Sax Watch

A Blog dedicated to revealing the truth about Jeff Sax, Republican candidate for Snohomish County Council in District 5. NOTICE TO VOTERS: This Advertisement is not authorized or approved by any candidate. It is paid for by the owner of this web site, and I am not a PAC. (Top five contributors: Robert R Stitt.)

Location:Snohomish/Three Lakes, WA

Monday, October 31, 2005

Everett Herald endorses Somers: Somers is better bet against volatile Sax

HeraldNet: Somers is better bet against volatile Sax:
"Somers is better bet against volatile Sax

Politics is often as much about style as substance, and that's the case in the race for the Snohomish County Council's District 5 seat.
The leading candidates to represent the east-county district, Republican incumbent Jeff Sax and Democratic former council member Dave Somers, clearly have differences in substance. Sax, backed by big campaign contributions from developers, puts a premium on private property rights. Somers, whose campaign has gotten most of its money from environmental and labor groups, argues for more controls on growth.
When it comes to style, the two actually share some of the same characteristics. Both are deeply principled, holding tight to their core beliefs. Both have reputations for being strong-willed, sometimes to the point of arrogance. Legitimate questions exist about their open-mindedness and approachability. We have reservations about both."

But they conclude that Somers is a better bet than Sax.

Thursday, October 27, 2005


WashBlog points out how Sax has spoken with forked tongue about the Brightwater Plant. It's clear that this guy will say whatever is expedious to the audience he speaks to.

Is he for it or against it?

WashBlog: Somers has a chance

WashBlog: Somers has a chance: "Somers has a chance
The word on the street in Snohomish County is that a recently commissioned poll shows Dave Somers with a slight lead in his race for County Council. This information merely confirms that Somers needs all hands on deck, as he continues to fight a 2-1 money advantage. To turn the tide and retake this crucial county council, the entire progressive community will need to unite and support Dave.
Visit and support Dave today!"

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Swiftboating Begins

Yesterday I warned you about the mailings that would be starting soon. That was before I looked at my snailmail.

The first in the series is a "Jeff Sax is Great" piece in the style of George W Bush, his mentor and party leader.

Today the series continued with a negative piece, paid for by the "Friends of Jeff Sax" who don't appear to be reporting their expenditures to the PDC. It's in the style of the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth, who in actuality told lies about John Kerry. The FoJS have rented a PO Box in Snohomish and are busy insulting the intelligence of the residents of Snohomish County.

The style of these hit pieces is to lie negatively about their opponent and positively about their candidate, but you can rest assured that both sides are lies.

For example, with respect to unemployment, the economic times were more to blame than either Somers or Sax. Somers was last in office during the bust, and Sax got into office when things were at a low because of 9/11. The statements on the hit piece are phrased in general terms and thus are less than verifiable.

The Seattle TimesEndorses: Koster, Gossett, Somers for Snohomish County

The Seattle Times: Editorials & Opinion: Koster, Gossett, Somers for Snohomish County:
"Koster, Gossett, Somers for Snohomish County Snohomish County Council needs an infusion of perspective on the growth defining its future. Population and housing estimates are soaring and there is only increasing frustration ahead with roads, schools and public services unless land-use policies achieve a manageable balance."

About Sax, the Times says:
Sax only lurches from one political pratfall to another; he is unfocused and unpredictable. His deliberate leak of legal details from a recent executive session was the last straw.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Get ready for more Sax mailings

I thought I posted this already, but it didn't show up. While researching the PDC website to figure out where Sax is getting his money (see the Everett Herald article for their summary) I noticed that they Sax's big PAC supporter has paid a Monroe Printer $20,000, for printing (although it might be for signs).

I suspect that they plan on a pre-election Blitz. From a strategic standpoint, it would probably behoove Dave Somers to wait until the last minute to respond, although if they've already ordered their printing they may not be able to respond to him. On the other hand, most people vote by mail these days, so the election may be already decided before those mailings get out.

If you have any spare change, send it to Dave Somers to help finance a mailing from him.

