34th District Democrats: Investigation requested; endorsements made

(BREAKING, 4:59 PM: The Department of Neighborhoods just sent a reply to our inquiries from this morning. Included was this: They asked Unified Outreach for the $1,000 back, and received it. Separate story to come.)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

We’re at The Hall at Fauntleroy, where the 34th District Democrats‘ monthly meeting has just wrapped up. Two toplines tonight:

*First, this one came toward the end of the meeting: The group is calling for a state and city investigation into a “newspaper” published by an organization called Unified Outreach, with a Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Small Sparks grant.

Unified Outreach’s director David Toledo is campaign manager for King County Council candidate Diana Toledo, and the 34th DDs allege that the group’s “Youth Arts Compendium” is “a piece of campaign literature supporting one candidate, Diana Toledo, and attempting to discredit another, [incumbent] Joe McDermott, in the King County Council District 8 race.” (Note that McDermott is a member of the 34th DDs, which has endorsed him.)

The 10-page “newspaper” includes articles headlined “Diana Toledo’s innovative plan to bring Arts back to Public Schools,” “Artist Community stands with Diana Toledo- Says fund Public School Arts,” “Senior Outrage! Candidate ‘misled us’ says senior community” (regarding an unattributed claim that “seniors” voted for McDermott because they had him confused with believed he was the son of U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott), and “Scandal at the 34th District Democrats Mid-Summer Classic” (the alleged “scandal” is which includes a claim that Joe McDermott left the group’s softball game early and was replaced by David Toledo).

(added 1 am) The publication also addresses politics with a cover story noting that all but 3 of 32 “executive-level decision-makers” in state/county/city government are white, and highlighting two issues in the County Council district in which Toledo and McDermott are running, the South Park Bridge and the Maury Island gravel mine.

The entire back page is devoted to the Toledo-McDermott race, topped with three paragraphs about the 11th District Democrats’ dual endorsement of the candidates, and also including information on the Municipal League’s rating of both candidates, with a quote about each candidate but not including the actual rating (“good” for Toledo, “very good” for McDermott), while noting in the last paragraph “It should be noted that both Candidates were also rated by the Municipal League in 2010. Candidate Diana Toledo has remained consistent in her evaluation, with no change in her rating. However, after one year in office, Joe McDermott has received a lower ranking in 2011 than he did in 2010.” (Their 2010 ratings, according to the Muni League site, were “good” for Toledo and “outstanding” for McDermott.)

The two also were mentioned in a story titled “How the Deep Bore Tunnel will destroy us,” in a list at the end of the story, with CANDIDATES FOR THE TUNNEL (Boo!) followed by eight names including Joe McDermott, and CANDIDATES AGAINST THE TUNNEL (YAY!) followed by four names including Diana Toledo. Above the list is a cartoon depicting the tunnel as a toothed hole, with caricatures of five politicians including McDermott, the only one whose full name is used in the cartoon’s dialogue (“Uh oh, Sally, we’re almost out of tax dollars!” “And the tunnel is still hungry! What else can we feed it?” “Hey Tom, you and Joe McDermott hustle us up some seniors!” “We’re on it!”).

*The rest of the story, including the scanned copy of the publication, is now after this jump*

(added 11:40 am – a scanned PDF of the entire publication – we have to use Scribd as the file is too big for our site to serve directly – you can also view it fullscreen by going here)
Scanned Compendium in Order

(back to original 9:48 pm story) We have a message out to David Toledo asking for comment on the 34th DDs’ claims.

(added 1:26 am) We’ve just received this, in e-mail headed “PRESS RELEASE: The West Seattle’s Political Machine Targets Non-Profit Youth Arts Group”:

It is our understanding that the 34th District Democrats voted today to investigate the Unified Outreach 2011 Youth Arts Compendium, a FREE Community Newspaper written by local youth.

We at Unified Outreach are confused by the allegations. As all stories were written by youth with no intentional biases or promotion of one candidate over another. There was NO input from ANY campaigns or political figures and no copies of the paper were released prior to printing.

Yes, it is true that there were several politicians that were mentioned in the first article (which drew attention to the lack of diversity in our local leadership). Representatives Clarke, McDermott, and Rasmussen were said to identifying with “historically oppressed groups”. Anyone reading this could argue that these candidates received favorable treatment because they were the only politicians mentioned, however, Unified Outreach editors did not dictate how the stories should be written, nor did we demand that one candidate or another should be covered. If a person’s name appeared in the article it was due to one of the following reasons – Either the person’s name was quoted by someone interviewed, the person had a direct hand in an event being reported, or there was an event that is/was directly affecting the person mentioned.

There are no articles promoting one candidate over another or asking voters to cast there ballots in a certain direction. If one candidates statement was included then we included their opponent’s as well (as in the story about the 11th District Democrats Endorsement). The statements were not included to promote one candidate over another, but simply to educate readers on who was being endorsed. As such the statements were copied directly from the KC Elections website with no changes.

If a candidate or political figure received something deemed “positive” it was because that person did something that the youth felt was worthy of kudos. If a youth wrote a story for the paper that praised a certain person’s actions, then we have no right to step in and dumb that story down. We promised the children complete freedom in their writing and we delivered. My advice to the politicians shouting sour grapes is to do something for the community that the kids will want to praise you for, but don’t persecute them because you didn’t like someone else getting a positive write up.

