Strippergate 101: Everything You Need to Know About a City Council Scandal from 2003

Comments

2

Anyone around at the time knew that the Franks were dirty. You didn’t need search engine to know what those guys were up to.

3

You missed the best part of this saga, "Frank Colacurcio Jr. became the last don of his family’s strip-club empire when U.S. District Court Judge Richard Jones on Friday sentenced him to one year and a day in prison, fined him $1.3 million and dismantled once and for all his father’s long-running adult-entertainment business."
"Colacurcio Jr., 48, pleaded guilty to a racketeering-conspiracy charge in June. In exchange, federal prosecutors agreed to dismiss 14 other charges against him."
So basically, we spent millions of dollars. Allowed corruption, bribes and unbelievable amounts of Law Enforcement resources. To prevent some blowjobs.
"One officer infiltrated the organization and became a manager at Colacurcio’s flagship strip club, Rick’s in Lake City. Federal agents used extensive wiretaps and recorded conversations at Talents West, the Colacurcios’ dancer-hiring agency and business office, through microphones planted by the FBI."

4

How many of our current council members received donations from developers, architecture firms, and builders during their elections cycles before they proceeded to upzone the entire city of Seattle with no neighborhood input. Rezoning a small bit of parking lot pales in comparison.

Heidi Wills has been open about this and I think she has learned her lesson and will be a good representative for District 6. She will have my vote.

6

Heidi Wills was 35 when strippergate happened. But that doesn't stop her from doing the "naive girl" routine! She was old enough to ask to represent the citizens of Seattle but apparently too young to know what basic quid-pro-quo was?

7

So much of the story left out. Its awesome that when the strip club was confiscated by the government Jr immediately stopped paying alimony and child support to his ex since he had no source of income. She had been receiving over 20k per month in support, when it stopped she immediately filed for foodstamps and welfare and went to the press about how she was now on welfare and how Jr was a deadbeat dad.

8

Pre-Google? That wraps up the whole thing here: Heidi Wills was negligently closing her eyes to reality. You don't need specialized knowledge to realize fundamental ethical problems with underhanded political favors or with openly servicing your dirty donors.

And she really doesn't seem to have owned her actions past a breezy I was just five years on the council, 35-year-olds will be 35-year-olds, la la.

9

Um, the Statue of Lenin is owned by someone and it's on their land.

Stealing is a crime.

10

If it is important to bring up the corruption council members have been involved with 15 years ago, then please read the article called "How the Sausage is Made" in the Seattle Times. 8 of 9 of our current council members were involved in this one. It happened less than 2 years ago. If Heidi is held accountable for corrupt decisions made 16 years ago then our current council should be held to the same standards. Not sure if Nathalie is professional enough to do that.

Zoning 1 block of Capitol Hill so a rich Air BNB owner can pay less taxes is just as bad as 8 parking spots in my opinion. That is what our council did recently.

11

"Sixteen years later, Wills told The Stranger that the Colacurcios had "bundled campaign funds to me, Judy, and Jim." She had hosted a campaign fundraising event after the Land Use Committee vote and "Al Rosellini came and added a stack of checks to what was already a stack of checks."

She continued: "I did not have any red flags because I was pretty young and I did not know the history of the Colacurcio family which evidently was pretty lengthy."

Wills added: "This is pre-Google."

Do I look like I was made with a finger?

Everyone in Seattle government knew about the Colacurcios for decades.

@5

She's not even smart enough to be disingenuous.

13

Still the rationalizing ding-dong.

14

She certainly comes across as incompetent even if you don't think she was actually crooked.

15

@10: And The Stranger has had nothing but swooning fanboi praise for our current Council’s ineptly tyrannical efforts to “save The Showbox.” By suddenly reversing their previous up-zones with an illegal spot re-zone, our Council got our asses kicked in court. Now one of the shady players from Strippergate, Forbes, may receive millions of our taxpayer dollars in punitive damages.

As that is, apparently, not enough stupidity yet, The Stranger has also endorsed for re-election every Council Member who took part in that illegal spot re-zone. Great work, that. We want to make sure Forbes has plenty of cash on-hand for any of his future pay-for-play politics, I guess...

16

"Seattle, it turns out, has a storied and very puritanical past"

Storied? Yes. Puritanical? That's a laugh. I suggest Graham do some research on Seattle's past. Prostitution and booze. And the local politicians (and police) had their hands under the table the whole time.

17

Strippergate wasn't the only issue that torpedoed Heidi in 2003. The circus animals episode was another one that had the voters throwing up their hands and deciding that nobody dumb enough to be manipulated by PETA belonged on the City Council -- then or, I hope, now. You should revisit that one, because it will make for copy just as good as Strippergate.

18

Natalie Graham is truly a disgusting human being. At least Mudede makes it clear he's writing opinions. This woman actually calls herself a journalist?

I'm not carrying water for Heidi Wills but the sheer partisanship of @TheStranger is truly heartbreaking. They used to at least try to be fair, now they're just the Limbaugh, Hannity and Coulter of the anarchist left, but without the good looks, money or fame. What a shame to sell your soul for minimum wage, essentially.

This is why no one trusts the news anymore. You disgusting partisan hacks have eroded the public trust in one of the most important institutions of our democracy. And that's why we have Trump.

19

Dan Strauss has my vote. Wills is very conservative on urban issues.

20

@17: From The Seattle Weekly, 09 October 2006:

"The annoying thing with all this sound and fury is that the pro-ban testimony at the hearing was so substantial. [...] Wills and Nicastro have gone through the motions of pretending they have safety concerns about the circus—probably in hopes of keeping the city from being sued..."

And the zinger:

"The key question: Are Nicastro and Wills ushering in a new era of bad feeling on the 11th floor or have they merely squandered a ton of political capital on a nothing issue?"

Ouch.

https://www.seattleweekly.com/news/damn-everything-including-the-circus/

21

Can we now have an expose on the 'work' Dan Strauss did for Sally Bagshaw?

22

@20: Circus Animals! Yet another reason to bring back Heidi (or not).