Author Archives: DBP

Democracy Slouchers ~ Part 4: Where was Lorena?

October 1, 2017  News of my complaint to the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission on Lorena Gonzalez made the Seattle Weekly. Good on them. One correction to their story: Weekly writer Dan Person noted correctly that I was a candidate … Continue reading

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The New Witch Hunters

September 28, 2017  In the 1950s, Senator Joe McCarthy’s “House Un-American Activities Committee” hung like a noose around the liberal establishment’s neck, ready to draw tight at a witness’s refusal to name his associates in the Communist Party. Initially McCarthy went … Continue reading

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Democracy Slouchers ~ Part 3: What’s left of the Dream?

September 8, 2017 Remember when the Democracy Voucher Program was proposed? It was supposed to get big money out of politics and get grassroots candidates in. We’re now six months into our first election with the vouchers and where are … Continue reading

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Activating a space to discourage camping

September 4, 2017 In a recent public meeting on a homeless encampment in the Ballard, Seattle’s Director of Homelessness George Scarola told neighbors of the camp that they could “activate” public spaces to keep homeless people from camping there. According … Continue reading

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Democracy Slouchers ~ Part 2

August 17, 2017 Seattle’s new Democracy Voucher Program has a long way yet to go to fix Seattle politics. One could argue that, rather than discouraging corruption, the program is actually rewarding it. The program gives qualifying candidates access to … Continue reading

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Democracy Slouchers ~ Part 1

July 4, 2017 I-122, the “Honest Elections” initiative (aka the Democracy Voucher Program) was supposed to get money and corporate influence out of Seattle politics. It looked great on paper. The PROBLEM: “Wealthy special interests have too much power in … Continue reading

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The Testament of Christian Otto

June 24, 2017 Two months ago, I was contacted by a homeless man named Chris Otto. Mr. Otto claimed he had been in a position of authority at two homeless programs run by SHARE (the Seattle Housing and Resource Effort) … Continue reading

Posted in General, Homelessness, SHARE, Tent City | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Ghostwriter

June 5, 2017 What would you think if you discovered automobile executives had written a bill on auto safety and handed it to your senator to sponsor? And what if you learned those same executives had penned pro-industry letters to the … Continue reading

Posted in General, Homelessness, Squatters | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Speaking Truth to Power

June 1, 2017 Here’s a video excerpt of a brave Seattle woman confronting the City Council with my “Anatomy of a Swindle” blog article. This took place on October 14, 2016. The context is a discussion about Mike O’Brien’s proposed … Continue reading

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Seattle’s Democracy Voucher Program: A Candidate’s View

In 2015, Seattle voters passed an initiative to create a public-finance pool for candidates in city elections. It’s called the Democracy Voucher Program, and it’s funded by a special property tax. Registered voters receive four $25 coupons in the mail, which … Continue reading

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Puff Piece

April 29, 2017 In my years of trying to bring the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) to justice, I have been repeatedly frustrated by their slick public relations operation. Here’s an organization that engages in a number of deceptive or dishonest … Continue reading

Posted in General, Homelessness, Nickelsville, Tent City | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Call Me Reverend

April 11, 2017 Call Me Reverend: The Bill Kirlin-Hackett Story Mr. Mild The first impression one gets of the Reverend Bill Kirlin-Hackett is of someone we’d expect to find singing kum-ba-ya around the campfire or handing out coffee and hugs at a … Continue reading

Posted in General, Homelessness, Politics, SHARE | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Margin Dwellers

April 4, 2017 A word of advice to aspiring reporters: Don’t ever volunteer for the poverty beat. It’ll tear the heart out of you. Meet Jennifer Allison (on the left). She’s the manager at the Georgian Motel on Aurora Ave N. … Continue reading

Posted in General, Homelessness, Nickelsville, Politics, Stories | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Encampment Complaints: A suspicious pattern

March 23, 2017 The document in the link below was produced by Seattle’s Customer Service Bureau (CSB) in response to a public disclosure request from Safe Seattle. The document shows how many citizen complaints the City got in a six-week … Continue reading

Posted in Complaints, General, Homelessness, Nickelsville, Squatters, Tent City | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Thin Veneer

