Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Political Desk Is In Apparent Need of an Upgrade

When I was wading through the Voter's Guide earlier this month, I was pretty comfortable that I could understand the choices with the material as presented - candidate statements, supplemented by their own web sites and endorsements and comments from other blogs and services such as the Muni League. Easy-Peasey.

But I've hit a snag once I started talking about the Kent area (my new home town), since the reach of the Muni League, or the larger papers or blogs, doesn't reach this far south. I didn't do as much digging and in not digging further I missed a whopper.

I mean, it sounds weird that in making my recommendations I should have paid attention to arrest reports, but apparently such is the case.

Here's the story: I looked at the candidates for Kent City Council, and went pretty much from their statements and what I could dig up from their own sites. Which was pretty thin on the ground, since only one of them, Bailey Stober, had a functioning website up. So I recommended Mr. Stober, and figured I would learn more about the others (Ken Sharp and Barbara Phillips) later.

And I did learn more about Mr. Sharp I found THIS in the Times this past Saturday morning:
A candidate for the Kent City Council was charged this week with seven counts of first-degree theft for allegedly draining nearly $300,000 from his mother’s bank account and using the money to shore up his failing printing business, according to King County prosecutors.
This is the local equivalent of coming home to find the "60 Minutes" crew setting up in your driveway. There is absolutely no joy for a political candidate in that opening lede. Then it just gets worse:
Charging documents filed Tuesday also suggest that Ken Sharp, 66, used his mother’s money to purchase a $12,000 diamond ring for his third wife and to go on trips to Mazatlan, Mexico, Dubai and Johannesburg, South Africa. He is also accused of taking out a reverse mortgage for nearly $475,000 on his mother’s Tacoma house, the papers say.
The whole Times article is here And while I'd love to ascribe to the local media a hand in covering things up, not rocking the boat, and maintaining the status quo, you can find their much more detailed and slightly less colorful account in the Kent Reporter here, and an article on the initial arrest and investigation from back in July here.

Apparently local politics is a lot more colorful than I had first thought it would be, and this bears further watching. And, sadly, a lot more research on this end.

More later,