been endorsed by Washington Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, National Women’s Political Caucus of Washington, Fuse Washington, SEIU Healthcare 775 NW, UFCW Local 21 and 35 Washington County Auditors (both Republicans and Democrats).”

environmental community:

“As a political organization Washington Conservation Voters is mindful of having sound election systems and processes that encourage voter participation,” said Sudha Nandagopal, a spokesperson for Washington Conservation Voters. “Sherril Huff has unparalleled experience in overseeing elections. We need someone who will continue running smooth elections for King County and push for accuracy and innovations to ensure a fair, open election.”

“The Sierra Club recognizes the important role that the Elections Director plays in ensuring fair King County elections. Sherril Huff knows exactly what it takes to run a high performing elections office,” said Scott Otterson, Political Chair for the Sierra Club Cascade Chapter. “As the county transitions to all-mail voting, it’s critical that Sherril Huff retains her current position and continues to pioneer and push for high standards.” November general election.”

NorthWest Progressive Institute Advocate:

“King County Elections has come a long way since the 2004 gubernatorial recount exposed a slew of problems. Under Huff’s leadership, the department has moved into a centrally located secure facility in Renton, the number of ballots with unmatched signatures in recent elections has plummeted, and accountability has been vastly strengthened. Huff’s calm demeanor has been readily evident in all the major debates that have been held so far.”

Peace Tree Farm :

“Sherril Huff is, in essence, the incumbent in the race. She was named Director of Elections a couple of years ago when it was (properly, IMHO) an appointed position. As Director of Elections, she has coordinated King County’s efficient and entirely uncontroversial elections ever since. In fact, as I noted a few weeks ago, King County was, amazingly, the second county in the state to report its final counts in the November general election.”

the Stranger:

“Why should you vote for Sherril Huff? Well, consider the competition. It includes: Chris Clifford, a Republican schoolteacher from Renton who’s also leading the effort to recall port commissioner Pat Davis; former Republican King County Council member—and emerging crank candidate—David Irons, who allegedly beat his own mother; disgraced former elections director Julie Anne Kempf, who was fired after she allegedly mailed ballots out late and lied about it; Pam Roach, a gun-totin’ Republican state senator with a vendetta against the King County Council and a violent passion for flowers; and Bill Anderson, a former bank manager who says he’s qualified to count votes because “votes are like checks,” but otherwise seems harmless enough.

Huff, in contrast, is competent, sane, and highly qualified. As elections director, she’s overseen steady improvement at an elections office whose incompetence was at the center of a Republican challenge to Governor Christine Gregoire’s win in 2004. She shouldn’t have to run for her job, but she deserves to keep it.”

You can check out all the candidates yourself by visiting the on line voters pamphlet put out by King County Elections

Is it David Irons, David W Irons or David W Irons Jr running for King County Director of Elections?

For someone running in the February 3, 2009 Special Election to be King County Director of Elections, you would think David Irons aka David W Irons aka David W Irons Jr would be a little more careful about how he uses his names in the campaign and associated required campaign filings.

After all, he can only vote under one of these names, not all three and voters likewise only have one name to choose of his on the ballot. So why does he at different times use one of three different versions of his name?

David Irons previously ran as a Republican for both the King County Council and for King County Executive. A big deal ihas been made by Republicans, of disqualifying ballots if voters do not sign their ballots exactly as they are registered to vote.

Yet in his official campaign dealings in this campaign Irons has used at least 3 “different variations of his name”. This can be confusing to voters but also appears to have confused the computers and/or workers at the Public Disclosure Commission enough that their programs listing campaign contributions and expenditures were not correctly reporting campaign finance data results for the Feb 3, 2009 King County Director of Elections race.

David Irons is registered to vote as “David W Irons” according to his declaration of candidacy. His response on his declaration of candidacy to “Please print my name on the ballot exactly as follows:” was “David Irons“.

So why did he not file all his forms with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission -as “David Irons”? This is who he is asking the public to vote for and the name you would thus logically expect to look up for more information at the Public Disclosure Commission.

He filed his C1 initial filing with the PDC as “David W Irons“. (See PDC -“actual reports” you will have to search for David W Irons as the PDC site does not stay live in searches). This is not, however, how he identifies himself on the ballot or video voters pamphlet or even on his website where he is David Irons.

But here’s where it gets confusing. He then filed all of his subsequent filings with the PDC using another version of his name – “David W Irons Jr.” (See PDC -“actual reports” – Again you will have to search for David W Irons Jr this time as reports do not stay live) This was how he filed his PDC forms previously with the PDC when he ran for King County Council and King County Executive.

The result of filing all of his forms under David W Iron Jr except for his C1, was that the Public Disclosure Commission up through yesterday, erroneously listed David Irons as not having raised any funds or made any expenditures when one used their “search the database” function for 2009 County Director of Elections races.

In reality, the actual reports filed not under the C1 name “David W Irons” or his ballot name “David Irons“, but under “David W Irons Jr” show him receiving $40,756 in cash and $6,460 in kind in his campaign to be the King County Director of Elections.. The bulk of his cash, some $35,000 came from his personal funds which he contributed back on Dec 8, 2008.

The PDC has now caught the problem caused by reports being filed by Irons under different names but one would think that someone running to be the Director of Elections for the largest county in the state with over 30% of the voters would be aware of the problems caused in computer databases by his using “different names” in filing required public documents.

Maybe the PDC should have been aware of the potential problem when it received his initial C1 and realized he had been a candidate before. Yet he also should have been aware of this, particularly considering the office he is running for.

Previous names he used when he ran for office likewise show show a lack of continuity in how he identified himself.

When he first ran for County Council he filed a C1 on 7/8/98 where he was listed as candidate – David William Irons Jr and his campaign name was- Friends to Elect David W Irons Jr

When he ran for re-election he filed an amended C1 on 10-23-2003 where he was candidate – David W Irons Jr and his campaign name was Friends to Re-elect David W Irons.

When he ran for King County Executive and filed another amended C1 on 3-23-2005 he was candidate – David W Irons Jr and his campaign name was – Committee to Elect David Irons. This was changed 4/05/2005 to David Irons for County Executive.

And his most recent C1 on 12/4/2008 lists him as candidate David W Irons and his campaign name as Irons for Elections and his ballot name as David Irons.

Of course the Jr issue is complicated by the fact that in 1996 his father David W Irons Sr ran for the Washington State Senate and those PDC records are still on file.