LETTER: Resident filing complaint to PDC about Highline School District

[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a Reader. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Waterland Blog nor its staff:]

A Copy of a COMPLAINT to the Public Disclosure Commission.

I am filing this complaint against the HIGHLINE SCHOOL DISTRICT No 401, and it’s employees who are responsible for violating the PDC regulations as well as violation the laws of the STATE OF WASHINGTON, Specifically RCW42.17A .555 their address is Highline Public Schools,15675 Ambaum Blvd. S.W,Burien, WA 98166. Their Phone Number is 206-433-0111.

I ALLEGE that Highline Public School District No.401, violated RCW42.17A.555


As well as the Public Disclosure Commission rule which says “If the agency distributes more than this jurisdiction–wide single publication, the agency must be able to demonstrate to the PDC that this conduct is normal and regular for that agency.”

On January 22, 2015, I received an envelope containing a ballot to vote on proposition No.1 on the school levy and Proposition No.2 on the construction bond.

On January 24, 2015 I received the Illegal eight page, ten color, Campaign Marketing brochure from the Highline School District! It contains almost every conceivable reason for voting yes on these two issues. It is an out and out attempt to brainwash any and all who read it, to Vote yes on each of these two ballots.

Also, Exhibit # THREE contains another Brochure Labeled “Highline January 2015 Journal” sent to me by the Highline School District, Filled with reasons why an unnamed yes vote is vital to our children’s education! What more compelling reason to vote a certain way could they be trying to convey? Both of these Brochures are obvious marketing messages that are pertinent to how they are urging us to vote, without actually coming out and saying “vote yes”, there is no question about what message they are attempting to send to the voters.

I believe these last two brochures constitute prima facie evidence of violations of the Public Disclosure rules, and should provide ample grounds. For invalidation of the results of these two ballots!

I would expect their defense to be: they did not say “VOTE YES”!

An example of their technique might be a full page add in the newspaper featuring, A new car, extolling all the new features and the low miles per gallon, and the 100,000 mile guarantee, and the thousand dollar discount while never needing to ask anyone to buy any of their cars. Their message is clear!

The PDC. Manual says “If the agency distributes more than this jurisdiction–wide single publication, the agency must be able to demonstrate to the PDC that this conduct is normal and regular for that agency.”

The Highline School District cannot demonstrate that this ”eight page, ten color flamboyant brochure” or their “January 2015 Journal “are examples of communications to the voters is a part of their normal and regular conduct during any time other than during an election, which is a clear violation of RCW42.17A.555

Having been a Tax Payer in the Highline School District for more than 45 years. I have never seen any correspondence as blatantly flamboyant and misleading as the enclosed flyer except during election campaigns to pass school bonds or school levies!

It should be obvious that using money derived from the taxpayers own taxes, trying to hoodwink those same tax payers into voting to increase their taxes by voting yes in this election is basically illegal and cannot be justified by any denial that this illegal campaign brochure, Is anything other than an attempt to violate the law.

The Highline School District Refused to Include a Voters Pamphlet with the ballot.

They did not give a reason for not including the Voters Pamphlet! It could not have been to save money because this Eight Page, Ten Color, illegal brochure probably cost far and away, more than the cost of a voter’s pamphlet!

Not including a Voter’s pamphlet with the ballot, Deprives the Voters of the opportunity to read the Pro And Con Statements, And thus depriving the voters of the chance to read any argument explaining why they should vote NO in these two elections.

This flyer is filled with misleading and illegal messages.

This flyer is an example of the School District’s contempt for the voters!

It attempts to brainwash the citizens of the district into believing that they know what the best use of our tax dollars is.

Since the ballots have been sent to the voters, and these illegal brochures were received after the ballots had been delivered this complaint becomes more urgent.

The lengths to which the School District has gone, in this election, Smack of an Illegal Conspiracy!

A search of PDC records of 1995 might reveal similar violations by the Highline School District! Either the laws apply to everybody including the Highline School District, or they don’t. What penalty was assessed against the School District for their violations at that time?

I have provided all the information, documents and other evidence of which I am aware; If I become aware of additional information, documents or evidence related to my complaint , I will promptly provide it to the PDC; and I am providing the PDC current information on how to contact me, and will promptly update that information if it changes. Unless otherwise noted, I agree that PDC may use my Email address instead of U.S. mail for all written correspondence about this complaint.