Welcome to WashBlog Readers

Welcome to WashBlog readers. I'm attempting to compile as much information as I can about Jeff Sax. If you have any good stuff, put it in a comment here or e-mail it to me at

I generally post here in the evening, after the Daily Show.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Daily Kos: Play a part in a local Wingnut takedown

Daily Kos: Play a part in a local Wingnut takedown: "1)Ovbiously doesn't believe the law applies to him - built a second home on land not zoned for it, and did it without a permit (even though he fought for 3 years trying to get it re-zoned before he got elected in 2001)
2)Leaked confidential legal documents to a NIMBY group which is illegal and being investigated by the WA State Patrol
3)Cut funding to the United Way over a political pissing match
4)Cut funding to stream and rivers that have suffered environmental damage
5)Doctored the Growth Management Plan's buildable lands report in a secret session with land developers to try to gain more land development - circumventing years of work by local city planners and county officials.
6)Has taken in over $300,000.00 in big developer contributions for his re-election.
7)Is a close buddy of scumbag Richard Pambo (R-CA) and has assisted him on a local level to fight against creating the Wild Sky Wilderness."

For those readers who don't know who Daily KOS is, it is THE Major blog on the Progressive side of the Blogosphere and may be one of the two or three most read blogs on the Internet. This was posted in a "Diary" about a week ago, but it showed up in my search engine and so got us a bit of publicity, and probably got Dave Somers a little bit of money.

WashBlog: Record breaking $750,000 poured into council races

WashBlog: Record breaking $750,000 poured into council races: "Record breaking $750,000 poured into council races
The Everett Herald points out the painful truth about the 2005 county council races."

Washblog links to a Herald Article, and has lots more Sax information.

Sunday, October 23, 2005 | What you need to know about Jeff Sax | What you need to know about Jeff Sax

A new WebSite documenting Facts about Jeff Sax. No relation to this blog, but full of useful information. Check it out.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

HeraldNet: Ethics panel clears Jeff Sax [of Breaking the Law, but not of Behaving unethically]

HeraldNet: Ethics panel clears Jeff Sax:
"Snohomish County Councilman Jeff Sax may have bent county rules, but he didn't break them when he leaked documents marked confidential to opponents of the Brightwater sewage treatment plant.
That was the ruling of the Snohomish County Ethics Commission on Friday."

Well, he squeaked by this time, but

"The commission's 3-1 decision turned on the lack of clarity in county code over exactly what the word "confidential" means, commission chairman Bill Higgins said.

"He didn't break the law, but he definitely broke the appearance of fairness doctrine," Higgins said."

Apparently investigations are still underway on the state level to see if he broke any laws.

Unfortunately, this is one of those difficult issues. Let's face it, if a council member who didn't have the overwhelming support of the Developers had done this, I'd probably support it. The problem I have with Sax is not his support of the Brightwater opponents, but the is his support of the Developers who would like to build this county from one end to the other. And the amount of money that he has gotten from those developers. And the apparent quid pro quo that is evidenced by the weakening of the development regulations by the council.

Friday, October 21, 2005

HeraldNet: Sax leads the way as County OKs more rural development

HeraldNet: County OKs more rural development:
"County OKs more rural development

By Jeff Switzer
Herald Writer
Urban development should be allowed on more than a thousand acres of rural property, the Snohomish County Council decided on Wednesday.
By adding the properties and changing proposed maps, the county runs the risk of missing a key deadline in adopting the state-mandated plans for population and job increases.
Consequently, the county could face state sanctions and miss out on the county's share of some state tax revenue.
More than 40 individual votes were taken in just one hour to approve special requests to boost development on up to 1,500 acres of properties.
Even Gold Bar should get a few hundred more acres for housing, the council decided in a 3-2 vote, supported by Councilmen Jeff Sax, Gary Nelson and Kirke Sievers."

It's not clear from this article how this fits in with the urban growth plan. Even granting that they needed to do this to meet some deadlines to get State aid, it doesn't make sense to do it willy-nilly per the individual requests.

From my perspective, what we need to do is adopt a long term plan and then follow it. Once the plan is in place and operational, the council should never be involved except as part of the appeals process when there are questions about whether the plan has been followed.

It would be interesting to investigate whether the money from developers that is supporting Sax's campaign had any effect on his votes in this matter. Who are the developers who were requesting these zoning changes, and did they donate to one of the PACs that has paid for all those mailings? Or have another relationship? The corporate veil seems rather thin in the case of developers around here.

More to follow . . .

[Update #1: I misread this. It's worse than I thought. It appears that what they actually accomplished by this slash and burn amending of the plan is to jeopardize meeting the stat's deadlines since they will have to go back and redo all the staff work on the original plan.]

