Update: Fisher blasts Patterson and McKenna as he exits SeaTac council
Deputy Mayor Gene Fisher left the SeaTac City Council Dec. 13 after serving 12 years.
He didn’t go quietly.
Fisher was defeated in the November general election by former councilman Barry Ladenburg.
A reported $159,000—more than seven times any previous SeaTac election—was spent against Fisher and two other candidates who favored an elected mayor proposition that was also on the ballot. Much of the money was spent by UNITE HERE Local 8, which represents approximately 1,500 hotel hospitality workers in SeaTac.
Among Fisher’s targets in his comments were King County Councilwoman Julia Patterson, a Democrat, and state Attorney General Rob McKenna, who is running for governor as a Republican. Patterson’s seat on the county council is nonpartisan but she was first elected as a Democrat.
Fisher charged that McKenna, as attorney general, has refused to prosecute those who campaigned against him.
He said state law prohibits sponsoring election materials that, with malice, make false and malicious statements about a candidate.
He said those opposing him also verbally defamed him by saying he stole money from the city.
“They broke the law,” Fisher declared.
He added that he emailed Ladenburg to tell him to stop having independent groups supporting Ladenburg make false statement against Fisher.
“If nothing is done, only the biggest liars will get in office,” Fisher added, “The law is the law, and the victim should not have to be the enforcer.
“If you mug someone, you are put in jail but if you mug someone’s reputation no one does anything.”
Fisher said Patterson broke her promise that she would not be involved in the city election.
He charged the “Paterson political machine” made the race into a partisan contest because it is carving out a new Congressional district with a majority of minority residents.
After the latest federal census, the state is entitled to an additional Congressional district. A redistricting committee is hashing out the boundaries of the new district.
“She has both her husband and daughter working for the city and soon her liberal and progressive neighbors will be running city government.” Fisher added.
Councilwoman Mia Gregerson was barely re-elected although emails written by Gregerson were recently made public that were unflattering about fellow lawmakers and some residents. The emails also revealed Gregerson receiving contact information from a city staffer that was apparently used against the elected mayor proposition in 2009.
Real estate agent Dave Bush was also elected to replace Ralph Shape, who did not run for re-election.
Fisher said the election results are a “progressive dream come true.
“You can ethnically and socially engineer a community by concentrating everyone in one location without proper funding, thus creating poverty, then create numerous government programs to combat poverty.”
Fisher also said some Angle Lake homeowners want SeaTac to be a poor area so their property taxes are less.
He predicted the new council majority would raise city taxes.
Fisher added he had always supported fire and police services but refused to support additional fire district expenses if they were not needed. That stance lost him the endorsement of the firefighters union, he noted.
Fisher listed several accomplishments in his 12-year council career. He cited the city hall, senior center, Des Moines Trail, S. 154th St. improvements, code enforcement, and the ad hoc committee on business.
He reported his home is for sale and he and his wife will retire.
“I had a great run and I did well for the city,” Fisher concluded.
His remarks are available at www.seatvonline.com/. Choose 12-13-2011.
Gregerson did not comment on the election in her remarks before Fisher spoke.
However, Councilman Rick Forschler did.
Forschler said the hospitality workers union, which sent volunteers door-to-door in the campaign, is seeking to leverage power against their employers.
In the union’s newsletter, union leader Erik Van Rossum is quoted as saying, “With this election, the voters have sent a strong message that they want concerns of people, not corporations, to be foremost in the city’s development.”
Forschler said he hopes the council members elected with union support would not change their policies because of the support.
“It’s worrisome for what the future holds,” Forschler declared.
Shape, who is also leaving the council, said being a council member “assures that you will become sideways with your neighbors.”
He noted it is a full-time job with part-time pay.