Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Coming To A Doorbell Near You!

Given the close connection between some County employees and the campaigns of some candidates (e.g., Barbara Rosenkotter of CDPD being Lisa Byers Treasurer), and given that some County employees have, in the past, had political emails land in their County email accounts, it shouldn't come as too great a surprise when a routine public records request turns up the occasional campaign gem by pure happenstance.

Such was the case today (although Rosenkotter was not involved in the subject email).

We have talked at length about the Network, headed by Ron Zee, and its subterranean influence on the County. We've seen charges of "incivility" being used to quash dissent. What do you think about the following email excerpt from the standpoint of civility? Or as far as a demonstration of Network efficiency and effectiveness goes?
The last point I’ll make is the need for doorbelling on San Juan. Dick Grout, Jim Slocumb and myself are all willing to walk with Lisa for doorbelling. Jim can put together maps and information lists and can map out routes to walk. I truly believe it will be the difference in winning the election. I’ll point to Laura Jo Severson as my proof. Ron Zee, Jim Slocumb and me took a short grandmotherly type, new to the island, that couldn’t string together a paragraph and got her to within 99 votes of Rich Peterson simply by doorbelling. Think what an articulate woman from Orcas could do.
That glimpse into how the Network works (and thinks) comes from an email train that was sent to the County. Accident or not, it's all part of the public record now, and it was obtained via a public records request. You never know what might turn up from a public records request.

The entire email train is copied below (emphasis added).  Happy reading, and just think what an articulate woman from Orcas could do!

From: Richard & Susan Grout <grout@rockisland.com>
Subject: RE: Dinner last night
Date: February 28, 2013 8:39:53 PM PST
To: 'Janet Brownell' <maxdigger@gmail.com>, 'Scott Boye' <sgboye@hotmail.com>

See below.
From: Janet Brownell [mailto:maxdigger@gmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, February 16, 2013 12:37 PM
To: Scott Boye
Cc: Dick Grout
Subject: Re: Dinner last night
Thanks for the intel, Scott.
There is an added layer of paranoia in that a 3 minute clip of Lisa, speaking at some CLT-type conference, has surfaced.  The spin on the video (which is now being circulated via email) is that Lisa is a communist who does not believe in private property and will take away your home if elected.  It's absurd. If it’s that extreme it won’t influence anyone who might even consider voting for Lisa.  It’ll just reinforce the votes she’d never get anyway.  And what would we do, in any event, send out a mailer in which Lisa says, “I am not a communist”?
I'm meeting with Lisa on Monday and will bring all of this up.  They $$ is kind of silly because it's so easy to check via the PDC.
Lisa is WAY into wanting to do doorbelling.  I know Jim is working on maps.  In your opinion -- when do you think the optimal time would be for that?  I’d suggest we start anytime after the signs go back up but focus on the three weeks prior to the ballots being mailed.
Lastly -- bigger font.  Will do.  And will talk to Lisa about meeting with Marc and Greg.  Not just bigger font.  Fewer words.
Hey -- is the yacht club dinner a monthly?  weekly?  nightly? thing?  Could you take Lisa to it?  Maybe she could work that room.
Thank you again for your insights.
On Feb 16, 2013, at 12:25 PM, Scott Boye <sgboye@hotmail.com> wrote:

I had dinner last night at the yacht club, an interesting and informative event on several levels.  I chatted with Rich Peterson, who kept the conversation away from politics.  Janice Peterson and I discussed her latest column in the Guardian.  She tells me that she meant for the look back to mirror the CAO but decided at the last minute to cut the political angle out.  Marc Forlenza is a member and well liked by the folks there.  I actually dined with Marc’s campaign manager, Phyllis Davis.  Phyllis is deeply disappointed by Marc’s loss and blames it on the axis of the L’s (Lovel & Lisa), the money that the ‘network’ has funneled to them and is greatly concerned at the political favors that money will buy in the future.  The image I got was alternately Dr. Evil in his lair at the top of the Space Needle (I’m a fan of Mike Myers) or the Wicked Witch staring into her crystal ball, waiting to release the flying monkeys.  Phyllis talked at length about the great qualities of Greg Ayers and how he’ll ‘keep up the fight’.  She mentioned that Greg would be attending campaign functions for Bob Jarman.
Others I spoke to were disgusted at the sway that Lopez has over the county and at the power the FoSJ has over L&L.  The level of comprehension regarding facts was astonishingly low.  Friends contributing $40,000 to the L&L campaign.  Lisa raising $40,000 from off island special interests.  Ditto for Lovel.  The $40k number kept coming up.  I suspect somebody is repeating that.  Board members of Friends managing campaigns. Board members of Friends running other organizations, Ag guild, environmental organizations, etc.
OK, those are some of the threats.  Opportunities are better education of the voters and reaching out to Greg Ayers and Marc Forlenza.  I doubt that we can bring them into the fold but reducing the amount of vitriol is possible.  I’d suggest coffee or lunch with each of them and ask for their advice on where Lisa could take the county.  Humility in victory is a great way to disarm them.  Lisa doesn’t have to follow their advice but they might feel less likely to badmouth her.  I’d also suggest reviewing the mailer and think about how the message gets delivered.  In looking over the mailer it seems like the print is pretty small.  I had to look through the bifocal lenses to read it.  I suspect that this county has the highest percentage of bifocal users in the state.  We’re wealthy enough to afford good eye care and old enough to need it.
The last point I’ll make is the need for doorbelling on San Juan.  Dick Grout, Jim Slocumb and myself are all willing to walk with Lisa for doorbelling.  Jim can put together maps and information lists and can map out routes to walk.  I truly believe it will be the difference in winning the election.  I’ll point to Laura Jo Severson as my proof.  Ron Zee, Jim Slocumb and me took a short grandmotherly type, new to the island, that couldn’t string together a paragraph and got her to within 99 votes of Rich Peterson simply by doorbelling.  Think what an articulate woman from Orcas could do.

Scott Boye, Friday Harbor
Janet Brownell


  1. How does one email ECK??

  2. The astonishing thing about these emails is that the Network (patronage system, machine …whatever you want to call it) works the levers of power and influence while it steadfastly denies that it has any power and influence. It is self-actualizing without even being self-aware, or without willing to admit its own existence.

    However, it certainly does exist even if the people in it can't recognize it. It's also obvious that these people just want to win, and they really don't care who they put up as candidates -- they don't care what the issues are -- it's just a business to them -- just bring home the bacon, that's all. There isn't a whiff of concern about our islands or community. It's just insider hardball.

    It all makes sense why none of this makes sense anymore.

  3. You can email the Trojan Heron at trojanheron@gmail.com

  4. I disagree with @11:00 on one point. I think the Network knows it exists, but it doesn't seem to know the agenda and policies that it is pushing, or that its candidates are pushing. These people don't seem to know their candidates well at all.

  5. Gosh, I hope Jim Slocomb isn't using the County GIS to make his campaign maps. Did the County give the Friends a terminal? :)

  6. Way to lessen the "vitriol"--trash talking your own grandmotherly candidate? We are left to wonder what they say about their opponents.

  7. Well at least past opponents of the L and L machine are to be disarmed by "humility in victory", based on the email. I am waiting for humility, clearly not on their webpages.....

  8. The arrogance demonstrated in that e-mail is astonishing, and revealing.
    It fully demonstrates why the L&L ran to be endorsed by the Democratic party, because mindless party lever-pullers will vote for anyone, regardless of how unqualified, if they simply where the Democratic label - from a "short grandmotherly type" to two completely out of touch east-coast socialite trust-funders...my god this republic is in trouble.

  9. Of course I meant to say "wear" the Democratic label...damn spell check...

  10. This email exchange makes me sad.

    I very much like Laura Jo Severson and their treatment of her is just plain cruel. While she is not slick like Lisa, I have found her to be open and honest.

    With friends like that . . .

  11. Jim Slocomb, the godfather of the MRC, the guy who takes the FOSJ spooks around the shoreline in his boat to surreptitiously photograph private homes, GIS contract guru to the FOSJ.

    Jim Slocomb, famous for advising the council to pay no attention to the street noise.

    Humility. Yes that is a known tactic. When Ranker won another term, his press statements were full of "I'm humbled." Pratt has said the same thing on occasion. A Kevin Ranker full of humility does not strike me as likely.

    So its just another spin doctor twist from a campaign consultant.

    I am glad that the Network seems to at have begun to realize that they are being referred as the Network. These guys are really tone deaf, not only to the world around them but to themselves and each other. The tragedy of genetic damage from inbreeding.

  12. In other words...take them to lunch and find out who Lisa should pretend to be to win votes?

    Sickening. Who IS Lisa? (Say THIS Lisa...say THAT Lisa...Ignore THAT Lisa)

    and poor grammar to boot...Ron...,Dick..., and ME (!)

  13. A quick take on this-

    If I'm Laura Jo Severson, Im a bit miffed. Not exactly a flattering depiction.

