Women Lawmakers, Lobbyists Describe Groping, Harassment at State Legislature: Former state representative Jessyn Farrell and labor leader Nicole Grant are among the women who told the Northwest News Network about their experiences being groped, harassed, or made to feel uncomfortable by men in the course of their work in Olympia. "Right as I was stepping out the door, he gave my ass like a little pat or something, like a little slap," Grant said of one Democratic male lawmaker. Farrell says a lobbyist once "grabbed" her butt and a fellow lawmaker massaged her shoulders during a late-night vote. One former legislative staffer said that "when she was an intern in recent years, nonpartisan staff would warn women to avoid certain receptions held by lobby groups out of fear the men attending would try and get them drunk and sleep with them."
And What About Complaints Against Lawmakers? Women interviewed in the story say they feared the process wouldn't remain confidential or could have repercussions for their careers. Further, it's all but impossible to find out anything about complaints of harassment filed against lawmakers. "The Legislature has declined in the last year to disclose complaints of harassment against lawmakers to Northwest News Network, The News Tribune, [and] The Olympian. Legislative administrators claim an exemption the Public Records Act when denying the records," Northwest News Network reports. A group of newspapers is currently suing the legislature over its public disclosure practices.
This is absurd! I will be introducing bill in #waleg to exempt sex harrassment and assault cases from gag rules and secrecy -also in NDAs https://t.co/ntl4Nykvs8
— Karen Keiser (@KarenKeiser1) October 31, 2017
Another Allegation Against Sheriff John Urquhart: Renton police have begun a sexual assault criminal investigation of Urquhart. The investigation comes after a former deputy accused Urquhart of "inappropriately touching him during an unwanted sexual advance three years ago," reports the Seattle Times' Lewis Kamb. Urquhart denies the allegation. Two years ago, King County paid the former deputy now making the allegation a settlement of more than $160,000. While settlements above $100,000 required the county executive's permission, county negotiators did not seek approval for this settlement, according to the Times. They instead broke the settlement into several payments below the $100,000 threshold and "overpaid the deputy $27,000," Kamb reports. "As far as I was concerned, this was hush money," the deputy told the Times.
Sheriff's First Accuser Says He Offered to Share Her Medical Records: In addition to the new allegation, Kamb reports: "The woman who last year accused Sheriff John Urquhart of raping her years earlier has obtained a temporary protection order against Urquhart, claiming he’s disseminating her medical information to discredit her during his re-election campaign." Urquhart denies that he had sex with or assaulted the woman. The order prohibits him from knowingly coming within 500 feet of the woman.
Jenny Durkan Breaks Fundraising Record: The mayoral frontrunner "has attracted more donors than any mayoral candidate in Seattle history, raising more than $900,000," the Seattle Times reports.
Moon Campaign Files Ethics and Elections Complaint Against Durkan: Moon's communications director has filed a new complaint against Durkan's campaign claiming the campaign has failed to report a salary or in-kind contributions from Stephanie Formas, who regularly speaks as a spokesperson on behalf of the campaign. The complaint claims Formas' role goes beyond a typical volunteer and so, if she's working for free, her work should be reported as an in-kind donation. The head of the Ethics and Elections Commission recommended a previous complaint against Durkan be dismissed. Meanwhile, Durkan's campaign has filed a complaint of its own about Moon's campaign debt.
Tim Burgess Opposes the Head Tax for Homeless Services: Big surprise, the former council member who ran for office on a promise to repeal the old head tax (he succeeded) calls it "taxing jobs." Four council members have said they support the tax, four oppose it, and one (Bruce Harrell) has not said.
"I Want the Wall Built. I Want the Mosques Closed." Q13 talks to local Trump voters for some reason.
Mount Vernon Police Arrest Fortuneteller for Allegedly Stealing $51,000 in Money with "Evil Energy": Police say a fortuneteller in Mount Vernon tricked a woman out of $51,000 by telling her the money needed "spiritual cleansing" because it had an “evil energy."