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Letter to the Editor: Quotes from 2003 on Jahncke Campaign Flyer 'Deceptive'

Councilman Dan Grausz, who has endorsed challenger Debbie Bertlin over Deputy Mayor El Jahncke, appears to support Jahncke in campaign flyer quote, sourced from a 2003 issue of the Mercer Island Reporter.

(Ed. Note: The Jahncke campaign flyer features the eight-year-old quotes from Grausz, local resident Myra Lupton, Mayor Jim Pearman — who was not mayor at the time — and State Attorney General Rob McKenna — who was a King County Councilman at the time.)

I was quite amazed to receive today a campaign flier from that included a quote of mine given to El during a previous campaign years ago. The flier was obviously intended to suggest that I was endorsing him in the current election which is not the case. I have instead endorsed his opponent,. It was very discouraging to see that kind of deception in what had been until now a positive campaign.

We are at a point with our City where we need new leaders – people with energy, vision, ideas, passion and integrity. Debbie Bertlin embodies all of that and more. People who have served as long as El and I need to move on and make room for the next generation of leaders – candidates like Debbie Bertlin. I can only hope that when I leave the Council in two years, there will be others like Debbie Bertlin willing to take on the challenge of governing. After receiving the flier today, I now feel more strongly than ever that it is time for a change.     

Debbie Bertlin has the character and the skills required to represent us for years to come. I wholeheartedly endorse her.

Dan Grausz

Mercer Island City Councilmember

Kendall Watson October 21, 2011 at 02:08 PM
I just received the following email from Myra Lupton, who is also quoted on the flyer: EDITOR, Having publicly supported Debbie Bertlin for weeks for Position 7, I was surprised to receive a campaign postcard. Thursday from the other candidate for that position quoting comments I had made in 2003. In November 2011, I will vote for her. I urge Mercer Island citizens to elect Debbie whose professional background and whose deeds in our city define her as our best choice for the Mercer Island City Council. Myra Lupton
Carol Lewis Gullstad October 21, 2011 at 03:51 PM
It's really shocking to see such a blatant ethics violation of this nature in a campaign flyer for a local race. It reinforces why things went so horribly wrong in the Lindell case. Carol Gullstad
Bert Loosmore October 21, 2011 at 05:52 PM
I also couldn't believe it when I saw the flyer. How can it be viewed as anything but intentionally misleading?
Lori Langston October 21, 2011 at 07:53 PM
Thanks for putting this on Patch -- just reaffirms why I'm not voting for Jahnke. How low can one go in politics?
Tara October 21, 2011 at 08:29 PM
El Jahncke needs to publically apologize for this unethical flyer. Misleading the voters that two prominent figures are endorsing him when they have publically endorsed his opponent is completely dishonest and a slimy way to try and garner support. I have completely lost respect for El and now wonder what else he hasn’t been truthful about?
Ira B. Appelman October 22, 2011 at 03:14 AM
It’s amusing to see our most deceptive public figure, Dan Grausz, whine when misleading tactics are used against him. Jahncke doesn't list Grausz as a supporter in the mailing. He merely includes one of a plethora of compliments Grausz has heaped on him over the years, and properly attributes it to 2003. Shocking! Was Grausz being deceptive when he praised Jahncke in the past, OVER AND OVER AGAIN? Under Grausz's tutelage, Bertlin has run a vacuous, me-too campaign. At the Voters Forum last Tuesday, Bertlin was mainly advocating policies like sustainability and public safety that the city council has already adopted. Jahncke is technically superior based on his experience as a Councilmember, as a former MISD Director, and as a manager of real estate investments. Grausz and Jahncke are currently cooperating in the largest deception in Mercer Island history -- the cover-up of the shafting of City Clerk Tina Eggers in 2003 and the more recent mistreatment of Londi Lindell that resulted in $1.2 million in payments. They need to answer why City Manager Rich Conrad wasn't fired in 2003 when they found out he had propositioned the city clerk for sex, why they deceptively kept the matter from Islanders, and why they didn't fire Conrad for the current mess that, as city manager, is his responsibility? Bertlin has been silent about firing the City Manager and cleaning up the mess at city hall, suggesting she doesn’t represent change, but rather business as usual.
Patrick Daugherty October 22, 2011 at 03:53 AM
I too received El Jahncke’s campaign flyer and was stunned by the misleading information it contained. It raises serious questions about Mr. Jahncke. Patrick Daugherty
Kevin October 22, 2011 at 10:29 PM
It's good to see El jumping on the sustainability bandwagon but I'm not sure recycling endorsements from bygone elections really counts.
Sarah October 25, 2011 at 03:57 AM
Ira, I appreciate all that you have done to give light to our community about details of the Londi Lindell case -- that's been a true service. But I think you are wrong in your assessment of Debbie Bertlin. She offers a lot of substance and she absolutely wants to bring about change. She's bright, has a business mind, and listens to the concerns of all stakeholders. Transparent government is very important to her and we clearly haven't been getting that in recent years. If you believe that Jahncke is part of "the largest deception in Mercer Island history" than why would you continue to support him?
Bharat Shyam October 25, 2011 at 04:11 AM
Ira I have to chime in with Sarah. In addition to what she says, I'd like to question your statement about Debbie being "under the tutelage of Dan Grausz". You are entitled to whatever opinion you want to have about Dan Grausz but I'd much rather have an agent of change (like Debbie) who can constructively get things done - and that includes working with whoever is on the council - than someone who you describe as participating in an ugly coverup. There is NO EVIDENCE That you have presented that Debbie is somehow under the thrall of Dan Grausz. I have observed Debbie as a community activist for many years and she is her own person. I think your analysis of El Jahncke being "technically superior" also doesnt have any real evidence backing it up. What does "technically superior" mean in this context anyway? Why is investing mortgaged based securities (El Jahncke's professional experience) in any way better than actual running international businesses at a massive software company like Microsoft? Sustainability and Public Safety are vacuous policies in your eyes? They have been "adopted by the city council" - but aren't there avenues for improvement? Have you bothered to talk to Debbie about her entire platform? Isn't it clear to any observer that she is standing for election at least in part because the city council has been incredibly inept and perhaps corrupt in their handling of the Londi Lindell case? I am extremely disappointed by your baseless attack on Debbie.
Ira B. Appelman October 25, 2011 at 05:48 AM
Sarah. Thanks for your sincere comments. What makes you think I support Jahncke? I am merely stating what I believe to be the truth without fear or favor, and I believe I have EARNED the credibility to do that. In 1997, I started providing details along with documentary evidence about MI City Council misadventures, way before the Lindell case. I have never asked anyone to believe something just because I've said it, and I provide evidence to encourage Islanders to think about what is happening at City Hall AND GET INVOLVED! In our council-manager plan of government, the city manager, not the council, runs the city on a day-to-day basis. Some Islanders have called for City Manager Conrad to be terminated for cause so that change can occur. If Bertlin is for change, why has she completely ducked the issue. The council majority led by Grausz (with Grady and Cero in opposition!) is continuing the cover-up of the Lindell and Eggers scandals with a phony $15,000 human resources audit. If Bertlin is for transparency, why has she again been silent? If she has "a lot of substance," where's the beef? I am completely open to Bertlin showing substance and a desire for change and transparency, but I just haven't seen that yet. Finally, her failure to get her photo and statement into the KC Local Voters' Pamphlet doesn't speak well for her bright, business mind.
Ira B. Appelman October 25, 2011 at 04:36 PM
Dear Bharat: Earlier this year you told me that you'd read my City Hall warnings and thought I was “overreacting,” but that now you agreed. You should have learned that although I’m not always right, NOTHING I WRITE IS “BASELESS.” First, I’m basing my claim of Jahncke’s technical expertise on 12 years of observing him, and on how the Council respects his opinion on real estate projects and bonds. He is a principal in WA Capital Management (www.wcmadvisors.com) specializing in “debt and equity financing, property acquisitions, project analysis, portfolio strategy and administration, loan underwriting, asset management, brokerage and mortgage banking.” If Jahncke had been committed to open and honest government, he COULD HAVE BEEN an exceptional councilmember. Too bad. Second, if Bertlin believes the mailing is unfair, why hasn’t she said so? Instead, she has allowed many surrogates to criticize Jahncke so it appears her campaign is not “going negative.” I think it’s telling that neither you nor Sarah has mentioned a SINGLE SUBSTANTIVE PROPOSAL that Bertlin has made. It’s all about her vague interest in substance, listening, transparency, change, getting “things” done, and working with whoever, without presenting any specifics. The purpose of this vacuous campaign is to deny Islanders a choice based on issues. I’d be happy to discuss why I believe Grausz is involved, but since you know her well, why haven’t you asked her?
jean majury October 27, 2011 at 11:05 PM
Some years ago, Ira Appelman admised us on how to move ahead on a proposed Island trail.. Since then we've observed him at council meetings, spoken to him, and read his mailings and published comments. His dedication to monitoring city hall and the council in the interest of all citizens humbles us. If we all were as vigilent and conscientious as Ira, the city wouldn't be in the leadership and financial mess it is today. Sometimes the truth is painful, but Ira is not afraid to tell it like it is. We should pay attention to and applaud him.. Scott and Jean Majury

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