I am shocked and amazed that the political machine would stoop to this level. Anyone reading the 2011 Youth Arts Compendium paper will see there are a number of politicians mentioned and that there is no direction to vote for one candidate over another. It is a shame that because one politician apparently feels that they did not get their due, and as such has begun a persecution of a free youth arts program such as Unified Outreach.

In Unified Outreach’s 10 year history, Unified Outreach has never charged a student a single fee to take an art class or participate in a program or showcase event. Neither has the charity ever received a local, state, or federal grant UNTIL the Department of Neighborhoods asked to partner with us by giving a Small Sparks ($1,000) grant. As discussed in our meeting with the Deptartment of Neighborhoods, we were happy to work with them on a neighborhood project such as the newspaper. As promised we opened the paper up to youth in the greater Seattle area and there were NO submissions turned away. If a youth provided a submission it was ran.

In closing, remember that this attack not only frightens the children who poured their heart into the paper, but it diminishes the over 10 years of FREE youth arts programming, the hundreds of children previously helped, and the continued benefits to our neighborhood, all put at risk by a political machine that feels their chosen candidate did not get enough positive re-enforcement in our paper. Shame on them.

Unified Outreach

Later this morning, we will be further researching the grant issue. As part of the motion passed at its meeting, the 34th District Democrats directed their leadership to send letters “outlining the organization concerns and the factual basis for those concerns” to the state Public Disclosure Commission and Seattle’s “mayor, appropriate city council members, and the Department of Neighborhoods.”

(Back to the original 34th DDs meeting story) Endorsement votes were tonight’s other big news; more after the jump:

This area’s biggest political group already had a list of endorsements made earlier this summer, but some major races/issues remained.

Biggest among them: The 34th Dems will take NO POSITION on Seattle Transportation Benefit District Proposition 1, the $60 car-tab fee for transportation projects. (added) Before the endorsement votes, there was a 21-minute mini-forum on the issue, with City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen and the 34th DDs’ Kim Becklund taking the “yes” side, and former council candidate David Miller taking the “no” side. Here’s our 21 minutes of unedited video of this discussion in its entirety:

They also are endorsing NO on I-1183, the liquor privatization measure.

In the Seattle School Board races, they endorsed the candidates who are challenging incumbents Peter Maier (they backed Sharon Peaslee) and Harium Martin-Morris (they backed Michelle Buetow), and took no position in the Sherry Carr/Kate Martin race. Earlier in the election season, they had endorsed Marty McLaren, who is running against incumbent and 34th DDs member Steve Sundquist.

ADDED 4:06 AM: The full list of endorsement decisions made Wednesday night is on the group’s website. In other business, they also briefly discussed the redistricting maps just made public this week – the 3th DDs’ home page also has links on that issue. And they recapped last month’s Garden Party (WSB coverage here) as a huge success, with a net profit expected to be around $11,000.

74 Replies to "34th District Democrats: Investigation requested; endorsements made"

  • JC September 14, 2011 (10:05 pm)

    That is quite a low for Diana Toledo. Using a city grant intended to support an organization for at-risk youth to fund campaign propaganda is pretty shameful.

    From the Unified Outreach website: “The focus of Unified Outreach is to help build self-esteem in at-risk youth by encouraging them to participate in community events, sponsoring education programs, offering mentoring, and providing positive role models in the community.”

    It doesn’t really sound like that was the focus of the “newspaper”.

  • JanS September 15, 2011 (12:06 am)

    and it’s not showing the at-risk youth anything close to a positive role model…and then they wonder why we’re so cynical out here :(

  • UO September 15, 2011 (12:19 am)

    The “Scandal” reported in the paper (at the 34th District Softball game)is stated as being a scoring error that gave the Challengers the win, even though the Incumbents had more points (and was obvious to anyone reading that it was in jest).

    Joe McDermott leaving before the game began (because of rain) was shameful, but hardly a scandal.

    This is just McDermott hatchet-men trying to attack anyone or any program that might give his opponent some positive press.

    Shame on Joe and shame on anyone who tries to misrepresent the stories in the paper like was done with the softball game story.

    Ps- The story on senior’s stated that the confusion was that Joe and Jim McDermott were thought to be related, but it turns out they aren’t. There was nothing said about people confusing the two.

    The WS Blog description of both articles is incorrect.

    • WSB September 15, 2011 (12:57 am)

      Thanks. Both stories are murkily written, including the photo caption at the end of the McDermott-McDermott story, which inexplicably has the caption VICTIM – Congressman Jim McDermott. (Victim of what?) I am updating several parts of the story and will make those clearer. There also is additional material related to this race which was contained in the publication that I didn’t see on first skim, and will be adding. – TR

  • My two cents ... September 15, 2011 (4:48 am)

    Maybe the leadership of UO should provide the youth working on this project some guidance and education with respect to how actual news reporting and commentary is performed.

    Loved the use of the term “political machine” in the statement by UO —- I had no idea we actually had one here in the NW!

  • redblack September 15, 2011 (5:58 am)

    “Representatives Clarke, McDermott, and Rasmussen were said to identifying with “historically oppressed groups”.
    any “editor” who would let that “sentence” go out in a press release should be investigated.

  • CandrewB September 15, 2011 (6:01 am)

    $1000 and paper wasted for an audience of what, five? Nice use of resources.