March 13, 2017 In my time, I’ve been in some pretty bad places. Figuratively and literally. I was raised in an affluent home, but as a young man, I traveled to an embattled Third World country because I wanted to … Continue reading

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The tarnished halo of Rob Ferguson

March 12, 2017 Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is exulting in his successful court challenge to President Trump’s immigration ban. Ferguson obviously cares about immigrant rights, but has he been as diligent in protecting people who already live here? What … Continue reading

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Beyond the Pale: A neighbor’s view of the Ballard Locks homeless camp

March 10, 2017 The Ballard Locks (also known as Hiram M. Chittenden Locks) are a system of mechanically controlled channels that allow watercraft to travel between the inland waterways of Seattle (Lake Washington, Lake Union, the Ship Canal) and Puget … Continue reading

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Hello this is my daughter…

March 6, 2017 Seen in a Portland shop window in August 2017. It may have been there for some time, given the reference to winter clothes: HOMELESS IN DWNTWN PORTLAND Please help my ill daughter Hello this is my daughter … Continue reading

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Anything helps. Or does it?

February 20, 2017 This snapshot of a Seattle panhandler was sent to me by a reader who inferred that because the woman was sitting in a comfortable chair sipping a pricey coffee, with a dog and a cushion, she’s not … Continue reading

Posted in Homelessness, Panhandling | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Brandie Bright and Dark

February 13, 2017 Oh the irony! Seems that one of the ACLU’s two homeless plaintiffs – a woman who is crying foul over City crews removing her stuff from public land without due notice – is apparently quite the little thief … Continue reading

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ACLU vs. the People

*** TBQ Readers, your help is needed. Please read to the end to find out how you can help make us all safer. *** We were cautiously optimistic when we learned that the Mayor was moving ahead to clear dangerous … Continue reading

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Tent Cities: Not a way out but a way to HANG out

February 8, 2017 Except for the misleading headline, this article from Pacific Standard Magazine is a more or less honest view of a SHARE-run tent city. Based on my own experiences, I can say that the interview subjects are a … Continue reading

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Politics and privilege in the Emerald City

January 20, 2017 What do Sally Bagshaw and Donald Trump have in common? More than you might think. I’m not talking money here; I’m talking attitude. See, when you’re rich, you can’t help having one. An attitude, that is. A … Continue reading

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The Great Enablers

January 12, 2017 Quick: What do you call a Detox Center, without the “De-” part? You’d call it a Tox Center, of course. And that’s just what it would be: a place where addicts could keep poisoning their bodies, free … Continue reading

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Ballard Bridge Status: 1/10/2017

The Ballard Bridge spans Salmon Bay to connect Seattle’s historic Ballard neighborhood with points south. The bridge and surrounding environs have been a long-term site of homeless camps at both ends. These camps, particularly the one on the north end, … Continue reading

Posted in Crime, General, Homelessness, Squatters | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

The Hidden Persuaders

Dedicated to Larry Kaminsky December 27, 2016 Even as Seattle voters enact a flurry of laws designed to “get money out of politics,” the insinuation of paid political advocates into local government continues apace. This article looks at how that works … Continue reading

Posted in Crime, General, Homelessness, Politics, Squatters | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

C is for Vengeance: A blogger and politician team up to punish critics

December 21, 2016 Have you ever written an angry letter or e-mail to a government official? Most of us have at one time or other. God knows I have. But did you ever think, when you dropped that letter in … Continue reading

Posted in Crime, General, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Seattle Burnin’ Down

December 11, 2016 Last month I began collaborating with Harley Lever on his Safe Seattle Facebook page. The Blog Quixotic and Safe Seattle share many concerns about public safety, but Safe Seattle has a much wider audience and is more of … Continue reading

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Audit This! ~ Bringing Seattle’s Human Services Department to heel

December 7, 2016 The Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) dispenses city, state, and federal money to a hundred-odd contractors that provide various services to Seattle’s poor and homeless. HSD has regulations requiring the contractors to track and submit financial tracking … Continue reading

Posted in General, Homelessness, SHARE | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Kshama Town

November 25, 2016 Photos of anti-Trump protests in Chicago and Seattle tell two very different stories about political culture. The Chicago crowd (above) is large, varied, and rowdy. The placards there are hand-made, and each one bears a different message, … Continue reading

Posted in Crime, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments