All Politics is Local

It’s an election miracle!

When I interviewed mayoral candidate and Vancouver City Councilor Bill Turlay on Oct. 7 and asked about his 1994 bankruptcy filing, he blamed the failure of his company, Contech Corporation, on a business partner.

Turlay’s wife Stephanie, who serves as his campaign manager, first denied Bill was president of Contech. She and I went back and forth – with me pointing out that Turlay was listed as president in the bankruptcy filing and with the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office — until Bill interrupted and confirmed he had been president.

When I asked for the name of the business partner at fault, Stephanie wouldn’t tell me, saying the name wasn’t relevant. Bill eventually said it was Denny McCoy. I noticed a “Denton and Karin McCoy” listed under “creditors holding unsecured nonpriority claims” in the bankruptcy papers. (Although under “amount,” it just said “precautionary.”)

But I didn’t think I would be able to contact McCoy, as Bill told me he had heard McCoy was dead.

As I wrote in my story about the mayoral race, Turlay said he learned from the bankruptcy experience.

So why am I bringing this up? I did some searching online, found an address for Denton and Karin McCoy in Florida, went to the website for the county where they live and saw they were current on their property taxes. That’s odd, I thought. I’ve heard the saying, “Nothing is certain but death and taxes,” but I didn’t know dead people could pay taxes. (But in Florida, who knows?) Since I couldn’t find a phone number for the McCoys, I sent them an old-fashioned letter.

Guess what? Denny McCoy received my letter, and sent me an email!

I had some fun with this on Twitter yesterday:

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And I got some fun responses:

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jimemail

McCoy has a different version of what happened with the company. All I know is Bill and Stephanie lost their home in addition to the business.

Turlay didn’t return an email and phone call, but his campaign manager sent me an email.

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It’s no surprise McCoy and Turlay don’t seem to care for each other.

I was just surprised McCoy was alive.

Stephanie Rice

I have worked at The Columbian since 1996. I covered the criminal justice system for 10 years and currently cover Vancouver city government. Reach me at stephanie.rice@columbian.com or 360-735-4508.

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