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Seattle Times: Snohomish County News: Counties reach accord on Brightwater plant

The Seattle Times: Snohomish County News: Counties reach accord on Brightwater plant:
"The only dissenting vote to the agreement came from Snohomish Councilman Jeff Sax, who is in the midst of a re-election fight. Sax argued that Snohomish County won't have a seat at the table as decisions about the proposed plant go forward.
'Future decisions will be made by King County,' Sax said.
Sax, who leaked details of the settlement agreement to anti-Brightwater groups about two weeks ago, remained defiant at yesterday's hearing, portraying himself as the lone political opponent to the project.
'I probably did the wrong thing for the right reason,' he said of releasing the confidential legal documents prior to yesterday's public hearing."

More standalone stuff that probably won't help him that much.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Three vie for County Council Post

HeraldNet: Three vie for County Council post:
"Three vie for County Council post
The District 5 race is a rematch between political opposites Jeff Sax and Dave Somers, with a twist - independent Greg Stephens.
By Jeff Switzer
Herald Writer
A coin toss won't do in this race, unless it has three sides.
Outspoken incumbent Republican Jeff Sax is in a rematch with the man he unseated four years ago, Democrat Dave Somers, to serve on the Snohomish County Council.
The Snohomish County Council contests are the hottest local races this fall. To help voters get informed, The Herald is sponsoring 'Coffee with the Candidates' from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Oct. 26 at the new east county administration building in public meeting room 2. Participants will be able to ask the candidates questions. The candidates invited are John Koster, R-Arlington, and Suzanne Smith, D-Marysville, in the 1st District; Dave Gossett, D-Mountlake Terrace, and Eva Davies, R-Bothell, in the 4th District; and Jeff Sax, R-Snohomish, Dave Somers, D-Monroe, and Greg Stephens, I-Snohomish, in the 5th District. The event is in the building on the corner of Pacific and Oakes avenues. Use the parking garage or a side street. Refreshments will be served.
The curveball for the candidates is Greg Stephens, an independent candidate in the race who just left the Republican party."

This article from the Herald outlines the issues among the three candidates, although in my opinion it gives more coverage to Sax than to the other two candidates, particularly short shrift to Somers. However, Sax says more than he should and reveals his pro-developer bias.

A related article in the Herald deals with specific issues and presents answers from the three candidates.

Sax revealed in the article that he is a Montana boy. So am I, and I'm a bit surprised that he is, but I guess Montana always had enough rednecks in it to spawn someone like him.

A third interesting article (actually Editorial) appeared today in the Seattle Times, suggesting that the deal between King and Snohomish Counties on the Brightwater Sewage plant is a good deal for both counties, since two-thirds of the sewage processed will be from Snohomish County. I hadn't paid a lot of attention to this issue until Sax made a fool himself over it. I know that many locals in the South part of the district are opposed to the plant, but I think that it actually is advantageous to our situation, since it allows more of the growth in Snohomish country to be focused at the south end of the County, essentially leaving us more to our own devices, and reducing the pressures to expand urban growth and development in our area.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

HeraldNet: Citizens deserve better than Sax's leadership

HeraldNet: Citizens deserve better than Sax's leadership: "Citizens deserve better than Sax's leadership

Apparently the neo-conservative movement is alive and well in Snohomish County. With the recent allegations of ethics violations by County Councilman Jeff Sax, and his subsequent 'justification,' Snohomish County is getting a real glimpse into the current state of neo-conservative politics."

HeraldNet: County Council debate testy

HeraldNet: County Council debate testy: "'It's fish versus people,' said Republican County Councilman Jeff Sax, who is seeking a second term in the 5th District. 'Water is for people, too. It seems in this climate of (endangered species) ... we've gone way overboard in our policy.'
Democrat Dave Somers, one of Sax's challengers and a career fisheries biologist, responded: 'Fish versus people, that's garbage. We can have both. The specter that it is one or the other is baloney.'"

Jeff Sax Funding Revealed

I've just spend some more time perusing records at the Public Disclosure Commission. I've previously reported on the direct funding to the candidates, and since all the October reports aren't posted yet I'll hold off on the details, except to summarize by pointing out that Sax gets donations in larger amounts from business, contractors, and apparent Republican supporters. Somers gets smaller donations from people in the District, with a scattering of small donations from Democratic and progressive supporters.

