Norm Dicks getting reelected to Congress and then resigning for health reasons?
Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson perhaps taking his place?
It’s all a hoax, Anderson, Dicks and the leader of the Pierce County Democratic Party say.
That news went out in an e-mail last week to at least some Pierce County Democratic leaders and faithful. It purportedly was sent by a new campaign manager in Anderson’s reelection bid for Auditor and referenced a web site: www.electjulieanderson.org. That web link redirected visitors to Anderson’s real campaign website.
It appears the e-mail was concocted and sent by Robert Hill, a Democratic Precinct Committee Officer, who has since been ousted from the party for a number for reasons, said Pierce County Democratic Central Committee Chairman Nathe Lawver.
“It was a complete hoax,” Lawver said.
Anderson and Dicks also said the e-mail was bogus.
Hill, who is barred by restraining order from contact with Anderson, told me this afternoon he’d seen the e-mail, but he didn’t send it.
It was sent to an unknown number of recipients, including local Democratic party officers. Dicks is seeking reelection to the 6th Congressional District seat he’s held since 1977. He is opposed by Republican Doug Cloud.
Anderson is running for reelection to the nonpartisan Pierce County Auditor seat, so party is not stated in that race. Her opponent is University Place School Board member Kent Keel. Though party is not listed on the ballot, Anderson is a well-known local Democrat.
“It was very unpleasant the day that rumor went out,” she said. “It was unpleasant to receive a barrage of phone calls and e-mails about it.”
The e-mail, headed “‘Friends for Julie Anderson Special Issue Newsletter,”‘ reads in part: ” … I have momentous news for you.” Dicks, the purported campaign manager continues, “…I was on the phone for an hour and a half with Rep. Dicks… who told me because of very-very recent health issues, he is stepping down shortly after the election…and wants Julie to be his replacement for the U.S. House from the Sixth District.”
“Wow. … Talk about a plum landing in my lap. Being on the team to help Julie gain national prominence.”
If a Congressman were to resign, his seat would be filled by special election, but the endorsement of the incumbent can be a powerful stepping stone to the job.
Dicks, on the campaign trail in Pierce County, said of the e-mail Tuesday: “This is totally somebody’s fantasy, and there’s no truth to it at all. I am running for my 18th term in Congress. I am in good health, and I’m looking forward to another term of serving the people of the Sixth District.
Anderson and Dicks’ campaign each asked Tacoma Police to investigate, they said.
A detective looked at the case, but preliminary investigation shows no lawbreaking, Tacoma Police spokesman Mark Fulghum said.
It appears the incident is protected under freedom of speech law, he added.
The person who sent it “had nothing to gain financially,” Fulghum said.
Last December, three weeks after Pierce County District Court Judge Maggie Ross imposed the anti-harassment order on Hill, he filed paperwork with the state Public Disclosure Commission to create two political action committees for Anderson.
“The Independent PAC to Elect Julie Anderson as President of the United States of America in 2020!” and “The Independent PAC to Elect Julie Anderson Pierce County Auditor in 2009!” each listed electjulieanderson.org as a site for e-mail and information.
The supposed presidential campaign listed “The Grand Honorable Mister Robert Hill” as treasurer. It was accompanied by a handwritten note saying” I have been in jail, off and on, for the last month, and I recently came across this late registration form.”
Each of the Political Committee Registration filings listed The Swiss pub in Tacoma as the site for inspection of campaign records.
The campaigns are not sanctioned by Anderson, who said she knew nothing about them until she saw the PDC filings.
Hill said he didn’t create the e-mail address www.electjulieanderson.org and merely listed one in use by her campaign; Anderson said that’s never been her web address and it was put up without her permission.
Lawver alleges Hill “has a long history of very unstable shenanigans within the community.” Pierce County Democratic party leaders studied the law before sending Hill a letter last week, stripping him of his elected status as a precinct committee officer and telling him “he’s no longer welcome in our party,” Lawver said.
As to any rumor of Dicks leaving Congress, the local party leader said: “Norm is not going anywhere. We’re working very hard to get him reelected. He’s done a great job for our district. We need him there (in Congress).”
Of the e-mail incident, Dicks said: “It’s very bizarre.”