    In terms of the rest of it, it is all the players we have been talking about discussing political strategy. Probably (hopefully) a very similar conversation happening in the other camps. If it is not, then it is time to get going. This is what campaign strategy is about.

    That said... Who the hell F'd up and allowed this into an accessible public document? That should be the real question.

    And to Laura Jo: I don't know you, but I'm sure you can string together well more than 99 words!

  14. "We are wealthy enough to afford good eye care...."

    Spoken like a true out of touch eliteist.

    Some of us have to get by with those inexpensive reading glasses from the drug store. Might not be perfect, but they get the job done.

    This is just shameful.

    There is no apolgizing for this, although Laura Jo definately deserves it.

    Make no mistake, they are only sorry they got caught.

    This will simply be spun as "taken out of context".... right.?

  15. Is it going to be doorbell ringing? (Most of the front doors around me don't have "door bells or any such things...you just bang, walk in and yell.)(Sounds like an urban mindset to me.)

    Is it going to be "doorbell ringing" or a intimidation effort.

    As I have mentioned several times before there are almost NO properties in the islands that are in complete compliance with "the rules" most of which were put on the books without public consent.
    A couple of quick pics with the tab/cell...OUCH.

    Sound advice would be to politely usher any such visitors quickly to the beginning of your driveway if you have one of those.

    So now with my first new glasses in seven years I'm ready to be a wild man with the robot.

    (The TH rewards all of us.)

  16. How did TH get this email again?

  17. That's actually a good point.

    We should mail out some talking points and questions for folks to ask when the eco-missionaries come calling.

    It's just an excuse to poke their nose around. "Uh, may we come in, pleeze"

    "Do you have a warrant?"

    "No, but we can get one. Why, do you have anything to hide?"

    "We'd like to offer you an insurance policy. Yeah, dat's right. You want that we should leave youse alone? We hope you vote for Lovel. Maybe a small contribution to the Sustainable Resilience Fund. If you get our drift. Nice garden. Shame if it got too close to a wetland, right? Bye ... for now."

  18. @8:18 - I don't want to speak for the Heron, but I'm guessing that the explanation today is probably the same as the explanation yesterday - turned up in a general public records request.

    Of course, it also might be that the network has a leak and the email was smuggled out by carrier pigeon too. You can decide for yourself which story is as authentic as a diploma from Keene State.

  19. 8:18 re your inquiry & am not authorized to speak for the TH, but the E-mail posted herein turned up through a public record request. Like a lot of these things it is a bit dated, Feb 16, on this one.

  20. @8:18

    lol ... yes, as the post says (and as the last two commenters kindly affirmed), it was produced by the County in a response to a public records request related to communications for several County departments.

  21. I'm so sorry, I do apologize, but at this moment a full complement of visitors in my living room are having tea and as much as I would like to invite you to join us we are just moving on to our weekly bridge game and so it is with the greatest regret on my part that I must ask you to visit at another time.

    I do look so forward to seeing you then, when my shotgun is fully loaded.

    Miss Manners.

    Just kidding! I don't own a shotgun or any gun.

  22. We really need someone to take one for the team. When Byers arrives at your door, ask her in and get her to explain Henry George and Chuck Matthei, or her father's role in the Green Book Affair, or the family 200-acre Connecticut farm and whatever else might keep her talking for hours and hours and hours.

    The longer you tie her up, the safer you'll be making the rest of our "community." Please, get her to collaborate with you in a valid and participatory sustainable forum for community justice, right in your own home.

    Remember, she is an eloquent woman from Orcas. We all know she can talk ... and talk ... and talk ... and talk some more ... and provide an epilogue ... and then talk about it. That's Lisa.

  23. How do you get on the do not ring list? My "parlor "looks like hell in the winter. Coats, boots, gloves, a clothes line drying stuff strung across the room. I don't want to offend any strangers droping in on thier route. If you want me to be civil, don't scorn me.

  24. No one has mentioned the most glaring hypocrisy about these emails (ok at least in the top 5).
    This is the champion for the poor right? Homes for those who would otherwise be without? I feel your pain right? Let's reach out and get in touch with ordinary every day San Juan residents.........

  25. "The level of comprehension of facts was astonishingly low"

    "the 40k number just kept coming up. Someone must be repeating that"
    Don't know where this 40k number keeps coming from.

    Well, since the machine can't figure this one out, this blue collar, street noise type person will dumb it down for ya......
    L & L have each raised about 20k. L & L are viewed as an extension of "the machine". Lets see, 20k x 2. I'll be damned. This public school education is paying off finally. 40k!!!

    That right there is some best available science if I've ever seen it.

  26. Who is Dick Grout please?

  27. The fact that this came up in a public records request is disturbing because that shows, clearly, the involvement of some of our paid county employees and their use of public property for tweaking an election. Yuck.

  28. Well, yes it does, and suggests the likelihood of direct political involvement by county staff. This email is both a tip of an iceberg as well as confirmation of common knowledge but difficult to prove because these guys are careful to cover their tracks.

    Who is Janet Brownell? Is she active on the Byers campaign committee? Is she the Development Director at 4 Winds Camp on Orcas?

    Wasn't Dick Grout a former Ecology staffer who was pushed forward as a county administrator applicant by the Friends?

    Who are these guys?

  29. Wow ... March 6, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    "I suspect that this county has the highest percentage of bifocal users in the state. We’re wealthy enough to afford good eye care and old enough to need it."


    Good Lord, I'm pushing 60 and feel like a youngster around here. Is our local government being bought by an out of touch east coast and Hollywood gerontocracy, the major donors to the FOSJ?

    Is that what this is all about?

  30. We’re wealthy enough to afford good eye care and old enough to need it.

    As one of the "under 80% of median income" I cannot afford health insurance and therefore have not been to eye doctor for seven years.

    Though this statement was meant as a joke, it reveals much.

    The Lisa Byers I know would have never made this statement. It's too bad that the people working on her behalf would make this statement.

    Especially Brownell, who sits on the Orcas Island school board.

  31. "the Lisa Byers I know would have never made these statements..." (quote)

    Then it should be a no brainier to fire these people from the campaign, or allow them to resign.
    If people were acting in this manner under me, I would toss them.

  32. Ill tell you who Janet Brownell is - she's done more community service that has touched more young and old in our county than should be expected from one individual. Yes she is a progressive lib and proud of it but i know for a fact that she can work with conservitives and our ideals if it is good for the community. If you have ever run for public office you would know this is the type of info that gets exchanged every day in ANY campaign. If you want Bob & Rick elected I would suggest that you stop nit picking and start doorbelling!

  33. Well, this leaked email is certainly an open window into the inner sanctum of this Machine. Not ANY campaign. Sorry. this Machine. Nice try. No cigar. Not much here but hubris, arrogance and hypocrisy. And lack of computer skills.

    I'd guess it was an addressing error, and that it was addressed to Lisa Byers. I am not sure when Janet served on the OPAL Board but the email sure seems to betray a certain informality, leading me to conclude that they both know each other well, and are accustomed to interacting in this manner.

  34. You mean to say that she is a party-hack who was willing to place someone who "couldn't put together a complete sentence" in charge of our government, why would she do such a thing? Because they though she was the perfect puppet; what is revealed is the true thoughts of a liberal I-know-more-and-am-better-than-you SNOB. See y'all down at the Yacht Club to talk about those po' folk who clean our laundry and rake our leaves...

  35. I don't see Lisa copied on this email.

    And Janet has do e amazing work in our community. Orcas is fortunate to have her.

  36. WOW way to be honest and transparent deleting my reply! I guess you or the CSA don't need my $ anymore!

  37. @6:38 - we haven't deleted anyone's comments, so if you believe you posted something, but it's missing, there must be some other explanation.

    I can't explain why your comment may not be here, but it was certainly not deleted.

    (As an aside, this blog is not affiliated with CSA, although we admire what they do).

  38. I was wrong!!! And i apoligize ! Bad cell reception thanks for doing the TH

  39. Gee, I'm likely the most obnoxious poster on here; and I am working on my bad behavior only because it is stupid, but I've never been "deleted." I don't think the TH monitors posts more then about ten times a day (great job) and then It appears the effort at reading them is only to answer questions. Which DO get answered!

    Actually the machine lever types can be very slightly happy the TH exists as many of us I believe were rising to a frustration level to try some pretty dumb stuff that would have been jail time for sure.

    (In my case it was four yards of Horse Poop...see the progress I'm making with careful word selection...dumped on the court house steps, yes with the on duty sheriff sitting right there.) (Also, my buddy who wanted to chain us up together to those court house railings, in the rain no doubt.)

    So the TH has been an excellent steam vent, but more important I think it has been a forum for the unvarnished and often embarrassing TRUTH.

    If the TH has decided to delete posts, I think we need to know as I don't believe such a decision would be applauded.