  • Ken September 15, 2011 (7:44 am)

    Sorry I missed the meeting last night. If the “at risk youth” who allegedly wrote the political slant stories would like someone to explain why stealth republicans and tea baggers are not going to do anything for them, send them my way.

    Cue the wingnut to deny Diana is a stealth republican.


  • Mannix September 15, 2011 (8:07 am)

    Misusing a city grant to publish a political piece backing a candidate is not only unethical, but probably illegal as well. This should put an end to Diana Toledo’s political “career.”

  • 4thGenWestSide September 15, 2011 (8:23 am)

    Glad I read this. Boo to Toledo.

  • Husky4me September 15, 2011 (8:53 am)

    My understanding is that David Toledo (although related to Diana Toledo) is not paid staff, but a volunteer, so it sounds like a leap to ask for an investigation simply because McDermott supporters don’t feel he came out looking as good as Toledo did.

    McDermott should worry more about doing something about our skyhigh unemployment, failing businesses, and disappearing critical services – an less about why he’s not getting good press.

  • Ted September 15, 2011 (8:54 am)

    I suggest anyone outraged that public funds should be used for political activities contact the Seattle Dept of Neighborhoods and demand that the grant funds be returned as I have just done:


    Until citizens stand up for our tax dollars going to fund political operations – our taxes will continue to go UP !!

    PS – nice spin UO playing the victim that you are under attack from the 34th democrats – I am not a member – but see your so called ‘paper’ as outrageous.

  • Ted September 15, 2011 (8:57 am)

    Also meant to mention – how SHAMEFUL you place kids in front of you to be used as shields for your lack of journalism ethics.

    I would love to see Mr. Toledo produce the original copies of the articles that these so called children submitted for publication (with their names redacted of course).

  • Holy Toledo! September 15, 2011 (9:01 am)

    Anyone know where to get a copy of the offending “newspaper”? I trust the WSB as one of the more objective news sources around, but this seems like a situation where the public should see the whole thing printed in full.

    In any case, the David Toledo / Unified Outreach connection stinks. That publication shouldn’t have covered the McDermott / Toledo race at all. At the very least, it was a stupid decision by David Toledo. Much more likely, corruption and probably illegality.

  • JoAnne September 15, 2011 (9:13 am)

    How about some disclosure WSB? Talk about free support for Joe McDermott!

    Or did he pay for this irresponsible and obvious hit job on Diana Toledo?

    • WSB September 15, 2011 (9:34 am)

      JoAnne, that is an offensive allegation, but I’ll answer it nonetheless. If a major political organization calls for a state and local investigation and alleges a possible misuse of taxpayer dollars, yup, we’re going to report it, whether they’re making the allegation against a Democrat, a Republican, a nonpartisan candidate, whomever. Politicians fling allegations at each other all the time and much of it is petty stuff. This kind of allegation is not.
      Regarding disclosure, we disclose more than any news organization for which I have ever worked and any news organization whose product I have ever read. Even in the body of stories and event listings, we label sponsors. We have had political advertising off and on, none currently, but in our four years of running advertising as our sole source of revenue, Joe McDermott has never been an advertiser.
      To the person who wanted to see the publication in question. I agree. I don’t have a scanner or I would have scanned it last night. I don’t know if anyone commercially provides access to a scanner but we’ll check with the local print shops/copy places, and if we can scan it and upload it, we will. I cannot find it anywhere online or I would have linked to it.
      (Update a few minutes later – we have found someone who can do this and we will have the entire publication scanned and turned into PDFs. Not sure how long it will take but we will post it when we get it.)

  • Klause September 15, 2011 (9:18 am)

    “Unified Outreach’s director David Toledo is campaign manager for King County Council candidate Diana Toledo”
    Isn’t that a CONFLICT OF INTEREST??
    I don’t see how any Director of a publication can also be allowed to be a campaign manager for a political candidate.

  • lg September 15, 2011 (9:51 am)

    I notice in the top right corner it says Y1 V1–I assume year 1 volume 1? So, the group has been around several years and this is the FIRST that they’ve had the at-risk youth do a newspaper AND this year DIana Toledo is running? Hm. Totally suspicious!!

    And, why is a youth arts group writing a newspaper that includes senior alerts?! Who is their audience? Seems like they put that in there specifically to get that story out about the “alleged confusion.”

    Can’t wait to see the whole thing. thanks for the great reporting, as usual, WSB!!!!

  • margaritaville September 15, 2011 (9:56 am)

    I’m looking forward to seeing thes .pdf files. Thanks WSB!

