County endorses candidates for city, maybe, or maybe not, something something CRC

Remember this post?

No? Hey, it’s cool, I’ll recap.

The county has long linked to the official website of the Columbia River Crossing to provide information. Commissioners David Madore and Tom Mielke felt it wasn’t fair to present one side and not the other. And after a bit of arguing, where Commissioner Steve Stuart said this all seemed like a bad idea, they decided to go ahead and do it.

So the county has links to both the official project site and a site run by a group adamantly opposing the project.

And it took, like, what are we at now? Two months? Yeah, it took like two months before this became a whole thing.

At board time last week, Stuart said a citizen emailed him this:

From: <>
Date: May 22, 2013, 3:15:14 PM PDT
Subject: Vancouver Mayor/City Council Candidates – Status
Good day everyone,
Since our group is focused on stopping the CRC and helping all involved move forward with rational transportation planning – we thought it would be helpful to our friends to point out what candidates for Vancouver political positions appear to support this point of view. They are:
For Mayor: Bill Turlay
For City Council – position #1: Micheline Doan and Otto Guardado
For City Council – position #2: Jeanne Stewart
For City Council – position #3: Frank Decker
Having Bill Turlay become mayor and at least two of the above city council positions be filled by the folks above will be transitional in the city government’s approach to the CRC. This group will effective stop the unconditional direct and indirect support for the CRC. And instead help start the process for rational and uncorrupted planning.
Please support these candidates in any way you can (see candidate details below). Right now they are all just starting their campaigns and could use financial help. Compared this to selected pro-CRC candidates that are receiving big support from the typical insiders. Stopping the CRC’s massive debt and destruction of our downtown has long term significant ‘quality of life’ value for most of us – so we hope you see the importance of supporting these candidates. And be clear these folks are very electable (more on this in weeks to come).
For any donations sent in the mail, be sure to include your name, address, employers which is needed for the candidate’s public disclosure filings. Also if you will, included your phone number email address.
From the team at
For Mayor: Bill Turlay (up in about a week with an on-line donation mechanism).
Make donations payable to: ‘Bill Turlay for Mayor’
Mail donations to: Bill Turlay for Mayor, PO box 3634, Vancouver WA 98687-3634
For City Council – position #1: Micheline Doan (up this weekend which will include an on-line donation mechanism).
Make donations payable to: ‘Micheline for City Council’
Mail donations to: Elect Micheline, 13012 NE 53rd St. Vancouver WA 98682
Kick off fundraiser tomorrow.
When: Thursday, May 23rd, 5:30PM
Where: Resource Classroom at the Firstenburg Center, 700 NE 136th St.
For City Council – position #1: Otto Guardado
Make donations payable to: ‘Elect Otto Guardado’
Mail donations to: Elect Otto Guardado, 19755 SE 37th Way, Camas, WA 98607
For City Council – position #2: Jeanne Stewart (on-line donation mechanism up in about a week).
Make donations payable to: ‘Stewart for City Council’
Mail donations to: Stewart for City Council, PO box 383, Vancouver, WA 98666
For City Council – position #3: Frank Decker
Make donations payable to: ‘Elect Frank Decker’
Mail donations to: Elect Frank Decker, 208 SE 169th Avenue, Vancouver, WA 98684
Note and disclaimer: does not represent any of these candidates and the opinions about how these candidates would deal with the CRC are projections based on readily available information from and about these candidates.

Now you can’t have a government site advocating political positions, and the original argument was that was just presenting information. But these endorsements appear to come from

The text in this email doesn’t appear on the site though, so is the county really linking to it?

There’s a signup location on the site’s main page where you can join the mailing list, which I guess would send you this email, so is that a problem?

Hold on, so does this mean the county is vicariously helping endorse candidates for city government positions by linking to a website that looks to counter claims by an official government organization?

Also, what?

The county’s attorney, Bronson Potter, who is currently a short timer, is looking into all of this. Madore didn’t want Potter to have to waste his time, but Stuart said it was brought to him by a concerned citizen, and he was requesting legal counsel.

I’ll update y’all with Potter’s take on the matter once he delivers an opinion to commissioners.

Erik Hidle

Erik Hidle

Erik Hidle covers Clark County government for The Columbian. He can be followed on facebook at, on Twitter at @col_clarkgov or contacted by email at

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