The real key here is where the money is coming from to fund all of those mailings that we have been getting. I've previously discussed that briefly, but I've discovered more details and will post them here (bear in mind that all the October 12 reports aren't posted yet, so things are a little behind):

There are three money streams supporting the brochures:

Quality Communities PAC

The first brochures that were send out, right after the primary, were ordered and paid for before the primary. They were sent out by the Quality Communities PAC (Political Action Committee) which spent almost $40,000 on the mailings between Sept. 11 and October 11, leaving them with a negative bank balance of $3,000 on October 11.

They got their money ($94,000 total cash plus $80,000 in kind contribution as of October 13) from and outfit called the Coalition for Quality Communities PAC, which had $13,740 in the bank as of October 11. and has raised around $113,000 since they were formed in February of 2005.

Where did they get this money? Mostly in donations from developers, contractors, and other people in the development industry. Most of their donations are in $1000 and $2500 amounts. It appears to me that they have a sliding scale for contributions based on the size of the company making the contribution. A couple of very large developers (Barclays West and their front companies) have been the major funders. The bottom line is that corporate money, which is apparently legal in Washington, is funding this stuff.

These guys are local (Snohomish mailing Address, banking in Lake Stevens).

Realtors PAC

The Realtor's PAC, on the other hand, is headquartered in Olympia and has lots of assets. As of 9/12 they had $628,000 in the bank and on 9/30 they collected $1000 in interest on those funds. You can guess where they got their money from. Interestingly, they tend to behave as a real PAC and give their money directly to candidates. As of October 11, they have not reported a donation to the "Realtor's Quality of Life PAC" which is the sponsor of one of the propaganda streams.

The "Realtors QoL PAC" claims that it gets its money from the Realtors PAC, but apparently has not filed any reports since March 15 of 2005 when they reported a $52 refund from the IRS, and when they reported no assets on hand.

Furthermore, they have not filed any declaration of support for a candidate since the 2004 election.

It appears to me, unless they have actually filed reports recently, that they don't have their act together and are not complying with State Law.

Friends of Jeff Sax (GOP)

This is the latest mailing, obviously put together in the last few days because it refers to some current events.
It's probably mailed by the Republican Party since it was mailed in Everett and has a number mailing permit. That can be verified. However, it has a Snohomish POB as the return address. No report has been filed at the PDC yet for the "Friends of Jeff Sax".

What this all means

The bottom line is that the Sax campaign has a deep well of funding available to it. Technically these supporters are not supposed to coordinate with the campaign, and it may well be that they have left no paper trail, but it's pretty obvious that there is more than just coincidence here.

Dave Somers needs more money, or some support from 527's or PACs who have the big bucks. It's a bit late for that right now, so your donations need to go to the campaign. You can donate at the Dave Somers web site.

Friday, October 14, 2005

HeraldNet: County leak to be investigated

HeraldNet: County leak defended: "The state Attorney General's Office on Friday agreed to oversee an independent investigation to determine how documents protected under attorney-client privilege made it into the hands of Brightwater's opponents, and whether any laws were broken. The Washington State Patrol likely will join the inquiry.
An independent investigation is necessary to ensure there is no perceived conflict of interest. The Snohomish County Prosecutor's Office serves as the civil attorney for Sax and other elected county officials."

What they are investigating, of course, is Jeff Sax' leak of confidential documents to the opponents of the Brightwater plant, apparently in an attempt to gain their votes. The opponents are apparently supporters of Dave Somers.

Here's another quote from the article in the Herald.

WOODINVILLE - Snohomish County Councilman Jeff Sax on Saturday defended sharing confidential documents with opponents of the Brightwater sewage treatment plant.

The documents outline a $70 million deal that could end years of wrangling between Snohomish and King counties. Sax is under investigation for releasing the documents.

At an anti-Brightwater rally here, Sax, a Republican who is seeking re-election, said he leaked the documents because the other four members of the County Council made a behind-closed-doors decision to settle the fight over Brightwater without public input.

KOMO TV News - King, Snohomish Counties Reach Tentative Agreement On Sewage Plant

KOMO TV News - King, Snohomish Counties Reach Tentative Agreement On Sewage Plant: "After a closed hearing, council member Jeff Sax voted against moving forward and said he would vote against approval next week.
'This is a deal negotiated behind closed doors, and now the council will have to sit in front of the public and hear them tell us how right or wrong we are,' Sax said. "

Sax is opposing the construction of the Brightwater Sewage Plant. Apparently he thinks this will get him votes and make him appear to be fighting a "development". However, it's more likely that he will just irritate a lot of voters.