  • LincolnPark September 15, 2011 (9:56 am)

    This is fascinating.
    As someone who has not (yet) formed a voting opinion on either candidate, is not involved in the 34thDD, and had never before heard of Unified Outreach, and certainly hadn’t read their ‘2011 Youth Arts Compendium’, here are my observations and questions…
    UO seems like a commendable organization that provides valuable services to under-served children.
    An organization whose stated focus is on promoting the Arts seems an odd choice to publish a community newspaper.
    It seems even more odd that one of the 5 main sections of a ‘Youth Arts Compendium’ is ‘Politics’ (not to mention ‘Senior Alerts’?).
    Regardless, public funding of a publication that voices political opinions seems a poor choice.
    Did the Department of Neighborhoods approach UO about publishing a newspaper, or did UO propose one?
    The press release goes to great lengths to point out that the articles were solely written by youth, but also seems to indicate a deep knowledge of where/how the youth sourced their material. Were the youth coached in their writing? Was there an editorial process?
    My initial reaction was to chuckle that, prior to last night, the publication probably was only read by a very small number of people – perhaps family of the youth who produced it and (forgive the stereotype) seniors. The fact that ‘Senior Alerts’ is the lead section suggests that the publication is targeted at the senior audience. In hindsight, it’s not too hard to develop a conspiracy theory that the publication was orchestrated to influence seniors’ opinion of political topics and candidates.
    I look forward to WSB getting to the bottom of this!

  • Ivan Weiss September 15, 2011 (9:59 am)

    @ Joanne:

    Copies of the newsletter in question were passed around at last night’s meeting. I hope that when Tracy posts the PDFs online and you have read them, that you will be properly ashamed of yourself to have called them “an irresponsible and obvious hit job on Diana Toledo.”

    If there is a “hit” on Diana Toledo as a result of this — and I certainly hope there is — her own brother will have inflicted it on her.

    This newsletter is one of the stupidest, most irresponsible, most inept pieces of work that I have seen in a lifetime of political activism, and to tie it to an otherwise laudable attempt to help at-risk youth is an unbelievable failure of ethics and common sense.

    Exposure of this sorry episode should rightly consign the Toledos to the level of the LaRouche crazies, and should destroy forever whatever scraps of credibility they might have had, even to diehard supporters such as yourself.

  • JoAnne September 15, 2011 (10:17 am)

    As you said, this was an “allegation,” NOT a fact. Any responsible reporter would have checked into the truthfulness of the allegation and would have gathered information from the opposing side BEFORE repeating such allegations.

    This was out of line, was an obvious hit on Toledo by the 34th District Dems (who by the way endorsed Toledo before they back-stabbed her, something they have a long history of doing).

    You can openly admit that you are advocating for one side or the other or not. To me it is obvious that you are part of the “machine.”

  • LincolnPark September 15, 2011 (10:28 am)

    @JoAnne – Really? A news publication should not publish any allegations until they’ve researched and determined if there is merit to them?

    Search any respected news source for the term ‘alleges’. You’ll find numerous headlines reporting the ‘news’ that one party alleges another party has done something.

    An allegation of this nature by the 34thDD is news. If it turns out to have merit, it will be important news to voters. If it turns out to be an unfounded ‘hit job’ as you seem to be confident it will, that will be important for voters to know too.

    Not writing anything about it until the allegations are proven to have merit is ridiculous.

  • CJ September 15, 2011 (10:33 am)

    Here here, Ivan Weiss! “Oh what a tangled web we weave..”

  • JoAnne September 15, 2011 (10:40 am)

    This is just providing an opportunity for plants from McDermott’s campaign to get on here and pretend they are just ordinary citizens.

    Oh and by the way, I AM voting for Toledo. Anyone who has watched the videos from the debates can see why she’s a huge threat to McDermott and why he desperately needed this huge favor from the 34th district Dem’s machine.

  • Ivan Weiss September 15, 2011 (10:44 am)


    The 34th District Democrats have never endorsed Diana Toledo at any time ever, and I challenge you to back up the assertion that they have. Why would we waste our time doing a “hit piece” on a no-hope fringe perennial candidate who gets 30 percent of the vote and has never exceeded that?

    Moreover, the newsletter speaks for itself. There is no need to check into any “allegation.” We all saw what was in it, and obviously you have not.

    If after having read it, you continue to think it is OK to use at-risk kids as unwitting pawns to support a no-hope political campaign, then please say so, so that we can ignore you altogether from then on.

  • Left&Wright September 15, 2011 (10:51 am)

    The 34th District Democrats were never so foolish as to endorse Diana Toledo.

    • WSB September 15, 2011 (11:03 am)

      PDF on the way, check back in about half an hour. Almost had it but when co-publisher returned from the copy shop, I checked to make sure the scanned pages were in the same order as the original copy, and they weren’t, so he’s headed back to scan again (if there’s a program for shuffling pages in a PDF, I don’t have it). Meantime, I have also asked the Department of Neighborhoods for more information on the grant, and its media liaison is looking into my questions. Sometimes DON puts grant info online, as they make numerous grants to numerous organizations each year, but I could not find any Small Sparks lists in the city database. As many community groups know firsthand – and I learned as we covered stories about their projects – there are many hoops to jump through to get these grants, so there should be documentation showing what was requested and how it was described. I’ve also asked about what proof of performance the city requests to grant recipients – if they grant $1,000 for a publication, or an art work, or a series of meetings, do they require something to be submitted afterward showing what was created/held/installed/etc.? – TR

  • LincolnPark September 15, 2011 (10:58 am)

    @JoAnne – Your suggestion that Tracy is an irresponsible reporter is offensive. WSB is not perfect, but their efforts to provide responsible, balanced, thorough and timely reporting are commendable. I challenge you to find an editor of a community blog – let alone a national news publication – with higher editorial standards.

  • Christi September 15, 2011 (11:04 am)


    The 34th Democrats have never endorsed Diana Toledo and likely never will.

    In fact, in looking at her website, I find NO democratic or political endorsements.

