As Eli mentioned in an earlier post, McKenna campaign manager Randy Pepple was asked point blank on a recent conference call why we at The Stranger are not invited onto any McKenna campaign conference calls, to which Pepple gave the campaign's boilerplate answer:
One of their political reporters is the chair person of a political action committee that's stated purpose is the defeat of Rob McKenna for whatever position he runs for in 2012.
Huh. Not exactly.
I just checked the PDC, and it turns out I am still listed as the "Campaign Manager or Media Contact" for the "No Reversing Our Benefits PAC," a committee for which there have been no contributions or expenditures filed in 2011 or 2012. I'll cop to media contact.
I asked treasurer Jason Bennett to form the PAC in March of 2010 on behalf of Aaron Belenky, who had created a wildly popular Facebook page protesting McKenna's involvement in the health care lawsuit. But by the time we got everything in place the online fervor had died down, and there was little opportunity left to raise much money. Less than $2,000 in cash contributions were raised.
Bennett has apparently continued to dutifully file annual C1PC forms with the PDC, presumably because there must still be a few hundred dollars left in the account, but I've had nothing to do with its operations (or lack thereof) since March, 2010, almost a full year before I joined the staff of The Stranger. In fact, I'd totally forgotten about the PAC before McKenna's campaign started bringing it up.
So, did I once start a PAC targeting McKenna? Absolutely, if not much of one. But I've had nothing to do with it for the past two and half years.
According to Pepple it is this minor bit of two-and-half-year-old politicking that forever bars me from the journalism profession. But if that is the standard, then I'm not alone. Radio hosts Dave Ross and John Carlson both ran for office, so clearly, they can't be journalists. Likewise KING-5's Robert Mak should be permanently barred from press conferences due to his working as a political shill for former Mayor Greg Nickels. And so on.
No, the real reason I'm barred from McKenna's press conferences is not that I once helped start a shell of PAC; it's because McKenna's not man enough to take my questions.