Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Russell, finally, leaves.

For an extended period of time (several months), Jon Russell had been skipping many of the the city council meetings that he had a duty to attend, since he was an elected Washougal City Councilman.

No longer.

Jon Russell has finally done what he SHOULD have done months ago, and left the city council.

Here's my review of his political tenure:

The Columbian referred to Russell's time on the council as "controversial."

That's much like accurately describing the editors of the Columbian and their editorial page as "leftist."  While correct as a label, it really doesn't come close to a complete description, nor does it lend itself to the flavor of a pattern of immaturity, deceit and dishonesty that marked Russell's campaigns and his use of Washougal as a prop on his way up the political ladder.

I first met Russell after he'd come out here back in '04 to handle the SW Washington area HROC gig... which was his first disaster.  In '04, then Rep. Jim Dunn (R-17) had been given a kind of "persona-non-gratia" status by Republican Leader Rep. Richard DeBolt (R-20) and Russell's marching orders were to defeat him in the primary.

Russell worked the campaign of then candidate, now first term State Representative Paul Harris (R-17) (Third time was the charm) and it looked like Harris was going to win going away until Russell sent out a mailer for Harris that changed everything as it attacked Dunn for his age and his weight among other things... and Harris lost.

Russell also interfaced with the Richard Curtis campaign that I consulted on.  Ultimately, his efforts proved to be equally disastrous and both Curtis and I worked to, and ultimately was successful in, getting any further involvement in our campaign by Russell ended.

For example, Russell's second phone call to me was a request for Pam Brokaw's social security number.

I did not have that number, didn't want it and didn't need it.  I told Russell that we didn't play politics that way and that we were going to win this fair and square, without engaging in tactics that required an opponent's social security number.

Since that time, I've watched Russell locally.  He's engaged in a pattern of political dirty tricks including multiple fake names and handles that enabled him to, typically, attack political opponents, even after his appointment to the Washougal city council, while protecting his true identity.

He made up information about his wife as a "doctor."  He repeatedly lied about his education, making up fake degrees.

Russell, an alleged conservative, worked on the Port of Vancouver levy on the "for" side, advocating for what would have been the biggest tax increase in this area's history.

He steadfastly refused to take responsibility for any of the Stacee Sellers debacle, and had no knowledge over the subsequent disappearance of $100,000 in city funds even though he chaired the city finance committee.

He made up fake facebook identities that leaned toward small, petite blond women (Teacher Judy Banks and Jessica Bowen)  had surrogates engage in personal attacks (One of Jon's minions went so far as to attempt to get me kicked off the board of a charitable organization in Idaho)

His campaigns, efforts to get out of Washougal all, included a disastrous, unsuccessful run at the 3rd District Congressional seat; now, unfortunately, held by Jaime Herrera... and then a run at the open 18th District House seat that had been held by Herrera as she vacated to move up to Congress.

I'm hearing a wide variety of other interesting rumors in the political game concerning candidates in the upcoming election... but don't have quite enough to go to web, yet.  That said, there's an entire blog devoted to Russell's antics, Jon Russell Watch. 

Check it out for more details.

One thing that I appreciate: with Jon Russell's departure to the other side of the country, I can be less concerned about continuing on as a PCO.  Russell was the only reason I wanted the gig... and with him leaving... well, it's going to be interesting.

So, underlying Russell's departure was a sense of relief on the part of many, including me. 

Cross-posted at Clark County Politics.