    The fact that she is running for a non-partisan position does not mean that endorsing organizations ignore positions and values.

  • Ivan Weiss September 15, 2011 (11:29 am)

    “All stories were written by youth?” As nicely as I can put it, I’d certainly be investigating the veracity of that remark.

    • WSB September 15, 2011 (11:47 am)

      OK, I’ve added the scan of the publication. I had to use Scribd.com, used by many to publish/display PDFs in web stories, because the file is bigger than the limits set for our own server. It is not the optimal way to view something like this, and we had to break a few of the pages into three sections rather than two, but this is the order in which you would read the “2011 Youth Arts Compendium,” front to back. Direct link to fullscreen version on Scribd.com site is:

  • Ann Martin September 15, 2011 (11:48 am)

    As the person who put forward the motion passed by the 34th District Democrats last night, I would like to comment on a few of the concerns expressed in these comments:

    First, this motion was in no way coordinated with the Joe McDermott campaign, although he did not ask me not to take this forward at the meeting.

    Second, I became involved in this when two high school youth came to my door two plus weeks ago distributing the newspaper in my neighborhood, one from a West Seattle school, the other from Snohomish County. I asked them who was distributing this paper and did they want a donation. They said they were working for “David,” but did not know his last name and that the paper was free. They also indicated they had been instructed on proper protocol, e.g., not putting the papers in mailboxes. As I began to actually read the paper, I became increasingly concerned about the content and its direction.

    The “Senior Outrage!” article was particularly troubling since it alleged an “identity hoax” and that Congressman Jim McDermott was the “victim.” If some of the articles (and cartoons) are looked at carefully, the reader can find a dig or promotion without much trouble either in a headline or buried in the body of a story.

    Third, while I have no quarrel with Unified Outreach and its important mission as it is described on its website, it appears the good reputation of this nonprofit has been misused. Similarly I have no issue with the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods or with youth’s freedom of speech. The motion put forward last night states clearly that there are concerns that need investigation by the appropriate parties. If this is truly only an appearance of impropriety we need to know how it should be addressed. As a reasonable reader of this paper, I was concerned enough to think this needed investigation.

    Finally, for anyone calling the 34th District Democrats a “political machine,” it is easier to call names than to address or raise concerns. This organization is open to any Democrat in the district and we regularly discuss, debate, and disagree. It is the nature of politics, even within a political party. If Joe McDermott had been engaged in this kind of publication funded with public dollars, I would have reacted similarly even if he is a friend and I a supporter. This is just bad form and I am pleased to say this motion passed unanimously.

  • NFiorentini September 15, 2011 (12:09 pm)

    For a place called the “West Seattle Blog,” there sure is a lot of…ummmm…what’s that word…oh yeah…JOURNALISM. :)

    Thanks and keep up the good work!

  • LincolnPark September 15, 2011 (12:14 pm)


    Hey Seniors! Read this Arts newspaper, published by kids, to find out:
    – Diana Toledo attends a lot of community events!
    – Diana Toledo supports arts for kids!
    – Diana Toledo loves cats!
    – Diana Toledo is in a traditional marriage with three beautiful children!
    – You were duped – Joe McDermott is NOT related to Jim McDermott
    – Joe McDermott can’t even last an entire softball game
    – Yes, you were duped by Joe McDermott!
    – Joe McDermott promotes a harmful agenda
    – Joe McDermott is a (gasp) homosexual who represents the interests of the LGBTQ community
    – Did we mentioned that you were duped??
    Shocking. Indefensible. I’m anxious to hear how the Dept of Neighborhoods responds to this.

  • David should go to jail September 15, 2011 (12:14 pm)

    I saw the piece in its entirety last night, and it is grossly offensive to think that public funds were used to produce it. Completely irresponsible and reprehensible. I sure as hell hope the mis-appropriation of funds is investigated for fraud as a criminal offense. My tax dollars should not be used to put together campaign hit pieces like this.

    The Toledo campaign needs to return the grant money spent on producing this newspaper to the city! Okay, let’s just say Diana didn’t know David was producing this piece in advance. After she saw it, she didn’t think it was a violation of ethics or that her campaign unfairly benefitted from its production (that just happens to be overseen by her brother)? Forget comments from that loser David, who would misuse children’s arts funding, where are the comments from Diana? This is a direct reflection on her campaign and character to allow this on her watch!

  • Holy Toledo! September 15, 2011 (12:20 pm)

    I would say WSB represented the facts correctly. My guess is this becomes a pretty big problem for David Toledo, if not the whole Toledo political… machine. I’m not sure if the fact it’s such an amateurish move helps or hurts them.

  • David should go to jail September 15, 2011 (12:36 pm)


    Wanting to know how many were produced, I called Pacific Printing in Bremerton (listed as being the printer on the piece) and asked. They claim they did not print this piece and don’t do newspaper printing.

    I couldn’t find another Pacific Printing in the western Washington area. I don’t have a vested interest in either candidate, but I’m ready to do some digging to find out if public funds were misused.

  • bolo September 15, 2011 (12:38 pm)

    @Holy Toledo!, I saw a stack of this newspaper at the Highpoint branch Seattle Public Library yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon. On the community newspaper racks in the entrance area. Maybe there are still some there?