More coming on the details of his leak of information to the opponents of the Plant.

Sax ... out? | Progressive Majority Washington

Sax ... out? | Progressive Majority Washington: "Apparently the Snohomish County Council MIGHT be calling for a censure or resignation of Sax in the next day or two. "

It seems that his fellow council members don't like what he is doing.

HeraldNet: Sax abandons good judgment with leak

HeraldNet: Sax abandons good judgment with leak: "Sax abandons good judgment with leak

When contentious issues get heated, elected leaders are expected to exercise enough self control and good judgment to keep their own emotions in check.
On that score, Jeff Sax failed last week.
The Snohomish County Council member, never known to back away from a political fight, could face an investigation by state law enforcement authorities for leaking confidential documents on a proposed deal to end the county's opposition to the Brightwater sewage treatment plant. Sax admits leaking the documents to Brightwater opponents, and defends his action as a blow for the public's right to know.
If that was his aim, he sure didn't shoot straight."

This Editorial from the Everett Herald takes Sax to Task and suggests he has viotated the law by leaking information to the opponents of the Brightwater Sewage Plant.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Signs of the Sax

Jeff Sax and his forces have been busy posting signs along the hiways and byways of the Fifth District. A couple of weeks ago as I was heading into Three Lakes on 163rd I passed a pickup truck leaving with a large American Flag flying in the Bed. I then passed A Sax sign in a yard (I'm sure you've all seen which yard). Of course the people who live there are entitled to post their sign. However, I've also noticed yesterday that there are Sax signs posted at the corner of Three Lakes Road and 163rd, on the road margins. One is right next to the sign on the Stop sign. The other is across Three Lakes Road.

However, we have no Somers signs out in our neighborhood. We probably need to get some!

I noticed that one Somers sign on down Three lakes Road towards Snohomish has been knocked over.

And this afternoon on the way to Lowell I noticed that Sax signs have been posted every 100 yards or so along Lowell River Road.

We can see where they are spending their money this week. It's probably Sax money and not from the 527's.

The Reporting Deadline for the Public Disclosure Commission was yesterday, so I should be able to glean a lot more information about the financing of this election. Watch for a post.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

New PAC is advertising

The first set of advertisements that were sent out at the end of September were financed by a couple of PAC's running under the monikers "Quality Communities".

They laid off for about a week, and now a new advertisement comes from the "REALTORS(R) Quality of Life PAC". I'll be tracking down the donors to that in a future post, but it's obvious from the title alone who is supporting SAX through this ad.

The Plan that is referred to is not necessarily Jeff Sax's plan. In fact, it is a plan mandated by the State Growth management Act, and you can rest assured that if the Legislature had not passed this Act, there would be no plan emanating from Jeff Sax.

And the statement that he has "worked to develop" a plan applies to other members of the County Council as well as Sax. So why should he get credit?

The mitigation fees that is touting amount to nothing more than tokenism. He has proposed to raise the fees, but the amount of money raised from even the increased fees is grossly inadequate to really fix our roads and keep up with the traffic growth that will happen.

As those of us who live in the interface between suburban and rural parts of the county know, the rules the county is using are not adequate to maintain our Quality of Life; and the fact that the County Planning department doesn't even try very hard to enforce the existing rules, means that the effects of what Sax and his friends have been doing is to reduce the Quality of Life for most of us. Most of us thought that 5 acre zoning meant 5 acre zoning, but with Rural Cluster subdivisions there can be high density housing crammed into a low density area, with not much resistance to the developers from anyone except the neighbors.

Continued from Three Lakes Blog

If you have been following my posts in Three Lakes Blog, you will know that I have been commenting on the Advertising blitz that we have been experiencing from PAC supporters of Jeff Sax. I've decided to expand those comments and to start pointing out and documenting some of the BS that is filling our mailboxes.

I will crosspost some of the material from there over to here, and for the next couple of weeks until the election plan to devote some time and effort to debunking the propaganda that is coming out.

I have no relationship with Jeff Sax opponent Dave Somers, other than supporting his candidacy.

If you like what you read here, please forward the URL to your friends so they can be informed, too.

Comments from readers are welcome, even comments from Sax supporters. However, I reserve the right to remove Spam.