Letters to the Editor

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ELECTION: Connelly didn’t take the easy way out

Letter by Linda J. Fotiou, Tacoma on July 31, 2012 at 10:27 am with 12 Comments »
July 31, 2012 2:00 pm

I am the interim executive director of the Martin Luther King Housing Development Association. I have read the attacks by those supporting the Jeannie Darneille campaign with interest (TNT, 7-30).

I think it is important to point out that Jack Connelly had informed the association that he could not remain on the board, but then came back to assist it when the problems arose with the grant which Brian Ebersole and others had obtained from the Legislature.

Connelly returned and then stayed on after he learned of the problems even though a lot of people left. His firm has represented the association without charge, and Connelly and his wife have donated more than $100,000 of their own money to help it stay afloat.

It is also important to point out that the board unanimously fired the former executive director in July 2009 when it learned that he had misspent $453,999. The board then made a decision to try to keep the association going.

It would have been just as easy to walk away. Instead, Connelly has worked to try to find ways to save low-income housing on the Hilltop. We are very appreciative of his work and commitment.


Leave a comment Comments → 12
  1. bluegirl39 says:

    Why didn’t Mr. Connolley simply say (in his many interviews with TNT about MLK) that he was not on the board at time when money was being misspent? In an April 21, 2009 op-ed, Mr. Connolley stated that he had been on the board for many years.

  2. bluegirl39 says:

    and I’m told the Association’s annual reports filed with the IRS show Mr. Connelly on the board from 2003 to the present. It would be helpful to have the facts about the years he was on and off the board rather than vague phrases like “many years.”

  3. jimkingjr says:

    bluegirl- why more smears instead of acxknowledging that as all of the rats were fleeing, Jack Connelly ran into the fire to try and help salvage something? What did Darneille and her ilk do after helping create this mess?

  4. bluegirl39 says:

    Mr. Connelly was always IN the fire…that is the point. He does not deny it, and RECORDS SHOW he was on the board for, as he says himself, years. Was Darneille also on the board of MLK Housing? I think not, but I will check. This is not a he says/she says…there are records that show when he was on board.

  5. Madhorse says:

    Responding to Bluegirl: When you ask why Mr. Connelly didn’t clarify that he was not on the board during the time the money was “mis-spent…”
    Are you serious? If you have ever been interviewed by a reporter, you know that they believe they have license to “edit” what you say. How do you know that Mr. Connelly DIDN’T clarify his time on the board, but that the reporter failed to report that! Reporters are out to sell papers, get real. My family has been a victim of the News Tribune reporters only reporting what THEY want to report, not what you actually said!

  6. Sometimes the question is answered simply by making a few phone calls and not relying on bias reporting. Call other board members or the keeper of the minutes. A 990 is purely a list, board minutes are the record.

  7. Madhorse says:

    Shame on the Tacoma News Tribune for printing untrue statements regarding Jack Connelly’s involvement as a board member of the Martin Luther King Housing Developement. Especially shame on them when a member of that organization wrote in to the editor with the true story of what actually occurred, and the News Tribune chose not to print those facts anywhere in their paper, other than the editorial page. There should have been a retraction of the slanderous articule written the day before, when it was apparent that they did not have their facts correct. The attack against Mr. Connelly by the News Tribune is so blatant, it makes one wonder if someone at the newspaper has a personal vendetta against Mr. Connelly for some reason?

  8. @madhorse. I am equally concerned. I googled Ken Miller to just get a background on him as I had done months prior when both candidates announced. I found he put his hands on a woman in anger, who happened to represent an opposing candidate (2009) when he got enraged. I found out he is a commissioner for THA which currently is in preliminary negotiations with MLKHDA on the very property his mailer references. And I find he is a guest columnist for the TNT. It is unsettling to find this hate mailer is continually referenced as factual as he, himself makes cosmetic edits in conjunction with the TNT, tracks people down on Facebook to bully and spread his form of politics, and continually apologies for not following the laws of disclosures that he likes to represent as “integrity’ in all things. I believe TNT need to look closely at his and their conflict of interest.

  9. Lulu2008 says:

    Why won’t Miller and his Darneille attack group comply with public election laws? It has been two weeks since his first attack piece and he still hasn’t complied with the PDC disclosure requirements. His group sent out another attack piece yesterday that arrived on the same day as a mailer sent directly from Darneille’s campaign that continues to attack Connelly on these same issues. The new attack piece fails to inform voters that the FBI determined that there was nothing to investigate after Connelly had returned to the board, ensured that the executive director was terminated, and worked diligently to right the organization in order to preserve low income housing on the hill-top. Connelly has worked hard for citizens of Tacoma and will continue to do so in the Washington Senate.

  10. kenrabbitmiller says:

    Raccoon and Lulu: so much hate. Look, I could be a Martian and it wouldn’t change the fact Jack Connelly screwed up.

    Lulu I’m surprised you know results of the FBI investigation. The state commerce dept doesn’t and the Bureau won’t comment.

    Raccoon: I’m no longer a THA commissioner.

    Thanks for playing

  11. Lulu2008 says:

    Miller: one thing is clear, you and your attack group are subject to the same public disclosure laws as everyone else and you are intentionally violating them. Why?

    Connelly didn’t screw anything up. He is a volunteer board member. The organization fell victim to the housing crisis and the executive director made a poor decision to pay salaries and overhead with money that was directed to build market rate condos. That executive director was terminated for making a poor decision that Connelly had nothing to do with.

  12. kenrabbitmiller says:

    Lulu, you’re right. Our PAC is subject to the same PDC laws as everyone else. But that doesn’t change the fact Mr Connelly provided terrible oversight and governance for MLKHDA

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