  40. I have admired Janet Brownell for years, which makes her involvement in this Email exchange all the more disappointing

  41. What part of "her" participation in e mail was disappointing?

  42. So' how many of the comment's that are trashing what is going on here are the FOSJ, etal operating under the anonymous guise that is supported here???? Me thinks that they are monitoring and trying to control even this avenue of discourse. Shame on them, but Shame on us for allowing them to control anything much less this civil discourse.

  43. Of course they are, we want them to, we are transparent in our anonymity. They are fretting about losing control, while they try to figure out what it all means. What a waste of their time. And we get to watch them mess around.

    They are welcome here of course. It's a Lovel playing field.

  44. @7:28p -- this truly breaks my heart. I have been reading all of this, and yours was the comment that made me want to respond. I will not go into how this email is being represented. And what I said - and how it looks in this email. What I will say is -- I support Lisa. This is important to me. But just as important are the things I hold dear and work for. I would hate to think this would change your mind about our schools and our islands' children. After the election I will still be working for our schools -- and truly do not let politics change how you feel about your support for them.

  45. Your heart is broken ... YOURS!!! You participate in (what words did you use?) "intel" and you stay silent when Boye boasts of manipulating voters and insulting Laura Jo ... and YOUR heat is broken? You support a candidate who talks about the environment but builds in a wetland, cuts down trees, and poisons their roots ... a candidate who equates people with pollution in one breath and takes credit for housing multitudes of Orcasians in the next ... a candidate who supports economically devastating regulations and who lectures about economic theories that went out of style with Gorbachev and which will kill this community ... and your heart is broken?

    Thanks for the intel Janet. Your comment just goes to show that when you don't have anything constructive to say, you can always pull out the pity party card and claim yourself to be a victim ... a chip off the old Ranker. Pardon me if I'm not seeing the situation clearly, but maybe I'm not wealthy enough to see these issues through your (or Boye's) expensive glasses.

    I hold lots of things dear to me too, and your lot is trying to take them all away from me.

  46. Her "heat" was broken? Dude, slow down. Proofread. Goes a lot further in making a point. Although, "Her Heat was Broken" is a great country western song.

  47. Thanks for you response, Janet. We may disagree about Lisa, but I stand with your for the kids.

  48. My wallet is broken.


  49. I can see some kind of country western tune coming out of this someday, an Emmy Lou Harris & Dolly Parton duet, lonesome cowgrrrl steel guitar ...

    "He broke the heart of that Hollywood screen-writer, what new story is she gonna tell ..."

    I think I've seen this movie before. Showed up on DVD pretty fast. My apologies, I don't like to see folks feelings hurt but I'm not quite buying it. Sorry. Our communities are being hurt. Working families are being hurt. There is a lot at stake. We all stand for the children, for heaven sake alive. To hide behind that pretext is in a word, disappointing.

  50. Aoife O'Donovan comes to mind.

    Oh mama, sing me a love song ... my poor heart is breakin' ...


  51. Aoife O'Donovan comes to mind. Oh, mama, sing me a love song ... my poor heart is breakin'


  52. Nononononooooooooo! I think it's more like Susan Tedeschi's "Hurt So Bad!"


  53. And so her trusted operatives leave her twisting in the wind to fend for herself. Come on out guys. You know who you are. Ron Zee. Scott Boye. Jim Slocomb. Dick Grout

    You should be the first to defend that leaked email, not Jane. Shame on you for throwing her under the bus like that, doesn't look like the first time.

    So remember: "Humility is the best way to disarm them." Maybe its time to show a little yourselves? Don't be hiding behind the skirts now.

    Speaking of Emmylou Harris … "… ain't no place for a poor boy like me!"


  54. Yes there is a place for a "poor boy like me."

    We can win against the machine. Get it going and keep it going.

    We CAN win, but only if everybody VOTES. Get em to do that.

  55. How was this email acquired?

    I don't understand how it was acquired through a public records request. There are no county employees listed in the email addresses. Doesn't make sense and doesn't add up. Please explain.

    If this email was sent to a county employee by mistake, and that county employee tipped someone off in the TH world, then you are just as complicit of what you are accusing the Byers campaign.

    Also, by mentioning Barbara Rosenkotter in your opening paragraph, you imply that she is involved somehow. That's low class in my opinion. That's Karl Rove territory.

  56. @9:10AM

    Thanks for stopping by, but we realize that the TH isn't for everyone. Feel free to get your news elsewhere and avoid us in future if we cause you discomfort.

    If we're Karl Rove, then what is Scott Boye? You are welcome to file your own PRA request to locate emails associated with campaign activities with the County to verify whether you get the same results. No other explanation needed.

    As Lovel might say, "Thank you so much for your comment!!!"