I am attaching 3 copies of evidence marked as Exhibit ONE, Exhibit TWO and Exhibit THREE (EDITOR’S NOTE: The Writer of this Letter did not include these documents).

Exhibit ONE is a copy of the Special Election Ballot for proposition 1 and proposition 2 in the February 10 Special Election, which I received in the mail on January 22, 2015.

Exhibit TWO is an eight page ten color brochure, which is without question an advertisement intended to convince me to vote yes. No other interpretation could possibly be made because every element of this advertisement is providing an unmistakable message to vote yes.

Exhibit THREE is another brochure from the Highline School District that is definitely the kind of communication that is easily recognized as an attempt to elicit a yes vote from the reader.

Both of these last two exhibits, EXHIBIT TWO, and EXHIBIT THREE, are in violation of the PDC rule; “If the agency distributes more than this jurisdiction–wide single publication, the agency must be able to demonstrate to the PDC that this conduct is normal and regular for that agency”

Since the election is in process and will be over in just a few days, this complaint becomes more urgent!

I respectfully request your immediate response to these Illegal actions. And request, that you refer this case to the Attorney General immediately for timely enforcement action and the possible nullification of the results of these two ballots or enjoin the certification of the election results by King County Elections.

Yours truly,
Don Wasson

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8 Responses to “LETTER: Resident filing complaint to PDC about Highline School District”
  1. Dave Kaplan says:

    This is hilarious! Mr. Wasson lecturing the school district about campaign finance violations? That’s rich! As the only person in our area who admitted to illegally not reporting campaign contributions, I’m sure he has plenty to say.

    If Mr. Wasson actually understood the law, he’d discover that the District can send out an informational brochure regarding any and all ballot measures. In addition, Highline Citizens for Schools, a registered campaign, has been filing PDC reports as required … unlike the so-called Sensible Spending for Schools, which, in TWO campaigns now, has not registered with the PDC.

    The levy and bond measure are important investments in our community, and no 11th hour ginned-up accusation by Mr. Wasson will change anyone’s mind. Vote YES on Prop 1 and Prop 2, thank you.

    • John Castronover says:

      Mayor Kaplan, with all due respect to you, Whether this tax package passes or is rejected we all should question Why our schools were allowed to deteriorate to their current conditions? Why was our tax dollars diverted from the maintenance and repair of our schools? Why was fifty percent of the maintenance dept laid off?
      Superintendent Enfield and her Board Members should be held accountable for the neglect of our schools that we have built from previous bonds that we are still paying on they are nothing more than Slum Lords with our tax dollars.
      That’s why I voted No, Again.

      • Joey Martinez says:

        Tim Eyman initiatives. Those sapped the money away from operational funding to adequately fund the school maintenance. We stack the deck against the district by voting for these initiatives and then complain when they lose?

        You can’t squeeze blood from a turnip…

        Older buildings are costly to maintain. There comes a point where you stop throwing good money away on something that needs replacing and use that limited funding to maintain what is in good working order.

    • Don Wasson says:

      Wow, I finaly smoked our illustrious Mayor out.
      He is the one who taught me how, about 12 years ago!
      I must apologize for distracting him from his main jog of leading our fair city down the tube.
      He has final found a job that he’s good at! Please accept my congratulations Dave.
      Your old freind,
      Don Wasson

      • Joey Martinez says:

        Mayor Kaplan, you ALSO hid $49,000 in campaign contributions, were heavily fined by the PDC, resigned as mayor, was subject to a recall election, and resigned from the CIty Council?

        Good learning Don!

  2. maggie says:

    On top of all the mailings, there’s the constant phone calls. The last call I got, I was told to hurry and mail my ballot. They noticed that I haven’t mailed it yet. This amounts to stalking!

  3. Strange! says:

    It’s weird how the only document from his three exhibits that I recieved is the actual ballot itself. And my understanding is that nothing in the levy or bond changed since the last time we voted on it. Doesn’t he have his old pamphlet to reference his concerns to?

  4. Rosanna says:

    Wow. It would be nice in any election of person or issue, to have one nice clean factual statement for and against, published in the voters pamphlet. Instead of being bombarded with ads by mail, tv, radio, and internet. I have filled my recycle bin already, with ads for the school bond issue as it is.

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