  • Husky4me September 15, 2011 (1:11 pm)

    Why not go to the source? http://www.unifiedoutreach.com

  • G September 15, 2011 (1:17 pm)

    A $1,000? Democrats will have blown that much in the time it takes me to write this sentence.

  • NinjaRider September 15, 2011 (1:41 pm)

    Oh, my. The organic fertilizer has certainly impacted the rotating ventilation device!

    BIG PROPS to Tracy for running a professional, 24×7 news organization, getting us the straight skinny (including primary sources!) and keeping a cool head amid the soaring scatology…

  • JS September 15, 2011 (1:46 pm)

    I’m getting a kick out of this! This is kind of like our federal tax dollars supporting NPR, which is a spokesmouth for the Democrats. Your right though. Tax money should not have gone to UO for this, just like fed tax money should not go to NPR.

  • JoAnne September 15, 2011 (1:55 pm)

    Since Diana Toledo advocates for spending arts monies on youth and restoring art classes to public schools, it only makes sense that a youth group would support her. If she is elected, THEY will benefit.

    On the other hand, there is a long history in Seattle of abuse of public arts funding by Democrats and their cronies. This was discovered and reported on here:

    Or I guess it COULD be just a coincidence that EVERY SINGLE CANDIDATE to challenge the 34th dist machine during the last 30 years at least has been smeared as “corrupt” (again, by Dems and their cronies).

  • datamuse September 15, 2011 (2:11 pm)

    I’d hardly call one example from 2006 a long history, JoAnne. And while I’m tempted to agree that using public funds to promote smooth jazz constitutes abuse, my objections are primarily aesthetic, not ethical.
    You’re really doing Toledo no favors, here.

  • Ivan Weiss September 15, 2011 (2:15 pm)


    Back up your statement that “EVERY SINGLE CANDIDATE to challenge the 34th dist machine during the last 30 years at least has been smeared as “corrupt” (again, by Dems and their cronies).”

    Name the last two Republican candidates for House Position #1 (before the top 2 primary went into effect) and produce for us the accusations that they were “corrupt.”

    You can’t, because the evidence doesn’t exist, except in your imagination, and because you are just, uh, making (stuff) up every time you post here.

    But first, produce your evidence that the 34th District Democrats EVER endorsed Diana Toledo. We’re still waiting for that one.

    • WSB September 15, 2011 (2:27 pm)

      FYI since I guess nobody followed the link: The “Quiet Storm” story from the Weekly in 2006 was a parody. Seriously. We’ve been working two breaking stories for the past couple hours but I just checked back on this thread, thought I recognized the headline phrase in the link and followed it … yup, that was it. – TR
      (This was where the Weekly pointed that out, to anyone who hadn’t figured it out – I remember reading it back then and almost believing it! http://www.seattleweekly.com/2006-11-08/news/coming-clean-on-smooth-jazz/ )

  • LincolnPark September 15, 2011 (2:20 pm)

    I’m beginning to wonder if ‘JoAnne’ is a plant by the McDermott political machine to make the Toledo political machine appear to have thrown a piston rod…

  • 2 Much Whine September 15, 2011 (2:24 pm)

    Wow! I don’t really care about any of this and would likely have chosen goodspaceguy if there had been anything compelling in the voters pamphlet. With that being said, I find the “newspaper” to be hilarious. For someone to say that it is not one-sided or politically motivated is comical at best and likely unethical. Has anyone else noticed that some of the quotes were from “Edward D.” or Ed D.” and there is an Edward Dumas listed (in flashing font no less) on the website for Unified Outreach. I also find the suggestion that all these articles were written by teens to be preposterous. C’mon, a reference to Cassie Chadwick and Andrew Carnegie in the article on “Senior Outrage?” It is insulting to me to be told that a teen made that reference. I’ll stand down and shake the hand of that teen if/when it is proven to have been written as portrayed. This piece of political propaganda wasn’t even cleverly disguised. An investigation is indeed in order.

  • Martha Koester September 15, 2011 (3:14 pm)

    At our next meeting, the 11th Legislative District Democrats will vote to rescind our endorsement of Diana Toledo.

    As chair, I typically encourage newcomers challenging incumbents, even if I happen to support the incumbent. After all, the LD organizations do have outreach committees to encourage more people to get politically involved. It does not serve that goal to have the endorsement committee channel Soviet-era textbook editors.

    I was an outsider in 2003 myself, and am now chair of an organization I hadn’t even heard of at the time. I’ve found it absurdly easy to become a member of the “establishment.” It seems that it takes quite a bit of work to maintain a politial organization, and to mobilize the effort necessary to support candidates and issues. Sign on snd reliably DO some of that work, and the old-timers will gladly hand off as many of their responsibilities as you can handle.

    However, we cannot agree to endorse the use of public funds to pay for candidate support material, regardless of its factual content. It’s entirely possible that the articles actually written about singers, fashion designers, etc were actually written by kids. But the material on the Toledo campaign seems to be all of a piece.

    I’m highly suspicious of the “concern” for anonymity of the authors. Kids who are serious about their writing or art are usually eager to have their names attached to their work. That way it can be part of their portfolios used for academic credit or in applying for awards or grants.

    Sorry–no matter how many times I hit “enter,” I’m not seeing actual paragraph spacing.

