Benton, Pike learn lessons in email etiquette

Email faux pas made by Republican candidate for state representative Liz Pike and state Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, led to a questioning of Pike’s Republican credentials.

First, Benton mistakenly sent out an email to people on his list when instead of placing email recipients in the blind carbon copy – also known as the BCC – address line, he placed them on the normal CC line, revealing the address of each recipient to the whole list.
“I am very sorry for letting your email address out,” Benton told those on his list, “and I will take great care to be sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Then, Pike used the revealed list to send out a campaign email of her own.

Upon noticing what Pike had done, Benton sent another email to the list, calling Pike “unscrupulous.” Benton added that he does not plan to endorse Pike, because “I know she has worked for and contributed money to so many Democrats in the past.”

Benton has previously expressed support for Pike’s challenger, another Republican named Dale Smith. Benton said he was considering a dual endorsement until the e-mail incident.

Pike, who is running for the 18th District seat being vacated by state Rep. Ed Orcutt, sent out a statement on Tuesday to apologize for the blunder and to fight Benton’s charge that she has supported “so many” Democrats.

“With one exception, I have never contributed money to any Democrat,” Pike said. “That person was Steve Stuart in 2006, when he ran against a Republican who was more liberal than him, in my opinion.”

Although Benton’s email said Pike has supported Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire, Pike rebutted that claim: “A (Public Disclosure Commission) report in 2007 states that a Mr. Dan Pike, From Bellingham, Wash., (running for Bellingham mayor at the time) contributed to Gregoire’s campaign,” Pike said. “I can assure you I am not that man.”

The state’s Public Disclosure Commission has a database that tracks campaign contributions to candidates. Indeed, a search of the database does show that Liz Pike has not donated money to Gregoire’s campaign.

The advertising company Pike owns did charge Democrat Pam Brokaw about $500 for services in 2004, and it charged Stuart a total of $12,929 in 2006 and 2010, according to the commission. Pike also has worked on the campaigns of several Republican candidates over two decades.

Pike said the “small hiccup” will not slow down her campaign. She has a campaign kickoff event scheduled for May 10.

“I made a mistake,” Pike said. “It will never happen again. I immediately sent (Benton) a sincere apology.”

Stevie Mathieu: 360-735-4523 or or or

Scroll to top