All Politics is Local

The fists are up in general campaign

Marc Boldt, candidate for Clark County council chair

Marc Boldt, candidate for Clark County council chair

This campaign is getting ugly.

Republican Councilor David Madore early Friday morning posted on his Facebook — a wealth of information, as always — attacking Marc Boldt, no party preference, for working with Jim Mains of High Five Media. Mains, as Boldt’s campaign manager, has been helping write press releases and communicating with voters through social media accounts for Boldt’s campaign.

“If a candidate turns in someone else’s exam paper, or substitutes someone else’s work for their own when applying for a job, wouldn’t we inherently recognize such deception as disingenuous imitation and misrepresentation?” Madore posted.

“Yet it appears that such a charade has been the case from the beginning of the campaign for Clark County Chair. Citizens trust that they are corresponding with Marc Boldt, when in reality, they are talking with someone else. Right Jim Mains?”

This sort of thing isn’t unusual for a campaign or politicians. Many use consultants to write at least some of their copy. Skim through the Public Disclosure Commission and you’ll find expenditures for things like graphic design, social media management and the like, so I’m not sure Madore’s “Gotcha” is as big as he believes it to be. Mains tells me that Boldt has a campaign team that he runs messages and ideas by all the time.

“Clearly, Madore is upset the voters rejected him in the primary,” Mains said. “Lashing out at others because of his own failure says more about his character than anything else I can say.”

Madore of all people should know how typical it is to have someone communicating for you. After all, he hired his own assistant, Anna Miller, to help him communicate with his fellow councilors and the public. Miller was also Madore’s campaign manager back when he ran in 2012. As far as I can tell, she always signs off as herself.

Flip through some of Madore’s emails on the county’s public records portal (which is an incredible resource, by the way) and you’ll find dozens of examples where Miller, through Madore’s county email address, schedules appointments for the councilor and asks for updates on projects happening elsewhere in the county.

Here’s just one email from an exchange regarding a recycling center believed to be out of compliance. The emphasis added here is Miller’s, but I removed the phone number.

On Mar 30, 2015, at 4:03 PM, Madore, David <david.madore@clark.wa.gov><david.madore@clark.wa.gov> wrote:

Mark,  On Friday Mr. Girod’s engineer got a phone call from Kevin Pridemore stating  that “time was up, and they are going to give him an order to vacate in one week.  ”.

Mr. Girod say’s Olson engineering can’t get to it for one week  because they are backed up.  He is asking for more time.

Mr. Girod would like to speak with you.l

Would you please call Mr. Girod

[phone number redacted]

The result of our meeting last week was that I was going to contact Mr. Girod and ask him to continue to work with community development and apply for a site plan right away.

Anna

All told it’s pretty innocuous material — sort of like how hiring someone to do your campaign communication is pretty innocuous — except for the fact that Miller’s role at the county is a little strange in the first place.

Remember, Miller is not a county employee. Madore pays her a private salary to be his personal assistant. Neither Councilors Tom Mielke nor Jeanne Stewart have such an assistant. It’s actually written into her contract that she is not permitted to direct county staff. But the point remains that Madore, much like Boldt, is paying someone money to help him communicate.

“Shouldn’t the County Council Chair engage citizens directly with competent writing skills using proficient vocabulary, spelling, grammar, and punctuation without requiring a surrogate?” Madore wrote Friday.

Meanwhile, here’s Boldt’s response to the whole thing.

“Just like you David all statements on my website and Facebook come from me,” he posted on Madore’s Facebook. “If you doubt it feel free to call my cell at 3606351708. How do you have so much time playing on social media when you have a county to run? God Bless.”

tumblr_m3rtyerfHZ1qir45xo1_500

How Boldt is feeling right now, probably.

Kaitlin Gillespie

I'm the education reporter at The Columbian. Get in touch at kaitlin.gillespie@columbian.com or 360-735-4517.

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