  • westseattledood September 15, 2011 (3:39 pm)

    I just googled David Toledo. He is listed as a Seattle artist – comic strip, graphic, etc. Now, notice on the PDF of the newsletter that there are a couple of comic strips unique in style.

    Now, check out this video by David Toledo (with his friend Ed) posted on youtube. It looks to be the same artist, to my eye, judging by the drawing style. Have a look:


    So, the organization is actually saying no adults contributed to that “newsletter”? Seems unlikely to me, given the extreme stylistic similarities in the comic strips and David Toledo’s Youtube video above.

  • jmarshall September 15, 2011 (4:05 pm)

    westseattledood – wow! I watched the video you linked to, and I looked at the “unifiedoutreach” youtube page to see what other videos they had, and this was the first one on the queue:


    Within the first minute, we see alcohol drinking and illegal drug use! What kind of “youth arts” organization is this? I am no prude, but it stands in clear contrast to tone of the Unified Outreach press release sent to WSB. They claim to be all about the kids, and then they post videos glorifying drug use to their official youtube site?

  • datamuse September 15, 2011 (4:08 pm)

    WSB, makes me wonder if “JoAnne” (hey, if she can use scare quotes, so can I!) is aware of that…hmmm… ;)

  • visitor September 15, 2011 (4:33 pm)

    OMG I just read this rag (that I would otherwise never even see) and it’s blatant and pathetic. Thank you, 34th District, for investigating! I hope the funds get pulled ASAP and there are sanctions for this illegal use of taxpayer $$.

  • WSB September 15, 2011 (4:59 pm)

    Breaking development: Dept. of Neighborhoods just sent word that they asked for the $1,000 back, and it was given back. More to come – TR

  • iml September 15, 2011 (5:30 pm)

    Forget the politics; this publication is a pathetic embarrassment. I support the arts and youth. Let’s hope they get better leadership and guidance for the next edition.

  • orca September 15, 2011 (7:15 pm)

    I am not a supporter of anyone and have no dog in this fight. But, this is one of the most silly things I have seen in a blog. Every post except one lady is very obviously a strong political supporter of one party. I am disappointed that WSB just lets this go on and on. The point was made long ago. Now this is just smear stuff. Enough is enough.

  • G September 15, 2011 (10:17 pm)

    Public funds used for partisan political purposes? Quel horreur!

    You mean like the public funds that get used in, say, our public universities paid to profs who promote their left-leaning agendas?

    Gimme a break. If we’re going to reprimand Toledo – as it looks like we should based on what we know – lets take ALL politics out of the public educational system.

  • DBurns September 15, 2011 (11:05 pm)

    Hey Everyone! This afternoon a guy came by and asked if he could leave a stack of these in Giannoni’s – I was busy making an order and looked at it over the tall counter and he said – “There are no advertisements, all of the work is done by and to promote youth artists” ?? Oh okay – so I let him leave them. I will be pulling them in the morning but if you would like to have one I will keep them until closing tomorrow, I guess. It may cost you a slice of pizza though… KIDDING.

  • mookie September 16, 2011 (12:53 am)

    @DBurns I applaud your decision to not keep this publication available in your business. If I can stop in tomorrow I’d like a copy; my code word will be “collector’s item.” I agree with iml above in saying “Let’s hope they get better leadership and guidance for the next edition,” and that if they publish anything in the future, that it really IS solely “to promote youth artists.”

    @orca: I for one am not a “strong political supporter of one party”; I try to support candidates I feel are the most ethical, honest candidates who align with the majority of my political beliefs. I don’t have a dog in this fight either – but I’m disgusted by some of the ham-fisted political attack content in the publication in question, and further outraged that youth at risk seem to have had their trust abused yet again — this time by unscrupulous adults with a political agenda.
    Discussion and comments on a news article – and this is news – isn’t silly, and as the story continues to unfold, it’s gonna unfold and we’re probably gonna talk about it, as long as comments follow the guidelines of this news site.

  • Martha Koester September 16, 2011 (1:22 am)


    Registry as a charitable organization with WA State. No financial reports filed since 12/31/2009. The address listed in the publication is a PO Box, but SecState lists the physical address as

    4401 42nd Ave SW
    SEATTLE WA 98116

  • Ken September 16, 2011 (7:08 am)

    That’s the address of West Seattle Christian School.
    A private school and no doubt a haven for Hip-Hop “artists”.
    Why am I not surprised?


    • WSB September 16, 2011 (3:39 pm)

      Regarding the WS Christian address: Unified Outreach’s site mentions that they have classes at Ginomai, which is the former WS Christian School building on NW corner of 42nd/Genesee. See http://www.unifiedoutreach.com

  • foy boy September 16, 2011 (8:36 am)

    Reading all this dribble reminds me why friends should never let friends vote democrat. And people wonder why the city is in such a mess.

  • datamuse September 16, 2011 (9:06 am)

    G, the reason that the academy is so left-leaning is because conservatives, by and large, do not pursue academic careers.
    Don’t like it? Get a PhD and enjoy the long hours, demanding students, pressure to publish, endless committee meetings, and relative lack of job security (unless you’re lucky enough to land one of the 1 in 4 professorial positions in this country that offers tenure, AND THEN lucky enough to get tenure) for yourself.

  • Left&Wright September 16, 2011 (11:18 am)

    This also might explain the mystery of why the Vicious Puppies, the dancers who performed at the Candidate Forum held at Hiawatha on June 24, were wearing Diana Toledo T-shirts during their performance. Our group wanted to have a table at the event but we were told that it was not a partisan event, so we sat in the audience and watched this truly amazing group dance in their bright yellow shirts advertising Diana Toledo. This same group is listed in the Youth Arts Compendium site on scribd.com, the Compendium that produced the newsaper. David Toledo was wandering around at the event and we were a bit suspicious, but we let it go. Who knows, maybe these kids were just as strong supporters of Diana Toledo as those who wrote that newspaper.

    Neither those T-shirts nor the newspaper are going to make any difference in this election so why anyone endanger what appears to be a good program, and of using kids who trust them and for so little benefit, is beyond me.

  • JoAnne September 17, 2011 (11:25 am)

    I did not realize that the Nickels article was a parody. If it was, it pretty tortured humor. I totally believed that article, and I still believe there is abuse of public arts funding.

    Also, I may have been confused about the dual endorsement. It might have been the 11th District Democrats who endorsed both candidates.

    That said, it seems clear that WSB is a member and/or ally of the 34th District Democrats, and this fact should be disclosed. Toledo’s side of the story has not even been mentioned.

    In fact, this whole “scandal” appears to be a distortion of what was probably at most a naive and foolish mistake on the part of David Toledo. The “story” is mainly a forum for vicious attacks on Toledo by McDermott supporters.

    Toledo’s campaign is tiny and inexperienced, and she has none of the high-power consultants and money that favorites of the 34th District Dem machine get. I had hoped that using the WSB to clobber your opponent was not going to be one of those privileges.

    • WSB September 17, 2011 (12:25 pm)

      Sorry, not a member nor ally. I cover them and more than a dozen other major organizations/councils/groups that meet regularly in West Seattle. And for what it’s worth, I was the only reporter to cover Diana Toledo’s campaign kickoff event this year, held at the Admiral some months back, while Joe McDermott’s kickoff at Roxbury Lanes (which we also covered) drew at least one other media organization that had not covered hers. And the only reason I’m the only reporter who covered this story is that no other news organizations regularly cover those dozen-plus organizations/councils. They drop in on the 34th District Democrats sometimes, both local and citywide; this time, for whatever reason, they weren’t there. (PubliCola picked up this story, attributing to WSB.) I have covered this story as fairly and accurately as we strive to cover any story, political or otherwise, as I have done for news organizations large and small over 30-plus years. – TR

  • Rick September 17, 2011 (1:56 pm)

    Oh JoAnne,JoAnne,JoAnne. Sigh…………

  • JoAnne September 18, 2011 (11:37 am)

    OK, I respect that you (TR) are allowing critical posts on the WSB, and I believe you’re not a member of the 34th Dist Dems. Not many reporters, even if they were biased, would openly join a political group.

    Toledo’s campaign was covered, but she is a Democrat. I don’t see every story posted here, but I have never seen one about TEA party or conservatives.

    News organizations often report unsubstantiated allegations. That does not mean it is an ethical thing to do. I still think the ethical thing would have been to get all sides of the story and confirm the facts before reporting something that could seriously damage someone’s reputation.

  • waterworld September 18, 2011 (2:21 pm)

    JoAnne: What are you talking about? The WSB did report on the other “sides” of this story — the entire press release from UO was posted, and the information from the Department of Neighborhoods was posted. There’s nothing unethical about reporting on an event that occurred in a basically open public meeting, and following the initial reporting by posting what other “sides” of the story want to add to it. To the extent that reputations are suffering, it’s not because WSB was reckless in some way — it’s because the facts themselves are damaging. You are also off base to say that WSB is “allowing critical posts.” The comments here are not only tame by comparison to what I regularly see on the Seattle Times and PI sites, a great many of them reflect community fact-checking. The only really offensive statements in all of this are your presumptuous accusations that the “critical” comments are coming from shills for Ms. Toledo’s opponent in the campaign. I know I wouldn’t have bothered to comment at all but for your obnoxious attempts at damage control.

  • Ivan Weiss September 19, 2011 (6:42 am)

    Let’s leave JoAnne to her fact-free existence, where she can make stuff up to her heart’s content.

    She said the 34th had endorsed Toledo, and couldn’t back it up. She said that “every single” candidate who ran against a Democrat in the 34th had been accused of “corruption,” and couldn’t back that up either.

    She said “The “story” is mainly a forum for vicious attacks on Toledo by McDermott supporters.” when in fact “the story” was that David Toledo had produced a campaign promotion for his sister using tax dollars, hiding behind kids to do it, and using those same kids as props for his sister’s campaign.

    She called it a “naive and foolish mistake,” but it was no such thing at all. David Toledo’s only mistake was in thinking he could get away with it, and that most people around here wouldn’t find it repugnant.

    We’re not buying what you’re selling, JoAnne, we’re not ever likely to, and we most certainly have not been “vicious.” That’s another thing you’re making up.

  • Djake1984 September 21, 2011 (3:04 pm)

    Just for the record … The address for unified outreach … 4401 42nd ave… WAS the location of West Seattle Christian School…until 2006 when it closed … It is now a local artist community known as “Ginomai” within which Unified Outreach has a studio, as do many other West Seattle Artists. You should use caution before depending on outdated web sources for correct information

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